A shock development
MILEAGE SINCE LAST REPORT
23,257 £40 (MoT)
TOTAL MILEAGE LATEST COSTS
ather than go down the obvious route of donning matching T-shirts and going on a drinking binge, I’ve decided it’d be more fun to chuck a couple of classics into my stag weekend. So I’ve been preparing to go to the Scottish Highlands for a few days (I’m getting married in July). But while I’m confident the ‘B GT would relish the challenge, there is a small fly in the ointment. While CKE 303K has emerged from the garage with another 12 months’ ticket, the advice from the menders confirmed what I already suspected: the front shocks are on the way out.
Stick the ‘B’s nose into a corner a bit too eagerly and the steering wheel jiggles more awkwardly than a portly relative on a dancefloor. The shock absorbers might still be fit enough to earn another 12 months’ ticket but they’re clearly approaching the end of their life.
The race is on to replace them – and the big question’s with what. The equally tired lever arm hydraulic jobs at the back got converted to Spax telescopic shock absorbers, and I’m umming and ahhing about whether to give the front end the same treatment.
Replacing the tired components like-for-like would be quicker and a lot cheaper, but deep down I know the gas conversion would make my MG handle much better. It’s a fairly common upgrade that doesn’t spoil the car’s character, and the sort of thing I really hope any cackhanded implementation of the European Roadworthiness Directive doesn’t spoil.
There are a couple of other advisory jobs to do on the ‘B, including tightening up a wheel bearing and sorting out a chafing fuel pipe.
The ‘B GT’s running a lot better than it was a few weeks ago, but I suspect getting it ready for Scotland is going to be a tough challenge.
Will my MX-5 get the weekend north of the border the MG so clearly deserves? I’m looking forward to finding out.