Slow Car Fast
LIFE OF A GT
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
April 19, 2008 - Ah, the things you learn.
One of the members on MGexperience.net spotted that my turn signal lenses were on backwards. They really look as if they should be mounted this way, but they're not. Quick and easy to fix!
entry 23
April 19, 2008 - I spent a bit of time welding up the exhaust today.
It's not the prettiest job, but it only has to hold together for a year or so.
It's not the first time this joint has been welded either. Why? Probably due to this exhaust hanger that had separated. There's nothing supporting the exhaust from the engine to the tailpipe as far as I can see.
entry 24
April 19, 2008 - The solution to the exhaust hanger.
This strap is an axle limiting strap used on Land Rover suspension. It's tough stuff and should easily last a long time on the exhaust system.
entry 25
April 19, 2008 - In what is probably a futile move, I spent a bit of time trying to restore the paint on the roof and hood.
It's badly sun-blasted. With some rubbing compound and various other magical pastes, I was able to bring it back a bit. It's still pretty bad, but it shows a little less than before. And it's all smooth, so it feels good when you pat the car on the head. As you do.
entry 26
April 21, 2008 - New wheels!
I've been planning to install a set of pre-1987 SAAB 900 wheels since I discovered they would fit the car. After all, the wheels that came with it are pretty darn ugly. And a car like this should have a set of Minilites - or a reasonable facsimile thereof, anyhow. So after a bit of searching around, I turned these ones up in Colorado Springs. Janel was up there this weekend and picked them up for me. Well, for her really.
They're actually Carroll Shelby wheels. Yes, that Shelby. Ronal did a version as well. Reasonably but not exceptionally light at 15.8 lbs each according to the UPS scale at work. These came with 5 full sets of lug nuts and some decent Falken tires, a big step up from what we had on the car already. The wheels are 15x5.5 and the tires are a 195/60-15.
If they look suspiciously shiny, it's for good reason. They're polished! I was originally thinking of some way to dull the centers and leave the lips polished, such as bead-blasting or painting the centers. But on the car, they look good. We'll see if that impression sticks around.
When I was looking, I found very few pictures of MGBs with these wheels fitted. So brace yourself, there are a bunch coming. If you want more, just email me.
entry 27 - tags: wheels, saab
April 21, 2008 - A side view of the car with the new wheels.
15" is as large as I'd want to go on this body. The SAAB lug nuts fit perfectly, but the ones on the car already were also suited to the SAAB wheels. It's my understanding that the Ronal version uses a tapered lug nut.
I also picked up a fifth, non-polished SAAB wheel to use as a spare.
Janel wasn't so sure about my enthusiasm for the wheels when I first started talking about them, but now that she's seen them on the car she's a big fan. They look right.
entry 28 - tags: wheels, saab