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RoddyMac17 Reader
4/12/21 9:12 a.m.

Time for an update...  Over the last two weekends I've tried to re-fit the motor but it didn't fit.  It turns out the plate that I had welded into the crossmember was out by 1/8" which caused the motor to not drop into place.  So Saturday of this past weekend was spent doing the hokey pokey with the motor.  I took it out, did some griding and persuading, put the motor back in, took it back out, welded, then put it back in:

I also offered up the rad panel, rad, and cold air ducting:

The rad needs a spacer made up to allow it to be bolted to the rad panel and space it forward a bit.  The rad is one of the cheap ones from Ebay, and I know why they're so cheap, they don't fit right out of the box.  Oh well, not a big deal, with spacing it forward I can sneak a cooling fan on the backside.

Other than that, I removed the rear window and filled the holes on the hatch:

And spent the bulk of Sunday afternoon sanding and filling.  I've spoken to the paint shop, and the car will be dropped off with them at the end of the month.  So that means the next two weekends will see a lot more body prep.


Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/21 10:05 a.m.

Looks so awesome with those carbs!

RoddyMac17 Reader
5/3/21 9:25 a.m.

Time for an update, two weekends ago I spent some time fitting the tailgate badges.  I had welded up the existing holes in preparation of drilling new ones for the earlier badges. A set of letters was ordered, and measurements were provided by a friend with two early cars ( Ralph's B GTs ).  But, figuring out where to drill them and getting everything lined up was a nightmare.  I lost count at how many times I had to weld up the new holes just to get things in roughly the correct spot.  Luckily TIG welding gives a relatively soft weld, so drilling the new holes was easier:  

The holes are slightly larger than the pegs on the back of the badges, so there is a bit of wiggle room to get them lined up once the tailgate is back on the car.

I also managed to hit the car with high build in the spots that I had patched up (dog legs, side marker locations etc):

That allowed this to happen:

The car was loaded and delivered to the paint shop.  A rough idea of price was provided, which was agreeable, then the estimated time was discussed.  As it stands currently, I should hopefully have it back in a month.  Fingers crossed I'll have it back by early June.

So, with the car now out of the garage, work on the other items commenced on Sunday.  I had hoped to have at least one front seat re-upholstered, but after stripping the seat down, and attempting to install the rubber diaphragm, work was halted.  The new rubber diaphragm doesn't quite fit properly, in fact it was so tight it was actually bending the clips that hold it in place.  I'll be ordering a new pair from an alternate supplier to see if I can make something work.  Unfortunately, no pictures of that work.

I then focused my attention on the rear seats.  They turned out ok, not perfect, but ok for what I'm after:

I'm going to spend a bit more time on the ends of the seat base to try to get the pucker out of them.  As for the wrinkles in the middle of both pieces, the covers were shipped folded in half, and I just can't get them to flatten out.  I did leave them out in the sun to soften up, but still no joy.  In any case, they'll have to do and hopefully they'll shrink a bit over time.



RoddyMac17 Reader
5/18/21 9:16 a.m.

Another update, the car has sat at the paint shop for two weeks now and unfortunately no work has been done to it.  The painter has been off for 15 days following his jab, which has delayed everything at the paint shop.  They've promised me that the door jambs, under hood, and inside of the tail gate will be painted by next weekend, along with blocking the body to get it ready for paint.  Fingers crossed I'll see some progress when I stop by this Saturday.

In other news, I've been slowly re-covering the front seats.  I put most of the drivers side together a week ago, but wasn't happy with the seat back.  I bought new foams for the bases and backs, but the back doesn't really look that good.  On the passenger side I re-used the existing foam, which was in incredible shape for being 56 years old, and things look much better:

Here's a pic of both seats, and you can see the drivers seat back cover just doesn't fit like it should:

So, this weekend it will get pulled apart again and the old foam reinstalled.  I'm also trying my hand at shrinking leather with a steamer.  It seems to work, but I still need to figure out how to get a bit more shrinkage.

On to the next project for this project, a steering wheel.  I was convinced by SWMBO that a wood wheel would look really nice with the colour combo I'm going with, but Moto Lita and Tourist Trophy (Moss Motors jobber wood wheels) just didn't look like what I had wanted in a 14".  So a CAD file was created and sent off for water jet cutting and this is what I've ended up with:


I'll be making a trip to the local "interesting" wood supplier tonight to price out some baltic birch plywood, hopefully the prices haven't skyrocketed like the price of softwood.  

