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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Engine dies - any ideas

I've just started my V8 after a long restoration, and there's a problem. The motor fires promptly every time but will only run for about a second. It then dies abruptly: it doesn't seem like a fuel problem as there's no spluttering. It runs for the same short period no matter what. It seems like an electrical problem, but I am lost. Has anybody got any ideas?
David Daw

If it only runs for as long as the ingnition switch is in the start position, then the problem could be an open or unwired ballast resistor.
George B.

I don't have time to work on the car today because of job committments, but this sounds like a sensible answer to my problem. Many thanks George for taking the time to post a reply.
David Daw

To be honest it sounds very much like a fuel problem. My car does that if the fuel pump is disconnected, though it progressively stops starting.. Check your idle mix screws, choke operation etc.

I am unsure if you have run the motor before or if it is in need of cam run-in, but, once it starts try pumping the throttle a little bit (not over like 2K) I know mine without choke needs a little extra fuel love for a min or two before it will run in it's own..
Larry Embrey

I would check out the fuel delivery system. If you unhook the hose to the carb and place it into a container, is fuel coming through? Have you checked the fuel filter for dirt etc. I always like to start with the simple stuff first and work from there.

Good Luck


Many thanks guys. One of the things I have done in the rebuild is to fit a 12 way fuse box instead of the standard 4 way. I haven't completed the electrics yet, so I went back and checked the wiring to find that I'd not got power to one of the white wires that should be live when the ignition is on. Hey presto! 2 minutes later and she fired up and sounded as sweet as the day I shut her down 6 years ago. The car is not finished body wise, but the sound through my home-made 2 1/2 inch exhaust is pure heaven. This should give me the incentive to get down to work with the paint as soon as I move house and get her back on the road again.
David Daw

This thread was discussed between 25/07/2002 and 26/07/2002

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