PO BOX 52336 SAXONWOLD 2132 JOHANNESBURG
Editor TOM KIRKLAND Home: 011 391-3459 Cell: 082 445 6770 Fax: 011 391 3459 ask for fax. E-mail; email@example.com
Chairman WILLIAM KELLY E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Vice Chairman CLIVE WINTERSTEIN Home: 011 476 7182 Work: 011 237 4444 Cell: 083 795 0000 Fax: 011 237 4445 E-mail: email@example.com
Communications Co-Opted Member KEVIN LOADER Home: 011 678 3762 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Register Secretary NORMAN EWING Home: 011 728 5536 Cell: 083 654 5433 E-mail: email@example.com
Regalia To be announced shortly
Membership Convenor JEANNE ERASMUS Home: 011 888 5364 Cell: 084 261 4427 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary CLIFFORD SMYTH Home: 011 462 0322 Cell: 082 898 9772 E-mail: email@example.com
Marketing PAUL HUGHES Office: 011 465 6456 Cell: 083 320 5249 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer/Membership Secretary TONY MAYBANK Home: 011 678 9267 E-mail: email@example.com
A Natter & Noggin is normally held on the first Thursday of each month at 8pm. The Old Edwardian Club, Houghton For more details see Motoring Calendar in this issue of “Thumbs Up!” Club Runs, are normally held on the second Sunday of each month. AFFILIATED TO THE MG CAR CLUB - ABINGDON-ON-THAMES - ENGLAND
EDITORIAL Wednesday 13 March your Committee held its first meeting under William’s leadership. It was handled very efficiently, and I felt we had dealt with a lot of important matters during the evening, by 10.30 we were on our way home. All the while William was listening and tapping away on his keyboard, making notes, and discussing matters on hand. I noted that these were obviously methods used by the younger generation, giving the feeling of confidence and efficiency. Well done William. After the noggin on the 4 of April, we have Angela’s Picnic on the 7th. This will be slightly different this year due to new rules and conditions imposed by the Johannesburg Council, but SAMCA are doing their best to make this another eventful and enjoyable day. Then it will be time to ‘spit and polish’ all those treasures of yours which will be proudly displayed at the Northern’s Show Day, coming up in June. Other events which I must mention are the Zimbabwe Tour, The Polana Rally/Tour, then the Maritzburg Cars in the Park, followed by the Scottburgh Classic Car Show, and of course the MG Drakensberg Weekend away. So, all in all - a very busy year lies ahead of us. Remember all your MGs will be well used over the year. Do not forget to attend to the regular servicing and maintenance, before you embark on these adventures.
CONTENTS Your Committee
“The Chairman Chirps”
Youth Project - Kyalami race Report
March Run - Red Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Diamond Run to Kimberley
Norman Talks, History of National Body 14 The First MG “Maxis” Conference 2013 15 BMC B-Series MGs
Trading post; MGCC Prize Giving
MG WEBSITES Our Website: www.mgcc.co.za Our E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Other Sites worth visiting www.pistonring.org.za (Great Links) www.mg.2001.com www.fmm.co.za Www.solaschallenge.org.za/index.php?option=com...view Printed by John MacKenzie of Kalalex Business Forms & Systems (Pty) Ltd. Tel: 011 787-5620 Colour Section by Rolf Schweizer of Ultra Print.
