MG Northumbria Newsletter
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Club Newsletter

for members of MG Northumbria

April 2017
MG Northumbria club meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month.  Most months we have a presentation, often car related but not always.  In the past for example we have had talks and demonstrations covering such varied topics as
  • Car tyre advice
  • Northumbrian area history
  • Toys & model cars
  • Travels in New Zealand and North America
The next meeting is at Backworth Hall on Wednesday 5th April starting at 8:00pm when we will be having have a quiz night organised by Susan Farley.

Club nights remain very popular with lots of members.  Why not give one a try this year and meet other like-minded members, have a chat and/or a drink, ask others about problems you may be experiencing with your car, find out more about club runs, shows or other events etc.
If you’ve not been before, give it a try. (NB If you want to attend regularly you would need to become a social member of the club but it only costs £10 for a whole year).
In this
Chairman's Chat
Quiz night
Lightening the Load
Isle Of Man Trip
Sponsors Links


Just a reminder to send your club or car related photos taken after the 2016 Heritage Run to Tim if you want them included in this year's competition.

 Chairman's Chat  
Hello again,

Well its time to launch the new season with the Chairman's Run on 2nd April and report on another very well supported “winter” run to Bellingham.
After a heavy shower at the start of the run in Callerton, it brightened up a lot and over 20 cars  made it to the Carriage where we were all well fed. Thanks to Lorraine Hunter for organising the run.
At the March committee meeting we finalised the events programme which will be sent out with this newsletter (or soon after). The details are also on the website.

Over recent months those going to Backworth will have seen changes to the décor and furniture as the Club aims to increase its catering business.  When we arrived there were some more nice and comfy dining chairs but this reduces the overall capacity of the room.  The Committee therefore decided that with effect from April 1st we will have two club nights each month which will also allow people who cant make it on a Wednesday night to enjoy the atmosphere.  Fool details will be given later.

We have 232 entrants to this year's Classics in Corbridge of which 12 are from this club.  Please remember to enter on the website

or ask Mel for an entry form.  Also please let George Dalgarno know if you will be available to help on the Saturday and/or Sunday.  At the moment we are short of the numbers we need to keep it at 2 hours per person on show day.

Best Wishes

Please be aware that the closing date (as always) for your subscriptions is 31st March.

Thanks to all those who have paid to date.

However, as is usually the case, we seem to have a number of people who forget or for whatever reason are unable to make the deadline.  This makes it very difficult from an administrative point of view.  For keeping the accounts, for Backworth subscriptions and even just sending out this newsletter.  All of this is done by volunteers who give up their own time to help.  You can help us by paying on time.

Please Please Please

If you want to continue as members contact George Dalgarno as a matter of urgency.  You can do this by e-mailing him on, or calling him on 0191 237 7146 to make arrangements to pay.  You can simply put an old fashioned cheque in the post to: -

George Dalgarno
MG Northumbria Club Treasurer
NE25 0NN

If you haven't done it already, do it straight away before you forget

Thank You

NB Copies of this newsletter will only be sent from April's issue onwards to paid up members 

This Month's Calendar
Classics in Corbridge Charities

We are now taking applications for funding from the expected profits from the 2017 show.  Press releases and other emails have been sent out but if you know of a charity or voluntary group that could do with support tell then about our funding and ask them to get the charity application form from the website.

MG seats are not the most comfortable to sit on, or you may be looking for extra support at home or even just a birthday gift for the MG owner who has everything.  How about a MG Northumbria cushion for the bargain price of only £14:00?  They can be supplied along with other MG emboidered paraphernalia through Susan Farley.  E-mail her on or have a word with Susan at the next meeting.  Other items can be seen on Anne Thomas Workwear's Facebook Page

April 24th 2016 has been designated 'National Drive It Day' for 2016

Our joint run, with the North of England Classic & Pre War Automobiles (NECPWA) and MG Northumbria, starts at 11am at the Linskill Centre, Linskill Terrace, North Shields NE30 2AY and will be approx 100 miles.

Coffee stop en route.

Late afternoon lunch at approx 3.30pm.

There is no fee for entry, just sign in on the day, but please let George & Eileen know that you intend to take part so that sufficient route plans are available and meal places booked.

