View Full Version : Well, it ran last night.....

05-30-2004, 02:12 PM
For the last week or so I have been cleaning my new purchase, '76 midget which has been in dry storage since '88. Is solid but needs some cosmetics...

The car is not legally on the road yet but last night at about 2:30 in the morning a buddy and i went for a ride around the block. This was my first time actually driving it as the car as it had a tank of bad gas and lacked a battery when i bought it.

It was a fun ride!
The clutch seems good and the transmission shifts relatively smoothly. The breaks are working well even with a leaky rear wheel cylinder. The left front wheel bearing is dry and may need some work but other than that all seems well for an unrestored 28 year old car.

That was until this morning. Thinking of the previous night rendezvous i tried to start it up but had no luck. It cranked over for 30 seconds but did not fire up. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif

I pulled the plugs and they were wet. Iím definitely getting fuel but I am not getting any spark...no spark out of the coil wire either.

The ignition system appears to be stock, the cap, rotor, plugs and wires are aftermarket but in decent shape. The only modifications i have noticed are a Webber side draft carb and manifold, header pipe, some new front bushings, an after market pusher fan with thermostat, and a water temp gauge.

I am new to MG's and i was wondering if there is a usual weak spot in the ignition system where i could start my trouble shooting. Anyone have a suggestion?

05-30-2004, 09:43 PM

Matthew E. Herd
05-31-2004, 01:42 PM
Oh, on '76 the water temp gauge and oil press gauge were a single unit in the dash ... if I understand correctly, that means that is a standard item, unless an additional water temp gauge was fitted. Also, perhaps you simply flooded it. How do you start your engine? The "recommended" procedure I found somewhere or other on the internet for webers (I have dual side draft 40mm Webers), is to pump the pedal 3-4 times (accelerator pump jets squirt fuel into the intakes), then lightly depress the pedal and crank. Works every time, but only when cold. Its quite easy to flood it, and I don't even have the chokes (aka enricheners) hooked up. The only downside is that it runs rough when cold (although it runs rough all the time for other reasons). Tell us what you get!

07-05-2004, 10:17 PM
Well, I am looking for some advice...
I had a little time out in the garage to try and fix the old girl but have not had much luck.

I did put a meter on a few things found 1.5 ohms across the coil, and that its gets power when the ignition is on, but never puts out spark.

Itís a 1500 with the opus electronic ignition, three wires off the distributor, and I am wondering if I have a faulty pickup unit. My poor sense of logic thinks one wire should be the positive, one the ground and the third should be the signal. But when I put a meter to them I get +/-12 volts on all of them, all the time.!?? has anyone put a meter across these and figured what they should read??

Also, does a 76 midget have any safety switch that disables the ignition??? (Like a neutral safety switch or oil pressure switch?) I suspect not. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

07-08-2004, 05:00 PM
Its your rotor arm and contact breaker...my guess is that as soon as you switched off it failed! A rotor arm that hasnt been used for years is prone to fail.
You must be mad to drive a car that hasn't seen the road for a while...without being fully overhauled...espacially with dodgy brakes! Having said that you were mad enough to buy a Midget!
Good luck

07-08-2004, 05:07 PM
Its your rotor arm and contact breaker...my guess is that as soon as you switched off it failed! A rotor arm that hasnt been used for years is prone to fail.

[/ QUOTE ]
What has non-use have to do with failure, in this case, and why would a rotor fail when you switched off?
And, I didn't know that the OPUS used a contact breaker.
Enlighten me.

07-10-2004, 09:44 AM
I just ordered a new cap and rotor and a Pertronix Ignitor Electronic Ignition kit... hopefully one of the three will solve the problem.

07-10-2004, 10:57 AM
Here is a picture of the 76. i think the next purchase (after a new top) is a set of aluminum rims from moss...

Bruce Bowker
07-10-2004, 04:56 PM
Here is a picture of the 76. i think the next purchase (after a new top) is a set of aluminum rims from moss...

[/ QUOTE ]

What was the starting problem for awhile ago?

07-12-2004, 08:24 AM
Unfortunately I have not sorted it out yet....I have had a busy last few weeks. I will be sure to post the results when I figure them out. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

07-15-2004, 11:08 PM
Finally she is running...

From all the attempted starting i managed to melt the insulator where the positive lead enters the starter. Yup, it was directly shorting to the chassis. I only noticed after accidentally brushing against the wire with my arm. Hmmm, i thought, thatís way too hot!

I was going to replace the starter but it appeared to be in decent shape...So, i just replaced the brushes, redressed the armature and formed a new replacement insulating bushing out of JB weld. After reassembly and adding the new cap and rotor she started, but it was a fight.

The timing is way off, and the dual Webbers are set way to rich. Tomorrow I have to get my timing light back from a friend.

Thanks for all the input!