Enjoy your MGs. 6
The Chairman Chirps William Kelly Winter is on the way once again and I for one cannot wait - the best time to have the top down, the sound of a wicked V8 in your ears and of course the smell of burning rubber as we smoke yet another BMW poser wannabe on the way to the next set of lights . . . I mentioned briefly the idea of swelling numbers in the Car Club via the social interaction of slipping an MG Car Club business card under the window wipers of that MG you see in the parking lot. We can refer them quite happily to our website which is coming along nicely, and will give anyone who visits, an insight into the Club and what we do. Perhaps more than anything, I am super pleased, and MeGa chuffed to say that we’re re-instating the Registers in the Club. We’re keeping them simple - Pre-war MGs, including T-Types and Magnettes in one lot. As, Bs and Cs with Midgets in a second lot, and Moderns in the third lot. The Registers will allow owners of similar cars to discuss them, and to give everyone the opportunity to bounce ideas about their cars off others who may have some useful input to give you. Norman is cracking on in terms of organising this, so, beware. If he starts to sidle up to you, my suggestion is to throw a bacon buttie into his path and whilst he is temporarily distracted, run like hell! Not that it will help mind you. But the Registers; it is the belief of the Committee
played an important role in Club life, and a useful one. It’s great to see them come back, and anything to get and keep more MGs on the road, is only a good thing in my humble opinion. In fact I have cobbled together my own term for it “MazinGa!” With no apologies to Dr Sheldon Cooper whatsoever, because after all he can’t even drive. The Youth Project goes from strength to strength. I am the first to admit that the lack of communication does get a little sidetracked from the fact that not everyone else is aware as you are about the Project. So I am going to spend time communicating what the YP is up to and been up to more specifically. You will see our first race report back within these pages. Dave Holt has realised what an undertaking managing the YP is. My hat off to him, because he is performing an incredible task for us. It is a two way street of course. To that end we’re going to organise an outing to one of the races where the youth will be participating. It would be great to see as many MGs, and members, as possible joining us for the race meeting - and we can occupy a goodly corner of the stand, set up camp, have a quiet drink and a bite to eat, as we watch the cars belt around the race track. Stand by for details of when and where - it will certainly be an Action Packed Day out!
Scottburgh Classic Car Show Sunday 21st July 2013 For more Information go to www.scottburghclassiccarshow.co.za/ Weekend Tour departs Fri 19th & returns Mon 22nd July 2013 Book at Blue Marlin Hotel for 20th & 21st @ R235 pp per night Book direct: www.bluemarlin.co.za or Tel.039 976-0971 E-mail email@example.com
Kyalami 16 March - Race Report cars. Apart from the drivers, Steven K and Suds (Bhagved’s brother) were present, and helped with work on the cars. I gave permission to leave early in one case, but will insist that in future that all drivers are present to assist with packing up/loading of cars at the end of the event unless there are very special circumstances. RESULTS: Marque Cars Bhagved drove the BGT coming 9th overall, with best times of 2:40:6 in heat 1 and 2:43:1 in heat 2. Brendan drove the A coming 10th overall with best times of 2:39:6 in heat 1, and 2:37:3 in heat 2. Pre 66/68 SGT This was run with Pre 77/84 SGT. Cameron drove the A and achieved best times of 2:16:9 and 2:16:5. He was narrowly beaten (by 3 10th of a second) into 2nd overall in class E, having been overtaken before the start line in both heats by the winner. Stephen B drove the 1st heat with a best time of 2:37:4 and Gavin managed a best time of 2:31:6 in heat 2 before he spun off in the 4th lap, and was unable to continue as a tyre was off the rim. They were the only entrants in Class F. OTHER: Both cars ran well, but, with the following::: It was very difficult to get the pistons to retract into the calipers during the change of brake pads on the A. Perhaps this was only a result of heat build up? Cameron will check/service them before next event. :: The A’s brake reservoir cap was removed during the pad change and I take full responsibility/blame for not checking that it was replaced during the rush to bet the car to the pre-race paddock. The results could have been unpleasant, and the error was only discovered when Cameron came in after heat 1 complaining of “oil” in the foot well. We had experienced this before when the reservoir cap had not been properly tightened, so we knew one of the possible sources of the “oil”. The cap had been placed on the shelf next to the reservoir, and was lost during the heat. We fashioned a replacement which lasted satisfactorily with no further spillage. Hopefully another cap can be located, and that a replacement of the master cylinder is avoided. (Continued on page 20)
PREPARATION; 1. The BGT was prepared at Emgee, under Scott’s guidance by Stephen B, Gavin, Steven K, Michael and (part time) Cameron. 2. The A was prepared at Nick’s by Stephen B, Gavin, Steven and Michael. 3. Many thanks to Cameron and Scott for dealing with driver training before the event. Cameron trained Brendon, Steven K and Michael at Zwartkops on Wednesday 6 March and Scott trained Bhagved, Steven K, Michael and his (Scott’s) goddaughter, Jessica as well as checking Cameron at Midvaal on Saturday 10 March. Track entry fees paid for by the YP totaled R850, and there was a petrol cost of about R1200 after considering the use of fuel left in the jerry cans after the previous event. Those being trained paid their own entry fees at the tracks.
