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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 20, 2013, 11:24 pm 
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Always Moore!
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So a year later and it has materialized - I have Sprite and 7(up) in the garage.

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This one just happens to have had motorsports in its blood almost since it was built in 1962. Allegedly it was last raced in 1982 (that is also the last entry in the logbook). Aside from 50 years worth of grime, the chassis is rust free, straight, and the body is the correct color.

Now to learn SU carbs, update safety equipment, give everything a once over, and let it return to its natural habitat...

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 20, 2013, 11:47 pm 
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Very cool! What size engine does it have? Any interesting suspension or chassis mods?


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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 21, 2013, 8:09 am 
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I like it! I've comtemplated buy one many times, looking through craigs. I don't have time to finish what I have so it will likely never happen.

Check out To Gear Season 13, episode 6.

Clarkson: "Power! Lets have him!"

I still think May should have bought the purple spit.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 21, 2013, 8:55 am 
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Now to learn SU carbs,

Nuthin' to 'em... What series SUs does it have? Or, if that question gets me a blank stare :shock: send a picture of the carbs. :mrgreen:

:cheers:
Peace, Love, and "Uni-Syn"
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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 21, 2013, 9:20 am 
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Fun car. Does it have a 948 or 1098 in it? I think the bigger engine started around Oct 1962

SU's are easy. Not many moving parts. Infinitely tunable ( a good/bad thing depending on your perspective)

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 21, 2013, 1:02 pm 
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those bodies were built by Healey, check the quarter eliptical rear spring mountings, they are prone to body corrosion in there as well as under the battery if its still in the stock location.

also check the play in the armstrong lever shocks, it would probably be a good idea to convert to telescopic shocks and an upper a arm conversion for the front.

nice very light weight car.

all you need now is a shorrock blower.

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 12:14 am 
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Always Moore!
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Thanks guys. I figure it is sort of like a civilized 7 (heck the early ones also had windows that needed removed from the trunk and slid into place).


cs3tcr wrote:
Very cool! What size engine does it have?

TooBusy wrote:
Fun car. Does it have a 948 or 1098 in it? I think the bigger engine started around Oct 1962


It was a late 1962 build so it had disk brakes and the 1098 from the factory. The engine that is in it appears to have been rebuilt and never ran (no carbon on the pistons). I was told it was built by a Griffin or Griffith or something like that (never heard of them but that doesn't mean much). Allegedly the original owner was going to get back into racing around 1990 and never did so I'm guessing he built this engine around that time. It isn't the easiest to turn by hand so I have to wonder if there isn't a story to go with the engine being built and him never running it - the truth will come out eventually.

From what I can see without taking anything apart it appears to have stiffer valve springs and high compression pistons. A dyno sheet from 1978 says he was making around 80 hp with whatever set up he was running at that time (not sure how the current engine compares). Once I take it apart and give it a once over I'll have a better idea what I'm working with.

I was able to pick up a complete 948 engine/transmission/flywheel/clutch/carbs/intake manifold/exhaust manifold from Craigslist. I'm going to drop that in for the time being so it can become a functional car. If all else fails I'll either sell it or use it for a Lotus 7 replica.


cs3tcr wrote:
Any interesting suspension or chassis mods?


There is a custom panhard bar on the back. The mount is bolted through the trunk floor and backed with a couple of huge washers. The floor still looks straight so it must be strong enough!

Also when we pushed it out of the trailer and were making the 90 degree turn into the garage I discovered that it has a spool. Probably not a bad thing considering the narrow track.

I haven't made it to the front suspension yet so there may be more stuff up there. Otherwise it is definitely lowered.


TooBusy wrote:
SU's are easy. Not many moving parts. Infinitely tunable ( a good/bad thing depending on your perspective)

GonzoRacer wrote:
Nuthin' to 'em... What series SUs does it have? Or, if that question gets me a blank stare :shock: send a picture of the carbs. :mrgreen:


It appears to be a pair of 1.25" HS2's. I was able to download a few manuals from the web and I think I have a good grasp on how the carbs work.
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The only thing that is still sort of a mystery is the linkage that moves the jet as it has been removed and is MIA. Fortunately I got a bunch of spares with the car. Some are good, some are questionable, some are junk but there are several sets of SUs in various stages of disassembly. I know with two rebuild kits I could get two sets of good carbs from the pile.


john hennessy wrote:
those bodies were built by Healey, check the quarter eliptical rear spring mountings, they are prone to body corrosion in there as well as under the battery if its still in the stock location.

also check the play in the armstrong lever shocks, it would probably be a good idea to convert to telescopic shocks and an upper a arm conversion for the front.


The battery area is spotless (well aside from dirt and the white paint that was applied at some point that is now peeling). The spring area looks good but I'll know for sure when I remove them to install the spreader plates for the new cage. From first glance that area also looks good.

I'm assuming the shocks will need some attention just based on age. I know I can do telescoping shocks on the back but I don't think I can do much with the front suspension and still be legal.


Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
Check out To Gear Season 13, episode 6.

Clarkson: "Power! Lets have him!"

I still think May should have bought the purple spit.


That was a good episode. I loved watching Richard find out that his car was a total pile of junk while the other two weren't half bad. You knew a joke about the car and Richard's co-driver was coming - it was like waiting for a piano to fall in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 12:47 am 
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As a race car, the levers for the jets really arent needed, other than to keep the jet "up". The levers pull the jet down to richen the mixture whilst using the choke.

