7/13/2013 Brakes, Sway Bar, Starter, Wheels, Steering Wheel, Lifters.

Today I wrapped up about a month of projects, and got rolling. The sway bar and brakes are completed. Pictures are below. In the end, it was steel braided brake lines all around, new brake line on the left rear to replace a spliced line from a previous owner, new rotors and pads up front, and rebuilt front calipers.

The sway bar is installed and has transformed the handling of the car. Sometime down the road I'll have to pull it back out and clean/paint it, but for now I'm just glad to have it install and feel a difference.

Another summer project I had planned was to paint the wheels. I have had 2K silver, black, clear and primer waiting for this project. I got all five wheels out, wire wheeled them down, primed them and shot them in silver. The following day, I taped them up, sprayed the black and then removed the taping and did three coats of clear. Caps and centers reinstalled, mounted them with new lug nuts and another job done.

I have been searching for an early steering wheel and lost a few on eBay hoping for a good price. Finally I prevailed and got this steering wheel. I cleaned up the spokes with some light steel wool, and the center cap was split open, repainted from the inside out, polished up and glued back together. I'm happy with the result.

The starter has been making a strange noise for some time and I've been putting it off because it worked. Until now. After I installed the steering wheel, I decided to go for a ride but that was it. No start. You could hear the starter engage and turn, but the engine was not moving. Assuming the bendix had failed in the starter I ordered a new starter. I removed the old starter in preparation and checked the bendix which seemed fine. So, I put a screwdriver on the ring gear on the flywheel and with a slight push, it SPUN on the flywheel. This is the noise I had been hearing, and this is why the starter motor was turning but not cranking the engine. I searched the internet for this problem but it seems to be quite rare on ANY car, including MG's. Most websites that mentioned it said the ring gear needs to be replaced along with the flywheel. That entails engine and transmission removal... There is no way this car will get that work done anytime soon. One website mentioned welding the gear to the flywheel. My concern was balance, so I spot welded the gear to the flywheel, and then rotated it 180 degrees and spot welded it again. Then welded the other two corners and put it all back together. Car started right up and worked fine. On top of that, if the gear ever needs to be replaced, I can grind down those four welds or just replace the whole thing. Back in business. Again.

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