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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - diesel Midget

I have been measuring up a vauxhall 1700 turbo diesel engine for fitting in a Spridge!

I am getting very close to considering this as a viable option. Very easy to sort and in fairness a nice engine especially with the boost and fuel turned up!

And no oil leak!
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Hi, not sure if its a viable option but I had a Corsa with the 1.5TD engine in and it went like a scalded cat and was more than a match for my friends MG Metro

I think that the engine was made by Isuzu but I dont think that they are as plentifull as the 1.7 unit.

Mark Whitmore

Evacusump didn't work?
Trevor Jessie

I own a 1275cc midget AND a 2004 Corsa 1.7 CDTI Sri with 190,000 miles on it (bought from new). The Corsa, whilst a good car has a market value of just about about zero.

I have the parts, all we need is the know how.

S G Macfarlane

Hi Bob

A Diesel in a Midget?!

Surely your A-series turbo delivers the grunt and the fuel economy without the clatter?

Anthony Cutler

I feel a K Series suggestion coming on. :)
Bob Turbo Midget England

We havn't got the Vauxhall down here but---
Ive been punting a 2.0d Golf dsg. around lately and yeah the diesel turbo gets up and goes half ok but as the Cutler suggests, a tiddle noisy, specially if you need to creep in quietly somewhere but it would be an interesting project-------- Willy
William Revit

Saw a Midget running on diesel years ago - don't think there's ANYTHING that you can do that's "original" anymore!

Heck, they are even running Midgets and MGBs on electricity in the States ...!

The huge torque will need addressing down the gearbox, prop shaft diff etc!

Steve H K-ser

Ive run my K series midget on diesel too, twice!

After 10 minutes there is white smoke comming from the exhaust and starts to run badly... did got me home do.
At first I thought HGF.
then when I saw my fuelticket... I realised my mistake... happens when you regulary fuel your dieselvan and then your midget while your mind is totaly somewhere else. :)
Okay, second time I saw the white smoke I realised in an instand I messed up again but its not bad to once in a while grease your engine's internals with some good old diesel. ;)
Arie de Best

Btw, there is a midget XE build going on as we speak on the twincam 16v chapter, a 16v dohc vauxhal engine.
Looks like a good fit!
Arie de Best

How about the 2.0 TD lump from the MG ZR

I have been considering that for quite a while.

Cant see any of it being any ore difficult than a k-swap, just you cant buy the bits off the shelf

The beauty of the vauxhall 1700 TD is its simplicity

Simply fill your tank with diesel, connect the fuel line to the lift pump and connect power to the pump to open the valve and away it goes!!!
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Valid point

A great idea, we have wondered for a while if a torque old derv would be any good for doing night navs and the likes - huge MPG and yet still bouncing down the road in a midget


Don't do it Bob, it ruins a good car.

Before I bought my ZS 120 I tried a ZS Diesel and it was woeful. Oh, I'm sure the performance was adequate but the way it delivered was terrible. Sluggish, engine going flat at 4k RPM, just when you'd expect a Midget to be singing. Hated it.....the 1.8 petrol is much better. It just felt *wrong* on a sports saloon, it'll feel *wronger* on a sports car.

And I'm a hardened diesel driver/fan.

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

Please, keep diesel engines where they belong: in a schip, boat or truck.
Or a lease audi.
Alex G Matla

Some years ago we rented a small Ford diesel at Gatwick and drove it up the M1, and all across Yorkshire East and West. I believe it WAS A 5-door, maybe a Festiva or a Fiesta (??). Thing was quiet, really quiet. Ran like a champ on the M1 at top speeds, and got in excess of 40 MILES per gallon (we did the math). On the Yorks back lanes it was peppy and quick, and we were never left at the line. Handles like a sports car.

Got back to the US and found out we did NOT have them here. I was really pissed. Far as I know, we still do not have them. I am even more pissed. I would love one here. NOW.

Diesel engines are usually much heavier than petrol engines. Surely this will affect the normally crisp handling of a Midget?
Neil K


Why wouold you worry about that when you can screw the pump right out, throw big injectors into it and screw the actuator right in.

Go and lay some fresh coal round the roads :P

Do you really think CC for CC that diesel engines are heavier Neil? It certainly is a good point if it is correct?
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

I seem to recall that when the ZS diesel was introduced it was praised for it's low down torque but the additional weight compromised the handling compared with the petrol version.



Depending on how much you can fabricate yourself the bellhousing options would need to be considered.

If its the same gearbox bolt pattern as an XE then there are bellhousings to suit the type 9 but also there is a T5 bellhousing which might be a better option for the torque levels.

Do you have an idea of the weight?

My XE installation weighs in the region of 135 kgs, I have mounted it quite far back and should be around the same weight distribution as the std car.

I would use the engine mounts from the donor car or at least try and retain the rubber part as it will help with NVH.


S Deakin

I, too , have thought of a diesel conversion to replace an A series, but, although the technical side is achievable, the noise and vibration would probably be unacceptable to a majority.

Modern diesekls owe a lot of their refinement to computer aided design of the body and the installation details, which you might find tricky to achieve in a design that is around 40 years old.

If it could be achieved then 90-110 bhp with diesel torque and 50-60mpg possible easily sounds very attractive.
D.G. Clark

I've got 105hp with 50mpg with the 1.4K.... and the price of diesel is higher.

It's not a thing I would do as I reckon it'd be heavy, rattly and wouldn't suit the car IMO.

Rob Armstrong

but as an engineering task, why the hell not.

I think a diesel BGT would be great though as a daily driver

BMW V6 turbo diesel, the one they use in the Discovery.

i daresay that would produce enough torque to scare the life out of you in a B

I would definately use the engine mounts that come from the donor vehicle, and if possible in the same position / orientation as a best attempt to help idle refinement.

The low torsional rigidity of the Midget will aggrevate shake / NVH issues but if you are genuinely considering it then go for it, I love how modern diesels drive and my daily drive is one.

S Deakin

Don't do it Bob, just don't.
Brad 1380

'CC for CC that diesel engines are heavier '

bottom ends and flywheels/clutch are certainly heavier cc for cc and even more so power for power comparison (who needs torque at 1500 rpm?).
deaseles usually have an injector pump strapped on somewhere and often a turbo.

'I would definately use the engine mounts that come from the donor vehicle, and if possible in the same position / orientation '

tricky if you're putting a FWD lump into a RWD car.

My experience of the Isuzu diesel has been bad. In a Corsa van the 1500 unit suffered HGF, glow plug failure, finally a cracked the pre-comp chamber that was unrepairable.
all that on an atmo engine that had only done 38k gutless miles.

What could you expect from a small atmo petrol? 67 bhp from a Toyota iQ engine gives 60+mpg when fitted into the Brick like iQ! I reckon a spridget has about 1/2 the frontal area and with a few choice aero-mods could have a reasonable Cd. That could push it into the 70 mpg range (maybe) and most importantly it would drive OK.

This thread was discussed between 11/02/2011 and 13/03/2011

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