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 MGB Technical - 1979 MGB not starting

My stepfather just gave me a 1979 MGB. He put about $3000 into restoring the car and it runs great. A year later he went to start the car and all electrical was fine (radio, lights, and signals), but the car would not turn over. I would think it has to do with the battery or wire connections to the starter itself. My brother said it may be the starter relay, but I have had no luck with locating it. Any ideas where to start will be appreciated.

I would start by recharging the battery if it hasn't been charged during the year the car sat. Also check and clean the battery cables at the battery. Even though the lights work the battery could need charging. Do the headlights go dim if you try starting the car? Does the starter solenoid make a clicking noise?

I'm not sure where the start relay on a 79 is located, I believe it's on the passenger side of the inner fender behind the fuse box. It has red/white, black, brown and brown/white wires on it.

Clifton Gordon

Try tapping the starter with a stick near the back 1st
then the front. This works for me on my 74B. I think a bit of dirt inside the starter may prevent the contacts in there from connecting
Bob Ekstrand

If the lights dim right down when you turn the key to start then either the battery is flat as Clifton says, or there are bad connections in the main battery cables.

If they don't then either the key isn't powering the starter relay, the relay isn't powering the solenoid, or the solenoid isn't powering the starter.

If there is no click from the relay (it *is* by the fusebox with those colours, exceprt white/red rather than red/white) then check 12v is coming from the ignition switch on the white/red and reaching the relay spade, and you have a good ground on the relay black. If so the relay is bad.

If the relay is clicking but the solenoid isn't clonking then check the relay is putting out 12v on the white/brown and it is recahing the solenoid. If so the solenoid winding is bad.

If the solenoid clonks then either the solenoid contacts, the link to the motor brushes, the brushes, commutator or windings are bad.

Please don't relay on a stick, it gives MGs a bad name.
Paul Hunt 2

I saw that the battery had a dead cell in it, so I changed the battery out with a new one. When I turn the key I hear a loud ticking sound coming from the rear end of the car near the battert compartment. I have no clue on to what is making the noise but it's restricting the car from starting..... any suggestions?

Chris. Chances are good that the ticking noise is the fuel pump if it there all the time, or bad connections on the battery if it is there only when you try to start the engine.

Tony Oliver

When I turn the key only does it makes the loud ticking sound (really loud) in the back, almost like a jack hammer.

You need to find out where the noise is coming from, unless the battery is doing some really strange things there should be no noises coming from the *back* of the car while *cranking*. The fuel pump chatters when the ignition is turned on i.e. before turning it to crank.

OTOH maybe it is simply the exhaust hitting something with the normal engine vibration of cranking, in which case it isn't stopping the car from starting, something else is.
Paul Hunt 2

This thread was discussed between 25/06/2007 and 02/07/2007

MG MGB Technical index

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