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In the February 2019 issue from Collectible Automobile, there is an article over 1945-49 MG TC. Not exactly your model, but the vehicles are very similar.

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Seats are done and the hood is complete.  I've got a few more things I'd like to finish and then I'll call it complete and do some testing.  I'll make a list of what is still needed, what needs to be fixed and then carefully take the car back apart and begin the final phase. 

 

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Went for two shorts drives through the neighborhood... short because it is cold out!!   The car runs great but there are a lot of noises and little things going on.  Shifting from 1st to 2nd seems to have a slight little grind as it gets into 2nd.  Not the normal grind or refusal or difficulty getting into gear, just a little noise as it enters.  2nd is smooth after that.  Going into 3rd is smooth but at the top of the range there's a little banging noise like something is hitting the exhaust pipe.  The speedometer doesn't work and I'm wondering if those are related since the speedo cable exits the gearbox right at the muffler.   4th seems very smooth in every way but dang if it doesn't feel like there is anything left!!  I have no idea how fast we were going but it didn't seem all that fast and I was in 4th.   Downshifting into 3rd seems fine as well as 2nd (which is a little confusing because I don't think it made any noise on downshift).  1st doesn't have a synchro so I haven't been downshifting into it.  I just read online that I should be pausing a bit between gears and some say that the 2nd synchro was always iffy and they recommend a double clutch.  Weather will be better later this week and I do some more test driving then.

 

At times the handling is a little squirrelly with a little wiggle in the rear.  The rear tires are bald of course and they haven't been balanced so that may be the cause.   The front tires are pretty new and they were supposedly balanced (they still have weights on them) so I don't think they are the cause but I haven't had them checked out.  I will be replacing all four tires and will have all four wheels checked for straightness as well as balanced.  I don't see any other play in the chassis so I think the tires are the only culprit.  I'm also used to driving Germany's latest technology so a lot of this may be my expectations.  

 

The brakes still don't really work.  They have a little bit of effectiveness right about the time you've pressed your foot through the firewall.  I resorted to just using the handbrake.  I'm going to bleed the brakes again and check to make sure they are adjusted correctly.  I'm hoping another bleed will work.   These cars are notorious for their poor rear brakes so when the handbrake works better than the brake pedal it hints at something really wrong with the master cylinder or air in the lines... or both.  I need to get this fixed before I do anymore test driving. 

 

I went over the bumpers and they were in a lot worse shape than they first appeared.  It is hard to believe that the bumpers belong to a car with such a straight frame and body.  At some point someone drilled some holes to mount things as well as some genius stick welded the backing bar and got slag all over the bumper.   I think I can save the backing bars though they will require a considerable amount of work.  It will save me about $300 to refurb them so it is probably worth the effort.   Fortunately the stick weld on the back was so horrid (a second piece of metal was "welded" to the backing bar) there is almost no penetration so I think I can chisel it off and do it properly.   The bumpers themselves are probably too far gone.  Patching the holes and straightening along with a re-chrome is probably much more expensive that new bumpers from Moss (about $600 front and back). 

 

The engine is still running a little rich but it runs fine and I haven't had a chance to adjust it using the color tune tool.  I hope to do that later in the week.   The engine seems very strong and more powerful than what I've heard.  Of course this is essentially a brand new engine and since we bored it 100 thou over it will have a little more horsepower.  4th gear is going to be the limiting factor with the car and if I were to keep it I'd probably swap in a 5 speed transmission and/or change the rear gears. 

 

So that's the critical summary... the reality is this thing is an absolute BLAST to drive!!!  The car fits you like a glove and it just wants to go fast.   It is like a big and comfortable go-cart.   It sounds fantastic and boy does it attract attention!  I can't wait to get it finished and enjoy it a bit before I let someone else enjoy it.

 

 

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I think that is all pretty encouraging. It's unrealistic to think anyone can take a car completely apart and put it back together and not have issues like that. As it is, it looks really good to me and I've no doubt that you will ultimately get it tuned in.

