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MG MGA - 1622 Pistons and Rods


I am stripping down my 1622 engine for a rebuild at the moment. It has the standard pinch bolt conrods and the flat top 5 ring pistons.

The bore is good and the pistons are not worn, currently they are +30, so I could get away with a set of new rings. My question is are there any better pistons out there rather than these old heavy, high friction 5 ring ones? I suppose that I could go to forged pistons and steel conrods but that is expensive.

Those old conrods are not great either. They are heavy and have the weakness of the pinch bolt in the small end. I am sure that many of you have looked at this is the past.

I know that I could also go for a MGB 1800 5 bearing engine, but there is something nice about keeping the original engine with the car.

I am building a "fast road" engine that I can also use for a bit of sprinting and hill climbing. I plan to use a Kent 717 cam and one of Peter Burgess's fast road heads along with 18V cam followers and pushrods. Any thoughts of a better piston or piston conrod combination would be great.

Cheers, David
David JM

I used Pauter rods in my 1622 engine with standard pistons.

Its stock except for a mild fast road cam.

I notice a lot less vibration from his engine as I rebuilt an mgb 3 main with the same set up except no pauter rods. Its not a smooth.

Heres the website: Check it out
Steven Devine

Steven, thank you for the feedback. I had been looking at the Pauter rods, they do look good and the cost isn't so bad. Did you use part number MGA-190-513-1650F?

You used the standard pistons, can I ask why? And presumably you used 1622 +0.0? 5 ring pistons with the standard 3/4 inch gudgeon pin? Did you use both oil control rings? How do you find the car goes with the cam?

Regarding you MGB 3 main, did you have the rods balanced? I just wonder if the difference may be due to the Pauter rods being well balanced and the stock ones not so well?

Apologies for all the questions but I am really trying to get a good grasp of the experience out there. I too rebuilt a 3 main MGB engine and used standard rods and pistons. I didn't know about the Pauter rods or Venolia pistons at the time. I ended up putting a second set of pistons in at the time the engine got hot after about 30 miles and it grabbed number 4 piston! An expensive exercise!

I look forward to hearing back from you.
David JM

Depends what you really want - a 1622 doesn't cut it against an 18v engine in hill climbing ( class is 1500-2000 cc). Like most things the more you pay the better the product but you can still have fun with 1622.
Carillo and other H pattern rods are popular for comp engines.
Where abouts are you in Aust? We have an active Mga group in hill climbing and sprints in
Mike Ellsmore

Actually in Melbourne Mike, but mostly in the UK. My A is in the UK but I've sprinted hill c limbed my midget quire a bit with the MGCC and the AHSDC. Rob Roy is a great facility.

How's the heat? Not great MG weather. It's 7C and damp here, not sure which is better?!

I would like to build a good 1622 but may build up an 18V 1800 later on.
David JM

Hey Dave,

Yes I used part number MGA-190-513-1650F
The 1622 and the 3 Main 1800 share the same rods.

The rods I got had to have the small end machined out as I used the stock pistons and the holes were to small when I got them. I called Pauter and for no charge sent them back with the piston pins and they made it right. They were good to me so I want to say that for them.

Yes the engine was bored out +.30 and I found that a fellow MGA owner had a set of high compression OEM oversized pistons so I bought them. It was 15 years ago so I dont remember how many rings there were.
I used what I received as far as piston rings.
I dont think there were 5.

I know a lot of guys here in the forum and other places dont like regrind cams but I use this company and have never had a failure due to there product.

I used there fast road cam that is mild but feels right cruizing at 80 to 85 MPH. Ive have a t9 transmission and a 3.9 mgb rear diff installed.
Its great driving around town and on the highway but if the road inclined steeply it does run out of steam and I have to down shift from 5th to 4th.
(The car is black.)

I didnt have the head ported just converted to unleaded. I wanted to send the head to sean in Oregon or peter Burgess but it didnt happen yet. Ha ha

MGB 3 main
I acquired a 1958 MGA some what colored yellow and built it on a shoe string budget while I was waiting to finish restoring my 1960. The 58 had no engine when I bought it so I found a 3 main B engine rebuilt it and it was the daily driver for the last 10 years. Its rough but lots of fun. :-) No its not balanced. Stock rods bored out +.030. 3.9 diff

The 3 main 1800 definately has more low end torque than the 1622 but its just a 4 speed. The 3 main B IMHO seems to feel more peppy than a 5 main. There is definately a more snappy feeling on acceleration.

Sorry to hear that you had bad luck with your 3 main B rebuild. I really think they are great in an A!

I hope I dont sound like Mr done it all. Im far from it...theres always more to learn. (Look at Barney Gaylords site! How does that guy do it?)

Hope this helps. Im sure if you read enough in the archives and on these pages and talk to some other folks here they may have better recipes for building engines but Ive been real happy with how things turned out. Heres a picture.

Steven Devine

This thread was discussed between 13/01/2014 and 17/01/2014

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.