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Full-length Ramps    MOT Preparation    Nut Screws Washers and Bolts    Speedos    Terminology    Workshop Tools    What Year?   
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The sectioned MGB at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon

  Full-length Ramps

Servicing Bee and Vee was a right pain in the new house this year as I'm not allowed to use ramps, axle stands or jacks on this drive. So all the raising had to be done either half in and half out of the garage, the short ramps slide on the smooth painted garage floor so can only be used on the rougher section near the entrance, but that's narrower, and I had to keep moving the cars to get first one end up then the other.

A pal of a pal was getting rid of a nearly new pair of full-length ramps (as he now has a four-post lift!) and they were offered to me for 500. As they were around 1700 new that was something of a bargain. However as they were over a 200 miles round trip away in Hertford it wasn't really feasible to go down just to have a look at the size and try and work out if they would fit in my garage, so pal took loads of pictures and measurements. I pondered long and hard over those, decided they would fit, so the next question was how to get them here. Son-in-law has a van but they were just too long to fit in that, so it meant hiring one. However we were planning on moving some furniture down to my son near St Neots, so a 'two birds with one stone' trip was planned. All went well until we got down to Hertford and I saw just how big all the bits were - gulp! Too late to go back now though, so we loaded them up.

Once home I could take more detailed measurements, and realised that to assemble the two ramps and their lifting tube I either needed more width than I'd bargained for, or several beefy blokes to assemble them outside, then carry them in at an angle to get them through the door! However being American they were built for their monster vehicles, and the ramps were intended to be positioned further apart on the lifting tube than I needed for the MGBs. Even positioned as close together as they would go the centre of the ramps is still wider then the centre of the tyres. However it allowed me to chop a few inches off each end of the lifting tube, and I could assemble them in the garage. Each ramp is in two sections so the length can be adjusted as well, but even one of the sections was a struggle to move on my own, and I couldn't imagine being able to move all four of them plus assemble them. So a few days later son-in-law came round and we got them in and put them together.

The lifting tube has to be able to pivot up to allow the jack under, and down to allow the vehicle to clear them as it is driven on and off. But unless the ramps were very precisely positioned in all three orientations the tube could be very stiff to turn. But R-ing TFM I discovered the tube should have been greased where it passes through the larger tubes under the ramps! So this time single-handedly I wiggle the one ramp off the tube by dragging each end sideways a bit at a time, then I can pull the tube out of the other ramp. Grease that end, reinsert, grease the other end, then wiggle the first ramp back onto the tube again. Now the tube pivots really easily and is much less dependant on precise orientation.

The ramps are lowered both ends when not in use so I can park one of the cars on them, and that 'raises' (ho ho) a couple more issues. Because the entry end is now about 4" off the ground the manual describes how to make a pair of pre-ramps - easy enough. What's a bit more of an issue is lifting the 'blunt' end of each double-length ramp while you position the support tower underneath it - no easy task. I can get a jack under the end (sides won't work as they are too close to the ground) and raise it far enough to get blocks under, then move the jack round to the side away from where the tower fits while I raise it the rest of the way, but that is a bit of a faff. So various Wallace and Gromit devices are being discussed, one of the maddest being a rope tied to the back of the car positioned just in front of the ramps, run over a pulley on a beam, and down to a hook at the end of the ramp - drive car forward, lift ramp, slide tower under. Split the rope and do both ramps at the same time :o) But in the end I settle for a block and tackle attached to a cross-beam conveniently near that end of the ramps.

Another slight inconvenience is that my relatively compact jack (I tour with it in the boot of either car) won't raise the lifting tube far enough in one go to lower the swinging legs and lock them in position. I have to jack it part way, then put axle stands under the tube, then slide a block made out of timbers with a sheet steel top under to stand the jack on while I raise it the rest of the way. I've looked at alternative jacks but to get one capable of lifting all the way in one go, but low enough profile to fit under the tube when lowered, is way too expensive for the very occasional use it would get.

High enough to get under and work with ease, but not so high I can't reach things when lying on my back.

I can only envy Herb Adler his space and 2-post lift ... I think! While Vee was at the paintshop I was able to use a 2-post lift to fit the cross-member and exhaust, amongst other things, and it was really hard work on the neck with my head bent back all the time, and on the arms. I know I'm also reaching up with my lower ramps, but at least I'm lying down and can have a proper rest every now and again, instead of having to stand there all the time.

MOT Preparation (applicable in the UK, other countries have their own tests, standards and limits)

October 2017: Outcomes regarding the proposal to extend the MOT exemption for historic vehicles to be the same as for road tax i.e. a rolling 40 years were published in September, to be implemented from 20th May 2018. This is despite a majority of respondents to the Government's survey being against it. Legislation is still being drafted but the consultation process states that 'substantially altered' (their words) vehicles will still need annual testing. Guidance on what constitutes 'substantially altered' is expected in November 2017. The existing guidance document confusing contains information on "The process for vehicle keepers declaring an old vehicle is exempt from testing.", most of which relates to when a vehicle first becomes exempt from road tax, not where it already is exempt and will now become exempt from testing. However there is a section on online renewal, which only applies to vehicles that are already in the Historic Vehicle tax-free class, as follows: "Where the vehicle keeper is re-licensing their vehicle on-line it is intended that an additional question be asked whether the vehicle has a current MOT and the vehicle keeper will be required to declare that their vehicle has not been substantially changed since 1988. Appropriate safeguards will be in place that will prevent a vehicle keeper from declaring the vehicle is over 40 years of age and progressing to the next stage of the licensing process before first declaring or not as to whether their vehicle has been substantially changed." I can see the point about making a declaration that the vehicle has been substantially altered, as then it will ensure that an MOT is already in place before renewing the road tax. But I can't see the point in asking if the vehicle has a current MOT. It doesn't currently, it simply checks its own database before it will proceed. If you declare it HASN'T been substantially altered, then all it needs to do is NOT check to see if there is an MOT in place.

The Government Response to the consultation Para 13 Page 8 states:

The option for owners to submit their vehicles to a voluntary MOT test will remain and they will still, like all vehicle owners, need to ensure that they meet the legal requirement of keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all time (sic). Currently around 6% of the owners of pre-1960 vehicles submit their vehicles to voluntary testing and we would anticipate that many vehicle owners will service their vehicles regularly. For the sake of around 40 per year most of us would have to be mad not to continue with voluntary testing, for peace of mind as well as in the event of any 'discussions' with Police or Insurance company. It's a 2500 fine and 3 penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition. It's true that an MOT only shows that the vehicle met the requirements at the time of the test, i.e. not one day let alone 11 months later, but it is still better to be able to show one has made the effort to seek qualified opinion.

September 2015: I've only just become aware of a proposal to extend the current exemption from needed an MOT for cars built before 1960, to cars built 40 or even 30 years ago following an EU rule-change. What is surprising is that the government website for discussion of these proposals closed nearly a year ago. The results of formal consultation are to be published in 'the second half of 2015', to be available for comment (February 2016: No sign of them yet).

Classic Cars For Sale article
FBHVC statement
DFT statement
DFT background statement

Brake pipe corrosion is probably the biggest single risk given that most potentially exempt British classics only have single circuit brakes. I was aware of one of the V8 pipes corroding and had been keeping an eye on it, when I got an advisory. That spurred me into changing it, and while carefully removing it trying to keep the shape as near as possible to use as a former for the replacement, it fractured at the point of corrosion.

It's one thing if we kill ourselves through inadequate maintenance, quite another if we kill a child while emergency braking/steering trying to avoid it. If we aren't prepared to spend 35 per year on what is actually a not very stringent safety check we shouldn't have the cars. The statistics may be on our side, but that's no comfort to the family of an innocent victim. Witness calls for airshows to be banned following Shoreham, despite the very stringent checks and controls on aircraft, particularly historic and display aircraft.

The proposals are said to be in part connected with an expected significant revamp of the MOT to cover electronic safety systems in much more detail. But surely the very fact our cars don't have those means that those tests simply wouldn't be applied. And whilst visible corrosion is very rarely seen on cars built in the last 20 years, surely structural corrosion, brake pipe damage, steering and suspension component wear, leaks from brake and fuel systems, seat-belts, wipers, lights, horn and tyres and still going to be checked on modern cars

Updated March 2012 by Michael Beswick: April 1st sees the introduction of the recent MOT changes. Up to then these items are advisories. This is not exhaustive but covers those things likely to concern classic MG owners or perhaps owners of classic MGs:

  • Hazards - not obligatory prior to 1/4/80, but if fitted will be tested and must work
  • Steering lock is only applicable post 1/9/2001
  • Dust covers - apart from existing steering rack, those ones on the bottom of the kingpin. They need to prevent the ingress of water and muck not prevent the egress of grease.....but could be contentious
  • Coil springs - slight change - they fail if they do not locate properly when the vehicle suspension is put back under load, of if their function is impaired
  • Engine mounts
  • Drivers seat must move and lock, though not in every position!
  • Reg plate - same as before - silver and black is prior to 1/1/73 (although some claim it has been amended to include any vehicle in the 'historic' taxation class, although I have not been able to find any official statement to that effect), but if shown as a "new" bit of the test it may remind testers of the requirement. (Keep a spare set of modern ones...)
  • Tow bar security (as now) but + electrics
  • Electric wiring generally
  • Battery security
  • Fuel pipes - damaged or chafed

September 2010: Michael Beswick found and has sent me this [my comments]:

"I was asked by a friend's son what he should check before sending his car for MOT, to avoid it failing on something minor. The list is not exhaustive, and assumes no mechanical knowledge or tools. Just newspaper to kneel on and maybe a pair of rubber gloves! It is also SIMPLIFIED, and makes no attempt to cover items that require equipment to test them or requires knowledge of the testers' manual. Probably takes 15 minutes.

