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MG MGB Technical - Poor Quality Replacement Parts

I want to start a thread on 'poor quality replacement parts' because I am wondering how often MG owners may be having experience with this. I have only one hobby car at a time due to space and finance limitations. I have had a 77 MGB, a 63 MGB, a 55 Triumph TR2, and presently a 70 'split bumper' MGB. I have been fighting steering column shudder when braking in the current MGB for several seasons. I have replaced the rotors (repeatedly), the wheel bearings, bushed the king pins (twice), all of the shocks were replaced, all new neoprene suspension bushings, etc. etc. Now we think we have found the problem . . . the splined hubs for the wire wheels. I did not suspect these to be the source of the problem because they were new only a few thousand miles ago along with new, Dayton, 72 spoke wire wheels. On earlier cars I had done my own engine overhauls. On this one I decided to have a reputable shop to the overhaul. I wanted a quality job. But with less than 4000 miles on the overhaul the engine seized from a broken lifter and subsequently a broken cam shaft. We believe the engine failure was due to faulty new parts. There was heavy cam lobe and lifter wear in spite of generous use of assembly lube, careful assembly, careful and frequent tappet adjustments, frequent oil changes and use of ZDDP addatives. ... If you have experience with what you believe to be faulty, new, replacement parts, please add a story on your experience to this thread. I would like to hear of the experiences others are having on this issue.

Rob Blubaugh, President
Wabash Valley British Sports Car Club
Lafayette, Indiana USA - retired school teacher
(1970 'split bumper' MGB and 1951 Ford F1 flathead V8 pickup)

R Blubaugh

I think most people will agree with you. Unfortunately this is a problem for most businesses in many different trades.
The problem is that most people want everything cheap and now.
MGB's are cheap to run that is why they are popular, just how much would you be willing to pay for parts. Manufacturing volumes are also a problem, low volume high quality is not cheap.
Pity US/UK manufacturers are not more interested, can't see that happening though.

M F L Sherrit

There are so many I don't know where to start, and it's been the case in the 25 years I've had MGBs. Moaning here won't get anything done about it, I go back to the supplier if it's something that fails inside a year or so and insist it's replaced. However replacements for originals that lasted 20, 30 or more years now only last about a dozen or so, and unfortunately there is not much you can do about those, apart from moan at the supplier. But with things like rear axle rebound straps, that are now little more than rubber bands as they contain no reinforcing cord, and usually break as soon as you hang the axle off them, at least they can go back. While there are some very cheap manufacture parts out there, reputable suppliers may avoid them, but as in the case of the straps they all get them from the same supplier so going elsewhere is no good.

Sometimes you get a specialist that will deal the problem, ignition components are a case in point, with two specialists in the UK supplying good stuff - and
PaulH Solihull

Part and parcel of owning a classic car; or so Moss told me.
c cummins

I installed a "rebuilt" six cylinder into a '54 Chevy a couple of years ago. Fortunately, I made certain that oil was reaching the rocker assemblies before starting the engine. Operating the oil pump with an electric drill showed good pressure at the gauge, but no oil was reaching the rockers. I removed the oil feed line and it proved to be plugged solid. I also removed the oil restrictor and found it to be half the size of the one in the old engine. I swapped the two components from the old engine and began getting plenty of oil up to the rockers. I started the engine and noticed that the #1 exhaust valve already needed adjusting. After shutting down the engine, I adjusted the valve clearance and re-started the engine. The #1 valve started making noise again. It turned out to be a faulty camshaft that wasn't properly hardened. I had lubricated everything in the valve train with break in lube, but the #1 cam lobe was worn down to nothing after five minutes of runing in time. After contacting the seller, I was assured that a replacement cam was in the mail. It never arrived and the company never answered any calls or emails that the owner sent to them after that. He purchased the engine from a company that he had located on the net and not from one of the dealers that I had recommended. The car now sits abandonded by the side of his house. RAY
rjm RAY