THE EVENT: It had been the intention to enter both cars in the Marque Cars, and the Endurance event with Brendon and Bhagved (both having sat out a number of events until trained) to each drive both heats in Marque Cars. Only the A was to be entered in pre 66/68 SGT with Cameron driving both heats, as he had put in lots of work on the cars (mainly the A) and had not had much driving due to breakdown etc. The plan was to have Cameron and Ryan share the BGT in the Endurance to see what the car could achieve, and have Stephen B and Gavin (whose times at Kyalami are very similar) to share the A. It turned out that the apparent Endurance event was an error on the entry form and I therefore told Ryan that he would not get a drive this time but that he and I would chat about his future in the YP. As a result, the cars were both entered for both Marque Cars and Pre 66/68 SGT. The organisers kindly granted us a 50% discount on the entry fees. Qualifying was done on the track which was fairly wet after light rain (first wet qualifying at Kyalami in about 20 years per Peter Lindenberg), and was therefore pretty slippery. Our drivers were suitably cautious, but there were still a couple of spins, and qualifying times were therefore pretty slow. Actual races were run in the dry, although the track was still a bit damp for the first heat of Marque
March MG Run with a Difference The run on March 10 was different; a ride on a ‘Big Red Bus’. The run had been advertised but perhaps did not appeal to many as we only used our MGs to get from home to the Gold Reef Casino, the rest of the run being a ‘hop on hop off’ tour of Johannesburg. Ten stalwart members of the club and two visitors came along, and we all thoroughly enjoyed this fledgling concept to the Jo’burg tourist industry. Those who have travelled on ‘Big Red Busses’ in foreign cities will know how the concept works, with the top deck being the popular vantage point. This tour has 12 stops, where you can get off and on to take in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of Joburg, something most of us are not familiar with. Being a Sunday, the streets were quiet and some areas of the city surprisingly clean. Taking the tour on a weekday, would have a different feel, more vibrant and very busy. The first stop we all opted to get off at was Newtown. Clive and Tanya went off to the Africa Museum and the rest of us to ‘Sci Bono Discovery Centre’ (pensioners getting in for free. With the next bus coming along in 40 minutes, we had to spend our time well. ‘Sci Bono” is a fascinating science museum where young and old can have fun, as it is very much a ‘hands on’ museum. It is worth a return visit, especially with children. The other exhibit visited was the James Hall Museum; the comments were that it needed some revitalisation though. The whole tour takes two hours, if one just stays on the bus and listens to the very informative commentary. A bonus for those with hearing aids (three members that day) is that they have a device that fits over the hearing aid so the commentary can be heard as normal. The tour ended at the casino, and we all opted to have lunch there at the ‘Ocean Basket’. A bonus is that you get back three vouchers to the value of R150 to use at the casino and Gold Reef City, plus if you retain your tickets, there are discounts using the same bus company in other cities around the world! This is a tour we highly recommend, not only for visitors to the city, but for locals who may not know what lies on the other side of the Nelson Mandela Bridge.
By Jenny Loader, Pictures by Kevin
Arrival of the red bus at the Gold Reef City Casino bus stop
Welcome to the Sci-Bono science museum in Newtown
Bus stop with timetable 10
A quiet city scene on Sunday at midday
The â€œDiamondâ€? Run to Kimberley Some folk met at the BP Oasis before the rendezvous at the Sasol garage south of Soweto with the rest of the convoy
Lionel Hillary (CMH), Norman Ewing, Derrick Bishop (CMH), Cornus & Crystal van den Berg together with their sons (Charl & Cornel) & grandchild 11
The “Diamond” Run to Kimberley By Norman, Sadly the forty originally going on the run dropped dramatically to 24 as a result of ill health, work commitments and sadly the passing of Bruce Dixon’s sister. It was agreed to leave earlier than planned, and we all met up at a Sasol garage on the Potch road. Off we went for our first pit stop in Klerksdorp where Cornus van der Berg and family at Auto Den, an MG Dealership, less than a week old, put on the most incredible welcoming spread. Arrival at the new MG dealership in Klerksdorp This event was meant to cement friendships between the club and dealers, but this was frankly unbelievable. Coffee, tea, cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and koeksisters AND goodie bags for the journey, with w a t e r, b i l t o n g e t c FANTASTIC! I thanked them most profusely, as did Derrick Bishop and Lionel Hillary who had joined us from Morris Garages. On to Bloemhof where the original plan to please the birders didn’t work as day visitors were not allowed. So Dinner at the Kimberley Club - coffee and food. Boy, could this mob EAT! On and into the Protea at Kimberley before setting off for the evening meal at the Kimberley Club, where we MG Ewings were joined by Terry and Alan Kimberley's Horseman - the man who had aspiring Ewing negotiated to bring MG back family to South Africa.
