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MGB Part 4

Beat the Clock Published: 13th May 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

MGB Part 4
MGB Part 4 Worn gear teeth caused no-go speedo
MGB Part 4 This is sum of parts needing to renew
MGB Part 4 Remove propshaft and rear ‘box cover
MGB Part 4 With seal removed, bearing is exposed
MGB Part 4 Puller kit essential. Dear, so hire one
MGB Part 4 New water pump came from MGB Hive
MGB Part 4 It’s sold! David Bennett prepares to drive back to the Midlands in his new classic that he will renovate as a hobby. Good luck…
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The final instalment

It would be a lie to say that the phone never stopped ringing once we announced that our MGB GT was up for sale, but we did have a handful of serious offers. Strangely – despite the potential cost of repair – the major speedometer fault didn’t really put any prospective purchaser off; we think this was because most saw the car also as a project and were prepared for some fairly serious mechanical work anyway. But it still niggled us that all for the want of a simple nylon gear thingie a big bill ensued to fix the defective speedometer. Curiosity got to us. There had to be another way other than a ‘box out stripdown we thought – and sure enough one MG specialist came up with a brilliant rescue package (wish somebody would do that for the company-ed) that saved us £500!

Colne Classics of Clacton (01255 432693/07714 675319) has seen this trouble before on other Bs and has devised a cost effective repair that’s quicker and a lot easier than removing the engine and gearbox to get at the defective part. It’s a bit keyhole surgery but it works and is something the average enthusiast could even tackle at home, so long as they raise and support the car safely and don’t mind a bit of fiddly work. Firstly, the speedo cable is disconnected and its spigot removed. Now the propshaft is detached, allowing access to the rear of the overdrive unit where the gearbox mounting is removed enabling the rear of the ‘box to drop slightly for better access. After the rear oil seal is removed a sturdy puller is employed to remove the tailshaft bearing. There’s nothing particularly special about the puller (apart from its £200 cost – but you can hire one) although you may need to rig up some added support for it. The bearing will be damaged during removal so budget for a new one. Then it’s simply a relatively straightforward matter of withdrawing the old drive and slipping in a replacement, along with a new speedo spigot (never use the old one; if the teeth are damaged or worn it will chew up the new gear in no time). The job takes only a few hours although for the kerbside DIYer allow a good half day for the work. The drive gear costs £16.02, spigot £24.53, rear bearing £14.65 and an oil seal at £4.49 – totalling £50.69 or £70.13 with the dreaded VAT. Add a typical specialist labour rate and we reckon the job will cost in the region of £200, and that’s excellent value given the alternative. While our car was up on the ramps Simon gave the car a quick check over. He was the first MG specialist to vet our MGB – so what’s his view on it now as we planned to sell it we wondered. Essentially he thought the car was a decent if aged example with all the usual faults and fixes and was priced about right considering its condition and what had been done to it. He laughed at our clothes peg used to hold the choke out due to the wrong cable being fitted by past owners. “Most MGBs have a clothes peg in them,” he said comfortingly. The car sold easily, in the end going to David Bennett of Worcester. David is retired and intends to use it as an ongoing project – well, it beats pottering around in the garden!The only job that needed doing after the quick speedo fix was to slot in a new water pump, sourced from the excellent MGB Hive (01945 700500) based in Cambridgeshire. The old pump had started to grumble badly, indicating a failing bearing and at £25 hardly broke the bank. And talking of banks, we reckon that our banger B was good value all round. Bought for £850 it didn’t need a king’s ransom to make it safe, roadworthy and reliable. In some eight months and 3000 miles, it never broke down or failed to reach its destination, (even when the sunroof blew off at speed) and always provided cheap and cheerful classic motoring, which is what we wanted to prove. We hope David has as much fun with MHK 7J as we did. Now you go out and find your own bargain classic – there’s loads out there!



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