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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in MG Cars' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
9:00 am
Pertronix electronic ignition fitted
Yeah, I know...it's been awhile since I've posted in here. Home improvement projects have taken priority lately.

However, that's not to say that I haven't been busy on the MG front. In particular, it now has an electronic ignition. I fitted that after the car wouldn't start last Easter. Nice day, thought I'd take it for a spin. At least that's what I was hoping...

But, I couldn't get it started! Usually, it fires the second crank of the key. This time, it wouldn't fire. Turns out that not only was the (new-ish) battery flat, but the points were fried too. By then, I'd (temporarily) swapped out the coil, and replaced the battery. Checked the wiring, took the distributor apart, and saw that the points were burnt. Annoying, but at least the Lucas 25D distributor was OK.

Upon finding that, I decided that I'd go the electronic route. After a chat with the Pertronix people, and some other owners, why not? Ordering the kit and fitting it seemed easy enough--it's designed to fit inside the distributor, about roughly where the original points should have been. If you follow along in the instructions, it's pretty easy.

First, the original points and condenser get removed. Then, the Pertronix bracket gets screwed into place. Remove the rotor, fit the collar, then put the rotor back on. Attach the wires, make sure they don't hit the rotor...and then put it all back together. If you're lucky, the car will start right up. I got lucky--it fired the first time. Rough, but running.

After that, I attempted to set up the timing. IIRC, it's supposed to be set at 10 degrees before top dead center (TDC). About that point, it all went to hell--I couldn't set it correctly. Seems that the distributor bracket had been tightened so much over the years...that it was bent to a tighter circle than normal--when I attempted to gently twist the distributor, it suddenly popped out, and no amount of persuasion would put it back!

Even when it was reinstalled, the car wouldn't start. I admitted defeat, and let the local garage sort it for me. Plus, they also balanced the carbs, sorted the running-on, and tightened up one of the exhaust bolts.

Once I collected it from the garage, I couldn't resist some "spirited" driving. With the new ignition system, it seems to run a bit smoother before. Still loud as hell, and has no difficulty keeping up with traffic.

Right now the car is away having some minor wiring problems sorted. Seems the garage that "restored" it for me cut some corners--the hazard light now works the dashboard lights for some reason.

Living with an old car is never boring!
Monday, July 20th, 2009
2:45 pm
Now this is interesting. Seems that the "Phoenix Four," who managed to drive MG-Rover into the ground...are being investigated for fraud. The plot thickens...
Monday, March 9th, 2009
11:38 pm
The MG finally gained its chrome strips tonight. It wasn't without some frustration though--the left front fender hole simply didn't want to open! No matter how sharp the drill bit was, or how hard I leaned on the hand drill...opening that was a bitch. Still, it wasn't as big as bitch as trying to screw the thing in place. Turns out that I have to remove the headlight for enough clearance to swing a wrench! Even though the front fenders are open from below, you can't even see where that bolt comes through. For now, the trim is fitted over the studs, and gently wedged in place.

Another pain in the ass came when I attached the right front trim. I didn't realize it at the time, but I'd lined it up wrong. There was about a 1-inch gap between the door trim and where I'd attached the fender's trim. Damn! At least I was able to gently pry it off and try again. Once again, my school of duct-tape repairs came in handy. What better way to *not* scratch the paint...than wrap a screwdriver blade with tape, and gently pry the trim off? Worked like a charm.

So now the car doesn't look so goddamn weird. Well, considering that I'm used to seeing the old black trim on it, it *does* look a bit odd. From what I can tell, about 279 or so MGB GTs for 1970 (mine was built in late '69, but is technically a 1969 1/2, since some features overlap)...got black trim that year. Part of the "Leylandisation" which occurred after the BL merger in 1968. It should have happened to the '69 cars, but they'd already been approved (and were in production) by then.

Next steps include cleaning out the interior, reinstalling the carpets, and dealing with some annoying detail issues.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, November 15th, 2008
7:19 pm
Yes, I know...
...that I haven't posted in here for awhile.

Why, you ask? Well, I've been too busy driving my MG! It's been home about a month, but there's still plenty of work left to do. While it was away, I had the shop concentrate on getting it running and street legal. I was supposed to take care of the cosmetics. At least that was the plan, anyway...

