About Me

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

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.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New brake switch

Back in November, I found out that my original brake switch was bad. For Christmas, I got a new Ron Francis SW-32 low pressure switch in my stocking. Time to install it!!

After reading many ways to install the switch, I decided to use the "short connector wire" method. I just cut, stripped, and put terminals on two three inch wires. I connected those wires to the terminal connector that came with the switch. It took maybe five minutes to do.

Before I installed the new switch, I made sure to prime (fill) it with brake fluid. Once the stubborn old switch was removed, the brake line connector dripped out some brake fluid as expected. So the new switch (which  was “primed” to compensate for any fluid loss) was immediately swapped with the old one and screwed in. The connector wires were then snapped together to the wires on the wire harness. I really did not want to hack away at the new harness when connecting this switch…and this method worked great.

I do not know if it works yet. The brake system needs a little fiddling this weekend so we will find out then.

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Starting on the punch list

With a deadline looming over me, I had to get organized quickly. No time for wasting right now!

First thing I did was to make a punch list and hang it on the wall. If anybody asks me what they can do to help, I can now just point and say, "Pick one of those things to do."

Next I had to survey the inside of the car by cleaning it to see what tools and such I had left in it since November.

Then, I made the mistake of opening the trunk. I totally forgot how filthy it was! I should have kept it closed because it gave me just one more thing to do!

After it was cleaned, I reinstalled the floor and put the rubber trunk seal strip in it so I do not misplace it. I will probably get to it sometime this week.

I decided to start installing the rear window seals now because it seemed like a pretty easy thing to do.

This one window took about a half hour. I had to stop at one time to take a break because I ran out of patience. I still have to tuck in some vinyl to tighten it up. It sure dresses the interior up though!

I need to call Chris over to finish the brake system and help me with a couple of the mechanical things that take two people to do. Meanwhile I will keep plugging away at the punch list.

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Door panel installation Part 2

With temperatures finally forecast to be above 50'F for the foreseeable future, it looks like spring has officially arrived! Now I can get back to work on the car. I have set a goal to finish the restoration by June 2nd, which is our Connecticut MG Club Gathering. (That means to have it showable in a short two months!) It will have to be trailered down, but at least I have plans to get it there! I am still concentrating on getting the door panels installed then I can move on to other things.

The door pull handle was attached on the passenger (right) side. After the screws were unscrewed, they screwed right back in. Easy peasy! That surprised me because I usually struggle with little things like that.

Then I moved on to installing the door pocket, which was a bit more difficult. The screws had to be jostled around a bit to get them lined up. It took about a half hour…but Bob’s your uncle.

After the window crank and door opener were installed, I stepped back to admire my work. It looks good! I like how the camera does weird, psychedelic things to the striping.

Now I get to repeat the whole process on the driver’s (left) side, then onto the new brake switch, and the rest of the punch list, etc… At least now that the weather is cooperating, I can probably get one thing done each night after work.

Thanks for visiting.