In 1936 the MG Car Company made a dramatic change in the design of their sports cars. In this year they introduced the MGTA Midget. The MGTA originated the familiar T-Series design element and to the casual observer, it is hard to distinquish from the MGTC. The MGTA sported the famous radiator design, the swept wings, running boards, folding windscreen, and large accessible bonnet. It was a two seater sports car with a foldable hood and side curtains. Just over 3,000 MGTA's were produced in three years of production. The MGTA suffered from a poor performing engine and in 1939 the MGTB was introduced with the now famous XPAG engine. Only a few were produced as in a few months World War II broke out.
During World War II production of MG's ceased as the MG Car Company was put into service for the war effort making tanks and airplane parts, and other military items. When the war ended the the MG Car Company was anxious to get back to making sports cars. They revisited the MGTB and made a few subtle changes. These were in the form of a wider body and shackles replacing sliding trunnions for the spring mounts. The Nuffield Organization also made another drastic change. They started taking an active interest in selling their sports cars in North America. It appears that during the War a number of American GI's had an opportunity to experience the T-Series MG's. When the War ended a number of these cars were imported and then formally sold into North America, especially the United States. The MGTC was produced from 1945 to 1949 with a total production of about 10,000 cars.
Due to the fact that the United States had much more cash available to spend on entertainment and sports than did war torn Britain, the Nuffield Organization made a drastic change in their marketing, focusing on North America. In 1949 the MGTC was fitted with many elements to make it more North American such as front and rear bumpers, twin horns, and dual tail lamps. Even by making these changes only a fraction of the MGTC's were imported into North America. There were still too many issues with a car of this type for different North America conditions. Amongst those were driving on the right hand side of the road rather than the left, more high speed maneuvers such as freeways, a softer ride, and some additional creature comforts. What was needed was a total redesign of the MGTC if the MG Car Company was to capture a significant portion of the North American market. What was missing was a total commitment from the Nuffield Organization to do so.
The Legacy of the MGTD
In 1949 a small group of MG leaders, headed by John Thornley, got together to try to create a car that was acceptable to the North American marketplace while at the same time would limit the investment of the Nuffield Organization. Clearly it would be impossible to completely create a new car, not only from a financial point but from a timing standpoint as well. What was needed was a little of the old, sprinkled with a little of the new. Another key factor was to borrow or incorporate features found in other Nuffield cars of the time that were more up to date than the MGTC.
First it was decided to start with the MGTC. It was felt that the MGTC still provided a favorable brand image to the North American marketplace. Many elements of the MGTC were still believed to be important such as:
Safety Fast engineering
The familiarity of design
What was missing was:
More futuristic styling
Better turning and handling
A smoother ride
Left hand drive
More creature comforts such as an optional heater and radio. Quickly a team of MG personnel took inventory of the components of the Nuffield Organization that they had to work with. They discarded the TC's frame because it was to light and not rigid enough. They found what they wanted in the Y types. A small modification to the frame was to have it sweep over the rear axle rather than under. This gave them more travel in the rear springs so they could increase the damping. In addition they adopted rack and pinion steering and front coil springs and wishbones. This and the change in rear end suspension allowed for a smoother ride and better handling than the MGTC. One of the major changes was to reduce the wheel size from 19 inches to 15 inches and increase the tire width to 5.50. All of these changes made the MGTD a superior riding car over the MGTC.
Because of the use of the larger frame the body became 5 inches wider. Although the body increased by 5 inches, only one inch actually found it's way into the cockpit so there is an indiscernible difference in the seating width. The biggest change that people notice about the MGTD from the MGTC is the lack of wire wheels. As part of the Nuffield cost cutting challenge the more expensive wire wheels of former T-Series cars were replaced by solid steel wheels. For the entire production run of the MGTD the factory took heat for this decision. They constantly tried to create implausible technical reasons why wire wheels would not work but their reasons were never accepted by the marketplace. In fact wire wheels were one of the most popular aftermarket accessories at the time. Nuffield itself had to offer an upgrade kit to wire wheels during 1953 because the essentially identical 1954 MGTF chassis sported wire wheels as an option.
Other changes between the MGTC and the MGTD were more stylized wings, partially due to the smaller wheels. A dual production capable LHD or RHD model, better brakes, adjustable steering column, and an interchangeable dashboard for left or right hand driving were also incorporated. An optional radio and heater, as well as many accessories designed to improve the performance of the car were made available.
The MGTD Models
The MGTD was produced from 1949 to August of 1953. During that period the MGTD saw many subtle changes, but nothing drastic. See the pages on production for details on the changes of the MGTD over the years. The MGTD was offered in three basic models although no more than two were ever available at one time.
The original MGTD was first produced in late 1949 and had it's formal introduction in January of 1950. There were a total of four model years; 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953. The first model set the stage for what the MGTD was. Because of the short amount of time from the inception of the MGTD to the delivery of the first cars, not everything was quite as the MG Car Company would have liked it. In fact they were still making MGTC's on the production line when the first MGTD's were produced. Other models were also being made on the same assembly line at the same time. This says something of the flexibility of the Abingdon work crews and factory.
Most changes to these early MGTD's were unnoticeable from the untrained eye. One exception to this was the change from solid wheels to slotted wheels. Still steal and not wire, but a change nothing else. Most of this seems to be precipitated from the fact that the brakes were fading due to poor cooling. Another change was to stiffen the body by adding an internal under firewall tubular frame. It helped but the MGTD body bucket still seems to flex quite a bit when pressed into corners.
If you find any faults, please inform me, and I'll correct them. Please forward all additional info you want to share to : Email: mailto:email@example.com
NOTE: These data is "collective net" wisdom and should be handled with care, thus :
This FAQ can also be found at (long and large file!)
Web-based archive at http://listquest.com, under the Hobbies/cars link.
List archives in searchable form on the following web site at http://www.mgb.bc.ca/#archive
The MG Repository is up and running at www.spin.pin.co.za/mg/main.html
Collected by Danko Roozemond, e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The MG T Series Restoration Guide by Malcolm Green is interesting in that it has a number of excellent diagrams which I have found useful in determining how lines and wires are routed. It is also very good on interiors.
The Complete M.G. TD Restoration Manual By Horst Schach is new. I have a copy and it seems to cover areas that are not covered in other books. A very worthwile book.I was somewhat surprised to find absolutely nothing about carburetors, generator, starter, fuel pump, etc. Therefore, I think the use of the word "complete" is a bit strong. I guess that you are supposed to get this info somewhere else. However, it appears to be the best I've seen on body restoration.
I found the MG midget TD/TF Factory Workshop to be fairly good, but has minor faults such as poor diagrams of the brake system. The MG Midget Series TD and TF Workshop Manual is, in my opinion, much better than those that cover all of the T's because it is easier to sort out the information pertinent to the TD.
The T Type Restoration Handbook by Knudson is excellent for the reprints of articles from the magazine of the New England T-Series Reg. A tremendous font of all sorts of good facts is "The T Series Handbook" put out by the New England 'T' Register. I've recently seen pictures of it in catalogs with a new cover since the one I have which came out in 1986. I don't know if there are changes in the text also.
In general, each book has strengths in different areas with Schlack being very strong in the engine rebuild and tub restoration.
There is one book that you did not mention. The University Motors LTD. Technical Booklet. This is put out by John Twist at University Motors in Ada, Michigan. He teaches a series of classes on MGs during the winter and uses this as a manual. I have had the joy of attending a number of his classes - B Series restoration, Front end rebuild, Transmission Rebuild, Interiors. He also does classes on carb. rebuilds, T Series restoration and engine rebuild. My XPEG engine was rebuild this winter in this course. The Tech Book covers all of the post war models and includes articles that John has written for various magazines such as MG Mag. The cost is about $15 - $18 and is well worth the cost.
Another good source of information are the catalogs from Moss Motors and Abingdon Spares. _Almost_ every part is illustrated in these catalogs.
Okay, what's a fellow need to take care of a TD? Just how many weird wrenches do I gotta buy? What are the good books? What's the ohmigawd parts you don't want to break under any circumstances? Moss the only US parts vendor?
Now that you've decided to join the group of aficionado's of the MG world with your recent purchase of what must be a fine TD you are going to find a whole new world of needed tools, especially the whitworth wrench and socket.
TD's use a combination of threaded fittings ranging from the "Nuffield Metric" to the various BSF and Unified threads. For most "nut and bolt" tightening I would recommend a good set of Whitworth's. Since you can conceviably take the TD apart with a "cresent wrench and vice grips" (not recommended) the entire assembly is avaiable for exploring.
I sure that other list TD owner's can give you the OHMIGAWD, on what parts to do the "chant of never break" as for me.. I would say the rear-end and gearbox.
I have found MOSS to be the best source but there are others, and I have found the used parts vendors to be very reliable and reasonable in price.
join the NEMGTregister so you can get the Sacred Octagon 2. get the NEMGTR publication the"T Series Handbook" Also get the factory workshop manual 3. Get the Moss Catalogue and the Abingdon Spares Catalogue (they are the two main suppliers.) 4. for tools, you will need a set of Whits , I suggest a set of combination box and opens, and a set of sockets.
BAP published some flat rate info in its 1956 catalog. Here's some useful stuff for you for the TC & TD.
hours cost $
Engine overhaul 13.0 h
Rebore @ $4 16.00
Gasket set 1 4.70
Gasket set 2 2.60
Piston, ea 6.85
Ring set ea 6.15
Valve spring set 4.70
Exh valve, ea 1.75
Intake valve, ea 1.36
Conrod Brg set 5.36
Main Brg set 8.54
Exh guide, ea .70
In guide, ea .66
Clutch overhaul 8.0
Clutch unit, exchange 23.75
TD parts may have been bargains then; they're twice the price of MGB parts today.
- frame, body, body wood, all look good, no work
Are you sure? Check wood around the sills in particular. New body tub is $5,000+, although yours can probably be repaired for much less, if necessary. wood sills may or maynot be good..there are products on the market to correct punky wood, but if you are paticular you will replace..any wood and panel work is difficult. I recently restored, Frame up, a 53 TD. Can be fun if treated that way or it may just drive you crazy. Shop the internet for stuff you need. Make a list and buy from moss when they have their sales..look for the items you need on sale.
Minimum $350 to sleeve all brake slave and master cylinders. $150 for new brake lines. About $125 to $160 for shoes. About $50 for rebuild kits. I had to pay $100 to have the drums turned at a machine shop since no one had a brake lathe to fit. That's a total of $775 just for parts and stuff I just couldn't do myself. New front slave cylinders are made of unobtainium. Brakes are the most inportant of all. You need to stop when you need to stop. Can really hurt if you do not. Do not skip here. New lines, resleeve, etc.
Not too expensive if you pull the engine and install yourself. About $200 for parts. More to turn the flywheel or replace the ring gear, if needed. Correct.
- fuel system, lines and carb rebuild
Most firms charge around $300 to rebuild the carbs, much cheaper if you do it yourself. Fuel pumps are around $90. Correct but you can do it yourself. Rebuild kits are relativly inexpensive..buy the video.
