Well after a busy work week, I was in first thing Saturday morning to put in another day of work on my B. I was able to borrow an engine hoist for the weekend and brought in a friend for an extra set of hands in pulling out the drive train.
Following the original workshop manuals instructions, I removed the drive shaft and brought in the hoist to support the weight of the engine from above and a jack for the gearbox underneath. I removed the gear shift lever, the engine stay bracket and the gear box mounts and cross member, letting the end of the gearbox rest on the chassis cross member.
Then it was simply a case of unbolting the engine mounts and lifting the whole assembly out with the hoist while rolling the car back as we went along.
As you can see the engine has had a few modern conveniences added; a geared starter motor and a spin on oil filter attachment. Both will be replaced with correct equipment later on. This engine was a good runner, though as you can see she has a few minor leaks. I plan to give everything a proper cleaning/de-greasing, replace and seal all the gaskets and inspect everything along the way, then a fresh coat of paint and detailing.
After the engine was out I took some pics of the few remaining brake and fuel lines as well as the emergency brake cable, before removing them.
I also documented the rad and oil cooler assemblies that were removed before the engine. Note the original oil cooler hose support bracket that attaches to the generator mounting bracket.
In the meantime I've been plugging away cleaning and refurbishing all the various parts at home so they're all working and looking good for when the car goes back together...
It's a labor of love...
Until next time -
Another week has passed, while my days were spent passionately working my job (which this week included making new leather door panels for a 1937 Packard). My evenings and all day Saturday were spent working on my 64 MGB...
I sandblasted and painted several components this week, like the air cleaner housings -
And the heater assembly, I soda blasted the main body sections and painted them gloss black again. I'm plating all the hardware in zinc as original, and the heater core I carefully cleaned by hand. I'm desperately trying to find some way of replicating the original raised letter labels that this early style of heater had - not to be confused with the later style stickers that are readily available. Anyone know of anyone making replacements for these early labels? or even stencils?
I also sandblasted and painted the pedal box assembly and acquired an original replacement brake master cylinder. I still have to rebuild both master cylinders and I'm still not sure how I will refinish the bodies - any suggestions as to the correct original finish on these? zinc or golden cad?
On Saturday I spent the day working under the car documenting and removing more components to prepare for pulling the engine next weekend.
I started by removing the early style gas tank and fuel pump. Noting the original routing of all the wiring and fuel/brake lines.
As you can see in the first pic, my gas tank was a replacement one and is still just painted in grey primer. I'll still use this tank as it is the correct one, but of course I will clean and paint it correctly in gloss black first...
As you can see, the underside of the car is filthy with grease and grime. Someone sprayed a thin layer of black undercoating in some areas but not everywhere. It probably helped preserve the car but will be a chore to remove.
The next things to come out were the complete exhaust and the brake and emergency brake lines/cables...
After removing the exhaust and the exhaust manifold, I was able to get a few pics noting the correct routing of the carburetor overflow pipes...
As you can see it's been a productive week. I now have plenty more parts to go through and refurbish piece by piece. I'm now ready for the engine and gearbox to come out next weekend. Then it will be ready to tackle the metal and paint work.
Until next week -
Ciao for now -
Since pulling the dash out of the B last weekend, I spent a few evenings this week restoring the dashboard and all the gauges and switches..
After removing all the gauges, switches and hardware, I repainted the dash in the correct black "wrinkle finish" paint. I carefully, cleaned, inspected and polished all the instruments, switches and trim. Then reassembled everything.
Until next time -
Well I've been hard at it over the past few weeks, taking loads of detail photo's and carefully cataloging each piece as I continue to disassemble the MGB and prepare the body for metal and paint work.
I carefully removed the steel dashboard, taking pics and notes on each switch and gauge and how it was wired etc..
Details like the routing of the wiring harness along the firewall, the wiper motor and it's original finish, the location of the flasher unit hanging from the lower wiper motor bracket bolt as well as the local ground wires all sandwiched onto the same bolt...
I completely removed the main wiring harness, tagging every junction and connection. This will make it easier to clean and refurbish the entire thing before putting it back into the car.