Pics by Kevin
Fabulous meal, fabulous setting - fabulous company. The following morning we all learned that two GPSs can take you two different ways to the same target ‘hope cruise missiles understand that’! First to Dave and Wendy Rowley on the Golf Estate where the ‘boys’ all took turns at driving the new Bloodhound simulator. Ho! Ho! Then to the Battlefield where the incredible stupidity of war was so realistically displayed by an Audio Visual presentation. What a tragic and ridiculous waste. Back to town to see McGregor House and the Big Hole and then - WHAT A NIGHT! Sponsored and entertained by the Horseman family - in an open air enclosure of what was the oldest drive-in pub in the world. MaGnifico - and Derrick Bishop’s wife Joyce had flown in that afternoon to join us. To the Horsemans - Elenor of the incredible voice - Terry and Alan - Lionel and Derrick, Dave and Wendy and all those who came and REALLY ENJOYED THE EVENT - Thank you.
Thanks to Dave Rowley we got to try out the Bloodhound simulator (Dave Wheeler in the driving seat with Rudi de Groot, Doug Wickins & Dave Rowley observing)
Hentie putting the finishing touches to his MGB GT after the water pump had been replaced by Dave Wheeler & support team. Thanks to Alan Uzzel for getting the part to Kimberley in double quick time
Some of the MG crowd enjoying the entertainment in the Halfway Hotel's courtyard
You cannot "do Kimberley" without a visit to the Big Hole
Farewell to Tony & Annette Craddock as they depart for Pretoria in their mighty Midget 13
Norman - Still Talking!. . . The History behind our National Body Acoustics, being what they are at Old Eds, I got the impression I was being targeted for all sorts of things - which I accept as part of the territory, but when the tirade appeared in its entirety in print, I could not let the tasteless and ill-informed attack on our National President go unchallenged. It has been customary since our first president, George Tuck, was proposed and elected (George Tuck was the publicity manager at MG-Abingdon before the war - in 1954 he was sent to set up the BMC operations at Blackheath in the Cape, becoming Managing Director until his retirement) to invite as our guests, enabling them to meet members and enjoy the cameraderie - this is after all the ONLY club whose motto is “The Marque of Friendship”. We also used to hold Indabas over the 12 October weekend. The mother Club was formed on 12 October 1930 enabling that historic phone call in 1990 on the club’s Diamond Jubilee between George Tuck and John Thornley at the Roebuck Celebrations in England from Cintsa the only remaining survivors of that famous First MG run in 1930. THAT is the sort of heritage of which those who appreciate it are proud. When George died, Les Miller became our president and I can remember how upset the Northern Centre members were at Bela Bela when ill health prevented his presence, he attended whenever he could, until his death at the age of 95. Ralph Clarke was voted in as President at Oudtshoorn, and in spite of seriously poor health and advancing years graciously accepted our invitation to attend the Indaba in Clarens. He not only attended but INVOLVED himself in the d’Etat judging and the MGB photo shoot at Golden Gate (the reason why Brian Woodhams was late) and incidentally, he paid for himself and his wife Jan IN FULL.
