MGB & GT Forum

Dropped it, WHERE DID IT GO?

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jmot Avatar
jmot Gold Member john motycka
coventry, ct, USA   USA
It has gotten so bad, I just laugh now.
Yesterday while installing a new clutch master cylinder - a joy in itself, I dropped the copper washer that goes between the mounting bolt and the cylinder. Seems to me it could only be in one of two places; The bottom of the pedal box, or the floor of the car. ( I was accessing the thing thru the access hole above the pedals. ) The bolt, along with the other copper washer, was lying in plain sight on the floor of the car.
I looked probably an hour using mirrors and flashlight, probing under both master cylinders where I could not possibly see, searching the wire harness under the dash right behind that access opening, the floor of the car, under the seat, under the floor mat. Alas, I never found it and reverted to reusing the old one. If it were steel. I could have used a magnet, but that was of course out of the question here.
It never ceases to amaze me where little things go when I drop them, but this one just takes the cake.

Now I am trying to bleed the clutch system. wish me luck.

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Swamperca Avatar
Swamperca Swamper CA
-, Nor Cal, USA   USA
1969 MG MGC GT "C-Rod"
1971 MG MGB "Rubee"
1974 MG MGB "Groovy B"
It went into the Black Hole. But never worry it will reappear in a week or so.

okephoto Avatar
okephoto Kevin Oke
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
I have a few small parts that have never shown up. Car parts are like Swiss Army knives, you lose them but no one ever finds them. A restoration & historical journal MG Resource Directory

In the family for 50 years, and presently in what is becoming an expensive overhaul!

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Fieldbuilder Avatar
Fieldbuilder Kevin Hart
1972 MG MGB "RAT"
1974 MG MGB "RED"
1977 MG MGB "BaLou"
When I'm doing a job that requires, let's say, a 1/2" wrench. I take six+ 1/2" inch wrenches with me.
That way, as I drop them, I only have to crawl under the car Once to retrieve the ones I dropped.

bleteaches6 Avatar
bleteaches6 Silver Member Lee Orphan
Bonney Lake, WA, USA   USA
Good wrenching tip Kevin!

Wray Avatar
Wray Gold Member Wray Lemke
., SC, USA   USA
My theory is that every garage has a small black hole that moves around. This gets the parts that you drop then can't find. They go into that small black hole in your garage then pop out in someone else's garage.

Washers and small nuts are particularly vulnerable to this effect but small hand tools will also fall into that black hole. I know I've lost stuff and never found it, but have found items in my garage that I had no idea where they came from, certainly not from my car. I also have small hand tools that I know I never bought, so thank you to whoever lost it.

Maybe they fitted every MGB that came from the factory with one of these small black holes, it just stays with the car.

In reply to # 3626304 by Swamperca It went into the Black Hole. But never worry it will reappear in a week or so.

saanich2006 Avatar
saanich2006 Robert Browning
Atlanta, GA, USA   USA
Look down under the carbs on the frame. There is a deep pocket, all the way on the back, just below the MC. I find lots of things end up there!

"He had delusions of adequacy."

Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

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Ian Williams Avatar
Ian Williams Ian W
Coalville, Leicestershire, UK   GBR
It's probably hiding and will reappear after you purchase a replacement. Mine do..

I always keep a few spares...Hah hahhh....that will teach them

Donthuis Avatar
Donthuis Don van Riet
Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
These thumbwheels holding the speedo and tach gauges to the dash are best known for disappearing in nowhereland.
Long after a fruitless search they may reappear at unexpected locations, so I always keep extra ones as spares.

Your missing part may also reappear some time in the future smileys with beer

PS The circlip holding the rack to the wiper motor pulling & pushing part dropped from my fingers and never found back. Still, with the whole assortment box of circlips I had to buy, larger ones for holding the rear brake cylinders in place were better than originals

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-12 03:25 PM by Donthuis.

