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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1275 Midget Gross Weight ?

Hi All
I am wondering about towing my midget on an A frame behind our motorhome.
If it weighs 750 kgs or less then it does not need to be braked.
Has anyone done this? Any info much appreciated.

Cheers, Chris
C.J. Harris

a stripped out race Midget is approx 650kg, don't forget to add the weight of the A frame itself, so may be do-able. Rules vary by country - this would be OK in UK but is certainly a bookable offence in Spain, as reported on MH forums.
David Smith

According to road tests of the time, a road going 1275 Midget has a kerb weight of about 720 kg. A rubber bumper 1500 Midget is about 830 kg.
Mike Howlett

Blimey Mike!!!

An extra 110kg - Yikes!

That's like a fat bloke permanently riding around with me. Right - those ugly monstrosities have to go........
RS Hughes

Wiki shows a generic 'curb' weight of 735kg whilst AutoSnout(?) shows a weight of 714kg for a MkIV A/H Sprite - maybe the MG badge weighs a bit more.
Either way below your 750kg limit unless you have a very heavy A frame.
Jeremy Tickle

Thanks for your replies, it looks to be worth a bit more investigation. It is for UK use - the Midget will be a great addition to our trips.

Cheers, Chris
C.J. Harris

You might want to weigh your car on a public weigh bridge with the same amount of fuel in it when you intend to tow it. A full tank/6 Gallons (UK) will probably weight about 20Kg and can put you ovr 750Kg. You also need to check the weight of spares etc in your boot but can reduce the weight by putting them in your motorhome along with the spare wheel/tyre/jack etc.
Daniel Stapleton

CJ Harris,
you got me thinking about this. A frames seem a bit of a nightmare under current legislation; for starters see
The info leaflet produced by Dept if Transport
is a little bit more helpful but ends up saying ultimately the Courts will decide!

Has anyone any experience of a 'braked' (for towing purposes) Midget?
Jeremy Tickle
RS Hughes

Maybe something like this? More versatile than an A frame too.
RS Hughes

I found that the local re-cycling centre is not allowed to weigh private vehicles but, if you just happen to park on the scale while you go to the window to ask the operator he might make sure he doesn't obscure the view of his screen!

With my fingers crossed, I took my '67 Sprite to the local scrap yard, where they were happy to weigh it F.O.C. In normal road trim it weighed in at 760kg with the factory hard-top on and at least half a tank of fuel plus a roll-over bar.

I'd be wary about running it close to the 'un-braked' limit 'just in case'. Also, un-braked trailers are limited to 50mph, even on motorways.

Colin Mee

I think it's inappropriate to describe the 1275's as gross weight.

Surely only the rubber versions deserve that? ;)
Lawrence Slater

LOL Lawrence! :]

Thanks for reposting the link CJ and Colin, thanks for the tip on weighing at local recycling centres.
There is another way (pun intended) using Tesco bathroom scales apparently...

Jeremy Tickle

If it's any help ( I doubt it) the AA Patrol's Technical Manual from 2002 stated the total weights of the MG Midget Mk2 / 3 as 760kg and the 1500 as 800kg

I have towed Midgets on an AA A bar recovery system but the flat pan suspensions make it difficult to keep the attachments in the place you start them from

Regular checks on the fitment were de rigeur

I might not have used the complicated external braking part of the kit

Bill sdgpM

What about a smaller trailer, such as:


M Wood

I remember seeing a Citroen Saxo on fleabay a few years ago, which had been used behind a motorhome. It had an extra cable attached to the handbrake linkage which operated the rear brakes on over-run.

It shouldn't be too difficult to rig something up.
Dave O'Neill 2


Have you seen the commercially available A frames and braking systems, e,g. (as well as more small trailers)

M Wood

any thoughts on disconnecting the propshaft if towing with 'driving wheels' on the ground... i read something about the output shaft of the gearbox being above the input shaft resulting in no oil getting to the output shaft if the input is not turning i.e the wheels are driving the gearbox rather than the engine drving the wheels... apparently this can 'kill' a gear box rather quickly.
Martin Dickinson

The A-series gearbox, in common with many rear wheel drive cars, has the input shaft directly inline with the output shaft.

Also, the gearbox is lubricated by the gears being partially submerged in an oil bath, resulting in their lubrication being either by submersion or splash.

The input (first-motion) shaft would not be turning, therefore the laygear would also not be turning. I couldn't say, without looking at a gearbox, whether the output (third-motion) shaft would be submerged or not. If it isn't, there would be no splash lubrication, so possibly an issue if towing over long distances.

Anyone got a gearbox handy?

I suppose an easier option than disconnecting the propshaft would be to wedge the clutch pedal down and put the car in gear. Fourth, probably. You would then wear the thrust bearing, though.
Dave O'Neill 2

Good thinking on the lube side of things

A simple 'fix' would be to overfill the box a bit up to a level where the output shaft is in the oil--problem solved.

I'm thinking wedging the clutch pedal in with the box in gear wouldn't be a very good idea incase it became unwedged - I shudder to think of the result from that
As far as wearing the thrust bearing goes, that part would not be an issue as the engine wouldn't be turning, well not until the spigot bush seized anyway

William Revit

Good points, Willy.

Dave O'Neill 2

Just scratched my head do you overfill the gearbox?
Dave O'Neill 2

As the discussion is about towing on an A frame I would expect the front of the car to be raised somewhat so the oil will flow to the back of the gearbox leaving room to top the level up in the raised position, once back on the ground the plug could be pulled and the extra oil allowed to drain for the correct level. Anyone have a gearbox handy to give the height of the filler plug relative to the mainshaft.
David Billington

David, with an A-frame, the front wheels remain on the ground.
Dave O'Neill 2


Yes you're correct, I do remember those being used on occasions by the odd person I knew many years ago. I had in mind the frame which lift the front wheels off the ground on some recovery trucks.
David Billington

Was thinking of towing with a Berlingo but it is not quite twice the weight of the Midget so appears a no no for an A frame. No such problems with a motorhome CJ!

Add in possible gearbox issues and a small trailer appears the solution. Seemed so simple when it started!
Jeremy Tickle

Once again, many thanks for all the replies.

In due course, I will report back but it may be a while.

I had not considered that there could be issues with the gearbox - would some sort of anti friction additive help?

Cheers, Chris
C.J. Harris

For mainshaft lube, all you would need is the oil to reach first gear (as is likely) which spins with it all the time. There would probably be enough splash from that. The fact that A series boxes have needle bearings under the mainshaft gears also gives a lot more latitude compared with the bronze bushes of the B series.
Paul Walbran

This thread was discussed between 04/05/2015 and 12/05/2015

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