When trial fitting the radiator I have
discovered that the radiator panels don't appear to be fitted
properly by Heritage. Either
that or the work done by the MGB
Hive to convert from rubber to chrome bumper has created the
problem. They appear to have welded in a section from the bottom of
the radiator support panel to the main front leg that isn't there on
other chrome bumper cars. By cutting this link on one side I managed
to fit the radiator but was still not happy with it. So I ordered
two replacement panels and have now welded them in place to my
satisfaction. See Bodyshell
for more details.
Now having the radiator in the right place I
can try and finalise the position of the electric water pump. I want
to get it as low as possible in the bottom hose. See pics with front
cross-member, and radiator all now fitted. I did also fit the
anti-roll bar but removed it before I got round to taking pics.
Spent some time fitting various bits that
needed holes drilling - best to do it before the paint! These
included the controller for the electric water pump, clifford alarm
control boxes, Hotwire ECU. Also did some seam sealing on the
Trial fitted the Rear suspension sub frame.
Discovered another interference fit resulting from using components
from different sources! With the suspension at full extension the
lower wishbones sit heavily on the exhaust. I think it will be
easier to leave this until the car is built and then take it to an
exhaust specialist and have the pipes adjusted!!
fitment of the Fuel Tank. Supplied by
to go with the twin exhaust system. Not a cheap solution but
at least I get a bit more fuel in!
Also spent lots of money this month! Finally
bit the bullet on the suspension system and despite having bought
some parabolic springs and a 3.07:1 CWP from Clive Wheatley for the
rear axle I splashed out on complete front and back
suspension kits. Not cheap but very well engineered and put together
and I am told I will not be disappointed!
fitment of the Power Steering setup from
has raised a few problems! When trying to fit the modified cross
member I have found that I have 3 interference points. The top of
the rack is contacting the bottom of the front cover, the steering
rack bottom UJ is catching in the engine mount and the hydraulic
pipes from the rack.
Similar problems with an up rated heater from
MOSS. The top mounting hole does not line up with the hole in the
chassis (2 old heaters I have are perfect!) and it either mates with
the vertical face or the horizontal face - but not both together.
Contacted Moss and they said the would get back to me........
of the exhaust. Involved welding on a new rear bracket for the twin
exhaust, putting a second cut-out in the rear valance and drilling and attaching the centre brackets. Also
welding on the nuts so they are captive.
Also started to choose locations for electrical equipment. Have
decided to build my own loom as it is quick and cheap as converting
a standard loom and I am dubious about MG/Leyland's habits of not
fusing things like headlights!! So on of the vital components is a
Relay and Fuse board now fitted in the top of the passenger
National Restoration show and spent lots of money! Most significant
purchase was a Chassis Turner from
CJ Autos. It is a
fantastic piece of kit. It is not cheap but I have found it of
immense value. It came with two mounting brackets but without
specific bracketry to fit it to the car. I made these up - at the
front from a set of bumper irons and at the back from some square
It took a it of courage to start taking chunks
out of a nice new heritage shell! That is until you have got an
angle grinder in hand............!! I now see the point of measure
twice, cut once. Fortunately I did, well I probably measured 4 or 5
times actually! Anyway the holes for the headers were duly cut and
strengtheners welded in place.
the Gearbox cross-member. Involved drilling new holes for fixings
and four 30mm holes in the floor pan for access.
fitted but found that radiator panel was out of alignment preventing
fitment. Eventually cut the bottom of the panel to allow to flex to
fit radiator, and will need welding up.
Gearbox and empty
engine block fitted to check clearances etc. but found that Gearbox
cross member was not an easy fit!
have spent many months getting the garage fully kitted out. Finally
completed it during early 2002 with the following:
which means its warmer, lighter and there is a loft to keep
with International Garage Floor paint
Air piped around the garage from a 3 hp SIP compressor
– an excellent buy if somewhat pricey!
4 - 1800 watt
electric bar heaters
grinder, pillar drill and de-greasing bath.
House again!! This time to a double garage with a house attached!
But only to temporary accommodation as new house is not ready.
Shell was moved
in the back of a 7.5 ton Tail Lift wagon, lifted in by many friends!!
Some months have
passed and I have not been recording the minor events.