"MOTs are a test - the tester may not adjust anything other than Headlamp aim during the test [if you suspect headlamp aim is off then drive to the test centre having removed the headlamp rings yourself, I suggest!]. Certain minor items - such as blown bulbs - can be replaced at the end of the test before the car is passed. Garages may well charge for fitting an item, especially if it is discounting the test [VERY silly to go for a test with blown bulbs ...]. (Currently 54 max but available for 39.95 etc) So it pays to avoid this if possible. Certain failure items must be retested for no fee. Partial re-tests may or may not incur a fee. Details are shown on a poster that MOT stations must display and on the VT30 fail certificate.

"All the usual caveats apply. Your investment can go down as well as up. Your home is at risk etc etc. This information is not governed by the Financial Services Authority......

"Hazard lights, (if fitted) must work , ignition on, ignition off

"Horn must work. Fuel cap must seal [visible rubber seal, not loose and rattling about, actually sealing is not checked]. Door mirrors to be secure. You must have a driver's door mirror and either a rear view or passenger side one [only one of interior, external offside, or external nearside mirror is required on passenger vehicles according to MOTUK]

"Wipers must work, with blades that clear the screen and are intact [clear an arc to give an 'adequate' view, not specified]. Washers +fluid. (push type washer is fine). Windscreen - chips bigger than 10mm in the area in front of the steering wheel will fail: as will bigger than 40mm in the rest of the area swept by the wiper blades.

"Indicators left & right. 60-120 flashes per minute is required.

"Side lights - front and back, dip beam, main beam, rear number plate lights. If fitted, rear fog light + tell-tale [if two are fitted the off-side lamp must work. If neither work but they are accessories added by an owner then you may get away with it!]. Brake lights. Indicate left then right and check stop/tail lights don't flash in time. (Reverse lights don't matter [not tested, although at one time if they were operated from a manual switch by the driver they must also have a tell-tale])

"Then put hazards on and all the above, (except indicators) to check that other lights are not "disco-ing" in time with the hazards.

"Seat belts must recoil (often slowly!), unless static type, and lock in place in the buckle. Belts must not be unduly frayed.

"Check the tyre tread depth - it needs to be 2mm (1.6mm is the legal min). Check the side walls for bulges or damage. You can't do much about the inside face without lying under the car!

"Handbrake - does the lever poke you in the eye when you pull it up? Turn the steering wheel - if it moves more than from 12 o'clock to 1 o'clock without turning the road wheels it will probably fail (depends on steering wheel diameter)

"Exhaust must be "supported" - waggle the tail pipe a bit (when cold...) - it shouldn't. Noise is subjective, as it is difficult to determine a "standard" car!

"Number plates - lots of regulations. Stick on ones on the bonnet should pass but don't always. 1/1/73 was the change year from metal black & silver to modern yellow/white. Take the V5C to prove date of first registration and/or ask first!

"Bits must not be obviously falling off!

"Play in bearings, suspension, or steering is beyond the scope of this. If you think headlamp aim may be wrong, remove the chrome bezel before the test to make adjustment easier. If you can see the front brake pads they must be a minimum 1.5mm thick (the thickness of a 5 pence piece).

"Corrosion within 300mm of a suspension mounting or seat belt anchorage or major structural item will fail

"Local classic car clubs/users can best advise on "sympathetic" MOT stations who understand older cars. High throughput / low price ones probably do not fall onto this category! If you are not sure about a particular thing , take the car in and ask BEFORE the test is due!

"If the car has no MOT you may legally drive it to a pre-booked MOT test - nowhere else. Insurance for this trip is a slightly murky area. [You can get insurance without having tax or an MOT. I'm pretty sure it is an offence to drive to an MOT station without insurance, regardless of whether it is a pre-booked test or not. It's not something you should ever put to the test, I suggest, or you may be personally liable for any damage or injury caused to third-parties as well as being prosecuted. Note that someone else may be able to drive your car on their insurance, which may be Third-party cover only.]

"Should the car fail, you can drive it home or to a garage to have it fixed [The MOT station may encourage you not to drive the car away on safety grounds, i.e. have it fixed there and then or arrange for it to be towed/trailered somewhere else, but they cannot legally prevent you driving it away].

"Should you have some days "left" on your current MOT but the car fails the test, you still have an MOT, but you are driving an "un-roadworthy" vehicle. The current MOT Pass certificate shows the earliest date at which the vehicle can be presented for test - just under a month before the certificate expires [But see here]. By having the car tested near this date, there should be ample time to fix items that fail. If the car passes, the new certificate is automatically dated for 12 months from the date of the expiry of the current certificate. However if it does fail, be aware that although you still have an MOT, you are driving an "unroadworthy vehicle" which restricts legal use. The penalties are pretty similar to not having an MOT and whilst technically covered by your insurance in legal terms, you are unlikely to have a claim settled.

[My son when living in London had no facilities to work on his car and regularly had it MOT'd twice a year].

"I've probably missed something, but it's a start! Good Luck!"

For those that have to suffer it, the emissions limits and dates applicable are as follows:

CO:
  • Registered before 1st August 1975 - no limits, just a visible smoke test
  • Registered 1st August 1975 to 31st July 1986 - 4.5%
  • Registered 1st August 1986 to 31st July 1992 - 3.5%
  • From 1st August 1992 the limits are as per the appropriate manufacturers documentation
  • HC:
  • Registered before 1st August 1975 - not tested
  • Registered 1st August 1975 to 31st July 1992 - 1200ppm
  • From 1st August 1992 the limits are as per the appropriate manufacturers documentation
  • For cars with a non-original engine MOTUK says "Test according to which is older, engine or vehicle."

    You can also check the brakes to make sure the pedal doesn't sink under sustained pressure, and if you have a servo 'empty' it by repeated operations of the brake pedal with the engine off until it stops wheezing, then with the pedal firmly pressed start the engine. While emptying the servo the pedal should get higher and harder, then when starting the engine it should sink a little.

    See also MOTUK. In addition I spend a few minutes each year under the car, at the annual service before the MOT, just looking around and waggling things, bending the brake hoses back looking for surface cracking etc.

    November 2011:There are proposals to cease MOT testing of cars registered before 1st January 1960, as well as possibly make testing a bi-annual event for newer cars. One has to ask "Why?" One of the reasons seem to be that owners of 1960 and earlier cars are likely to be enthusiasts and so look after their cars better, but that doesn't follow at all. It's true that pre-1960 cars are 0.6% of the population, and contribute to 0.03" of road casualties and accidents, but that is down to the greater sense of self-preservation of people driving cars of this era. Many cars at the 'lower' end of the classic price scale are likely to be owned by younger and less well-off people, with other cars and families to support, who may well take short-cuts on their pride and joy if they are allowed to. They are equally liable to be owned by people who don't know as much about their cars as perhaps they ought to, as can be seen by some of the questions and comments in the various online communities. Another reason given is that many aspects of the current test are not relevant to older cars - which is true, but in that case they are not tested! It's difficult to see just what could be dropped from the MOT that isn't safety-related. I'm no lover of MOTs, it's taken me 20 years to lose the 'heart in the mouth' feeling on delivering my cars for their tests and getting the verdict. As a Michael Beswick has said, it will only take one child to be killed or seriously injured by a classic car that had a defect that should have been picked up on an MOT, and we might find ourselves under a much stricter regime or maybe even restricted to trailering them to private circuits etc. Nigel Case, owner of the Classic Car Club, is quoted as saying "Its nonsense. Older cars need more attention. You could buy a car which seems superficially fantastic, but it will be rotten underneath and a death trap."

    Even less reason for reducing the frequency on cars less than 10 years old, with the first test being at four years. One of the biggest reasons for failure of modern cars is worn tyres, and you can see this in any supermarket car park. Manufacturers have progressively reduced the ownership experience to one of being completely passive, and most people only ever do things like servicing and replacements when someone tells them they have to. The failure rate is increasing - 35% in 2008, 37% in 2010, and 12% of tyres are illegal on replacement. In the current financial climate people are cutting down on servicing where things might get picked up, and the MOT will be the only time that they can be.

    Despite the above, there are new advisories from 1st Jan 2012 which will be failures from 1st April 2012. That's the list of new and amended items, but before you groan about something like the steering lock on an MGB having to be working as I did (Vee's has never worked in my ownership) you might like to have a look at the full manual. This has new and amended paragraphs and sections denoted by a vertical bar to the left, and in the case of the steering lock it is only to be tested on cars first used from 1st January 2001. There are others, like the new main-beam tell-tale check is only on cars first used from 1st April 1986. One thing that applies to all vehicles is the battery condition and security check - all those who have fitted 'battery bins' or 12v batteries and not bothered to re-engineer the clamps take note!