All Classics and all models of MG are invited

Contact George & Eileen Dalgarno, 
Tel 0191 2377146  
 Lightening The Load

A while ago I replaced the king pin assemblies on my MGB with the type that have needle roller bearings in the upper mounting in place of the standard bronze washers (arrowed in Fig 1). These are supposed to last longer, and also lighten the steering load.
Fig 1. New king pin assemblies. Roller bearing assembly arrowed

The steering was then marginally lighter but still ‘loaded up’ when turning a tight corner. This is due to the comparatively large castor angle of the B’s front suspension, which is approximately 6.5 degrees. This castor angle was part of the original MGB design, and was deemed necessary because the cross-ply tyres used at the time required this castor angle to self-centre the steering when exiting a corner. With this castor angle, when you turn into a corner you are effectively jacking up the front of the car using the steering wheel. Modern radial-ply tyres do not need such a large castor angle and it is possible to reduce the castor angle to a more modern 3.0-3.5 degrees in various ways, and thus lighten the steering.
One way is to remove the front cross-member and front suspension components in one piece and then put appropriate washers between the front cross member and the chassis members, so that the angle of the cross-member to the body is altered, thus altering the king pin angle. I believe Brown and Gammons supply a kit of this type. Another way is to use castor correction wedges of the type supplied by Frontline Developments, which achieve the same result but can be fitted with the cross-member in situ.
My brother had just fitted the Frontline wedges to his B and reported a significant reduction in steering load. (He has a small diameter steering wheel and wide wheels fitted to his B, so any reduction in steering effort would be more noticeable).  Not to be outdone, I ordered a set of wedges from Frontline. They are not cheap (about £90 with VAT and postage, although considerably cheaper than power steering of course) and I expected a big box to arrive in the post. They in fact came through the letterbox in a Jiffy Bag and I was somewhat under whelmed by the kit at first. Besides the two tapered aluminium wedges, there was just a bag of assorted washers and lock nuts (more of this later).
Fig 2. Castor correction kit

Fitting is straightforward. First the four lock nuts holding the steering rack to the car are slackened. Then the four lock nuts holding the front cross-member to the car, which are visible inside the engine bay (arrowed in Fig 3), are slackened but not removed, whilst supporting the cross-member on a jack.
Fig 3. Cross-member mounting bolts

Before doing this it is advisable to put a long screwdriver or small diameter rod through the holes on the back and front of the cross member, to stop the mounting bolts from disappearing inside the box section of the cross member when the original lock nuts are replaced.
Then the jack is lowered slightly so that the wedges can be slid in between the cross-member and the chassis member. Because the length of thread on the mounting bolts is now shorter, Frontline supply special low profile locking nuts which can now be used to replace the original nuts, one at a time.
Fig 4. Old (on left) and new (on right) locking nuts
In fact, although I fitted all four modified locking nuts, I’m pretty sure the original pair of nuts will fit the back bolts, as the protruding thread length is only decreased in length by the ‘thin end of the wedge’.
As a Metallurgist I am not usually in favour of mixing different metals in an environment that might see moisture and road salt. Frontline suggest smearing the surface of the wedges with silicone sealant before fitting, in order to minimise any galvanic effects between the aluminium wedges and the steel cross-member. I also carefully sealed round the perimeter of the wedges with mastic after fitting to further reduce the problem.
Once the wedges are fitted it is necessary to put packing washers in the steering rack mounting bolts, since the rack will now be at a different angle to the steering column. If you are really keen you can use a kit from Moss to line up the steering column exactly, otherwise ‘feel’ how many washers are required.
Fig 5. New washers on steering               Fig 6. Steering column alignment 
              rack mounts

The final thing is to get the steering toe in checked since this might have altered. My fairly crude calculations and measurements suggest this change might be minimal, so for now I have not done this.
Well, was it all worth it? We did our first long run in the car and I found there was a difference, although I’d say it was not dramatic under normal driving conditions. The main benefit is felt when when getting a good lock on, as when turning tight corners, doing a three point turn etc. The steering is obviously still not as light as it would be with power steering, but on balance a worthwhile improvement.
I’m glad of this result, otherwise I would have been a cross member (groan groan).
Thanks to Kevin Prosser for an interesting article as always.
Isle Of Man Trip

For those people booked on the trip to the Isle of Man, the next part of your deposit is due on 3 April 2017 (balance of ferry cost) and then the final hotel amount on 1/5/17.  Please get in touch if you want to arrange a bank transfer.  Tim will be sending out the routes in April to give you time to see where we are going and plan which of the options you might want to visit.


Thanks to all our sponsors for their continued support which helps us to produce this newsletter.  Visit their website using the links below or email them by clicking on the advert to find out more about their services.   
Premier Insurance Website
Lion Garage Website
Chic Doig Website
FGS Website
Sports Car Supplies Website
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