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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1500 Crankshaft thrust washers

Hi,I have been checking over my engine (which is out of the car), the end float of the crankshaft was measured at 0.116", this was due to the thrust washers reposing peacefully in the sump. When I measured the thickness of the washers, one was 0.0921" looking newish, the other 0.0615" looking very worn. My question is, does anyone have the thickness of the standard thrust washer in order that I can ascertain what thickness I require to obtain the correct end float dimension. I have tried MGOC spares who were unable to help. An answer maybe on this site but I was unable to locate it.
Kevin Fuller

Kev, check out rimmer bros. They are excellent for Triumph spares and should list thrust washer sizes on their site

Malcolm Le Chevalier

From memory, STD is 0.1". One takes all the wear (the rear one of course) whilst the other gets hardly any wear at all.
Some recommend pinning them to stop a worn one from falling into the sump. I used to insert them with a smear of locktight on the back, though l don't know whether it made any difference at all.

thanks for the comments chaps, using google as my friend I found that the std. thickness is 0.092" having checked the "good" washer, this is standard, so I reassembled the good & bad washers & measured the resultant end float as 0.0375", therefore replacing the washers with std units will result in a 0.006" end float, minimum end float according to manual.
Kevin Fuller

My brother had the same problem in the 60/70's with a Hillman Minx and the local garage man drilled and tapped a small countersunk screw into the trust washer to stop it falling out again.

Can't remember if it was into the cap or the block - it was a long time ago !

richard b

In the past, with only light wear in one thrust washer and the other in good condition, I have simply swapped them over. Despite some horror stories, they actually last pretty well so long as you don't ever ride the clutch. That is what kills them.

Attitudes and advice changes, probably in line with the technology of the age. I was taught, over half a centenary ago to always slip the car into neutral and release the clutch, even if the stop was expected to be for just a few seconds. I still do, partly because I think it is also safer. OTOH. my children had advice from professional instructors 20 years ago to stay in gear and hold the clutch down whilst waiting to proceed, e.g at a road junction or at traffic lights. Presumably because the transmission and engine designs had improved by then and could withstand what I still consider to be clutch abuse.

I was taught the same way, Guy, and still do it.

Depress clutch to lessen the strain on starting, especially cold. Take out of neutral at a stop light to save wear and tear on the release bearing and associated thrust washers.

Oddly enough, on HGVs, I was told to stop, shift into low gear and keep it there and hold clutch down.

I think our way is correct.

C Ravenwood

These days some cars are fitted with a stop/start feature (apparently an emissions dodge, sorry help) which switches the engine off when you are at a standstill, in neutral and the clutch deactivated, and restarts the engine when the clutch is depressed. So maybe driving attitudes will revert to how many of us were originally taught.
Kevin Fuller

I've had mixed messages over the decades about using the clutch when starting a vehicle but for our midgets and Bs I'm sure it's keep your foot off the clutch pedal for starting.

I tried an experiment a few years back of starting my Midget (when warm) with my foot on the clutch pedal pushed right down and then as I normally do with my foot off and away from the clutch pedal and IIRC the car started better with my foot off the clutch pedal.

Yet out of habit the few times I drive my wife's car, a modern diesel, I start the car with the clutch pedal held down but I don't think that's correct.
Nigel Atkins

A lot of the newer cars have a neutral safety switch to prevent starting in gear. You have to depress the clutch or it will not start. Supposedly to prevent the car jumping if left in gear but if it's in gear and you dump the clutch, same thing or worse will happen.

C Ravenwood

Some interesting thoughts here.

I understood that its best to start a midget or sprite with the clutch engaged (foot off the pedal) and the gearbox in neutral because it puts less load on the engine. I am unsure why this should be, but when I started using this technique I found that the engine seemed to crank more easily from cold. I've done this ever since and also try to put the car in neutral when stationary e.g. at traffic lights etc to aid clutch life.

Both our "moderns" have the automatic stop/start feature which is supposedly an "aid" to pollution reduction and fuel economy. I don't know how true that is in practice but being automatics the cars can be kept in 'drive" so its probably easier to use than with manuals. However, we normally turn the b.....y things off when queuing in stop/start traffic!
If we select the "sport" mode or there is heavy electrical load it disables the feature anyway. All clever stufff so long as it doesn't go wrong.
Peter Blockley

I find stop/start a PITA. It has a nasty habit of switching off when you come to a stop at a junction, just as you are about to pull out into a gap.

I always switch it off!
Dave O'Neill 2

This thread was discussed between 15/02/2017 and 16/02/2017

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