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MG MGB Technical - MG -MOT Fail

My heritage shell MGB failed its MOT ; "It was not possible to fix the backs seats in one position". Has anyone else had this problem? The seats pivot about two bolts between the back and the seat base!
Neil
D Stewart

What age is your car?

My '67 has the same arrangement as yours. Later cars are adjustable and can be secured in various positions.
Dave O'Neill 2

Itís a 66 according the log book. I donít have the time to argue this with the MOT station. I will tack weld the seat frame tonight and have it retested tomorrow!
D Stewart

Clausager seems to imply that 62 and 63 "The squabs folded forwards, but could be locked upright by a bolted-on bracket at the bottom rear" which makes the locking sound optional, but from some time in 64 "the rake could be adjusted by two bolts at the bottom of the squab" which implies it should be bolted in one of two or more possible positions. A reclining handle was added in 69 which allowed the seat back to be secured in many positions.
PaulH Solihull

"The squabs folded forwards, but could be locked upright by a bolted-on bracket at the bottom rear" which makes the locking sound optional, but from some time in 64 "the rake could be adjusted by two bolts at the bottom of the squab" which implies it should be bolted in one of two or more possible positions. A reclining handle was added in 69 which allowed the seat back to be secured in many positions."

The earlier system, if it exists, was a removable bracket you could bolt on, and the back then didn't move at all, PITA. I don't think many cars actually came with the bracket, but could be wrong, perhaps the dealer removed them. They all got removed the first time you dropped something behind the seat, or when you got tired of hearing the passenger seat rattle on the bracket! This non adjustable system is not mentioned in the WSM or owner's manual.
The second system is just two adjustment bolts that act as a rear stop, controlling the angle of repose; the bracket continues. This is in the WSM & owner's manual with pictures. There is a welded in nut right in the center of the lower back frame tube for this bracket.

Later on cars got the movable latch that kept the back in place, along with the reclining mechanism that lets you alter the repose angle -it's two different things.

Don't weld it; make as bracket, use a hose clamp, twist tie, or baling wire if you must. Or you can temporarily replace one of the shouldered pivot bolts with a standard bolt and washers to lock it in place. A reasonable compromise is to fit Belleville or wave washers on the pivot bolt to stop free movement but allow intentional movement.

There is a certain amount of sense in having the seatback locked in place, to keep crap from flying around in the car when you hit the brakes (or the tree) hard, but it was common for two seat cars of the time to have no locks. Cars with rear seats are another story, and that's likely where the reg or interpretation comes from.

FRM
Fletcher R Millmore

The MoT tester is wrong. The seats backs on a MK I car do not lock, they are not designed to. I have never had a problem with this, ask them to re-read the manual with attentiun to the timing of this requrements introduction. If still no joy. appeal.
Stan Best

My seats have never been fixed in position and I've never failed the MoT...at least, not for that reason.

The attached photo shows the two adjusting bolts and the locking clamp, although the clamp has always been inverted and not hooked under the frame.

Dave O'Neill 2

The MOT tester is wrong but do not appeal.
You cannot use the car until the appeal is "heard". It could be alleged that appeals are not made easy for the presenter.......And probably you have not asked for the appeal form and have used the car anyway.

If you can show that this was how it was back in 66, that should be fine. BUT the grey area is that it ain't original as it is a heritage shell-tho perhaps the seats are.....
A reasonable tester should "give the benefit of the doubt to the presenter" and pass and advise. FWIW the advisories are "logged" with the pass, so any tester can prove that the presenter was advised, thereby releasing the tester, the garage, VOSA of responsibility. The back of the VT 20 makes it clear that the presenter is (legally) liable... Probably the pragmatic approach is to choose a MOT garage that other classic car owners recommend...
Michael Beswick

""BUT the grey area is that it ain't original as it is a heritage shell-tho perhaps the seats are.....""

I would beg to differ the Heritage Shell is sold as a spare part so the ID of the car remains, so for all purposes it is original.

Just take the seat out for the test!!!
K Harris

I agree the MOT tester is wrong.
I agree that it is still considered a 66 car even though it has a heritage shell.
In 26 years of ownership of a 65 car this has NEVER been mentioned at an MOT

The BMC handbook for the 65 car supports Dave O'Neills picture and text by stating on page 15 after describing the adjustment progress " The bracket (the squab to frame bracket)may be reversed to enable the seat squab(back) to tip for the purpose of loading or unloading luggage into the rear cockpit". My clarifications in brackets

So it was always intended that the seat squab could move if wanted by the user.

George
251 GRW
G R Wilder

Has the MOT station offered a solution to "fix" it? Many tout for business by obscure failures or advisories.
c cummins

The situation is resolved a tack welded pivot points! Thanks for all your input. Next problem....

Neil
D Stewart

My '67 came with the seat squabs installed in the backwards position so that the seats could be tilted forward but you wouldn't forget where you had stored the squabs. My car has always passed its annual inspection with no one ever having mentioned this fault. I could have remedied it in 5 minutes. If you can't locate new seat squabs they can be easily be fabricated from 1/8" sheet metal. RAY
rjm RAY

The squab is the seat back, not the bracket that stops it tilting forwards.
PaulH Solihull

This thread was discussed between 28/07/2010 and 31/07/2010

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