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SiC

1974 MGB GT - The Mustard (Mit) Mobility Scooter

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What have you find that dies on them? Regulators?

 

Finished this off earlier but ran out of time to get the top bushes replaced or the alternator back on. So no more pictures, but it looks the same as the other side tbh. Mrs SiC is starting to get annoyed that I've spent the last month's weekends under the car, rather than her so I'll have to finish off another time.

 

It's stuff like this that makes me slow working on cars. I just couldn't put the bushes in straight like this, so I spent half an hour on each half with a scraper, sandpapers and Dremel wire wheel cleaning it up.

 

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I guess it would have been ok to leave as is and pop the bushes in? Either way I couldn't have left it like that.

 

Also the nearside kingpin bottom has had some bodgery going on too. Instead of part 50, whoever was here last stuffed too washers (part 49) instead. One of the extra washers was crushed so much it had jammed part of the washer down the hole of the other. So I'll need to take it apart again anyway once I've ordered some replacement parts to put it together how it should be.

mgb_25_02_01.jpg

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OK, so getting it to handle better is a long term must, as is getting the alternator to work and not eat belts (Hooli and Captain_70s are correct) but I'd be seriously far more concerned about those holes in the bodypan. Whilst you don't need an MoT from next year on you MG (another year on my roadster), if you don't get it sorted sooner than later, Mrs SIC is going to be able to watch the road go by under her feet when you take her out for a nice romantic evening trip in the MGB!

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The worrying thing is that it did that while only sat on my drive! That side was by the fence and all the fiddling on the drivers side I haven't seen it. I plan to get it looked at and possibly welded by the garage they use (if they're prepared to) when I get the fuel tank done.

 

I don't think it helped that the area looks to have the waxoyl or similar removed, then primer sprayed back on. The primer must not offer any protection and possibly absorbed water making it worse. It's the worst part under there really.

 

Payday is next week and I think I need to buy a rust protection kit first. Just scrolling through this thread to find the previous recommendations.

 

Pondering just soaking the underside with waxoyl or an equivalent. If doing that, will it make it an utter pain in the arse to work on stuff that's been coated with it?

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Wash with a hose or power washer the underside first, it gets rid of old dirt and road grime otherwise you'll just seal it all in with the wax/underseal and it won't stick properly to dirty dusty surfaces.

Then use something like Dynax UB which is thick spray on wax specifically for floors and under body areas. Pay particular attention to areas prone to rust and where mud and water gets flung at it (like behind the wheels, spring hangers etc).

Cavity wax like Dynax S50 goes inside panels, doors, quarters etc and inside sills and box sections.

 

I use the Dynax stuff a fair bit now and found it to be really good stuff. Obviously it won't help anything that's already rusted through! Get that welded first though as the wax can catch fire!

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I guess that section is pretty straightforward and wouldn't cost much to have welded? Was thinking of getting a repair panel to make it quick and easy job for a garage to do.

 

There is also the hole at the back and top of the drivers side wing. However I'm fearful of what else is hiding under there if I remove the wing. :?

That, for now, is out of sight and out of mind...

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MGB fiddle day today. Intension is to get the front near side suspension finished and change the alternator.

 

I found some of this in the garage. Tempted to use it to treat some of the rusty surface bits to protect them from the elements for now.

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Going back to this :

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Despite being a ugly thing, I realised it makes a convenient viewing hole to look down the sill. Very hard to take pictures with a phone camera and a inspection light but they should give an idea.

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This makes me very happy on how that looks there. I also suspect, given there is a label on the metal, the sills have been replaced at some point. Whoever did it, did a very good job I reckon.

 

I do urgently need to spray some magical substance in there though to stop it being ruined.

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It does look pretty good down there. Ideal time to cavity wax the whole lot!

The Dynax aerosol comes with long flexi tube lances with loads of tiny holes in the end for a 360 degree spray. Shove the lance down the sections through any holes, drainage gaps etc etc and just go to town, rotate and wiggle the lance tube as you spray to really spread the wax thoroughly and evenly inside the sections.

There's a kit you can buy too with a drill bit and plastic plugs for places you can't access easily. Drill a hole, spray the wax in through it then tap the plug into the hole. They're good for awkward areas under the car.