I had made a wheel in the past (for the blue car), but opted to make the rim a little fatter, this time around the rim will be closer to what a Moto Lita has:



RoddyMac17 Reader
7/5/21 9:04 a.m.

This past Saturday things started happening again as the car is now back from paint (and was only 1 month late):

Saturday afternoon was spent looking over the car and installing a the tail lamps, and one back-up lamp, the second back-up lamp will go on once I chase the threads on the body:

Sunday saw the front signal lamps go on:

As well as installing the headliner, and sound insulation in the footwells and under the seats. Unfortunately, no photo's were taken of that work.  I did drop the seats in just to see how they look with the paint, and I'm more than pleased at the outcome:

Next weekend I'll hopefully paint the trunk area and start on fitting all the door hardware.  Fingers crossed I'll have it back on the road by the end of the summer.




bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/5/21 12:32 p.m.

I like the color combination

Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/5/21 3:54 p.m.

Really like how this is coming out.

RoddyMac17 Reader
7/26/21 12:14 p.m.

I have been slowly making progress, the interior was painted and insulation was installed:

A dashtop rail was ordered, so it and the GRP dashtop piece I had made earlier was covered and both were installed:

One of the studs pushed itself away from the cardboard backing, but that will get fixed the next time I'm in the garage (there's a slight gap just above the glovebox)

The metal dash was installed along with test fitting the speaker console:

And, the heater was shoved (literally) in place, and an oil line was fabricated using an NPT to BSPP fitting at the block, a stock MGB oil pressure hose and firewall fitting, plus some 1/8" copper tubing:

Hopefully next weekend will see the carpets, seats and some interior panels put in place. I'm still undecided on the exhaust, so "making smoke" wont happen for a few more weeks.


AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/26/21 12:51 p.m.

Dig the color combo. Great progress!

RoddyMac17 Reader
8/3/21 9:20 a.m.

More work was done this past weekend, it was a long weekend with an extra day added on so I managed 3 full days in the garage.  Friday was spent installing the carpets, I bought the seat covers, panels and carpets from Moss, and elected for the flat carpet set.  I thought they would be quite a challenge to install, but surprisingly the only real wrinkles in the carpets are in the arch covers and they're quite small.  If you were to inspect them closely you'd see them.

Next was placing the seats in the car to see if a) I still fit and b) if the seats match the carpets.  The conclusion was yes I still fit but a 14" steering wheel is the largest I can use, and yes they match the carpets fairly well:


Saturday saw the door windows go in, then out, then in, and the RH out again yesterday:

The reason for putting them in, then out and back in again was because I've switched to early type interior handles/remotes.  It turns out that that type of remote has to get installed before the glass and regulators can go back in.  I also had to drill an extra hole and do some trimming, but they now open the doors and the glass goes up and down like it's supposed to.

I then started on the wiring.  Because I've converted the car to a metal dash, the switches are all moved to under the radio in the middle of the dash, so a sub harness was created to keep the original wiring harness stock, but allow the switches to be moved.  I didn't take a picture of the harness but here's one of the wiring bundle I had to start with:


Monday saw the trim around the windows installed:

I also started on wiring up the speeduino.  I decided to punch a hole in the passenger side pedal box blanking plate as the location for where the speedy harness with enter the engine bay.  I forgot to take pictures of it (I will snap a few next weekend), but it should be an easy install with next to no superfluous wiring in the engine bay.  As I'm only running the ignition side, there's just the crank and cam sensor wiring (both are shielded cables), TPS wiring, and inputs to the coil, the stock wire to the coil will be retained, and other two or three wires are just grounds.  Under the dash it's just a 12v+ to the speedy, and an output to the tach, along with four grounds that will go to the body where I mount the speedy.  I'm very happy with how minimalistic the whole thing is.  Fingers crossed it will work on the first push of the starter button.

And to close out the weekend, I resinstalled the grille badge (and LH headlamp):

Next weekend should hopefully see the wiring completely buttoned up (hooking up the tail lamps/headlamps/signals etc), and possibly reinstall the bumpers.



Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/3/21 9:25 a.m.

Looking GREAT!

RoddyMac17 Reader
9/13/21 9:29 a.m.

A bit more progress has been made. I spent this past Sunday welding up the header, the welds aren't the prettiest but to quote AVE "A grinder and paint makes me the welder I aint". I still have to finish the collector and look at where I can put a V-band in order to easily install and remove the header.

The previous weekend I gave my GF the task of installing the interior panels and re-covering the door tops and the bit that go under the rear quarter windows:

Keen eyed viewers will notice the door seal has been peeled back at the door top, for some reason the doors don't want to close with the door tops on. I'm not too worried about it at the moment, as there's still a ton of work to get done, but it will be looked at sometime in the near future.

I've also nearly finished the wiring and have received a new speedo from Vitesse (supplier of Miata gearbox conversions for MG's):

I need to figure out where to put the speedo sensor, the RX8 gearbox that I'm using doesn't have any provision for a speedo drive/sensor/etc. The plan at the moment is to mount it to one of the front uprights to generate impulses from the brake disc mounting bolts, hopefully that will get looked at next weekend. I had thought about the driveshaft bolts, but as they're not "square" that was ruled out.

And one final picture, just to PO the MGA crowd:

I figure the car now has a "twin cam" engine, so why not give some hint about it without lifting the bonnet.

metty Reader
2/24/22 2:20 p.m.


RoddyMac17 Reader
2/24/22 2:41 p.m.

No pictures of updates, but things are moving along at the speed of glacial retreat.  Last fall while trying to fit the serpentine belt/fabricate an idler bracket, I noticed the crank end float was way out of spec.  Another motor was procured which has sat in the corner until last weekend.  I was very very close to pulling the trigger on a brand new motor available locally, but elected to pull the spare motor to pieces and see what's what.  It turns out the motor, though higher mileage, has next to no wear.  So it will get some new bearings and rings to freshen it up.  Once that's done, the existing motor gets pulled out, the refreshed one gets bolted in, and work can continue.     

Other than that, I picked up a spare gearbox to rob the shift lever tower off of it; replaced the fuel lines; fabricated a fuel pump mount (using a motorcycle pump to match what the carbs require); fabricated an accelerator cable bracket; fabricated a bracket for the heater valve; and I've started on the rad/cooling fan mount.  

I've booked another week off work in March which will hopefully give me enough time to do the motor swap and try to get the thing running.  If I'm successful with that, I'll move onto trying to fit the windscreen and rear window.

autocomman Reader
2/24/22 11:33 p.m.

Excessive crank walk is super common in the ranger 2.3, which is basically what you have there.  I dunno how many different duratech 4 bangers had the issue, but I can tell you it doesn't kill em.  You would hear the knock when pressing in the clutch on my buddy's ranger, which he used to tow with lol ...bought it with 100k miles, 70k miles later it never missed a beat, so while I do get the excessive end float, seems as if these engines don't care lol





RoddyMac17 Reader
3/21/22 10:44 a.m.

Time for an update with pictures....  I managed to get a week off of work and spent most of the time in the garage.  The aim was to rebuilt the spare Zetec I had picked up a while back.  I tore it down a few weeks ago and sent it in for honing as all I was planning on doing was a ring and bearing job (and it was a ring and bearing job).  While the block was off being honed and jetwashed I picked up some rings, bearing, gaskets etc, but I had forgotten to actually measure the rings.  I sent dear old dad an email  (the car and tools are at his place because Vancouver) asking if he could measure them which he did and another set of rings was ordered as the first set weren't the correct ones.  So, the Saturday of my week off was supposed to be spent reassembling the block in hopes of having the complete motor together by Sunday.  That didn't happen, it turns out the measurements that I was sent were out by .010", and no one locally had the third set of rings in stock.  Luckily the machine shop that I used managed to track a set down on Monday and had them air freighted so that they were in my hands on Tuesday.  

