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PO BOX 34-469

AUCKLAND 0746

NEW ZEALAND

After a time of inactivity for various reasons, progress stalled even though the car was road legal and progress should have been quicker.

JANUARY 2018

Time flies! The fibreglass bonnet and other attempts to replace the original steel with home made panels has resulted in a lot of wasted time.  Someone with a lot more expertise would have knocked off these jobs in a matter of days whilst I have wasted literally months of afternoons spread over several years!  Tragic really.  What I should have done in hindsight is hand over that aspect to the professionals - but where is the fun in that?   In fact, had I handed over the whole project to a couple of places I could mention, it would have saved me about 65% of the current outlay to date and what is more, it would have been completed at least 10 years ago.

Anyway, mid January 2018 I returned to the bonnet sections (hood sections to those living across the northern Pacific).  My initial aim was for a centre hinged bonnet as per a Morgan. The fact that the centre spine was curved put paid to that and much time was wasted on making up cantilever hinges.  All was well until I actually ran the car when the centres popped up from the airflow.  Whilst this may have meant good airflow and a ready exit for hot air, it wasn't really what I wanted.  After much head scratching, I finally (I think) came up with the idea of a lighter weight centre section, made out of two strips of thin ply,  bonded together to leave a small lip on which the side panels could rest.  A simple set of bent metal brackets/hooks slotting under the centre section, riveted then bonded to the panels looked to have been the best way as any airflow from underneath merely keeps them in contact with the centre spine.

Having sorted that, it was back to trying to get a good join gap between the front curved radiator grille support panel and the bonnet panels. Much grinding, re-glassing plus filling and sanding and it is 90% of the way there so then once that is done, it will be back to the boot/trunk lid, then a return to the interior.  The current radiator grille surround is a temporary one as I have another to which I have attached stainless wire mesh.  I just have to decide whether to paint that black or leave it.  Ditto the fibreglass bumpers. Do I paint them black (just a guide coat on there at the moment, or get them chromed vinyl wrapped?

MG Magnette V8 MG Magnette V8

At the moment, the car drives reasonably well but is incredibly noisy inside from the gearbox, which remember, came out of an MG BV8 racer.  However the lining of the transmission tunnel with metal backed wool fabric, seems to be very successful as I am getting no heat in from the transmission tunnel.  Without carpets or any sound deadening, the mechanical noise is amplified anyway.

MAY 2019

Sadly, minimal progress over the last year and a slight step backwards when I accidentally ran over part of the bonnet!  One of the perils of a totally detachable bonnet is that ever present risk.  I still haven't been to get the steering set up properly either.  Limited to running the car around the block a couple of times, I have noticed a little oil in the aluminium under tray and my suspicion is that it may just be from a steering gaiter bur I'll get that checked with the steering - I just don't know when.

NOVEMBER 2019

Somewhat later than planned, I took the car to have the front wheel alignment - particularly the toe in, sorted.  Whilst there, it wouldn't start! not the first time it has happened and traced to the (new) fuse block. Jiggling the fuses around I managed to get it fired up, then once home, replaced the block with another. Not impressed.  Many people criticise English cars with Lucas electrics, whilst overlooking the fact that much of the cheap Chinese stuff now available is often of an inferior quality. 

I decided that I needed to get the car back on the road as the Warrant of Fitness (WoF/MoT) had lapsed as they only last six months and with e car on the road it is more of an incentive to make a bit of progress. However t didn't go to plan.  (Does it ever?) the car failed as one of the rear spring nolathane bushes had collapsed.  Another hefty bill later, all was road legal.  Progress was still painfully slow but driving it legally on the public road is always a bit of a nervous operation.

DECEMBER 2019

Very little obvious progress but a little more work on the bonnet and a tiny bit on the boot lid. The left rocker cover was removed, polished (again) and refitted as there was a slight oil weep.  December 31st, coming home from the local cafe, wisps of smoke from the left.  it was getting worse but made it home, only to find that I must have nudged the oil dipstick, as it wasn't seated properly and the oil was splattering onto the hot exhaust.

Despite that, having sorted the electrics and getting a few more miles on the clock, (still only 800kms) I'm gradually getting used to the car, but still very unsure of taking it far from home, though I have joined the AA... (Maybe I should have joined the non-motoring AA, as so far, the car has often nearly turned me to drink...