- wire wheels, trued, beaded and painted, powder coat
Powder coating costs about $40 to $50 a wheel, but then you don't have to bead and paint them. How did you end up with wires on a '52? They aren't original, if you are concerned with that. Bead and repaint!
- paint, few minor dents, no rust...
Sounds like the whole thing needs to be stripped first. Probably several hundred $$ or so to strip, depending upon your method. Cheapest would be to do it yourself with several cans of stripper. Messy job. Easier to have it plastic media blasted, which is expensive, but leaves a great surface for the paint. DO NOT SANDBLAST IT! Sandblasting is way too abrasive and will warp the panels. A _good_ paint job will be a couple thousand dollars. There are places that you can take the tub, fenders , etc to and have them dipped. Works great.
$2,000? Just a guess, I haven't got this far, yet. That's just for the upholstery and panels, no labor.Don not think it will cost that much if you shop and buy when on sale, but not cheap. - chrome, ouch $$$, canada or mexico?
Depends on the quality. You can generally buy repro bumpers for less than you can have the originals rechromed, but the finish doesn't last long on the repros. Front grill surround I think is $200 to $300 depending upon damage and the quality of the result you want.True! Front Radiator shell was recromed for only $250, but it is perfect now.
This is about the order I plan to progress in. Any info will be greatly appreciated. I don't want to get in over my finacial head...,
What about a new top and side curtain covers ($1,000 from Moss)? Are you going to take it off the frame and have the frame sandblasted, etc. What about suspension parts? New front bushings, springs, shocks runs about $400+ for parts, no labor. Rear springs and shocks would be more. How is the engine? A rebuild could easily cost $2,000+. The transmission? Parts are $500 minimum for a tranny rebuild.
Before you start your XPAG ENGINE, If at all possible, pressure oil it with an outside pressure/oil bottle. Then start the engine and bring it right up to 1500/2000 RPM. Dont let it idle at less than 1500 RPM. This is very important in setting the cam. After running it or driveing it for approx. one hour, you can set normal idle 900/1000 RPM. For break in use a good heavy duty detergent oil SAE 30. Once the engine is broken in, you can go to multi grade. I prefer Pure synthetic SAE 20-50.
I'm having a problem that is giving me more trouble than I would expect. I'm about to start the engine on a TD that hasn't been run in several years, and I felt that I should crank up oil pressure before attempting to fire it up. I have primed the pump by pumping oil into the oil gallery on the side of the engine, and by opening a plug on the top of the oil filter housing and pouring oil in there until it runs out of the oil gallery. I've also had the pan off and inspected the pickup and drive, which are fine. The car has the later style pump, with a regular canister type filter.
The pump won't come off the side of the engine without some disassembly of the steering shaft, and raising the motor up off its mounts. I would like to avoid doing that. I figure that it should pump alright -- though I've never seen the engine run, I know it had oil pressure the last time it was run. Does anyone know a trick for priming this pump? I've been through this with other cars, but never had so much trouble.
What you have done so far is all good. However, my experience has been that an air bubble can form inside the oil filter canister, which prevents correct flow of the oil. Try slackening the canister a bit,(with a large drip pan underneath) and again priming. If you perceive a sudden 'burp' of air/oil, retighten the cannister and try spinning the motor, to ascertain if oil pressure is building up. If you do not wish to slacken the cannister, then again removing the filler plug on the pump/cannister casting will facilitate the 'burping' process. Or, as an alternative, jack up one of the rear wheels, place the transmission in top gear AND with the ignition in the OFF position, have an assistant rotate the rear wheel BACKWARDS. At the same time, try repriming the pump as you have been doing. It is a good idea from both a safety point of view, and for ease to the wheel rotator, to remove the sparking plugs. Periodically try spinning the engine on the electrical starter mechanism, and watch for oil pressure to show.
You can use an "engine pre-oiler". This device is used by professional engine rebuilders. You can probably borrow/rent this locally. Basically, it is a pressurized container containing 1-4 qts of motor oil and is connected to the block at the oil pressure sending unit port. After ensuring a good seal, a valve is opened which charges the entire lubrication system. I borrowed one from the engine rebuilder for my car (1500 Midget) and it worked great. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the responses to my oil priming problem. I had never had so much trouble pumping up oil pressure before starting an engine -- especially one with a so-called "self-priming" pump! I've resurrected many engines that have sat unused for years, and this was the most difficult one I've seen, in terms of getting the oil to flow.
I've succeeded in getting oil pressure now, and started the engine successfully. This pump is made with two ports that seem to be intended specifically for priming it. One is on the block, directly above the pump, and the other is on the pump housing near the oil filter canister. When I was failing to get pressure, I was pumping oil into the port by the filter, and watching it run out of the oil galley at an open port. Cranking the engine would not produce flow in the galley. When I succeeded, I pumped oil into the port on the block, and watched it come out near the filter. Lots of air bubbles came out too, and when they stopped I tried cranking the engine again. I got a good gusher of oil from the oil galley with only a little cranking. Then I buttoned everything up and watched oil come out at the rockers.
I think one of the keys to success here was using a large syringe, instead of a pump oiler, to put the oil into the system. The syringe could put a lot of oil in all at once. I guess the oil must need to fill the passages and the filter thoroughly, in order to force the air out. Someone suggested using a preoiling device made specifically to pressurize the system -- I'm sure that would work well if you had one at hand, much as an AcuSump system works on a race engine.
I guess "self-priming", in the context of this car, means that you can prime it yourself, if you know how.
Does anyone have an easy, effective way to prime an oil pump on an early TD?
Remove the key from the ignition and jack up one rear wheel so that it is just clear of the ground. Remove the oil pump's priming plug and the sparking plugs. Place the gearlever in the top gear position. Have an assistant slowly turn the rear wheel BACKWARDS. While the engine is being turned backwards, inject engine oil by means of an oil can with a spout into the pump's orifice. After about a 1/4 pint has been injected, replace the priming plug, place gear in neutral, and spin the engine on the starter. If no pressure, repeat the process. May not be easy, but it is certainly effective. Correction: I should have said place the gear lever in first gear.
Thanks for the help. However, my TD is an early example. The oil pump doesn't have a priming plug.
On the early pumps, why not remove the oil filter line and prime? Maybe not as fast as the later models, but should work since the outlet hole is at the end of the gears.
I suspect that my version is actually the same but I take more words to describe it. i.e. Before fitting the banjo bolt to the top of the new oil filter fill the filter with oil. Refit, but do not tighten, the banjo bolt to the filter top. Undo and remove the banjo bolt, which attaches the pump to filter oil pipe, at the pump and swing the pipe to one side. Now fill the pump with oil. Reconnect the oil pipe to the pump by replacing the banjo bolt and tighten both banjo bolts. With plugs removed and ignition turned off turn the motor until oil pressure is achieved.
Where can I find the pancake filter element to fit my air cleaners for my 2 SU's 1 1/4"?
I would like K&N filters. Any suggestions.
I am curious how your air cleaners are mounted on your TD. I bought a set of
K&N's and found that the radiator stay is in the way.
I researched this some time ago and could not find K&N to fit my TD. The oil will get dark just by periodic use and should be changed at least every 3000 miles or sooner on a TD. I use ths Stellings/Hellings units and they look great and were a period accessory. To keep your car looking "right" the S/H should do just fine.
At one time I was using TF-type dry filters on my MkII with the 1.5" carbs. They were just window screen. I found that the paper element from the air filter that fits 7hp Kohler tractor/lawn equipment/stationary engines could be wrapped around the window screen and do a credible job of filtering out dirt. Cheap, easy. I went to an OEM filter when I could find one. See some approx year old issues of TSO for my tech tip and some better ideas that followed. BTW, my guess on the black color of the oil is blowby, not air through the filters turning it dark. Does your rocker cover vent get its air through the filter? I would like to figure out how to install a paper element in the TD's oil-bath cannister without damaging the cannister. Any ideas?
What is the correct way to tighten the engine stabilizer on a TD? My engine moves and I need the collective wisdom to stabilize the engine. Do I "push" or Pull the engine to tighten it at the stabilizer. And how do I actually adjust the stabilizer?
The stabilizer is a turnbuckle with both a left and a right hand thread on the inner portion. Undo the outer nut so the stabilizer is free to slide in and out of the hole on the vertical bracket when the engine is pushed sideways. Allow the engine to rest on it's bearers in it's 'natural' position. Then undo the two locknuts adjacent to the turnbuckle's long centre nut. Holding the outer threaded rod with a mole wrench, use a spanner to turn the long nut one way or the other so that the stabliizer either lengthens or shortens, until the loose end's inner rubber pad touches the vertical bracket, with out moving the motor from it's 'natural' position. Tighten the two lock nuts, and finally tighten the outer nut so that the vertical bracket is gripped firmly between the two rubber pads. Then pass a split pin through the castellated nut and the threaded rod, or if you are using a self gripping nut, tighten it as above.
The idea is to allow the engine to rest on it's bearers in a vertical position and to prevent it from moving from side to side under load while at the same time damping vibrations as much as possible.
The shop manual says the engine should neither be pulled or pushed. In other words the stabilizer should not move the engine from it's normal resting position. The engine and the radiator should line up so that the big radiator hose does not have to bend. The stabilizer link length is adjustable and should be set so that it neither pushes or pulls on the engine. When everything is set right, you can still rock the engine a bit with your hand on the valve cover, but it should have a nice firm feel. My engine was loose as a goose untill I put new rubber bits on the link ends. (The engine also needed new motor mounts, but thats another matter.)
According to the manual (natch) loosen the outer nut on the stabilizer and turn the central turnbuckle until the engine is free to move sideways in both directions. Shake the engine real good and let it settle. Expand the stabilizer with the turnbuckle until it is firmly bedded against the brackets at each end, but don't overdo it (move the engine). Tighten the outer nut. The stabilizer is a stabilizer, but is not meant to correct for other mounting problems (i.e., shouldn't have tension on it when at rest).
I understand there are Datsun or Mitsubishi plastic fan blades that are interchangable with the MG T-type blade. Does anyone know the model and/or part number? These are 6 bladed fans and reportedly can reduce operating temp by 10 deg - much needed here in CA. The dimension of the TC blade is 12 5/8 OD, four mounting holes 3/16 D on 1 3/4 bolt circle. I have looked in a couple of junk yards but saw only blades with a large center hole for an electric motor.
In the past year I rebuilt the engine for my 52 TD. Until recently it has only been on the road for short trips. This past weekend we went a little further and of course it is a lot hotter outside. The temp gage shot up to over a 100C. the thermostat is new and rated at 83C. The water pump was rebuilt with the engine. I was going to pull the thermostat and let the water/coolant run free but was cautioned the thermostat helps build up pressure which keeps the circulation going. Any suggestions?
