January 14, 2012
The donor is on the premises! It arrived yesterday, and it was just like getting a huge shipment of Locost parts. A big package of wheels, tires, engine, brakes, transmission, spindles, rear axle, wiring, gauges, steering column, and much, much more. A veritable treasure trove of 40-year-old British hardware. The only downside is, some of the parts look like they might be a little too far gone for the Locost. The switches and gauges are sort of questionable. The fuel lines are kind of rusty. Just about everything else looks useable, though.
It was something of an ordeal to retrieve the car. We arrived on the scene with our rented truck and trailer, ready to load the car up, but it turned out the rear brakes were locked solid. Luckily the seller was motivated to get the thing on the trailer, so he hooked up a winch and dragged it up the ramps. We had the same problem getting the car off the trailer at home, but with judicous use of jacks and wooden boards, and a system of ropes and pullies that would've made Archimedes proud, we managed to get it into the garage just far enough to close the door.
Today we cleaned the car up and took some pictures. Tomorrow we need to fix the brakes, so we can at least roll the car back and forth into the garage. The brakes look okay from the outside, but no telling what all those years of sitting outdoors under a tarp has done to them. And we're not exactly certain how many years that was. The guy who sold us the car said a couple, as in two, but the "brand new" sticker tires have a manufacture date of June 2004. Not too promising. We can only hope the PO bought the tires two years ago through some kind of shady closeout deal.
Best thing about having the donor? No more guesswork. The first thing we did when we got the car in the garage was measure the rear axle tube diameter. This had been a major point of contention for the rear suspension. We had estimated 2-3/4", which would've reduced rear wheel travel to the bare minimum, and the actual measurement turned out to 2-1/2", exactly 2.501 on the dial caliper. Which is excellent. We're looking forward to taking a lot more measurements. Having the donor is a huge milestone, and it's going to keep us very busy for the next couple of weeks.
There's just one problem. Well, maybe not a problem, but something we're going to have to deal with. When we got the car home, and it was sitting in the driveway, looking all classic and M.G.-like, there was a part of us that just wanted to get the car running and go for a drive. The MGB looked like so much fun, just sitting there in the driveway, like a page out of my misspent youth. Such a timeless sports car. But we have to resist the temptation. There's a time and a place for everything, and right now it's time to build a Locost.
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