The MGA With An Attitude
Grapes of Wrath Repairs
Page 3

Egging may seal a radiator?

At 01:20 AM 7/28/04 -0400, wrote:
>"I was watching the TV show "Mythbusters" on the Discovery channel and they experimented with the "sealing the radiator with an egg ala McGuyver", and they found it to be "Plausible". They punctured the radiator and dropped an egg into it. It sealed the hole in about a minute."

[No word on the size of the hole].

L-O-N-G  s-k-i-n-n-y  Capacitor

Now here is a first time myth. My cousin, a car mechanic, was serving in Egypt. While crossing the desert in a Bedford truck (militarized), the engine acted up and he diagnosed a faulty capacitor in the distributor. He told me he took the bulb out of a rear tail light and connected the other end into he dizzy. This giving a long piece of closely twinned but insulated wire which, after all, is the structure of a capacitor. HE said it worked. It seemed to have an element of reason but I have yet to check the capacitor values of the dizzy cap with the length of twisted wire.

Barrie Robinson

A Little Glue Works Wonders

My favorite was on a '63 Corvair in about 1970. It was dead, and the beautiful young lady who owned it was told she had to get it out of her apartment's parking lot or it would be towed. Enter her white knight. The generator pulley had come off the end of the generator, but it was still turning on the tip end of the generator's shaft. The keyway was gone. The generator was not turning. The odd routing of the Corvair's fan belt caused the pulley to grind its way through the nearby fuel line, and engine had died for lack of gas. I'll never know how it kept from sparking an causing quite a fire. I took a short length of fuel line hose and spliced that into the fuel line with two small hose clamps. Then I epoxyed the pulley back onto the generator, and drove it away. She was happy. So was I.

MG McAnick in Kansas - 1961 MGA

Minimum Requirements for Mobility

At 10:03 PM 12/14/05, John B. in Helena, Montana wrote:
>In 1974, at sixteen I got my first two cars, fully dismantled, for $200, a pair of MGA's. One had an engine. When Scott, the guy I got them from, drove the running one home for me, it had no doors, no seats, no foot boards, no dash or gauges, no wire harness (we hot wired it to run), no windshield, and no gas tan k, gear shift lever or steering wheel. Scott used a vice grip on the steering column and a screwdriver to shift. I was the fuel system. I sat on the passenger floorboard with a gallon milk jug in my lap. I had cut the jug's handle in half, put a piece of gas hose down the bottom half which went to the carbs over the dash, (no engine or boot covers either) and put another hose up the top half of the handle into which I blew air to keep fuel going to the carbs. We passed four police cars (going the other way) but none of them flipped around to pull us over. We made good time on the 15 mile trip and ran out of gas just in time to coast into my driveway. We were idiots. This was my first but definitely not my last time to improvise.

Controlling the Flood

At 04:12 PM 11/11/2006 -0700, Robin Poole in Spain wrote::
>I had diagnosed that a chronically over-rich mixture had stopped the engine. Visual examination showed that the choke cable had withdrawn correctly- the choke was "off". I reckoned that the carb float had sunk (probably punctured). I had NO tools with me. (if I had had at least a screwdriver I could have undone the lid of the float chamber and bought or created something to cover the puncture of the float. So... I pulled the feed wire out of the sidelight housing, pulled it back to the SU petrol pump and replaced the feed wire to the pump with the switchable feed from the light switch. I was now able to control the level of fuel in the float chamber .... first-turn the sidelights on to fill the float chamber, then turn them off. Start the engine and drive, as the engine faltered-turn the lights on, as it chokes, turn the lights off. Not very good for night driving, but it got me home. If I had used the cable to the heater fan, I could have driven at night.

I didn't want to burst his bubble, but you don't have to re-route the wiring harness to do this, or even crawl under the car. Next to the starter switch in the engine bay there is a bundle of snap connectors. The white wire for the fuel pump feed is right there next to three red wires for the parking lights in a 4-way connector. Just unplug the white wire from the side harness and plug it into the "red" connector.

Stop the Oil Gusher

When I bought my first MGA in 1968 it leaked a quart of oil every 50 miles, which I suspected had something to do with the last guy selling it. After a couple of weeks I found a small rock caught under the edge of the tach drive cable nut on the engine which left the nut a little high and leaking profusely. Having fixed the problem I took the car to show the previous owner. He turned several shades of green before asking if he could buy the car back.


Runing with One Carburetor

On 09 October 2008, Mike Ellsmore in Victoria, Australia, wrote:
>A club member's car was noticed to be leaking fuel profusely at a recent clubhouse night meeting. Closer inspection revealed the grommets on the front carby holding the float chamber to the body had failed. No one had a spare so a tray truck was called to cart the wounded car home rather than risk a fire."

Next time if you think quicker you can save the towing bill. The original fuel hose running from rear carb to front carb can be installed between the metal fuel pipe and the rear carb, plenty long and all the same threaded fittings.

The engine will run fairly well on only the rear carburetor if you disconnect a clamp on the throttle shaft to leave the front carb closed. Behavior of the car will be almost normal with engine speed under 2500 rpm, just requiring a bit more pedal to make it go. It would still cruise about 60 mph on a level road, given enough time to get up to speed. At higher engine speed the torque will suffer dramatically. It can be tough to get it much over 4000 rpm in 2nd gear with full throttle. At that speed it will seem be running on two cylinders due to air flow restriction in the cross over tube of the intake manifold, and of course only one carburetor passing air. But it is certainly good enough to get you home without a tow. This doesn't work as well with the other carburetor, as the throttle cable and arm are connected to the rear carb, not to the the intermediate shaft.

plug nickle Good use for a "Plug Nickle"

If you think a Welch plug ain't worth a plug nickle, you might find another application for the nickle. Someone took this shortcut for plugging the ends of suspension swivel links. Photo upplied by Christopher Wilson in North Carolina.

MGA Likes Green Tea

R.L.Hull in N.Y. State wrote:
On my way home I had a heater hose break. Lost most of the coolant. Had a case of Arizona green tea in the trunk. Filled cooling system with green tea and was on my way. Drove it that way for several days. Flushed and refilled with antifreeze. You do what you have to do to get home.

Substitute rebound straps Missing Rebound Straps?

Robert Agar in Green Valley, AZ, USA wrote:
The coupe rode rougher than I remember an A riding. Bone-jarring bumps....Poking around underneath, I found these passing for rebound straps. They were snubbed down tight enough to allow no travel. Had a devil of a time removing them. Installed new straps. Maybe my imagination or power of suggestion, but seems to ride a little softer now.

Razor Thin Fuel Check Valves

On 9/1/2011 Mark Robinson in San Deigo, CA, USA wrote:
My 1968 E-Type would stop running occasionally which I found to be the fuel pump failing. (It would run but not pump fuel). After a cool down it worked fine. One day in about 1975, it stopped running miles from home and cooling down didn't help. I took it apart and found that the 2 check valves were broken. They were made of a thin clear plastic. I found the container of razor blades I had recently purchased in the boot and cut new valves out of the plastic wrapper with my knife. Worked at least until I sold it 3 years later.

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