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Lil' Greenee - 1973 RWA MG Midget

Greenee's Home Engine Interior Trunk Suspension 100's of MG Links
Electrical shelf Exterior Interior2 Carbs Item replaced Spridget specific Links

MG Midget Engine and Drive train

    The first four photos loading, while you're reading
this, are the before and after shots, up to the same
level of re-assembly.

    The next two shots... have everything back in.

    The rest of the page is the sequence and close-ups
of all the processes to go from one to the other.
    

Photo colors vary due to day/night lighting in the various photos

Passenger Side View

engine_pass_breakdown.jpg (17516 bytes)
Before from the passenger side

Driver's Side Views

engine1_breakdown.jpg (17713 bytes)
Before from the drivers side

engine_pass_finishedredengine.jpg (12942 bytes)
After from the passenger side

engine_drvr_finishedredengine.jpg (15633 bytes)
After from the drivers side

engine_pass_alldone2.jpg (19597 bytes) engine_driver_alldone2.jpg (15750 bytes)
 

   The rest of the photos on this page,
show various portions of the cleanup,
including the tranny and head gasket.


engine_pass_aspurchased.jpg (17549 bytes)
 

      Well it all looks relatively
clean doesn't it. ...shoulda' taken
a few photos before I hosed off all
the spider webs and dust.

    

     Just after disconnecting everything from the engine, getting it ready to pull. I like to plug all holes with rags to keep bugs, bouncing nuts and washers (when I drop stuff) and other such matter out. Look at the way the P.O.'s had rigged the breather. They plumbed the timing chain cover oil separator hose straight up to the valve cover breather pipe! Useless!

engine_pass_redbase.jpg (18455 bytes) engine1 red base.jpg (17640 bytes)

       Where I'm working on this one, I can't leave the motor sitting outside the car. So everything was had to be done in place. I had to lift everything area by area, sand it, red primer it in place. A pain, but it turned out fine.

engine_pass_grnbase.jpg (18076 bytes)
After rubber coating the battery area it was  painted green,
the pipes silver, and the harness re-wrapped.
engine1 grnbase.jpg (19154 bytes)
black battery area is rubberized undercoating

      All the electrics were stripped out, pipes prep'ed and the wiring harness re-wrapped. After pulling the remainder of the heater box, I red primered, then coated the battery area with rubberized undercoating. Once dried, a green coat was added before the plastic battery box went back in.

engine_pass_grn_pw.jpg (20429 bytes) engine1 with wire and pipes.jpg (19454 bytes)

       With the brake pipes clean up, the electrical harness was re-wrapped, and the newly painted (and custom emblemed) heater box was put back in. The steering rack was cleaned up and repainted. Now... were ready to pull that engine...if I ever get a moment or two...
      Without a functioning clutch I can't tell what's up with the tranny. Is it just the clutch? Is the tranny blown?

engine_crain1.jpg (19043 bytes)

engine_crain2.jpg (15272 bytes)

      Finally out. You wouldn't believe it, but the 'cherry-picker' was transported to and from my work   location in the back of my 1973 MG BGT. I can even close and lock it. That's a full 5 foot tall 4 ton lift. (broken down of course!)
     While the engine was out the rest of the engine bay was wire wheeled, stripped, cleaned and re-painted. This also gave me access to replacing the bonnet release cable and all the other little stuff below and on the sides of the engine.
     The engine was all cleaned up, but do to time and location constraints, I couldn't paint it here. Besides, this day it was just way too cold to paint anything.
     In taking off the valve cover to mount the lift chain, I noticed little puddles of antifreeze (yes..green fluid) laying in amongst the valve springs. The cover has jelly blobs of semi transparent goop to clean out. A compression test show the head gasket cylinder seals must be OK. Nearly all read in the order of 160-165 psi dry. Hopefully it's only the oil and water galleries leaking into each other via the head gasket and not a cracked block. Oh well, looks like the head has to come off. That will happen later when the engine is back in.

waiting_for_motor.jpg (20987 bytes)

waiting_for_motor2.jpg (20212 bytes)

       Before I pulled the engine to fix the clutch, I had bought everything you could unbolt inside the bell housing just in case. I ended up only really needing to replace the standard items. The Carbon donut throwout bearing with new clips, pressure plate and clutch disk. I even had a new fork to put in but the old one and it's bushing were in very good shape. I had ordered a new pilot bushing as well, but it figures....leave it to the big catalog companies (VB!) to send me the wrong one! So, the orig., which looked to be in good shape, went back in.

Tech Tip: To remove the pilot bushing ... take a long thin screw that has a sharp edge under the lip of the head. Lay it in the bearing so the head hooks on the back lip (inside lip) now take a single larger diameter bolt that will make up the difference in the inside diameter of the bushing. I used a pair of pliers to hold on to the bolt threads, and a claw hammer, like pulling a nail to pull the pliers. It popped right out very smoothly.

 

trans_shiny_new.jpg (9542 bytes)
nice tight clean rebuilt tranny
     Well after sticking the motor back in I finally proved to myself that the tranny was bad. Both first AND second gear were non existent.

Yep...yep... I had to pull it all out again! This time  the motor and tranny were pulled together.