However, when it came home, some of the mechanical bits had been ignored. Little things, like a leaking fuel tank, and some missing lug nuts! That's since been remedied by my own efforts, and a guy at the local Pep Boys, who is also into classics. Fixing the fuel tank took about a day, and required new lines and fittings. Once fixed though, the car no longer spluttered...and isn't stinking up the garage. Of course when I went to collect it, I just *had* to take the long way home. For a 40-year-old car, it had no problem keeping a steady 55-60mph gait in traffic. Motorways are boring though, so I took the back roads home. Something to be said about spirited driving in a cherished car.

After dealing with that, the lug nut issue was simple. Order a new set from Moss, and swap them out. Of course with that done...it highlights just how grubby the wheels and other chrome bits are! That'll get taken care of over the winter.

Sadly, once it gets colder, the car isn't coming out until Spring. Too much snow and ice to worry about, as well as some idiot hitting it. It's just as well. I still have to put the carpets and interior back in, as well as track down more goodies from Moss.

I hope the rest of you are either enjoying your rides, or working on them over the winter!

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
1:09 am
Hello. First post. I'm new to the community. Naturally, love MGs. My best friend's father had two, an A and a B, when I was growing up. And my english aunt and her daughter each have one.
Now, I'm hoping it's my turn.
Initially I was planning on getting a '71 B, but now it looks like a '74 Midget is what's available. My question to you who might read this is: would you recommend, have you yourself, do you know someone who has: driven an MG Midget year round, even in snow (I'm imagining gasps of disbelief)....AND/OR would you recommend, have you yourself, do you know someone who has: driven an MG Midget or B a significant distance, across states for example (like if I were to buy a more affordable MG here and then, per job relocation, drive it across country to a warmer climate in which using the car year round would be more practical -- or if getting a trailer would be more efficient considering the wear from a long-distance drive -- or if something else completely different is even better).
I admit my relationship with MGs, though enduring, is largely aesthetic; I don't really know anything about the mechanics, which isn't to say I'm not willing to learn (owning an MG, going by the people I've talked with, seems to neccessitate as much).
Naturally I greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions.
Thanks in advance.
Monday, March 10th, 2008
12:48 am
Hello all. I just stumbled across this community tonight and, having relevant interests, I thought I'd join. I have pretty deep roots in British cars and have my own AH Sprite which I'm currently putting together for this summer's racing season. My father also has an MG Midget which I helped him restore to a race car and serve as chief mechanic for. Aside from "spridgets" I've always wanted a Morris Mini. Well anyway.. thats me. I suppose I could be a technical resource on the A series engine if nothing else. I know the bloody thing better than the back of my own hand. lol
Saturday, March 8th, 2008
3:17 pm
It lives!
Project MG is a go! It runs, and from what I've heard, it sounds great! With all the bullshit at work, I thought it was about damn time for a happy post :)

Yep, I was over at the garage today. Imagine my surprise when my father and I went down the steps to the main workshop, opened the door...and found a Triumph TR6 sitting where my car was. (Kinda ironic, considering the good-natured MG vs. Triumph rivalry...) Chatting with the shop owner, he'd said that the paint had come in, and the car had been driven (!) to the bodyshop a short distance away. I sure hope they had it on trade plates, since it wasn't registered or insured at the time...

But, it's good to see that project *finally* at its end. That car has been off the road since '93 or so, and has been at the garage since 2004-05. But, now it's running again. There are still some little jobs to do, like put the carpets in, wire up the radio, and put the speedometer back in its hole. Those shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

As we're BSing with the shop owner, my dad noticed he had a little Morris Minor 1000 sitting in the showroom. Apparently, they'd restored this car 10 years ago for someone living in St. Thomas. Turns out that the car got damaged in shipping--when the owner relocated to one of the other islands, he'd sent the car ahead. The dumbass who put it in the container...didn't bother tying it down. No sooner did the container get picked up...when the car broke free, and slammed into the end. Took out both front fenders, grille, bumper, all the lights, etc.

