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1970mgb last won the day on September 7 2019

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  1. I have zero experience with this particular style of Smith's gauges, but the others I'm familiar with are marked either RVI or RVC. RVI is "voltage sensing" and should be wired in series with the coil. RVC is "current sensing" and is wired parallel to the coil. As a side note, I swapped the original RVI for an RVC when I installed a CDI ignition. I THINK US market went over to RVC in 72(or was it after 72?) and all gauges in the US are interchangeable 68-76. RVC are a bit more forgiving of working with alternative/electronic ignitions, which is why I changed it.
  2. Its great to see that your family had such a broad range of interesting cars, I wouldn't mind owning most of these! Those '95-02 Continentals were unfortunately known to blow their tansmissions, aside from that they seems like a great cruiser. Same engine as in my Mark VIII as well, just transversely mounted. What I wouldn't give to still have a bunch of them! My dad also had a 1980 Porsche 924 from about 1990-2000, and I would LOVE to have that car back. Unfortunately the circumstances of him getting it are loaded with a bunch of baggage for him and I think it would bother him if I bought it(and I do know its whereabouts...). The 32V Intech is a good engine, although I know it doesn't get a ton of love. From what I remember it showed in the Navigator(or maybe Aviator? Seems like the Navigator might have been the 5.4L, which I don't think was ever made as DOHC) and the Mercury Marauder. My dad always was warned of transmission issues but he never ran into them, and he drove his first one up over 150K. I will say too that the Contis were mean SOBs when it came to torque steer, and they also needed pretty gentle tip-in to not chirp the tires. The only thing I can think of that was worse that I've personally driven was an 07 Monte Carlo SS...
  3. I do like these 90s Cadillacs, but growing up my family's only experience with them was a 98 Catera my mom had for a while. I realize now that it really was a great car, and in fact she still had it when I was learning to drive and I did drive it some. I remember getting behind the wheel and thinking how "right" it felt with the tight steering and just overall feel of a good RWD "sporty" sedan. Unfortunately, the ownership experience was less than great partially because I don't think any Caddy dealers were ready to deal with a car that said Cadillac but really was an Opel under the badging. It didn't help too that it got caught up in all the Dex-Cool "fun", although fortunately that one was a warranty fix(or maybe recall). The next car after that was the 98 Continental that my dad bought and fell in love with, and that made us a Lincoln family for a while. Actually I guess we still kind of are-I'm on my second Lincoln(an MKZ, which I'm not as enamored with as the LS I had 2008-2016) and my dad has a 2019 Continental. In the interim, he "stockpiled" 98-02 Continentals-he had 4 pass through his hands, held on to two for a while(my mom joked about us running a car dealership) then didn't get rid of his last until like 2014. My mom went through a few Town Cars in there also, 98, 02, and 08 from what I remember. Your Mark VIII is one of my "bucket list" cars-I love everything about them. Way back in the past my dad had a 92(ish) T-Bird, which was on the same platform but of course didn't have all the same goodies. In those days he drove 30K+ miles a year for work and would often trade cars at least annually. He kept the T-Bird for 3 years or so from what I remember, so he must have really liked it!
  4. Seeing Quantrell Cadillac does my heart good Growing up I had two friends whose parents each had Caddies. One had a gold 92(maybe?) Deville and the other a black 94 Fleetwood. The ones with the Fleetwood, BTW, the dad drove a 94 Impalla SS-in itself a bit of a cult status car now in the US. Around the time I went to high school Fleetwood got traded for a new DHS. Since I grew up 30 miles outside Lexington, though, and we didn't have a Cadillac dealer in my town, everyone who had a Caddy got theirs from Quantrell And yes they are still there and still in the same location on New Circle Road.
  5. For all the flak German engineering gets over complexity, I'm loving how simple that pad wear indicator is. That's actually brilliant. One thing I ran into on the B as pads go is that I had one set-bought from Moss-that just was a little too big in every dimension. I spent a while modifying them, but still was never happy with their fit or their movement, and yes the rattle shims kept coming loose in my doing that. I found a box of I think TRW pads that I'd forgotten I had and they dropped right in without any trouble.
