February 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm #234506
Oh, boy, where to begin? My BMC MGTD was smoking on start, #3 cylinder compression (1.6L Chevette) was ten pounds low, and I had intermittent valve clatter (the ticking sound) So I figured “Aha! Valve job! I can do that.” Of course, I had forgotten my wife’s warning, “Give you a tool and you will do something stupid with it!” My local Auto Zone had all the gaskets and all the necessary replacement parts, including water pump and temperature sensor. So what could go wrong?Off comes the intake manifold, but I didn’t have enough room to remove the intake manifold. So I called Rick Drake. “Take the intake manifold off with the head.” Easy enough. But one of the head bolts was hard to remove. When the head was off, I checked the threads in the block. Oh, oh. Stripped big time. So I started talking to anyone with a clue. Heli-coil raised its head. But it doesn’t have great reviews. More searching and I discovered Time-Serts, one cosmic insert. But the kit is expensive, like $96. What should have been a twenty-minute job takes me two hours. Typical. But it really works.I didn’t like the looks of the head, so I bought a replacement from Rick, all reconditioned. It shows up in the mail. Looks good. On goes the intake manifold, and then inspiration hits. Install the exhaust manifold too. But it doesn’t fit! I can line up the rear two ports but not the front two, or vice-versa. I checked it on the old head, same problem. Call Rick. Use heat and spreaders. No good. But a friend has new hydraulic valve lifters and an old exhaust manifold left over from an old rebuild that he donates to the project. This one fits. So I clean it up and use VHT paint to make it look pretty. But I have to bake it in the oven, eventually getting up to 600 degrees. Never, never do this in the kitchen, not unless you want to suffer grievous bodily harm when your wife smells it. (cont.)February 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm #254352Drain and pull the radiator, remove fan and timing belt cover. Yep, its 180 degrees out. Damn, I hate it when he’s right. But before reinstalling all the above, I tried starting it. Fires right up. Everything goes back on. But the motor is now very hard to start. What now? I check the connections and find a lose vacuum hose. It took me two days to find the connection. Neighbor is now taking notes. With shaking hand, I turned the key. WOW! Best it has ever run! Many thanks to Rick Drake, big Bro, and assorted friends who gave advice. But I promise never to do it again.February 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm #254353
I love happy endings. And what a clean engine. Shame to dirty it up driving on the road!
BTW, I moved your post and mine to the original “Valve Job” topic, because I have the power. Bwaaa ha ha ha ha!
edsnova2013-02-01 21:41:34February 2, 2013 at 8:49 am #254354MarkParticipant
Good story. Everybody needs help and advice at some point. Some need more than others. It’s all good. You tackled the job and got it done. Congratulations.February 2, 2013 at 11:11 am #254355
Ya know, looking at the design of the Chevette engine, with its cross-flow head and tubular, tri-Y exhaust manifold, it looks like it should make more than 80 horsepower–or be more readily hot-roddable–than it apparently is.
Born in the wrong decade?
edsnova2013-02-02 11:13:25February 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm #254356Dan RosaParticipant
Good Job, I just did my 1.4 this fall #3 must be a trouble cylinder mine also was low . I had the head rebuilt at a local machine shop ,all working good now. I was thinking of replacing the exhaust manifold ,do you think that it would be worth it ? The cost is negligible time and trouble is the question. Dan RFebruary 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm #254357
I just made my exhaust manifold look pretty. I went through the smog exemption routine here in California, it’s call SB100 and applies to speciality cars, hot rods, etc. Once I got a number, the first thing I did was to rip off the air pump and heat shields. The car actually ran better. But I still had to take it to a “referee station” to finish the paperwork. The first thing they do is run an emissions test to see if it is a “gross polluter.” The car passed the emissions test with flying colors but without the air pump and heat shields, would not have been certified. Go figure. I laughed all the way home. An appraiser told me that being smog exempt adds about $1000 to the value of the car.What you see in the above photo is the standard exhaust manifold without the shielding, etc., that has been cleaned up with a grinder, sand blasted, and then painted with VHT paint. I would estimate about four hours work. The manifold is a piece of cake to take off and replace, but I don’t think it really increased the power.February 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm #254358
Great looking BCW, Dick. You may have answered elsewhere, but where did those wheels come from? Very TD-ish.