Saturday was a long jam packed day, and quite apart from the Council Meeting he was required at the Prize Giving LATE that night, which was more important, to present awards, and collect the Nuffield Trophy. So yet again, ignorance of facts and traditions, makes for unnecessary hurtful comments. The National Body was formed at Pine Lake in 1978. It has run without incident since then. Each Centre is represented by TWO delegates. As Pat’s ill health caused me to miss Oudtshoorn - my first in 38 years, since the first Indaba, I requested Judie Schwiezer, who represented me at Oudtshoorn to be present. My National Chairman’s Report was printed in Thumbs Up! If that is lambasting then I am using the wrong dictionary. The National Body has never needed to promote the club nationally; each centre has proved very capable of doing that for themselves. I have a Jo’burg scrap book, full of paper cuttings most in COLOUR about our local runs and events to the Zoo, Gold Reef City, Icicle Rallies, Bapsfontein, Kyalami, as well as dozens of TV news tapes - ALL FREE. No need for funds. The National Body decided however that we should bring MG motoring personalities to Indabas, thus enabling local members to meet their heroes, and those who were just names or pictures in books - so, we brought out Ferrari Formula One Champion and Fastest man in an MG, Phil Hill and family; MG author and chair of the New England T Register, Dick Knudson; MG author Mike Allison; Bonneville and pre war racing mechanic Henry Stone and wife Winnie; Jean ‘Kimber’ Cook, daughter of Cecil Kimber; MGA author Bob Vitrikas; designer of the MGB Don Hayter; Designer of the MGF Gerry McGovern; MG Enthusiast editor and publisher,
The First “MAXIS” Conference 2013
Martyn Wise; MG Author Peter Thornley; famous American Aviation Artist Jim Dietz; Safety Fast! Editor Paddy Wilmer, MG Author and works mechanic Brian Moylan - AND fastest man in the world ANDY GREEN enabling hundreds and hundreds of local members to make friends!! THAT is what the National Body has done - and R10,000 was handed to the South Cape Centre for their Indaba. The Council meets every two years, no one else saw any need for balance sheets to be presented every year. Tony Cradock has been National Treasurer for over 25 years, and HE DID NOT RESIGN! What he did do, was to say that with advancing years, he now wanted someone else to take over the reins at the NEXT INDABA. Thank you Mr Cradock. Over the years (long before the internet) we have phoned around - two people DO NOT decide on the National Funds - there are TWO signatures. By his own admission this was the first meeting he had ever attended! And he wonders about the integrity of the National Body? Oh Please! After the 1986 Indaba it became obvious to the Johannesburg Committee we would have to get a kitty together for the entertainment of overseas visitors, now keen to visit us - as members felt this should NOT come out of club funds. To this end I got the ball rolling, by going through my MG Room, getting valuable duplicates of MG Collectables - books, toys, posters which we auctioned - yes, we’ve been doing that for years! We called it the Overseas Visitors Fund. When I stood as Chairman it stood at over R20,000 and was used as envisaged. Sometime later when I was back as Chairman it was R16,000 but somehow after that it was ‘merged’ into the club total. So when a request to get funds to entertain the Aussies was received, they were told it was not a National event as Cape Town and South Cape were also entertaining the Aussies, but that Jo’burg had a Special fund for that - and hey ho R16,000 reappeared by MaGic. Octagonally,
Norman was invited to attend the first Conference of the new CMH MG Dealerships. Although we helped launch MG at Bryanston over eighteen months ago, this was the first Conference to be held with some sixty dealers participating from all over the country. The venue was a place I had never heard of, Zebra Lodge, 30 kms north of Pretoria, well stocked with all sorts of buck, giraffe and zebra. The Conference was kicked off at 10am by Lionel Hillary who introduced Mark Conway, who said he understood the pain the dealers were feeling as only one version - petrol, manual - of the MG6 had been available - but promised a bright future, as they were in for the long haul and had signed until 2017. Alan Horsman then gave a potted history of the dealings, and Craig Lanham-Love, the future vision of both MG and MAXIS. This was followed by an organogram then calling on Gabor and Clifton to talk through the technical training, and warranty. What was interesting was that although CMH - and they were all CMH dealers - the MG Warranty claims, car by car were the lowest claims in the entire organisation. After lunch a dealer map and future plans - as well as slides of the future models were revealed by Alan, Derrick and Lionel. ABSA then gave a presentation to the dealers on financing, followed by Sean Singleton, who gave a really funny presentation on service excellence - this guy is great, no one will argue with a 120kg 6ft 5 OKE! Then it was me! To talk about my passion for MG - the history of the cars and why I got them involved in Bloodhound, as MG history really was record breaking. A glorious game drive ended the daylight hours. I had asked Gary Chapman to join me, which he did enthralling the dealers with that glorious MGB. This was followed by Dinner and Dealer Awards in the ‘Shebeen’ with Elenor and Alan entertaining. The following morning saw an election of a Dealer Council of 4 and the presentation of new products, MG3 and MG6 diesel, followed by the Bloodhound experience. Craig closed the proceedings at 11am.
