President’s Report

June 2021

Around the bend – the ravings of your President.

There are those months where inspirations for my article just line up for attention. There are however others where you wait for a revela-tion to occur. When it does occur you often wish it hadn’t.

Take this month for example. A quiet Saturday night in front of the idiot box when BOOM! What the Hector Crawford was that. A search outside revealed nothing, the garage downstairs looked normal with MG’s under covers and nothing was awry in my shed where the race Midget was sitting up on stands. What was it?

I detected an odd smell over near Bev’s Midget so I removed the cover and lifted the bonnet. Smoke. I have a battery isolator on every car so nothing drains the battery whilst they are idle. I also have trick-le chargers on the MG’s so they are ready to start when needed. I don’t know why but the battery had exploded. Plastic shrapnel everywhere along with a healthy dose of battery acid. I put on some heavy chemical gloves and quickly removed the battery them washed and hosed down everything under the bonnet.

Bev kept saying over and over, ‘lucky we were home’. There was no real damage because we were onto it immediately. So the question is whether trickle chargers are safe. My trucks at work are on trickle charge whenever they are turned off at the station. Especially at very quiet stations where it can be a week or more between runs, the truck sits on a Ctek charger 24/7. According to the manual for the chargers I use (Aldi), I can leave them on 24/7, no worries.
The battery was not quite 2 ½ years old and I’d purchased it as usual from Newcastle Batteries at Wickham. I’ve been getting my batteries from them for as long as I’ve had MGs, so a few years. Their reaction was not quite what I expected. “Yep, no worries, obviously a faulty battery, here is a replacement. We’ve had several go bang whilst be-ing charged, including truck batteries. They go big boom”.

Apparently the problem occurs if a cell fails. That then drops the volt-age, the charger thinks the battery needs charging and ups the amps, the cells lose fluid and eventually there is an internal short/spark, probably in the failed cell that ignites the hydrogen gas inside. BOOM.
If I didn’t have a charger on it to start with, the car wouldn’t have started and I’d have put a charger on and then boom. Thanks to Newcastle Batteries for the great service and advice.

I’ve again been up to Tamworth to visit a club member and mate. The mice are diabolical up there and I’d hazard to say not as bad as other country areas. They are everywhere, in the house and the shed. The biggest worry from a car enthusiasts view point is the damage they will do to your car. Wiring and carpet are the two main areas where I’ve seen them.

There were a few making a nest under the gear remote carpet (damaging the carpet to do so) and there is lots of evidence of the little creatures under the bonnet. I haven’t found any damaged wir-ing… yet.

This started an interesting conversation on Facebook. How do you mouse proof your car? I started with the car up on axle stands with the stands sitting in rubber rubble buckets (not too big or they’ll be too close to the wheels and car and the mice can use them to climb in) of a water/ vinegar/ lemon essence/ peppermint essence mix. Un-fortunately the stands put holes in the buckets. Another suggestion was to use naphthalene (as in mothballs). Getting it in sufficient quantity may be the hardest part. I’ve placed packets of moth balls under seat and in the engine bay.

Next visit I might cut the buckets down (they are plastic) and turn them upside down on top of the axle stands. This would then mean that the mice in theory couldn’t get past them.

Another option is to move the car somewhere with no mice. Easy but then the owner doesn’t get the pleasure of seeing his car. That’s im-portant at the moment.

Hopefully, we in the coastal cities won’t have to deal with this plague though there are groups out there saying that mice have rights too and we should be catching them and releasing them. Where? I would suggest that person’s place that came up with this idea.

Again, the club magazine has come to the fore with the inquiry a few months back regarding the history of an ex MGCCHR MGF. As re-ported last month, the original owner was found and contacted. Ian Hague was able to pass on his history of one of the first few MGFs in our club and his experiences in it to the new owner. That’s what the MG Car Clubs worldwide are about.

Speaking of our magazine getting out there. Gary Boote has suc-cessfully sold his B. Last magazine you would have read all about his 40+ years of ownership. It’s a happy day and a very sad day all in one. I hope the new owner from down the coast enjoys it as much as the Boote family did.

Well, the race Midget is packed ready for my final race meeting of the year. The “HSRCA” hosted the Sydney Classic at Sydney Motor-sport Park (or Eastern Creek to us oldies) and the entry fee was pretty eye watering. That’s why I don’t compete very often despite the enjoyment.

There will be a full report and pictures next month and I’ll have some videos up on my Youtube channels a few days after the meeting. I can’t believe that I have 41,500 views of my race meeting clips so far. Are people that bored?

Later this month is Euroday. It will be a chance to finally get our MG’s on display for all to see. There will be a huge variety of Euro-pean car (and bike) makes exhibited. Since we are hosting the event, we need a good representation.

Whilst we're on a park, Lambton this time, the municipality of Lamb-ton was gazetted on the 26th June 1871. The community anniver-sary committee is holding a major event in Lambton Park on Sunday 27th and our club is going to be part of the celebrations. Again we need some cars on display. We don’t need hundreds but two dozen MG’s would look good and attract some attention.

See you soon.

Pres Steve