MGB ergonomics

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alan riley
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Forename: Alan
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MGB ergonomics

Post by alan riley »

I have had my MGB for a couple of months now and am new to the forum, but I have had a look through the thread and do not see anything on this. My car is a 1967 mk1 LHD. Put simply, with the seat forward as far as it will go, my wife who is 5'3" can't drive the car because she can't reach the pedals! I spoke with another B owner the other day who has the same issue. With the seat back as far as it will go, I reckon a 7'6" giant would fit! I wonder if the forward adjustment is amatter of being LHD because the seat hits the tunnel, which is not symmetrical.
Another issue is that with the LHD there is nowhere to rest your left foot when on the move. Some USA forums talk about fitting a 'dead pedal', but I have a floor mounted dip switch, which is high on the bulk head ( and some 5" beyond the clutch pedal) and I think a dead pedal would obstruct it. Does anybody have any thoughts on this?
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Peter Cresswell
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Re: MGB ergonomics

Post by Peter Cresswell »

Hi Alan
I have a book called 'MGB Roadsters 1962-1980' (published by Brooklands Books ISBN 1-869826-10-8) which contains a series of reprints of articles over the life of the MGB. Several articles are from US magazines so feature LHD cars. None of them refer to problems experienced by lack of adjustment of the drivers seat, but equally none of the articles were written by ladies! I have heard anecdotally in the past that shorter find they can't drive the MGB because of lack of seat movement, or if there was enough they find themselves sitting too close to the wheel for comfort when their feet were on the pedals.

Are you sure you have the right seats for the car? There are no headrests or holes for headrests and the seat back angle has to be adjusted by a bolt at the bottom of the seat back. I'm not sure if the seats got wider as the years went on, but they do look wider! If you have the correct seats you might be able to make up some plates that slightly offset the seat towards the door, and also move it a bit closer towards the front of the car. You will need to ensure there is enough adjustment for both of you to be able to drive comfortably.
The pedal position is similar for LHD and RHD cars as the blanking plate on the top of the bulkhead under the bonnet (hood?) reveals.

As far as a foot rest goes, you could try spacing the dip switch towards the seat by using some sort of spacer - a block of oak perhaps! You could then lightly rest your left foot against that, or alternatively make a new bracket that will locate the dip switch closer to you, which you can bolt (using strap screws) to the inner panel of the wing (I think the proper name for the panel is the 'Dash Side Panel') to achieve the same.
Pete
1969 MGB Roadster
2020 MG HS Exclusive
2007 Mercedes SLK
Plus 34 other cars since 1965
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alan riley
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Forename: Alan
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Re: MGB ergonomics

Post by alan riley »

Peter
Many thanks for your helpful reply.The seats are the correct ones-the frames at least. The backs are only adjustable with a spanner and there are no head rests, but they have been re-covered and I suspect that the cushioning may be slightly thicker than the original. I am considering moving the runners 20mm or so towards the door and forward a little. More than that will bring the driver too close to the steering wheel.
Yes the pedal position is the same for LHD and RHD cars, but with a RHD car the left foot will rest against the side of the tunnel , but in the LHD car there is nothing (try sitting in the passenger seat on a RHD car and imagining where your foot would be!!) . I had come to the conclusion that the answer is to put a block behind the dip switch, but I was looking for the comfort of someone else suggesting it. As to fixing to the dash side panel, from the exploded diageam on the Brown and Gammons catalogue, it does not look as though there is any access to the rear and self-tapping screws would be need- not sure if the would take the sideways force of the pressure needed on the dip switch. Of course in later models when the floor dip switch goes, the 'dead pedal' is the answer-but the designers seem to have missed this-perhaps they did not envisage that 70% of the production would be LHD!
Alan
SterlingK
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Re: MGB ergonomics

Post by SterlingK »

Are there no modifications that can be done to improve the ergonomics?
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