MG Midget?

BASS

Member
Anyone have experience with these little English cars? Im looking at a 76 MG Midget in pretty good shape, but was wondering if anyone here has info on these cars from experience? How reliable are they, and are they hard to work on? Since they are English built, im having doubts on their reliability now....:confused:
 
Have heard people that swear by them, but that's the exception rather than the rule.If you thought these turbo cars were frustrating you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Electrical gremlins are the order of the day on those lucas systems and the bodies weren't all that sturdy as far as corrosion (I know: back in 76, what was?)
 
I had a '74 MGB for a while (a bit bigger than a Midget but still very small). The electrical systems are horrendous, but mechanically they're fine. I put a lot of miles on mine tooling back and forth between home and college back in the day. It was a lot of fun and the droptop makes it great when the weather is nice. As a toy it's a great little car. These people have just about everything you'd ever need or that is available for these cars:

MossMotors.com - Restoration Parts And Accessories For British Cars

Jim
 
My college room mate had one way back.

Problems are the hydraulics - clutch and brake and the electricals (plan on rewiring it if it hasn't been.

Other problems are never, under any circumstances be involved in a wreck with an SUV or pick-up, because you will die.

From the drivers seat you can touch the ground, the rear bumper and your feet are mere inches behind the front bumper.

It was very cheap fun, though it could use 50-100 hp or so.
 
Thanks Jimmy for the website!!

Yeah, the one im looking at has 71,000 miles on it...Im wondering how much more life the motor has before a rebuild? I havent looked at the car yet...
 
I thought they were British automobiles? Maybe Im wrong? MG Midgets are small!! What engine is in it? 1275cc or the smaller one??? My father has a 1970 Triumph GT6+ w/ 48K miles on it, and has owned it since 1972.:D And yes, UNGN, you CAN scrape your knuckles on the ground from the drivers seat, haha.
 
I had an MGB, 74 if I remember correctly. Had a couple of minor electrical gremlins but ran great. Only real issue I ever had was having to change a master cylinder.. No big deal.

One heck of a fun car in nice weather..
 
My father used to drive these things all the time back in the day. The things he complained about were the electrical systems were horrible. He said he would buy them with burnt up wiring cheap and repair the wiring and cruise them for a while then sell them off. This was not just in the midget it was in any of them really. Also the carbs were a pain in the ass to tune right. The thing he didn't like about the Midget was how hot the cabin would get while cruising around.

He said he loved them only because they could be had really cheap because of the minor problems no one wanted to deal with. Basically if you are handy they are cool rides.
 
thought I'd chime in on this although I don't have any personal experience with the old British sports cars, my father really liked them. He and my mother have told me stories about 3 or four different cars he owned long before I entered the picture. apparently, when he was in the Army he owned an MG A that was a retired road racer and still had the spoke wheels and knock-off hubs. Then when he and my mother got married, he owned a bug-eye Sprite. My mother has told me more than once that they moved everything they owned from Houston to San Antonio in that little Sprite (obviously, they didn't own much! :p ) She said she rode the whole trip with her legs crossed and resting on top of a small ice chest.

I don't mean to offend anyone here, especially since I really like the old British sports cars too, but I think back in the day, a lot of people saw all the little European sports cars in much the same way many of us see the Hondas, etc. today.

Rob
 
Lucas Electronics good ole "Prince of Darkness" I have a British motorcycle a 1969 BSA Lightning. I don't know about the newer stuff but the older British bikes and cars used British Standard and or Whitworth fastener sizes, but by the mid 70's I would imagine that they are all SAE.
 
I dont know hardly anything about the British sports cars but when I was 16 my first car was a Fiat 850 Spider. Probally somewhere between the Midget and the MGB as far as size and weight co. 904cc's of rear engine'd madness there. I taught myself how to drive a underpowered, ill handling import really fast with that car. I oversteered myself right over a bridge railing at the exit of a particularly wicked wide left hander. 50MPH off the side of a bridge into a dirt bank in other words. The front bumper and front wheels were squished up behind the seats. As John Force says "I saw Elvis at 300...I mean 50MPH". And I walked away with only a sprained elbow and a ton of broken glass and dirt in my hair.

