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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - boom! almost...

can't tell you all much right now, but had a rather large oil system failure.

limped home filling oil every ten miles.

full report to follow tomoz evening. just to keep you all in suspense.... :-D
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Good lord malc

change your name to "prop and the blackhole midget" your living my life.

malc i feel for you i really do... i know where your at spiritually... i can feel you all the way over here in missouri

I dont know why but when it comes to the midget it seems some of the simplist things go wrong and become very involved when your you really need a gold star win to put into the daily win column

when your down on your luck the midget seems esp more tempermental then any other time... at times it just feels like the entire cosmos is agianst you

i was lucky to have the people of this site to keep my spirits up

one thing i found useful.... admit defeat early.... when something new goes bad out of the blue call it a day as soon as you can and attack it the next day when your fresh

im with you in spirit and experiance buddy

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Oooo, we need a bit of excitement around here 😎
Dave O'Neill 2

Look on the bright side Malc, you have fresh oil in it. Fingers crossed for an easy fix and no lasting damage.

I once had a sudden drastic increase in oil consumption and rough running. Turned out that the PCV valve had come off of its attachment on the manifold. Put it back on with a new clamp, refilled the oil and the problem went away. So, I would suggest checking for the obvious things first.

I had that problem on An was the top of the had a huge hole in it. Drove ok considering but sprayed clouds of smoke like a bug spraying machine!

You drove home filling every ten miles, spewing oil all over the road for everyone - fantastic
William Revit

Well....what the hell happened! I cant take the suspense!

Its still only early evening here, my guess is Malc's still in the garage and it might be late evening before he emerges from the dark place ;-)

best of...
M McAndrew

Yeah... im a bit worried for our friend also... that just dosnt sound good i hope its just a loose oil filter

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

sorry, got back later than expected last night. let me wake up and find a real keyboard!
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Ach, so... the car is a bit of a mess.

I haven't had chance to investigate what is up, but Friday evening was a bit traumatic!

We were on our way to Rockingham for a weekend of camping, BBQs and Touring Car racing (saloon/sedan racing for the americans, a bit like NASCAR maybe, but on proper circuits).

Everything seemed OK, I had been driving for about 45 minutes to pick up wifey from work and we got to a round about that led to a dual carriageway. I gave it the full beans coming off the round about only to be greeted by a huge amount of smoke billowing out from behind the car!

My first thought was head gasket and that the smoke was coming out the exhaust. With no lay bys or hard shoulder I had to plough on, all vital signs seemed OK and car still pulled well which seemed odd. By the time I got to the next round about and was able to pull off the smoke had cleared and the engine was running fine, but under the bonnet there was oil everywhere (no idea what was actually wrong) and the smoke had been coming from oil working it's way down onto the exhaust.

I chucked the half litre I had in the boot into the engine and went for home with an eye on the oil gauge. The choice being wait for recovery which could be ages, or try to get home and the thing blows up and we need recovering anyway.

As I got to the next petrol station pressure was looking rather shaky and as I slowed to pull in it went really south, fortunately I was ready and managed to kill the engine and coast in. If it was another few miles I think it would have been game over. The oil was barely registering on the dip stick.

I filled up with extortionately priced oil and ploughed on, checking every 5 miles or so. Eventually we made it back OK. It was about twenty miles since the first sign of smoke, but I don't know if that was the moment something blew or it happened before. I stuck the car in the garage, swore at it, jumped in the other car and we were on our way again!

As for hosing the road with oil, yeah, maybe it was a bit stupid driving on but I was only thinking about getting home. Most of it appears to be contained in the engine bay or burnt off on the exhaust. There are certainly no big oil slicks coming up my road or in my garage and we drove the same route half an hour later and nobody had spun out on oil and there were no obvious puddles so cest la vie. There are a lot of people do a lot more dangerous things on the roads.

So what to do next.... Hmmmmm.

Malcolm Le Chevalier

I dunno what is going on. There is loads of oil in it, so it can't have been leaking that quickly. Although everything will have drained back into the sump over the w/e.

Something like a loose union on the oil cooler take off is perhaps the issue. Certainly not a loose oil filter, can't get the damn thing off!
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Clean it all off, start it and watch. You may need some revs before anything happens.

My brother had a problem with his 1275 once. If you drove it like an old lady, it was fine. However, if you booted it, clouds of smoke came out behind.

