If you need convincing how important it is to listen to your car, with all your senses, then this may convince you.
Webbing-style axle rebound straps currently available from Moss Europe, much cheaper than having them shipped from America. Current MGOC rubber straps split the first time they were asked to take the weight of the axle, despite signs of reinforcing.
Another update on VHIs and MOT exemption. This indicates the 8 point rule is being dropped, and VHIs that have been substantially modified only need an MOT, and that only while the modifications themselves are less than 30 years old. Also following consultation the first MOT test is to remain at three years, and not be delayed to four as had been proposed.
MOT exemption: The document on Vehicles of Historical Interest (VHI): Substantial Change Guidance has been updated. It looks like substantial suspension and axle changes, V8 conversions and even 4-cylinder over-bores will not be exempt from MOT testing, may be subject to a registration change, maybe even a Q-plate.
Fuel gauge senders: One version was used for just a few months from October 64 to March 65 and is either unobtainable or costs £180 for a Jaguar version. The earlier Jaeger sender screw-attached sender fits the tank but reverses the operation of the gauge, but that can be corrected by the use of a commercially available electronic module, details here.
An update to changing the Taxation class to Historic (for free road tax) and the use of 'black and white' number plates. However there is conflicting information from the DVLA on whether all applications have to be done via Swansea, or only those where the first registration date is not in the same year as the date of manufacture, and whether insurance and MOT documents have to be sent or not.
Daddy or chips? Or when putting a car back on the road do you take it off SORN and then get an MOT? Or get an MOT and then take it off SORN? The question relates to getting picked up by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment.
Bosch cube-type plug-in relays: Be aware that there are two different terminal layouts, so if yours plug into sockets and you have need to replace them compare the old and new carefully. If you fit the wiring connectors directly onto the relay spades individually then you still need to check the terminal numbers, don't just swap them wire for wire.
Updated the section on jump-starting by adding a section on a small, easily portable, but high capacity jump pack from British Motor Heritage.
A possible protection against your battery cable shorting to the body and destroying the car, by fitting a fused battery connector.
Information on bad electrical connections has been expanded, and diagnosing them and the use of multi-meters and test-lamps has been added to the Electrical section at Fault Diagnosis.
An explanation of inrush currents, and how they damage switches - particularly modern brake-light switches, and also cause the visibly longer illumination time of incandescent lights compared to LED lights.
Another update on ethanol in UK fuel. 95 octane can change to E10 without the pump being labelled from the end of this year. There is a government proposal repeat proposal, to make it a legal requirement for Super Unleaded to be restricted to E5 until the end of 2016.
For a long time I've wondered whether it would be possible to build a test rig for the thermal instrument voltage stabiliser, to measure it's actual average voltage output. Then someone said his gauges were reading low, and the same with a replacement stabiliser, and wondered what he could do about it. Which prodded me into producing this.
Additional MOT tests have been advisory from 1st Jan 2012, but will be failures from 1st April. Not all the new ones are applicable to classic MGs.
Mid-Feb moved house - less bedrooms, more garaging (room for both MGBs, work bench and work space plus loads of racking), plus an octagonal paved area in the back garden and the second part of the Postcode contains my initials :o)
I couldn't publish the accounts below without also having one of the amazing story of Terry and his rebuild, I've been nagging him to write one, unsuccessfully, so write one myself (which does have Terry's approval).
Changed the site structure to remove frames, which seem to have gone out of favour, having noticed that Chrome (for example) handles them in a completely different way to IE8. This should enable users to save individual pages to Favourites as well as me being able to publish links direct to chapters here and elsewhere. I've also added floating navigation buttons to the main section pages.
Coil polarity and how to determine it, of particular interest when converting a car from positive earth to negative earth, see Ignition.
Replaced the link cable with the correct armoured type, see Electrics.
How to get UK MOT status and history of a vehicle you are considering purchasing, see Registrations.
Following a question on a mailing list about the correct orientation of the yokes on the prop-shaft (Haynes has two drawings showing them in different alignments but only one is correct) I decided to repeat the information shown in the factory workshop manual, which is much clearer, see Propshaft. However while doing so I realised that while both sources emphasise the prop-shaft must be refitted to the gearbox and axle flanges as before which is good practice but not really necessary if the prop-shaft is correctly balanced, neither states the importance of keeping all four yokes in correct alignment, which will affect balance. This is also covered.
Information on earthing of chrome bumper number plate lights has been added, see Electrics.
After wondering what condition Vee's bearings and crank are like after about 80k in my ownership and 200k overall I finally gear myself up to investigate them, see Engine.
The section on relays has been expanded, more info on original rectangular and cylindrical types as well as after-market types, see Electrics.
