|Oily Hand's Life with MGs
We took the 71 GT to meet a good group of members of the Tees Valley MG Owners Club at Yarm Station for a run to Thorpe Perrow Arboretum.
Shades of 'Take all the trees, put them in a tree museum. Charge the folks a dollar and a half to see them', only it was a lot more than a dollar and a half. It was a very pleasant run to Thorpe Perrow and we had a pleasant afternoon wandering through some lovely woodland.
Thanks to Mal & Mary for organising a great day.
Middlesbrough and District Motor Club did us all proud by organising the Saltburn Historic Motor Gathering. Thanks, guys & gals, we had a great day. This is a non competitive hillclimb on a closed road and a great opportunity to have a more spirited drive than normal.
The weather started off cool and dry but warmed up a bit by lunchtime.
It stayed dry until mid afternoon when we had a couple of short sharp showers, but they didn't stop the fun.
A wide variety of classic cars and bikes in the paddock and many climbed the hill.
Here's Numbum in action.
All in all, a wonderful day. I met some people I haven't seen for nearly 40 years. Jeez! That makes me feel old!
I think the TA decided to try to teach me who is boss. It all started late on Friday afternoon when after filling up with petrol for Saturday I decided to adjust the clutch. I had barely put any pressure on the adjusting nut when the operating rod snapped."Oh dear, this is not good", I said to myself. My poor attempts at welding some more threaded rod to the shaft failed miserably and I was facing not having the planned driving weekend, or going in the 71 GT. I made a couple of phone calls to see if I could find a friend who might have a spare rod, but no luck. Desperation was now setting in and I was standing in the garage looking for anything I could cobble up a clutch operating system from when I looked at a Morris 10 gearbox lying in the corner.
Bingo!!. Attached to the box was a short length of chain with a threaded rod attached. It took some considerable time to remove this heavily corroded adjuster without breaking it but it came off and was 'adjusted' to fit on the TA. A short test drive showed that all was well and some four hours after starting the job, I got cleaned up for a very late meal. It was a lot of time and work, but maybe I dodged a bullet there. It wasn't ideal at home, but that rod could have snapped at any time, possibly stranding us in some remote place.
Saturday was an early(ish) start to drive down to Skipton (about 75 miles) to meet up with 60 T Types of all ages and conditions. The MG Car Club T Register held it's Autumn Tour this weekend. Two days of driving over some superb roads in the Yorkshire Dales. We were keen to get there early enough to meet people before setting off, but it was not to be. Breezing along at around 60mph, with not a care in the world, we hit a bump and everything died. After some checking it was found that the live battery terminal had bounced off. it was quickly refitted, all the gear was stuffed back under the tonneau and off we went. A few miles further down the road it came off again. This time I made sure it was going to stay on. Got all sorted out and back in the car and it wouldn't start! All electrics were working and the engine was spinning over well but not firing. Removing the distributor cap revealed no spark at the points, probably because they weren't opening. How it had been running so well up to now was a mystery. Setting the gap with the Mk1 eyeball, got us running again. We were now well behind our planned time and probably wouldn't make the event start time.
We carried on and saw Grant & Barbara (the organisers) leading a group towards us. Assuming that they were the last away. we did a quick 180 and followed them. Shortly after that we got a route book from Grant and we were able to take a break knowing that we wouldn't get lost. So after a hectic start to the day we had a cuppa and then followed the route to Bolton Castle for the lunch break. This was the first chance I had to take any pictures. Unfortunately my camera isn't designed for shots like this but it gives a flavour of 60 T Types all in one place.
More pictures from the day
After lunch and some great conversation we set off across the valley where Numbum had one more surprise in store for us. On the climb out of West Witton I noticed steam coming from the radiator cap. As this car never overheats I pulled over to the side of the road. Whilst waiting for it to cool down I took the opportunity to get the video camera out.
Checking the radiator indicated that it was short of water, so I topped it up and off we went. Keeping a close eye on things we carried on to the finish at the Coniston Hotel, where the cause of the water loss was found, a weeping core plug. The helpful hotel staff kindly refilled our water cans and we set off for the journey home and made it safely with only one top up stop.
Thanks to Grant & Barbara for their hard work in organising such a great day. Sadly we wouldn't be with them all on Sunday but we hope they had a good day with fine weather.
As we were once again later than expected ariving home we picked up a fish & chip supper on the way in. After eating it was back out into the garage to try to stop the leak. Fitting another plug wasn't an option as I didn't have one available. My first though was to fit a self tapping screw into the hole but as I tried this the hole got larger and what was seepage of water became a trickle. It was clear that the plug was worse than I thought.
Then I remembered a product I'd used some time ago which I thought might work. After a frantic search, Pam found what we were looking for. Plumbers Mate, made by Evostick is a two part product, which when mixed together makes a putty that can be used to seal leaking water pipes, even when wet. It's designed as a domestic product but with no other option I had to give it a go. I mixed a portion andpushed it into the small hole. The leak stopped and just for good measure I spread the rest of the mix over the whole area of the plug.
After another later than expected night, I closed the garage door. If it was leaking in the morning, we would take the 71 GT.
Sunday was the MG Car Club Tyne Tees Centre Old Speckled Hen Run. We were assisting with the signing on so had to be there on time.There was no sign of leaking when I got the TA out of the garage, so we set off early to refuel with the plan to return home to get the GT should the leak reappear. Thankfully all was water tight, so we set off for the start.
Sadly, a lower than normal entry for the day (probably a sign of the economic times), and all but two made the start.
A wide range of cars, from our 1937 TA to a 2009 TF85 enjoyed the 45 mile drive through some little known lanes to the lunch stop at the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope. After lunch it was another 47 miles over the wild North Pennines to Seaton Delaval Hall where cream teas and good conversation prevailed.
The bullet cam was suffering problems, mainly lack of battery power. I cannot say who forgot to pack spare batteries as I don't want to incriminate myself. Pam did a remarkable job with the hand held cam in a bucking TA with me driving.
Thankfully, the rain mainly stayed away but the bleak wind took the edge off things a bit, especially on the run home down the A19.
Barrie and Sheila Hope deserve a great pat on the back for organising such a great day.
Today, the TA ran as well as ever, but I've now got some work to do on it before our next outing.
The rust bug had attacked the exhaust on the 71 GT. It has a two piece system with the join at the back box. Of course the hole had to be at the worst place, on the bend just before the back box. The rest of the system was in pretty good nick. Getting the whole system replaced would have run to around £140 by the time incidentals such as gaskets and clamps were included, so was a last resort.
Afriend told me about Exhaust a Fix so I gave them a call. "No problem", they said, so I booked the car in. About half an hour later and £50 lighter in pocket I drove away with a new section of pipe, from the front box to the back box and bent to match the original. Result! I have no connection with this business but I am a very satisfied customer. If you need an exhaust making up, they are the boys to do it.
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