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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Starter Motor on Frogeye

Is it possible to remove the starter motor on a Frogeye without removing the distributor?
G Morris

Yes it is, but it is awkward. You remove the front wheel and work through the triangular hole in the inner wing.

But it is far easier to remove the dizzy and you don't have to loose the timing. Don't disturb the nut that secures the clamp plate to the dizzy but remove the other short bolt (screw) that fastens the plate to the block. Then carefully lift the complete dizzy clear. Leave the lower part of the drive in place. When you reassemble the dizzy it will only fit in the same position and the timing will remain exactly as before.

Its not necessary to remove the plug leads but if you do, mark them with paint, tippex or numbered tags of masking tape so you get them back in the right order! Or just undo the dizzy cap clips and leave the cap and leads connected, but pulled to one side out of the way.

There should be two screws holding the dissy clamp to the block. The clamp plate is slotted, so there could be some alteration of timing, so itís best to mark it in some way, to ease refitting in the same place.

Dave O'Neill 2

Yes,I should have said to scribe a guide mark between the clamping plate and the block for accuracy. Sorry I missed that bit out.

Thank you for your quick responses I will have a look at the options now
Preference is without removing the distributor!!
G Morris

I can understand your concern if you thought you might loose the ignition timing settings, but there really is no need to if you remove the distributor as described. And then removal of the starter is very much easier!

Due to the lower starter motor nut and bolt being less than easy to get to - the rear being obscured by the proximity of the slave cylinder. I have drilled out the lower bellhousing hole and bonded in a threaded sleeve so that at its lower part the starter motor is attached by an easier to get at bolt rather than nut & bolt.

The release bearing is a modified carbon release casting fitted with a bronze faced deep groove ball bearing.

Dont know why the pic has attached inverted

Alan Anstead

At any stage have you used one of those really clever mobile computer devices (that aren't always).

Nigel Atkins

Modern technology in the form of iPads and phones are not my forte.
Alan Anstead

it's not you it's the product and it's the programers and company owners, while all are very clever none as are good as they make out or possibly think they are.
Nigel Atkins


You are correct. It's a case of they know it so that means that everyone else will know it. I'd like to see them remove a Spridget starter without removing the distributor.

Sorry for the tread drift but Nigel started it ;-)

Another joy of the Datsun 5 speed mod. The adapter plate has threaded holes to take the starter motor bolts. No nuts needed :0)
G Lazarus

I like Alan's solution. Simple, neat, effective.
I might have been tempted to use a helicoil, since I'm so familiar with them.

Grey, I did the same, using a Helicoil.

This thread was discussed between 03/05/2019 and 04/05/2019

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