Arden MG Club Monthly News. Previous months newsletters can be found in the Newsletter Pages.

Newsletter June 2020

Hello All


The Zoom Club Night Meeting went a little better this time, as my computer is working OK at the moment (touch wood) and 14 of us enjoyed a chat, however I was in full flow about a couple of events I'm planning when we timed out!! Fiona has offered to set up the next meeting with her account, which will allow us to continue beyond the 45 minute mark, assuming we still need to meet virtually. The latest thinking is that pubs may be allowed to open in July but I'm not sure 40 of us in the Golden Cross restaurant will be adequately socially distanced, so lets see what happens before we decide.

Future Events:

Weekend Away 2020 – Dorset – Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June: Newlands is still closed and have now cancelled our visit. Nigel has successfully negotiated a refund of our deposit monies and when this has been received in the Club account I'm sure Nigel will contact us all with arrangements for the refunds. The easiest way would be to provide Roger with your bank account details and he can make a transfer but I will leave this to Nigel to decide.

Social Distance Run – Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th June:

As we are not going to Newlands and it is time we had an 'allowable' Club Run, I'm devising a circular route with stopping places for two groups. The route will be run clockwise by one group and

anti-clockwise by the other group. The idea is to all start from a different point, at a set time you all move on in the appropriate direction to the next stopping point where you can spend some time chatting to the occupants of the MG going the opposite way. Again at the allotted time you move on to the next stop point and so on back to the original start point. OK you will only get to talk to the people going in the opposite group but that is better than doing nothing. I will provide route sheets, your allotted start point and time (probably 2.30pm) by email. I'm leaving the day until nearer the time to asses the best weather day, the forecast keeps changing at the moment.

There will only be a limited number of stopping points and the run will be approx 40 miles (circular tour with Stratford at the centre, however not visiting the Town). I will need to set a maximum number of entrants probably 20 cars but in order to have the correct number of stops (which must correspond to the number of entrants) I need to have bookings. Please let me know by email if you would like to book (stating if you are OK for Sat and/or Sun) and I will finalise the route. If I get to the maximum number it will be on the usual first received basis.

British Motor Museum Re-Opening Run:

To keep the tradition of visiting the Museum on their opening's (The first Heritage Run, Re-opening after the last refurbishment), I'm planning to hold a scenic run to the Museum. To keep things simple I will use a previous run, probably the first Heritage Run modified to start from the Golden Cross.

At present the Museum is planning to reopen on Saturday 4th July, however this is subject to Government Guidance and may change but let's work on that date at the moment, so we could go on either Saturday 4th or Sunday 5th, which would you prefer? If you would like to join that run let me know. I'm not sure of the time yet but will decide soon. The Museum have put in place new procedures to mitigate the Coronavirus spreading and we will need to maintain social distancing at our start point and on arrival at the Museum.

Club Night – Tuesday 7th July: As stated earlier the pubs may start to reopen in July, I think we will still be having the Club Night in a virtual way but I will monitor what is happening and look at the options nearer the time. If we need to Zoom, I will advise the weekend before and send the invitation on the Tuesday afternoon.

Other Events:

No changes to the calendar, however some organisers are rescheduling events for later in the year, however until we know these will be able to proceed I will not be updating our calendar.

Sunday 7th June: 'Classics for Carers'. Apparently this was held on the first Sunday of May and is planned again for the first Sunday in June. See the website for details:

The info is as follows:

Joining Instructions

Put that tinkering & polishing to a good cause!

On the day of the event, you are invited to share your classic car or bike either online (via social media using #classicsforcarers) or on your driveway, to give those on their daily exercise, a different view on the day!

(Following social distancing requirements of course)

This is a non-driving event and please observe social distancing requirements.

Please visit our JustGiving page to make a donation (perhaps equivalent to a ticket price, or whatever you can) to support NHS carers.

You can buy an event rally plate or stickers for your vehicle (where all profits go to the NHS charity), or save and print a copy of the Classics for Carers poster for display.

Send me a photo if you take part.

