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Discussion Starter #1
This afternoon I was out in the garage taking a look at my rusted floor pan. I'm planning on doing a replacement or fabricating some steel to patch the holes on the drivers side. While doing this I notice a small amount of coolant that had puddled on the floor right next to the gas pedal. I've taken out all of the carpet and the panels that go next to the gearbox so I was able to put my hand up behind the gear box and noticed there was some up there as well. Any idea what might be causing this? Once I patch my floor pans I plan on putting in a new carpet set. Of course I don't want to do this if I have some kind of leak. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated on this. Thanks!
 

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You don't say what year Spider you have, but a logical suspect would be the heater valve....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm ok. Wondering if that is something that routinely fails or more likely did I cause it to fail when I took out the carpet? Is it tough to replace? Thanks all for the input!
 

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It's a lot of fun to replace the heater control valve - very good for a bad back too. And they only cost $62.00. At least it won't be soaking coolant into your carpet. If you cut out the drivers floor pan you can put the car on a lift and stand with your head poking through the missing floor pan and do the job standing up. But most people don't cut out the floor pan to replace the heater valve! Say, wail a minute, I have an 88 Quad myself - you better order 2 while you'r at it!

Have fun, Robert Hill in Memphis, TN
 

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You are lucky it's not an older spider.....
I have to remove the entire heater assembly and take it apart to change the valve.
Yours unbolts from the core.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is all good to know. I suspect this won't be the last time something like this happens. Of course it's one of the reasons I bought the car...to learn.

Robert, It's too bad we don't live closer to one another. My back is fine but my mechanical experience is lacking.
 

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Tosaquad,

Where DO you live? Tell me when you do the job and I will open a beer and cry into it just in tribute to your efforts!

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm in the Milwaukee area about a 10 minute drive from the Miller Brewery\Miller Park. Planning to pick up a camera in the next few days and post a picture. I also wanted to get some feedback on my floors.
 

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I used to have an MGA with rotten (wooden) floor boards, in my youth. I found that the holes in the floor boards made an excellent place to dispose of the empty Miller cans. And that an't no ----!

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My Dad had a '58 MG A. That is one car I would really love to have. I was looking at a few on ebay recently and was surprised to see the wooden floor boards. Those things must have rotted real quick, especially in a climate like we have.
 

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The floorboards in the MG T series and MGA's were made with a pretty good grade of the equivalent to marine plywood. They held up well as long as you kept them dry. But if the car leaked in the rain (a given with all British sports cars of the period) and you let the carpets stay soaked with water, then the floodboards took a beating. Pretty much like Alfa and MGB metal floorboards. The MGB had scupers in the floorboards and if you kept these cleaned out they drained off accumulated water. But people never took out the carpets and rodded out the scuppers, so they would eventually become clogged and then the rust began. The Alfa's have the big black rubber plug at the low point, but again people rarely lift the carper and pull the plug, so then the rust begins.

The MGA had a ladder chassis and a heavy metal and wood body bolted on seperately, and they were underpowered at first. The 58 would have been the last of the 1500 CC models. After 58 they increased to 1600 CC and then 1622 CC. The later cars had adequate HP and all of them had a near perfect weight distribution. something like 52/48. So they handled very well in the turns. But the Triumphs with thier big Leland industrial engines had the power to power through the turns and pull out on engine HP alone, so they were hard to beat. The only problem with the TR was on the TR-2 and TR-3 the body flexed so much in a hard corner that the doors would occasionally pop open in the middle of a power corner turn. the SCCA made the owners bolt the doors shut at one point. But it did not matter in the long run because the 1300 CC Alfa Spider was the car to beat in those days.

The best set up on an MGA was to install an early MGB 1800 CC 3 main bearing engine in place of the original. Then the car handled very well in the turns and still could power out of a turn and get a lead on the competition. But converting to the 1800 CC engine put you in the modified class and then you were up against the real contenders. One way or another, the MG big blocks (not to be confused with the small blocks like Sprites and Midgets and Mini's), though a pleasure to drive, were never contenders in club racing. Of coures there were the exceptions, when in the hands of an exceptional driver.

Best wishes, Robert
 

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Back to Alfas: the valves are good for a certain amount of time, then they start leaking. Might be five years, might be 15. These 115 valves are not rebuildable, so you just have to bite the bullet and replace them. It's not the most fun job, but it's not that bad either. Hardest part is catching the antifreeze when you remove it, so as not to ruin your carpet, get water inside your heater box, etc.
MGs: just dragged my MGA TC back from its remote warehouse yesterday and will fire it up today.
Andrew
 

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Andrew, the heater valve on this one didn't leak after 40 years.
But the rubber diaphram did turn into a messy lump......
 

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Niiiiice alfa! Oh, on the beer- dont tell me you guys are gonna tackle this job with beer that starts with a "B". B is for Bad. As in Busch, Bud, Busch light, Ballentine, Black Label, etc etc. Please, no brands with a B!!

Even you being close to Miller factory, just as bad!!!!!!!
 

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If that has the metal Super type, it's different from the plastic Spider/GTV/Berlina type. The metal ones tend to have the bladder swell closed and not pass any water. The plastic one tend to leak.
Andrew
 

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Yes, the early ones just stick and your feet freeze....
The improved later ones keep your feet warm with a drip of hot coolant ;^)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
From what I can tell from other threads, this will involve taking off the dash if you want to do it right. I was thinking this is something I may need to do anyhow as the last piece of carpet in the car is over on the left drivers side by the hood release handle and there is a retainer that holds it in that has a screw that is unreachable.

Interesting stuff about the MG's. My Dad did a lot of club racing in the 50's and 60's in this area (Road America,Blackhawk Farms etc.) and had the MGA as well as an Alfa Giullietta, a 65 Mustang and a Fiat Abarth.
 

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Not always. Beamish Stout is quite good if you can find it, and Bass Ale is definitely not in the same class (or lack thereof) as those other Bs.

Then there's always Bearwhiz Beer. "It's in the water, that's why it's yellow!"

Not looking forward to tackling this job myself; last drive of the season found a green puddle by my foot, and it's been too blasted cold this winter to even look at it (not to mention I couldn't get into my garage anyway with all the snow piled up). Didn't know whether it would turn out to be the valve or a leaky heater core, but either way I didn't cherish the idea of digging into it.

Niiiiice alfa! Oh, on the beer- dont tell me you guys are gonna tackle this job with beer that starts with a "B". B is for Bad. As in Busch, Bud, Busch light, Ballentine, Black Label, etc etc. Please, no brands with a B!!

Even you being close to Miller factory, just as bad!!!!!!!
 
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