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I’d say as far as GT’s go, yours is by far one of the better ones. It’s either been very well looked after for a sustained time, or had a load of dollars thrown at it in one go.

As an aside, whenever I read ‘mustard’ in your title, I usually think of Uncle Fred of Coronation Street fame, shouting ‘mootard!’ in a thick northern accent. I guess it’s just me though.

As you were.

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Guest Hooli

Blimey those sills look great, that is good news & makes it worthwhile doing all the other stuff you're doing to it.

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Thanks for all the kind words. Looking inside those sills has reminded and reassured me why I waited so long and picked this one originally.

 

Not long finished getting the last of the bushes changed over. Nothing really exciting to show on that job as the previous pictures are much the same as what it looks now.

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They look knackered from the visible edge when fitting, but the rest looks alright. I used Gummi Plegde to lubricate them a bit. It's designed for rubber door seals, so I reckoned it would be good for bushes.

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I also fitted washers and seals to the bottom of the wishbone as the last person here didn't fit any at all. I guess they either forgot or damaged them and couldn't be bothered to order replacements. The kingpins were rebuilt recently by a garage not long before I bought the car.

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I checked the coolant level and coolant strength as I was packing up. Strength is really strong, possibly too strong. My hydrometer said the freezing point was below -40C. The coolant itself was a murky yellowy colour and the top of the radiator had grey/browny sludge at the top. I think it'll need a proper good flush through at some point.

 

The cap looks very much past it.

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Luckily I preempt this and ordered a replacement cap on my previous order as a spare I was going to leave in the car.

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I then went to move it back onto the drive, as I ran out of time to fit the alternator. Noticed the alternator light wasn't coming on. I pulled the bulb out at its base to check the bulb filament and then this happened.

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FFS. Not a hard fix at all, but it's certainly trying me! It might also explain why the alternator isn't charging properly all the time. Less strands of wire connecting it to the bulb would have increased the resistance, leaving less power getting to the alternator field coils at startup. Hence struggling to start alternating.

 

I have a replacement alternator to put on anyway, but I suspect the one I have already is absolutely fine. It does need new bearings though anyway, so I'll pop replacement ones on and keep the old unit as a spare.

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All nice little tinkering jobs!  You love it!!!!!!!

 

The sills look great, I told you it was a good one, didn't I?! :D

 

In all seriousness, you have a great car here.  Yes, it's trying your patience but once you've reversed the (I would say mainly) previous owner bodges and neglect, you're going to have a very decent example which will go up in value for sure.

Re the rust hole underneath, I'd carefully cut a square out around it with the dremel and fit once of those oblong shaped blanking plugs you see on 90s Rovers.. inspection hole, innit. 

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It does look really good this B. My Capri is about the same age as this and, while the main chassis leg box sections were like new inside the same can't be said of the sills.

Looking inside them pre resto revealed lots of pin holes of light shining in through rust damage and lots of scabby rust and old paint hanging down. Not good!

It's all replaced and like new now of course but the trick is keeping it that way. It'll be one of my first jobs once the cars back from paint to pump it fat with cavity wax. I hate doing it, it stinks and it just really sucks as a job but it's critical if you want the car staying solid so well worth the effort and expense.

 

Great job so far though. Once the little niggles and previous owner neglect are sorted this car will be a really good one, perfect for blasting around come spring!

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So in my attempt to fix the broke alternator bulb wire, I decided to buy a new bulb holder thinking it'd be quicker and easier. Going down to Moss I had a good look over the 3 they listed and this seemed the closest.

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Unfortunately it didn't fit. This forced me to try fixing the existing one. The problem I had was the metal stud was stuck in the bottom with no immediately obvious way of removing it.

 

After a bit of thought, I figured that they must have put it together in the factory and how would they had done that. I reckon that the stud must be fitted at the bulb end. So I jabbed a screwdriver through the wire hole and out popped the stud.

 

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The stud looks like it was originally crimped into place. I tried squishing it back to a circle but it was requiring more force than I reckoned it would survive. Instead I decided to solder it using my cheapy Aldi/Lidl gas soldering iron.

