Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More hole(s) than Courtney Love....

An MG boot/trunk is a holey place, not a holy place!  I have discovered 12 apertures in just the boot lid alone, 8 for the luggage rack, 3 for the MG emblem and one big-a** one where the lock mechanism resides.  All of these have been re-sealed with generous amounts of clear RTV sealer.   But I think I am on to something with this suggestion of the license plate holder.

The assembly itself bolts to the rear panel with two bolt/washer/nut combos, pretty straight forward, put some RTV around them.  Then I saw them!  There are two rubber grommets where the electrical wires for the license plate light come off the rear harness and through the rear panel and up to the lights themselves.  Over time the weight of the covered wires, they are sheathed in black vinyl, have pressed downward in the grommets and have made the holes oblong rather than round.  Even though they weigh next to nothing the movement of things in the trunk has drawn them in a downward position and made the vinyl coverings a virtual pathway for water running off the boot lid to drip into the trunk floor.

No wonder the rear panel and carpet covering it never seemed wet, the water ran down the vinyl covering behind the carpet and down to the lowest point, the bottom of the trunk floor.  Where the carpet became a giant wick and sucked up all the water until it could hold no more.  I think I've found my problem; slathered RTV around the vinyl tubes and the grommets until it covered everything.  I will let everything cure a day or so and then give it the water test.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yet another opportunity for leakage...

It came to my attention that the other areas for possible water infestation are the seams of the rear panel and the mounting bolts for the license plate.  The rear panel seams extend into the lip of the mounting area for the rear lid seal and often there is some rust or degradation of the seam along there.  I will check this out as well.

I don't think the two bolts which hold the license plate mount to the rear panel are the culprits, but I will check them as well.  I will, however, remember to securely and accurately re-attach the grounding terminal of the rear harness in its proper place.  Did this poorly once and wondered why the car started but stopped soon after and then had intermittent starting problems.

I guess we've all been there on that one.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Curmudgeon? I think not!

I have been told I am a bit of a curmudgeon, but I think NOT!  I am not old enough to be a curmudgeon as my perception is that they are old retired guys with nothing else to do but sit around and complain about stuff.  I do like to complain and argue a point, but I've got lots to do and not yet retired. So maybe I am a curmudgeon in waiting or apprentice curmudgeon.  Let Donald Trump put that on TV!

I am a stickler, however, for certain laws, regulations and courtesies that should be followed and respected.  Like the parking spot rule; don't grab the spot even if you have the positional advantage if you weren't there first.  So with that, here is my rant du jour. 

To UGA Mom from Nebraska:  if you cut me off on the on ramp again you will find yourself stuffed into the Interstate outer retaining wall faster than you can say Corn-husker.  Remember, we invented NASCAR here. The YIELD sign is for you, not me as you are merging into traffic; I am traffic, I have the right of way!

And if your little b*tch daughter flips me off again she will find that finger somewhere very unpleasant.  Although somehow I have a feeling it has been there before, just not by a man; if you get my drift.  Best yet, go back to Nebraska with the little trollop and enroll her in Omaha Community College where she belongs.


Friday, May 18, 2012

What Could It Be?

The search for boot/trunk leaks continues.  What could it be?  There are only 4 things, if that’s not enough, which could cause water to get into it.  First is a bad seal around the boot/trunk lid, but that is relatively new and upon inspection appears to be in good condition.  The others are where the metal skin of the boot lid is pieced by an outside fixture.  In my case those are the MG emblem, the luggage rack mounting points and the lock mechanism.  Most of these are common to all MGB Tourer/Roadsters.

I’ve had trouble with the luggage rack mounting points before and with the last removal and re-assembly used clear RTV sealant around the edges and in the screw pockets.  I wonder if the sealant could have aged and caused a leak?  RTV is supposed to have excellent UV resistance, but over time it could have degraded.  I will check there first, I think since it is the most probable leak point.

I also noticed two things about the seal area.  One thing is that there is a distinct difference between the Tourer/Roadster and the GT sealing method.  Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you about my GT; maybe another time.  Anyway the GT hatch utilizes an inner and outer seal, one mounted to the body just like the Tourer/Roadster, and a second mounted to the hatch itself.  My GT NEVER leaks in the hatch area. Could the second seal be the answer?  I will investigate this more.

The other thing is the metal mounting flange where the seal mounts on the T/R (tourer/roadster, I’m tired of typing the whole thing already).  All around the opening it stands proud and accepts the seal with a channel snap fit, quite nice.  Except at the bottom near the latch mechanism where it appears to be flattened by years of opening and closing the lid.  Peeling back the seal and prying it up with channel lock pliers allows the seal to better meet the space in the lid where it is supposed to rest.  Maybe this is the leak!  Further testing and I’ll let you know.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012

In a country were the average rainfall nears 100 inches per year, you would think that they could make an automobile that doesn’t leak when it rains.  Granted, parts of the UK are quite dry, the low end regional average being about 18-20 inches of rain per year, but the upper limit regions being nearer to 190 inches.  That’s quite a difference; so you would think Enever, Thornley and Kimber would have sought to fit a proper fitting hood/top and appropriate weather seals.

Not the case, but I guess they did their best with 1940s technology, even though it was the late 1950s and early 1960s when they built and designed the damn things. 

Have you ever looked at all of the parts that have to come together to make an MGB hood?  It boggles the mind to think that a similar top, say on a Miata, has fewer bits, goes up and down at the flick of your wrist, doesn’t need to be partially disassembled to put down, and most of all doesn’t leak.  A friend has a Volvo C70 with the old style cloth top.  He only has to make sure that the handbrake is set before he pushes one dash button to watch the top go down automatically.  Best yet, it stores itself in a hard tonneau behind the rear seat.  Amazing!

I am convinced that continuous improvement can find a resolution to these issues, and as such I am off to find them.  It is one of the things that make owning one of the flying anachronisms all the more fun.  Just when one thinks it’s got you beat; man once again triumphs over technology,. Even if it is 50 year old technology!