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MG MGA - clunking sound

Lately when I start up the car, an MGA 1500 roadster, there is a clunking sound when idling, when backing up and when taking right turns. It pretty much goes away once driving, except for the right turns. My guess is an over tired transmission mount although I'm not sure until I take a look in a week or so. Anyone ever have something like this happen? The sound really "feels" like it is coming from under the car, about where the transmission mount would be...Any thoughts would be great.

C Burnham

Check the exhaust mounting brackets, and exhaust to underbody clearance, it is normally very close to the chassis and could rattle under circumstances you mention.
If the gearbox mount is worn or damaged it could be the change lever hitting the transmission tunnel.
BM Gannon

Thanks Barry, I will definately check that out too and it sounds like a definate possibility to be the exhaust.
Thanks again and I will let you know if you were correct with either idea :-)

C Burnham

Hi Christine,
I would also suggest that you check the engine mounts if there is clunking at idle. A pry bar will show you if the rubber has separated from the steel backing. Good luck with your search.
Tom Heath

Thanks Tom, that's also on the list to check. I have two new engine mounts from Moss on back order, hopefully those wil get here in time. I had installed a radiator shroud last year and found it was tough to line up and Im thinking things are sagging with the current mounts. The fan was always rubbing a bit on the lower end of the shroud. I dont recall changing the mounts ever and I've had the car for 15 years...Anyway, thanks for the thoughts.

C Burnham

UPDATE: Turns out its the gearbox mount. No way to replace without pulling engine/gearbox...Gonna be a fun time...
C Burnham


Before you do any engine pulling you may want to do some more research. I presume you are refering to the bushed mount at the bottom of the transmission housing.

I was looking at replacing that rubber mount/bushing. The notes on the moss page seem to suggest that if the bolt head is placed on the left hand side of the transmission it could come out without removing the tunnel.

Based on that clue I was going to look into where the bolt head is. If its on the incorrect side I was going to tap it out slightly and cut it off, then replace from the left.

Just a thought,


T McCarthy

Tysen, the bolt will come out, yes. But there's no way to get the mount out of the transmission without removing it from the car. It usually requires a Big Freaking Hammer, cutting, or a combination of both. They're hard enough to replace while sitting on the workbench, don't put yourself through the trauma of trying to do it under the car.

Incidentally, I used a 2" black pipe nipple, 6" long, and a pipe cap threaded on one end. I padded the threaded end with duct tape and beat on the pipe cap end with a 2-1/2 pound hammer. It works great for beating out the old one and beating in the new one. If you buy some couplings and extend the pipe, you can use the same technique for (carefully) seating the bearing on the mainshaft.

Mark J Michalak

Hi guys, yes there is no way to take out the mount without pulling the gearbox. I was able to get the bolt out without a problem but the mounting plates prevent pulling the mountout of the gearbox. The gearbox will only move maybe an inch up or down. No other way, it simply won't clear the mounting plates on the chassis...

C Burnham

Thanks for the heads up on that.

I wonder if there is a way to jerry rig a hydralic jack into a press.

Of course if you can't get to the "eye" then you are still screwed.
T McCarthy

Yes T, no chance without the gearbox time you pull things out its worth just replacing for sure. Once out the access to it is much easier and it shouldn't be difficult to use a hammer to slowly tap the new mount in...or do what Im doing on this occation and bringing it to my favorite MG mechanic and be done with it in a day :-)
C Burnham

So an update on the gearbox mount. It was replaced this morning in less than three hours, and without taking the engine/gearbox out.
They decided, with my permission, to cut the mounting plates, pull the old mount (still difficult), then weld the plates back onto the frame. Three hours instead of a day and a half. $210.00 vs the $800.00 it was going to be. Considering I've seen so many A's with newer welds all over the place, I had no problem with this approach...just an alternative to keep in mind if your good welding...
C Burnham

This thread was discussed between 08/05/2009 and 26/05/2009

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