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1974 MGB GT - The Mustard (Mit) Mobility Scooter

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6 hours ago, PhilA said:

That's a job for a puller if it's been tightened on there by Geoff Capes. The steering column is dimpled for one to keep it centered; that's the easiest method, really. If they got the taper correct it'll stick on there solid.




I wouldn't be surprised if it's never been removed since it was put on by the factory. 

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Take heed when you re-install it.

It only just barely needs to be snugged down. As long as the nut is on a couple of turns, the wheel won't come off while you're driving. With the wheel back on but not the center cover, I suggest going for a vigorous drive with the correct wrench in the passenger seat. If you feel the wheel "pop" while driving, grab the wrench as soon as it's safe to do so and snug the nut up a bit more-even 1/8 turn is probably enough. Keep driving and if you feel another "pop" snug the nut up just a bit more(although you likely won't).

I smeared some copper anti-seize on the splines of mine after I pulled it. I haven't needed to take it back off, but it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't take any more than just a sharp tug to get it off.

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Still waiting on the puller tool. Hopefully it'll come tomorrow.

In the meantime I checked the plugs to see what they were like after the last run.

Plug 1

Plug 2

Plug 3

Plug 4

To me they look good enough to warrant not fiddling with the mixture anymore. Back plug is still looking a bit more sooted. My suspicion is either the plug lead isn't making so great contact after being reconnected numerous times or just a quirk of being an old engine.

I then torqued up the steering nut to 45 lbft and went for another drive.

Right now I've done 40 miles since it's come down from the garage last week. Still little miles but a massive difference from previously. Feel like I need to take it on a proper run soon.

Only thing holding me back is that these brakes are going to likely need work. Discs got to 100c again and that's only 30mph town driving. I can feel slight fluctuations on the pedal now that I'm sure wasn't there before. I think I'll just go throw a bit more money at it and just replace the whole front lot.

Also since starting to drive it, the left auto cancel has broken. This is something I'll ignore and leave as a old car character. Stalk looks original and it'll be sad to replace it with a modern crappy retro.

Other problem turned out to be a non problem. Fuel gauge is reading a bit low. At first I thought it was the repro regulator. Probably was as that went open circuit. I then put a old original Lucas one on. However they aren't particularly precise things and not really that great a design. So I've got a much better looking thing in the post.

Anyway the gauge is currently reading this level.

Which checking the resistance gives.

Looking up online this corresponds to:
20Ω = Full
35Ω = 3/4
65Ω = 1/2
105Ω = 1/4
222Ω = Empty

So providing the sender isn't ballsed up then I am just under half a tank. Sender is a modern one but it looked a decent design and well made. Also the level has been dropping, not rising.

Seems to have dropped quite a bit more than I expected. I filled the tank up shortly before putting it away last year. So either some has evaporated out since filling it up or its leaked out. Possibly leaked out in storage as those fixings were loose when I started it up the other weekend.

Hopefully it's not got a leak elsewhere!

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You shouldn’t need 20w/60 on this engine to get decent oil pressure, that grade of oil is too thick and won’t flow properly - I would swap it out for the correct grade (decent brand mineral oil), which in your case is 20w/50 or 15w/ 50 or even 15w/40. 

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I agree that you shouldn't need 20W-60(especially outside the desert), and honestly the pressures were fine even on what was in the sump before.

At the same time, as long as the starter can churn through it okay and the higher pressures give peace of mind, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

(this is coming from the guy who once had his sump half full of SAE 60 to fight oil consumption in lieu of taking off and rebuilding the oil mist separator).

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You shouldn’t need 20w/60 on this engine to get decent oil pressure, that grade of oil is too thick and won’t flow properly - I would swap it out for the correct grade (decent brand mineral oil), which in your case is 20w/50 or 15w/ 50 or even 15w/40. 
It seems quite happy on this oil. It is the recommended oil by Moss and given a lot of people buy from them, there is sure to be many other B-Series buzzing around with this oil.

The change of oil wasn't just because of oil pressure. The old oil was a cheap oil (which I only found out later) and was not correct for the engine. It may have said 20w-50 but I suspect it was thinning out far more than it should have been. Possibly from poor quality and possibly too from fuel dilution. It also had no oil specs on the label. Finally there was no mention of ZDDP on the label, so I suspect it had minimal amounts in it.

Either way, the boost in pressure, less tapping and generally smoother engine reassures me it was a correct thing to do.

