Pictorial 5

Continuing work on the hood with a change in hood hinge and air intake. Other than front-wheel drive cars, I never liked hoods that open from the front mainly because most don't open far enough and the danger of opening while driving. The modification here was very easy to do and will open completely for easy access. The only advantage of a front opening hood is that you can (in most cases) remove an engine without removing the hood. The few times that the engine will need to be removed (I hope) does not offset all the disadvantages of a front opening hood. The removal of this hood is easier than a front opening hood as there is no need for any alignment adjustment when reinstalling. 

hood.jpg (26384 bytes)      hood2.jpg (30445 bytes)      hoodbk.jpg (24581 bytes)      hoodpin.jpg (24630 bytes)      hing.jpg (16471 bytes)     IntHood2.jpg (47216 bytes)

              Hood Hinge        Hood fitted         Air Intake          Hood Pins       Hood Mount     Hood Hinge                   

This car had fiberglass front fenders installed by my son when he was using it in autocross. Thus they need some modification on their mounting. As soon as the mounting is complete and front valance is installed, the car will be ready to go to the body shop. It will go still mounted on the rotisserie.

Flames will be painted on the side of the car as though coming out of the side vents. The flames were drawn on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper then scanned and a transparency was made in my printer and that will be used to project the image onto the side of the car to duplicate what was drawn. A practice run showed up well in the shop but a video capture only shows the part on the painted door. Here are a few of those shots.

Project1.jpg (32792 bytes)         Noproject.jpg (34220 bytes)       projectscr.jpg (15598 bytes)       FOilCooler2.jpg (36434 bytes)

Projector On     Projector Off    Projector screen   Oil Cooler Air

MG L QTR.jpg (90222 bytes)     LRQtView2.jpg (49920 bytes)     MG R  QTR.jpg (100181 bytes)      RFfender2.jpg (54598 bytes)      RSideView2.jpg (53364 bytes)     MG BEFORE.jpg (106768 bytes)

Left R 1/4      LR 1/4 View      Right R 1/4           RF 1/4             Side View            As Was

Updated pictures as of 3/14/04

FrontQt1x1.jpg (20468 bytes)   Rear1x1.jpg (21758 bytes)   RearQt1x1.jpg (22118 bytes)   SideVu1x1.jpg (18927 bytes)

Just about ready to put a primer coat on except for the hood.


Updated pictures as of 3/18/04

FtQtPrime2.jpg (31511 bytes)   SidePrime.jpg (44082 bytes)   rearprime.jpg (37380 bytes)   Hoodmod.jpg (31674 bytes)

Fiber Glass fender--  Ready to Block   --     Rear View --  Hood needed a little more

A little more work on the hood and some blocking and it is ready to paint. I was thinking of a late Ford Green but the body shop owner wanted a darker pearl green that looked like a "pearl" version of British Racing Green. I little flexing of the sample patch and I was won over. He has put a lot of work into this and has a lot of pride in the results. Originally I was just building a street rod that I would not be afraid to take out on a dirt track or gravel road to play with. However, as he worked on making my sow's ear into a silk purse, he said I was not allowed to even drive it out my gravel driveway to the paved road. I would have to trailer it to the paved road and only on dry sunny days.  Now I am forced to backtrack and make the rest of the car pretty. I guess I can rethink the plan and it will be a show car and maybe a little auto cross. Maybe not gravel but I might squeeze in a picture taking session on a small dirt track.

SidePainted1x1.jpg (26927 bytes)   FrontPainted1x1.jpg (18008 bytes)   HoodPainted1x1.jpg (14930 bytes)   MGBGT11x1.jpg (29125 bytes)   MGBGT31x1.jpg (21137 bytes)

Side View               Front Quarter              Hood                 Outside 1                Outside 2

MG is painted and will soon have the flames painted on. The color of the "Side View" is as it is. The "Front Quarter" and "Hood" pictures seem to be a blue but that is an error of the camera. Batteries were very low in the camera so that may be the cause. The "Side View" shows the "Pearl" effect very well. I am very pleased with the outcome. However, it is so good I will now have to make all the other components look as good. The body-shop has made a real "Show Car" of it.


New parts that are just purchased and some modified are the aluminum 4 piston calipers, Vented rotors, additional instruments, a direct ignition system, remote timing control, LED knock monitor and ignition wires.

The direct ignition system completely eliminates the distributor except for the oil pump drive which will be fabricated. This direct ignition system uses 4 dual secondary coils and has 3 adjustable controls for 3 ranges of advance and one control for rev limiting. It uses a crank sensor which  more accurately controls the ignition. It also has a MAP sensor for vacuum advance control and a remote control of total ignition advance adjustment from inside the car. With the addition of a Knock sensor LED display, this system should allow me to set and maintain the most advance possible without engine damage due to detonation at any RPM. 

