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 Post subject: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 8, 2023, 6:32 pm 
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Location: Spring, TX
Hated having to let the Rotus go when we moved [and surprisingly so was my wife], but it needed far more work than was going to be capable in our new house, without a garage.

Always browsing for the next toy & found a 75 Midget locally, looks pretty clean, runs/drives, needs some minor work & a paint job.

How are these for a date-night maybe some light autocross? Looks like something I could park & work on at home, since it doesn't 'need' to be in a garage to avoid turning to dust like the Rotus chassis was.

Some brief browsing led me to Moss Motors which looks to have a pretty large parts availability.

Can the big bumper cars be swapped to the small bumper look?

Was looking for a NB Miata, but this is definitely more unique, and a fair bit cheaper than a clean NB2.

:cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 8, 2023, 8:08 pm 
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The earliest rubber bumper cars (75-76) are the most likely to turn to dust. They were built during the steel strikes and made from cheap imported (to the UK) steel but you should have the full synchro, stronger gearbox compared to a few years earlier. Don't know about bumper conversion or delete but I don't see why not. Perhaps a small, free standing car port (allotment shed) enclosed on three sides for about $2k installed?

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 8, 2023, 9:00 pm 
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Took 2500# of mostly Spridget parts to the scrapper yesterday.
Still have LOTS more.
You will save about 70# going to earlier bumpers and double the attractiveness of the car.
I may be able to scrounge up a last set of rear "Split" bumpers for you.
Front is harder, I may have one left that is repairable but not cherry.
I have several of the earlier car one-piece chrome bumpers, again front is harder but I may have one.

The horror stories of 1500 engines dropping thrust bearings are overstated.
I put single Weber DCOE 40's on mine and have no problems.
Your car probably has a single "Smog" carb. They can be made to work OK.
The 1500 does not rev like an A Series but has more torque, as required to drag those heavy bumpers around while wheezing through the single carb and driving a "Smog pump".

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 8, 2023, 11:17 pm 
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Thanks gents. The CFO has green-lit it, just doing as much due diligence before contacting the seller which is about an hour away.
According to the ad, it runs well, new brake master, rear brake cylinders, axle seals, clutch master/slave/lines, electrical has been gone through.

Needs a paint job, a couple minor dents fixed & has a small tear in one of the top windows.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 9, 2023, 4:51 pm 
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Sounding like we may go check out the Midget Saturday.
Talked to the seller on the phone for a bit, engine runs well, clutch is good, electrical got a refresh last year & 'everything works'
Down to how it looks in person & if I fit in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 9, 2023, 7:28 pm 
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You could make some leg/knee room with fixed back sheetmetal or composite seat frames bolted directly to the floor with on inch of closed cell foam (yoga or camping mat, kneeling pad) and a smaller steering wheel od. Most any drive train swap later on would need to include a stronger axle. Dohc fours with a custom manifold on the driver's side (be it exhaust or intake) seem to fit well considering the space available.

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Miata UBJ: ES-2074R('70s maz pickup)
Ford IFS viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13225&p=134742
Simple Spring select viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11815
LxWxHt
360LA 442E: 134.5x46x15
Lotus7:115x39x7.25
Tiger Avon:114x40x13.3-12.6
Champion/Book:114x42x11
Gibbs/Haynes:122x42x14
VoDou:113x44x14
McSorley 442:122x46x14
Collins 241:127x46x12


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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 9, 2023, 10:00 pm 
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Simpler to just leave it alone, 1500 engine parts are plentiful and not going "Obsolete" after three years.
But if a swap is being considered the 1500 cars have more room.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 11:07 am 
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If all works well & we get it, it'll likely remain mostly original for the time being. Probably see about ditching some of the smog kit since it's well outside of emissions testing.
Maybe down the road, if it needs it, something like a 4AG or K20, or even a Miata drivetrain swap.

It'll be a leisure car, date night, maybe some local cars & coffee, and the occasional autocross.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 11:19 am 
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Aside from the rear wheel arch change, it looks like the rubber bumper body is unchanged from earlier models. Just removing the rubber bumper and installing the turn signal lamps and chrome bumpers or just leave them off. :cheers:

_________________
Miata UBJ: ES-2074R('70s maz pickup)
Ford IFS viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13225&p=134742
Simple Spring select viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11815
LxWxHt
360LA 442E: 134.5x46x15
Lotus7:115x39x7.25
Tiger Avon:114x40x13.3-12.6
Champion/Book:114x42x11
Gibbs/Haynes:122x42x14
VoDou:113x44x14
McSorley 442:122x46x14
Collins 241:127x46x12


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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 11:45 am 
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I've seen a few photos of bare front 'big bumper' cars & the look isn't bad.
That'll be one of the first mods on it for sure. Really cleans up the appearance.
Wife & I are divided on paint color, but that'll be further down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 1:08 pm 
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One thing to check on the 1500 is crank end float. The thrust bearings tend to fall out when worn which makes both the block and crank scrap. The other thing is the gearbox, the triumph box isn't the best. Other than that, I personally would keep a few spare halfshafts on hand just because they do tend to break.


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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 1:10 pm 
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The major body difference is that the RB cars are missing the curved finish shape at the bottom of the rear end of the rear fenders.
I've sold cut-off's from scrap early cars that guys welded on.
Or you can just shape some steel/fiberglass.
There may be aftermarket fixes available.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 1:12 pm 
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Auto-X might break an axle, normal driving should not.
I have LOTS of them on hand if needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 1:51 pm 
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I've read a bit on the thrust bearing issue. Supposedly a quick check is the press/release the clutch with the engine off & if there's visible pulley movement, could be an indicator of the issue?

I don't mind the square rear arches, and supposedly they led to a slightly stiffer body than the round arches?

Minilites will be on order pretty early if this ends up in my driveway. Tires are hilariously cheap, but not a lot of options in the 13" sizes.

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 Post subject: Re: Midget 1500?
PostPosted: March 10, 2023, 10:15 pm 
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Round wheel arches were short lived as the cars folded up more in a rear collision.
But they do allow more room for fat tires so good for racers.
I have a round wheel arch roller to get rid of if anyone wants to build it.

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