Saturday, September 08, 2012

Liveblogging The Starting Of The MGB, Bumped And Updated With Biblical Reference

Today Sometime this weekend, my MGB will start and run. It won't be drivable as there are still parts that need work before it's safe to hit the road, but today we'll get it started and make sure it runs. I'll liveblog the process here. Italics means it hasn't been done yet.

The MGB in the Catican.
  1. Test the fuel pump. - DONE. I hooked it up to my 12V power supply and the little thing cranked away. Without fuel going through it to see if it was really working, we'll take the noise as assent. We'll know for sure when we get down to the carburetor settings.
  2. Shop. Buy gas can, electrical wire, non-insulated 1/4" spade connectors, light switch to use as engine kill switch, light switch box, fuel filter, fuel hose, hose clamps, gasoline and carne asada burrito. DONE. Everything about this project has been like this. Since I haven't worked on a car in a long, long time, I don't have the parts any more. Every day has been spent half in shopping, a quarter in diagnosing the problems and designing solutions and a quarter in execution. It has been, however, 100% fun.
  3. Put gas in the tank. DONE. I bought one of them thar newfangled gas cans from Home Depot. The thing had so many safety features that it was impossible to actually use to pour gas into the tank. I finally had to tear out the spring-loaded safety stopper at the base of the spout to get it to pour. The thing leaked all over the place.
  4. Install the fuel filter. DONE. This was so easy that it hardly warranted its own entry, but you've got to give yourself a few easy ones, right?
  5. Wire the fuel pump up to the battery power supply. DONE. Yes, yes, YES! There is fuel in the fuel filter now! The little pump is just blasting away. Awesomeness squared!
  6. Connect the remaining air recirculation lines after completely removing all remaining smog hoses. It's a 1973 model and doesn't require any of the stuff. It never had much, but the little 1800cc engine never worked well with all that junk installed.  DONE. And here we hit a snag. We're missing some hoses, which will be no problem to go out and buy, but we're also missing a few minor parts to the carburetor itself, such as the linkage to the throttle. Hmm. Looks like we need the help of a machine shop. It's never easy, is it? Update: A good friend of mine who's a terrific mechanic came over for enchiladas and Sam Adams last night* and showed me how the last hoses and wires connect for the Weber. It's all good now.
  7. Shop. See above. DONE.
  8. Shop again. What I thought was a 5/16" 24 pitch nut was really an 8mm 1.0 pitch nut. The Weber has metric threads and the MG has British. Oh well. Update: No, they weren't metric. They really were 5/16 24s. The studs coming out of the intake manifold just needed to have their threads cleaned out with a die. DONE.
  9. Turn the engine over and see what happens! DONE. Screw all those hoses. We just wanted to see what would happen. No spark. CONCLUSION: We need a new ignition coil. And a beer. Beer first, ignition coil tomorrow.
  10. Buy and install a new ignition coil. DONE.
  11. Turn the engine over and check for spark. Repeat until we get spark from the plug wires. Trial 1: No spark. Opened the distributor and it looks like the points aren't set right. Look around for a feeler gauge. Realize I don't have one any more. Shop again. Trial 2: The dwell angle said 0, meaning there was no connection between the points. I pulled the points and found there were filthy. I cleaned and reinstalled them and Bingo! Spark. Now to put the distributor back together. Trial 3: It starts and runs! Woot!
  12. Adjust the carburetor settings back to factory recommended idle and choke. (It's got a Weber DGAV 32/36 after market carburetor.) LATER.
* - My buddy and his wife come over for dinner quite a bit. Last night the womenfolk made dinner while the men hung out in the garage, drinking beer and talking cars. It was great. No harsh words or dirty looks were exchanged as we all share cooking and hosting duties and the ladies knew this project meant a lot to me. A good wife is ... well, let's just take it from Proverbs 31.
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.


Mostly Nothing said...


Did you check that you had power to the low tension leads to the coil? Are you running points or have you converted to an electronic ignition?

A couple years ago, I bought a new pertronix distributor. Really like it. My old dizzy had been converted to pertronix, but still had such a wobble in the shaft that it wasn't worth keeping.

Today, way down the list of things that need to get done, is replace the exhaust system. The parts have all come from Moss. I think I need clamps though.

I doubt I'll get to it. I'll have to clean the garage to be able to do that. And then I'd just be dumping stuff in the work room, and it's already got a month of junk dumped in it, and the boy has been doing some projects, which dumps more stuff. Nothing's put away.

And we have 'Feed My Starving Children" this afternoon. A local charity that we package nutritionally balanced meals for sending to the 3rd world. It's a fun afternoon.

I also need to hook up my new heater valve to the MG. I replaced the joke of a valve with a plumbing half inch ball valve, just need to fabricate a connector to the cable. That won't happen today, either. :-) But better happen soon. The 50 degree mornings have been a bit cold with the top down.

K T Cat said...

MN, I'm still running points. I hadn't heard about the Pertronix, but a quick search of the Interweb Tubes right now shows that's a good way to go. Step 1 for me is still to get the little guy to run.


Feed My Starving Children sounds like a great family afternoon. My hat's off to you and yours, sir.

Unknown said...

Sounds like things are moving right along on the project. I'm anxious to see the finished product.

I've always wanted to fix up an old '57 Ford for my dad but have never been financially able. It was his favorite car.

K T Cat said...

Whittlin' Man - Aww. You're a good son.


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