Living with Sally
The MGB Roadster

16 September 2011
Started this website :)

As I write this I have already started to work on Sally's 'front-end'
When I drove Sally home for the first time it was obvious that although she had a current MOT certificate she had not been driven for a while
Sally's steering was incredibly stiff (I know... no power steering - yet!) and her brakes pulled sharply to the left when pushed hard
Although I intend to modify Sally and try to bring her a little more up-to-date with lots of 'bling' and a few electronic gadgets, I need to get the basics right first

Thinking what to do first....

I jacked Sally up and put her on axle stands to check out the brakes and find out what was wrong with the steering.
Once the car was on the stands the steering became very light and I'm told this points to the 'Kingpins' being frozen.
Ok... apply lots of grease then run her around the block to see if that made any difference - Nope.. still stiff
Right!... I need to replace the kingpins... what else while I'm here?
Checked out the brakes (which the previous owner had assured me had been done for the MOT)
Discs didn't seem to be too bad but the calipers were obviously seized

So.... I started stripping everything out

Why is it when you start one job, others appear very quickly?

EVERY bolt was seized!
Ended up buying a welding kit (two disposable canisters included) so I could heat everything up to try and release the stubborn bolts
Some of them came away like this but others had to be cut off with my angle grinder!

At this point I start thinking I should have got a local garage to do the work!

I had to decide just how far I was going to go now...
Just fix the steering and brakes or go the whole hog and refurbish everything
My good lady wife's opinion was that I didn't want to do the work twice so should do everything while I was down there - Obviously I didn't argue with her :)

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Stub Axles/Kingpins

For the difference in cost it was far better to buy complete stub axles than just Kingpins
Kingpins have to be correctly reamed to fit and I would have to pay someone to do this as I don't have either the correct tools or the knowledge
I have replaced the wheel bearings at the same time (the plan is not to return to this area again for a long while)


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I managed to get a good deal on eBay on a replacement set of discs, calipers, flexible pipes and brake pads for about 150.00 for both sides


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The springs that are fitted to Sally appear to be ok
All they needed was a rub down with a wire brush on my angle grinder and a couple of coats of paint
All the suspension etc will be coated with 'Hammerite Smooth' paint as I believe this will protect things for a good while
It looks good too!


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The lever-arm shock absorbers appear to be ok (will see later how Sally handles)
So these got the wire brush and Hammerite treatment too

24 September 2011

Weather is bad so can't do much on Sally's suspension etc

I've been looking into some unconventional ideas for Sally's interior
Scouring the internet to get some ideas has been all but useless!

Am I the only person in the world that wants something different?

Originally my idea was to buy some of those beautiful 'Magnolia' gauges for Sally and go for a wooden dashboard
Seems a little conventional for me :)
It's been done SO many times (but I have to say does look fantastic when done correctly)

My gauges all look to be in good condition and the expense of replacing them doesn't seem justified but I would really like a contrast in colours
How about the other way around?
Black, original dials but a magnolia dashboard?
Having got samples of vinyl and leather from a supplier on the 'net I think the colour is all wrong!

My intention for Sally's seats and interior trim was to go with magnolia with a red piping (again, probably a bit conventional) but having looked at the samples I think they are too dark
Ok... white it is then!
I have just ordered 2 meters of white vinyl from 'Mirror Trim' a trim supplier on the net
I chose this company because they have been very helpful with discussion of some of my ideas, have quoted me reasonable prices for both vinyl and leather recovering of various interior components and do complete interior kits at reasonable prices.
My intention is to cover some of the more unusual parts myself and purchase a bespoke trim kit including: seats, carpets, door cards etc from Mirror Trim
(Also getting them to cover my Mountney steering wheel and a few other bits in leather)

For anyone who wants to know (before everything goes onto the 'costs' pages)

The prices for vinyl & leather are as follows:

Vinyl is £15.00 per metre cut from a roll that is about 1.3m wide

Leather is only sold as a 'half hide' (about 3 sq metres) at £80.00

I'm only experimenting at the moment, and may decide to rip everything off and start again, so I am going with white vinyl - recovering in white leather if things look ok.

A few weeks ago I bought a correctly styled, 2nd hand dashboard from eBay so I'm going to start playing and will see what it looks like covered in white.
I'm looking for a steering cowl now and after a little modification (I want the indicator switch on the left) I will try covering that to match.

30 September 2011

Winter is coming.. but not this week-end! :)

I'm hoping to get most of Sally's front-end sorted this week-end
In the North East we are having a mini heat-wave so this should give me time to complete the suspension rebuilt at the front.

I've also been trying to prepare for the winter - Not, as you might think, 'battening down the hatches' and wrapping Sally in a winter coat..
More a case of working out what I can get done over the week-end that doesn't involve me freezing my butt off!

I've returned to my favourite internet auction site to find some cable.
With all the work I want to do on Sally's electrics I realised that I need to buy lots of different coloured auto cable and crimps.

Safety Notice!

Don't try to light a BBQ with petrol! Especially if alchohol is involved

Around 6.30pm on Friday 30th Septenber I set myself on fire!

I won't go into the details or admit how insanely stupid I was but suffice it to say I have to take a bit of a break on working on Sally while I recover.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few...

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After three days in hospital and a week recovering at home, I am on the mend and can at least add some more to this website
(Typing with one hand is a pain though)

For those of you who are not too squeamish... Here is a video (A few seconds taken from my cctv)

28 September 2011

Updated the site quite a bit today (can't do much else since my accident)
I have also been looking at Sally's future wiring
I have bought two more fuse blocks (4-way) - 1 for the boot and 1 for the extreme front under the bonnet
The three fuse blocks will be connected to each other with 4mm tri rated cables