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New old member.

doc50

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This will be my 3rd attempt at posting in a 'new to me' sector in BCF. I think I'm finally in the right neighborhood now.

I sold my TR3, swore I'd never buy another car. I just bought another project car, 1973 MG Midget. I know TR3s very well....I do NOT know Spridgets.

I will doubtless ask many uninformed questions and, as in the past, likely get very informative answers from you folks.

Thanks.

Thom

(former) 1959 TR3 #TS34909L(O) Completely restored top to bottom, now careening around France.
1973 MG Midget project, soon to be a...crossed fingers....daily driver
 

drooartz

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Ask away, we'll be more than happy to help out!

Spridgets are simple cars, much of your knowledge from your TR3 will be applicable. The same fundamental thought processes went into both cars.
 
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doc50

doc50

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Thanks, Drew. I understand I can put a smaller steering wheel in. (I'm not fat these days, I'm just fluffy). Do you know what S.O.B. wheels would fit Midgets, so I can expand that search?
I'm looking for Miata or Fiero seats. Also, any idea where to source a reasonably priced complete interior? I did most of the TR3 interior (but the seats). The Midget door and other panels seem to be a little more fancy. That will be a start.

Again, thanks for any ideas!

Thom
73' Midget
 

drooartz

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Moto-Lita or Moss' Tourist Trophy version are my go-tos for steering wheels. Lots of choices of styles and the correct hubs are easily available. I'm relatively fluffy as well and fairly long (6'1") and even taking an inch off the steering wheel diameter seems to free up a bunch of space.

Last interior I did came from Moss (for an MGB). They usually do an interior bits sale in the spring, should be coming up. I was happy with the quality of the panels I got from them for my MGB.

I used to use a company called British Sports Car Restorations -- they were a Moss reseller and you could often get another 10-15% off through them. Sadly their website seems down now. There are others around, if you can find one you can save a few more dollars.
 

glemon

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I went from a Sprite to a TR4A many years ago, mechanically, it was much like the Sprite, with everything a little bigger. As mentioned, the pricipals of operation and many components are similar. Lucas electrics, SU carbs. The midget has an electric fuel pump and tach, and an alternator, but you have probably figured all that out by now. Most parts are plentiful and cheap, front suspension gearbox can be a little pricey and expensive to put right if worn, and they often are.

Have fun.
 
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doc50

doc50

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Glemon, I did hear the electric fuel pump...thought it was an after market install like I did with my TR3. Yup, alternator. Didn't know the tach is electric. That may explain why it's not working. Where does it get the pulse signal from? It's got a Weber on it that I need to adjust next.

Cheers,

Thom
 

glemon

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I am back to TRs these days, but I believe the pulse comes from a white ignition wire that runs in a little loop behind the tach, but they may have changed that in later versions. I will leave likely causes of problems and fixes to those gurus who understand electronics beyond polarity and completing circuits.
 
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doc50

doc50

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I'll look today, THX.

CALL OUT to the Forum! Can I tow this car? I could NOT tow my 1959 TR3 because the transmission would not be getting the needed lubrication. Is that true for my Midget? Thanks, all.

Thom
1973 Midget
 
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doc50

doc50

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New question for the midget gurus here: The dizzy does NOT look like it is held in securely.
I'll post a pic in a few days.
The plate that bolts to the block has 2 bolts. No problem there. Dizzy is held tightly by a bolt with a square head and 1/4 X 28 nut. That plate does NOT hold the dizzy into the block. I can't seem to get the diz in far enough that the clamping action of that plate holds it securely, so the diz can be pulled right out of the block if the square headed bolt is even a little loose. That CAN'T be the way it was designed! Anybody? THANKS.

Thom

1973 "Midge''
 

nomad

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I've seen the dizzy broken at the point where the clamp bolt is supposed to clamp. Caused by a DPO over tightening it. Hope that is not the case. As to towing the car I believe it would be best to unbolt the drive shaft and secure it out of the way. Seems that the bearings don't get lubricated by just the drive shaft turning if memory serves.