I went through this a couple of years ago with mine. You don't mention the status of the radiator; was it cleaned out, rodded to make sure there are no obstructions? Make sure the timing is correct. Retarded timing could contribute to the problem. Also, on the XPAG engine there are two small (3/16") holes in the water jacket that somehow help the flow of the coolant through the engine that many times become clogged and are overlooked in a rebuild. They are located behind the freeze plugs under the carbs (you must remove the plugs to access them). This was addressed many years ago in a tech article in TSO and is very obscure information.
If anything, TD's tend to be somewhat overcooled. Did you clean out the water passages in the block when the engine was rebuilt? Is there a chance that your radiator may be somewhat clogged?
My TD has rebuilt carbs that I can not set to allow the car to idle below 1000 RPMs. The front carb has a weeping of gas from the bottom cork gland. Could that be the culprit? What to do?
Obviously the carbs have not been rebuilt properly, or they would not be leaking. When installing new cork seals it is useful to soak them in light oil say 3 in 1, for a couple of days, prior to installation. This will provide a swollen and a lubricated surface for the jet to slide on and give a good leak proof seal. It is vital to ensure the brass butterfly is correctly installed in it's shaft, with the chamfered edges tightly fitting the interior bore of the carb's body when in the fully closed position. This is best achieved by lightly setting the retaining screws first, and then operating the shaft by hand while watching light shining through the choke tube. When the throttle plates have settled into their 'natural position' and the least amount of light is visible, then tighten the screws, and set them. It is also vital that the cross shafts are correctly fitting the carb's body. Loose shafts will ruin any attempt for a reliable idle; tight shafts in a rebushed body will expand with heat and can cause the throttle to stick in the wide open position, resulting in embarrassing situations not conducive to longevity. Assuming that all these points are in order, it is now vital that the fuel level in the float chamber is correct, and that there is no leakage of fuel past the inlet valve. (I recommend the fitting of the Gross type of fuel inlet valves.). Any maintenance manual will give you the relative procedures for this. I need not reiterate here this readily available information.
After all these items have been attended to, arm yourself with a carb synchroniser such as is sold by Moss. The oldies used to check for correct balance between the two carbs by listening, via a short piece of rubber tubing to the hiss, made when the engine was running, of the air passing through the carbs' throat. Not very accurate, especially for the hearing impaired person. The synchroniser will enable you to set both carbs. independently of each other to the same rate of inhallation. Again, clear instructions are included with the machine. Follow the procedures laid down for mixture adjustment, and make sure the dash pots are topped up with an oil to SAE 20 spec. It is VITAL that the needle bearing piston be free to move over it's whole travel, and that the needle is corrctly centered in the jet's orifice.
All throttle linkages must be free and lubricated in order that the butterflies can close properly. The return springs should be in good order, and the shaft interconnectors tightened cautiously to prevent an undue differential twisting of one shaft in relation to the other from spoiling the idle. I also recommend the fitting of a heat shield between the carbs and the manifold. This will help prevent overheating of the float chambers (which contributes to give an erratic idle) and also vapourisation of the petrol, so common a fault when making short duration stops on very hot days.
The S.U. Carburettor rebuilding video available from Moss Motors gives a very clear explanation of how to do these jobs correctly. I am able to supply you with a heat shield should you so desire.
Spun a bearing on my '52, and had to re-build the bottom half of the engine. Now that I've got her back together, I can't get the mixture right.
At the best idle when warm, (set the mixture by the book. Jet adjusting nuts six flats out, etc, etc,) she has no power throughout the rev range, and runs hot, which means, (to me) that she's running way lean. However, any attempts to enrich the mixture pretty much makes her undrivable.
Here's what I've done in trying to correct the problem, and some relevent specs.
-Valves set to .019 -Re-built distributor with a point gap set to .014 -New timing chain -Re-built SU carbs -Trottle linkage re-bushed. -Static timed the ignition
Here's some caveats:
-Don't know which cam is on her, so the valve setting could be .012. I'm going to split the difference in a few days and set it to .015 to see if there's any improvement.
-After having the distibutor re-built, timing chain replaced lined up all the marks properly on the gears w/correct chain config, (to cut to the chase, if the MG shop manual is right, the ignition timing is dead-on). The dwell is still off by -10degrees.
So that's it. Any help greatly appreciated. I'll even name my first son after you if you give me a solution that fixes the problem.
First of all check the points gap 14 thou is OK for the Lucas 23D distributer in an MGA or MGB but not for an XPAG engine which used an older type of Lucas distributer 12 thou is the correct gap . Don't even bother to try and relate the dwell angle to a book figure as you are unlikely to find any source for the correct figure. Instead if you suspect distributer trouble just check the gap on all 4 lobes of the distributer cam and average them to 12 thou. Set the ignition timing to 5 deg btdc static and advance it until pinking is just
detected on unleaded fuel when the throttle is fully open in top gear at 1500 RPM then retard it by about 3 degrees. The engine will tend to run hot if the timing is too retarded.
Two different cams with different designs of quienting ramps hence vastly different valve clearances were used in XPAG engines I know of no way to tell them apart however if the tappets are set to 19 thou the only problem this is likely to cause is excess noise and should not affect the running, however valve clearance which are to tight will reduce power particularly at low revs. The only
guide I can give is if your car is the latter TD2 with H4 carbs and long reach sparlk plugs (ie. Champion N5) -- it MAY use the cam for the later (tighter)
valve clearance most replacement cams are of this type. As you are aware the valve timing is very difficult to set in this type of engine - the timing marks are unconventional - the timing marks line up with marked links on the chain not with each other also the the chain can be put on two different ways -- this is a common cause of problems when rebuilding these engine always check the valve timing using a protractor mounted on the crankshaft.
Carbs -- float level may be wrong ; set this by inverting the float chamber lid and putting a drill of the specified size under the little lever -- if your car has spring cushioned float valve don't push the lever down its own weight is enough. Carb needles the correct needle for 1.5 inch H4 SU carbs is (I think draging back a memory from 1973) SU ref GJ if you have the earlier smaller SUs I don't know the needle ref. Setting the carbs. (1) Check for vacumm leaks -- not only at the gaskets but also at the core plugs
at each end of the manifold cross passage. (2) Check metering the needles are sitting at the correct height in the pistons and not sitting proud of the piston base. (3) When synching the carbs use a length of 5/8 heter hose held just clear of the carb mouth --- finding the right place may require some practice but if you get it wrong you will never get the carbs right. (4) The only tool that is any use for setting the mixture on an XPAG is a Gunson ColourTune even then you will probably find you need to make the mixture about 1/2 of a turn richer than the colourtune setting --- don't worry about this it is to do with the inlet port design on these engines. (5) Check the linkage between the two carb spindles is clamping properly -- they often slip after rebuilds.
Once you have the engine settled in you may find it runs better with colder (harder) spark plugs than the Chaampion recommended particularly if the compression has been raised -- most heads T type have been skimmed. My TF had long reach plugs and I found Champion N5 too hot and used N3 or N2
the timing marks line up with marked links on the chain not with each other also the the chain can be put on two different ways --
How is this? I thought if the two marked links on the chain were placed on the two timing marks on the sprockets then everything was right. If there is a second way, will the motor run if the chain is put on the second way?
You can line the marks up and have the "side" of the chain that should be on the tension side on the slack side -- number of links between the marks isn't the same in both directions. XPAG like most pushrod engines will tolerate very large errors in valve timing but it in this case it would be very "noticably not right" and may back fire through the carbs.
The quick check is to check the valve timing is symetrical ---- ie if the inlet valve reaches full lift at angle X after TDC on the inlet stroke, then exhaust valve should be at full lift at the same angle X before TDC on the exhaust stroke. This simple check works for most engines that don't have really exotic cam profiles.
I've just gotten my TD back from a considerable amount of engine work and, among other things, I purchased the gear and the cable that connects the back of theeen the generator to the back of the tach. The mechanic who helped rebuild the engine since heard the engine running and said that the tach must be incorrect in that the revs as shown on the tach were considerable higher than the probable actual RPMs of the engine.
Is this possible? Is there an adjustment somewhere to bring the TAC readings in line with the actual revs of the engine?
It's easy enough to test the accuracy of your tach. Connect an electronic tach and compare its readings to those of your TD's tach.
It isn't unusual for a generator-driven tach to read high. As the generator pulley wears, the belt rides deeper in the worn pulley than it should, in effect reducing the operating diameter of the pulley. That wouldn't matter if the generator pulley and crankshaft pulley wore at the same rate, but they seldom do. The generator pulley usually wears faster than the crankshaft pulley, upsetting the original drive ratio. This makes the generator spin faster than normal relative to engine speed, and so the tach reads high.
A replacement generator pulley is the solution, if one is available, or have the tach recalibrated to give a true reading with the worn pulley. Of course, a mis-calibrated or worn tach could also be the root of the problem.
Whats worse is the timing is jumping under the strobe by about 5-6 degrees in advance - off beat jumping. Is my distributor toast? I can guarantee the sucker didn't move because I scribed a little mark on the block. Ideas? I figure the bush is worn?
Been there two months ago with my TD. Worn distributor bushing and/or timimg chain.
Make sure the bolts securing the the distrubutor are tight and take the cap and rotor off. Grap hold of the cam and give it a shake. If it moves, time to re-bush.
Timing chain is more subjective. With the tensioner on, there should be very little play on the chain. In the case of my TD, before I replaced the chain there was between 1/8" - 1/4". After almost none.
Lastly a problem that I ran into was that after 46 years or so, the torque the engine generated on the distributor cam had caused the hole in the distributor body where the cam passes through it to be oval rather then round, making it impossible to re-bush. Had to replace it.
Is this engine a hard one to rebuild?
No, it is pretty bomb proof, and is a typical British 1930's designed OHV unit, based on the 1140cc Morris Ten sedan of 1938. Parts can be had from Moss in the USA, or NTG in the UK on < NTG200@aol.com >. You really need a workshop manual, the only people whom I know sell them in the UK 'Octagon Car Club' UK 01785 251014 fax 248386.
I think this engine might have seen some wear. The oil pressure is around 30-35 and if I run the engine at a higher rpm (sitting in the garage) and then let it idle, it'll drop down to around 20. I don't know what that really tells me tho', since I don't know what it's supposed to be.
A) Oil pressure on a HOT engine should be 50psi at idle,( book actually says 70 to 40 psi.) There are many reasons why it can be low, and it is worth checking these out. 1) The oil pressure relief ball has grooves in it, and is not seating correctly. This lives under the big brass nut under the oil pump. It is just a big ball bearing, with a spring seating it. If it has ANY marks or grooves, fit a new ball, and seat it by tapping it firmly into the pump. 2) Excessive end-float in the gears inside the oil pump, letting oil go back to the inlet. The end cap is held on with 8 bolts, and there should only be 0.04mm end float. Worn gears themselves can cause loss of pressure as well. 3) Worn bearings in the engine, which yours sounds as if it has, hence the 20psi oil pressure. The crankshaft needs measuring to see if it needs re-grinding, or just new shell bearings fitting. If you can see the copper undercoat in the shell bearings faces, expect the worst! The oil pump is one of the best around, it will supply good pressure long after the bearings are worn....it is a common trick to put washers under the oil pressure relief valve above to 'boost' the running pressure!!! I hooked the oil pressure sensor up to the banjo fitting at the base of the head (above the cylinder section) as I saw in a parts catalog picture. Is this right? A) Oil pressure is measured from the BOTTOM connection, of the head oil feed pipe, you will get a few more psi there as well. (If I took it from the banjo that's lower the reading would likely be higher.) a) Yes!