From best-selling sports cars to lumbering diesel saloons, the B-series has done it all Extract from PRACTICAL Classics Dec 1999. Submitted by Bruce Dixon
When Austin and Morris merged in 1951, the newly formed BMC found itself producing 14 cars with 11 different types of engine. It was obvious that if the firm was to be competitive, it needed a new engine that could be used to power a wide range of medium-sized saloon and sports cars. In the early Fifties Eric Bareham could never have dreamt it would still be in production in the year 2000. But unless something drastic happens, the Hindustan company in India will be building their Ambassadors (pre-Farina Austin Cambridge based saloons) with B-series engines into the next millennium. The engine first appeared in 1489cc form in an MG Magnette in 1953 - in fact, all-new versions of the engine appeared in the Austin A40. By the late Fifties the engine had grown to 1588cc, then 1622cc - as used in the MGA and Farina saloons - but it’s the 1798cc version that was produced in the biggest numbers. It powered the MGB in this form for 18 years and found homes in Landcrabs, Marinas and Princesses along the way. Early 1798cc engines continued to use crankshafts carried in three main bearings, but problems were experienced with the shaft flexing at high revs and MG engineers demanded a solution. In 1964 the answer came in the form of a re-
designed bottom end, which now had five main bearings to keep the crank in check. In this form, the engine continued basically unchanged until the last MGB was made in 1980. It’s the bottom end that makes the later B-series so durable. Even in MGB tune, where it produces 93bhp, it’s easily capable of covering 100,000 miles before a re-build is necessary. Cylinder heads are non-crossflow, so the exhaust and inlet ports are all on one side of the engine. There are only three exhaust ports, so waste gases from the middle two cylinders have to share one. The four inlet valves also share two ports, but despite the restrictions this places on the engine’s breathing characteristics, the design was never changed. BMC did make a completely different cylinder head though. The MGA twin cam was an interesting attempt at a true high-performance derivative of the B-series, using a double overhead camshaft alloy crossflow head on a 1588cc block. Unfortunately the engine’s development wasn’t quite finished before it was put into production. High oil consumption and melted pistons, for the sake of 108bph were the result. Only 2000 were built before BMC gave up.
BLOCK, CRANK and CAMSHAFT B-Series blocks are very strong and during normal road use are unlikely to give any problems. The fact that the 1798cc version is a stretched version of the 1200 proves that the original design was a tough one. Blocks used in transverse applications are different to their rear wheel counterparts and are not interchangeable. Boring a standard 1798cc block out to accept 0.060in oversize pistons gives a useful boost
All B -series heads need replacement valve inserts to run on unleaded fuel. This should be done by specialists. 16
sloppy enough to throw the valve timing out. Because the engine has a very good automatic hydraulic chain tensioner, the chain is unlikely to rattle too badly. New chains are not expensive and are easy to fit. From 1974, BL accountants changed the chain from duplex to simplex type, which isnâ€™t as strong. These engines can be fitted with a duplex set-up by simply swapping the sprockets and chain.
Crankshaft was up rated from three to five main bearings from 1964 to prevent flexing.
In capacity to 1860cc, and the engine will stay reliable. The largest overbore possible is to 1950cc, using Lotus twin cam pistons. The block face will need machining though, because the Lotus pistons are shorter than standard. Number one cylinder bore (timing chain end) wears quicker than the others because itâ€™s right next to the water pump. When the thermostat opens it gets a rush of cold water which makes it contract, accelerating wear. Standard cranks are cast iron and tough enough for anything other than racing use. Even early three main-bearing 1798cc cranks can cover 100,000 miles without problems, as long as they are not subjected to high revs for long periods. The five main-bearing cranks will survive all manor of punishment as long as the engine gets an oil change every 4000 to 6000 miles. Camshafts and tappets tend to start getting noisy at around the 70,000 mile mark as they wear. This is not easy to detect because the B-series produced a fair amount of valve train noise even when new. Timing chains wear quite quickly and by 50,000 miles can be
PISTONS Pistons in early engines had split skirts, but all MG variants used solid skirt-types which are stronger and will withstand higher revs. These can be fitted to lower-spec engines, but only in conjunction with MG-type conrods.
