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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Engine Turns over but won't start

Hi, I am experiencing a problem on my 74 reg round wheel arch 1275 midget, in error I left my ignition on for about an hour when my midget wouldn't start, when I went back to try and start it again there was a hot electrical smell and the coil was very hot, I have now no live to the coil and points, but have a live at the ignition switch, has anyone any ideas how I can sort it out?
P Thompson

P - >>I checked for a live at the points with a test light, I have also checked the ignition switch and there is a live there too<<

unless you mean there is NOT a live there too (ignition switch)

wouldn't it perhaps just be you've burnt the points out?

can you burn a condensor out????
Nigel Atkins

Sorry just remembered you said there was no live to coil

Do you have a wiring diagram - the owners Handbook is an excellent source of info, Haynes is a good companion to the owners Handbook and also has wiring diagrams

are your fuel pump and ign light working?
Nigel Atkins

If the engine was stopped with the points closed when the ignition was left on, you may have burnt out the coil or the cable feeding to it from the ignition switch.

As a temporary measure connect a length of wire directly from the positive battery to the coil (so bypassing the ignition switch and wiring hidden in the loom). This will power the coil. Remove the distributor cap and turn the engine a little if necessary to get the contacts to close. Then with a thumb nail or small screwdriver flick the contact breaker points and watch for a blue spark. If they spark, then the coil is OK. Sit in the sun and have a beer to celebrate. You have got away with it!

DONT leave the temporary "hot Wire" connected whilst you drink your beer or you WILL need a new coil.

If you don't get a spark you gave already burnt out the coil. Sit in the sun with a beer to console yourself until the shops open and you can buy a replacement.


It's the >>I have now no live to the coil and points<< no live TO coil that gets me, but could just be a typo

we're going out very soon but I can post a wiring diagram later if needed
Nigel Atkins

That is why I suggested it could be the wire between the ignition switch an the coil that has failed. I did say "hidden in the loom" but in my experience the weak point is where the spade connector is soldered to the wire at the coil end. Hot wiring would bypass this and confirm the problem.
The significant advice today is to sit in the sun with a beer and contemplate.

Do you have a live at both sides of the ignition switch?

Do you have 12v on the white wire at the fuse box?
Dave O'Neill 2

Guy sorry yes you did I was rushng

kick back and relax good advice

it's the old two person wiggle test for spade connector or just swapping it out but as you put a by-pass wire would confirm
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2011 and 25/04/2011

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