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Defender405 Avatar
Defender405 Silver Member Chris B.
Des Moines, IA, USA   USA
1975 MG MGB
Working on Japanese cars one will always lose the 1/4" drive 10MM socket, I have heard this from countless others including some professionals. It will drop into a hole never to be seen again. The 10MM must be the most popular replacement socket by orders of magnitude. I have 3 just in case.

Chris AKA "Defender405"
1975 MGB
1979 Porsche 924
1999 Porsche 996
1987 Nissan 300ZX

little G Avatar
little G Charlie T
queensland, QLD, Australia   AUS
1964 MG MGB "Little G"
If it isn't on the ground I get out the vacuum cleaner and poke it in everywhere..especially along the frame rail...deflection has sent things into funny will also initially find things someone else has lost will hear it rattling up the hose...
Yes 10mm sockets !...hate to think how many windscreen chipped or broken by those elusive little buggers

Joe T Avatar
Joe T Joe Thurber
Buford, GA, USA   USA
I feel your pain.. while bleeding my brakes on my 77 B last week I bumped the MC cap off of the pedal box cover and spent the next thirty minutes searching for it.
I resorted to digging out a flashlight and found two large holes in the fender right next to the pedal box wherein hid the elusive master cylinder cap. There are apparently many such secret compartments hidden throughout the car to contain all of the dropped parts as very few actually hit the floor. If only you could turn it upside down shake it when you drop a nut or bolt. smileys with beer

Diver648 Gold Member Warren Siringer
Tucson, AZ, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB
1967 MG MGB GT
1971 MG MGB GT
1974 MG MGB
I lost the same copper washer last week. It had fallen off and slid under the front lip of the pedal box. Impossible to see from the inside but saw just an edge when I went to put the pedal box cover back on. Probably slid that way when I was using the magnet tool to get the banjo bolt out.

DrewM Avatar
DrewM Silver Member Drew Maddock
74 MGB roadster, Southern California, USA   USA
When the Rapture happens, I imagine all these stray washers, nuts, bolts, and so forth will get lifted up once again. winking smiley

For awhile, I kept finding nuts and bolts lying in that upper rail inside the two fenders in the engine bay. I figured British car designers had added that as a "bolt catcher". Another good fishing hole to look into is at the very bottom of the heavy suspension member that's just below the carbs. I've got a whole history of washers and nuts down there in the muck. If I ever break down in the middle of nowhere, and I need a nut or a washer, I'm going to look down there first. Well, after I check that upper rail inside the fenders.

It's pretty much a rule for me to buy two of every washer, nut, and bolt I'm going to need to make a repair. The first is the one I plan to lose, the other is the back-up. It's amazing how often I "oops" and drop the first one. No matter where I was when it happened, I've started looking under the car first. There must be a magnetic field underneath cars. Every bolt or washer I drop outside the car seems to end up underneath somewhere in the middle. A flashlight shone along the floor in the darkness is a pretty good way to find what you can't find in the daytime.

Drew Maddock, So. Calif. USofA

Bruce Cunha Avatar
placerville, CA, USA   USA
I seem to remember Murphys corollaries. #5 under Assembly appears to fit.


1. Interchangeable parts won't.
2. The probability of a diagram or a specification being omitted from a shop manual is directly proportional to its importance.
3 .A dropped tool will land where it will cause the most damage; also known as the Law of Selective Gravity.
4. The availability of a part is inversely proportional to the need for the part.


1. Disassembly of a major component will invariably include a seized bolt.
2. Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally towards maximum difficulty of assembly.
3. The necessity for correcting mistakes in assembly increases as the assembly approaches completion.
4. After assembly, it will always be observed that the gasket is on the bench.
5. A dropped nut will seek the least level of accessibility.
6. A screwdriver will always slip when in the proximity of painted surfaces--Law of Centrifugal Malfeasance.


1. Any line, wire, or cloth cut to length will be too short.
2. Any rigid material cut to fit will be too long. When corrected, it will be too short.


1 .Probability of failure of a component is inversely proportional to the ease of repair or replacement.
2. An electrical component protected by a fuse will protect the fuse by blowing first.

Bruce E. Cunha

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