1977 MGB Roadster - Part 1


When I was a young lad I always wanted to own an MGB. I suppose we should be careful what we wish for. This is my 1977 MGB Roadster, Brooklands Green with all the trappings of a '77 model including rubber bumpers, body side decal work and the ubiquitous Weber carburetor conversion replacing the single Stromberg 175 that was fitted as standard. One day that'll have to go, but there are other priorities to deal with first. I bought this car in October 2010 after looking at 4 others, none of which warrant further discussion here. This was the least bad of all the examples I looked at, including a truly horrible one I drove all the way to Virginia to inspect.
Front view taken on the day I picked the car up. This is one of four pictures I used when I applied to the DMV for a Classic Registration.
I decided to trailer the car home so I rented a U-Haul trailer and hooked it up behind my truck and brought the MGB home on it. For those interested in the technical towing details, you'll need a towing vehicle rated for at least 5000lbs. I own a Honda Ridgeline which is, handily, rated at 5000lbs towing capacity. The MGB plus the trailer come in at a little less than this figure. The Ridgeline had no trouble towing the combined package from the Philadelphia suburbs out to my home although narrow lanes and roadworks on I476 made things a little hairy.

Initial Assessment

There are quite a number of things that have to be dealt with on the car. Some I picked up on before I bought it; others have come to light since then as I have begun to work on it.


Low oil pressure

Difficult starting

Beastly Weber carburetor


Slight blistering of the paint on the rear wings, start just above the line of the side chrome trip strip, both sides of the car.

Engine Bay

Rough paintwork

Rust around the heater box and pedal box

Gray primer overspray on the steering column, brake lines and brake booster

Hydraulic Systems

Slow hydraulic leak from brake master cylinder

Slow hydraulic leak from the clutch master cylinder


Turn signals do not work

Radio does not work

Oil Pressure Research

I'd originally hoped that the missing oil pressure was a gauge issue associated with the electrical problem preventing the turn signals from working, but it turned out MG reverted to a mechanical gauge for later MGB models. I worked from the gauge backwards toward the engine. The gauge checked out when I blew 25psi compressed air into it. I blew through the hard line back to the coupler to make sure it was clear, and checked the flexible line as well. Finally I connected the gauge directly to the port on the block and still got no reading. I replaced the oil filter and inspected the filter mounting and hoses. I concluded eventually that this was a flow issue; there was no oil flow through the filter. I reprimed the oil pump but this did not solve the problem so was left with no option but to remove the engine for further inspection.

Continue to Part 2



Approximate Year






Related Links

1977 MGB Roadster - Part 2

1977 MGB Roadster - Part 3