At some stage I
spent a load of money on engine and gearbox. I have purchased from
RPI Engineering a short engine 3.9 V8 and an ex MOD recon SD1 5
During the summer
I removed the front wings to expose the stone chip that MGB Hive
applied. The primer that the Heritage shells get painted in at the
factory is quite glossy, and I suspect that the surface was not
roughed up sufficiently for the stone chip to get a good key, and as
a result the stone chip paint was peeling off quite badly. At the
time I had a half hearted attempt to remove the paint with a
scraper. Just before Christmas I had spent a couple of hours
removing all the loose paint
Today, I have
finished removing all the paint, roughed up all the surface and
applied a coat of etch primer.
A trip to the MG
spares day at Stoneleigh gave rise to the purchase of a windscreen
the garage at my sisters of the old shell. Got £1.80 for the
Removed the rear
bumper, treated and painted the exposed metal on the body and on the
bumper brackets as made by MGB Hive. Also wire brushed and painted
the steering column bracket removed from the previous shell.
the metal exposed by the transmission tunnel. Painted with Davids
Zinc Primer. Also treated and primed areas around front bumper
mountings after having removed the front bumper and grill.
on back of trailer, and with the help of Sandra & Nigel's help we
carried into the garage and sat it on some stands.
Now it feels
MGB Hive, and discussed my
plans with Sandra. After about an hour I could string the discussion
out no further and placed an order for a Rubber Bumper Heritage
Bodyshell. Shell to be modified to accept Chrome Bumpers,
transmission tunnel raised to accept SD1 gearbox, Filter housing
bracket to be welded in. Left a deposit. It has really begun.
New Year brought new determination to make a start on the vehicle.
Finances looked as though they may allow the job to be done. Also my
sister moved into a new house with a double garage. A deal was
struck whereby I could make use of half the garage in return for
clearing it out and painting the floor. Needless to say the deed was
done before they had even unpacked their stuff.
Stripping of the
old vehicle began in earnest. After a few hours it is now looking
like an abandoned project.
happened to the car during 1997. It sat under the carport for most
of the year and drove me mad. Having only a single garage and single
width drive I had to push it out of the drive every time I wanted to
use my Caterham or do work on another vehicle in the garage.
Bought a couple
of bits with the conversion in mind, most notably an RV8 gearbox
crossmember to facilitate easy fitment of an SD1 5 speed box.
and Gearbox were removed and transported to other bloke.
to Balsall Common with a towing trolley borrowed from a friend.
Loading the car proved to be easy enough, and over a cup of tea with
the Hopes I promised to keep them informed of what happened to the
car. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I intended to use the
vehicle as a donor for a V8 Roadster...... When its finished........
So what of our
purchase? Well it is a 1974 MGB GT with Rubber Bumpers first
registered in Jan 1975, making it one of the first rubber bumper
models. The ideal car for my conversion as the rubber bumper cars
have the collapsible steering column needed to ease the V8
conversion but being an early model retained the original style
dashboard. The colour? Well described as yellow on the V5 but in
truth is really more like Sandglow or Bracken. The bodywork was in
poor condition with huge holes where the sills should be and the
rear arches falling off. After a few days at home the jacking point
would fall off the drivers side when I shut the door. Perfect for
what I wanted!!
The journey home
proved easy and uneventful. We stopped a couple of times to check
all was well with the rear axle and brakes, but no heat was evident.
The Speedo accumulated 52 miles on the journey so at least that
spotted an ideal MGB GT to use for a donor for the V8 Roadster in
Auto Trader Anne and I set off for Balsall Common. We were so sure
that this was the car that we dropped in at Warwick University and
used the cash machines to extract sufficient money to make the
On arrival at
the address given by Mr Patrick Hope we found no one in, so sat and
waited. Just as the Hope’s returned from shopping so another
prospective purchaser arrived. It was clear that he was as keen as
us to purchase this vehicle, but for different reasons. He seemed
particularly interested in the engine. Never one to caught in a
straight bidding battle I quizzed the opponent as to his intentions.
After some discussion he agreed to leave and let me purchase the
vehicle on the condition that I subsequently sold him the engine and
gearbox for £50. On reflection he got a bargain, although the
vehicle had not been run for 4 or more years so who knows the
condition of the power train.
It turned out
that the owner was in fact the Hope’s daughter Sally, and the reason
for the sale was that her parents were moving to the South Coast and
could no longer store the vehicle. Patrick obviously felt a bit
guilty about all this as he had promised to restore the vehicle for
Sally but had not found the time. Anne and I duly parted with £350
and agreed to return the next day to collect the vehicle.