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MG MGA - Richard Jenkins gauge restoration

I know that many people have praised his work, but I will never use him again.

I tried to make contact in October and could get no reaction to phone messages or emails. One of the guys on the midget BBS lives close to him and woke him up.

I sent Richard three gauges for repair and calibration in early November with the message what needed doing and that I would supply the calibration data as soon as Speedograph sent me a part to repair my 90 gearbox on the 5 speed gearbox. Confirmation of their safe arrival was received on 12 November. Calibration data was sent in the third week of November.

I spoke to him (again with great difficulty in getting an answer) in mid December and he confirmed that the gauges were ready to send. I asked him to send the gauges just before New Year. Since then I have been unable to contact him, again no response to emails and not answering his phone at any time of day - even when calling it immediately after it had been used to call me (literally calling back as soon as mine stopped ringing). This level of non-service is a joke. He seems to be a nice guy when I get him on the phone, but the continual apologies have worn VERY thin

I am fortunate in that I have a second set of the gauges that are in Limbo, but this poor communication seems to be endemic in the gauge business - I had Speedy lose a few gauges, Speedograph is also not terribly reliable although they do answer the phone and didn't send an invoice as they had kept me waiting for so long for the shipped part due to their internal mix-ups and Parcel Force incompetence!

Now I just have to dig out the other gauges and try and find a reliable restorer again.

Any suggestions aside from those mentioned above?

Dominic Clancy

Hi Dominic,
England isn't that big but I don't live anywhere near Richard and travel congestion in certain areas at certain times means that even traveling short distances can be very off putting and very time consuming.

I don't know about the other gauges but in the Midget thread R.A Davies put he can repair and calibrate the (?)rev counter(?) you could try contacting him. I don't know his details just seen his posts, IIRC mainly on B threads(?).
Nigel Atkins

Sorry I must have pressed 'Submit' instead of 'Edit this posting'.

ETA:
I don't know if they're any good but I've seen people recomend JDO. They do seem to like referring to their website (you'll see what I mean).

JDO Instruments - http://www.jdo1.com/
Nigel Atkins

Dominic, I use Nisonger in NY USA...I know freight is expensive, but they do a great job, and about 30 days turnaround on a complete restoration/re-calibration etc.
Gary Lock

Hi Dominic
Nigel mentioned JDO. I used him about 7 or 8 years ago and he did a good job for me in fixing my speedo.
I only used him the once, but I would use him again if I needed to.
Graham V

Hi Dominic
I sent my speedo to JDO for re-cal a few years ago and he made a great job of it.

Perfect re-cal, he even fitted me a blue hi-beam light instead of the std red one which had always annoyed me.
John Ostick was great with me, quick turn round and very helpfulm
Not the least expensive though.

To be honest chose him for the re-cal because of his easy method of measuring the speedo error. Just drive 20 miles in the company of another modern car and record the trip readings of each car.

Have heard that he may not have the best customer service reviews but he was brilliant with me. Couldn't fault him.
Cheers
Colyn

PS You would have though that with the history of clock and watch making in Switzerland, there would have been a more local instrument fixer near You Dominic
Colyn Firth

I used JDO once, but would not again. I found him a difficult person and frankly nasty. I didn't write the second review here but it might as well have been me saying "condescending, blunt and arrogant".

https://www.yell.com/biz/jdo-instruments-keighley-6829040/

To add to my annoyance, my perfect, as new Jaeger tachometer out of my Mk II that I kept safely to one side for some time arrived back with two very obvious holes drilled through the face for screws to mount the new mechanism.Not even an attempt to paint the screw head which goes through the warning sector to match the colour.
I'm sure it would be pointless discussing this with the proprietor, just as it would be to mention the slight wavering of the needle at constant engine speeds around 2200-2800 rpm. I'm sure the screws and holes would be my fault, as would be the inconsistent rpm shown in the most commonly seen speed range.

As for Richmond Speedographs, they never responded to my email asking for a right angle drive for my T9 conversion. (Peter Gamble wasn't supplying them back then). I wound up drilling my floor and running the cable under the carpet. I hated doing this and still dislike the arrangement, but I don't see why I should have to beg for a business to sell me their product.

I've not used Nissonger in the US but I've only heard positive reports.

PS: I just saw Colyn's post. Clearly our experiences with JDO differ.
T Aczel

Nisonger was incredibly undramatic. Sent gauge - wait a few weeks - receive fully restored gauge. As Gary said above, it may not be the lowest priced option for you with shipping included. I have had nothing but good experiences the three times I've used them.
DJ Zurawski

Hi all and a happy new year,
Reguarding guage repair I and a friend who have both restored MGA'S here in the UK have used a chap named Robert Fenn ,he builds gauges from scratch for all sorts of classic cars from Bugatti's to Lagondas he also restores and repairs any other gauges at a very reasonable cost. he is located near Andover can supply contact details if required

Regards
Daviod
D M SPEAK

He responded this morning. It was only another long list of excuses, but it seems that my gauges will be in the post on Monday, I'll just have to wait and see.

