2019-07-13 GA,Decatur – Tech Session of ELECTRIC MG!

2019-07-13 GA Decatur – Tech Session (of Peachtree MG Car Club) with a GaTech engineer showing us and telling us about his converting a gas-powered MGB to an electric engine.

Ben Horst was discovered by one of our club owners and a tech session concerning the specifics of his MGB conversion were discussed. After the tech session, I found the following information from the GaTech Alumi Assoc: (The article will explain the same information as we learned at the Tech Session.)

https://www.gtalumni.org/s/1481/alumni/17/magazine-pages.aspx?sid=1481&gid=21&pgid=15116&cid=33615&ecid=33615&crid=0&calpgid=10717&calcid=23031

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See the end of the article for ‘tech session details’.

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ELECTRIC DREAMS

Gas-guzzling classic sports-cars get major performance and eco-friendly upgrades at Atlanta-area startup Eddy Motorworks, co-founded by Tech alumnus Ben Horst.

Fall 2018 Vol. 94 No. 3 | STORY BY TONY REHAGEN PHOTOS BY KAYLINN GILSTRAP

See article for picture —

Ben Horst knew he was destined to be an engineer from an early age—much to his parents’ frustration. Horst was the child who took apart all of his toys, particularly anything with wheels and an electric motor.

“I would ruin them,” says Horst, ME 16. “I’d get a toy train with a motor as a Christmas present, and by the end of Christmas Day, it would be non-functional.”

Eventually, Horst’s folks just started buying him tools so he could assemble his piles of miscellaneous parts into things that actually worked. Again, his affinity for engines drew him to automobiles. He built his first go-kart out of natural-gas piping when he was still in high school. “I don’t know what it is about cars,” he says. “There’s something really rewarding about designing and building a car. It’s rewarding to build anything that works, but with a car you are able to get in it and have an adrenaline experience in the thing you built.”

Today, Horst’s gear-head tendencies are paying off in more than just adrenaline. In 2017, he and two fellow Tech grads—Josh Preissle, ME 16, and Kenny Adcox, ME 16—founded Eddy Motorworks in Atlanta. And what the trio does is something truly special. They take apart classic and specialty cars and put them back together again, replacing old gas-gulping engines with 100 percent electric powertrains. And in a warming world increasingly obsessed with hybrid and electric transportation, Horst and his company’s conversions have become the talk of the turnpike.

Horst’s quest for the cleaner classic car began at Tech back in 2013. He just didn’t know it at the time. He arrived as a mechanical engineering student at the Invention Studio, the student-run machine shop on the second floor of the Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex, and started tinkering with the new toys. “Any tinkerer will tell you that as soon as you see a new tool, you start to think about what you can build,” he says. “I saw the water jet and laser cutters and started thinking about being able to build car-level components.”

In between two engineering internships at General Motors, Horst also joined Georgia Tech’s Solar Racing Team, where he got to see electric motor and battery technology up close. “It was so simple,” he says. “Especially compared to fixing a carburetor, which is this magical machine with emotions. I kept thinking ‘How cool would it be to build a go-cart with four independent electric motors?’”

During his last GM internship, Horst shared the concept for this ultimate go-cart with his roommate, whose father had connections at engine manufacturer Briggs and Stratton. Together, the interns came up with what they called the PH571—PH for Performance Hybrid and 571 for the apartment they had shared in Michigan.

The idea was to pair a 0.99-liter Briggs and Stratton V-twin with an HPEVS AC35 motor and a Smart Car battery, using the gasoline engine to pump out the baseline power while the electric motor provided the bursts of speed. By their calculations, the combo could achieve more than 100 horsepower and 90 miles per gallon or 50 miles of battery range for the ultra-light 1,300-pound tube frame.

The PH571 became Horst’s senior design project in 2015. He gathered a team of fellow student computer scientists and engineers, including Preissle, to make the high-performance hybrid vehicle a reality. The car was named best interdisciplinary project at the Tech Capstone Design Competition, and the win led to an invitation to and acceptance in the Institute’s CREATE-X Startup Launch program. Horst and Preissle received $20,000 in seed funding, free legal advice and entrepreneurial mentorship to start their own company. From this, Eddy Motorworks was born.

The company needed to jump-start business, so Horst and Preissle dropped their own cash to fund their first gas-to-electric sports car conversion project, a British MG MGB coupe they rebuilt in their garage in Scottdale, Ga. The project took months of their time and money, but they recouped much of their effort by eventually selling it to a local car aficionado.

Their first commission came through last autumn when Eddy Motorworks was hired to “electrify” a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL. The goal was to create a car that was on par with the best electric vehicle on the market, the Tesla S, which has 200 to 250 miles of range, is fast-charging, and can go 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds.

The challenge with such a conversion project, however, is all that power comes from batteries that take up a considerable amount of space. So how do you fit all of them within the sleek frame of a 1980s roadster and still make it look like a classic luxury car? “It’s like playing Tetris with batteries,” says Horst, who serves as Eddy Motorworks’ president.

The solution involved cramming several battery packs into the engine bay, the fuel tank area, and one underneath the trunk. Each pack is outfitted with a state-of-the-science carbon-fiber enclosure and waterproof connectors. The result is an ongoing $70,000 redesign that should, when completed, run with just about any electric car on the road.

During this time, a second commission came in the shop doors—no less than a sleek, stainless-steel-paneled DeLorean DMC-12 straight out of Back to the Future movie fame. Luckily, the order didn’t stipulate the conversion to generate 1.21 gigawatts of power or the ability to travel through time.

