Balance Motor Works have the skills to work on old cars. Some modern garages have never set up a float chamber on a Carburettor, or set the points and dwell angle. We love old classics – they are usually a joy to work on compared to the complexity of modern cars.
This MGA we had in demonstrated our skills in forensics and finding out what is causing running issues. You can’t plug in a code reader to these old cars!
The MGA Twin Cam is a very rare car with a rather beautiful twin cam engine. In appearance the engine is not dissimilar to the Jaguar straight six. Considering the car was made in 1958, this 1600cc produces a very respectable 108HP. Contrast this with the MGB OHV 1800cc which only made 95HP.
Unfortunately development of the engine was completed on a shoe string budget, and a number of teething problems were experienced. The engine quickly gained a reputation for being weak and unreliable. It was particularly prone to putting a whole through number three piston. Oddly the Weber equipped race engines didn’t suffer this problem. It later transpires it was due to aeration of the fuel in the float chamber on the SU Carburettors which were rigidly mounted. The Webers used a rubber isolator. In essence there really wasn’t anything fundementally wrong with it and it should have been an option in every MGB.
So at this point you may be wondering what we had to do to this car? Well the owner booked it in for a Carb Balance as that was cause for poor running alledged by the dealer (who incidentally was selling via ebay and claiming he wasn’t actually in the Motor Trade).
The customer has a short journey to the workshop and broke down on the way. We don’t have a recovery truck so I said “perhaps let it cool down and then see if it runs again”. It did, when he arrived it sounded like it was misfiring badly. At this point I’m already thinking “this needs more than a carb balance to sort out”.
Instincts told me to look elsewhere for the problem, and when we checked the valve clearances it turned out there weren’t any! This is when the can of worms was fully opened. The buyer had clearly been duped by the seller. From then on this turned into a story of woe, the likes of which we’ve never come across before. The engine was not even a genuine twin cam, the block was from an MGB 1800. The crankshaft was bent, the valves were 1mm too small for the collets, the cam tensioner was bodged together in such a way that whichever donkey built this engine, realised they could not adjust the valve clearances without removing the engine! The oil pump drive was a mess due to line boring. In short it was close to useless. Just imagine how the customer felt?
We put him in touch with an MGA expert and he’s having a 160HP engine built properly this time.
When it’s all done this car will be a rocket ship. Please get in touch we’d love to see your Classic Car.