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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1275 Engine leveller

I mentioned in a previous post that I remember seeing somewhere details of a lifting bracket bolted to the head incorporating a simple load leveller to alter engine angle when fitting.

Can anybody point me to it - may have been in an old Mascot as I'm thinking of building one - just in case !

richard boobier


There's a thread on the MGB Technical board at the moment, entitled "Engine / Box alignment" which features one.

I bought one from Machine Mart, but I haven't used it in anger, yet!
Dave O'Neill 2

Mine was from Machine Mart. Wasn't particularly expensive. Was very effective.
Of course, turning the car over can also work!

M Crossley

The Machine mart one I've tried seemed too big for an A series.

The one in the pic I've seen before for about 22 ish.

However they all put a bending moment on the rockercover bolts.
The rig i've seen has a bracket that bolts directly to the rocker cover with solid short drops - basically very similar to the system I've seen pics of used in the factory but with a threaded adjuster

Unfortunately Mascot's on line don't seem to have a directory of old features and I tend to have a clearout and bin things from time to time ! so I can't easily check out that source.

richard boobier

I have the same as M crossley

It and well made and works really well with a minor modification

Use lots of grease on the long screw, and for the old guy in ya, remove the crank handle and plug it into an electric torque gun...that moves the level in a snap with little effort

I seriously doulbt you can build one for the price of this little puppy

I bolt on using the front and back smog hole bolts and the intake manifold on the other side

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

The load leveller was featured in Mascot made by John.E.Davies.
His mail to address is on P11 of the current issue.
Alan Anstead

And if you check the online January and June issues, they usually have a directory of the previous six months technical features (collated curtesy of Alan Anstead).
I have used the one pictured in M Crossley's post four times) but used nylon rope slung under the engine, rather than the rocker cover bolts and it really worked well.
G Lazarus

I recall seeing a genuine Churchill one on ebay wasn't cheap though.........!
Bob Beaumont

Err. That leveller, has turned the bloody whole thing upside down and defies gravity. Some trick that.;)

Seriously though I'd never pull the engine using the rocker studs for the reasons given. It seems like a daft idea on such relatively skinny studs. Surely they are almost certain to be pulled/strained inwards/out of line at some point

I too use a nylon rope, fed through the holes in the flange on the exhaust side (A series engine), over the top and around the distributor drive collar and alternator collar, and tied off to form 2 loops over the engine, through which I run a chain and connect to my Halfords pulley whinch. Any angling I need to do I just do by lifting/tilting the engine at the front. Very simple, very effective.

Lawrence Slater

Thanks all, Alan and Gary - will have another look through the back numbers.

Lawrence, the factory fitted midget and 'B's engine and gearboxes using the rocker bolts but you are correct they should not be put into bending.
I use secondary 'safety' chain or rope as well.

I'm only 'belt and braces' not added the 'binder twine' as yet !

richard boobier

My chain is only to connect the rope to the whinch. No secondary. For safety, I just don't put my head under the engine when it's swinging. :).

And this is my hoist. Apptly named huh? Brilliant it is. And that's not far off what I paid for it either, when I bought it in Halfords circa 1974/5.

I took it to Crete, which was just as well, as I had to pull my engine on a building site, to strip the g/box when it locked in 1st gear.

Lawrence Slater

When slinging the engine out by the rocker studs, they CAN snap! Ask me how I know....
Glynn (1275RWA) Williams


Thats straight out of a horror film

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

For years I used one only slightly more modern

(This is circa 1991 - Cheesy smile is my father. I have my back to camera ;-) )

Dean Smith ('73 RWA)

Bolted to the head studs Dean. I assume you leave the lifting brackets bolted on the head all the time. I don't think you can get those small pulley type lifts anymore. All I can see is the chain types. Silverline do one quite cheaply.

Great though isn't it Prop. :).
Lawrence Slater


Look what I found here.

It's a catalogue with all the car makers clutch release bearings. But who are TEMCO?

Lawrence Slater

Lawrence Slater

Huh? I wondered where these 2 posts went. I must have had the comment line open, and somehow they posted here too. That'll confuse someone someday. LOL.
Lawrence Slater

What can I say lawrence - I hadn't spotted that, no they weren't.

Head would have been torqued once it was in the car and brackets removed - but I certainly wouldnt do it that way now - only defence is I wasn't in charge then ;-)

Dean Smith ('73 RWA)

Great photo dean,

Your father looks very proud of you for what your accomplishing... and with a shaky painters scafolding no less

No kidding lawerance ... and then some :-)

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

A general observation, directed at nobody in particular.

Why do people scorn what was used 30 years ago, making assumptions that everything made today is so superior to what was made in the past, when in fact, it often isn't?

I use a simple tripod to attach my engine hoist to. It comes apart and can be stored in a very small space. The engine hoist, as you can see from the ad, weighs almost nothing and packs into an even smaller space.

