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MG Car Repair/Transmission or clutch


QUESTION: I was driving and my 79 MG midge when in to Neutral, the car will start up in all 4 gears with out applying the clutch,but car will not move, if i jack up the car, the rear wheels will rotate in all 4 gears and reverse. Thanks


You didn't say anything about how the clutch peddle felt. If the clutch peddle feels normal to push then the problem is either in the clutch disk or pressure plate. If the problem were inside the transmission, you would have needed to hear a loud crunching of metal. It doesn't matter because you still have to pull the engine out to find the problem and it is eaisest to pull the engine and trans together as a unit.

Let me know when you get it out.


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79 MG
79 MG  
clutch disk
clutch disk  
QUESTION: Yes the clutch peddle feels normal,Weather got better today so i pull motor out,the clutch had less than 3,000 miles on it. they look good to me, when it stop raining, I'll put the Transmission out.

ANSWER: If you pulled the engine alone and the gearbox is still in the car do this,

Put the gear shift into 4th gear and the hand brake on tight. Then rotate the gearbox input shaft by hand. If you can rotate the input shaft look at the driveshaft while someone rotates the input shaft to see if the driveshaft is turning. If the driveshaft is turning but the rear wheels are not. Most likely you have twisted off an axle.

If the input shaft can be rotated and the driveshaft is not turning then there is something broken in the gearbox.

Let me know,


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74 rear Axle
74 rear Axle  
QUESTION: Hi Howard, can I replace 79 MG midget complete rear Axle with a 74 MGB CB Roadster rear Axle? Thanks

Hi E.K.

No it is not a bolt in exchange due to the difference in width of the cars. A "B" is wider then a Midget.

The MG Midgets were notorious for wringing off axles. In Florida where I worked in dealerships there was sand on pavement on places and a Midget owner would spin his rear wheels on the sand on pavement but often that spinning wheel would hit clean pavement and wring off an axle.

They always wrong off at the spline and sometimes it was difficult the get the small piece of spline of the axle out. Sometimes a long retriever tool magnet would pull the piece out but on some the piece was stuck in the differential. So we pulled the good side axle out and took a long 1/8" welding rod and fed it into the other side. It took some wiggling to get the rod past the spider gear shaft to the other side broken off piece of axle. Then  just a few hammer taps on the end of the welding rod would drive out the piece of axle. Then the magnetic retriever tool could reach the piece and pull it out. I had to do this several times on MG Midgets.

You first need to run my little test listed before to determine if it is transmission or rear axle problem.


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


MG from 1956 (USA versions only) up and Engine theory.


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Associate member SAE EAA member

Import Car magazine

ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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