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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Bar that connects to the transmission mount

1974 midget

What is the name of the long bar, threaded on one end that attaches to a bracket, that bolts to the transmission mount.

I need to replace the rubber pieces, couldn't find it in a catalog.

Thanks for any advice.

Steven Conant

Are you sure it's for a Midget?
It sounds more like an MGB.

Dave O'Neill 2

Good Point. My B has one. However there is one in this midget....
Steven Conant

That'll be what connects to here then.

Remember that thread a while back where were discussing T9 conversions and cutting the cross member. I wondered what the extra hole was for in the pic I found. This connecting rod was suggested. And now we have a picture to go with it.

Maybe it was connected to the bolt on cross member in later cars.

Lawrence Slater

Is it a 1275 or 1500?
Dave O'Neill 2

My 'MGOC' reprint of the BL parts catalogue lists "cable - engine restraint" and "rubber - engine restraint" for the 1500 Midget, which are supposed to be on page B102. Unfortunately, it only goes up to B76.
Dave O'Neill 2

It is a 1275 USA car with the original drive line to the best of my research.
Steven Conant

Hey Lawrence,

Missed your other thread, but on my car, the engine earth strap attaches to that bolt.

I can't comment on the cars originality though!

M Le Chevalier

Hi Malcolm. Probably as good a use as any. I don't think many cars have anything bolted to it, in the UK anyway.
Lawrence Slater

Steve... can you post a pic ?,

Im a little lost by your discription also


Prop and the Blackhole Midget

" I don't think many cars have anything bolted to it"

I don't recall ever seeing it on any of my cars.
Dave O'Neill 2

Steven - here's a link to the thread Lawrence mentioned, which is now in the archive.

In late Midgets the US govt required an engine restraint to stop the engine and gearbox diving out the front door in the event of a shunt. This was the answer. In Midgets at least it was a wire cable. I thought it only applied to the 1500, I didn't know 1275s were caught up in it.

However - I've been told it's no longer a requirement. If that is true you could simply take it out and bin it. Anyone know if the regulation requiring it is still current?

Grey beard,

If the reg was still active, its just usless words on paper... no dmv inspector would know of its legality, or maybe less then 10 in the usa

No cop no matter how corrupt is going to pull you over just to inspect that part

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Thanks Prop.

I like Malcolm's idea using the fixing point as a chassis earth.

X2 grey beard, X2

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

I thought a lot about this after Lawrence first raised it. It was only used on US market cars AFAIK, but I was never clear on why they wanted to restrain the engine and trans from being displaced.

My reasoning went something like this: If it's a head-on into something else, how far is it going to travel anyway? More likely to be pushed backwards.

If on the other hand if it is hit hard enough to displace the engine/trans forward hard enough to shear the mountings the inertia of these heavy components will want to spin to the right once the retraint, which is only on right side, comes up taut.

All very well in a RHD car, but in a LHD the gearbox is going to want to join you in the driver's seat.

All speculation, but on balance I think I'd prefer it went forward, taking the rad, grille, bonnet etc. (all good energy absorbing hardware) with it.

The hardware would be trashed, but I'd rather spare the wet-ware in the seat!

Any views?

I've got one view. I'm worried about my memory. That thread was only in May this year, and I'd already forgotten what was discovered about it. Hmmmm.

Lawrence Slater

Morris Minors had a restraint cable attached to the back of the gearbox.

MGBs either had a rod/cable attached to the gearbox, or a restraining bracket fitted to the engine mounts.
Dave O'Neill 2

Here is the pic everyone.

The two bolts on the left sticking up go through the cross member on the car and into the Transmission Mount. On the right the bracket attaches to the bell housing.

This is the way it was when I unbolted it, if my memory hasn't lapsed.

Thanks Dave, I knew it looked familiar, I have a couple of MGB's, I will order a few bushes for that bracket.

My ultimate question is.....was this original for a 1974 1275 USA spec car?

Steven Conant

Sorry gang the pic is a bit small, it was my first one to the BBS.

