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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - take to the hills!!

I hope to take my 1960 on the hills next year.
so I would appreciate some engine ideas.
So Far its had Vandervell competition bearings, bored 1340 CC, Head
ported and new valves. 9.2 . 1 compression.
Cam Piper 731 standard 1 1/4 carbs with Kand N filter
I bought a manifold for a single 1.75 SU.
so what are the thoughts?
P C Knightley

Cue David Smith
Keith Nelson

Maybe the wrong type of hills for Dave !! (muddy ones)
Keith Nelson

If you like the cam then the bigest gains are to be made in a higher CR and a real good head.
And fitting the 1,75SU and having it all properly set up on a roling road
Onno Könemann

PC, following Keith's comment, are you trialling or speed hillclimbing?
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

I agree with Onno. To get the best from that cam you need a lot more CR, and get rid of the basic SUs Weber would be best but single 1.75 would do.
Bob Turbo Midget England

good day gents, its speed hill climbing i want do , down here in
devon and the courses are not that long.
I have a osselli torque master manifold for a 1.75 SU but also a 45 DCO
that was bought for the wifes B GT but no midget manifold.
it has a original single box exhaust which looks very small( but very loud)
P C Knightley

If you want to make the most of your engine with the minimal outlay.

Get a good exhaust manifold and exhaust (an lcb and a rc40 system from magic midget is great for power and verry wel priced)
And fit the big SU on that manifold.
the get it setup on a Roling Road.

If you want to spend more add a good head (Peter Burgess swiftune MED or anny other good place) and add that

If you want to pull the engine and spend more money.
add a wilder cam.

if you have unlimited funds get a race engine built by a respectable engine builder
Onno Könemann

OK, then you're in the up to 1400cc class which means you want to go for 1380cc or you're handicapped straight away.

731 will be a bit mild to be competitive, my 1380 had a 296 cam, which was still pretty tractable on the road. IIRC it was Cooper S spec head and gave 90bhp at the wheels on the rollers. I used a 2" exhaust - Kim at Magic Midget does a good one with a repackable silencer. The DCOE45 was fit-and-forget, you never had to fiddle with it. There's a reason everyone runs them. IMO the 1.5SU won't give enough grunt for hillclimbs.

Then you'll need racewear and that's where I come in :-)


(Shameless I know, but there's a recession on and we all need to pay the bills)
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

Hey Max great advice I thought that I was the only person who ever fitted a Weber and thought that is great. Most on this BBS simply regurgitate the urban myths as they tend to do with camshafs I know the 286 is a great road cam as does Onno so for you to agree with that is great can you comment more often please. LOL
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

If your planning on competing in the MGCC Luffield championship, its worth checking the various classes, as the 'roadgoing a up to 1500cc class' restricts you to the standard carbs, valve sizes and standard overbore (+60' gives 1330cc), the championship visits Wiscombe, Werrington and other sw venues. This class is still primarily roadgoing, where as 'roadgoing b ', and the ASWMC regs are very nearly full race with a tax disc! and allow you to run on list 1b super sticky tyres, use limited slip diff, straight cut box etc etc. You can get decent power/torque with your engine spec, the best mod is weight reduction!, although a frogeye is pretty light already(especially if you have a fibreglass front). Mind you ,,,be warned , it is addictive!.
Kim Dear

I sprint mine and have a 1330 engine, decent exhaust system, Peter may head (fast road ? who knows). Single 1.75 SU. Slightly lowered suspension and a few other bits. I use standard Avon tyres.
I can't compete with the 1380 minis in my class that are road legal but arrive and leave on trailers. They are completely stripped out, run very cammy cams, straight cut gearboxes, barely legal road tyres and would die a death being driven around a town or up a motorway as mine is.
However, I don't really care about them as it's only really me that I'm competing against. As long as my times get progressively faster during the day. I go home happy. In fact I go home happy even when my times don't improve much.
My car can never be competetive against the "road legal" Race cars, the same as they can't just get in their cars and drive to Le Mans and back or potter around town. So decide if you want a pure road legal race car or a happy medium.
Gary lazarus

Strewth that's worrying, Bob & I agree....OK, let's ruin that "Maggie Thatcher was a demi God only let down by being a bit left-wing - discuss". That'll get him going ;-)

But to business:

And sorry for the typo, I did mean a 286 not 296 as I triped.