Yet for Horst, every build is a sort of time machine back to the kid in him who just likes to tinker. “I’m just building with intuition,” he says. “It’s fun and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

CONVERTING THE CLASSICS

Electrifying a traditional gas-engine sports car and having it perform up to the standards of, say, a Tesla, is no mean feat. It takes a great deal of careful work—and a considerable sum of money—to strip down a car to its bare bones and build it back up again with a completely electric-powered system. Eddy Motorworks President Ben Horst, ME 16, shares a sneak peek inside the process.

See article for picture —

SOME DISASSEMBLY REQUIRED
“It all starts with the tear down,” Horst says. “After we’ve decided on the build, we get to taking apart the vehicle (here a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL). We remove the engine, transmission, differential, wiring harness and anything else that won’t remain in the conversion. When we’re done with disassembly, the car will be down to its body and frame, ready for the design work to begin.”

DESIGNING THE BUILD
“With the car stripped down, we begin by taking 3D imaging scans to bring the geometry of the engine bay, underbody, trunk and fuel tank area into the computer,” Horst says. “From there, we get to work designing mounting structures for the batteries, motor, charger and other major components. For the very important parts, like the motor and batteries, we perform detailed structural simulations to identify areas of high stress, employing the same software tools that major automotive companies use to ensure that parts are strong and safe. These computer models also allow us to optimize weight.”

FABRICATION AND WELDING
“With the design complete, the work now moves back into the shop where our extensive fabrication experience comes into play,” Horst says. “The batteries are mounted in the vehicles with strong, aircraft-grade chromoly steel tubes, precisely cut and expertly TIG-welded into a stiff structure.”

 

BATTERIES INCLUDED
“Depending on the vehicle, there may be a single battery pack or multiple packs placed throughout the car to optimize weight distribution and maximize cargo space,” Horst says. “The faceplate of the battery houses a supersafe, finger-proof, high-voltage connector that allows for quick, safe servicing. With the packs all connected, the final step before installation into the vehicle is enclosing and sealing the batteries from the elements. With sealing complete, we carefully install the assembled pack into the vehicle utilizing vibration-isolating mounts and high-grade bolts.”

 

A PERFECT FIT
“Each car is its own puzzle,” Horst says. “Sometime you have to get creative to fit all the parts into place, whether it’s on a classic car like the Mercedes or a race chassis (pictured here). Sometimes that even involves grinding sheet metal so that everything lines up perfectly and is safe and secure.”

 

JUST DRIVE
“Mounting the drive unit assembly— the motor, inverter, transmission and differential—is a similar process to the battery integration,” Horst says. “We take our computer-validated designs and send them to our CNC plasma machine, which cuts the individual parts out of sheet steel. We then carefully TIG weld those parts together into a full motor mounting structure. After a few coats of paint for rust protection, we bolt the motor into the vehicle. We use custom-built, highstrength CV axles to interface a Tesla drive unit to the wheel hubs. While we’re there, we upgrade brakes, bushings and bearings and install a new electric parking brake system.”

 

MAKING THE CONNECTIONS
“One of the most challenging, yet extremely important aspects of building a custom electric vehicle is designing a safe, high-voltage distribution and connection system,” Horst says. “We use a network of high-current contactors, relays and sensors to ensure that high-voltage only leaves the battery pack when it is completely safe to do so. Our battery management system constantly monitors the state of health of the battery and detects ground faults, shorts or parasitic losses that could lead to failure.”

 

MISSION CONTROL
“When the classic cars we convert were originally built, their electrical systems were completely analog,” Horst says. “In modern vehicles, with an ever-growing number of sensors, actuators, lights and buttons, this wiring harness would quickly become enormous. We have developed a number of proprietary microcontroller modules that we install to sense buttons and switches and actuate lights, locks and windows all around the car. This greatly reduces the number of wires we have to run.”

 

DIGITAL DISPLAYS
“Thanks to these interconnected vehicle control systems, we can install modern LCD displays with all the important information about your vehicle and its powertrain or we can build a custom, retro-style gauge cluster with analog-style dials and gauges. Either way, we take the time to build bezels and mounts that seamlessly integrate the user interfaces with the styling of the vehicle.”

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE
“We haven’t started working on this one yet,” Horst says of the DeLorean that’s waiting its turn in his shop. “But we’re excited about the challenges and possibilities this rare vehicle presents.”


Here are some details that I had from the tech session. If you’re looking for specific information, then contacting Ben or someone who knows more about electric cars and motors is necessary. I just wrote down a few notes and will attempt to put them into the webpost.

The MGB has an electric motor which is the kind used in Tesla cars. Those type of motors are improving quickly.  The MCU is the Tesla Media Control Unit. Is is a Linux computer and is powerful. It has in-circuit debugging and links to the other computers inside the car. If something needs to be changed on the car, this unit will reprogram all the other ones. There are 2 Tesla modules which are 50 kwh motors. The horsepower estimate is 100-120. The electric motor has a 3 second, 10 second, and 30 second power levels. There is a power fusion box which relays the high and low part of the battery usage. The battery-management-system of the car is ‘old-style’. It has 30-cells which are wired in a series pattern. The cells need to be balanced. There is a DC-converter which takes the place of an alternator. There is a vacuum pump for the electric power brakes. It has a throttle potentiometer. An engineer from Croatia rebuilt Harry and Megan’s car. The Tesla has a forward, reverse, and park gears that are an integrated controller, there is no transmission. The motor is 98% efficient and the inverter is 80% efficient. The DC battery to inverter has a VFD=variable frequency DC with a brushless 3 phase AC. The voltage output is 320 amps. The cable size is for the electrical current and with 800 volts, if you touch it, you will be killed. The size of the lithium battery in the MG is 30 kwh. The batteries are supposed to have between 500 and 1000 charge cycles. You are supposed to charge them when the discharge is between 30% and 80% of the charge. You can use the battery when the discharge total is near zero. If you push a button, you may travel approximately 10 miles more.  The weight of a BMW-I3 is 2900 pounds with batteries. During the tech session, Ben talked about the parts used and how that since he has built his car, the technology and parts have changed a lot.