    Nut Screws Washers and Bolts

    On this site:
    Torque Values
    Translate between part numbers and description for many MGB fasteners
    Links:
    'Fastener Decoder Booklet' A reproduction of the document produced by BMC in 1964, kindly sent to me by Marc.
    MGB Bolt Sizes/Taps and Dies by Les Bengtson
    MGB 18V Engine Bolt Sizes (threads) by Les Bengtson
    MGB BSP threads and Whitworth spanner sizes by Dave Dubois
    Whitworth sizes and numbers from Samstag Sales.
    British Tools and Fasteners, which says it all really (the original link was to The British Tool Company which has been out of business a couple of years.
    Rask Cycle on bolt head markings and torque figures.
    Uni-Thread, for taps, dies, reamers and much more.
    Tracy Tools ditto (funnily enough also in Devon).
    Abbey Power Tools, which has Whitworth and BA spanners as well as much else.
    Baconsdozen Imperial Tools, Conversion charts for Whitworth and BSF to mm, AF, BA socket and wrench size equivalents etc.
    Spanner Jaw Sizes, a useful chart for comparing spanner (wrench) sizes and common nut/bolt use.
    Conversions from fractional in 64ths to decimal and metric, also useful for comparing spanner sizes.

      Torque Values

    Nuts and bolts can be assembled with dry, oiled or greased threads. From comparisons made with generic sources of information it seems that the figures in the MG Workshop Manual, at least, are probably for oiled threads. Greasing threads can make them liable to come loose. For example I read many years ago that wheel studs should be oiled, not greased.

    Although there are a lot of figures here there are still a lot more where no torque figure is given. It is possible that those given here are 'non-standard' torque values and the rest should be tightened to the 'standard' values for the type, size and thread of the nut and bolt:

  • Geno's Garage
  • Leyton Fasteners
  • Imperial Supplies
  • Also see this list of 'standard' values from the Rover V8 Engine Manual:

    METRIC
    M5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Nm (3 ft-lb.)
    M6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Nm (4.5 ft-lb.)
    M8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Nm (13 ft-lb.)
    M10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Nm (26 ft-lb.)
    M12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Nm (48 ft-lb.)
    M14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Nm (59 ft-lb.)
    M16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130 Nm (96 ft-lb.)
    UNC/UNF (thread size, not spanner/socket size)
    1/4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-10 Nm (6-7 ft-lb.)
    5/16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Nm (18.5 ft-lb.)
    3/8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Nm (29.5 ft-lb.)
    7/16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Nm (55 ft-lb.)
    1/2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Nm (66 ft-lb.)
    5/8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Nm (100 ft-lb.)

    By Monte Morris.
    Additions by Peter Scott.
    MBG GT V8 Workshop Manual Supplement and Rover V8 Engine Manual.
    Additions from Haynes.

    ApplicationEngineTorque (ft-lb.)Comments
    ENGINE (4-cyl)
    Main bearing nuts All models 70 
    Flywheel set screws 18G/18GA 40 
    Gudgeon pin clamp bolts 18G/18GA 25 early models(CBB)
    Big-end bolts  +35 to 40 early models(CBB)
    Big-end bolts  33 later models (RBB) oiled thread
    Cylinder head nuts 18G/18GA 45 to 50 
    Rocker bracket nuts All models 25 
    Oil pump to crankcase All models 14 
    Sump to crankcase All models 6 
    Cylinder side cover screws 18G/18GA 2 
    Cylinder side cover screws deep cover 18G/18GA 5 
    Timing cover 1/4 inch screws 18G/18GA 6 
    Timing cover 5/16 inch screws 18G/18GA 14 
    Rear plate 5/16 inch screws All models 20 
    Rear plate 3/8 inch screws All models 30 
    Water pump to crankcase  25 early models(CBB)
    Water pump to crankcase  17 later models (RBB)
    Water outlet elbow nuts 18G/18GA 8 
    Rocker cover nuts 18G/18GA 4 
    Manifold nutsAll models15 to 16 
    Oil filter centre bolt 18G/18GA 15 early models(CBB)
    Clutch to flywheel All models 25 to 30 
    Carburetor stud nuts 18G/18GA 2 
    Carburetor stud nuts All models 15 
    Distributor clamp bolt (nut trapped) 18G/18GA 4 
    Distributor clamp bolt (bolt trapped) 18G/18GA 2 to 3 
    Fan blade fixing screws 18G/18GA 7 to 9 
    Crankshaft pulley nuts All models 70 
    Camshaft nut All models 60 to 70 
    Oil pipe banjo All models 37 max 
    Front plate 5/16 inch screws All models 20 
    Rear engine mounting bolt All models 38 to 40 
    Oil pressure relief valve domed nut All models 43 Pre-1978
    Oil pressure relief valve domed nut All models 40 1978 on
    Rocker bracket nuts All models 25 
    Air pump mounting screws  18 
    Spark plugs All models 18 
    ENGINE (Factory V8)
    Main bearing cap bolts: Nos. 1 to 4
    Rear
     53 
     68 
    Connecting rod cap nuts 33 
    Cylinder head bolts 68 
    Rocker shaft to cylinder head bolts 28 
    Flywheel bolts 55 
    Oil pump cover bolts 13WARNING! I got mine up to about 10 and they didn't seem to want to go higher. Bearing in mind they are going into the alloy front cover I stopped. If you look at the 'Other V8' figures there are two - 9ftlb and for Suffix B 3ftlb. 3 seems a bit low for oil under pressure even with Loctite, but 9 is definitely safer than 13.
    Oil pressure relief valve plug 33 
    Timing chain cover bolts 23 
    Crankshaft pulley bolt 150 
    Distributor drive gear to camshaft bolt 43 
    Exhaust manifold bolts 13 
    Induction manifold bolts 28 
    Induction manifold gasket clamp bolt 13 
    Carburetor adapter nuts 18 
    Water pump bolts:1/4 U.N.C.
    5/16 U.N.C.
     7 
     17 
    ENGINE (Other V8)
    Crankshaft pulley boltAll models199 
    Timing cover to cylinder block bolts **All models16 
    Camshaft gear boltAll models37 
    Rocker cover boltsAll models6 
    Rocker shaft to cylinder head boltsAll models28 
    Cylinder head bolts *Not suffix B  
    Outer rowNot suffix B51 
    Centre rowNot suffix B66 
    Inner rowNot suffix B66 
    Cylinder head bolts *Suffix B  
    Stage 1Suffix B15 
    Stage 2Suffix BThen 90 
    Stage 3Suffix BFurther 90 
    Lifting eye to cylinder head boltsAll models18 
    Connecting rod boltsAll models37 
    Main bearing cap bolts ***All models52 
    Rear main bearing cap bolts ***All models66 
    Flywheel boltsAll models59 
    Drive plate and ring gear assembly boltsAll models30 
    Drive plate adapter boltsAll models59 
    Oil sump drain plugAll models30 
    Oil sump boltsAll models17 
    Oil pressure relief plugAll models33 
    Oil pump cover to timing coverAll models9 
    Oil pump cover plate screws ****Suffix B3 
    Oil strainer boltsAll models7 
    Distributor clamp boltAll models15 
    Spark plugAll models11 
    Coolant pump/timing cover to cylinder blockAll models16 
    * Lightly oil threads prior to assembly.
    ** Coat first three threads with Loctite 242 prior to assembly.
    *** Coat threads with lubricant EXP16A (Marston Lubricants) prior to assembly.
    **** Coat threads with Loctite 222 prior to assembly.
    GEARBOX
    Mounting to gearbox case  15 to 20 manual transmission
    Drive flange nut without overdrive  150 manual transmission
    Drive flange nut overdrive Type D  100 to 130 manual transmission
    Drive flange nut overdrive Type LH  55 to 60 manual transmission
    Front brake band adj. screw locknut  15 to 20 automatic transmission
    Rear brake band adj. screw locknut  25 to 30 automatic transmission
    Filler tube to transmission case  20 to 30 automatic transmission
    Filler tube to connector sleeve nut  17 to 18 automatic transmission
    Drive flange nut  55 to 60 automatic transmission
    Center support bolts  10 to 18 automatic transmission
    Converter to drive plate bolts  25 to 30 automatic transmission
    Transmission case to converter housing  8 to 13 automatic transmission
    Extension housing to transmission case  8 to 13 automatic transmission
    Oil pan to gearbox  8 to 13 automatic transmission
    Front servo bolts  8 to 13 automatic transmission
    Rear servo bolts  13 to 27 automatic transmission
    Pump adaptor to housing screw  2 to 3 automatic transmission
    Pump adaptor to housing bolts  17 to 32 automatic transmission
    Pump adaptor to transmission case  8 to 18 automatic transmission
    Manual shaft locknut  7 to 9 automatic transmission
    Pressure adaptor plug  4 to 5 automatic transmission
    Drain plug  8 to 10 automatic transmission
    Upper valve body to lower valve body screw  20 to 30 automatic transmission
    Lower valve body to upper valve body screw  20 to 30 automatic transmission
    Oil tube and end plate to valve body  20 to 30 automatic transmission
    Valve bodies to transmission case bolts  5 to 9 automatic transmission
    Cam bracket screws  20 to 40 automatic transmission
    Governor to counterweight screws  4 to 5 automatic transmission
    Governor to cover plate screws  20 to 48 automatic transmission
    Front servo adjusting screw locknut  15 to 20 automatic transmission
    Rear servo adjusting screw locknut  25 to 30 automatic transmission
    Starter inhibitor switch locknut  4 to 6 automatic transmission
    Downshift cable adaptor bolts  8 to 9 automatic transmission
    Filler tube connector to transmission  20 to 30 automatic transmission
    Stone guard screws  17 to 19 automatic transmission
    Driving flange nut  55 to 60 automatic transmission
    PROP-SHAFT
     All models 30 to 35 
    REAR AXLE
    Differential bearing cap bolts 4-cyl60 to 65 three-quarter floating (banjo) axle
    Pinion bearing nut  135 to 140 three-quarter floating (banjo) axle
    Crown wheel to differential carrier  55 to 60 three-quarter floating (banjo) axle
    Bearing retaining nut  180 three-quarter floating (banjo) axle
    Half-shaft nut  150 Semi-floating (tube/Salisbury) axle tighten to align to next hole
    Differential bearing cap bolts  50 to 55 semi-floating (tube/Salisbury) axle
     Factory V853 
    Crown wheel bolts 4-cyl60 to 65 
     Factory V863 
    Pinion nut new spacer only  180 to 220 
    Pinion nut oil seal change  Adjust to preload see section Ha Bentley
    and Leyland Workshop Manual
    BRAKES
    Brake disc to hub All models 40 to 45 
    Brake caliper mounting All models 40 to 45 
    Brake caliper clamping bolts All models 35.5 to 37Spotted by Ed Woods in the main body of the manual: "Only split the caliper if it is unavoidable, then replace the fluid channel seal, bolts and lock plates. Only bolts supplied by BMC Service Ltd. may be used"
    Hydraulic brake pipe connection 3/8 UNF  5 to 7 
    Hydraulic brake pipe connect 7/16 UNF  7 to 10 
    Master cylinder port adaptors  33 later models (RBB)
    Master cylinder reservoir fixing bolts All models 5 
    Brake pressure failure switch (nylon)  15  
    Brake pressure failure switch end plug All models 200 
    Brake caliper securing bolts All models 40 to 45 
    Brake front servo bolts All models 8 to 13 
    Brake rear servo bolts All models 13 to 27 
    Brake stone guard screws All models 17 to 19 
    Pressure differential switch end plug  17 later models (RBB)
    REAR SUSPENSION
    Rear shock absorber bolts 4-Cyl55 to 60 
    Shock absorber to side-member nutFactory V858 
    FRONT SUSPENSION
    Front shock absorber bolts All models 43 to 45 
    Bearing retaining nut All models 40 tighten to next split-pin hole
    Cross member to body 4-cyl54 to 56 
    Cross member to side member nut: Top
    Bottom
    Factory V855 
    Factory V845 
    Shock absorber pinch bolt All models 28 
    Wishbone cross bolt All models 28 
    Bottom wishbone pivot to cross-member nutFactory V845 
    Anti roll bar link All models 60 
    Spring pan nuts and screws All models 22 
    Stiff nut to crossmember mounting bolt  44 to 46 GHN4 GHD4 GHD5 GHN5 models
    King pin to wishbone - lower fulcrum  45  
    King pin to damper - upper fulcrum  40  
    King pin trunnion (nut on top of king pin)  60 then tighten to next split-pin hole
    STEERING
    Steering arm bolts All models 60 to 65 
    Steering rack fixings  30 
    Steering wheel nut 4-cyl41 to 43 
    Steering wheel nut 9/16 in. UNF 4-cyl27 to 29 GHN4 GHD4 GHD5 GHN5 models
    Steering wheel nut 11/16 in. UNF 4-cyl41 to 43 GHN4 GHD4 GHD5 GHN5 models
    Steering wheel nut 4-cyl36 to 38 GHN4 GHD4 GHD5 GHN5 some local models
    Steering wheel nutFactory V828 
    Steering column universal joint bolts All models 20 to 22 
    Steering rack and pinion bearing nut All models 40 
    Steering tie-rod lock nut All models 33 to 38 
    Steering lever balljoint nut All models 34 to 35 
    Swivel pin nut All models 60 tighten to align to next hole
    Steering column top fixing bolts All models 12 to 17 
    Column clamp boltFactory V87Note this is given in the manual as "85 lbf inches"
    Road wheel nuts 4-cyl60 to 65 
    Road wheel nutsFactory V860 
    GENERAL
    Alternator shaft nut All models 25 to 30 
    Alternator mounting bolt All models 20 
    Alternator pulley nut All models 25 
    Starter motor mounting bolts All models 30 
    Gearbox remote control cover to tunnel All models 44 to 46 
    Interior mirror special screw All models 5 