There was a leak from the timing cover, as the threads had stripped in the frontplate, but it only leaked oil (onto the exhaust) if you were giving it some throttle.
Dave O'Neill 2

guess you run it in the garage an investigate but wear an old hoodie and a face shield :-)

best of.....
M McAndrew

Yup, that's kind of the conclusion I was coming to. It doesn't seem as bad as I first thought. My hypothesis on the chain of events is that:

- Oil level is somewhere between max and min before I start the car, car starts, primes the filter and oil system. Sump reading therefore goes down to some value nearer to minimum.
- It was leaking as I set off or soon after.
- I was in slow moving traffic for about 45+ mins at leak continues but not really going anywhere.
- Hit the dually, give it some boot, extra revs and therefore pressure combined with hot oil cause a bigger leak which also begins to find it's way onto the exhaust due to wind blowing it about (there is oil on the floor all the way back to the rear bulkhead!).
- By the time I get to the petrol station and find the oil near empty, I must have been on the road for an hour to an hour 15. Small leak x long time = no oil.
- I top up the oil to max (with system already primed) and drive home carefully, but that only takes 20 mins as traffic has cleared and already some of the way home. Small leak x short time = small loss.
- Park up, oil drains out of everything into sump that was already filled to max, oil reading now says max+

Take it to bits. New seals and filter. Go again. Hope I haven't done any lasting damage. Simples. :-D

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Sounds like the famed Lawrence Oil Sucking Problem. If you dare, check the archives for a full discussion!
Guy Weller

If you have plenty of oil in it now it would suggest that the leak is from somewhere that is not under a great deal of pressure. I had a leak once on another car that was leaking from the oil pressure switch and it used a gallon in about 6 miles so thats the sort of loss I would expect from something under pressure.

T Mason

Do a compression test....just check its not a broken ring or piston top. That would pressurize the crankcase driving the oil out.

If you just went low on oil due to a leak... your probably ok.

I guess after that clean the engine and bay...see if you can find your leak.

What are you running for carbs on your 1500? dual hs4s?
Do you have the pcv valve hooked up?

Breather is OK. Breather issues in the past have led to it leaking out the front sealing block.

I think the issue might have been the oil cooler take off. The adaptors that thread into the sandwich plate were also sealed with these o-rings, one of which is damaged. I wasn't too enamoured with this sealing arrangement when I put it in, but as it was what came in the kit from Mocal I rolled with it. I am going to replace them with copper washers I think.


Malcolm Le Chevalier

What about Dowty washers?
David Billington

If that is the correct part for the job, I will use them. I had never heard of them before. Cheers David.
Malcolm Le Chevalier


haha... I think we were all thinking lawerance... but its NOT the same issue that lawerance was battleing ...completely unrelated...that was a 1275 and only did it in winter and only with in 5 minutes of start up and at full operation without any warm up time... if he did let the engine warm up he had no oil sucking problems

id say do a compression test for grins and peace of mind but i seriously doulbt a blown piston or a broken ring... its possiable esp if the piston top is just a pin hole ... but my knowledge of piston top holes are suddan and huge and drain a sump in a few sec... not that my thoughts are expert quality

To be honest there is no damage internally... as long as the sump pick up pipe can pick up oil there wont be any damage so even if the dip stick is showing zero there is a built in cusion usually of a qt to 2 qts (american qt) before the pick up pipe can no longer find oil to least thats what ive seen on the 1275... im sure the 1500 is not to differant

most likely this is an assessory failure as you mentioned

im with steven also... if you got duel hs4 carbs ... it looks to me very much like a malfuntioning PVC valve im guessing steven is probably thinking the same thing based on his comments... as im sure that system has one

another thought... did you ADD oil before you left... if you did a d over filled the sump even by 1/2 qt and where just poking along at 30 to 40 mph before the round about that would certianly blow out excess oil thur any aviable escape and make it run rough ....think of a long distant runner eatting a huge pile of speggatie... its okay to walk after eatting but start running hard and speggittie bcomes 2nd look at speggite really kwik

buddy... i really belive your safe nothing to see here based on what you mentioned... rest well this is not a problem worth losing sleep over or trading the wife in for and engine rebuild

the real problem i see ... is the pretty girl your sleeping with measureing the midget windshild for the proper size of for sale signs at the local piggly wiggley ... NOW THATS A HUGE PROBLEM WORTH LOOSING SLEEP OVER.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Sorry clarity...

if you over filled with oil before you left and poked along at 40 to 50 there probably wouldnt be any noticable problem but once you floored the gas. And through the car xrifting sideways arounf the round about... an over filled sump oc oil would certianly scream out what the crap are you doing to me and behaved like it did

im am also no longer sure about your oil cooler set up being the culpret... the oil hoses vs the exhaust pipe are on opposite sides of the engine block

can you verfy the oil was burning internally thur the exhaust pipe or was it burning on top of the outside of the exhaust pipe

im leaning strongly towards an over filled oil sump at the start of your trip or a malfuntioning pvc valve based on what you mentioned and my incrediable extenive knowledge of the 1500... yepp all 3 paragraphs double spaced typed

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Hey Prop.

