An M.G. Locost Build
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March 1, 2012
Last Drive of the Donor

I may never watch another Star Wars movie again. One of our favorite driving roads in these parts is about to become overridden with slow traffic, if George Lucas gets his way and builds a giant media center out at Skywalker Ranch. The road, an 11 mile stretch of fantastic twists, turns, and elevation changes, runs through the Lucas Valley from San Rafael to the Petaluma-Point Reyes junction, which takes you from there out to the Pacific coast and California's Highway 1. It's been a favorite route for sports car drivers all over Marin County and beyond for many years.

  Lucas Valley Road, Marin County, California
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The valley was named over a century ago for an unrelated Lucas who first settled there, so George has no claim to the land. He did buy a sizeable portion of it back in 1977, but other people live there too, and they're not happy about the traffic a giant media center would engender. They've taken George to court over it, but the legal system either can't find any reason to deny Lucas his permits, or else they're big Star Wars fans. If the project goes forward, not only will we have to boycott the whole Star Wars culture, we may have to come up with a different electrical system for our Locost.

Locost radiator  
click to enlarge

Anxious to get moving on the Locost before the big construction trucks start to roll, we installed the refurbished $25 eBay radiator in the M.G. to see if it would hold water and resolve the cooling problem. The good news is, it didn't leak. Unfortunately, the engine doesn't run any cooler, and to compound the problem we managed to strip a stud on the thermostat housing, which we had to replace because the early radiator has the inlet pipe on the proper side of the car. So now the thermostat housing leaks.

  Maybe we could just bend the needle a little
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Both radiators performed about the same, which is an indication that the radiator may not be the problem. I think we'll keep the radiator that doesn't leak for the Locost, maybe even give it a fresh coat of paint, and then focus on other areas. Of course there aren't a lot of other areas. The problem could be my brand new Moss Motors thermostat, although I think if that were the case the car would be boiling over, not just running hot. Unless the thermostat is actually opening but not very far. But probably not.

eBay gauge with meaningless centigrade marks    
click to enlarge

The problem could also be the water pump. A broken impeller blade or two would keep the coolant from circulating as fast as it should. But broken impeller blades usually make a lot of noise, so that's unlikely. We could also try to verify that the gauge is working. This is reportedly a common problem in the later chrome-bumper cars, but it seems a little too easy. Still, it wouldn't take much to hook up our new eBay gauge with a couple of short lengths of wire and compare its reading to the gauge in the dash.

But all of this will have to wait to be done in the Locost, as will the job of replacing the bad thermostat housing stud. We took the car out for its final cruise early this evening, then backed it into the garage for the last time. The engine is coming out of the car tomorrow, and we've already started taking it all apart. I know, seems rather impatient, but we have a couple of friends coming over to help us pull the engine, and you have to take the help when you can get it.

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Comments:  
posted December 28, 2016 at 22:25:26  
You got to be kidding!!! No way Detroit trades Su.2h8&30;#, besides the will restructure CJ’s contract to open up some cap space. They will not get rid of one of the building blocks that has turned this franchise around.