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1979 Midget electrical issue?

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nevada Mike Green
LAS VEGAS, NV, USA   USA
Hi all, I have a 79 Midget that im trying to get started. I have a new battery and new ignition switch. The ignition switch is connected but not installed on the column yet. The horn works, the headlights work and the front bumper mounted turn signals flash with the hazard switch turned on. Nothing else does however. No turn signals, dash lights, etc. A friend of mine suggested it could be a ground issue with the ignition switch not being installed. I did try to ground it to the column to see if i could bump the starter but nothing happened. Not sure if that method would ground the switch. The negative battery cable is serviceable. The positive looks like it should work but has seen better day. I am going to pick up some new cables tomorrow. Any thoughts as to what i might be?

Thank you for your time.



1979 MG Midget 1500

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ice Gold Member Larry Ice
Lawrenceville, GA, USA   USA
How old is the battery? Does your engine have the OEM ignition system? Seems like those are pretty prone to going bad. Check some of the links on our site to tell how you can conduct some tests to see if the electronic ignition is an good.

Mike, if you go to your profile on our site you can post the year of your car so we can all see it without you having to put the year in every post. Once you do that you never have to mess with it again. Helps you and the site members to sort thru solutions that may apply to your question.



Iceman

Atlanta GA

60 AH MK1
62 AH MKII
67 Midget
71 Midget

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nevada Mike Green
LAS VEGAS, NV, USA   USA
Hi,

Thank you for the reply. The battery is new. Just picked it up yesterday. The original ignition switch is bad. I bought a new replacement. it is not mounted to the column yet. I just have it plugged into the harness in place of the old one. The MG appears to have been upgraded to an electronic dizzy by a previous owner. I was told the car was running about a year ago but who knows what has gone on with it since then. I was trying to bump the starter just to see if the new ignition switch was working. The car is currently at my work location so I have not had a lot of time to really get into it. I am new to MG's so still trying to learn what is what. I as thinking of going down to it today to play around with it but just got a call from the girlfriends son. He just blew up the engine in his Hyndai and is stuck on the road lol.



1979 MG Midget 1500

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ice Gold Member Larry Ice
Lawrenceville, GA, USA   USA
Mike, do not try to start the car with any old gas remaining in the tank! You should have an electronic fuel pump that you can use to drain any gas from the tank. Disconnect the fuel line near the carb (s) and drain the old gas into a container. Toss the old gas or bled it into your lawn mower a little at a time. I would make a small start tank that you could hang above the carbs to gravity drain fuel into the carb (s), if you can't do that then put about a gallon of new fuel into the empty tank. You car will run fine on regular gas but it you can find ethanol free reg gas thats better. Higher octane will make no difference in the running or power you get from the engine. Sooner or later you will need to rebuild your carb (s). Do you have a manual for your car? Great helper that!



Iceman

Atlanta GA

60 AH MK1
62 AH MKII
67 Midget
71 Midget

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Richb Richard Ball
Everett, Wa, USA   USA
Mike,
The ignition switch does need to be mounted or grounded but I'm not sure that is the only problem.

Check for power coming in on the brown wire to the ignition switch. Since you have power to your headlamps and hazards the brown circuit is being energized directly from the battery so you should also see power to the ignition switch. If you don't have power to the ignition switch trace that line back until you find a short/break. I would start by looking at the brown wire connection at the fuse box. We know the brown wire feeding the fuse box from the battery is good since you say the horn works. the horn is fed by the purple circuit which is fed off the first fuse. the first fuse is feed from the brown circuit on it's way to the ignition switch so this is a possible location for a break due to corrosion.

OK, lets say you have power via the brown feed to the ignition switch. You now want to check for power to the white with red stripe wire back to your starter solenoid.

If you don't already have one you really need to get a test light, a multi-meter, and a wiring diagram for this car. The wiring in really quit simple, but can be very frustrating. A test light and multi-meter will rally help in figuring out shorts and breaks.

Good luck.



Rich Ball
'76 Midget
Everett, WA

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nevada Mike Green
LAS VEGAS, NV, USA   USA
Thank you the help. I appreciate it. I do have volt meter so will do the checks mentioned. I have a book on the way as well. I will let you guys know what I find out.



1979 MG Midget 1500

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Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
HI Mike,

I have a '76 that I bought new. From '75 to '79 Midgets came with Lucas electronic distributors, two types: EID and CEI. Both stunk, and many have swapped them out for older points models, bought new electronic distributors, or retrofitted Pertronix electronics in place of the Lucas in the OEM distributor. Most US 1500 Midgets are wired the same from '75 to '79. Attached are copies of my factory shop manual wiring diagrams. I had Kinko's greatly enlarge and laminate them years ago. Try to trace out your lines in case a PO made changes from the original. Good luck.

Richard


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1976 US MG Midget Wiring Diagram.jpeg    44.2 KB
1976 US MG Midget Wiring Diagram.jpeg

1976 US MG Midget Wiring Diagram Key.jpeg    29.3 KB
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