A Member’s Musings on Restoration and Modification
I am pleased to report that my MG is back together and made it safely to winter storage.There was a false start last Saturday which ended when the car started mis-firing.I bought 4 new sparkplugs and fitted these on Sunday, discovering in the process that the lead for number 3 sparkplug had come adrift at the distributor!Well, at least I now know what cause the mis-fire!With all 4 pistons contributing, the engine ran very nicely once I had set the timing with the timing light.I enjoyed the brief drive from Beaconsfield to Dorval to park it for winter -just a pity the winter tyres have to be on by 1 Dec now -if it were still 15 Dec, I would have kept the car back in the hope of a bit more driving.
I have fitted a 10" Hayden fan to my car.There’splenty of space between the engine and radiator so mine is fitted as a "puller" unit on the engine side of the radiator.I made up a frame on which the fan is mounted.The frame is held in place by the same bolts that hold the radiator in place and the fan is not mounted to the radiator.I did leave the single original fan in place and it does operate but it kicks in after the Hayden fan.I also have a yellow plastic fan that fits on the water pump pulley, but I have just removed it as it is un-ducted and so far from the radiator that I don't think it is very effective -we'll see when I have the car back in summer.
On the subject of mods:I used to be quite a stickler for originality, but have mellowed over the years.I draw the line at taking a nice old car and turning it into a hot-rod.Sure, if it was a rusted old hulk of a fairly common car rescued from a barn -go wild and create your dream / nightmare, there's room for everything under the sun.But, if it is something rare and unusual, I would prefer it was restored as close as possible to operating condition (I prefer that things can operate, even if that means a different engine, rather than just "stuffed and mounted").That goes for the more prosaic body styles too -convertibles and coupes are always likely to be restored, there's a good number of sedans and hatches too as well as some who like pick-up trucks (mostly US stuff) but the vans and station-wagons get short shrift.
What I want from my MG is reliability and durability, so that I would be confident that I could drive it to Vancouver if I wanted to.For that, I would want an unstressed engine, with good fuel consumption.I would look at the peripherals first -alternator in place of generator, electric fan in place of engine driven fan, electronic ignition.If I had any of the single carb set-ups, I would ditch those and fit any of the multitude of decent carb set-ups or the fuel injection system (though I would do a fair bit of research on that first).I wouldn't go for the supercharger -I'm not looking for that level of performance, but I have heard it works well.With an engine like the "B" series, there's so much room for "improvement" (so long as you've got the money).I'll confess to thinking that a cross-flow head would be the next logical step, but that really should go with work further down in the engine -higher compression pistons as well as lighter flywheel and a freer-flowing exhaust system, but I am not sure this is something I would do -our speed limit is 100km/h and our roads are often crappy so I'd probably just go for a freer-flowing exhaust and forget the head work.10
Winter / Hiver 2022/23For the record -I'm not in favour of chucking out the engine and transmission and stuffing in an electric motor and batteries -that's a step too far for me!I guess it might eventually come down to that, but I'm trying not to think about it.I now have an O/D, so my car should be more suited to the open road -I am glad I have the O/D gearbox and not one of the 5-speed boxes -I prefer to stick with components that are at least from the same parent or which were available at the time in production.I've nothing against the 5-speed boxes and I'm sure they work well (and are probably less complex than the O/D), but I like the chunky feel of the MOWOG 'box.If there's something I wouldliketo do with my car, it is dealing with the lever-arm shocks.I like the idea of fitting telescopics simply because getting replacements is likely going to be easier as the years roll by.There are various kits for the front end, some of which I wouldn't really like -I would go for the type in which the shock is incorporated within the wishbones, not where the shock is cantilevered out.That said, with the amount of driving I do in my car, I can't really justify changing the lever-arms for the telescopics until the lever-arms start needing replacement.Steve Savage