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Slightly off topic but the mention of Bosch alternators reminded me of when II worked for Bosch in South Wales when they first came there to make alternators....They were on the Welsh news not long after opening allegedly showing the first alternators off the line, but this was a scam, the line wasn't even finished and, they shipped over from Germany rejects, part dismantled them then put them in various places on the line to make it look the final assembly line was working....I also remember the copper bush pick up on the rotor was good for 100k+ miles as it was never physically touched by hand, but if it was, the oils and moisture from fingers would reduce the life down to around 10k miles, then one day the machine which loaded them onto pallets for the line broke down, they got a load of workers to manually put them onto the pallets as otherwise the line would have been on stop, each one picked up with bare fingers on the copper pickup to fit onto the pallets..
 

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That was the plan, quite often it's something simple that can be repaired.
^^^^^^^Absolutely agree with that - British Leyland/Austin Rover Group used Magnetti Marelli starters and alternators for years without them having any undue problems. I never had any problems with MM starter motors on any BL, Austin Rover or Rover Group era cars that I have owned. By contrast, every MG Rover era car that I have owned has needed its Bosch starter motor or its Bosch alternator replacing/repairing unexpectedly early in its life.

From what you describe about the engine cutting out when stood at traffic lights, I would think it more likely there is a wiring/electrical fault, or possibly a nearly dead battery (quite possible if it has been stood and discharged for 3 years?) Three year old petrol is perhaps not going to help smooth running, but that won't have any bearing on the non-operation of the starter.


Some negative pressure in the fuel tank is normal, and gives rise to a short hiss of air being sucked in when the cap is removed. No hiss of air/no slight vacuum would indicate a probable damaged/deteriorated seal on the filler cap.
Interesting, not everything German built was reliable was it.
The fuel is pretty much all new now, but I do question whether the fuel gauge is reading right when it is near to empty. As that is when the bug vacuum hiss is, it's done it twice now at the a low fuel level.
Are the gauges known to misread/display?
 

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A bit of a hiss is normal on my TF when releasing the fuel filler cap. As for the fuel gauge, mine used to read zero when it still had about a gallon left in it but it used to slightly bounce back up towards the zero mark when it was close to actually running out!. That was a dangerous piece of knowledge as I became complacent about running it with the fuel gauge reading empty and predictably I ran out of fuel. Twice in fact ;0)
 

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EDIT: When I said my fuel gauge read zero, the needle actually used to dip somewhat below the lowest mark on the gauge. Maybe by the width of the needle or somethig like that.
 

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Thanks for your replies.
The hiss is quite loud, so armed with your answers about the gauge reading faulty, I would think that the tank was actually empty.
My MGB runs out just below half a tank on the gauge, so it's all about getting to know your gauges I guess.
 

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I think that I would now start looking in two specific areas:
  • ignition barrel
  • battery

First the easy things:
  • Put some WD-40 in the ignition key slot and work it in/around either key.
  • Remove both battery connections and THOROUGHLY clean both the battery posts and the cable clamps back to shiny metal.
Then do the body end of the battery negative cable too.
- If still the same, take the battery to Halfords and get them to load test it.

If I was a betting man, I would put money on the battery being defective.

Anyway, lets see what happens when you have done the above.

Good luck Gaz.
 

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I think that I would now start looking in two specific areas:
  • ignition barrel
  • battery

First the easy things:
  • Put some WD-40 in the ignition key slot and work it in/around either key.
  • Remove both battery connections and THOROUGHLY clean both the battery posts and the cable clamps back to shiny metal.
Then do the body end of the battery negative cable too.
- If still the same, take the battery to Halfords and get them to load test it.

If I was a betting man, I would put money on the battery being defective.

Anyway, lets see what happens when you have done the above.

Good luck Gaz.
Ignition key is OK and everything else that you mentioned are all good, as is the new battery. But cheers for your advice anyway. 👍
 
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