Slow Car Fast
April 11, 2008 - Like any 36-year-old British sports car, it's seen some modifications over the years.
The repaints and the questionable wheels are just the beginning. Underneath, there's a set of telescoping shocks in the rear as well as a long pair of shackles. The broken exhaust system doesn't really count as a user modification, though.
entry 3 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - Discovery time.
Shortly after the car arrived, I was swarming over it (if it's possible for a single individual to swarm) and exploring. There are lots of little problems to deal with, as expected with an LBC. The right rear running lights appear to be stuck on. There's a mysterious battery drain which is probably directly related. The right turn indicators don't work. There are random loose wires under the dash and underhood.
The good news is that with the car idling (a little fast, probably due to the higher altitude), nothing dripped on to the driveway!
entry 4 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - The stance of the car is a bit off.
Those spring shackles in the rear are likely at fault. I can easily raise the car more, or drill a couple of holes and drop it down. I'll try to find out what the stock center-to-center distance should be and try that. It's hard to say what springs are under there.
See the Aqua wheel wells? That's some sloppy work in the paint booth. 5 minutes with a can of black spray paint and that'll be solved.
entry 5 - tags: suspension
April 11, 2008 - Not only are the wheels cosmetically challenging, they're also the wrong offset.
The tires and the inside of the fender lips were not getting along, and the steel was winning the battle. New wheels and tires are on the way soon.
entry 6 - tags: intro, suspension
April 11, 2008 - Whoops!
The mirrors aren't a great fit on the doors, leading me to believe they're not original. The fact that you can't really open the vent windows would seem to support this.
entry 7
April 11, 2008 - The car's fitted with air conditioning, which I believe was a relatively unusual option.
It's not working right now but it's worth rescuing.
entry 8 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - The biggest problem is this.
A Viper alarm system. I hate car alarms. They're designed to make cars not work. And some cars - especially LBCs - don't need help. The first thing I did was pull this accursed box out.
entry 9 - tags: intro, electrical
April 11, 2008 - The biggest modification is the tan interior.
As much as I can tell, the dash, console, headliner and other interior trim was all painted tan some time ago. Our mysterious interior decorator actually did a pretty good job until it came time to do the dash. The masking job there wasn't quite as well done as it could have been.
entry 10 - tags: intro, interior
April 11, 2008 - Here's the problem with the dash painting.
Some parts were simply painted over, others were not masked well. It's possible to scrape the tan off the hard plastic parts with your thumbnail. The current idea is to de-tan the dashboard ourselves. I'll see if I can repair a crack in the top pad at the same time.
entry 11 - tags: intro, interior
April 11, 2008 - There's a battery drain somewhere.
I'll have to hunt it down. But pulling out the rear seat does a good job of illustrating the original color of the car!
entry 12 - tags: electrical
April 11, 2008 - One of Janel's comments when viewing pictures of the cars online was about the bumper overriders.
She's not a big fan. Thankfully they're not difficult to remove. Will they stay off? Hard to say, the front does look a little better with them in place. Time for some looking and thinking.
Another future plan involves a different grille. I'm not sure if it's going to be the earlier or the later design yet.
entry 13 - tags: styling, bumpers
April 12, 2008 - The rear seat belts were looking pretty scruffy.
They wouldn't retract all the way, the belts were discolored from sun and some sort of liquid, the receivers were AWOL - and we're never going to be cruel enough to put someone back there anyhow! So out they come.
entry 14 - tags: interior
April 11, 2008 - The heater knobs are broken and/or missing.
I understand they're not hard to find though.
entry 15
April 11, 2008 - It's like some sort of sad commentary.
The badge is oozing.
entry 16
April 11, 2008 - This is the perfect set of keys for this car.
I suspect that key fob has been around since the car was new.
entry 17
April 11, 2008 - It's like a 60's revival in the back yard!
And two of the guests aren't even here. When I finally get the Cadillac, the GT, Basil, the Seven and the Mini together for a picture it's going to be fun.
entry 18 - tags: other cars
April 13, 2008 - Typical of the little things that need attention are the rear hatch springs.
The teardrop-shaped cover for the coiled spring is missing. Also typical is the fact that I can pick up a brand new one from Moss Motors.
entry 19
April 14, 2008 - The best part about British cars is the parts catalogs.
They're fantastic. Every section has an exploded parts diagram with arrows pointing to each little gubbin and knob, so you can happily order a lower trunnion bush kit without having the vocabulary beforehand. How else could I identify the teardrop shaped cover for the rear hatch supports? I used to carry a Rovers North catalog in my old Land Rover simply because it was a great way to see how everything worked at a glance. I expect I'll do the same with this car.
I put in an order for a number of parts today at the B Hive. Just little trim bits and switches to freshen up the interior - and a rebuild kit for the master cylinder.
entry 20
April 15, 2008 - There's a shield that usually covers the brake master cylinder pushrod.
One of the screws that holds it in place had been damaged by a previous owner, but after a bit of work I got it free. And here's what greeted me underneath. Yuk.
So it's a good thing I ordered a master cylinder rebuild kit yesterday. Moss says the master can't really be rebuilt, but I'm willing to give it a try. It's the difference between a $270 part and a $18 kit.
On a similar note, I got a call today from Gordon Strickland of the B Hive, confirming some of the slightly odd quantities in my order. He was very helpful, discussing some slight differences in the badges that might cause difficulties in my planned grille design.
entry 21 - tags: brakes
April 15, 2008 - The back of the car sits quite high.
You can see it in this picture. And this might be the reason. These shackles are very obviously aftermarket, and a quick query on the MG Experience forum (a very helpful bunch) returned the information that the length between the holes should be 2.5 to 4", not the 5+" I have now. If I flip these around and use the bottom hole as the top, I'll get a good idea of if that's too long or two short. It's a distance of just over 3".
I'm guessing a previous owner did this in order to raise the rear and hopefully stop that tire/fender interference.
entry 22 - tags: suspension