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Author Topic: Milwaukee Midget  (Read 1125686 times)
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Milwaukee Midget
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« on: June 17, 2008, 11:24:05 PM »

Well, here goes. 

Three weeks ago, after searching the Midwest for 2+ years, I finally found an affordable tub that I think will make a good candidate for the I/GT class.  It's a very solid 1971 MG Midget that the previous owner had started to restore, but gave up on.  Partially disassembled but very complete, I've spent the last two weeks finishing the disassembly.  The engine and tranny came out this evening, and without the help of a hoist, I might add.  Something to be said for an engine block that's light enough to ship via UPS Ground service.

As is the case with many old cars, there is a lot of clean up to do - I've spent too many years working around grimy projects, so getting it clean is the first order of business.  Most of the work for the next week or so will be just getting the undercarriage cleaned up.  I suspect the lack of rust is due in large part to the fact that the undercarriage is covered with a nice, grimy, impenetrable layer of rust-inhibiting Castrol GTX and road dirt.  It's got to go, along with the squirrel nests, so I'll be doing dirty work for a while.

Pics will be posted once I get to the point that I'm doing something other than scraping goo and removing walnut shells. 

I hope it's interesting.  Target is Bonneville 2009 . . . although I suspect that if I could get 17dracing up here for a weekend, I could be at Maxton next month!

One other thing - anyone out there running Mac OSX that can help me figure out how to post my pics?  Drop me a PM!

Chris Conrad

   
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 08:39:21 AM »

Don't you folks laugh at me -- but I've offered to help Chris with photos/iMac.  Yeah, me -- the guy that can't figure out how to do it on my own, and now I'm trying to help him.  Talk about the blind leading the deaf...

We'll see if he figures out the way to do it.  In the meantime, go ahead and offer help to him, too -- maybe he and I can both learn something.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008, 05:20:29 PM »

Well, here goes. 

Three weeks ago, after searching the Midwest for 2+ years, I finally found an affordable tub that I think will make a good candidate for the I/GT class.  It's a very solid 1971 MG Midget that the previous owner had started to restore, but gave up on.  Partially disassembled but very complete, I've spent the last two weeks finishing the disassembly.  The engine and tranny came out this evening, and without the help of a hoist, I might add.  Something to be said for an engine block that's light enough to ship via UPS Ground service.

As is the case with many old cars, there is a lot of clean up to do - I've spent too many years working around grimy projects, so getting it clean is the first order of business.  Most of the work for the next week or so will be just getting the undercarriage cleaned up.  I suspect the lack of rust is due in large part to the fact that the undercarriage is covered with a nice, grimy, impenetrable layer of rust-inhibiting Castrol GTX and road dirt.  It's got to go, along with the squirrel nests, so I'll be doing dirty work for a while.

Pics will be posted once I get to the point that I'm doing something other than scraping goo and removing walnut shells. 

I hope it's interesting.  Target is Bonneville 2009 . . . although I suspect that if I could get 17dracing up here for a weekend, I could be at Maxton next month!

One other thing - anyone out there running Mac OSX that can help me figure out how to post my pics?  Drop me a PM!

Chris Conrad

   


 What engine do you plan to use?
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Milwaukee Midget
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 06:26:31 PM »

I'm destroking a 1275, which will get me the bigger valves and less shrouding.

I know I have an uphill battle with the 5 port head, and I suspect valve overlap on a short stroke Austin engine is going to be key to getting it right, plus maintaining a high compression ratio. 

I am struggling for good advice on an undersquare A-series engine.  Most information out there deals with stock stroke lengths, and almost all of the racing engine development assumes an oversquare configuration.

So I guess I'm building the world's tightest winding tractor motor. smiley

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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 07:03:46 PM »

Had a Morris Minor with the 1098 in it, but replaced it with some rubber bands. Just kidding, actually I'm a fan of the old A series motors. Brit cars have their issues, no doubt, but those little mills sure have proven their worth. Just this past weekend I was at the local vintage races, and those bugeye guys were really leaning on their little 948s pretty hard, quite remarkable. Here's some insperation for you:


* img007.jpg (63.13 KB, 1086x624 - viewed 805 times.)

* img006.jpg (69.25 KB, 706x832 - viewed 941 times.)

* img008.jpg (74.91 KB, 903x671 - viewed 970 times.)
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Milwaukee Midget
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008, 11:01:50 PM »

Inspiring indeed!  Thanks for the great pics.  One of the reasons I find this sport so appealing is that in no other motor sport can you find such a wide variety of vehicles and power plants.