2018-09-17 —SOLD—

2018-09-16_GAAtl,-1971MGB-New-Owner

Really hard for me to part with my ‘hobby-car’ (aka ‘my-baby’), but the traffic in my area has increased over the years and everyone wants to drive *FAST*!  This car is not a *FAST* car and I fear that I will have an accident – so, the decision was made to put it for-sale.  Well, today – a young man has bought it. His Dad told me that he has worked for 2 years cutting grass and earned the money himself. He told me that he has researched cars a lot and wants to learn. He hasn’t learned to drive changing manual gears, so his Dad drove it away with him as the passenger. His Mom followed and they are driving to a southern suburb of Atlanta.   Good luck ya’ll!!!

 

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my white-cargo van named “Vanna White”. The url address is : http://www.PuddinInVannaWhite.com >>

 

For Sale: 1971 MGB – $1800

2018-09-09- I have a ‘provisional’ buyer. Someone has given me a deposit with the promise to come with the balance due within a couple of weeks.  If they buy the car, I plan to post their picture on this website as a way of ending my ownership.

1971-mgb

For Sale: 1971 MGB. This has been my ‘hobby’ car and it car runs fine. Standard 1800cc engine and SU carbs. I have not had any motor changes performed – that is, repairs have been made for engine mounts, seals, floorboards and rocker panels, rebuilt carbureator, new throttle shaft, new starter, new distributor, new fuel pump, new gas tank, new ignition coil, new wheel cylinders, new U-joints, new clutch master and slave cylinders, new voltage stabilizer, new wiring harness, new mufflers, new A-arms, shock absorbers. Radiator has been rodded-out. New aluminum rims and Michelin tires. I have had the body doors and hood replaced. Also, I had a rollbar installed. Odometer displays 90,665 but does not currently work. jxhughes at gmail dot com Please tell me your name and phone number and I try to call you quickly as I can. 

Note: New battery installed on 4/30/2018 (from Advance Auto Parts), cost about $124. DeKalb County registration (for me) is $22.57/year. Last summer, new brake pads, calipers, brake lines and fluid were installed. Currently, the car needs an oil change, wiper blades, and odometer reconnnected.

 

 

2016-mm-dd_1971MGB (7)

2016-mm-dd_1971MGB (7)

2014-05-20_1971MGB-yardWash2

2014-05-20_1971MGB-yardWash2

2014-05-20_1971MGB-yardWash

2014-05-20_1971MGB-yardWash

2011-09-16__1971MGB (DriverDoor-Exterior)

2011-09-16__1971MGB (DriverDoor-Exterior)

2011-09-16_(Carport)_1971MGB (1)

2011-09-16_(Carport)_1971MGB (1)

 

 

 

 

2017-03-31 GAAtl – New brake calipers, pads and brake lines (in front)

2017-03-31_GAAtl,1971-MGB

2017-03-31 GAAtlanta – 1971 MGB – new brake calipers, pads, brake lines (in front) – <I forgot to take pictures during the installation.>
The picture is the car in the carport with the new brake calipers, pads and lines. It is now perfect-temperature, spring weather in Atlanta. The flowers are blooming and the skies are a brighter blue because the sun is making us warmer. HOWEVER, there is a yellow pollen that covers everything! When I go outside and breathe enough of the pollen, I start coughing and my eyes become itchy. After a rain, we have yellow puddles of water on the side of the road. In the news, a pollen-counter tells us that most of the pollen is from pine trees. The good news is that the pollen only lasts a few weeks.

Last night, I watched a DVD that I borrowed from the library. It is a Ken Burns film from PBS titled “The Dust Bowl”. After seeing it and hearing of people dying because of all of the dirt in the air, I now understand why I have all of the coughing and reaction to being outside.

2017-03-31_GAAtl,MGB-Hood&amp;WindshieldWithPinePollen

Last winter, I moved the car from the carport and intended to run an errand. After cranking and backing onto the blacktop driveway, I pushed the brakes and they didn’t work. Uh-Oh!!! I used the emergency brake and stopped the car. I got out and saw where brake fluid had leaked all over the floor of the carport and I drove the car back into the carport parking spot. The cold weather isn’t good for working on cars – so, I had some time to decide what-to-do. I usually don’t drive the MG much in the winter because the heater isn’t warm enough for all the air that escapes the convertible top.

I bought some brake fluid and considered putting it in the reservior and trying to get some pressure in the system so that I could drive a short distance to a repair shop. I’m not very knowledgable about cars and also, not very confident of being able to drive about 5 miles in Atlanta traffic using a brake that could fail. I considered calling a tow truck, but – from previous experience, I know that ‘hook-up’ costs about $35 and the ride to the closest repair shop would be an additional $35. I decided that I would rather pay the tow fee than have an accident. But WAIT! — I was surfing the internet and saw on facebook that a mobile mechanic advertised he would repair your brakes ‘at-your-house’. Perfect – so, I talked with him and he agreed to come to my house, diagnose the leak problem and I would get the parts. Then, he would return and put them on the car for me. After he arrived, he indicated that he hadn’t worked on an MG before, but he took the tire off and looked at the brake system and said that it wasn’t substantially different from what he was used to repairing. He put a small amount of fluid into the reservoir, I pumped the brakes and he saw fluid coming from the driver-side caliper. I ordered some calipers and brake pads from Moss Motors. After they arrived, I contacted Brian again and we set an appointment for him to return and install them.  He began putting the driver-side caliper on and couldn’t get the old brake-line removed.  After realizing that “the brake-line was NOT coming off”, I called several auto parts stores and one said that the brake-lines that I needed were in their warehouse and they would have overnight delivery and availability in the morning at the store. The next morning, I went to the auto-parts store and picked them up – about $16 each – not bad. (At least, I didn’t have to pay for shipping.)  I had to wait a couple more days for Brian to return to my area. The perfect day came and he returned to finish installing the brake parts. I was very happy to have the car ‘driveable’ again. Spring is HERE! It is TOP-DOWN time!