  6. Yeah, the rattle can isn't always pretty, but aside from keeping rust at bay, to my eye even a quick rattle can job looks better than rust. The suspension clean-up is going to be fun. I don't know how to make rust removal more efficient-not sure if I should be looking at an angle grinder with a wire brush, or if I should set up a bench grinder with one of those knotted brushes and just schlep parts over to it as much as possible. I'm afraid I'm going to kill my drill wire brushing things in place, especially given how much time it seems to take to make even a little bit of progress. A few other things for now...I've had these for ages but I finally got around to putting them in. Night and day difference! After I'd fitted them, I asked my wife to come out and look and she said it looked phenomenal. She then said she didn't remember seeing a box big enough for those coming in. I asked her if she remembered those two sheets of masonite that were leaning against the wall inside the front door of my condo every single time she was there over the course of two years. She said yes, and I said "That's where they came from." The Moss repro bumpers are awful, and my car has had one on the front since before I bought it. I assume the guy who put them on thought it looked better than the old one off, but I couldn't look at it without seeing the terrible fit. A few weeks ago, I pulled a long day and made a ~400 mile road trip in a day up to mid-east Illinois. I visited my friend Rick and mostly BSed with him for a while-he has a couple of MGBs, an MGC, a 74.5 GT with a Rover V8, and a TD. He also, among other things, makes boot and bonnet strut kits(I've have both for years, and installing are on my to-do list) and also does seat work. He does really nice stock seat redos, but his real specialty is Fiero seats fitted to MGBs. More recently, he has been doing NA Miata seats also, especially since Fiero seats are getting thin on the ground. The other stop was to visit Pete Mantell, whose speciality is V8 conversions. He does absolutely beautiful work. His power plant of choice these days is the 5L Ford Windor, which does fit really nicely without too much trouble, with aluminum heads is about the same weight as a B engine, and is still made/sold as a crate engine in both carbureted and FI form. He normally does them anywhere from 300-500HP. He's done his fair share of Rovers, but can get a lot more power out of the Windsor and these days Rover V8s are hard to get in the US. When I was there, he had his first LS swap in progress. He mates all of his conversions to a narrowed 8" Ford rear end, which also fits beautifully. In any case, Pete sold me a nice, serviceable original bumper Pete also sold me a set of LE wheels, which I'm not sure if I'll like or not, but they are an MG original alloy wheel. I didn't appreciate, though, that the lugnut is an oddball(needs a 60º tapered seat AND a shank that's about .20" long). Moss sells them for $17...per lugnut. A guy out in California was able to use some local contacts to get custom made ones for me that came to $80 for a set of 20-I'll take it! They arrived Monday, but I haven't done anything with the wheels yet. I'm not sure if I'll like them or not on this car, but I'll see. I was worried about if the awful tuning had hurt the engine during break-in, but I'm feeling good about this number, which is dead flat across all 4 cylinders. Last thing-I didn't photograph this, but last summer I'd bought a couple of relay kits from a gentleman up in Canada. He does phenomal work on ready-to-bolt-on kits, and I did fit headlight relays. It's amazing how bright they are, and also I hope my switch will last a long time now.
