[Mgs] A short tale of parts & service

don at napanet.net don at napanet.net
Wed Sep 26 00:40:09 MDT 2018

Many years ago, I had a stock original metal fan on a MGA loose a blade which punctured the car's body.  So it's not just plastic fans which can fail!
-----Original Message-----
From: "Max Heim via Mgs" <mgs at autox.team.net>
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:35pm
To: "mgs at autox.team.net List" <mgs at autox.team.net>
Subject: [Mgs] A short tale of parts & service

I haven’t said much on the list about my project. but I got my “new” 66 B roadster together in time for the start of the California Melee on Sept. 8. Unfortunately, a blade flew off the new Moss plastic fan within the first ten miles and punctured the radiator, so that was as far as it got — from the San Francisco Presidio to Marin Civic Center. 
I made the mistake of trying to get it to the next exit (it was a bad place to be on the shoulder, between the sound wall and 5 lanes of traffic doing 75+), which resulted in overheating and a blown head gasket. Total mileage to failure on this fan was 307 miles.
Subsequent examination of the stub revealed an air pocket in the plastic right at the center of the base of the blade. Moss accepted my photo of this as evidence of a manufacturing flaw. This model of fan was already out of production (and out of warranty) — I had purchased it as part of a large order back in 2015 when the car body was still in the paint shop.
But regardless, they decided to send me a new fan ("new model" nylon 7-blade fan) and a new aluminum radiator (the shop had told me mine was irreparable). I thought this was pretty decent of them.
I just picked up my head at the machine shop where they had skimmed the surface and cleaned up the valves. In the meantime I had inspected the lifters based on a tip from Dave at British Motorsports in Campbell and found a few of them were showing pitting. By replacing them now I can save the cam.
Now I just need to pick up the lifters and the gasket set and I should be able to have it back together this weekend.
A few tips based on my experience:
1. Just shut it down. If I had stayed out on the freeway verge I would have saved the head gasket, and AAA would have picked me up in a timely manner. But since I had reported myself “safe” and off the highway, it took 4 hours to get a tow. 
2. Check your lifters every so often. I had replaced the cam and lifters due to lifter spalling sometime between 1998 and 2010. The new lifters were just starting to pit in 2018.3. If you have a yellow plastic 7-bladed fan from Moss USA purchased prior to mid-2015, you may want to consider retiring it. I suppose if it hasn’t broken so far, it probably doesn’t have air bubbles in a critical location. But they had perhaps a dozen reported incidents. The current product being sold as part #434-332 is a different pattern by a different maker in a different material, so should not be a cause for worry.
Buy British, Buy Best!

Max Heim
'66 MGB
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