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MG MGA - Crappy fuel

As some of you may remember I bought a 1960 Coupe around the 1st of November. It had been off the road since 1998 but stored inside and looks quite nice. I've been working on the brakes and the hydraulic system and have had it running about the neighborhood for several weeks trying to make sure it's roadworthy.

Yesterday my wife and I decided to drive to a friend's house 30 miles away. When we started out the car was running great, lots of power, lots of pep but about 4 miles from the house it felt blah...no pickup at all. Pulled over to the side of the road, opened the bonnet to see if there was anything to see...nothing. Got back in, started up and it ran fine again. The next time it happened at about 8 miles from home at 50 mph. No pickup. It would cruise along fine but would not go above 50. We decided to turn around and visit another day.

When we got home I ran down to Advanced Auto and bought an aftermarket fuel pump thinking that was the problem (I've got a couple of MGTC's so I know how these fuel pumps can be). After I got it installed my backdoor neighbor and I jump in to try it out. We got a 1/4 mile from the house and the car died. A neighbor stopped by and offered to bring us some gas (wasn't sure how accurate the gauge was) but even 5 gallons didn't help.

Disconnected the feed to the carburetors and fired up the pump. Nothing came out. Disconnected it at the pump and gas poured out. Tried backblowing the fuel line and couldn't force anything out...it was plugged with bad gas that had been left sitting in it for 15 years it was off the road. Got a tow home and ordered a new fuel line from Moss.

I removed the old line today while waiting on the new one to come. Managed to clean the old one out using brake cleaner and my air compressor but I don't trust it...it had worked fine around the house but was just a problem waiting to happen.

Now a question. How hard are the new lines to bend into shape. This old one was a pain to bend...are the new ones hard also?
Gene Gillam

I replaced my complete fuel line with 5/16" cupro-nickel and two things helped a lot:-
1. Todd Clarke's book showing the exact shapes required for each section of tube.
2. A plastic bending former which I have for plumbing jobs. see pic.

I think the original tube was steel and if the Moss one is also steel it may be harder to form than Cu-Ni - you might need to anneal the steel where it curves before bending. I wouldn't attempt to try and bend without a former or the tube may kink.

The most difficult part to bend was at the front where it comes up and over the heater shelf. Not a particularly easy job - one where you need some patience.................Mike

m.j. moore

You can get 5/16 copper tube from a refrigeration supply shop. It bends easily by hand.
Art Pearse

Not too bad. If you take the old one and use it to form the new one, it goes pretty quick. Just bend the new one to match the old one, and tape them together as you work you way from one end to the other. The material "work hardens" as you bend it, so don't over-work it.

JIM in NH
AJ Mail

Thanks for your comments...doesn't sound impossible to do. Instead of spending the money for the Moss line I probably should have just bought the copper tube...I did use that on an MGTC and it worked well. Probably still have some of the old solder fittings left about in the house somewhere.
Gene Gillam

May be a different problem but I have had trouble with both of my MGA fuel pumps. I have been told that the ones fitted to MGA's were a new model (HP?) and that windings are breaking down. I have fitted new 12 volt pumps (not SU) to both of my MGA's.
Barry Bahnisch

Like many others here I was missing my carb overflow pipes. I used copper and had to use pictures to guess on the routing and bends. When I was done,using a propane torch I tinned the entire length with solder.Then using a wet rag,heated and wiped the solder to smooth and remove the excess. I did this to simulat the look of plated steel pipe and a side benefit was to keep the copper from turning green.
gary starr

If you use Cunifer, you can easily bend the lines by hand. I did my entire TC braking system this way. Just bend slowly, to avoid having to re-bend anything. You only get three or four bends before it becomes hardened.
Steve Simmons

Steve, ditto on my TC. Unfortunately I ordered the Moss line and its not Cunifer. Hopefully I can get it in place but its going to be tough to bend.
Gene Gillam

A local gas station here sells alcohol-free gas, but it's expensive and only regular octane. Not sure which is worse for the car. Premium with alcohol or regular without.
David Breneman

Replaced the fuel line yesterday and took it on a 52 mile ride. Ran fine, even hit 70 for a short spell...did find that the dipper switch didn't work but no one complained about my high beams.
Gene Gillam

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

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