About Me

New Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Name: Todd Russo Location: New Hartford, CT, USA

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A quick forty five minutes.

Chris had a chance to come up and help me with a couple tasks yesterday. There were two things to do on the agenda: to install the filler strip into the rubber front windshield gasket, and to hook up the tachometer wires.

He brought his homemade filet tool and started putting the strip in before I could even get the camera. But I did manage to get a picture of him finishing up the last three inches.

With the proper tool, it only took him about seven minutes to install the insert! This picture was taken after he left. Notice that I also installed the windshield wipers. Just putting the windshield in takes Old Biddy from being just a project, to being an actual car!!!

When I was installing the connecting wires for the tachometer, I read the instructions about ten times and still could not understand them! John even read them a few times before he became frustrated, too. Since Chris has done many of these, it took him just moments. I had one wire hooked up correctly (the one that hooked up to the coil), the other wire was obviously wrong. To make it right, he stripped the male connector off the “wrong” wire and put on a female connector in its place, then properly hooked it up to the fuse box (instead of where I thought it was supposed to hook up via the directions).

And, there you go! Old Biddy has a working tachometer!

Chris will be coming back next week to install the filler insert to the rear windshield gasket. I have to swap the gasket that is on now. Find out that story in the next post.

Besides installing the filler strip, he will also help to adjust the handbrake cables so they operate evenly, adjust the choke cable, and maybe even help with the wiring to get the horns working. A quick forty five minute visit takes this restoration a HUGE step forward!!

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, August 11, 2014

With help, good things happened!

 When Chris bled the system a few months ago, he said there was an issue with one of the front brake calipers not operating properly. I asked John to come over to help inspect them.
So we pushed Old Biddy outside, lifted her up, and took her front wheels off.

When Chris bled the brakes he used a suction pump. And, since he was alone, there was nobody inside the car pushing on the brake pedal. When the two of us were inspecting the front brake calipers, I was stepping on the pedal and John was turning the wheels and looking for piston movement. Everything worked correctly as it should! That was a big relief!

John suggested I borrow his nylon tools for finishing the windshield installation. Instead, I went to the store and got a 1 ½” plastic spatula. I asked my wife to come out and help me. With her on the inside of the car pushing the rubber seal out, and me on the outside grabbing it….

….we finished in less than ten minutes!!

Now, I just need to use Chris’s filet tool to install the filler locking strip.
Chris is scheduled to come here tomorrow. He also wants to re-do the rear windshield with the new rubber gasket, and help hook up the wiring to the tachometer. Then, I can move on to the next big operation, the doors.

 Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The windshield project Part 1

I know it has been over a month since my last update. Not much has really happened until this past week because of my summer schedule. I was sick of waiting for other people to help me and I do not want to pay the high price to have the glass company do it, so I decided to try to install the windshield myself.

First, I tried setting the glass in place with the rubber seal on. That did not work well.

Then, after watching a couple YouTube videos on how to install a “classic Mini” windshield, I found out that he first thing I had to do was to attach only the rubber seal strip. That went well.

Then I set the glass in place and slowly went around pressing and prying it into the rubber slot. It was slow and tedious.

Then I got to the last thirteen inches, and no matter what I did the rubber strip would not budge. I tried everything from dousing it with dish soap to make it slippery, to trying different tools. I decided to stop for now before I damaged the rubber strip or worse...the windshield itself.  This is the part where I really need another person to help or it could become a catastrophe!

John will be over to help in a couple days. The front left brake caliper needs tweaking, and hopefully he can help with this windshield project, also. Chris has the windshield locking strip filet tool to aid me in setting the locking strip in place. I hope he will let me borrow it for a few days.

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finishing the carpet and installing the front seats

Preparation for getting the windshield installed continues. I finally got to the point where I had to put the finishing touches to the carpet kit so I could get the front seats installed.

I bought the hard to find NOS carpet strip/door seal retainers back in winter time. I found some 5/8” #6 screws and went to town.

I had to cut the door seal rubber to size then install the metal strip. The first screw was the hardest to line up, the rest went right into place.The driver’s side came out nice.

And, the passenger side came out even nicer!

It came time to clean all the winter and spring filth and grime away and vacuum the carpet. All the pieces were then tucked in where they get tucked in. Gosh, it looks nice!!

Then I installed the front seats. Yes, I know they need to be reupholstered, but that is not going to happen until next year. What a thrill it was to sit in the driver’s seat and actually drive the car (albeit only backwards) into its parking spot!! After eight years, the car finally drives like it should!!

