View Full Version : Car prep for the season

04-27-2006, 06:31 PM
I was just about ready to brag to my wife yesterday about finishing the car under budget before I realized that I had better make sure that I am, indeed, finished. I'm looking for the thoughts and opinions of everyone one on car prep. This is the first year my MG is going to be back out on the track since it was rolled (not by me) several years ago. All of the roll damage has been repaired including new A-arms, shackels, wheel bearings et al. Here is what I have done:
complete professional engine and carb rebuild. Everything including dizzy, oil pump, carb rebuild, and some fun bits.
Wheel bearings
master cylinder
total brake overhaul (Hawk black pads, rotors, drums, lines, pistons, caliper rebuild, etc)
new driver's suit, shoes, helmet, gloves
5-point harness
arm restraints
ultra-sheild seat (spec miata)
5 lb fire extinguisher
autopower roll bar (since the last one was "used")
New Yokohama A032R's (soft)
Pertronix ignition and coil

The car already had:
front "fast road" springs
negative camber a-arms
delrin bushing throughout
uprated front anti-roll bar
added rear anti-roll bar
de-arched rear springs
stainless steel brake lines

You know, now that I have put it all down on paper, while you are giving suggestions on what things I should attend to before hitting the track, could you also remind me why I spent all this money?!?!

tony barnhill
04-27-2006, 06:55 PM
Have you considered weight reduction - both unsprung & sprung?

04-27-2006, 07:46 PM
since you mention the car was rolled.... have you checked to ensure the wheels are still round?

04-27-2006, 08:04 PM
You also didn't mention if you've done a 4 wheel alignment.

04-27-2006, 09:36 PM
Are you doing wheel-to-wheel road racing? Or autocross. Or tracks days...or what?

These are just some random ideas to consider:

Those A032R tires are better if they're shaved...they will actually last longer. Try around 35-38 psi (hot).
Is your oil drain plug safety wired?
Do you have an external electrical kill switch? (and is it clearly marked?)
If you are looking for stuff to do, checking bumpsteer (along with toe and camber) is a good idea.
I see a lot of shoulder harnesses mounted too low on these cars. Check the angle from your shoulders...shouldn't be too steep. Close to horizontal is best.
I put a rear sway bar on my Spridget and took it out after about 5 laps at Pocono. Made the car creepy to drive....gave it away. A panhard rod is probably more useful.
Got nice clean oil in the trans and final drive?
Set your timing for high RPM. I would recommend 30 degrees. Figure out where 30 degrees BTDC would be on your front pully and make a clear mark there. Rev the engine to around 5000 RPM (so that timing advance is at max) and adjust distributor so that the 30 degree mark is aligned. Setting timing at idle is OK for a street car, but on the track, you really want to be sure where the timing is when it is at peak. I have no idea what my ignition timing is at idle...don't care either.
I have found that a shift light is a great thing. I bought a cheapy from Summmit ($32) and I find it helps me drive better. The tach requires too much concentration on a road course.
After 10 or 15 laps, re-check your lug nuts.
Set your mirrors for the widest span so that your left mirror just takes up where the center mirror leaves off.
I'd suggest a 165 degree thermostat (or blanking plate).
Set valves just a bit on the loose side (and extra 0.002" or so).
If your running lever shocks, be sure they are filled with clean shock oil.

The main thing is to have fun and be safe! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

04-27-2006, 09:40 PM
Ahh yes. All good suggestions, thanks. Since I just did ball joints and steering rack gaters I am planning on doing an alignment (got the Moss Motors do-it-yerselfy thing), but haven't done so yet. I did measure the distance from front to rear axles to check for squareness but I don't know how to do a rear wheel alignment on a B (Tips?) It is too low to fit on an alignment rack or else I'd be saving myself the headache. We did have the wheels checked for roundness. I was thinking of having them Magnafluxed (sp?) but wasn't sure if that necessary. "Adding lightness" will be in the que for next year along with more engine mods, cleaning up the engine bay, and other fun stuff. I just don't want to wear out the wife's sense of humor about this whole thing any faster than I already am. But, while we are talking about it, any thoughts on good ways to drop weight?

Thanks for taking the time guys (and girls if applicable) I REALLY apprciate it.


