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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Great Expectations

On another thread about wishbones I posted a picture of a wishbone supplied by Sussex MG that I returned as not suitable for purpose.
I also returned a stub axle at the same time as the face that the oil seal lip runs on was heavily pitted.
Today I was doing a bench assembly of wishbones and stub axle in preparation for a suspension swap that I am performing on the Masc stand at the Practical Classics Show NEC.
The wishbones were apparently O.K. Having been supplied by Barry King.
The stub axle was supplied by MGOC. The oil (grease) seal running face has grooved. It really needed a speedy sleeve? The top trunnion had two tapped holes in it. Why, goodness only knows!
I swopped the top trunnion for another but really should we have to spend time correcting shoddy parts.
Alan Anstead

Picture of trunnion.

Alan Anstead

Picture of groove in oil seal lip running surface

Alan Anstead

The afore mentioned returned wishbone.

Alan Anstead


You are making a pretty strong case against continuing to own (and restoreand maintain) my 1972 RWA midget over here in the USA. Quality parts availability is becoming much more problematic as the years (and decades) roll by.

My first restoration effort (pre-Internet) in the very early 1980s at least offered me the option of purchasing quality parts from various suppliers in the USA and UK.

This winter, I am now finding myself much more often perusing the local classified adverts in New York State searching for a 10+ year old Miata.

The thought of re-building (this is now my third MG Midget project) my front suspension one more time with Internet sourced parts of dubious quality somewhat daunting...

Mike P.
Buffalo, NY
Mike Pelone

Trunnion holes could be grease nipple holes - to stop squeaking bushes? Or grub screws to stop bushes turning?!
john payne

I would have thought the trunnion holes were for grub screws to stop bronze bushes turning in either a race or adjustable camber eccentric bush system. Might have thought a decent recondition would include fitting a speedy sleeve if required but I guess a "decent" recondition is not an option yet this side of the Atlantic like 20 recon LA dampers.
David Billington


Your pictures just go to show how shoddy some items are from recognised suppliers and where is any form of quality checking.

I have recently bought some items from MGOC which also included two grease plugs and two grease nipples, either the thread is wrong on the plug or the nipple as neither will fit into each other. I suspect they are a BSPT thread and therefore the tap (or die) has not been sufficiently used - my gut feeling is the thread in the plug is not right. I'm lucky as I have a full blown workshop with all the taps and dies I will ever need so a quick adjustment and they will fit each other but many people will not be so lucky.

I remember Mark Evans stating on his Car is Reborn series that some of the replacement parts were rubbish and simple did not fit - he did make a comment that we should all complain, well I do every time I get inferior parts but to no avail.

Apparently we all want cheap items, well I for one don't I would much prefer to pay extra for a decent part in the knowledge that A) it fits and B) it is fit for purpose.
Martyn Wilks

I suspect the answer is, where feasible, to take your own parts to an engineering workshop and pay for them to assess and carry out the work required and to charge accordingly.
Graeme Williams

Im writing to santa early this year in hopes of a 3D printer CNC machine
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Where parts are compatible I use Minispares for parts as their ethos is to supply quality parts. To date I have not been disappointed.
The problem is they supply only some engine and electrical parts.
The greater number of complaints I receive from members relate to Sprite / Midget
Shock absorbers, steering, suspension and brake parts. Now that FWB and ignition problems have been addressed.
Alan Anstead

THe other issue which comes into the equation is about who supplies whom. We have a core of three, four, five (?) suppliers for parts. Often prices are different, which then raises the question as to whether we should buy the most expensive in the hope that it is of superior quality, Or are all suppliers selling items from the same supplier and some are just charging more for the same thing.
It could be an effective marketing policy - charge more so the punters think they are getting a better product than the one sold by the competition.
Graeme Williams

Definitely could be some psychology going on. An old boss of mine mentioned his aunt and uncle bought a seaside gift shop and they thought the prices of the goods was too high compared to what they paid for them so they dropped the prices, business wasn't good. They ran into the previous owners and said as much and also mentioned what they had done regarding prices and the old owners said that was a bad move as if you sell it cheap people will think you're selling cheap tack, make it more expensive and even if you're selling cheap tack, they largely were, people will think it better because of the higher price.
David Billington

This thread was discussed between 02/02/2016 and 05/02/2016

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.