I considered  a system that automatically advanced the timing of each cylinder individually to the point of detonation then backed off a notch which is the most advanced system now. But the $1400. cost gave me sticker shock. So, I opted for this system which is just about as good for my needs.  

IgnSys.jpg (19850 bytes)      KnockSys.jpg (17071 bytes)       IgnWire.jpg (21327 bytes)       TimingCtrl.jpg (16173 bytes)    Pumpdrive2.jpg (34934 bytes)

Direct Ignition         Knock Monitor          Ignition Wires        Timing Adjustment     Oil pump drive

The additional instruments will be placed either in the new consol or to the right side of the main instrument cluster which I have decided to use the cluster from a late model TR-7 due to the Tach RPM range, which more closely matches the RPM range of a V-8 engine and the speedo will more closely match the speedo drive of the TR-7  5spd box. 

BGTInst.jpg (26176 bytes)


Vented brake rotors and aluminum calipers with 4 stainless steel pistons each will be mounted on the front. Some major modifications were necessary as these are not "bolt on" units. The aluminum caliper mount was made from a billet piece of aluminum on a small lathe up to a point and the center section had to be recessed for the spindle with an end mill. The original spindles had to be altered by cutting off the original caliper mounting ears and grind to smooth a little. Also, the two 5/16 upper splash guard mounting holes were enlarged to 3/8 and threaded. and the two lower 5/16 mounting holes were drilled and threaded to extend the steering arm holes (7/16) to mount the aluminum caliper mount.

RotorCal2.jpg (15016 bytes)      CalMnt2.jpg (34487 bytes)      Spindle2.jpg (37475 bytes)  

Vented rotor and alloy caliper --- Caliper mounts --- Modified MG spindle


Finally got back to work on the MG project and the clutch was needing work. I acquired a straight stick flywheel from a friend and had it cut down to fit into the TR-7 bell housing then indexed my Mazda RX-7 turbo pressure plate to the cut down flywheel. I then had the flywheel and pressure plate balanced separately by a local speed shop. I am using a TR-8 Triumph disk and I found that the Tri. disk was about 1 mm thicker than the Mazda RX-7 turbo disk so I needed to shim the pressure plate out by 1 mm so as not to over compress the pressure plate spring. unlike an old coil spring pressure plate that would grip the disk tighter when compressed more, a diaphragm spring gets weaker when over compressed so it was necessary to shim the pressure plate out to match the RX-7 turbo disk thickness. Next to be considered was the distance the release bearing needed to travel to contact the fingers of the pressure plate. Because of the flywheel position, thickness of the pressure plate, the adapter plate and the bell housing flange position, the release bearing did not even get close to the pressure plate. With some fancy measuring, I determined that the bearing when retracted was about 1 5/8 inches from the pressure plate. Because of later clutch disk ware and to give myself a little clearance so I made a 1 1/2 inch spacer from a piece of aluminum bar stock that would press onto the bearing slider and press the bearing onto the spacer. 

As soon as I mount the clutch slave cylinder and master cylinder I will know if I am in the ball park and then it will require a road test to make sure everything will work. If it requires any modifying it will not be a big deal as I have designed in the easier transmission removal from below without any engine compartment work. This is a photo of the stock TR-7 release bearing slider on the left and my extension adapter on the right.

ClutchBrgSpacer1x1.jpg (12308 bytes)

I plan to use the Clutch master and slave cylinder from a 5 spd. Triumph TR-7 unless the master is too difficult to adapt to the MGB clutch pedal box. In which case I will just match the master cylinder bore size if the piston travel is close to the same. That will be relatively easy to work out.

I am finally at a point that I can make a list of things that need to be done to further the project. 

I tried to mount a good 1966 grill and found out the hood contour was not a match in the arch at the front. At first I thought that I had altered the arch when I modified the hood. However I found that was not the problem as the arch was a fixed contour and with a box construction it would be very difficult to change even if you wanted to. I examiner the old chrome grill that was on the car and found that it had been hammered down in the middle to match the contour of the new hood. I seen this before and assumed it had a hard life. Now I am sure it was a mistake in manufacturing as it was an aftermarket hood. Just as well because I wanted to make my own grill anyway. 

How it was made.

First I made a template of the grill and an upper and lower grill mounts that I wanted out of sheet metal and took it to a local company that had aluminum sheet metal and a water cutter. They cut out the three pieces from quarter inch aircraft grade aluminum. Also one piece of 3/8 plate with my template of the grill badge mount. I needed the grill to be smoothly arched in the shape of the upper and lower mounting plates and then welded to the mounts. I had to take it to another shop that does that kind of work. This was a welding shop that had rollers to smoothly arch the grill to match the two mounts and then weld them together. They also did a great job. I then took a 1/4 in. radius carbide router bit and with a conventional wood router I cut a smooth radius on the inner edge only of the grill. I then wet sanded it with 1000, 1200 & 1500 wet & dry paper. I then used two grades of polishing compounds and a buffing wheel in an air tool. I purchased a stainless steel mesh from Barrie Robinson in Canada ( barrie@look.ca ) and installed it in my home made grill. I made the grill badge mount separate by using a drill press as a milling machine to counter bore the center where the badge itself fit. Instead of mounting it on the grill, I mounted it on the hood itself. So when I open my hood, the badge goes up with the hood. Here are a few pictures of the grill finished and mounted.

