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Project Sprite Underway

One of our customers is undertaking the task of rebuilding his Sprite.  He worked hard to get the car stripped, the parts cleaned and has started to rebuilding process.  We were called in to help with the body and paint, as well as some front and rear suspension work.

Here are some pictures to bring you up to date-

There is more activity going on.  The customer has created a website so you can watch the changes happen.

Here is the link:  http://www.jpsah.blogspot.com/

Enjoy the ride!!!

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Answer to a Nagging Problem – Battery Tenders

As one of our customers told me, over the phone, as he sat in a parking lot waiting for the tow truck, “it’s an old British car, it has problems”.  Well, I guess I have to agree somewhat; but we are trying hard to make them more dependable wherever we can.

One of the bigger issues during the winter months, is keeping the battery charged.  Even though it is the 21st century, battery technology for your car isn’t much past where it was in the sixties.  It seems like if you don’t start the car regularly, the battery loses it’s charge.  Many of you have installed a battery disconnect switch, and that really does help the situation.  However, we have found a very inexpensive and cost effective way to keep your battery fresh and ready to go when you are.

A company called “Deltran makes a product called a “Battery Tender”.  This consists of a power pack that plugs into your wall outlet, and cables to attach to your battery.

They give you the option to attach it permanently, or you can use the conventional clamps.  No matter how you hook it up, we have learned from experience that you need to have it easily accessible, in plain sight,  and basically you have to trip over the cable before you pull the car out of the garage, or you will constantly be testing the “quick disconnect” feature of the cable plug.

This is one of the most advanced units of it’s type.  It has reverse polarity protection, for you early car owners that are still positive ground; it is small and light weight and it switches automatically from charging to float maintenance.  What this means, is that while you are not driving the car, the Tender cycles the battery constantly so that it keeps the battery in top shape, and always ready to go.

In 2013, we are trying to help those of you who read the Blog, and are friends of British Auto Works.  One of the ways we are doing this, is to offer products, such as the Battery Tender, to you at a special price.  In this case, you can buy the Deltran Battery Tender Junior, (as shown is the above photo), for $29.95.  To purchase the battery tender, visit our website at www.britishautoworks.com.  You’ll see the product right there on our home page.

Thank you for your support of British Cars.

Enjoy the ride!!!

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What we won’t do for a Delivery

Those of you who are local, know that the last several days around here have been really cold.  We haven’t had any rain or snow, but it has been really cold.  Well even this cold can’t stop Stan from delivering a car to the customer.  Here’s a shot of Stan getting ready to go, and what it was like for the road conditions.

By the way, he reports that the defrosters on a Bugeye suck in sub-freezing weather.

Enjoy the ride!!!

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A Surprise for his Dad

Awhile back a customer came in and said he had a chrome bumper MGB he wanted restored.  The car had been his Dad’s, and he had bought in new off the lot.  As the common story goes, it had been driven a lot in the early years, but as life caught up with Dad, the car got less and less attention.  My first impression was that our customer had gotten the car from his Dad and wanted to get it up and running.  After a long and detailed estimate of what it was going to take, we started on the car.

This was a complete restoration.   The body was actually in pretty good shape, it had been in a garage the entire time, and it was mainly the dust, dirt and cobwebs we had to deal with.

The biggest task was that he wanted to change the color to black.   This is by far the most difficult color to paint and not show imperfections in the finish.  However difficult that painting might have been, the final look was awesome.   Then, to make the car look even better, it was decided to have the interior be tan leather with a black canvas top and tonneau.

The great part about this story is that when the car was finished, our customer had always intended to give the car back to his Dad so he could enjoy the car even more now.  We were surprised to find out that our customer had only ridden in the car a few times as a small boy, and that when he got in it to deliver it to Dad, it was the first time he had ever driven the car.  It’s our opinion, and it is a little biased, that the car is far better today than it was when it rolled off the dealer’s lot the first time.

So if you are driving around Salem and see this great looking MGB, be sure to honk and wave.  Know that the driver is reliving some of the great times from years gone by, and that he has a really nice and loving son that helps keep the dream alive and continues to enjoy the ride!!!

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Another Common Fix

When you get down to a fame off restoration, you find all sorts of issues that you could easily overlook with a lesser scale restoration.  The most common is frame rust and bent frames.  All of you Triumph owner know very well the potential for damage that comes with a tub / chassis type car.  That is not to say that the same problem do not exist with the later MG’s that are of the uni-body design.  The reality is that with the tub off the frame and you can strip all the grease and dirt away,  you can get a really good look at the remaining structure.

No matter how you can view the chassis, there are critical things to look for.  The most important of which is beds or kinks in the frame rails, or parts of the frame rail that has been repaired or welded.  Though it is not the end of the world, a bent frame creates an unsafe condition for the operation of the car.  If you find repairs that have been made by a previous owner, be sure to examine them closely and if there are questions, take the frame to a professional and have it checked out.

