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Barn Find....well, somewhat


Paul McGuffin

I’m in a bit of a conundrum. Maybe some advice and opinions here will help. I have a close friend in California. 30 years ago, he and his wife moved from Kansas to the West Coast. In 1986 he drove a perfectly good 1969 MG Midget under a shed on a Kansas farm. Turned off the engine and left it, oil, coolant and all. I looked the car over in 2001, rust had already set in on the wire wheels. He now says, if I am willing to drive from Arizona to Kansas, I can have the car. Now... all I really want is the 1275 engine. I’m sure the trans and rear differential are okay. What bothers me is, an engine sitting 30 years with the coolant. Would the water jackets be rusted through? I would like to re-build the 1275, but are my concerns valid. The trans and rear end would be nice to have, but not worth a drive to Kansas and trailer them back to Arizona. I’m sure the wire wheels and disc brake, etc are too rusty after all this time. Even though it’s under a shed, it has still been exposed to the elements. HELP..


Obi Wan
Country flag
I would have someone check it out for you and then decide. If the engine turns you may get by with a little pitting on the cylinder walls. I've worked on cars that were a rusted hulk and left out in the weather for 30+ years and I've been surprised with good engines.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
Road trip! It will be easier to move the entire car than to pull the motor and move it back to Az. Part it out and sell me the wire wheel/disc brake conversion 😈. You might be surprised what the block and head look like, but the motor will probably in need of a rebuild anyway. So it will be off to the machine shop if by chance it does not flush out and run with good compression. Follow the great Tony B's directions for awaking the sleeping mg https://www.mgexp.com/article/awakening-sleeping-mg.html

Paul McGuffin

Road trip! It will be easier to move the entire car than to pull the motor and move it back to Az.

Oh..I would bring the entire car. But, 15 years ago I looked at it, and the wires were getting rusty. Naturally, I want to rebuild the engine. My Bugeye now has a early 1098cc (CG). I have no idea what has been done to it. It does run very well, good oil pressure. Has a few small oil leaks, but I was told by local car buffs, “it’s just a British car... marking it spot.”
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