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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Diff broken :-(

Driving home from the pub tonight and noticed some strange twitching from the rear when I took my foot off the gas. Got worse each time I tried it so took it gently the rest of the way. Took a look under the back when I got home and the rear axle is nearly sheared off next to the offside U bolt. Scary or what never seen that before and no I haven't skidded sideways into a curb or something recently.

My car is a 1979 on a T plate with the 3:7 diff, can I source any midget diff and swap the internals ? Were the really early ones a Bango diff ? What about a Moggy diff ?
Ben Brown

Ben, what makes you think the diff's at fault? Something's broken in the axle tube by the sound of it. Has it rusted away?

I'm not that far from you and I've got a scrapper in the drive with a reasonable axle case. It's a comparatively easy job to strip out all the internals and brakes and switch them into the new case before refitting. Drop me an email - address above - and I'll give you a ring if you like and we can chat it through.


Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com


I split a moggy axle years ago - doing the odd handbrake turn - heard a bang but could not see anything wrong - next day with oil leaking out it was clearly split over the top half of the case and about 12 inches along both sides - driving on the lower half of the tube only !

You need a midget axle casing - assume yours is steel wheels - so a steel wheel case. The early axles (Mk 1 etc)had 1/4 eliptics are are no use.
Later semi eliptics are vitually the same, but the later rubber bumpers had a slightly different handbrake mount if i recall (but can be fairly easily modified with welded bracket.

Hopefully if you have not driven too far the halfshafts/diff will be usuable (as you should have a 3.7).

Where in South Glous are you - I'm in Clevedon if you want to discuss etc 01275 872585.

richard boobier

Hi Max, Sorry I tend to refer to the axle as the diff which is wrong. My diff is fine my axle tube is split. If you have an old one that would be great as I can swap the internals over. I will send you a mail. cheers Ben
Ben Brown

I have a late 1500 axle case with the later handbrake bracket, if that's what you need?

I'm in Bristol tomorrow and Friday.

midgetbitz (at) gmail (dot) com
Dave O'Neill 2

Hi Max, Your email bounced maybe mail me at the following ben-at-hillcot-dot-net cheers Ben
Ben Brown


Suggest you get new U bolts/nuts as they are usually shot.
I have a set of new rubber spring pads you are welcome to if you want them - I used poly therefore surplus to collect.

richard boobier

Ah yes, my axle's a 1275 - get in touch with Dave. Give me a ring if you need advice/sympathy, email sent with my number.
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

The only axles I have found that are seriously corroded in that area are the A40 Farina ones....

M T Boldry

Finally got round to uploading some scary photos.

Looks like rust was to blame under the bump stop coupled with some bodgers attempt at welding the bumpstop carrier back on.

First pic as came off the car the bumpstop carrier sort of fell off and was partly welded to the U bolt

Second pic after two light taps on the garage floor

Glad that didn't happen racing round a corner :-(

Many thanks to Dave for his fab replcement shell at a great price not to mention local delivery too a great help for sure.

Ben Brown

Not a pretty sight.

Ben Brown

Good grief!

Not pretty at you said, lucky it didn't happen during hard cornering!
Dave Rhine ('78 1500)

No no no

you DON'T want to do it like that!


blimey you are a lucky bloke, hope you bought a Lotto ticket

After seeing that I won't even mind if you win and I don't this week

bill sdgpm

Given what might have happened to the internals (and halfshaft on that side) in terms of overstressed components, I suggest you fit a complete replacement and don't try to swap your internals into a 'new' axle casing.

Jonathan Severn

Hi Jonathan,

To late it is all back up and running now.

Must say she is going really well at the minute.

A nicely running 1500 with the heavy bumpers removed front and rear is very nippy off the mark with great low and mid range torque.

Would have an MGB for lunch thats for sure :-)

cheers Ben
Ben Brown

This thread was discussed between 23/06/2010 and 13/07/2010

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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