car project

The MGB Project

[Thursday: 4.4 miles; Saturday: 6 miles; Monday: 3 miles]

We have been making some slow and steady progress on the MGB project.

We got the flat tire fixed last Friday, installed it and rolled the car into the driveway.

Over the weekend I bought some just-right jack stands from a guy on Facebook Marketplace and we got it off the ground. Then I tried to energize the starter from a car battery with no results. So I removed the starter and tried it again in the garage; it was still dead.

We removed the spark plugs and squirted a tablespoon or so of motor oil into each cylinder. I hand-tightened the spark plugs back on just to keep anything from going in there.

The next thing was to try to determine if the engine was seized up or would turn. I read online about turning the back wheels with the car in 4th gear (spark plugs having been removed). And that seemed to move the engine. I also read about using the fan belt to turn it by hand. I was able to do that also.

Given that the engine seemed generally OK, I spent the money and ordered a new starter, some spark plugs and spark plug wires. I may also need points, condenser, other stuff. And who knows about the fuel delivery side.

When the starter comes in I will continue to discover if we get spark. If we can do that then I’ll spray a little ether in the carbs and see if we get it to fire.

Last night I explored the pedals. The brake and clutch pedals go down but the return springs aren’t strong enough to bring them back up. Both are hydraulically actuated. I need to remove a cover to get into the pivot point in the engine compartment and see if that is the friction problem or if it is the hydraulic pistons. The gas pedal does successfully move the throttle cable.

Tonight I tinkered with the driver’s side door and got it to open. Also we looked more closely at the rotten floor. It looks like the original had been replaced with panels riveted in. The worst of the rust is in these replacement panels. The surrounding stuff is a little bit rusty but not nearly as bad. I think the quality of the steel in these replacement panels was not very good. Normally this kind of thing would be spot welded in, not riveted. Between the cheap floor replacement and the Earl Schieb-quality paint job, I think someone probably took a run at sprucing it up but didn’t have the money to do it right. And my impression is that they may not have really done much with it after that point. I actually feel a bit encouraged that the bulk of the car isn’t as badly decayed as I first thought.

Sometime recently I also looked through the bucket of trunk parts and found the sad remains of a speedometer. It is very dirty. I don’t have the exact number, but the odometer had less than 70,000 on it. Those speedometers are available on ebay, or I may try to get this one working again…. or an alternative would be to install some kind of microcontroller version using a hall effect sensor to count wheel or drive shaft rotations…