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MGA Published: 26th Feb 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Want some extra fun or usability from your classic? Then here’s our top tips

Keeping your MGA in capital A fettle is super easy thanks to prolific, terrific parts supply provided by a veritable army of specialists and backed by magnificent club support. And MGAs are so easy and pleasing to work on


GRP panels (popular during the 70s) are still available and while they save £££ will seriously devalue car. A safety roll hoop requires special body mods to effect properly and chassis has to be sound enough


Can be tappety but not serious. Oil pressure 50psi-60psi; blue smoke indicates worn piston rings or bores. Cylinder heads been known to crack, with the first outward sign being a blown gasket

Front suspension

Bushes wear but little to go wrong as long as regular trunnion lubrication is carried out. Cheap recon dampers don’t last long warn specialists so it’s worth paying for top quality ones

Bottom end

Tough but heavy tuning is best with later five bearing unit, not a straight fit. Early 1500 cars have weak cranks; ‘1622’ crank will fit 1500 block, but must machine crank and the block to suit


Look for rust regularly; chassis legs, floorboard supports, wings and sills. And ensure the wooden floorboards are fine. Converting to RHD is straightforward but rarely worth doing


Apart from seized adjusters on the drum backplates and sticking handbrakes, there’s nothing out of the ordinary to watch for. Many parts came from A50/A60 range, so parts sourcing is easy

Rear end

CWP bearings known to break up. Better to catch them early, as replacements typically are around £400 using quality parts. Rear leaf springs settle and if replacing, don’t opt for lower, stiffer ones


Good choice of suppliers. Brown and Gammons markets original-spec seats in leather from £1100 in a variety of MGAcorrect styles. Also the MGOC sells leather cover kits for £550

Other engines

Although we’ve driven one and it was great, fitting a V8 is a lot more of a hassle than slotting in a MGB but we understand that Mazda MX-5 units have been installed to create a more modern and durable ‘TwinCam’ MGA even if it’s hardly a purist choice… But as kits for the Midget and MGB are made for the Rover K-Series perhaps there lies a better and more authentic alternative?

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