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1500 engine issues

Posted by Ohiospider1975 
Rob Medynski
Canterbury, N.H., USA   usa

Note; If the engine is rebuilt, at will run a little hotter the first few hundred miles. As it heats up it get tighter and will produce more heat.
New or older engines, check the amount and mixture of anti freeze in the cooling system. More that 50/50 the car will over heat. Always use a good name brand. Years ago I tested cheep anti freeze compared to good name brands. The cheep stuff needed 2/3s to reach protection where as the good stuff was good at 45 to 50% mix. More than 50% will cause heating issues and does not dissipate heat. I had a customer who called me with a similar issue after he installed the TD engine I rebuilt. I had him tow the car up and found the only problem was the anti freeze mix. He thought the more the better.
Check the distributor. Most need a good overhaul or at least a good cleaning and oil. I've had many cars run much cooler after cleaning and making sure the distributor advanced properly, the line to the vacuum unit held vacuum, was hooked up properly and didn't leak. Almost every vacuum unit we check, even if it holds vacuum, is found to have limited advance because of condensed fuel build up or a dry diaphragm. Some vacuum units are so far out of range they're almost worthless. The MGA vacuum advance unit, advances the timing at the crank 20 degrees. Loss of that much timing will cause hotter running conditions. You may have other issues, but when a car has a heating problem these are the first things I check and many times are the problems.
Good luck
Rob

Vintage O.E. Lucas vacuum advance units   – Canterbury, N.H. USA New original vintage DVX, DM, 22D & 25D Lucas Distributor Vacuum Advance Units 1948-70's
TX, USA   usa

Rob,

Could it be? My repairer drained the water and added antifreeze. I don't know what proportion.

Prior to that with only water the car ran satisfactorily even in 100 degree weather rarely going beyond 190 water temp while running.

Cooler weather no problem with the water/antifreeze mix, but now with 80+ OAT when restarted after shutting down it runs very rough. During shut down water temp goes to 212+ and takes a long time to cool down. Simple enough to go back to water only and see what happens.
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Ohiospider1975 Avatar
Warren Brown
Ohio, USA   usa

The MGA begins its trailer trip from Florida to Ohio on Wednesday March 21.
michalakmj Avatar
Mark Michalak
Chicago, USA   usa
1958 MG Magnette ZB "Hilda"
1958 MG Magnette ZB "Mr. Belvidere"
1960 MG MGA 1600 Coupe

Building off of what Rob said, the first thing you're going to want to do after you check out that water pump is start from scratch and give that car a complete tune-up. Get some technical manuals and read the BBS. The archives at http://www2.mgcars.org.uk have some good info. (Sorry for promoting another board here, but I prefer the search function on that board for archived threads.) If the guys at that garage can't install a wiring harness right and they're telling you it needs new relays then I'm guessing they also can't set ignition timing and balance carbs. The MGA doesn't have relays, by the way.

I would start off assuming that everything on that car is set up wrong and don't take anything for granted. This way you won't overlook anything in the troubleshooting department. Everything starts with the timing, so get that right and go from there. I think someone said it's hard to get the car to idle at 600rpm. Depending on your engine setup that may be true, but if you don't have your idle that low then the distributor advance weights will start opening up and will throw off your timing settings.

I've had my car overheat due to traffic on hot days and put that neeedle close to 230, but the engine never gave up on me the way yours is which leads me to believe that the overheating is the effect not the cause. There are cooling quirks with this car and there is a lot of information out there to help you overcome them, but first make sure the car is set up properly and then come back and we can bang out your other issues.

Mark
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Ohiospider1975 Avatar
Warren Brown
Ohio, USA   usa

Transporter picked up vehicle today in Sarasota, FL. Loaded on flatbed for transport north. Insurance activated for transit. Expect the MGA to arrive Ohio Monday or Tuesday next week.
Gary E Avatar
Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   usa

Should have left it in Fla until after the Key West meet then sent it north..



Gary

If you don't think too good, don't think too much.


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Scott Allen
Lincoln, USA   usa

On my MGA, I had a gas leaking from the over flow tube on the carburetor, and it was caused from the bolts being loose that attach the carburetor to the head.
JimNH Avatar
Jim Mail
Nashua, New Hampshire, USA   usa
1957 MG MGA "Camilla (the Other Woman)"

I just re-read the very first post.

If the radiator cap is not sealed, wouldn't that explain all of the overheating issues? You need pressure in the system to keep the coolant boiling point high, esp. if he is running plain water.

I agree that the mechanic he bought the car from made some errors - but it sounds like all he needs a tune up and a radiator cap.

JIM
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TeamEvil Avatar
T C
Kingston, Massachusetts, USA   usa

Jim, why even bother . . . .
Gary E Avatar
Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   usa

Ditto



Gary

If you don't think too good, don't think too much.


JimNH Avatar
Jim Mail
Nashua, New Hampshire, USA   usa
1957 MG MGA "Camilla (the Other Woman)"

Well - I want to see him get it sorted! We all learn this way!

JIM
TeamEvil Avatar
T C
Kingston, Massachusetts, USA   usa

If you read the initial first post, you might have read the second post, mine.

I mentioned the pressure cap first thing out.


Again, why even bother?
Gary E Avatar
Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   usa

The original poster has not responded since March.



Gary

If you don't think too good, don't think too much.


Ohiospider1975 Avatar
Warren Brown
Ohio, USA   usa

I have been involved in engine issues since March. I was told mY 1500 need complete rebuild. I elected to pull and hold the 1500 engine with an 1800 engine with 4 spd over drive trans with 3.91 rear end. Pulled engine and trans, down to frame for powder coat and suspension rebuild.
JimNH Avatar
Jim Mail
Nashua, New Hampshire, USA   usa
1957 MG MGA "Camilla (the Other Woman)"

Warren - I hope whomever gave you the rebuild advice was telling the truth this time, and that it wasn't just the radiator cap all the time.

But, sounds like you are having fun doing a great set of upgrades...very cool. Post pics of your progress and share!

JIM in NH
Gary E Avatar
Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   usa

Sounds like a great project. Did you plan on a total overhaul when you bought the car.



Gary

If you don't think too good, don't think too much.


Ohiospider1975 Avatar
Warren Brown
Ohio, USA   usa

No, I didn't plan on refinancing my whole life when I bought the car. But, life experiences are what this is all about. Road

raced the MGA in Italy and refound my emotional attachment. Good thing.
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