1969 MGB GT
She Runs AND Drives
This weekend I chased down more wiring issues. I very carefully pulled apart some of the gauges, and gently cleaned the faces, and got the crud off the glass, and touched up the bezel's. I then very carefully reassembled them. I also tested some of the senders, and cleaned some of the grounds. I have to tell you, one of my favorite tools is the good old fashioned circuit tester. So simple, but it really helps locate a problem ASAP. I also have been really using the Astley book. Great details on how to test the senders and voltage regulators, etc.
So after doing some chasing, I let the car idle in the driveway until she was reading N(ormal) on the Temp gauge and then decided to take her for a spin. With no windshield, no rear window, no passenger or rear seat. no carpet, no dash, etc. I drove her around the neighborhood and she drove like a champ. She seemed happy to be back on the road after 8 to 10 years.
I figure another 2 weeks of a few hours in the evenings and she should be good to go. I will get the windows in this week. Get some safe tires on. Glue in the old carpet set that has been sitting in my office for the last 4 years. Grease up the runners on the old seats, and probably order some safe seatbelts.
All in all I am happy with the progress. Be sure to check back, as I expect this to be much farter along over the next 3 weeks or so.
Front and rear windows are in. That was an ordeal. One step closer. Need new tires. need to get a dashboard. Need to assess the ignition and see if the card is still in good condition or if I need to have the throttle shaft bushings machined. Need to get new brake lines (soft) on the car. Need to finish gluing the carpet kit in (what a pain). All in all, I would say the list is growing. I drover her around the neighborhood for a bit today and she has a nasty vibration. Possibly a broken tranny mount? I need to get under her and see what is loose. It is possible it is just a broken exhaust hanger I missed.
3/22 to 3/25/10
Still stumbling along. I finally found a glass shop willing to work on an old MGB. sixth company I called. And it was not pretty. 2 guys fighting the car, and the car fighting back. The car gained a few tiny scratches, and the trim looks good, but definitely not something show quality.
All in all, it will make a nice driver.
With the windows in, she was taken for a run through the neighborhood, and allowed to get up to full temp to see how she behaved. She drove in first, second and third perfectly. Still have not had her in fourth yet. She also gets a soft pedal, so I must have missed a few air bubbles. I will try bleeding her again (time number 3).
Since the tires were hard as a rock and cracking like crazy (even though they held air perfectly) I thought it was time to refresh. I had to fight the knockoffs (the previous owner felt they had to be beat on with a sledge hammer is my guess. It took a fair amount of persuasion and the grease and rust was enough to slow down the removal. I was able to slowly wiggle the wheels off using "breakfree".
Needless to say, when I found a dealer that had the right tires in stock and they swore they could deal with wire wheels, I was not expecting that it would be over a week, and I would still not have my wheels back. Seems that no one at America's Tire knows how to mount tires on a wire wheel. They used the wrong size bias ply tubes with no rim strips and NONE of the tires held air. I was scheduled to work so I could not pick them up for 3 days. When I went to get them, they told me of the problem. Seems they also do not know how to dial a phone.
A quick call to Coker tire, and the right stuff was on its way from Tennessee. Now I just need to get them professionally mounted. Too bad there are no good tire shops in the Coachella Valley.
I used the down time to clean the hubs and get the rust and rock hard grease off the splines. Nothing like good old fashioned elbow grease.
I found a nice nest under the drivers fender. Looks like I need to address the brake pipes before I do any serious driving with this one. Some of the bends have noticeable corrosion.
I also started to clean the floors to start installing the carpet in the car. This is tedious and a pain, but it makes a huge difference in the looks and feel of the car. The passenger sill looks pretty.
UH OH........RUST! As I removed the carpet on the drivers side, I noticed the seat rails were very rusty and they had to be levered off the carpet. Once the carpet was out, I found some rust from the top down. The floor underneath looked great.
A little poking with a screw driver opened up these small holes. I will address these in the next week or two.
The front bumper was cleaned and installed. She is starting to look like a great car. I really cannot wait to have her ready for the Sunday coffee runs with the family. I am sure most of you will notice that as of late Friday night still no wheels on the car, because I do not have them back yet.
I FINALLY got the brakes to get a perfect hard brake pedal. I also found a great new tool. The vizibleed is a simple tube that is one of the easiest brake bleeds I have ever done.
I started working on the dash. I AM NEVER DOING A DASH AGAIN. Next time I will get a steel shell, and clean it up and cover it with leather.
These kits for a new factory cover SUCK. I have tried all different kinds of adhesive and none work (and YES, I am following the directions). I will post some pic's later, but I am mighty frustrated. To top it off, I am fighting the dash and the Latter Day Saints walk into the garage to talk to me. I always felt that Saturday was for the Church of Vehicles if you know what I mean. On a side note, as I was typing I heard the roar of old school radial motors and ran outside to see a B-17 fly over the house, low and slow coming in for a landing at the local airport for a fundraiser. NICE.
I also tried to install the very expensive reproduction grille from MOSS. All I can say is my MGB must have a totally different front end set of sheet metal than all the other MGB's or this grill is significantly larger than the original.
Have any of you had the same problems? I scratched the heck out of my paint. This sucks!
Things are slowly moving forward. I got my rim liners and got the last tube for my radials from Coker Tire and took them to get my new tires CORRECTLY mounted on my wire rims. I figured this was a great time to teach the little one the correct way to install knock off wheels (which is becoming a lost art).
And with the wheels on the car I was forced to deal with the rust I found under the drivers seat when I pulled the seat out. I started by measuring and then cutting a patch that would cover the first repair section.
And I eyeball it to see how it looks.
I cut out the first section.
Cut new metal to fit
Tack, tack, tack to not warp the flat metal
Grind everything flat.
In addition to everything else, someone in the past put some big speakers in the front and back and cut out the structural steel to do so. I will address those issues as well before I finish the interior. Like you need a big stereo in a MGB. The engine is enough to entertain any gear head.
Make a new piece. It is not perfect, but it will be hidden behind a panel, and it will be stronger than the big hole that is currently there.
Time to learn to weld.....Scrap metal from the panels I made.
And the carpet starts to go in.
Making her dependable........
This site was last updated 08/26/11
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