  7. It was definitely a surprise to me too. And yes, I agree that ti's a superior design. On Boxsters and others that use a fixed caliper, can you change the pads without removing the caliper like you can an MG? I got "ruined" on sliding calipers after an annoyingly sticky sliding pin killed the right rear brake on my Lincoln. I pride myself in staying on top of stuff like this, and I can remember being on the road one day making the ~300 mile trip to my then-girlfriend(now wife's) house. I made my halfway gas/pee/water stop, and when I went to slow down on the interstate heard an almighty roar from the back of the car. I limped into the gas station and found the right rear metal-on-metal seemingly out of nowhere. Since I still had 3 good brakes and the off one was a rear, I decided to just keep on trucking(maybe not the best idea-you don't play with brakes-but I also had other things on my mind). The car had 50K or so on the clock at the time and still had its factory pads all around. The usual rule of thumb I've heard is fronts at 40K and rears at 80K, but that car has done enough interstate miles that I only did the fronts at about 80K, and even then because "I have the time and the parts to do them now even though the could go longer." In any case, of course I broke it all down, borrowed the retracting tool from Autozone since Ford does the twist-to-retract rear pistons(not sure if it's related to the handbrake tying into the disk rather than being a separate drum-in-disk), and threw new pads and rotors on both sides. I didn't change the caliper, but took it apart as much as I dared to clean and grease every sliding surface. A week later, I take off to drive to work. I'd had the handbrake on overnight and it was a chilly morning. I get out onto the street and say "something's not right"-the car is struggling at 35mph and pulling to the right. I'm in decent traffic but am on a surface street, so go about a mile before I can pull over. By that point, I can smell brakes, and in the dim morning light I walk back and see the right rear rotor glowing red. I gave it a minute to cool off, then hopped back in and it was fine. Another trip inside it to regrease it, and it's been fine since, but I check and double check it on cold mornings.
  8. I've been on a "neglected maintenance" kick. A few weeks ago, I started doing the front brakes(which had a lot of meat but definitely were getting thin-thinner than I realized until I put them next to new pads). I'd had pads+rotors on hand for a while. I had also bought new calipers at the time, but decided instead to get adventurous and rebuild the Lockheed calipers. I guess I never had looked at it closely, but didn't realize the rotors were bolted to the BACK of the hub. I guess that's not a terribly uncommon arrangement on older cars, but it was a first for me after being use to basically just having the rotor sandwiched between the wheel and the hub on the lugnuts as on a modern car. At first I said I'd just leave the old rotors, but was unhappy with it left like this(please excuse my poor rattle can work on the caliper-it was more a rust preventative than anything) I figured I really should just break down the whole stub axle and service it, and then replace the rotors while doing it. So, I broke it down to here I had bought new bearings-they're inexpensive and are an in stock item at most auto parts stores . As it so happens, they are shared with most 70s full size GM cars(which means to me either the GMs are grossly undersized or the MG grossly oversized-I'd lean towards the latter). In any case, though, my old TImkens were perfectly fine after a clean up and repack, so I chose quality Timken over Chinesium replacements. The hubs were a real bear to separate from the rotors-it took a lot of PB Blaster and heat to get them to cooperate. Fortunately those are a hardware store part, so they got replaced with new. After that, I spent a while slathering Naval Jelly on the hubs and backing plates, then wire brushing to clean up. Again, this is ugly rattle can work but at least it looks better than it did and will hopefully not rust for a few weeks at least All of it back together While apart, I noticed that my tie rod end boots and rack gaiter boots had split. They lasted about 4 years, which I suppose is pretty good for modern replacement rubber parts. Still, though, I ordered replacements(the gaiter boots I chose from "bad" and "slightly less bad"). As project creap goes, though, I decided that I was really overdue for a full front end job. I'd bought some bushings several years ago and never installed them, but just ordered enough to have all of the front end bushings, new hardware, and new springs. Of course I'll break everything down as much as I can and give it the same clean up/rattle can treatment. I'd really like to drop the front crossmember, but will decide if that's TOO much to do or not. BTW, I was reamed out on another message board(not a car site) for talking about a car that "breaks down every time you drive it." This particular person has a garage full of generic modern American muscle, and apparently the concept of things like having to actually break down a hub to service it rather than just replace it when it goes bad is foreign. This guy also doesn't even do his own oil changes so can't figure out the difference between maintenance and breaking down...still though I enjoy it, and it's fun to show people how things have changed on cars and what really use to be involved in keeping them on the road.
  9. A head retorque is actually on my to-do list for this week. It can be a bit of a religious topic as to whether or not heads should be retorqued with composite gaskets, but I'm in the "can't hurt" camp . It's not given me any indication of the head needing a retorque, but there again it can't work. My hesitation has been two fold. For one, they painted the head bolts after it was assembled, and I'm afraid I'll need to wire brush the studs to avoid getting an incorrect torque reading(although it SHOULDN'T matter for the amount done for a retorque). The other reason-and this may seem silly-is that I was teaching my wife tire changing, a skill I thought she should have, and she did great other than dropping my 1/2" drive torque wrench(I figured she should get the "full picture" and learn to use one even though she's not likely to do it anywhere other than home). I'm not too worried about it for lugnuts, but I'm not sure I trust it for head nuts.
