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BLOG: race/rally MG Maestro 1600 - "Pink Panther"

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  • #61
    The car's been stood in a lot of rainfall recently, but it only appeared to be wet:
    a) Where the offside rear seat squab would normally go (except this car is stripped out inside)
    b) Along the seam where the boot floor meets the vertical wall (below the bottom of the boot hatch)

    I finally got round to washing it and it will now have a Halfords cover on it. As always, when you look at the paintwork in detail you see all the marks, scuffs and rust bubbles -it needs a lot of little bits & bobs doing to tidy it up, but at least it definitely won't need a full respray so it should be easy enough to do.


    • #62
      Yesterday Luke Tz polished the whole car's exterior and cleaned/polished inside and out of all glass/perspex.
      Yesterday/today I put on 2 Pink Panther decals on windows and 1 massive one on the roof!
      Today, Luke R tried to get the exhaust manifold off as it has broken a stud -it eventually loosened but wouldn't come off. He cleaned up parts of the engine bay & cleaned the spark plugs (they are 4 electrode plugs that are factory-gapped for life).
      He also made a spacer to stop the battery bouncing beneath the lid of its box, and screwed the lid down better.
      I finished changing the Ignition cut off lead (after oiling all the way down the cable sleeve to prevent it rusting solid), although we couldn't quite get the nut under the handle done up tight as it was so inaccessible).
      Also modified the handheld fire extinguisher's bracket to make it more secure & cleaned rust off the spare cylinder head gasket
      Last edited by John C; 4th August 2013, 20:14.


      • #63
        Mark was over this evening and got the exhaust manifold off although it took a stud snapping in the block before it yielded. The stud remover then also snapped in the hole, so it will take welding a bar onto the stud to get it out now.

        The original snapped stud in the manifold sheared off with a stud extractor so it was drilled out and re-tapped.

        The Ign pull cable was tighted up (by unbolting its alloy mounting plate). I also put some copper slip on any areas of bare metal underneath for corrosion proofing.
        I went round the engine bay and put Alpha Rust Remover onto all the areas of rust that I could get to (although there are more under the radiator which are inaccessible).

        We ascertained that the braking system is not actually split at the moment (which maybe why the pedal goes half down) so a leak anywhere will result in no brakes at all (except the handbrake)

        As such, we are going to do a bit of re-piping to make it split front to rear.


        • #64
          Had another productive session on the car last night:
          -K&N filters oiled and re-installed
          -Brake system reworked (using additional lengths of piping) to split it. Now the system has a Front circuit and a Rear circuit (so if there is a leak somewhere you will still have 2 wheels with working brakes!).
          -Brakes bled with Comma DOT 5.1 synthetic brake fluid (top of the range)
          -pedal appears to be somewhat firmer (but need to road test it now to confirm)
          -Rear nearside brake line properly secured
          -12V socket rewired so that it is always live (even with Master Kill switch thrown) so that a solar battery charger can be used (or the alarm powered) while the car is parked up.
          -Bonnet stay (from a Discovery) fitted
          -Cockpit labelling finished
          Attached Files
          Last edited by John C; 22nd August 2013, 03:56.


          • #65
            Porting/polishing visible
            Attached Files


            • #66
              All was going well this eve -welded a screwdriver onto the broken-off stud extractor and (with a lot of wiggling back and forth + re-welding) got the stud remnants out. About to refit the exhaust manifold but then it became clear that it wouldn't seal up tight against the engine block. The problem was the mating face was corroded so we decided to get it skimmed flat at this firm (hopefully in time to refit it on Saturday):
              Doublewood Engineering
              Address: 4 Station Rd, Witham CM8 2TJ 01376 517337

              Mark also changed the gearbox oil (there was plenty in it and the oil didn't look in bad condition which is good news).


              • #67
                I started repainting the manifold with

                Cat code: 594531
                Halfords Very High Temperature Paint Metallic Red 300ml


                despite it clashing a bit with the pink.

