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It remember me when I first started the engine from my '56 Biarritz: I forgot to tighten the carbs covers: fuel was squirting; after a while, there was oil on the floor: the cover from the oil filter was not tight and suddently, I remember that there was no oil in the transmission!

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2 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

It remember me when I first started the engine from my '56 Biarritz: I forgot to tighten the carbs covers: fuel was squirting; after a while, there was oil on the floor: the cover from the oil filter was not tight and suddently, I remember that there was no oil in the transmission!

 

Yep, that sounds just like what I was doing yesterday!    I felt like as fast as I poured fluids in they came right back out!

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8 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

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.

Spinney, they are invaluable when playing with SU's, especially when you are altering your own needles to suit 'improved' engines. There is nothing quite like looking at the flame in each cylinder, and adjusting the mixture to just the right heat/colour. Well regarded by many of the 'fast MG' crowd. Can save you a lot of road time with an exhaust gas analyzer. Also handy when you have spark at the plug lead, but are doubtful if the plug is firing under compression. You literally watch the spark inside the cylinder.  Basically a glass spark plug, for the benefit of those who have not had the pleasure.

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I heard about those plugs years ago, but was unable to find them; a man with a '59 Eldo bought 8 of them to tune his 3-carbs set-up. Probably I did not search enough...

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10 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

I heard about those plugs years ago, but was unable to find them; a man with a '59 Eldo bought 8 of them to tune his 3-carbs set-up. Probably I did not search enough...

A UK product, I think. The land of the SU carburettor.

Edit.   Yes, I have found the instruction sheet.  It is a 'Gunson's Colortune',  from Gunson's Ltd., Pudding Mill Lane, London, E15 2PJ.  Mine is pre-internet, so the address may be a little out of date.

Edited by Bush Mechanic
Added info (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Bush Mechanic said:

A UK product, I think. The land of the SU carburettor.

Edit.   Yes, I have found the instruction sheet.  It is a 'Gunson's Colortune',  from Gunson's Ltd., Pudding Mill Lane, London, E15 2PJ.  Mine is pre-internet, so the address may be a little out of date.

 

Just having the manufacturer's name along with the product name makes the search pretty easy. Looks like they are still in business: http://www.gunson.co.uk/products/Colortune

 

And if you don't want to order from the UK it looks like you can get them from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=gunson+colortune&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=77721781532274&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_4de7059mu4_e

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More progress but more failure.   Topped off the coolant and found more leaks.  One leak was a case of me putting the two gaskets on the same side of the plate rather than one on each side... so that should be an easy fix.  The other leaks, unfortunately, appear to be two of the core plugs.  Since I'll be taking the firewall back off after I finish the "test assembly and shake down" I should be able to fix them without much problem.   I'm just hoping they don't leak too much as I'd really like to get a few miles on the car and some time on the engine. 

 

Next failure was the u-joints.  Apparently the u-joint kits don't have different thickness snap rings and the ones it came with were nearly 70 thousandths thick which left negative play and a u-joint that doesn't move.  I found some snap rings at Home Depot that were about 45 thou and that seems to work. 

 

Next failure was the master brake cylinder.  My son and I were bleeding the brakes and things were going well.  We were pretty much done and in celebration mode when I noticed fluid coming out of the front of the master cylinder.  I don't think it was doing that as we were bleeding as I don't think we would have gotten it done with that big a leak.  I'll take it out tomorrow and see what went wrong. 

 

Final failure was the exhaust header.  It appears the PO drilled removed the studs and drilled out the threads.   I used some 3/8" bolts to mate the exhaust pipe to the header built I don't like the way it looks.  I have one from the parts car and I'll refurbish it and switch them out on the final assembly.   Also found out I'm missing a bracket to mount the pipe to the gearbox.  The nearly $400 stainless steel exhaust system I bought had a "everything you need kit" for another $80... but in typical Moss fashion it doesn't actually include "everything you need".  They do sell that piece of course... for another $40 plus $15 shipping and a 5 day wait.   I love that they exist but their website is just not helpful.  Time after time I've bought things from them only to have to call them up to find out that, yeah, it doesn't come with that piece and I have to order it.   Sorry for the rant, but it is 2018 and databases are easy, websites are easy and there's no excuse for their site not to tell you what else you might need when you order some part.   I feel better now. ;)

 

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Jeff, sounds like you're having a fun time. Aren't old cars fun? When I fired up my engine on the stand for the first time I had a freeze plug leaking. After it warmed up it stopped. Once you get it to where you can run it longer they may stop leaking. My third member has a drip now that just started along with the rear main seal starting to drip after running the car. :angry:  Stay positive, you will get it all fixed up. Maybe one of those fancy beers will help.

