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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Engine mounts

Hi all. Having spent many hours and a great deal of effort putting a rivergate conversion together for my Mk3 Sprite, I have gotalmost to the point where I can test it on the road. Howver I have got stuck at the point of getting the engine monuts back in. I can get the right hand one (drivers side) about right but then getting the left hand one in is proving impossible. Any tricks you guys know about to help me get it done. I really want to try out my 5 speed Sprite!!!
MK McIntosh

No tricks I am afraid simply lower the engine onto into position and put in the bolts. You may have to tug the mounting around a little but getting the bolts in through the engine mount into the body should be prety straight forward.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Probably obvious, but don't do up one side tight and then expect to be able to align the other. Leave everything as loose as you can with the nuts only just started on their threads and everything left very slack. Keep the weight of the engine still on your crane / winch / block and tackle so that you can push the engine brackets and the rubber mounts around until they line up and then lower into position. It does help to have at least one engine bracket loose where it bolts to the chassis, rather than just trying to fit the rubber mounts.

I cant get them in like that Guy I put the rubber mounts onto the engine . Lower the engine and rubber onto one mount and then line up the other with the holes in the body.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

If you read what I wrote, it is much the same method:
" have at least one engine bracket loose where it bolts to the chassis "

Other than I also advise leaving bolts slack until they are all aligned.

or use the racers trick and slot one of the bracket holes (where the single studs from the rubber goes)
Dan Cusworth

I fit the rubbers to the brackets and fit the right hand bracket to the body. I then lower the engine onto the right hand rubber enough to loosely fit the nuts.
It is then possible to fit the lefthand bracket/rubber into the frontplate, lower bolt first and then swing the bracket up into position.

I've been doing it that way for years.
Dave O'Neill 2

Like Dave I fit the RH bracket to the body first and from memory I think that is the method the company workshop manual states.
T Mason

Thanks Guys. Contributions much appreciated and will try some of the suggestions. My main problem I think is that the bell-housing from the 5 speed is larger and so I have less capacity to lift the engine when in place to get the left hand mount in.

Will definitely try Dave's method, failing that I might have to remove the steering column to get a bit more space to juggle the engine in.

MK McIntosh

I honestly think it is much easier to disconnect the steering column from the rack and attach both mounts to the engine. I've used the other method many times, and it works, but for the frustration and risk of damaging the paint somewhere I find it much easier to take the 5 minutes to disconnect the column and slide it out of the way. Just my 2c.

Thanks Andrew, you have confirmed what I was thinking. Let's hope I can finally get it sorted this weekend.

MK McIntosh

We have theDatsun box used in the Rivergate in one of ours, so i know what you mean about it being tight.
We use Dave's method, always found it very easy even with the Datsun box.
Paul Walbran

Thanks guys for all your info and help. Engine now mounted with box in car. Gearbox sitting too far to the left side of the tunnel (by about 1 inch), - a bit more 'adjustment' required I fear. Anyway, at least the engine mounts are on. Thanks again.

MK McIntosh

I also have used the method Dave mentions for years and I feel it's the only way to do it. All other methods are more difficult so it's no contest for me.

b higginson


We had this problem too.

We also found that we couldn't fit the angle drive for the speedo in if we moved the box back to the right so the gear lever lined up. PO had shifted it to the right, but his solution was to leave off the speedo ... difficult to get the car through its test without one!

Our solution was to jack a small bulge in the side of the tunnel to provide some of the clearance the drive, and then shift the opening in the top of the tinnel to the left a bit so it is central with the gear lever. The original opening is offset a bit to the right of the tunnel top anyway, we ended up with it as much to the left. Not a simple solution by the time it's all wleded up properly, but certainly a better configuration than we inherited.
Paul Walbran


Glad to know it isn't just my car, I was beginning to wonder if it was bent. The bulge for the speedo drive might be the best option. What is driving with the 5 speed like?

MK McIntosh

The 5th gear is good, the midget really needs it. The gaps between ratios are much bigger than the original Midget box, so not as nice in that respect.
Paul Walbran

This thread was discussed between 01/05/2011 and 11/05/2011

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