As for the Air Injection Reaction pump (TM), I suspect very strongly that every car that had one would run better and cleaner without. It’s technology from the “dilute it” era of pollution control, pumping air into the exhaust manifold where it allegedly helped catalyze more burning. How that was supposed to help, I never could understand. One thing it most certainly did do is consume about 10 horsepower at all RPM ranges.
Pretty much everything Detroit did in the “malaise years” (1974-’85) was an engineering travesty and national humiliation, at best.
Hence the sudden popularity of “kit cars,” I guess.
edsnova2013-02-04 19:42:24February 7, 2013 at 11:22 am #254359Re: TD-ish wheels. When I bought the BCW, it was a basket case, barely running, and unsafe at any speed. It had fake wire-basket wheel covers that were in terrible shape. I pulled them off and was surprised at how close the wheels were to the originals. But there was no way to mount a standard MG hubcap. I took one of the wheels to a hubcap/wheel cover junk store and showed the proprietor what I needed. He dove into the world’s largest unorganized stock pile and came out with five hub inserts off a Chrysler product. The price was right, $15 a piece. I painted the wheels, drilled some new holes to mount them, and had a local Signs-to-Go store whip out MG decals. Chrome lug nuts were cheap and easy to find. I thought the result was pretty nifty. I’m still looking for wire wheels, but so far, no joy. But the search is half the fun.
PMOSSBERG2013-02-07 12:48:14February 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm #254360Paul MossbergKeymaster
Dick,That answered how you finished the wheels off.The wheels themselves, do you know what vehicle they are pulled from? Are they fifteen inch? what is the bolt pattern? It’s the nice round holes around the perimeter that has Ed excited.As far as mounting original style TD hubcaps…. On an original TD, the hubcaps “surface mount” using three stubs that are welded to the wheels. If the diamater is a match, drilling three holes, and screwing in large guage screws would likely work. Only real issue would be getting the screw holes in the right places.
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)February 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm #254361
Look like maybe Toyota wheels. 16 holes. They are a pretty good likeness but with the true TD/ A hubcaps they’d be that much closer.
BTW, Dick, Roy has blazed the trail re “real wires.” If you get the TR3/4 hub mounts and drill your hubs to 4 x 4.5–and you look close to that now–you can just bolt the hubs on and mount the “proper” MWS/Dunlap 15 x 4.5-inch 60-spoke wires.
The new MWS five-wheel kits are in the $1300 range. Not cheap but they’re supposedly tubeless now.
Or you can search around for used wheels like Roy did and get them cheaper.February 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm #254362
Re: wire wheels. I found the MWS web site and the wheels may be a go. But where do I find the TR3/4 hubs?
My hubs have a four-bolt, 100 mm spacing, patterns.February 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm #254363
Dick, you need your hubs to be 4 x 4.5 inches or the wheels won’t fit.
You buy the MWS (or someone’s) full kit for the TR3/4. It comes with hubs, knock on spinners, even a hammer to knock ’em on.
Then you get your hubs re-drilled to the TR3/ TR4 MGA, MGB etc. bolt pattern. You need 114.3mm (4.5 inches) because the wheels are relieved to fit the stud ends and nuts at just that size. Roy tried it with the VW (4 x 130mm) circles and the bolts would’ve held the wheels away from the hub, not allowing it to seat. Your 100mm circle will do the same thing.
Gotta have the right size bolt circle.
edsnova2013-02-09 19:57:07February 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm #254364RoyalParticipant
Dick,I just love wire wheels. The original TD (optional) 48 spoke wires were 15 inchers. They were designed for and were quite adequate when they were new and we all ran bias ply tires. I almost put 15″ 60 spoke wires on thinking that the extra spokes would make them strong enough for sticky radial ply tires. But I ended going with 72 spoke 14″ wires from a Triumph Stag as the strongest possible (bank account allowing) conversion. When mounted with P185/75R14 tires they are nearly identical to the diameter of the stock VW wheels and there are NO clearance problems at all.I did the best I could to describe the change to wires in this thread:If you need some wire wheels, or hub adapters, or knock offs etc, just call or PM me. I probably have what you need. i have spares because I was planning on putting a wire wheel on the stern but can not due to the fact that my Daytona engine cover is so much smaller than most. I am very happy with my wheels and would do it again in a second (or maybe a week or two) but then I am a wire wheelaholic.
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