Coming up to Spring service time, and having read so much confusing information on engine oils and ZDDP, I decide to investigate. See Engine.
The trials and tribulations of the ZS Variable Intake System. Oil from the crankcase breather can get into the unit, cause the butterflies to jam, which breaks the linkages and burns out the motors. Although my VIS system appears to be working I do have some oil in the throttle body, so first step is to fit an oil trap/filter to prevent that, see ZS Bits.
Added information on the various water pump types over the years, see .
I've added some photos and further description about the heater unit and its controls, see Heater.
Another 'ins and outs' funnily enough, this time the direction of oil flow through the V8 oil pump, see Engine.
The 'ins and outs' of the clutch slave cylinder, see Clutch.
Added some information on relative capacities of 6v and 12v batteries, and 12v batteries for use in a 6v space. See Electrics and 'Batteries and Charging' and scroll down to the update.
Found a photo in Clausager that clearly shows the heater 'cold air flap' having three open positions as both mine do, and not just two as everyone else seems to claim - Heater.
A table of fuel gauge and sender types over the years and markets has been added to Fuel.
A description of battery types - lead-acid, calcium, gel and advanced glass mat - and some of the benefits and pitfalls of each has been added to Electrics.
Slow cranking? Diagnose a bad engine earth strap from the drivers seat - see Electrics.
Information on replacing the automatic gearbox kickdown cable at Gearbox.
Information on the electric temperature and oil pressure gauges at Electrics.
Some advice on where to install an aerial in the front wing at Body.
An examination of wiper system part number changes and which side parking took place at Electrics.
Further information on spring rates and deflections has been added to Suspension.
An update on the arrangements for connecting the centre horn-push of 1970 and earlier cars has been added to Electrics.
Information has come to light regarding a change in date coding of Triplex glass in January 1969, see Miscellaneous.
Information on fuel pump fittings and mounting arrangements for both chrome and rubber bumper cars has been added to Fuel.
Information on electric cooling fan orientation and direction of rotation has been added to Cooling.
Some thoughts on pinking and the possible differences between high compression on its audibility and damaging effects has been added to Ignition.
Information on the V8 distributor has been added to Ignition.
Information on radiator caps, and a lost-coolant recovery system has been added to Cooling.
More information on the correct orientation of the handbrake levers inside the drums has been added to Brakes. In brief, it looks like those on banjo axles are the other way round/up to those on Salisbury/tube axles, but the manuals and some web sites only show the banjo orientation. If Salisbury/tube axle levers are orientated as per the banjo levers it causes problems with handbrake operation.
Replacement of the wiper motor brushes, and a consequential problem. See Electrics.
A description of the physical operation of the indicator/turn switch has been added to Electrics.
A comparison of distributor rotors, and an explanation of why some currently available items have a short life and how to spot and hence avoid them. See Ignition.
Is your folded hood/top too high to get the tonneau sticks and/or tonneau/hood cover fastened? If so have a look at Body.
Information on orientation of the handbrake levers inside the rear drums and potential problems with replacement levers has been added to Brakes.
Pictures of the effect of a later roadster screen glass in an earlier have been added to Body and Fittings.
The perils of getting air filter gaskets and/or filter bases upside down, Fuel.
How cleaning up caliper pistons changed strongly pulling to one side under only normal braking and an MOT failure, to only very slightly pulling under heavy braking and an MOT pass with the expenditure of only a couple of hours effort, Brakes.
Added description and pictures of UK 78 (HIF) carb return springs to Fuel.
Changed the clutch on a friends 78, read the full gory story in Clutch and 'Clutch Change'.
Following a question on just how the curious 4-cylinder chrome bumper choke works (it has a fixed inner and a moving outer), I've added a section to Fuel and 'Choke Control' on the carb end of this type.
Information on SU carb ports added following someone's problems of overflow and the possibility it was reverse connection of fuel supply and vent ports, easily confused on HIF types, see Fuel.
Information on relay types used in the MGB over the years, and replacing them with modern items, see Electrics.
Hard on the heels of reports on the BBS of problems with clutch release bearings a fellow owner had one fail. The problem bearings seem to have the carbon ring pinned into the casting, instead of being bonded as previously. More information at Clutch.
More information on throttle cable fitting and pedal travel setting has been added to Fuel.
Information on changing the oils in the rear axle and gearbox/overdrive, see Rear Axle or Gearbox.
Changed the V8 rear springs following the breakage on the Snowdon Run. Half-expected to get the same problems that so many others seem to report with new springs being too arched/hard, but no. See Steering and Suspension.
Pictures and description added for the later two-speed wiper motor connector block and park switch. See Electrics.
