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MG MGB Technical - Mystery odor

Took the 74 B on a 120 r/t today. Car ran fine, with no strange noises, obvious leaks or any other unexpected glitches. But we could smell something that seemed to be either

a) fertilizer
b) sulfur
c) gear oil

I haven't changed anything, but this is the first time I noticed the smell.

I haven't drained or topped off the tranny or diff in a while, so I don't suspect that. When we stopped, the odor seemed stronger at the rear of the car.

We got home a couple of hours ago and the smell is gone.

Your ideas?


Dan Hiltz

Don - Check the gaiters on either end of the stering rack for leaks. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Hypor smells rather sulpurous, check the level in your diff, you may have a leak.
Stan Best

Those are both good suggestions, but I can't see any leaks from either of those. Also, there's no oil on the floor under either of them.

Anyone else care to weigh in?

Dan Hiltz

Those are the only two places that have gear oil in them. You might also check the pinion seal where the steering shaft enters the rack housing. A leak there will also produce the smell. You can have a leak anywhere on the steering rack enough to smell but not enough to leave spots on the garage floor. Another thing that will produce a stink, is a engine oil leak that drips down on the exhaust manifold or the hot exhaust pipe. Chers - Dave
David DuBois

Since you asked for someone else to "weigh-in". Fast food on long trips can also cause a problem.

A far out thought.
I had something like this happen to a midget. It was squirrels that had stuffed nuts in the exhaust. It stank and smoked a little bit then it went away never to return.
Sandy Sanders

I always suspect it's a bit of gear oil out of the rear tranny seal spitting on the exhaust and burning off. Again, I think it's accumulating on the exhaust around town, then burning off when I occasionally take it out for a run. That's when I smell it for a short time.

Might be the same for you.

If the smell is gone, as you indicate, then forget it.
Paul Hunt 2

Check the inside of your rear rims and drums. Gear oil may be leaking past the seal and soaking into the shoes then burning off.

Smell of sulphur from the rear ... Had the same when my alternator was overcharging due to faulty regulator, resulting in the batteries overheating and the acid boiling inside. A new alternator fixed the problem.
m carter

This thread was discussed between 22/07/2007 and 24/07/2007

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