When I bought the car, I started to go through the manual and figure out what all of the buttons, switches and dials do, including a metal lever to the right of my leg. Some switches were added by the previous owner such as a switch that turns on the radiator fan and the movement of the overdrive switch to the top left side of the dash.
During this process I discovered that the defrost does not work on the driver’s side. Shortly thereafter I attended a MGB Club Lunch and dinner in Morrisburg, Ontario and the club members told me that the tube feeding the air probably came off the top vent. One gentleman got under my steering wheel to feel up under the dash but was mostly blocked by the under-dash cover which he was surprised to see on my car. Apparently, most do not have these still. So, I made a note and put it on the list of things to do. Remove a few screws to release the under cover and then reach up under the dash and reconnect the hose. Sounded simple to me?
Well, removing the undercover was simple and then when I reached up under the dash to connect the hose, I realized it was not connected at both ends, so I pulled it out to see what I was dealing with.
As you can see by the picture, the hose was cracked. Simple enough, right. Get some tape and tape up the crack and then “simply” re-install. I got right on it!
So far so good, right? Now just to re-install my repaired hose and we would be done. Not quite! Notice the very tiny space that leads to the back firewall where the heater connects to the defrost tube. Also remember that my wrist does not bend after having a proximal row carpectomy (the reason I stopped riding and purchased an MGB). Ten minutes turned into a frustrating hour and a half trying to get these tubes in place and to stay in place.
After a thoroughly frustrating couple of hours, I had found a clamp that was behind the firewall area that was never connected to the hose in the first place. The problem I was having is that if I got the hose connected it would fall out shortly thereafter. So, I thought the clamp was the answer and after examining how the clamp was connected in the books and on the passenger side I made a few more futile attempts to connect the hose.
At this point I came to one conclusion; my hose connection end musty be damaged beyond repair. So, I drove 30-minutes to the Sports Car Factory and I was able to remove a hose from a scrap car in the back. It was round and the snaps were not damaged.
After returning home I fiddle around a bit to get it in place and then suddenly as I pushed, I heard that magic sound, “snap”. It was music to my ears. At that point I knew it was in and in for good. I added the clamp that I found and then realized that only have of the fasteners were fastened around everything and some were black while others metal color. So off to NAPA to purchase three boxes of # 8 3/4″ black fastener screws with the attached washers.
I went through the complete interior and put on all new fasteners, so they match, fit tight and properly secure. Yes, this was not part of the job and most likely not required at all. However, it was a moment whereby my OCD just kicked in and took control. There was a lot of screwing going on.
In conclusion, I was able to fix the defrost and in doing so I discovered some wiring issues that I will address in the near future (putting it on the list). I also have learned how to disassemble the middle console so when I put in new carpeting it will be a snap. Finally, all my fasteners match :).
David Masse said:
Nice work Peter. I can’t wait to see and experience that car!
Matthew McGarvey said:
In 1980 were they using metric, SAE, BSF, CEI or some combination of the above (from the pail on the shop floor) for fasteners? What kind of head is on the screws – Phillips?
Peter Sanderson said:
Everything is SAE and fastener screws are Phillips. I had to enhance my SAE collection of wrenches and added a timing light, vacuum gage and compression gage to my collection of tools. For metric, my collection was quite comprehensive but now I see I will still need a few more SAE sockets and odds and ends 🙂
Pingback: MGB Defrost – Simple Repair, eh? – MGB tips mods and maintenance