April 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm #234084
Noticed this post on the “MG Experience” forum under the headline “Throwing in the Towel”
I have owned MGs off and on for the past 30 years. I
enjoy them as long as they are running good but sadly they seem to
require more work than I want to spend now. Between MG ownership I have
always owned air cooled Beetles and I seldom ever had to do anything
other than normal maintenance. On the MGs it is something all the time.
For example, my recent MGB started having clutch issues. Couldn’t
just be the slave but no it had to be the master cylinder so here goes
another $150 and a couple of hours of labor. I give up – finally have
decided I want to spend my time driving cars – not working on them
So I am throwing in the towel. I have decided that MG ownership is no
longer for me. Guess I will go back to the aircooled stuff – less
headaches and cheaper in the long run.
I really love theMGs – just Not enough to spend so much time working on them.
it came a few weeks ago, so I don’t know if he’ll hear my answer, but we gotta try. We gotta try.April 8, 2012 at 5:37 am #250005
Ed, the club should “elect” you as our Replica recruiter. You joined their club just so you could respond to his post? I had to read all the way through to find that out. I was tempted to copy your comments and post here, but it is your post, so you do it if you want. BTW, I was one of them, I have always had a fun car (as distinguished from our family cars or my work car). I too, just like some of those in the MG thread, swell with self centered pride as my ego gets fed every time that I have too much gas in my car and take her out for a fix, when I hear “nice car” or “I had one of these in college” or even “is that a Rolls Royce?”. (The Rolls is a true story from while I was gassing up one day.) Even when they get it all wrong, I still love it because what they are really saying is “I wish I had one of those”. As for the driving fun, more reliable than any of my English ones:Sunbeam -3, MGTF, Austin Healey. Easier to fix than my Mercedes 230SLK. Lancia Zagato- too new and crowded under the hood. My Porsche 911 with 6 Webers was very fast but I couldn’t exercise that speed without danger or a speeding ticket.As a convert, here are the things I do enjoy most about the TD replica:Fiberglass shell: I really hate putting a lot of mechanical work into a car, and a nice paint job only to see rust start coming through. Those old English and cheaper Italian cars rusted up too quickly for me.VW reliability. compared to other old cars, VW is the best.Lucas lost.VW parts cost. Find me a less expensive drive train to repair and maintain.The cost of the replicas. Until the world figures out what we know, they are still cheap.But most importantly,The TD simply looks great. Drives much better than my MGTF (which I traded for my 911). I really think that if MG had thought of it, they would have built a VW powered fiberglass replicar…… HmmmIt’ll be interesting to see if “Bob” responds to your invitation to explore TD replicars.April 8, 2012 at 7:27 am #250006Scott A ChynowethParticipant
Roy,Sorry I didagree on the vw.Chevy’s from pre 85 are by far cheaper to maintain.VW long blocks new sell for 1700-3000 and somtimes more.and its still not a complete engine.and also still only 60-and up horses.On the chevy side,GM crate 350,275 horse turn key complete,1700-2500 and a 3 year 45000 mile factory warrenty if is goes back into a gm vehicle,1 year 10000 miles if used in a hot rod.I have close to 1000 just in bolt on parts and the VW in my mg,I have less than 800 in the 350 in my truck and that includes machine work new oversized pistons and all the bolt ons.Just my opinion not wanting to start a debate.Besides I just am nota dub guy.April 8, 2012 at 8:10 am #250007
Bob,You can’t say what you did without starting a debate. But, realize that I was talking about English motors (MG’s although I did have a Lotus powered Jensen Healey and a TR6 also). The only American cars that ever really appealed to me were the Model A/B and Chevy’s of the era. I have never driven nor seen a TD with a V8 so my view is somewhat skeptical since a V8 powered TR6 that my brother had was only good for 1/4 mile drags. My comments assumed that you “had to have a sports car”. (Whatever that is.) My son has tried for 50 years to get me to buy a Corvette. I have a 70+ year “no Corvette” streak going and will likely never have one – but don’t really know why except that there are so many of them around. Sonny has a super nice ’69 Vette. I’ve had my TD for only 6 months and have yet to see another (be it real or a replicar). I guess I most enjoy what (almost) no one else has.April 8, 2012 at 8:35 am #250008Scott A ChynowethParticipant
