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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Not Spritely (Morris 1000)

Sorry to buzz here..But the Moggie boards being a pain... Ive just Bought a 1000,and in utter dimwittedness I CANT FIND THE BONNET CATCH!!!.... Where is it??? help!
Ross Adams

Looks like near-side under dash see -

you need an owners Handbook !!!

if it like the one I had for a week the very important brake resivour isunder the floor with a cap made of monkey metal

start your checks with the most important thing on the car which is the brake, engine id one of the least important things

I can post my usual advice post if you want

cheers, Nigel
N Atkins

Got the Haynes..and an 'Autobook' but not Owners manual....tons of MOTs and tax receipts... ok..gonna search..back if theres a prob..thankyou Mr Atkins :) !!!
Ross Adams

Nope..not there..any clues people??
Ross Adams

I'm not a fan of the Haynes books they're OK(ish) for doing some repairs but for general ownership, serviceing needs and scedules it's the owners Handbooks

parts catalogues are great (helped here)

I much prefer and find most convenient paper copies but as a back up and when in the warm and comfort of home the electronic copies on DVD are very useful see here -

the Haynes and Autobook will compliment the books I mention but never fully replace them, your life with the car would be easier if you have them

found the brake resivour yet ?

cheers, Nigel
N Atkins

If its the large bolt in the floor with 'Lockheed' on it then yes!

Pulled the gearbox grommet out to check if you fill it ala Spridget..seems the same...
Ross Adams

It's a long time since I hada Moggie - 31 years to be exact - but ISTR that there is a metal rod with a handle, somewhere under the nearside dash.
Dave O'Neill 2

Ross, when I had one for a week it was what I call a fur coat no knickers job nice paintwork and new interior seat covers and carpet but suffered from lack of use and servicing this made the brakes a bit scary for even me used to old cars but even with the usual classic car owner negeclt of full and proper servicing and regular driving the car was pleasant to drive up to about 60 mph with the brakes as they were

a full respray over areas of hidden rust isn't a good idea though

have you seen my 'usual advice to new owners' it would apply equally here, can post it if you want
N Atkins

Please do fella!! I need to hit this with filler.. a full respray is not worth it...I also need to restuff the rear seats.. Charles Ware I must call!!

2nd..daft to ask,but just checking Castrol 20/50w is cool to plonk into any A series lump and box ..yes?? and the brakes are off a Riley,bit bigger,feel a tad better than the usual 5p piece to MANHOLE cover bumhole style of driving older..bigger cars...

And it REALLY does not like going in reverse... so Its going to be a box out,rebuild of at least THAT gear set up...where to get 1098cc NOS from??

Good points are its mechanically sound overall,but needs love...chromes ok though.... Its a great alternative to a Yaris!! :)
Ross Adams

Have you got the bonnet open yet?

Just looked at Nigel's link to the Moss 'site and it would appear to be on the offside, not nearside.
Dave O'Neill 2

Dave, it could even be in the middle by that diagram, it was to one side as I remember under the dash but I'd put no money at all on being right about that

Ross, I think the Moggies suffer from the same as Spridgets in that the lower values and the fact few drive them much mean few owners want to spend on them so parts quality and rebuild and repair quality can suffer but some are used as dailies so can be very practical

I used to sometimes see a 1275 drop top it went very well never hanging about

20/50 for engine (and box if standard but check Handbook)

reverse - could it be clutch adjustment or lack of use ? (fluid if converted) or level or state of oil in box, lever bits or remote selector - check stuff and enquire on moggie boards before thinking of dropping the box

with full servicing and regular use the car will get better

usual to follow
N Atkins

Hi, welcome,

My advice to you as a new owner -

Buy an owners Handbook and read it thoroughly as it tells you so much you need to know to own, drive, service and maintain your car and itís very useful to have as a paper copy even if you get electronic copies later, one example only, other suppliers around, ask owners clubs -

