MGExp

MG Midget Forum

My Spridgets

Moss Motors
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

mickri Chuck Losness
Squaw Valley, CA, USA   USA
This thread will chronicle my tales of woe as I venture down the long road of spridgetdom. Who knows where I will end up. All my plans are cast in sand at low tide and subject to the ebb and flow of the tide. They have already changed significantly from when I first started down this road.
The adventure begins in earnest with agreeing to buy two spridgets. A 67 midget with a hard top and wire wheels, I think it has a 1098 engine. Minimal rust according to the seller. And a 67 sprite with steel wheels, no engine or transmission. A package deal for $400. Plan was to swap the steel wheels and who knows what other parts off the sprite onto the midget and then restore the midget. Eventually selling off the sprite. I will be picking these car up the week after Easter.
The first wrinkle appears when I am contacted by a member of the forum with a 70 midget in much better condition than the other two cars. I will be going to look at his 70 midget over Easter weekend. Between the 3 I hope to end up with the car I want. A spridget with a 1275, steel wheels and a hard top.
I also want a 5 speed. I have read about the Datsun 5 speed. I understand that they are becoming scarce and hard to find. Can anyone provide me with the exact part number/model of the Datsun 5 speed. I understand that it comes out of a Datsun 210. This transmission had to be used in other Datsun cars and trucks It would not have been economical for Datsun to have made a special transmission to be used in just one economy car.
What about other 5 speed transmissions. From reading about toyota 4age swaps it sounds like the toyota w50 5 speed will fit with minimal surgery. How about the 5 speeds from Ford rangers, Mazda or Datsun pickups?

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

Attachments:
20170330_184248.jpg    54 KB
20170330_184248.jpg

20170330_184230.jpg    54.9 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
yellow 70 midget.JPG    76.8 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
ice Avatar
ice Gold Member Larry Ice
Lawrenceville, GA, USA   USA
Chuck, several observations on your proposed car collection. The car pics you sent shows more than a little body work required, are you prepared to put sufficient time and money on at least one car to end up with a decent car? By cost I mean buying the cars $1200, rebuilding an engine, $2500, prob $1000 for a paint job and if you want a 5spd, prob $2500 more. You can figger throwing prob another $1500 for misc parts as well. If the answer to the above is yes, and you have the necessary skills and time then go head. If the ans is no, I would drop the idea and look for a better car. Decent driver cars can be purchased prob much cheaper than doing significant work on a fixer-upper.

As for a 5spd Datsun tranny, you are right that the 210, 1978-80 is the most desirable. Scour the junk car lots in your area, just ask for those years and everyone will know what you are asking for. You might run across a dog leg 5 spd (the shift pattern is different), if you do and the price is right ($600 or so) pick it up, it will fit but needs a different adapter. Those trannies will fit with no body work required. Several firms sell the installation kits (read about kits in our library). Like I mentioned above, you can expect to spend $1500 for the tranny ( the desirable ones have an F series number (FL...FH stamped on the bell housing) and $1000 for a kit. That is if you do the work yourself, more $$$ if you have it done.

Over the years many owners have tried various other tranny's but there is nothing like the Datsun 210 for ease of installation and operation. I have a 5spd in mine and I really like how it feels and handles.

If I was looking at options to a 5 spd I would hunt for a 3:70 rear end car (the later model 1500 cars have them) or buy a new 3:55 rear end (ring and pinion) from Moss. Not as sexy as a 5spd but those rear ends will lower you engine RPM at cruise.

Chuck, pls post the year of your car in your profile so we can all see what year we are looking at. Takes but a minute or two and it helps everyone!



Iceman

Atlanta GA

60 AH MK1
62 AH MKII
67 Midget
71 Midget

TheLastDeadMouse Avatar
TheLastDeadMouse Tim Vollmer
Potsdam, NY, USA   USA
I'd say if you're more interested in the journey of preparing the car than you are in the end result, and are willing to pay extra to experience it, then go for it. Most here will tell you that the cheapest way to get a decent car is buying one, take advantage of the fact that someone else already bought a cheap car and spent a bunch of money fixing it up. I think most of us would love to see another car saved from the tin worm and put back on the road, but if your plan is to do this so you can save money vs a nice completed car for $5,000, turn back now.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
mickri Chuck Losness
Squaw Valley, CA, USA   USA
If I wanted a nice completed fun car to drive with no work involved I would just buy a miata. Or some more modern sporty car. I had a Passat turbo for several years. Fast fun car to drive. Handled better than I could drive it. The computers started to go south and with well over 200,000 miles passing smog was a challenge. I will never own another smog car. Sold it to a friend in Mexico. His mechanic told him it was a piece of junk. Try to work on a more modern car. Forget it. And what fun would that be. I am retired and have plenty of time to fiddle with things. If it takes me years to do this. That's OK with me. If it costs me more. That's OK. Call it entertainment.
The most fun I ever had with a car was my 67 Chevy II with a 327. You could actually work on that car. My 70 240Z was another fun car that I could work on. Had that car for 10 years and 300,000 miles.
Do I intend to throw money at this car? No. Will I be paying other people to work on my car? Only if I absolutely can't do something myself. Which will be pretty rare. Will my car end up being some concourse show car? Not even close.
But it will be my car and how I want it.

