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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - After first long drive engine will not start

I just finished the head job on 77 1500 and the car has been running great. Starts first try idles good. Been on neurmours short trips. Took a 15 min trip at 60+ mph today to work and now engine will not start to go home. When I pulled up to work it was idling very slowly like it wanted to shut off. I have good file flow out of line and through filter with pump. Engine caught once then died. Any tips before I have to call the wife and tell her? She is not a fan of car as it is.
jt simmons

Assuming the fuel is OK then it is worth a try to see if the points require setting. If they are bearly opening then simply setting then witha feel gap would get you home.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

After tightening a screw on the distrib (front below the cap) that was loose and tightening that ,I was hoping that it would start, but now the starter does nothing. I must have hit a wire around the coil that feeds the starter. I pulled and replaced some connections at the coil.
jt simmons

you're in good hands with Bob here but he'll need to know what screw was loose - perhaps a photo

if you've just knock a wire then it should just need putting back on or was loose

your trip has perhaps literally been a shakedown test
Nigel Atkins

Screw below the dizzy. Do you mean the dizzy clamp - was it lose? in which case it may be that the timing has slipped

It was not the dizzy clamp, I will try to get a photo in a few days. The car was towed to a family garage about 10 miles from my house where I can work on it this weekend. I got the starter working before the tow touch arrived. The bad thing is that I had to call the wife. When we got to the garage the car started and ran. I was able to drive the car down the road, but decided to leave it at the garage till I can check it over.
jt simmons

Looking in my Haynes my dizzy Is a Lucas 45DE4 electronic the loose screw was one that was holding the amplifier module onto the dizzy, it was the screw with the head facing #2 plug. It was not the Clamp bolt. I did check to see if the dizzy was loose and it was not.
jt simmons

If it is still running on the Lucas electronic distributor, it is a miracle. Convert it to something else, like a pertronix, or an old points distributor.

What you describe was standard procedure when the cars were new. You drove someplace and it wouldn't start again, then it would when the tow truck or mechanic got there. After a while the lying SOB would finally be permanently dead, and you could figure out what was wrong. Sometimes it took a year or more, since we didn't know that was the failure mode, and they always worked when the shop got them. Some cars sat for years in garages because they couldn't be trusted, many got sold. This was common enough at one point that I called Lucas NA headquarters, and was told that there was not a single spare unit in all of North America, and no date for resupply. It is possible that this was because of the below situation, and Lucas had pulled stock worldwide, but they were not about to say so.

In fairness, while the Lucas unit was bad, another problem was that there were bootleg parts in the system. Someplace in the Far East was making bad knockoffs and packaging them in counterfeit Lucas packing, and somehow they got them into the supply chain. (This is a surprisingly common thing, especially on high value bits like aircraft parts = SCARY!)

Special fun resulted when bad conversions were done.
I had one that sat for years because it couldn't be driven. The new owner called me and I found an Allison/Crane wired in along with the Lucas. The car would start and run perfectly up to 2000rpm, then shut off. No difference after I took the Lucas out, so I sent the Allison back to the factory. They fixed it for free, and told me that the bad Lucas unit murdered it.

FR Millmore

Note my previous comments do not necessarily mean that you do not have some other problem right now.

FR Millmore

IF and like FRM I'm bot suggesting it is solely or whole anything to do with the dissy - if it is the dissy

but if you have to replace see about getting a 123 fully electronic dissy but don't replace any parts or components unless you're cerntain they're faulty

over here we had a spate of a car manufacturer dealers claiming to get counterfiet components and parts from the official supply sources
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 06/03/2012 and 07/03/2012

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