The 'hot' compression reading I'm getting is about 120 per cylinder. Do you know what this reading should be? a) On a 7.2 compression ratio, thats pretty good. Your cylinder bores might be in good condition, but lots of oil will mask worn piston rings and give you good compression readings. The proof would be in a long run, then the oil consumption may show you could have worn rings caused by 'ring-pumping'.
My clutch rod linkage system rattles a LOT. (sounding annoyingly like a BAD rod knopck) Is this normal/fixable? A) The rod system wears at the holes, most people weld up the edges of the holes in the linkage, then re-drill them, fitting new clevis pins. There should be a return spring at the very front, on the side of the sump. ...other problems the engine suffers from is advanced wear of the rocker-shaft and the rocker bushes, as well as the push-rod ends becoming loose. The camshaft lobes also wear out, giving a very noisy engine. The camshaft bearings are pretty crude as well, but easy to replace.
I'm in the middle of an engine rebuild. I am about to drop the head back on when I notice that the head gasket doesn't indicate which side is up or which way 'round is front. The only marking is the manufacturing date. It can go either of two ways, the only difference I see is the way the metal lip is formed around the cylinder cutouts. The smooth unbroken metal lip is on the side opposite of the manufacturing date. The side with the Manuf date has separate metal "bridges" between the cylinders. Either way 'round all the water ports, etc. match up.
This topic went through the list a year or so ago. The majority felt that the copper side should go UP towards the head - because as the smaller hunk of metal, it would expand and contract more than the block.
My TD normally runs with 40 psi of oil pressure. It's now 20 degrees F. here in South Central PA. I would expect the pressure to read at least 40psi in cold weather but it reaches just 30-35psi. Should I be concerned? I still run 20w50 Pennzoil in the engine.
Any drop in oil pressure is cause for concern. 20w50 is an excellent grade oil to run in XPAG engines. However, it may be a little thick for 20F (I also am domiciled here in S.E.Pa, just south of Pottsville) and usually change the oil in my TD to 10w40 for these cold days. Drops in oil pressure can be caused by many different factors, but considering the 'stickiness' of 20w50 at these unusually low temperatures we are having at the moment, there may be just the possibility that the pressure relief valve in the oil pump has become stuck open just a little bit, either due to 'stickiness' or to detritus in the oil. Try warming to engine for a few miles, do an oil and filter change and if the temps. remain as they are, refill with 10w40 and try again. The forecast for this area is that the temperature will rise to 50F or so by midweek, and if that is the case, then once again use 20w50. Incidentally, an "expert" I know does not think too much of Pennsoil. He tells me it leaves too much residue, and engines he services require a lot of sludge to be removed from the sump. I personally always use Castrol 20w50 and have always been satisfied, especially upon checking on the amount of residual sludge in the bottom of the sump. I find the oil to be reliable especially as my TD is blown with a Shorrock Supercharger, and the life of the blower is absolutely dependent on the correct amount of oil being metered through it's oil control valve. Any sludge will block the metering needle, and a VERY expensive noise will then occur.
Is there a definitive "correct" oil pressure for a TD? I use 20/50 Castrol in the crankcase and the pressure reads 40-45lbs. when cold and 25-35lbs when hot and running.
Ther seem to be a lot of schools of thought on that subject. I can only tell you about mine. I rebuilt the bottom end about 3,000 miles ago. Fully warmed up, it runs at about 50-55 psi at about 3500 rpm. Idling is at about 25-30 psi at about 500 rpm. This is using 20W-50 at ambients of around 70F. At the end of last year's July 4th parade, after virtually idling in 1st gear for 2 hours, the MotoMeter was at the top of the circle and the oil pressure was at 25 psi. FWIW, that's my experience.
the workshop manual for the TD sez that "normal" oil pressure is 40 to 45 psi. That was not with multigrade oils but SAE 30 wt. I'd say your TD is about normal. Whats the pressure when motoring down the road and the engine is hot? Mine runs 45 to 50 (now that I've rebuilt my rocker assembly) when hot and under load and drops to about 30 when hot and idleing....I use 20/50 Castrol too.
That looks OK for 20W oil. I just rebuilt my engine and oil pump. Using 40W oil, I have 60 lbs cold, 50 lbs hot. One thing about multi-weight oils: they are as viscous as the low number only. A 20W-50 oil is a 20W oil with scuff inhibitors to simulate the film strength of a 50W oil. When heated, a 20W-50 weight oil is probably about 18W. It will never get thicker, only thinner, when heated.
This car has the external and separate cast aluminum oil canister. There is an S-pipe from the pump to the canister and then a U-shaped pipe from the canister to the side (and rear) of the block.
Right next to where the U-shaped pipe bolts to the block, another banjo fitting is used to run oil up to the rocker shaft and to the gauge. I pulled the upper fitting to the rocker shaft and ran the starter hoping to find oil coming up the pipe. Nope.
The next thing I did was remove the banjo fitting at the pump of the S-shaped output pipe from the top of the oil pump. There I added a few squirts of 90 weight (it took very little) and then spun the starter. It immediately oozed the 90 weight back out.
I tightened the 'S' pipe back up and then removed the U-shaped output pipe from the oil canister. Spinning the starter had oil spit out but not with much authority. Placing my finger over the hole and running the starter eventually over-powered my thumb seal so the pump was trying to work -- just not with any ambition.
So I then removed the oil canister from the car and dismantled it. It was really, really, dirty with sludge and carbon buildup. I thought the bottom of the canister had a black rubber seal until I dug through it and found nothing but crud. I have since cleaned it thoroughly with kerosene and can now install the new filter.
I was somewhat dismayed that I couldn't find any oil bypass inside the filter canister -- it seemed to just be a home for the filter. Looking at the manual, the bypass seems to be integral to the pump. So where does the oil go when it bypasses the filter? That is, it doesn't seem to follow the normal flow into the Pipe at into the backside of the block. Does the internal oil bypass go to the cam bearings from an internal routing to the front side of the block?
Next project: I purchased a new oil filter from the Moss catalog. It is item #435-390 and looks like a paint roller. (Pictured on page 6 as item 128a.) I also bought the seal kit #435-408. When trying to put the thing together, though, the oil filter cartridge appears to be too long. I can install it into the canister and just barely engage the threads to tighten down the canister. In order to seal it, I will have to crush the oil filter 0.38 to 0.40 of an inch. Is this normal? The old oil cartridge appears to be of the same construction and it appears that its ends have been flattened to fit in the canister.
So, what should I do? Just start tightening it down or do I have the wrong filter?
I have experienced the same with the new Moss "Sock" filters. They appear to be a little (1/8") long, but once placed in the filter housing, and tightened, they are compressed, thus being "held" in place. At least they now have marked instructions on the filter. The mesh screen end is to be placed at the top of the cannister. It is to trap the fabric, keeping any stray media from being pushed into the engine through the "U" pipe. That knurled knob on the bottom of the oil pump is an oil pressure regulator. It was a racing accessory. It allows for increase or decrease of oil pressure, by applying pressure to the oil by-pass spring & ball. . The next issue is the pump, itself. I've got the car up on jack stands and I am peering up from the bottom. Hanging off the bottom of the pump is a knurled knob at the end of a shaft held by a compressed spring. I am assuming this is the oil-bypass control spring. What do you do with this thing? That is, is there some setting I am supposed to work towards? I am not too impressed with the service manual as it seems to spend effort explaining the oil pump I don't have.
For those not blessed with such a car, the TD has an external oil pump. There is an odd arrangment where it sucks oil up out of the sump through an internal channel. The pump is driven off the cam and hangs off the left side of the motor near the front. Leaving the pump there are three, separate versions (depending upon year) on how the oil gets filtered then piped back into the engine. My car has a fourth variant in that it uses a Moss-speced disposable filter cartridge. Anyway, if that filter gets too contaminated, the oil pressure is merely bled off at the pump and back to the sump without being bothered with lubricating the motor.
With help from the TD list, I figured out how to R&R that system and put in fresh oil. The little motor pumped 30psi on the starter without the plugs.
Before screwing the plugs back in, I did a cold compression test and found the motor was blowing 165(-10) psi.
The seal between the rear bearing cover and the sump gasket, a crude asbestos rope type, has not been correctly fitted, or has become dislodged during re-assembly. These seals are awkward to fit properly, and time must be devoted to their correct placement, or you will get what you have, a pourer, not a dripper. The correction is to remove the sump pan, and rework the rear oil slinger/rope seal gaskets. It may be necessary to fit a new oil slinger, and mate that by hand lapping to the crankshaft in order to obtain as oil free a union as possible. There is also a new proprietary rear oil seal on the market which will work better then the rope type. A word of caution, however. Make sure that the fault indeed lies at the rear end, and the leak is not caused by some other problem such as a leaking oil transfer pipe to the cylinder head. This will be obvious by visual inspection, when the motor is running. If you have any further queeries, contact me directly. I speciallise in the restorations of these treasures and, while I don't know everything, I do know a bit and will be glad to offer you free advice.
Free advice is worth what you pay for it! I don't like to disagree, but Geoff has so many things wrong here, I really have to comment. There is NO asbestos rope seal at the rear of the XPAG engine, there IS one at the front. He's talking about the rear cork pan gasket. You cannot "remove the sump and .... fit a new oil slinger" and expect things to work. In order to properly fit a new slinger, you MUST remove the crankshaft. The problem with the slinger (actually the Archimedes spiral of the crankshaft) is usually more related to wear of the rear main bearing cap after years of running with worn out main bearings. You don't "lap the slinger", you fit it with even clearance all around, realizing that it only seals the top half of the spiral (the worn main cap is the lower half). After fitting, you drill for dowels and install. While the external pipe that feeds the rockers is a possible source, a MUCH more likely source is a poorly installed core/freeze plug at the rear of the rear cam bearing. I've pulled pans on engines such as yours and found the plug lying next to the flywheel.... One other thing can make T types leak like a sieve when there is NOTHING WRONG. If the oval vent plate at the top of the bell-housing is installed upside down, the "turbine" effect of the flywheel/clutch creates a vacuum and sucks the oil out of the rear main. There is a slot at one end and when installed correctly, it actually slightly pressurizes the area and helps keep the oil in.
We can all agree: you didn't get what you paid for-a properly rebuilt engine. However, ALL engines have foibles, I wouldn't know the tricks to make a Chec 283 "live" and the best Jaguar mechanic in the world hasn't had the chance to learn what the particular problems of a TD would be.
