[Mgs] '65B Restoration Status, How to Proceed

mgbob at juno.com mgbob at juno.com
Thu Feb 19 15:45:14 MST 2015

Hi Dan,  Wasn't it Secy Cheney who talked about Known Unknowns, Unknown Unknowns, and those sorts of puzzlements? All are likely to be found in this project, one that can be a fine experience if time is not a factor.  Since the engine is seized, might as well get it out of the car now. The carcass will be lighter and easier to move around. Engine project is different from the body anyway, and quicker to do also.   Removing the steering wheel, column and shaft improves accessibility to everything, and you can steer the engine-free car easily.    I would suggest that you go with a new wiring harness.  A couple of years ago I thought the harness in my TD was good, and it was good in all the visible places. When I removed to install a new one, I found faults all over the harness. That sure spooked me, and if I do anything of significance to my '72 GT, I will install a new harness at that time.    As others have said, the body structure is concealed inside the rocker. While it would be ideal to find someone experienced with the MGB, a good shop that knows unit bodies and plans to weld reinforcement braces across the door openings to stiffen the structure before removing rockers should be able to do the job. One of us in the CT Club has just done this, and the car is just back from the paint shop looking very good.  I believe the LH overdrive is the one fitted to five-main engines. It'a bolt-on, and would be easiest way to enjoy OD. If correct, a five-main engine would be the one to use.  Keep us apprised of your progress.Bob 

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Dan DiBiase via Mgs <mgs at autox.team.net>
To: MG List <mgs at autox.team.net>, MGB Group <mg-mgb at yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [Mgs] '65B Restoration Status, How to Proceed
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:52:21 +0000 (UTC)

I apologize for the length of this note..... My '65 B has been stuck in limbo for a few years now, as circumstances have made it difficult for me to free up any time to work on this project. But I expect to have sometime this coming year to re-start.... Here is the background - I purchased this car in 1999 with the intention of restoring it to (mostly) stock condition, not to be a concours car but an enjoyable driver. 'Mostly stock' meant, in my mind, that it wouldn't necessarily be as it came from the factory - I want to put an O/D in it as well as upgraded tires, etc. The condition of the car was pretty darn good for a $600,non-running example. There is one rust hole in the passenger's side rocker, so I assume that there is additional inside and on the other, although frankly they are in bettershape than the ones on my '76 B! Also some rust in the rear fender. But overall, the body is in good shape. Mechanically, the parts are all there but the engine accessorieswere all removed when I bought the car and the engine itself is seized. It is probably the incorrect engine for the car, being a G-series 3 main bearing car - it should be a GB5 main bearing engine based on the build date. I have a couple of GB blocks that are rebuildable. I may also just take the '75B engine out of my '76B and use that, as I expectthe '76B - being pretty rusty - to only have a few years of life left in the body.... Current status is 'mostly' stripped. Wiring loom, engine/trans, steering column all remain in the car. Everything else has been removed and stored away. I'm at the point where I need to make a decision about proceeding. I am assuming that my next step would be to remove the engine/trans and wiring, and I can proceed to havethe body looked at...? I don't really have the skills/tools to do the welding work necessary to replace the rockers, nor am I really that interested in learning... ;-) The nearest MG 'specialists' are over an hour away but there are several reputable body shops in my area (at which I have had work done on my 'regular' cars). I'm wondering about thoughts on using a regular shop. And also what sort of things I can do in terms of prep to reduce the cost of this work.  Other comments appreciated. Oh, and lots of pictures are here => http://s24.photobucket.com/user/ddibiase/library/1965%20MGB?sort=3&page=1 Thx, Dan D'76B, '65BCentral NJ USA
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