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Fan clutch operation

Posted by richie87 
Moss Motors
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Richard Larson
Bend, Oregon, USA   usa
I just bought a 79 Midget 1500 with 26,100 actual miles. Fan clutch seems very tight... solidly tight, actually... and runs at start up and all the time even when it heats up. Is this normal? Probably not. Does that indicate the fan clutch assembly entirely needs to be replaced? Also the vehicle is running "rich". I have little experience with that kind of carburetor... is adjusting the mixture fairly easy to do? Thanks and will appreciate any help or advice people can offer.


7mg2 Avatar
Andrew Hardie
Calgary, Alberta, Canada   can
1969 MG MGC GT "Mr "C"
1972 MG Midget MkIII
Don't have any experience with the 1500, but yes your fan clutch is toast.
You do not mention if you have stock or modified carburation, so can't help there. Shouldn't be tough to lean things out a bit though no matter what you have.


NAMGBR# 20-7738
AMGCRA# 1678

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maurice sallee
Campbellsville, Central Kentucky, USA   usa
I agree. I have the stock stromberg carb takes a special tool to adjust mixture. The diaphram may be torn or bad. You said new to these. If stromberg has a cap at top. Remove it and add a little motor oil. That what makes it slide up and down. If already know this. I apologize for taking it that simple. It just took me a long time when got my first Midget till I knew this. Stromberg is stock. Can see it in my video under hood of my car. Welcome and get us some pictures. Maurice

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Richard Larson
Bend, Oregon, USA   usa
Thanks. I thought it was bad. I'm debating between a direct replacement or taking it out and putting on the electric one that I have seen on Moss Motors. Otherwise the car is in sweet and clean showroom-like shape. Stock carburetion... Zenith-Stromberg, I presume? I followed the advice and what the owners manual said.. added a little oil into the piston sliding thing since it was NOT "encountering resistance" at about 1/4 " level from cap to body of carb as described. I'll see what that does. Also put in new plugs and wires, cap and rotor, saw that the plugs were NOT oily but pretty too-rich black in color. It's cold in Oregon right now but seems to run great; just was getting awful fuel mileage. I'll... keep you posted.
-Richard ( and I'll add in some pictures soon, too... )

Richard Larson
Bend, Oregon, USA   usa
I suppose it's related to 1979 emission controls because it tends to surge a bit at times, when shifting, and takes a second or so to idle down but otherwise driveability is very good. I know a good mechanic who can probably work on these things and he does work on my Land Rover and is a sharp guy. Any opinion on replacing fan clutch or the aftermarket electric unit? Hmm. Thanks.

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maurice sallee
Campbellsville, Central Kentucky, USA   usa
I had a electic fan in front of mine when first got it. Couldn't afford the clutch. It did try to run warm going real slow in parades. I did put the fan clutch in and still have the electric. So that is best I can say. Maurice
Pictures of fan is here if interested and bunch of other mess. Also on other next page.

76mgdriver Avatar
Gone Drivin'
Beautiful downtown Wanatah, IN, USA   usa
Fan clutch--what do you mean by "tight?" It should run fast at slow speed and loosen (slow) at higher speeds--letting forced-air do the cooling.

My '76 always ran warm at high speed a/c there is a 1500 Triumph Spitfire engine crammed into a small engine compartment. From a tip many years ago I attached a hose clamp around the fan clutch/water pump assembly so that the fan clutch always ran at the engine speed--the faster I went, the faster the fan turned. It works great--been there for 10+ years now with no problems.

As long as your Midget is running at normal temperature, don't worry about the fan clutch--it's doing it's job.

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Richard Larson
Bend, Oregon, USA   usa
Tight? It's basically locked-up tight. My Land Rover is sort of loose; you can turn it, and from the sound I can tell when it's engaged and then frees up at higher engine speeds.
Operating temps seem to be OK. The fan just turns all the time and in concert with engine RPM's. It's noisy in town but can't hear it on the road anyway. I'll probably deal with it eventually.... but probably won't regard it as acute since the temps are OK and it's not driven that much. Thanks for the viewpoints and suggestions, of course ! -Richard

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Jon Hartmann
Germantown, WI, USA   usa
I have a 78 that had a bad fan clutch. It was loose, made a moaning sound, and had replaced. My understanding is you dont want a loose fan clutch with your Midget--I dont know about other cars. And the fan clutch only disengages at high speeds, as was stated earlier, which you will not be able to see happening anyway. Tight fan clutch equals a good fan clutch. Loose fan clutch...

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