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Repairing a 1967 Midget | A Mixture Of Several Classic Cars

Good morning, I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Automotive. Welcome back. We’re going to be continuing on a vehicle that we showed you a little bit about earlier. We’ve got the privilege right now of servicing a 1967 MG.

Now, some of the fun parts about this is it’s a great project. It’s a fantastic old little car and we get to have a lot of fun with it. We get to literally get it back to a stage zero as it was when it came off the assembly line 60-plus years ago.

For us, fantastic, fun, and definitely a challenge. We’re gonna take a look at one of the challenges. When the vehicle came in, there was an oil leak – a very basic concern. Not the easiest to solve. The oil was leaking from the back of the motor where it meets the front of the transmission. On most vehicles, that’s where the rear crankshaft main bearing seal would sit.

However, in this vehicle, there’s actually no seal present. When we disassembled it to remove the actual access plate, we found this piece of metal. Now, this piece of metal is what we call a scroll seal. It bolts to the back of the engine and it’s actually arched inconsistently across so that as oil is slapped against it, it literally just curves it back and throws that oil back into the engine. While this was a great design in low oil pressure situations, anything over net, say, 20 to 30 psi of oil pressure or anything more than 40 miles an hour, and this guy would be chuckin’ oil out the back of the vehicle. We can actually see this nice black build up on it after it’s been in there for 50 years.

Rather than simply taking this off, applying some kind of silicone sealant or the like and resealing it, we didn’t really think that would be the most thorough design and based on the fact that we had to remove the motor, transmission, and frame underneath the vehicle to get this out, we really wanted to make sure we didn’t have to come back. That’s where the folks over at Moss Motors, the world’s largest supplier of MG replacement parts was able to help us out.

They were actually able to identify for us that this block-off plate doesn’t match this motor, at which point, we began the disassembly of the engine itself so that we could accurately determine what this motor came out of. At that point, we learned that this 1967 Midget is a 646667 MG Midget Sprite Austin-Healey Coupe. There are at least five different vehicles in this car, and now we have to figure out which pieces are from which ones so we can properly repair it.

Thankfully, the gentleman over at Moss was able to direct us to a new update that we can perform on this vehicle. Rather than simply replacing and resealing this rear cover, we have a new bracket to bolt over the rear of the crankshaft itself, and this guy will sit with this right on the back of the motor. Now this, in and of itself, will not stop an oil leak. However, we’re able to update to using a new outer seal and then a clamshell cover that will bolt across it to effectively seal the end of this crankshaft housing independent of that original scroll seal.

Now, to go from this old design to this new engineered one is not the easiest task. For us to physically make this fit, we have to ensure that this front surface lies perfectly true and straight against the back of the engine. unfortunately, when we pulled ours apart, we noticed a disparity. This actual crank end plate is not perfectly true and straight. For us to go any further, we have to physically disassemble the engine completely. We must remove the cylinder head, which we have gotten down to a bare assembly here. We have our push rod sticking out through our studs and we’ll be physically removing the crankshaft connecting rods, rotating assembly – everything from the motor – until we have just that bare block.

That way, when we have this machined down to a 10,000th of an inch to ensure that true and straightness, we’ll be able to guarantee to our owner that there’s zero chance of metal particulate contamination in the vehicle. We can guarantee that this 60-year-old engine is gonna run great afterward with no other internal modifications and no other major costs. While this may be a rather labor-intensive repair, the parts are inexpensive and due to the accessibility of a lot of these, we’ll be able to physically seal this up better than it was new.

If you’ve got your classic, your collector, and you’ve been told the parts can’t be found or you go to your local garage and they say, “I don’t wanna handle it, it’s too hard. We can’t get this, it’s too time-consuming,” please come down to Saul’s Automotive. Let us take a look at your challenge. We appreciate the opportunity and we’re thrilled to help make you progress further with yours.

If we can help keep you into your classic or collector car, we would be ecstatic to perform the service on it so that you can maintain it for another 50 years to come. Any questions, any concerns, give us a call here at Saul’s Automotive. (303)919-7769 for all of your automotive needs.

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About the Author

Picture of Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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