Hi again folks!
I spoke to a good freind yesterday who has owned MG's in the past. He suggested I check the valve clearances.
I managed to get some unexpected free time tonight so I set about doing the clearances (first time I've done this job)! I found that there were no clearances as such! I could not even get my smallest fila gauge in the gap! It took me a little while to get the right feel but after doing a couple I got the idea (just about). I gapped them all to 0.4mm (15 thou). I also did the compression test (with my new gauge) whilst the plugs were out. Results as follows:
Cyl 1: 170
Cyl 2: 165
Cyl 3: 165
Cyl 4: 170
Based on these all being with the permissable range I assume that the engine is still good health.
After putting everything back together, I started her up and she jumped into action and within a minute or so I was able to turn off the choke. This resulted in a smooth idle of approx 900rpm. All the lumpiness has gone so I am well chuffed. I will now move on to balancing the carbs etc and see where that gets me.
I took her for a 15 min test run and there was some very slight hesitation initially but this soon cleared. It's great that I'm not getting my fillings shaken out every time I'm stopped at the lights etc..
Thanks again for all the assistance. I'll report back with further progress whem I get chance to have my next tinkering session
PS. Whilst doing these jobs I noticed that the vacuum connectors for the timing advance and the brake boost vacuum hose are in poor condition. Any ideas where I can best source these parts? I'll download the Moss catalogue tomorrow (thanks for the tip). Hopefully they will be listed in there!