MGB Work - Collector Car Status, Summer 2016
This is a journal of the mgb work done in the summer of 2016.
The purpose of this year's work was again simple: I wanted to apply for collector car designation for the 1968 MGB MarkII Roadster.
Step One: Photos and Application (May 2016)
The application for Collector Car status in B.C. starts with completing an application form, then submitting it with a set of photos as dirctect by the application. This I did in May. I also submitted an application for 'agreed value' insurance.
I knew the seats were torn, and the application does say 'all original parts in good condition with no tears etc.", but I decided to submit even with my torn seats. I did minor patching and hoped it might pass.
Step Two: Replace seat covers and detail the car (Aug 2016)
After some weeks, I received a letter from ICBC indicating the car had failed to obtain Collector Car status. The reason given in the letter was that the seats were torn and needed to be recovered. There were some other issues as noted in returned photos.
In addition to the torn seats, the photos indicated the level of detailing on the car was not up to ICBC standards. Areas to be detailed included the rear deck and the engine compartment. I talked to my neighbor Bill, and he suggested using spray wash on the engine and then just vacuuming out the car. He said "make it like you want to show it in a car show".
The big issue was the seats. I bought new covers for the seats some years ago, as well as new rubber diaphrams that go under the seat bottoms. Time to get to work.
I removed the seats from the car, then removed the backs from the seat bottoms. There are a number of useless videos on youtube pretending to show how to recover MGB seats, but every one suffers from the same flaw: they skip the actual installation of the seat covers!!! They spend 10-20 minutes covering removal of seats and covers, and fussing with new foam, but then *MAGIC* they are bolting the seats back in. I even called a couple of auto restorers and asked how they do seats, only to be told "we send them out to an upholsterer". How nice for you.
In the end I just decided to reverse the procedure I used to remove the old covers. It took about 2 hours but in the end I had a quite nice job. It took 2 more hours to reinstall the seats as the driver's seat rails decided to be difficult. With a bit of grease and moving the adjustment lever I finally managed to get the seats installed. They look great!
In the end I didn't take any photos of the actual seat re-covering process, nor the seat installation. I guess I now enter the ranks of the useless folks on the internet. My only difference: I didn't bother to make a video of me magically doing the seats.
With seats in place, I bought a can of spray-on engine cleaner (really just pressurized varsol), cleaned the engine and vacuumed out the car completely. With everything looking great, I took new photos of the car for ICBC and prepared to resubmit my applciation.
Step Three: resubmit and wait (Aug 2016)
With new photos taken, I decided to call ICBC to clarify a few things about the resubmission process. I talked to Michael, who suggested I email him the photos corresponding to the three photos they had sent back to me showing where I needed to fix the seats and detail the car and engine. This I did immediately.
Michael also said there were a lot of applications this year due to ICBC opening up the process to more cars in July. Fortunatly as a re-do, I was at the top of the list.
Three days later I received an email stating that my car was approved for Collector Status! Two days after that I got a phone call from LCU insurance stating that my plates were in. I drove in right away and swapped them in the LCU parking lot.
As part of this process, I heeded the advice of my brother-in-law who owns a 1976 Triumph TR-6. He recommended I get comprehensive insurance from Hagerty for my car. I checked the Hagerty website, and obtaining insurance was almost trivially easy! My car is now licensed and insured.
My 1968 MarkII MGB Roadster is now officially a Collector Car in B.C.!
My 1968 MarkII MGB Roadster is now officially a Collector Car in B.C.! (Aug 2016)
Friday Aug 27 was a local "show and shine". I've not been to one of these before, so decided to go. I started the MGB and the alternator light would not go out. It went dim, but not out. I decided to go to the event anyway as it was close, and had a great time.
Once home I put a meter on the battery, and it was 12.75V. Then I started the car, and it was 12.10V, increasing to 12.33V at 3000rpm. I was almost positive it was the alternator and most probably the diodes.
The following Monday I removed the alternator and took it in to A&B Alternator and Starter for rebuilding. His bench test confirmed the diodes were shot, and he thought the bearings might be going as well. I told him to rebuild whatever needed rebuilding.
Yesterday, Aug 31, I got a call telling me the alternator was rebuilt. As they closed early I went in today (Sep 1) and picked it up. $80 plus taxes was a good price for new diodes, one new brush and new bearings. One weird thing - one brush was 90% OK but the other was only 40% good, so he replaced the one.
Once home I installed the rebuilt alternator, using anti-seize on the bolts and a wooden stick to tension the fanbelt. Once done I started the car and all was well - 14.42V at the battery even at idle.