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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 79 sputters & dies

a 79 1500 with a zenith carb-this car has been firing right up & running perfectly for weeks now! Tonight it decides to act up-barely got it home. It was backfiring some on the trip in and I guess you could say sputtering. After dinner & letting the car set for about an hour, we started the trip back home-halfway the car really acted up & had to run it in third to keep the rpm's up to make the hills. Still sputtering badly when we turned into the yard and it stalled-now it won't start. Thought we may have gotten a bad batch of gas and not sure if the gauge is acurate either but it was reading low-we should have topped it off in town-we have never let it run so low. Added 5gals at home & still won't start. It has spark. Hoping that maybe the tank was run too low & sucked up some junk-any other suggestions? We did change the distributor & coil last year to the pertronics as we were having issues there. thanks!

Take the fuel hose of the carb and see if there is fuel flowing this will determine if fuel is getting to the carb or not thus eliminating crud in the fuel tank. If no fuel is coming through then it could be crud in the tank or the fuel pump. If fuel is coming through just fine may be an issue with the carb.
C Carter

Try this... Disconnect the large vapor hose from the bottom of the front charcoal canister, the one near the radiator. If fuel runs out, there's your problem; the float chamber is flooding due to a poorly-sealing float valve. Is your carb fitted with a Grose Jet? Those things are notorious for that.

If you do find evidence of overflowing, then check your oil level; if it's unusually high, fuel has been forced past the rings into the sump, and you'll need to change the oil.

Been there... ;-)

Gryf Ketcherside

thank you for the suggestions. I finally had a little time to check it out after the rains have stopped. I did get it started yesterday, but it was still running rough. So I started thinking about where to start................why not at the carb? Unscrew the top-oil is low. Fill it to the recommended level. So I can rule that out, why not see hoiw it runs now. BINGO! Boy, do I feel silly! It started right up & runs smooth! I took it for a little spin to check it out and so far no more sputtering. We'll give it a better work out on sunday, but fingers crossed! Since my 73 is undergoing restoration (since 93), 2 years ago we bought a 79 to putt around in-I guess I forgot a lot about these little cars!

This thread was discussed between 29/05/2012 and 31/05/2012

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