It was amazingly cheap to buy, is very simple to assemble, and very easy to use. I've lifted engines with it dozens of times, always on my own.

Mine is the light version. Last year on ebay, I missed out in buying the next size up. Brand new in a box for 20 quid. Part of me wishes I'd seen it in time to buy it, but then again, the one I have is more than adequate, and FAR from worn out or even showing signs of being so. So What use would I have had for a new one of the same but bigger type? None. And so too with the 'modern' engine hoists/cranes. Why spend money on something that won't do the job any better than the item I already have, and be a bastard to find storage space for in my quite small garage?
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence. I couldn't agree more about the Haltrac hoist.
When I saw your tripod but couldn't see the hoist, on another thread, I thought "That looks like a Haltrac tripod".
I bought mine in the seventies and used it to pull all sorts of engines out, including Transits, Cortinas, Spridgets etc.. I don't know what happened to it. I think I lent it to someone and it never came back. I'd love another one.

I too don't use the rocker bolts, but use a sling under the engine and find that the weight of the gearbox gives you almost the correct amount of tilt to get it all out.

Bernie Higginson

Gosh I have always used the rocker bolts with the lifting eyes. I use a manual ie non hydraulic engine hoist I bought in Wolverhampton many many moons ago which flat packs. It was an improvement on running the car between two gate posts resting a beam horizontally on the top of them and using an old tank track connector as the hoist. What fun we had......
Bob Beaumont

Progress Lawrence, 'progress'.
David Smith

Keep looking on Ebay bernie. There has to be others out there, although I'm not sure if the tripod will come up again, althoug it would be simple to make it.

I'd love to have seen the gate posts Bob.

Of course there was always the lift it on your own with a mate or two instead of a hoist method. 1/2 in front of the engine bay, and 1/2 each side, get your backs into it, and "altogether, LIFT". Did that on my mates Mini.

I preferred using a hoist. But if you have enough muscle, well anything goes.

Yup Progress indeed David. Without it, the accountants would be out of a job. lol.

Lawrence Slater

Here's the deluxe version of the tripod (extra leg) to make a gantry. pity there's no hoist with it.

Bernie Higginson

I still use my Haltrac, these days to lift the rear end of the engine-gear box combo to the right angle at the gearbox end now I have a chain hoist for the engine

It makes the type 9 line up easier when I replace the pair as a unit

Here is the leveller I built out of an old Nissan jack

It is hard work though even when lubricated

I am planning a Mark three soon with the lift working only on the ends instead of along the screw thread

Kinda like the proper perfessional gear

And considering one mounted down from the engine mountings instead because I do not like using the rocker post thread

This version is NOT going to be used again, I don't like mechanical inefficiency like this

It did the job though

This was ane emergency measure when I had to pull the engine alone but by now it has suffered enough and gone to pasture

bill l

I used a little multi-pullied block and tackle not unlike a Haltrac for a few years and it was amazingly good. But stupidly I left in on the floor and ran it over. It wasn't obviously damaged but something was out of line and it never worked properly again. So many of the components were plastic and I didn't fancy using it after that.

I've had a cheap Machine Mart folding crane now for over 15 years and it's been brilliant. At one time, I was out of work and out of a workshop so stored it in a leaky shed and, though the unpainted parts had surface rust, the paint came up like new and it still looks pretty well and works excellently. Lost the pump handle in a move but otherwise it's been great.

I've always tilted engines by hanging from a chain at the high end and roping the low end with several loops. The angle can be adjusted by twisting the loops on a screwdriver (and tucking the handle of the driver behind a loop) or even by simply squeezing them together by hand for a light engine.

But now I've done so many different cars, I can usually get the angle almost perfect just by looping the rope the right amount to begin with. With the midget, I also have a rope on the gearbox, fed into the tunnel and through the gear lever opening so I can keep it off the deck and on to a low trolley at the right time.
Nick Nakorn

Haltrac also did a picture framing tool.

You can't lift an engine with it, but you can frame the picture you took of yourself lifting the engine. :).

Lawrence Slater

Silverline 633957 Cable Pulley Set 180kg

6.45 + 99p postage.

1275 engine about 120kg?

This doesn't have a locking lever, but probably do.

Actually I might get one for general lifting and leave it slung in the garage ceiling. It would be good for my hard top. I could just whinch it up and leave it hanging there.

Even cheaper on Amazon. 7.03 Free delivery.

Lawrence Slater

I made mine in 1989 when I first pulled a 1275 from a Midget - it's been used dozens of times since without a problem.

Just two lengths of 600mm long threaded bar. On a-series I use the rocker cover studs - they are plenty strong enough & on XPAG's I fit sans head and use a couple of block studs.


Obviously, make sure your garage roof can take the weight of the engine. I had scaffold poles in my old garage but even they were struggling to hold an A-series. The MGC engine merely pulled the scaffold down to the height of the bonnet!

r thomas

This thread was discussed between 08/03/2015 and 12/03/2015

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