...so I ended up buying $15 worth of oil. (I'll end up going back later this month to get an oil filter and 5 qts for the Jeep, though, because it's going to need a change soon, too.)
Anyway, after I got the oil, I got back on the motorcycle and rode to Harbor Freight. They've got a special on mechanic's gloves, and while I was trying to find the ones that were on sale I found a perfect set of biking gloves: kevlar-reinforced faux leather palms with mesh backs...and they were under $9 with tax. (Turns out you need the coupon to get the mechanic's gloves at $4 per pair. Well, later, I guess.)
After that, a quick jaunt down the expressway to the grocery store, then home, where I started working on the garage.
See, in order to get the MGB functional again, I need to get at the car, so I ended up cleaning the area around the car, specifically behind it. And I finally cleaned out the parts washer.
I've had it since 2009 but have not used it since I finished the Great Escort Engine Project. The solvent in the washer was, essentially, window cleaner; I set the spigot up to pump the stuff into a cat litter bucket and dumped it down the toilet. Once the pump could no longer pump, I dumped the remainder on the driveway and hosed the thing out.
I would not have done this if the stuff was even as strong as the window cleaner you get in a bottle for $1, but it was so dilute I could barely smell any ammonia...and I do recall that the solvent boasted being "environmentally friendly", so fuck it.
I had to wipe slimy greasy gunk from the waterline, though. The ammonia had reacted with the oil that had gotten into the water, and it turned into a kind of slimy gel.
Once I had it cleaned out, I had a gander at the thing again. The pump is, of course, a generic fountain pump, like you'd find in a cheap tabletop fountain. There is a drain plug in the bottom of the tub, and because it is threaded I do believe I could get a fitting which would screw into the bung and let me attach some kind of hose or pipe to the thing. Then all I would need to do is to get something that can pump real solvent, and some kind of tank for storing said solvent. A couple of filters and some piping, and presto! A real parts washer!
At least the thing is empty now. That's a step in the right direction.
* * *
Before putting the bike away, I tried adjusting the front brake light switch. The brake light is supposed to come on whenever you squeeze the lever for the front brake or step on the pedal for the rear; the rear works famously but the front would only come on if you squeeze really hard.
...turns out that thing didn't work very well for a reason: it's broken. *whimper*
Supposedly, all you need do is loosen two screws and adjust the thing, but I couldn't move it far enough so that it would work correctly. When I took it off, the whole thing fell apart. There's a spring and there's supposed to be a contact in there, but the spring was so badly rusted, it was only holding shape by force of habit. I touched it and it crumbled...and in any event the contacts on the circuit board are in pretty crummy shape, too.
Looks like I need to get a replacement. Whee.
On the plus side, I'm in the habit of applying the rear brake first because the front brake light switch has been iffy from the get-go, so buying a new switch is not time-critical or anything. Mainly it's just annoying; looks like one can be had for about $10 off Ebay.
What I would like to do is to drop the bike off at the shop in town here and tell them, "Okay: tune her up, adjust the valve clearance, sync the carbs, check the timing, and adjust everything so that it's right. Here are photocopies of the relevant manual pages."
...I cannot do what I would like to do, though, until I have a job. Money is the answer to all your problems when you haven't got any.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a really nice day, the same way today was; I'm hoping I can get out into the driveway and make some stuff happen. Adjust the bike's adjustables (at least the ones I am equipped to adjust, since I lack the tool for synchronizing the carbs) and then crawl under the MGB and figure out why the hell the damn car won't roll. $5 says the damn wheel cylinders leaked again and the brake pads absorbed the fluid and swelled. Argh etc, but I do have a spare set of brake shoes for that car...somewhere.
Once I can roll the car in and out of the garage, then I can work on cleaning out the fuel system and getting that ready. That's going to involve dropping the fuel tank, unfortunately, but there's little I can do about that. Change lubricants, prime the carb, start 'er up...then get the damned timing adjusted right.
There's a long way to go, but fortunately most of it is just effort, and once the car is starting and running reliably then I can move on to finding a set of correct tires that won't break the bank. I'm hoping to find a used set for not a lot of money, so at that point I'll be calling tire places and boneyards; then I want to take the wheels over to a local company and have them blasted and powder coated...but, again, that's a ways off. First the mechanicals have to be attended to; once that's done I can worry about cosmetics.
I want this thing to look and drive like a $5,000 car...but I must move. Winter is coming.