Other Matters:

'On Your Drive' photo tea towels, I have orders for over 10 tea towels, so it is viable, if you would like to add your name to the order please let me know by Monday 1pm. Details:

Product: White linen/cotton Tea Towel 48x78cm hemmed 4 sides Hanging loop (TT-4878-LCWH)
Design Info: One design on one side

Side One Print Method: Embellished
Estimated Despatch Time: 10 Working days from digital proof approval to date of despatch
Price Each: £9.00

Club Website: I have been advised by the website hosting company that they will no longer be supporting the website system we use and will be switched off at the end of this month!! They have offered to host us in a different way and I have signed up for a transfer to using WordPress. They will be migrating the original site to the new hosting in the next few weeks, so this may make the website unobtainable for a short time and may take me some time to learn how to operate the website using WordPress (well they say you need to learn new skills to maintain your mental agility!!!) but hopefully the new system will be better to use in the long run. I will keep you posted.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

Phil B has sent me details of his trials & tribulations with his TF:

Paul, not much to report, so struggling to find you something. I enclose two pictures for What have I been doing with my MG well the black thumbnail means I was cursing it since I shut the door with my thumb still inside.

The other showing a grill, was lashing out just a few pounds for that item to go under the two vents on the top of the boot, the previous owner had put similar grills around the car and it certainly looks good.

Best wishes and thanks for keeping it going.

One joke you could perhaps add: “a person who had been on lockdown for several weeks stood on their scales and instead of the scales giving the weight it said only one person at a time please”.

Thanks Phil, hope the thumb nail is getting better.

We finally went out in the MG last Monday, as a mode of transport to take us for our daily allowed walk, so we took a picnic. As you can see we found another MG in the car park (is it anyone we know?). Any guesses where we went for our walk?


Trevor has found time during the Lockdown to write the next instalment about his Duratec MGB conversion:

Restoration of and installation of a ford 2l Duratec into our MG – Part 5

The Light at the end of the Tunnel and Tales of the Unexpected

Or one could say the beginning of the end of my love hate relationship with LKV 4##P.

I became the Registered Keeper of LKV 4##P on the 29th September 2015. Hard to believe that four and a half years have passed since our excitement of becoming owners of a classic car. When I say excitement, that was short lived and replaced by despair, disbelief, mental breakdown and bankruptcy. If I knew then what I know now, I would have set fire to it and claimed on the insurance.

The morning of January 19th 2020 PL (pre lockdown) dawned and this was the day I could collect our prodigal MG from the “make it all shiny and new man”. My excitement was quelled when I saw it and noted that all the outside surfaces were perfectly finished in blue, not a blemish. I was frightened to even go near it, let alone put it onto the trailer. I suddenly realised that I would have to have tools and scratchy things next to this beautiful unmarked body to finish it. After my panic attack, and with the help of my Son we loaded it onto the trailer. If I asked once, have we got enough straps on it, I must have asked a hundred times.

So, before I knew it this perfect MG was on my drive and into the garage, great relief came upon me. This did not last long as I now had a multitude of fettling trimming and final assembly jobs to do.

Every time I went into the garage to start work, I found that there was a force field around the car that kept pushing me away (fear of marking the unblemished paintwork). A week passed, during which time I had learnt to have only my hands in contact with the car and the rest of my body at least six feet away. I think I may have invented a few new Yoga positions.

First job was to set the gaps around the doors to the new front and rear wings that had been fitted. This was a nerve-jangling operation that was more complex and took far longer than ever expected. You do have some adjustment on the front wings and doors, but always you must consider how the doors fit to the windscreen and cill. I found you cannot concentrate on just one gap. The quarterlight that bolts into the door, has oodles of adjustment, but I found that it is very easy to have a knock on effect, where gaps look OK but the glass looks wrong and the moulding detail for the chrome strip does not line up. It can take hours just to make a 1mm difference. Every time you make an adjustment you must check fit to the windscreen, glass position, gap around front grill and gap around door. I took 4 days to get to a position where it was not going to get any better. I have since found out that professionals build up the door edges with weld, or remove metal before final spraying, when new items have been fitted.

Talking of windscreens, Paul has mentioned in a previous Newsletter how tricky it is to fit the main seal to the windscreen and then the windscreen to the car. Do not underestimate this task, without some tuition from Paul and a special hockey stick tool supplied by Paul, my car would have had aero screens. I must also say a thank you to Angie because it is a two-person job, and she worked wonders with her wooden spatula.