Midgies Dad Avatar
Midgies Dad Ben M
York, Maine, USA   USA
Chuck, go for it!

Chas 906 Avatar
Chas 906 Chuck Peterson
Iron Mountain, Michigan, USA   USA
1961 MG Midget MkI "Little Red Rider"
Hi Chuck. I started with a good California car that was missing a lot of OEM parts. Including the original engine. I've been working on getting it back to original for the past year and a half. It's been a lot of fun locating the OEM parts needed. I too am retired and do all my own work and love it! Good luck! Your going to have a blast! Keep us posted as to your progress. Use the journal on your page to document your progress.

200mph Avatar
200mph Platinum Member Mike Joy
Winston-Salem, NC, USA   USA
Chuck,

Your top photo is a 67 Midget. (Only year with enlarged cockpit but no reversing lights).

The second photo is of a 1969 Sprite, (IIRC, only year with stick on side reflectors)

The bottom photo is a 1970 or 71 Midget. (facelift grille and bumpers, square rear wheel arch).

All three cars should have a 1275, at least they did when new.



"Have you ever thought... Everyone driving slower than your MG is a MORON, everyone driving faster must be a FREAKING IDIOT!". . . George Carlin

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
nonracer Gold Member Steve Codianni
AZ, USA   USA
Between the 3 you should have enough parts to build one good one , with the obvious need to buy a lot of new parts . The 5 speeds your asking about ( ranger , Mazda truck etc ) will require major modifications to the tunnel and floor . The Datsun 5 speed conversion is a proven fit just hard to find but not impossible especially since you have time . I'm all for building one of these the way you want and not buying one done just because it's cheaper in the long run . Just be prepared for all the " extra " work that will be needed that most people don't think of .

mickri Chuck Losness
Squaw Valley, CA, USA   USA
The sprite does not have an engine or transmission. I got it for the steel wheels to swap into one of the other cars. I don't want wire wheels. I will also keep the roll bar, windshield and whatever other parts I might need. Will then sell the rest of the parts off the sprite. The sprite supposedly has serious rust issues, a dent in the rear end and may not be savable. The hulk will get hauled off for scrap or I will give the hulk to anybody that might want it..
I have a picture of the engine bay in the black 67 midget. My understanding is that all 1275's used a cross flow radiator with the radiator hose crossing the front of the engine. The 67 midget does not have a cross flow radiator. Also the brake/clutch master cylinder is a combined unit, not separate master cylinders. Again my understanding is that the 1275's had separate master cylinders. From what I have read it seems like 67 was a transition year with lots of changes taking place. I won't know what engine is in the 67 until I go to pick it up. One of my reasons for getting this car is the hard top. This car supposedly does not have rust issues. Just surface rust and no dents.
The yellow car is a 70. The seller has the pink slip and it has a 1275 engine. The seller's asking price is reasonable if the car is in the condition represented by the seller. If I buy it, this will be the car that I keep. The interior is in good shape and does not need to be redone. The body does not have any dents and the paint is original. No rust issues.
My current plan is to first concentrate on the yellow car. Swap out the wire wheels for the steel wheels and put the hard top on this car. Fix whatever needs to be fixed and get it running. Then concentrate on the black car. Fix what needs to be fixed and get it running. Then sell the black car. I will then go back to the yellow car and spend time prepping the body for paint and work on details, upgrades, etc. I will look into a 5 speed. So that is the rough plan subject to change at the present time.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

Attachments:
20170330_184354.jpg    60.4 KB
20170330_184354.jpg

jimbenedict Avatar
jimbenedict Silver Member Jim Benedict
Waterford, MI, USA   USA
You build two cars, sell one and you should be ahead of the curve. Hopefully both engines are good. Have fun.

I do not work on cars now, so bought the 60K mile RB car below for $3750. RB cars are worth less than chrome bumper cars. I will repaint the car including bumpers. BTW- I am replacing the convertible top with a canvas in a few months. Want the old top?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-04-06 12:29 AM by jimbenedict.


Attachments:
00r0s.jpg    42.8 KB
00r0s.jpg

pixelsmithusa Avatar
A lot of misinformation in this thread.