CYLINDER HEADS All heads need to be fitted with hardened valve seats to allow the use of unleaded petrol. 1798cc heads fitted to high-compression engines can
crack after high mileages because of metal fatigue. Look for water seeping from the centre head stud into the spark plug recess. There’s no point in trying to repair damage like this. There are plenty of replacement heads around, ant the increased heat and strain produced by running on unleaded means the repair isn’t likely to last long. It’s common for 1798cc engines, head gaskets to weep coolant along the spark plug side. An engine will run for many years like this, but corrosion can cause the head to get stuck on its mounting studs, making removal difficult. The solution is to remove the head as soon as the problem appears, get it checked for flatness and skimmed if necessary. Be careful when buying secondhand or reconditioned rocker gear. The oil feed to the rockers comes from a hole in the cylinder head, which corresponds to a hole in the rear rocker pedestal. The holes were moved slightly on some engines. If you fit rocker gear with the modified hole to an original-spec head (or vice versa), the top end of the engine will be completely starved of oil.
replaced with HIF types. These have small sprung valves in the throttle butterflies which are designed to reduce emissions on the over-run. The springs wear and in extreme cases, the valves can fall out and get sucked into the engine. Replace the throttle butter-flies with HS-type items to cure the problem for good.
LUBRICATION Use a quality 20/50 multigrade and change it every 4000 to 6000 miles for maximum engine life. Oil filters on engines built before 1969 have a replaceable paper element type of oil filter. You can change to the later spin-on canister type using the mounting from a later engine. Oil filters mount upside down so need to be original-spec items with an anti-drain valve. Cheap types without one can completely empty when left standing and the engine will be starved of oil for a few seconds when it’s restarted. MGBs have an oil cooler as standard, which not only prevents the oil from overheating but provides a useful increase in oil capacity. The set-up can be fitted to other cars by using the cooler, pipes and oil filter head from an MGB.
All models have Lucas distributors, which look similar and in many cases will fit different applications. However, they have advance curves designed to match specific engines. Check with a workshop manual to make sure the correct one is fitted. Adding contactless electronic ignition means never having to adjust points or ignition timing again. It also compensates for wear in distributor bearings.
Early Austin models used Zenith fixed-jet carburettors, but all other engines have either one or two SU’s. Parts for all are available, and SUs in particular are very reliable and simple to work on for the DIY mechanic. After 100,000 miles, the throttle spindles can wear, which makes adjusting the idle speed impossible. If a new throttle spindle doesn’t take up all the wear, then the carb body can be machined and fitted with bushes to cure the problem. From the late 70’s the SU HS carbs were
THANKS TO Steve Hall of Hall’s Garage, UK
SPECIFICATIONS Capacity Layout Power (bhp@rpm) Torque (lb ft@rpm)
1200cc ohv 42/4500 58/2400
1489cc ohv 50/4400 70/2100
1588cc ohv 80/5600 87/3800
1622cc ohv 90/5500 97/4000
1798cc ohv 93/5400 110/3000
MGCC Prize Giving The following members received their well earned Trophies and Prizes at the March Noggin. Victor Ludorum; Victrix Ludorum; South Yorks; Garage Sale:
Graham Forbes Jenny loader Judy Schweizer Hentie Erasmus Safety Fast; Nick Parrott Doreen Evans; Lorraine Pearce Midgets; Stephen Britz Emgee Winter Rally MGB/C/V8 Antony & Martin Glazer Modern Kevin & Jenny Loader T-Type Bill & Daphne Greig
