Slow Car Fast
January 20, 2009 - Whoops.
I got the second frame rail cut to shape and tack-welded into place. Then, just to check my placement, I checked the horizontal distance between the front control arm mounting points.
They were about 10mm too wide.
That's odd, how could I have made that miscalculation? Just for fun, I checked the distance between the rails at the front. Again, about 10mm too wide. But the rails were pushed up tight against the inside of the stock rails, so how could that have happened? A bit of head scratching and then I checked the width of the rails at the firewall. Perfect.
They're splayed.
So I crawled back under the car again to see if one wasn't butted tight against the stock rail, but both were good. Sighting along the new rail showed me the problem, though. The rails weren't straight. In my excitement to put the suspension pickups in place, I'd managed to warp them. Obvious in retrospect, not something I expected at the time. At least it appears I did it nice and evenly, but this isn't good.
So I think I'll try heating up the inside edge of the rails and see if they pull back straight. It's a trick I learned from an exhaust shop - heat up the steel and let it cool, and the hot side will shrink down a bit. Basically, do the same thing that bent them in the first place. Either that or I cut them loose and start over, or cut and weld the rails with an angle correction. Ugh. I'll try heat first.
entry 151 - tags: suspension, frame, ok
September 9, 2010 - Power!
With a few spare minutes in the garage and a freshly connected main relay, I hooked up the battery to the car for the first time. First, of course, I had to come up with a good grounding point. Hopefully I did.
When I connected the battery, nothing happened. That's good.
Then I flipped on the main circuit breaker. Nothing happened. That's good.
Then I turned on the ignition and saw a light come on inside the dash. Must be the alternator light. I also heard the main relay click over and the fuse panel for switched power came alive. That's good!
No sparks, no shorts, no nasty smells. All the smoke stayed inside the wires. This may not seem like a big step, but now that I know I have a smoke-tight electrical system it'll be a lot easier to trace wires and determine that everything is hooked up correctly.
entry 393 - tags: wiring, smoke, electrical
November 12, 2010 - It really doesn't have much to do with the MG, but the new book is here!
Actually, working on this book did prevent me from working on the MG for a while. Still, it's an exciting day. After spending so much time with the book in digital form, holding it in my hands (it's heavy!) is a treat.
More information on the book can be found at
entry 446 - tags: book
December 26, 2010 - A (poor) shot of the complete dashboard.
Quite a change from the original look. The overspray on the carpet isn't really noticeable in person, you only see it when it's all lit up with the flash.
There hasn't been any major work on the car in the last few days, I've just been driving it. The defroster got a test on Christmas night when we had to head home after dinner, and it passed. I still need to work on sound levels coming from the back of the car, but a bit more of my silver cladding should help out there. I suspect that this would not be a problem in one of the convertibles, but the coupe body does provide a nice resonance chamber at around 1500 rpm. Still, I've been enjoying it quite a bit so far. The speedo works well and seems to be accurate, the dash lighting is about as good as could be expected and overall the car is working fairly well. The new Bosch H4 headlights I installed put out ridiculous amounts of light, just as I'd hoped.
Just because it's that time of year, I took a look back to see what I was doing around this time in the past. A year ago, I drove the Camaro into the garage for the final time. Two years ago, we decided to disassemble the interior. And this year we used the car to drive to Christmas dinner. I'd call that progress!
entry 523 - tags: interior, testing, looking back