New owner of 66 Sprite looking for engine advice

Topics related to the engines for the later MG Midget series.

New owner of 66 Sprite looking for engine advice

Postby rob66sprite » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:20 am

Soooo... my neighbor has a 77 Midget and I am looking for an engine and transmition. With typical mods during the rebuild what sort of performance and RELIABILITY would I expect to get with this in my 66 Sprite? Does it fit resonably well? Would this be a smart move or should I look for something else? I am new to the Spridget world and looking for giudance.
66 Sprite (work in progress)
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Re: New owner of 66 Sprite looking for engine advice

Postby vagt6 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:52 pm

Rob, the most desirable engine for these cars is the 1275cc engine which has huge aftermarket support, the most power, and is probably the most durable and reliable.

Really depends on the type of driving you intend to do in the car. The 1500 isn't generally considered to be as strong as the 1500 but will do just fine for everyday driving (i.e., non-racing/thrashing).

Not sure if the 1500 and gearbox are a straight drop-in for a '66. Maybe you could sell the 1500 engine and gearbox and acquire a nice 1275 with a ribcase gearbox. That's what I'd do.

More knowledgeable folks will chime in. I'm sure.

Good luck with your resto efforts, keep us informed.

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Re: New owner of 66 Sprite looking for engine advice

Postby admin » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:57 pm

The later Midgets (using the 1500) are not to my knowledge a direct bolt-in to a 1966 Sprite (or really any Sprite, for that matter).

From 1958 through the end of production in 1969 (date depending on who you believe) the Sprites (and their MG analogues) used various "A-Series" engine configurations, including 948, 1098, and 1275 cc. These engines are all essentially interchangeable, leading to a large number of cars using the latest (and most powerful) 1275 version.

For a 1966--that's the "easiest" thing to do--drop in a rebuilt (and maybe a bit "breathed on") 1275. It'll be a "bolt-in" conversion, and you'll end up with a reliable vintage sportscar.

If you're more adventurous you can opt for any number of alternative powerplants (check out the "Lumps Forum" for some ideas).

One conversion to consider is replacing the Sprite gearbox with a Datsun 5-Speed. This is also a "bolt-in" conversion requiring no modifications to your car. Check out the "Transmission Forum" and/or search for "Rivergate" conversion (although there are other conversions, the Rivergate seems to be the most popular). Rivergate has their own website as well (click here for the link).

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