A Mostly British Obsession

Racing to Vancouver

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My schedule has been so hectic that I have been reduced to trying to swap the transmission and clean up the engine bay with only a week until the Vancouver All British Field Meet. I’m not sure whether I’ll make it, frankly, but I’ll give it a shot. Seen above is the car Thursday night, just before my spanners and ham hands descended on it.

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As you may recall, we painted back to the radiator surround. The paint on the inner fenders is original, as is most of the rest of the engine bay. My plans, aside from the transmission swap, are to clean everything, repaint the heater box in situ, repaint a few other bits and bobs, repaint the engine, and put it all back together with new hoses, etc., etc. The red heater lines will go!

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Nearly every MGB owner knows this trick, but if you don’t, it’s a good one, and makes it unnecessary to remove the bonnet for heavy work. I’ve simply tied a trucker’s hitch in either end of the rope, looping one end over the bonnet pin and spring and the other over the trunk release. Put a soft cloth on the car anywhere the line touches. Also: Make sure you’ve got everything you want out of the boot first!

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This engine runs fine–good power and oil pressure–and despite how grubby it is, doesn’t leak but a few drops of oil every week or two. It will be cleaned, repainted, and re-installed without tempting fate, trying to eliminate a leak smaller than what I’d probably create by changing seals. The rebuilt overdrive transmission is on the bench. I have a new clutch, of course. The engine has been out before, half the bolts were missing on the front engine mounts…and 125,000 would be champion miles on a clutch, anyway.

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And this is where we are heading into Saturday morning. I have about eight total hours to dedicate to this project over the weekend, it’s my hope that I can have the cleaning/painting mostly done–with the engine ready to go back into the car–by Tuesday night. If I cannot have it running by Thursday, I will have to bail on taking it north.

1 Comment

  1. chuck goolsbee

    Bon Chance Mon Ami!

    I’m now way too far from YVR to attend the ABFM at VDG.

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