It wasn't overfilled when I set off and engine ran fine throughout.

The PCV is clear, it is just a tube to the air box, no valve. It has worked fine for the last 1000 miles.

It is defiantly an external leak. It's not hard to miss! Engine bay is covered in oil, it has run down and out under the floor and onto the exhaust. That is obvious as the exhaust is only two weeks old and the burnt oil has made a mess of the nice paint job on it.

I am not particularly worried any more. It was worrying at the time due to the big smoke and disappearing oil level, but actually its just a big mess to clean up and some fresh seals I think.
Malcolm Le Chevalier

I can vouch for dowty washers. Currently keeping the oil in my K series adapter plate
Rob Armstrong

Nice Propism there, Malcolm 😀
Dave O'Neill 2

Hey! Take a picture of the engine bay and where the leak come your car components look so clean?

Glad you figured it out Malc! So the engine was a little low for a bit...I don't think you did any permanent long term damage.

Oh ya...prop was right..

I was thinking the same thing he was....Scary!


im thinking tacos... what are you thinking

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Pictures, OK.

Engine bay.

Malcolm Le Chevalier


Malcolm Le Chevalier

But hey, we didn't have the worst weekend. This was our friends (brand new) tent after a storm blew through Rockingham on the Saturday afternoon!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

How come all the other tents are still up? I don't suppose it has anything to do with that empty bottle on the right of the picture being consumed prior to pitching the tent.😂
Bernie Higginson

I thinking burrito.....Oh crap.... which in my book is just like a Taco!

Bernie is on to something....maybe the contents of that bottle ended up in the crankcase of the midget.....and it was compelled to vomit.

Malcolm has the adapter plate got a oil stat built in if so it could just be leaking when it is open when oil is at temp, I had a drip on mine when the stat opened.
mark 1500 on the road Preston Lancs

Steven... like this ?

No burritos in this photo...

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

It looks like someone is still in the tent.

btw malc... great idea... writing oil change date on the oil filter..i like that.

yeah what a mess...

for that id mix up dawn dish soap in a gallon pump up garden sprayer maybe even add in some shampoo
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

PMSL Prop - great image!

Malc, I can't tell from your photo if your sandwich plate has O ring seats machined into it or if it is flat surfaced around the ports.

If it's flat Dowty seals should work okay provided that the black sealing part of the Dowty is completely covered by the the hex of the fitting in your hand. If it isn't it won't work.

I can't tell from looking if that's BSP or SAE. I suspect BSP in which case no prob with a Dowty - SAE nipples tend have a smaller hex which won't cover the seal part but you can get SAE O rings that come with a steel or alloy washer around them that are intended for SAE fittings and prevent the O ring being squished out of place and damaged, which looks like what has happened to you.

Prop said....

>>btw malc... great idea... writing oil change date on the oil filter..i like that.<<

I've done that for about 50 years with oil, fuel, air and hydraulic filters. Also on water and sludge separators. You're right - it's a good idea and saves a lot of head scratching. If known I also write the engine hours for marine engines and generators, stuff like that.

My personal tip here is if the filter or whatever is black use Tippex. It's practically indestructible if it's not getting rubbed by anything. It even survives on the outside of drive belts.

No like this!


Thanks for the great tips re: dowty washers and the stat.

I think the fittings are BSP, I can't remember. The sandwich plate is flat. Probably why the original o-rings were so rubbish.

It is a thermostatic plate, I will check the 'stat is tight. I guess it just screws in and out.

As for the tent, it was just a rubbish tent put up by noob campers. The men in the background (unrelated) dragged it back from 100-odd metres down the camp site. All their stuff was still in the tent and it all got soaked. It was not the only one on the site to blow away.

From what we could see from the wreckage it seems the fatal flaw was that the guy rope loops were simply stitched to the outside and therefore tore off. Our tent has metal eyelets and the ropes tie around the poles. A much stronger solution. Although it transpired ours didn't survive completely unharmed. One of our poles split, but we didn't find out until de-erection.
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Nothing worse than finding a split upon de-erection.
Rob Armstrong

Especially on a pole!
Malcolm Le Chevalier

De-rection... i cant find that in my engineers term book

When de-ecrion comes under shear is it effected by thrust or angular force

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

This thread was discussed between 27/08/2016 and 01/09/2016

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