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MG MGB Technical - windscreen washer pump

I've replaced my washer pump 3 times over the last two years. i can't say any of them have produced a "jet" of water, more like a dribble which struggles to reach even the bottom quarter of the screen. This is despite cleaning the system many times. When I get into a "modern car" I become consumed with envy when the washer is activated. Usually a blast of water hits the screen like a tidal wave. Where, oh where can I get a, stand alone, washer pump with attitude......and ...pressure??
Allan Reeling

are you sure it's the pump at fault, could it be the washer jets

- or -

my Midget was fitted with a cheap Halford's type pump when I bought the car 7 years ago and it still works fine

- but -

the classic before that had been sitting around before I got it and the washer fluid in it left a residue of snot-like stuff in the washer bottle, hoses and jets which never fully cleaned out so I replaced the bottle and hoses
Nigel Atkins

Make sure your non-return valve is the right way and in the right place (just after the pump in the circuit)
Make sure you have a non-return valve fitted at all, though some are integral to the T peice.
Try removing the pick-up filter from the end that goes into the reservoir bottle.
Check the jets as mentioned above.
Double check the Y or T peice (if fitted).

If you're really having no fun, fit an electronic one and use your old manual pump as an electronic switch housing instead to keep the appearance correct. You can even hide the pump under the dash to keep the engine bay looking original.

The fitted pump IS electric! The system is as clean as a whistle and fitted correctly. The question was, are there no better, higher pressure, pumps to replace the stand alone units fitted to my V8? Lucas, Durite and Pearl all offer similar designs plus the usual Black plastic anonymous efforts, of course.
Allan Reeling

Hi Allan,

Any washer pump is capable of doing the job. A higher pressure pump would just blow the hoses off the fittings.

I'm with the blockage in the system crowd.

In the past I've had a dead earwig up in the nozzle and a small grain of grit.

Try unscrewing the jet from the nozzle, run the pump to check flow, then using fine wire clean the jet orifices.

Herb Adler

"Any washer pump is capable of doing the job". Well not the 3 i've had so far. "A higher pressure pump would just blow the hoses off the fittings".
We have spent many years successfully clamping hoses to fittings!! Plus, as I indicated, modern cars seem to be able to manage pressure without "blowing the hoses off!!!"
Maybe "clean as a whistle" is not saying it sufficiently????
So no one has any pump suggestions then!
Allan Reeling


Is there a reason not to get one from a modern car? Maybe out of a junkyard from a make that you have seen to perform well?

C R Huff

"So no one has any pump suggestions then!"

Nigel suggested one from Halfords.

Try one from an MGB. I've got one on mine and it works fine. Washes the headrests if the hood's down.
John Bilham

i just bought one of these: seems very good value.

it should arrive tomorrow and will report back when fitted.
Graham Moore

Trouble is most "modern" cars have washer pumps and bottles as a unit, similar to the one Graham has sent the link about. Maybe I'll go down that road, I might find one which fits the V8 location!
Graham, it does seem good value, look forward to the test report!!
Allan Reeling

Test the pump without any piping connected. Check the voltage reaching it as well. I have electric on my V8 and it's fine.
Paul Hunt

Like many replacements they are not a patch on the originals.
My original, 40 year old TRICO was a small jewel of a pump but the years caught up with it.
Allan Reeling

I've seen others report on many modern parts as being rubbish but not a washer pump before

as already put by John mine is a generic metal bodied type which I've seen in the likes of Halfords and it works very well and has for the last seven years

Nigel Atkins

The current electronic ones struggle to suck past the pickup filter in the bottle. As I suggested in my last post, remove this and try again.

the current pumps must be weaker than mine then as the only one-way valve I have fitted is at the foot of the pipe inside the washer bottle so at the very start of the system

good idea to try removing it though

thinking about it I did also replace that one-way valve and decided to keep it inside the bottle, seems to work fine as far as I can tell, instant squirt of washer fluid to screen and good jets of fluid too
Nigel Atkins

Will try that! Have cleaned, prodded sucked and blown this morning. Still disappointing!
Allan Reeling

I fitted an MGOC one to a pal's car and it was fine.

