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MG Car Repair/1975 MG B

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Question
1975 mgb 2 door convertible $5500.00 This car is in great condition runs and drives great. there are no problems just replaced all tie rod ends, all front wheel bearings and this car has fully rebuilt original motor. This car also comes with the original hard top ($1500). There is nothing wrong with this vehicle . great fun little classic car. Kelly blue book and nada have this car valued for clean retail at 8500$ cant get a better deal call or text anytime thanks. nick
4th at benton (google map) (yahoo map)

I have a friend that is planning on meeting with the owner who is selling this car.  Can you give us any advice on what to look for.  Thanks,  Dan  

Answer
Hi Dan,

The best would be to have a shop run a compression (Dry and Wet test) and an oil pressure test and check the thickness of the brake pads in the front and the condition of the disks and even look at the rear shoes and check the fluid levels and pressure test the cooling system and test the charging system.

However that would cost a little but be well worth the money spent. This is what we did in the dealerships when someone wanted to sell a car to our dealership.

However, most people don't got to that extent to buy a car. When you buy a car from an individual you are gambling. There are a few things you can look at.
Look at the ware pattern of the front tires to see that both tires are worn evenly across the tread. Bounce each fender to check the shocks. MGs have 50/50 shocks so each corner should not bounce up and down easily. Look at the dip stick to see the color of the oil. If it is tan or milky looking walk away as it has water in the oil.

Turn the key to Ignition (not start# and note that the IGN light is on. Note that the IGN light goes out as soon as it starts up. #This is the charging system light#
Sit in the car and start the engine but don't rev it up and note how long it takes to see oil pressure on the gauge. It should show pressure as soon as it starts up. Note the oil pressure at idle. It should show from 25 PSI to 50 PSI at idle with cold oil. If the oil is already warm from running you should see from 25 to 35 PSI at idle. Then set the throttle at about 1500 RPM #a fast idle# and it should read from 45 PSI to 70 PSI.

After the car has been driven and the engine temp and the oil is warm have someone else sit in the car while you stand 20 foot or so behind the car and have them rev the engine a couple of times from idle while you watch from behind at the tail pipe. You are looking for puffs of smoke. The color of any smoke tells what it is. A short quick puff of black smoke but only a short quick puff may be normal as that is a rich fuel mixture caused by the damper in the top of the carburetor. If you see blue smoke, that is oil burning. Blue smoke is an indication of something wrong but that may be minor or major and only tests by a shop can make that determination.

Note how the clutch pedal feels. It should have about an inch of free play then feel firm and feel about the same amount of firmness all the way to the floor. Reach down and feel the forward side of the pedal arm #not the pedal itself# for any fluid. #indication of a master cylinder leaking. Check the clutch and the brake pedal.

Road testing the car

At about 20 MPH let go of the steering wheel (keeping your hands at the wheel# and apply the brakes to see if it pulls to either side. Driving the car note if there is any shimmy in the steering wheel driving or applying brakes.

Test of the clutch

With the engine at a slow idle #750 RPM to 900 RPM# hold the clutch pedal on the floor for several seconds and put the gear lever into reverse and note if there is any gear clash. If there is a little bit, hold the clutch pedal on the floor for several seconds and put the shift lever into 2nd rear and then quickly put it into reverse. There should be no gear clash then. When starting off with it in 1st gear the car should not go until you have the pedal from 1/4 travel off the floor to about 1/2 travel off the floor.

It is common for people to ware out 2nd gear syncro due to improper shifting practices. It is common for MGs to have ware on 2nd gear syncro so when you shift too quickly from 1st to 2nd and you get a slight gear clash. #If you buy the car read my tech tip on how to make a gearbox live longer. http://mg-tri-jag.net/tech4.htm
If you are use to driving domestic cars, you will find the MG a much more direct and positive steering feel.

Not much else you can test without tools and shop facilities. Good luck.

Howard  

MG Car Repair

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Howard M. Fitzcharles III

Expertise

MG from 1956 (USA versions only) up and Engine theory.

Experience

Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Organizations
Associate member SAE EAA member

Publications
Import Car magazine

Education/Credentials
ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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