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Re: The latest status on the '79 B (long) sending a second

Subject: Re: The latest status on the '79 B (long) sending a second
From: rexcats <>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 17:47:10 -0700
Hi guys, I am sending this a second time, as I did not see this show up on
the list?  I hope someone has the magic answer for my very frustrated
husband , who has put his heart and soul in this little car for our son
Justin.  Anybody on the list live near Santa Cruz California?, and want to
come see if they have can help figure out what it is about this car that
does not want to work?  My husband has had a pinched nerve problem in his
neck for about 6 months now and has been doing physical therapy etc.. and I
know the stress this car is giving him is not helping!

Thanks everyone!
 Lisa Ann
a view into our world

> Here's the latest on the '79 B, busy week, finally got back
> to work on her Saturday (somewhat long story follows):
> Having replaced the plugs (again) due to fouling the previous sets,
> she started up again. Saturday morning, first turn, fired up
> immediately and kept running, though not exactly right. I checked
> the plugs and all looked good, no fouling, slight brownish color.
> Started her up again and let her run to temp. Once heated up, I
> shut off and proceeded to adjust the valve clearances (lash). I
> did a cold adjustment while the engine was on the stand, but had
> yet to adjust while the engine was warm. Number 7 was open too
> much and probably explained why the engine was noisy. One or two
> others were a bit closed, maybe .01 or .02 but most were okay at
> spec. Put the cover back on, checked all the hoses, wires, et. al.
> and started her up again. So far she keeps starting and running.
> Now for timing. Hooked up my light, fired her up and got help from
> Lisa Ann to keep her idle at 1500 RPM (the B's, not Lisa Ann's ;).
> The timing was way off, not even near the tabs on the cover. I
> rotated the dizzy to the 10 degree mark and told Lisa Ann to let
> off the gas. She thought I said shut off and did so, but when I
> tried again, the B started up straight away.
> So now I'm checking the effect of this task, and to my amazement
> she seems to be running spot on! The engine sounds good, no metallic
> clatter (the valve clearance), solid, smooth, no abnormal sounds.
> Furthermore, she's idling at spec, 850RPM and smoothly to boot.
> The idle stays at this speed with only a slight change of probably
> only 10-20RPM. I give her gas slowly and the RPM's go up smoothly
> too! No missing, no stalls, no stumbles, and she sounds great too!!!
> I can't believe this and think I must be dreaming. Lisa Ann says
> close her up and go get the smog cert.
> Then I wake up, or is it the nightmare starts over again? I shut
> off so I can tighten the dizzy clamp bolt. Carefully, so as to not
> move the dizzy and mess up the timing, I gently tight the bolt,
> not too tight either. Go back to the seat, turn the key, NOTHING!
> She won't start again. Nothing I do gets her to fire up. I hold the
> throttle down to clear possible flooding, I crank with and without
> giving gas, won't start. So I check the plugs again. Fouled another
> set. I took them out, used fine emery paper, carb cleaner and air
> blast to clean them as best I can. Regapped and put them back in.
> This barely helps, and I can start her up again, but now she is
> hard to keep running, wants to stall and idles rough, if at all.
> Assuming these plugs aren't clean enough I ran out to Kragen's (my
> nearest parts supply) to buy YASOP (yet another set of plugs). I
> decide to go with the low cost original BMC suggested plugs, Champion
> N9Y. Anecdote here: The counter guy says his computer won't give
> the cross reference for plugs (N9Ys not made anymore?) and asks
> "what car". I tell him '79 MGB and he says "What?" (never heard of
> an MG, big surprise). End of Anecdote, back to the details. I say
> British sports car and he grudgingly goes off to look on the shelf.
> Meanwhile another counter guy says "I heard British, what make did
> you say?" I tell him and mention I keep fouling plugs. He recommends
> Bosch Platinums, says he worked on a Rover and says these seem to
> help with the fouling problems. BTW, both counter guys are young,
> in their twenties I'd say. The second guy seemed more aware of cars
> made in countries other than Japan. I buy a set of the Bosch since
> they're the same price as the Champion and I'm willing to give them
> a try if it might help. Get home, put them in and with a slight bit
> of effort, the B fires up again. She starts, stops, starts okay a few
> times, but is running poorly again. I switch off, and check the plugs.
> They appear okay for now, but I didn't run her too long. I was ready
> to quit for the day after about 6 or 7 hours and we had other things
> to do. I didn't want to risk fouling this set before I had a chance
> to investigate causes.
> It's Sunday and a beautiful day out. I'm going back to try again.
> Aside from passing on the status of this Never Ending Story, I'm
> posing the question of the day: "Why does this car keep fouling
> plugs?" I thought I had her tuned as close to factory spec as I
> possibly could get. Other than road testing to see how she drove,
> all seemed to be right. I'm sure tightening the clamp bolt didn't
> cause the problems (at least I can't believe it did), but I don't
> know why she fails at this point. This isn't the first time either.
> I checked the electronics wiring, dizzy cap and rotor and the plug
> wires. I can't see any problems. No leaks anywhere, no visible
> shorts or opens. Everything appears to be good. If she fires up
> again, the only thing I can assume is this may somehow be heat
> related. Perhaps the electronics have a problem when she's run
> awhile and then shut off?
> I appreciate any more help offered. I'm ready to try most anything.
> I want to be done with this car so Justin can start learning to drive
> a stick and will have his car before the end of the school year.
> Thanks in advance.
> Happy motoring and Safety Fast!
> Michael
> P.S. After cleaning the "old" plugs and starting up again. I tried
> a road test. We live on a T shaped street and there are a lot of
> cars now parked on the street, so there's not much maneuvering room.
> The B drove, but I had to ride the clutch to keep from stalling.
> I was able to get her to second for a few seconds before having to
> stop and reverse. I was able to drive her back to roost without a
> stall, but this was by riding the clutch. FYI the new clutch seems
> to work fine, no problems shifting, although it doesn't feel as
> tight as I thought it should. (This is off topic, but thought you
> might like to know :).

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