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MG MGA - Battery and fuel Safety

Some years ago I was cleaning the fuel filter, at the fuel pump, and had petrol over just about everything. I dropped an adjustable wrench which shorted across the battery terminals and immediately had a very serious fire in a very difficult location. Everything was burning, the underside of the car, the carpet on the garage floor, the inside of the car, my hands and the back of the seat.
Not having an extinguisher I ran into the garden and shoveled soil as quickly as I could. I managed to prevent much damage but shook for several days!! I now have an extinguisher!
Ensure that the metal battery cover is secure, to prevent shorting, and make sure you disconnect the battery before attacking the fuel pump.
BM Gannon

Thats a awful story. The only comfort must be that I guess it could have been very much worse and it could have been you that was burnt.
I was thinking I should fix some thin carpet on the underside of my battery cover to prevent the metal underside touching the terminals.

Graham Suggestion:- I have cut two square patches of rubber from a rubber sheet about 1/16th thick ( Each piece is about 12" long by 9" wide ) and then attached each sheet on to the nuts on the battery retaining straps , and the sheets then flopped forward over the batteries and tucked down between the big chassis cross member and the wooden board behind the seats. This way the terminals are protected from accidentally shorting agains the battery cover when taking it off or putting it back.

Thanks David. That sounds like it will do the trick

A simple answer to the problem is to fit battery terminal insulators, readily available at any battery supplier or accessory store. They are very cheap to buy and can be easily fitted in a few minutes.
Dave Barron

Thank you Barry for an important head's up.
Mike Parker

I am thinking of fitting "kill switches" to my MGA's behind the driver's seat. My daughter recently had nasty experience with her MGC GT (after having the starter motor overhauled) in that the starter kept turning (until her garage filled with smoke!) and would not turn off! Fortunately the "sparky" who overhauled the starter and the mechanic who fitted it came to some arrangement. She now has had a "kill switch" fitted but I am thinking of doing the same (as I have done with some other cars that I have).
Barry Bahnisch

This is why it's always good practice to connect the live terminal of the battery to the car first, and ground second - that way if your spanner comes into contact with the bodywork, no sparks fly.
dominic clancy

This thread was discussed between 19/05/2009 and 20/05/2009

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