2017-03-31_GAAtl,MGB-HoodWithPinePollen

2017-03-31_GAAtl,MGB-HoodWithPinePollen

Addendum:  I attended a ‘gear-head’ meeting one early Saturday morning at Dandy Donuts. I was talking with others about the MGB and one guy said that he had worked on them a lot. He then said something that has “stuck” with me every since — “They pee on the floor a lot.”  Well, here’s my proof of the latest brake fluid leak and previous oil-leaks, etc.  (I put kitty-litter on the latest major leak to try and soak-up some of the fluid.)

2017-03-31_GAAtl_MGB(Pee'd-on-carport-floor)

2017-03-31_GAAtl_MGB(Pee’d-on-carport-floor)

2017-03-31_GAAtl_MGB(Pee'd-on-carport-floor)1

While I’m posting, I wanted to add a picture of an important event that is in the news today. Specifically, the headlines of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper.  A major interstate bridge collapsed onto a road. The road is usually busy and with the news, I haven’t heard of any injuries. Many side-roads are being used today in order for people to travel without being on the damaged interstate. I drove the MG to get gas and there were five-times the normal number of cars near my house on an artery road.  (I have to add that there is the beginning of a MAJOR road expansion near my house. Interstate I-285 (8-lanes across) which interchanges with GA-400 (about 6-lanes across) is being redesigned with “bridges” to transport more cars. I hope that it is well-built and that it doesn’t collapse in the future.)

2017-03-31_GAAtl_AJCHeadline

2017-03-31_GAAtl_AJCHeadline

Note: I installed a sheet of plastic in the carport to keep birds from building nests there. So far, I think it is working. (A few years ago, a bird built a nest in the carport and flew into the house several times when I opened the back door to come inside. I got tired of having to chase him out of the house. <To get him -out-, close doors of the room where he is flying around. Open outside door and walk away. The bird is frightenened and will fly outside at the first opportunity.>

<<My ‘other’ blog-website is:  http://PuddinInVannaWhite.com   I haven’t taken any van trips lately and made any posts because there is no new content to add at the moment. However, if you would like to know about my recent ‘bus’ trip and upcoming overnight-bus excursion (long ride), feel free to send me an email and let me know. If I get enough response, I may begin posting non-van trips to the blog and just consider it a ‘travel-blog’ in general – rather than a van-camping, web-information repository.  jxhughes-at-gmail>>

 

2016-07-25 – Just wanted to post a short sentence.

2016-07-25  I have Hagerty classic car insurance and received the Fall 2016 magazine today. In reading it, I found a sentence that I had never seen before.

Here it is (don’t you just ‘love’ it?) …   (page 59)

As the old auction block truism says: “If the top goes down, the price goes up.”

Sounds worth it for the sunshine alone.

(That’s it!)

2015-12-12_GAAtl-Motorcycle Broken

2015-12-12 Saturday – a beautiful day – Top Down in Atlanta

2015-12-12_GACanton,CherokeeCoAirport_MG-B17Bomber
((Note: To make the type look LARGER, press the keyboard <Ctrl> Key and the <+> Key (above the equal “+” sign – use a Shift key for this) at the same time. To make the type look SMALLER, press the keyboard <Ctrl> Key and the <-> Key (minus sign) at the same time.))

I had some items on my shopping list and went to WalMart on a Saturday morning. I drove the MG with the top down and parked under the store in the garage. I had just entered the store with a shopping buggy and put 2 items in the cart when my cell phone rang. I answered and my older son told me that he had decided to ride his motorcycle to an event and it broke down on I-285 near Roswell Rd. I told him that I was shopping and drove the MG to the store. I asked if he wanted me to come pick him up. He said ‘yes’ and I got the location from him. I checked out with my 2 items and drove the MG to his location. He had intended to go fly with some of his friends in a B17 in about an hour. The place that he wanted to go was the Cherokee County airport. I asked him if he thought the MG would “make it that far” (I had been towed twice in the last few months with breakdowns.) He said ‘yes’ – so, I replied “We’ll see…”. He had secured his motorcycle with a helment lock and jumped into the MG. I drove and he was the navigator. The B17 is one of less that ten in the US that is flying – the others are in museums. The airplane was to fly over a cemetary ceremony and there was another airplane taking pictures of the flight. We didn’t waste any time on the side of the road with the motorcycle. Just after I arrived, he jumped in the MG and I started driving. From my house, he was about 5 miles and the airport was about 40 miles. I had just gotten gas in the MG and we had barely enough time to get to the airport. Thankfully, the car didn’t break down and we got there before the flight was to start. He was able to sit in the radio-operator seat and enjoy the flight. I waited on the ground for him to return. There were other “watchers” on the ground when the flight started, and several other “watchers” to come to the airport after they saw the airplane in the area. It was a great flight and afterward, we had to stop again for gas. The traffic and construction near the city was a big factor in our return drive. After traffic started backing up on the interstate, my navigator told me to get off at the exit and we took surface roads on the return. We went to his house, he drove his truck to the motorcycle. He had called his neighbor and a friend about the motorcycle and his neighbor went to Harbor Freight and bought a set of ramps. The friend was there to help push the motorcycle into the truck bed. My son was concerned about leaving the motorcycle for a short while on the side of the road, but it was still there and still broken when we returned.  (Note: My son told me later that the motorcycle stopped running because it was out-of-gas. DUH!) 

