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MG MGB Technical - Chris Betson Retired?

Sadly, Chris Betson has chosen to go into semi-retirement. He has stopped building engines and doing any heavy installation work after the current couple of engines. He will still do some routine servicing and minor repairs. The forum of his website will remain online for the time being and he will still be around for advice.
Stephen Strange

Good for him, bad for us. Chris was a great source for good parts. Bought all my paden head gaskets from him.

I have a "Betson Bolt" in my 67 GT.
Bruce TD4139 Cunha

He can't retire! Who else is going to help out with all the ancient cars that we work on? RAY
rjm RAY

He's not been well for a while. He stopped by here a week ago to pick up an engine, and he'll be back in a few weeks with it sorted out and a pair of HiGear kits. Still in good spirits though!

dominic clancy

Yes - retired! Well sort of.... a frozen shoulder has made working under cars and bonnets difficult to say the least.

I am not going to do any more heavy work or work in a cold garage in the winter - nor will I be building engines - I really just don't need the grief any more. So Dominic's engine and one for Frankfurt will be the last ones I do.

Some of my stock and other bits & pieces I will be selling off and I have started a "For Sale" topic on my forum.

From now on I intend to spend more time playing with my horse and driving the MGs - I might even get the V8 down to Zurich next year, Dominic.

However I will still be working on my own cars and the lorry - also servicing local cars.

I have moved my forum off of a paid server and now host it on my own - seems to run much faster as well as saving s! So I will still be around for any advice that is wanted.

Chris at Octarine Services

Chris, I can identify with a bum shoulder. I had mine operated on at Stanford university last year. It was damaged in three places and had been keeping me limited in what I could accomplish for many years. Fortunately, my local doctor knew the surgeon, who operated on me, and was able to set up the appointment. The Stanford surgeon is a professor and fairly soon won't be doing any more operations, but instead he will be concentrating on his teaching duties. He pioneered the microscopic surgery that was used on me.I lucked out big time. I was off pain medication in only one day and my shoulder is as good as it was twenty years ago. I hope that you can find a similar end to your troubles. RAY
rjm RAY

Thanks Ray, I wish I had those contacts - my doctor says it will recover in time without surgery and yes, it has got better over the last 18 months - from not being able to lift my arm at all to getting it just above shoulder level under its own power!

Oddly enough I have never lost the power in the muscles - just the articulation of the joint.

Maybe in another year I will be able to get on with the decorating, but until then it is a jolly good excuse not to do so!
Chris at Octarine Services


Some ten years ago I had a rotator cuff injury (right shoulder) that limited my mobility such that I could not turn my head to look over my right shoulder at all without severe pain. I chose not to go with surgery like Ray, but worked with my chiropractor. It took a good three months, but have regained most all of my mobility without the knife. Might be worth a try?

As for retirement, it sounds like you have a good plan.


Larry C.

Larry C '74 B/GT


I sympathise. I have had a really bad rotator cuff tear which was operated on by a fantastic surgeon in Glasgow. The pain was unbearable before the op but have had no pain from the moment I surfaced after the (31/2 hour) op; that was about 7 years ago. I also had frozen shoulder (falling to bits!) and on docs advice had a procedure which involved pumping air into the joint. Improved rapidly after that so you could enquire if that would help you. If I have to decorate don't see why you should get away with it.

Enjoy your retirement I can thoroughly recommend it.

R E Merrall

I fear that we have turned this forum into medical advice column. Maybe it's a good idea. It would seem that we all have something in common, besides LBCs, we're all getting old and falling apart! RAY
rjm RAY

Another dodgy shoulder here.
Dave O'Neill 2

Me too Gents - subacromial decompression operation and ongoing cortisone treatment. It must be something to do with us all getting older or what they fed us a babies!

I'm just in the middle of fitting new thrust washers in the diff - a bit of a struggle lying on the floor. Think I'll ask santa for a 2 post lift. :-)

Andy Robinson

Mine was doing a Superman dive over the end of a sofa while messing around with the kids. Just physio - painful arm-wrestling to keep tearing the sac to expand it, and lying on my back on the bed with the arm stretched behind me with a 2lb bag of sugar in the hand letting it gradually sink towards the floor.
Paul Hunt

My left shoulder was completely gone so I had total shoulder replacement at UC Davis Med Center three years ago.