There is a local guy here but he (literally) took six weeks and destroyed one gauge I took to him, so it seems that the species "gauge restorerus" has international consistent characteristics,

I have had one or two recommendations but also a number of emails relating similar unhappy tales relating to a range of other gauge restorers, which reduces the range of candidates considerably.

Dominic
Dominic Clancy

Apologies to Dominic and others who might have already seen the following in the Midget thread.

>>I probably got the same reply as you, my speedo is with Richard too, possibly I'm more accepting to it as I've experience of why people work for themselves, landlords and builders.

I do understand your side as I used to work in what was then (decades ago) referred to as a "public service" so I do understand about the need and value of keeping people informed even if it's not the best news or even bad news but that can involve a different set of skills, learning perhaps even attitude to the set of skills for mechanical repairs.

I've only communicated with Richard by email but he seems a very nice and very friendly and humorous guy.

With classic car ownership I've dealt with three efficient, or very efficient, sets of con-men. Sometimes the best or better quality people aren't always the most efficient but at least they're genuine (perhaps even saints in comparison).

I've not had the fastest service from Richard but I have had good and friendly service at a good price and extra work taken on willing at no extra cost to me so I would still recommend him.

I hope you're a bit happier when you get your gauges back.

If I was having the Ford T9 box installed now I'd change the gearbox speedo cog to get it nearer to the gearing required for the speedo as mine was 25%/33% slow on the needle (but 18% out on odo) with whatever cog is in there and that makes a stretch on altering the speedo needle.<<
Nigel Atkins

Daviod, :)
please put up details more info and more choice is (usually) good.

Do bear in mind dramatic recalibration as in my case at least with Ford T9 gearbox conversion is different perhaps to standard repair and/or refurbishment.

Previously I've contacted JDO and Speedicables through their websites and personally I found both referred me back to their websites for information despite the actual details in my emails of why I was contacting them rather than going through their website information which I did thoroughly with both, so I used neither of them. Both other examples of why some people work for themselves.
Nigel Atkins

I visited a local Autojumble a couple of years ago and picked up a traders card doing refurbishment,recalibration and repair of classic instruments. He is caled Adrian Sidwell at PO Box 4526 Radstock. http://www.autoinstrumentservices.com Not used him so cannot give any feedback. Maybe someone here has more info for Dominic
Brian Paddon

Colyn you are close enough to JDO that he runs the risk of you turning up on the doorstep!
Dominic Clancy

I think I'm safe Dominic, my JDO experience was fine, he made a great job of my speedo, I couldn't fault him.

If he did drive the 50 odd miles from Keighley to Doncaster to see me I think it may be to ask me to write him a good review perhaps in order to reverse the trend :^)

I hope that you (eventually) have an equally good outcome with your gauges from Richard Jenkins.

Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

Nigel, with reference to your comments on having more choice I have found Robert Fenn's telephone number
07860 531347
Regards
David
D M SPEAK

I really appreciate the fact you guys are calling out bad/slow/etc. venders serving our community by name. Too often we let them slide by not giving details.
Gene Gillam

Thanks David, it wasn't so much for me as I'm sorted but as general information for others.

Gene,
often naming bad people/companies (and I do NOT think and say Richard is) doesn't work out as others might have got good service or the general belief is in the past reputation and/or possibly excellent market and self-promotion.

The person complaining may be viewed as as having sour grapes or a bad customer (and I am NOT saying or thinking Dominic is either).
Nigel Atkins

well he emailed me today to ask again about the calibration information, so they aren't coming any time soon in spite of the promises and excuses from last week..... That's after being told they were ready a month ago!
Dominic Clancy

He mailed again today with more questions, so I live in hope but with low expectations of a delivery any time soon
Dominic Clancy

Reminds me of the joke about a man just discharged from prison after 20 years, finds a receipt for shoe repair in his pocket. Goes to the repairers and the conversation goes "OK, pair of oxfords?" yes "soled and heeled?" Yes "be ready on Wednesday"
Art Pearse

I now have photos....speedo

Dominic Clancy

and tacho which is an RVC in MGA clothing hence the different screw positions. The bits for the 1950 conversion are coming together

Dominic Clancy

I have the same RVC tacho on my 18V engine Dominic and it works great.
I have left it as standard and so it has the Smiths logo on it and the wrong centre boss but no one has noticed that yet.

Is it difficult to swap the centre boss and maybe the dial yourself?

Or is it a job for an instrument tech (if anyone knows one :^) )

Colyn
Colyn Firth

The needle just pulls off, but the shaft for a B gauge and A gauge are not the same size so you need to solder or epoxy the A boss and re-drill to size.

