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BLOG MY RIDE: Rally MG Maestro 1600 - Car B

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  • #46
    The guys have welded up the hairline stress cracks at the inboard base of the rear wheel arches (and painted the repairs black). Chris pointed out to me (with the aid of a crowbar to lever each part) some play in numerous bushes (front and Also rear trailing arm mounts). The rubber has obviously had it.'anyone know who does polybushes for the maestro? I wud tend towards getting a softer grade of polybush for Rally use as race grade will be too hard?


    • #47
      The lads put a switch on the dash for the electric fuel pump (UP for 'ON') and the pump is automatically turned off (regardless of the switch position) when the ignition is turned off.

      The car was a 'mare to start and had to be cranked for ages (it was a close run thing before the batt went flat!).

      Nick spotted an issue with the carb -further explored here:

      When it started up and had warmed up, Nick played around with the engine and ended up richening up the mixture slightly and also adjusted the timing which made it run a bit smoother.

      After each 3-4minute rally stage we stopped it and raised the bonnet for 5-10 mins to allow it to cool down (none of the digital dash instruments work so its impossible to tell what temp & rpm you've got -although many of the warning lights DO appear to work as seen when you first turn on the ignition).


      • #48
        We spotted that the sump guard is touching the bottom of the exhaust manifold -it just needs some rubber (or polybush?) spacers between the guard and the chassis to make it sit a bit lower.

        The vehicle used approx 20 litres of fuel during the course of the day.

        Normal ear plugs were NOT adequate with the very noisy induction roar. However, the car sounds like a MkII Escort (probably because they also typically run on Twin Weber 40 carbs), and sounds pretty awesome to be honest, impressing the onlookers, and the rasp could be heard reverberating round the forest even when the car was a fair distance away.


        • #49
          I've started another thread:

          to explore this question: Where can u buy suspension bushes (inc. Poly Bushes)?


          • #50
            Nick describes the gearchange as 'awful' and believes that it's down to a ropey linkage under the gear lever. It doesn't appear to have any gate protecting Reverse (causing some grinding when you're going between 1st and 2nd on the course!).

            Also, the bonnet stay needs re-affixing as it often pops out at the mo (causing the bonnet to womp shut).

            Interestingly, we never had a single problem with 'hot-starting' all day despite the bad rep this model had for it. The only time we had a problem starting it was when it was cold


            • #51
              I remember thinking that the car's steering was very light -it felt like it had power steering, but I don't believe that this variant of the Maestro did.

              It certainly needed light steering, given the amount of 'arm twirling' that was going on to keep the car on the track! It was (to quote the highly experienced rally driver Nick Stafford who shared driving the car with me on the day) 'VERY lively', especially on the straights where you had to work away on the wheel to keep the car going straight as it leaped around at the back. We checked the Tyre Pressures (assuming they would be way too hard) but they were fine (34psi) and the shocks were replaced recently. It might be that the springs have gone soft with age/use? Alternatively, the soft and/or worn suspension bushes (which have play in them) might be allowing some flex that is creating an oversteery back end (e.g. rear wheel 'toe out')?
              Last edited by John C; 26th January 2012, 22:57.


              • #52
                Dear Sir or Madam,

                As discussed recently, please can you confirm if you would be interested in having this car at Race Retro 2012?

                I've attached some details on it, FYI.


                John Clayton

                Last edited by John C; 1st August 2013, 19:02.


                • #53
                  Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 08:44:32 +0000

                  Hello John

                  Thanks for sending again, this must have passed me by last time.

                  A very interesting car and yes Iím sure we can find a suitable display place for it in the rally hall. We would require the car delivered on Thursday 23 Feb between 09.00hrs and 21.00hrs and it can be removed after 18.00hrs on Sunday 26 Feb. Sorry we canít offer any expenses but we will provide you with two complimentary tickets per day for the show and an exhibitors on site parking permit. If youíre interested to go ahead on that basis please let me know and Iíll be in touch nearer the show.

                  Thanks and best regards, David


                  • #54
                    This is a MASSIVE result! here's the gen on this prestigious historic motorsport show:

                    If anyone's interested in helping man the Maestro stand, I might be able to get you in for free. We aren't required to have someone on the stand all the time, so there will be plenty of breaks where you can see the rest of the show & the Group B rally cars on the demo stage outside.

                    I'm liaising with Philip and the show organisers to see if we can also get the Africa Maestro alongside, which would be excellent (2 cars spanning 29 years of Maestro's competing in motorsport!)


                    • #55
                      Some of the smaller jobs e.g. unbolt and then bolt up component changes on the MG were fine for the Class Racing pupils to do themselves.

                      The whole back axle has been removed and refitted with new bushes.
                      All the bushes at the back of the car have been done.

                      Got a problem with the front lower arm bushes, though:
                      Last edited by John C; 1st April 2012, 16:45.


                      • #56
                        The RACE RETRO show went really well!

                        The Class Racing guys tried replacing the steering rack with a remanufactured one I got off eBay. However it didn't quite fit (one prong was slightly out) despite it definitely being quoted as for my variant of Maestro. However, they robbed some parts from it and fitted them to old rack and not its all back together (but now with no slack in the system).