There were many early details I noted in the engine bay too, like the early style of oil gauge pipe bracket on the firewall, and the small hook for the temp gauge line that comes off the lower heater valve bolt...
The early style of coil bracket that comes off the engine mount, and the early style of oil cooler hose bracket that comes off the rear generator mounting point...
I also captured the small vacuum pipe from the carbs to the distributor, the engine breather assembly and the original green throttle cable.
It's also worth noting all the engine components that have clear evidence of being painted in the maroon engine color - including the generator, starter, and this little vacuum pipe!
The brake and clutch pedals, box and master cylinders were removed. The brake master cylinder is clearly a new replacement that I will be changing out for a correct rebuilt early one. The clutch Master cylinder though is still the earliest style. I'm still trying to verify the original finish on these - I believe they would have been plated in golden cad or zinc, most people do zinc, but I keep seeing more evidence of golden cad - can anyone verify this??
I also removed the heater and all the interior vents and demister assemblies. You can still see the original caution labels fading away on the heater body.
I also started the process of refurbishing some things - like these interior heat vents...
Speaking of refurbishing, I also tackled cleaning and restoring all the lights -
The front headlights and the early clear signal lights were filthy with mud and black undercoating sprayed on them from the inner fender wells. But with a little time and care, cleaning and polishing, they all came out wonderfully..
The tail lights also cleaned up beautifully with a little plastic polish on the lenses and Autosol used for the chrome... I also carefully cleaned and lubricated all of the bulbs (sparingly around the threads only) with dielectric grease, as some were badly corroded and stuck in the sockets.
The original early style of Tudor washer fluid bottle, I cleaned and polished the bottle, touched up the logo by hand with matching paint, and soda blasted, primed and painted the metal brackets. All the screws and hardware I am plating in zinc as original.
The original speaker box had seen better days, the finish had some sort of a spray on it, and there were 2 holes cut in the sides that I had to fill. I filled the holes with 0.80" thick styrene plastic cut perfectly to shape and glued with liquid cement. Then I spread a thin layer of plastic putty over the repairs and copied the texture of the surrounding body in it to make it blend in. After it was dry, I sprayed the whole thing with satin black interior/vinyl paint and reassembled the polished speaker, grill and chrome.
All in all, things are coming along very nicely! I thoroughly enjoy the process of restoring each piece as accurately as possible. When it comes time for reassembly, this car is really going to shine!
The next few steps are to remove the gas tank and then pull out the engine and gearbox. In the meantime there's also lots of original parts to go through and refurbish so stay tuned!
Until next - Caio for now -
With Christmas behind us, the work has begun! This week I carefully removed and documented all of the B's original interior so that I can prepare her for some metal and paint repairs. In the meantime I'll have the opportunity to go through each piece of the interior trim and clean and refurbish as needed before putting it all back together.
I took careful notes on the materials being used and the details of how it was originally trimmed, keeping track of all original hardware and the order in which things were installed.
The first things to go in are the 1/4" strips of jute underlay that are cut to fit in all the slots of the main floor panels. These were glued in place and because mine are still so well stuck down and fragile, I'm leaving them there.
The next pieces to install are any small bits of vinyl to cover any area's that are not covered by carpet or panels...
Here you can see the red vinyl applied around the handbrake lever and also some small pieces to cover the lower rear lip of both door openings. Note also that the dash and speaker panel would have already been installed before any soft trim.
The next pieces to go in were the 2 rubber sill covers. These are unavailable in any of the original colors except black now. They were glued in place with a bit of overlap onto the floors.
Continuing with some rubber, the always black - rubber starter motor cover is glued in place followed by the 4 uniquely shaped carpet covered toe board panels that go in around it and also on the drivers side.
These footwell carpet panels are all individually sewn with vinyl edging and then trimmed to uniquely shaped panel boards. They are all screwed in place with black metal trim screws and cup washers with 1/4" jute under felt glued to the backside of each panel.
Also to go in was the vinyl covered panel behind the speaker box that the demister vent hoses attach to. This panel is held in place with 4 black panel screws and washers.
