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Tech Tips

If you have a tip you would like to share, e-mail me. Drawings and photographs to help clarify the procedure are welcome.
Disclaimer: I can't try every tip we publish, and I have no control over your competence; so if you screw something up, don't blame me.







11. (07/15/09) Here is something you gearheads should appreciate:
Machinist's Workshop magazine tested penetrants for break out torque on rusted nuts. They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the control being the torque required to remove the nut from a "scientifically rusted" environment. The results are as follows;
Penetrating oil..... Average load
None ..................516 pounds
WD-40 ................238 pounds
PB Blaster ............214 pounds
Liquid Wrench ..... 127 pounds
Kano Kroil ............106 pounds
ATF-Acetone mix....53 pounds
The ATF-Acetone mix was a "home brew" mix of 50-50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone.

10. (03/06/01) Prevent rust by keeping the underside of your car clean. Place a lawn sprinkler under your car and turn it on full blast. Move occasionally so it will reach all areas. This is a good way to remove all salt and road grime.

9. (03/06/01) To avoid streaks, use newspaper to wipe windows dry after cleaning.

8. (03/06/01) A new blackboard eraser is great for quickly removing the fog from inside car windows.

7. (03/06/01) When tuning up your car, set gap on plugs using the widest gap that the manufacturer recommends, Your car will run better, idle better, and will give you better gas mileage.

6. (03/06/01) Clean hard to reach areas (dash, cup holders) with a dampened sponge-tipped paintbrush.

5. (03/06/01) Avoid putting air in your tire if the temperature is below 10 degrees. The valve could stick and let out all of the air.

4. (03/06/01) To keep a radio antenna from sticking, occasionally rub wax paper up and down the antenna.

3. (03/06/01) Keep a few Handy Wipes In the glove box to remove gas odor from your hands after filling the tank.

2. (03/06/01) If your engine or transmission leaks, you can make a drip pan by placing corrugated cardboard or kitty litter in a cookie sheet.

1. (03/06/01) Oil drips on your garage floor can be absorbed with kitty litter or oatmeal.



  1. (01/19/04) MGA GURU TECH TIPS - All kinds of good stuff here, including wiring diagrams.



9. (12/20/05) TRANSMISSION SUPPORT MOD - If you have ever removed the transmission mounts, you know what royal pain it can be to get to the bolts and nuts. Here is a quick and easy modification to the crossmember that will make this chore a breeze.

First, slot the holes for the studs on the rubber mounts (about 2.5 times as long as they are wide) so that it can be passed over the studs when the mounts are on the box. Second, drill two holes on axis with the two studs (in the regular position) in the main part of the crossmember, big enough to get your 1/2" socket through (about 7/8). These don't need to be oval, as your extension is narrower than the socket and you can tilt it over just fine once you've pushed the socket through. PHOTO

8. (04/15/05) If you can barely see the instruments in your MGB at night, replace those old, dim bulbs with some much brighter ones from Radio Shack. The bulbs are RS #272-1133A, screw-base, 220 mA @ 7.5 V. In the first photo, I have upgraded all of bulbs except the tach. In the second photo, the tach lamp has been also upgraded. PHOTOS

UPDATE: These Radio Shack bulbs lasted only two months! I have since replaced them with LED bulbs from . I purchased their single LED, inverted lens Super White E10 screw base lamps for the gauges. Unfortunately, they are no brighter than the original stock bulbs. I will try the 4-LED cluster E10's soon and let you know how they work out.

I also bought the inverted lens Ba7s lamps for the heater temp and air damper knobs. They are just fine.

7. (2/12/05) LIFT-THE-DOT POST REPLACEMENT- The posts for the Lift-the-Dot snaps on the back of MGB tops can be a real pain to remove and reinstall. Their location makes it almost impossible to get a wrench on the backing nut. When you are ready to reinstall the posts, replace the hex nuts with wing nuts. A lock washer or a drop of Locktite will make sure that they don't back off.

