MGExp

MG Midget Forum

1500 engine mysteries

Moss Motors
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Hello; I'm new here.
I'm just starting the restoration (and modification) of a 77 Midget. It's been rusting comfortably in my back yard since 2004, waiting for it's turn in the garage. I'm not a fan of the rubber bumpers so those are gone. I've made rear fender extensions to round out the fenders below the tail lights and plan on bumperettes (front and back) from a Sprite. But, before I get to far down the metal work path, I need to make sure the mechanicals work. I've fixed the water pump, rebuilt the carb and changed the fluids. It RUNS!!. Not great but the engine sounds good. So on to other stuff...I've discovered a few odd things that , so far, can't be explained.
1. The intake manifold has a water jacket. It's been bypassed with a heater hose. The manifold has a hole in the bottom which requires a plug before it would be water tight. Moss Motors gave me a part number for the plug but no clue as to where to buy one...
2. The heat mass cover for the automatic choke is designed to pass water like the manifold. It has an inlet and outlet fitting on opposite sides. I bought the cover from Moss but they can't tell me where to hook up the water passage... Maybe it's just not necessary...
3. The screws which came with the automatic choke isolator and clamp ring (2 long and 1 short) are too big to fit into the mounting holes on the choke body or through the holes on the pieces they are supposed to mount. They are 8/32s but the holes are smaller. The closest tap I have is a metric, size M4.07. I hesitate to tap the holes because the choke body is soft cast metal and could crack. Does anyone know what size screws actually fit the choke body? I've questioned the supplier (Moss) but no answer so far...
4. The alternator doesn't work so I ordered parts to fix it (rectifier, brushes and regulator) Got the rectifier soldered in but the regulator has 4 wires while mine has 3. Again, I called the supplier, thinking they sent the wrong part. No such luck. Both Victoria British and Moss Motors offer 2 regulators; a 2 wire and a 4 wire. They never heard of a 3 wire. Moss sent me a diagram, showing how to hook up the 4 wire regulator but the alternator in the diagram is clearly different than my Lucas alternator. Does anyone know where to buy a 3 wire regulator for a Lucas alternator?
Any help in solving my mysteries would be appreciated.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
infinity2018 Avatar
infinity2018 Joe T
Denver, CO, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Inca"
I had the same mysteries but replaced the water choke with a manual choke and got a reman alternator from the auto parts store for $55. It was running like a champ within a few hours.

another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Thanks.
Might have to do that too. And, it would be cheaper than the parts I bought to fix the old one...
Where'd you get the manual choke? Moss and VB want over a hundred for the conversion...

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
infinity2018 Avatar
infinity2018 Joe T
Denver, CO, USA   USA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Inca"
The car came with one carb with a water choke and another one with a manual choke for parts in the trunk. I just made two carbs into one.. This is an awesome forum, I'm sure you could find a good used manual choke assembly on here for next to nothing. The water choke supporters in this forum might disagree with a manual choke though, just saying...

jmac Avatar
jmac Silver Member Jere McSparran
Greenup, IL, USA   USA
1970 MG Midget "Joy Ride"
1978 MG Midget "Therapy"
1978 MG Midget "(SOLD)"
Welcome to our madness.
The alternators are less expensive at O'Reillys or NAPA than buying all the parts to fix up what you have. There are also easy conversions that produce more amperage. I have a 110 amp Delco on my 78. I don't ever have a problem with a shortage of electrical power.
The water chokes work pretty well if they are set correctly. If yours is not working or not hooked up I am going to guess that it quit working and a PO (previous owner) disconnected it. The single Stromberg is a good carb if it is adjusted right also. But once again there are many other options you can go to that are easier to maintain. I have tried running the Stromberg, then went to a Weber conversion, and now I am using dual HIF4's from an MGB. The Weber worked well once it was setup properly. I never had to tinker with adjustments. It was low maintenance but it never really looked like it belonged on a British car. I love the SU's. They take a little adjusting from time to time and you must keep an eye on the dashpot oil. But the engine responds well to them.



JMac
JMAC Engine Shop
http://www.jmacengineshop.com

76lucas Avatar
76lucas Gold Member Josh L
Floyd, VA, USA   USA
1978 MG Midget 1500
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Parts Car"
Welcome to the fun. Here are my two cents worth.
problem #1- Did you try putting the number Moss gave you in the search box on their website? If not try it they may have it. If you can't found it I have a spare intake
#2 The water lines have to be hooked up or the choke won't work. It's a water choke. I can get a picture tomorrow after work of the one on my car. Or you can go manual either find the parts to convert it used or get them from a manual choke carb.
#3 I can measure the choke cover bolts on my spare carb tomorrow also and get a size for that.
#4 Get a reman alternator the hassle to rebuild one is not worth it. Plus if you do it and it doesn't work too bad. But if you buy it rebuildt than they have to replace it if it's no good.