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Jeff, the leaks are to be expected. After all, it is an MG. 

 

Cannot tell from the photos whether the Welsh plugs are the cup type, or the saucer type found on MGB's and 'A' Series engines. The latter type have been giving a lot of trouble lately, apparently due to the punches used in their manufacture wearing out. The edges appear a little rough, and they fail to seal, even with Stag, or a non hard setting sealant.  The last MGB that I rebuilt leaked from 3 of the 4 plugs. First Welsh plug leaks in my many rebuilds over the years.

 

The fix is to buy over-sized plugs, and turn them to size on that lathe of yours. You can hold them adequately against the 3 jaw chuck with pressure from the tail-stock centre. I used brass plugs, and they turn very nicely. A little non-hard-setting sealant, and fixed. I had to pull the engine out to get at the rear plug, which was annoying, as everything under the bonnet was as-new, painted and pretty.

Mick

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When I rebuilt my MGB V8 I was very disappointed by the quality of the MG parts that are available from the specialist suppliers. Although, MGB parts are very cheap, when compared to the classic BMW parts available, that I have been used to, I would have been prepared to pay more for better quality parts. It is very disappointing and frustrating to have these leaking problems with new core plugs.

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Thanks for the support guys, I'll try to keep it positive... I sorta thought I was on the fast path to testing the car out before starting on the remainder of the restoration.  

 

I put a gasket on each side of the radiator bypass restrictor plate and amazingly (ha ha) it worked just fine.  Apparently a gasket makes a better seal than rough metal on rough metal... who woulda thought. ;)   I test ran the engine for just a bit to confirm the radiator system wasn't leaking and I noticed the two core plugs (brass dish style) I am concerned about were only at a slight weep.  Will be interesting to see what happens when I'm able to get the engine up to operating temps. 

 

I'll look at the master cylinder tonight and there's always a chance that the same idiot that put two gaskets on one side will have done something similar when he rebuilt the master cylinder.  I'd be happy enough to forgive myself  that idiot if that were the case. 

 

Oh.... after hearing the engine with the full exhaust system installed... well... let's just say the cost to buy this baby just went up, way up!!

 

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Looks like someone interpreted the exploded diagram for the master cylinder incorrectly.   I guess a somewhat common mistake as one has to take "exploded" and un-explode... and when parts intersect, well it is hard to tell what they look like assembled.  I thought I had it correct and there seemed to be a groove in the rubber cap that lined up perfectly with a raised lip on another part but that was just a coincidence.  As a result I put the secondary cap in the wrong place and it tore and leaked.  I found an assembled diagram on Abingdon Spares and verified that I had it installed wrong.  Wish I had seen that first. 

 

The radiator bypass restrictor plate still leaked a little so I think I'll make the hole in the plate a little bigger and try a different gasket material. 

 

I found an oil leak from the top of the pump but fortunately it was a brass bolt that needed to be snugged up a bit. 

 

I took both the back dampers (shocks) off and tried to fix the leak.  The back plug (a dish style core plug) was leaking.  It seems that while I got the correct diameter plug it needed to be just a bit thicker.  While I wait for those to come in I went ahead and put another pair back in with some RTV sealant. 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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That's pretty minor stuff Jeff. I certainly hope that's the sort of problems I have when I finally start the Mitchell engine. Some problems are guaranteed... so we should all be releived when they are relatively minor.

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3 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

That's pretty minor stuff Jeff. I certainly hope that's the sort of problems I have when I finally start the Mitchell engine. Some problems are guaranteed... so we should all be releived when they are relatively minor.

 

Agreed, I was ecstatic when the engine started so promptly and ran smoothly. 

