eOctagon # 70
the American MGB Association's
Online Newsletter
 sent to members of the AMGBA
February 2014


 and www.facebook.com/americanmgbassociation

'73 B of Van Moore in Smokey Mountains The AMGBA is North America's oldest and largest club for all MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets. A nonprofit organization which was founded in 1975 and offers magazines, emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your MG, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the Octagon magazine AND on the AMGBA website (http://www.mgclub.org or www.amgba.com or www.americanmgbassociation.com ).

Welcome to the latest edition of the eOctagon.  We suggest printing this out for ease of reading and for reference.  This is the February 2014 issue of your newsletter.  Please continue to send us any comments and/or suggestions.  

Please note: The next issue of the printed Octagon (March) will be mailed in February to our members that receive the printed version.

Top Photo: '77 B of Van Moore in the Smokey Mountains)

- Frank Ochal, President

This issue contains:
Events Calendar
Classified Ads
Chicago British Car Festival
Queen B - '
76 B of Jeff Louis
Technical Section - Questions and Answers
Club Website, Message Board, Blog, Photo Gallery and Social Networks
Club Information

The Roadster Factory Will Pay Your AMGBA Dues!

Click here to visit Little British Car Co, LBCarCo

 (Check the ad rates section of our website for details)

Events Calendar


22    24th Annual British Car Day, New Orleans, LA. Don Marpe at 504-812-8611, bdmarpe@att.net or www.bmcno.org .

30     18th Annual All British Swap Meet & Autojumble, DuPage Co. Fairgrounds, Wheaton, IL. Jim Evans at 630-858-9192, swapmeet@chicagolandmgclub.com or www.britishcarswap.info .


12     Williamsburg British Car Club 15th Annual British and European Car Show, www.wmbgbrit.com , rgmgb65@hotmail.com or 757-220-4774.

21-25     Key West British Car Gathering, Key West, FL. Key West British Car Club, robincamblin@att.net .

27     Britain on the Green, Gunston Hall, Lorton, VA. Tom Burke at 703-354-1361. www.capitaltriumphregister.com/bog.


7     28th Annual Chicagoland British Car Festival at Harper College, Palatine, IL, www.britishcarunion.com .

Please submit news of your event. Events appear on our website at www.mgclub.org, on our message board at http://board.amgba.com, in the printed Octagon, in the emailed eOctagon and on Facebook and Twitter.  No claims concerning the items offered and no responsibility for any transactions as a result of the ad are made. Email to events@mgclub.org.   

Classified Ads


MGB Collection. 6 Roadsters & GTs, from project to finished product. $2,000 to $9,000. Vehicles stored indoors 75 miles Northwest of Washington, DC. Many MGB parts also available. 304-263-4174 or 304-268-9440.

'66 MGB 1966 MGB. $9,500. One family, two owners since pick up in London. Original sale documentation & owners shop manual. Garaged in AZ thru 2000, northern CA to present. No rust, excellent running condition, wire wheels, new rubber, tonneau, soft top. Tube shocks, electric fan, and alternator are only modifications. Interior and trunk have been redone. A real MGB jewel. Email: erhkko@aol.com .

1973 MGB-GT. 83,000 miles. For restoration, Located near Morris, Illinois $900.00. ErnieLindsay@aol.com .

1976 MGB 1976 MGB, new $5000 paint and body job, $1200 new clutch, new battery this year, top and interior good, runs like new, 55000 miles. Health reason cause for sale at $5500. Contact Joel Lucia at 440-357-5016 or 440-487-5100, or email at jrlucia@roadrunner.com . Painesville Ohio.

'77 MGB roadster 1977 MGB. Medium blue, black interior and top. Car was purchased by a friend in 1987. He had the body work done, car repainted and a new top put on. I got the car in 1999. I put in new carpet, door panels, seat, head rest covers and padding. Extra parts. Garage kept. 88,500 miles. $3,500 OBO Call Ed 708-751-0528 Frankfort, IL


1979 MGB engine, bellhousing, clutch, transmission. 61,000 miles. $10000.oo Ashton, Idaho 208-652-0160 or rod.jeanette76@gmail.com .*

MG Original sales brochures: 1965-62, $35; 1963-68, $25; 1969-70, $18, 1971-80, $15. $4.95 shipping. Specify year, model. Have other MG models plus most cars/trucks, worldwide. Walter Miller, 6710 Brooklawn, Syracuse, NY 13211. 315-432-8282. fax; 315-432-8256. www.autolit.com . (in every issue)

MG Official shop manuals: $20-$42; parts manuals; $30-$48; Owners manuals: $19 Purchase & restoration guides: $19-$38; other books also. Ph: 206-721-3077, www.books4cars.com . (in every issue)

Parts for your MGB, MGB-GT and Midget at http://parts.mgclub.org. Also parts for all MGs and other vehicles! (in every issue)

OCTAGON ADVERTISERS (including Insurance, Parts, Publications, Service)


None in this issue.


