Welcome, Matthew R.! You probably got a load of responses already as I am
usually "late" since I get my list in digest mode once the postings
What I start with on a "barn find" is a change of all fluids, meaning not
just engine oil and front-end grease, but also gearbox and differential oil,
and a complete flush and replacement of the brake/clutch hydraulic fluid and
the coolant. While at it, replace the radiator and heater hoses and check
the rubber hoses that carry brake fluid to the wheels (easily visible by
pulling off the wheeels at each corner. Anything down there that doesn't
look perfect after you wipe off the dust and grime is worth replacing--
cheap insurance-- and we cheap on this list. Look at the tires. Tread may
be okay, but if the side walls are a zillion years old and cracked and
puffy, even a set of 4-for-$100 store brands will be better and fine for
getting you going for now.
You would be well-served to buy a repair manual as most things you need to
do to a Sprdget are pretty simple and the list is a great resource. When
you get one, stare at the wiring diagram. It will eventually make sense.
Make photocopies and color code individual circuits. Then go through each
circuit (easier than it may look) and clean each connector, lubricating it
with dielectric grease (bought at the autoparts store) as you snap them back
together. Finally, locate , disconnect, and polish with scotchbrite each
spot where there is a wire connected to the body or chassis as a ground.
When you get a bit bolder, take off the fuel pump, (be ready with a golf tee
or something to plug the fuel line!), open the plastic lid, and have
somebody look at the contact points in there. If there enough "meat" left
on them, run a little emery paper through there, blow clean and put it all
Lastly, carry some baling wire, duct tape, and a cell phone.
Voila! Reliable, fun transportation that does not look anything like a
Toyota Yucho or Hyundai Snotta.
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 08:13:58 -0400
From "Matthew R. Lawrence" <mlawrence at datasys.net>
Subject: Introduction and a question
First, let me introduce myself as I have been lurking for a week but have
posted. I live in Valdosta, Georgia and have just bought a 1979 Midget.
has already gone to the shop to have its slave cylinder rebuilt. It should
come out to day and that leads me to my question: It has 67k original mile
and the previous owner did not drive it very often. I know that to keep it
running well I need to drive it often and down here, as long as its not too
hot, it can be driven all year long. What suggestions do you have as far as
initial maintenance and getting it safely roadworthy? The mechanic is
to change the oil and give it a lube job before I pick it up. Thanks for
suggestions. By the way, are there any shows/events upcoming in the South
Georgia, North Florida, L.A. (lower Alabama) area?
Matthew R. Lawrence
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