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MG MGB Technical - hard steering

I just bought a 79 mgb , I had a few b'sin the 70's and just getting back into it after 40 yrs. Great cars but i dont remember them being hard to steer and dificult to turn. wondering if the steering box is shot or being the car wasnt used much everthing might need just a good lube. IT has 185 goodyears on it. Should i get a set of the 165 tires radials or conventionals? Bought a timing light nut the info in the bently manual on timing is limited. Should i time it at the 10 deg mark or go right to the TDC mark? thanks , Doug
dd doug46chief

You are 40 years older, and have probably been driving modern cars with power steering in that time.

The MGB *does* have heavy steering when stopped or at very low speeds when compared to modern cars, but that doesn't preclude a fault of course.

With the front jacked up and the tyres off the ground you should be able to spin the steering wheel from lock to lock with a finger-tip. If *that's* stiff, then there is a fault, one of which can be seized king-pins if they haven't been greased regularly and properly, which is with the wheels off the ground.

The wider the tyre the heavier the steering - compound for compound. Having said that although the roadster was originally 155/80 and the GT 165/80, the LE was 185/70 so should be acceptable.

Timing it to the TDC mark will be horribly retarded, it will run like crap and probably overheat. A 1979 USA model would typically have been set to 10 degrees BTDC at 1500 rpm.
PaulH Solihull

The OE steering wheel was 15" dia, it may have been fitted with a smaller one, it's surprising how much more effort a 13.5 inch takes.
c cummins

I have 2 B's. Both with the same size wheels and tyres. Same 2.9 rack, everything else the same except the roadster is a new shell. The roadster has light steering the GT heavy. I've been through everything and am left to assume that there is a chassis or X-member difference which is altering the castor angle.
Allan Reeling

Thanks for all the help. I will try the wheel off the ground. I have a weber on there and if i give it gas hard it bogs. If i doit gradual its ok but engine feels like it looses power under full accel. I think its too lean and i have to check the plugs. Any one have an idea how to richen the weber it is the downdraft 2 barrel .thanks Doug
dd doug46chief

Give it gas it bogs, I recon your accelarator pump seal has gone. In effect it is not getting the gas!!. Mike
J.M. Doust

Doug: I too have a 79 B. The steering on mine was pretty heavy. It turned out the front end had not been greased in years. The kingpins each took almost a full container of grease from the pistol grip grease gun. After that the steering was very light. I run 185/70 x 14 tires.

The factory timing setting is 10 BTDC @ 1500 RPM w/ vacuum advance disconnected. In my case, the engine has been modified with a Crane 270 cam, Weber 2V carb, and Lumitronic ignition. So the factory setting was merely a "benchmark" to start from. After experimenting, my B runs well at 17 BTDC @ 1500 RPM. Past that, it pings and below, it will bog.

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gary hansen

This thread was discussed between 24/01/2012 and 25/01/2012

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