    Speedos

    Repair
    Gearbox drive gears
    Cables and routing
    EGR valve service indicator
    Right-angle drives

    There were many different speedos used over the years (I have found 50 so far!) according to year, market and vehicle spec. As well as the obvious physical differences in size and markings the 'turns per mile' (TPM) varied over the years, that is the number of turns of the speedo cable to register a mile travelled. This has to be matched to the drive gearing in the gearbox output shaft, the rear axle ratio, the wheel size, and to some extent the tyre size. Get the TPM wrong and both speed and distance travelled indications will be incorrect. Speed is relatively easy to compensate for by making internal adjustments but to correct the odometer different gear sets are required. The table below has been developed largely from the Leyland Parts Catalogue and Clausager and examination of many speedos at autojumbles, with additional information from other sites such as NAMGBR, Autochart and Paul Tegler. However these other sites either don't include TPM figures, are limited in scope, or disagree to some extent with information from other sources.

    I am indebted to Ian John of Caerbont Automotive Instruments for supplying me with a list of TPMs for these speedos.

    Note that speedos not in the list with the exact reference number, even though they have the correct TPM figure, may have different speedo cable fitments, or night-time illumination/ignition warning lamp/main beam tell-tale or fitting arrangements, making fitting them in an MGB not straightforward.

    Speedometer Reference Numbers
    MarketDateChassis No.
    From - To
    GearboxMPH/
    KPH
    Part No.Serial No.TPM/
    TPK
    SizeComments
    All markets
    except Germany
    1962 - Oct67101 - 138400StandardMPHBHA4478SN6125/04,
    SN6124/04A,
    SN6144/00
    1060*
    1040?
    1040*
    4"Jaeger Note 1
    Smiths
    Smiths
        KPHBHA4479SN6125/05,
    SN6125/05A,
    SN6144/01
    660*
    660!
    660*
    4"Jaeger
    Smiths
    Smiths
       OverdriveMPHBHA4480SN6125/06,
    SN6125/06A,
    SN6144/02
    1040*
    1020!
    1020*
    4"Jaeger Note 1
    Smiths
    Smiths
        KPHBHA4481SN6125/07,
    SN6125/07A,
    SN6144/03
    640!
    640!
    640!
    4"Jaeger
    Smiths
    Smiths
    Germany1962 - Oct67101 - 138400Standard?MPHBHA4574SN6144/051040!4"560 - 14 tyres
       Standard?KPHBHA4636SN6144/15660!4"560 - 14 tyres
       Standard?KPHBHA4637SN6144/13660!4"155 - 14 tyres
       OD?KPHBHA4638SN6144/14640!4"165 - 14 tyres
    not Canada,
    USA, Sweden,
    Germany, or V8
    Nov67 - Nov73138401 - 332925
    138401 - 332394
    StandardMPHBHA4707SN6144/201280*4" 
        KPHBHA4709SN6144/21800!4"use BHA5280
       OverdriveMPHBHA4812SN6144/23A1280*4"use BHA5281
        KPHBHA4813SN6144/24800!4" 
     Nov67 - Sep68138401 - 158230AutomaticMPHBHA4707SN6144/201280*4" 
        KPHBHA4709SN6144/21800!4" 
     Nov68 - Aug73158231 - 328800AutomaticMPHBHA4868SN6144/281216!4"Note 11
        KPHBHA4869SN6144/29760!4"Note 11
     Nov73 - Sep74332926 - 360300
    332395 - 36100
    StandardMPHBHA5279SN6144/20BS1280!4" 
        KPHBHA5280SN6144/21BS800!4" 
       OverdriveMPHBHA5281SN6144/23BS1280*4" 
        KPHBHA5282SN6144/24BS800!4" 
     Sep74 - Jun76360301 - 410350BothMPHBHA5339SN5230/131000*80mm 
       BothKPHBHA5340SN5230/14620!80mm 
    CanadaNov67 - Jul68138401 - 153877StandardMPHBHA4707SN6144/201280*4" 
        KPHBHA4709SN6144/21800!4"use BHA5280
       OverdriveMPHBHA4812SN6144/23A1280*4"use BHA5281
        KPHBHA4813SN6144/24800!4" 
     Aug68 - Jul71153878 - 258000StandardMPH37H 3766SN5226/03,
    SN5226/05,
    SN5227/07
    1280!
    1280!
    1280!
    80mm 
       OverdriveMPH37H 3768SN5226/08,
    SN5227/12
    1280!
    1280!
    80mm 
       AutomaticMPH37H 4180SN5227/161216!80mm 
     Aug71 - Apr72258001 - 282419StandardMPHBHA5084SN5231/001280!80mm 
       OverdriveMPHBHA5086SN5231/041280!80mm 
     May72 - Sep74282420 - 360300StandardMPHBHA5161SN5230/06S1280!80mm 
       OverdriveMPHBHA5163SN5230/08S1280!80mm 
     Sep74 - Jun76360301 - 410000BothMPHBHA5339SN5230/131000*80mm 
     Jun76 - 1978410001 - 447000BothMPHAAU 3027SN5373/001000!4" 
    JapanSep 77443981 - 447000all ODKPH??6204"LHD to
    North American spec
    Canada & Japan1978 - 1979447001 - 501000BothKPH??6204"Note 2
    Canada & Japan1980501001 onBothKPH??6204"Note 2
    USA,
    USA for Germany
    Nov67 - Jul71138401 - 258000StandardMPH37H 3766SN5226/03,
    SN5226/05,
    SN5227/07
    1280!
    1280!
    1280!
    80mm 
       OverdriveMPH37H 3768SN5226/08,
    SN5227/12
    1280!
    1280!
    80mm 
       AutomaticMPH37H 4180SN5227/161216!80mm 
     Aug71 - Apr72258001 - 282419StandardMPHBHA5084SN5231/001280!80mmNote 10
       OverdriveMPHBHA5086SN5231/041280!80mmNote 10
     May72 - Sep74282420 - 360300StandardMPHBHA5161SN5230/06S1280!80mm 
       OverdriveMPHBHA5163SN5230/08S1280!80mm 
     Sep74 - Jun76360301 - 410000BothMPHBHA5339SN5230/131000*80mm 
    All LHD
    Jun76 - Jun79
    410001 - 498440 (Cal)
    410001 - 503250 (other)
    BothMPHAAU 3027SN5373/001000!4"Note 3
     Jun79 - Oct80498441 (Cal) on
    503521 (other) on
    BothMPH?SRM6006/001000!4"Note 4
    Sweden,
    Germany
    Sep69 - Jul71187211 - 258000StandardKPHBHA4924SN5227/20800!80mmNote 10
       OverdriveKPHBHA4925SN5227/22800!80mmNote 10
       AutomaticKPHBHA4926SN5227/24740!80mmNote 10
     Aug71 - Apr72258001 - 282419OverdriveKPHBHA5087SN5231/08800!80mmNote 10
     May72 - Sep74282420 - 360300OverdriveKPHBHA5164SN5230/09S800!80mmNote 5
     Sep74 - Jun76360301 - 410000BothKPH??62080mmNote 6
    RHD (not Police)Jun76 - Oct78410001 - 480296 GT
    410001 - 481115 Roadster
    OverdriveMPHAAU 3035SN5234/001000*80mmNote 7
    RHD (not Police)Oct78 - Oct80480297 on GT
    481116 on Roadster
    OverdriveMPH SN5234/021000*80mmNote 8
    RHD (Police)Jun76 - Oct80410001 onOverdriveMPHAAU 3036Z 654651040!80mm 
    V8 (not Police)Dec72 - Jul76101 - 2903OverdriveMPHBHA5210SN5230/11S960*80mm140mph
    V8 (Police)Dec72 - Jul76101 - 2903OverdriveMPHBHA5317Z 63973980!80mmNote 9
     
