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jr02518
jr02518 Reader
12/2/18 1:32 a.m.

Ok, I have it.  It's mine.  I have know about this car for 25 years.  Until, or unless you have been around British cars like this it may not be your " cup of ....  But an opportunity like this has come my way and I want to make it happen.

I will start with what I see as the truth of this car.  It will, during my time with the car, not be the subject of a "nut and bolt " restoration.  The car, as it sits, is already a "Frankenstein" to the purest's and I will not be looking for a stock 1600 to replace the existing three bearing 1800.  The interior is a mess, the gages are not correct or are missing and the seats are a joke.  But, the car is solid.  Other than some surface rust it's not your normal bucket of rusty British bits held together with tape and bondo.  The PO purchased the car in 1971 as a non running roller.  It was an 11 year old car with a blown motor and had been parked. He worked on and drove the car until 1973.  Then he parked it.  In a garage in Barstow, CA.  

The facts of life in what we call the "IE", inland empire, are warm weather and wind. In Barstow, the high desert, it's just hot and the dust/silt/sand get's everywhere. Then the next care taker of the car gets to remove the accumulation and take an inventory of what is in the car.

 

    

 

One side done.  With time I will have a solid driver. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
12/2/18 2:08 a.m.

From talking with an owner here around DC, do whatever you can for driver cooling. Keeps him from enjoying his most of the summer.

 

Awesome car, I love when a car retains the character the years have given it and isn't made to look new, or better than new.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/2/18 5:48 a.m.
Apexcarver said:

From talking with an owner here around DC, do whatever you can for driver cooling. Keeps him from enjoying his most of the summer.

 

If you get used to driving modern cars with A/C, this becomes truth for most classic cars. I often joke my Triumphs are "two season cars:  Spring and Fall."  It's a rare treat when I can drive them during the Summer months with mid-Atlantic heat and humidity. 

Otherwise, I agree with the plan - just get it running. While you may not plan to do a nut & bolt restoration, I would anticipate probably having to go through pretty much every part of the car if it hasn't run in 45 years and dust contamination is that much of an issue.  It will be interesting to see what you find as you dig deeper. 

Victoria British  is one source for parts. I would suggest joining your local MG club. I wouldn't be surprised if guys come out of the woodwork to help you get the car back on the road, opening their parts stashes for you.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte UltraDork
12/2/18 6:10 a.m.

With a little love that will be a solid car you can enjoy for a long time. Where to start? A subscription to Classic Motorsports magazine they have done a project or 3 like this. Then i would say brakes. Solid car, Safety Fast!!!

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
12/2/18 7:33 a.m.

This might help.

https://www.mgexp.com/article/awakening-sleeping-mg.html

 

The heat in a roadster MGA is no joke. Cant imagine what it would be in the Coupe.  I would own one just for the iconic style.

I would highly recommend an aftermarket hot-rod wiring harness over a factory replica.  Cheaper and better.

 

Expect to replace the entire braking and fuel system.

If you are not already there, you should know about this forum

 

https://www.mgexp.com/phorum/list.php?2

 

Pete

Danny Shields
Danny Shields HalfDork
12/2/18 8:55 a.m.

Cool car. Nothing wrong with an MGB engine in an MGA. All in the family, just like people dropping a 1275 into an early Sprite. 

Danny Shields
Danny Shields HalfDork
12/2/18 9:04 a.m.

One more thing: With suppliers like Moss Motors, Victoria British, and all the other BMTA suppliers (most of whom advertise in our favorite magazine), I think it is easier to get parts for an old British car now than when they were new. You can order any part you want in a few minutes by phone or internet, and have it appear at your doorstep the next day. Back in the day, you had to go the dealer and have them order stuff and then wait...

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
12/2/18 9:14 a.m.

Barstow...isn't that near Bat Country?

Looks like a cool project.  Looking forward to following along!

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy SuperDork
12/2/18 10:28 a.m.