Then after four months of physical therapy I finally had use of my left arm.

The worst of it was that I had to drive an automatic for those four months.

Steven Rechter

Do My make ambulances; sounds like they would do roaring trade!
R E Merrall

Meant MG
R E Merrall

I think that my step dad had it right when he said, "getting old is not for wimps". I am going to have to shut down the fuel pump restoration early this year to have my right shoulder replaced. Cheers - Dave
DW DuBois

My right shoulder came from a "Beer Muscle" incident in college back in '69. Now it has come back to haunt me. Oh well, the spirit is still willing even if the body isn't.

79 MGB
gary hansen

Lol - it seems our cars are in better shape than we are ....
Chris at Octarine Services

When much younger and pranged a bike I was more concerned for the bike than anything else but my parents were more concerned about me. I said "Bodies will mend themselves, my bike won't". That was then, less so now.
Paul Hunt

Dave I feel your pain.

I have always said that it is better to wear out than rust out. (same goes for my MG)
Steven Rechter

My car, without question, has a better life that I do. My father's favorite saying was "don't get old, it sucks!". He passed away in his sleep, a day before his forty eighth birthday in '66, when I was sixteen years old. An early lesson in life. RAY
rjm RAY

"The worst of it was that I had to drive an automatic for those four months."

We don't have a vehicle with an automatic, which means that my wife will be doing all the driving for awhile. Cheers - Dave
DW DuBois

Likewise, I don't own a vehicle with an automatic transmission. My pickup truck has very light power steering, so I drove that while recuperating. Not so easy reaching over to shift with my left hand. RAY
rjm RAY

I do have an automatic, but I also drive 1000 miles per week. I wouldn't be without it.
Dave O'Neill 2

My Betson Bolt has worked great.

G.E. Bulwinkle

This thread has veered onto a popular topic! - so my contribution is something called a SLAP tear in the right shoulder (superior labrum,anterior to posterior) - got away with relatively minor inconvenience until a year ago when I stepped up the competitive table tennis (apparently the injury stemmed from over-zealous tennis serving when a callow youth on the England/Europe circuit donkey's years ago!); so now I have to wait months to get on the operating list for surgical repair, which apparently is the only option. It looks like fishing line and a fish-hook on Dr Google, so it can't be that hard - But if I wanted it to be done privately the quote is $15,000 to $20,000 dollars. Nice work if you can get it!
So Chris from Octarine, I hear you - I know from your always-helpful responses to questions from we amateurs, that you have a huge amount of experience built up. Please enjoy your retirement and I look forward to reading more of your adventures, plus I hope your continued presence on this forum. We need you! Regards, John Hall.
J P Hall

Thanks for the nice comments - just because I am retired from the heavy stuff doesn't mean I am rolling over!

I have just about finished the overhaul of the V8 and will be using her more and more to iron out the ongoing bugs ( well she has been off the road for 2 years) and hope that by next summer we will start doing some continental runs in her.

Don't worry I will pop in here from time to time but if you want a quick response to a question then a post to my own forum fires off a mail to me so I know about it.

Chris at Octarine Services

Glad to hear that you are still in good spirits. RAY
rjm RAY

Chris, I had a frozen shoulder and my docter injected something right into the joint. Rather unpleasant, but it almost immediately cured the pain and combined with some physiotherapy my shoulder is completely mobile again.

Get your joint injected?
Willem van der Veer

Willem - "docter injected something right into the joint...almost immediately cured the pain and combined with some physiotherapy my shoulder is completely mobile again."

Probably cortison (sp?) - I got my second injection yesterday which cures all the pain for up to 3 months, but since the cartilage is completely gone in my shoulder joint, I am getting an artificial shoulder joint in January. Cheers - Dave
DW DuBois

"docter injected something right into the joint...almost immediately cured the pain"

Lucky you! I was in agony that night, didn't sleep a wink and could not physically move the arm at all as if I had lost the use of all the muscle. Movement only came back gradually during the day. I still went to work which involved a 90 minute drive as I was desperate to take my mind off it.
Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 04/10/2015 and 15/11/2015

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