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I've just written a long reply and Tapatalk crashed when I went to post it. :|

Puller not arrived yet. Hopefully tomorrow.

Regulator came though, it's what I expected.

A 10v regulator in a box with wires soldered on. Proper cottage industry/giffer made item. I wished the regulator was mounted on a PCB but at least the legs are mostly supported by glue.

Gauge went to the expected level. Hopefully the last of me having to fiddle with this setup.

While I was in a fiddling mood, I decided to look at the indicators not cancelling on a left command. The plastic cancelling mechanism wasn't broken, just didn't work.

Here are some GIFs that may or may not work, depending if the forum software supports this...

Left action.

Right action (what it's supposed to do).

With a bit of carefully* and precisely* applied insulation tape, the mechanism started working again.

I suspect the issue was that the left slider piece had smoothed off too much from use and didn't have enough friction. Also of note is how remarkably clean this switch is. Both from dirt and dust. Pretty certain this is a genuine Lucas item. Either original or replaced around when they were still made properly.

After that, I packed my tools in the boot and went for another pleasant drive. A total of 50 miles this year...!

I did notice the running change slightly during the drive and also noticed that rev counter stops counting above around 3.5k rpm. I will check the gap tomorrow in case the crappy points have closed up a bit. There is a electronic amplifier in between the points and the coil, so if it has closed up a bit, it'll be harder to detect the signs.

Really, really must get my original dizzy sent off and fixed!

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Fuel gauge, don't worry. Reset the trip meter when you fill her. Then work on about 260 miles. The gauge on the B reads what it feels like, which is a sightly better than the TF which reads empty with an almost full tank.

Oil, decent 20/50 is what you need, and as I keep saying, cover the oil pressure gauge with some tape to stop you looking at it!

As for getting to the festival, of course it'll get there. It's the getting back that you need to have your breakdown recovery card for.....


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This came today, ready to put my treat on that's been in a box for well over a year now. Car has been well behaved enough to justify it being fitted. 

Couldn't find any of the bolts with a suitable thread. These were the closest.

However they were munging up the thread. So I rooted around my spares box and found two old bolts with the right thread.

Couldn't get the pointy spacer thing (forget the name) on too, so left it off.

Then used this.

Which was a mistake. All it did was bugger up the end as the lack of pointy spacer thing meant it pushed against the thread. Luckily minimal damage. However while tightening the thread in the hub let go. Luckily the hold has more than enough thread for the bolt to go in tightly still if the wheel is reused. 

So next plan was to whack the back with a hammer. Not a lot happened.

Then I attacked it with a chissel in the middle while hoping it would split or at least . Of course it didn't.

Had a stop to think about it. Thought about getting the grinder out and just cutting a slit into the fecker then drive a wedge down to crack it into half.

However I really didn't want to damage the hub and especially didn't want to damage the column. Went into the garage for a root around.

Came out and did this.

After applying what seemed way too much force on a breaker bar ... everything all fell off.

Assessing the situation, I realised it finally broke free.

Built my new steering wheel. Realised the hub was pretty shit quality, so filed away on the centre to smoothen some of the splines out.

Put wheel on, tightened it up with my breaker bar as tight as I could. Then torqued up to 50lb/ft - still actually tightened up some more. Hopefully it's on the splines enough. Not sure it went down as far as the old wheel though.

Anyway its on.

Much nicer to hold. It's smaller, but I can get a better grip on it so it's easier to turn. Also my knees don't hit so much on the back of it either. The old one was a bit too big. Nearer 16 inches. While this I think is a 14 inch wheel.

Brake parts haven't come still. Not even shipped yet which is very annoying. Might take the wheels off though for a quick inspection and maybe a quick cleanup.

I did buy a Clutch master cylinder from Moss though. I've noticed that the fluid in that master is getting very dark. Also first, second and especially reverse can be hard to select at times. So I'm suspecting it could be the seals going. Slave and pipes I did the other year, so they should be alright still. It's not a metal can original so it must have been replaced at some point. But not by me - so likely at least a good 16+ years old and most of that sitting around.

Probably fit that this weekend. Hopefully should be a reasonably easy job.

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A better picture of it in daylight. I'm really happy with it. Surprising how a steering wheel can make a car feel so different. I guess it makes sense as its your main touch interface with the car.


Off to give the car another run and see how it feels like. Also hope that I put the wheel vaguely in the central position. Not sure I'll be able to get the damn thing back off if its not!