Not all 1275's had a cross flow radiator. Early 1275s had down flow radiators. The change commenced with the introduction of the 12CD engine (January 1968), also the first iteration of the North American emission control engine, with the air injection head.

The same is true of the master cylinder. If the car has a tandem (combined brake and clutch master), it is from a '66. Separate clutch and brake MC's commenced with HAN9/GAN4, (January '67). The brake master cylinder was superseded with a dual circuit brake master, introduced in November '67.

Datsun 210 gearbox used in the 5 speed conversion is from '79 to '82 Datsun 210 (not '78 to '80) Other than one model truck that was never imported to the US, that is the only vehicle in which it is found. However, you may be able to find one of those trucks in South Africa. The dogleg (up to late '79), does not require a different adapter kit. They are a bit scarce, but I am in contact with people who seem to find them weekly. I have scared up at least 6 to 8 of them in the last 6 months, and usually have a line on at least a couple. There always seem to be a couple available on eBay as well. You can forge ahead with other alternatives with the thought that you will save money, but by the time you make the necessary modifications to the car, as well as solve all the other problems you will encounter, it will cost much more in time and money than going with a turnkey setup. The design of the kit I make has been in use since the '80's, albeit, with a number of improvements over the years. It is the only one that uses the more substantial and better performing Datsun clutch kit



Gerard

http://gerardsgarage.com/


mickri Chuck Losness
Squaw Valley, CA, USA   USA
Thanks for the info Gerard. It has been difficult getting accurate info on the changes that took place with the switch from the 1098 to the 1275. Fitting a 5 speed will be one of my last upgrades. I will drive the car for awhile to see how I like the stock 4 speed. And with the parts that I will have between the 3 cars I should have two different rear end ratios to play with. I have started looking for a 210 5 speed. I have seen some on ebay where people were asking obscene prices. I have also been searching for detailed info on exactly what it takes to fit a 210 5 speed to a 1275. I haven't found it yet but I will. I have lots of time.
Gerard the black midget definitely has a combined brake/clutch master cylinder. I blew up the picture and can clearly see this. I can't imagine someone retrofitting this or even if it can be done without switching the pedals. So in my unknowledgeable opinion I think that the black midget is a 66. What is your take on this?

nonracer Gold Member Steve Codianni
AZ, USA   USA
As most know these cars were titled when sold not built so the owner might think the car is a 67 but very well could be and probably is an earlier car . My 62' is titled as a 63' and the 63' I just got is titled as a 64'. The GAN # should help with correct ID

hpmowog Avatar
hpmowog Karl Keiger
In reply to # 3484453 by mickri So in my unknowledgeable opinion I think that the black midget is a 66. What is your take on this?

It appears to be a '66 from the photos and information that we have. From the looks of the cylinder head, it looks like a 1098 which would be correct for a '66.

The VIN will give the answer.

pixelsmithusa Avatar
From what I'm seeing, I'd say the black Midget is definitely a '66. As already mentioned, production dating vs registration dating is completely different and can be misleading. It is very common for a prior year production car to be registered in the following or sometimes even later year(s). I can see in the engine bay pic of the black car, that the VIN/chassis plate is still present, so if you post that number when you get a chance, I can give you a definite answer as to when it was made and which series it is. The plate is on the inner wing diagonall rail, just below the carbs and facing up. A '66 will begin "GAN3". I agree with Karl on the head indicating it's a 1098.

As to details on the 5 speed conversion, I gather you haven't found my web site and specifically the 5 speed page. I don't know how would miss it as even a minimal keyword search with "datsun 5 speed conversion" is one of the first 3 links. The conversion is turnkey and very straight forward. Anyway, here is the link:

http://www.gerardsgarage.com/Garage/Tech/5speedKit.htm



In reply to # 3484453 by mickri Thanks for the info Gerard. It has been difficult getting accurate info on the changes that took place with the switch from the 1098 to the 1275. Fitting a 5 speed will be one of my last upgrades. I will drive the car for awhile to see how I like the stock 4 speed. And with the parts that I will have between the 3 cars I should have two different rear end ratios to play with. I have started looking for a 210 5 speed. I have seen some on ebay where people were asking obscene prices. I have also been searching for detailed info on exactly what it takes to fit a 210 5 speed to a 1275. I haven't found it yet but I will. I have lots of time.
Gerard the black midget definitely has a combined brake/clutch master cylinder. I blew up the picture and can clearly see this. I can't imagine someone retrofitting this or even if it can be done without switching the pedals. So in my unknowledgeable opinion I think that the black midget is a 66. What is your take on this?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017-04-06 01:46 PM by pixelsmithusa.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions

Members Sign In   or   Create an Account

Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster