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1970mgb

Marina-Should I do it or Not(possible project) UPDATED: IT'S RUNNING!

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30 minutes ago, quicksilver said:

Wow, an American Marina! It looks so different with those massive bumpers and the indicators in the grille. Interesting looking trailer it came home on too, I doubt that would be legal in the UK.

You'd be surprised what you're allowed to hitch up and tow here, even just on a regular car license. 

 

Glad to see this made it into good hands though. I've never seen a Marina here. Don't think they sold well at all down south. Doubt you'd be bothered by the cops, it's a shiny classic that's being carefully maneuvered by some non-hooligans.

It'snot a complicated setup, I forget if you said it's still got all the smog crap bolted to it though?

 

Phil

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6 hours ago, jonny69 said:

I think I’d be inclined to just put a new battery on it and be done with, even if that means changing the leads if US batteries use different terminals. It’ll mean peace of mind in the long run - I can’t be doing with weak batteries. 

I think that's probably a solid idea. There's nothing unusual about the terminals-they're the standard US style lead clamps. I do need to put a new terminal on the positive cable, which is a couple of dollars and a simple/quick swap.

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33 minutes ago, PhilA said:

 

Glad to see this made it into good hands though. I've never seen a Marina here. Don't think they sold well at all down south. Doubt you'd be bothered by the cops, it's a shiny classic that's being carefully maneuvered by some non-hooligans.

It'snot a complicated setup, I forget if you said it's still got all the smog crap bolted to it though?

Fair enough on not getting hassled for expired tags on this particular car.

It was desmogged a long time ago. I did find an EGR valve in the trunk if I want to install one, but I think I'll pass :) .

Most of it is very familiar given the amount of time I've spent on MGB engines.

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Glad you got it ok. I'm really looking forward to how this develops.

I rather like the look of the Coupe Marina. The only thing that maybe compromises it a bit is that (I think) Leyland used saloon doors to keep costs down so they perhaps look a bit short. Still looks good though ;)

Are the U.S. interiors any different to U.K. ones apart from the wheel being on the other side ?

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I'm away from the car until Monday, but as I mentioned did bring the battery with me.

I stopped by Autozone, and they reported it being completely open circuit-I'm guessing that ~10 years of being dead combined with multiple summers and winters had sulfated it to the point that it was beyond any hope. I don't have a true battery charger, but have a nice Tektronix bench PSU that I can press in to service for this kind of stuff(even though it would take a long time to charge a car battery). I THOUGHT about taking it back and seeing if I could "jump" it with 20V or so. My local AZ, though, turned up a "used" battery, which just means one that they've had on the shelf for over a year. It was a Duralast Gold, which is a Johnson Controls battery with a 5 year warranty-normally a $160 battery-although with the used marking it drops back to a basic 30 day(I think) warranty. I'm not super concerned about that, but with a quick top-up charge I was on my way for $50. That's better than a $50 Wal-Mart battery, even though the ones I get here NORMALLY are J-C also.

So, we'll see what happens. I'm going to toss a couple of gallons of gas in the tank on Monday, file the points, and just go for broke and see if it starts. If it doesn't, I suspect the points are the issue, but I'll have to see. I might take the lazy way out and put the Pertronix 25D4 distributor I have on it(which is a piece of junk). Of course, it's also worth at least doing a basic check on the coil-I've never heard of one going bad from sitting, but I wouldn't want to chase my tail assuming it's good-I do need to check the wiring diagrams and see if the coil is ballasted. If nothing else, I'll yank the complete ignition system out of my MG and try it.

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1 minute ago, bunglebus said:

US spec really adds another level of ugly to European cars - looks like a 70s Chevy Nova from the front. 

Hope the wheels are staying because they're great!

Yeah, I've been getting a lot of "just what is that" questions, since it has kind of the same generic front end as American econoboxes from the era(Nova, Gremlin, Pinto).

I really like the wheels also. The seller offered me a choice of those or the standard disk wheels, and I'm glad I opted for the turbines!

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So, a bit of progress...

With the new battery, it cranks vigorously. I have a new set of points on the way, but sanded the old ones and got it sparking. It will catch and run for a few seconds on ether, which is more than it's done in 10 years!

Unfortunately, I have a fuel delivery problem. The PO had fitted an electric fuel pump, but it doesn't seem to be working. Also, a bunch of other stuff doesn't work with the key "on", although the horn works(and the wipers work when cranking, so go figure). It seems like there are a bunch of electrical gremlins to work out, although I shouldn't be surprised.

I did drop ~2 gallons of gas in the tank, and I'm thinking about tossing a mechanical fuel pump on it. I don't like mechanical pumps in general, but at least that's one electrical item I don't have to worry about.

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:28 AM, Skut said:

Always a car that screamed out for a small block Chevy transplant. Even the 1.8  looks lost in the engine bay.  The Aussies got a 2.2 E6 option I believe. 

At best they handle like a shot giraffe. With a big heavy V8 upfront you would be a jibbering wreck trying to remain alive.