So, Satuday and Sunday were spent cleaning various bits of the motor and installing the front over riders/bumperettes and driving lamps.  The over riders were in poor shape, but I managed to massage them back into something useable, they look decent from 10 feet away but up close there are lots of dents and marks:

By Wednesday I had the motor more or less ready to go. I left the pans off as I was going to swap the pans from the old motor to the new one, but ultimately I decided to use the upper pan from the new motor as it didn't require any modifications for the starter motor (more on that in a bit):

Now onto the starter motor modifications.  When I first ordered the adapter plate, the guy who makes them only had one type for the Zetec that used an off the shelf starter motor in the UK and had it positioned where the RX8 starter bump is.  This works fine in many applications and potentially a RHD MGB, but for a LHD MGB it leaves very little space for the exhaust as the steering column and starter take up a lot of real estate.  Since then, Jon, the guy who makes them, came up with a new design that locates the starter in the stock Focus position (on the RH side), and uses a Focus starter motor.  I figured since I was going to pull the motor out I should get one, which arrived in a very short amount of time (and luckily before my week off).  The new plate does require some surgery to the RX8 bellhousing, but for the amount of power the Zetec will be putting out, I dont think it's a big deal:

Saturday was spent pulling the old motor, modifying the gearbox, and putting the new motor back in:

I'm starting to realize that most of this build thread is photos of the motor going in, then out, then in, then out....

Sunday saw me fully welding the gearbox mount and adding a bushing to prevent the motor from moving fore and aft;

The non-MGB mount piece uses the stock MGB gearbox mounts, and the crossmember still uses the stock mouning points on the chassis.

And finally I had to dress the motor up to make it look like I actually accomplished somthing:

The current header is wrapped as it's very close to the upper coolant pipe.  I know a lot of people dont like header wrap, but I'm using it just to keep the temps down, and with the new starter position a new header will be fabricated sometime over the summer or fall depending on a)if I get it running and b)if I want to keep driving it through the summer and fall.

The car is entered in the local British car show in May, so I now have a deadline that's fast approaching.  I'll hopefully be adding weekly updates to this thread over the new two months.


3/21/22 11:48 a.m.

RoddyMac17 Reader
4/11/22 10:28 a.m.

Some major milestones were achieved this past weekend.  First off, the GF and I managed to install the windscreen.  I didn't follow the "correct" procedure and ended up trimming about 3/4" from the seal.  It was still a struggle to get the glass in, but the missing 3/4" did make it a bit easier.  I'll have to use some sealant, but I not too upset about it.  I still have to install the lock strip and the brightwork, but both of those tasks will have to wait a few weeks.

Next was installing the rear glass.  It proved to be just as difficult as the front, but it didn't require any trimming of the seal.  Unfortunately, the rear defrost wont work, and as it turned out didn't work when I bought the car.  The wire on the LH side was broken some time in the cars past, and it broke off again while installing the glass.  I had soldered on a new wire, but with tring to prise the rubber over the glass and wire, the wire came loose.  I might be able to fabricobble someting to make it work, but at the moment I'm happy the glass is in.

One more pic of the B GT next to the Jag I picked up late last year.  I know the Jag is a bigger car, but I was shocked to see how small the B is compared to it.

I also managed to find time to get some tires mounted on some new wires for dear old dads '65 B, hopefully in the next few weeks it will go to a friends shop to have the hubs replaced.  I would do it, but I have no spare time due to my own projects.


And lastly, the B GT Zetec now runs.....  Unfortunately no video as I only ran it for a few seconds due to the cooling system not being hooked up, but it runs.  I did spend half of Sunday trying to figure out why it wouldn't and it turned out I had the cams timed wrong.  I thought for certain when I installed them last month they were in the correct spot, but as it turned out they weren't.  So 15 minutes of tear down and re-assembly allowed the motor to sputter to life. 

Hopefully there will be more progress in the next few weeks.

autocomman Reader
4/11/22 11:05 a.m.

Nice.  Looks really good!  I'm not looking forward to Installing the glass on mine.  On the rear, did you out the seal in the tailgate first?  Or the seal on the glass...I've read about it both ways

RoddyMac17 Reader
4/11/22 11:16 a.m.

On the rear, did you out the seal in the tailgate first?  Or the seal on the glass...I've read about it both ways

Seal on the tailgate.  I don't think it would be possible to do it the other way.  The seal is oversize and requires some force to put on the tailgate, if you put it on the glass it would just flop around.  But, it might also depend who you buy the seal from.  Both front and rear on my car are from Moss. I did pick up a windscreen seal from Rimmer Bros, but as the Moss one was already partly on the body, I stuck with it.  