You are absolutely right in everything you say. I apologise for my errors. Tiredness is my only excuse, if it is permissible. The seal at the rear end is cork, and is squeezed into position by a 'sharp' edge on the sump pan. It must mate with the block casting on it's ends, and must mate carefully with the small cut outs in the pan gasket and/or vice versa. The oil slinger is the actual Archimedes screw cut into the end of the crankshaft, and the device which helps the oil to return into the sump, via this screw, is a semicircular aluminium plate retained at the rear end of the block by 3 small bolts, and positioned by dowels. The wear you speak of is, as you rightly state, often caused by the crankshaft running out of true due to wear in the main bearings, and the worn main bearing cap. I have found, however, that by carefully lapping the aly plate to the slinger it is helpful in ensuring a better control to the oil leak problem. After the 'lapping' process, it is necessary to adjust the holes through which the retaining bolts and locating dowels pass in order to enable the plate to be moved into closer contact with the slinger. In other words, to 'tailor' the plate to the circumference of the worn screw. And, yes, the crankshaft must be removed to carry out this work. Only then, when the flywheel is also removed, is it possible to replace the cam shaft bearing's core plug. As I said in my first communique on this subject, I don't know everything, I know a bit. I have just learned, thanks to Jarl, what is, to me, a fascinating tidbit, namely the part about the oval vent plate. That kind of knowledge comes only from years of experience, and I can't claim to have anything like 493 T type engines under my belt, but I do have a goodly number of first prizes awarded to owners of T-types which I have restored.
Of course, we both overlooked another possible source of oil dripping from then bell housing, namely the oil seal at the front end of the gearbox. In the event the front bearing of the gearbox has deteriorated, together with general wear in the boxes' other bearings, the primary input shaft will wobble about, resulting in much unpleasant noise emanating from the box. The chances are that, with a box in such a poor state of repair, the front oil seal will have deteriorated, allowing oil to pass from the box to the bell housing. Mostly this oil will be slung about the interior of the bell housing messing up the clutch, but some will inevitably find it's way, by dint of gravity to the small hole in the bottom of the bell housing and drip out. However, I am sure this would not account for 3 inch puddles everytime the car stopped, or, if it did, then the gearbox is just about of oil and very expensive noises will shortly make themselves apparent.
Second and most importantly I must agree with Mike, Geoff and Jarl that you do have a great deal to complain about. Your engine should not leak at all from the rear crank seal. I would not complain about a few drops after 50 miles, but any more then that is totally unacceptable. (At our MG club in Orlando, FL we used to judge the condition of a rear seal as follows. Shot glass size, OK. Coffee cup size, not bad. Luncheon plate size, join the club. Dinner plate size, keep you eye on the dip stick. Pizza size, time for and overhaul.)
Now give and East Coast XPAG "Old Timer" a shot at your problem. As main bearings wear, the crankshaft is allowed to move up and down in direct relation to the amount of wear. New bearings, .001", worn bearings, as much as .005" or more. As the crankshaft moves up it wears on the rear oil seal (aluminum part) this must be replaced. As the crankshaft moves down it wears against the rear main bearing cap. When the engine is rebuilt and new bearings are installed this wear (clearance) which is now .005" or more, instead of .0015" remains. This is the location of almost all rear main bearing leaks on properly assembled XPAG/EG engines.
There two solutions to this problem. One is the installation of the Moss Crankshaft Conversion Seal. Some people have had problems with these, but if installed properly, should solve your oil leak.
The other solution is the one I have used for over 25 years, and has yet to give any problem. Have a competant auto machine shop, line-bore the main bearing caps and the aluminum rear seal. This will remove most of the excess clearance around the Archimedes screw. Infortunately any fix will entail complete disassembly of your engine, and quite frankly I am not sure your "Jaguar expert" is the man to do the job. If I can be of further help, feel free to contact me.
Now, please for my info, if for no one else's, which way up DOES the oval vent plate go?
Most have the word "TOP" on them, but if it doesn't, think of it this way:
Consider the direction the clutch rotates inside the bell, if the slot faces "downstream" so that the air is thrown out of it, you have the equivalent of a centrifugal supercharger and create a vacuum inside the housing. If it faces "upstream" the air rushing by inside creates a slight venturi vacuum and draws air in - slightly pressurizing the bell-housing and helping to keep the oil in. Opening the slot a little with a screwdiver can help the effect. Another point occurs to me: when you have a grossly worn engine or one with broken top rings from excess revs, the blow-by can be so great it can't all escape via the breathers and some goes out through the Archimedes, inevitably carrying an oil mist with it. The latter applies to ALL MG engines. I've had MGB and Volvo B-20 engines leaking like a sieve from both crank ends even though they had full oil seals, and stopped the leaks by merely replacing the pistons! Now, everyone, a question - careful! this is a trick! Which way does the air flow through the little 90 degree hose from the valve cover to the air cleaner on a T type? (and when?)
However, has anyone had any experience with the front seal conversion? It is much less expensive at about $10 and may be worth a try.
Did one on my TC at the last rebuild. Ended up taking it out and putting back the rope seal after I began to get some very scary noises from the front of the motor after a couple thousand miles. That cured it.
I've been using these rubber lip seals in the fronts of XPAG and XPEG motors since the mid Seventies. Never, ever had a problem with them. Virtually every other engine uses a lip seal around the crank pulley, so all this modification does is bring the XPAG in line with modern thinking - at least, in this one small area!
You refer to "scary noises" - could you be more specific? Squeals? Clunks? Rattles? And were you able to determine the source of the noise? What made you think it was the rubber seal? Is there a possibility that, in removing parts to access the timing cover to change the seal back to the rope-type, you repositioned whatever was causing the "scary noise" so that it stopped doing it? (Water pumps have been known to have their impellers foul the block.)
Just finding it hard to believe that what works on so many other cars didn't work for you.....
It was a whine/squeal which gradually got worse during a long tour aroung southern Australia. At first I thought it was the generator bearing, timing chain (not getting lubrication?) or water pump.
I took off the fan belt and the noise was still there.I then took off the water pump and the timing cover (this was all done in a rural park (not fun!) In doing so, I damaged the lip seal. I could find nothing wrong. However, this left me with no seal and a visit to the local plumbing shop resulted in me owning a yard of rope seal. I installed this and that got me home, with no more noise.
My local T series engine rebuilder (Ray Skewes) was not surprised when I told him this story. When he builds a motor, he has the timing cover and the sump assembled with gasket. A recess for a press fit lip seal is then machined in the assembly. He says this works like a charm.
XPAG Front seal
For the front seal on your TC, use CR 10049.
What started off as an simple exhaust installation now finds me with most of the front end of the car scattered hither and yon. All kinds of things that needed doing are getting done, unfortunately under warm clear skys (well, mostly...) I just know that when I finish this all up and get ready to cruise the Wet Coast spring monsoon will arrive. My point? oh... yeah...
Nasty and annoying leak from the front oil seal on the XPAG. This is the perfect time (I think) to replace it. Is there a modern rubber lip seal that will easily replace the rope? Anyone got a number? I have access to a good source of National seals so a National number or x-ref would be a great help. Any advice on this from the experts? How big a job will it be with the motor in the car? The bonnet, grill, manifolds, rad and a whole bunch of other thingy-doos are no longer where Cecil intended.
Moss supply a modern lip seal which does a very good job, but I don't know the cross reference number. The seal impinges on the shaft part of the front pulley when installed, as does the original rope type. Sometimes you will find the pulley's shaft is cracked, usually around the Woodruff key way and that will enable oil to creep through, even the lip seal.
I have no experience of installing this replacement seal while the motor is still in the car, usually having done it only at times when completing a total rebuild for a customer. The method I use is to slip the seal over the crankshaft when fitting it to the block's bearings, and allowing the crankshaft to 'push' the seal into the semicircular groove cast into the aluminium timing chain cover, which I have partially filled with Blue gasket goo. The sump pan is similarly treated, then bolted into place, slighty squashing the seal between the two parts, resulting in an oil tight fitment.
The shaft of the pulley must be free from defects and smooth to ensure an oil tight surface/lip seal contact, and I have found it advantageous to smear the pulley with grease prior to fitting it onto the end of the crankshaft. This will prevent friction from damaging the fine edge of the lip upon initial start up.
I think the seal could be fitted while the crank and sump are still in place, especially as the internal measurement of the seal is greater than the crankshaft, allowing a bit of 'wriggle room'. Make sure the grove is free from oil contamination before applying the Bloo Goo.
I've also used the Moss lip seal. It's a loose fit in the circular space previously occupied by the rope seal and does have to be gooped in place. I recall using Permatex RTV sealer. I can't say if it can be slipped into place without dropping the sump. I always record any numbers on seals so I can get another locally if I have to but this one didn't have any markings. I'd just order one from Moss and be sure your pulley's seal surface is nice and smooth or the lip seal won't seal much better than the rope. If the pulley is worn more than needing polishing, You might take it and the lip seal to a bearing store to see if they have a "speedy sleeve" that will fit the pulley.
Is there a trick to getting the back plate on the head to seal? A couple of years ago I had to replace the head gasket, so I took the head to a machine shop to have them go thru it and check for any other problems while it was off. Every thing was okay dokey, but since reassembling it's always leaked a bit (once a lot on a rally, but that's another story).
Also, On the rear plate on the head. Use a new one, and new gasket. Dont use cork. I have some nice asbestos ones. Also, dont use spoit lock washers under the four screws. Use German style wafer washers. This should stop your leak problems.
But I do have a question. Never having owned a car with solid lifters, how do you know if the tappets are making too much noise and need to be adjusted (car seems to run fine). Also, I was under the impression that you could adjust tappets when the car is idling, but my MG workshop manual seems to imply to adjust them with the engine off. Should you adjust the XPAG tappets with the engine running or n
Adjust them with the engine off, but at normal operating temperature. Don't count on changes in noise level to tell you when they need adjusting. Do it as part of your regular tune-up routine (every 6000 miles, or once a year, which ever comes first).
Adjusting tappets during idle was a trick done by my dad on iron like the old Chevy stove-bolt six (from which, arguably, the B series engine descended). He said he learned it from his dad, which implies that it was fairly common practice in the early days of motoring. It's actually fairly convenient, albeit a bit messy. You don't have to move the crank around by hand, but it tends to spray some oil.
I don't think it's a good idea with an XPAG engine. The idle is much faster, and if you pull the plugs it's easy to turn the crank around by hand. TD engines do make a lot of tappet noise, but in many cases this is the result of very bad tappet and cam wear (as it was with mine). The alloys available when the engine was built were amalgams of old flatirons, refrigerators and the odd Messerschmitt blown out of the sky, so wear is a very bad problem.
Tappet clearances (specified in the shop manual, something like 0.012 for the intake and 0.018 for the exhaust) should be set with the engine hot (but off). I would urge that you take the side plate off the engine and take the rocker assembly off (perhaps half an hours work) and pull the tappets out and look at them. Mine were pretty badly chewed up (at 85,000 miles), and the cam was not in good shape either. Cams are available (from Crane), replacement takes about a day (no need to pull the engine), and the up side is that your engine will run much better. Tappets should always be replaced with a new cam.
Since my rocker assembly is being worked on what clearance should be used to set the tappets when cold. I use .019 when hot.
