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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Fuel pump pick-up


I think my fuel line pick-up into the tank is goosed. I can only fill the tank with about 20 lites - which is a bit limiting as regards range - before it starts to conk out.

Suggestions as to how to withdraw pick-up from the tank - without removing the tank, in situ as it were - would be welcome. Is it just held in by a close fitting rubber bush or something?

There is also the question of the filter at the end of the pick up - which may have dropped off, but if not?

If it does not fully withdraw, guess I could simply hack off the old and renew with suitable stainless tubing perhaps?
Mark O

Mark not sure what you are asking.
The fuel pick up pipe has nothing to do with the amount of fuel you can put in the tank.

If you realy mean the fuel pick up pipe the problem is bad running below a certain fuel level as the pump sucks in air.
The connection to this pipe is located at the front of the tank.
If this pipe in the tank is broken there is no other solution than to replace the tank.

If you have trouble with the fuel filler pipe then you can just unscrew the rubber pipe and remove the filler pipe.
Though I can hardely understand what could go wrong with this pipe
Onno K


Pretty certain it is the fuel pipe pick up. I cannot think of any other reason why after running out of fuel I can only refill with 20 litres. The tank should take about 32 litres.

Thus it seems to be prematurely sucking on air, and thus the fuel pick up pipe is probably goosed somehow. I simply do not accept I have to buy a new tank either. There must be some cunning way to remove the pick up pipe, but I think I will have to drop the tank, and get inside and play via the sensor location hole on top of the tank
Mark O

I think it's brazed in, also has a small support peice inside too IIRC. You could probably drop tank, use the sender hole as an eye peice and put a new pipe in. I'd only bother to do this if the rest of the tank was immaculate though. You'd have to clean the tank out really really well to do any kind of heat related procedures of course.
Considering the likely high aggravation and time off road for the repair...why not just get another one? Even a good time to upgrade to the later higher capacity tank.

Did not understand your first explantion but yes that does sound like a rotten fuel pick-up pipe.

New tank it is.
90 quid so to me not worth the risk of welding a petrolcontainer.
Onno K


I would not be applying heat anywhere near it! One issue is indeed the support hook - for want of better words - for the pick up inside the tank. Perhaps the pipe has come away from that and lying at an unusual angle....

I think I will drop it first and take a peek from the top.....


Mark O

I presume that when you say "running out of fuel" you do mean running out (i.e. no fuel drawn through) You are not just reading the gauge and it is showing empty? (Inaccurate gauge)

Have you tried blowing an airline in through the pick up pipe to clear any crud from the filter?

Is the rubber tube between tank and pump on good condition. Fine cracks in it may not leak fuel out, but can draw air in. On borderline cases, this could happen as the fuel level drops such that there is less "gravity assistance" from the fuel in the tank and pump suction then begins to draw in air instead.

Guy W

Presume your tank is in good condition and doesn't have a big dent in the base?
Jeremy Tickle


Deffo no fuel being drawn through. Car conks out! plus you cannot see any fuel in the glass filter just upstream of the carb. I can subsequently brim the tank to about 20 litres and no more.

Pump is the Facet cube type. Hoses looked OK last time, but I will check.

Thinking is the pick up as it also conks out after more or less the same mileage every time, and conks out prematurely when going uphill.

Mark O


Good point but I think not. I will check again the area of the tank directly under the pick up.



Mark O

Check that the nut on the fuel pipe into the tank is tight. The nut pushes the pipe end against the tank internal pick-up pipe causing it to seal against the tank boss, if loose it can pick-up air.
David Billington

This thread was discussed between 17/05/2015 and 19/05/2015

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