Safety Fast May 2019
WELCOME TO THE MGB REGISTER NEWSLETTER
PUBLISHED IN THE MAY 2019 SAFETY FAST
You remember from April’s notes that Peter Nixon from Tyne Tees Centre was searching for parts for his hardtop and found a possible contact in the USA. He tells me that he ordered the retaining strip that he needed and that it has now turned up and is a perfect fit! That’s good to know, then.
It would have been nice to get my BGT out this past couple of weeks, but, as my photograph shows, it has been used to store Easter Eggs (nice and cool in the garage and out of the sun). These are prizes for a Great Easter Egg Hunt organised annually on Portreath Beach in Cornwall for under-5s and over-5s…by Camborne/Redruth Lions Club. But how many Eggs are there in the Car? Send me an email with your guess and we will pick out a winner and organise a prize from the Register regalia. Cut off May 15. Last year there were more than 500 children, and even more enthusiastic parents, digging frantically for the buried treasure. The beach looked like a minefield afterwards. Hint…I don’t have all the prizes…
There are still a few places available on the Register weekend in Suffolk in the autumn. See the website for more details and a booking form.
I shan’t comment about losing MGLive! this year, other than reminding everyone that Silverstone is a Motor Racing Circuit, not merely another disused airfield, because of efforts made by the MGCC after the war.
A few tech tips from your new Register Committee member, Mike Barclay
MGB Bonnet: Refitting the bonnet on an MGB after working on the engine can be a bit of a fiddle, trying to line up the height and fit across the front wings. If you look at the bonnet hinges and the corresponding mounting points on the bonnet you will notice 2 x 1/8 inch holes drilled through each. These were used by the factory when refitting the bonnets at the end of the line to ensure the bonnets went back in the same place when removed at the start of assembly. When fitting the bonnet, once the bolts are in, fit a 1/8” piece of
bar (drill bit is ideal) in each hole, adjust and the bonnet should fit correctly.
MGB Rostyle wheel nuts: Using the original wheel brace or a normal socket to remove the wheel nuts on Rostyle wheels usually results in damage to the chrome plating. If you have a socket set with a plug spanner socket use this as it is the correct size for the nuts and fits all the way down the nut preventing damage to the chrome.
Cheap thief deterrent: Unfortunately we are seeing more and more MGBs stolen these days. Because of the era these cars come from there is very little to stop anyone breaking in (particularly the Roadsters) opening the bonnet, “hot wiring” the ignition and the car is gone. All MGBs have an electric fuel pump. Power to the pump is fed from a white wire connected where the front and rear harnesses join in the group of bullet connectors below the fuse box. If you remove this connection and make up a small harness connected to a secret switch (mine is mounted in a hard-to-find place under the dash) you can turn off the pump when you leave the car. If someone tries to take the car it will only run for around 200m before running out of fuel. OK, it will not stop the determined thief but it might just make them abandon their attempt to steal your car.
Bonus wiring: This only works for MGB Roadsters. The front wiring harness for both Roadster and GT is the same. This means on a Roadster the wiring for the rear heated screen is present but not used. This leaves a +12 wire feed (green) and return wire (white/black) that terminates in a bullet connect in the bundle of bullet connectors below the fuse box. This can be useful when wanting to add things like a radiator fan override switch, avoiding having to add extra wiring under the dash and through the bulkhead to the engine compartment.
Battery conditioner: MGB batteries are not located in the most convenient place, making the connection/disconnection of a battery charger/conditioner time consuming when wanting to use the car. The cigarette lighter on later cars is permanently connected to 12V. Using a suitable lighter plug connected to your charger output makes disconnection/connection quick and simple. Make sure you get the polarity correct.
MGB REGISTER SPRING RUN
I couldn’t go to the Register-organised Spring Run but did go on the local event organised by John Harvey, leader of the West Cornwall Natter. This was a castle to castle event starting at St Mawes and finishing at Caerhays. Three MGBs, two TFs and a 1937 TA took part. All open top motoring on a bright but chilly day. Good to blow the cobwebs away and give the cars an airing after the winter. The gang up country seemed to enjoy themselves… according to Roger and Nicky Boys…
The MG season has started. The MGB Spring Run for many is the first major event of the year and all owners look forward to taking the opportunity to shake the cobwebs off their MG. There were approximately 74 cars that pitched up at Millets Farm, near Abingdon, for the start. There was quite an MG buzz in the cafe as we all met up with old friends and discussed the modifi cations and work that we had completed during the winter, and naturally there was the opportunity to put the world to rights – Brexit, despite being a taboo subject, got a mention! The warmth and smell of cooking breakfasts and hot coffee made it difficult to get motivated and set out on the route. The weather did its best for us; despite remaining cool and overcast all day, we were fortunate that there was no rain for the whole time we were out in the car, hence the roof remained down, but a warm jacket and woolly hat was required.
The first section of the route was brilliant; it took us deep into the Cotswolds, exploring some beautiful villages built in traditional style featuring the lovely warm Cotswold stone and thatched roofs. The roads were interesting and at times challenging. Goodness knows how much it would cost to fill in all of the potholes and refurbish the roads of this area, let alone the rest of the country. Lots of MGs were seen parked up in delightful places, taking lunch before completing the route to The Classic Motor Hub, Bibury. Great credit here goes to Roger and Joan Cooper for planning the interesting and varied route. Nicky and I made a couple of silly errors due entirely to a lack of concentration which caused us to miss a turning. However, we have resolved to complete it all again during the coming summer when the views will be less shrouded in mist.
The Classic Motor Hub, Bibury, is a fascinating place, filled with an interesting array of exotic classic cars, the majority of which are for sale and could be tempting if you have deep pockets. Everybody was very friendly and made us all extremely welcome and we were encouraged to explore. I have to admit that as we did not get there until 2.30pm we did not get an opportunity to look round, just time to grab a coffee before it was time to set off on the second section, which took us back towards the start where we had an opportunity to visit Kingston House at Kingston Bagpuize.
The Classic Motor Hub regularly advertises in Safety Fast! and holds a number of British Coffee and Classics events throughout the year, so keep your eyes open and visit them, you will not regret it. Look at www.classicmotorhub.com for information.
The route back was more direct and gave us all an opportunity to speed up and enjoy the wind-in-the hair motoring. The Kingston House owner was on the gate to welcome us all. Approximately 40 cars made it to the end. We guess the other cars had headed for home. Here we had the opportunity to go into this fascinating house, steeped in history, as well as explore the grounds or simply enjoy afternoon tea while continuing the conversation with friends plus, as a bonus, super homemade cakes, some of which were made by the owner!
Nicky and I completed 140 miles by the time we got back to Newbury and enjoyed the ‘Boneshaker’, our 1964 MGB, during an excellent day out to start the MG year. Thanks go to the MGB Register Committee for organising such a wonderful event. Shall we do it again next year? Yes, please.
Roger and Nicky Boys.