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First British Car Club Drive

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Pointyhead Ernie B
Warner Robins, GA, USA   USA
1978 MG MGB "Nigel" ~ For Sale ! ~
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Nigel II"
Saturday, 14 April 2018.

This weekend we had our first club drive since I joined this august group of brit auto enthusiasts. We met at 8 at our local garage with the intention of leaving at 9:00 am. Due to late arrivers and one MG with an over heat problem, we were on our way at 10:30. Our consist was 8 British, 2 VWs, an Alfa Romeo, a Ford Focus and F150 with a car hauler. We were heading to a state park 102 miles away. Yes, I know that's too far to expect no complications, and that turned out to be the case.

Only 12 miles and our first casualty was the overheating MG that threw a fan belt. No problem, we load it onto the backup trailer, which is a necessity I found out. Everything is fine until we stop for a leg stretch/potty break at 80 miles. After 15 minutes, we are ready to go when my Spitfire decides not to crank. We believe it to be a vapor lock situation, but after further investigation it appears that my gasoline has turned to mud. The filter was clogged with a deep shade of rust. Unfortunately, in the deep rural bowels of south Georgia, there are no auto parts stores, with the exception of the occasional NAPA store that finds it fitting to close on the weekends.

Someone came up with a suggestion to by-pass the filter by removing it and to use the barrel of a ball point pen to connect the two fuel lines together. That worked well for a couple of miles until the fuel pump clogs with gunk. So, it's stop and clean the screen on the pump. In the meantime, a TR3 shears a bolt on the water pump and it's out of commission. It get's pushed to a nearby post office with an overhang, and the driver rides in one of the modern vehicles the remainder of the way.

The picnic was great and a fun time was had by all. Once there, one member drives a few dozen miles to get a new fan belt for the MG, which is installed and ops checked good. We take it off the trailer to make room for the TR3. We head back and stop to get it loaded on the hauler. A few miles further and my Spit decides to starve itself of gas. Another ingenious plan was to switch the pen with a fuel filter from another MG. That buys us about 30 miles until it croaks again. It's now getting dark, and we are down to 4 cars left as most have taken shortcuts home.

Another ingenious plan! Run to a Dollar General for a 2 gallon gas can, and anything that can be used for a fuel line, which turned out to be a 3/8 inch plastic garden plant watering hose. We rigged the tank to the fuel pump and mounted the gas can to the bonnet with bungees. That got us to within 15 miles of home. Seems that the watering hose lining couldn't handle the volatile fuel so now the carb is just to clogged to continue.

It's now 10 pm, and out of ideas, except to call a friend with another trailer. We get it picked up and hauled back in to the shop. I've now ordered a new fuel tank kit, fuel pump, lots of fuel line and gaskets. In the coming weeks I plan to redo the entire fuel system starting with a carb rebuild and ending with the tank.

Second project: Build a emergency supply kit. Flashlights, phone charger, emergency lighting, hoses, clamps, zip ties, tools. Water, MREs. All the basics...

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