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MG MGA - Engine Installation

The engine went in last night!

Here are a couple of questions.

1) During disassembly there was black metal strap about 1.5 inches wide and 6 inches long on one of the tranny bolts. The other end wasn't bolted to anything. Is it supposed to be? BTW it is not the exhaust bracket.

2) One of the tranny bolts is about 1/4 inch longer than the others. Does it have a specific location or is it just a mismatch?

T McCarthy

The strap is connected to the bracket on the exhaust system. (Some people do without) It is just added support. I made my own out of stainless. The bolt sound like a PO mis-match. Just a suggestion if you do not already know. Get "Freezer bags" and a Marker and label all you disassemble and bag them.

WMR Bill

I seem to remember that one bolt is longer, maybe to attach a clamp to...? Check Barney's website or search the archives.
G Goeppner

My car has two straps for the exhaust downpipe.
Mark J Michalak

Two straps, exhaust to transmission, one up, one down is correct. Most have been discarded by PO.
BM Gannon

I am not sure what "added support" means. On the mga twin cam it is the only support for the exhaust pipe. Surely the pushrod car is the same?
You cannot just hang the exhaust system from the cylinder head. The two straps form a triangle with one bolt passing through both straps and the exhaust bracket. The other ends of the straps are fixed to the transmission, one angled up and the other angled down. This is a very rigid arrangement.
The Service Parts List shows the straps (image attached).


M F Anderson

Those exhaust pipe support straps are more clearly shown in the MGA Twin Cam Service Parts List (image attached).


M F Anderson

Out of interest I've heard more than one experienced owner say that this triangular support is not necessary and the exhaust manifold can carry the load - as it would have to if there is only one arm of the triangle present. Personally I think this is asking a lot of the manifold.
J H Cole

I have for years been running with only the short horizontal strap in place, as the longer more vertical strap was the wrong length. I think the bracket on my exhaust pipe was welded at the wrong height on the pipe.

For a while I was having a problem with the thin straps breaking regularly. Then one day I double layered the short strap and lasted for about 60,00 miles. Perhaps the replacement parts are not as thick as the originals. My final solution was to make a short strap from 1/8-inch thick steel stock, and quit buying the thin junk parts.

The relatively light weight of the exhaust pipe can indeed be carried safely on the iron manifold flange. But I agree with Mick that you cannot leave it flagging sideways with engine rocking and vibration, as it will quickly destroy the ring gasket or even crack the iron manifold.
Barney Gaylord

There is a similar support on many cars. In particular the 4 cylinder Toyota trucks have a clamp arrangement for the same purpose. If the clamp is left off the downpipe breaks at a weld after a few thousand miles. Most engineers only include things that are needed. The idea is use spend only what is needed, No more. "It will run without it" is not the same as "it doesn't need it".
Don't buy one from the usual suppliers at $3- $6. Do as Barney suggests and make them out of 1/8th stock.
R J Brown

I had a broken mount on a different car, and the resultant movement on the engine broke the flange right off the header pipe. I think that it is just smart to put on the brackets that the engineers thought were needed. I agree with RJ that if they could save money without it, the car makers, even then, would have done it.
mike parker

This thread was discussed between 09/10/2008 and 10/10/2008

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