Unless you get some authoritative advice, mine would be to set them at 019 cold and adjust again when hot.
I am trying to put new bushings in my rockers and am having problems and need some help. The rocker arm is of the early variety and is 14" long.
First - the Moss catalog indicates that there should be springs on the arm - my unit has spacers. Can we both be correct?
Some cars came with spacers. The theory was that the springs caused friction that would tend to cause valve float. The spacers were a 'hop up' trick used by autocrossers and racers. If you don't thave too much end play when everything is assembled, leave the spacers in.
Second - the bushings from Moss have no indicator of how they should be installed. My old bushings have an indent that matches up with a recess on the rocker so that proper alignment is assured. Is there some trick here?
The indent is made after the bushings are in place. They lock the bushing in place and prevent them from rotating. This job can be done with a wide bladed screw driver. Just make sure the hole in the bushing lines up with the hole in the rocker.
Third - after inserting the new bushing in the first rocker, the bushing would NOT fit on to the arm. i.e. the diameter of the arm is larger than the diameter of the bushing. What should I do here?
The bushings have to be machined to fit the rocker shaft. Take rockers & shaft to local auto machine shop and ask them to hone the bushings to fit. My machine shop had to buy a special hone, as the shaft was smaller than they were used handling.
Several other things to look out for:
Check the surface of the rocker that rests on the valve. If it is worn, the rocker should be resurfaced.
Remove all the adjusting screws and clean out the oil hole that runs from the bushing to the adjuster hole. This hole gets pluged with sludge and prevents oiling of the pushrod. You may find that the adjusting screws will not come out. This is an indication that the screws are stretched and may soon break. They should be replaced.
Pack up the whole rocker assembly and ship to The Rocker Arm Specialist in Anderson, California (complete address on the "Monster List"). They did my TD rocker assembly in 1 week at a total cost of $85 plus shipping. This involved reprofiling the rockers including hardening, new rocker shaft, new bushings, etc.
Since having this done, I've had no more engine problems and am delighted with their work.
I have a question for those familiar with the XPAG engine:
Torque for the little end bolt is listed as 34 ft.-lb. in the W.K.F. Wood manual and also in Sherrel's TC's Forever.
Skip Kelsey, who makes up little end bolts with a smaller hex head (so that you can get a normal socket on the head) recommends a lower torque-25 ft. -lb. and warns that the threads in the rod can be damaged by the higher torque and that 34 ft. -lb. for a 8 mm bolt is excessive.
Skip has always given correct advice to me and so I'm more inclined to believe him, but I really am concerned about what the correct torque should be. A friend just had his TC engine rebuilt and soon after threw a rod, taking the block with it. The cause was little end failure. What the torque was I don't know. Any advice/experiences are appreciated.
I agree that 34 ft-lb is too much, especially since the threads in the small end are probably already not in the best shape after all these years. I would guess that something in the range of 25 - 28 ft-lbs should be about right. Thread locking compound (Loctite or similar) is a must! If the bolt loosens, I guarantee you'll break the rod.
What we really need is a redesigned rod with thicker cross section, stronger big end bolts, and a solid small end eye. A few years ago several people were experimenting with rods from other engines, but I've lost track.
I have built hundreds of XPAG engines over the last twenty-two years and have never used more than 25lbs for the little-end bolts. None have let go. It is important, however, to make sure the rod threads are clean and clear, and to use new bolts if the threads on the old ones look even slightly worn or stretched. Also, always use a new 8mm lock washer.
I agree with Skip Kelsey, especially as nobody used torque wrenches when the XPAG engine was designed, if in deed they'd been invented. Actually I give the little end bolts 26 ft. lbs. but believe the original requirement was a "firm pull on an eight inch Tommy bar".
My XPAG, purchased in pieces, was resurrected several years ago from a severly abused state and has since been sitting on the bench (untested) waiting for the body job to catch up. In his book, Mike Sherrel was so emphatic about properly torquing the wrist-pin bolts that I jerry-rigged an open-end wrench into a torque wrench of sorts so I would be sure to get the required 34 foot-pounds. The original bolts showed no sign of fatigue or wear (that I could see with a reasonably careful inspection) and were reused.
Now comes all this net wisdom about ~25 foot-pounds being wiser. What am I to do? I could easily pull the pan and loosen the bolts, but that sounds counter-productive, having already obtained the higher torque. I guess replacing the bolts and tightening to the lower torque would make more sense.
Suggestions, anyone? Is there really any direct evidence that the higher torque causes problems or is this simply a case of the lower value being sufficient and perhaps more prudent?
Speaking from a position of virtually complete ignorance, I would say the latter. I would also advise leaving well alone unless you get any evidence to the contrary (but then I'm a lazy so-and-so anyway). One would hope that modern bolts should be better able to withstand the higher stresses.
I have only rebuilt 5 XPAG engines, but have always used 34 ft. lb. torgue on the little end bolts. I have never had a rod bolt fail.
To add fuel to the flames, I have justdone the sums on a metric 8mm bolt (5/16 near am damn it). A mediumm-high grade bolt (10,9 for those in the know). The correct tightning torque (Max) is 33 lbft.
I cant remember the size of your damn little end bolts, if they are 1/4"...........
They are 8mm, with a 1mm pitch. The problem isn't so much the ability of the bolt to withstand being tightened to 33 - 34 lb ft without breaking. I'm more concerned about the ability of that fine thread to withstand the torque without stripping. A modern 8mm fine-pitch bold has a pitch of 1.25mm, which gets a better bite annd is more resistant to stripping. On almost every XPAG con rod I've seen the threads in the rod were pulled, not because the bolt was tightened beyond its limit, but because it was tightened beyond the limits of the threads in the rod.
There are only four brackets on the XPAG engine of your TD. Once the eight bolts are removed, the whole assembly simply lifts off the head. Torque value for the 10mm bolts is 43 ft/lb and for the 8mm, its 29 ft/lbs. In most cases, you'll probably need a set of four keepers to hold the bolts in place after the torque is set. The old ones may be salvable but many times the tabs are ready to break off from too much bending. Make sure you lay the parts out in order to reassemble in the exact order of disassembly. Especially the shaft. It has an oil hole at the rear bracket to pass the oil under pressure to lubricate the whole rocker set-up. If it gets in bass-ackwards... no oil and there goes the rocker bushings.
There are homemade shims under the rocker brackets of my TD's shaft assembly. I am replacing one cracked bracket. The four brackets all have "22914 stamped on them and my new one does not. The size etc. seems to be OK. Should I be wary?
Everything else seems to be in order.
Dont torque the 8MM rocker bolts more than 20PSI. The prior specs given by Woods is not correct. The 10MM bolts should go 40-42PSI.
Reinstall the shims as you found them... Probably they were installed to make up for shaving the head at some earlier time and is a recommended procedure under that condition. Sometime, when the head is off anyway, measure the thickness of the head to determine if its ever been milled. For now, you just have to assume that the shims are there for that reason and need to be kept in place. Jim
Why not follow the Woods manual? Is there a reason only to use 20lbs. and not 29lbs?
I have heard 29 by 3 sources. I just wish to do it correctly.
I'd go with Skips recommendations. I, and possibly the other two responses, were quoting from the same WKF Woods book on rebuilding XPAGs which could be incorrect. We all know that just because its in print doesn't make it so. For a frame of reference, I checked a Mercedes book that said use 18 for 8mm and 37 for 10mm. The main concern is that they are reasonably tight and torqued evenly. The TD shop manual doesn't even provide any such number. Another reason you use a torque wrench is to keep from stretching the bolts to a point of failure, either immediately or in the future. Some strong armed ham-fists think that all bolts should be "good and tight". Since the metal expands with temperature rise, initially set the valve clearance a little loose like .020 or .021, then go back and tweak it up after you get the engine warmed up. Loose, noisy valves won't burn the valves; nice quiet, tight valve clearances will keep the valve from remaining seated long enough to transfer its heat to the water cooled head which results in a burned valve.
Skip has good numbers but Chris is correct on the units of measurement. I didn't even pick up on that when I read it (obviously not very closely). Speed Reader? HA!
I can't find a mention of the torque for rocker pedestal bolts in the TD book either. There is a spec in the B workshop manual, though, 25 ft lbs. Other torque specs for the B are: Fan blade bolts--7.3 - 9.3 Water pump to crankcase--17 Sump to crankcase---6 Water pump to crankcase---17 These do not seem very tight to me, but they are consistent in their "not very tightness", so 20-25 ft lbs sounds right to me for the rocker pedestal bolts.
A few months ago, Chip Old posted some wisdom on this list about those shims under the rocker posts. He said, essentially, to remove them since they were put in on the recommendation of the factory, but the factory was wrong. As he explained it, the wear on TD valves and guides caused by side pressure happens because the geometry of the valve stems and the rockers is not 90 degrees when the valve is half way down. In theory, that's where it should be to minimise sideways pressure. When the heads were milled, we put in the shims to "compensate" for the removed metal. He says that doing so actually made the angle worse, suggested that one look at the valve action and see. I need to do just that. There are shims under my rocker posts also.
Bronze guides and precautions against unleaded fuel are two different issues, so lety's look at them sperately. Rapid valve guide wear has always been a problem in the XPAG/XPEG series of engines. Lack of lubricant isn't the problem. There are no valve stem seals in the modern sense of the word, so more than enough oil works its way down into the guides. Lack of proper retention of lubrican, however, is a problem. The real problem is incorrect geometry between the rocker arm and the valve stem. This puts a lot more sideways thrust on the valve stems than there should be, which accelerates wear on the guide bores and on the valve stems.
Ideally when the valve is at half lift, the rocker arm and the valve stem should form a 90 degree angle. That is seldom the case in any production line engine, but even with all new parts the geometry on an XPAG/XPEG is almost always way out of whack. This has to be corrected by either machining the bottoms of the rocker shaft stands or by inserting shims under them, depending on which direction the geometry is off. On an old head that has slightly sunken valve seats due to many rebuilds, the latter is more common.
On a side note, the practice once advocated of shimming up the rocker shaft stands to compensate for a radically milled head is dead wrong. This does give you back a reasonable range of valve lash adjustment, but it throws the rocker arm geometry way off. The better approach is to shorten the pushrods.
Getting the geometry right does improve valve guide life, but it's still far from ideal. The friction surface between rocker tip and valve stem top is pretty small, and the rocker tips aren't very hard (especially if they have been reground to compensate for wear). Once the rocker tip wears, it imposes more sideways thrust on the valve stem even if the geometry is right. What we really need is thicker valve stems or a thrust cap to install on top of the stem. Even better, how about roller-tipped rockers!