Next to go in are the rear wheel arch carpet covers. It needs to be pointed out the style and type of carpet that was used in MGB's, it was an un-backed loop pile carpet. Because of no heavy backing, this carpet was slightly stretchy for applications like these curved wheel arches. The wheel arches were glued directly to the metal on each side as one piece (no sewn seams like modern replacements have) with smaller pieces to cover the shock mounts butted up beside them.
After that goes in the lower rear bulkhead carpet cover. One long piece to cover the entire panel with a 3"wide vinyl strip sewn and glued along the top edge. It was cut flush around the tunnel opening and rear sills with some overlap onto the floors. This piece of carpet had a few types of male ended snaps/fasteners installed for snapping down the tonneau cover and rear deck mat respectively.
Next and so often misunderstood - the main tunnel carpet section. This was made by first applying a 1/2" layer of dense jute to the tunnel and molding it around the shift dome probably by soaking it.
After dry and shaped, the un-backed carpet was glued directly to the jute and moulded to shape in one big piece. No seams, just stretched and glued to shape! it was trimmed around the front and rear edges of the jute as well as around the speaker and handbrake openings to give it a clean look without any binding. The bottom edges along the floors were left about 3" long for overlap. There was also a leather tab riveted in place with a lift-a-dot snap behind the speaker opening.
Next comes the removable rear deck mat. Again like the tunnel, it was a moulded piece of 1/2" jute with the carpet adhered to the top of it. This created a stiff mat that would hold it's shape and fit perfectly without any gaps or overhang. Only the front leading edge was trimmed around the jute to give a clean edge look. It was finished off with 6 carpet snaps as shown.
Next the rear cockpit rail which was black on all cars, it has a bead of contrasting piping along the top edge and is held in place by several sliding studs with nuts and washers accessible through nooks and grannies underneath.
The black vinyl top stowage straps are installed next. Each vinyl strap is sewn with soft white cotton on the inside to protect top and a single snap in each.
The rear bulkhead panel was a flat vinyl trimmed panel riveted in place tightly around the wheel arches with alloy rivets through tiny cup washers.
The rear 1/4 panels were sewn vinyl covers with upper pleats and piping trimmed to masonite hardboards and screwed in place with more blackened screws and cup washers. The fuzzy red door seal pressed onto the door opening and buts up perfectly with the edge of the panels, the sill mats, and the edge of the front kick panes. Here you can see how the top chrome finisher covers the top edge of the seals and screws into the top corner of the panel. These seals are available new through MacGregor trim.
The rear 1/4 panels were finished with the chrome top mounting brackets and the top frame screwed to them with spacers. Each panel had 2 male snaps installed just below the piping for snapping the boot cover down to.
The front kick panels were plain flat vinyl covered panels that fit snug and were screwed in place with more black screws and cup washers.
The doors had a thin black membrane glued over the metal to seal out moisture and then the door panels were screwed in place over top with foam circular pads sandwiched around the window cranks to prevent the panel from denting. The panels were trimmed in vinyl with pleats to match the rear 1/4 panels and again used black screws and cup washers.
The early style door cappings were each a 2 piece assembly and always black. The inner wood shape was trimmed in black vinyl with the outer padded section screwed on from the back with piping in between. They were screwed in place with chrome screws and brackets at each end with brush seals and black piping to fill the gap along the window glass.
Finally the rubber floor mats were installed. These rubber mats are totally unavailable now. The front mats had 1/4" jute glued to the backside and the the mat was held in place with 4 snaps each. The under seat mats were also jute backed and held in place by the seat tracks bolted through black wooden seat runners. These will be carefully cleaned and possibly re-dyed to their original color.
Finally the seats - nothing really new here, leather covers trimmed as so over moulded "dunlopillow" foams. Rubber diaghrams under the foam gave them a comfortable seat. The back rest rake was adjustable by 2 long bolts at the bottom of the squabs. All facings of the seats were leather except for the backs of the squabs which were vinyl with carpet along the bottom 6". The contrasting piping was also vinyl.
These seats as well as the rest of this interior are in such good shape for their age! I plan to clean them up, spruce up the foams and inner pieces and re-use them for as along as I can make them last. A lovely patina for such a pretty car!
Ciao for now!
