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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Removing the engine on a 1500


Daft question but I've not removed an engine before. Got a reliable mechanic assisting (Thanks again Mr Multisheds)so I'm not too worried about making an utter balls up but some advice would be appreciated in terms of a check list of bits I might need.

I know I had better get replacement engine mounts but what other bits along those lines should I think about having on hand while I'm about it?

Attempting a 5 speed conversion on my 1500

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
James Ballard



Have a roll of masking or gaffer's tape handy to cover up the shifter opening in the trans so it doesn't collect a lot of dirt. Same with the carb or carbs and any other opening that should be protected.
If you are running an oil cooler then I suggest some sort of plugs for those lines to keep the oil from leaking all around the area, a couple of corks from some wine bottles will do in a pinch, just make sure you don't leave any bits in the hose when you remove them.
Some type of penetrating oil to soak the bolts for the exhaust with for a couple of days prior to the removeal.
Clutch alignment tool to match the clutch disc spline and what we call the pilot bushing in the crank.
Torque wrench.
Vacuum or pressure bleeder for the clutch. That could take as long as the entire conversion without and you'd use up all your beer in the process. LOL

Bill Young

Drain pans for oil and water. Best if you can drain the fluids first, away from where you are going to work. Remove the radiator and then roll the car to a dry area before proceeding.
Guy Weller

first job without fail ( ok second after beer ) is to get out your digital camera and take as many photos as possible. 100's!!!! It works when you cant work out where things go back
N Sayle

Have a trolley jack ready, as you remove the engine and box, the back of the gearbox will hook itself on its mount. I had this when I took my 1500 out. I jacked it up at the point it hooked then as I removed the whole engine clear it passes the mount point and leaves the trolley jack behind.

Simple job though!

Steve Hipkiss

Several more suggestions on top of the above

If your not going to replace any seals or gaskets..(if its older then 5 years...I would put in a new gasket set while its out) then use an old tire to set the engine into prefably on a piece of 3x3 x 3/4 plywoood with some caster wheels (or skate boards) mounted under the ply wood .... the tire protects the oil pan gasket from crushing thus oil pan leakage

before hand see if you can find to rent or barrow a "blind hole puller"... Just incase the pilot bushing is a bear to remove...for me they always are, as I have never been able to get the stick and grease trick to work...if you cant get the stick and grease trick to work, and cant find a blind hole puller, you can tap the pilot bushing with a long rod and a nut on the end and get an auto body slide hammer and use the slide on the nutted long rod and bang it out that way

remember to drain the tranny fluid 1st BEFORE you remove the drive shaft...thats a big one

remember to remove the 2 bolts on both side of the tranny tunnel under the carpet before you pull

Stress control...This is a big over looked one....get lots of sleep the night before, take lots of breaks, and have a snack bowl of high colarie treats, drink lots of water. Dehidration and high colarie burn will sneak up on you. the old phrase "If your in a hole, stop digging" Definatly APPLYs.... I cant tell you how many times I couldnt get something to fit after 2 hours, took a 15 minute break...came back and it slipped right in....and a good mate standing around doing nothing is always great to have,,,(a huge plus)... having access to this BBS is another huge bonus, and make a list of all your friends that have a good collection of tools you can barrow at the drop of a hat, same with friends you can call that have mechanical knowledge... you will be amazed how lacking your tool collection really is once your into this project

A tap and die set and an easy outs sets are another Must have

some kind of liquid wrench, PB breaker, wd 40...for loosening frozen nuts and bolts

make sure you have good clearance on your lift to the front of the car...I always forget that one. get a balncer for the link between engine and crane (for lack of a better word) its a crank slider that allows you to crank a handle and can raise or lower the front or the back of the engine one way or the other...VARY USEFULL

Not sure on the 1500.... remove the crankshaft pulley and oil pan just before you pull the engine... This will make the pull so much easier and same goes for installation you will need to lift the engine up a few inchs to pull the pulley...then it will clear the front cross member...If this is the case then make sure you break the the crankshaft pulley bolt free before you do any dis-assembly...basically right after you remove the radiator IF you can get a breaker bar and socket between the pulley and the cross member...Unfortantly, I just dont know about 1500s so hope this dosnt apply

use 2 people to remove and install the bonnet, or you will scratch the paint on the firewall

and last... a keg! 6 pack just wont cut it.


>>> Vacuum or pressure bleeder for the clutch. That could take as long as the entire conversion without and you'd use up all your beer in the process. <<<

Funny, I use brake fluid...


Gryf Ketcherside

Thanks for all the help on this. Have bits on order and a six pack pre chilling in the fridge! Going to apply penetrating oil on Friday and leave it to soak over the weekend.

Going to start dismantling on Monday, taking off the wings and bonnet (do I need to rwemove wings do you think? Going for a respray after all this anyway...) and draining the fluids.

Wish me luck!
James Ballard

prior to any work on the engine, cover your computer keyboard with cling film to stop it getting covered in oil when you have to ask questions. sounds a daft one but its worth doing
N Sayle

I woundent sweat will find its easier then it looks...just take lots of pics for all of us to see, and post them every 1/2 hour when you take a break


Partco on the Bridgend industrial estate sell engine degreaser in 5 litre cans. Spraaaaaaay everything and then get some of those long handled saucepan cleaning brushes and bruuuuuuuush everything. Run the engine before and after to keep it running if any water gets in anywhere.
Don't forget the sump! Might be worth doing this several times. Makes the whole job a lot less miserable.

PS I'm on leave this week if you wanted to have a chat. Is the car mobile at the mo?
rob thomas

Hi Rob,

Hadn't thought of that one. will get some degreaser in the morning and get too it! Car not mobile (no MOT... or lights... or steering wheel for that matter!) but is rolling so will be getting it onto the ramps to get at the underneath. might rent a steam cleaner....

but anyway, will give you a call on monday to update.

Thanks everyone.


Regarding the cling film... might put some on my camera too! ;)
James Ballard

This thread was discussed between 12/04/2010 and 16/04/2010

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