(Update: As I drove, my son smelled some gas when driving at highway speed, he thought that the gas wasn’t being burned in the combustion chamber because the electrical system wasn’t strong enough to ignite it in the cylinder. He thought that the culprit could be the ignition coil. A couple of years ago, I had bought an ignition coil but never installed it because someone told me that ‘it was the wrong kind’. It was for a racing car and not a driver, I think. So, I told m son that I would get another ignition coil and he said that he would put it in for me. Shortly after the motorcycle broke down, I did buy an ignition coil and he put it on for me. I believe in replacing older parts and I knew that this part was old and hadn’t been replaced since I owned the car.  Note: a couple of months ago, I went to a MG Tech Session on a Saturday morning. One of our MG club members told others that ‘he was coming to the session’ and he called telling us that his car broke down. He called a tow truck and near the end of the session, he and his car on the tow truck arrived. The opportunity for all of us to learn ‘what was wrong’ was there and our lead ‘tech’ analyzed that the broken part was the ignition coil. He replaced it and the car ran perfectly. A newletter several years ago technical article was that ‘ignition coils’ rarely go bad. And, that was the reason that I never got around to putting the one that I had in. I still have the racing coil extra-part and I’m not sure what I will do with it.)

2015-12-12_GAAtl,I-285RoswellRd_MotorcycleBroke2015-12-12_GAAtl,I-285RoswellRd_MotorcycleBroke12015-12-12_GAAtl,I-285RoswellRd_MotorcycleBroke22015-12-12_GAAtl,I-285RoswellRd_MotorcycleBroke3
((As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. If you want to receive an email after my WordPress website is updated, then click on the “subscribe” button and add your email address. -AND- I have another website. It is about my white-van – named “Vanna White”. The url address is : http://www.PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com.
Final note: Dad calls me “Puddin”.))

UnknownDate – The “Roach” Story

<<Note: To make the type look LARGER, press the keyboard <Ctrl> Key and the <+> Key (above the equal “+” sign) at the same time. To make the type look SMALLER, press the keyboard <Ctrl> Key and the <-> Key (minus sign) at the same time.>>

2015-12-15_GAAtl_MGB_PurseUnderDriversSeat1
Unknown Date – around 2008 The “bug” story – in the southern US, they’re known as ‘roaches’
With my previous car, a ’76 Chevy Nova, my older son worked on my car for me. He had a ’75 Nova and knew every nut-and-bolt in the car. He lived at home, and attended college and taught me about many things about cars. I would buy tools and parts and would be the ‘go-for’ when he needed something and was under the car or in a spot where getting a part or tool was inconvenient. One day, he worked on my MGB and decided that all of the loose wrenches in the toolbox should be more organized. He only liked tools from Sears and told me to buy a ‘wrench ladder’. We had just repaired something on the MGB and had taken it for a ‘check-ride’. During the ride, I had place my pocketbook under my feet on the floorboard of the MG. It has a shoulder-strap and I placed the strap on my left-side of the seat. Note: That placement meant that the opening of the pocketbook was to the underside of the seat. (see picture) The next day, I went to work, as usual and after work, drove my ‘regular’ car to the nearest Sears store. I went to the tool area and a salesman asked me if he could help. I told him that I wanted a ‘wrench ladder’ and he found it for me. I pulled my purse out of my pocketbook and a large ‘southern’ roach fell off of the bottom of my purse onto the white tile floor. I was amazed that it came from my pocketbook and was quite shaken for a moment. The salesman was also amazed but didn’t say anything. Well – as things would happen, the roach started to crawl and would soon disappear under a nearby display if something wasn’t done quickly. I used my right foot and stepped on it – there was a typical ‘squash’ sound. (I certainly didn’t want to be the one to put a live roach in the store.) The salesman and I both were ‘beyond words’. The bug was dead and I was at a loss for what to say. As this story is being compiled a while after the event occurred, I can’t remember – what, if anything either of us said. We walked to a register, I paid for the wrench-ladder and left. I presume that the night-cleanup crew had the dubious honor of cleaning the dead bug from the floor. It was only later that I realized that the bug must have crawled into my pocketbook when we drove the MG on a check-ride and that it stayed in my pocketbook all day when I was at work. I am particularly scared of those type bugs because of a childhood memory. When I was about five-years-old, my mother told me to take a bath and she started the water running into the bathtub. While it was running, she told me to get into the tub and she would be back in a minute. I got into the tub and after a short-while, a roach flew into the bathtub water and was swimming towards ME! I was scared beyond words and S-C-R-E-A-M-E-D bloody murder! Mom thought that the water had become too hot and was scalding me or something horrible happened and came running down the house hall as fast as she could. There was a closet at the end of the hall, she hit her left elbow on the door of the closet and fell. She couldn’t get up from the floor. I had been attending kindergarten and Miss Lelia, the teacher, lived a few houses away. Mom told me to pick up the receiver of the phone and told me how to dial the numbers. When Miss Lelia answered, she told me to ask her to come to the my house. Mom was taken to the hospital and had broken her arm. I don’t remember much of what happened next, I guess that Miss Lelia took care of me. I also remember going to visit Aunt Myrtle for a while. I’ve been deathly afraid of roaches ever since.