    Notes:TPM/TPK MPH speedos have a 'turns per mile' number on the dial, whereas KPH speedos have a 'turns per kilometre' number, and there are 1.60934 kilometres to the mile. Thus a Mk1 car with a 1020/1040/1060 MPH speedo uses the same gearbox components as a car with a 640/660 KPH speedo, a Mk2 chrome bumper with a 1280 MPH speedo has the same gearbox components as one with an 800 KPH speedo, and a rubber bumper car with a 1000 MPH speedo has the same gearbox components as one with a 620 KPH speedo. This means that cars can be converted between MPH and KPH simply by fitting the 'other' speedo.
      '*' and '!' '*' after the TPM indicates that I have confirmed the figure on an actual example of the speedo and the number has been confirmed by a manufacturer and repairer of the instruments.
     '!' after the TPM indicates the number has been confirmed by a repairer of the instruments.
     1The Parts Catalogue shows these serial numbers as having the same part number but actual instruments and manufacturers data show different TPMs.
     2Clausager shows Canada and Japan having KPH speedos from 1978, and Canada and Japan 1980 models having 6 - digit odometer, but these changes are not shown in the Parts Catalogue.
     3North American spec including Japan had 4 speedos for 1977 on, probably plastic 'glass' with protruding trip reset button.
     4"85mph speedos with 6 - digit odometer, not in Parts Catalogue.
     5Parts List shows this type continuing till Jun76
     6Clausager states 80mm from Sep74 LHD roadsters only made for North American market after Jun76
     7Reads to 120mph, additional kph markings. Figures outside markings, numbers go 10/20/30.
     8Reads to 120mph, additional kph markings. Figures inside markings, numbers go 10/30/50.
     9XA5(XAS?),175x14 tyres, 140mph
     10Use with right - angle drive
     11Axle ratio changed and hence speedo

    Updated August 2010: Note that 1280 tpm overdrives were used on 4-cylinder chrome bumper cars and all V8s and had a black Laycock label, whereas 1000 tpm ODs were used on 4-cylinder rubber bumper cars and had a blue label. Thus on V8s there seems to be a mismatch between the 1280 tpm overdrive and the 980 tpm speedo, but this is almost exactly counterbalanced by the different axle ratio used on the V8.

      December 2014

    I needed to get into the mechanism in order to modify the mileage reading. Bee's trip odo has been jamming regularly this year, which made following Tulip instructions tricky. Fortunately the tenths was still going round, so I was having to add that to the main odo reading, then add to that the next inter (distance to the next turn) for the Navigator to write down. Bad enough, but because the trip and main odo aren't in synch sometimes I ended up a mile out either way. I was going to send it away over winter to be repaired, there are a couple of people who can then set any mileage you require (ordinarily it would be zeroed), but at 90 it's quite pricey and they take several weeks to do it. I'd got to the point of investigating how much new ones were for insurance purposes if mine should get lost, when I thought of looking for used on eBay. I found two, one was exactly right for Bee going by the reference number on the dial at 40. The other wasn't a very good picture but from what I could see looked right, at 20 in 'good condition and fully functioning', both mileages way different to Bee's of course. No shipping price in the ad, and you don't get that until you commit to buy which isn't helpful. Emailed the seller asking them to confirm the numbers and shipping price, but had to wait several days for a reply. Not exactly right - it was originally used on 74 models, but specified in the Parts Catalogue as being backwards compatible with earlier Mk2 cars so fine for me, and shipping a reasonable 5. By that time the 40 one had gone, so I committed to buy this one, then had to wait another week or so with no further info from the seller as to whether it had been shipped or not, before it turned up. First thing I did was test it with my drill on reverse, and the speedo goes smartly round, but neither bloody odo worked! Annoying, as the face and the numerals were in as-new condition, and the bezel and glass were no worse than Bee's. I could have sent it back of course, but more hassle and aggro, and no further forwards. So for the sake of 20 I decided to use it as a learning experience and open it up and have a look at it. Same problems with getting the guts out as with Bee's, which I'd already tried months earlier in an effort to see what was wrong with her trip. See the full story here on fixing the odometers on both speedos as well as a description of how they work.

      March 2008
    And now for the question of gearbox drive gears! Whereas for the 3-synch cars the speedo tpms varied between non-OD and OD cars (but by less than 2%) the speedos for 4-synch cars quote the same tpms (1280 for chrome bumper cars and 1000 for rubber bumper) but there are still different part and reference numbers for the speedos according to whether the car was non-OD or OD. This continued up to September 76 and the 77 model year, when suddenly there is only one speedo (different again for the 'new' plastic dash) for LHD and one for RHD, still at 1000tpm as for previous rubber bumper cars, but no corresponding change in gearboxes or ODs.

    Looking at the parts lists there always were different speedo drive gears and pinions, with different ratios, between non-OD and OD. But whereas the ratio difference is nearly 3% for the 3-synch gearboxes, it is only 1% for the chrome bumper 4-synch (I don't have all the ratio information for the rubber bumper cars). 1% is insignificant (given that speedos in the UK are allowed to over-read by up to 10% but not under-read) so having the same tpms for both is reasonable, but why the different speedo part and reference number if everything else is the same? Even 3% difference for the 3-synch is not that significant in the grand scheme of things, but the speedo tpms for non-OD and OD cars did take this into account. Although even that isn't straight-forward, as the information I have is that Jaeger instruments were 1060 for non-OD and 1040 for OD, whereas the later (1964) Smiths were 1040 for non-OD and 1020 for OD! Whilst the change from crossply tyres to radial may have required a change in gearing, radials weren't available until 1965, and crossplys remained standard on UK cars until 1972.

    The bottom line is that while changing a non-OD gearbox to an OD gearbox will introduce an error of nearly 3%, on a 4-synch car changing from a non-OD to an OD gearbox of the same era will only introduce a 1% error and can be ignored. the important thing to remember on 4-synch cars is that if you put a rubber bumper OD gearbox in a chrome bumper car or vice-versa, and don't change the speedo, you will introduce an error of around 20% which is very significant.

