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Re: Engine rebuilding advice needed

Subject: Re: Engine rebuilding advice needed
From: Phil Ethier <>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 09:11:21 -0600 (CST)
On Sun, 1 Dec 1996 wrote:

> I have a 1979 Mg Midget that I would like to "beef" up the motor a bit.I'm

A better list for this discussion is probably
as the 1979 MG Midget is a Spitfidget, with a 1500cc Triumph Spitfire motor. is supposed to be about shops and tools, not 
British engines.  Still, I guess it can't hurt to comment, as long as we 
don't go to hell with the gag.

> thinking about  getting a few performance parts like Weber DOCE carb.

DCOE.  The side-draft Weber.  Not worth it on a Spridget engine without 
bigger valves.  On the Spitfidget engine, I suppose you are stuck with 
the Zenith-Stromberg carbs.  They are failly unloved.  A decent pair of 
SU carbs may fit in the stock manifold.  Or another popular trick on 
Britcars seems to be to use one SU of a larger size.  I don't know your 
manifold.  Ask on or

> Roller
> Rockers,a performance cam,Duel Point Distributor(recommended to use with the
> Weber), 

Not sure why a dual-point distributor would be a better deal than a good 
electronic ignition.

> and Monza Header and Exhaust.Now these parts are basically " bolt-on"
> performance parts,which is good because I would preffer to avoid any major
> engine work like, boring or milling the head or changing valves.Anyway my
> concern is according to my catalogs I should rebuild my engine because these
> parts will increase any weak links in the engine.I just cannot decide if I
> should rebuild because the car only has 20,000 original miles on it because
> it sat in my garage for about 7 or 8 years and didn't move.The exterior parts
> were effected by weather like dry rotting and a little rust but do you think
> the motor is OK? It has run since and pretty well I must say,but I want to
> get an opinion on that engine. 

Do a compression test.  If that looks a bit odd, then do a leak-down 
test.  I don't think I'd pull apart a 20,000-mile engine on spec.

If I had a Spitfidget, I wouldn't worry about the motor.  I'd get the 
suspension and ride height straightened out first.  British Phlem-sucking 
Leland really ruined the Spridget by jacking it up.  I'd fix that first.

I'll send you a Spridget file by private mail.


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