4th July 2007
After lusting after a ZS 180 since their launch in 2001, a late 2004 face-lift 4-door in blue comes to the attention of a relative in the trade and becomes mine today. This one really does have my name on it, the three last letters of the registration are my initials - albeit in reverse order.
Head gasket replacement on a Midget 1500, see Midget Bits
My Supercar driving experience in a Lamborghini Gallardo, Jaguar XK 4.2, Aston Martin DB9, Porsche 997 Carrera, and Ferrari 550 Maranello!
After 17 years with Bee and 14 of Vee having no problem removing the rear axle level plugs, this year I could not remove Vee's, so made an adapter for my socket set. See 'Rear Axle'.
"How the heck do I get to that aerial mounted in the front wing?", see 'Body'.
The trials and tribulation of the V8 tubular manifolds and gaskets, see 'Engine'.
Description and schematics of the four types of seat-belt warning systems at 'Electrics'.
Description and schematics of the four types of brake balance and handbrake warning circuits at 'Brakes'.
A list of tach reference numbers by year, chassis number and market at 'Electrics'.
Greatly expanded and updated listing of Amazon products. Includes new pages for T-series and earlier, Magnettes, Metro, Maestro, and Montego, ZR, ZS, and ZT, general MG items, and new sections for audio/visual, toys and miscellaneous items including parts. See 'Bookcase'.
A comparison on carb and manifold vacuum sources, showing that any distributor can be used with either. See 'Ignition'.
Created a section on the starter motor including narrative on model variations, mechanical problems, modern geared starters, and including the previously published schematics and narrative on jump-starting. See 'Electrics'.
A very simple way of supporting the GT spare wheel cover while getting tools and stuff in and out of the storage spaces underneath. See Body.
Anyone tried Tesco 99 octane with 5% Bio Ethanol yet? See Fuel.
Schematics for single- and dual-speed heater fans added at 'Electrics' under 'Schematics' and 'Heater Fan'.
Make your own rear brake cylinder E-clip fitting tool, see 'Brakes'.
Having responded to a question on a bulletin board and a personal email about lubrication of leaf springs I've added a section to 'Steering and Suspension'.
Ditto on adjusting wing and door mirrors, see 'Body'.
Having responded to a question on the mailing list about how the SU carb works I've added a description and some simplified diagrams to the section on setting them up. See 'Fuel'.
Now it's winter and I have time to do one of those 'when I can get a round tuit' jobs I have changed the distributor curve graphs so that those for the 4-cylinder engine are now all to the same horizontal and vertical scales, and the thumbnails on the main page are miniatures of the main graph. This allows you to see at a glance from the main page how two curves compare. See 'Ignition'.
Looks like there may be fourth variation of wiper motor and electrics on early GTs, info added to 'Electrics'.
Added some pictures to the section of folding the roadster hood/top at 'Body'.
Replacing accelerator cable, pedal box seals in 'Fuel System'.
Added a section on converting from dynamo to alternator in 'Electrics'.
There have occasionally been questions about how ignition switches are wired, especially when changing them and the original connections have been lost, so I have created a set of these at 'Electrics'.
I have also shown how to add a brake light switch relay as there seem to be a lot of examples of premature failure of replacement switches. See 'Brakes'.
Following recent additional information on the wiring of electric cooling fans for both 4-cylinder cars and V8s I have updated the schematics and notes in 'Electrics' under 'Schematics' and 'Electric Cooling Fans'.
Also added information on how to add a relay to the 4-cylinder circuit in 'Electrics' under 'Schematics' and 'Electric Cooling Fans'.
Had the roadster screen crack on the Lincolnshire Lanes run last month, and the fun of getting it replaced can be seen on the 'Body' page under 'Roadster Screen'.
As the problem of water getting into the cabin from a blocked air intake drain crops up quite frequently, and we are approaching autumn, I've added some images of how to locate and clear the drain on the 'Heater' page under 'Air Box'.
12th August 2004
Not spent much time here lately, just bits and pieces, but I have added more classic car hire sites and a new section for children's pedal and electric cars on the 'MG Links' page, near the bottom.
19th March 2004
A comment on whether to use resistor-type spark plugs or not has been added to the 'Ignition System'.
23rd February 2004
Speedo serial numbers and applications on the 'Miscellaneous' page now show TPMs as supplied by a company specialising in the restoration of original instruments and the production of bespoke instruments.
11th February 2004
Removing tree-sap from paintwork and cleaning rubber bumpers on the 'Body' page.
A major new section on the heater and its foibles at Heater.
Tightening and slackening exhaust clamps can be a bit of a chore having to get two spanners in there, one to undo the nut and the other to hold the bolt still. The special bolts described in Engine allow one-handed tightening.
