Meet "Millie!" TD/C6000

Millie is the newest member of the herd. We found her (or rather, she found us) in Wilmington, NC. She's an early, early Mk II (Competition) model, boasting 57 rompin'-stompin' HP (as opposed to the more pedestrian model's 54 HP) -- as Nigel Shiftright says, she's got "a 1250-cc powerplant of gnat-like fury!" Her former caretaker, Paul, treated her to a ground-up restoration some years ago, but had to pass her on when he realised he was no longer able to give her the time and attention he felt she deserved. She's already my wife's favourite!


  • January 14

    The generator stopped charging. I took out the regulator, cleaned the points, cut back and stripped a few wires that looked dodgy, and put it back in. So far, so good, but I haven't really driven her much so there's been no real test.

  • January 7

    Went out for a leisurely drive. I noticed when I got back that the radiator was gurgling. I popped the cap and saw nuttin' but tubes. R'uh-r'oh. I added about 3 qts of coolant. I hope I didn't hurt anything!

    What's interesting is that, apart from a little trace of coolant on the top hose, there are no signs of a catastrophic leak, and there's not been a huge white cloud following us around. Where'd the coolant go?


  • November 5

    Aha! It was the points! The gap was correct, but when I had set them I didn't pull the distributor so I didn't notice that the contact faces had some pronounced ridges on them. They don't quite align right so they formed ridges on the bits that don't contact. My theory is that as they shift around a bit, the effective gap changes, resulting in huge changes in the dwell and timing. Looks like it's Pertronix time! Until then, a good filing seems to have improved matters.

    I also noticed that there's a mile of axial play in the distributor shaft. The shaft working up and down seems to be pumping oil up into the housing -- there was a LOT of it in there when I pulled the distributor. I'll need to take the drive gear off and shim it to remove the play. The drive gear pin didn't seem inclined to come out under gentle persuasion, so the task of fixing it properly has been deferred.

  • November 4

    Drove to Brits & Battleship in Wilmington, NC. She did fine most of the way, but just outside Wilmington she started stuttering a little under load. It felt like fuel starvation. Tony (the other driver in our little two-car convoy) and I decided to press on regardless and sort it out at the show field. Our wives were not entirely amused.

    Once there, I pulled the screens out of the fuel pumps and found they were nasty. Seems that there's a lot of fine rust in the tank. We cleaned them and put them back in. I also swapped the plugs for a clean set (the ones that came out were a little fouled) and checked the distributor cap -- it was fine.

    On the drive home, we did about 10 trouble-free miles before it started playing up again. We pulled over, and Tony and I again checked all the basics. Everything seemed in order, so we drove on a bit. It was down on power but seemed steady otherwise, so we drove on home.

  • October 28

    "Yes Virginia, there is a restrictor"

    I had noticed whilst driving that there was an occasional knocking noise coming from the engine. It sounded bad -- really bad. Like rod knock bad. But, using a screwdriver as a stethescope, I pinned the noise down to intake manifold. The intake manifold, you say? To quote another MG page I saw, "Go on with you, you're having a bit of daft!" There was no way I could conceive that the manifold could be making this noise, but making it, it was. Grepping around on the Interweb, I found a few references to a "restrictor" in the balance pipe, but no more info than that. There seemed to be no course of action other than pulling the intake, so off it came. As soon as I got it off, I heard something sliding back and forth in the balance pipe. The "thing" turned out to be the afore-mentioned restrictor. It's supposed to be solidly moored down by the brass plug installed on the bottom center of the balance pipe. For reasons forever to be unknown, mine wasn't. Instead, it was floating around between the brass plug and the rear intake port. Engine vacuum would move it around -- sometimes it would knock, sometimes it wouldn't. No one I talked to about it had the slightest suspicion that it even existed -- if you've never had one come loose, you'd have no way of knowing that it's in there.

    All efforts to remove the plug in order to pin down the restrictor were futile, of course. I noticed that the restrictor body had a threaded hole in it (for, I presume, the brass plug to engage). I found that a 6mm screw threaded into it. So, I cut off the plug flush with the manifold, filed it flat, and drilled a hole clean through into the balance pipe. I manoeuvred the restrictor into place, aligning the hole in it with the hole I drilled in the plug. I then screwed a short 6mm cap-head screw into it, with a crush washer and a little Hylomar under the head to seal, then put everything back together. So far, there's no vacuum leak, and no more rattle!

    For posterity, here's a photo of the restrictor. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't exist! ;-)

  • October 10

    She's H-E-E-R-E!!! Paul brought her up around lunch time. He tried to convince me to buy the trailer he brought her on as well, but because I don't have a tow vehicle I politely declined.

    left view
    right view
    right side of engine
    left side of engine
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