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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Ashamed to ask- starting question!

Hi all,
Mk III 1972.
I know I SHOULD know the answer to this , but having racked my brains I've obviously completely forgotten. After a nice run, went to get petrol @ tescos. On return , when keyed , just got a " groaning " sound from the front end - this happened a few times, so I sat there for 10 mins swearing & then tried again and she started first time. Nothing was loose under bonnet & I didn't do anything to sort it so....could anyone give me an idea of why happened & why? so I could sort it for the future.
cheers colin
colin frowen

Sounds like a sticky starter motor bendix. Pull the motor, wash bendix in petrol and put it back. Could also be poor live connection, poor earth connection.
Lawrence Slater

can you describe the "groaning" sound some more?

Do you mean that the starter was turning the engine normally but the engine would not begin running?

Or, do you mean that the starter solenoid would click but the starter would not turn?

I suspect you meant the former, and that sounds like "vapor lock" from the carburetors overheating while stopped after running the engine, and the engine bay up to full temperature. If so, then check your heat shield and phenolic insulating spacers between the carbs and the intake manifold are in place and not been removed by some previous mechanic. Confirm your fuel delivery pipe is not close to the exhaust manifold. Some folks, if they suffer from this, find relief by loosely wrapping aluminum foil around the fuel pipe, which can help to insulate it from the exhaust/engine heat for a few minutes while parked.

Another thing that works is to raise the bonnet for a few minutes, to let the heat out, though this is not convenient.

A well sorted SU carb set up should not suffer from this, so I'd focus on what is amiss (like missing heat shield, or missing insulating spacers).

Norm Kerr

any starting problems and you'll really value a battery in good condition and good charge with the electrolyte level correct in all cells, posts, clamps and leads and all earths clean, secure and protected

without these things the battery can escalate and prolong your problems and diagnostics or be the source of your problems

perhaps you could record the sound if/when it next happens and put it up on t'web

I had a neighbour knock on our door last week because they could get the car starter "but we don't think it's the battery" - battery had a bit of crud coming from positive clamp/post, electrolyte level was low but sufficient, I just removed clamps and clean them and battery posts, car started no problem and I just left my very old battery charger and suggestion to top up the 'water' levels
Nigel Atkins

ETA: timed out again - obvious it should have been 'could not get the car started'

my web link to here is going even slower than me at the moment
Nigel Atkins

Sounds like Lawrence may have it! It will be fun to see whose got the answer!
Steven Devine

This thread was discussed between 09/06/2013 and 11/06/2013

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