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Author Topic: Radiator Clearance  (Read 229 times)

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Radiator Clearance
« on: November 14, 2020, 05:14:25 PM »
First let me thank you for your dedication and insight to these autos that however lovely can drive you crazy. I have a '78 MG Midget 1500 that I just replaced the water pump, fan clutch and ordered a new radiator and cowl. I made a mistake by throwing away the old radiator and cowl as they were in bad shape. The new radiator and cowl I received from Victoria British Motors, although it fits will not allow me to put the fan on. There is only about 1/2-3/4 of a inch clearance between them now.

I called them and they say I have the right one. I spoke with Moss Motors also and they do not sell radiators for that vehicle past 1975 because they are slightly different. It looks to me like the cowl is more widened than the old. After I have seen where its been suggested to go with a Sprite water pump/fan and eliminate the clutch. Will this give me the clearance I need? If so what type/yr do I order or do I modify the cowl or what? Hopefully you can help me solve this issue. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks in advance.

James Ranieri


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    • University Motors
Re: Radiator Clearance
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2020, 05:35:11 PM »
Rule Number One:  Never throw anything away.  But now you know that!

As I remember, there is a radiator for the 1975 and then a much wider radiator for the '76-'79.  I do not remember there being a change in the measurements fore and aft.  So, either the fan/water pump are incorrect, the radiator is incorrect, or the cowl is incorrect.  You can contact Glenn Lenhard of Glenn's MG Service in Tampa (he's closest to you) and ask / travel there for an inspection.  You can order the correct used cowl from Paul at Sportscar Craftsmen in Denver CO -- maybe even a good used rad. 

The earlier Spridget engine uses a completely different water pump and fan, so that's not a solution.  Some of the Triumphs used a fixed fan (without the clutch), but I don't know about the spacing on those.  If you sent me a couple of pictures of what you have in place now, I might be able to make a suggestion.  I don't have a 1500 Midget close by to inspect.  Let me know what you eventually find -- or how you have solved the problem.

John Twist
John H Twist
University Motors Online
100 East Beltline Avenue SE
Grand Rapids, MI  49506


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