Anyway, I also found out some other things were done to my car. Namely, installing a "green" cylinder head that'll allow me to run unleaded gasoline. Up until now, I'd used either leaded fuel (no longer available), or 'leaded substitute," which is truly nasty stuff. That's hard to find too. At least now I can fuel up anywhere, and not have to worry :)

That brings me up to my next point. What's up with the enviro-nuts wanting everyone to get new cars lately? Sure, new ones are nice, but they're pretty boring. Besides, last time I checked, it takes a *huge* amount of energy to make a new car in the first place. Think about it--the steel has to be made, along with the tires, engines, glass, and other bits. Why not get an older vehicle and fix it up? Reduce, reuse, recycle :) Also, the MGB GT gets better mileage than some of the "sports cars" currently on the market. Yet, it does *not* benefit from their newer technology. I'm still running a 4-speed transmission bolted to an all-iron engine. Quite a few have 6 gears to play with an an all-aluminum power plant. Kinda funny that way :)

I'm still annoyed that I wasn't the first one to drive it, but oh well. It's still going to be awesome when I finally do. And yes, it's going to be at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and British Car Day this year.

Current Mood: jubilant
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
2:59 pm
Nanjing bought?

Has anyone seen this news? It's curious, but I suppose that the 2 versions of the Rover 75/MG Zeds (Nanjing's MG7 & Shanghai's Roewe)will be the same car now.  But it leaves me wondering, what will come of the Adrmore Oklahoma MG plant?  I had skeptical notions of it anyway, but I guess it'll be a long time before we see new MG's rolling around the States again.

Sunday, October 14th, 2007
11:46 pm
I know, I know I don't update this as much as I should. I've been busy with the house, and trying to get the GT running again. It's nearly there, folks!

Right now, the plan is to get it running properly, drive it home, and then finish it. The garage that was previously working on it is losing its building. The place has been sold, and everything has to be out by February. So, they've been working on it constantly...with just the brakes left to do. Oh, and the engine runs, but not very well. The timing is off a bit, and the carbs are out of sync. After that's sorted, it's up to me to finish the interior, and any small jobs.

I can hardly wait!
Thursday, September 6th, 2007
11:45 pm
I know I don't update this as much as I should...
Now here's something to think about... I've been following the collapse of MG-Rover for obvious reasons lately. From what I understand, the company was bought by a Chinese firm, with an eye towards re-opening the closed factories, and (eventually) possible re-entry to the US market! With that said, as I'm poking around the MG page on Wikipedia I noticed that the Chinese want the famous letters to stand for "Modern Gentlemen" instead of "Morris Garages..." which MG has stood for since 1924. My thought? Are you fucking kidding me? MG was always about style, but "modern gentlemen?" Fuck that. Those cars were always sold because of their tradition and racing heritage. As for the Longbridge plant, I really hope it does reopen. MG is, and has always been, a British marque. I have nothing against the Chinese, since they are trying to keep it alive, but it's not the same. Of course if they *really* wanted to maintain tradition, they'd rebuild the plant in Abingdon...the *true* MG home.

In other news, my own MGB GT is *still* not finished. It's still at the garage, mainly because I don't have as much time to check on it, and funds are a bit slow right now. So it's going to sit while I clean up what parts are still here. Hopefully, it'll be done soon!
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
3:20 pm
I was hoping to have my '69 MGB GT at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in the British Car Day (Saturday) show this upcoming weekend. As of yet though, it's nowhere near finished. Quite a bit still has to be finished to make it "street legal." Minor things like brakes, insurance, tags, etc. Oh, and most of the interior is still in its shipping box.
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
10:02 pm
I just found the site of the former MG plant in Abington, UK. From what I can tell, the main building is still there, as are some of the smaller ones. The rest of the area, however, has since been redeveloped. Part of the problem locating the place...is that it's *reversed* in the MGB book!

If anyone's interested, the site can be Google Earthed at:

If you can't find it, the factory was located between the A34 (Trunk Road), A415 (Marcham Road), Nuffield Way, and Abingdon Road...a bit southwest of Abingdon, proper.
Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
2:57 pm
Midget Progress
I've been making good progress with finalizing my little car. I've you've got time to read, and are interested what can be done (maybe not the right way to do it) check out the progress on my project:

Each image takes you into a section, and each image within the section can pop up to show you a larger view.
Monday, November 20th, 2006
11:11 pm
Anyone still out there? Must be having the same issues as I have. I finally got back to work on the body work of my B last nigh and again tonight. This blankity blank house has been taking up all my spare time.... that and my job. Gawd I love working for a non-profit. But... I am determined that my little car be completed and not sold off in parts because " I didn’t have the time to work on it".