John Twist has reopened University Motors and continues the path he chose so many years ago. Contact him for all your MG needs at 616-301-2888 and www.universitymotorsltd.com .**

Swap meet ads are free to AMGBA members.  Ads appear on our website, in the printed Octagon, in the emailed eOctagon, on the club website message board and on Facebook and Twitter. For others and for commercial suppliers the rate is $15.00 for 35 words or less.  See more info in the AD RATES area of our website.  (* appeared in last issue, ** appeared in previous issues)

Chicago British Car Festival

27th Annual Chicagoland British Car Festival Delights Hundreds

Story by Jack Feldman, photos by Frank Ochal, Elliott Dudnick, Rich Ziolkowski, Stephanie Quirk and Steve Partman

British car owners and enthusiasts were greeted by threatening skies and strong breezes but that did not diminish the enthusiasm. Owners displayed over 500 cars and motorcycles which were appreciated by more that 1,400 British car enthusiasts. The event took place on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at Harper college just outside of Chicago, Illinois. The Festival was sponsored by the British Car Union, a not for profit organization, made up of representatives of over a dozen Chicago British car clubs.

It was an ideal day to explore other marques and meet other lovers of British cars. Vendors came from all over the country selling everything from books to rare parcels for restoration. Entertainment was supplied by bagpiper Scott McCawley, and the graceful Thistle and Highland dancers.

A special British Car Union cap was waiting for the first 500 registrants, and many automobile related door prizes were awarded. For the hungry enthusiast food vendors presented traditional delights.

The Donald M. Healey Memorial Rally on Saturday started the festivities. Awards for the winners were presented Sunday at the festival.

Mark your calendar for our 28th Annual Festival on September 7, 2014. Next year's event will again be held at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. It is an event you won't want to miss. Be sure to watch our website at www.britishcarunion.com for the latest information.

2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival  2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival

Queen B -'76 B of Jeff Louis

This issue's Queen B is the '76 B of Jeff Louis. Here is his story:

I purchased my 1976 MG in Santa Monica California in September 2009. It took a week long journey across the United States from California to Ohio. I am the third owner and the car was 100% original and rust free when I purchased it. It is a 50th Anniversary Edition finished in harvest gold with a black interior and black top. Only North America export MGs, manufactured between June thru December 1975, had the 50th Anniversary trim. This consists of "1925-1975" Badge on the dashboard, gold & black MG Octagon emblems on the boot lid and front bumper and a gold background MG on the steering wheel hub. My MG was manufactured on October 3rd 1975; and the harvest gold is rare for my model year since it was discontinued in December 1975 and replaced with sandglow.

My restoration started with a complete strip down to the bare metal and a fresh repaint of the original harvest gold in a modern basecoat clearcoat process. My engine had almost 100K on the odometer and was equipped with the California Emissions package. I completely rebuilt the engine and replaced the single Zenith Stromberg carburetor with a Dual SU carburetor set up from a 1969 MG B donor car. I also equipped my MG with a Falcon stainless steel exhaust system. I also restored my interior with a new set of carpet and new foam for the seats. To add to the originality of my car, I added an original British Leyland Bendix radio I purchased on an on line auction.

I am very excited to have my MG B finished in time for the upcoming summer driving season. My MG B is a 50th Anniversary edition and we shared the same milestone in 2013. I celebrated my 50th birthday in July and I can’t think of a better birthday present than driving my harvest gold B.

 '76 B of Jeff Louis '76 B of Jeff Louis '76 B of Jeff Louis  '76 B of Jeff Louis

Technical Section - Questions and Answers

Please note: Questions and answers and Upkeep and Performance Hints are provided for information and advice purposes. No liability either express or implied is assumed by reliance on the information presented either by the writers or the AMGBA.

Some or all of the below is from our message board at http://board.amgba.com, Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/americanmgbassociation and website in the technical section at http://mgclub.org/mgtech.htm and this is just a part of what appears there and in the member magazine.

Also be sure to see our message board on our website and Facebook group for immediate help from fellow members.

Emissions and Timing

Q:     I have continued to have problems with my SMOG checks here in California on my 1979 MGB roadster. I found that when I disconnect the hose from the charcoal canisters that connects to the Zenith Stromberg carb the car checks fine. Of course this is against the rules, but the smog people didn't catch me, so I guess I have a couple more years before I have to do this again.

I have played with the timing in an attempt to get the car to pass with the hose connected and I have timed the car without a timing light. I just advanced the distributor until the engine ran at it's smoothest. It is running great and has very good power and not overheating problems.

The question is if I have timing advanced too far can I damage valves or piston even though I have no pinging and the car is running better than it has in a long time. I have noticed when idling that it will act like it loses spark and then fires normally and continues to run smoothly. I notice this only when idling. I have a new solid state ignition installed. I will call this a hiccup as it stumbles and acts like it is going to die, but catches itself and runs fine.

Sorry that this is so long, but tried to cover the basics of what is going on. Thanks in advance for your response..

Lyle Abel

A:     The MGB is a difficult car to meet stringent emission standards. The oil-damped carbs are finicky and components of the arcane patched-into-place emissions systems actually work better when removed, as you are finding out.

