I left the last blog by leaving a few ideas in my head. A great idea was to upgrade parts of the car but to keep it looking original. While this was a project between my dad and I he had tinkered with cars previously. Forgive me if this tale sounds familiar!
Like any retro this MGB was not without its faults. The car may as well have been a boat for the video of the Hues Corperation “Rock the Boat” with the amount it swayed from side to side on the motorway. Is that the “charm” of a classic car that many talk about or just bad design? The other issue? The overdrive would not stop slipping once the clutch was disengaged. And what would a classic car be if there was no welding required on a sub £1000 purchase, even back in 2002?
Like all great intentions, thing seemed to go well. I went away and ordered the following:
-Spax Rear Damper kit
-Falcon Single Exhaust ‘Box system
-Replacement Overdrive from an Ex-Laycock fitter.
From being a foldout chair mechanic (that is part way between someone who has a vague clue of what they are doing, and someone who simply watches a car restoration show and thinks he can do it all) I went away and read some manuals on the procedure. It was clear that the exhaust would have to come out to change the overdrive. With that in mind I figured the overdrive may as well be changed as those jobs could be combined into one. So began the search for a suitable mechanic to do the job. After all, I didn’t even really have a trolley jack back then! I was silly enough to depend on car jacks. Yes, I know. Fortune favours the brave, I think
Like any wannabe mechanic I rang around for the cheapest price, considering many avenues. It’s fair to say that the prices varied. The garages quoted us around £300 back in 2002, even with specialists being around that ballpark. Out of the blue a specialist on my doorstep quoted me £200. What? Was this real? I’m biting his hand off! With that price it was not worth quibbling!
So off I went to go and took the car to him. After which I ended up fitting the damper kit!
Finally? I had a car that drove spot on and actually did what it was meant to do! Be driven!
But as always there is always a sting in the tail. On further inspection the steering rack was found to have excessive play. Not a problem we thought. Just get another one fitted! To be fair it had a bit of play in it after fitting the rear dampers and seeing how things were! What we did not bank on was the bill. We were quoted £120. Not for long it wasn’t.
Almost every car owner comes across this. This ended up becoming £220. The issue? The bolts had become seized in the rack. Thus he ended up cutting the steering rack apart just to change it. It was either that or the crossmember according to him. He also said it was one of the worst steering racks he had ever taken off a car. It is fair to say that the conversation was not a pleasant one! But at least the car drove well once more eh?
With the car kitty looking battered and not much bodywork required it should have been rosy right? We shall see.