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    Martin99
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    #MG-Magnette
    Run by Alastair Clements
    Owned since January #2010
    Total mileage 7371
    Miles since December #2013 report 351
    Latest costs £37

    CLASSIC SIGNS OF NEGLECT

    New responsibilities at work have unfortunately meant that my classics have not received nearly enough attention - hence the paltry mileage figure above. That’s been accentuated by having too many old cars, so with that in mind I decided that it was time to pare back the collection. Inevitably it was last in, first out - so the #MGB-GT has now gone. The Magnette, however, isn’t going anywhere - my kids would never let me part with it! - but it now needs some TLC.

    That fact was brought into sharp relief when I went to renew' its (not legally required) MoT. I always take the MG to mate Tim Smith in Crawley, not because he’s easy on the car but because he understands classics, and if any post- test work is required I’m confident I'll always leave in a safer car than I arrived in.

    Remembering last advisory on a rake imbalance, before the test I had a good look at the front end and discovered that the nearside drum is ovalled. I freed the cylinder and adjusted the shoes back a bit, which improved feel, but there is still some pulsing through the pedal that I will have to address.

    As a result, I acquired the same advisory. What I was not expecting was for Tim to point out corrosion breaking out at the front of both sills. The fresh underseal I promised the car last year never happened, and I’ve paid the price.

    The cabin of the #MG #Magnette remains its great joy, but keeping it smart has proved frustrating of late. A generous dose of Auto Finesse hide food has revived the cracking driver’s seat bolster, but my attempt to replace the driver’s door pull has been unsuccessful. I did think I’d finally found a set of sunvisors, for which I paid £20, but it turns out they’re not Magnette items, so if anyone has a set for a Z-type they want to donate, please get in touch.

    On the plus side, I’ve tracked down a workshop manual that’s good enough to be complete, and tatty enough that I won’t mind using it with oily fingers. Now I just need to find the time to use it!
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    Martin99
    Martin99 created a new group MG Magnette Club

    MG Magnette Club Open Group

    MG Magnette

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    #MGB-GT
    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Owned since July #2013
    Total mileage 57,280
    Miles since September report 144
    Latest costs £24.95

    WHEN ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

    Upon receiving bad news most people undergo five distinct stages, or so say the men in white coats. The first of these is Denial, which I displayed with aplomb in my May report. After finding slight bubbling and cracking to the #MG s paintwork, I wrote: ‘I’m currently reassuring myself that its probably just the outer sill, and definitely not anything more serious.’

    Finally manning-up, I decided to see once and for all the extent of the damage, so put on my overalls and grabbed a screwdriver before jacking up the car to have a poke around. The wise old owls among you will have been able to see what came next from miles away: I gently stabbed the dodgiest-looking bit of underseal and put my entire hand through the passenger-side sill.

    Stage Two: Anger - mostly directed towards myself for not carrying out the same exercise when I bought the car.
    I’m only now entering Stage Three: Bargaining. So far, this has involved trawling the internet to try to cost the job, which it seems will cost me a minimum of £700 per side - excluding paint and finishing. The next stage is Depression.

    I’ve got an appointment with a top bodyshop lined up this autumn, so decided to take my mind off bodywork woes by focusing on keeping the car running. Which has proven tricky, given that the clutch problems suffered at #Spa and #Le-Mans have become progressively worse. It got so bad that I eventually decided to replace the slave cylinder. That was a breeze compared with bleeding the clutch, a task for which art editor Martin Port nobly stepped forward, and performed with aplomb.

    The car’s weeks in dry dock did offer me a great chance to carry out a few more improvements, chief among them fitting a Revotec electric fan one lunchtime with help from Port, Page and Pittaway. I was sick of feeling panicky every time I got caught in traffic, so decided to finally take the plunge. When the car is back on the road, I will no doubt be glad that I did - the reassuring whirr should mean that I will no longer come out in a cold sweat at the thought of tackling the M25.

    Despite the improved cooling, there’s still a big part of me that feels as if making improvements such as that to the car in its current state is akin to swabbing the decks of a sinking ship. I’m still a long way off Stage Five: Acceptance.
    It was clear all was not exactly well, but...

    ...close inspection revealed the full horror.
    Port in his role as bleeder of the clutch.
    Control unit for the Revotec electric fan.
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    Martin99
    Martin99 created a new group MG MGB Club

    MG MGB Club Open Group

    MG MGB Club / MGB MkII / MkIII

    With prices of the best MkI MGBs from the model’s earliest years achieving prices of £20,000-plus these days, what’s out there for anyone with a budget half the size? Thankfully there’s plenty of choice, with excellent examples of the 1967-on MkII and 1972-on MkIII (prior to the launch of the ‘black bum...per’ look for 1974) readily available.

    The MGB got off to a flying start upon its debut in 1962, offering extra refinement, a more upmarket feel and a bigger version of the venerable B-series engine compared with the outgoing MGA. The launch of the MkII range five years later brought an array of worthwhile upgrades, including an all-synchromesh gearbox and the option of automatic transmission for the first time. By 1969 the MGB found itself with Rostyle wheels, while 1971 saw a new recessed black front grille introduced, changed to chrome again the following year. By the time the MkIII took a bow in 1972, the MGB featured a redesigned fascia and various other aesthetic upgrades.

    Under the bonnet of any standard-spec MGB roadster you’ll find the familiar 1798cc engine (pushing out roughly 95bhp DIN depending on year), endowing the car with enough performance to make it an entertaining drive. Running costs are aided by the MGB’s simple spec, impressive parts availability and reasonable economy. If you fancy an MGB that benefits from numerous upgrades but was built prior to the still-controversial 1975 model year, a MkII or early MkIII makes real sense – and remains one of the most practical and enjoyable-to-drive classics for the money.
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    Martin99
    Martin99 joined the group MG Midget Club
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