21st November 2003
Handbrake cables stretch over time and this is compensated for by the adjuster nut where the cable joins the handbrake lever. But eventually you can run out of adjustment and it is a pity to scrap the cable if it is otherwise sound. A shortener is described in Brakes.
6th November 2003
After having two V8 vacuum capsules fail because of petrol contamination, and replacing them at great expense, I fabricated a separation chamber in an attempt to stop fuel running down the pipe from the carb. See 'V8 Vacuum Capsule' in Ignition.
Fabricating and fitting longer shackles for the rear springs, and more information on correct (and incorrect) ride height, has been added to the 'Steering and Suspension' page under 'Ride Height'.
1st July 2003
Differences between D and LH overdrives including a schematic and description of the D-type vacuum switch and relay have been added to the 'Gearbox' page, and schematics of all types have been added to the 'Electrics' page under 'Schematics'.
27th June 2003
Differences between early and later fuel gauges have been added to the 'Electrics' page under 'Gauges'.
A description of the brake test diode and the problems it causes has been added to the 'Electrics' page under 'Wont Start'.
Electrical diagnosis of the overdrive has been added to the 'Gearbox' page.
An opinion on whether to stick with twin-6v batteries in your chrome bumper or change to a single 12v and the use of plastic battery boxes, and how to connect a battery charger.
Advice on jump-starting.
A louder audible warning for the indicators.
17th January 2003
Added detailed tables of wiring changes over the years. See 'Wiring Colours and Fuses' on the 'Electrics' page.
4th January 2003
Adding a relay to the Heated Rear window, which simultaneously improves its performance as well as stopping it from making the indicators flash slower. See 'Heated Rear Window' on the 'Electrics' page.
More links added to the Miscellaneous page on: the UK MOT; servo overhaul; tach repair and upgrade; distributor reference and tuning, look for the flash.
1st January 2003
As a result of a faulty distributor cap on the V8 I got some unusual indications on a timing light, see 'Timing Lights' on Ignition.
31st December 2002
Three upcoming changes to obtaining replacement number plates and Tax Discs on the Registrations page.
As the Spanners section has been completely restructured all the old links below have been changed to take you to the top of the relevant section rather than to the item itself. A link to the item should appear in the list at the top of the section.
Another update to the Unleaded information, including two new additives, advice from the Automobile Association and the locations of UK filling stations selling 4-star leaded - yes, the good old stuff.
An expanded description of ignition theory, with more information on the purpose and effects of the distributor capacitor or condenser, including graphs of LT and HT voltage waveforms showing the effects of the capacitor.
An excellent site-search facility hosted by FreeFind (no connection blah blah financial or otherwise blah blah I just like it). You could have the same search facility on your own site in just a few minutes.
Schematics for circuits in the 'Electrics' section including ignition, starting, gauges, indicators and hazard warning signals, others will be added in the future. The availability of a schematic is indicated by this graphic: .
22nd November 1999
The theory and practice of the Ignition Warning Light, including general charging issues, and the special conditions that apply to late cars equipped with the ignition relay.
29th October 1999
Updated information and a warning on unleaded information now that 4-star leaded has started to disappear from forecourts.
Use the Site Map option on the main side-bar to help you see what is where.
6th August 1999
Get an EMail notification of when this page changes, i.e. when some new feature has been added or an existing one changed. Enter your EMail above and click the 'Mind-it' button.
21st July 1999
A link to "Cars And Stuff", a superb site packed with factual information on speed cameras (or not), engine oils, snakeoils etc. plus humour - "motorway mayhem", daft place names, car modifications we could do without.
Following a question on the MG BBS, what will hopefully become a growing resource on Ride Height.
On my Registrations page, UK-style plates for North American cars.
An Index facility to help you find that techy bit that you are sure you have read but just can't find. Update - now deleted, use the Search option instead.
17th June 1999
Engine mounts. A particular issue concerning V8s - it is possible to position the mounts incorrectly which alters the location of the engine and causes problems with the crankshaft pulley rubbing on the anti-roll bar, the sump resting on the front crossmember and wearing through, and also re-fitting the gearbox crossmember. Also contains advice on replacing the rubber mounts used in V8s and the later four-cylinder cars.
Run out of MG stuff to buy your SO? Well at least wrap that nice pair of socks in some MG wrapping paper from Morris Manor Collectibles. Also greetings cards, models, art representing many classic British "Trains, Planes and Automobiles".
26th April 1999
Information on the first four petrol Lead Replacement products to be given a degree of approval by FBHVC/MIRA in the UK.
A link to the K&N Filters UK site, which unlike the USA site contains details of suppliers worldwide.
A link to the Autodata Publications site who sell a booklet that claims to have information on what modifications each type of engine requires to run on unleaded - Unleaded Petrol Information Manual, Ref. 89-1630, at UKP7.50.