My 1964 MGB has finally arrived and I've spent the past few days examining the car in every detail to determine what she's going to need to get her ready for the road this summer.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that so much of her was in original and still very good condition...
Original leather seats, no rips, though the stitching is starting to let go in some areas. I plan to carefully remove the covers and repair/reinforce them from the back with extra material to strengthen them and extend their life - and of course add lots of leather conditioner to keep it soft.
The original rubber floor mats (which are totally unavailable) are still all there and intact, a good cleaning will take care of these..
The original carpet is all there and in great shape except for a worn spot on the tunnel from peoples elbows resting.. This original style of unbacked loop carpet that was molded to heavy jute is also unavailable - I'm going to make it last as long as I can until I can find a suitable replacement that I will make and mold myself as original.
The vinyl interior panels are in exceptional condition, except for the inner hardboards have warped badly inside. I plan to carefully remove the original covers and re-trim them to new flat panels that I will make using the originals as patterns. One thing I've noticed that many early B owners get wrong is that the colour of all the interior trim screws & washers were black - not chrome.
The original tonneau cover in it's original stowage bag, the boot cover in it's bag, and of course the 2 piece tonneau bar in it's original bag - all well preserved and in good working order. Also in great condition; the original jack, knock-off hammer and it's original jute bag. All these lovely extras stow in the boot:
The boot is in great shape, no rust issues, just in need of a good cleaning and some paint touch ups. The original black body sealer in the corners will need to be scraped out and new sealer applied. In the end, I may end up giving the boot a re-spray after doing my own initial prep work. Someone has added a switch operated reverse light above the left rear bumper - you can see the added wires for it in the boot. I will be removing this non original accessory in the end.
This is the only real horror story I've found with the car - the rear lower dog legs at the corners of the rear wheel arches have rusted through at the bottoms. I've already purchased new repair sections for these spots that can easily be cut and welded in place to repair these areas. Other than these 2 spots, the rest of the underside and body is in beautiful shape. Someone has sprayed the underside, including the inner wheel arches with thin black undercoating. I plan to get under there and scrape and sand it all smooth, add a good rust proofing and then paint it Old English White again as original.
The front and rear suspension are in fairly good working order. The brakes have been recently done, including new flex lines. The steering is tight, there's no play in the king pins. It's had a new sway bar installed with all new rubbers/bushings. The emergency brake does need some tightening though, and I'm also going to replace the front lower A-arm rubber bushings because they look worn.
As for the heart of the B, she starts right up, and purrs like a kitten. Holds good oil pressure too. There are as many rare and unavailable early details to remark on in the engine bay as there are unfortunate scars and additions..
The original - and unavailable, spark plug wires and caps are still in use and working fine, as is the original coil bracket and the oil cooler hose brackets that are so often removed never to be seen again - these are all unavailable details that are rarely still seen these days.
Unfortunately though, some one has replaced the original starter motor with a new modern looking one that has it's own integral solenoid attached. The old original separate starter solenoid is still in place on the side wall, but the original cloth wiring harness has been badly hacked open in these areas to re-route the wires to the new starter setup. This will take some careful re-working to set back to original spec.
I plan to carefully clean and refurbish each component in the engine bay to original spec over time. Including cleaning and repainting the engine itself.
Here's the other side of the engine bay. The carbs are in good working order, new air filters inside the casings, and she runs with good idle speed too.
She's had a new thermostat, rad hoses & clamps installed, I've ordered some of the original wire hose clamps to replace the ones on there now.
The brake master cylinder has been replaced with a later style one, again I've already found a correct early style one that I will rebuild and install at a later date.
For the most part everything needed is just cosmetic, so I'm quite happy with what I have to work with.
The gearbox may need a replacement lay-gear, though I need an expert opinion on this first. Being an early 3 synchro box with 4 speeds - it has a very noticeable winding noise in 1st gear that quiets down immediately when I shift into any of the higher gears. Is all that noise normal for a non synchro gear?? or is this evidence of a worn lay-gear?
Another neat original detail in the engine bay was this early (and currently unavailable) style of windscreen washer fluid bottle. This older style of Tudor logo was completely changed in 1965, the older logo was never seen again or made available. As you can see mine was badly faded and the bottle was covered in rust stains.
