Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline December 2009

AMTRAK Road Trip 2010
January 22 - 24, 2010

How about something different than a brew on Friday after another week in the cubicle? Leave with us a few hours early on Friday and do not think about anything else besides cars until Monday morning. The AMTRAK Road Trip 2010 is the alternative to TGIF boredom. The AMTRAK Road Trips are intended to be a brief respite from the everyday world, starting with a few hours off from work on Friday until the next Monday morning. Weather is never a problem because transportation is left to the engineerís very competent management. This is your chance to travel and party with virtually no consequences and without responsibility: you can return to your teenage years and party on the train, in the hotel and back again. All while being informed of the greatest and latest at the North American International Auto Show, aka Detroit Auto Show.
The hotel is the best there is for ambiance and is the very favorite of those who have traveled this route before: the Best Western/Greenfield Inn in Dearborn (actually, Allen Park), Michigan. It is a full service hotel (hot cookies when you check in) with a pool, bar and restaurant. The trip is worth the automobile-related artwork on the walls of all the corridors of all three floors. Charles Lindbergh stayed here when he worked with the Ford Motor Company during WWII. The group rate for this fantastic hotel is $89 per night plus taxes. Expect the taxi ride to Cobo Hall to cost about $13 each way. Bring a cell phone to keep in touch in case the taxi driver does not know the area on the way back.

The Wolverine still runs to the Detroit area in spite of all the talk about Amtrak service:
22 Jan 2010 No. 354 Wolverine LV CHI 6:00 P.M Ar DER 11:59 P.M
24 Jan 2010 No. 353 Wolverine LV DER 11:50 A.M Ar CHI 4:16 P.M.
The price is $82.00 per person round trip. Yes, the fare has gone up 60 percent, but smart shoppers will check potato crisp wrappers, Vegemite labels, Fosterís beer cans and similar places for special deals.
As usual, expect to meet on 22 January behind the bar in Union Station for a drink and a snack before boarding the train for more drinks and snacks. The hotel will not be running the shuttle as late as the arrival time, so figure on $5 for a cab ride to the hotel. The hotel restaurant and lounge will be closed by the time we get there Friday night. The train may be on time, but a two hour delay is not uncommon; the heating usually works, but bring a blanket or coat to stay comfortable on the train just in case. Warming potions may help, too. The hotel shuttle will take us back to the train station on Sunday.

Make your hotel reservation using the code ďChicagoland MG ClubĒ at 800-342-5802
Make reservations by 05 January 2010.
Make your train reservations at or phone (800) 525-2550.


Questions? Ann or Jake Snyder at or 847-295-2753.
-- Jake and Ann Snyder

Early Notice
Road America Trip

Camping Trip at Road America. Please let us know by 31 December 2009 if you want to camp at Plymouth Rock for the BRIC on during the third weekend of July (the schedule has not been posted yet). Ann or Jake Snyder at or 847-295-2753.

Where the Rubber Meets the Ö fluids?

All of us owners of Little British Cars have had, or will have, a problem with rubber. Iím not speaking of tires, though. Iím speaking of all the other rubber in your car; the strips under your windshield, radiator hoses, belts, suspension components, brake fluid seals, valve cover seals, and many others. This article is not an engineerís design guide, but a brief glimpse into the factors that affect rubber products used in our old cars.

Age is probably the chief culprit in the failure of rubber parts for us LBC owners. In a non-critical application such as window seals, who cares? The biggest problem is getting a wet lap in a downpour (hopefully the passengerís lap). Suppose that you come across that ďbarn findĒ MGA that somehow starts up after 15 years in storage. Are you going to replace critical rubber parts in the brake system before you drive it? Hmmmm? When were the brake hoses and the wheel cylinder seals replaced last? Were they ever replaced? How long did that NOS (new old stock) brake hose sit on the shelf before you bought it?
Automotive rubber parts may start to degrade from age in as little as 5 years (from their cure date, not their installation in your car). You may not be able to see the changes, but parts can start to become brittle or otherwise lose their original material properties. Most automotive rubber parts will start a rapid decline at about 10 years. Again, itís not a big deal if the vent window seal cracks, but what about those crispy hoses from your fuel pump to your carbs? Have you been smelling gas lately? What about those pretty stainless braided hoses? They have rubber underneath the braiding.

Rubber Compounds/Fluid Compatibility
This subject can be very complex, so Iíll restrict it to fluids usually used in our LBCís. When a rubber compound is exposed to a fluid that is incompatible, it may degrade rapidly. It may harden and get brittle, it may swell up and get soft, or it may even dissolve. If youíre fixing your brake system and need an o-ring, donít go to the hardware store! Just because itís the same color as the one that you removed, itís not necessarily

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