These old cars are not for the faint-hearted - Moss and the MGOC offer convenience but their interest is in profit and very little of what they offer would satisfy the factory quality controllers. The exception has been the kit which (in the past) has had a modern application. The best advice is to go wherever possible direct to the specialist manufacturers, re-manufactuers and re-fitters. There are plenty of each on both sides of the Atlantic.
For the British, "the sale of goods act" offers some protection but with modern cars having a very short design life, it is difficult to show that the standard offerings of the suppliers are unfit for purpose.
Roger W

Sadly we live in a time when the word "quality", is only part of an advertising campaign....
Everything is this way, not just auto replacement parts...
When we come across a product that is really high quality, we're amazed and excited....even if it's only a new toilet seat.
E.B. Wesson

Rob, it's funny (not haha funny) that you say that. I have a TD which I converted to wire wheels and experienced the same exact shudder upon braking. I thought it was brake adjustment and even though it would diminish, I couldn't quite get it to disappear completely. The wheels have been on the car for a couple of years so I doubt that I would have any recourse with the supplier. The up side is that it does stop and if I anticipate stopping I'm able to minimize the shudder but it still bugs me. I figured new parts and all, it couldn't be the hubs. caveat emptor. My pet peeve is when you order parts and they absolutely do not fit.
Keith Yarbrough(TD 1275)

To your last point. I bought a front wheel bearing 'Kit' from M*** which does not include a split pin ('M*** GHF505') so I bought one separately. When I got the kit home and started work I found the pin I had bought was almost 2* the size of the hole! Luckily (I thought!) there was also a new pin in with he kit (Not listed) but that was the same size as the separate one! M** said. that's what we always supply and no one complains!
Still would not change it though. Good job I had some around!
B Anderson

"Quality", don't get me started!!**** Rubber product seems to suffer a lot, but have had engine parts far away from spec too.
I digress, often!!
Telford NHS trust has a hospital referral system which used to be called "Choose and Book" i.e., self explanatory and no bull. The name has now changed to "TRAQS". Telford Referral And Quality Service". You can almost smell the effort which must have gone into coming up with an acronym which included QUALITY. It's a comfort to know you get your tonsils removed with QUALITY!!!
Allan Reeling

So Ray, how did you fix the front wheel shake problem? Did you replace the splines, hub, drum or the whole thing?
Keith Yarbrough(TD 1275)

So Rob, how did you fix the front wheel shake problem? Did you replace the splines, hub, drum or the whole thing?
Keith Yarbrough(TD 1275)

R Blubaugh

Yes, (time frame around 2002ish)
The lifter issue I have seen that first hand. A rebuilt 1970 mgb engine, The cam came from delta camshaft,the lifters from moss. Less than 3500 miles... The engine had catastrophic lifter failer... At the time my friend was working at a gun manufacturing plant.. they had the tools to analyze the rockwell hardness of the lifters...The camshaft showed no signs of damage. Some of the lifters were worn down to knubs. Metal went everywhere through the engine. Im going from memory here on the numbers but I think the lifters are supposed to be 45 rockwell
4 out of 8 were less than 21 rockwell... We got the typical nonesence of you didnt break the cam in right etc..etc...not enough lube...The vender tried every option to find a fault with the inital running in.
Finally they asked how it was known that it was definately there parts that caused the issue and the story came out. At that time the contact said that they knew some of the lifters had caused problems with not being heat treated in the past and had seen these issues. They offered to replace the parts he needed for a rebuild, but wouldnt pay for the machine work. He took the deal..The cars been fne since..
The list Barney G started seemed to be the only counter measure to be aware of bad parts on the market and a real service to those who want to drive these cars. hope this helps you...
Steven Devine

Have a friend with a TR4a, he had lifter failure a couple of years ago, again Moss product!
Allan Reeling

This thread was discussed between 21/01/2013 and 11/03/2013

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