The rocker bushings and rocker shaft also wear rapidly, and the resulting slop imposes even more sideways thrust on the valve stems. Hard chroming the shaft helps somewhat in this case, but you still need to replace the bushings more often than on most other engines. Phosphor bronze guides help to reduce wear because they retain lubricant better, and because the material has a lower coeficient of friction. They do expand more when they heat up, so the cold clearance between guide bore and valve stem has to be slightly greater (as you discovered), otherwise when it gets good and hot the guide will clamp onto the valve stem. When this happens, the moving valve tries to take the guide along with it. Rapid valve seat deterioration due to use of unleade4d fuel is a different issue. Even with leaded fuel, XPAG/XPEG valves and seats go bad pretty quickly. The 30 degree seat angle is partly to blame. It doesn't provide as good a "wedging" seal as a 45 degree seat, so sealing is not as good as it could be and there is more chance of hot exhaust gas leaking past the seats. This causes the seats to erode more quickly. Recutting the seats to 45 degrees helps considerably.
The materials used also have a great deal to do with it. All cast iron is not alike, and I suspect that the alloy used for XPAG/XPAG heads is a bit soft. The original MOWOG valves were of fairly high quality, but some of the replacements sold over the years have been pretty shoddy.
Once the valve seats recede too far below the surface of the combustion chamber (either from too many regrinds or from long-neglected wear), the only choice is to install inserts. These days it is also common practice for older engines to install inserts even if the seats are not receded, as a preventive measure with unleaded fuel. The installation of inserts is a common machine shop job, but like any other machinework its success depends on how much skill the machinist has and how carefully he does the job. The valve seats are bored out to a slightly smaller diameter than the outside diameter of the inserts, giving an interference fit on the inserts. The bore is made very slightly deeper than the depts of the insert. The inserts are then pressed into place. If the interference fit is too great, the inserts or the head may crack. If the fit is too loose, the inserts may fall out. The inserts must be pressed fully into their bores. If they don't hit bottom, they will be subject to hot exhaust gas from underneath, which can overheat them. Once pressed in, the insert should be very slightly below the combustion chamber surface. This allows the machinist to peen the cast iron over the insert, helping to keep it in place.
I've never used them, but as a further hedge against unleaded fuel some swear by stellite-faced stainless steel valves. Whether or not all this is really necessary for any given engine depends on how that engine will be used. If the car is rarely driven, ar is driven like an antique (heaven forbid the rev counter should ever go over 3000 RPM!) then why bother. It won't rack up enough mileage in the owner's lifetime to wear anthing out. If it racks up a lot of miles, especially at modern highway speeds, then I think bronze guides, attention to rocker arm geometry, hardened valve seat inserts, and high-quality valves are well worth the effort and expense. Basing opinions of the worth of all this for an XPAG/XPEG engine on the experience of MGB and Spridget owners with their BMC engines, as some have done here, is senseless. They are very different designs, with very different problems.
Just read and printed your treatise on valves in the XPAG/XPEG and found it very interesting and informative. I wonder if we could coerce you into providing a little additional insight into the valve geometry subject. I get the general idea of what was said but there's more to it I'm sure. What do you look for and how do you determine a need for correction in the valve, rocker and push rod relationship? I'm looking forward to your possible response much the same as I used to anticipate your words of wisdom in the many Sacred Octagon issues of years ago.
Ok, all you TC owners - a chance for you to share some knowledge...One of our customers wants us to fit an oil cooler to his Shorrock-blown but otherwise stock TC. Any suggestions for the best location for the oil radiator to get good air flow while avoiding vulnerability to "sleeping policemen"?
I'm just in the process of installing one (on the TD block that will go in the TC). The idea is from Phil Marino who has had his for many months and gets about 5 degree lower water temp and +5 psi oil pressure. Use the MGB oil radiator. Phil can supply mounting brackets that require no frame modifications - the fit to the front shock mtg bolts. At the oil filter end, Phil has two aluminum fittings that take a standard Fram filter which he has produced for several years. For both the TC and the TD you use a Hayden #205 oil cooler adapter (w/thermostat) which has an inlet and outlet fitting mounted between the filter and Phil's unit. All the connections, hoses, etc., are avaiable from the Hoseman outlets. Carl Cederstrand has produced some detailed drawings of the whole setup with all part numbers required. The final product looks like a factory installation. I expect a wave of interest in this modification for both TC/TD/TF.
I am rebuilding my TF XPAG engine with a 3/4 race cam from Moss Motors and live in the Sacramento Valley and am concerned about high ambient temperatures and possible cooling problems. I was going to add an oil cooler but was told that this would entail tapping a new hole in the engine for an oil return line. I am not sure if I want to do that but the engine is in pieces and it could be done easily. Does anyone on the list have experience with high ambient temperatures and an MG TF/TD? Would an oil cooler help, installation tips etc.?
I had a high density core installed in the radiator of our MGA when I couldn't get to cool down as much as I wanted. It looked the same in the A and did it ever run cool. Hard run Dayton to Grand Rapids every year in Aug. Even sitting in traffic, no sweat, well not from the car anyway. I have not tried yet on any of out Ts yet, but most likely will do the same.Both my TD and my wifes' TF take the summer heat just fine here in Ohio with everything stock. I would try that before I would drill the block. Something to think about anyway.
Just took a drive and stopped the car. I went to restart the car and it would not start. When the ignition key is turned I get juice at the guages but the starter won't start when I pull the start knob. Could the starter cable need adjusting? Help.
I'm not sure about the TD but check to see if you have push on connections on the starter maybe one is loose. Are you sure your battery is good. I have had 2 fail without any sign that something was wrong. Came out of a store and the battery was dead.
Yes, it could be that. You can test the switch by taking up the slack in the cable by pulling out the knob, then pushing in the center pin on the switch with a piece of wood. You can jump around the switch ((CAREFULLY)) with a pair of pliars, to see if it's the starter at fault. Assume you have checked for good connections at the battery, at the switch and at the starter. Then, of course, there's the starting handle, conveniently placed behind the seatback.
Steve, I assume you have spun the starter by hand with a wrench on the fron end to be sure it is free? You may have to remove the small cap it its still in place,
When starting with the "handle" what is the propoer proceedure? I don't want to have the handle kick back at me.
This is one of those LBC procedures that CAN get you hurt. It's easy to do if you take one simple precaution. Do NOT wrap your thumb around the starter handle. Grip the handle firmly with your right hand, squeezing the handle between your fingers and the pad of your thumb. Your thumb should be in kind of a hitch-hiking position pointing down the shaft of the handle towards the rad. This is very important because if the car was to misfire and your thumb was wrapped around the handle it would almost certainly dislocate your thumb or perhaps break it. I haven't done it myself but I saw a highschool friend loose the use of his right hand for weeks while starting his MGA. NOT a pretty picture.
Just like when using the starter, make sure the hand brake is set, and the car is in neutral. Engage the starting handle and, with the ignition OFF turn the handle to get used to the feel so you know when you're on a compression stroke (it'll only engage the dogs on the crankshaft if you turn it the right way). It gets harder to turn as you approach TDC then, as you pass TDC and are on the exhaust stroke it'll spin on its own. When your sure you've got that mastered it's time to fire her up.
Now the fun part. Turn on the ignition and wait till the float bowls fill. Pull out the choke to it's normal starting position. If you've got a slow running adjustment turn that out too (do TD's have those?) Grab the handle, (safely!) and turn it slowly till you feel compression start to build then spin the handle as fast as you can for about 1/2 turn. When the motor goes over TDC it'll either start or spin away from the cogs on the handle. If it doesn't catch, repeat. It's really easy once you get the hang of it and it always entertains onlookers. Just remember to turn the ignition on. It's very embarrassing to crank and crank and not get even a pop only to discover that you didn't have the ignition on. Been there, done that, got the right arm to prove it.
Part of the trick is to get the dog nut on the end of the crankshaft at the correct position so that you hit compression when your arm is at its strongest position. A shim is used under the nut to achieve this.
Set the slow running control to a higher than notmal idle. You also need the original choke cable that stays out when you given it a twist. Give it a bit of choke.
Check that you're in neutral (I have forgetten this step at least once!)and that the handbrake is on.
Give a couple of turns on the crank, then turn on the ignition and give it a couple of fast cranks. It usually starts.
There are a few important items that **** inadvertently omitted. First and foremost. DO NOT PUT THE WEB OF YOUR HAND OVER THE CRANK! You thumb should (must) be on the same side of the handle as your fingers. This is to avoid the possibility of the crank breaking your hand. Remember that the TD does not have a slow-running control. Pulling the choke out accomplishes this. Insert the crank into the nut on the end of the crank and slowly rotate the crank (clockwise) until the engine is just about to begin a compression stroke as you about to pull the crank upward from its lowest position. Remember that you can rotate the crank backwards in the dog (nut) to change the location by half a turn. The ONLY fast action that you make with the crank is to pull it up from the six o'clock position toward 12 o'clock. Do not attempt to go beyond the 12 o'clock position. Never push down on the crank. The dog on the nut is designed to push the crank pin out of the nut once the engine starts. Make certain that your crank is an easy fit into the dog with no excessive drag from the bumper, bar, shell or radiator support.
I went to set timeing on the TD today but the starting handle would turn the crank nut but it would not turn the pulley that has the timeing mark on it. Do the nut just need to be tigthened and if so what size wrench and do I have to brace the pulley so it doesn't turn. Please let me know if I have a problem or do I just need to tighen the nut.
Turning the starting handle clockwise will tighten the nut/dog if it is loose. The threaded part of the dog is only about 1/2 inch long, so it won't take many turns of the crank to tighten it. 1 1/8 wrench will fit the nut. WIth the sparkplugs in, you should have enough resistance to be able to tighten the nut sufficiently. I am curious that the nut has loosened, though, and hope that it is not stripped.
Has anyone mounted a TD engine to one of those US style engine stands where the engine is bolted to the stand using the transmission mounting bolts holes? These bolts look a little small to support the weight of the engine. I would appreciate anyone's advise who has actually done this or has any other methods to recommend.
A friend of mine has an MG garage and uses one of thos engine holders that you described. He uses some hardened bolts that thread into the block bell housing area but I dont have the foggiest idea where he got them. Even with those bolts, I'd be a little squeamish about heavy torqueing on some of the main and rod bolts.
Per Horst Schach's book, I mounted my engine to the four tranny holes. I used four of the 8mm rocker bracket bolts. They were too short, so I hack sawed about 1/4" off each of the four stand 'spacers'. I have the entire engine on the stand now less the cyl head. I am able to turn engine 360 degress, however I should have greased the stand sleeve before mounting the engine.
My TD's engine came out a few weeks ago (perhaps you remember my call for help finding a crankshaft. I was able to bolt it up to the US style engine stand, though I was also worried about the ability of the bolts to take the load. More accurately, I was worried about breaking the flywheel housing part of the block casting, so I bolted it up gently, one turn at a time, until all the four bolts were equally snug, then lifted the assembly and poked the shaft of the holder into the stand. Horst Schach's (sp) book has a photo of a complete engine on the stand, so I guess it's OK.
I did this a little differently, but the result is the same. First, I bought 8x1 bolts of appropriate length at the local Pep Boys, making sure to get high strength (equivalent to Grade 8, but I forget the metric designation). Supposedly the standard metric threaded bolt will have slightly different thread sizes, but they work fine.
I then lifted the engine with my hoist to the right level. I bolted the stand to the engine, only putting weight on the stand and the bolts after everything was snugged up.
