We bought the old lady YA 6617 about three years ago and now as my other MG project is finished I slowly start sorting and investigating all the parts which came with the car, which was an abondoned restauration from 1983.
One of the first parts was the horn button with its trafficator switching ring. From the first test I thought it works like, turn right switches the right side signals and turning left the left side signals, but in some articles about Y-types I recently read about a self-returning function, which should reset the switch automatically. Knowing that, I dismantled the horn button completely. With some thin oil drips I could open all the little bolts and nuts and found a chronometric works, which did nothing – whatever I tried, no turn of a gear wheel and no starting of the clockworks could be discovered.
The whole evening I browsed the web and could not find any info on that subject. Then I remembered, some years ago I bought some restoration remains of an MG-Y for my MG regalia shelf, the combined clock with petrol, current and oil pressure gauge and an additional horn button, too.
So I also opened the other horn knob and found the same clock works, which did not work either, but the indicator switch ring was reset immediately by a spring. Comparing the two works, I saw the first switch was missing the driving spring. Inserting this spring into the first one – was an easy task, as the spring is big and solid (see photo), not like from a usual small clockwork.
Then I followed the spring force and could understand the sense of the 6 brass gears where each consist in fact of two combined gears with 10 and 60 teeth as one wheel. Every 60 teeth gear drives the 10 teeth gear of its neighbour wheel. Cleaning is always a good idea when you work on vintage cars and I soaked the whole movement with WD-40, as this is a good grease and cleaning fluid for sticking debris and metal abrasion, too. For a wrist watch WD-40 for sure is too viscous, but for that relative coarse works, it was perfect. After the cleaning job with cotton tabs and trying to push the one or other gear with a micro screwdriver I could manage to get it working.
Switching to the left starts the chrono works, which resets the left side indicator switch in about 25 secs and switching to the right, resets the right side switch in about the same time.
Gorgeous – this are the things I like! And again I can´t decide what I prefer, repairing MGs or driving them?
Written by Walter Prechsl