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Managed to get out to the shop today for the first time in a week or so.   A couple of weeks ago I tried to plate a bolt and the plating solution had major issues.   I talked to Caswell but there didn't seem to be anything that could be done, some kind of contamination of the solution had occur.  The support person said that "this happens a lot".   That was pretty frustrating because the plating kit cost a lot of money and the solution was supposed to last "forever".  I looked around on the web and found a couple of different formulas for zinc plating and picked the one that had the best pictures :)  This new solution worked really well and I was able to get a lot of parts plated which was very helpful as I have multiple components waiting to go on the car that needed various bits of hardware plated. 

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One of the components waiting was the radiator and once I got the engine stabilizer plated I was able to get it mounted.  I thought this would be a pretty simple procedure but it was anything but.  The lower mounting bracket needed to come off, get connected to the radiator and then rotate the assembly up, connect hoses and reattach the mounting bracket.   I hoping that doesn't have to come back out again.

 

The steering assembly has another piece waiting and it had another issue.  One of the special bolts that I removed from the parts car broke as I took it off.  Moss wanted $17 for the bolt and of course there's $12 shipping and another 4 day wait, so I put some steel in the lathe and made a bolt.   It came out very nice and I'm getting a much better feel for the lathe.  I've tweaked a few things on it and I've been able to take much heavier cuts as well as getting a much better finish.   I don't have the mill hooked up yet so I had to cut the hex head by hand with a file.   I did it by eye and it turned out a little small but it fits ok in the socket wrench and will work fine.  I plated the new bolt and the older ones and I'll get the steering assembly on next week.

 

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Finally, I'd like to thank Mike Macartney for turning me on to Old Engine Oil beer.  This is a black ale brewed in Scotland and while quite expensive here in the States, it is well worth every penny.  Thanks Mike!!

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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How did you thread it? I'd have thought the MG would have Whitworth or BSF threads.

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4 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

 

 

One of the components waiting was the radiator and once I got the engine stabilizer plated I was able to get it mounted.  I thought this would be a pretty simple procedure but it was anything but.  The lower mounting bracket needed to come off, get connected to the radiator and then rotate the assembly up, connect hoses and reattach the mounting bracket.   I hoping that doesn't have to come back out again.

 

Who said that English cars are easy?

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I am very glad to hear that you enjoyed the 'Old Engine Oil' beer.

You can buy hexagon bar in various sizes that makes making bolts and nuts a lot easier than making them out of round bar. You did really well with filing the flats on the bolt. I would be Interested to see photos of your zinc plated parts. I have only ever used nickel plating on, vintage and veteran motorcycle parts, that I have restored in the past. I have found with nickel plating It always seems to be a bit of a lottery whether or not the part will turn out OK. I knew that Frost did other types of plating kits but as the kits are expensive I have never tried any of the other types of plating.

Mike

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7 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

How did you thread it? I'd have thought the MG would have Whitworth or BSF threads.

 

Yes, they are Whitworth heads with BSF threads.  One of the first purchases I made when I got the car was a tap and die set for BSF threads.    They're high quality and I've had no problem cutting threads with them. 

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3 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

I am very glad to hear that you enjoyed the 'Old Engine Oil' beer.

You can buy hexagon bar in various sizes that makes making bolts and nuts a lot easier than making them out of round bar. You did really well with filing the flats on the bolt. I would be Interested to see photos of your zinc plated parts. I have only ever used nickel plating on, vintage and veteran motorcycle parts, that I have restored in the past. I have found with nickel plating It always seems to be a bit of a lottery whether or not the part will turn out OK. I knew that Frost did other types of plating kits but as the kits are expensive I have never tried any of the other types of plating.

Mike

 

I hadn't thought of getting some hexagon bar, that's a great idea.  A couple feet of various sizes would be great to have on hand, thanks for the tip!

 

The last two photos above show the zinc plating.  The first (of the last two) shows the parts before plating and the second is them after plating.   They could be smoother and brighter but I'm just going for protection here.  I media blast them, etch, rinse, plate, rinse, blue chromate, rinse and dry.  They usually need a little buffing in the end. 

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Sorry, I should have noticed that the second photo was of the bolts plated. I quickly looked and thought they had just been cleaned up. I'll look up plating kits on the web and see what's on offer. What is the blue chromate, that's a new one to me?

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Mike, I started with Caswell's copy-cad plating kit and while it did work well until the solution failed, I'm not sure I'd recommend that route.   I used the formula that this guy used http://www.gomog.com/allmorgan/ZincPlatingAtHome.html and it worked fine for me.  I did use Caswell's blue chromate as a last step.   Here's some info here: https://www.caswellplating.com/electroplating-anodizing/zinc-plating-kits/chromates/blue-chromate-8oz-makes-1-quart.html  I haven't had any issue with this solution getting contaminated and I continue to use it and imagine I will for years to come. 