RoddyMac17 Reader
5/2/22 10:13 a.m.

Well, it appears this thread will continue with the motor being pulled out and put back in again....  following my last post, I managed to drive the car very briefly up the street and noticed the gearbox was making some horrible noises, not to mention horrible vibrations.  This meant that the motor had to come out again, luckily I had the GF with me on the weekend and we managed to get the it done in less than 4 hours.  

While it was out, I installed a new pressure plate and disc, along with replacing my home made idler bracket with a Retroford part.  The idler bracked I made didn't have provision for tensioning the belt, and the adjuster at the alternator don't have enough movement to do anything.  The RF part has a nice machined slot that allows thd idler pulley to move. I really should have bought it earlier in the build, but foolish me thought I could do it myself.

The reason for the re and re was the gearbox, the one that was in the car either has a bent input shaft or a toasted input shaft bearing.  Luckily a spare gearbox popped up on FB marketplace a few months ago which I snapped up right away.  I guess hording parts can be a good thing.

On Sunday this happened:  


It still needs some sorting, and some trim installed, but I might just make the deadline I set.  Fingers and toes crossed, it might be at the local All British meet in three weeks time.  

autocomman Reader
5/4/22 11:29 a.m.

Heck yes!  I'm hoping to get mine out by end of the month for exactly that.  Good stuff!  I've found lots of times the seam the door seal goes slides onto has been bent and mangled cause hard closing of the doors.  Not just on ana MG but other as well with similar type door seals.  That and no one can make an exact copy of an original seal.  Mine had to be 'adjusted' quite a bit near the door striker and the bottom of the door.  Though I don't have panels or the capping rails on yet, so hopefully I don't have too many issues there.

RoddyMac17 Reader
5/4/22 12:27 p.m.

I had the GF unwrap the door tops at the back and re-profile the foam and wood base to clear the seals.  The LH door now fits without issues, but I have to look at the RH one again.  It requires a lot of force to close. I hadn't thought about "adjusting" the flange for the door seal, that will be looked at the next time I'm in the garage.  Thanks for the tip!

I think the big reason I've had issues with the fit is the fact I'm using earlier door panels with later door tops.  The panels are thicker than the correct ones for the car (1971) which pushes the cappings out a bit.  I have an original capping from a pre-67 BGT and it's not as thick which might be the whole reason I've been having trouble. 

RoddyMac17 Reader
5/24/22 10:18 a.m.

Well, I managed to meet my deadline (sort of).  The car made it home early last week and then made it to the show on Saturday.  It runs ok, but is very lean just off idle.  When I compared the carb set up to the Europa I noticed the carbs on the B don't have dynojets in them, which means I'll be opening the wallet again to buy more bits.  Hopefully that will be the last of the bigger ticket items.

Here's a run down of what was done just before the show:

I had wanted to use early door hardware on the car, so early inner door latch assemblies were acquired as well as a set of early window winder assemblies.  Unfortunately the window winder assemblies and door are different between early and later cars, which meant either swapping the doors or figuring out a way to make the late assemblies work with the early handles.  I chose the latter, I first cut some 1 1/8" hexagonal shaped steel then welded a 3/16" return to them, then took some 3/8" square stock and welded that to the now female hex shapes.  I was too lazy to mount the 4 jaw chuck on the lathe so the center hole was drilled larger than needed to account for any misalignment (and there was quite a bit of that):



After this I attended to some minor things, the tread plates went on:

And various decals were applied:


There's still a lot of minor things to take care of, but it was "done enough" to get it to the show.  So, as I had written earlier it was driven home, and spent some time on the street out front getting detailed along with the other car:

Both made it to the show which took a bit of "Ubering".  The GF doesn't drive standard, so we went to the show in the Europa, then Uber back to grab the B GT, and drove that to the show.  The return trip was similar, though she went to the pub accross the street to secure a table for much needed pint(s) instead of heading back to the show to get the other car.


The GF convinced me to order a picnic basket which as it turned out made a lot of sense, the B GT is a perfect car for picnics:

Other than that, Moria gave the car a once over on Monday with a trip down to False Creek:

The next few weeks will entail cleaning the garage out, and attending to the minor details on the BGT, then it's back to work on the Elan.  

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