MG sat all winter and will not start

Asked by Mar 30, 2013 at 07:48 PM about the 1980 MG MGB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I put my MG in storage for the winter and now it won't start, I'am getting fuel to the carb but after repeated attempts of turning it over it won't hit at all. I'm getting spark , the plugs are dry even after pumping the gas and turning it over..?

11 Answers

Did you put fuel stabilizer in it last fall when you stored it?

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The float may have stuck in the carb. That is unless it has the typical Brit Weber side draft or Solex carb - I know those are strange. If it has a bowl, the fuel pump has to fill the bowl to get the fuel to the jets.

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Try running it awhile by drizzling some gas into carb from a small cup, It may run on it's own after that. At Least you'll know if it will run.

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Did it sit outside in the snow and ice, or in a garage, away from santa claus?

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1980 is a long time for butyl-rubber parts to not want to break down to be a part of the soil, vacuum lines and rubber parts all need to be replaced, suggest that your troubles are rubber-related, including spark plug wires, gaskets and o-rings~

British-Leyland was never keen on precision, rather on function~


Sounds like carb problems, you will no doubt wind up overhauling the carbs to fix it completely, and check all of your fuel hoses, this so called fuel is really hard on rubber components.


Are you sure you are getting fuel to the carb, or just assuming that because you hear the fuel pump running. If the plugs are dry it is a fuel flow issue. Did you disconnect the fuel line to check it has a fuel flow with the ingntion on? Disconnect the fuel line anywhere convenient near the carb and put a rag under it, turn on the ignition briefly, and watch for fuel flow. If you have fuel flow then the problem is in the carb. If you have the original single carb then it is probably a stuck float. Six screws hold the float bowl on. Remove them and pull the bowl off carefully. Hopefully you will not tear the gasket - I never have. Use a mirror to see if the float looks ok and check that the float needle the float pushes on to shut off fuel flow noves up and down when pushed. Chances are it is gummed shut but a little jiggling will free it off and you should be back in business. Good luck. My 80 fired right up yesterday but I had driven it in November so not sitting too long.

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Or could try lovingly tap on carb with A small hammer where the bowl meats the main body.

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Or could try lovingly tap on carb with A small hammer where the bowl meats the main body to get float free.


take the fuel line on the caburator off , get the line to a bottle turn on ignition and fuel would flow.. if no fuel give the fuel pump a tiny dash still no fuel tjek the wires to fuel pump still no fuel exchange the contact set on the fuel pump

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