Do you have some spare tubing? can you connect the pump from your regular car to the pipework on the B. (As a test....!)
Michael Beswick

Michael, my regular car IS a V8 B!!
Allan Reeling

Got any mates?!!!with regular cars?
Michael Beswick

Got your gist Michael. It's worth a try.
How's the unit Graham.
Allan Reeling

Reporting back.

Ease of fitment - 9.9/10
Value for money - 10/10

I just could not believe how well this fits the MGB (72 GT). I expected to have to struggle and drill new mounting holes - but no.

The bottle is in 2 parts - the main unit and a plastic hanger that it slides down onto.

I removed my old tudor bottle & cage and the holes lined up perfectly with the ones in the hanger. Cool!

Hanger fitted, now slide bottle down. I figured the oil cooler pipes might be in the way - but no! Slid on perfectly with ease. perfect height

The only downside (fixed now) was that it dripped - very slightly. The water connectors (pump in/out to the bottle & to the washers - the pump is housed in the same plastic unit but is isolated from the water tank which is good) are at the bottom of the bottle and it weeped when full. On inspection, there were small 'burrs' on the connectors where you push on the water pipes & one did not seal perfectly. Cleaned with a file and used cable ties to strap the pipes on tight - worked a treat.

Excellent product and I am buying a spare (plus shares in the manufacturer) before you all buy the stock.

Installed pic attached. Looking at the pic it does look as if it stand proud from the rad surround but it does not. It looks very neat. If you would like further pics, let me know.

By the way, it also creates a very good jet of water!

Graham Moore

that looks good and a good location as you can easily see how much fluid is in it and can easily get to it to refill

IF it's the type where the pump goes through a rubber seal and IF the seal starts to weep you *might* be able to stop that by applying some silicone grease

with that capacity of fluid it should last many months (years?)

as the Midget windscreen is so small and I Rain-X it (and use Rain-X rejuvenate) plus often need to clean the screen from fly spats and other muck the small 'Tudor' bottle holds enough to last me a long time
Nigel Atkins

I seem to have solved it, but don't quite know why!!! Took the pick-uo strainer and the non return valve out and now have an absolute pressure washer!!!! There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the valve though, i.e., clean, right way round?? Words fail!!
Allan Reeling

not sure I'm with you, do you mean you have two units, a filter then separate non-return valve if so one might be fighting the other - or one or both might not be as whistle clean as you think :)

if you want to you could try putting them back in individually and then together to see what happens

if you mean the unit is combined then I'd think about replacing the filter part of it at least to save blockages in the future
Nigel Atkins

Have you tried blowing through each in each direction looking for restriction?

Strainers at least can clog with organic matter.
Paul Hunt

Yes there's no logic to needing to remove either of them, but as I said, the new units struggle to suck past the pickup strainer, cleaned or not.

What you can do, is dismantle the unit and replace the very fine gauze with something much coarser, just to stop the big bits going up the line and ruining the motor whilst not really hampering the flow at all.
I frequently just omit them, though and clean the bottle out regularly instead.


I'm glad you've finally resolved your issue, I've had a similar pump to Nigel for years and itís always worked perfectly. The problem I've always had its coordinating pressing the washer button and operating the wiper switch separately, not a big chore Iíll grant you but when youíre used to a modern wash wipe it does seem antiquated. So I decided I could build at a unit to combine the washers and wipers. It starts the washers a short time before the wipers and does a couple of after wipes when the washers stop. I've also built in a continuously variable intermittent wipe feature that has a delay of up to 30 seconds. It takes no more than 20 minutes to fit, thereís no need to cut any wires and it can be removed leaving the wiring completely unchanged.

I've made a couple for friends but had thought about going into small scale production if the interest was there. I know there are already products that can do this but this is specifically designed for a B, all the wires are ready terminated and I think I can make them for a better price than comparable products.

If thereís any interest Iíll try making a video to show the installation and operation.

R.A Davis

My wash/wipe is on one stalk so not the same problem.
Allan Reeling

Smartscreen is all you need, I have it on both my MGBs. I've even contemplated fitting one to my ZS as that only has one intermittent wiper periodicity which rarely seems to be right for the conditions. With Smartscreen you simply use the original wiper switch to stop, start as normal and program the required delay. There is a version that integrates with electric washers which starts the wipers just by pressing the washer button.

No connection blah blah.
Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 05/02/2015 and 09/02/2015

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