20 June 2010
|Oily Hand's Life with MGs
Last night saw one of the MGCC Tyne Tees Centre's famed supper runs. I didn't count them but I think there were a dozen cars started from the motorway services near Durham, for the 35 mile run through glorious countyrside to the New Board Inn at Esh, where a large table was reserved.
The view from the inn across the valley was stunning and this picture from my phone doesn't really do it justice.
The New Board Inn is a great place to eat. Superb food at reasonable prices. Everybody ate well and the conversations flowed well to make a very enjoyable evening. Big thanks to Pete and Sue Sewell for their time and effort in organising this run.
20 June 2010
The 40th Beamish Reliability Trial, with a commemorative plaque for the event.
The modern event has been running longer than the original!
It was a cool overcast start to the day but it soon warmed up to the extent that I was driving in short sleeves in the TA. That's a rare thing on The Beamish.
All in all it was a great day with the opportunity to see some great vehicles and meet some super people.
The TA ran well with no signs of the mystery misfire. The only fly in the ointment was this.
Yep, my attempts at sealing the rocker cover failed. It didn't stop us from doing the whole run, we just contributed to oil company profits. Another job to do. If I can't stop the leak, I'll have to rename the car. How does Exxon Valdiz sound?
The lunch stop at Bainbridge was busy as normal.
The fine weather showed the beautiful countryside off to its best.
During the course of the week I got another working fuel pump fitted to the TA and it had a trial run on Thursday evening. We did a short treasure hunt with the Tees Valley MG Owners Club and the car ran well. Even the mystery misfire wasn't there, which was a great bonus. A bigger bonus was winning the event and taking home a nice bottle of red wine!
On the way back home as night was starting to fall, I had my lights on. About half a mile from home a Police car came up behind me. I was within the speed limit so didn't think anything of it. Suddenly the instant laxative, blue lights, appeared in the mirror. I stopped and the officer pointed out that I had no rear lights at all. Looking suitably glum I waited for the ticket, but he asked where I was going and how far it was. I told him and he said he was going that way and would stay behind me to cover my rear until I got off the main roads and into the estate. What a guy! Thank you.
Today was the first chance I had to investigate the lack of lights and it turned out to be two bulbs blown. Not only the tail light elements but the brake light elements as well. Two new bulbs sorted that. I wonder if the issues of a loose battery connection the previous weekend had anything to do with it. Hmmmmm.
Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the Beamish Reliability Trial, and I also spent some time today checking things over and adjusting brakes ready for some serious driving. All sorted I nipped off to top up with fuel and check the tyre pressures. On the way home smoke started to pour into the cockpit and a glance in the mirror revealed a trail of smoke behind me. Thick blue smoke. I pulled into a layby and opened the bonnet. The rocker cover gasket was leaking and oil was running onto the exhaust manifold.
As I was only a mile from home I pressed on. Not a hope of finding another gasket today so to make the Beamish tomorrow, I resorted to taking the cover off, cleaning it and applying liberal amounts of RTV. It seems to have stopped the leak but here's hoping it holds tomorrow.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty horrendous on the car front. The Audi decided to set up in competition with Hellmans in making mayonnaise. First and natural thought was head gasket, so off came the head. It was skimmed, pressure tested and replaced with new gaskets, the cooling system thoroughly flushed and it was up and running again. This took about a week and left me with a severe pain in the wallet. It wasn't running for long though as 10 miles later it was back in production again. Further investigation revealed that the oil cooler was leaking oil into it's water jacket. For those not familiar with Audis what they call an oil cooler is a box about 5" square that fits to the oil filter housing and has a water jacket round it. How the heck hot water is supposed to cool oil is anybody's guess but that's Audi for you.
Hi, I'm Owen and I've been having fun with MGs since 1970, starting with my 1937 MGTA. Since then I've had three Y types and a couple of Z Magnettes. I now have a 1971 MGB GT along with the TA and my wife and I are still having fun