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MG MGA - Compression

I purchased a car on ebay a few years back and I would like to start the engine. The car is a parts car but the engine is a 1622. There were a lot of parts missing off the engine but it did turn over freely and I hoped it woulld run. I checked the compression first and I only have about 35 pounds in eaach cylinder. Is this enough compression for the car to run? I do intend to rebuild the engine but when I ran the starter without the oil filter on water came out the oil line. Apparently there was some water in the botton of the oil pan. I am not sure if the block is cracked or it was jus left open and water got in somehow. If it will start I will put a radiator on the car and run the engine for a while to see if water gets in the oil.The question is will it run?
GK George

I doubt it, but it's easy to try! Nothing to lose, but you aren't going far without a rebuild.
Art Pearse

Squirt some oil into each spark plug hole to help the rings make a seal against the cylinder walls. That should bring the compression up some but you are starting from a really low number so it may not be enough to run.
Ed Bell

Two thoughts. If it has had nothing done since it last ran, then it should run again. If it suffered damage that stopped it running, then you will have no luck. Three thoughts. As all 4 cylinders are bad it must be a common fault - how about the PO got the cam timing all wrong?
Art Pearse

Thanks for the come back I will let you know how it works out.
GK George

Low compression on an old, long since run, engine could mean; 1) non seating valves, either stuck, followers stuck or just coked easy sort. 2) Gummed piston rings............put some upper cylinder lubricant down the plug hole and leave to soak. ....even easier! 3) warped head, which would explain the water issue, ..........more expensive!!.
Allan Reeling

This thread was discussed between 10/12/2012 and 12/12/2012

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