2015-12-07_GAAtl,Wrench-LadderRack1

2015-12-15_GAAtl_MGB_PurseUnderDriversSeat

(Definition: “Roach” – a southern insect that is dark brown or black, about 2 inches long, flies with wings, and is UGLY! To the best of my knowledge, they can’t ‘hurt’ you, but they can leave droppings all over the place that can carry diseases. In the southern U.S., they can live in the yard in pine needles and leaves. They crawl into houses through tiny cracks (and under doors) and have to be controlled with insect chemicals.)
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2015-04-27 GAAtl- Tow-Truck Time

2015-04-27 GA,Atl – Tow-Truck Time

2015-04-27_GASndySpr,nearWoodlandElem-MGB(beingTowed) (4)
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In the spring, I have to start mowing the lawn so I buy a full, plastic tank of gasoline. If I don’t use the gas within a short period of time, it goes ‘stale’ and I pour it into the MGB so it will mix with the fresh gas and get used quickly – because I drive the MG a lot in the spring. (It’s “top-down” time.)
Anyway, I drove the MG to visit my son and his family and I planned to return home around dusk. When I had driven the MG only a few blocks from his house, it quit running – engine just went dead. I was rolling in some bumper-to-bumper traffic and I coasted to the entrance of a subdivision before stopping. I tried to crank it on the side of the road and I had the feeling that wasn’t going to crank so I opened the hood. I just wanted to see if there was anything obvious that was amiss. After not finding anything, I called my son who came and looked to see if he saw anything. He noticed that there was NO gas in the see-through fuel filter under the hood. He knew that there wasn’t anything that neither he nor I could do on the side of the road, so I called a tow-truck. In Atlanta, the tow-companies place trucks on the interstates during rush hour so that traffic may be cleared quickly if there is a break-down or wreck. After giving the dispatcher my address, the tow-truck appeared in a few minutes. I gave him the repair shop that I wanted to take the car to and he agreed to give me a ride close to my house. The repair shop was a seven-mile trip and the corner that I wanted to be dropped close my house was only a little out-of-the way. After arriving home, I called the repair shop and they were in-process of closing for the day and told me that the tow truck had just arrived with the car. They would put it inside the building before locking up and they would look at it tomorrow.
On the following day, I called the repair shop and told them that I was driving the car and it quit running. My son had noticed that there was no fuel in the see-through filter and he thought that the problem was the fuel-pump. It is located under the car behind the passenger seat. Late in the afternoon, the repair shop called and told me that the problem was, indeed, the fuel-pump and they will work on the replacement for it the next day. Well, the next day, they did replace the fuel-pump and were gracious in giving me a ride to the shop to pick up the car. It ran well and I made it home without any problem. I talked with the mechanic who repaired it, and he said that one of his family members had an older MG that he used to work on. He made me feel good about having it towed to a local-shop rather than the specialty-shops that I normally use. I have to admit that I’ve learned that mechanics who don’t know about MG’s have a ‘learning-curve’ on my dime and that it’s best to let someone with experience work on it – when possible. I stress ‘when-possible’ because the specialty mechanics that I use are at least 30 miles away and I have “transportation-issues” when I have to use public-transportation and/or find someone who will take me.
Now – to the root cause of the problem with the fuel-pump. Remember that I started the story about putting gas from the red, plastic gasoline can into the MGB. Well, there’s a little more to be told. My helpful neighbor had used his air-blower to clean the leaves from my carport floor for me. The thing was – I had put a long, plastic bag over the gasoline spout to prevent debris from getting into the gasoline. The bag was loose over the spout and, I’m convinced, that during the blowing of the leaves, a piece of a leaf just large enough to go UP the bag and DOWN the spout got into the gas that I poured into the MG. Since ‘the incident’, I’ve placed another long bag over the spout and tie it to the container so that the end is not open. Furthermore, I always place the gas can near the wall of the house so that having an air-blower close to it is less likely. Anyway, it was an expensive lesson in putting gas into the car. In the future, I plan to only use the gas from the filling station in the MG, and to buy smaller quantities of gas for the mower. (Note: the old fuel-pump was less than seven years old and I think that the pump was in-no-way worn-out.)
Continuation of story: another tow-truck time. About 5 weeks after the new fuel-pump was installed, I was driving near my house and the car engine began running really rough. I was in heavy traffic going downhill and I tried to keep the car running. I was successful of driving through a stop-light with the flow of the traffic, but – I came to the bottom of the hill and the car cut-off and I coasted to the middle-turn lane of the road. I was at another traffic light and it was obvious to me that the car wasn’t going to start. I got out and put the hood up into the air. I called the local mechanic who had repaired the fuel-pump and told him that the car quit running, I was in a turn-lane at a stoplight and neede a tow. I asked what was the name of the company that they use. They replied that they would call the tow-company for me. I gave them my location and waited inside the car. Other traffic was going around me and not long after I ended the phone-call, a policeman arrived. He asked me what was the matter and I told him that the car quit running and wouldn’t crank. Furthermore, I said that I had called a tow truck and was told that it was on-the-way and close. He said that it was ‘too dangerous’ for me to remain in the middle lane and said that he would push the MG up a short hill where I could roll into the entrance of the nearby school. I said “OK” and put the hood down. I got inside and turned the wheel to the school entrance, his police car blocked traffic from driving in that lane, he pushed me a short distance, the car began rolling downhill into the school entrance and I let it roll to a stop in a parking space a few feet away. I got out and went to the corner to look for the tow truck. The policeman was out-of-my-view and he may have run a check on the license while I stood at the corner looking for the tow truck. Eventually, he drove away and I waved to him as he left. The tow truck saw me standing at the corner and I waved my right arm to turn into the school. He did and saw the car and put it on the rollback. He didn’t have room for me in the cab to ride and I was a short-walk from home. I told him that I would walk home and he towed the car to the mechanic. Well – I don’t understand why it broke down, but later, the mechanic said that the fuel-pump that was installed must have been bad. It was under warranty and all I had to pay for was the tow truck. So — TWO tow experiences in a short period of time. I hope that I don’t have more tow-truck experiences anytime soon and that the car runs good for a while. (With an MG, you’ve got to expect something to break every-once-in-a while. It’s the nature of the car!)
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. (These are the words in a song that Jimmy Buffett wrote. If I recall correctly, the song has something to do with “the dog ate my homework”.)

