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Re: Help... Getting over my head rapidly

Subject: Re: Help... Getting over my head rapidly
From: Bob Howard <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 20:17:05 EDT
Hi Mike,
  Frustration can be a large part of The MG Experience (also the title of
a movie that's not about these trials).
   Thursday I went to adjust the fuel gauge in the MGB, per instructions
posted about a year ago on this list.  After just a few moments, I had
turned a gauge from one that read 1/4 tank low into one that read 1/4
inch below 0 and only that.   A neighbor gave me another gauge, which I
installed, late on Friday as I had to take the car on a trip early Sat
  Starting out at 6:30 in the rain, I noticed right away that the fuel
gauge didn't work. No big deal. Noticed in 1/2 mile that the temp gauge
did not work either.  
  So what do they have in common--well they have the black wire ground,
the light green wire that goes to the voltage stabiliser and they both
screw to the dashboard with those cute little clips that require hands
smaller than mine to get at.  I've only invested about 1/2 hour removing
and replacing the two instruments to check connections and to shed blood
on the sharpened edges behind the dash. Next step is to start checking
that the temp sender and the gas sender are sending. Shoudda left this
issue alone, grrrrr.
  My guess is that the problem with your car is a PITA but that it's not
going to prove expensive.  Are there specs in the Midget book for
checking that the cam timing is correct? If there are, I'd do that, just
in case the chain jumped a tooth.  Then, I'd look at the distributor
again, checking it's timing and that the plate is snug and the rotor fits
properly on the shaft.  Do you know that the condenser is good? That
cheap part can give you real fits. If you have any doubts, replace the
thing.  Good luck.

On Mon, 10 May 1999 18:24:38 -0400 Michael Graziano <>
>And the saga continues....
>Was working on the Midget yesterday (changed the front bushings to the
>Prothane).  One test drive around the block,  car ran fine (read:  No 
>Than Usual).  One or two adjustments to the sway bar guides (with 
>idling higher than usual: 1500 RPM but choke out about half way). As 
>pulling out of the driveway, the engine dies (while going at about 3K 
>riding the clutch a little as I back out (a necessary move if I'm to 
>get out
>of the driveway quickly on my street)).
>Now she won't start.  I'm getting spark, and gas, but not ignition.  
>When I
>try and turn it over,  it turns a little then it's as if something 
>the engine and stops the cranking dead.  (Maybe 80% of the time, spins
>normally without ignition other times)  Battery is in decent shape.  
>every once in a while Poof... a big cloud (as in ALOT) of smoke out 
>intake and what seems like other places as well, even out the valve 
>Not sure of color (looks white),  but smells of gas.  ALso frequent
>backfiring (constant little pings, and an occational louder one 
>by lots of black (not blue) smoke.  
>I thought maybe the timing chain, but the valves are moving when I 
>crank it.
>That's timing chain driven, correct?  Carb seems to be in OK shape.  
>No rips
>in the piston gasket.  Never found an intake leak.
>I REALLY have no idea what to do next.  I'm afraid the whole intake
>backfiring thing has been leading up to this.  Maybe my valves are all
>screwed up?  I now keep the carb relatively rich,  and the choke 
>partly out
>to keep the engine smooth.  I was also not driving it too much until I 
>time to solve the backfiring problem.
>If I need to pull the head off this damm thing,  what should I 
>ahead of time (tools, parts) to do it?  And what should I read other 
>the Bentleys and Haynes as prep work?  I would think I need a new 
>some sort of machinist's straightedge to check for warping,  and if 
>seems lost when I get it off,  an elephant gun with a dozen or so 
>I getting QUITE frustrated at the rapidly deeper hole my car seems to 
>climbing into.  And I just don't have the know-how to pull it out.
>Sorry to vent like this,  but I seem to be at wits end here.  WHat 
>info should I be revealing and any suggestions on what I need to do 
>#$^%$^ '78 Midget 
>'87 300ZX
>Many many headaches

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