     So, thanks to Ted Schmacher of TSI Imports, I have a very nice rebuilt tranny. This unit has the front plate machined to accept a full fledged oil seal. Definitely worth the money spent now so I don't have to worry about oil leaks later.

     They say you have to disconnect the driveshaft at the rear to get the front driveshaft end re-connected when putting the motor and tranny back in. I must have gotten lucky. I used a bungy cord in the shift lever hole to hold the driveshaft up. As I worked the engine and tranny into place, I guided the shaft in. It slipped right in by turning the crank a little as I slid the motor in.to get

engine_pass_headoff1.jpg (119148 bytes)
The block top all cleaned up with all the ports plugged and the   cylinders masked.  This was in prep for spraying on the copper gasket sealant used on the head gasket.    

      Well the head had to come off. There was a lot of water in the oil and almost no water in the radiator. Compression was good, as roughly 160-165 psi (dry) on all four cylinders. While it was apart I or course, went ahead and removed all traces of carbon deposits on the piston crowns and within the cylinder head areas.

      After a lot of cleaning and surface prep, I plugged all water and oil passages on top the block and in the head, taped off the cylinders and combustion chamber areas, and sealed up all the piping. I sprayed the head, the block top, and both sides of the gasket with a spray on copper sealant from Permatex. Torqued everything up and viola! I let it sit two days before checking the torque settings. From what I could tell, none had changed more than 3-5 ft/lbs. They were all re-torqued to spec. just to be safe.

**** Very few pictures were taken throughout the head removal and torquing. My hands stayed too grimy to mess with the camera and I was in a hurry that day.   sorry.....******

        A valve adjustment after the torque down, either suggests the gasket is thicker (bummer...lowering compression...155-160 across the board) and/or the previous readings and adjustments were simply way out.

engine_redengine_masking1.jpg (11979 bytes)
With the engine bay all masked off getting ready for a new paint job.
engine_redengine_masking2.jpg (12748 bytes)
Everything black turned red, everything white is masking
        The entire engine bay was masked off and the engine painted in place. The white, is painters edging   (plastic sheeting in a roll with masking tape attached on one edge.) used to cover the nice clean valves and rockers and intake mating area. I had to wait for a warmer day before painting.
engine_pass_redengine.jpg (9214 bytes)
Now that's a shiny red engine
engine_driver_redengine.jpg (9176 bytes)
It was painted with Plasti-Kote 500°C Universal Red paint
   In these shots the engine is still wet. Plasti-kote Universal Red 500°C engine paint was used. Three very thin coats were used. The third coat is still wet in these photos.
engine_pass_finishedredengine.jpg (12942 bytes) engine_drvr_finishedredengine.jpg (15633 bytes)
   With all the ancillaries back on...it truly is an impressive looking little engine. Now for the radiator and a test drive. You'll also notice the brand new PCV valve and correct associated plumbing (compared to the P.O.'s setup as can be seen in the first few photos on this page). The crank case is registering about 3-7psi of vacuum (via a gauge tap in the side plate of the engine) with the engine running at idle. This should keep the oil in the crank where it belongs and not leaking out past the rear crank journal.

engine_frontal_finishedredengine.jpg (55425 bytes)

    Well there she is. In all her splendor. Only the radiator and air boxes need to go back in.
Once the fuel pump had been rebuilt, the gas tank cleaned and fuel lines purged I was ready for the first attempt at starting this baby. I turned the key, heard the fuel pump click like crazy until the carb float bowls had filled. I turned off the key,and walked around the car one last time just to check for leaks of any kind. Got back in, pulled the choke half way out, turned the key...and I kid you not... in less than 3 seconds it fired right up and stayed steady at roughly 1200rpms. I was stunned.

   It took only a minute or two to tweak the idle stops and sync the carbs. I blipped the throttle by hand a few times, and she freely rev's and drops right back to idle quickly. I can't believe I had put the distributor back in, and a guess at best it was sitting at roughly 9°BTDC.  With no bonnet, we immediately jump in and took her for a quick buzz around the neighborhood.

  A subsequent tune up and compression test, shows I was right. the thicker head gasket had dropped the compression down about 5-8 psi across the board. Best part is, I should be able to pump the crummiest gas I can find through her without any problems.

engine_pass_alldone2.jpg (19597 bytes) engine_driver_alldone2.jpg (15750 bytes)
    At first I had an accordion plastic air vent duct pipe. This nice silver metal one is a flexible 4" I.D. house vent pipe. It fists BEAUTIFULLY! If it were stretched out it would be 8 foot long. With all the pleats in it fully collapsed, it fits great. The metal will take a set in position as you bend it to radius turns. It slipped right on to the heater box and even the front valence panel opening. I only used a 5" hose clamp up one end, up front at the valence panel. Compressing the pleats together (tighter) on the air box neck made it a nice snug, air tight fit.  These shots also show the new alternator installed. Yes, the original one had a bad diode pack in it. I went ahead and picked another new one, so now I have one for spare parts. (The MGB';s Spits, Midgets, etc, all use the same series of alternators over the years.)
spridgetoverflowtank.jpg (19286 bytes) I recently planned to repaint the overflow tank, but on cleaning it up I realized it was solid brass. So a quick polish job, and a coat of clear 500° engine paint and she'll stay... shiny.  :-)
...stay tuned...more to come....

 



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last edited 12/06/09

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