I've often thought that the A-series block could be considered the SBC of Great Britain - they found their way into just about anything that rolled - Formula Junior, rally cars, and apparently LSR cars, too.

Speaking of pics, I received a tutorial from SSS earlier today - thanks, Chief!  Hope to have a couple posted during a chassis de-greasing break this weekend.
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 03:46:11 PM »

Love the small bore stuff!!   I'll be watching your progress with great interest.

I'm not sure if you are allowed to do this in GT but . . . . have you considered running just two cylinders in the 1275 and entering J/GT?
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 08:14:51 PM »

Love the small bore stuff!!   I'll be watching your progress with great interest.

I'm not sure if you are allowed to do this in GT but . . . . have you considered running just two cylinders in the 1275 and entering J/GT?

Well, if I throw a rod, that might be my next option. 

It's an interesting thought.  There could well be an advantage to that in that the intakes and 2/3 exhaust ports are siamesed.  By dedicating the 1 and 4 cylinders to power and porting the head accordingly, a lot of the compromises one needs to make for 4-cylinder operation would be eliminated.  I'm sure the inline 6 guys might have some thoughts on that.   

With such an arrangement, there's less friction, less mass and the potential for better port shaping.  It might actually be able to pull more power per cubic inch

And it would probably sound like a BSA.

An interesting thought, but for the moment, Iím heading out to the garage to listen to the Cubs game, drink beer and scrape grease.
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008, 10:57:05 PM »

Update time -

First off, until I upgrade my OSX, I'm still unable to post pics through photobucket, but if you want to see what it looked like when I bought it, those pics are posted on my myspace account.

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=78709114&albumId=2304217

Between work, gigs and garage time, I haven't been as talkative lately, so here's where I'm at.

The car is stripped down to the tub, and I've been rolling it around the garage on a furniture dolly.

The grease on the undercarriage has been a nightmare.  On a Midget, the driveshaft tunnel is closed off on the bottom, so not only have I had to scrape the undercarriage, I've had to scoop out gunk and degrease the inside of a three foot long driveshaft tube.

This was made easier by simply flipping the tub over on its back on a piece of wafferboard and rolling it around on the dolly.  It's a one-man operation - something to be said for a light-weight.  My good friend, Billy Brunke, refers to this as my "Polish Rotisserie".  He's Polish, so he can say that.  I'm Czech, so I just call it "thrifty".

Taking down the old paint has made me a liar - My earlier claims of a "rust free" car have proven to be less than accurate.  Gratefully, it's confined to the passanger side floor pan and the bottom of the passanger rear fender.  It's a day's work, but easy to accomplish with the car on its back, and replacements are easily had.  I'll be expecting a Christmas card from Moss Motors this year.

Parts are scattered - attic, garage rafters, basement, all tagged and bagged, labled.  My boss is loaning me his sandblast box, so the little pieces are the next process.  I want to have the tub ready to go before the snow falls, and will concentrate on the engine/drivetrain this winter in the basement.

Retrieved the block and head from the shop today - cleaned and magged - no problems - a solid starting point.  Still juggling parts on paper/online.  Destroking this thing is going to give me an outrageous rod ratio.
8.875 deck height.  I'm thinking rod length 6.125 (Chevy), 72 mm pistons (Kawasaki or Honda - depending on the height to the top of the piston and how much meat is available for an offset rebore on the wrist pin), 2.4 stroke = 2.53 rod ratio (!?)  I'll need a piston with about 1 1/2" from the center of the pin bore to the top.  I'll take any thoughts on that - it's all pretty extreme.  Looks like I can shave some off of the deck.  I'll oil 'em and bag 'em tomorrow when I get home.

Tranny needs a rebuild - found a source for a close ratio gearset (Jack Knight - UK).

I've got, what, 48 weeks? grin   


 
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2008, 07:37:12 AM »

Experience shows that you have 54 weeks of hard work left based on the 48 weeks left.  rolleyes
Good luck with your project, keep us in the loop...  grin
See ya on the salt  cool
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 12:23:06 AM »

Finally - success with photo posting.
Now that I've got it figured out, and my web browser is updated,

These were the first two pics I took of the Midget when I picked it up last June.  Since then the car has been disassembled down to the tub.  But this was my ground zero -


And a peculiarity that caused me to chuckle - just how short does someone have to be in order to require pedal extensions in a car called a Midget?  This is how I bought it.