  10. Okay, I was totally wrong on that. For a while Moss US had quit selling them, but I just checked and they're back. When I talked to my parts guy(NOT MOSS) he talked me out of a baffled one even though he could get it. It was a bit more expensive, but he said basically that the baffles were kind of a joke in them and didn't do much. He does race(MGAs) and said that he doesn't consider the baffles benefit on his race car. I've not heard any supply issues over here of them. These plugs are pretty much the defacto standard for BL/BMC classics. A-series, B-Series, Standard SC and even the Jag V12 in the E-type takes those plugs. So should be plenty of market for them. There are the resistor versions available too and not heard any suggestions that they are replacing the non-resistor plugs. If they're NLA in the US, then you should always be able to order them from here. Certainly at the moment. The real preferred classic choice here is NOS Champion plugs. Still readily available from the sales sections in Classic Car Shows, I've been tempted to get a set and give them a go. It's the old NOS Champion plugs that are the ones to go for, the new ones are crap. There's been quite a discussion on the US MG forum that NGK was no longer going to make the BP6ES. They list the BPR6ES as a replacement, and while it's fine I much prefer a non-resistor plug since resistor wires are standard issue. It's a shame Champion quality has taken a dive in the past few years. I agree on NOS Champion N9Ys, but it's been a while since I've seen any. John Twist use to be adamant about N9Ys, but he's told me that the last few years his shop was open, he had so many tuning issues and come-backs that were resolved with NGK plugs that he quit even keeping them on hand. It's a shame such a great brand has gone into the toilet. Lat US cars got the PDWA installed in the master cylinder-not sure if it was the same in the UK. Rebuild kits are available for them. Basically, the modified valve I installed is doing exactly as you suggest-it's turning the valve into a pair of couplers, although I realize I may have not explained that correctly. At the end of the day, it's still a high quality brass fitting with the troublesome shuttle valve in the center of it. What I have now does just completely block off the passage for the shuttle valve. I suppose the advantage to doing this over using unions is that it's nice, simple, and bolts up like it was made to be there(since it was) without having to work around the brake lines too much. I'm assuming UK cars are configured the same as the US ones where the rear brakes would need a straight-through union and the fronts need a T. This now is just those correct ones cast into a one nice little body.
  11. Not a penny. I managed to negotiate about $200 off the final ticket, which is pretty small change given how much overall it was. I could/should have put up a fight, but to be honest after 9 months of being jerked around I was kind of at the point of writing whatever size check it took to get the shop owner to hand me the keys. Oh, BTW, here's some more of the story: As I mentioned, once I sorted out the plug wires, the carbs were WAY lean. I richened them out and drove back, but it still wasn't "right." The first sort of order of business I attacked was that the carb linkages were a mess. I wish I'd taken a photo, but among other things they were installed "upside down." I was taught that the nuts should be on top so that they can easily be tightened and loosened, so of course had to pull them to do that. Also, it's not technically "correct" but I like(and took it to them this way) to have a return spring on the throttle cable attachment as I find it makes for snappier throttle closing. Once it was all set up that way, though, it was all good and I could get them synced. I reset the mixture to "default" on both carbs-screw the jets all the way up and then down 2 turns(12 flats). Of course, before actually setting them, I went though and tuned it up in the proper order. The valves were set with zero lash. Actually, rather they don't necessarily go zero lash, but rather they use one of the Snap-on Valve tools(which I have and like) and set the valves while the engine is running and hot until they can no longer be heard making noise. This is a discussion this garage and I have had many times, and every time they've touched my car I've reset the valves as soon as I got it home since I was taught that a solid lifter valve train should have some amount of lash. The cam card and my instructions multiple times were to set to 16 thou(stock is 15 thou cold, so that's not a crazy number). So, I got them all set there and got the nice familiar "sewing machine" sound from the valve train. They'd put pointy cheap iridium plugs in it, so I had great pleasure