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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Putting the Pedal Box Back

I think I might do this next, while I wait for some brake pipes to arrive. Can anybody think of any common pitfalls that I haven't thought of?

(Dual master, of course)
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Not really it all bolts back in quite easily. Of course you have to assemble the master cylinder and the pedals in the box before installing. I protected my cylinder with a coat of clear laquer to keep it looking smart. I assume you are using a new gasket and sponge rubber draft seal. The second bolt on the right hand side of the plate (looking from the drivers seat) is slightly longer so you can attached the clip to hold the speedo cable.
Bob Beaumont

Nick

Put the pedal rubbers on before installing the pedal box, saves a bit if scrabbling round in the footwell particularly if like me you have rubbish repo ones.

Second tip might be to fit a remote clutch bleed kit.

Finally before you fit it, are there any footwell or bulkhead jobs that would be made easier without the pedal box (wiring, throttle pedal, dip switch, steering column rubber seal into foot box, foot box blanking rubbers, foot box trim panel fitting etc?) If so, think about doing them now.

Are you sticking with an organ pedal throttle pedal or switching to a later one (straight swap)?

Cheers
Mike
M Wood

Mike, is the organ pedal not as good or is it personal preference? Didn't know they were straight swop.
Bill Bretherton

I have bought an organ pedal for my Frog, though on my '71 car I opted to change to the later 1500 style pedal.
But what I need are the dimensions for the bolt positions on the floor, unless that just becomes obvious when I attach it to the lever?

Mike, why didn't I think of fitting the pedal rubbers on before instaling the pedal box !!

I did however, grind one of the flats down on the pedal pivot bolt head. This then allows the bolt to be undone as normal, but then gives it enough clearance by aligning the flat with footwell lid the reinforcing frame, so it can be withdrawn for pedal removal whilst the pedal box is still bolted down.

On my '71 car I added grease nipples to the pedal bushes so I can lubricate and discourage siezure (both me and pedals). But I forgot to do this on the Frog with the excitement of applying paint.

Nick, did you visit your blacksmith friend for a bit of steel plate?
GuyW

Thanks, Bob. I had forgotten how much assembly I have to do before the box goes in.
Mike - great list of prep work. I hadn't thought about the dip switch. The rest of your items aren't as pleasurable as putting the pedals in, but all sensible, especially for pensioners who need all the elbow room they can get.
I wish I'd thought of grinding the bolt head, Guy, on several cars I've had. I will look at the organ pedal fixings today sometime. Yes, Marcus is poised to supply steel plates when I need them. Still bemused by my dimness.

Brake flexibles have arrived, which IS exciting, so I might do them first.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Just been out to see if the garage is habitable, and to get some wood in. After noting down the pedal dims, I think I might stay indoors a bit longer. Minus one at the garage floor.

All dimensions concern the back edge of the baseplate, where mine has a little upstand to the hinge. The big check dimension is as the crow flies. The 3 1/8" is to the footwell vertical (almost) front panel.


Nick and Cherry Scoop

Thank you Nick. Detailed and most helpful, as always from you :-) I just wish you would sign your drawings as I am sure they will become valuable collectors' items very soon.

Incidentally, and this may be being over fussy, but whenever I have to drill a fresh bolt hole or even a pilot for a self tapper, I use a little artist's brush and run a lick of paint around the edge of the hole. So often on old shells, rusting has started and crept out from where such holes have been made, even from factory when made after a shell has been painted.
GuyW

Primer and top coat? Or what? It's a great idea, and since I have a half-opened tin of underseal, maybe it should be that, though a stiffer brush would be needed - maybe one of Laura's oil painting ones. SSHhhhh.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nick, might be easier to install speedo cable at this time too? Isn't it held by a P-clip on the lower half of one of the pedal box retaining screws? (it is on the later pedal box).
David Smith

Good point, David. I saw the new cable in a crate the other day. Probably can find it again.
Guy - oddly enough, I started my graphic list just the other day, like I did for Little Blue. And I've now added a note to it, to check body holes for paint coverage.