The A face also has to be drilled for the fixing screws, and the old ones taped closed from the rear.

Or send it to a gauge guy, Mine cost 50 GBP with a new MGA dial printed onto the original B face to avoid the extra holes
Dominic Clancy

well they have arrived and look great. The new taco however has slightly longer fixing studs on the casing which interfere with the extra non-standard machinery behind the dash, so I have to cut the shorter with the Dremel before installing. I have to charge the dremel battery first as at 25 years old it does't keep its charge for very long.....
Dominic Clancy

Well looks were not the whole story....

The speedo calibration was spot on at higher speeds but completely under-reading at anything under 50 kph. Send it back he said, and stupidly I did....

Now it's back to full Vodafone mailbox, no answers to emails, text messages....

This guy is now beyond a joke. And I sold my spare kph speedo to Gary Lock.
Dominic Clancy

Thats bad luck Dominic, hopefully all will be eventually resolved.

When I bought my present MGA from Bob West I offset the expense by part exchanging some of my MGA spares collection.
This included a couple of original steering racks, complete rear axles, bonnets, boot lids, couple of full sets of coupe rear glass, rhd dashboards and loads more stuff.

But I hung on to some of the best bits, stuff that was rare at the time.

So my motto was (and still is), never sell your spare, only sell your spare spare!😊

Maybe you can convince Gary to sell the kmh speedo back to you?

Looking like there could be a fair-dinkum profit in this for you Gary.😊

Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

Colyn, it's now sitting in my vault, gaining interest!
Gary Lock

I am on the track of another gauge and a small claims case against Mr Jenkins if he doesn't cough up the speedo next week.
Dominic Clancy

Well after two weeks of daily attempts to reach him, today I received an SMS with a promise to ship by the end of the week and another long list of excuses.... I just hope it makes it out of the UK before Brexit chaos consumes the UK....
Dominic Clancy

Dominic:
IMHO, just relax. You received nice gauges. The speedo calabration obviously needs work. It seems it was only a couple months total for the restoration. I understand your frustration, but it does take time for such work. I waited much longer for a TC tach to be done from a different source, but nice work in the end. It does no help to threaten with "small claims court" and to impose a one week deadline on the craftsman. You are not helping your cause, despite the simpithetic responses. Perhaps the extra expense and inconvenience of the calibration will be adjusted. Hope so. This is just my opinion, I know yours differs.
Brian.
ZBMan

ZBMan...Dominic is entitled to give those comments. This guy has stuffed him and others around for months and months..he has a "minus" reputation, and if you read this thread and others that have been before, you wouldn't go near this guy! I'm from Australia, and send all my guages to Nisonger in USA for work..brilliant stuff, and quick turn around.
Gary Lock

Is this the firm of whom this thread is about?

Richard Jenkins of C and V Instruments and his address is

UNIT 49H,
PIPERS ROAD,
PARK FARM INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
REDDITCH
B98 0HU
ZBMan

Yes.

And I've had good quality work from Richard and always friendly and humorous emails (I'm too tight to phone anyone). Yes he can be tardy in his returns (not initially for me) but compared to the full out con-men mg specialist (not instrument repairers) that some here would consider specialist experts with MGs Richard is a Saint.
Nigel Atkins

Sorry, but any small business that regularly goes radio silent for weeks at a time cannot be rated as un-useable these days. Six months total to get a very common gauge serviced and calibrated is a joke - if it was something esoteric you would have a point.

I used him because of the good reviews here and other places. Those reviews are no longer justified and to avoid others falling into the same trap I did I have absolutely no problem in making a factual and real time account of my experience. Hopefully it will feature prominently in Google searches and also help others who don't participate here.

The latest is that he sent me a message today that the gauge is on its way back to me, so on past performance it may get out of the UK before Brexit day
Dominic Clancy

After a 3 day stay in customs, the speedo seems to be on the postman's electric bike and I should get it tomorrow!
Dominic Clancy

Well! The suspense is killing me! Whats the rest of this story?
S

If it's anything like the post here Steve ,he hasn't got his hands on it yet
William Revit

The rest of the story is that the gauge now is finally correctly calibrated, but even though I sent him all the paperwork to prove to customs that I had already paid the duties, he didn't include it in the package, so I had to pay 40 USD again. Thanks!

I won't be using him for anything ever again, and am just glad to have my speedo back. Hope this narrative is a useful feedback to advise other potential customers of the trials of doing business with him.
Dominic Clancy

Dominic,
(off topic)
did you get my last email about the bearings and gear knob as I've not received a reply, so don't know if possibly the your or my email systems are playing up again but I'm getting all other emails through AFAIK.
Nigel Atkins

sorry Nigel, yes I replied but it bounced again - if you have a whitelist maybe you can add me as one of the less evil guys....
Dominic Clancy

Sorry Dominic my account doesn't have a white list but you are one of only three people on my BT/Yahoo site account (from the time of the bearings and both sets of my email access falling apart).