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Jeff, Many thanks for the information and links. It seems to be a good method to plate and protect small 'bright' parts. I looked at both the links. When I looked at the Caswell site it said 'out of stock'. Looking into other sources for the blue chromate it looks as if may have been banned from use in Europe - bloody EU unelected autocrat's seem to spoil most peoples fun! I'll keep looking, and dig out my nickel plating kit, which I haven't used for a couple of years, maybe more, and see what extra bits I need to have a go at zinc plating. Mike

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Mike, very interesting, when I look at the blue chromate page it says "In Stock"... I wonder if they are looking at the region identifier in your browser and determining that they can't sell it to you.  The chromate process does add a fairly significant amount of corrosion resistance so it is worthwhile to do.  Let me know what you find!
 

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Jeff, below is the link to the UK, Europe, site for Caswell. I have emailed them to ask when they will have the blue chromate back in stock. We will see what happens. I maybe wrong about the banning of it in Europe, I have been known to be wrong before!

https://www.caswelleurope.co.uk/blue-chromate-500ml/

I'll have to put plating on the back burner for the time being as I really need to get on with the body work repairs on the Humberette, but thank you for all your useful information. Mike

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Jeff, have just got a reply from Caswell UK. I quote "We do have Blue Chromate in stock, but we are not allowed to sell it, Chromates contain "Chromium Trioxide" which is now a banned substance worldwide, and we cannot sell. Sorry".

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Interesting, I guess on this side of the pond it isn't banned??  I've probably got enough to last me for quite some time so if they do stop selling in the States I'm probably OK... maybe I'll buy some more just to be sure.   Looking forward to seeing more work on the Humberette. 

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Still moving forward... another very busy weekend coming up so not much more will get done.  

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Started getting some of the final parts on the car needed to test run the engine.   I've wired the starter, starter switch, various ground straps, battery cables etc.  I fixed the oil pressure feed line and temporarily attached the oil gauge.   Distributor is in place and static tuned to a few degrees advance.  Still need to make the plug wires, connect the coil and add some more temporary wiring to get the fuel pump and coil wired in.   In theory once that is done I can try to test fire the engine.  Should that be successful I'll add coolant, install the muffler, bleed the brakes, add the steering shaft/wheel and the driveline.   It is then conceivable (though not likely) that I could back the car out of the shop for a quick little test drive around the yard.  I think this is very wishful thinking but it would be convenient as the Hendey shaper is being delivered next week and it sure would be easier to drive the car out of the shop to allow delivery than it would be to push the car out and up the hill!!! 

 

Anyway... I filled the engine with oil, primed the pump (which was also packed with Vasoline during assembly) and pulled the starter cable.  I was immediately awarded with a shower of sparks!!  Oops... forgot to tighten the starter cable on the switch.  Once that was secured the engine turned over nicely.  It built 60psi oil pressure reasonably quick so I'm quite happy with that.  A lot of things went right tonight!  The starter worked, the grounding worked, the switch worked, the oil pump worked, oil didn't come pouring out and nothing inside blew up while cranking (and it cranks over really fast... kinda scary).   I've got a lot to do tomorrow to try and start the engine and the carbs are a big unknown but maybe I'll get lucky!

 

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I have been closely following your restoration and the 1960 MGA restoration. I owned three MGAs and a 1950 MGTD and I really never had the chance to restore them. Thanks for showing your work.

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Didn't get any time to work on the car yesterday but did have some time today.  It seemed that as I added fluids they came back out!!  The first fail was the coolant.  Some idiot left the drain valve on the block open and made a big mess. ;)

Second failure was the fuel bowls.  I wasn't 100% sure how part of the float system worked but I followed what I thought were the correct directions.  That ended up with the wonderful new fuel pump covering the floor with gas.  I needed to clean that area anyway so no big deal.  Once I fixed the float system I tried getting a spark.  That failed as well and I spent about an hour troubleshooting that.  My first mistake was to put an insulator on the wrong side of the points spring resulting in the spring going to ground.  Once that was fixed I still didn't get a spark.  I reckoned it was either the coil or the condenser and since I only had a spare condenser, I tried that.  I got that fixed, held the #1 spark plug against the ground and pulled the starter cable.  Engine immediately roared to life which gave me a bit of a surprise... I was looking for a spark and not really expecting it to start.  Naturally as I jumped back I managed to grab the spark plug which, naturally, gave me a nice shock (my other hand was on the frame so I made a reasonable ground).  I turned the ignition off, put the #1 spark plug back in and here's what we got:

 

 

 

As you can tell it is running a little rich but I haven't even begun to adjust anything yet.  I'll get the exhaust installed, verify the radiator functionality and then set about tuning the engine.   I will admit I was a little surprised at how easy it was to set the initial timing, the initial air fuel ratio and start the car.   My Honda lawn tractor takes more effort. :)

 

 

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Great stuff! It's making all of the right noises. MG's are pretty forgiving in their start-up settings.

 

Get it properly warmed up before setting the mixtures. If you can borrow a colour-tune device, it will be a big help in getting the mixtures correct. It's very helpful to be able to observe the flame colour inside the cylinders at different rev levels. Otherwise, the method described in the manual will suffice.

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I haven't heard about ColourTune for years! I bought when way back when and it has been in the drawer ever since. I thought they were another idea consigned to the dustbin of history.

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