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 Midget and Sprite Technical - Hydraulics or worse?

Dear BBS,

slave cylinder rod looks to be traveling fully, if not more, yet clutch seems to only slightly disengage.

Unable to see if release arm moving or not other than at push rod end.

Pedal hard to move after about half way pressed.

Gears just about totally un-selectable with engine running.

Hydraulics or worse?

P*ssed Off of Northampton
Nigel Atkins

If the pushrod moves fully it wouldn’t be an hydraulic issue, would it?
How many mm / inches does it move out of the cylinder, when stepping on the pedal?
Did the problem start suddenly or over a while?
Jan Kruber

Hi Jan,
no I doubt it will but best to check - and for the briefest of moments looking for any crumb of comfort, even if it doesn't exist.

With the history of my purchase and installation of the 5-speed conversion from "specialist expert" and following bad luck with clutch parts and those in the motor trade I think I know what it is but not exactly what I want to do about it.

To answer you question - it came on suddenly, going along nicely, changed gear and felt a slight sticking point under foot from the clutch pedal as it lifted back up, I briefly wondered about it as we sailed along merrily, until I wanted to change gear again and knew for sure there was a problem.
Nigel Atkins

sorry Jan that should have read -

no I doubt it will NOT (wouldn't) but best to check
Nigel Atkins

Following the "crumb of comfort" line, I assume you have checked you haven't lost fluid from the master cylinder. If not, as Jan says, with the pushrods moving, it is very unlikely to be hydraulics.
Graham V

Nigel I'm sorry to say I agree with Graham. I think the trouble is with the clutch release gear inside the bell housing. I assume that will be standard Sierra issue so spares should be easy to get.
It'll be nice if I'm wrong but right now it looks like an engine out job.

Yes very likely a release bearing or clutch pressure plate fingers are broken. If it is the release bearing, then contact Alan Anstead. His version is far better than the normal set up that FL will have used.

But l would first check by feel that the clutch release arm is as it should be, especially check that the pivot is firmly attached. On the frontline conversion the pivot is a steel bracket bolted to the alloy casing. You should be able to feel if it is loose with your fingers through the actuating hole. ( Pull rubber boot back first if it has one fitted)

Even so, it's still going to be an engine out job to fix it, which for someone like yourself who would far rather be driving it is a real bummer particularly at this time of the year. That said, a competent MG garage should be able to fix it within a day's work if they are organised over parts etc.

Sorry Graham I thought I'd posted a reply to your post, must have pressed the wrong button.

Thanks for your replies Rod and Guy.

I'm pretty experienced in clucth failures after having my 5-speed conversion bought from and fitted by the specialist expert at FL, what I'm not experienced in is fully competent MG or other garages in 25+ years of running classics.

But - I've had a good quality real ale so feel more optimistic for the future.

For my own record -
FL conversion - Oct '09
gearbox leak and rattles on gear levers (repairs - box wrapped with tape! and lever filled with grease and later discovered bodge made shim) - June '10
broken release fork and release bearing - Jun '12 (12k miles)
clutch plate and cover - Jun '15
not even three years later and latest problem - May '18
Nigel Atkins

Hi Nigel,
Did you get this clutch problem sorted out? I know how much you like to drive your car and on these fantastic summer days we are having I am sure you would be out all the time if you could. You've been very quiet though, so I suspect you still have problems with it?

Hi Guy, thanks for asking. Obviously we wouldn't have (literally) record warm weather for the past month if I had my car on the road, no don't thank me.

It's being sorted thanks, you'll know when I get it back as that'll be the start of the record bad weather - I must have been a right evil b*stard in my previous lives to get my luck with my classics. On the plus side, I am tall, dark and handsome with an athletic and muscular body so it's swings and roundabouts.

I decided to deleted what I'd put after this to end on the above high (and humorous to a very small extent) note.

Willie Dixon -
"I did not say I was a millionaire
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire". :)
Nigel Atkins

Well that's good to know it is being fixed.

But if you say the weather is due to break when you get it back could you be a very good chap and ask them to work only on the 2nd Thursday of alternate months and to be sure to forget to fit the clutch plate when they put the engine back in. That should see us through to a late Indian Summer and then you can enjoy your favourite season winter driving when you get it back.

Don't worry Guy I'm sure it'll soon be off the road again with something else. :D

Certainly not driving it enough at least one or two winters probably helped with one of the clutch and starter problems and the rust on the underside.

However without our considerable monetary contributions to the classic car businesses over the decades the sector wouldn't be as healthy and there'd be even more micro-breweries fighting for business so we're helping to keep the economy more balanced.
Nigel Atkins

Good lord I'd forgotten about this. Sorry Nigel. Good to hear it's getting sorted though

Shell are worried and keep emailing me with V-Power offers, local Tescos have not replaced their Momentum99 stock, but at least shares in 4-LIFE remain buoyant and the gearbox oil was nearly 3 years old so due for a change.

The car's not been with me so I couldn't even get around to doing some of those jobs I've put off.

I did at least make it to a pub with the faulty clutch, not the one we were aiming for but a real ale alternative at least, then after drink and food I put it into third, started it up, revved it until we pulled away (good old torquy twins) and made it to my mate's fairly nearby, might as well get some wear and moneysworth out of the three year old clutch.
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 29/05/2018 and 24/06/2018

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.