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MG MGA - Best connecting rods?

It's getting to be time to rebuild my 1500.
1. I suspect that one of the rods is bad. It #4 has been straightened once before and it is making metal, about to fail.
As good used rods in sets are rare, I am considering the Pauter Billet 4340 X-Beam Connecting rods.

Price is not that much more than finding another set of stock rods and having them straightened, aligned, balanced, and nitrided.
They have floating wrist pins al la Twin Cam, no gudgeon clamp. Pin height / rod length is stock for stock deck height. Will stock 1500 pistons work with free floating pins?

I will have the motor re-balanced anyway, so rod mass will not matter.

2. I have not seen the crankshaft. If it is damaged, what is the best option for replacement?

3. Recommendations for replacement cam, with distributor drive in place?

I will have to clean all passages, replace all bearings, discard and replace the oil cooler and flush the lines etc. Fine metal particles everywhere!

Suggestions welcome!

Russ Carnes

Why waste the money on special rods on a more or less stock 1500?

There is nothing at all wrong with the stock rods - just find another one and rebuild it, balancing the old rods with the new.

And no, a 1500 piston cannot be attached to a full floating pin style con rod without machining.

You can also find lots of replacement crankshafts if it turns out you need one.
Bill Spohn

I had alot of trouble finding a good set back in the '90's Bill. All seem to have been machined on the big end making them narrower,leaving massive rod side clearance.Cranks were a problem too,many of them when ground take too much off on the "cheeks". Putting them together was giving me .040 rod to crank clearance when .008 to .010 if I remember right is what the manual calls for. .040 makes a terrible rattle when at cruise speed.John Twist went thru all his spares,got me the widest ones he had,and had the crank welded up to get the correct clearance.
gary starr

I have three good 1500 rods if you need one - yours for the postage
dominic clancy

When I rebuilt the engine on my 60 1600 I bought the pistons from Venolia. Venolia also lists forged rods. It was cheaper to get much better forged pistons from them than to get the cast parts from the usual sources.
It seems that the restoration parts are so expensive that custom racing parts are now less expensive.
I can buy a set of pistons pins and rings for a Toyota 4 cyl for $122.64 from my usual supplier. Moss sells the same parts for a MGA for $269.99 to $329.99.
I have not priced Venolia lately but each time I have they were close to but less than Moss for MUCH MUCH better quality parts.
Moss sells a performance cam for $569.99. Summit racing sells a Crane cam for $289.00.
In todays market high priced restoration parts are too costly. Custom racing parts are better and cheaper.
R J Brown

Thank you for your comments, I have not looked too hard for another 1500 to rebuild. The short blocks that I have found have been more than it would take to rebuild mine with the forged rods and pistons! I had a spare #4 rod but it was much heavier than the rest of the rods and the machine shop said that it would take too much metal off to balance it correctly.

Dominic, thank you for your kind offer!

Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess!!

I guess I'll have to find the correct pistons next. RJ, Venolia is next on my research list.

By the way, the car has been in the family since new, was my Dad's then mine. I would like to keep the block and such all togethr if possible.
Thank you all,
Russ Carnes

A good used set of rods and a set of County pistons and you are back in business. You just aren't trying the right people. If you can find them locally, look to Canada - we have lots of stuff. Octagon Motors in Vancouver can help you.
Bill Spohn

This thread was discussed between 12/06/2011 and 20/06/2011

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