On 7/9/09 8:49 AM, in article
z7adncLi7bbBaMjXnZ2dnUVZ firstname.lastname@example.org, "Kevin Hall"
I believe that, at least on the western side of the pond, most people fell
off when most of the ISPs quit giving free access to newsgroups in the
misguided idea that it would somehow result in less child pornography
(according to the New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo).
Now, in addition to paying for my service provider, I also have to pay for
newsgroups. Although I haven't gone looking for child porn (not being into
that sort of thing), I'm sure it's still there as always.
Sounds like a reasonable explanation. Hasn't stopped the guitar newsgroups
though, or even slowed 'em down.
Fortunately I still get the newsgroups free as part of my ordinary monthly
net service. We're so far in the bush I have to go to town to go hunting,
so we're limited to poor land line service ( sloooooow) but the groups are
'70 BGT, fresh engine w/ Mikuni HSR 42mm flat slides, wire wheels and o.d.
Always fancied doing the Rover 8 transplant, but not on this GT.
Brian; Did you do the transplant yourself? I understand it's considerably
easier on a rubber bumper car because of modifications to the body stampings
made after '74 as Brit. Leyland were intending to stick the 8 in on a
regular basis after that.
Did you swap the gearbox and diff as well?
It's hard to find a decent donor body on this side of the water. Most have
melted due to the amount of salt used on the roads in winter. In the 60s
and 70s most folks who drove MGs slapped snow tires on them in winter and
drove them year 'round in spite of the rust problems, same with a lot of
nice old Mini Coopers. As a result there are very few good, sound original
bodies about. Lots of bodged-up 'restorations' with sills full of putty or
fibreglass. Not something a sane man would wish to apply 150 hp or better
to as-is, and they're very expensive to repair properly.
It probably makes sense to use a GT for the extra stiffness, but they are
quite rare these days and I hate to modify my current one to that extent.
Had a number of rag-top Bs in the 60s and 70s, but this is my first GT.
Makes a nice little tourer, and it is noticeably stiffer and quieter than
All the best,
On 7/10/09 8:23 AM, in article
0KWdnb2qk78i3crXnZ2dnUVZ email@example.com, "Kevin Hall"
At the time, I had the 67 B-GT, and had been seeing the ads for how to do
it. I was stationed at Fort Dix in 1986, and came across this car with a
blown engine for $750. I snapped that up quick, then started looking for
engines. All I could find were Olds 215s, so I got one that looked OK. I got
out of the Army, and moved back to Houston, where my brother had everything
I'd need to do the work (he runs a custom metal fabrication shop). I found a
Muncie "Rock Crusher" 4-speed already rebuilt, and we started stripping the
car. Other than the engine it was in great shape, even for New Jersey. Got
the engine rebuilt to a mild tune with new cam, pistons, Offy manifold, new
bell housing, clutch, and even located some V-8 brakes in England, which I
had shipped over here. We figured a modest 200HP or so. Somewhere in there,
I found a Buick engine, which is what we used, actually.
Then I moved to Nashville. Thinking I would never finish the project, I sold
it to my brother's best friend (who also restores Pontiacs). He got the car
finished using high school shop students to do the work, with him buying the
parts. At some point, he had the engine out, and his garage burned, ruining
the motor. He went to a local parts place and got the Rover 3.9L. It's now
got a narrowed Pontiac rear end to handle the power.
Fade to 2004, and I ask him if he still has the car, and if he wants to sell
it back. He does. So I wound up owning it second time, and trailered it up
to Nashville. There's lots wrong with it. Brakes and clutch leak. No
emergency brake. No speedo. After a few months, it began to overheat
(electric fan and a bad radiator/manifold setup), and the list goes on. I
take it out for short runs in the neighborhood now, but not far. As time and
money allow, I'm doing the little things, but there's a local guy who's a
British gear head and he really wants to get his hands on it and do it up
right. That will have to wait until the economy improves some, or people pay
me the money they owe me (which is the same thing, I guess).
Interesting history on your 8. I do like those little alloy engines, and
there are still a fair number of them around. They sure make more sense
than the great heavy lump they put in the MGC.
I hope you get a chance to finish it off the way you want it. Saw a lovely
one a couple of years ago at Mosport; everything done very nicely indeed,
and running like a watch.
So you're in Nashville now. I've avoided a real job for over 40s years by
building guitars and restoring old ones. There are one or two of mine in
Nashville, and a bunch of old Martins that I restored.
All the best,
Now if you are looking for a daily buzz on matters MG, may I suggest that
you take a look at the Yahoo newsgroup MG-MGB and the much larger MGS Digest
( Autox) which seems to have been going a lot longer. You could build from
scratch with the wealth of info published there.
Both of these are US orientated, but as a high proportion of Abingdon
products were designed to earn US$s that is to be expected.