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34 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

I think that is all pretty encouraging. It's unrealistic to think anyone can take a car completely apart and put it back together and not have issues like that. As it is, it looks really good to me and I've no doubt that you will ultimately get it tuned in.

 

Thanks Joe!  You're completely correct and that's why I'm going through this exercise.  I knew this wouldn't go perfectly and that I'd have to sort these things out and I wanted to do that before it was painted.   Overall it has gone better than I had expected. 

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1 hour ago, Luv2Wrench said:

Went for two shorts drives through the neighborhood... short because it is cold out!!

Come on Jeff.  You should've just put on a heavier coat.  That's how the old timers did it when they drove their Model "T" in the winter.  Dang softies now a days.:)

Just kidding you.  Looks good and I bet fun too.  You will get all the issues figured out and be ready for the next big phase.

 

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Glad to read you enjoyed your drive. That's what its all about. I'm sure you will be able to sort out the little niggles.

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Must have been exciting to hear that little engine roar to life and head down the road.  Glad that you got it driving too.  Great job.  The next part of the journey will be fun as you actually have a car that runs.  Congratulations!

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Congrats on the test drive. Those little drives are necessary to evaluate the car before it gets fully assembled because it’s always easier and safer to make any repairs without he car being all prettied up. I always drive my chassis around for awhile to listen and feel how it’s going. My neighbors think I’m crazy but hey, I restore old cars, I Am 😜 

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Fantastic work!  How often do you get to work on your car?  My progress is deathly slow on my MG, but maybe it's because I am not putting in enough hours?  Maybe I'm just a slow worker or need more time to do things than the experts.  Just curious.

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45 minutes ago, hursst said:

Fantastic work!  How often do you get to work on your car?  My progress is deathly slow on my MG, but maybe it's because I am not putting in enough hours?  Maybe I'm just a slow worker or need more time to do things than the experts.  Just curious.

 

At first I was getting a couple hours a night in during the week and probably a total of 10 hours on the weekends.  Lately that hasn't been the case as there's just been so much going on.   I have been working a little smarter lately and that has helped.  Biggest change is cleaning up and putting away tools each night and making a list (or laying things out) to do the next day (or whenever).  That way when I get back in the shop I can immediately get to work.  This makes it easy to go out to the shop for just 30 minutes or so.  I can get in the shop immediately after getting home from work and get stuff done before dinner.  That way if the Wife and I go out to dinner or somewhere after dinner I still got some work done.  Further to that is trying to identify resource blockers that I'm going to run up against.  If I order something on Sunday it is likely I don't get it until the very end of the next week.  This is a killer and whatever I can do to make sure this doesn't hold me up is a real help.  Time not spent waiting for parts is time spent working! :) I still stink at it but I've gotten much better.  This recent exercise in assembling the car without paint is part of that process.  I'm identifying issues now rather than later when they would hold up work. 

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Thanks Jeff, that's good insight.  I think I haven't been able to get out as much during the week, plus the weather is bad now.  I think I need a little more practice, could work a little smarter, gain more expertise, and a little more time, and I could make some faster progress.  My rotten fenders and body are going to slow me up as well.  I guess I really have no deadlines, which is nice, but I do want to finish by the 5 year mark.  I'm half way there now.  Thanks!

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Dont forget you can assess the mixture with the lifting pin - up 1/32" - if rpm goes up and stays up - rich; if rpm fall, tends to die - lean; if rpm rise a bit then come back - good mixture.

Looking very good, great work. It can be very hard to know what to expect from an unknown car model - only real way is to get a ride in another example that is rated as a good sample. 

By 'up 1/32' I mean after you feel the pin contact the piston, not just move the pin! Hope that makes sense. 