tossing them across the garage and putting a set of NGK BP6ES plugs in. Those plugs are no longer made, so first of all I'm kind of unhappy that they dumped the perfectly good ones it came in with, but at least I have several sets hoarded. They'd lost one of the wires out of my plug wires and had put a random one on it, but Autozone came to the rescue and got me a set of NGK wires(which are inexpensive and IMO some of the best on the market) for $20 the next day. The timing was advanced a nutty amount-base dynamic timing(no vac) was around 30º. I'm fortunate I didn't burn a hole in a piston driving home, and that's also probably why I couldn't get the idle acceptably low. I got it set to my preferred 32º max mechanical advance, and it was all happy(albeit I started with 10º static just to get it running). Then, of course, came the fun carb set up cycle, which I actually kind of enjoy. In any case, I got them balanced linkages slack, set the linkages, and got the mixture dialed in and then got a nice steady ~950rpm idle. This cam gets kind of lumpy idling at ~800-850, which I know is where MGs normally like to idle. Once I'd finished that tune, I started it up and it ran beautifully. I went in and asked my wife if she wanted to go for a ride, and she agreed and brought the dog. We took a nice slow little cruise around(I didn't get out of 3rd) then I dropped her off and really beat on it. I pulled over a few times to make some carb tweaks, but got it really dialed in. In all of that, though, I noticed that the temperature gauge only got about halfway between C and N, and the heat was not blowing very fast. I texted the mechanic and asked what temperature thermostat he'd put in, and he said he'd "find out" but never got back to me. I had my strong suspicions it was 160º, so just went and bought a 195º Tstat. As a side note, the B series engine takes the same size thermostat as a small block Chevy, so in the US it's a $5 part available in stock at nearly any parts store in the country. When in doubt, walk in, tell them you're working on a 73 Impala with a 305, or just make up any other 70s Chevy with whatever displacement V8 you care to say, and they'll have it in stock(fortunately every chain does cross it to MGBs in their system). In any case, I pulled the old, and sure enough it was 160º. Of course, the hotter thermostat meant retuning the carbs, but not by a drastic amount. The engine is now at least running great. After the 300 mile trip back, I dumped their SAE 30 "break in oil" and dropped in some Valvoline VR-1 20W-50. Fortunately, oil consumption is WAY down from the first ~150 miles(when it went through almost 2 quarts) so I think the rings are nearly seated. I can't blame this one on them, but I'd seriously neglected a weepy rear wheel cylinder for a while. Consequently, last week was spent making far too many trips to the parts store to do the rear brakes. The drums measured out at 10.05" and have a maximum diameter of 10.06 inches, but were otherwise fine. No one will turn them that close to max, so I just decided to run them and forget about it. I need to get back and readjust them after they've been driven a few miles and have seated/bedded in better. Also, in all of that, I found a leak in the "PDWA" valve. I'm not sure if UK market cars ever got this, but basically there's an "H" block on the wing of dual circuit cars with a shuttle valve that moves if a pressure difference exists between the front and rear circuit, and then turns on a light on the dash. It's kind of pointless since your foot will tell you just as fast if you have a brake failure, and the light almost never works anyway. Even worse, the shuttle valve leaks and allows "crosstalk" between the front and rear circuit, plus will leak out the switch for the light. Someone on the MG forum rebuilds them with the shuttle valve removed and the passage plugged so the circuits are truly independent. He's out of the business but had a few around still, and actually gave me one for the cost of shipping. I have a really pesky oil leak in the transmission, and also it came back to me with the speedometer dead. I FINALLY wrested the driven gear out of the transmission and found a flat spot on it. Fortunately, Moss stocks this driven gear for $40, so I've ordered one. I also ordered a screen and gasket kit for the overdrive, so I'll drain the transmission, do a quick clean-up of the accessible parts of the OD(should have done it before it went into the car) and hopefully fix the leak. One last thing-driving home, the gearstick nearly drove me crazy. I pulled it all apart, and sure enough they'd omitted the anti-rattle bushing. I'd supplied a new one, plus there was a perfectly serviceable one on the transmission they removed. It's a $2 part, but still I have to deal with it. It's in my order.