Apart from my '67 B we also run a '97 MGF.
Some may not be aware of this more recent variant, it was not deemed
An impressive mid engined 1.8litre VVF sports roadster to most onlookers,
owners know however that MG-Rover stuck two Austin Metro subframes from
their parts bin ,front & rear on a new tub and plonked an unreliable 1.8
motor on the rearmost engine mounting.
The power and weight balance is superb for fast cornering on shale surfaces
:-) but we have different sized tyres & track front & rear ( an intermediate
sized spare tyre in the front !) we have a cable operated gear change ( Ugh)
and the steering lock of an Austin Metro- it takes 2 bites to park in a
supermarket car park.
Unreliable engine means that early models suffered regularly from head
warping & gasket blowing even when not abused, often a repair costing $1500.
But then if you are an MG enthusiast, anything goes.
We haven't had things like Metros and Fs here. Seems to me British Leyland
pretty much retreated from Canada in about '79 or '80 and we haven't had a
sniff at any of that stuff since. The only Metro I'm aware of is the Mini
We did get the unfortunate Marina, and some of those engines have been
scavanged for worn-out MGB replacements.
The only N.American reviews I read about the F indicated that if they were
brought in here they'd be so expensive as to not be nearly competitive with
other available sports models of similar or better performance.
Those of us who lived through the final years of British Leyland sales and
service in Canada would see the lack of a British involvement in those areas
as a positive thing. Service was so bad in Canada in the seventies that it
killed any market which may have existed here stone dead.
By the time Canadian distribution ceased even those of us most devoted to
the marque were ready to lynch the motley assortment of arrogant,
ill-informed, bone idle ex-pat Brits who manned the various British Leyland
dealerships in this country. It was a great shame, but most of us were
driven into the arms of American or Japanese dealers by the sheer stupidity
of the Canadian Leyland dealers.
For those of us anxiously awaiting the arrival of the V-8 version of the
MG-B, being offered the Triumph door wedge instead was the final straw.
These days owners of older MGs are better served by the aftermarket
suppliers than we ever were by the dealerships, so it is still possible to
run Bs here in spite of the home companys' best efforts. I can't imagine
what it must have been like trying to deal with the company by the 90s.
It would be interesting to see an MGF in the flesh though.
Yup, the sub frames used for the MGF came from the Mini metro
There was so little room under the hood once you packed in a transverse
1100cc engine, gearbox & clutch that you could barely examine tyre tread on
full lock. The MGF suffers in the same way!
There are many Classic MG dealers in the UK and spares are cheap to buy and
usually easy to fit. The Rover body pressings for Frog eyed
sprite/Mini/Midget/MGB and MGBGT were sold to British Motor Heritage at the
end of their useful 'life' so at a price even today you can buy a complete
bodyshell on which to build your classic car.
My '67 MGB is actually a '90/91 Heritage shell, which even now is showing
signs of the dreaded rust, but only superficially.
Many MG nuts in the Uk would echo your Canadian sentiments, the Triumph/MG
lobbies within the Rover company was not only demotivating for employees
and dealerships, but in time spelled the demise of that engineering empire.
I never knew they'd used the old Mini subframes for that F. Yet another
example of classic 'parts-bin engineering' !
The last of a long line of Minis and Coopers I had was a '75 Innocenti
Cooper 1300, rally prepped, that I sold off about 4 or 5 years ago.
Actually it was the best of the Minis I owned, with far more creature
comforts than the various earlier Coopers.
I've seen a couple of Heritage body shells over here, but they're
dreadfully expensive due in part to the shipping of course. Very nice
Our current ' 70 B-GT spent most of it's life in Vancouver where snow is
rare so there's virtually no salt used on the roads. The body had been
nicely restored about 8 years ago but no work done on the engine. With
100,000 miles on it it was still pulling well on the original pistons but
was blowing a lot of smoke. We built a fresh engine with .040" oversized
corks, took about 8 lbs. off the flywheel, used a fast road cam and twin
HSR 42 Mikuni flat slide carbs in place of the leaky old SUs. Makes a nice
frisky little tourer without being a hand grenade. The electric overdrive
makes it much nicer to use on our highways. It's a pity that was such a
scarce option on Bs here.
Just in case there's any confusion, I wasn't picking on British Leyland
reps here because they were Brits. I'm an ex-Mancunian myself, escaped in
'53 when I was a tiddler. It just seemed like being an idle pratt was a
prerequisite for employment with the company over here. I swear a little
P.R. training for those folks could have saved the company.
It still amazes me that virtually all the major F-1 teams are jammed to the
gills with Brit engineers, but England just couldn't keep their own auto
and motorcycle industries afloat.
At least the Triumph motorcycles seem to be making a comeback. They are
steadily gaining acceptance on this side of the water after many years of
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