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Strange problem mg midget 1500

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Mavrick Avatar
Mavrick Jan Jacobs
Brugge, West vlaanderen, Belgium   BEL
Just got the engine out to place a new clutch, all went well. Put it back in did a test drive and now the day after when I try to start the car is sputtering, the timing is jumping up and down. looking everywhere can not find anything, new spark plugs, electronic ignition, fuel pomp is working, battery is new. I really do not know where to look anymore. Can someone help me please

Greets Jan

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Ecurie Benoit Leus
Schilde, Antwerp, Belgium   BEL
Hi Jan,

have you checked that the bolts on the distributor clamp are still tight ?

Mavrick Avatar
Mavrick Jan Jacobs
Brugge, West vlaanderen, Belgium   BEL
Yes the bolts are tight

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G0Bigred JD Wyborny
Winterville, NC, USA   USA
1976 MG M-Type Midget "The Midge"
Did you fix the issue? I think I may be having the same problem.

Mavrick Avatar
Mavrick Jan Jacobs
Brugge, West vlaanderen, Belgium   BEL
No I am still trying to fix it!

CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
In reply to # 3733626 by Mavrick when I try to start the car is sputtering, the timing is jumping up and down. looking everywhere can not find anything, new spark plugs, electronic ignition, fuel pomp is working, battery is new.

What do you mean by “timing” is jumping up and down? Did you mean the idle/RPM? If you really mean timing, how do you know? Just curious.



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

zippy brian j
vista, CA, USA   USA
mr j just guessing engine ground strap b

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CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
In reply to # 3733729 by zippy mr j just guessing engine ground strap b

Could be a good guess - on my US 1500 it's on the front passenger (right) side of the engine, fairly low on the block (mine looks like a braided metal band - not insulated with a cover). Mine came loose one time and cause the engine to sputter. When the engine was running I could actually see it sparking where it bolts to the block.



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

Mavrick Avatar
Mavrick Jan Jacobs
Brugge, West vlaanderen, Belgium   BEL
I mean rpm

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CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
If not the engine ground strap, what kind of fuel pump are you using - the original mechanical, or an electric replacement? If electric, and you have an undiagnosed alternator issue, the voltage could be fluctuating and causing temporary fuel starvation. Once the engine is started, if you press the accelerator down just a little to raise the RPM, does the engine stay at a more constant RPM and run smoother? The higher RPM may ramp up the voltage on a faulty alternator and cause the electric fuel pump to run more consistently which would hide the issue.

Obviously these are all just guesses.



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

Mavrick Avatar
Mavrick Jan Jacobs
Brugge, West vlaanderen, Belgium   BEL
Hi, well I use a electric fuel pump
What do you mean with a undiagnosed alternator?
Should it be a good idea to use the original fuelpomp instead of a electric?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-10 11:29 AM by Mavrick.

CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
In reply to # 3733804 by Mavrick I use a electric fuel pump
What do you mean with a undiagnosed alternator?
Should it be a good idea to use the original fuelpomp instead of a electric?

Not at all, the electric pump is fine - I know some folks swear by them over the original mechanical one. All I meant by "undiagnosed" was if your alternator was not putting out the expected voltage and you were unaware of the issue, the electric fuel pump could be running slow or not at enough pressure when the engine is just idling. Giving the engine a little gas might bring the voltage up and the car would idle more smoothly (for example, if at 800-1000 RPM idle you see your sputtering issue - if the engine is at 1500 RPM does it run smooth?)

You said the electrical stuff seemed fine (new plugs, etc). If you had an electrical issue, my guess is that it would be a problem even when you try to speed up the engine a little. If giving the accelerator a little push seems to even out the engine idle, I'm just thinking the problem might be fuel delivery (again - a completely amateur view never having seen your engine run before).



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

Mavrick Avatar
Mavrick Jan Jacobs
Brugge, West vlaanderen, Belgium   BEL
Well I must say I noticed that the fuel filter is sometimes nearly empty and sometimes full. I will look in this problem tomorrow. It was my first thought it must be fuel problem, so that is wat i will be investigating and put a multi meter on the alternator to see if that is oke or not.
I will keep you posted.

Thx and greets

Sarge101st Avatar
Sarge101st Silver Member Brian S
Carlisle, PA, USA   USA
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Biggles"
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Grrr"
1980 MG MGB "Piddles"
Jan, this is just one more thing to check, not a definite answer.

You mention a new electronic ignition, or at least its existence. Check inside the distributor and make sure your little earthing strap to the upper plate is present, tight, and isn't tangling up when the plate moves during advance.

Might as well check your vacuum advance while you're at it, but this sound suspiciously like ignition earthing (from afar).

ntorch Avatar
ntorch n torch
Blandon, PA, USA   USA
A half full/half empty fuel filter is normal, at least on my car it is. I don't think that is a sign of a fuel pump issue. My car had been converted to an electric fuel pump when I bought her, I switched back to the mechanical pump that was still installed and bypassed. My life is much better since then.



1976 MG Midget--Original Tundra Green

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