The 1967 MGB Rebuild

After running it for a few weeks I knew all was basically OK but despite being rebuilt recently I have had one of the core plugs drop out on the engine (luckily at home when idling in the drive) and the rest look suspect so its a no-brainer to remove the engine and transmission. Its currently in hiding at my friends place and I plan to remove the engine and transmission, and do a full rebuild of both so I can check everything.

Over the winter of 2011/12 I reskinned the doors, removed the engine/gearbox and stripped the engine bay and boot area, painted them and dropped the rebuilt engine and gearbox back in and drove it around for the summer.

For late 2012/early 2013 I had some other projects around the house that slowed things down a bit. (like extending my garage and building a deck) The MG stalled for a while but I got back on the bodywork in the cold months, I needed a new front right wing and front left quarter panel plus a front valance. I also re-did the rhs outer sill as I was not happy with it even though it had been done but the left side I left alone as it was OK. I stripped the body did some welding repairs, got everything level and by early spring sprayed on some epoxy to protect it over the summer. Now that the home projects are done and with the unusually mild summer I am getting the body prepped for painting in September when the humidity breaks.

2013 is drawing to an end and I am hoping to have this done soon.. Its painted, the interior is almost in and I need to install and adjust the doors.

February 2014 and its snowing! we have had 15 snow storms and over 55 inches of snow this year.. The MG is ready to go.. some tonneau and hood things to get done and maybe rebuild the carbs eventually, but this snow (and more to the point the salt) can bugger off so the dog and I can go for a ride!!

End of March 2014 and its still snowing.. but I did get out a few times and tried the car out. I must say, it rides well for an almost 50 year old car - I'm impressed, but I was a little worried about the handling into the corners, a late turn in which turns to oversteer - not confidence building. I read up on it and the advice was a 3/4 inch roll (sway) bar. Got one and what a difference! Its so much better now and I can heartily recommend this upgrade. I had a third occasion where the battery just went flat, so the dynamo was replaced with an alternator and thats fixed. A creak from the rear was a bad shock droplink and the Carbs were rebuilt. Even so an erratic idle persisted that was eventually traced to a pinhole in the steel tank to su pump pipe and now its running and driving great. The seasons last (surely?) snowstorm is just starting. Just need to sit that out and I can start enjoying.

On the road now,Its finished. All running fine after the Radiator filler broke off, complete failure of the solder joint so I replaced the radiator as I dont trust the rest of the joints. At the same time I added a 7 blade fan and fan cowling and it has made a big difference in idle temps, no fears of overheating now, no matter how long it idles.

Or is it? I got my hands on not one but two Overdrive gearboxes, that will make this car perfect on the road, and thats this winters Project..

Stripdown, So when do we get a ride again??

Engine was rebuilt, and made ready to be reinstalled.

Enginebay and boot stripped, welded and painted

Bodywork needed a new front right wing, a quarter wing on left, a front Valance and door skins. Plus some welding repairs in various other spots.. Not happy with RHS sills so did them again. Floors were great. Stripped to bare metal ready for paint prep.. You can just see the new extension I built on the rear of the garage.. now 36 ft long and I can get two regular cars in now.. and not just Mini's.. plus there is light back there!

Both door frames repaired and reskinned

2 coats of epoxy to start with which seals the metal nicely and gives a contrast color for the block sanding

3 coats of Hi Build 2k primer and ready to block sand

Block sanded, but not ready yet, 3 more coats of primer all over and another blocking to go

3 coats of PPG DCC paint. Colour is Volvo California White, a good match for Old English White. It covers nicely and this expensive paint (about $130 per Qt) gives a great finish and I think is well worth it!

Some shiny bits first...

4-1/2 Hours trying to install the glass into the frame and... It broke.
Later on I found that the glass seal was much too thick and once I got a regular sizes one the new Triplex screen went in like a dream.. My hands Hurt really bad from sliding the seal along the bottom rail a few times.

Windscreen installed, Dash repainted in proper crackle paint and installed. Seats recovered and new carpets all in now.

Quick Drive before the winter sets in, Windscreen and doors all installed, Co-Pilot in position!

Just need to do final adjust of doors and install chrome strips now. A few other bits and pieces will keep me amused during the winter including the wheels which will need a refurbish.

One of the wheels masked up ready for the black paint. I had a couple of bent wheels and sourced some replacements, I found out that the early chrome bumper cars had Rostyles with different offsets to the later rubber bumpers. Easy way to spot the difference is that the early ones center boss is proud of the wheel rim (e.g If you place it face down it wobbles!) The later one is not. The difference is about 5mm there is a danger that the later ones will rub if you have low suspension and wide tyres.

Painted and ready for tyres, I used 185/70-14 tyres from Sportscar service in Wilmington Delaware

The Dynamo was erratic so as this is to be a driving car I replaced it with an alternator, not a hard job and I made sure it could be returned to Dynamo if ever needed

Carbs rebuilt, setup and still a persistant idle problem. I eventually noticed that the SU pump was working hard as it stalled so checked the output. Lots of spitting with air in the fuel, a pinhole in the fuel line to the pump was sucking air. That pipe was replaced, carbs and timing set up gain with the improved fuel delivery and all is well.

As the weather heats up and the temps go over 80 degrees the engine is running cool and fine until I hit some lights or a long traffic delay. The car never boils over but the water temperature creeps up until the carbs start complaining and the idle starts to stumble, and sometimes there is a coolant smell as it starts spitting some out of the overflow. I decided against the electric fan route and went with a plastic 7-blade fan and radiator cowling. Now the temps are now nailed to 180 degrees (the thermostat is a 180 Degree one) no matter how long it idles. You can also see some foam I stuffed in the gaps to help with airflow.

I got hold of an Overdrive box but it was for a 3 main and the rust had got it, The gearbox was unusable but the overdrive, whilst not the best it was usable. I could have made one up using my original box but I wanted to keep my original box complete for resale to recoup some of the costs. Another 5 main OD box was obtained. at least I have plenty of spares.

The Overdrive was stripped, cleaned and made ready for reassembly. The sunwheels need to be "phased" and It took a while to identify the three marks but I thought found them eventually. If its a few teeth off the sun gear wont drop in but if you get it one tooth off it will go in with a little resistance but will probably get damaged with use. I spent a lot of time on that but still got it wrong!

The new Gearbox had the larger Layshaft, steel second gear synchro and all was in good shape now.

Completed gearbox, before I removed the OD and checked the sungear phasing again! I was not happy with it once I looked at the spare overdrive as I was assembling it, the Haynes book showed 2 etches and a dot an thats what I thought I had found but then I found a dot and an etch on the same gear. I am glad I opened it up looked again as there was indeed three etch marks. The "dot" I had was a tiny letter "B" and although it may have been phased OK (it had dropped in OK) I was happier now.