BTW, when I said half-opened underseal, I meant half-empty.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nick, I think any suitable paint will do. It only needs to seal the broken edge of the painted steel to keep moisture out. Painted steel won't rust. Once a bolt or other fastening, or even a grommet, is inserted into the hole the edge and the paint around it won't show. I mostly use hammerite or chassis black paint as it is reasonably thick and dries quickly. Colour doesn't matter as it won't show.

I did this when rebuilding my '71 car in the early 1990s and although rust has developed in places since then, it hasn't started from any of the fixture holes.
GuyW

Since Mike mentioned the dip switch, I recalled that it was the dipswitch that prompted this whole refurbishment: I was driving home one evening, pressed the dipswitch and my headlights went out. Checking round the connections, I saw the bonnet close-to and decided to take her off the road and get her painted.

Anyway, I never did solve the dipping problem, so:-
- has anyone known failure of the switch?
- if I unscrew the top screw, will things leap out at me?
- are new ones reliable? (24.50, and on backorder)
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Couldn't wait. What a beautiful and fragile-looking Lucas solution. Which has lasted 58 years. One of the assembly screws missing, naturally.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Screws?

I'm sure I found a dip switch in the garage recently. I don't remember it being screwed together.

I will have to look when I get home.
Dave O'Neill 2

Here it is, with the unfilled hole in the plastic base, where it screws to the metal baseplate.


Nick and Cherry Scoop

I have heard that the repro ones are vulnerable as the contacts are much poorer. Its best to use a relay to lower the load on the contacts. The originals are fine as they are. Mine has been in there for 60 odd years and still works ok. As insurance though I did pick up a NOS lucas one at an autojumble for a fiver.
Bob Beaumont

Thanks Bob. These contacts look like they can take lots of volts romping through them. It's the ignition switch terminals I worry about. I shall return at the right time to ask where to get relays, and what the random numbers mean.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Another artistic rendition for the portfolio Nick!
GuyW

Can't help myself, Guy. Lists that are just words and numbers are no good for me. I've just started my master list, beginning with a rough sketch of Cherry in the middle, and adding things to do/things to buy as I go along. It has to be something I can bear to look at, sitting on the sofa of an evening.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

That looks quite different to the later Spridget/Minor/MGB version.

It's no wonder I didn't recognise the description.
Dave O'Neill 2

Dave, yes the frog and possibly Mk11's had a different switch. I believe it was the same as the Morris Minor. the terminals are screws rather than spade.
Bob Beaumont

I like those terminals - really solid. Are they just called 'screws'? BTW, as well as the hole each end for fixing the switch baseplate to the bracket, there's a smaller, threaded hole. Perhaps something for a different application.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nick, Screw terminals are my definition ie not Spade! I agree they seem much more secure. but I guess more costly to produce. The Frog has screw terminal connections throughout (with the exception of the indicator switch) a bit of a hark back to an earlier era!
Bob Beaumont

That's good, Bob. I like them.
I assume that the hole for the dipswitch cable is the big one at top right of this shot? I don't have a picture of it as was.


Nick and Cherry Scoop

Yes Nick that's the one!
Bob Beaumont

While I've got you, Bob, I recall that you (or someone) advised me not to tighten the rear suspension fastenings finally until she was back on her wheels. I've just put the wheels on, and am about to take the axle stands away and let her down. Is it better to back the nuts off before lowering?

Or, did I dream the whole thing?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

No dreaming! You can securely tighten the actual spring mounting bolts whilst its on the stands eg the U bolt and the bolts that pass through the spring as they don't move. I would tighten the bolts in the spring eye and the radius arm once the weight of the car is on the wheels. Basically anything that involves a rubber bush!

