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MG Magnette ZA/ZB

MG Magnette ZA/ZB Published: 27th Apr 2020 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

MG Magnette ZA/ZB
MG Magnette ZA/ZB
MG Magnette ZA/ZB
MG Magnette ZA/ZB
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8Thanks to their simple make up, ZA/ZB Magnettes make great starter classics plus have the class and aura of a Jag Mk1 about them but for much less cost. Sharing a fair number of components with the MGA, it’s a very easy classic to maintain with a pretty good parts supply considering BMC halted component making way back in 1965. NTG Motor Services publishes a parts catalogue for the car

Rear suspension

Leaf springs will age and are prone to breaking, if you need new ones, they are available. Check for rusting, worn shackles and rotten hangers. Dampers can leak and weaken, easy to replace

Wheels and tyres

If you want to keep the stock look tyre choice is limited to 165x15inch radials (155s are too small) – speak to specialists like Magnette expert John Shorten ( MGA wire wheels and hubs fit


Biggest concern are the sills’ condition and especially the welded seam where the inners and outers are joined. Magnette panels are still readily available from NTG Motor Services and John Shorten


Wood and leather trim not as grand or posh as a Jag’s yet almost as pricey to restore. Items like window rubbers and door seals are available. Varitone models featured different headlining


While only a few parts were used by the A50-A60, obtaining bits is easy. Single clutch and brake master cylinder rots and brake adjusters seize plus the handbrake linkages need regular checking and lubricating


Excessive tappet noise usually the camshaft and followers; timing chains can do a cha-cha band act, too. Rumbling main bearings and clattery big and small ends all point to general wear. MGB unit is not a direct fit


First wear point is loss of synchro, invariably second gear. Most boxes become noisy but soldier on unless really past it. Other axle ratios include MGA 4.3 unit and a 4.5 which later ZBs ran with


Although part of the BMC family few parts are interchangeable; closest relation is the Wolseley 4/44 but even then only the shell and boot lid fit. ZA/ZB expert John Shorten has improved floor sections and wings

Front suspension

Plenty of grease points needing replenishing every 1000 miles so expect wear due to past neglect. There’s usual MG, kingpin bushes wear if not regularly oiled. Rusty wishbones and spring pans a worry

Facts on the farina

While the later Farina namesake isn’t as sporty they have their own attraction, not least being comfier and stronger value for money. The soggy handling needs the most attention, and fitting the anti-roll from the MkIV (which also has bigger wheelbase and track) helps. Radial tyres can grip well enough to crack the front chassis where the steering box attaches. A strengthening plate was added in 1964 to rectify this. Rampant rot, but interchangeability of body bits is so much better than on Z cars.

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