Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGA - Clutch Replacement

Hi All,

I have always been a proponent of removing the engine and transmission together as a unit to do any major power unit repairs.

I am about to replace the clutch assembly on a '57 MGA, and stripped off the engine components in preparation,

In an obviously weak-minded moment, I began considering just removing the engine, and leaving the transmission in place.

It looks as though, with the crankshaft pulley removed, there would be enough room and angle, to lift the engine from the bay. Although getting it back in might be a little bit of a struggle.

Has anyone else done this, and if so, are there any secrets you would care to impart?

As usual, all thoughts, suggestions, and/or recommendations, will be gratefully accepted.
JR Jim) Ross

I have done both. I like separating them,removing the crank pulley gives you extra room. Everything else you have covered.Seems to me it's better balanced and a less chance of body damage. Back in 79 my wife bought a new MGB. We were told by 50k it would need a clutch and sure enough it did. I didn't have much time so I lifted the motor just high enough to literally "throw" in a new clutch disc. Of course a B has a bigger engine compartment---
gary starr

Just take the enine out Jim.
I just removed the 3 bearing mgb unit from mine and I left the front pulley on the engine.
I tried every which way to get the pulley off but couldn't and in the end it came out just fine with it still fitted.
It was tight but ok.
I expected to have to loosen the steering rack to get more space but it wasn't necessary.
It's a lot more work to take the whole engine and gearbox out together and you will need a lot of height as you have to tilt the whole thing a lot more.

Also take careful note of which way the bell housing bolts are fitted as some of them have to be in place before the engine is refitted and you can't get the in once the engine is back in place.

Colyn Firth

Over my long ownership/high mileage I have taken engines only out many times and I have never removed the pulley.

Paul Dean with Paul. Also, contrary to the workshop manual procedure the bonnet does not need to be removed.

Steve Gyles

If you use a hydraulic mobile engine lift then you can leave the bonnet on when you remove the engine.
However, if you used a tripod and a chain lift like I did, you will probably have to take the bonnet off.

Colyn Firth


.....may be. I have a mobile crane and it's fine left on. You can get that bonnet just about vertical by tying it back to something like the boot rack or perhaps rear bumber (with covering on the body paint work). i use the boot rack - it does have its uses.


Steve Gyles

Steve, do you take it out from the front or from the side? In other words, do you position your hoist in front of the car or on the side of the car?
Gene Gillam

I use a strap around the front latch pin, over the top of the windscreen and around the rear view mirror. works just fine!
dominic clancy


From the front. The splayed legs just go between the wheels. The lifting straps are from an aircraft brake chute. 10 ton breaking strain.

Steve Gyles

You are always learning. I had never thought of not removing the bonnet. Interesting as it is the only bit of the job I don't/can't do single handed. By the way I lift using a reinforced garage roof beam, then push car away.

Paul Dean

I removed and replaced the bonnet by myself.

I just carefuly marked the positions of the hinges using masking tape, then I padded the rear edge of the bonnet opening with thick foam.
I fastened a piece of rope to the front of the bonnet to the garage roof to hold it up.

It was easy then to unbolt it, remove and replace with no damage.

Colyn Firth

Agree with everything above having just pulled my engine to do the rear core plug. I leave the bonnet on tied to the rear bumper, I leave the pulley on (and remove the crank case vent pipe or it fouls the chassis).

Just one awkward part (as on the last car I did) was removing the radiator! Very tight between the intake cowls. No real problem refitting though, so a bit of a mystery to me...

I did try removing engine and box together one time, but gave up (I had not removed the crank pulley) and found that doing separately seemed so much easier.
Neil MG


Same with me, re radiator. It fouls the edge of the trunking on the electrics side but there is a well worn groove/rip now!

Steve Gyles

1960 MGA 1600 with early MGB engine.
I removed the bonnet, the radiator, and then the engine, leaving the transmission in the car. I used my engine hoist, from the front. My project was to replace the clutch, including pressure plate, pilot bushing, throwout bearing, etc. There were some tense moments during reinstallation, mating the transmission shaft with the pilot bushing, but my son and I worked through it. I'd do it again, with more confidence this time.
Good luck.
Frank Bice

I have pulled the engine from my coupe a few times (more than I wished!) - always seperate engine and gearbox.
As I have a 5 brg engine and a 4 syncro overdrive gearbox I find it easier to loosen the steering rack and slide forward - definitely makes it easier lining up engine to gearbox for installation (just mark the rack location with liquid paper and scribe along the joint line so it goes back where it came from). I always remove the bonnet - an easy one man (person) job - lay a towel on the scuttle to protect the paint work and use the bonnet prop as a third hand to steady when removing / fitting the last / first screw.
I also have a set of foam protectors (3 piece) that I use to protect the guards and grille area (see photo below) - these are held in position with bulldog clamps (fold back spring clamps available from any stationery store, the foam is floating flooring underlay). Engine hoist is from the front so you can disengage/ engage the gearbox input shaft by moving the hoist back and forth. Some engine hoists need the car wheels removed as the splay of stabiliser arms interferes unless you have the car elevated.

Mike Ellsmore

While you are at it, replace the MGA flywheel with one from an early MGB. This will allow you to use a MGB clutch/pressure plate. The exchange is easy to do and results in superior design clutch/pressure plate over the MGA. There is a number of articles on the web and on Barneys's site.
Bill Haglan

If you go to a B flywheel you have to use the B pressure plate, and you also need to find the B release fork and the B gearbox front cover. You also need a B clutch release bearing. You have to go the whole hog on either MGA or early MGB when changing the clutch mechanism. The only part that stays the same is the friction plate which is dictated by the spline count.

I have a B clutch and find it a BIG improvement over the MGA setup.
dominic clancy

Ditto. Very nice clutch in comparison to the MGA.

Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 02/07/2016 and 20/07/2016

MG MGA index

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