Technical Tips

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Extract from March's MGOC publication - Enjoying MG
by Richard Ladds


Midget 1500 Clutch Operating Lever

The clutch pedal on my Midget has suddenly gone slack and it has become much more difficult to engage gear, although the clutch still engages I am sure something is wrong.

A common problem with the 1500 Midget is to experience a sudden extra free movement when the clutch pedal is depressed. This is accompanied by an unusual difficulty when engaging gear. Although the clutch can still operate, it will be obvious that something is wrong with the operating system. This is caused by the loss or partial loss of the pin which retains the clutch operating lever where it pivots within the bell housing.
If you are lucky, you will be able to use a screwdriver or length of stiff wire to locate the operating arm and realign it, so that you can refit the pin.

Topping Up The Gearbox

The overdrive on my 78 BGT has been disengaging on its own. I suspect that there is not enough oil in the gearbox. How do I top it up to the correct level?

On your car you need to locate the filler plug high up on the side of the gearbox housing. Remove the plug and check the oil level; the correct level is at the bottom of the filler level plug hole. If necessary, top up the level through the oil filler plug. Earlier cars have a combined dipstick oil filler plug, accessible from inside the car and located beneath a rubber plug at the front of the transmission tunnel.

Steering Rack Gaiter Replacement

The rubber gaiter on the offside of my steering rack has split. How do I replace it?

Jack up the car and support the front crossmember on purpose built axle stands. Remove the road wheel to give better access to the track rod end and steering arm. Jack up under the spring pan to level off the rack, putting the track rod in a horizontal position.

Slacken off the clips which hold the damaged gaiter onto the steering rack and to the tie-rod. Undo the nut which holds the track rod or ball joint to the steering arm and using a ball joint separator remove the track rod end from the steering arm.

Then slacken off the track rod end lock nut by one flat and undo the track rod from the tie-rod. You will need to grip the tie-rod with a Mole wrench or similar to prevent it turning as you undo the track rod end. Carefully count the turns on the thread of the tie-rod so that you can re-fit the track rod in the same position. If you do not replace the track rod exactly, you will need to have the steering alignment reset at a garage or tyre fitters. Once the track rod is removed the locking nut can be removed and then the old gaiter will slide off.

Fit the new gaiter complete with clips and refit the locknut and the track rod end. Count the turns back to its original position and then tighten up with the locknut. Now refit the track rod onto the steering arm and refit and tighten the nut. Tighten the gaiter clips onto steering rack and tie-rod and refill the rack with the recommended lubricant.

Midget Sills

I have just bought an MG Midget which has had new sills fitted. These do not have any drain holes fitted, would it be a good idea to drill some?

There were no drain holes fitted originally as the sills were supposed to be watertight. Sills are extremely vulnerable to rust and owners often drill their own drain holes. Drill 13mm holes at the front, middle and back in the lowest section of the sill. You can also use the holes to inject inside the sections with a quality rust inhibitor.

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