Always have the battery in good condition and all battery connections and leads clean, secure and protected, same for all electrical wiring and connections

As soon as possible after purchase do a full and proper 36,000 miles service only miss out items that you have 100% proof have already been done very recently, including;
g/box and back axle oils
brake (and clutch?) fluid(s)
dissy cap, rotor arm and leads (buy good quality ones) -
fan belt

For a coolant change drain the whole system - engine block, rad and heater matrix if you can get any of these out to give them a good shake at the same time as flushing and back flushing then all the better - the sequence is use cleaner as per its instructions then flush, back flush and flush and continue this until water runs clear, refill with the correct coolant mixture but bear in mind in tap water isnít always the best water to use

If you clean the whole of the coolant system and also renew the seals and foam around the heater matrix you will find the heaters can get very hot

As new rubber cooling hoses tend to be poor quality now this is also a good chance to change them to silicone and rounded-edge clips -

Be aware that brand new parts can sometimes be faulty, especially electrical bits (see just above) so donít discount them when problem solving just because they are new, buy good quality parts

Check the age of your tyres if they are 6 years old or more replace ASAP regardless of tread depth, this will improve the braking, steering, ride, handling and possibly noise and safety of the car greatly

Use the car regularly - to get used to it, sort out any wrinkles and prevent the problems that occur with lack of use, and to enjoy it

Every few weeks check your horn, wipers and all switches work and heater valve turns on and off (all no problem if you use the car regularly)

Follow regular checks, servicing and maintenance as per owners Handbook

Drive in all weathers, the car was designed to do so and must be good in rain and snow(?)

Do not do any cosmetic or improvement work for at least 12 months of regular use, unless you need to replace parts or components, as you may need to use the money elsewhere on the car

Also very useful, you can get suppliers catalogues for free to get you started to see where things go but in my personal opinion theyíre not as good as a paper copy like of the factory Parts Catalogues

You can also get an excellent DVD that includes original Parts Catalogues, Parts Fiches, Workshop Manuals and owners Handbooks to have in electronic format -

Cheers, enjoy your car

oh and photos (one per post only on here) would be nice to see, exterior, interior and under the bonnet please :)
N Atkins


The MMOC (Morris Minor Owners Club) 'Messageboard' is usally very good - have you tried it?

The bonnet catch is on the Rh side of the car, under the dash, and above the parcel shelf, just above the steering column and heater inlet trunking. It is a metal ring that releases the first part of the bonnet catch.

The second part is the catch under the centre of the bonnet, above the grille.

Good luck!

Richard Wale

Richard, I only had a freind of a freind's Moggie for a week to prepare it, and his bundle of paperwork, for sale

as the car was painted black and I've no garage I had to wash it 2 or 3 times and the paint was so soft that when a mate who should have known better ran his finger over some dust he put small scratches in that I had then to get out

driving it a whole 15 miles caused one of the front brakes (IIRC) to bind until it cooled down, or course 15 miles in to the return journey it started to heat up and bind again (that could have been missed on a short test drive)

the car was soon sold for a lower price as the seller realised that was needed by I don't know if the buyer got a good deal I just done the cleaning and list of things about the car

I did enjoy driving it though and one in good condition would be a treat
N Atkins

Hi Ross

There are quite a few of us Spridgeters who have a Morris too. All advice above is good.

Just a thought - I'd just ask - is it a very early Moggy with the non-remote, smooth case box? The one with a L--O--N--G lever, usually in a Split-screen car? If so reverse requires a PULL UPWARDS on the lever, before whacking it right towards your left knee and then back. I'd never seen this 'box before when I bought one, and nearly took it out thinking it was faulty!

Excuse for a pic of my OTHER Moggy, with a Spridget SC/CR box. And the brake master cylinder under the floor. And discs but no servo (better feel)


Andy Pie-Crust

This thread was discussed between 03/07/2011 and 06/07/2011

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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