You are up early, or is it late ?

jp 26 Rover 9

Edited by jp928 (see edit history)
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Weather has been better so I've take a few more spins around the neighborhood.  As I get more comfortable with the car I'm able to better understand what the car is doing.  I've slowed down my shift from 1st to 2nd ever so slightly and that has cured the grind entering second.   Down shifting from 3rd to 2nd though doesn't work as well.  I don't remember having an issue with it the first couple of drives but it has been an issue the last couple.  I've read that a quick double clutch will solve the problem and I'll be trying that when it quits raining.  I haven't figured out what the noise is in 3rd under hard acceleration.  I've driven around quite a bit in third and there's no noise so it appears to only be under hard acceleration.  It really sounds like something hitting the exhaust but I don't know how that could be happening.

 

The wiggle in the rear was the tires (they were a little low on air).  I did a slalom on a straight section of the road and the handling felt good.   I've gotten the nerve up to take my hands off the wheel for a bit and the car drives straight and seems very stable.   I'm going to test out more of the handling next week as I should have several days of dry weather and no work.  :)

 

My daughter is home from college and she helped me bleed the brakes again.  Unfortunately only a little bit of air came out of the right rear, everything else was clear.   The brakes don't really catch until full travel of the pedal.  I think I just need to set the adjustment on the shoes and it should be fine.   The braking action is pretty strong, but the amount of travel before something happens is panic inducing.  

 

The best news so far, however, was found well after these latest drives.  I've been pulling more forward in the shop so I could work on the rear thus the engine has been over virgin floor space.  I'm pleased (and quite surprised) to say that said space is oil and water free!!   Yes, I checked to make sure all the oil and water hadn't already leaked out. ;)   It seems the various little fittings I tweaked actually were responsible for all of the spillage on the floor.  Even the rear main hasn't leaked this week.  I do know that it will eventually leak, but a drop or two every once in awhile is fine for an old English car. 

 

I'll have some pictures this weekend as I reach the end of the test assembly.  It seems that the only possible serious issue might be that I need to replace the second gear synchro.  I hope to drive another TD soon so I can compare... but I think I've got a great running car that needs some bodywork and a paint job!

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Luv - I have been enjoying your project blog and impressed with the photos, descriptions, and quality of you work. Could the brake pedal travel be that there is too much free play in the brake pedal to master cylinder linkage? As you know it only needs to be a fraction of an inch. Thanks - JWL

 

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If it doesn't leak rain through the top or oil out the bottom, it ain't British.

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2 hours ago, keiser31 said:

If it doesn't leak rain through the top or oil out the bottom, it ain't British.

 

I think that statement left out something about the British electricals!

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14 minutes ago, chistech said:

 

I think that statement left out something about the British electricals!

Oh....you mean, "LUCAS": Prince of darkness"?

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, JWLawrence said:

Luv - I have been enjoying your project blog and impressed with the photos, descriptions, and quality of you work. Could the brake pedal travel be that there is too much free play in the brake pedal to master cylinder linkage? As you know it only needs to be a fraction of an inch. Thanks - JWL

 

 

Thanks!  Yes, I do think there could be a little extra free play in the linkage.  That's a good suggestion and will be one of the first things I look at. 

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I was avoiding mentioning that name because of karma! And it’s not George the movie producer. LOL

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51 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Oh....you mean, "LUCAS": Prince of darkness"?

 

I think the reliance on getting ground from the frame/body panels causes plenty of issues.  I'll probably buy a wire harness that matches the original, but if I didn't and I made one myself, I would certainly run ground wires throughout. 

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2 hours ago, chistech said:

 

I think that statement left out something about the British electricals!

 

I have a friend with a two week old Jaguar I-Pace. The center console went blank with the radio still on, even when the car was off. Back to the dealer for him but not before I teased him about British automotive electrical systems.

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2 hours ago, ply33 said:

I teased him about British automotive electrical systems.

But they are owned by Tata Motors, based in Mumbai!

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1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

But they are owned by Tata Motors, based in Mumbai!

Details, details, details. . . :)

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Who would buy a car made by a company called TaTa? So Ford no longer owns Jag?

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