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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Essential spares for a long journey

Will be travelling to Devon for a driving holiday (wife thinks we'll be shopping) in March in the V8. This will be the first time since I purchased the car (6 months ago) that we will have travelled a reasonably long distance. The car will be having a service before we go, but as a lifelong follower of the belt and braces discipline, I will take some spares with me just in case.

Trouble is, with luggage space at a premium, space for spares will be limited. Suggestions on the 'must have one of those list' would be most welcome - tools and parts.

Cheers!
Richard Saunders

fuel pump
Here's my list of stuff I plan to take for the V-8 on long journeys. It seems like a lot, but I have managed to fit all of it below the boot floor, with the small bits stored in small plastic food containers and the larger stuff wedged in around the spare tire. All wrench sizes are SAE unless marked Whit. or BS. Hope this list helps!

Tool roll Cooling Fan Motor
Tool bag Thermostatic Fan Switch
Jack and wheelbrace Spark plugs (2)
3/8 x7/16 box end wrench Distributor Cap and Rotor
1/2 x 9/16 box end Points and Condenser
5/8 x 11/16 box end Vacuum advance
Paul Kile

Richard,
Sorry about the "compressed" list - it had been in two columns, but the BBS took out the space between. You have to do a bit of separation yourself.

Cheers,
PK
Paul Kile

First thing is, never service a car just before a long journey. It should be done a minimum of a few short journeys before the long journey to make sure the service hasn't introduced a problem.

Pondering what to take on a 2500 mile in five days tour of the UK a few years ago I came to the conclusion that, not being able to take evrything, the Law of Sod would dictate that I would need something I hadn't got, and not need anything I had got. So I opted for no more than the usual tools, spare plugs, points and condenser, wire and tape. The only extras to what I normally carry were a set of axle stands, plus manuals, and the latest MG magazines that contained the contact details of parts suppliers and workshops.

Much the same went for a similar trip to France except I included a set of hoses, fuel pump and water pump. Should also have taken a head gasket set but didn't think of it at the time.

Needless to say I didn't need anything I took on either trip, nor anything I didn't take either, for that matter. I did leave the parts in the boot, though, which proved useful when the fuel pump failed 60 miles from home on a Sunday morning - the first and only time the car has had an unplanned stop in 10 years and 30k miles.

PaulH.
Paul Hunt

There are several schools of thought when it comes to spares carried in your car. As Paul H. pointed out, the Law of Sod will ensure that you will need the obscure part that you have forgotten to put in your kit. That gives rise to the first school of thought, the Principle of Random Spares transport.

Those that subscribe to this principle surmise that as long as they don't have an exact idea of what spares they are carrying, the Law of Sod cannot take effect. Therefore, they toss spare parts into the boot without any rhyme or reason. After any car work performed at home, the old parts always go into the car. My father is a great proponent of this approach. I once helped him clear out the trunk on his old T-bird right before he sold it, and I found no less than 3 distributor caps and 4 sets of points! This approach does have its merits, since if you look at it logically you will find that the highest probability of spare parts ending up in the car will be from those operations you perform regularly on the car. That means, if the car is prone to a higher chance of fuel pump failure or ignition woes, you will be sure to have a good selection of used fuel pumps or ignition parts in the car!

The other approach is what I call the Principle of Organized Spares transport. This is the principle I use, and it involves carrying a spares collection that is carefully researched and catalogued. My car is like a rolling auto parts emporium. I can say that I even beat the Law of Sods one time when I actually had the right size freeze plug for my Jag XJ6, which was a big help while stranded near Highway 5 and the bustling metropolis of McKittrick. Most often though, I end up having the part that some other guy needs while on tour. Of course, I will need the extra power of my V-8 engine in the GT to haul around all those spares!

Cheers,
Paul Kile
Paul Kile

Richard:
Here is a list of things to take.

1. Common assortment of hand tools - spanners, pliers, screwdrivers, etc. that will fit in a small tool box.

2. Telephone calling card and the phone numbers of your mechanic, friends with MGBs and Bs with V8s.

3. Your insurance card - should you need a tow to the nearest garage.
Mark

This thread was discussed between 27/01/2000 and 29/01/2000

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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