  12. Alright, so the full story that deserves telling. Buckle up as this will be quite a tale! As I mentioned, I dropped the car off with a(formerly) trusted local shop back in April for the overdrive install, and after they got into it, I gave the okay for a full engine rebuild. I decided to go ahead and undertake my "dream" rebuild that would increase flywheel horsepower to ~110 and just really pep up the car. The recipe for that was: 1. Increase compression ratio to a target 9.5:1 2. Fit a ported and polished 12H2923 "Big Valve" cylinder head 3. Fit a Delta D9 cam(a street performance cam). The shop pulled some favors and got the block and crank taken care of quick at the machine shop-less than 2 weeks. The machine shop specified a 30 overbore and 10-10 grind on the crank, so I pulled some strings, contacted a(non-Moss) vendor who had bearings and pistons in stock, and had bearings and pistons in their hands quickly(the shop wouldn't cut the block without pistons in hand, which I appreciated). I also managed to get a rush order on a ported a polished cylinder head-pictured above. At the same time, I opted to switch over to the later 18V-style connecting rods, which lighter and also spin a bit freer since the pistons only have two compression rings rather than three on the earlier style pistons. I supplied rods and the correct pistons, which are friction fit(so a machine shop job). The machine shop resized the big ends, fitted ARP hardware, and balanced the rods with the pistons fitted. In short, they did a BEAUTIFUL job, and I was able to see the results before assembly. The local mechanic I was working with did the bottom end assembly fairly quickly, and it looked phenomenal. Along the way, I did a few other things like have the original HS4 carbs from the car rebuilt(they were in bad shape, and I had been running a serviceable but still worn set). I knew at that point I'd be moving in August, so had been leaning on the shop to have it done by then. It...wasn't. I kept pushing them for more dates. I got married in October, and REALLY wanted to have the car for my new bride and I to drive away from the wedding despite my saying that I really wanted it for that(at this point nearly 6 months in and engine done). Didn't happen... Despite COVID, we still managed to take a small, short, fairly isolated honeymoon, and while there I got a Facebook message from my mechanic saying he "didn't put two and two together" that I wanted to car for the wedding, apologized, and asked me what color I wanted the engine. I stayed in touch, even though I was now 300 miles away, and emphasized that my wife and I would be in town at Thanksgiving(end of November) and I expected to be able to pick up the car then. I was in town two weeks prior, saw the engine run, and was told "Yeah, no problem, we'll have it for you then." I'd been in touch the entire trip in at Thanksgiving, was told some last minute stuff that needed to be taken care of, but was assured it would be ready. That was on a Friday morning. Saturday evening rolls around, and I'm still texting, and am told it's running rough, has no power, and is backfiring. I looked at photos I'd take a few weeks prior and saw that the plug wires were connected backwards(2 and 3 swapped) which will do that and suggested trying that. He insists they're right, but basically the conclusion is I'm not getting it. I got a little bit more forceful and said that I would be picking it up, whatever condition, on Dec. 21st. Unfortunately, in there, my dad came down with COVID, and we ended up not going for Christmas(he fortunately was fine other than being slow/crummy feeling for a week and a half or so). My wife and I went right after new year's, and again I reiterated my intent to pick the car up. 5:00PM on the day I said I wanted it, I got a call that it was out in front of the shop. My wife drove me down, and I went in to settle up the bill. I paid an additional $1K for close to $4K total plus the rebuild parts I'd supplied(pistons, cam, etc), but we were there. Unfortunately, I take off for the 10 mile trip to my parents house, my wife following, and it's BAD. I can't get over 30mph. We get back, I stew it over, check the plugs, and of course 2 and 3 are reversed. I change them to be correct and it won't start at all. Finally, I play a bit more and realized the distributor drive is "upside down" relative to the manual orientation with #1 firing rotor bottom left. I hook it up according to that, and the car is alive again with far more pep than I've ever know. Still, though, since he'd been tuning it on one cylinder, things were screwed up beyond believe. I managed to get the carbs tuned to some semblence of correct, and set off for the 300 mile trip home. It wouldn't idle below 2K and there was a bunch I wasn't happy with, but it otherwise ran great. I've spent the couple weeks since going completely through it and have it running really sweetly now, and I'll tell more in the coming days, but that's the story of getting it. BTW, I did have them put a 16 gallon "Touring" gas tank on it. Moss sold these for a while but quit offering them, and I'm not sure why. I wanted a new tank(figure it deserves one every 50 years or so) and this wasn't much more, so it's on there and I'm SUPER happy with it.