Are you on some sort of Interpol list or upset BT or Yahoo as yours is the only address I know of to be stopped or bounced other than perhaps just two on my BT 'Blocked addresses' list. Your email didn't even make it as far as my Spam file on BT, I check the site just about everyday.

I get very little Spam so perhaps the filters BT/Yahoo set are too tight and for some reason some of your emails fall foul of these over tight settings.

As obviously your emails do usually get through would you mind trying again please and report back here if it fails again and I bang my head against the wall with trying to sort it with my mail provider.

Nigel Atkins

Leave it to you Nigel to be flowing up stream in a downstream river!

Do not ever change man....lol!

Willy! A twist in the story! The part has arrived!

There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a part you haven't received yet.

Especially when your trying out a new vendor! lol

Well it looks like you've come through the other side with a lighter wallet Dominic.

At least in the end you've got a usable instrument!
Good luck with it!
S

I just noticed over the weekend that the indicator needle in my MGA Jaeger tachometer, converted to electronic function by JDO, is now physically sticking and as a consequence reads erratically between 1500 rpm and 2800 rpm.
I will just wear it for the time being, having no desire to interact with the unpleasant Mr John Ostick again.
When it ultimately fails I'll send it to Nisonger in the USA. They've just serviced and recalibrated a Jaeger speedometer for me, for fitting into my MGA. Nisonger were not cheap, particularly with the current unfavourable exchange rate between the US and Australian dollar, and the exorbitant US postal charges. But Nisonger were extremely pleasant and professional to deal with, and efficient. Total turn around time once I gave them the calibration information they requested (cable rotations over a set distance), was under 14 days, including postage from the US to Australia!


T Aczel

The speedometer as received yesterday.
The odometer incidentally was set by Nisonger to read in km the equivalent of the present reading of the mph speedometer odometer currently in my car. This option was offered by Nisonger.

T Aczel

Nigel

i'll send again and then forward you the "bounce" message from my work email, which you get every time

Dominic
Dominic Clancy

Dominic,
thanks I got it.

Perhaps you should stop your spying activities from home as BT don't like it, I think the Russians control your work emails. :)
Nigel Atkins

Tom,
I had a weird experience with my MGB electronic rev-counter last year.
I was driving at a constant 70 mph on the motorway when I noticed that the rev counter needle was jumping up to 6000 rpm and down to zero even the the engine revs were definitely constant.

I had been having a problem with a squealing fan belt that re-adjusting its tightness didn't improve.

When I replaced the fan belt the slipping was much improved but I could still hear it occasionally, usually just after starting the engine when the alternator was working hardest.

I realised later that the problem was that the alternators front bearing was failing and my tightening up the fan belt had made things worse, to the point that it was seizing up.

This meant that the alternator was switching between being stopped and then suddenly charging again.

So I guess the rev counter was reacting to the sudden spike in voltage when the alternator began to spin again.

This is yet another "new to me" MG problem.

I seem to be a kind of magnet for them :^)

Could be worth a look Tom?

Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

No Russians for me, the company is Japanese
Dominic Clancy

Yes but it's the Russians that control your work emails.

I think China controls the Japanese.

The UK of course is control by the Americians - yet (majority of?) of UK want to be independent of Europe (as long as the Americans say it's alright of course).

Blimey, I think Prop's spirit has taken me over, I must avoid the probing though!
Nigel Atkins

lol

Sounds like you may have conjured up Props spirit alright!

The subject and paranoia are on par but you will have to ramp up the poor spelling!
S

Hi Colyn
I doubt my tachometer issue is related to the alternator or to the fan belt tension.
The instrument started to misbehave within a month of my fitting it after its conversion to an electronic circuit by JDO/John Ostick. At the time my car was running with its original generator and distributor with points.
I then fitted a new Accuspark supplied "alternator that looks like a generator" ("dynamo").
The wavering needle persisted just the same.
It's now worsened to where the indicator needle can actually be seen to be sticking in its arc of action.
The fault HAS to be in the modified tachometer.
I'd have sent it backs as soon as it started to misbehave but I had no desire to ever deal again with someone I'd found so particularly unpleasant.

And while I admit to being rather obsessive at times, I still hate to see the two screw heads in the drilled dial face of my previously pristine tachometer, particularly the one through the warning sector.


T Aczel

My safety gauge, reconditioned 3 years ago, is reading low on water temperature.

Robert Fenn and Adrian Sidwell were mentioned as potential gauge repairers in the earlier life of this thread. Did anyone use either one of these or anyone else, please? Any good experiences to report there or elsewhere?

Cheers
Dave
Bolney Coupe

This thread was discussed between 09/01/2019 and 14/08/2019

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