If you never try to do it You will never be able to do it

another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Thank Josh. I appreciate your help. Look forward to your next message.

I think I need to keep this car in "as built" condition because it's still subject to smog inspection. So, if possible, I'd like to pursue the water choke configuration.

Another question: I'm not crazy about multi color tail lights. 77s have red/amber a one piece lens. Earlier models have 2 piece all red lens. Will the early lens fit my 77?

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

Attachments:
P1280095.JPG    29.2 KB
P1280095.JPG

76lucas Avatar
76lucas Gold Member Josh L
Floyd, VA, USA   USA
1978 MG Midget 1500
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Parts Car"
All right so here's what I got. Let's do the easy stuff first.
The bolts in my choke cover are 1/4 -24
For the lights has far has I know the old ones will fit but not 100% sure.
Now for the hard part. I have about 4 pics of the water choke hook-up but it's a little confusing so I'll lay it out best i can.
There are 4 parts Intake(I) Heater control valve(HV) the heater itself(H) and the Carb(C) so here it is
From the pipe out of the intake behind the carb the first hose runs to a tee near the bottom of the heater valve,there is a short piece of hose from the tee to the lower part of the heater valve. the other hose from that tee goes to the top connector on the choke. The top hose from the heater valve goes to the heater on the bottom connection. The top hose from the heater goes to pipe with a tee that runs under the intake. the lower hose from the carb hooks to that tee.



If you never try to do it You will never be able to do it


Attachments:
20180313_170133.jpg    35.3 KB
20180313_170133.jpg

20180313_170142.jpg    32.9 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
20180313_165757 (1).jpg    43.8 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
20180313_170152.jpg    33.5 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
Wayne Burner Avatar
Chester, NH, USA   USA
James, John Twist, of University Motors, has a good series of videos, on a rebuild of the Zenith carb. This is video #3, of three, where he calibrates the water choke.
Worth watching all three, I did several times, before I dug into mine. Running great nowthumbs up
Enjoysmoking smiley


. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
Midgies Dad Avatar
Midgies Dad Ben M
York, ME, USA   USA
Any time Moss USA doesn't have a part, check with Moss Europe. They carry more parts than Moss USA (their catalog is twice as thick, and you can order the catalog for free), and sometimes their parts are less expensive, even with shipping.

another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Hi Josh;

Wow! Who wouldda thought there'd be so much "spagettii" in the cooling system. I recognize some of the fittings but, since i don't have a heater control valve yet, I'll have to attempt some kinda bypass. I suspect the heater core probably leaks...have not tested that yet.

I found the screws I needed to attached the isolator and clamping ring to the choke body! They are metric (of all things), M4.070. Got em at ACE Hardware. The bolt you mentioned attaches the choke cover to the heat mass... I have one of those. Thanks for looking. I've mounted the choke mechanism and started the motor. It seems to work but its not cold enough now for the choke to do anything so it remains in the open position.

My "rebuilt" alternator still doesn't work. It's probably the 3 wire regulator that I could not find a replacement for. So, I give up... will head to NAPA for a replacement...Shoulda done that first...


Attachments:
PC110051.JPG    66.9 KB
PC110051.JPG

another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Thanks John;

I'll watch the video. Who woulda though a water passage needs to be "calibrated".

another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Hi Ben;

Thanks for the info re Moss Europe. I could not believe all these MGs are still running around without a more complete parts warehouse. I will contact them.

Hey, I had a 61 AH Sprite and a Triumph Spitfire. Got the Sprite for 50 bucks (in 1972). Didn't get too far with restoration because we moved from Florida back to California before I got it running. The Spitfire was another story. It was my daily driver in Florida and got shipped to California when we moved. Eventually finished it (engine rebuild, body work, paint, upholstry, top, etc.) Loved that car. My youngest daughter and I would use it for camping trips. It held everything we needed for a weekend campout. Drove it to the Grand Canyon during the winter for an anniversary, and then drove home without a generator (stopped in Barstow to recharge the battery). Then disaster! Rearended by a large Thunderbird (the one with the battering ram bumpers). My passenger an I were whiplashed but survived. The car did not...

PeterC Avatar
PeterC Platinum Member Peter Caldwell
Madison Wisconsin, USA   USA
I can probably help with the regulator. there were several iterations of regulator over the years. Send pic of the regulator you have. Peter C


Member Services:
Supplying New Old Stock parts for all imports. A LARGE quantity being loaded to our EBAY store stores.ebay.com/worldwideimportautoparts Rebuilding lever shock absorbers for British cars. (800)362-1025 M-F 9-5 Central or parts@nosimport.com
another old guy James Holt
Queen Creek, USA   USA
Thanks Peter.

I have some pics of the alternator guts I took before taking it apart. Wanted to make sure I could put it back together. Do these help?

The regulator looks like the new one, except it only has 3 wires...


Attachments:
P1280094.JPG    38.8 KB
P1280094.JPG

P1280093.JPG    47.3 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions




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