Just spent the afternoon on the daily driver, spark plugs and rear brake overhaul.... a little ford fun.

Time for a "beverage".

Steven Conant

Sorry Steven.

Totally different to the contraption I was talking about. I know the square root of J. Sh+t about MGBs and I've never seen this. I'm not convinced it is original to a spridget - I wonder if it's a mod?

(I bet Roadwarrior can give chapter and verse if he sees this - right up his street).

My Q remains though......are you sure you need it?
"IF" its just a restraint and not a vital steadying device I'd be inclined to chuck it away personally. And it doesn't look like it would be able to isolate any unwanted twisting forces.

An interesting conundrum Steven. Well done haha!

Lollipop to greybeard... congrats

Steve... that is NOT factory orginal in the USA, I have a 71 usa spec, for about 14 years, and ive never seen anything like that,

Its a previous owners add on,

That said, its an interesting part, its some kind of stablizer but like GB, I vant envision how it actually works and what its supposed to modify

I wonder if this is an SCCA track gimmick rule

I have seen gryf kethersides 1979 1500 little fender bender and he broke the 2 front engine mounts and the radio concel in a sudden stop low impact rearend collision at around 40 mph as I recall... so lesson learned on why strapping the engine is a good idea... gryfs car is factory orginal down to the factory sheet metal dust
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Just found this on ebay...



Dave O'Neill 2

That arrangement is part of the 2-1/2 mph bumper system, my '74 has the identical parts - I'm not sure when it was introduced, maybe just for '74 USA cars.

Your photo doesn't show, but there should be two top-hat section steel bushings to locate the plate to the gearbox mount crossmember.

The bumpers should have big ugly rubber blocks attached to the overriders braced back to the radiator stanchions. I replaced my bumpers with earlier thin bumpers with narrow overriders.

The engine mount brackets should also be modified with a plate welded inside to prevent distortion in a frontal crash, and pieces of angle welded to the front face to prevent to engine coming forward if the mount blocks shear.

The requirement was for no damage to the operating systems of the car after a 2-1/2 mph barrier crash.
The radiator is the most vulnerable item, so most of the effort was spent on keeping the engine from moving forward.

I'd just get some polyurethane shock absorber bushings from the local speed shop.

- Bill
Bill Gavin


Thanks Bill - that makes a lot of sense. Preserving the car in a low-speed nudge, along with the dreaded black plastic bumpers and nothing to do with heavy collisions.

I sort of get it now, cheers.


Yes it does make sense too. My first car was an Austin Metropoliton.

One dark night/early morning, I was tanking around a bend in Selsdon Surrey. I left the road and stopped quickly against a tree stump that some idiot left in a hedge.

Although the engine was still going on tickover, I could smell antifreeze, and couldn't rev it. In the morning when I woke up on the front bench seat, cold and pissed off, I could see that the fan had carved a nice circle in the rad, and the throttle linkage had fallen off the carb,

I knocked on a nearby door, got some water, and just about got home before the engine seized. I scrapped it a couple of weeks later.

If it had had an engine restraint, I may not be posting on this bbs. I may be on an old Austin bbs instead.

It was exactly like this one. My reg was 7315MV. Long gone. I checked with dvla, and it can't be had for love nor money.

Lawrence Slater

Good grief Lawrence, I'd just about forgotten about those.

There's quite a good Wiki entry about them.

Our neighbour in Glasgow had one when I was a kid. It was LHD and I just found out why. I'd always had the vague idea it was American and it turns out I was nearly right. They were built at Longbridge, but designed in USA by Nash and only sold in USA and Canada for the first 4 years of production as a Nash. It must have escaped the export, or been reimported. This was 1959 or '60, so it must have been reasonably new at the time.

I can now remember Dad remarking it was the worst handling car he'd ever driven. No wonder you ended up in a hedge if you were caning it!

I wonder now if the Frogeye's arrangement of only having access to the boot through the back seat was a legacy of this car as the early Mets had the same feature.