That's a beaut

 

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) Reader
12/2/18 10:29 a.m.

What a fantastic car! It looks like it was dug out of the sands of Tatooine (or Jakku, for fans of the later trilogy)! I agree with the others, don’t ruin it by glossying it up into something you’d be afraid to drive. 

purplepeopleeater
purplepeopleeater Reader
12/2/18 10:51 a.m.

Moss & BP Northwest are great, Vickie B has been known to sacrifice quality for price so be aware.

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
12/2/18 12:05 p.m.

I own a Mk 2 coupe (see below). Couple of suggestions:

Fit a heat blanket on the tunnel - I believe Moss sells one.

Modify the heater valve on the engine so that it shuts off completely.  http://www.britishcarforum.com/bobmuenchausen/12245.html

Read http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/interior/int100.htm and follow the suggestions regarding insulation

Make sure that the swiveling side vent window will stay in the open position.

Do all that and the coupe is actually better in hot weather than the roadster as you don't have the su beating down on you all day.

And it is rarer and much more interesting in terms of styling details - those outside door handles alone are a work of art.

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera HalfDork
12/3/18 9:09 a.m.

Here's my '58 Coupe:

I put a 5 main bearing MGB engine in mine rather than rebuild the tired 1500.  I insulated the interior with what is basically bubble wrap between aluminum foil.  I got it at Lowes and it worked great and is lightweight. 

 

I also made a portable air conditioner that I use when I commute in the summer.

 

jr02518
jr02518 Reader
12/3/18 10:23 a.m.

I would like to thank everyone for their input.  If you have any reference photos of the dash, interior, door glass/wing window, trunk, under the bonnet, again thank you.  The doors on my car are on the list of needing a complete refresh.  The glass all made it on the transition to is's current location, but I do not trust that I could do it again without taping every thing in place.  If you have any pictures of your doors during reconstruction they will help.      

I am missing the window crank on the driver side.  The tack in the car is for the 1600 and its mechanical connection to the distributor.  This will have to updated to the early MGB inductive tachometer.  The speedometer did not make it back into the dash after the PO started the interior color change to white.  This change of color may have been the cars tipping point and why it never again got to see any miles.   The sticker on the window, it stays. 

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera HalfDork
12/3/18 6:09 p.m.

Be very careful raising and lowering the windows.  The driven quadrant gear is rather flimsy and prone to stripping out.  You can remove it and flip it over to get it going again.  If it works, I'd recommend helping the window by lifting or lowering with your free hand while cranking with the other.

Your dash looks mostly original as far as configuration goes, but there are a few extra holes.  My dash is original down to the original covering.  I take some photos.  It has a late MGB tach in it now since I haven't gotten around to fitting the early electric MGB tach.  The MGA tach is driven off the cam via a tapped boss in the block.  3-main MGBs also used the same type of cam drive.  None were mechanically connected to the distributor. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/3/18 6:19 p.m.
Apis Mellifera said:

Here's my '58 Coupe:

I put a 5 main bearing MGB engine in mine rather than rebuild the tired 1500.  I insulated the interior with what is basically bubble wrap between aluminum foil.  I got it at Lowes and it worked great and is lightweight. 

 

I also made a portable air conditioner that I use when I commute in the summer.

>ve used this product extensively. It really does wirk winders. Tape the seams with the aluminum hvac tape, and use high heat glue like 3m super 77.

Also, make sure that weatherstripping and firewall holes are sealed. That amount of dust inside makes me believe that its pretty wide open to the outdoors.

 

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
12/3/18 6:47 p.m.

Agreed on the importance of a well sealed firewall. Put some bright lights in the engine bay and turn off the lights in the shop. Go look under the dash for light.   If you see any, pretend its fire and seal accordingly.

ANY shielding on the exhaust tube that provides an air gap between the pipe  and then the floor, is going to help a lot. Ceramic coating of the tube would not hurt either.

Dynamat  is a waste of time and money since the high density wont do a thing for heat and the reflective foil needs to face the heat source in order to be of any use.

