19 Feb 21 A tale of two bolts

It’s a story with a happy ending today as I have just witnessed big Mark releasing the two calliper bolts which were preventing me from replacing the front n/s brakes. A few weeks ago I had done the o/s front brakes and it had all gone alright. However, when I came to do the n/s the brake caliper bolts (there are two) I could not remove them. The n/s calliper looks original, so what we have here is something that has been in place for over forty years and did not want to budge. My attempts to undo the bolt had involved using some freeze spray and a socket and bar. The problem I was having was that the bar was just springy and I only have a light domestic hammer so all I was doing was bouncing the steel around. So I called Mark…

To be clear, Mark entered our garage via the front, while I stood well away, so we were Covid secure throughout. On his first visit (yes there were two visits) he tried a spanner and lump hammer to try to get the bolt to budge. All that happened was the spanner (one of mine, and not of best quality), just turned around the bolt. Next he used a chisel to try to rotate the bolt with a couple of thwacks on the edge of one of the flats. Sadly this did not work, so he agreed to come back with some more serious kit.

Visit two, a couple of days later, and Mark arrived with a professional socket set and a G-clamp. He found a good fit with a 15mm socket and fitted the bar. Then he used the G-clamp to hold the socket onto the bolt end as additional security. He gave it a couple of exploratory thwacks, but wasn’t happy with the bar still flexing excessively. So he used a large ring spanner fitted over the end of the bar and put it under tension to reduce the bounce. A couple of more meaningful blows from the hammer and we started to see actual movement and the first indication of progress. And that as they say, was that. The second, lower bolt came off in much the same manner and I am now clear to complete the replacement of the front n/s brakes over the weekend. Thanks to Mark, a local friend who didn’t mind squeezing down the side of our garage to undo the bolts on a rainy February 2021 while I looked on in awe. We all need a friend like Mark.

9 Nov 19 Stormy weather

Another rainy Saturday? …it must be November. Before the rain became truly relentless I managed to do a couple of jobs on the MG. Today was an inventory day, something I have made up to describe when you spend time going through the boxes of parts trying to figure out an order to everything. Today, I decided to put all parts which are surplus into a single box. Surplus means that I have bought a new replacement, so hence don’t need them anymore. Parts that are decent, I’ll flog at an autojumble one day, parts that were u/s I threw into my garage bin. No point keeping them. While going through the boxes, I found a couple of items that could just be fitted right now, meaning that I wouldn’t have to store them any longer. It also gave me a view as to whether they were actually any good or not. This included the following:-

  1. Gearlever and original gearknob: This highlighted that I did not have the gearlever retaining ring readily to hand. Quick search on the internet suggests these are no longer available, so I will look out for the original one buried in a box somewhere
  2. Door locks: The door locks are in okay condition, however the second one I fitted didn’t want to go through the aperature in the door and when I tapped it, I chipped the paint. Darn! I wasn’t really able to see whether it was a bad chip as this was the last thing I fitted before rain stopped play. Hey ho, this was bound to happen at some point. The thread on this lock needs tightening, but as mentioned the rain was getting heavy so I abandoned this job. The thread is really long and the space in the door is tight. All I can weild is a large 1″ spanner to do the nut up, so that will take ages. Something of a penance for my earlier impetiousness. The lock action isn’t right yet and will need some fettling.
  3. Door Handles: These fitted nicely, but has highlighted that I really need to replace them as the chrome is pitted. What a shame, it would be nice to keep the originals. Still, they can stay on for the time being.
  4. Door Pulls: Have I gone mad? Door pulls on before the door cards or even windows are fitted. Maybe not so crazy, because in fitting them (trial fit really), I discovered that one of the fixings on the n/s was missing. There is a threaded clip that was missing on the door. It would have been annoying to disover this problem having put the doors cards on, so glad I found it. I will need to think of how to rig up something here probably involving giant washers.
  5. Rear view mirror: Again, have I gone mad. Well it was sat in a box so I thought I would fit just to see how it goes on and this confirmed that really it needs replacing. The mirror backing has come away so the edges are all ragged. S
  6. Thermostat and housing: A long time ago I had bought a new thermostat and housing, but couldn’t fit it because the old temperature sensor probe was stuck in the head. As I removed this earlier in the week with some freezer spray and some light prying*, these parts could now go on and the old ones get tossed in the surplus bin

Today’s jobs generated a list of required parts. There is an Autojumble coming up in Malvern so I may take a trip out there to buy the parts.

Not really a memorable day on the MG, but forward progress was made and to get anything out of today is somewhat of a bonus given the weather. I am waiting for better weather to do the jobs that are critical to getting the car moving under own steam, something I couldn’t really contemplate today.

* The temperature sensor, which fits on the end of a capillary tube, has been one of the most troublesome components to date. I tried undoing it when I first stripped the car down and have been trying ever since. I’ve tried special gripping sockets, heat from a blowtorch, crowbar, loads of WD40 and all sorts all to no avail. It took my mate Mark to remove the nut (which should have taken the sensor with it) and he usually works on industrial mechanical plant! As I am now in the rebuild, this could have become an issue requiring the head to be removed and machined. Fortunately, a friend from Church suggested the freeze spray and this was to prove the decisive factor in me finally releasing the little blighter. In the end, once it had budged, it just pulled out, the corrosive bond having been broken. Phew! …and a sense of achievement.