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The Perfect Road to Drive a Midget

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johnnyw637 Avatar
johnnyw637 Silver Member John Warner
Norwich, Norfolk, UK   GBR
Hope the gremlin gets it's marching orders Brian,

One thing about taking everything out of the engine bay, faults and potential problems easier to spot. I found a large nick in the starter solenoid cable insulation, which explained an intermittent starting problem and occasional smell of burning.

Rainy here today so not an inspiring garage day.
Yet as my neighbour reminded me yesterday, I'd given myself a deadline of 3 weeks to short the car and it's now been off the road for a month.
Less bacon sarnies, more action perhaps... Might ponder that over a coffee?

All the best Johnny smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-17 08:32 AM by johnnyw637.

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Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
Thanks for the wish, Johnny

After a quiet evening's reflection, I went out to the workshop to see if I could find what the electrics issue was. I figured I might have whacked a wire in the ignition system loose, since it all is on the same side as the oil filter I had to "persuade" off.

Didn't see much, so started running fingers along the wiring since fingers see better than eyes very often. The screw that secures the earthing from the ignition system was backed out the inner wing, so the earth was absolute crap.

Drew it up, and started at the flick of the key. I do hope the giggling little bastard isn't faking it and the gremlin still lurks but, since earthing is the most common cause for intermittent nonsense, perhaps we have it.

We'll find out what evil might still lurk in the hearts of Midgets tonight when we take Grrr up to tomorrow's appointment with the lift for the bearings.

Grin!

johnnyw637 Avatar
johnnyw637 Silver Member John Warner
Norwich, Norfolk, UK   GBR
Earthing problem just about sums up BMC and Leyland.

Sounds like a good bit of detective work Brian.

Bit of decreasing, tarting up bits like the wishbones and some assemblage so that the engine can go back in, this side of the pond. Plus of course bacon sarnies and builder's tea

All the best and enjoy the drive smiling smiley

Johnny

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Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
Pretty much what I tell anyone with flaky electrics in these cars, calm down, have a wee dram, then run your earthing, use your hands and your eyes both.

Now, the jury is still out whether the poltergeist has been seen off. These cars can be very sneaky and clever in their evilness when they want to be.

Then there is the matter of making the trip to the "shop-with-lift" with the graunchy bearings. Plenty of opportunities for Grrr to continue his little hissy-fit. Still might be by the side of the road holding his breath and turning blue before the day's out.

johnnyw637 Avatar
johnnyw637 Silver Member John Warner
Norwich, Norfolk, UK   GBR
I reckon that some sort of capillary action slowly transfers the earth problem through the wiring loom onto a seemingly unconnected part of the car.

Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
And so, Grrr ran steady and strong up the the Workshop-with-Lift, albeit at a sedate pace and grumbling all the way.

Sarge's first law of LBC electrics, in good Churchillian French:

"Cherchez la terre."

smoking smiley

Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
...and back home he ran, wagging his tail the whole way and all stupid happy again.

Grrr isn't the only one. I was looking in Piddles' engine bay, discovered the line from the intake manifold to what turns out to be a vacuum booster at the master (who knew?) was dried out and had a hole burnt in it by the exhaust header. Pulled it off to discover it had cracked, probably in the last century sometime, at the booster.

Replaced that, so now a bit less unintended lean in the mixture no doubt. Funny, there really isn't a whole lot of difference in the braking effort, or maybe my foot recalibrates quickly.

So a busy week, a little pricey for all the bits and such, but Grrr got the front hubs renewed with rollers, oil changed and filter, air filter cleaned and reoiled, some electrics sorted, whilst Piddles got an oil change, filter, booster line replaced, new fuel filter I can see in, and the aircleaner cleaned and reoiled.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we play a bit.

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tonyhawker Mahlon Hawker
Lorton, VA, USA   USA
1922 Ford Model T
1925 Ford Model T
1927 Ford Model TT "Henrietta"
1931 Ford Model A    & more
Glad to hear both money pits are back on the road!

Just got back from the old car swap meet at Luray. Picked up another spare T fuel tank, a brass radiator cap and some fancy electronics.

One gadget was a marine style 30 amp breaker with a digital voltmeter. Have to keep track of all those 6 volt electrons don't you know.

I got another computer controlled battery maintainer/charger. You know the kind. If the battery is dead the charger wont charge until you use another antique brute force charger to charge the battery. Then the fancy pants charger will take over and finish the job, as long as the paper roll is handy.

Oh yes, a big box from Jack containing, hopefully, a good wire wheel is sitting on the porch. Now maybe I can return the original 1979 spare to its appointed spot. Darn, I really hated to let that tire touch the road for the first time! Rubbed all the factory chalk markings off.

A tired and sore Hawk

SapitoPR Avatar
SapitoPR Silver Member Jorge Olazagasti
San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA   USA
In reply to # 3514275 by tonyhawker Glad to hear both money pits are back on the road!



I got another computer controlled battery maintainer/charger. You know the kind. If the battery is dead the charger wont charge until you use another antique brute force charger to charge the battery. Then the fancy pants charger will take over and finish the job, as long as the paper roll is handy.


A tired and sore Hawk

Friend Hawk you've done a great community service, most people don't know this information. I learned a couple of years ago and have ever since worshipped and repaired my two " antique " chargers one from Penney's, one from Sears. ( both about 35 yrs old ). Modern "intelligent" chargers with little LEDs interpret a battery as being DEAD if its very low in charge, even if the battery is good or still usable. This is specifically true on the very expensive Optima gel batteries. And yes your advice is correct, you can fool modern chargers by connecting a good battery in parallel with the dead one, but ain't that more work??