Check the rear hubs to see if they're the double bearing type, if not and its class legal, you might want to look into them. The halfshafts are the weak link in the rear end, and with a spool/lsd/locked diff, they wont last very long (unless it already has some uprated 'shafts).

And, please keep all of us in the peanut gallery updated with pics etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 9:33 am 
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cs3tcr wrote:
As a race car, the levers for the jets really arent needed, other than to keep the jet "up". The levers pull the jet down to richen the mixture whilst using the choke.

And, please keep all of us in the peanut gallery updated with pics etc.


The levers that drop the jets ARE the choke. The Brits that built SUs didn't "do" chokes per se, they richened the mixture by adding fuel not by limiting air. If you can start it cold without the "choke" on the SUs, then those linkage bits are not needed. I suspect you will need to get the "choke" linkage working, though.

One quirk I remember on the MGB was that the outer sheath of the choke cable fit into a "cup" on the movable arm and the inner slide wire attached to a non-moving part of the throttle linkage assembly. Backwards to how cable normally attach... Midgets are likely the same. Pull the choke lever on the dash, it pulls the sheath up towards the end of the wire and rotates the levers downward, dropping the jets and magic happens the car starts and all is right with the world...

And like the man said, keep us updated!
:cheers:
JDK

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 9:54 am 
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Like I mentioned before, the group on the Spridgets list is a wealth of information. There used to be a guy on list that was quite talented at rebuilding lever shocks. I haven't been active on the list in over 10 years, some people have gone, some new folks have joined the fray, and the original sprite nut (Frank Clarici) passed away a couple of years ago.

That looks like a pretty solid car from the pics so far. The spring hangers were notorious for rusting away, yours is probably better than the typical street car. Floor pans, sills, rockers, spring perches, aall are really not that difficult to replace should it get to that point. I draw the line on saving a Spridget at having to replace the A or B pillar.... just not worth that much of my time.

Nice find :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 10:42 am 
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The lever shocks work well if they are in good shape. THE person to get them rebuilt is Peter Caldwell at World Wide Auto Parts in Madison WI. Go nowhere else. They are redesigned, not just rebuilt. He does a bangup job and is well respected as "the guy" for Armstrong shocks.

Disclaimer: I have no personal interest... blah, blah, blah.

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 11:12 am 
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rx7locost wrote:
The lever shocks work well if they are in good shape. THE person to get them rebuilt is Peter Caldwell at World Wide Auto Parts in Madison WI. Go nowhere else. They are redesigned, not just rebuilt. He does a bangup job and is well respected as "the guy" for Armstrong shocks.

Disclaimer: I have no personal interest... blah, blah, blah.


tHAT'S IT!!! ... I COULDN'T DIG THE NAME OUT OF MY FUZZY MEMORY BANKS

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: November 22, 2013, 8:43 pm 
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Always Moore!
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I'll toss up some more pictures once I get more under way. The cage is going to be the first project since everything sort of relies on it.

cs3tcr wrote:
The levers pull the jet down to richen the mixture whilst using the choke.

GonzoRacer wrote:
The levers that drop the jets ARE the choke.


Well that makes a lot of sense now. At first I thought the floating piston with the needle was the choke then when I figured out its function I had no idea how the choke worked. Now it all makes sense. Its no Megasquirt but I could probably find a place in my heart for these carburetor thingies....


GonzoRacer wrote:
...Midgets are likely the same....


The choke cable is long gone. The only cable going from the cockpit to the carbs is for the throttle so no way to tell if it works. Currently the spring is all that holds the jets in the "up" position. I'll probably make some sort of linkage (or safety wire) to mechanically lock them in place.


cs3tcr wrote:
Check the rear hubs to see if they're the double bearing type, if not and its class legal, you might want to look into them. The halfshafts are the weak link in the rear end, and with a spool/lsd/locked diff, they wont last very long (unless it already has some uprated 'shafts).


I'll check it out. From reading the vintage rules, it seems like updating is pretty free. The spares pile included three OEM looking axles so I should be set for awhile. I'm planning on doing vintage so there will be 185/60R13 tires on all four corners so there should be less grip available than with slicks. Then again today's high performance street/track tires may be stickier than 60s and 70s slicks.


TooBusy wrote:
That looks like a pretty solid car from the pics so far. The spring hangers were notorious for rusting away, yours is probably better than the typical street car. Floor pans, sills, rockers, spring perches, aall are really not that difficult to replace should it get to that point. I draw the line on saving a Spridget at having to replace the A or B pillar.... just not worth that much of my time.

Nice find :cheers:


The funny thing is owner #2 bought this car as a parts car to support his vintage race Spridget that he is prepping. He had to replace the floors and do some other rust repair on his. Then he found this one after his was well under way and realized that finding this one first would have been the easy way out. Since it was clean he decided to sell it instead of using it for parts.


rx7locost wrote:
THE person to get them rebuilt is Peter Caldwell at World Wide Auto Parts in Madison WI. Go nowhere else.


Thanks Chuck - at $90/ front shock and $70/rear shock I don't think the price can be beat. I'll add that to my list.

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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: May 29, 2017, 8:30 pm 
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These darn things multiply. Its only been 4 1/2 years since my original question - finally picked up a driver. Its needs some going over since its been sitting but the price and condition were right.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering a Midget
PostPosted: May 30, 2017, 10:09 am 
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Cool, another Midget. It looks like its a 74, if not a 73. Is it going to be another race car?


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