Clutch Master cylinder change over is cancelled for today, as I forgot to buy replacement copper washers for the banjo bolt. Will be my luck that if I try reusing them they will leak and I'll have to do the job again. For the sake of £1.20 of washers, I'll just pick them up on Monday and do it another day.

Might try getting the choke on the carbs adjusted, as I haven't adjusted it since refitting the carbs and it can be a bit of a bugger to get started when cold. Not helped I think by the holding nut coming loose and the screws rattling to all different positions!

Then I'll get the wheels up, inspect the front brakes and adjust the rear drum adjusters.

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1 hour ago, SiC said:


Off to give the car another run and see how it feels like. Also hope that I put the wheel vaguely in the central position. Not sure I'll be able to get the damn thing back off if its not!


Hence my advice about only snugging the nut down enough to hold the wheel in place...not putting 50ft-lbs of torque on it...

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2 hours ago, 1970mgb said:


Hence my advice about only snugging the nut down enough to hold the wheel in place...not putting 50ft-lbs of torque on it...

You worry too much! Impact wrench wizzed the nut off in a blink and a wiggle of the wheel to get it off again. 

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Not sure if today was a success or not really. Apart from being another complete time thief. Also got a cold and feeling a bit crappy, so wasn't going that quick.


Couldn't do the clutch master as I didn't have the copper washers, and I didn't want to risk it leaking then having to do it again. Why I think the master needs changing?



That fluid was changed when I did the slave cylinder. Probably two years ago or so, but of course hardly any miles.


So decided look at the brakes.




So I looked at them. Here are some pictures so you can look at them too...




Cleaned them up a bit with a brass brush and plenty of brake cleaner.



Discs aren't too pretty either. I gave a quick scrub with a wire brush to clean up a little bit.



One thing I noticed is the nicks in the rubber seal. I think these are purely dust seals so not too much of a concern or risk of leaking fluids. Haven't lost any fluid either so I guess it's ok.



Otherside was worse.






Doesn't matter if it doesn't keep the dust out longer term as I have all new parts in the post to go on anyway.


I cleaned up the pads with the brush, brake cleaner and sanded the edges. Putting together using brake grease on the back and sides. Also gave the edges of the backing pad a very light covering of grease.


Next up was to adjust the rear brakes. I did the usual tighten up and then loose a couple of clicks. All felt good. Then tried the handbrake. This caused the offside to stay pretty stiffly engaged. Pulled off the drum to inspect.



Turns out the handbrake lever is rusty and isn't moving freely. For now if I push the lever back by hand it releases. Something else I need to order and replace. I did try backing off the handbrake adjuster under the car but it didn't make much difference.



That pretty much took most of the afternoon today. God knows how. Also warns me that brake overhaul/rebuild on front and back will take most of a weekend. Quite tempted to farm it out to a garage and let them take the pain.


Went out for another drive and fill up.


Pez shot. Only actually the third time I think it's been to a petrol station in my ownership...



Then went back to the local church for another picture while no cars were there. Instead they put banners up in the way!



On the way back I went for a quick blast on the ring road to get her upto 60mph. Ran alright but did require a bit of work to keep her in a straight line. Also noticed that the idle has dropped back since filling up. Maybe the new fuel or different brand had affected the mixture. I guess it burns easier so probably a bit richer?


Front brakes were a good 30c cooler than previously. Rears still had the imbalance. Pretty sure that's mostly down to the drivers side shoe rubbing, from the handbrake not releasing properly.


So far the mileage since coming out the garage has rolled over 70 miles. Now my confidence has been restored some what, I now need to start venturing further afield...



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Oh I forgot to mention that I'm still getting dripage out of the gearbox/flywheel area. Oil looks dirty though, so maybe it's just oil sitting in the bottom from where its leaked while sat stationary.



Also took my elderly neighbour for a spin in it. Totally made his day which is nice - especially as his wife is in hospital and feeling a bit down. He always tells me about how when his son was 19, he went out and bought a Triumph Spitfire. Both him and his son loved that car apparently! Nice to have made someone's day. Especially as my neighbour is such a jolly friendly chap.


Took Mrs SiC upto the supermarket in it. She did quip that it'll probably break now she's in it. She has that affect on my cars sometimes! Anyway the car ran fine. Mrs SiC commented on the fact that it's quite tappy. Sounds like a mini steamtrain apparently??! Maybe I'll have to get an alloy cover to hide that noise more. Longer term if I still have it, it'll probably get an engine rebuild in time. No point doing just the top end when the bottom wouldn't go a miss being rebuilt either.



