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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Battery

Please can you tell me what spec battery I need? I can see the physical size constraint, and I know it's 12 volts, but I believe amps come into it, and I have no idea what they are or what they do.

(nor do I want to)
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Purely from memory without going to check (Aah no - I went to check). Battery spec is type 038.
I think type 019 is compatible, but I'm not sure.
Another free tip: take your bathroom scale to the battery shop. If they have more than one 038 weigh them and buy the heaviest.
(Now waiting to be corrected by someone clever). Haha

Ooh I nearly forgot.
Best price I found for 038 was from a place that did spares for garden tractors. Some of the bigger GTs have the same battery as a midget. Mine does, which is how I found out.

That's great Greybeard. And I notice that the 038 has LOADS of amps.
Ta everso.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Yes, type 038.

The higher the amps, the more smoke you can produce ;o)
Dave O'Neill 2

049 will get you more starting and storage amps for only a few pounds more spent, always handy to have more in reserve just in case.
Nigel Atkins

Good tip Nigel. Better Ah and Cold Cranking too.
Jeremy MkIII

How about this Nick?

Despite it being Lucas branded the numbers seem pretty good and it has a 4 year warranty.

Jeremy MkIII

LP057?! Does that mean an even greater army of amps?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

The 057 battery is a 45Amp hour, so plenty for your car! But be a bit careful over checking sizes. The 038 size is 245mm long X 135mm wide X 200mm high. So any replacement needs to be reasonably close to those sizes. The ones suggested are, but are both taller so check this.

The other thing - is positioning of the conecting posts. Those Lucas ones are very near the front edge and may cause shorting contact with the battery clamp bar across the front, depending on how it is fitted. Unless you are still on positive earth, in which case it will go in the other way around and the posts will be at the back, well away from the clamps.

So much to think about!

Tayna batteries are usually pretty good on prices:

and apart from anything else even if you don't buy from them you can browse through their site for a quick and easy check on sizes and the positioning and type of terminals.

Thanks all. The 038 is quite hard to find: Halfords in Hereford don't have one, and nor does its central supplier. I phoned our garage man this morning to ask him, and he said, "oh - the old Mini battery - no problem - it'll be here by 11.30 if I haven't missed the van." So I've just called him and he tells me the supplier couldn't lay his hand on one straight away. Might be here at 4.30.

I'm not really ready for it yet on the car, but I find I need 12v in the garage. Do people use battery chargers to power 12v devices?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Unless you have a trade card Halfords are expensive, certainly compared to Tayna. Another good one but not cheap is Lincon who make the traditional looking ones and will make up whatever you want.

T Mason

Just as an aside, you have to be careful when comparing CCA numbers too, see below.

The CCA of a battery is a measure a battery's ability to turn the car's engine over. The higher the CCA the more powerful it is.
Choosing a battery with a lower than recommended CCA will cause under-performance, especially in cold conditions, and may even fail to start the vehicle.

The CCA of a battery is measured in a number of ways depending on the manufacturer. This can cause confusion so please take care when comparing the following:

SAE: measures the current available when draining the battery for 30 seconds to 1.2 V per cell

EN: measures the current available when draining the battery for 10 seconds to 1.25 V per cell

DIN:measures the current available when draining the battery for 30 seconds to 1.5 V per cell

IEC: measures the current available when draining the battery for 60 seconds to 1.4 V per cell.

All these measurements are carried out at a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius.
Nigel Atkins

It used to be so simple -
You - 'Have you got a battery to fit a 1960 Austin Healey Sprite?'
Trusted Motor Factor - 'Yes'
You - 'I'll take it, thanks'
Jeremy MkIII

Trusted Motor Factor . . . . 'that will be 17/6, sir. Would you like it delivered?'
Nick and Cherry Scoop

I wouldn't worry about CCA, I think pretty much anything that fits in the hole will swing it unless perhaps if you plan to fire it up when it's icy/snowing outside.

More amp HOURS are nice if you still have a dynamo and want to be able to drive long distances in the dark and wet.

Don't use a battery charger to power things directly, do buy a battery minder type to keep your new battery plugged in and topped up if you want to use it to test electrics etc.


17/6 for a battery and delivered. My kind of price.
I tend to go for a slightly higher spec than suggested just in case when I start it up in the winter, it will actually start without having to charge the battery first.
Jeremy MkIII

I've got a battery minder, and Cherry lives indoors, so fingers crossed an 038 will do the job (it's ordered).
Nick and Cherry Scoop

I bought a DA45L Duracell Advanced Car Battery 12V 45Ah (049 - DA 45L) from Tayna batteries a couple of years ago and though pricey, it really has performed well even in the coldest conditions.
Although its an 049 it is the same size as most 038s and fits the midget perfectly. Some 049s are too high, so be careful or you might short out across the terminals when you close the bonnet!.
Peter Blockley

This thread was discussed between 26/04/2018 and 28/04/2018

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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