Monday, May 6, 2013

Well the GT has been on the road for about 2 months now.
She's been to two car shows and won best in class in one of them.

She's run pretty well and has been on a few 100+ mile shakedown road trips.  She is now my daily driver but not all is rosy.

I've had a front tire blow out on a mountain road during spirited driving (fun to say the least) and an oil cooler hose sprung a leak turning my spotless engine compartment into an oil-coated mess.

The rubber front brake lines swelled up and kept locking the calipers which ground the front pads down to nothing very quickly.  An easy fix except that the fitting snapped off the metal brake line when I went to change the hoses.

I have the interior back in and really like the seat heaters when it is cold. I highly recommend that upgrade.

The rebuilt wiper motor seems to be not quite right and sometimes doesn't work when switched on and there is something wrong with the carbs. Either the float on the front carb is sticking or there is some contaminant in the fuel line or bowl that gets into the needle and sticks it open. The fix so far has been to bang on the carb with a wrench and it seems to work.  I know I have to pull the carb off and check everything but for now I can deal with it.  :)

I also have to repair the front airdam.  A semi-truck decided to lose a giant mudflap on the highway and it struck the GT, smashing the airdam, damaging the front right fender and taking out a couple of driving and daytime running lights.

Oh well, such is life with a little British car.

More to come.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Progress continues.  The entire interior is in and everything electronic and electrical works.
All that's left it replacing the clutch slave and hose and balancing the carbs.

Yay me!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lots of progress...getting very close.

I've finally made progress on getting the GT back on the road. We've had a run of mild December weather here in North Carolina with the temps in the 60's and 70's which makes it easier to work on the car since I have no garage.

Here's a list of what I've gotten done this week.
Installed the fog and driving lights on a bar inside the airdam
Got the headlights and all other lights working---the wiring was a total mess
All the interior carpet panels are installed except the doors (waiting on some parts)
Installed all new LED and cold cathode tube interior lighting with LED courtesy lights under the doors to light up the ground when you get out of the car at night.
New 6-speaker sound system with am/fm/cd/usb/sd and Satellite
Rewired half of the harness under the dash (what a mess)
Cold cathod lighting in the cargo area
LED brake, tail and turn signal lights
Dual LED high 3rd brake lights
LED back up lights wired to the 4-synchro transmission
LED gauge lights
Modified late model center console armrest with LED map/task lights
Horn wiring sorted out and horns installed
aux power outlets installed
Modified speaker console with toggle controls for interior. fog. driving lights plus seat heater controls. all with LED indicators and dim LED lighting

It's been a busy week :)

I found an adaptor at Victoria British for the temp sender which is different on the older MG's so I don't have to swap out gauges.
The interior lighing is really nice.  I used the cold cathode light tubes, commonly called neon lighting (but it's not) I have two 6" tubes on the roof surround at the B pillars, two 12" tubes under the dash, two under the seats and two in the cargo area activated by a switch  that turns on the lights in the pare tire bay when you open the cargo cover.
I also installed LED's in the bottoms of the doors to light up the ground when  you step out of the car.

I'm still working on getting the windshield wipers working but I've figured out the wiring problem so it's just a matter of putting it back together.

I also installed the relay controlled second fuse panel on under the passenger side dash.  it will control the heated seats, sound system, interior lighting and aux power outlets.

And I have heated seats now too!  :)

I'll write more later but I'm getting excited...she's getting close to being ready to drive again.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


It's alive!
We got the GT running.  Once it was all together I pulled the choke and it fired right up and ran very smoothly.  This with rebuilt but not-yet-balanced carbs and an engine I rebuilt in 1989 with over 100k miles on it since.  It is also one that sat unused for over 10 years so yes, I'm happy with the job I did almost a quarter century ago :)
That is not to say that there are no problems.
I converted the car from positive to negative ground and converted from generator to a Saturn alternator.  It may or may not be working but the alternator light is glowing brightly.  I'm going to pull the unit out and have the alternator tested then backtrack the wiring I did.  Or I might take it to somebody else and let them worry about it.
The big problem was the rust.  The Previous owner "repaired" them by covering the rusted floors and sills with sheet metal screwed in place.  The more "patches" I pulled off the worse it looked.
Not having the time or money to cut everything out and rebuild it all I did the following:
I cut out as much of the bad metal as I could and then rust-treated the insides of the sills and rockers with rust converter. I then painted up inside and then sprayed undercoating in as best I could.  I then got steel and made new inner sills and floorboards with my metal break and pop riveted it all in place.  I then painted everything and then put down two layers of fiberglass mat and resin.
I then put down a layer of dynamat sound deadener and thermal insulation on the floors, firewall and transmission tunnel.
I painted and undercoated the underside and, hopefully, I've bought another 5+ years of life for the car.
I'm about to start putting the interior back in and hopefully the car will be mobile in the next week or so.