2015-04-27_GAAtlanta-MGBLicensePlate(RagTopDay)2015-04-27_GAAtl,RedPlasticGasolineContainer-withSpout12015-04-27_GAAtl,RedPlasticGasolineContainer-withSpout2015-04-27_GASndySpr,nearWoodlandElem-MGB(beingTowed) (3)2015-04-27_GASndySpr,nearWoodlandElem-MGB(beingTowed) (5)
((As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. If you want to receive an email after my WordPress website is updated, then click on the “subscribe” button and add your email address. -AND- I have another website. It is about my white-van – named “Vanna White”. The url address is : http://www.PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com. Final note: Dad calls me “Puddin”.))

2015-08-13_GAAtl-Car Repair and Rainstorm on the way home

2015-08-13 GA,Atlanta -Car Repair- and -Rainstorm- on the way home!

2015-12-07_GAAtl,1971MGBConvertibleTop-BackCleatTieDown
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I’ve had several problems with the car this summer. One of them was the fuel-pump and the other was just general old-parts wearing out.
The MG club has had tech-sessions at a mechanics-shop that specializes in MGB’s – the owner has a race car and has lots of experience with these cars. I saw fluid leaking from the passenger rear wheel and knew that I shouldn’t drive much with this condition. I called the repair shop and asked about getting it repaired. The owner told me what parts to order, and I called Moss Motors for wheel cylinders, rear axel seals and brake pads. I made an appointment and drove to his shop early one morning. I knew that the repair would take the day and I waited in the customer-area while the work was done. The shop told me that ‘my car has a lot of rust’ and there were complications because it was so old. BUT, they replaced the old parts and I was driving it again so I was happy. When paying the bill and preparing to leave, they told me “the clutch is leaking fluid too”. — On NO! — (Note: At a previous tech session, it was noted that several cars needed U-joints. I have kept a pretty good track of the parts that I’ve replaced so far and knew that I had not replaced the U-joints. So-o-o, when I was running errands one day, I stopped at a local parts store and got U-joints and asked that the repair shop add these parts to my list for the day.)
I asked them what I needed to get that fixed, they told me the parts to order and we began ROUND TWO. When I returned home, I ordered the parts for the clutch, and added a speedometer cable to the order. (The speedometer hadn’t worked since I owned the car). After the parts arrived, I called for an appointment and, again, made an appointment and drove there early one morning. Also, again, I waited in the customer-area for the repair to be completed. Oh yeah! In the MG club newsletter, I placed an ad stating that I wanted to buy a rollbar. One of the club members no longer wanted the one that he had so he sold it to me. I asked the shop if they would install it for me – and they did indeed install it for me. YEAH! (OK – I have to be honest here, I had another item on the ‘list’ for today. The wires for the 12-volt plug were visible on the console hump and they were not connected. I thought that if I had the plug available, then I could use it with an old GPS that I had. I asked the shop to connect the 9-volt plug wires for me – and they did. They had to use a wiring chart to know which wires to connect since there were several unconnected wires in the console.)
After all the repairs were completed that day, I was advised to ‘get-away’ before the traffic became heavy at 5:00pm. It was about 4:15pm and I knew that I could probably manage the heavy traffic – what concerned me was driving on the interstate at high speed with a lot of traffic. (The convertible top was down.) What I SHOULD have been concerned about was a thunder-storm that was approaching my house from the south, as I drove toward the house from the north! The heavy traffic flow was moving pretty fast until about 3 miles from the Ga-400 and I-285 interchange (two major roads in the city). As I approached the traffic-cloverleaf, rear taillights were seen in the traffic as bumper-to-bumper congestion caused a major slowdown and the thunder-storm lightning was not far away. The last exit before the interchange is a couple of miles north of the traffic-cloverleaf and as I approached the area, a few rain drops fell. I considered the option of just getting wet and then drying off when I got home -OR- getting off the road on the next ramp and try to find shelter. It was an instataneous decision to pull onto the exit (across 2 lanes of traffic) and look for a parking garage. Fortunately, there weren’t many cars on the exit and I was able to pass through a couple of traffic lights without incident. As quickly as I could, I turned into the “King and Queen” Concourse office-complex and found a parking deck. The parking-deck wooden-arms were down across the lane and only people with keycards were allowed, -BUT- on the right bottom of the garage was a “delivery” entrance. There weren’t many vehicles in that area and there was no ‘arm’ across the area to prevent me from entering. I pulled into a parking spot with a sign “for deliveries only – all violators will be towed”. I planned to stay with the car and would take my chances of being discovered. A hard-rain began falling as I pulled into the the parking-deck. I turned the car engine off as I anticipated waiting a while.
I got out and looked at the top down. The see-through-plastic-window back-snaps were unfastened and the rollbar had just been installed. (see pictures) Many items in the back area of the car behind the seats were put in the trunk during the installation to get them out of the way. I pulled the cloth-top over the rollbar and clamped the front-clamps onto the top windshield. In the past, I’ve had to request help in order to clamp the top to the windshield because the back-snaps were tight. In this instance, with the back snaps loose, the front clamps were easy. (This was the first time that the back-snaps had been pulled out since my brother had installed the canvas convertible top many years ago. Previously, I had always put the top-down on top of them.) Anyway, I always carry a couple of pieces of string for emergency tie down situations and I pulled them out. I tied two pieces of string to the bar that holds the bottom cloth to near the trunk and waited for the rain to subside. It was about 4:45pm and I knew that the heaviest traffic would be around 5:00pm. The rain was lighter and I decided to leave the parking-deck delivery area knowing that I was only about 4 miles from my house. There were a few stoplights with bumper-to-bumper traffic and light rain for the remainder of my drive. I made it home without either me -or- a lot of my stuff in the car getting wet. I was happy.
Note: For the repairs performed in addition to the installation of the rollbar, I had a clutch master and slave cylinders installed, a speedometer cable, and a voltage regulator for the tachometer. The Moss catalog does not have a speedometer cable angle drive available and the shop owner had one available from a ‘junk’ car. I got lucky in getting that part – count-my-lucky-stars. I had gotten up at 6am in order to get to the repair shop by 7am – the opening. I was tired when I returned home, it had been a long day.
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Shop Description:07/31/2015 90823=mileage (note: no change from previous service – because of the broken odometer)
Service Description:
The right side axle seal had failed and was replaced along with the rear axle bearing. Both rear wheel cylinders were replaced along with the rear brake shoes. The brake system was flushed out and bled as needed after properly adjusting the brakes.
The next item to address is the clutch hydraulics which are leaking. There is a significant amount of rust on and under the vehicle that needs to be gotten under control. The lower radiator hose is leaking and probably should be replaced along with using
The speedometer cable needs replacement before determining if any other issues exist.
The lighter recepticle was mounted properly. Wiring diagrams were consulted to determine which of the many disconnected wires were for it. The power wire (purple) was connected. A black ground wire needed to be fabricated to have the correct terminal styl
This job was made much more difficult due to the rusted and broken off circlips in the original joints.
=============================================================================
Shop Description:
8/13/2015 90823=mileage (I want to note the mileags as the odometer hadn’t worked since I got the car from my brother. Now I will be able to tell how many miles I’m able to drive with the gas I purchase.)
Service Description:
Replace the clutch hydraulics and bleed the system as required.
Replace the lower radiator hose clamp using a band clamp in place of the wire clamp.
Replace the speedometer cable and angle drive.
Replace the voltage stabilizer.
Install the roll bar supplied by the customer.
==========================================

