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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Clutch not disengaging fully

In a previous thread I've declared my ineptitude by having to ask how to remove both slave and master cylinders for the clutch. I can now do both in a matter of minutes and bleeding is straight forward now thanks to a remote bleed point as advised elsewhere on the forum.

I now have a new hose, new clevis pins, a new slave cylinder, the old one was definitely leaking, and a new master cylinder. Sadly MGOC sent one with a horrible plastic reservoir, I even had to buy a new eezibleed to get the right sized cap! Does anyone still do the tin can style of master cylinder or can they be refurbished or sleeved?

After all that I was still having difficulty changing gears, especially getting into 1st and reverse as the clutch was dragging.

After a flash of inspiration, I removed the carpet and, lo and behold, a nice smooth gear change, even into 1st and reverse. The extra few mm of travel had done the trick - but why?

I've been following Andy Potter's thread and wonder whether the clutch release arm might be bent.

There is also approximately 1" of travel on the clutch pedal before it begins to feel firm. There is a small amount of slack between the clevis and the new master cylinder yolk accounting for 1/4" of pedal travel - do I need a larger clevis pin for this new cylinder?

There is also play between the pedal and its shaft with the pedal rocking on the shaft. I will order a new shaft but I cannot find either new pedals or bushes listed with any of the main suppliers. Does anyone know where I can obtain a couple of bushes (will do the brake pedal at the same time) or has anyone had bushes made?

Are there any other possibilities I should investigate?
Colin Mee

I'm in Australia, so not sure how much help it is. But yes, you can get the master cylinders re-sleeved (I bought mine through local supplier Colin Dodds at, and likewise I bought a pedal repair kit which consisted of new pivot bolt and new bushes, also through Colin (listed here: though mine had 4 seperate bushes for the pedals rather than 2).

If you can't find it locally then I guess shipping shouldn't be too pricey considering the size and weight? It made a big difference repairing the pivots. Like you, I didn't like the idea of having a big ugly plastic pot in my engine bay.
Andrew F

By all means eliminate all free play in the linkages and check the release arm for straightness, but if there's still not enough travel once you've done that it's more likely one of the new cylinders is the wrong size- master is too small or slave too large. Not enough leverage resulting in not enough movement at the slave cylinder.

I'm fond of teflon-lined steel backed bushes, most bearing suppliers have them in multiple sizes and lengths. Find one that has the correct internal diameter, drill out the pedal sleeve to suit, press bush into place. Lovely.


it might be handy to have a clear plastic reservoir (for clutch and brakes) as it can give you a very quick and easy visual check of fluid level(s) and colour(s) before and after runs up and down hill climbs
Nigel Atkins

Thanks Growler. Althought I didn't measure them I'm pretty sure the cylinders match the originals for bore - they are both the ones designated for the 1275 in the MGOC catalogue where I bought them.

Thanks for the advice about the bushing - I like the idea of teflon lining - what is the wear rate like?

Nigel - you're quite right - it's much easier to check the fluid level and colour with the plastic reservoir. One drawback that I found is that the reservoir is only clamped in place and doesn't appear to have any lugs or notches to register with. When I was holding it while tightening the pipe union before offering the MC up to the car I found the reservoir slipping round on the cylinder. I obviously didn't get it perfectly back in place first at the first attempt as it leaked copiously when I put the eezibleeder on it!

When I bought this car it was far from pristine, which was what I wanted and I was not going to bring it up to concours. I'm appalled at how quickly I got hooked on wanting it 'right' - and, to me, those Lockheed tin cans look much more appropriate than the modern plastic. The plastic screen wash bottle is original so that's OK! Just proving what they say about there being a little bit of aspergers syndrome in us all!
Colin Mee

>>Just proving what they say about there being a little bit of aspergers syndrome in us all!<<
very true but it does tend apply to somethings and not others with the lower level aspers

put photos up of your car and we can all swarm on the items not 'right' on your car and give you sleepless nights for years :)

you've got the wrong tyre tread pattern for sure :)
Nigel Atkins

Teflon lined, steel backed bushes seem to last well in reciprocating applications, and the nice thing is they're super easy to replace (if they should ever wear out). Just push out the old one and push in the new one.

This thread was discussed between 18/07/2013 and 21/07/2013

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