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MGC Published: 29th Jan 2020 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Want some extra fun or usability from your classic? Then here’s our top tips

Thanks to the orthodox mechanicals, little more elaborate than a Morris Oxford, the MGC is a brilliantly easy car to keep on top of in terms of maintenance, requiring little more than a basic workshop manual, toolkit and a grease gun. And if you are not keen on DIY then take heart there’s an army of specialists who will do it for you – many who have developed useful upgrades and dodges over the decades, too

Is your mg an alphabet soup?

If you are a stickler for originality (and rising prices suggest you best be) check your MGC well, as it may have MGB parts fitted. The excellent owners clubs and specialists can tell you what to look for; differences may be minimal but it’s worth noting anyway. Converting an MGB into a C has been done but those who have done it swear “never again” because it’s virtually impossible to us mere mortals due to the car’s bespoke front chassis. In fact, the original BMC ‘C’ series engine of the Healey would not fit the MGB frame so it had to be re-designed, 1.75ins shorter and the front coil-springs changed to torsion bars. Slotting in a V8 is far easier…

Rear suspension

Rear wheel steering is common; it’s simply the U-bolts and rubber bushes have come loose or corroded. Lever arm dampers are notorious leakers. Make sure all the rear tyre is visible or the springs are tired out


Nothing of note but if original master cylinder is still fitted it’ll need overhauling or replacing soon – check brake pedal to see if fluid is leaking down it. Keep drum brake, handbrake adjusters well lubricated


MGC rust as badly as the B; sills, inner wings, bulkheads and floors but the majority of unique panels (if not complete shells) you need are available either new or used from Colne Classics


Dials particular to MGC but the rest is virtual MGB and so easy enough to renovate. New windscreen surrounds aren’t available but recon units on an exchange basis cost under £300

Engine (1 )

While based on the Austin 3-Litre unit, the MGC’s is not the same. The valves, springs and sump are all unique to this MG. Rocker shafts have a habit of wearing so it’s simply valves needing adjustment

Engine (2)

Biggest weak spots are piston rings, which can wear quickly. Usually an engine out job as it’s not really possible to drop the sump but you may be able to lift and wedge it up to gain enough clearance


MGOC sells a special Sebring body styling in fibreglass for the front with optional headlamp cowls. The ‘Club spoiler’ is said to be based upon Abingdon’s own design. Alloy bonnet is unique to the MGC

Front suspension

Differs from MGB using torsion bars which need adjusting. Rest doesn’t give problems if kept well lubed. Wishbone bushes also perish. Tougher polybushing gives more feel plus lasts longer


Gearbox is C’s biggest weakest spot, it’s not up to 145bhp. First to go is usually layshaft bearings, resulting in the shaft dropping and putting pressure on the cogs. Whines a bit but usually it soldiers on

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