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MG MGA - Addition to Grapes of Wrath?

A club member's car was noticed to be leaking fuel profusely at a recent clubhouse night meeting. Closer inspection revealed the grommets on the front carby holding the float chamber to the body had failed. No one had a spare so a tray truck was called to cart the wounded car home rather than risk a fire.

This incident got me thinking (dangerous!). Could the tow truck have been avoided by making it a one carby set up. Remove both banjo bolts that connect the fuel hoses to the carbys and swap over the banjo unions so the single entry is on the back carby - connect up the fuel line to the rear caby only. Release the coupler on the front carby throttle shaft and away you go on one carby! They run okay on one carby when tuning - would this set up work in an emergency to get you home?

If the rear carby gromments fail I reckon you could also re route the steel fuel line across the engine and use the first flexible hose to connect to the front carby instead of the normal flexible hose (then release the throttle rod coupler on the back carby).

Does this qualify for a Grapes Of Wrath fix to get you out of a tight spot - you only need an adjustable spanner (cresent or shifter using the local lingo) to do the job? Has anyone done this?
Mike Ellsmore (1)

Years ago, as a youngster, a mate of mine assembled the carbs with the felt gasket completly covering the front inlet. So, in effect, he had only the rear carb working. It ran reasonably well until we came to a hill! Yes, it could get you home.
BM Gannon

The original fuel hose running from rear carb to front carb can indeed be installed between the metal fuel pipe and the rear carb, plenty long and all the same threaded fittings.

The engine will run fairly well on only the rear carburetor if you disconnect a clamp on the throttle shaft to leave the front carb closed. I did this once many years ago when I inadvertently left the shaft clamp loose after a tune up. Behavior of the car was almost normal with engine speed under 2500 rpm, just requiring a bit more pedal to make it go. It would still cruise about 60 mph on a level road. Unfortunately I was autocrossing that day and didn't have time to figure out what was wrong with it until I was back home at day's end.

At higher engine speed the torque will suffer dramatically. It can be tough to get it much over 4000 rpm in 2nd gear with full throttle. At that speed it will seem be running on two cylinders due to air flow restriction in the cross over tube of the intake manifold, and of course only one carburetor passing air. But it is certainly good enough to get you home without a tow.

This doesn't work as well with the other carburetor, as the throttle cable and arm are connected to the rear carb, not to the the intermediate shaft.
Barney Gaylord

Thanks Barney
I'm pretty chuffed - I now have two mentions on MGAguru site, albeit my original entry was for a boot prop modification!
Mike Ellsmore (1)

How about unscrewing the front chamber top cover, taping the fuel cut-off lever closed and screwing the cover back on?

Steve Gyles

Maybe the answer if you want to run on the front carby only is to take some duct tape and wrap it around the metal screen of the Vokes cannister to preclude air getting into the rear carby that way it wouldn't matter about disconnecting the throttle shaft (also put some duct tape over the float chamber inlet for good measure).

I am sure you could make your suggestion work also - it really depends on what resources you have available for these Steinbeck Solutions.

Mike Ellsmore (1)

This thread was discussed between 09/10/2008 and 12/10/2008

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