04-27-2006, 10:16 PM
Sorry for the double response, but I didn't see areonca65t's response and it has lots of good stuff.
I'll be using it mostly for time trials (this year) and a little street driving. Drain plug is NOT safety wired, but I will definately do that now (didn't even think of it).
I've got a kill switch on the passenger side of the car mounted to the rollbar (battery and alt kill). I do have bumpsteer but will work on that either later this season or early next. Since we are talking about it, are there any good ways for correcting that on a B?
The shoulder straps for the harness connects to the roll bar behind me (has a horizontal bar for that reason). I've bought Redline oil for the trans and diff but am unsure where the refill hole is for the trans and I read something in the workshop manual that said don't replace the oil. Am I making things up?
I defineately plan on going with a watts linkage or something next year over the sway bar.
I bought one of those huge convex center mirrors, I will buy a shift light (great idea).
I just put in new rear shocks (and HD valves all the way around) and, obviously new fluid. I'll also try the blanking plate. I used to use one on the RX-7, but it never got up to temp with it, so I replaced it with a thermostat. Thanks a bunch for the timing advice. I knew that it wasn't going to be per manufacture, but I didn't know what it should be at.

Thanks for everything, you guys are going the make the learning curve so much more enjoyable!

tony barnhill
04-28-2006, 10:50 AM
Well, when you get to "adding lightness" - I'm your man...Colin Chapman's got nothing on me...I can make an MGB GT weigh the same as a Midget - or less!

04-28-2006, 02:44 PM
Should I be investing in a saw-all or a cutting torch for this lightening project? I do (at this point) want to maintain a mostly intact interior and am not planning on a tube frame. I am planning on re-doing the floorboards though it there is much weight to be saved in that process I"m game.

Thanks again everyone for humoring me,


tony barnhill
04-29-2006, 09:08 AM
Lots of things you can do to lighten it...see my website for some of the things I'm doing - course I'm not telling ALL my secrets - yet!


04-30-2006, 10:53 AM
Tony, your B will pro'lly whistle at speeds over sixty from all th' HOLES in it!

"Hey! That car really ~screams~!!" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

tony barnhill
04-30-2006, 02:52 PM
Long as its whistlin' Dixie, that's alright!

04-30-2006, 04:03 PM
Did you know that Dixie was written by a yank named Daniel Emmett. (Also the song Old Dan Tucker[Tucker was his dog])

It's in a 1862 practice book for drummer boys.
(I have a copy)


04-30-2006, 04:18 PM
'nother childhood illusion shattered.

'sokay tho. I still like the tune. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

And to drift back to topic: nobody has mentioned trailer maintenance... kinda don't want to sound like "dad" but... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

04-30-2006, 04:30 PM

And to drift back to topic

[/ QUOTE ]
Where did that come from?.....

Ya feel OK Doc? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Good point though....The only 2 things that broke down more than the race car last year were the tow vehicle & trailer.
(not as much fun to work on)

04-30-2006, 04:39 PM
I have moments of lucidity from time to time. I'll try to control it. Sorry.

04-30-2006, 05:41 PM
Quick.....Git yerself one of these....

04-30-2006, 06:06 PM
T'weren't Theakston's (durnit) but a reasonable facimilie thereof:

04-30-2006, 06:10 PM
I'd try it! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif

05-12-2006, 10:06 AM
Yet another question; vaccuum advance. Is there anything special I should be doing about that? Either while running it or setting the timing, et al? Other than that, the car is coming along well. Seat, belts, roll cage, tow eyes, etc are all in a working well. I brilliantly ordered the wrong Pertronix, but the new one should be here today. After that it is ignition, timing, alignment, change all fluids, hang a rearview mirror, wire a kill switch. Darn, that's more than I was thinking I had left to do. Oh well, if I wanted something easy I would have taking up juggling flaming chainsaws.

05-12-2006, 11:12 AM
Vacuum advance is for moderate-speed, street driving.
It gives a slight increase in torque when you are chugging around at 2000 RPM in 4th gear.
Has really no affect on power at higher (competition) speeds.
Most racers tend to plug them and ignore them. Your car has mechanical timing weights that provide proper advance for high-speed driving.

05-12-2006, 02:44 PM
aeronca65t, if you ever make it out to Southern California the beer is on me. Thanks again for all of your help. I owe you.

Not to devalue all of the others that have really helped me out. All of you have been great.


05-25-2006, 02:47 PM
I ran the car last night for the first time. Got to break in the brake pads and make sure everything was bolted down. It runs fantastic. Beautiful. I ran into the house after an hour shake down run and jumped up and down like an idiot telling my wife how great the drive was. She did her best to pretend I was a grown man and not someone in need of a bib. Regardless, it went very well and I am happy.

I did set the front wheels to 1/16 toe-in and it feels a bit vauge. But I'd like to have the turn in that comes with not having too much toe-in. Any suggestions?

Thanks guys