Not my car but a good pic of what one looks like. Nice ones go for their weight in gold on eBay now. POS's for a lot less.:rolleyes:
 

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A neighbor had an MGB that was only 2-3 years old back in 78-79 and he was forever fussing with the carbs and chasing electrical gremlins. Everything you have ever heard bad about Lucas electronics is true. That's why the British drink warm beer - because Lucas builds their refrigerators :-).
 
A neighbor had an MGB that was only 2-3 years old back in 78-79 and he was forever fussing with the carbs and chasing electrical gremlins. Everything you have ever heard bad about Lucas electronics is true. That's why the British drink warm beer - because Lucas builds their refrigerators :-).

I kept a 1 1/4" open end box wrench in the trunk of the car. It didn't fit any of the nuts or bolts on the car but it was great for beating on the external electric fuel pump to get it going again.

I think mine had a single side-draft carb which never gave me any trouble. A popular upgrade is to go with dual Weber side-drafts which are difficult to tune, I think.

Jim
 
I think mine had a single side-draft carb which never gave me any trouble. A popular upgrade is to go with dual Weber side-drafts which are difficult to tune, I think.

Webers are the easiest carbs to tune. My second car was a 71 240Z that had a pair of SU carbs just like the European cars. The car ran great and I never had the urge to tinker with them. One day I came into a chunk of cash so I hightailed it over to the local import tuner guy and bought a 3 Weber intake and a tri-Y header. I thought that was the biggest waste of money after I bolted the stuff on and the car wouldn't run worth a darn. After the tuner guy sold me a box of jets and showed me how to use them than that car really ran like stripped azz ape after a couple of sessions of rejetting them. IIRC they were 45 DCOE. I also have a dual Weber set up on one of my Cosworth Vegas. Same story.If you have any experience synchronizing motorcycle carbs than its a piece of cake. You know they say Webers are just like running fuel injection. Mechanical FI that is.
 
I think mine had a single side-draft carb which never gave me any trouble. A popular upgrade is to go with dual Weber side-drafts which are difficult to tune, I think.

Jim

It actually takes a single weber 2bbl as an upgrade carb. Dual webers would be overkill for 1200 cc's. Its a little slower off the line (you need more clutch), but it makes the car much peppier.

Eric, that Fiat 850 takes me back to high school. A friend's dad bought her one for her 17th birthday. She couldn't drive a stick and let me take it out. I was amazed by the RPM's it would rev to. The handling was scary and the seats were so slippery I thought I was going to slide into the footwells at any moment.

After the drive, I looked under the car and saw the huge X-brace under the car was almost completely rusted away. We told her to keep to the neighborhoods with it and avoid other cars at all costs. Luckily for my friend, her 850 broke soon after she got it and sat in the driveway until she went to college, carless. Walking was much safer.
 
My buddy had a 76 MGB.... He had a shop replace the fuel filter (it was nicely placed on the firewall near the master cylinder with rubber hoses and clamps.

That same week - the bolts rusted from the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe and the pipe dropped down and caused a leak at the header. We were going to fix it over that weekend.

Turns out the shop forgot one clamp and the filter was dripping. He stopped to get gas, went to start it - it backfired and caught on fire - in front of the gas pump....

Luckily he left it in neutral and turned it off when he jumped out. He said he had fire under the dash in seconds. The fire dept is two blocks away and they were there in minutes. He had rolled it away from the pumps and hit the emergency cutoff - which SERIOUSLY pissed off all the customers in the place.... :rolleyes:

There wasnt much left. The steering column, dash, seats, - all were just metal frames. I had given him one of those porcelain coffee mugs with a Ferrari logo on the front (remember those in the 80s?) He had his change in it. It melted into a ball....
 
He said he had fire under the dash in seconds.

Mine had a feature that would cause smoke to randomly billow from under the dash. It took me forever to figure out, but a piece of metal from the underside of the hood would contact the open fuse box attached to the inner fender causing a short. When I saw smoke I would immediately pop the hood, and of course it would stop (hood goes up, no more short). I only figured it out when I noticed the burn marks on the fuseblock. Great fun that car was.

Jim
 
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