Back at home from the UK with 1000+ miles on the road and 35000 steps in two days. I am glad that one of my daughters joined me in on this long trip. We combined visiting my son (who studies in the UK) and dropping my Morgan’s broken Salisbury 7HA rear axle at JB-Engineering in Welwyn Garden City. Initially I was a bit concerned about travelling with Brexit and Covid changes. The requirement for a Day 2 test from green list countries even if you stay less than 48hours is just a rip off. I purchased a “test-at-home” online from a website listed on gov.uk – but they didn’t even deliver the test to my son’s place. You need the code to fill out the “passenger locator form”. Frankly, this entire Covid travel information tracking is bollocks.
Reality is: Nobody asks you for the passenger locator form. Only about half of the people on the UK wear a mask when required. It is not checked if the Day 2 Test number you enter is correct or has been used already. You need a valid vaccination certificate when you return to the EU – but honestly, this is check is SOOOO stupid as well (unless border and customs personal magically can read QR codes and link them to the ID within milliseconds…)Oh well – this blog is about car restorations…..
After arriving in Folkestone (Eurotunnel was the cheapest opinion this time) it took us less than two hours via the Dartford crossing to Welwyn where we quickly dropped off the Morgan rear axle.
If you read my earlier posts, you know that I am fully aware that it is entirely my fault that the rear axle is f%$ked up. A stupid and avoidable mistake. After an event like this happens you mentally go through several phases. First you expect the worst. Everything inside the rear axle is shattered and the casing impacted. You already start looking for complete Salisbury 7HA axles with a 4.11 ratio just to find that these are almost impossible to find. You digest articles where people have converted a MGB rear axle and even get them side-by-side on a workbench….
Then, after you remove the abused axle from your car and open the back-plate on your workbench, you hope goes up because there is no broken part and Crown Wheel at least looks OK. You tell yourself that it will be just some bearings that need to be replaced. An uneasy feeling of what the expert who will take your rear axle apart will find when he inspects the big lump of metal. After an update from Billy today that I am somewhere between the two extremes. The lack of oil caused the pinion bearings to melt to the pinion. A 15ton press could not separate the pinion and bearings – it had to be cut out.
According to Billy the pinion needs to be replaced – and that means a new matching Crown Wheel will need to come along. New pinion and diff bearings, along with a new spacer and some trust washers….. gosh… I am such an idiot not to have double-checked where the oil marks on the floor are coming from….. New parts are a really beyond my (non-existing) budget right now. Billy offered to go with a used Morgan +8 3.3ratio Crown & pinion. The parts would be a third of the costs compared to a new 4.11 ratio of a Morgan 4/4. Well, I decided to elimate the timing aspect out of this question (to some extend). With a bit of luck Billy can find a used one.
In the meantime, I will continue to focus on the MGB project (aka Mildred). Before, I even had an overview on the potential issues with the body work required, I went ahead an ordered the required parts for the front and rear suspension. Having a family member or friend with a UK address is beneficial after Brexit. My son had the burden of storing several packages in his small student room. Largest item was an entire refurbished crossmember for the MGB. I also got refurbished stub axles and Armstrong dampers for the MGB from MSC.parts.
They are OK – but to be honest: they don’t live up to my expectations. Both need to be painted again. One of the Armstrong dampers leaks, and they just have been covered in black paint.
An enjoyable package arrived from Tim Kendall / Grove Components. It is an entire stainless (or high tension) screw set for the MGB GT. Every bag comes with its own Fitting/Content list – which super helpful. Welding of the roll-over jig & MGB rear axle has been postponed to next Monday. Looks like I wll have some time for gardening….