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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Engine Removal - Without Gearbox

Hi All, I am replacing the engine in my wife's sprite and am at the stage of lifting the engine out.

Everywhere I look it says it's easier to pull the engine and gearbox together. What is the issue with just pulling the engine out without the gearbox.

It will save me the issue of angling the engine to get it out.

Look forward to you're thoughts.


No issue at all.

Even if I need to pull the gearbox, I prefer to lift the engine on its own and then pull the 'box out.

Taking the gearbox out if you don't need to, will add a lot of work and time to the job.
Dave O'Neill2

This is one of those issues where you will probably get as many for as against.
For removal, I think just removing the engine is quicker and easier. Less to undo, no gearbox oil to drain or propshaft to remove. But it can then be more awkward replacing as it is important that you align the gearbox input shaft with the clutch centre plate splines and crank spigot bearing. And all without putting any strain on the gearbox as you do so. Sometimes it will just slot straight together and on other occasions it can be a real struggle.

If you can take an optimistic view that it will slot straight in, then remove the engine without the gearbox. If you are risk averse and cannot handle the worry of thinking it is going to be a ba$t4Rd job, then remove the two together.

Its not dissimilar to the question about fitting an ammeter.
Guy W

Its not an issue ither way

Ive done it both ways...I perfer to do the engine and tranny togather....both ways have there pros and cons

It really comes down to your tool, the type of lift your using and experiance level as to which direction you will go, but there is no consenuse as to a best way...its the ol coffee vs tea debate

The big secret to pulling the engine is stress management and patiance....lots of beer and piss breaks goes along way .....once your completely pissed off call it a day...cause it wont get any better, fresh eyes and spirit makes these jobs a brezz


Prop and the Blackhole Midget

****It really comes down to your tool,***

Collection, ... tool collection, hahaha

Sorry about that

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

My preference is leave the gearbox in. Apart from saving all the hassle with the gearbox connections, oil, propshaft etc it avoids having to bleed the flipping clutch again! it is very much a personal choice though.

I have the luxury of an old first motion shaft to ensure the clutch centre plate is aligned nicely as this can make life difficult mating it all up when putting the engine back in.

You mention you are replacing the engine is that because it is tired?? If so then it may be worth having the box out so it can also be checked together with the prop uj's as you don't want to have to do it all again in 6 months time!
Bob Beaumont

Thanks Bob, the engine is only being replaced because of a water in the oil issue. I just don't want the hassle of taking the box out.

The old one wasn't tired but believed to be down to a porous block, so I've gone down the route of replacing it as trying to diagnose it was too much time.

So just taking the lump out.

thanks all


Take the box and engine out at the same time.
No need to bleed the clutch just remove the clutch slave (you did remember to slot the top mount did you!)
Less hassle to align the box and engine.
And draining the gearbox is a good excuse to refill with clean oil.
Onno K

Was just wandering if anybody ever done the otherway arround: removing the car from the engine?

Can you tell im bored to death on the office? ;)
The weather here is great, I just wanna go blasting in the midget!
Arie de Best


Surely you can find some jobs that need you to go out to visit to check on progress, or measure up? Perhaps some bored housewife who needs a bit of freshening up?
Guy W

"removing the car from the engine?"

Or do you mean "removing the car from the engine -- with the gearbox attached" ?

It's obvious, it's easier to remove the engine on it's own, and pointless removing the g/box, if your not going to do anything to it, except put it back again.

There's a stronger case for tea over coffee here, than t'other way round. --- Dependant on which of those two drinks you prefer. lol.
Lawrence Slater

I just finished installing the engine in a Spitfire... I'd removed it without the transmission, and I think it actually did simplify things, as this tranny is fitted with the overdrive unit, and is pretty bulky.

When replacing it, the only difficult part was engaging the first-motion shaft all the way into the spigot bush. In fact, a friend and I gave up on the first attempt. I tried it again by myself a few days later and used this technique to get things back together:

The bolts kept the engine and tranny lined up as I selectively tightened each one. Once it was on the verge of engaging the spigot bush, I turned the engine over with a big spanner on the crank pulley, and the shaft slipped home nicely.

Doing the same job on a Midget would be a little more difficult; the Spitfire provides amazing access to everything with the bonnet off (or merely open); with the Midget, you'd be a little harder pressed get to the bolts/nuts.

Gryf Ketcherside

This thread was discussed between 05/06/2013 and 06/06/2013

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