 

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Which worked a treat! The gas iron does take a very long time to heat the tip up, especially against my soldering station I have indoors. However it's a lot less hassle than dragging power and the iron out. It managed a reasonable joint with standard 60/40 lead solder once you got enough residual heat in the tip built up.

 

Turning the ignition on gave light again. :)

 

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There really is something special about the warm glow of an incandescent bulb.

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Next up was the alternator. First thing was to disconnect the battery. In doing this I also fitted a (overpriced) battery box to the unused side (this has a single 12v, rather than double 6v batteries). My intention for this is to put a small collection of tools and essential parts in case of breakdown again.

 

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£40 does seem a lot of money for a vacuum formed box, but it did fit ok.

 

Onto the alternator itself. Being it's dark, I had to do the whole thing under torch light. I do love my Makita LED torch though, as it makes these jobs still possible despite being dark outside.

 

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The alternator came out without a fight. It's replacement however was slightly different. Firstly the pulley on the new one is bigger. I assumed this is intensional. The quality difference is obvious, especially on the randomly bladed fan. Looks like someone started it, cocked up and couldn't be arsed to finish or fix it properly...

ee4f2cb1e5f3ba7c375e26158215a185.jpg

 

Also the bolt that holds this sticky out plate thing to set the tension is threaded. The original is straight through. Normally this should be fine, however the thread was pretty crap. This required the bolt to be used to help tap and clean the thread. I was tempted to drill out the thread and just use the original nut on the back. However in hindsight I glad I didn't, as it made tightening up so much easier not having to try and get a spanner under the alternator as well as using the wrench.

d8357efb5a6130617108cbedfec4c18e.jpg

 

The second difference was that the mount lugs were in slightly different places. I assume that's the purpose of this split pin sleeve bit. I roughly knocked it to around the same place as the original. In hindsight however I think just tightening the front top bolt would have sorted it anyway.

eac2347dd9eba67ee3c8adb3aeb22ffe.jpg

 

A bit of tightening and the alternator was in.

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It was late at this point, so I didn't want to wake all the neighbours up by starting it up and testing it. Also the battery could do with a top up charge before I start it again as it is a bit weak. Not helped by short running to move the car around, infrequent use and a dicky alternator not quite giving enough current to properly charge it. Tbh the old alternator probably would have given up quickly if I let it charge it anyway.

 

Next I got the Dremel out and modified my new locking fuel cap (original is not) to accept both the tailgate key and the new key it was supplied with. I did this as I already have 4 keys (boot+glovebox, passenger, drivers and ignition) to operate the different locks on the car. Also it should make it easier to bypass and break if/when it rusts itself solid at the most inconvient of times.

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Security wise I'm not so bothered about the cap. As long as there is at least a small barrier and making it just a little harder to nick my fuel.

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Oh and also to the above. Now I've done all this, I have little excuse now to not go out for a drive in it!

 

Well except the leaky fuel tank and lack of rust proofing...

 

The first is fine if I don't fill it up too much. Second isn't too much of an issue if I carry on driving it locally. Both I'll get sorted soon by booking it into a local garage for fuel tank fitment and hopefully a bit of welding, ready for filling the cavities and underside with something.

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You're really taking the best approach with this by going through and dealing with jobs while they're small, that's absolutely vital with this sort of car.  Getting the bits of rust chopped out and new plates put in should hopefully not be too costly and considering it looks to have sills fitted very nicely in the not too distant past that's one of the biggest MG B expenses out of the way already.  Gentle use over the winter to work through the niggles should see you in fine fettle for fair weather motoring and it'll be that much more enjoyable because of the time you're putting in now.

 

Unless it all goes British Leyland, which it usually does, but at least you'll have a nice place to sit while waiting for recovery.

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Speaking of rusty bits and chopping stuff out, I do suspect under the offside wheel arch some nasties are hiding. I know the top trumped has a hole, but poking around with my index finger the area behind the fuse box seems rather crunchy. Also there is a jagged edge and I suspect it may have rusted through and then touched up to make it less obvious.

 

Not knowing 100% what one should look like there, it could be normal though. (I suspect not).

