The last two days was interesting to say the least. Since my car is not yet away for the winter I had some beautiful rides through the country, some cool, border line cold and others toasty and warm. The quick sum of it could be presented as follows:
- New battery -= $ 211.00
- Starter Motor Diagnostic and Repair – $ 85.00
- Radiator Flush and Install 195 Degree Thermostat – $ 125.00
- 750 Miles of driving in November 😊
There you have it. But that’s no fun without the stories?
It started a couple of days ago. The car was sluggish at starting. Sounded and felt exactly like a low battery. Funny enough I was about to install a Battery shut off switch and was having difficulty finding the perfect location since the battery in the car was a size 34 and left no space between the battery walls to drill through and install the shut off switch.
I had many suggestions from MG Experience, and I also found a shorter switch. Who new they came in different lengths since the pictures online all look the same? With the shorter switch and new battery that was not so long, I would have the required space to install the switch. So off to NAPA to look at all their recommended batteries for a 1980 MGB and we found one. The Size 75. This battery also fits a Toyota Echo. It is 9.75 Inches long versus 10.25 inches on the size 34, plus it was one inch shorter. It had more Cold Cranking Amps and a spectacular warranty. It was the Pro Legend Series.
New battery and switch solved! I was riding high until I installed the battery, and the car still was sluggish to turn. At one point it just made clicking noises. It had all the symptoms of a broken starter or solenoid or both. I didn’t have one and Steve at The Sports Car Factory was generous enough to let me come down immediately with the car for him to change the starter. He had an older one.
I tapped the starter and solenoid and the car started, it still turned slowly, but my excellent tuning skills (lol) paid off because she started with one crank at 5 degrees Celsius outside.
Upon arrival at The Sports Car Factory, after jacking the car up, Steve just shook is head in disbelief. My starter was coming off the car. There are two bolts that hold the starter body to the base casting.
These were loose. Really loose. See the picture of the gap and the short video of the starter moving back and forth. After getting in the right position with the right sockets, Steve tightened her up, tight this time.
We put the key into the ignition and with the 700 CCA the engine just started like a champ. Repeatedly. So, I had a nice 40-minute drive there and yet another drive home on a sunny day.
The next day I had already scheduled a radiator flush at Cyrville Radiator in Ottawa. I had purchased the fluids and a 195-degree Fahrenheit thermostat and gaskets. The reason for this was that since I had the car the engine temperature would change from cold to hot just be driving or idling. Of course, when really hot the engine idle was affected. I wanted to get to the bottom of this and I had many suspicions, and they all became true. I did not want to do it in my garage because of the potential mess.
I printed out the steps from my owner’s manual and arrived shortly after nine o’clock for the flush. At first, I was nervous since the MGB seemed to be quite different in design than most other cars with no radiator cap or drain. The mechanics there took my instructions but said they had a better way. And they did. They were very knowledgeable and did an excellent job.
They found that there was no thermostat in the car as received. This would explain one reason for the lack of cooling at idle. The cooling fluids were just racing through with no time for the heat to dissipate. The second thing they found was a foamy, bubbly fluid resembling bubbles like in a sink when washing dishes. They had no idea what was in there.
The changed clamps, added a new gasket here and there, flushed the engine and radiator clean and mixed a 30 percent antifreeze that I brought. They filled her properly, ran her and filled her again. In fact, they told me to do one more top off this morning when she is cold. The filling is through a bolt plug on top of the thermostat housing.
I got in the car and stated her up and the temperature started to rise quickly until it hit one step above half. Then it just did not move. I couldn’t believe it. All the ay home on the highway, at stops and idling, it just did not move. I should have done this when I first got the car. I had to turn down the heat on the way home and open a window it became so toasty warm.
I suspect that in the summer, when I change the thermostat to a 160-degree Fahrenheit that it most likely that the temperature will reside slightly to the left of halfway (cooler).
On the way home I stopped at a local garage that has one mechanic and two bays. I asked if I could drive my car on the drive lift and if he could lift it up so I could check my fluids. For $ 20.00, I checked my Transmission and differential fluids and did not get crushed by my car.
I would say that we are ready to continue driving in this weather up to the point when they start dropping salt on the roads. With this weather forecast, that may be to Christmas 😊.