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1974 MGB GT - The Mustard (Mit) Mobility Scooter

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So to recap. After a painfully long time (well a month) I finally bought a MGB GT.

 

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I've always fancied one and after seeing one at a local garage (which turned out to be a bit shit) the urge sprang up again. Anyway after a lot of searching I ended up with this. Seems pretty straight and underneath don't appear to not been welded too much. Worst point that I've found in the leaf spring mount. I'm not going to cover all the different things and stuff just yet as its already in the thread, so I shouldn't make this too long!

 

I've not owned a car this old and never something with a carburettor. So I don't quite know what I'm doing with a lot of this, and will have plenty of questions! Part of the reason why I bought it was so I had something that I could fiddle with and learn on. As the other thread got a bit long, I thought it would be a better idea to split and start here.

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First question and the most urgent is tyres. Some of the current ones are date coded as 1997, so over 20 years old. Others look too old to even have them. So apart from being a liability to blow outs, they are no doubt ruining the handling.

 

The tyre size appears to be a bit weird (well old?) and appears to be 165R14 - no sidewall size. A bit of googling says that this is the old format and its pretty much 165/80/14. Looking at options, there appears to either 165R14 or 185/70/14. The 185/70/14 is a lot fatter though and appears to scrape the sidewall on the archs and cause the steering to be heavy. So looks like that the classic 165R14 size is the way to go.

 

Unfortantly there doesn't seem to be too much choice. Narrowing it down a bit there seems to be:

  • Original Pirelli Cinturato CA67 - at £129 each they're pretty darn pricey. Michelin XAS are also available for a similar price.
  • Vredestein Sprint Classic - more acceptable at £89 each.
  • Barum Brillantis - a cheapy. Not sure if this will be utterly crap? Obviously better than what I have on, but still rubbish.
  • Random brand death circle - probably avoiding something like this like the plague. But then substantially cheaper than the others, plus I still need to spend a good £200-300 replacing bushes, springs and other suspension components soon too.
So classic tyres. Anyone got any experience of them and any recommendations? I'm siding possibly towards the Vredesteins as a good choice in the middle that isn't too frightfully expensive.

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Nice looking car. I've always admired the 'chrome-bumper' over the later 'rubber' ones and yours must be a very late car.

One advantage of the MGB is that there is a strong following and 'club scene' so loads of spares and advice to keep you motoring. Enjoy it and don't worry about carburettors - loads of adjustment possible.

 

Squirrel2

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I had Barum Brillantis tyres on The Volvo (a car with similar performance to an MGB) for a number of years. They were perfectly fine. I bought them on the strength of the fact that the German automobile association (ADAC) rated them highly :)

I suppose what put me off is that their focus seems to be on longevity. I'm very much willing to trade that for traction and softness!

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I suppose what put me off is that their focus seems to be on longevity. I'm very much willing to trade that for traction and softness!

 

Not only did they grip well, they showed a marked reluctance to wear out; I replaced them with Yokohamas due to their sidewalls cracking badly, although they all had ample tread. 

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I know it is no sports car but it does have a lot in common - my Cowley drives very well on Vredestein Sprints.   Only 3000 miles on this set so far but no appreciable noise, excellent wet weather behaviour etc.    They haven't spoilt the crisp steering response (for a Fifties saloon) and look OK.

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According to wiki it appears that Barum have a joint venture agreement with Continental, but they're still separate entities. I guess they're not likely to be a Conti tyres originally.

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Looks lovely!

 

I've had the Vredestein Sprint Classics and they are an excellent tyre although personally if you can get the Barums in 165/80s that's what I'd buy.

Why the Barums over the Vredestein? Both are supposed to be modern tread and compounds. Vred are a bit more expensive, but don't mind spending a bit more if they are a better tyre. I'm a bit of a tyre snob!

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Fit the best you can afford.  That's all you really need do with an MGB.  As long as it's not on Kingpin Remoulds or Spinnymuchdeath Ditchlover XQ42AA3SS death circles you'll be fine.  Spend £30+ per tyre (not including fitting, balancing, etc) and you should be fine.  Sub £30 tyres tend to be pretty terrible in anything but the driest conditions on the nicest of roads.

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I think you can get Uniroyal RainExperts in 185/70/R14, been running them on my Doloshites for years and find them excellent and very nicely priced. Really transformed the handling of the thing after getting rid of it's 7 year old Eastern European budget jobs, was like driving a different car. The period correct option would be the XAS but at £200 a corner they'd be worth more than the car they were fitted to...

 

I suspect you'll only get issues with tyre scrub on rough roads or with spirited driving + saggy suspension. The vast majority of MGBs are probably going to be running whatever the local tyre shop can be bothered to source and I've had no problems with the Dolly despite modern tyres being softer/fatter than ye olde radials it'd have had when new.

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This is lovely. Pretty much exactly what I want. I commented early on in the other thread but when I saw it running to pages and pages I was too far behind to catch up. This is just the right year, colour, trim etc.

 

A place local to me advertises them as 'Barum by Continental'. I've had them on quite a few cars over the years. They are my usual choice for not wanting to spend loads but not wanting to die.

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Car looks nice, have fun. I've just fitted a set of Barums to replace Toyos. I'd had the Japanese tyres on for several years and after 1800O miles they were roughly half worn, all evenly. Though they looked good, and I am very unfussy about tyres, I changed them because grip when braking on a wet road had become very poor. The Barums are fine in this respect and were used through the winter months. Very tight to put on yourself would be my only other comment, I've put on a bit of weight recently.

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One of mine had 185 on.

I felt it rode better, but the tyre almost caught the wing lip. For some reason its closer on one side than the other.

Some people trim the lip, but you have to be careful.

I'd go 165 Barum as well. Its a sports car, but it's not sporty in relation to performance these days.

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