2015-12-07_GAAtl,1971MGBConvertibleTop-FrontClampClasp
—Another ‘MG’ story—
This one happened a long time ago – I had driven the MG to the local big-box hardware store. I had purchased my items, and had walked to the car and was opening the door. A man and his young son walked by and he said without stopping, “Nice car.” I replied before he passed too far away to hear – “Only you and I could look at this car and say that it is ‘nice’!”. As I drive around the city, I notice how many cars are newer and much ‘nicer’. However, the MG is unusual and often gets attention.
More recently, I was at the same local big-box hardware store and had returned to the car. I got inside and was fastening the seat-belt when someone was outside the driver side holding a cellphone up in the air. He said as I looked at him, “Do you mind me taking a picture?” I replied, “No, feel free to do it.” and I drove away. How many times have you had someone take a picture of your car because you were brave enough to drive a piece of junk?
((As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. If you want to receive an email after my WordPress website is updated, then click on the “subscribe” button and add your email address. -AND- I have another website. It is about my white-van – named “Vanna White”. The url address is : http://www.PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com.
Final note: Dad calls me “Puddin”.))

1999-06-12 GAAtl, Drive to eat supper near house

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1999-06-12 One of my BEST MG memories:
My older son had moved home for a short while and attended GaTech. I had a lot of work performed on the MG and it was parked in the carport. I love going out to eat. When I returned home from work, my son was home from GaTech and he asked me if I wanted to ‘go somewhere’ for supper. I said “sure” and asked where he would like to go. One of his favorite restaurants was Chipolte. I had never been to one and asked him if one was near us. He pulled out his relatively new iPhone and said that it’s 4 miles. I looked at his phone and it was near the hospitals close to us. We started to leave the house and he asked “Want to take the MG?” (We had never driven it very far as it often broke down. The rule was to drive somewhere near the house so if it broke down, we could walk home.) I replied “sure” and he said that he would drive. It was a beautiful summer afternoon and we put the top down. We made it to the restaurant and had a wonderful meal. After going outside to get into the car, we noticed a large, dark cloud over the area where we had to drive and get home. He looked at me and asked, “Do you think we can get home before getting wet?” I replied “I don’t know, but let’s try.” About half of the way home, we were driving through a residental neighborhood and felt a few drops of rain as we cleared driving under some trees. A short distance away was a stop sign and a large tree near it. He stopped under the tree and I got out and pulled the top over the seats. He fastened down the convertible top clamps and we continued the drive on the way home. Just after turning the corner, the rain poured out of the cloud and it was very heavy. A jogger on the street got completely wet as well as a woman pushing a baby in a stroller. We looked at each other and said how glad that we were that we put the top up. I had some towels in the front and we had a few drops come under the top and get our clothes wet. We returned home without further incident – just a little wet and very happy to have a great outing.

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. If you want to receive an email after my WordPress website is updated, then click on the “subscribe” button and add your email address. -AND- I have another website. It is about my travels in a white, Ford, Cargo van.  The url address is : http://www.PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com   >>