The engine I described was built as a "fast road" engine and although I never used it on the road it was very tractable on track if lacking a bit in outright grunt - witness my Monza video on Youtube.

The important thing about an A series is getting the gas in and out smoothly, so carburation and exhaust pay dividends, possibly more than cams unless going ultra-wild. Witness my old 1301cc engine which with a "normal" LCB and single box exhaust gave 69bhp at the wheels, but with Kim's excellent 2" system was right on the tail of David S's 1380 (110 @ wheels when it was in my car) at Nordschleife...maybe that's why it went bang LOL.

There, I've plugged Kim's business again, the least he can do is come on here and plug mine - Kim....ooops, done it again!

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

I to think that the weber is the beter choice but the Big SU is easyer for most since su's are the std fitment.

So Max i only plug people who i have bought stuf from (Kim realy gives perfect service!) so i might have to order something from you then......
Onno Könemann

Maggie Thatcher was the heroine of Tony Blair - and now Ed Millthingy - so, I don't even think that "lefties" can argue that anymore ...!!!!

I bought something from Max - twice - and can recommend his service ...!

There's a really really really nice MGA set up for hill climbing for sale by someone I know, should you decide that you'd rather do it in something with less arguing involved :)

Another thumbs up for the 286 & a 45, though i have a DHLA rather than a DCOE.
Max is right Kim is a great fella, did me a good deal on some wheels.
Brad 1380

Hi Max :)

Did you mean that women who we were warned about by Arthur. Now what did he say let me think? Ahhh I remember he told us. "if we don't try and fight she will close all those pits!"

The only thing that went wrong was they fought by goodness but she eventually closed those mines anyway. Strange thing is normally Arthur is blamed for the closures how strange we are!

Max you know my weak spots :)

Back on thread a 286 is probably the best road going cam ever made. It is the best thing Vizard ever did.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

If you go for the MGCC Luffield championship (and I hope you do!), unless you are going to go the whole hog and build a super competetive car then I would just do the simple top end bolt-ons and just have some fun. Both the Roadgoing 'A' and 'B' classes have some really difficult target times (I know cos I cant get near the ones in Road 'B'!) so only the top few cars can get near.

Agree with the 286 choice though I use it with a HIF44, concede it would probably be better with a Weber. Unless you are going all out don't bother with taking it to 1380, just a waste of a block when they are becoming harder to find.

Get up to Prescott this Sunday (3rd of Oct). One of the last events of the season and a good turnout of MG's to have a look at and get a few ideas.

John Payne

Maggie Thatcher is the best that Brittan ever had and she should be cloned to put a new Maggie in power again.
Fight the Unions and get these lazy Brits working again!!!!
Or at least get the Brittish soccer level up where it was.

Arie de Best

hmmmm - did I miss something - did one of the British teams WIN something under Maggie??????

10 beat Twente!
l snowdon

>>>>>>>>>>Get up to Prescott this Sunday (3rd of Oct). One of the last events of the season and a good turnout of MG's to have a look at and get a few ideas.


Stand back and wait for the most breathtakingly shameless plug........

***And I'll be there with the Racewear Roadshow too!***

I'd still run a Weber, otherwise you'll spend hours trawling the archives on this BBS for articles on "how to make my 1.75 SU on Flumkenpush manifold fit under the bonnet". And you'll be forever fiddling with SUs.
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

Thanks for all the info, I would love to go to Prescott but its our 25
wedding using wedding cars tonbridge anniversary so I have been ordered else where!!
Cams carbs and exhaust. The first big thing is rebuild of gear box.
thanks again Pete
P C Knightley

"Stand back and wait for the most breathtakingly shameless plug........

***And I'll be there with the Racewear Roadshow too!***"

Max, do you realize what a great job you have?
Beats painting buildings. :)
Arie de Best

If you are concidering the MGCC Luffield chamionship take a moment to download the regs and have a quick read of them before modifying the car...
d cusworth

PC - there's another could ignore us self-appointed sages, build what you want/can afford, and just go out and ENJOY YOURSELF...there's an easy trap that those of us who've "been there. done it" can fall into, and that's forgetting the fun factor and the sense of achievement at competing in your own handiwork.

Especially with speed events, which is basically run what ya brung. As long as you don't over-modify for a suitable class, you'll have a great time. Competitiveness can come later, when you understand what you're racing against, IMO.