I also welded (very poorly) a metal patch on the rear floorboard where it was badly rotted out right above where the leading mounting point for the rear driver's leaf spring is.  If I hadn't done that, the forward leaf spring mount would break through the floorboard very soon.

God, I'm a shitty welder!  But it worked.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Getting ready for restart!!!

Well the engine and gearbox from the 74 roadster are have been installed in the GT.  Too much work to list here but some highlights are:

* Got the HS4 carbs installed but I'm pulling them of and going with the HIF4's because I don't like the crankcase venting setup I have now.
* Car modified for the 4-synchro gearbox from the roadster
* New DIY LED tail light assemblies are almost finished
* New modern sound system being installed
* reverse lights added to the car as well as headlight relays, an aux fuse panel under the passenger side dashboard for accessories
*  A coolant fluid recovery system has been added
* I did the Saturn 109-amp alternator conversion.
*  the LED daytime running lights in the airdam have been installed (see pics below)
*  I've torn out the interior and headliner and have recovered the seats and rebuilt the door panels.
*  New headliner and vinyl trim material have been purchased
All in all the car is about ready to fire up.  My work schedule is pretty busy this weekend so it should be running by next week.

The really bad news is that the rust on the driver side floorboards and sills is even worse than I thought.  This GT needs radical surgery to correct this but I am neither willing or financially ably to do that right now.
I'm going to stabilize the rust as best as possible and then fiberglass the hell out of everything.  It may only last 10 years but by then I'll either be able to afford a re-shelling or I'll be in the poor house :)

As far as the previous rust work done on the car all I can say is that the quality of repairs done was staggeringly shitty.  Galvanized metal roughly formed and riveted into place...sickening. (see bottom picture)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting ready to put an engine back in the GT

Well the Roadster engine/gearbox is just about ready to go into the GT.  All I have to do is drain the oil from them both and refill them, change the filter on the engine and put the motor mounts on.

I have the harness cleaned up and I have to install the new rubber grommets on the underside that hold the hydraulic and fuel line and wiring harness in place.

I have added a small section of wires to the backup light switch on the gearbox so I can ad reverse lights to the car. pretty straightforward install especially since I have already added spare wires to the harness that runs from the front of the car to the rear.

The gearbox crossmember is rebuilt, cleaned, painted and has had the bolt hole modification made.

I puled the tachometer out and did the conversion to it for negative ground...the bad part:
I pulled the tach apart, cleaned it, painted the inside of the housing white to better reflect the internal lighting, and cleaned the hazy glass and cleaned and shined up the chrome bezel.  Why is that bad?  Well it's not.  The bad part is that after I reinstalled it the rest of the gauges look like absolute shit!!!  Now I have to pull the other gauges out and clean them I don't have enough work.

Also needing done:
Rewire the car for negative ground-not too difficult.
Fix the broke female spade connectors for the fuel sending gauge and coil wire.
a ton of other little things involved in an engine swap and negative ground conversion.
I hope to have the car back on the road by the end of the Month

Since my wife and I are separating I have to have the GT, the Corvette and the Spitfire running and roadworthy and the 74 roadster ready  to be rolled around at least  and I have to have all that done by August 1st

I is gonna be a busy little bee!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Well here's the status:
I have pulled the engines out of the GT and the 1974 Roadster.  The roadster engine and gearbox is almost ready to go into the GT.
The GT engine compartment has been cleaned, degreased and painted to match the body color (what a pain in the ass that was-45 years of crud, grease and neglect)
I cleaned up and recovered the wiring harness.  The original harness was made with a woven cover over it and cannot be "retaped" like the newer MG harnesses. So I ordered some black "stick tape" for hockey sticks from Dick's Sporting Goods and it looks a lot like the woven harness.  (p.s. if you're looking for the Dick's Sporting Goods website then do NOT type "" into your browser---much different results than you're expecting)
I repaired the rust damage in the engine compartment and firewall.  I used fiberglass and I'm okay with that :)
I also fiberglassed the rust on the inner fender well trumpets.  When I replace the floorboards the car will be plenty strong enough for me to worry about the trumpets being fiberglassed.
I ran extra wires in the harness to the rear of the car which will allow me to add up to 3 additional circuits such as back-up light (which I'm doing)
i am about to do the wiring conversion to negative ground which doesn't look like it will be too difficult.
The transmission tunnel will have to be modified to accept the 4-synchro transmission.  also not too difficult sounding.
I put in the next "last parts order" for the GT and that should be here in a few days. 

A bit more prep work and I should be able to get the car back together by the end of the month.