Current Mood: determined
Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
10:12 pm
Well, I was skimming my Eastwood tools catalog and noticed that they have these copper spoons to help weld closed holes in metal for $29.99. Theory being that the weld will not stick to the copper. I was pondering ordering them to back the boot lid when I weld in the holes where the luggage rack used to be mounted. Right, well I have these Canadian pennies that aren’t worth a cent. So, I braced one on the back of the boot and welded one of the holes closed. Then released the brace and the now distorted penny fell right off leaving the now filled hole. I know... such a small thing.... but I was thrilled and that it didn’t cost me a cent...proceeded to down a ice cold Negra Medelo.

Current Mood: accomplished
Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
2:20 pm
Monday I was under the MG cutting the jack support away, went I felt a piece of metal land inside my goggles. I didn’t thing much about it until Tuesday at work my right eye started turning red and really bugging me. I tried using the eye was station and eye wash solution to flush this little flake off of the cornea area of my eye. Nothing worked. So, Wednesday morning I call Kaiser and ask to make an appointment to come in. I was transferred to a nurse who asked me a few questions and then she said, "Come in now". Gawd I love having Kaiser back. Anywho, the doc numbed my eye and took a needle and flicked the metal loose from my cornia. I wasnt sure if it was the anastasia or the fact that the metal was dislodged, but man did that fell much better. Now, customers at work probably think that I am stoned sitting in my office with the lights out wearing sun glasses.

One more entry into my self inflicted injury diary.

Current Mood: irritated
Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
12:27 pm
MG's new Chinese parent company has announced that they plan on restarting car production in England (former Longbridge MG-Rover plant). Hopefully, they'll start things up in 2007.


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As if that wasn't enough...they've planned to build a factory in the US! Holy FUCK, Batman!


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If they'd build the cars here, who knows, maybe I'd get one as a companion to my 1969 MGB GT. For those who don't know, MGs were never made here, and the last ones came in 1980. MG-Rover continued to stay away from the US, even though various MG-badged cars were sold in Europe in the 1980s and '90s. What was weird about that, is that the car was supposedly on offer in Mexico and Canada, but not the US--even though we had the lion's share of MGB production. Go figure.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
3:55 pm
Yesterday, some MG goodness came from both Moss and Victoria British. The carpet set and door rails are still on backorder though. However, all the other stuff arrived yesterday--a undercarpet insulation set, the panels (door cards, kick panels, the panels that go behind the doors), plus a spare tire cover (kinda pointless, since it hides under a wooden panel on a GT, but whatever :p Also in the package of goodies was an Original MGB book, a book to tune the SU carbs, along with the chrome strips that go inside the grille.

Flipping through the Original MGB book, I still wasn't able to find out more info about my car. I do know that it was built in October of 1969 as a '70. It's technically a 1969 1/2, since it seems to have features of both years--like many manufacturers then, MG tended to use components until they ran out, then subsituting a new part in its place.

One thing that bugs me about this car, is that I remember reading that the side trim (along with that around the rear windows, plus the "B GT" on the rear hatch) was painted black by the factory...but I can't remember where! From what I remember, this was only done to about 200 or so cars, and very few of them still have it as most restorers go for the "shiny" look. In fact, my own car nearly lost this feature years ago--when it was repainted the first time, my father almost had the paint removed...only to be told it was correct by the bodyshop. Since I'm currently striking out in all the major MGB books, I think a call to British Motor Heritage to run the VIN is in order...

As if that wasn't enough, some of the old interior bits are now in the trash. Both kick panels, door cards, and sun visors were too far gone to keep. I'm not about to half-ass this car--if I'd keep this crap, it would look awful against the new parts. However, before trashing the old parts, I made sure to remove the hardware. I saved the little plastic plugs that hold the door cards, the brackets from the door rails, and most of the bolts that hold things in place. I will, however, have to replace some of the plastic plugs--they're somewhat fragile and I damaged a few trying to remove them.
Friday, June 16th, 2006
2:22 pm
Car stuff!
This is kinda looooong!

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Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
1:55 pm
Is anyone here on teh Spridget Webring?

If so, how long did it take you to get accepted? I signed up, put their code on my website, and ahve been waiting over a month to be activated.
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