 

So the master cylinder saga continues... now I remember why I thought it was put together as I did, Moss supplied a photograph of an old one assembled!!  As such, now I'm not sure what to do.   If I put a new rubber seal on it will just tear again, it seems to fit on the piston but I think it is obviously too big for the bore of the cylinder.  The way Abingdon Spares has it pictured the seal is midway on the piston... that fits nicely but it would also slide up and down and seems possibly useless.  Here are the two pictures I'm working with.  On the first "exploded" view you can see the raised ring around the piston on the left side of the red arrow I've drawn.  The diagram appears to show the rubber seal sitting between that rind and the other end of the piston.  In the second picture it appears to show the rubber seal sitting on top of the ring (there is a recessed ring inside the rubber seal that roughly aligns) and touching the front of the piston.  That is how I assembled it the first time.   The problem is that the rubber seal is a super tight fit into the piston and when it moves opposite of the slopped edge, it tears it.   The rubber seal fits nicely on the piston between the ring and the rear of the piston but, obviously, is allowed to slide up and down the piston and I'm not sure if it is really functioning.  I may try to re-assemble it with the seal in the middle and see if I can bleed the brakes and if they function.  If they do appear to work, then I'll replace that seal.  If not... well, I'm not sure. 

 

Hopefully someone here has rebuilt one of these guys and can tell me what's going on.

 

AbingdonDiagram.thumb.jpg.cd0bd6c6252ff5b5c88838418ecc930a.jpgMossDiagram.jpg.c9185f7721ddcbf8eac25b7596d102ed.jpg

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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I've found multiple sources now that show the seal where I tried it.  I believe the diagram from Abingdon (first picture above) is just an anomaly due to it being an exploded diagram.  I'm confident that if I get a new seal the same thing will happen.  I'm sure I could modify this or that, smooth this or that, etc, etc but it just isn't worth it.  As such I've decided to buy a new master cylinder which should be here next week.  I'm a little frustrated but we're dealing with a safety item.

 

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I let the engine idle enough to get up to 180 degrees (and verify that the thermostat opened and the radiator cooled).   I started the car first with the starter and then turned it back off and started it by hand. One smooth revolution and it was running!   Not sure you'd want to do this with a cold engine but I may try that next time (once I actually have the choke cable hooked up).   All in all I think it ran for 30 minutes and seemed to do fine.  The oil leak I thought I fixed on top of the oil pump is not fixed so I'll need to take a look at that.  The core plugs are still weeping but I'm not sure either has managed a drop yet.   The rear dampers seemed to be holding fluid so I think those are fine for now.   The goal was to drive the car out of the shop so that I could get my shaper delivered but I'm fairly certain that will not happen now.  The master cylinder isn't due to arrive until early next week and I'm not driving the car anywhere without brakes as there's a hill just outside the shop.  I might try putting the tub on and see if I can wire up the handbrake. 

 

Here's a shot of the shiny new stainless exhaust system.  I hesitated to put it on so early in the process but the car was too loud without it.   The car is nice and quiet with it but still nice and throaty when standing behind it.  Really doesn't sound like a small 4 cylinder. 

 

IMG_4463.thumb.jpg.0d92519a72445750d189815143dfc8db.jpg

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10 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

 

 

 

  The problem is that the rubber seal is a super tight fit into the piston and when it moves opposite of the slopped edge, it tears it.   The rubber seal fits nicely on the piston between the ring and the rear of the piston but, obviously, is allowed to slide up and down the piston and I'm not sure if it is really functioning.  

Could it be that you had the wrong seal? Those master cylinders are so simple, I only see that as explanation.

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It's been a LONG time since I worked on one of those. I thought I remembered the rear seal on the piston being located in a ring  groove, to stop fluid leakage from the rear. The exploded view seems to show the locating groove (on the left end of the piston), but shows the seal midway along. And your photo of the piston does not show a locating groove. But academic, if you have a new cylinder coming.

 

I do remember that the car in question had the brakes locking on, and 2 brake shops had given up on it. I found that the push-rod had been extended too far on rebuild, and the piston seal was not uncovering the fluid-return hole on the return stroke. Hence it was pumping up. That was one happy MG owner, when I reinstalled it.