MGgrill11x1.jpg (32150 bytes)  MGgrill21x1.jpg (35571 bytes)  MGgrill41x1.jpg (27773 bytes)

The same stainless steel mesh will go in the side air exhaust vents on the fenders. That should finish any body modifications. Next I need to finish up the engine modifications and rear brake disk & caliper mounting and it should be ready to assemble. I hope to make the next British car show in Franklin TN toward the end of the summer.

More work on the engine.

The outside plumbing for the air start system is complete so the inside plumbing is under way. The Honda front balancer and the electromotive trigger wheel and ignition pick-up are also mounted. I hear you say in your head that I can't use a Honda balancer on a 215 Olds. Horse Pucky! Yes I can and did. 

V-8-2a21x1.jpg (21244 bytes)   V-8-5a21x1.jpg (25683 bytes)

Side Vents

The fenders needed to be removed to install the stainless steel mesh in the side vents as I fiber glassed them in place and I needed to correct the lower mounting screws of the fender to the body. Because the fenders are fiberglass I had to rivet a piece of aluminum across the bottom of the fender and then put a row of small screws and nuts securing the piece of aluminum to the body. 

MGFlames1a1x1a.jpg (62155 bytes)

Stainless Steel Mesh

Air Start System

Even though I felt that the air start system would work, it was still an unknown. So you can see that I was a little on edge when I got to a point to test run the start system. I temporarily bolted the heads on with the old gaskets and put 125 lbs of air to it. It turned over, but very slowly and would stop at one cylinder. It had a bunch of leaks so I decided to correct the leaks before accepting the fact that it was not going to work. 

After correcting the leaks and grinding a little on the operating cam in the air distributor to change the dwell time and I reset the initial timing to 5 deg ATDC, I tried it again. 

It's alive, It's alive!!!!!

Egor was delighted too. (Egor was only in my head) I was going to make a video clip of it but my camcorder had went belly up so you will just have to look at the still pictures. The system I had designed on paper for the engagement and disengagement was complicated and I worried that it was going to take a while to build. So I came up with the simplest design and made that in few minutes. Duh! Many times the best way is the simplest way. 

AirPower21x1.jpg (42697 bytes)  insidePlum21x1.jpg (73473 bytes) AirPower71x1.jpg (43748 bytes)

The test run on an engine stand was with line pressure of 125 PSI.  The next test will be with the onboard air tank to determine how long it will spin over with the small on-board tank. I had planned to operate the on-board tank at 150 PSI as I have a small 12v pump that claims it can pump up to 150 PSI. 

As the engine spun over it sounded like a very old engine idling. There was some blow-down noise from the exhaust valve opening and some weezing noise from the old head gaskets and what looked like a leak in two intake valves. Will check that out before I install the heads with new gaskets and torqued down.  This was a milestone that I was apprehensive about but now that is past I can move on and start assembling the car. I plan to show the car at our British car show in Franklin TN in the first week in Oct. Most of the rest of the car is just grunt work with very few engineering projects so it should go much quicker now.

I spoke too soon as every thing I attempted to do did require extensive design work. I finished the input ports in the head and the block for the cross flow cooling system but it took too long to complete which made it evident I will not get the car ready for this years show. Here are a few pictures of the cooling system induction plumbing. (plumber's night mare)

LRCooling1x1.jpg (37245 bytes)  RearCooling1x1.jpg (32719 bytes)  RRCooling1x1.jpg (33659 bytes)

Left hand side is the feed line from the water pump (remote mounted BMW pump). The branches off of the feed line feed 7 ports on the left side of the block. Three ports enter the core plugs on the block and four ports into the head. The large transfer ports between the block and the head at the rear is blocked off. The small "steam" holes between the head and block have been enlarged slightly and two more added in the block of the original transfer.  The left side feed line extends up and over the back of the engine to a right side feed line and it too has the same seven ports into the block and head. No coolant will travel more than 8 to 10 inches in the engine thus the speed of the coolant can be slowed down quite a bit. Propylene Glycol will be used in place of the normal antifreeze and it will be used straight with no water. 265 deg boiling point and about - 265 deg freezing point and non toxic. This means I will run no pressure system, Only a expansion tank off of the radiator.

I checked the weight of the engine in the above configuration and it was 285 lbs. The clutch, headers and carburetors will bring the weight up to about 300 lbs.

Page 6