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Handbrake lever, it's a while ago, but I'm sure  the levers have a rivet in that rusts up.

You have to take the linings off, remove the lever, hit it with a hammer on the rivet, spray with WD40, wiggle it for 10 minutes until its free and reassemble.

You can just spray and wiggle it in situe, but knowing you, you won't.


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7 hours ago, Mally said:

Handbrake lever, it's a while ago, but I'm sure  the levers have a rivet in that rusts up.

You have to take the linings off, remove the lever, hit it with a hammer on the rivet, spray with WD40, wiggle it for 10 minutes until its free and reassemble.

You can just spray and wiggle it in situe, but knowing you, you won't.

Haha! Yes the whole arm is very rusted. I did actually spray on the pivot point with penetration spray and give it a good wiggle in-situ. However I think it's too badly rusted for that to work. It'll be either get it out, pull it apart and spend ages getting the rust off OR just spend a tenner and get a new one. 

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Took it for another quick spin. If I release the handbrake, leave in gear and hit the handbrake lever back with a hammer then it does seem to release properly. Admittedly it wasn't a long drive (2 to 3 miles ish) but the rears were 23c and 27c respectively. I'll see what they are like after a longer drive. Just need to keep a close eye on them until I get them rebuilt.


Took the wipers off to replace the rubber sealing washer. I'm hoping this will fix the footwells getting wet when it rains.


Y tho??




Put a bit of touch up paint in that area that had lost a bit of paint.




Now just need to figure out why the boot keeps getting wet when it rains!





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50 minutes ago, PhilA said:

Because it faces upwards and it's made by BL


That's a "feature"

Every single one of my BL cars fills it's boot with water, even the one which is a Honda. In the Dolomite's case this means water collects under the fuel tank and rots out both the base of the tank and the boot floor. Great fun.

Not sure on the 'ol MG but on my Triumphs the main water ingress area seems to be the rear light cluster seals.



Ran alright but did require a bit of work to keep her in a straight line

Again, the Dollys are a similar story. Especially the 1850 which required a good 1/4 turn of the wheel to keep it in a straight line against a crosswind... By the time you neared triple digit speeds keeping it on the correct side of a standard width A-road was a genuine struggle due to front end lift. Worth checking any U/Js in the steering system for play, Dolomites burn through them quite rapidly for some reason.


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The boot has always leaked in this. It was ok before I put the new fuel tank in as the water simply got on the top of the tank, then leaked into that through the rust holes. Now there is a shiny new tank, it doesn't really have much place to go!


My suspicion is a combination of the fuel filler seal (did I change this with the tank??), number plate light wire grommets and the rear lights. I did think I replaced them but I've done so much over the years I can't remember. Have also got a new tailgate seal to fit but that's quite a lot of hassle, as I think the tailgate needs to come off to do that one.


Not sure how the rear lights come out? Looks to have a nut on the back that bites into the body metalwork. So probably a bit of a mission to remove.


Bung it out for now so some of it can drain out.


The wayward steering could well be down to the rear drum grabbing. I don't expect amazing high-speed running - especially double figures, but it would be nice to have upto 70mph reasonable. Not that I've got it that fast yet...


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Just come back from a trip out to Newark Park National Trust with Mrs SiC. Lovely drive over and the car performed fine. About 40 miles round trip or so if you are wondering. Longest journey I've done in it, apart from the original drive back from buying it.
Hurrah you say!

Most were 30 or 40mph roads, so pretty sedate. Actually tended to be a fair bit slower as getting stuck behind bloody slow Sunday drivers. Including up a hill where a nearly brand new Disco was doing 25-35mph, causing a hold up for a TR4a and myself stuck behind it.

On the way up there the front discs were at around 75c (passenger side always ~5c hotter but there is the exhaust manifold that side) and the rear drums were 30c and 38c. Back home it was a different matter. Fronts again around 70c, rears this time though are 35c and 78c. Looks like I didn't whack the handbrake lever in well enough before setting off on the way back.

Definitely need that side sorting before I go on any longer or faster road journeys.

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Nice photo that,  good to see it's being used as it should.

My Roadster had 165 tyres and used to follow ruts everywhere.

My GT had 185 tyres, which are not standard, always looked flat, but weren't, and drove perfectly.

Both were capable  of 70mph, at least!

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