Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another guy, Another motor

We have a new team member! I'm a little late in announcing this due to a busy schedule both at work and wrenching on the Killer bee, but our newest new team member is Peter S, aka “Gargamel!”

Formerly a driver for team “The Dead Smurfs” who ran at the Freezarseapalooza 08, he comes to us in response to our posting on Yahoo groups, due to our umpteenth 4th seat dropout.

Our latest "4th team member" drama involved his wife insisting he needed to attend a wedding instead, and so once again we had a vacancy. We are required to have a minimum of 4 drivers, so our line was cast yet again. This time we hooked Gargamel who came to see the car and was crazy enough to join our team anyways. So welcome to the Killer Bees!

With any luck this guy will be our last. He also happens to be in danger of the dreaded “Last one to pay up wears the stupid bee mascot costume” clause. Yeay.

I tried talking my "Not-on-your-life-spouse" into wearing the bee outfit because she would look REALLY cute. She said "Not on your life buster. Not unless you pay me a hundred dollars."


Progress over the last 2 weeks included finally deciding on the best location to mount the safety electrical cutoff switch and then getting it installed.

Next I got the engine started again, and the same god awful squeal/scream was still there. Every dog in town was barking when I shut it down. I'm sure I endear myself to my neighbors. Come to think of it, we never get any trick or treaters...

Anyways, it seemed to originate from the clutch area, pointing towards a bad throwout bushing. But to know for sure the engine and tranny needed to come out. Damn.

So, I yanked the motor – and found a totally wasted aftermarket throwout bearing.

Stock MGBs have a solid bushing instead of a roller bearing. It is similar to a mini brake shoe that wears over time. This is why you hear MG folks say “Keep your foot off the @#$% clutch pedal!” because resting your foot on it will prematurely wear out the bushing – and the only way to fix it is to pull the motor and transmission. This design dates back to the beginnings of MG, and was still there with the end of line for MGBs in 1980.

There was an aftermarket throwout "bearing" available some years ago, but it got a bad rap because some of them would come apart and grenade themselves. I had never seen that in person, and used one in my MGBGT for over 250k miles without a problem. Still, they seemed to have been quietly pulled from the market a while back.

Few things surprise me on an MG anymore, but this was one of them. This appeared to have had what was left of an aftermarket bearing inside, however it REALLY self destructed. Both the mounting ears were snapped off, and the rest of it was hanging off the pilot shaft in a heap of broken silver rings.


I figured the clutch was probably questionable as well, and rather than spend money on a new set, I decided to just throw in another used motor with a decent clutch I picked up for 500 bucks. After I sold the Webber DGV setup that came on it for $215 to some guy in Arcata, the motor only cost me $285.

I will try to sell the old motor for 350, which could hopefully leave me with a 65 dollar profit! And I still have the intake/exhaust manifold, smog pump and firepot Zenith Stromberg carb I can pawn on EvilBay.

I plan on running a set of early dual S.U.s I scored for $125 that “came off a running car”. Yeah, sure they did. Lets just hope they "kinda work".

The new motor went in on Sunday pretty easily, but then I spent an entire week on a whacked rear Transmission mount. I think I pissed off they Leyland gods, because this contraption was not going together without a fight, and I ended up bunging up some threads in the process. Crap.

After several hours each night fighting 4 stupid bolts for an entire week, I needed a mental break from wrenching and decided to lay out the bee livery and door number.

Man it looks like crap, and it's freaking awesome! (But still top secret)

The next day I went back to rear mount – tapped out/cleaned the threads, used a 3 pound mallet to adjust the angle on the upper wing mount, and it FINALLY went together...

Damn! Time for a cold one.

I was going to bring a spare motor with us just in case, but this excursion changed my mind. If we have any problems, by the time we got the motor changed everyone else would be long gone from the track.

So if it blows, we are done...

(Kitty still here)

Next: It lives... IT LIVES, BWAA-HAA-HAA!!

Previous: Brakes, and other things that break.

From The Beginning of this crazy adventure: The Hook... (Part 1)

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