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-18 07:22 PM by SapitoPR.

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Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
Of course that begs the serious questions:

Why even buy and bother with the modern one if it doesn't effing work?

What advantage does it offer over the traditional one?

I had a modern one that has been singularly useless in almost every occasion. I can't find it now, so I must have given it to someone or more likely binned it. To be honest, I didn't know this piece of info, but I'm not clear as to what it really means or why I'd bother.

I have this old Sears Allstate one I bought at a jumble sale years ago, and the big Schumaker was my Dad's come to live with me when he passed. Both are brilliant. The other photo is an analyzer that doesn't get too much air time, but when things get mysterious it is very handy in the quest for enlightenment.

So, are you telling me I should have kept the modern one, used it in the incredibly clumsy way described, and to what end? Why were you actually seeking and buying them?

I'm missing something...


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tonyhawker Mahlon Hawker
Lorton, VA, USA   USA
1922 Ford Model T
1925 Ford Model T
1927 Ford Model TT "Henrietta"
1931 Ford Model A    & more
Brian, you are missing one critical bit. A conventional, brute force charger will charge away without letup until the battery is boiled dry. What is needed is a charger that will bring the battery up to around 14.4 volts then drop back to an intermediate top off voltage of around 13.8 volts then go into a maintaining level of about 13.0 volts, called a float charge. This will not boil the electrolyte or otherwise cook the battery. This charger can be left on continuously without any monitoring and will do wonders with extending the life of a battery. For all my 6 volt car and tractor batteries a dual voltage model is helpful.

The problem with the modern computer controlled chargers, as Jorge stated, is getting them to recognize the presence of a battery if it does not see a certain minimum voltage at the load. That is why I needed to put an initial charge in the battery. Then the new charger took over, charging away and also desulphating (sp) if needed.

These fancy chargers might be expensive but so are new batteries. Besides, I am a gadget freak for things that blink while they work.

Hawk

Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
I'm still lost. How long are you putting a battery to an external supply that you're boiling it?

If I've somehow lost a charge by inactivity, which is really very rare, then I whack the charger (that actually works) on the battery and charge it until it starts the machine, whatever it might be.

If the battery won't hold a charge offered it, its crap. Fix or replace.

If the system in the vehicle won't maintain it, its crap. Fix or replace.

Is there a third condition I'm missing here?

Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Brian S
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
1998 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas "Bad Kitty"
It occurs I am missing a case.

Are you talking of maintaining the battery over long periods of inactivity of the machine?

At that point, the little battery maintenance tricklers some folks use because they put their cars up over the winter strike me as a better alternative; they do their job as intended and the old analogue charger does its job as intended, with no having to put a battery across the battery for the stupid computer to see a charge to begin the charge (really!) or charging the battery with an analogue charger so you can charge the battery with a computerised one.

Here's what really worries me. I use a charger to charge, and I watch the dam thing. I'm nervious enough with the notion of using those simple dumb-trickle battery maintainers, so I won't even use them in my workshop, let alone feel remotely comfortable with a charger being used as a maintainer and relying on some logic-circuit to read the battery and respond properly over long periods. I've seen too many workshops and cars go up because of an unattended charger/maintainer fault to be comfortable with any of it.

For the very few times my stuff is dormant, I get off my duff and start it all up periodically or figure a battery is on its way if it won't go flat from sitting then take a recharge after. Batteries are cheaper than fires.

healey36 Avatar
healey36 Paul Raith
Westminster, Maryland, USA   USA
Hey guys - saw this over on the "What did you do with your MG Midget today?" thread:



It's another frankenspridget!

John, note the color...

All this battery talk has me intrigued as I have a dead 3 year-old Interstate sitting in the Sprite right now. Won't take a charge...dagger!

Paul
Edit::Agreed Brian...unattended chargers are a potential disaster. The two I have (Sears) indicate they cut off at full charge but I don't trust them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-19 12:08 PM by healey36.

tonyhawker Mahlon Hawker
Lorton, VA, USA   USA
1922 Ford Model T
1925 Ford Model T
1927 Ford Model TT "Henrietta"
1931 Ford Model A    & more
Yep. Several.

Example 1. My 9.5 Kw. emergency generator. Big Vanguard V Twin electric start. Me with a degraded ability to pull the starting handle. Used maybe once a year? Tried to start it for a functional check and the 10 year old battery was dead. Got out a 1.5 amp charger that I mistakenly thought was automatic, hooked it up and promptly forgot about it for two weeks. Smelled something funny in the garage. Yep! It was cooked! NOW I have a fancy pants modern float charger on it and do not have to monitor it.

Example 2. My Model A was stored over the winter in a small trailer without easy access to power. The battery discharged over the winter. Had to drag out the big 200 amp 12 volt charger to put an initial charge on the 6 volt battery. Then the modern 6 volt charger took over and all is well. The Model A and the TT truck both now have modern attach and forget float chargers

Example 3. My motorhome has two 6 volt golf cart batteries for house power. The built in 40 amp bruit force charger, if left on continuously, will boil the batteries. A small automatic 1.5 amp float charger can be left on all winter and small jumper wires over to the starting battery will also keep it ready to go.

Example 4. My D-7 Cat has two $250 12 volt starting batteries. They are removed and drug home for float charging over the winter Gotta baby those platinum batteries!

In your case you might not need such chargers. In my case they are indispensable and quickly pay for themselves.

Gotta run! The A is due at Fort Hunt park for a show. FREE!

Hawk

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