Bob
Bob Beaumont

So that hole for the dipswitch cables must be for the blue/white and blue/red outputs only? The third wire must come direct from the ignition switch and beneath the lid of the footwell. Or does it go out with the main bunch of cables at the right hand side of the bulkhead, across and back in again through that hole? That would seem a long way round!
GuyW

Guy there are 3 cables blue /white blue red and blue. The blue supply is in the main loom and comes from the switch. The loom runs down beside the pedal box and contains the 3 cables.
Bob Beaumont

Yes Bob, the blue is the third one supplied from the switch that I meant. But starting from the lighting switch, does it go straight to the dipswitch on the floor, or does it go through the bulkhead by the A -post, top right, and then across and back down through that hole that Nick photographed?

I had previously assumed that all three cables went from the dipswitch up to behind the dash, where the blue connected to the lighting switch and the other two went across to the A-post and through the large grommet in the bulkhead there.
GuyW

Sorry Guy, Yes the blue wire goes through the bulkhead then across to the hole. It doesn't go directly to to the switch. A bit long winded as you say!
Bob Beaumont

Thanks Bob. Lucky I haven't wrapped that bit of the loom yet! The loom is still "work in progress"
GuyW

A bit late getting back: we've had vizzies overnight. Thanks Bob.

You've confused me now, Guy. But surely one of the wonderful things about a loom is that it's designed to let three wires in a nice wrapping go through one hole, so that idiots like me can wire the car up. What happens on the engine bay side of the grommet is worked out by someone cleverer.

Are you designing your own routes, or following existing practice?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

No Nick, I was not designing my own route, but I am making my own loom. The blue wire feeds from the ignition switch on the dash to the dip switch. The obvious direct route would be for it to go straight down the top left corner of the footwell, alongside the steering column. In the absence of a loom to copy that is what I have done.

It was your comment about wires for the dip switch going through that grommet hole that woke me up. It seems a long way round to go from the ignition switch, via the big grommet near the top of the A post, and then back across again.
GuyW

Does the Frog not have a separate small loom to connect the dipswitch to the main loom?

Later cars did.


Dave O'Neill 2

Yes it does. There's a sub-loom that runs along the back of the dash, picks up the headlamp feed, rejoins the main trunk as it passes through the bulkhead, and that feed joins the main/dip wires in a new little sub-loom to go down to the dipswitch.

'Long way round' is the price you pay for a practical loom that you can take out in one piece, I guess.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Dave,

like the 'extenders' on your clutch and brake reservoirs. Do they help when topping up?
Jeremy MkIII

Girling master cylinder extenders available from:
http://race.parts/Catalogue/Braking/Reservoirs/Girling-Reservoirs/GIRLING-RESERVOIR-EXT-64475476

https://www.merlinmotorsport.co.uk/p/girling-reservoir-extension-gmc-rex

Cheers
Mike

M Wood

Dave, why is your distributor sticking up like that?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

It was a 43D with a side-entry cap.

Standard would be either DS2, 23D or 25D, but with a screw terminal side-entry cap.
Dave O'Neill 2

But it looks vertical. You can't see mine from there. And where's your heater? What engine is it?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nick

It's just that the cap is angled 90 to clear the steering column.

At the time, Aldon were only supplying 43D distributors, so the angled cap had to be used.

Heater...in a race car? ;o)


Dave O'Neill 2

Der.

Thank you for your patience.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Cheers for the links Mike, didn't know they existed - just shows you can learn something new everyday.

Nick, are we there yet? Is it fitted? Can we have an artist's rendition of it in place?
Jeremy MkIII

Sorry Jeremy. It's going backwards at the moment. I blame Mike for all those good ideas about what to do beforehand.

Cherry's back on her wheels, with the rubber bushed spindle nuts all slack, and I've bounced up and down, but she don't arf sit high. Five inches from tread to arch!


Nick and Cherry Scoop

Looking good Nick :)
Be worried if it was sitting lower, what with all the stuff you've yet to add such as th' engine etc.
Like the colour.
Jeremy MkIII

Ha ha! The pedal box is in.

