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MGB Driving 1977 MGB 2000+ miles any concerns I should look in to??

Boggsy64

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Hi all, My Dad is getting older and told me to come to Tucson Arizona and get his 1977 MGB. I would have to drive it 2000+ miles back to North Carolina or have it transported. I would love the adventure to drive it but don't want to get stuck on the road either. The car has 70,000 miles, has a new clutch and brakes. My dad says it is in fine condition to drive, but he has not driven it much in several years. I know enough to have the tires checked when I get there and possibly flush the radiator, plugs, oil, etc. Someone told me for a long drive to take out the thermostat to avoid overheating (don't know if this is wise though). What else should I do and should I be seriously concerned about breakdowns???? Boggsy64
 
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David_DuBois

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We have twice taken our 66 MGB on 5000+ mile trips through the western US with absolutely no problems. Oh yes, our chase car was our 53 TD and it to made the trips with no problems. That said, we drive both cars nearly daily at home, so are quite familiar with them and know exactly what to expect. In your case, if time permits, take the car out for 20 - 50 mile jaunts locally to see how it performs and if there are any anomalies that might make your trip home a bit less enjoyable.

As for removing the thermostat - don't do it. The only thing that will do is to delay warm up. The thermostat only determines the minimum temperature will operate at, it has very little to do with the upper temperature - that is a function of how well the engine is tuned and how clean the cooling system is.
Cheers,
 

Mickey Richaud

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What David said.

And also, be sure to collect contact info for folks along the way who can aid and assist, should trouble occur.

This forum is a great resource for that!

Extra fan belt, hoses, distr. cap & rotor, maybe a fuel pump.

And keep us posted along your journey!
 

bob67bgt

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Check tires and date codes on the tires, change the oil and filter to Valvoline VR1 20/50 racing oil. Make sure the fluids are topped up and have a go at it. Take a gallon of premix antifreeze and buy spare radiator hoses and a spare heater control valve before you leave to get the car. It does not hurt to carry a spare fuel pump if you have the room. Keep the cell phone charged and be sure you have AAA long distance towing. Keep a reasonable pace and just get back safe. When you get back join in with us in the Metrolina MG car club. My cell is 704-907-0986 Check out www.austinsinamericas.co.uk to see if old British cars can do long distances. I met up with that group yesterday on their way thru the Charlotte area. Amazing to see what they are doing in 3 old cars. Nice group of drivers also. We held them back for about a hour and a half and then followed them a short way. No speed records but they were getting it done! Bob
 

NutmegCT

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Good on you! You've added some confidence for my own "long" journey coming up this fall. See blog below. Mine will be close to 9000 miles, but it's looking more and more do-able.

And that list of folks to call along the way - priceless.

Edit: this might get you started:

https://arizonaroadrunner.yolasite.com/

Tom
 
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Boggsy64

Boggsy64

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Thanks to all who have replied, makes me feel more comfortable with the trip (would be taking my 19 year old daughter, home for the summer, with me). I checked Autozone and lo and behold they have most any parts you need. One question - I saw several people mention a spare fuel pump. The hoses, belts and distributor cap stuff did not surprise me, is there an issue with the fuel pump? I see AutoZone has it for $150. If the old pump are prone to failure, I would just order one and install it before the trip. Also do you have to have lead fuel additive? Many thanks for the input. Ken
 

Mickey Richaud

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Not necessarily prone to failure, but they are electric and things do happen. You don't have to buy a direct replacement. Any inline pump will do, but make sure it's for carb and not fuel injection. It can be mounted most anywhere inline in a pinch, and pretty cheap insurance.
 

bob67bgt

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You might be better off ordering the parts you need from Moss Motors and having them shipped to the address where the car is. Counting on Auto Zone would only work for me if I had time to make sure they actually could get the parts. Filling the cooling system in a 77 MGB can be a pain. It helps if the front of the car is jacked up high and the heater valve is open. Getting a air lock in there would not help the cooling. Take some tools along. Socket set/wrenches(not metric-Standard)straight and Phillips screwdriver (posi drive if possible). Keep Moss phone number with you. They can next day mail about anything you would need. When is the big event? Bob
 

David_DuBois

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Regarding the fuel pump, just pick up one of the little square, run all the time, make a lot of noise, Facet pumps. Take time to see how you will need to connect the fuel lines to it, so you are all ready to slap it in if needed, otherwise you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere without the necessary adapters to make the pump useful. You will need to specify that you need a pump that is between 2 and 4psi so that it doesn't overpower the carburetors. The following Facet P/Ns will work fine in the MG - 40171, 40178, 40217, 40241, 60300
Cheers,
 

DrEntropy

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Our '65 MGB carried us from Tampa to Cleveland and back, one issue: generator light came on ten miles from the house up north. A set of brushes in the glovebox and a twenty minute driveway repair. The '77 will have an alternator, that's a problem that won't exist for ya. :wink:
 

MarshgrassA

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Very cool adventure with all the right ingredients. Take lots of pictures and share them with us. Remember "Safety Fast" !
 
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Boggsy64

Boggsy64

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Hey planning has begun! I have flights booked for June 28th in the evening. Will probably start drive back on Tuesday or Wednesday. Now just have to get the parts and do some work! Oh yeh, and plan all the cool stuff to do along the way. Will be taking the northern route, going up to I40 from North Texas and then through Tennessee... Should be a blast, will keep posting as we go.
 

drooartz

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Good luck, sounds like a really nice trip. You're going to have a great adventure, that's for sure.
 

bob67bgt

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Hey Boggsy, If there are any parts that you need to borrow for the trip let me know. I have a lot of MGB bits here in Monroe. You can take my phone number along in case I can talk you thru any roadside repairs. I look forward to meeting one day. Bob 704-907-0986 cell (President Metrolina MG car Club 2013)
 
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