I know the thread is not just drifting - it's in a full-on powerslide, but I just couldn't resist this.

Modified '55 Nash Metropolitan designed by one Richard Arbib for the 1956 New York motor show as his concept of what cars would look like in the year 2000.

Called the Astra Gnome.

I love the spike on the roof. Hysterical!

Still in existence in a museum in California.


Thank you everyone.

Yes the car has those huge ugly bumper overiders, and yes the motor mounts are reinforced (Some sloppy welds too).

Thanks Bill, and yes I found the top hats, they were in the parts washer when I took the photo.

Great investigation, Nash and all!

I am doing a full on color change on that Midget, then it gets put back together. Hope to have it painted by Fall so I can re assemble over the winter. I'm sure I will have a few more questions.


Steven Conant

Until you return then Steven, we'll carry on drifting. ;).

" No wonder you ended up in a hedge if you were caning it!" Well yeah, that and the booze anyway. lol.

I really liked it. I paid 65 quid for it, from an east London breakers somewhere down old kent road, or maybe Stratford. Not sure now. 3 speed column change. Skinny crossply tyres, that knowing me were almost certainly bald. Weak halfshafts though. I can remember breaking at least 2 of them, and going down the breakers to get more. Valve radio, that only sprang to life one day when I drove past a radio transmitter in Southampton. When the exhaust system rusted through, and I couldn't get another -- obsolete -- I made one out of galvanized steel conduit, bent on a sparks bending machine to fit around the axle. Bunged some kind of 'sliencer' on the end, and got it mot'd. Great car. I bought it because it reminded me of bumper cars at fairgrounds. I sort of drove it like that too. lol.

The bench seat was great for shagging on. Ah the memories.

That was my first taste of BMC engines. So x number of cars later when I got the Sprite, it was all pretty familiar, just smaller.

Thats an amazing concept car. Can you imagine actually having that now, and driving down the highstreet? Brilliant. I'd love it.
Lawrence Slater

Reading some more.......
The 3 speed box was actually 4 speed, with first blanked off.

" No wonder you ended up in a hedge if you were caning it!" Well yeah, that and the booze anyway. lol.

Booze... yeah sure it was, is this another memory issue or is that what you kids of the 60s called the little fun plant you were looking for in the hedge....haha


Thank you, for that update, I thought knew it all, and i was not aware of this contraption...always nice to learn something new

I want to say those ugly over riders on the 74 are called Sabrinas but I dont know why

Steven are going to keep the car orginal or add your own style and influences

Steven, your more then welcome to hang out here with us for more then just the technicals. we are a loose fun group where drift is the norm, and spridgets are not always the converstion of the day.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Yup, it really was booze back then. Only later did I indulge the weed.

4 speed restricted to 3? Wow, I never knew that, but it makes sense now, as it was a pretty long 'first' gear I seem to remember.

Does that mean then, that had I known, I could have gained another '1st' gear by altering something? Interesting.
Lawrence Slater

The way I read it, it was just a blanking plate screwed on to blank first gear.

Maybe a vain attempt to protect the halfshafts from Sarf London 'ooligans lol!

Ha ha. Could well have been. :).
Lawrence Slater


Color change from Aconite to a dark green, plan to paint it myself after a quick firewall repair and a new "upper battery tray" .. the part that sits on the heater.(yes the old one is out).

Car will remain original otherwise. It is a very strong runner from California, I have just about everything to do it minus paint and some trim work.

Steven Conant

Blocking off 1st gear was also done on the Austin Healey 100/4 .They used the 4 speed box from the Austin Atlantic with 1st blanked to give 3 speed.
Noel Copping

Why did they do that?
Lawrence Slater

To keep from popping wheelies and lifting the front end off the ground at the stop lights during take offs...

id say there is a decent chance you could or might be able to water ski in a down hill stream being pulled by a 948 cc engine.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

This thread was discussed between 14/07/2015 and 18/07/2015

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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