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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Frogeye battery - basic question please

I need to replace the frog battery. I will replace like for like with an 036 battery.
But a really stupid question, please. The battery terminal connection of the lead that runs to the starter motor is one of those really old types, that fits over the terminal, and is secured with a screw from above. There is a lug inserted in this terminal that I assume runs to the control box.
I dont have a lot of confidence in this type of connector. I would be much happier having the more common form of terminal, with a nut and bolt to secure it snugly from the sides.
I see Moss still only shows the old style. Is there anywhere I can source a "newer" style of lead? - It needs to have facility to take the lead to the control box, of course.

Thanks, Graham
Graham V

I would try your local Halfords or other vendor. Take what you have with you and tell them you want one just like it except with the newer battery terminal.

I drive since 1959 with the same original connector that you describe. No problems so far.


Flip Brühl


There's a selection here...

You could fit a ring terminal to the control box wire and attach it to the bolt, or relocate it to the other end of the battery cable at the solenoid/starter switch.
Dave O'Neill 2

Thanks for the comments
I was thinking to do as Dave suggests. It does seem strange that the "lug" wire runs from the battery, under the dashboard, then back out to the control box, when instead it could have run the very much shorter route from the starter switch straight to the control box about a foot away.
But I do also take on board what Flip says, if it ain't broke.... I assume I have to drill a hole in the battery terminal to take a self tapper. I do remember in my youth, having friends who's car wouldn't start, and I would give this type of terminal a little twist, and like magic the car would spring into life. Hence my concern. And the lug for all power other than the starter motor, does seem a bit crude - but I guess it is authentic

Graham V

Those original battery terminals can be a bit unreliable, as you say. I had them on my MGB and replacement batteries sometimes had posts which were slightly too small, causing issues with starting and charging. It's also not easy to drill holes in them.
Dave O'Neill 2

To drill holes you have to take the battery out. And yes, a self tapper is what you need. Some copper grease and voila no more concern till the battery has to be renewed.
Flip Brühl

Vehicle wiring products are very good. I have had all sorts from them. If you want a special tell them and they will quote you for the made up article.
Dave Squire

I have the original battery connection terminals on my Frog and they are fine providing you have clean terminals and the self tapper is well secured. The clamp variety are possibly more reliable as they have a stronger securing action. You pays your money etc etc
Bob Beaumont

I fitted a spare battery to the new frogeye which came with o e of those self tapping connectors. I just screwed the self rapper into the negative battery terminal without drilling. I made sure that I didn't overtighten it. Not had any problems so far and its really quick to undo.
G Lazarus

The simple solution if your cable is still in great shape is to cut off the part that goes onto the battery and get a replacement modern battry post connector ..they are cheap and common in any auto parts store

You just peel back tje insulation an inch slide the bare cabe wires into the slot and tighten down the 2 securing nuts a little vasoline inside the clamp and secure it to thw battry...done

Hardest part is cutting off the old battry clamp from its cable

1 Paper

Sorry ..its a long link to amazon but it will show you what i mmean and you can get varioua qualities thesew are really cheapos but will do well for several years

1 Paper

Sorry i meant to say those listed in the link are cheapos and you can get clamps in diffrant qualities ...ive had those oones ive listed as an example and they did well for severwl years but because of the metal content they corroad over timewhere they monut to the cable because these are steel and the cable was copper..not a good mix next to a battry ...still for $4.00 they lasted. 3 years with out issue ontill they got thegreen powdery dieseas

The clampson my midget still look new 12 years later but there lead tyoeof alloy same as the batt post and my cables metal was combatable ... and they cost about $20 a pop there is a range in these things

1 Paper

Thanks for all the feedback.I think I will change over to the more modern type of clamp. I just feel more confident with it.

But strangely enough I have now discoveredthe battery isnt dead! It was to be my first outing of the year, and the starter wouldnt turn, and I just assumed a dead battery. But having put it on charge, it came up to full charge very quickly indeed, and has held the charge.

What I have found is the starter pull button, isnt working. The switch (no solenoid), starts fine if I pull it from under the bonnet, but pulling the knob from inside the car does nothing. I havent had time to look more closely, but I assume it needs some form of adjustment on the connector between the mechanical cable and the switch. Does that make sense?

Graham V

Does that make sense?

Absolutely. If you can operate it from under the bonnet, it should be an easy fix.
Dave O'Neill 2

Yes it probably does need adjustment but I found mine went like that. It would operate under the bonnet but not for some reason on the cable?? I changed it and all was well.
Bob Beaumont

To adjust it, do I just release the lock screw and pull the inner cable through a little?
I was surprised to see there is no bracket on the outer cable by the switch - not sure if thats right? I looked on Moss, and none is shown but for the both the MGA and Morris Minor that have a very similar set up, there is a bracket (see (2) in pic)


Graham V

Try adjusting the cable first. If It still does not operate, don't buy a modern retro with white insulation at the back, as these are utter garbage.

If you need an original switch I have a few in a box somewhere -I usually ask £20 including shipping. These are MUCH better than the reproductions. Have a look on, as it is exactly the same switch on the frog.
Dominic Clancy

These are very basic switches that can often be repaired. A few small cuts to the swaging which can then be rolled back and the switch is apart.
Alan Anstead

Thanks for the offer and advice, but the switch itself seems fine, as it always works when activating from under the bonnet. I have tried tightening the cable a bit but it doesn't seem to make much difference. I am still wondering if the issupoosed to be some form of bracket as per the picture I posted earlier from the M Minor, as mine has no bracket.
Or should I put a spacer/washers on the switch under the lock nut to move the switch further forward possibly?
It does work occasionally from the pull knob in the car, but only very occasionally.
Thanks, Graham
Graham V

Mine has never had a seperate bracket. Just the one the actual switch is mounted on. Your switch is displaying the same symptoms mine did before I replaced it. I agree with Dominic go for NOS as repro is poor quality.
Bob Beaumont

I have an old memory of this type of switch from a car belonging to one of my dad's mates. ISTR it was a TC? Maybe not - the same bloke had an Austin 7.

Anyway it worked only intermittently so I took it apart and found the contacts pretty burned. A careful clean up sorted it out.

Some cars may use a bracket for the cable, depending on the routing.

Spridgets - and A35s, for that matter - have a very straight run between the pull and the switch, so no need for a bracket.
Dave O'Neill 2

RHD cars had a straight line to the starter switch.LHD cars had the starter cable offset to the left, on the opposite side of the battery, thus the bracket. (129039)
J Bubela

Thanks for that explanation Dave and JB. That makes perfect sense.

As soon as I can get some free time, I will have another go at adjusting it, but if that doesn't work I would be very grateful to take up Dominic's kind offer.

Graham V

Dominic - Is the offer still on? I think my starter needs replacing and as advised have read what Barney has said about the modern replacements.
My email is gmv22 at hotmail dot co dot uk

Many thanks, Graham
Graham V

This thread was discussed between 06/04/2017 and 13/04/2017

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