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Still an amateur-- what is an MG?



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    I've seen dyno testing with a Weber on a stock MGB only get about 3 HP and way less gas mileage. Webers are fussy and expensive, SUs are simple and bulletproof.

    Just don't see the point of this conversion unless you are tracking the MGB and have a very hairy motor in there that could a) use all the fuel Webers dump in and b) fuel mileage is not an issue and c) you have all day to tune it.

    Otherwise, big waste of $$$ in my opinion on a stock B.

    RE: MGC -- not easy to "fake" one since the front end/suspension are very different than an MGB. It's not just a B with a 6 cylinder stuffed in...which is why they are harder to restore....not many parts available and many parts are unique to the C.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Are you referring to sidedraft or downdraft Weber conversions?
    The downdraft conversion on my 77 (DGAS, mechanical secondary as opposed to vacuum)is 100x easier to maintain than the SU's ever were and I won't even talk about the original single Zenith/Stromberg that was on it.
    Who worries about fuel mileage on an MG today anyway? It's not like very many use them as daily drivers now (unless they like daily punishment!).
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Oh yeah, I could see putting a Weber on a '77, definitely a good idea to throw that Stromberg over a fence. Good move.

    People never understood SUs very much and I don't blame them because information was hard to get. But once SUs become familiar to a person, there is no simpler, easier, more trouble-free carburetor in the world IMO.

    The problem with Webers is that they are narrowly engineered. If you get them to idle well, then they starve at high speeds. So you get them to run great at full throttle, and they bog at mid range. So you dial in mid range, and they won't idle worth a damn.

    If you want overall great behavior throughout your rev range, you can't beat rebuilt SUs for your vintage MG, in my opinion.....and you'll get double...yes DOUBLE the gas mileage from a pair of "FAT" Webers.

    Webers always run fat, that's what they're built to do, and why they are so good on the track.
  • mako1amako1a VirginiaPosts: 1,593
    Great hearing all this MG stuff. I always knew MGs were better than Triumphs. I had a 57 and 58 MGA. One would pass inspection but ran lousy and one wouldn't. I used to get the one inspected and switch windshields every inspection. Had no $$ and had to fix all myself. Electric fuel pump repair...sandpaper contacts, good as new. Wonderful fun cars. Bought for $200 in 1966 and sold for $200 in 1968. Now fetch $7500 and up. ps Body was made of some non rusting metal on hood (bonnet) trunk lid (boot), doors, rockers. Also SU semidowndraft carbs were great. Just twist off the brass top fitting and 3 drops of 3-in-1 oil every couple months and good as new. Remember positive earth? That got a lot of people. Good memories. Thanks, Dave

    2013 Mustang GT, 2006 Silverado 2500 LT HD, 2001 GMC Yukon Denali

  • Yes the Brits used to explain to us, quite solemnly, that they thought electrons flowed better neg to pos. I never quite got the theory.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    In the late 70s, we had this fella that had three 66 MGB Roadsters and at least every other month, one of them would be in for electrical problems.
    Most often, because he was trying to install some negative grounded accessory in it.
    One memory that comes to mind was when he wanted to install a "new fangled" cassette player in it.
    Since at that time, there were no positive grounded cassette players, we had to insulate the housing and run the ground wire to the battery and the positive wire to the chassis.

    Another time, he cooked the electrical system, because he took one to a body shop and they decided to do some TIG welding on the vehicle. They didn't disconnect the batteries and it took out the regulator and every bulb in the vehicle.

    I don't miss those days at all. ;)
    One of those 66's sits at my step brother's right now. :cry:
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    When did MG go to negative ground?
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Boy, gonna test my memory on that one.
    I'm thinking 68 or 69, but I could be wrong on that.
    Had to be close to that though.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    All this MG talk has got me thinking, and I was wanting to narrow down my, say, '70-'71 would be good years if I wanted to minimize the odd stuff and the bumpers/pollution controls, etc?
  • It would be good to avoid the models with the air injection pump but that can be fixed with little plugs in the head.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I'd go for an earlier model if you can, say a later 60's. The most important thing to consider is rust. Check underneath real good. MGB's are unibody, once rust starts around the rear spring mounts your in for trouble.
    I have always been partial to the 1970, I like the split rear bumper, only available that year.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Personally, I like the early to mid 60's models.
    There are kits now to convert them from positive ground to negative ground and they really aren't that expensive.

    The early 70 models started to see the emissions garbage of the 70s and have several problems.

    One thing to keep in mind when looking, the dual carb set ups of the mid 60s were a bear to get set up correctly without the proper tools.
  • To set the carbs, you'll need a "Uni-Syn" tool and a small wrench. Most MGs don't run right because the carbs are all worn out by the time you get them...the throttle shafts are loose and suck air into the mixture and screw it up. But SUs, once rebuilt, are very simple inside. I think there are 3 parts total in there. You can buy a book on how to take care of them.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Those SUs sound like older motorcycle carbs - any similarities?
  • Almost all MG parts are easily available. I'm rebuilding the SUs in my MG right now...Moss Motors and Victoria British offered everything I needed.

    I like the 1971-1974 MGs...lower ride height and fewer emission controls. And in the case of the Midget (my MG), it has the better engine than in later or earlier years.
  • Yeah, slide type with a tapered needle jet...

    That's right, you can get just about any part imaginable for an MGB. There's a fabulous aftermarket parts network. No waiting! Aside from a VW, I can't think of any other foreign car where so much is available so easily. You can even order an entire new body for the car!!
  • You can even order an entire new body for the car!!
    It's true...even the body. Except for the 1970-1974 Midget, which has a prettier, albeit less crash friendly, rear fender design. But if you have an early or late Midget or any (I believe it's the same for all years) B, the rear unibody is available brand new!
  • I think on the B you can order (perhaps in pieces) the entire body shell and doors, hood and fenders, complete. That's pretty amazing.

    And to think, they killed MG for the TR7. No wonder they almost lost World War II.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    And they did lose their auto industry :sick:
  • And their motorcycle industry :sick:
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