6. (6/19/98) FUEL GAUGE SENDING UNIT- If your fuel gauge never reads above empty, the most common cause is that the sending unit plastic float has cracked and filled with fuel. Insead of spending $50 for a replacement of the entire unit, you can get a brass float of the same dimensions from your local Ford dealer for about $10. The part number is COAZ-9202-B. Thanks Bill Breithoff.

5. (6/19/98) HEAT/DEFROST CONTROL CABLE - The original control cable that operates the damper for directing the air coming out of the heater has a stranded wire core. The after-market replacements I have seen have a solid core, which is much too stiff. A good replacement is the brake cable from a ten-speed bicycle. Thanks Cort Musgrave, Jr.

4. (6/19/98) A-FRAME BUSHINGS - When it is time to replace the stock bushings, get the V-8 one-piece bushings. To install them, dip them in DOT 5 (silicone) brake fluid and give them a couple of good whacks with a hammer; they slide right in. Thanks Peter Brauen.

3. (6/19/98) NON-OVERDRIVE TRANSMISSIONS - The output shaft passes through a tight seal on the rear half of the transmission case. When you reinstall the rear case, the gears will be in a bind until you torque up the drive shaft flange on the output shaft. If you start checking for proper shifting before the flange is in place, you will swear you reassembled it incorrectly.

2. (6/19/98) TURN SIGNAL FLASHER - Tired of your turn signal slowing to a crawl every time you step on the brakes? Replace the original Lucas flasher unit with a round generic flasher. They won't fit in the mounting clip under the glove box, but are one fifth the price and perform much better.

1. (6/19/98) HARD TO TURN SIDE WINDOWS - I've tried greasing the window crank gears and rails with little relief. Spray silicone liberally on the felt window runners. You could also use WD-40, but I find it attracts more dirt. Thanks Kevin Gambino.




2. (9/18/04) Long time TR6 owners already now this, but me being a beginner thought I should share a tip for other fellow BMNCO beginners with a TR6. The timing cover on the TR6 is held on by bolts and two very important studs. During my tear down I only had one stud (which turned out to not even be in the correct position anyway). When I reassembled it, like I took it apart, after cleaning all the oil and gunk I started the motor and had a glycol leak from behind the two bolts on the timing cover directly below the water pump housing where it bolts to the cylinder head. Very bad news I thought. Not leaking from anywhere else. I thought the front engine plug had failed or had a cracked block. So I had to remove the radiator, steering rack, fan belt, fan, fan extension, crank pully, timing chain, cam gear, and front engine plate (AGAIN!!) only to find no sign of a blown plug and no crack. After studying the Moss Motors catalog I found two very curious sealing "studs" about $0.75 each that should be in those two positions where I had standard bolts and split washers. These two threaded holes tapped into the coolant gallery of the block!

Moral of the story. Yes be diligent in remembering how you dis-assembled the components...but also be diligent to review your shop manuals and parts catalogs as you do not know how "smart" the last guy was who took it apart! Remember, how it came apart is not always how it should go back together. Thanks M Rankin

1. (7/13/98) TR4A FLASHER UNIT - When I started working on my TR4A, I noticed the turn signal indicator did not work. After further checking, I discovered the flasher unit installed is a generic two prong unit; the owners manual calls for a three prong unit. The attached drawning is a basic schematic of how I solved the problem without purcashing a three prong flasher unit. "1" is the center wire for the turn signal switch, which connects to the output of the flasher unit under the dash. For the physical placement of the diodes, I found left and right signal light wires and indicator lamp wire under the dash, then made the connection near the steering column. I used crimp electrical splices for the connections and then insulated each connection with electrical tape. Thanks Dave Dupre.


Purchasable Titles

from Brooklands Books, Titles available through Amazon

TR6 Repair Operation Manual
Handbook for the MGA
MGA 1500 and 1600 Special Tuning
MGB Tourer and GT Special Tuning
Wiring Diagrams - MGB, MGC, MGBGT-V8,Triumph TR2, TR3, TR250, TR6
MGB Workshop Manual
Rover V8 Engine Overhaul Manual
Tuning SU Carburetters


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