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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - That was fun!

Must have halved the value of my GTV8 conversion today, but was taking my 10-year-old boy to an old, authentically run mid-19th c. farm in a very slight drizzle. Actually I took the car out to dry it out after sitting in heavy rain for four consecutive days (I've always found that the car has to be blown dry to get the water out)! We started really having fun and yukking it up on a muddy back-back-back road and we bombed around in the goop, puddles and potholes for over an hour. Got back, and the formerly show-quality car was simply caked with mud and "fromage de course". It was worth it, though -- that's the most fun I've ever had driving a car!

Nice to see someone keeping the real MG spirit alive, it's not all about concourse I think.

Then you took it out in a thunderstorm to clean it off again ...
Paul Hunt

*Finally* we have a sunny day here so I'll try to take it out.

BTW, does anyone else's car seem to leak internally under the dash when it's been out in the rain for days (the rain comes out the footwell heater vents)? Also there's the darndest thing ... when it's damp and you turn on the headlights, there's a buzzer somewhere under the dash that makes a high whine. It gets quieter then goes away altogether as the car dries out. The electrics on this car have been bombproofed but there must be something that was forgotten.

Never had the slightest rust problem with the car -- knock wood -- and I've now been through just about every nook and cranny. I do make sure that the drains are properly functioning and that seems to make all the difference. The car sees tons of rain (it lives outside) and I'm not hesitant in the least to drive it. I do take it off the road Dec-March to avoid snow/salt, though. Never really glopped it up with forty pounds of mud before; guess we'll see how well I prepared/sealed stuff!

One other total mystery is that the tach reads 15% lower when it's raining. Those readings seem more plausible.

The final thing I've never understood: the blower fan works OK (meaning lazily puffs the merest of zephyrs, even with a relay in the circuit and despite 747-like noise) but why do MG windshields fog up so much more than they do on any other car ever made??? Does it have to do with the fact that, as I see it, there's really no way for the air to get out unless you open the window?

my first BGT had that under dash leaking problem. when i had to pull and change the heater core, i found that there is a drain tube that runs from the bottom of the fresh air intake down to just above the transmission, and that the bulb on the end of it was packed full of dirt and leaves and other crap. appearently the rain would collect in the fresh air cavity because it couldnt drain and would leak down and out through the vents, soaking the carpets every time. when ihad to pull the tranny to put in an overdrive, i cut the end of the bulb off and flushed it with a hose and never had the problem again. HTH.

Jake, you're probably right, you remind me that I forgot to cut the bulb off on this car! I have a really fine wire mesh over the intake grille though so I don't know what could have gotten in there. In my last car I had stuff like acorns, wet leaves, dustballs, mouse turds, you name it. So I put the mesh on. But I think you're right, the fresh air box fills up with water to the level of the air intake hoses. Simple!

Glad to see I am not the only person willing to beat and run thier car hard. I have to laugh wehen i get told "you run it to ahrd, your gonna break it!" These car were meant to be run all day long as fast as possible in my mind, they handle it well, and I am glad I bought one.

I had mine out Fri night, opened her up pretty good. Sort of had to, was so cold with top down I wanted to get home before my hands went numb!!
Larry Embrey

Both mine have always run perfectly in the rain - subject to a little ingress round the screen in the roadster - and the 150 mile trip home on Sunday in conditions varying from drizzle to pretty heavy (first wet run since May) was no exception. Sounds like your 'bombproof' electrics have more than a couple of problems left to solve.

The fan makes more noise, and moves much less air, when connected incorrectly then when connected the right way round, just try reversing it at the fan, on both mine the sound of the rushing air almost entirely drowns out the sound of the motor. Dampness anywhere in the air ducts will likely condense out on the screen on a cold wet day, in fact turning on the heat can make this much worse until the system warms up enough to dry it off again, and a 1/4-light open a little speeds that process up and stops it building up again in traffic (GT I assume, a roadster is hardly short of places for the air to get out).
Paul Hunt

Well this AM I had a chance to lift the floormats and there was indeed an awful lot of water in there. Had to borrow the wife's hairdryer to get the carpets reasonably dry. I'm doggoned glad I remembered to rustproof the floorboards like you read about. Next time it goes up on jackstands, I'm gonna crawl under there and snip that drain bulb off. Also should invest the $5 and get from Moss one of those magnetic covers for the fresh air vent. Other than through there, I don't see how water can possibly get in; talk about cheap insurance!

(As far as the fan direction, it's easy to see, when you pull the motor out, which direction it's supposed to turn in ... in fact IIRC there's an arrow on the plastic fan cage. So I reckon it's OK. I'll be danged if I can figure out why the headlight buzzer buzzes after heavy rain though ... and it's consistently done so for years!)


Ted: try replacing the rubber gaskets under the windshied wiper arms- this is a common leak point and easy to fix.

Terry, that's good news! Mine are definitely toast; I'm positive they leak b/c they're dried and cracked ... and I always ignored it because it looks impossible to fix. How do you fix 'em?

those little rubber gaskets change pretty easily IF the wheelbox nuts come off. my experience with more than a few though is that the nuts need to be hacksawed off (being careful of the wheelbox threads) and new ones fitted. the spacer comes right off after the nut is off and under that is the rubber gasket. they just sit there. when you do screw the nut back on, make sure to use some never-seize.

Hey Guys,
Funny story on rain soaked electrics, promted by Ted's Questions. I was on my way from Sydney to Melbourne (for you U.K. Guys its a 8 Hour drive) I left Sydney and it started raining... Hard. After 6 hours of driving through rain that I could hardly see through the rain cleared. I took the opportunity to fill up the B with petrol. When returning to the Freeway down a unlite entry ramp the head lights went out just before I got to the free way. I then had to turn around and drive up the free way in the dark with no head lights, scary. Checking the fuses under the bonnet one of them had blown. I went into the garage and bought a packet of the highest rated fuses I could find. After checking for a short circuit with a multi-meter (always kept in the back)I found no short circuit, I put the new fuse in and switched the lights on. The fuse did not blow straight away but lasted about 10seconds. Water driping on the wiring had created a almost short circuit.

After 20 minutes of tinkering trying to find the problem I gave up and resorted to plan B. I bought 10 Meters of 20 Amp wire and some connectors and wired the head lights direct to the battery. Happy with this solution I continued my drive with only 2 hours of hopefully dry weather. I had not got more that 2 kms from the petrol station when the local constabulary took a dim view to my lack of tail lights (oops). I then had the police holding a torch for my while I did like wise to the rear tail lights, much to their assumement.

The leak was from a worn windscreen wiper rubber. The amount of water coming in over 6 hours was only enough to make the loom damp and not drip on my feet so it was hard to track.

Clem Spriggs

This thread was discussed between 14/10/2002 and 19/10/2002

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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