Kurt
 

JPSmit

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New question for the midget gurus here: The dizzy does NOT look like it is held in securely.
I'll post a pic in a few days.
The plate that bolts to the block has 2 bolts. No problem there. Dizzy is held tightly by a bolt with a square head and 1/4 X 28 nut. That plate does NOT hold the dizzy into the block. I can't seem to get the diz in far enough that the clamping action of that plate holds it securely, so the diz can be pulled right out of the block if the square headed bolt is even a little loose. That CAN'T be the way it was designed! Anybody? THANKS.

Thom

1973 "Midge''

IIRC there is a "slot" that the dizzy goes down into - so, it may not be properly alligned to go all the way down quite yet. Also note that the dizzy goes in two ways - correct and 180 deg out.
 
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doc50

doc50

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Kurt, the clamp appears to be very intact and unbent. I just can't imagine that with no 'downward positive force', that the diz would not wiggle loose....right in heavy traffic. It doesn't hold it in, it just clamps the sides of the diz base.

John, I know the slot you describe and the diz is well and truly 'seated'. It's the clamp itself I'm concerned about. I'm about ready to put a thin top plate on that clamp to put some 'down force' on the diz base. I'll keep looking into this and dutifully report back.

Thanks, guys.

Thom
'Midge'
 

Rut

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Thom,
Lets make sure you have all the parts and they are in the correct order. Number 13 clamps to the dizzy and bolts to number 73 which is bolted to the block and holds the dizzy drive in place. As said earlier the clamp can be previously over tightened and break the base of the dizzy giving a loose fit which will allow the dizzy to rotate inside the clamp and change timing. If everything is in good condition the dizzy won’t be able to rotate or come out of the block. I know this is basic stuff, but if someone used a clamp from a different application or it’s upside down you would have the issues you’re describing.
Good luck, Rut
 

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doc50

doc50

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Thanks, Rut.

I found that the diz clamp was a bit bent. It now clamps correctly and start's with a turn of the key. Now I need to look at the accel pump because there's a definite dead spot / hesitation when revved.

Thom
73 Midget, 'Midge'
 
Last edited:
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I'll look today, THX.

CALL OUT to the Forum! Can I tow this car? I could NOT tow my 1959 TR3 because the transmission would not be getting the needed lubrication. Is that true for my Midget? Thanks, all.

Thom
1973 Midget

Here's the deal on towing. First, you will get lots of folks who have towed their Sprite 4,000 miles with no problem. Maybe, but I'd hate to see the input shaft, mainshaft, and bearing.
The roller bearing between input and main is usually oiled from a hole or more in the input shaft gear. Lots of transmisions I have worked on have the hole or holes in the bottom of the gear slot, so mating gears sort of act like a pump.

Engine off, transmission in neutral, the input stays stationary, main shaft spins at diff speed, so it's fast. That little bearing is zinging right along...with no oil.
Short distances, like home from a normal breakdown, no problem.

I was raised understanding even coming down a mountain grade you didn't just slip it into neutral and shut the engine off as you would damage gears, shaft and bearing.

Remove the driveshaft.

If you do not drain the trans, it's gonna spread oil all over as you drive....so rebar tie wire (baling wire, welding rod, coat hanger) unbolt driveshaft at diff flange and tie it firmly up and out of the way if you can. Can't recall how much room you have underneath.

If that doesn't work, drain the trans, pull the driveshaft, store it and bolts elsewhere, tow it. If your e-brakes don't work, you will need chocks when you undo the tow.

Opinion...based upon training and experience.
 
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doc50

doc50

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Well, new information is always good..even if it's kinda bad news. Thanks for the info. Never thought about turning the engine off down a long grade. I know myself, so I won't be disconnecting the d/s nor draining the trans. I may just revert to our electric bikes again. Sigh.

Thanks, Yoda.

PS: I wish some automotive genius would invent an aftermarket pump that could circulate oil to the various trans bits when towing. What a wonderful world it would be.

Thom
73 Midget, "Midge"
 
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doc50

doc50

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Anyone here who is familiar with Weber carbs?

I dialed in the diz today and it starts like a new car.....but there is a definite hesitation on accel. Once past idle, it revs fine. But from idle, there is always a hesitation.

I'm thinking accel pump. Is that hard to check and fix on a Weber?

Thanks,

Thom

73 Midget, 'Midge'
 

nomad

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That is a common problem when our cars end up with a Weber. I don't have an answer except keeping your eyes open for a set of SU's. Maybe work on the accelerator pump will do the job. Good luck.
 
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