Eric Bylenga
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I've started driving around Emmet and of course some things were not quite right.... To begin with, Sometimes I just couldn't get Emmet to start! It took me a while to figure out but in the end I had a twofold problem:

1. My alternator was bad, it was only reporting 12.2V output... not high enough! You can see it in the video I made from first boot.

Low Voltage

2. I have a MSD Blaster 2 coil which should use a .8Ohm ballast resistor. I had a 1.5Ohm in there that was causing output to the plugs to drop to only 4V! Enough to sometimes start the car, but not always. It's now at a healthy 6V with the new resistor.

In the process of doing this I also decided to add an ignition relay to take strain off the wiring to the ignition switch. This was a later addition to late model MGBs, I had one in Lucy, so why not here! Here's the diagram below:

Ignition Relay Schematic

Engine Electrics

In doing this mod, I ended up creating a new problem! When I turned off the ignition, the engine would continue to run for like a minute before shutting off! After doing some research this is caused by a sneak circuit. The ignition dash lamp is powered off the alternator feeds back power onto the white ignition line when the engine is running, this creates a condition in which there is enough juice in the line to keep the igntion relay on for an extended period of time... and therefore keep the car running. To solve this, I added a diode in line with the ignition lamp to prevent the backfeeding of current onto the line.

Ignition cut Diode Diode Installed

You can see from my photo of my engine bay I actually have three new relays! That's correct, I added a high and low beam relay to increase the power to my headlights, and again to remove tons of current from flowing through my headlight switch. It works great!

Headlight Relay Schematic

Oh yea... I gotta tell you about my first long drive. I took Kristen on a date for the first time on a nice summer evening and we parked Emmet at a friends house while we hung out for the evening and played games. Upon returning to Emmet in the evening, I went to fire it up and the was no signal coming from the fuel pump! I ended up in shame having one of our other friends drive us home... Embarrasing! I returned the next morning and Emmet fired right up! AAAARGH!!!!

It turns out is was caused by a finicky wiring connection to the fuel pump... However, not wanting this to happen again, I decided to add a secondary fuel pump. I picked up a cheap 3PSI pump on Amazon for about $20CDN and installed it in the engine bay inline with the original pump I ran some wiring to the dash and while I was at it I installed the inertia switch from Lucy for safety. The wiring now goes to a switch where the rheostat was for the dash light illumination. If I flick the switch to my left, I now get the default pump. To the right, the backup pump. I can switch it as I'm driving and it doesn't skip a beat!

WiringPump InertiaSwitch SwitchComplete InstalledSwitch SecondaryPump

My other issue at first was poor braking. I bled the lines a ton, but my brakes were still poor. It turns out, I had installed the rear drum pads incorrectly... Below taken of the driver side, the front of the car is toward the left of the photo. Lesson learned!

Brakes Wrong Brakes Right

I also had the steering wheel uncentered.... A video from John Twist and a few whacks of a hammer (and some PB Blaster) and I got the wheel loose and re-aligned.

Finally, I still have some other small issues to deal with. I have a couple small fluid leaks. I need to fix the leaking tappet covers, which just aren't sealed properly, a leaky rear differential seal... Again, I need a new seal. And my water pump is leaking... Likely I'll need a new one. None of these issues have prevented me from having an enjoyable summer driving Emmet and I've now clocked around 650KM this fall driving around.

On a drive

Last Updated: November 5, 2023