In 1991, my fiancé Adrienne and myself decided to purchase a British Sportscar and take it on our Honeymoon which would happen shortly. Having owned Triumphs and MGAs in the past, I felt quite knowledgeable and not concerned that I couldn't handle any roadside emergency we might encounter.
We left Michigan in a shiny black 1975 MGB roadster heading for our first stop, the Toledo, Ohio City Hall where we heard they did instant, same day marriages. But before we arrived, the brackets for the exhaust broke loose and our very first stop now became "Tuffy Muffler" where they quickly put things back in working order. Thanking them, after they gave us directions to City Hall, we continued on to our original destination. The marriage process was very simple and a willing preacher was waiting outside where Adrienne and I exchanged vows under a tree on a beautiful sunny afternoon.
From there, we began the drive to the motel in Kentucky where we planned on spending our Wedding night. I say we began because soon afterwards, the car seemed to act as if out of gas even though I had only recently filled it up. There we were, on the side of the highway with rush hour traffic whizzing by.
Having owned an MGA, I was already aware of problems with the electric fuel pump, but initially, I had no idea where to look for this in the newer MGB. Finally, I removed the small tin box on the floor of the trunk and discovered the back end of the fuel pump. The single wire connection was tight as was the other wire that went through a capacitor to ground. Not a ground wire, this capacitor functions as a spark suppressor (just like in a distributor) to keep the pump contact points from arcing.
Without explanation, the car started again when I turned the key and so we continued on, only to find ourselves suddenly decelerating and accelerating while driving in traffic. We continued on as best we could and found a phone (this was before cell phones) to call the Concord Motel and advise them we wouldn't be arriving before evening. Thanks to good fortune on the road, we managed to keep going and arrived just as evening was setting in.
I was up early the following day searching through the motel room phone book for someplace to take the car for service. The best I could find was one listing for foreign cars and very likely they haven't worked on MGs in a long time if ever. Still, I had few tools and no idea how to solve the problem on my own so while my bride slept in, I was off down the road to find help.
The man at the shop had less knowledge than I did about little British cars, but he had the tools and a lift and took his time inspecting everything he could see. What he discovered was that the push-on connector that connects the fuel pump to the chassis ground underneath the car had come off. Since the fuel pump is held with a rubber ring holding it in place, with that wire loose only the fuel lines were providing a ground connection and they were partially connected to flexible rubber gas lines. That might explain how the fuel pump was working part of the time and not all of the time.
Reconnecting the ground wire underneath the car solved the problem, but has always left me wondering, why in the world did they make one connection inside the trunk and another, equally important connection underneath the car where you cannot easily reach it? Well, that's British cars for you.
The car performed well from then on and we made our way down to Chimney Rock near Asheville North Carolina before returning to Michigan. My first project after this trip was to locate both the positive and ground connections at the same place for future troubleshooting.
Since that first unforgettable trip to get married, Adrienne and I have traveled from Michigan to Cape Cod, the Blue Ridge Parkway, New Orleans, Albuquerque, New Mexico and down the Natchez Trace.
We left Michigan in 2013 and I drove the MGB down to sunny Florida where we continue to be active in the local British Car Club down here.