Sunday Brunch and Fuel System Issues

Two weeks ago, Angie and I decided to get Sunday brunch at a state park that’s about an hours drive away. It was a humid and cloudy morning when we took off at 10 a.m.

The MG ran fine on the way to Roman Nose. We had the top down and a coat of SPF 30 on ourselves as we went in and out of cloud cover.

The lunch was good and we left to explore the park for a while before heading home. About 15 miles from the park, we could see rain ahead. We stopped and put up the convertible top. I hadn’t really paid attention when I first had the new convertible top installed, but this new one has a zip-down window, where the OEM top had a solid piece of clear plastic. I zipped down the window and we drove in relative comfort through the rain back home. We experienced a few drips inside the cabin, that will be fixed when I put the new liners along the windscreen this fall.

Sunday Brunch and Fuel System Issues.

Fast forward to the following Thursday. It was a relatively nice day in Oklahoma for July. The high temps were in the mid 80’s (30C), so I pulled out of the garage to get lunch. She started up fine, after having sat for 3 days. I made it only a few blocks before she started sputtering. I pulled over to try to get her going again. She would start and idle very roughly for about 15 seconds and then die. I read some ideas on my phone from the MG forums, and decided to replace the fuel filter on the spot. While I had the filter off, I confirmed that the fuel pump was working. The new filter didn’t help.

About that time, one of the local guys with a tow truck spotted me. We’ve known each other for years. He put a tow rope onto her and pulled us home. I tried to pay him and he declined.

In the past week, I’ve read a lot of opinions on the problem. I posted on MGExp forums and had lots of useful advice, but nothing that will get me going again. I’ve watched at least 2 hours of YouTube videos on how to tear down and tune SU carbs. That’s out of my league, so if I start thinking about that, I’ll have to call Mike at Glass Auto in OKC.

In talking with a friend, he said they have completely done away with points in their distributors and gone over to electronic ignition. Even on 1960s John Deere tractors, there are kits to move away from points. I know a lot of people make this conversion with good results, while others disdain it as “not factory”. I’m not obsessed with having nothing but factory parts, and I’ve read going electronic will give a decent performance boost. So, I’ve ordered a new performance distributor kit with cap, coil, and wires. It should be here next week.

Until then, I’m enjoying these final 98 degree days for this summer from the cab of my air-conditioned pickup.


NOTE: I didn’t realize I was ordering an international package until I looked up the link for the part on Amazon and noticed it was shipping DHL. That usually is a good sign something is up. DHL isn’t exactly known for great service. Moss Motors and the other US-based suppliers didn’t have the kit I wanted, so I used Amazon, which I normally avoid for MGB parts. We’ll see if it gets here without a lot of undue delays.


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