1978 Midget was fine pre-June rain, now won't start

starting
mg

#1

My 78 midget was running like butter until New England rain had me park it for a few weeks. Now it won’t start. It was time to fill the gas tank when I parked it, was planning to fill it up the next day (and then the rain came). Now it’ll turn and then the engine will sort of ‘zoom’, but the step in between turning and revving, the whole ‘engine starting’ bit, isn’t kicking in. I’ve filled the tank with new gas, checked the spark plugs, replaced the fuel filter and checked the fuel pump (it works). Spark plugs are good, distributor cap is dry… tried adding some gas to the carburetor to get it to start (per my dad); no dice. No start. He’s looked it over for loose hoses, etc., to no avail. He thinks it must something simple, but he can’t think of what it might be. He can pretty much fix anything, so it looks like it’s time to get it hauled to the mg shop for service. I thought perhaps some kind of switch might have been flipped if the car thought it was out of gas before I put it up, but my dad nixed that (it wasn’t out, just low, and my driveway is on a hill and I was grasping at straws for some kind of answer). Just wondering if there’s anything else I can or should check before waving the white flag and getting it towed to the garage to get it looked at. Any ideas would be great!


#2

Remove the coil wire from the distributor cap, hold it 1/4" away from any metal and have someone crank it over. You should see a series of nice, fat, sparks…

With spark and fuel, it MUST start…


#3

If points were put in a few weeks before the rain, file the points a little. This kind of thing happens to new points.


#4

I didn’t see any reference to new points but if they are new and the installer forgot to grease the points heel and dizzy shaft the points heel will wear down very quickly and exhibit these symptoms.

I’d check for spark at the plugs, if you’re not getting a strong spark at th plugs - I’d start with a dizzy internal check over.