 

The handbrake sounds like the short term solution. A nice turned-leg kitchen chair tied on there would look the part, to move it outside. I think you are going great guns with it. keep it up!

Edited by Bush Mechanic
Missing word. (see edit history)
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Roger:  I think you're mostly correct... it is the "right" seal as it is the one for this m/c but I think the seal has the internal groove at slightly the wrong place and not quite deep enough.  As such, it sticks up a little too proud.  I could probably make a new one fit but fudging around with something like brakes seems a bad idea. 

 

Bush Mechanic:  Yep, I've heard about the return hole either getting plugged or covered by the piston.  Your memory of the rear seal is spot on but it looks like the seal they're making these days doesn't fit perfectly on the piston.  

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)

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It remember a story in the Cadillac LaSalle club forum: a guy tried to overhaul his power steering pump on a '54 or '55 Cad, without success, there was just no assistance. Finally, it was discovered that a "o" ring was too thick. The same kit with the same o ring is still available; other people suffered from the same experience.

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Moving out of garage, could you use the engine as the brake?  Not running, in reverse to back down the hill and then chock the wheels?

 

Completely unfamiliar with your master cylinder, but I was advised to use brake assembly lube on all rebuilds. I'm guessing you used this too.

 

Your work is amazing.  Good luck.    frank

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7 hours ago, frank29u said:

Moving out of garage, could you use the engine as the brake?  Not running, in reverse to back down the hill and then chock the wheels?

 

Completely unfamiliar with your master cylinder, but I was advised to use brake assembly lube on all rebuilds. I'm guessing you used this too.

 

Your work is amazing.  Good luck.    frank

 

Thanks Frank!  Yeah, I could do that and if I'd driven it around some before this point then I'd be fairly familiar with it and more comfortable.  As it is, I'm really not sure what's going to happen once I get it moving not to mention I haven't driven a stick in 20+ years. 

 

Per the seal, yes I lubed the cylinder up before putting everything back together and I think Roger has called this... the seal I have, regardless of being the "right" seal, is just not the right seal for the piston I have.   I could modify either but for only $119 a brand new TRW master cylinder will be at my door Monday afternoon.  Too late to move the car this weekend but I'll survive.   Maybe I get the handbrake hooked up and it provides enough stopping power to move the car around.

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)

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Shaper arrives tomorrow and I need the car out of the shop and I still haven't given up hope of driving it out.  I tried putting the tub on but apparently it needs to go on as a unit with the firewall or it needs to go on before the firewall.  Taking the firewall off at this point was a non-starter... fortunately for me the floor boards and handbrake don't need the tub installed!!   I noticed this yesterday while harvesting another bracket off the parts car.   As such, I put the floor boards, driveshaft tunnel, handbrake, steering wheel and various parts on.  The handbrake does stop the car... well, at least when rolling it across the shop floor.  I think it should be enough to move the car in and out of the shop.   I need to secure the battery and temporary gas tank as well as fashion a seat of sorts.  I'll see if the original is in any shape to be used.. I doubt it is.   Nothing like a deadline to push progress along!!

 

IMG_4468.thumb.jpg.38470d93e50a73c08620b4061ea2e302.jpgIMG_4466.thumb.jpg.d9bc7023c14de10c97ecf59f434573bf.jpg

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First drive complete!!   Car is super peppy!   Couldn't believe how strong it pulls in 2nd gear.    Rides very smooth and is very easy to steer and control.   All very exciting and somewhat terrifying sitting on a plywood while buzzing through the neighborhood in 4th gear with no brakes save the handbrake.    That will be the last of the test drives until I have real brakes and a seat.  :)   I will say that the handbrake does work pretty good.  Pull a little and you slow down, pull all the way up and the rear wheels lock and you skid to a stop.  Being the English style, it doesn't lock in place until you press the button... opposite of what I'm used to but perfect for what I needed.  Engine braking, of course, works well and is super fun in the car.   With that bit of curiosity settled, I've got a lot of more boring detail work to get done (like put all the lug nuts on...)

 

It just looks so happy to be outside and on the road!!  It has spent since the late 70s in various boxes in various workshops and I think it was more thrilled than I was to be running through the neighborhood today!

 

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