                        Latest thoughts on the Maestro having had a 5 min drive in it the other day:

                        a) The guys have also sorted out the appalling gear change when they refitted the gear lever (after doing the steering rack). It is now a nice tight change (and you no longer accidentally get reverse when changing from 2nd to 1st -the gate protecting reverse is now fixed). However, it can be difficult to engage reverse -the lever needs a good firm shove forward or the gears just grate when you lift the clutch)

                        b) The brakes are not very good. 1st port of call must be to see if the servo is working properly.
                        Last edited by John C; 15th April 2013, 17:05.


                        • #57
                          Latest jobs update after the car's last Rallysprint:
                          1. Bonnet stay needs modifying (it's not properly attached at the base so can dislodge and then the bonnet falls shut!)
                          2. Boot rattle (it needs a rubber seal and also a stronger spring on one of the sides to hold it shut)
                          3. Other rattles: possibly the exhaust manifold on the sump guard?
                          4. Battery mounting (despite being very tightly bolted down at the start of the event it had slid within its tray to the nearside of the car -presumably under centrifugal force while turning right)
                          5. Brakes are rather wooden and not too powerful. Maybe a strip & clean would help?
                          6. Mirrors: too loose to maintain the correct alignment
                          7. Gauges (inc rev counter) U/S
                          8. Fit FIA seat on driver's side

                          The car was 1 of 16 in the rallysprint, most of which were more modern and/or more powerful e.g. 16v cars, a beautiful historic rally Porsche 911 and a similar Escort MkII (160 Bhp). However, the MG still managed to set several stage times within the top 6 -pretty remarkable, especially for a 30 year old car. On one stage I was caught in a shower so my time was slow then. I also hit 4 cones (5 seconds penalty for each) so that dropped me down the overall order -must be more careful next time! Various people were impressed with the times the car was setting, and commented how well it went on the stage.

                          [also see 'gallery' and 'Delado Rd1 2012' for pics of the white Maestro]

                          I think the secret is as follows:
                          -excellent wheel travel
                          -a wheel at each corner
                          -relatively light
                          -a gutsy engine with 4 carb chokes
                          It is great to drive; rorty and sporty

                          I was trying to use the Handbrake a lot round the various corners but it was struggling to lock up the back wheels (although I think it still helped somewhat to kill the understeer). Kerry double-drove the car with me, and set some good times, within a few seconds of mine.
                          Last edited by John C; 22nd May 2012, 10:38.


                          • #58
                            More jobs that it needs:
                            Fix bonnet
                            Ign cut off cable
                            Mount fire extinguisher in bracket
                            Covers for seats
                            Battery mounting
                            Yellow tape on earth lead
                            Roll Cage Padding
                            Fix n/s rear window (slides down of it's own accord and let's loads of dust in!)
                            Re-affix speaker cover (n/s dashboard)
                            Last edited by John C; 29th May 2012, 19:40.


                            • #59
                              Did a lot of work on the car recently, including:
                              Sorting the bonnet catches
                              Rust treating and then spray painting the exhaust manifold (Sperex VHT red)
                              Rust treating and then painting (Hammerite black) the battery tray
                              Put a strip of 'Battery Mat' material under the rear of the battery (to help it stay tight when the clamp is tightened down)
                              Cleaned most of car interior
                              Bolted driver's seat back in -Chris had removed it to fit a better one but ran out of time. Unfortunately he didn't put the nuts/bolts back in the car before I collected it, and I couldn't get hold of him to find out where they were so I wasted some time finding more nuts/bolts from my own stores. Bolting the seat back in as a real fiddle, but it should stay tight now with the benefit of thread lock.
                              Put clear sealant into all holes in floor & doors (to reduce dust ingress)
                              Fitted boot strip & boot gas struts (done by Class Racing)
                              I noticed when trying to start the car that after cranking for 10-30 seconds the battery appears to be going flat. However, after waiting a similar period and then cranking again the engine spins over at a normal healthy speed again (this cycle was repeated several times until the engine started OK). The engine starts best with slight throttle as it starts to fire. Chris mentioned that the engine appears to be running very rich (the plugs were wet). It was adjusted up as best it could be on their Krypton (or similar) machine a while ago but Nick adjusted the mixture by hand in January in an effort to get it running better (not sure it was any better though).

                              Just checked the car out again with Allan and established that it needs the following:
                              Anti-roll bar bush (Offside)
                              Possible play in wheel bearing
                              Possible fuel tank weep
                              Clean off oily dirt on back of engine (to help spotting any fresh leaks)
                              Top up oil
                              Check anti-freeze & corrosion inhibitor content of coolant
                              Stop battery sliding over to the edge of the battery tray (needs a spacer, ideally)
                              Straighten out (or replace) bonnet (got bent when I was towing it and the bonnet catches had been left out by the garage so the slipstream flipped it up -lucky not to break windscreen)
                              Slight weep from nearside carb (above the heat shield)
                              Clear large mud build up behind the mud flap


                              • #60
                                Sounding good,John...ta for the updates.

                                Rally cars certainly can keep us busy!

                                All the best,