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MG MGA - 'Choke lever' assembly

Hi all,

The new coupe is delivered Friday. I inspected it yesterday and it is a real time capsule. Everything is original, including +ve earth, twin 6 volt batteries, engine, trim etc etc.

The owner was having trouble starting it in the cold and when he tried there was noticeable flooding. I should point out the car has sat unused for 2 years.

On inspection I noticed the choke lever (my term) was missing from the rear most carb.

Can anyone provide a close up picture of how these levers are assembled so I can assess for missing parts? Are these parts available?


Brad C
B Cronk


Burlens in Salisbury do all the bits. This is their diagram of the parts:

Steve Gyles


The choke levers, as well as other SU parts, are readily available from a number of suppliers such as Moss (370-690, lever, rear). Picture attached.

Note that the over-flow tubes have been cut off. They need rubber hose extensions to get any fuel over-flows below the exhaust.



"The owner was having trouble starting it in the cold and when he tried there was noticeable flooding. I should point out the car has sat unused for 2 years."

See the article, Float Lever Drop Adjustment in the Other Tech Articles section of my Homepage at: If the float lever has excessive drop, it will jam the needle in place such that it will not close off the fuel flow. Cheers - Dave
Daved DuBois

I bought a pair of these levers from Moss but they were so badly made i.e. wrong size holes and twisted along their length, that I returned them and got them from Burlen: they were spot on.
I think I may have read a thread since where someone suggested that Moss are now sourcing them from Burlen but I wouldn't risk it....................Mike
m.j. moore

.....mind you, apart from the state of the carbs, if the car has sat unused for 2 years the fuel will be very stale by now and that will not help the starting.

Steve Gyles

My vote would be to pull off the carbs completely and clean and service them. When you call Burlens get a pair of carb rebuild kits with all the gaskets and washers, etc. That should give you peace of mind, and it is a lot easier to clean and repair the chokes when the carbs are off the car. You will probably also need to buy the small cotter pins that attach the choke lever to the jet, and you might even be missing the spring for that lever - so pull the carbs and look at the pictures on the website and carefully inventory what you are missing.

Rebuilding carbs is very easy if you are patient and methodical about it - though there are a scary number of small parts at first!

Congratulations on the "time capsule" - please post pictures for the rest of us! Of the car, the engine compartment, the batteries, the interior, etc. etc.

AJ Mail

Another thing - for a car that original and untouched, I would also check the condition of the cotter pin that is on the clutch slave cylinder - the cotter and the eye of the rod can get very worn and should be replaced periodically. I might also want to change ALL of the fluids, in particular flushing and refilling the brake fluid completely. A complete brake and axle (check the rear axle seals) service might be a good idea before you consider driving it. How many miles on the car?

AJ Mail

When the thorough restoration of my MGA coupe was complete it would not start! It turned out to be stale fuel. I had not heard of this, and the car had only been off the road for a couple of years.
Barry Bahnisch


Thanks so much for all of the responses. Most of the 'gubbins' are missing for the levers - pins, springs etc. I'll be scouring the internet for close up shots and going through the parts list with a watchful eye.

My intention is to drain all fluids - fuel, engine, gearbox, brakes and probably shock absorbers. A complete refresh.

I managed to get it started and it is running rough - sounds like it has dropped a cylinder. I don't want to spend too much time fault-finding with all of the old fluids in there, so I'll be taking care of that stuff first.

Photos will be posted as I go.


Brad C
B Cronk

Get a Workshop Manual. NOW!

"sounds like it has dropped a cylinder"
Common for valves to stick on resting engines. Spray some penetrating oil directly on the valve stems above the guides, usually fixes it in a few minutes. You may have to bend the spray tube to get the oil up under the inner spring shrouds if the engine has those.

FR Millmore

You can download the workshop manual and parts lists from my site (plus lots of other useful stuff)

dominic clancy

This thread was discussed between 07/02/2013 and 10/02/2013

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