    And to finally beat this subject to death the table below lists the various gearboxes and what speedo drive gears and pinions were used in each:

    EraChassis No.Engine No.GearboxGearStartsPinionTeethRatio
    Chrome101 to
    138360 (roadster)
    137795 (GT)
    18G, GA, GB3-synch non-OD
    (dipstick level/filler)
    1H3369911G3264 or
    22H1420L
    281:3.111
    Chrome101 to
    138360 (roadster)
    137795 (GT)
    18G, GA, GB3-synch OD
    D-type
    (dipstick level/filler)
    7H8294517H8021161:3.2
    Chrome138401 (roadster)
    139471 (GT) to
    359169 (roadster)
    360069 (GT)
    18GF-GK,
    18V581-779
    4-synch non-OD
    (dipstick level/filler)
    and Auto
    22B468
    (metal) or
    22B649
    (plastic)
    1022B654261:2.6
    Chrome
    and all V8s
    Note 2
    138401 (roadster)
    139471 (GT) to
    359169 (roadster)
    360069 (GT)
    18GF-GK,
    18V581-779
    4-synch OD
    LH-type
    (black label)
    (dipstick level/filler)
    37H3464
    (blue)
    837H3463
    (white)
    211:2.625
    Rubber360301 (roadster)
    361001 (GT) to
    523001 (roadster)
    523002 (GT)
    18V797-8934-synch non-OD
    (side-plug level/filler)
    DAM686
    (black)
    9DAM687Note 1Note 1
    Rubber360301 (roadster)
    361001 (GT) to
    523001 (roadster)
    523002 (GT)
    18V797-8934-synch OD
    LH-type
    (blue label)
    (side-plug level/filler)
    37H8844
    (red)
    637H8845
    (red)
    201:3.333
    Note 1: Values not known, but if the overall ratio is the same for non-OD as OD (which seems reasonable as the same speedo is used) then the pinion would have 30 teeth.
    Note 2: This may seem incorrect as the 4-cylinder chrome-bumper car has a 1280tpm speedo and the V8 a 960tpm. You have to take into account the rear axle ratio as well, and the lower ratio of the V8 (prop-shaft turns slower for a given road speed) almost exactly counteracts the difference in speedos.

    'Starts' refers to the number of threads on the worm gear fitted to the gearbox output shaft (a standard bolt only has one start). The number of starts is another way of setting the ratio between worm gear and cable drive pinion, the greater the number of starts the faster the pinion turns in relationship to the worm gear. This Wikipedia page explains the principle very well and has an animated graphic demonstrating a 4-start worm gear.

    SC Parts Group has exploded diagrams of all the OD components (as well as the gearboxes) for all the MGB variants. All the pinions and drive gears are priced, implying that all are available.

      Did I say final? Speedo cables used were as follows: March 2010

    Chassis No. GearboxCableLengthNotes
    101-9402
    101-138400
    RHD
    LHD
    non-ODGSD1031143mm
    (3' 9")
    It seems highly unlikely, if not impossible, for RHD and LHD cables to be the same length
    101-10611RHDODGSD1161422mm
    (4' 8")
     
    101-138400
    10612-138400
    LHD
    RHD
    ODGSD1171542mm
    (5' 0")
    It seems highly unlikely, if not impossible, for RHD and LHD cables to be the same length
    9402-138400RHDnon-ODGSD1111219mm
    (4' 0")
     
    138401-410000RHDnon-ODGSD249991mm
    (3' 3")
     
    138401-410000RHDODGSD1161422mm
    (4' 8")
     
    138401-153877 (Canada)
    138401-187210 (roadster)
    138401-187840 (GT)
    LHDnon-ODBHA45961270mm
    (4' 2")
    not USA, Sweden, Germany
    138401-153877 (Canada)
    138401-187210 (roadster)
    138401-187840 (GT)
    LHDODGSD1511829mm
    (6' 0")
    not USA, Sweden, Germany
    138401-282419 (USA)
    153878-282419 (Canada)
    LHDnon-ODGSD1041373mm
    (4' 6")
    North America, Sweden, Germany, without service indicator
    138401-410000 (USA)
    153878-410000 (Canada)
    LHDODGSD1511829mm
    (6' 0")
    North America, Sweden, Germany, without service indicator
    187211-328800RHDAutoGSD1031143mm
    (3' 9")
     
    187211-328800LHDAutoGSD1161422mm
    (4' 8")
    not USA, Sweden, Germany
    187211-328800LHDAutoGSD1171542mm
    (5' 0")
    North America, Sweden, Germany, without service indicator
    282420-410000LHDnon-ODGSD145 North America, Sweden, Germany, without service indicator
    360301-386600 (Canada)
    360301-422791
    LHDnon-ODBHA5351 North America, Sweden, Germany, gearbox to service indicator
    360301-386600 (Canada)
    360301-422791
    LHDODBHA53601016mm
    (3' 4")
    North America, Sweden, Germany, gearbox to service indicator
    360301-386600 (Canada)
    360301-422791
    LHDallBHA5359584mm
    (1' 11")
    North America, Sweden, Germany, service indicator to speedo
    410001 onRHD (all)ODGSD3151450mm
    (4' 9")
     
    410001 onLHDnon-ODAAU38681200mm
    (3' 11")
    without service indicator
    410001 onLHDODAAU38701700mm
    (5' 7")
    without service indicator
    All V8RHDODGSD1161422mm
    (4' 8")
     

    Cable routing
    On non-OD boxes the cable attaches after the gearbox proper, which on 3-synch at least is just forward of the removable crossmember, as in this image from Clausager. There appears to be a clip holding it to the tunnel wall right by the clutch slave, then it passes through the bulkhead at the hole in the top of the (RHD) drivers footrest.

    On OD boxes it attaches further back, after the OD, above the fixed crossmember on 4-synch boxes. It eventually (click this thumbnail for the detail) passes through the bulkhead as above ...

    ... and from there makes a graceful turn backwards into the speedo head

     

    Some people with LHD cars have indicated their cable comes up past the RHD entry point, across the engine compartment at the heater shelf, then in through the bulkhead in front of the driver direct to the speedo, rendering a speedo head right-angle drive unnecessary. This including 3-synch cars using the large hole under the hinge slot, although Clausager appears to show a 74 car routed in this manner but using a smaller hole further above and towards the centre of the car than the large hole (which contains the heat control cable?).

    EGR Service Indicator

    North American rubber bumper cars had an EGR valve service indicator which was a warning light triggered every 25,000 miles. A resettable counter intercepted the speedo cable, and was positioned on the heater shelf as shown here on Bill Etter's car. The warning light was illuminated each time the car was started as a lamp test facility. The service indicator was deleted for Canada from 1976 on, and for the rest of North America from 1977 on.

    There is also the question of right-angle drives. (Updated April 2017)

    The Parts Catalogues indicate that all cars had one at the gearbox end (13H 2567) to allow the cable to run straight (more or less) alongside the gearbox as it travels forwards. However neither of my 4-synch OD cars has one, the cable makes a neat enough turn through 90 degrees here. There is also the point that the large bulge of the (LH-type at least) OD immediately in front of the speedo cable connection makes a right-angle pointless as the cable would have to go up into the tunnel and then make a tight turn forwards, or even worse go downwards and risk damage, it can't go anywhere near straight back. On non-OD 3-synch gearboxes the cable is connected in front of the removable cross-member and the narrower casing here as well as being angled backwards slightly with a right-angle drive allows the cable to travel forwards alongside the gearbox. However on non-OD 4-synch gearboxes the connection is much closer to the main part of the gearbox, which is wider, and it is also angled forwards, which prevents the (sensible) use of a right-angle drive.

    On OD gearboxes the cable attaches further back over the fixed cross-member. 4-synch cars cross-members have a notch which together with the connection being angled slightly forwards allows the cable to leave the gearbox at almost a right-angle, the bulk of the curve turning forwards being in front of the cross-member and under the floor. Early cars do not show this notch (Clausager p76), but 3-synch gearboxes with the earlier D-type OD do seem to offer more space to allow a right-angle drive to be used.

    However if a broken right-angle drive on a non-OD gearbox was not replaced (they are expensive) this may need a slightly longer cable to avoid a tight turn. The big issue is whether LHD cars had an additional one at the speedo head or not. Again the Parts Catalogues indicate one was always used (BHA 4794 up to 76, the same 13H 2567 as for the gearbox for 77 on), because the cable came up through the same hole in the bulkhead (above the clutch foot rest) as in RHD cars then across the car behind the dash. This would have resulted in too tight a turn behind the speedo in the limited space available, hence the second unit, but see above.

    What year is my MG?

    By John H. Zajac

    Often the question comes up regarding "What year is my MG?" with the early cars. Cars built in 1951, or even 1950 are titled as "1952" TDs, for example. Early MGBs built in 1962 or 3 may be listed as 1963 or 1964s. Owners of early cars are especially urged to know their VIN numbers in order to get the correct original equipment. Why?

    My understanding of the situation is that the "model year" was an American, primarily GM, invention. In the 1930's GM's chairman, Alfred Sloan began the practice to showcase annual styling changes. Soon, every other US manufacturer followed suit, and the concept of a "model year" starting in the fall of the year started.

    This system was alien to most European manufacturers, including MG. VW even used their rather stable product plan to their advantage with the Beetle's advertising in the States. The European manufacturers basically updated their cars when required for competitive reasons, and only loosely followed a "model year" concept. MG up until the late sixties was like this, hence the issue with when was it built, when was it sold, what year is it anyway, what do I put on the title? Early cars had model years "designated" by the dealer. It was a world where model years were ingrained into American paperwork registration, and titles (after all, who couldn't tell the difference between a '59 Chevy and a '60?), but with imports from Europe, well, it was a different story. The dealer typically filled out the paperwork so that a car sold in the model year (October to October) was of that model year, regardless of date of manufacture.