 

Pete

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
12/5/18 10:07 a.m.
jr02518 said:

 

I am missing the window crank on the driver side.  The tack in the car is for the 1600 and its mechanical connection to the distributor.  This will have to updated to the early MGB inductive tachometer.  The speedometer did not make it back into the dash after the PO started the interior color change to white.  This change of color may have been the cars tipping point and why it never again got to see any miles.   The sticker on the window, it stays. 

The window crank should be available from England - trying to recall if it is the same as Magnette.

You said you have a 3 main MGB engine - that has a mechanical tach drive and works with the MGA tach - if you have any connection from tach to distributor there is something wrong (probably using a Triumph distributor). Is the tach drive present at the left rear of the engine just under the head?

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
12/5/18 10:24 a.m.

The window crank handle is part number ADH5481 and fits the early wind-up window Spridgets along with the MGA Coupes.  They're widely available from the usual suspects.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
12/5/18 10:36 a.m.

Interesting - didn't know that they fit other than MGA and Z Magnettes!

Moss has them for $45, but NTG in Britain has them good used for 8 quid.

jr02518
jr02518 Reader
12/15/18 10:13 a.m.

I can say, I am not the first willing victim to take on one of these cars.  In fact there are many that have gone before the mast on cars that I would not have taken on in any way.  But what I have is turning out to be a textbook case of why a person might have walked away.  Reading about how you lock and unlock the doors on this car and what happens when you lock your self out, can be seen on the attached.

 

Yes, a reposted picture. Please note the driver door and it standing proud of the body.  

Again, a reposted photo. Again, a door slightly ajar.

Now, the damage to the door, around the door lock star wheel becomes evident. The damage to the driver seat, upper left bolster, that I thought might have been rodent induced now looks to have been completed by applied leverage.

Not having the key's at the time of sale also makes more sense.  The door key is also the ignition key.  Not having a window crank in place might have occurred during the same attempt to get the door open.

  

I am sorry, this is not a great picture, but it give you an idea of what was done to the door to get it open. The Star wheel is still locked solid.  No rotational movement at all.  Without a key to unlock the latch, it is doing it's job. You can also see the distortion of the base of the window frame.  That has in turn bent the trim piece that runs along the top of the door and holds the rubber trim against the window to keep water out of getting into the door.  

In the world of MGA's, parts for the driver door for a coupe can be found.  They might be available as they were shared on the roadster of the same vintage, the passenger side not so lucky.  In my case, on the passenger side, the star wheel is free of any desire to stop rotating.

So, what to do?  This project was offered to me with the understanding that it should be a father /son bonding deal.  My son, now 13, is a monthly competitor with his  SCCA FJA kart.  He is getting it that his kart is not magically available to jump into for events, but it does indeed need to be maintained.  I will also admit that having his help reaching into the spaces that my full size mitts do not fit, will be a plus.  All this and I have found access to buried and rusted nuts, bolts and screws can be done by making holes in a door frame that will be covered by a door panel.  Colin was right, I can add lightness!

David     

 

 

 

 

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
12/15/18 11:09 a.m.

There is a pawl inside the mechanism that must be either broken, or (IIRC) maybe had a spring that held it against the part it engages and the spring broke or came unhitched.

 

Maybe Todd Clarke can help you out. http://www.clarkespares.com/carparts.html

200mph
200mph New Reader
12/17/18 11:03 a.m.

In reply to jr02518 :

Join mgexp.com  Great community (like this one) with excellent experienced advice, and their free BST forum is a great source of new and used parts.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
12/18/18 6:00 a.m.

JR, cool find. And thanks everyone for the excellent advice. We are actually searching for a similar survivor car (but porbbaly an MGB) so we can go through the steps to show readers how to resurect and build a driver quality car out of something ike this.

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera HalfDork
12/19/18 11:51 a.m.

I know a guy with an MGBGT for sale...

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