I carefully cleaned and polished the bottle clean again and matched the Tudor blue paint and touched in the faded areas of the logo by hand.
Next I will refurbish the bottle mounting bracket and plate in black as original - the more common later styles had a Tudor blue frame.
All in all, I'm very happy and excited to dig in to this project, I'm calling it a "Sympathetic Restoration" because I don't want to replace or over restore any parts of her that don't need it. All too often the replacement components are inaccurate or don't fit right in one way or another and that would take away from its originality.
Unfortunately she will need some paint work to recover the under areas that need attention, but a fresh new coat of her original Old English White will be good piece of mind for driving in the sometimes wet conditions out here on Vancouver island.
Ciao for now
Ladies and Gentleman, I'm happy to announce that it looks like I'm buying myself a sports car! It will be a few weeks before I can get it here (because the car is in Michigan) but I've signed the contract and the rest is currently in the works!
Anyone who's known me long enough has probably at least heard of my old 1965 MGB that I bought when I was 14. Back then I paid $500 for a badly rotted but complete car. I worked on it for years on and off. Took it all apart, carefully documented everything, I was working my way through all the parts carefully cleaning and refurbishing them and packing them on shelves. The trouble was the overwhelming and costly body work that was needed, I even got another body shell that was in better shape because mine was so far gone. After 6 years of costly waiting and virtually no progress because I couldn't really afford it, I gave up and sold the car as a package deal in pieces. Metal work only 1/2 finished. I used that money to move out to BC.
That car was later purchased by our good family friend Martyn Ridley, who then had my father Rich Chrysler, take care of finishing the Restoration.
As Dad was sending me pics out in BC of his progress on the car, I was lucky enough to have been given the honor of restoring the seats, and making up the new interior panels for it at my then "new job" at Heritage Trim.
The car was done just as I had always wanted, In chelsea grey, with red interior and white piping on the seats. - Stunning!
To this day I think it's the prettiest MGB out there!
This brings me to the present, as you know I arrived here on the island almost 2 yrs ago. I've been growing with my business and with life in general. I'm living with and engaged to my wonderful partner Regan. We've been planning out our future and what our big goals are. One thing that has always been a big dream and goal for me is to finally enjoy driving my own sports car.
Growing up I have such fond memories of it all, the long drives across country with Dad in his beautiful Austin Healey, through all sorts of weather, the car events, the friends in the hobby, driving at night down long country roads with the breeze in your hair and the warmth, sound and smells of the car, and of course the random adventures where occasionally they break down and you have to know the car well enough to fix it! It's a lifestyle I've always admired and would want for my kids someday. What am I waiting for? I have the savings, I have a place to store it, I'm working with lots of other sports car guys all the time to help.
So for several months now I've been scouring the internet for what I might be able to afford as a decent entry level sports car. I was considering an Austin Healey Sprite for a while, but I just didn't like the lines as much as an early MGB... Then I saw her!
An all original 1964 MGB in original Old English White paint with her original red interior with white piping. The car used to be owned by "Big Daddy" Don Garlits (the father of drag racing) Apparently it was a part of his museum for years before being sold to a local dealership in Michigan. It sat in a showroom window for quite sometime and was traded a few times between dealerships. The car has been well maintained for most of it's life. It does have some minor rust issues that I plan to attend to immediately when I receive the car, but mechanically and structurally shes very strong and runs smoothly.
Over the past week I've been speaking with the seller and getting lots of good pics and even some video of her running. After some careful thinking and discussions I came to a decision. I was able to work out a deal with the seller and signed the contract for her just yesterday. If all goes well we'll be arranging shipping in the next week or 2.
The car is totally stock and does not come with some of the more desirable factory options like an overdrive or a hard top, but those are things that I can add later on if I decide.
The thing I love about this car is it's beautiful original condition - lots of patina, but well cared for. I plan to preserve this cars originality as much as I can. Just lot's of care and upkeep.
Even the interior is far too good to replace yet. Just lots of careful cleaning and conditioning of the leather.
All in all, I think I've found a very good car to start with and I'm really looking forward to getting out and enjoying her!.
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.