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just bought a 1974 Midget

walshja

Jedi Warrior
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just picked up a 1974 Midget, 39k miles, everything is original minus alternator, brakes & top

the car runs great, but I do have a few questions, hopefully you can help me out

I have tried to research this, with no luck. Should I be adding a lead additive to the gas? and the manual says 94 octane is required? is that true?

also, when I turn into corners, sometimes the front wheels squeal. I'm not going fast at all, and they still squeal. the tires are in great shape, plenty of rubber remaining. is this normal for older cars to do this? the previous owner added a front sway bar, I am guessing to help with the problem. thoughts?

thanks, joe
 

Morris

Yoda
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I think the general consensus on the forum is that lead additive is snake oil. Don't waste your money.

As for the squeal... no that is not normal.

My totally wild guess is that it could be worn brake hoses that cause the brakes to slightly engage when the wheels are turned.

My second wild guess is that your front wheel bearings have no grease.
 

Mickey Richaud

Moderator
Staff member
Platinum
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Welcome, Joe, and congratulations on your purchase!

I agree about the snake oil.

On the tire squeal, you might also check the toe-in setting.

Mickey
 

RickB

Yoda
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Look at the simple things first, if it really is the tires squealing check for over inflation. I run my fronts at 26 lbs. Running up at 30 - 32 lbs makes them squeal around corners, makes the ride rougher. There's a fuel economy loss at lower pressure, but the tradeoff is ride & handling.

Of course Morris had very good points and definitely check all that too. Grease is required in your bearings and suspension and the brakes always need to be checked on a new acquisition.
 

Atrus

Jedi Warrior
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x3 on the snake oil. My uncle owned/ran a cylinder hear repair shop for about 13 years, and is a huge classic car nut (muscle car guy though). I bought some when i first got the Healey and he told me to dump that crap. Said it wouldn't help the valvetrain at all.
 

zimmy

Jedi Knight
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if ur car really is all original it probably
needs the lever "shocks" rebuilt and a
number of other things.......
welcome to the 74 club! ...zimmmy
 

bugimike

Yoda
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Check for the type of squeal, does it sound mechanical or rubber-on-pavment? If it is mechanical then a check of the suspension is in order (I would start with checking the wheel bearings and go on from there!). If it is tire-squeal, then first check tire pressure as suggested above, and then check wheel alignment (toe-in) as also mentioned above!!
 
OP
walshja

walshja

Jedi Warrior
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WOW, thanks for the feedback, this is great !!

the squeal is rubber-on-pavement, for sure. seems to happen most when I am turning and the road grade is going down hill. but it did just happen when turning the corner at the McDonalds drive through ( I know, that stuff will kill me, but it's so tasty !!! )

I will check the tire pressure right now, I meant to do that before posting, but I forgot !!

the car has new brakes, calipers and master cylinders, so they did need work at one point, maybe they neglected the brake lines. so the thoughts about the brake line slightly engaging sounds promising, as when it happens, it almost does seem like the wheels are slightly locking up, because while I'm not plowing through corners, they still squeal. also, while the car drives straight, no pulling to the left or right, the steering wheel is off, pointing to the right maybe 10 degrees.

as far as adding grease, that's with the grease gun, right? I can use standard automotive grease from Walmart?

and thanks for the feedback on the lead additives, that's the confirmation I was looking for.

I will report back in a few minutes !!

thanks for the warm welcome everyone.

joe
 

tosoutherncars

Jedi Knight
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As viewed from the front, do the tires have excessive camber?

/---\

Might be collapsed front suspension bushings, causing the outside wheel to 'scrub' on turns?
 
OP
walshja

walshja

Jedi Warrior
Offline
well, I'm embarrassed, yet happy

checked the tires, all 4 were at 20 psi, ouch !!

reset: 26 in front, 30 in the rear, problem solved !!

this is a problem I should have diagnosed myself, but thought something bigger was wrong !!!

so in a matter of 1 hour you answered all my questions, next time lets try and get this done in half that time !!! lol

thanks, joe
 
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Joe, you'll fit right in here!! :laugh: And forgive the sloppy responses. Most if not all of the top level guru's here are busy driving their cars into a lake or some such nonsense! LOL
 
OP
walshja

walshja

Jedi Warrior
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I would think driving an MG into a lake would be bad for rust, but then again this is my first British car, maybe I'll give it a shot !!

I already feel at home here, looking forward to someday actually contributing, instead of asking the questions.

joe
 

zimmy

Jedi Knight
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im gonna drive mine in the lake if
the clutch dont start working!
luckily a lake is just down
hill from here!!! ......z
 

Mickey Richaud

Moderator
Staff member
Platinum
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walshja said:
this is a problem I should have diagnosed myself, but thought something bigger was wrong !!!

Like WE can't relate to THAT! :wink:

Glad you resolved it, though.
 

drooartz

Moderator
Staff member
Gold
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Welcome, and glad you got your issue resolved. Now get out there and drive -- oh, and post some pictures of the new ride. We're a visual group.
grin.gif
 

tosoutherncars

Jedi Knight
Offline
walshja said:
I have tried to research this, with no luck. Should I be adding a lead additive to the gas? and the manual says 94 octane is required? is that true?

thanks, joe

Hi Joe,

I've got the later (1500) engine, but I run premium (91). It's really just a matter of making sure it's not pinging (pinking: UK) under heavy load. With the octane level you'd like to run, set your timing, go up a hill in fourth, and if you're pinging, retard it a couple of degrees and try again.

Your mileage may vary, all sales final, one per customer, no refunds, etc. :wink:
 
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My earlier lake reference is about the Lake of the Ozarks get together which is this weekend, I think? 50th Anniversary for the Sprite? Something like that.... :smile:
 

Sopwith_Camel

Jedi Warrior
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yep Snake oil. my first was a 74 they just keep following you home!!! im still asking questions and ive had three and am just finishing (pleas god) builing one!

the anit roll bar is a good addition
other suggestions is a screw on oil filter.
boat speakers that are designed to get wet!

and be vigilant for rust. to quote car talk "arnt they made of compressed rust?"

cheery
steve
 
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