Arie - :-) But I'll just reconsider that for a few hours, it's 0600, p-ing down here, and I've got to go do battle with a gazebo in the worst rainstorm we've had yet this year :-(

Bob - a mate of mine had a racing car that was always breaking down. His crueller friends nicknamed it The Scargill because it never left the pits LOL
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

"PC - there's another could ignore us self-appointed sages, build what you want/can afford, and just go out and ENJOY YOURSELF...there's an easy trap that those of us who've "been there. done it" can fall into, and that's forgetting the fun factor and the sense of achievement at competing in your own handiwork."

I agree with Max - I started sprinting and hillclimbing a Mk11 Midget about 6 years ago - the first objective is to keep it on the island! Once you have a season under your belt you can do some mods over the winter.

There will always be somebody else who is quicker than you but the challenge should be to yourself - just get quicker and quicker - most of the time the limiting factor is the driver not the car!

Have fun, I certainly have!

Video link of me at Prescott in June - enjoy



John Turner (Midget & MGB)

agreed i would recommend Luffield roadgoing mod a as a great starting point - you can make sensible mods to the chassis to make a nice driving car without going too mad on the budget. i would spend more effort on the chassis than the engine. I'm sure when you decide on what spec you will get more than enough advice on what to do (and what not to do) all hard won knowledge!

good luck
d cusworth

I had several years of great fun on the hills with the Norwester championship and would thoroughly recommend it. Have you thought of a day at the Prescot hillclimb school? There is a lot to be gained.

C Bintcliffe

Nice vid JT, much better weather than we had today. It was so windy & wet I didn't trade all day, and those stands that did try soon packed up :-(
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

Agree with Carl regarding the Prescott day. I did this some years ago and found it very useful.

Pity about the weather yesterday Max, try June next year!

John Turner (Midget & MGB)

I've done the Prescott school twice, and enjoyed both occasions. Last one was with Russ Morgan, who obtained the highest score ever recorded - a counter-balance to mine!

Anthony Cutler

Pete (PC K) please upload some pics of your exciting-looking car here! For others, Pete sent me some and they blew me away...

JT - we're hoping to take the racewear Roadshow ( to every Prescott in 2011 so we'll catch you some time. If the 924's ready, I may even enter one :-)

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

hi max, will try and upload some pics but never had much success!
P C Knightley

Pete's asked me to upload the pics he sent me, hopefully it'll work LOL!

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

And again

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

and again...

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

last one!

Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

Wow, i love the looks of that car!!
Its wider on the rear like Rob Griffits K-racer, very smoothly.
Pete, youve painted all the chrome lightrims but did however put on a bling-bling fuelcap...? LOL!!!

I, like others here on the bbs, have done the Prescot Hill drivingschool once last year and can really recommend it!
Learned a lot that day despite it pissing rain all day.
At the end of the day you realize that it isnt about engine-power or brakepower but about skills or the lack of it. :)
A TVR ran into the saftyrail on his second round... and the V8's and Imprezza did not do well either.
Loads of noice but hardly any result.

Really enjoyed my run with Russ Ward in his standard 1.3 fiesta... freaking amazing what the guy can do!
Btw, Russ is one of "us" as he succesfully used to compete hillclimbs in his midget as shown in John Baggots book Migthy Midgets.
Arie de Best

Hi Arie,
Thanks for comments,I am not guilty with the paint or the filler
cap! but it does give the Sebring look.
Who ever did the wings did a lovely job those revs wheels are 8 inches
wide!! I am thinking might have to change them for some 13/6inch.
car was built in 1985/86 but I would love to find out who did the work.
regards Pete
P C Knightley

I like the f'glass bonnet close-line at the side; much nicer looking that one that reaches the sill - and probably easier to open/close too.

(Shame the close mechanisn is so bulky!)

Anthony Cutler

HI A , well the car is 1960 something!! my wife has always wanted a car
with leather bonnet straps, so that kept her happy as I did not tell her
before I bought it.
P C Knightley

Don't forget hillclimbing and sprinting is more about enjoying yourself and improving on your own times than outright competition. There will always be someone with more money, power and youth to ruin your day if you only want to win!
Have fun
Neil Williams

I think id keep the car as it is for the first year. Go and enjoy and then decide after that what to do!!! I used to do the Luffield with my sebring sprite, then got a race midget and the rest was history, ive now been racing in the midget championship since 2002!! So as you see it can be addictive!!


Mark Turner

This thread was discussed between 28/09/2010 and 09/10/2010

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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