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MGB good deal mgb but????

Nafziger

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I'm considering buying a 1971 mgb. Ad says all solid but engine trouble. Compression is 170, 139, 75 and 0. Also reports needs new radiator and fan. I'm wondering if people in here having more experience could give me an idea of what I might get into. I know it could be everything from relatively simple to many $'s. Any good guesses? Actually with 60,000 miles a complete overhaul would still be worth it but I'm on the fence. Gary Nafziger
 

JPSmit

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Welcome, and good question - of course as in all things British Car and life related, the answer is, it depends.

First of all, do you want to wrench or do you want to drive?

If you want to drive buy a driver - I know that sounds obvious but you would be amazed (or maybe you wouldn't) how many get stuck in projects that never get finished when all they wanted to do was drive.

As a general principle, you can't restore one for less than you can buy one, so, typically the advice is - buy the best you can afford.

MGs are like buses - there is always another one coming.

Having just loaded you down with cliches :smile: - you didn't mention the price, and you didn't mention rest of the condition.

for sure head gasket and maybe more
if it has been sitting fuel system and brakes and maybe clutch.
do they use salt in Iowa? how is the body and interior?

So many questions and so few answers.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that our own Mickey Richaud who is not you next door neighbour (Tennessee) but not an impossible distance either has a B for sale that is a very nice car -ready to go.

https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/showthread.php?116698-73-MGB-Tourer
 

Mickey Richaud

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Yep - still here and available. Thanks, J-P.

I've posted it at $10K, but open to negotiate.
 
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Nafziger

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body is solid, paint is great as a driver, interior also probably above average for the year. With motor fixed it would definitely be a driver as is. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Woiuld not go close to a paid mechanic. I've done two triumphs motor and tranny. But am getting too many cars. lol they want $2,500. Hopefully if I do the deal for $2000.
 

DrEntropy

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Gary, it appears you're already experienced, so the MG engine should be baby poop-simple. Body good, floorboards intact, no chassis rot? Get it! Parts availability is still good.

With the compression numbers, it may be as simple as a bad head gasket but assume nothin'. If it were me, the engine/trans would come out and engine gone thru. That way there's no guessing, no waiting for the other shoe to fall.

There are aluminum radiators available now, one of the best things to 'upgrade' IMHO. Put one in our MGB with a pusher electric fan and the beast will idle in traffic, in July (in mid-state Florida), stuck at t-stat open temp.

...and BTW, what's "too many cars"? :wink:
 

JPSmit

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By the way, west of Toronto is Waterloo, west of Waterloo is Wellesley, my wife's doctor is in Wellesley and to get to her office, we take Nafziger Road. - the only other time I have heard that name. :smile:
 
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Nafziger

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Kewl! My father was from ontario, kitchener. But i remember him talking about wellesly ect. Actually the family farm was near Bruner. A blink in the road.lol
 

JPSmit

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Kewl! My father was from ontario, kitchener. But i remember him talking about wellesly ect. Actually the family farm was near Bruner. A blink in the road.lol

fun!
 

AngliaGT

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Kewl! My father was from ontario, kitchener. But i remember him talking about wellesly ect. Actually the family farm was near Bruner. A blink in the road.lol

If that street sign disappears,you'll know where to look.
 

Rut

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Gary,
Welcome to the forum! I bought a 1970 with a bad engine ON PURPOSE, so I could rebuild it a little hotter. A good performance diy rebuild cost me about $3k several years ago and it was worth every penny. A few other upgrades like poly suspension bushings, PeterC rebuilt shocks, new brakes all around and an OD transmission make the car a wonderful driver capable of running in everyday traffic. By the time I was finished I had way too much money invested, but it’s makes me happy when I drive it. Off the top of my head, $3200 to buy, $6k engine work because I blew up the first engine, and $2500 in suspension, brake, and tranny upgrade. That puts me at $11700 and I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot of stuff. Again, worth every penny and I would do it with a few more upgrades next time. In fact I’m hooked on LBCs and I’ve done a Bugeye and TR4A with another TR4A ready to start stripping. Good luck!
Rut
 

DrEntropy

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Rut said:
<snipped with respect> I bought a 1970 with a bad engine ON PURPOSE, so I could rebuild it a little hotter. A good performance diy rebuild cost me about $3k several years ago and it was worth every penny.

No tellin' what we've spent on this MGB but it's had the second chassis/body/suspension rebuild back in '06; floor pans, replacement quarter panels, sills, etc. Nearly the same list as Rut's. Had it since '88. Built up a "spare" engine & gearbox in '92, a Crane cam, CC'd chambers, Weber 40 DCOE and swapped it in a day. Came across a Recaro seat for the driver's side, now one of the last things to do is have the seats redone. These cars are usually a "work in progress" and a pal of mine with his Guilds of London training says: "These cars will work in the bottom of a bucket of s**t if put together right!" Stout, dependable LBC's! A '71 is about the latest iteration I'd consider, any later and "building in lightness" becomes more difficult, IMO.

Added benefit of the '71 is a four-synchro gearbox, too. We kept the three-ring in ours simply because I had a second one stashed away. Put the aluminum radiator & fan in it last year. As said before, a work in progress. But a hoot to drive. Same Brit pal calls it: "Fix-I-Go." :wink:
 
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