Next on the agenda is to address why I must put cardboard in the front of the radiator to get heat in the car when the temperature is just above freezing. This car is a bit messed up and will take some time to sort things out.
Last weekend at 0 degrees Celsius the car ran cold, like the gage was pegged to the left. No heat at all! So, I cut a large square in the middle of piece of carboard that was also cut to the size of my radiator. I put that on, and the car heated up to just over blue. Sunday was about 5 degrees Celsius, and I headed into town to buy some books at Chapters. The car ran fine with the cardboard but once I was puttering around the parking lot the temperature shot up to the almost red zone.
Suddenly I remembered that there must be a thermostat in there. Also, I have no idea how old it is, is there actually one in there, what temperature is the thermostat, and is it stuck open?
To my surprise, I was able to order (same day delivery) the thermostat and gaskets for the MGB from my local NAPA. I have changed many thermostats before in the 1970s and it was never a job that took more than a few minutes. The K-Car needed a winter and summer thermostat so it was always part of the winter tire change schedule.
Of course, this is not the case with the MGB. The first step is to remove about 6 Pints of anti-freeze or what ever is inside the radiator. The MGB does not have a nice drain plug on the radiator, instead it has an engine plug in the back below the distributor and a hose clamp on the bottom of the radiator. How on earth will I remove only 6-pints without making a mess of my garage?
After considering all my options, I decided that a radiator shop is probably set-up for this type of mess and since the fluids must come out to change the thermostat, then why not just do a complete radiator flush. My appointment is for 9:00 AM next week.
So, my $ 8.50 195-degree thermostat and $ 0.54 gasket will now cost upwards of $ 160.00 for the new anti-freeze and the garage fees that include a flush, change thermostat and replace the fluid. The saying “In for a Penny, In for a Pound” consistently applies to this MGB.