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5 hours ago, Bren said:

At best they handle like a shot giraffe. With a big heavy V8 upfront you would be a jibbering wreck trying to remain alive.

The B series is not exactly svelte is it. With ancillaries it apparently weighs about the same as an LS1 with ancillaries. It is lighter than a Chevy small block its true by about 90 kilos. Just Internet research, I could be wrong. 

My dad had a 1975 1.3 deluxe coupe in blaze orange so it's strange to see a federalized Marina. It always seemed such a parochial car. 

 

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7 hours ago, Skut said:
12 hours ago, Bren said:

 

The B series is not exactly svelte is it. With ancillaries it apparently weighs about the same as an LS1 with ancillaries. It is lighter than a Chevy small block its true by about 90 kilos. Just Internet research, I could be wrong. 

A fully dressed engine in an MGB is a bit over 400lbs.

I once moved a short block in the trunk of my daily. The shop used an engine lift to put it in, and I had the bright idea that I could lift it out myself. I ended up having to borrow a lift from work to get it. Even without intake, exhaust, most of the accessories, and head it's still over 300 lbs. The 3 main block(only) have in storage awaiting a good project is a bit over 120lbs-I think a bare 5 main is closer to 140lbs.

The aluminum Buick/Rover V8 I think is about 40lbs less than a B series, although with all the other accessories added in MGB V8 GT trim it weighs a bit more. It's still not enough not really upset the balance of the car, though. That was a big deal considering that the previous attempt at more power-the MGC-which resulted in 700lb engine with extra weight in the wrong places.

I'm not surprised that the aluminum LS1 is about the same as a B series.

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First thing, no telling what crap is in the tank- I'd drain it out and put something fresh in there before drawing several tablespoons of rust through with half a quart of water before you get anything that vaguely resembles gasoline...

 

--Phil

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1 hour ago, PhilA said:

First thing, no telling what crap is in the tank- I'd drain it out and put something fresh in there before drawing several tablespoons of rust through with half a quart of water before you get anything that vaguely resembles gasoline...

The tank was actually empty, which was a nice surprise. I tried both sucking it out with a Mightvac and blowing it out through the Evap line...the latter just got a rush of faintly gassy-smelling air through the fuel line.

After I put a gallon in yesterday, what I sucked out with the Mightyvac looks a BIT more yellow than what went in, but it wasn't terrible. I'm thinking I'll pump that out(through the line to give it a good cleaning) and then add a few gallons back in.

This nice surprise was waiting for me behind the fuel filler door...fortunately there were no signs of life from it, and a screwdriver had things good and clear.

IMG_0206.thumb.jpg.43c219d6836347f3d90f517ba8959114.jpg

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The electrical system on the Marina seems to be FUBAR and at the moment I'm just trying to make heads or tails of it.

For starters, I think that the ignition switch has issues. I sort of started getting clued in to it since the wipers would only work if I held the key just a bit past "on" but not quite to "start". A bit more probing around showed me that the coil was only getting power when cranking(it's ballasted, so the cranking power goes through its own circuit that bypasses the resistor), most of the fuse box is dead, and honestly just a lot of things that SHOULD get power just aren't. I popped the steering column cowling off, and not only was I not measuring any voltage at the back of the switch unless I flipped it over to crank, but the back of the ignition switch was also partially off!

I pulled it to bring it inside away from the heat/humidity(it was a hair over 90ºF when I got in from work this evening) and only succeeded in turning the ignition switch into a big pile of parts. Fortunately, Skip saves the day, as I texted him and he reported that he has a bunch of NOS red box Lucas ones.

I still need to sort out some other odds and ends that just don't make sense. As an example, there's a light green and red wire fastened together with a quick splice(I hate those things) running to the starter, but there's no indication that either of those wire colors should be anywhere near that part of the car.

I need to head to Harbor Freight and get another test light(my last one got eaten by the engine fan on the MG a few years ago). I know it's a lot more low tech than a voltmeter, but fundamentally it gives the same information and  has a much greater range of visibility than the little LCD on a voltmeter. Sometime tells me I have a LOT of wire tracing ahead of me before I can even drive this.

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2 hours ago, eddyramrod said:

My dad used to make his own test lights for free, using any old bulb and wire that he had hanging around.  Why spend money?

because @1970mgb knows that if he grabs "any old bulb" ill spend the next 20 minutes asking for pictures of it and asking questions about it :mrgreen:

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Nicely bought - will be following this thread with interest!

I've done a spot of work here and there on a friend's '73 Marina 1.3 Coupe, and in my experience they're not too tricky - but after so much MGB experience, you'll be well used to British Leyland's little idiosyncrasies...

IMG_20160807_155010.thumb.jpg.36c7bdf217aa79e23c1b1b96fc1e7584.jpg

Best of luck with getting yours running!

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As tempting as it is to use "any old bulb and wire" for $3 at Harbor Freight I get:

1. A nice sturdy alligator clip to clip wherever convenient

2. A long, sharp probe that's easier to maneuver than a bare wire end

3. The bulb is "buried" well enough in the handle that I don't have to worry about breaking it

Also, I'm slowly rebuilding my tool supply since my box was stolen back in January. I stopped in at NAPA yesterday for some fuel hose and a fuel filter, but while I was there picked up a new dial-back timing light and a compression gauge. I still need to replace my home-made leakdown tester, but I might actually buy one this time around. Oh, I also picked up another 1 5/16" socket, which is the size of crankshaft nut on the front of B series engines.

The new points, cap, and rotor arrived today. The ignition switch should be here on Friday, so hopefully things are coming together. I'm going to try and get the mechanical fuel pump installed before then, but it's still miserably hot out there so my time working is limited. I did get the MG going again(finally got everything ironed out with the radiator) so that's off my plate for now.

While I'm waiting on the other parts, I'm going to try and at least do an oil change in the Marina. I need to go to the dollar store and get some "John Wayne" toilet paper for the Frantz filter, while there are a few Bosch branded spin-ons in the trunk. I had bought some Supertech(Wal-Mart) 20W-50 for my most recent oil change in the MG, but decided to go with tried-and-true VR-1 instead. I'll probably use that oil in the Marina for a short change interval to clean things up after sitting for 10 years, although honestly it looks pretty clean now.

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So, as a bit of an update:

The electrics still have some gremlins, but at least I'm getting SOMEWHERE.

I put the new ignition switch in it, and with a bit of futzing I at least managed to get it sending power to the coil. After that, it would run a few seconds on ether(better than I was doing before) but the mechanical pump seemingly wasn't working. Removing and reseating the fuse got the electric pump working.

So, with the carb full of gas, I actually got it started and running. It's idling a bit high, but that is the least of my worries now. It also is smoky and smells bad, especially when revved, but hopefully a nice flogging on the road will take care of that. Unfortunately, the carb also has a small leak, so I'll need to call Joe Curto tomorrow. My experience with HIF type carbs is minimal, and to me all perishible parts are suspect, so I'll get Joe to send me a gasket set, float, valve and seat, and possibly a solid throttle disk(I hate the poppet valves that this would have had from the factory, but I need to see if it has a solid throttle first since I could also see Glenn changing that when he rebuilt the engine in the 80s).

Unfortunately, I have another problem, and the service manual isn't a lot of help now on even knowing where to look. The shift lever is seemingly loose from the linkage, so I couldn't get it in gear. I got it to "hop" a few times and may have been able to finesse it in, but I also didn't want to risk going for a drive and finding that I couldn't get it back out of drive when done.

This is definite progress, though.

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Progress is good. These have a Borg-Warner model 35, correct?

 

Probably find the linkage has plastic ends that go on the ball joints and they're kippered. If you feel detent positions when you select through the gears then it's not the linkage- check the transmission oil level first. 

 

Phil

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Honestly, buy a multimeter. They cost naf all and I've seen some very odd things on car electrics, like 3v coming up a wire - test that against one with 12v and the light will come on making you think you've found an earth.

Bulbs can't tell the full story. 

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5 hours ago, bunglebus said:

Honestly, buy a multimeter. They cost naf all and I've seen some very odd things on car electrics, like 3v coming up a wire - test that against one with 12v and the light will come on making you think you've found an earth.

Bulbs can't tell the full story. 

Oh, don't worry, I have several.

I still think test lights have their place, though, just for a gross and convenient check of whether or not a circuit is live. I have been doing all of the electrical troubleshooting up to this point with a meter, and find myself longing for a light again.

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11 hours ago, PhilA said:

Progress is good. These have a Borg-Warner model 35, correct?

 

Probably find the linkage has plastic ends that go on the ball joints and they're kippered. If you feel detent positions when you select through the gears then it's not the linkage- check the transmission oil level first. 

 

Phil

Yes, it's a BW35.

The selector is coming detached from the rod the metal rod that runs up the left side of the transmission to a lever on the side of it. I've actually reattached it a couple of times, but access is very awkward. I've not actually seen it-just felt it-but I can't seem to get the retainer to connect correctly. It looks like I'm going to have to jack it up higher than I have been to get at it.

With it connected, I CAN feel the detents for all the selector positions. The fluid is at the bottom end of the "cold" mark when cold and is bright red. I had someone on the Marina forum advise that they had seen something similar on a car that sat for about as long as mine, and a drain, new pan gasket/strainer, and refill fixed it-it seems as though sitting for a while had given the sediment time to drop out, causing all kinds of problems when it was brought back in to service.

I've also been advised that its reluctance for both reverse and first is a good sign, since only one gear is probably a bad band while multiple is probably a servo issue. I know, though, that I'm also talking to a guy who rebuilt an auto box at home, so forgive me if I sound like I'm talking out my rear :) . I've mentioned before that automatics are sort of black magic to me, and if it needs much more than a fluid change, it's either going to be a time for me to REALLY learn about automatics or to hand it off to a professional.

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