  13. Finally on the other side of a full rebuild, which is deserving of a full write-up that hopefully will be forthcoming, and now I'm tidying up a few other odds and ends. The projects of this past week have been some brake work(replacing faulty pressure differential warning actuator, redo of rear brakes) and tracking down why my speedometer wasn't working. The latter is the result of a chewed up driven gear in the transmission, and fortunately Moss stocks the red driven gear for the blue-label overdrive. This exciting little envelope arrived in the mail today, though, and I'm quite happy about it. If you're an MG owner in the US, all of this stuff is HUGELY significant. Funny enough, too, I actually called John with a question on Tuesday while I was on my back under the car(how do I get the stupid driven gear out?) and he said "Oh yeah, I mailed something to you today." This was a nice treat.
  14. The title is basically the "proof of ownership" for a vehicle. Not having one can be looked at with suspicion both because of the possibility that it's stolen/no clear chain of ownership. A bigger concern, though, is that when a car is junked, the title basically goes away. There's a process for "rescuing" a car and getting what's called a "salvage" title, but there can be a big concern about bucking the process and getting a clear title on a salvage car. Most of the time, on old stuff, we don't really care about clear vs. salvage title, especially since if you yank a car out of a field and get it on the road again it kind of is a salvage car. The laws are more there for newish cars(say 20 years old or newer-stuff people still expect to be reliable transportation and not necessarily a special interest/tinkerer/collector car) but can hinder dealing with new cars. As for donating-there are some good reasons for it. One is let's say you have an old car that's pretty rough around the edges and if you sold it, might be lucky to get "low book" for it. If you call Goodwill, etc, they'll come and get it for you(so no pain trying to sell it) and take care of all the paperwork. More significantly, though, the IRS treats in-kind donations pretty favorably. On a car that you might struggle to sell for low book, the IRS wouldn't bat an eye if you claimed it at high book on your taxes. So, a car that might be a tough $1500 sell with a lot of work involved turns into a $3000 tax write-off that's zero headache. BTW, Goodwill at least sells anything here that's imminently driveable. I had a co-worker who got on a kick of going to Goodwill auctions and bought maybe 3 cars. None of them were great, but he had fun fixing them up and turned one into a father-son project for a good reliable car for his son. That particular one was a maybe about a 2008 Subaru that was "dead" from a faulty sensor in the transmission that ended up being a $200 fix. There was some superficial body damage and they also bought two new wheels thanks to some nasty curb rash, but it turned into a perfectly serviceable car with under $2K spent all said and done. I visited once and contemplated buying a 75 MGB that was sold as "bad transmission"(pretty sure I'd have been able to drive it home if I'd topped up the clutch master cylinder, since as best as I could tell the only thing wrong was no movement in the clutch hydraulics and it was dry) but my then-fiancé said no. Plus, it was a 75-universally recognized as the worst year of NA MGBs .
  15. I probably made it more complicated than it need to be. Many stations really just do have two options-regular and premium(87 and 91/93). Some will add the 3rd "mid grade" or "plus" option, which doesn't come from its own tank but is mixed in the pump. Really, it's a grade of fuel that doesn't have a lot of reason to exist(I use to run it in the MG, but after I upped the compression I just figured I'd go premium and enjoy running more timing) since I don't know of any cars that specify it. I think that's why some stations have gotten rid of it, but it's also there since it costs 15¢ or so more and it makes some people feel better.
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