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An Ebb Tide in the Desert

Searching for the meaning of life at an automobile auction is about as fruitful as searching for your soul mate on a nationally televised dating show. Nonetheless, after seeing all manner of cars cross the stages at the various auction houses at Scottsdale this past weekend I can't help but think back to my teenage self watching the previous night's episode of Black Sheep Squadron on my family's Sony Betama ...

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MGA 1600 MkII: Original Review 1961

From Motor Trend — October 1961 Author unknown This latest variation of the sports car pioneer reemphasizes all of the factors that have made it a best seller. In the jargon of the advertising trade, MG has created for itself a “favorable public image.” Favorable in this sense means that the MG is automatically recognized as a sports car by the U.S. motoring public. No one need make any excuses or qualify t ...

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Frozen Brake Caliper

How am I supposed to get THAT out? When that question comes up, an argument takes place in my brain. Half of my brain tells me I can’t do it, the other side is all can-do. The pessimist side telling the optimist side I can’t do something is like telling a dog he can’t sniff trees and fire hydrants. If you are like me, I like figuring difficult things out. I’ve been refreshing a 78 Midget that hasn’t been on ...

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DIY Rotisserie

While doing the body off restoration on my TR 250 I needed some way of rolling the body over and not dent my new rocker panels. Not having a lot of room in a two car garage and working alone most of the time, it needed to be easy to handle by one person. My brother gave me the idea and I put it into practice. Use 4 pieces of 3/4-inch plywood (the cheap stuff), and cut to shape 1-foot by 4-foot (see diagrams ...

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Crankcase Ventilation

Being a mechanic, not an automotive engineer or lawyer, I suggest you treat the message below as something to think about, not as absolute wisdom or legal advice. Two reasons for crankcase ventilation (a system of positive, purging air flow through the engine): 1) Purging water condensation from the crankcase. We all have seen the nasty effects of non-vented crankcases; a thick whitish paste of oil and wate ...

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ECCO MGB SU Fuel Pump Review: Part 377-162

The Story of the Kiwi Composite Fuel Pump By: Dr. Michael J. Austin Keeping a classic on the road is a challenge and poses many questions to ownership. Do you restore, preserve, update, or modify? When does a classic, due to modifications, become more of a replica of its original self? When is the “character” of the car compromised? There are no hard and fast rules to any of this, and the varied state of so ...

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MGB GT Reborn Electric

A long, long time ago, when my wife and I started to shop for a car we fell in love with an MGB/GT, and this became our first new car in 1968. When our children came along and we needed more cargo space, we purchased a station wagon. Several years later, when our youngsters were becoming independent, we purchased another station wagon but also became a three MGB/GT family. During their final high school yea ...

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The Lucas Uncertainty Principle

One of the basic laws of Physics is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. This states that it is impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a subatomic particle at the same time. Personally, I am astounded that physicists can know either of these two properties. Of course, physicists work in air conditioned laboratories, surrounded by reference books and assistants who can quickly provide them ...

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Field Notes: Safety

Protect Yourself When Welding, Cutting and Grinding Fact: Humans by nature will sidestep that which is awkward or difficult in favor of the easy way. If you can’t find your gloves or if you can’t pick up a small piece of hot metal with your heavy welding gloves on, you will probably try to do it without them. “I’ll just grab it quick…” It’s the same with eye protection.  The person who thinks, “It’ll only t ...

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Quality Matters

In the 27 years I’ve been at Moss Motors, I have watched as one supplier after another went out of business, merged, restructured itself or dropped entire product lines. Some examples: Lucas is gone; the name and pieces of what used to be Lucas were sold off to various companies around the world. Lockheed is now owned by Delphi, an American auto parts company. The design and tooling for Lockheed brake compo ...

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