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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Gearbox Rebuild

Just want to share an ?error in the Haynes Manual Gearbox reassembly step 7.2 "Make up a piece of tube the same diameter as the layshaft and the length of the laygear plus thrust washers..."

The point is that the thrust washers have outwards facing tages that have to sit in litle recesses in the front and back walls of the gearbox.

However, if you dont get the layshaft right to the bottom of the box there won't be enough space to re-install the input shaft.

I wasted hours and days until I boldly disregarded the Haynes manual and cut the dummy shaft pipe shorter so that although the thrust washers stayed in position with their tags in the recesses the rest of the layshaft dropped properly out of the way.

Next time I might thread a piece of string through it all to help reposition the layshaft once the input shaft was back in etc.

Has anyone tried that?
Seamus Lefroy-Brooks

I’m guessing that you’re referring to the 1500 gearbox, as it doesn’t sound like the A-series ‘box.
Dave O'Neill 2

You don't need string
after the top shafts are in just gently roll the box upside down and the cluster will line up with the holes
William Revit

Thanks for sharing, there are a few other errors in the Haynes too but you find errors in just about any set of info particularly databases, cross-reference lists and the web. :)
Nigel Atkins

Yes midget 1500.
Thanks all

Seamus Lefroy-Brooks

Honest looking car you've got, you would get a better steering feel with a bigger steering wheel (the originals were 15.5").

Earlier rear light lenses, perhaps suggesting there might be other interesting features on the car?
Nigel Atkins

Nigel, we’ll have to agree to disagree re the steering wheel. I fitted a 13” Moto-Lita that came off a B it didn’t suit, IMHO it transformed my Midget, I made it feel much livelier. This is one of my three favourite mods, the others being replacing the throttle cable with a Teflon lined cycle brake cable and replacing the flexible brake hoses with SS braided items.

Apologies for going off thread

R.A Davis

could be a matter of personal taste as I gave an old 15.5" steering wheel to a 1500 owner to try as a replacement to a smaller wheel fitted by a PO and that owner after trying the 15.5" wheel said he couldn't see why anyone would want the smaller wheels. The small wheel will give a quicker turn but in my experience with A-series Spridgets the 15.5" is lively enough, but TBH I don't really know about 1500 as I can't remember ever driving one.

I've also got PTFE lined accelerator cable and flexible brake hoses, I can't remember a huge difference with either but particularly with the brake flexi hoses it was so long ago I've probably forgot. I think the brake flexi-hoses are a very good idea, some say they stop squeezing off to isolate or find problems but I've never had difficulty. And I think the PTFE lined accelerator cable is more noticeable on the 1500 because of the mechanism to the carbs.

It's good to have different thoughts, opinions and experiences given as most things aren't black or white.

After sorting the brakes obviously the best improvement I think are good and suitable tyres as they affect the braking, steering, road holding, handling, ride comfort and noise.
Nigel Atkins

Im with Bob on the 13inch steering wheel.
Its easier to get in-out the car, more room for your knees (im 1.83mtr ish) and great handling.

15.5 sounds like the steeringwheel from the Titanic :)
A de Best

I guess its down to personal preference. I tried a 14" wheel but went back to 13". The original Frogeye bus sized wheel is in the loft!
Bob Beaumont

the car's called a Midget, they made another model for 6 footers with thick thighs, it's called a B. :)

My wife doesn't like the standard steering wheel as we both need the seat far forward and for her when driving it catches her boobs, bellies and thighs all at once.

I just breathe in.
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 09/11/2020 and 12/11/2020

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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