Royits not bob.its scott/buzz/or oldbuzz.Sorry I misread the post foriegn autos.yes VW is far supierior than the others.History will show the VW powerplant is/was unchanged for 60 years or more.Don’t get me wrong.I really enjoy my dub powered TD,Can’t beat the milage of 19 and up per gallon.I havent had a chance to check what I’m getting with the 1641 kit that went in over winter.I have to take out a loan for gas just to get my 55 to the station.I will let the cat out of the bag here.I just picked up an original TD frame( could have had the whole car cheap)Plans are to swap my TD over to the original frame and put in front engine and automatic.Just have to decide on an engine.I have 283,350,and a 4.3 V6.Would like a little 2.8 V6,or possible a 1.6 4 banger,got to retain the better gas milage.April 8, 2012 at 8:55 am #250009
Sorry Scott, I was thinking of the MGA/MGB Bob that Ed responded to. If I were to do a swap of the sort you are contemplating I would first look at weight and dimensions not hp. Most any of those engines you mentioned will make your “new TD” run like a scared rabbit if it’ll steer and handle nicely.April 8, 2012 at 8:55 am #250010
For parts availability old iron Chevy stuff is right up there with VW, and the HP-per-$ ratio can’t be beat. If you’re even a little patient at the junk yard or swap meet you can make 400 reliable horses for $1,000.
Irrelevant to VW-based TD work though, unless you want a real project.
That said, the new GM crate engines–LS3 and such–are a spankin’ deal! For about $6500 you get an engine with 430Hp out of the box and another hundred at least with just a simple cam swap. And it’ll run 200,000 miles like that.
That’s so easy it should be illegal. I mean, think about it: what this means is that practically any knuckle-dragging moron can have 500 horsepower mailed to them on any weekday! Criminy, what’s next? Mail-order bazookas? And that’s before you go mining for raw gems at your local pick & pull. My local guy, Crazy Ray, sells any engine you can find on the lot for $185. Anyone want to bet there’s the occasional rolled-over Camaro in there?
By contrast Jake Raby, who seems to be the premier air-cooled aftermarket guy, gets about $15,000 to put together a 200-horse Type IV VW (he’s famously cagy about pricing; does it strictly on a per-project basis, but I think I’m close to right on this). For a 200-horse Type 1, Pat Downs needs about $10,000. And I’ve got to say, from what I’ve read and seen, that I don’t think any Type 1 making more than about 150 ft-lbs torque is long for this world. Certainly not a 100,000-mile engine, let alone twice that.
This is not a knock on the HiPo air-cooled guys. It takes a special finesse to squeeze a lot of juice out of these old finned cases, and that can be its own reward (see “sports car” ref., above). Not to mention how much lighter they are than even the aluminum water-cooled stuff. I know VW flat-4s and GM v8s never swap into the same places.
But just saying, on a clean-sheet-of-paper basis, if your aim is to go fast & be loud, the cost-benefit ratio of these newfangled mills is absolutely astonishing.April 8, 2012 at 9:04 am #250011
Ohh, Buzz is onto something. I think if I was you I’d be looking at the v6. Shorter, so less weight up front, and still plenty of grunt. If you have a 4.3 handy there’s probably no need to go source a 60-degree version. That said, I ran my 3.1 for 150,000 + miles with no issues except the coil pack and alternator (they eat alternators–but that seems to be a heat-related thing in the Cavalier bay).
I still think the ultimate swap here would be the Quad4. Not for beginners, given its transverse roots. But cheap and easy to source, light, powerful, and such an appropriate type of engine. Plus, if you remove that bogus plastic cam cover and french-in a real distributer, then add some proper Weber side drafts, it looks very much like the Miller-Offenhauser mills of yesteryear.
Go man! And keep us abreast of what you’re doing.April 8, 2012 at 9:11 am #250012
Oh, by the way, Roy. I did not join the MG Experience club just to respond to that post. joined a few months ago to watch and learn. I’m not there much, but when I saw that post yesterday I just had to chime in.
Then I thought I had to share it with you guys.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.