    What changed that "system" was the safety and emissions regulations which phased in requirements by model years for cars sold in the US. Once that occurred, all the European manufacturers had to follow US procedures for VINs, and linking US-destined cars to specific model years and levels of safety and emissions equipment. Of course, old habits are hard to break, and while I'm sure MG put in all legally required equipment, I've heard how sometimes earlier parts sometimes ended up in the next model year's cars on occasion.

    So - it's not unusual for cars exported to the States sold prior to 1967 (I think that's when the first safety/emissions laws became effective) to have wildly different dates of manufacture vs. model year on their title, and why after that a system was imposed on the VIN designation. Later cars, therefore, will have their model year "baked into" the VIN regardless of the date for manufacture. It's easy to imagine how MG would have had to have been building the next year's model in late spring or early summer in order to be in showrooms in the U.S. by the fall.

    John H. Zajac
    reproduction permitted by author, provided authorship & copyright acknowledged

    From 'Original MGB with MGC and GT V8' by Clausager

    True VINs, including the model year, only appeared on the very last MGBs - those built between June 1979 and October 1980. Before that car or chassis (UK) or serial (North America) numbers of the form 'G-HN5/nnnnnn-G' (for an MG, 1800cc engine two-seater tourer, 69-79 model, built at Abingdon) were used. In the UK a vehicle's 'year' is generally regarded by owners as the date it was first registered, the exception being for inclusion in the 'Historic' registration class and its free annual Road Fund Licence or Tax Disc, where the cut-off date (31st December 1972) relates to the date of manufacture rather than the date of first registration.

    Clausager refers to 'model years' from 1969 on, which started production in November 1968. Thereafter the new model year could start production at any time from May 1978 (for the 1979 model year) to December 1974 (for the 1975 model year) but was typically August or September. 1974 saw another main change-point in September, for the '1974 1/2' model year cars and the full rubber bumpers. Small changes appeared constantly throughout production, however. The changeover points, listed by chassis/serial number, could be a little chaotic as 'old' parts were used up before 'new' parts were used. Therefore it was common for a car with a chassis/serial number before the change point to have some parts that should only have appeared after the change point, and vice-versa. The only thing that could be said for sure is that, as far as is known, matched items were fitted i.e. you wouldn't get a car with one 1976 headlight and one 1977!

    Dating your car by its windows - based on the original compiled by Neil Cairns. Updated October 2008

    MGs made in the 1950's to the late 1970's can be dated by the 'TRIPLEX CODE' etched into or screen printed onto the toughened glass. This also works for any other make using TRIPLEX glass.

    Note that it dates the GLASS, so is only an indication of the cars age, assuming the glass is original.

    If you are not quite sure of the year of your car, but the decade is known, just look for dots above and below the TRIPLEX TOUGHENED or LAMINATED logo on the glass. Unfortunately it is complicated by the code system changing in January 1969.

    Before January 1969 one dot above T, R, E or X gives the quarter of the year the glass was manufactured:
    T = Jan, Feb, March
    R = April, May, June
    E = July, Aug, Sept
    X = Oct, Nov, Dec

    From January 1969 the code indicated the month not the quarter, and although the same four letters were used there could be one, two or three dots used:

    
           .                                       :    .
    Jan    TRIPLEX (dot over the T)        Jul     TRIPLEX
            .                                      :     .
    Feb    TRIPLEX (dot over the R)        Aug     TRIPLEX
                .                                  .     :
    Mar    TRIPLEX                         Sep     TRIPLEX
                 .                                  .    :
    Apr    TRIPLEX                         Oct     TRIPLEX
           :                                            .:
    May    TRIPLEX (double dot over T)     Nov     TRIPLEX
           :.                                            :
    Jun    TRIPLEX                         Dec     TRIPLEX
    
    But which year? Nine letters make the word TOUGHENED, one dot below a letter gives the year of the decade:
    T = 1, O = 2, U = 3 and so on. However, if you see no dot (or possibly a dot under a space after the last letter), the year is zero.

    Say your car is a 1950's MG, then TRiplEX TOUGHENED, with one dot over the 'R' in Triplex, and the other under the last 'E' in Toughened, indicates 'April/May/June 1958'.

    My 75 GT has Sicursive side glass but a Triplex heated back-light with a dot over the E and one under the G, indicating March 74. The car has a build date of May 1975, so you can see that glass (and quite probably other components) could be hanging round for some time before being used - no Just In Time then!

    My thanks to Pierre De Rijck of Belgium for questioning this information when he found multiple dots on his windows, as originally the information from Neil only indicated one dot. The additional info came from these Spitfire and Mini sites. However it should be noted that these two differ for 1969 and later for the months of March and April. The former shows the dots over the I and P of TRIPLEX whereas the latter shows then over the E and X as previously. As both sites show only the E and X letters being used in all other cases, I'm tempted to think the Triumph site is in error and have assumed such. Pierre also mentioned his two side windows had different codes. This could have been due to breakage in the past, but in his case the two codes seem to be consecutive months in the same year and so are more likely to be from two production batches rather than one. If LHS and RHS glasses are made, packed and shipped separately rather than as pairs this is more then likely, especially given the apparent gap between manufacture and fitting. Less so if the glasses were shipped as pairs, but still possible if one were damaged or a defect found during the build of the car.

    Links

    Body   Brakes   Clutch   Cooling   Electrics   Engine   Fuel   Gearbox   Heater   Ignition   Propshaft   Rear_Axle   Steering_and_Suspension   Wheels

    The following sites carry information on a variety of topics:

    So good it deserves a line of its own right at the top - a set of 'How to' videos from John Twist and University Motors
    I've had to delete the links to the MGOC articles on things like axle clonk repair etc. as you have to be a member to get access to them now. But even then it isn't easy finding them - you have to go to Members Area, Technical Archive, enter search terms and select 'Within Enjoying MG only'. Looks easy written there, but I had to have several goes to get there the first time.
    from Paul Kile Paul Lewis and Norm Nock all of the Sacremento Valley MG Car Club
    Barney Gaylord's 'The MGA with an attitude' - mainly MGA but some details and much general information will be applicable to the MGB. MGA and MGB technical information from British Automotive
    Scions of Lucas (SOL). Technical info for MG and other marques much of the 'other marques' info will also apply to MG to some extent. Skye Poier's 'The MGB Experience' site
    Rich Mason's 'Helpzone' Tech Tips from the NAMGBR
    Robert Epstein's 'MGB Tech Tips' John and Elaine Hubbard's 'MGB-GT' pages
    Chicagoland MG Club - Tech tips for a variety of marques and MG models from Moss Motors (now only available by logging-in)
    Parts sources from (Bob?) Lundgren Automobile Repair manuals Online (not)
    Robert Bentley manuals MGB Parts List available online from Moss USA. Other MG models and marques available.
    Miscellaneous MGB info from AutoChart Inc. Classic car restoration courses at UK Further Education Colleges from Restored Classics
    Maintenance tips, recalls and Technical Service Bulletins from SlickCar by Kris Rinson Fuel Additives Lubricants and Coolant reference information from Stephen Ringlee's Volvo Maintenance FAQ
    UK MOT info from MOTUK (geddit?) UK MOT info from Haynes
    Using a vacuum gauge for fault diagnosis. Les Bengtson's Classic MG Sports Car Restoration information
    More speedo info from Autochart Yet more speedo info from Paul Tegler
    Speedo repairs from Anthony Rhodes or as a downloadable PDF Speedo repairers and suppliers Speedograph Richfield successors to Smiths Industries
    Bespoke and replacement instruments from Caerbont Automotive Instruments Another on-line Parts Catalogue from Brown and Gammons in the UK
    Handy Reference Information from Pegasus Auto Racing - Decimal inch equivalents copper electrical wire specs and more. Smiths and Jaeger speedo repairs from Tigers United
    John Twist's Tech Tips hosted by NAMGBR, on a variety of topics. US Mechanic EDU brings together the best mechanic training information available in one convenient place.