What I want to know now is, has anybody got a cunning method for getting the speedo cable grommet in?!!? The access from both sides is awful, and I've just spent an hour trying it every which way. I think it may be a two-man job.

Ta Jeremy. I like it too
Nick and Cherry Scoop

This is the extension for the Lockheed master cylinders.

http://www.minispares.com/product/classic/BHA4661.aspx

Moss show it as NCA
Dave O'Neill 2

Ah ha i remember doing that!! I ended crawling into the footwell. I put the grommet on the speedo cable then fed the speedo cable through the hole to line it up then used the blunt screwdriver to push the grommet in place.
Bob Beaumont

Tell you what, Bob - you must be supple. Tomorrow I'm thinking of getting Laura to maintain a steady pressure on the grommet from the footwell side, while I pull through with tiny pliers from the engine bay.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nick

Sorry I am the cause of all your extra work!

Speedo cable grommet - did this just before refitting the dash.

And a very late reply (sorry) to Bill Bretherton who asked 'is the organ pedal not as good or is it personal preference? Didn't know they were straight swop'.

Yes, it is personal preference after I had an organ throttle pedal jam fully down on my MkII Sprite. Not fun. Turns out that a previous owner's home fabricated replacement floor panel was a bit different from stock and the pedal mounting holes in the new floor weren't quite correctly located.

Phoned Andy Jennings mg spares and got a secondhand later one sent to me. Threw organ pedal to back of garage and said 'bo****ks' to originality.

The later pedal can be mounted using the same two threaded holes and bolts that are horizontal on the bulkhead and using the same plastic P clips that come with the later pedal. The existing throttle cable end connection worked fine too with the 'new' pedal assembly (it is in one piece - pedal, horizontal cross shaft and cranked bit to attach the cable to).

In the spirit of this thread, put the pedal rubber on first. May have to use Evostick, depending on how rubbish the repo one is (anyone found any good pedal rubbers?)

Cheers
Mike
M Wood

I had an organ pedal fail when the hinge broke and the pedal just collapsed under my foot.

I happened to be overtaking at the time. There was a turning on the right, so I took it.
Dave O'Neill 2

One last question (though I may report again on the grommet; Laura refused to help today, but I'm still hopeful). What's the easiest way of filling up the new braking system? I was thinking of simply filling the reservoir and seeing if the fluid goes gradually downhill over the next month or so. But then it occurred to me that the very first bend is higher than the fluid level. I need a late MGA-style extension (47.15).
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Mike,
pedal rubbers for my '73 midget haven't been on my list of piss-poor rubber parts.

I've had two sets for my present Midget, just because they wear on the edge because of the way I must press the pedal, and I've found them to be a good tight but reasonably easy fit and they've not come loose.

IIRC they were all from MGOC Spares, if I get a chance I'll check my (paper) files.
Nigel Atkins

Truly the last post from me on this topic. I've used Greygate GPO Telephones polish on the voltage regulator box, and I can't wait to get started on the heater blower!

(grommet is in)


Nick and Cherry Scoop

Sorry, just one more. Searching for something else in my many boxes, I came across this. It's a push-fit over the front of the pedal box, and I wondered if any standard cover like this was ever offered by accessory shops. This one's homemade by the looks of it, though very nicely.


Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nice little accessory never seen any thing like it before though.

As regards braking system I would use the easi bleed if you have one. I did it without one the first time and it took ages to pump it all round the system. One cramped leg etc etc.
Bob Beaumont

Just used easybleed for the clutch on the new Frogeye after fitting Gaps engine and gearbox. Ive never understood why you would want to use any itjer method.
G Lazarus

Had to share this. Looking through the photo-archive for some help on how things go under the bonnet, I came across this from 2006, exactly one month before Le Mans. Pedal box cover off, but fuse box cover on. I think it was an aerosol cap or similar, held by a tiny clip which I still have. Can't remember where I lost the cover - probably at the roadside in France.


Nick and Cherry Scoop

This thread was discussed between 16/03/2018 and 01/04/2018

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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