 

I will need to be brave at some point and take that wing off for an inspection. That might have to wait till the summer though when leaving the wing uncovered for a couple of days outside isn't as a problem than the autumn/winter.

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Guest Hooli

Midgets had odd looking fans like that too.

 

It might make a bit more noise, but I think it removes the drone so it's a less annoying noise.

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One thing I've noticed since owning this, everytime someone asks me about what classic car I have, I apologise and make excuses before I even say. Owning an MGB feels a bit like to me that you are saying that you want a classic car but don't have much idea and inspiration. Also if you speak to anyone who owns classic cars, they usually turn their nose up at MGBs. Which is probably unfair as they are very likable cars. Interestingly, I find that those who don't own a classic car and but interested in them, actually are usually positive about them.

 

I've been really wanting to take this out and even more so after being to the NEC show. However since changing the alternator, I've not even had a chance to start it up. Work, life and house sale+buying has got in the way over the last few weeks.

 

This evening I decided to just get it sorted. Got in to be greeted with a soggy footwell. I really need to get this out of direct contact with the elements. :(

 

She took quite a lot of turning over before firing. I suspect that's because the battery is just getting a bit flat and struggling. Once firing into life, the alternator light continued to glow brightly. FFS.

 

I pulled the bulb holder out and the bulb flickered out. Then I could hear a very slight belt squeal - which actually was quite reassuring as it meant that the alternator must have kicked in. As the battery is quite flat, I guess that it must be putting quite a load on the belt. Even though the belt is very new, the pulleys don't seem to offer too much friction. At this point I shut the engine down and went inside for tea and a ponder on what it could be.

 

As I'd resoldered the bulb contacts, the only thing plausible is if the holder was shorting against ground. Given the bulb holder is metal, it should be sitting inside a insulated mount. Looking underneath at the back of the rev counter it became clear.

 

1b9d55e001eb10f470a6a5e9de2bcb0a.jpg

 

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How it seems like it should be mounted:

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Sticking out of the black plastic mount is two metal locating tabs. I really don't know why they're standing proud of the mount but it means that if the bulb is fully pushed it, they contact. As (lucky or by design) the metal outside of bulb holder is the alternator field coil connection, so it's that what shorts to ground and not the ignition live. This lead the field coils unable to start up and thus not charge. The bulb lit because the casing became the ground point for the ignition live.

 

It also explains why fiddling with the holder could get it to start charging. As the metal tabs are slightly oxidized, with enough revs the field coils could generate enough power (with not a lot of current getting through the bulb) to get the alternator working.

 

So essentially the old alternator might be absolutely fine and I didn't need a new. However at least I have a spare. Plus the old one had squeaking bearings and this new one is much quieter.

 

To fix, instead of cutting off the tabs (incase they served a purpose I haven't realised for yet), I popped on an o-ring onto the end of the bulb holder. This acts as an insulated spacer to stop the bulb holder being pushed too far down and it happening again.

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Seems to have done the trick.

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At the NEC I bought some spare ignition parts.

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The primary thing was these mythical red rotors arms from the distributor doctor. I got two, along with two pairs of points. That way I can have one rotor at base and one as spare in the car. The black one on the car seems pretty decent quality though. I've left it on there for the time being as it works and I don't want to break anymore!

 

I do need learn how to setup points. I'm guessing it's not that hard to do. Tempted to get an old second hand distributor to pull apart and understand how they work and setup.

 

One thing that's been bugging my OCD is the accelerator pedal on MGBs have no rubber pad out of the factory. The MGA does and luckily the pedal rubber fits on. For a quid at the show, it wasn't too expensive a mod!

 

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The new and old rubber pads have set my OCD off again and I may have to change the other two in the not too distant future... I'll drive the damn thing first though mind.

 

The battery is now on charge in the garage, ready for a couple of days time when I hope to give it the first proper spin in a while. I just need the freezing weather to hold off until then, so I don't subject the underside to any salt for as long as possible.

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Setting points is easy, it must be because I can do it.  With the stuff you've been tackling so far, the only thing I can see messing you up with points is trying to set the gap too perfectly.

 

Nice problem shooting on the alternator, those sorts of issues are always a chore to find and resolve.

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