Sunday, March 7, 2010

The 'B Lives!

I couldn't make the Charity Classic Car Show at Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile as I had promised myself that I was going to find out what ailed the MGB. It would start and run but it would not idle - black smoke from rich running would pour from the hooligan exhaust and it would die. I ran the ailment past Mike Darby who suggested that I look at the carburetor needles and floats to see if a) a float wasn't floating or b) a needle was in the permanently open position.

I gang-pressed the ever helpful Richard Cunningham into helping me look over the old girl one more time. When he came by I had the K&N's off the carbs and was ready to open the float chambers. We opened the rear one and found everything as expected. We drank coffee and discussed the issue. Richard suggested that we re-assemble the carburetors and start it.

We did and it ran poorly. While I kept the throttle open Richard pulled off spark plug leads and discovered #3 was dead. He found that he could hold the lead slightly away from the missing plug and it would hit. The plug would fire when the spark jumped a gap from the lead to the plug.

A bad plug. A bad BRAND NEW plug. A bad BRAND NEW AC DELCO plug. I asked for Champion N9Ys and the store did not have them. They crossed it over to the AC Delco 'equivalent'. Mike asked us to let him know what we found, so Richard called him. Mike asked what brand spark plug was in the car and replied 'Well there you go", when he was told AC Delco.

Richard and I dropped in to the local O'Reilly auto parts store and got the real deal: Champion N9Ys. Upon installation the old girl repaid our kindness by running like a fine British sewing machine. Mike suggested that I put some miles on it just to make sure all was well.

I drove to Silverhill and dropped in on the Wizard himself. Mike gave it a quick look and pronounced it fit for duty. I came back home proud of the old girl and enjoying a beautiful day on the road.

Sunday dawned bright and clear and I took the 'B to Fairhope. I enjoyed the company of some friends
there (where I was offered a chance to purchase a '67 MG Midget) and came back to Spanish Fort. My long-suffering wife was home after running errands and suggested that we take the car out again so she could enjoy the day, too. Back down to Fairhope for a walk and a cup of coffee. We made a couple of stops to pick up a few odds and ends on the way home with nary a hesitation out of the 'B (You will note that while the missus is in the car, I DO NOT use the term 'old girl' to refer to ANYTHING. Right).

All in all, there's about 100 miles on the car that it didn't have Saturday morning.

And I think I burned my bald spot in the sun today...

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