Next job was to fit the dashboard, like most jobs on an MGB, not straightforward, and there are many sharp edges behind there, I think I found everyone. Luckily, all the labels I had fitted to the cables were still there. Before fitting the dashboard, you should fit the demister vents and tubes together with the fresh air vents and more tubes. What a job that was, in fact the heater and everything connected to it is hard work. And whatever you do, do not forget to fit the bonnet hinges, because two of the bolts are behind the dashboard.

When I offered up the switches, gauges and other controls you realize how tatty they look against the new dashboard. During the rebuild it has been a continuing theme, everything looks naff against a pristine background. All you can do is spend more money on new parts.

One problem I knew I would have to address is how to make the standard MGB speedometer work. The Mazda gearbox has no take off for a speedometer cable (modern cars have the speedo working off one of the ABS sensors or elsewhere). After much head scratching and calculations I choose the prop shaft as the only reliable source for making the speedometer work. Knowing the diff ratio and the diameter of wheel it was easy to work out how far you go up the road for one revolution of the road wheel. If you ever get asked in a pub quiz how many revolutions of the speedometer cable makes the speedometer read 75MPH, the answer is 1500.

To mate the Mazda prop shaft to the MGB back axle, I manufactured a solid billet of aluminium as an adaptor, great I could use this to drive a wheel incorporating a square hole to drive the cable. Only problem I had to join two standard MGB speedometer cables together, simple yes? No, have you ever tried drilling a square hole? And the thread on the cable, where it goes into the gearbox is a bike thread, British Cycle Thread 3/4 by 26 tpi, never heard of it in all my years of engineering. I manufactured the required parts to link a vee belt (bit special) driven wheel to give the correct ratio between prop shaft and driven wheel to the speedometer up front. I can fine tune by changing the diameter of the driven wheel.

I could not wait to see if it would work, so attached a bit of kit to the rear hub nut, to turn the rear wheel at a known RPM. The only thing I had with a known RPM was my battery-operated drill. On low speed, 450 RPM, I hoped it would turn the rear wheel so that I could see the speedometer work. I connected it up and pulled the trigger, there was a strong electrical smell, followed by the drive gears giving up the ghost soon after. Low and behold, it had lasted long enough for me to see that the speedometer had reached the correct speed. Anyone want to buy a single speed drill, one careful owner?

If you look at the car when I got it back from the paint shop, you may notice the rear sits rather high. I first fitted standard multi leaf rear springs, and then decided upon parabolic springs. I have had real problems with these springs, and MGOC from where they were purchased have not been able to help. I know the car is lighter than standard, but to have a ride height 3 inches over standard, makes it look like an off roader. In the photograph you will see that I am trying to “retrain” the parabolic spring. I used a scissor jack to try and take some of the curve out of the spring. I moved the spring eyelet 15 inches from where it wanted to be and held it there for a week. None of this worked, I also put in a half inch spacer, moved the spring spacers from the bottom to the top and it still sits too high.

I am going to re-engineer the parabolic springs and make them behave themselves.

We have entered lock down, and enjoying the best weather this century, so Angie thought this would be a good time to complete many outside projects that we have been putting off for years. This has resulted in less progress on the B and means I will have to continue my waffle in another Newsletter.

One thing did strike me, putting a Ford engine into an MGB is probably the worst thing you can do to an MG. If I did this in the 70s, I would probably been stoned to death by the MGOC. However, what it does mean is that because you cannot be stoned to death twice, you can do whatever you want to make the car how you want it. When we get the chance to socialise once again, this car will be a real “Quiz on Wheels” trying to identify where it strays from the norm.

Stay Safe

Trevor & Angie

Thanks Trevor, I hope the 'outside projects' are now all completed and you can get back to working on the MG again.

As I said in the last Newsletter I have no more articles for the next Newsletter, so if you go anywhere in your MG take a photo and tell us about it or if have anything else to say drop me an email.

With the continuing saga of Graham's starter motor which is fixed with a nice shiny new one, not from China this time (it took Welford Garage about 5 minutes to diagnose the problem and replace it), he has celebrated the event with another cartoon Just when Bumble’s ready to Rumble . . .”

Thanks Graham, enjoy the drive!!

Stay safe, stay well