The French Blatting Company


A friend has an MGB GT which she thinks needs a rebore and crank regrind. Her partner, Gavin has removed the engine and dropped it of with me at the end of November. However, I had a cataract op early December and didn't get new glasses unitil Wednesday 7th January. On the very next day I stripped the engine.

This is the pictures of the strip down.

 The emgine on the floor and the bench full of crap.

 Before clearing the bench


 The bench, having been cleared now has the engine (less head) on it.


 Filter and distributor out.


 The cylinder head which is new in the past year or so. I'll decoke it and refit.


 The side covers removed. Note the good thumb - more on this later.

 Engine block now on floor and the bores are not that bad. Nor are the big end and main bearings. Looks like a 0.010" rebore will suffice.

 More boring pictures.

 The crankshaft.

 Front and back plates, water pump and sump on the floor (no more room on the bench!)

 Main bearing caps.


Oh yes, the thumb. Now steri-stripped and plastered after the crankshaft fell on it as it was being removed. (that's the crankshaft being removed, not the thumb)


It's now the 4th February, the parts are all here and I started work on the head this morning. After lunch I was  ready to rebuild having decoked and ground the valves in. opened the head set from Moss and no cup shaped oil seals that fit over the valve guides. Quick phone call and they sell them seperately Got changed and made my way to Bradford to pick up the seals. I also got a new timing chain tensioner and 5 litres of running in oil. The traffic on the M1/M62/M606 and through Bradford was horrendous. On the way home I was so fed up that I just had to stop off at the pub for a swift pint.


The cylinder head decoked. More work was done with a fine wire brush to get in all the corners.

An out of focus picture of the exhaust port.

This is in focus but you cant see much. A fine wire brush was used to better effect.

Valves and spings. The small seals go in the collet, it was the cup shaped seals which fit over the top of the guid that were not included in the head set.

All cleaned and final valve being ground in. At this point I discovered the seals were missing so no further work was done.

This morning (5th Feb) I removed the gudgeon pins - not an easy job as they are an interference fit and needed 3 ton pressure on my 10 ton press. I then left the con rods in petrol to clean. Next I finished the head by refitting the valves with both sets of oil seals. I only had problems with one set of cotters which would not stay in when the compressor was released. Starting again solved the problem. I then cleaned the con-rods on a wire brush in an electric drill held in the vice. After lunch I pressed the gudgeon pins into the new pistons, another job for the press using some packing foam and a plank of wood to protect the underside of the pistons. My next job will be to get the block on the bench and refit the crankshaft as Amazon haven't delivered the piston ring expanders yet.

Old  pistons.

Cylinder haead finished and valve stems oiled.

Before and after - con rods washed and cleaned with wire brush.

New pistons fitted to rods.

Crankshaft installed and torqued down. Amazing, it turns!

The assmebly lube used liberally on the bearings and thrust washers.

Thursday 7th February. After a day off I started at 0830 and fitted the piston rings to the pistons. I then went out to Curry's to look at a new TV. I want one that I can connect to the internet so I can watch Iplayer and, maybe Netflix. Got back about 1000, had a cuppa and got changed. It's now 1355 and I have 3 pistons in but the 4th is playing hard to instal so I thought I'd have a rest and try later. Problem, the rest ended up with me asleep until 1600! Oh dear. Anyway, I did get the piston in and all four torqued up. It's a bit on the tight side but with new pistons and bearings I suppose it's to be expected. By the way, at the beginning of this tale I said it would need a 0.010" rebore. Well, when I cleaned the top of the piston off I found it was already + 0.060", which is the maximum rebore. So I cleened the bores with my new deglazer and they're fine. I'm fitting new pistons because one of the existing had the top ring missing and the top of the piston is burnt.


Piston rings fitted.

Don't they look nice.

The magnifying glass used to see the tiny dot on the rings which indicate which side faces top.

The new glaze buster, Lynne thought it was a new tripod for the camera.

The bore after a very light spin with the glaze buster. There is no ridge I can feel, the ring is a stain not a groove.

All four looking nice and shiny (ish).

The first pston coated with graphite assembly grease ready to install.

And an out of focus picture of it being installed.

All four big ends torqued to 33 lbs ft

Tomorrow I will refit the oil pump, distributor drive and put the sump on. Then with the engine standing on the sump I'll refit the front and rear end plates then the timing gear. I've also got to extract the broken bolt from the water pump and find another. Since comig back from France when all my nuts, bolts and setscrew draws opened and the contents spewed across the lorry floor it takes ages finding the correct bolt. If I don't have any problems I may get the flywheel and clutch on. Which will leave the head for Tuesday. Best laid plans and all that......

In the workshop at 0830, I want to get my target finished by 1500 so I can watch Final Score. Managed it, just, finished at 1445 only to find that Final Score isn't on the red button but on BBC2 at 1630. Only the head to go on now and I'll have to drill out the broken bolt for the water pump because it's seized solid. It's broken my stud extractor (I'll repair when I find the missing roller). I may try a bit of heat and a pair of mole grips before I start drilling.

 These are the fancy piston ring expanders I bought. In the event I "rolled" the rings on as it seemed to be easier than using these.

 OIl pump and sump on.

Better picture and you can see the oil relief valve open having just had a new spring fitted. I normally grind the valve into the block, like you would grind valves in the head but the seat was good so I just fitted the new spring.

Close up of the oil relief valve.

I put my hands up, I got so involved in getting the timing gears and chain timed up that I forgot to take a picture. This is after the cover and pulley have been put on. I must remember to lock the tab. I've made a note.

Distributor and oil filter on.

Backplate, flywheel and clutch on.

I got the engine finished by lunchtime on Tuesday (11/02) except for the fan and one cylinder head nut which I couldn't find. I'd used it to attach the chain to the rear of the engine when I took it of the bench with the use of the crane. I've put it down somewhere but who knows where, I don't! So a trip to Moss Bradford for another nut and a tin of yellow paint to paint the fan blade. I fitted the nut on my return, following a nightmare journey with hail storms, snow, rain and high winds. At one point, with hail falling so heavily that I couldn't see beyond the car in front I took a wrong turning. How I did this when the road I should have been on is straight I will never know. I tried my sat-nav but it went off after a few minutes due to a poor connection on the cigarette lighter socket - I'll get round to fixing it one day. I used my phone and eventually got to Moss. I got home at 1730.

The broken water pump stud removed. I cleared all the tools from the bench and eventually found the missing roller from the stud extractor. I rebuilt the extractor but it was too large to grip the won down stud. The smaller size down was too smal so I ended up grinding the stud down with a grindstone in an electric drill. I had soaked the stud in Plus Gas and when I got the extactor on I had to check the stud was actually turning as it was so easy.

The offending stud.

Head gasket on ready for the head.

Head on but no nuts yet.

An easy tool to make, it will lock the crank by puting the stem in a backplate hole and letting the valve edge rest on the ring gear. Much easier than trying to hold a screwdriver in the ring gear teeth.

All finished awiting painting.

And the other side.


New clutch

First coat of paint on the fan.

Engine painted with chassis black (only black paint I had!)

The other side....

I'll take another picture of the front with the new fan on when I've finished painting it and it's refitted.


Yellow fan painted and refitted.

Thought you may like to see teh backplate painted a nice black.

Engine, box of parts (old and some new), the crane at the garage door awaiting collection.


Job done, hope the owners happy with it (and that it starts!!!!!)