Okay, now that I have that figured out, I'll shoot some pics showing where I'm at, and try to get 'em up soon.
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 11:34:32 PM »

Oh man what memories

 A 72 midget was my first car. I could drive it flat out all the way to school. About 87mph the whole way. I really miss that car. When I shut the car off after a hard run, about 10 seconds later, the exhaust would go....buuuuuuuuuWAPPP and a big Acura flame would shoot out. At night it was quite spectacular and scared the crap out of alot of people.

 Good luck on the build man.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 01:06:13 AM »

I had a Bug Eyed Sprite when I was in High School... bought it for $50.00 As it was a basket case 4 of my buddies and I put the whole thing in the back of my Dads 68 Chev 1/2 ton. I loved that little car. It had the 800 or something cc. engine in it. Because I'm 6'5" tall it was really comical to see me in that thing.... Kinda like a Gorilla  making love to a Bowling Ball shocked. Sold it for $600.00 bucks... I have no idea what they're worth now days, but I'm sure it's more than that. Man I miss that little car!

Smitty
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2008, 06:34:53 AM »

I can't tell from your build how familiar you are with the A series engine, I'll assume not much, but no offence if you happen to be a world expert Smiley

First, do you have this book? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuning-Engine-Definitive-Performance-Economy/dp/1859606202
if not get it.

Surprisingly the 1275 is described as a big bore engine.  It started life in the mini cooper S (not swappable with an inline engine), again, the 1275 was the long stroke engine with an 81.3mm stroke (70.61mm bore), the engine started out as a 970 (62mm stroke), grew to 1071cc (68.4mm stroke), and finally topped out at 1275cc.  It's been stretched in the aftermarket to 1596cc.  The 970 engine was the basis of many 1000cc screamer engines, and most 1300cc race engines were bored out to 73.5mm and destroked to 76.5mm.

There is also a factory turbo version in the form of the metro turbo, and apart from the block and crank could be raided for inline use (you'd need to check that the oil pump is OK in the bellhousing, I can't remember). 

Other none factory, but fun options available are 8 port crossflow and 16 valve heads, but you'll need to raid the piggybank first.

The frogeye would have been 948cc originally.

I grew up playing with the A series engine, unfortunately I've done a lot of growing since and things are getting a bit hazy.

Andy
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2008, 11:29:40 AM »

I can't tell from your build how familiar you are with the A series engine, I'll assume not much, but no offence if you happen to be a world expert Smiley

First, do you have this book? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuning-Engine-Definitive-Performance-Economy/dp/1859606202
if not get it.

Surprisingly the 1275 is described as a big bore engine.  It started life in the mini cooper S (not swappable with an inline engine), again, the 1275 was the long stroke engine with an 81.3mm stroke (70.61mm bore), the engine started out as a 970 (62mm stroke), grew to 1071cc (68.4mm stroke), and finally topped out at 1275cc.  It's been stretched in the aftermarket to 1596cc.  The 970 engine was the basis of many 1000cc screamer engines, and most 1300cc race engines were bored out to 73.5mm and destroked to 76.5mm.

There is also a factory turbo version in the form of the metro turbo, and apart from the block and crank could be raided for inline use (you'd need to check that the oil pump is OK in the bellhousing, I can't remember). 

Other none factory, but fun options available are 8 port crossflow and 16 valve heads, but you'll need to raid the piggybank first.

The frogeye would have been 948cc originally.

I grew up playing with the A series engine, unfortunately I've done a lot of growing since and things are getting a bit hazy.

Andy

Andy, I claim to be an expert on nothing, and will gladly consider any advise you can throw my way.

The plan is to use the inline block and essentially build it to 970 specs with a .040 overbore.  As I'm sure you know, the crank will be the big issue, as BL never built an undersquare inline A, and the transverse Mini crank won't work in the inline.  Custom rods are in order, unless anybody knows where I can find some NOS Leyland 970 rods -  rolleyes - I didn't think so! grin

I'm familiar with the Weslake and Ardun designs (7 port crossflow), and am also aware the a BMW bike head can be adapted to work, but in the class I'm running, the 5-port design must be maintained.

I have a very dog-eared copy of David Vizard's "Tuning the A Series Engine" 3rd edition (I believe Panic is also singing from the same hymnal), and while I've gathered quite a bit of information from it, most of his engine buildup ideas are based on making the engine larger, which has left me in a quandary as to cam selection.  The short stroke gets short shrift.

Andy, thanks for your input, and thanks for checking out my slow spiral into madness! grin

« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 12:02:00 PM by Milwaukee Midget » Logged

"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
Well, I guess we're making a LOT of progress . . .  rolleyes

We are NOT rebuilding . . . We are reloading.

GOD SAVE MG - The Queen can take care of herself!
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