I found a camera cord (well borrowed one from work) so now I can show you what I have been up to.
I’ll start with the before shots
A standard MG engine bay a little tired, a bit cramped especially with the A/C unit in there.
Heat Shield off
Inlet manifold off
Exhaust manifold off. So now all but stripped down, I have on reliable sources that Santa is bringing me a parts washer and hopefully I can borrow a Engine hoist and take the lump out over the Christmas break.
I should mention that this is all possible because now I have a decent working space
Finally a decent workspace that can be used without wind and rain, to paraphrase Monty Python “Luxury, sheer bloody luxury!”
Well we have finally moved house and I now have a garage! Sandy has been transferred from the old house, by her own steam…… just. I have now begun to strip her down ready for the engine-ectomy.
I would post a heap of pics that I have taken but unfortunately the cord to upload pics from my camera is still in a box somewhere, so I will have to tell you what I have done so far:
- Taken plenty of photos
- Removed the bonnet
- Drained gearbox oil, engine oil and coolant
- Removed Heater hoses and control cable
- Removed radiator hoses
- Removed Carbs
- Removed Intake Manifold
- Removed Exhaust Manifold
So about half way there, I still need to disconnect the A/C, disconnect gearbox and get engine hoist ready for the removal. Hopefully I will have it out for Christmas!
After almost a month off the road waiting on parts, waiting on free time and waiting to be at home long enough to do something, Sandy is running again!
I managed to fit the starter without to many dramas. The biggest problem was the wiring. The old starter had all its connections at the bottom whereas the new starter had all its connections at the top. doesn’t sound like it would be too much of a drama but let me tell you it certainly was.
Firstly the main power cable that comes from the battery to the starter was approximately 4 inches short, it really should be easy to fix, it’s not. finding someone who actually stocks battery cable is reasonably hard, especially since the MG batteries are in the back seat which means I need almost 3 metres of copper cable! I had to remove the old wire, strip the fittings, cut a new length, reinstall the fittings, ten put it all back on the car. The wire is anchored under the car at several points along with the wiring harness brake and fuel lines. Once that was all fitted things went fairly smoothly, the biggest drama was trying to get all the connections to stay on the post while I tried to fit the nut which is positioned almost directly below the distributor cap.
After all the fiddling around, fitting and refitting I am so looking forward just to driving again!
After fixing the dodgy wiring, it seems that it is the starter motor not just the wiring. I am planning on pulling the starter motor out and bench testing it. More to come….
Sandy is back on the road again… it has been a while since I last posted a few interstate trips and a few minor hiccups in keeping Sandy going.
I decided to order the dog leg repair panel but to wait till I am set up in a proper garage before doing it as it will be before a major respray and I can do that when I pull the engine. I decided that I can get away with a temporary fill job and give it a coat of spray to tide me over until the new house is ready. While doing the rust repair I also did the niggly job of fixing a small paint bubble on the passenger side windscreen pillar.
After refitting all of the interior the radio stopped working. After tracking down the fault, a screw had gone through a wire and ground the speaker to the car body which in turn had shorted the connections at the back of the radio. I decided rather than to waste more time and effort fixing that, it would be quicker and easier if I took out the old radio cassette and inserted a new CD player and speakers.
So after explaining to the disinterested staff in the hi fi section of WOW (no one wanted to serve me!) that I was not after a thousand dollar doof doof sub woofer for a 40 year old car. I got a reasonable stereo that does the job without breaking the bank (or my eardrums).
All repaired and with a new you beaut sound system Sandy was running a treat then there was a disturbing loss of brake fluid and a very spongy brake that caused my heart too race.
Firstly I thought that in my major restoration a may have nicked a pipe and there was a leak from somewhere. So after frantically searching every pipe, bend and connection to find no puddles of brake fluid anywhere. A lot of head scratching and pondering where almost 250mls of brake fluid was going somewhere yet I couldn’t find it until with a flash of inspiration I felt under the brake booster and the air filter was moist with the missing fluid.
Pulling the brake booster out I found about half a litre of brake fluid had accumulated after the seal had failed. A quick bit of research showed me that I had myself a PBR VH44 brake booster that was pretty much the standard for most Holdens and Fords. To buy one new would cost about $400 to buy the parts to give it and overhaul would cost almost $200.
More research revealed there was a place in Melbourne that did reconditioned Boosters. Terry at Hydroboost got my busted Booster and I got a refurbed booster within the week for less than it cost to do it myself! Everything is now fixed and I can’t say enough good things about Terry and would recommend them to anyone.
So now after an extended break Sandy is back on the road!
Not to make me feel too good about getting Sandy to start again, while under the car refitting the pipework and electrics, I noticed some suspicious looking bubbles in the drivers side dog leg panel. Having just spent the better part of two months repairing rust, I wasn’t about to let this go without a good assessment of how bad it was.
I had a good poke around in there, the rear two spots are fairly shallow but the front one has gone all the way through. So I have put a dogleg panel on order and will strip it back further to see if there is any further damage to the inner sills. I will then repair this while I still have access to all the welding equipment. Apparently this is a fairly common area for rust due to the design. So common in fact that they specifically make a dogleg repair panel.
At least I will have more confidence welding now.
After what seems like months (just 6 weeks) I have finally got Sandy running again. I have almost finished fitting the interior and it looks good.
Not only new carpets but refiitted the drivers seat, new foams make it much firmer (and comfier!), new metal window winders (the old plastic ones had cracked), fitted fire extinguisher properly (used to be hidden under the seat) and new gear stick boot (old one was split and torn).
Unfortunately while I was fitting the carpets, I pushed against the accelerator which promptly decided to break. So new accelerator cable. Finally after refitting the brake pipes, fuel lines and electrics under the car I reconnect the batteries, took a long deep breath, turned the key and let the fuel pump prime the recently installed lines. I quickly checked under the car to see if petrol was pouring out but success no leaking fuel!
So after feeling a little bit more safe, I kicked her over and after a few attempts Sandy roared into life. So with the interior looking pretty schmic and the engine once again running I was feeling fairly happy with myself.
Now I just have to complete the interior fit out, bleed the brakes and she can get on the road again.