Many Useful MG Spares and Parts available, any reasonable offers accepted. MGB Parts: Front Suspension; 1800 Engine no manifolds; 1800 Engine no water pump. MGA Engine no head. TC Parts: Complete interior Red Vinyl, Brand new, still wrapped; TC Brooklands Steering Wheel, brand new in box R3000.00. Midget Oil Cooler, New. Assorted Regulators; Carburettors; Chassis stands; Various Spanners both metric & AF. A large variety of Hoses, Gaskets, Splined Hubs’ Who came in and many new/used spare parts, too many to list. I need the Space!!! Peter Knight, 011 706-6531or 073 237 0090. In the JD RUN ________________________________________________________________________ Youth Project Continued from Page 9 litres of fuel at a cost of just over R1500! The distance travelled equates to about 40kms of road driving and (60 x 4.25 km on the track at an average of about 43 :: One of the studs or nuts on the R/F wheel of the A is litres/100 kms. Does this sound reasonable? My stripped; To be resolved before next event. thanks to Heather who was twice despatched from the :: The L/R tyre of the BGT was off the rim after Gavin’s track to fill Jerry cans. spin off. Apparently that tyre had been losing pressure, FINAL NOTE: a fact which hadn’t been brought to my attention. This was the second event at which we managed on Gavin believes that this was the cause (as opposed to the day without the assistance of Nick, Lovey and all result of) of his leaving the track in the second (right Nick’s tools and other supplies. In both cases we were hand) section of the S’s, as he had slowed down after fortunate in that there were no major problems to feeling instability at Sunset. There was no damage to contend with. However, we need to acquire (beg the car. borrow or steal) a good quality tyre pressure gauge and :: Petrol costs are becoming a big problem. Both cars either a foot or cheap battery operated tyre pump. probably returned to their bases with about the same amount of petrol as when they left. Both cars were This sounds a very exciting adventure for the YP initially empty and one now has about 5 litres left in it. participants. But, imagine their feelings if all the That means that the petrol used in driving the BGT to members of the Club turned up in force to actually and from the track, minimal practice (about 4 laps in the visit them in the pits, and cheer them on from the A only), 4 qualification runs of about 10 minutes each stands. Such an event will be arranged soon!! (in total about 16 laps) and 4 heats (in total about 40 laps - allowing for warm up/down laps and one Please make sure you are there to encourage incomplete heat) resulted in the purchase of about 115 them on the day. Ed.
Congratulations Stuart Cuninghame 20th out of 201 riders
WHAT WHEN WHERE
Natter and Noggin Report Back on Youth Project Thursday 4 April Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton
WHAT WHEN WHERE
Monthly Run “Angela’s Picnic” (SAMCA) Sunday 7 April, Meet 9.00am at Delta Park, Johannesburg
WHAT WHEN WHERE
Natter and Noggin, C2C - Feedback by Michael Brett Thursday 2 May, Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton
Pietermaritzburg Cars in the Park, Sunday 19 May, Arrangements Mike 083 449 5220
Monthly Run, To be advised NOTE 3rd Sunday 19 May, Due to Mothers Day
MG Tour of Zimbabwe Highlands Limited Booking still available 16th to 29th May Suzette Bouwer and PJ Ryan 083 303 4304
WHAT WHEN WHERE
Natter and Noggin Inter Car Club Quiz Thursday 6 June, Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton
Combined Centres Show Day, 9 or 23 June, Venue to be advised
Polana Rally, 14 to 17 June,
WHAT WHEN WHERE
Natter and Noggin, Thursday 4 July Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton
Monthly Run, Zwartkops Air Force Base Musem Saturday 6th July,
Scottburgh Classic Car Show, Weekend www.scottburghclassiccarshow.co.za/ 19 to 22 July, Country Club, Airth Street, Scottburgh Book at Blue Marlin Hotel (Special Rates R235pp per night) Must Book 039 978-3361 Tour being arranged. Details to follow. Watch this Space.
Natter and Noggin, Thursday 1August, Old Eds
Cars in the Park (POMC), Sunday 4th August, Pretoria.
Combined Northern/Johannesburg Drakensberg Weekend at (The Nest Hotel) 16 to 18 August, Glen Parker 083 633 7575 - Pta. Gary Chapman 082 653 1888 Must Book SOON!
Tour Section, contact Mike O’Keeffe 083 449 5220
Clive Winterstein 083 796 0000