                Russell degreased, rust-treated it and then keyed the surface with wire wool.
                He noted that it had previously been painted as follows (in order from oldest to newest):
                Head: Violet, Yellow, Black, Red (the colour that we found it in)
                Block: Violet, Red

                He then painted the engine block with
                Cat code: 325126
                Halfords High Temperature Engine Enamel Paint Red 250ml


                It is nothing like the colour indicated on the lid (a normal mid to dark red) -it is actually an orangey red in practice (which goes quite well with the exhaust manifold, fortuitously. After 4 coats it is looking pretty awesome.
                Last edited by John C; 11th September 2013, 20:57.


                • #68
                  Update from Russell:
                  "I cleaned engine of all the lose paint, degreased and rubbed down with wire wool. Painted in red/orange engine paint ( it had 4 coats ) .
                  Degreased the inlet manifold on the pink panther and polished"

                  Update of work done by Mark:
                  Fit FIA seats (they don't have to be in date). -get Forest Sierra's seats up from Class Racing & source brackets to fit them to MG. The brackets had to be turned the other way round to cope with the differing widths of the seats.
                  Springs fitted to keep boot closed

                  2 Harness bolts fitted under each seat (to enable 6 pt harnesses to be used)
                  Last edited by John C; 15th September 2013, 14:33.


                  • #69
                    The seat rules just changed. They need to be FIA approved and in date come 2014


                    • #70
                      Is that for ALL rally cars now?

                      Up until now there has been a dispensation for rally cars logbooked prior to 2009 (which were allowed to run with FIA 'out of date' seats)


                      • #71
                        You prompted me to do some digging, and sadly it seems that you are right:

                        This is the right problem but the wrong solution from the MSA, and will achieve negligible safety improvements for a lot of extra expense (and will contribute to the decline of rallying which they have presided over during the last few years).


                        • #72
                          Mark did the following today:
                          -painted the carbs with aluminium heat resisting paint
                          -refitted them, adding in the fibre-board heatshield (that I also painted with the same stuff
                          -fitted a new gasket between the manifold and the downpipes (with some paste to stop a slight blow that was noted at the 1st attempt today)


                          • #73
                            heat shield

                            john,when you have a minute, could you photograph the heat shield, perhaps with a few measurements would like to make one.
                            Beware of strange Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookies


                            • #74
                              Will do.

                              Latest update:
                              Mark's replaced the throttle cable (which suddenly seized rather oddly). I fitted in-date FIA harnesses and adjusted them up + put a Pink Panther in the rear window (and several related decals)!

                              Mark drove the car home along the back roads to test it and reported:
                              -it drives well -impressed
                              -it pulls to one side (probably because the tyres are different sizes across the front axle
                              -it hesitated/stuttered for a few seconds while cruising along the A12 dual carriageway (despite pumping the throttle) but it then cleared. He thought it was fuel vapourisation but I don't think so -at that sort of speed the slipstream would prevent this. I think it was probably some contamination in the fuel or another cause
                              -the brakes are now great (the 'soft pedal' issue is now gone)


                              • #75
                                Latest update from Russell on Sunday:
                                Fitted new bolts in front seats,

                                changed over the n.s.front wheel so that all tyres were matching to allow for the wheel alignment.

                                I found that the near side front suspension leg was loose, so adjusted and tightened to bring in the camber of the wheel.

                                Once the steering wheel was put to centre, it showed the the n.s. front wheel was toeing out by about an inch. I traced up accordingly/adjusted the wheel alignment.

                                Patched up the exhaust, until I can repair it with new pipe.

                                Subsequently, I drove the car across town and it still pulls pretty strongly to the LHS (even when driven at a steady speed) so putting similar size tyres on the front axle hasn't fixed the problem. Maybe it's down to a tracking issue?

                                I tried getting the tracking done in Fast-Fit but they said that the front tyres were too worn/misshapen. As such we should try fitting the back tyres (Which are only lightly worn) on the front and then seeing if FF can do the tracking.
                                Last edited by John C; 18th October 2013, 08:53.