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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Starter Solenoid - position?

I am rebuilding a 1966 midget into a Heritage shell. There are no holes for mounting the solenoid on the shelf next to the square heater unit. Does it bolt into the horizontal part of the shelf or into the vertical side wall? Looking at pictures it seems that the terminals face the heater. If it bolts to the horizontal shelf, how is that done as this panel is double skinned? Can anyone have a look and possibly post a picture?
Answers on a postcard please.
Mike Howlett

I'm not sure if it makes a difference but '66 is a changeover year - is yours a late 1098 Mk2 or an early 1275 Mk3?
David Smith

Originally the car was a 1098 model, but I am putting a 1275 into it and I have the square solenoid rather than the older style round one. As I mentioned before, the heater is the older square type with the separate fan housing. I know the solenoid should sit next to the heater on the shelf but I'm not sure whether it should be bolted to the floor of the shelf or the side wall.
Mike Howlett

My solenoid is close to that position, but is actually on top of the footwell, not the shelf. But it is a later (1971) model.

I think there used to be a bracket(?) IIRC from photos on a recent thread but the Heritage shells don't have it

as you've got a Heritage shell (like both the Spridgets I've had) and are putting in a 1275 instead of 1098 then you need not worry about originality - unless you want to

put it where convenient for the loom, battery and stater motor leads

mine is on the top of the footwell section (that slopes) but as a later car I have the all-in-one heater box, it sits under the fresh air truning

in this (old) photo you can see it held in by the one screw from PO work but I put the replacement in the same place and still with only one screw as the position means it's very difficult to get a drill in there and it's on a seam and whilst it works I'll leave it alone

ETA: as usual someone posted whilst I was typing

Nigel At

Sadly, no one's on line catalog properly shows this area, but the print catalog from a few of the vendors (the ones who are using the BMH catalog) does, like Brown and Gammons, including information on the changeover dates.

The original mounting for an early solenoid would have weld nuts in the top layer of the heater/battery shelf. I suppose that if you were provided a shelf without those, then you could either exchange it for one that does, or use tapping screws instead of the original machine screws. The early starter (a pull cable attached to the solenoid, yanked through the dash) would have needed the strength of machine screws, but probably self tapping screws would be enough to hold the later solenoid that just sits there.

When the larger heater box was adopted ('67?), the solenoid was moved to a "hat" bracket above the RH footwell.

Norm Kerr

A 66 should have the solinoid on the heater shelf.
Does not mather what engine size as the change was made with the heater not the engine.

As i have the flue at the moment i have no chance of walking out side to take a picture.
Maybe later in the weekend if i feel beter
Onno Könemann

This pic shows the fitting on my 1275 71 Heritage shell but it has a round heater as opposed to your square type.


Jeremy 3


The bracket is welded to the front of the bat' shelf. It's original not a mod.

As you can see, it's the round solenoid with the manual push button button, very very useful.

Lawrence Slater

Another for clarity.

Lawrence Slater

My keyboard's developed and echo. lol
Lawrence Slater

Thanks everybody, especially Lawrence who shows clearly the bracket which the Heritage shell doesn't have, as Nigel said.

Going through the boxes of Midget parts that the PO gave me, I have found a round solenoid in working condition and I will use that because of the manual button it has. I will drill through the shelf and use bolts with nuts under. I have discovered that you can easily put nuts on the underside of the shelf by reaching through the footwell heater outlet. As my car has no doors at present, this is a piece of cake.

Thanks again.
Mike Howlett

This is mine on a 71 sprite


M Adams

I never understood why the manual button starter solenoids, were replaced with the sealed unit without a button.

Lawrence Slater


sure, a sealed unit without a button can be easily "jumped", but the button is just so blindingly easy to use....
Norm Kerr

darn, my revisions were "timed out".

Sorry for a (nearly) duplicate posting!

Maybe they were dropped for antitheft reasons?
sure, a sealed unit without a button can be easily "jumped", but the button is just so blindingly easy to use....

The insurance industry is always looking for things that can reduce their claims (low-speed bumper impact regulations, for example).
I have always liked the button type, because it is so handy, and I know that having one makes no real difference on whether my car would be stolen or not.

Oh, and I bet the button-less ones are cheaper to make, too. Economic considerations loom large in every OEM's mind when deciding on making changes like that.

Norm Kerr

Ah, anti theft. Yeah that makes some kind of sense I guess. But as Nigel says, easy to jump, so why remove it?

I had wondered if it was some daft worry about safety.

Whereby the user might push the button, whilst their fingers were in the wrong place. lol.

Lawrence Slater

This thread was discussed between 31/08/2011 and 03/09/2011

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