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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Oops silly me and 2ndly a serious question or two!

First the Oops silly me bit.

After putting the engine back into the race midget I picked up a funnel to put the coolant back in. It felt a bit greasy so I gave it a wipe out, however what I hadn't realised was we'd used this very funnel to fill up the EP90 bottle from a gallon container to refill the box and in a nutshell my nice clean coolant was foaming excessively. At first I thought the head gasket had gone, but there no emulsification in the rocker cover and the oil continually checks out to be clean oil.

So after three complete changes of coolant the foaming is getting less, but how can I get rid of it totally?

Secondly, after using the old blue road midget for a couple of weeks whilst Jen was away with the family car there was a graunching noise which occurred when the clutch pedal was depressed (it made me depressed too!). So now the race car is back together I thought we'd pull the engine out of the road car which we did today. The release bearing is perfect, not crumbling, has a nice even face and even the lugs haven't worn oval. I took the clutch cover off and the pressure plate is quite smooth and shiny, so I reckon that needs to be changed, is it better to change the clutch cover (housing) at the same time even though it looks okay with no pitting or blueing?

Finally, on the road midget engine, I've noticed that the two rear core plugs have streaks of rusty water marks coming from them and it does appear that they may be slightly porous, are these simple to change and if so how? Is it a matter of punching them with something sharp to get them out and then press fitting some new ones into the apertures after?

Hopefully I want to get all of this done next weekend as I'm running out of weekends soon.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated!


Andrew McGee

Maybe some dishwashing machine detergent?
Trevor Jessie

What oil did you put in the gearbox?

Do you mean the clutch FRICTION plate was smooth and shiny? How much material is left on it? Are the rivets near the surface?
Dave O'Neill 2


I got some great advice here on the BBS several months back for similar on my truck, I had a blown head gasket and oil was flowing into the coolent.

people here suggested dishwasher soap and and other cleanser solutions that cut oil

I got a bottle of dawn dish soap and ran it thur with a garden hose, and kept at it for about 5 washs, it did a great job, but it takes awhile to wash ALL the soapy foam out

I figure if they use dawn dish soap on oil covered animals in the gulf oil disaster, it should work okay in the cooling system...and it did!


I'm suggesting dishwashing machine liquid because it bonds oil/water and does NOT foam.
Trevor Jessie


Core plugs are surprisingly easy to replace. Puncture the old one in the centre with a screwdriver and lever it out, Care not to damage the seating in the block. Clean any debris, add a smear of sealant to the stepped edge of the hole and put the new core plug in with the domed side outermost. Then you tap the middle of the dome with a hammer. As this partially flattens it causes the edge "skirt" to splay outwards, gripping the seating area stepped edge of hole.

Guy Weller


EP90 into the gearbox, yes it has been a source of raised eyebrows many times over, however a certain Mr Shannon recommended it for the Dog Boxes we run and it certainly hasn't caused either of them to become worn over the course of the several years use that we've put them to.

Yes to the friction plate, there's only a very slight amount of raised bit left and it's extremely shiney however the rivets aren't flush with the surface yet, but are getting close. It's a standard clutch btw.

Thanks Trevor and Prop, I'll have a look into that after the next race when I've got a bit more time.

Guy, thanks, again I'll understand that better when I've got some more core plugs before this weekend.

Cheers fellas!

Andrew McGee

This thread was discussed on 15/08/2010

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