Another common issue is rust.  Here are some pictures of a rusted frame which we made repairs to and got it ready for powder coating.

You need to cut out the rust portion, expose the rust in the frame.  Clean the remaining rusted metal as good as possible.  Treat the metal with a good rust killer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut a patch panel and stitch weld the panel into place.  From here, you grind the welds, smooth everything up and send the frame off to powder coat.

The frame is a significant part of the car.  Any major repairs need to be reviewed by a professional.  Minor repairs can be done in your garage, but if you have questions, do not hesitate to get professional advice.

Enjoy the ride!!!

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Another MGB is Back on the Road

 

We are keeping busy here at the shop.  We have a few more restorations that have been completed and are waiting for drier weather before they hit the road.  Here are some pictures of a ’64 pull handle that we finished for a very very nice couple that enjoy the marque.

The original B was one of the only early B’s we have had for awhile.  The body was in pretty rough shape but it was all there.

Once we got the paint off we found additional rust damage.  We were able to do minor body repair to the panels and ultimately we had to replace both floor pans.

In the end, we were able to have a sound car that came out straight.  It is pretty much stock, has a non-synchro box, the engine and drive train have been rebuilt, all new fuel system, with rebuilt SU’s, new brake hydraulics and clutch hydraulics. All new interior and electrical.

It has a very nice original dash design, the radio is hidden behind the glove box door, it does have heated leather seats, a roll bar, and a specially designed platform behind the seats for the dog.  They chose to top it off with a tan canvas top and tonneau.

The car looks and runs great.  Our thanks to a wonderful customer couple.  We hope you enjoy the ride!!!

Happy New Year!

Here’s hoping that all of you had a very happy holiday, and that we all have the best year ever in 2013.

We are very fortunate to have had a very good year this year at British Auto Works.  Our repair business was up, and we added a new full time and a part time employee to help get the work out the door faster.  We look forward to even better business this year.  We are doing several changes at the shop to streamline repairs, and have a larger and more applicable parts inventory.  Along with stocking more items here at the shop, we are working to improve our front lobby to be more inviting to our visitors.  We have also begun streamlining our restoration operation.  We have hired a full time operations manager that works only with the restoration.  We were able to complete nine restorations and have the cars back on the road.  We hope to do even better this year.

Another big addition is our new on line parts store.  British Parts Direct, is an online store that offers specific British car parts at discounted prices.  This is a direct ship operation, and we are trying to keep the prices low to give you the best value possible.  The items on the site are not available at the shop for the same prices shown.  However, we are trying to keep the cost of parts as low as possible no matter how you buy them from us.

Check out  www.britishpartsdirect.com  and see how you can save.

There are going to be other new things here at British Auto Works this year.  Most of all I promise to be a better blogger.

Enjoy the ride !!!

Getting ready for winter

I am not sure what the weather is like where you are, but around here we are having a very mild fall and early winter.  The rains have started, but it is after all Oregon.  I do feel sorry for all of you back on the east coast.  There just isn’t much you can do to prepare for devastation like that.

For you who are the lucky ones, your car is in the garage, and you are waiting for that next sunny day, be sure that you are taking good care of the car.

As always, the fuel is the one element that will give you the biggest problems.  Always add some “Sta-bil” or some similar product to your fuel tank.  Remember to read the directions on how much to mix.  Most of you have about a ten gallon tank and many of the additives are bottled for twenty gallon tanks.

Seldom does a day at the shop go by that a customer doesn’t make some comment about the Lucas electrical system.  It really is a very good system and under general usage, it works very well.  it’s when the wires are there without current passing through them that corrosion begins to set in.  You just need to get out and start the car and at least drive it around the block once a month.

One other item you need to be aware of is the battery.  If you have a battery disconnect switch installed, use it.  A better option is to get “battery tender”.  This is a unit that connects to the battery and plugs into a wall outlet.  It actually cycles the battery.  This way when you are ready to go, you have a fully charged battery.  It also adds to your battery life.

Hopefully the rest of your winter will be uneventful, and full of opportunities to drive.

 

Enjoy the ride!!!

Converting To Electric

As gas prices get higher and higher, there is a stronger ad stronger interest in electric cars.  The light weight and good handling characteristics of the British Sports Car makes it a very desirable option for those who want to try and convert a car from internal combustion to an electric drive train.

I have been introduced to just such a vehicle by one of our customers.  Take a look at the website listed below.  This is probably the sweetest MGB conversion I have seen.

http://sites.google.com/site/72mgbev/home

Enjoy the ride!!!

The Open House Was A Big Success

We want to thank all of you for coming to our “open House and Queen’s Rally” this past Saturday.  The weather was beautiful and everyone had a lot of fun.

This year the MG’s held up their end of the rally taking three places, but the champion was a repeat in his hot little Spitfire.

There are pictures and a short video coming soon.

I just want to say thank you again to all of those great customers who took time from their bust weekend to help us celebrate.  We are looking forward to next year.

 

Enjoy the Ride!!!

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