If disconnecting the charcoal canister helps the emissions situation, you can always stealthily plug the line (i.e.: a piece of tubing inserted at the canister end with a pencil or sealed with silicon inside the hose somewhere, so it is not visible from the outside, with a connector between the end of the current line and the canister). If allowing air into the open disconnected line is necessary, then a 'T' inserted between the plugged line and the end of the original line instead of a connector would accomplish this without being obvious.

The "T" and plugged section of line can be removed and the original connection made after it passes. On your question of timing, normally advancing the timing too far will result in pinging, higher operating temperatures and eventual engine damage. If the distributor is not working up to standard and advancing the timing results only in better acceleration, but the engine temperature remains normal and no pinging results, it is compensating for a deficiency which will manifest in other ways (the stalling/stumbling you are experiencing), but may not present any potential damage.

The timing question and what you are seeing has more interest to me than the damage you are concerned about. The 79 should have a fully electronic "Opus" distributor that had a vacuum advance system. While these where better than the previous version, they were prone to failure and have often been replaced with earlier points-type distributors, also with vacuum advance systems. I mention both these more than fully aftermarket distributors as the vacuum and mechanical systems on these were particularly prone to deterioration and failure, so the need to advance the timing becomes necessary to compensate for their lack of performance.

You might find rebuilding or replacing the distributor will help with performance, including the emissions issues.

Art Isaacs

Club Store Items

American MGB Association Key Ring with Logo

AMGBA key ring with logo. $5 includes shipping. Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website at http://orders.amgba.com or on the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon.

AMGBA Key Ring

Technical Sections Volume 3 (Now available in CD or PRINTED format or an emailed pdf flle)

A complete copy of all the Technical Sections, topics, questions and answers published in the OCTAGON from 1997 to 2007. Available on CD-ROM for PC or Mac (can be emailed with no shipping charges) or in printed version. It is indexed by category such as electrical, suspension, etc. for easy reference and accessibility and contains over 300 pages.

Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website at http://orders.amgba.com or on the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon.

The CD version is $20 plus $5 S&H. It can be purchased as part of a 3 volume combo that contains Tech Sections Volume I, II & III for $70 plus $10 S&H.

The printed version is $30 plus $5 S&H. It can be purchased as part of a 3 volume combo that contains all 3 printed Tech Sections Volume I, II & III for $80 plus $10 S&H.

Technical Sections Volume I and Technical Sections Volume II are also available from the AMGBA. See the Club Regalia/Store area of Each volume is indexed by subject for easy reference and each contains over 300 pages and over 600 articles, topics, questions and answers.

Octagon Issues on CD (or emailed pdf file)

You can have the last 10 years of the Octagon easily accessible on your computer. Indexed by issue. These publications, which are no longer in print contain numerous and diverse articles and photos. Enjoy all the entertaining and informative stories that you can no longer get anywhere else and at a reasonable price.

Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website http://orders.amgba.com or by using the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon. $15 plus $5 S& H.

Club Website Message Board, Blog, Photo Gallery and Social Networks

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/americanmgbassociation and www.facebook.com/americanmgbassociation and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amgba.

Club Message Board at http://board.amgba.com
Club Blog at http://blog.amgba.com
Club Photo Gallery at http://photos.amgba.com

The club has a message board which can be accessed through the club website at www.mgclub.org  or directly at http//board.amgba.com . We have a members only section of the message board. Members can request club membership to the Message Board by making the request in the form of a reply on the message board or by email to us.  This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area.  It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area. You must first register for this Message Board site.  Be sure to include your membership name along with your membership number if known.

American MGB Association Message Board

The club also now has a Blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . Members can publish items to the Blog by making the request in the form of a comment on the Blog or by email.

American MGB Association Blog

The new American MGB Association photo gallery is located at http://photos.amgba.com . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board.

American MGB Association Photo Gallery

Club Information

Remember the main AMGBA website (at http://www.mgclub.org) always contains the following items which are updated after each eOctagon is sent out:

www.facebook.com/groups/americanmgbassociation and www.facebook.com/americanmgbassociation
Club Message Board at http://board.amgba.com
Club Blog at http://blog.amgba.com
Club Photo Gallery at http://photos.amgba.com
Classified ads are located at: http://ads.amgba.com
Events listings are located at: http://events.amgba.com
http://members.amgba.com) including tech staff contact info, spare parts listings, member recommendations on shops and complete copies of the Octagon.

You can also renew or join (http://dues.amgba.com) or order regalia or store items online (at http://orders.amgba.com).

The eOctagon is sent to members of the American MGB Association as an additional benefit for members that have given us their email address. Each member should notify the club of any changes to their email address.

If you do not wish to receive any more of these emails, please send an email to info@mgclub.org indicating you wish to opt out.

American MGB Association
P. O. Box 11401
Chicago, 60611 U.S.A.
Phone/Text: 773-769-7084
fax: 773-769-3240
mgclub.org or http://www.mgclub.org or www.amgba.com

Copyright 2014, AMGBA