Now, to other matters: I got this email from Tony Taylor recently. Amazing where MGB Bits turn up.
Good Afternoon, David,
Probably like several MG owners – in my case, a B GT – I have the unfortunate affliction of never throwing away a part (or parts) removed and replaced on the motorcar. The reason: “ They may come in useful at some time” . They rarely or never do!
Around three years (!) ago, I replaced the incorrect front suspension springs. Last December, I finally got fed up with shifting the old ones around when doing the current job.
I planted them – The result is on the attachment – “ Spring Flowers” Do any other ‘B owners suffer similarly?
OIL PRESSURE DELAY – 1967 MGB
Following an extensive engine rebuild back in 2005 I have always had a two- or three-second delay in the pressure rising on the gauge. This is prevalent when the engine is started from cold or having been left for a couple of hours. As you can imagine, this has led to concerns about bearing wear, not to mention the heart- stopping three seconds every time I start it from cold, awaiting the gauge rising. The pressure once reached has always been around 60psi which is a good average for the engine, dropping to around 25psi when hot.
My initial suspicion was that the original paper oil filter was of poor quality, but that together with an inspection of the ‘Tecalemit‘ Filter Housing for correct assembly and new paper filter produced no improvement.
In desperation I removed the pressure relief valve on the nearside (UK) of the engine and checked that it was functioning correctly and not allowing oil to drain back into the sump. Again, no change.
Could it be the oil pressure gauge itself? I happened to have a spare pressure gauge from an older classic which connected up to the flexible pipe at its junction by the pedal housing. Same delay was apparent. Next, I suspected that maybe the oil cooler was partially blocked, as although I flushed it during the original build it is possible that some sludge remained. A new Oil Cooler made no difference.
Due to a need to replace the starter ring (another story), I decided to pull the engine thus giving me an opportunity to investigate the oil pump. Could it be that the pump was allowing oil to drain back into the sump? I checked the pump by removing it and leaving it filled overnight in a vice. There was no loss of oil. Incidentally, I checked the main and big end bearings and found there was no appreciable wear, so the delay to the gauge did not seem to have an adverse effect on the engine. The engine was reassembled with new gaskets, oil and filter, and fitted back in the car. The oil pressure delay still persisted!
Whilst looking for other parts I came across an oil canister conversion kit supplied by MGBHive, suitable for MGAs and early MGBs (up to 1967). I suspect other retailers also supply this product. I am a stickler for originality but for my own mental health I couldn’t resist buying it and trying it out. The kit, as shown in the photo, consists of a replacement for the ‘Tecalemit’ filter housing which is first screwed into the oil filter protrusion in the engine block. A new seal ring is supplied to fit between them. Once the tab washer is secured the new disposable canister filter can be fitted. The oil cooler pipe is refitted to the new filter housing and that is all that is required. The only tricky bit is bending the tab washer as it is quite hard to reach in situ, unless the engine is out of the vehicle. I managed it with long-nosed mole grips.
Guess what, problem solved! The oil pressure gauge immediately springs to 60 psi on a cold start.
My original filter housing is the hanging down type and retains oil without the need for a one-way valve. There are other models that have the same ‘Tecalemit’ filter housing but fitted in an inverted position that would not surprise me if they drained out to the sump over time. I suspect that I’m not the only person to have this problem, so I hope this article is of use to others. You
live and learn.
FLYWHEEL WOES – 1967 MGB
If from time to time I have left my B for more than a couple of months without starting her up, I always have the annoying situation whereby I cannot select a gear because the clutch plate has ‘welded’ itself to the flywheel.
I’m sure this has happened to many of us over time and there is more than one solution, the most common being to bump start in gear and then ‘blip’ the throttle whilst disengaging the clutch. I have tried this and it works fine IF you have assistance, but invariably I don’t. Another solution, I have now practised many times, is to run the engine until both the engine and gearbox are thoroughly warm. Usually about 30 minutes at tick over. Only then do I depress the clutch and ‘blip’ the throttle before engaging a gear. This has worked for me very time but is still frustrating and thus I have been wanting to replace the clutch plate for some time, in the hope that a new one would be less inclined to stick.
The opportunity arose recently due to another set of unfortunate events. My starter motor jammed. No problem, use the age-old method of hitting it with a hammer. It worked – the first time. A couple of weeks later, it jammed again. No amount of hammering would shift it, nor rocking the car backwards and forwards in gear. It was jammed solid. This time it was a trailer ride home for an engine-out session.
Once the engine was out of the car the problem was obvious. The starter ring was very badly mauled in a couple of places The ring is an interference fit on the flywheel, so either has to be heated to a temperature far higher than I could achieve at home or drilled through the ring to weaken it before ‘breaking’ it with a Hammer and cold chisel. This it did and I then had Richard at ‘Manor Garage, Wantage’ fit the new ring for me.
The starter motor had wear on the shaft and the spring return on the ‘Inertia’ drive was failing to return properly. Both issues I considered were the main cause of the motor jamming in the first place. I took it apart, ever optimistic that I could repair it, only to find that the power terminal that is soldered to the windings had a dry joint and came apart in my hands when I removed the rear end plate of the motor. This surprised me, as the motor was definitely well and truly jammed into the starter ring and wasn’t just failing to turn over. A future cause of a failure to start, I suspect. I took the decision to order a refurbished replacement startermotor, along with a new clutch assembly.
Using a cheap clutch alignment tool from ebay I fitted the new clutch assembly. Once all back together, I craned the engine back into the engine bay using a ‘Tilt’ attachment (from ebay) that made aligning the engine and gearbox considerably easier than past experiences. Now reconnected to the gearbox, all seems absolutely fine.
I’m not planning on leaving the car a couple of months between start-ups, so hopefully will never know if the new clutch plate will ‘weld’ itself to the flywheel. We will see. I also had issues with the clutch thrust bearing, but that is another story.
MGB CHAIRMAN’S NOTES
I am writing these words on Wednesday April 8, Boris our PM is in ITC in London and most of us are keeping to the rules and staying at home.
The Canadian GP has just been postponed and our friends at Silverstone must be hoping the British GP will be given the go-ahead in July.
My MGB has covered 100 yards in the last 20 days and the ZS has been driven eight miles to Tesco and back. Every day Gill and I go for a walk. Luckily, at the back of our house is a field we walk around, occasionally stopping to talk to someone at a good distance.
I think the biggest down is that we are unable to visit and hug our families, one in Wokingham 40 miles away and one in Darlington 250 miles away. At least using the wonder of Facetime and Zoom we chat and see them online.
Our MGB Register AGM was postponed, as was the MGB Spring Run on April 5. We notified all the entrants of the situation as soon as the Motorsport UK had withdrawn the licences. We offered everyone the choice of leaving their entry with us for next year’s event on Sunday April 11 2021 or a full refund.
We also intended going to the Practical Restoration Show at the NEC for the first time. We had a great stand design with new display boards, then that was postponed. Unfortunately, the new date in August clashes with committee holiday and family commitments so we are unable to attend, but it will be on the list for 2021.
While mentioning 2021, the European Event of the year is in Portugal in May. I am thinking of going; you have to register your interest on July 1 to get an entry. I am sure more details will be in a future issue of Safety Fast!
I am leaving you with a picture of the fields in early spring. Hopefully by the time you are reading this some of the restrictions we have will be relaxed and we will soon be able to drive our MGs.
Keep safe and well.
Mob 07770 575236