    Body Links:

    Bodywork from John Elwood. Paint Codes from Paul Tegler's 'Teglerizer' site
    British car keys cut in the USA by Pete Groh. Roadster screen from Lee Daniels (updated link)
    MGB Chrome Bumper Conversion sites from Google Body Rotisserie from Bob Beaupre
    Body Rotator from Skye Poier 'The Instillation (sic) of Sills & Rockers' from Classic Auto Restoration Services. A commercial site but includes 'How to' and FAQs.
    Hood/top fitting from Washington DC Centre MG Car Club Remanufactured parts from British Motor Heritage Ltd.
    Brief information on fitting a child seat in the back of a GT. The lap and diagonal static belt from Securon can be found here. NOTE: Check the legality of these in the UK following the change in UK law from 18th September 2006, although it seems that systems with an older BS approval marking will remain legal until May 2008. Other than that it is legal to have an unrestrained child (or two) in the back of a GT, but illegal to have them restrained with an unapproved system. Herb Adler on radio speakers, door alignment, door latches, central door locking, alternative seats, fitting an arm-rest cubby, bonnet release, wheel arch liners

    Brake Links:

    Brake fluid from Veteran Triumph Register Servo overhaul on a TR6 from Buckeye Triumphs.
    Low brake fluid level warning - note the remote servo can suffer seal failure which causes all the fluid to be sucked out of the master! Herb Adler on alternative brake light switches

    Clutch Links:

    Herb Adler on clutch release/throwout bearing


    Cooling Links:

    'Advanced Cooling System Basics' (sic) from Stewart Components Herb Adler on cooling system enhancements

    Electrics Links:

    Smartscreen intermittent wiper control. So good I have them on both my MGBs. Lamp/bulb and fuse info from 'Automotive Lite Bulbs'
    More lamp/bulb info from Daniel Stern Lighting including FAQs, Tech info and 'How To'. Note that headlamp aiming shows LHD, reverse the images for RHD. Lots of electrics info on the 'The T*****h TR6 Web' much of which is also relevant to MGs.
    Alternator conversions from Bob Muenchausen. Converting 4-cylinder tachs to V8 from the British V8 Forum.
    Tach calibration and repair from Mark Olsen's Sunbeam Tiger pages. Includes the circuit diagram of the inductive circuit. Rebuilding a tach with modern electronics from Theo Smit's Tiger pages includes a link to a description of how to modify the inductive tach to work with electronic ignition.
    Tip from Crane (may work with other manufacturers products) if your inductive tach (64 to 72) doesn't work with your new electronic ignition. Enlargeable coloured wiring diagrams in PDF format from Advance Auto-wire. These differ from the Workshop Manual Haynes Bentley in that associated components are placed together so reducing the amount of wiring snaking about and hence making them easier to follow.
    Lucas relay info on CRC's TVR site. Lucas Technical catalogues for bulbs, switches etc.
    Racemettle geared starters, contains useful info on the number of pinion teeth used by each model. Herb Adler on column switches, radio speakers, instrument voltage stabiliser, central locking, alternative brake light switches, LED instrument lighting

    Engine Links:

    V8 power for the MGB from Dan Masters MG V8 conversions from Mike Barnes
    V8 conversion from Glenn somebody or other More V8 conversion from commercial site V8 Developments
    'MGB V8 Conversions by Roger Parker' - a noted authority A Buick V8 conversion by Leon Zak
    MG Engines from the TA to the MGF by Neil Cairns BMC engine numbers from 1952 to 1990 also by Neil Cairns. However the section on Gold Seal numbers doesn't include those for the MGB, for which see here.
    More info from Neil Cairns, this time on the differences between the 18V engine as used in the MGB and that used in the Marina. Got an 18V engine with a funny number? These were used in the Sherpa van. (Note March 2007: Not currently available but I'll leave this link here for a while in case it comes back.)
    Rover V8 engine number ranges from Capri Racing. Doesn't actually include the factory V8 MGB (or the RV8 as far as I know) but may be helpful if you get hold of an engine for a conversion. Oil filter study from Russ W. Knize.
    Engine oil bible from 'The Speed-Trap Bible' by Chris Longhurst. Also see the sections on Snakeoils and Additives. 'More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Motor Oil ' from The Vintage Triumph Register. Biased towards the makes and grades available in the USA.
    Another oil filter study from SHOClub More oil info, this time from a British biker, but mostly applicable to cars. Explanations of viscosity, detergency, relationship between gear and engine oil viscosity ratings, synthetics and additives ("Don't!" in this last case).
    Another oil filter study. Two words of warning though - this relates to very high output close-tolerance Ford engines, and to me at least the detailed data conflicts with the conclusions. Compression Tests - from Puma Racing
    Engine weights for many marques by Dave Williams, passed to me by Bob Howard. MG 4-cylinders under 'BL', V8 and V6 under 'Rover'. Some engine dimensions, only for the V8 in the case of MG, also some gearbox weights. See here for Workshop manual info. Cylinder-head casting numbers - a frequent source of questions - from British Automotive
    MGB cylinder head identification from Sean Brown's Flowspeed.com, mainly for North American spec engines. A little more MGB cylinder head identification info this time from Paul Walbran Motors in New Zealand.
    Herb Adler on oil leaks, head removal, running-on, exhaust

    Fuel Links:

    Carburettor Models by Year from Paul Tegler's 'Teglerizer' site
    Polishing SU dashpot covers by Paul Tegler 'Living with Unleaded' from Rick Astley
    SU Carburettors by Scott Fisher and Roger Garnett Tech info from ZTherapy
    THE S.U. VARIABLE CHOKE CARBURETTOR by Malcolm Land - what it is and how it works. SU Carburettor Tips by Jim Taylor from the Jaguar Clubs of North America, including piston 'drop test' specs
    Unleaded Fuel - a technical guide from Puma Racing. Detailed pictures of the HIF6 carb linkage pieces on the factory V8 from British Auto.
    SU Fuel Pumps description, rebuilding and modification by Dave Dubois. RON MON and PON (American) octane ratings explained from Wikipedia and compared by Mad Mole.
    Zenith/Stromberg water choke by Rick Jaskowiak. And for a picture of a manual choke conversion click here. SU/Butec carb data from Peter & Rita Forbes' Engine Webpages.
    SU carb and fuel pump parts from SU Burlen. Includes spec data on things like piston springs. 'Minty Lamb SU Needle Compare-o-rama'. Shades of Wallace and Gromit, but it is an on-line SU needle comparison and selection program.
    Alternatively a downloadable comparison and selection program from Scott A. Beavis. Herb Adler on fuel pumps, carbs, using a Colortune, fuel tank sender, fuel leaks

    Gearbox Links:

    A gearbox testing tool from Kai Radicke Adding overdrive to a non-overdrive gearbox by Octarine Services
    Theoretical Top Speed calculator from mySportsCar. Modifying the rear crossmember to give improved access to the gearbox mount bolts. NB: Not sure if this is strictly necessary if you attach the crossmember to the gearbox before you raise the cross-member up to the chassis rails.
    Herb Adler on gearbox problems, alternative gearbox

    Heater Links:

    Heater Valve Improvements for BMC B-Series Engines from Bob Muenchausen's 'Muenchausen's Garage' MGB Heater Rebuild and Upgrade from Chicagoland MG Club
    Herb Adler on an alternative heater tap

    Ignition Links:

    Distributor curves from Paul Tegler's 'Teglerizer' site Electronic Ignition Systems from Autocar Electrical Equipment Co Ltd
    More distributor info from Doug Jackson's 'British Automotive'. Even more distributor info from TDC Engineering many Lucas serial numbers not just MG.
    Yet more distributor info from AutoChart Inc. Tuning (as opposed to 'setting-up') Lucas distributors also from TDC Engineering.
    A problem and solution when installing electronic ignition systems. Product information for the 123 electronic distributor. For installation and technical data see here.
    Transpo supply the electronic module for the 45DM4 distributor. Select 'Ignition Modules', 'Delco', and it is the DM1906. Original-spec advance springs, yes advance springs, from Distributor Doctor, although unfortunately only for 25D and not 45D. Other springs available if you can quote dimensions, also all other distributor parts and a rebuilding service.
    Points, condensers, rotors and caps reputedly of better quality than those from the usual suspects, as well as electronic ignition conversions. Herb Adler on the distributor

    Propshaft Links:

    Driveline alignment - problems and solutions from Drivetrain Specialists of Las Vegas

    Rear Axle Links:

    Wheel hub and rotor/disc measurement points from Wheel Vintiques See just how much a live axle like on the MGB can move about when pushed
    Herb Adler on banjo diff, octagonal nuts

    Steering and Suspension Links:

    Tube shock conversion from Paul Tegler's 'Teglerizer' site Suspension bible from 'The Speed-Trap Bible' by Chris Longhurst
    Make your own steering column/rack shaft alignment tool. Original link replaced by a section in 'Spanners' as more information has come to light, click on the globe then 'Column/Rack Alignment'. Herb Adler on steering, rear bump stops, spring breakage

    Wheel Links:

    Tyre sizes and axle ratios from Skye Poier's 'The MGB Experience' site Tyre sizes and axle ratios from Scott Galaba's BMW M Coupe and Z3 Coupe site.
    Wheels and tyres bible from 'The Speed-Trap Bible' by Chris Longhurst Tyre sizing sidewall info construction etc from Dunlop
    Tyre Size Comparisons from Club DSM Wheel and Tyre Sizing from AGP Motorsports
    Tire/Wheel Combination Calculator from Rick Tolan Lots of stuff on wheels and tyres from the All Morgan site
    Solent Wheels, who apparently make a good job of refurbing V8 wheels where the chrome is peeling. They powder-coat the whole wheel silver, then top-coat the alloy with satin black, and polish the areas round the cut-outs, all for 50. I understand they split the centre from the rim and re-rivet in the process. My local wire-wheel rebuilder - Phillips & Son, Unit 3, Seven Stars Road, Oldbury, West Midlands, 0121 544 9060, just a couple of minutes from J2 of the M5. The map (click the globe) has the green arrow close to where they actually are between the canal bridge and the A457, even though that is shown as Park Lane and not Seven Stars Road.
    Central Wheel Components. They can make stainless spokes to fit MGB wheels for you to fit but do not work on the wheels themselves, only motorbike wheels. Highly polished they are close to chrome, but are said to resist breakage better. Weights of many wheels, probably all after-market.
    British Wire Wheel - based in the USA despite the name. Sell both Dunlop and Dayton so a useful price comparison.

    If you know of any sites containing technical information that you would like to see listed here (including your own of course) please mail me with the URL.