Monthly Archiv: April, 2014

Top Tips: Back to Life compiled by Russ Cape

Tips by Mike Owen and compiled by Russ Cape. Originally article syndicated from “The Octagon” of Victoria MG Club newsletter:

It is time to get our LBCs back on the road now that the sunshine and warm weather has returned.

Fluids – The first thing is to check for any fluid leaks under the car. Check the oil, coolant and brake and clutch fluid levels. 1969-74 MGBs are prone to reservoir leaks. If the brake fluid is black and dirty, drain it and replace it. Silicone (DOT 5) fluid does not absorb water and is not susceptible to corrosion like regular brake (DOT 3 and 4) fluids.

Battery – Your next check should be the battery. If there is white powdery residue on the battery posts and connectors, remove the battery from the car and wash it down with a mixture of water and baking soda. [Some People] Apply vaseline to the posts and connectors. If the car has the helmet type connectors, watch for a worn, sloppy connection that could fail.

Starting – If the fuel did not include a stabilizer or if the gas has sat for a long time, replace the fuel. Old gas can be a problem because it can gum up the valves which can stick open after the engine is turned off. If the car has not been driven for a while, remove the spark plugs and turn the engine over until the oil pressure comes up. This helps because it reduces stress on the battery and starter. Replace the spark plugs and start the engine.

Clutch – The clutch can sometimes stick to the flywheel. This will be evident if it is difficult to put the car in gear. Start the engine and – very carefully – put the car in first gear. The car will jerk and the clutch should break free with a bang. Make sure there is enough space for the car to move forward. Apply the handbrake as well.

Lights – check the brake and signal lights to ensure they work. Some Triumphs [TR6] have bad connections on the rear lights.

Ignition – If the car does not start, check the distributor points – use emery paper to remove any corrosion. Next, test that there is spark from the coil. Do this by removing the high tension wire from the distributor cap. Hold it a ¼ of an inch from a fastener – a nut on the head – on the engine block with insulated pliers or tape it in place. Have an assistant turn the engine over and check if there is a spark. Do the same with each spark plug in turn. Do this by sticking the tip of an insulated screwdriver into the plug cap. If there is no spark at the spark plugs, the rotor is likely faulty. Ensure a new rotor is not the type with a brass rivet – these have been faulty.

Fuel system – If the car still does not start, the next step is to check the fuel system. Listen for clicking from the fuel pump when starting. If absent, clean the points in the fuel pump. The next step is to test the flow by disconnecting the fuel line where it connects to the carburettors. With the ignition on, the pump should fill a small coffee can in about 20 seconds. Another potential problem is green corrosion on the float needles. Next, remove the air filters and shoot a short shot of starting fluid – like “Ace Starting Fluid No. 735” – into the carburettors. Be very careful – this is compressed ether and is very explosive! Failing this, rebuild the carburettors.

Slow cranking – Sometimes the starter will draw all of the available voltage from the battery leaving nothing for ignition. Either charge the battery or get a second one and a set of jumper cables to generate ignition spark. Interestingly, Petronics systems have a super fast start.

Poor compression – One of the last possibilities is no compression in the engine cylinders because the rings are stuck. Shoot a squirt of engine oil into each cylinder to temporarily seal the rings. Once the engine is warm, the rings will free up. Another trick is to drain the cooling system and replace it with hot water to warm the engine and rings.

Brakes – Sticking brake cylinders are a common problem with cars in storage. This will cause the brakes to drag and heat up. Check that they are not binding. Jack the car up, apply the brakes and see if the wheel rotates freely. If the car has low mileage, setting up the adjusters should not be necessary. If the handbrake was applied overwinter and the shoes have rusted to the drums, either remove the drum and fiddle with the adjusters to break the seizure or strike the drum with a soft hammer to free up. A very common problem is old brake hoses that constrict the flow of fluid and cause the car to pull. A rupture in a hose is a bad thing, so replace them.

Tires – The final thing is to check the tire pressures before heading out on the road.

Video Roundup 1

Some great videos to share from many of our friends. Probably over 2 hours of footage, so get the popcorn out:

The first comes from Tony Owen featuring the VSCC Hereford Trial 2013:

My own youtube feed brought up Restoration Finished: 1966 Lotus Elan 26R:

evo Diaries- Lotus Elan Sprint

From Tom Shaughnessy’s facebook we have Highlights Tour auto 2014 crashs & mistakes

We were ordering some parts from the Roadster Factory and came across Triumph TR4 (TRS) – 1961 Le Mans 24hrs (10th June 1961):

Video I made of the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours: Concours Queens:

Driving a Jaguar C-Type on the Mille Miglia – /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS

The Joy of the Jaguar XK140 Comes in Driving It

Morgan Motor Company: The Most Honest Car Factory in the World – /DRIVEN

9th Annual Restoration Fair & Swap Meet

This past weekend was the season-opening 9th Annual Restoration Fair & Swap Meet held by the Old English Car Club South Island Branch at the Heritage Acres in Saanichton BC.

Under the spring sun everyone came out to enjoy the great weather, like-minded people and old British cars.

Hats off to Derrick Sparks and Roy Pullan who put on a top notch event with a British “Cars For Sale” Area as well as space for Spares, Parts, Tools, Literature, Collectables.

1958 TR3 Engine-Bay Restoration

Today we delivered a new engine-bay restoration which will be at the 9th Annual Restoration Fair & Swap Meet held by the OECC tomorrow.

This particular job took 100 hours, which included a strip to bare metal, etching, epoxy primer, careful seam-sealing and a polyurethane top-coat.

Everything was taken out and refurbished back into the bay. This included rebuilding the wiper motor, pedal box, ignition wires and master cylinders as well as looking over the carburetors and distributors.

Original bolts were cadmium plated as well as the fuel lines and brake lines. To help with long-distance touring we used new Zebra hose clamps where required. Almost all the speciality items such as the new battery leads, engine breather cap and all rubber came from the Roadster factory.

Vredestein Sprint Classics on Sale

Among the top tires for vintage motoring are the Vredestein Sprint Classics manufactured in The Netherlands. They rival legendary tires such as the Michelin XWX/XAS, Dunlop R5/RS5 or Pirelli Cinturato without the inflated price (££££!)

Fortunately we are able to directly import from Vredestein USA and offer these tires at the US Retail rate with no additional duty or shipping.

These are coming from the distribution center in New Jersey and are some of the newest rubber available in these molds. No old warehouse stock.

Tires are available in the following sizes:

10 Inch
145 SR 10 68 S
13 Inch
6.40 SR 13 (7.00 SR 13) 87 S
205/60 VR 13 86 V
14 Inch
135 SR 14 70 S
165 HR 14 84 H
175 HR 14 88 H
185 HR 14 90 H
195/70 VR 14 91 V
205/70 VR 14 95 V
15 Inch
155 SR 15 82 S
165 HR 15 86 H
175/70 HR 15 86 H
185/70 HR 15 89 H
185 HR 15 91 H
205/70 VR 15 96 V
215/70 VR 15 98 W
235 VR 15 106 V
16 Inch
185 HR 16 93 H

Examples of Usage
MGB: 165HR14 84H
Austin Healey: 185/70HR15 89H
TR6 & Etype: 185HR15 91H