Next step is to call Chris to finish fiddling with the front brakes (the front left brake piston is acting weird) and help me with a few odds and ends. Then it can go down to get the windshield installed!

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Rubber seals and more!

Now that school is out for the summer, I can putter on the car again in my free time. Two days after the CT MG Club Gathering, I fiddled with the distributor a bit more. After I closed everything up, I turned the key, and she started right up!! I figured that she was just protesting and did not want to make the trip to the Gathering this year! But it took a couple weeks for me to find some uninterrupted time to work on Old Biddy.

The first thing that had to be done was to connect the bottom plate (the metal with the nut on it above the muffler)…

… to the top tensioner on the handbrake assembly. The first time we unsuccessfully tried to connect the two pieces for a half hour. We stopped in frustration. The second time (a week later)  it took only two minutes!! And, now it is done!

Then I rolled Old Biddy outside so I could open the doors to work on setting the rubber door seals in place.

I first finished putting the driver’s side door panel and pocket in place. I need to move some of the bigger parts in the shed out of my way so I just installed them.

When that was done, I installed the passenger side rubber door seal. It put up a bit of a fight, but at least it is on now and just needs final trimming.

The driver’s side went on much easier. It also needs final trimming.

I also put the driver’s side back window seal in place. With the seals installed, it sure adds the nice finishing touch to dress up the interior!

Since I was on a roll, I also installed the trunk (boot) lid rubber seal.

I did not want to stop for the day but I had to. Next, I will concentrate on getting the interior vinyl all finished so that the windshield can be installed. I have a place in town that can do it.

After that, there are still  a few important items on the punch list to do before I can take her on our maiden voyage.

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

No spark!!

Hard to believe that it has been a month since the last post. There is a lot to discuss, although little has been accomplished. Two steps back, one step forward.

After the choke cable ordeal was sorted out, and repaired…

…we tried to start the car. She was getting the proper amount of fuel, good compression, but no spark. We traced the ignition system with a voltmeter, and even changed the coil once (and then back again). When I took the distributor cap off, I noticed that the terminal lead wire from the coil was broken and burnt.

John had a spare terminal lead on hand and a spare distributor to borrow so I could see how it all went back together.

This month has been incredibly hectic. I have not had a spare moment to go operate on the car. But with a day off, I finally changed the terminal lead and installed a new condenser while I was at it. It finally got done.

After it was all put back together, I tried to start the car. NO START!!! She still gets no spark!!!

With this set back, I have come to the realization that Old Biddy will not make my goal to attend the Connecticut MG Club Gathering on Sunday June 1st this year. My friends and fellow club members urged me to get her there in “as is” condition. Instead, she will stay home and wait until next year.

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Choke cable and vacuum hose

In order to continue working on the punch list, the car must be rolled outside because there is not enough room in the shed to open both doors at the same time. Instead of man handling and pushing the car in and out, it is easier to start it up and drive it. But in order to start the car, the choke cable had to be adjusted because it was not pulling the apparatus far enough up to actually choke the carburetors. So we began to operate…

After disconnecting the choke wire from the cable stop screw, the choke cable was removed. This revealed that the cable sleeve on the carburetor housing was broken. The wire was leaning crooked into the crack whereas it should be straight up and down.

Not a big deal to fix. John had a pipe that fit over the sleeve. After I cut a half inch piece and de-burred it, the new piece slid right over the broken one. Quick fix!

Then my attention turned to the vacuum advance system. I could not figure out how to attach the hose from the vacuum gauge to the motor. As John was helping me figure out the choke cable problems, he discovered that the distributor vacuum advance hose (which attaches the vacuum advance on the distributor to the manifold) was missing from the motor. So I sifted through all the old original metal hoses and lines (that I saved for recycling) and found the original one and connected it in place.

I then ran a flexible plastic fish tank air hose from the vacuum gauge up to the rubber hose that connects the metal hose to the carburetors. A tee was then connected to the end.

I cut the rubber hose in half and connected them to the tee. This should work.

But after I worked on the car and closed up for the night, a gremlin must have came and took the choke cable stop screw. You can see it in the pictures. When I went back out the next day to hook up the choke cable, I noticed it was missing. I searched everywhere and could not find it. So once again, I had to order a new one and progress is now at a standstill until a new part arrives.

Thanks for visiting.