One minor modification I had to make to the engine stand was necessary in my case. Each mounting hole on the stand was really a tube of about 2" long. I guess that provides additional clearance to the back of the engine while on the stand. In my case, it was too annoying to have to find bolts long enough to go through the tube. So I shortened them up using a cut-off tool.
I was thinking about how you modified the engine stand. In my case, the bolts with the stand were long enough to permit the mounting tubes to be bolted to the stand, and the flat part of the little brackets to attach flat against the bell housing, thus providing some additional bearing and support surface for the weight of the engine.
I just bolt one of my spare bell housings to the engine stand using grade 5 bolts though the bell/tranny holes and the slots on the stand and without the adapter arms with the tubes.
On the MGA cam shaft, Check with your local speed shop and get a Crane cam. After all that's what Moss is selling (so I've been told). I walked into my local speed shop and they ordered a stock cam for my TD and saved me over $100 from the Moss cost. They even got me new push rods for over $30 less than Moss. The wording in the Crane catalog about the difference in push rods was the same wording as in the Moss TD catalog - word for word, just different part numbers. My TD cam cost $140. You can probably same even more money by calling Crane direct
What would cause oil inside the distributor cap on my TD after a hard 20 mile drive? I noticed a slight loss in power after the drive and founf a film of oil deposited in the cap and on the points.
Worn bushings could contribute to the problem. Some oil will collect in the bottom of the distributor over time, as it can't get out, eventually it can cause problems. Drill a small hole in the bottom of the distributor, under the advance plate, and the oil can escape and dribble out.
I'm in process of rebuilding my MGTD engine and I've progressed as far as replacing the rear main oil seal.
I'm following the method in Horst Schach's book of refitting the crank over and over using machinist's blue to check the clearance of the upper seal.
One curiosity. When I disassembled it, the upper seal had a rather large piece of felt kind of wedged underneath it, so it would also wipe the crank. Obviously, this was meant to reduce leakage out the rear of the engine. Anyone seen this setup before? It must not work, or everyone would be doing it, right? From my books it appears that there is no seal material used beyond the metal fittings. Is this correct?
I've heard enough controversy about Moss' rear main oil seal conversion to avoid it, particularly for $200. However, has anyone had any experience with the front seal conversion? It is much less expensive at about $10 and may be worth a try.
The piece of felt was someone's attempt to improve the factory's "lack-of-rear-main" seal. There's a paper gasket between the aluminum piece and the block, but that's all.
Moss's rear seal has worked well for us but one has to follow the installation directions very carefully.
The front seal idea has been around for many years; I was fitting them back in the seventies. It's very effective and requires only that the installer be careful to make sure the pulley does not have a groove worn in it from the old rope seal. If the pulley sealing surface is not absolutely smooth, buy and fit a "Speedi-sleeve" of suitable size - available from all good auto parts houses.
With regards to the front seal, it works. Apply some RTV silicone sealant to both the timing cover and oil pan surfaces. The water pump cannot be installed until after the timing cover is in place. Notch the oil pan gaskets to accept the oil seal. And apply a little RTV there, to seal pan gasket to oil seal. The front pulley must be inspected prior to installation of the oil seal. Many times the pulley is cracked, along the woodruff key area. This crack will act like a fly cutter, and ruin the oil seal ( it will also destroy the rope seal).
I also am not sure about the rear Moss seal, I have installed one, it leaked, I then reinstalled it and seems OK now. There is no felt or other seal material in the original rear seal set-up. The aluminum top half moon seal and the bottom half as part of the rear main cap make up the "seal". Clearances are critical for this system to work, about 0.002" concentric clearance to the crank is required. Friont seal is a CR 14005 lip seal and easy to install. No mods required to anything, just put gasket goo on the outer perimeter of the seal and install with the timing chain cover. You will have to cut two "U" pieces out of the sump gasket to clear the seal.
Looking for assistance in removing the brass oil drain plug from my recently acquired 1953 TD. The car was stored for approximately 9 years but runs fine. Evidently the PO had experienced similar difficulty in removing the plug since there are signs of chiseled notches where previous have been made to remove it. Unfortunately, being brass, it is quite soft and vise grips simply gnaw away at the brass leaving me with quite a rounded plug at this time. Would the application of heat to the plug or the pan (which expands at the more rapid rate: brass or aluminum?) be of any value? Has anyone else encountered and conquered this problem?
Whoa there! No sense applying heat to an oil pan full of oil. The oil would keep the pan cool while you're heating the plug, the plug would expand from the heat while the pan wouldn't, and it would just get tighter. You would have to get the oil out first, all of the oil. And I don't think sucking it out through the dipstick hole would get enough of it out, so you would probably be in for removing the pan first.
Now tell me it's some really strange thread and you can't get a tap for it. For the purpose of cleaning out an existing thread, you can sort of make your own tap. You need a steel part with the proper male thread. Hand file a notch in two places opposite each other in the leading corner of the male thread. The notches will act as cutting flutes on a tap. Use the modified part to chase the threads. If that modified part happens to be a new steel oil plug, you can probably go ahead and use the same part for the working oil pan plug.
I had the same problem. I bought a new plug and used a vise grip to remove the old one. A new plug is only a "coupla-bucks".
While he has a hole drilled, why not go at it with an ez-out or square screw extractor (as big as possible)? Just a thought...
We have all been there. If your vise grips slips, get a bigger one and lock it on real tight. Put a wide pipe on the grip for more leverage and turn. Don't drill or use heat. The chissel is better than that method.You are turning it counterclockwise looking up at the plug?
The TD plug is brass, and the sump is cast aluminum. Given that the bernz torch with the standard tip can put out a lot of heat, don't you think that playing the flame around the plug onto the sump would have the desired effect of getting expansion of the aluminum to change its grip on the brass threads. Wouldn't this take place before the oil could effectively redistribute the heat? The plug itself is large. I don't remember what the As used, but the B hole is about 1/2 inch, and I'm guessing that this is 15/16 or so. In '53, only some of the chassis pieces were UNC thread. Everything on the engine was either BSF, BSW or Nuffield's Mad Metric. Frank needs to get this plug out w/o harming the hole in the sump. MG must have expected a lot of pieces of engine to drain out with the oil, judging by the size of the plug. The oil change instructions were to remove the felt filter and to rinse it in paraffin, then reinstall the thing, replacing only at alternate oil changes. Can you think of a better way to reintroduce into the lubricant (single viscosity specified) most of the material that got filtered out the first time?
No offense intended, he's usually right but DON"T DO THIS! The oil pan on your TD's XPAG is aluminum and will turn to some sort of metalic ash before it gets red hot. I'm not a metalurgist but I'm fairly sure that brass will take way more heat than aluminum. On the other hand I believe aluminum will expand much faster than brass. Problem there is, aside from the oil in the pan Barney mentioned, you've got a great huge hunk of aluminum complete with cooling fins that will suck the heat away faster than you can apply it.
I'd go with a heat and cool cycle a couple times with propane on the nut without draining the oil and then have at it with a GBF pipe wrench (It's ruined already right?) It's possible that someone (a DPO?) has used some type of sealant on the threads or has over tightened on a copper washer in a futile attempt to keep the oil in the sump. Judicious use of heat will help break the bond in either case.
How about trying some dry ice on the brass plug? Anybody ever used dry ice to loosen stuck parts?
Easier and faster in effect than ice would be a can of Freezit or any other brand of componennt freeze. It's a spray used in electronics work to isolate heat sensitive problem components. It should be available at most electronics supply stores. (This stuff is great at getting bubblegum out of carpets too)
To open the drain tap on the block do you turn the tap counterclockwise? I don't want to twist it off.
Turn the tap counterclockwise to open the drain. I use a slightly open or relaxed pair of pliers to do the job.
It should be a small faucet type of drain in which case to rotate the arm CCW to be in line with the spigot
I've noticed the oil feed pipe on my TD is affixed to the head and block incorrectly. If I remove the pipe and reverse it will I need to prime the pump or have problems with the pressure guage as a result?
The banjo union should be at the block and the flex union should be at the head....mine is installed in reverse.
The early TDs had a banjo bolt at the upper or head end with a flex line adapter built as a part of it. The banjos themselves at each end of the line were identical and the lower bolt was called a "round head" I think. Later TDs had a different line. The upper banjo was the same as the early version but the lower banjo had the flex line adapter built in to it. Both the banjo bolts were slightly different than the early lower "round head" type. I have seen the later type line installed with the flex line adapter at the head end but I think that's incorrect. The "improved" line is supposed to be installed with the built in flex line adapter at the block. I don't know why the "improvement" was made.
If you have to remove the line between the head and block, you dont have to prime the oil pump. Whatever air is in the line will push through to the rocker shaft and not be a problem. The oil pressure gauge seems to take care of itself and doesn't need to be bled.
You can reverse the pipe without any difficulties. The pump is well below this pipe, so will not lose its prime, and the gauge has some sort of air-release device so that it will purge itself of air that gets into the system.
Early TDs had the flex line affixed to the top, at the head. There was a problem with the oil pressure indicating, sometimes 20 PSI lower on the guage. When it was actually OK. This was due to the oil having to climb the skinny copper oil line first. The factory fixed this problem by attaching the flex oil guage line at the bottom. This solved the problem on later cars. Yours was probably reversed by the prior owner to correct this.
Thanks. The DPO may actually done something right this time. My pressure reads 40-50lbs. and then decreases slightly as the engine warms up. Should I be concerned?
40 to 45 PSI is normal running warm oil pressure.
Should the oil gallery pipe with the oil guage flex hose have the "dual" branches fit to the top of the block or to the bottomof the block on the TD? I show a schematic in the Service Parts catalogue that shows the dual fitting at the top not the bottom. Which is correct? It seems my memory recalls there was a switch at the factory from one way of fitting to the other. Does one fitting effect the oil pressure?
The pipe was originally fitted with the flex line coming off at the head. Later TDs and TFs had the pipe reversed so the flex line comes off at the bottom. There are many who say you can see a 10lbs. difference in oil pressure by switching the pipe's position - but I've never seen it.
Let's see if there is anyone out there (yet) that can advise me on a TECHNICAL QUESTION.
I have 53TD, with the engine just out of the machine shop. Put the cam in and now is on the stand. Since I could not get anywhere with my engine due to problem below, I decided to sandblast the entire frame this weekend then prime and paint it. Turned out pretty good. I am following Horst Schach's book cover to cover but he leaves out many things, commonly called details. Anyway, my question is I am attempting to put the main bearings in and there is about a 1/8" gap between the bearing and the cap or block (bearing too wide). I did not want to force the bearings in just yet. Is this normal? Also, the center bearing goes in OK over the dowel pin in the block but the edges of the bearing do not quite line up even with the edges in the block. Is this normal?
this is a common problem with the new center main bearings sold today. The fix, however, is simple....
First, the locating hole......a small rattail file should be used to carefully ovalize the hole until it fits over the locating dowel in such a way as to enable the bearing flanges to fit the saddle correctly.
Second, the fit into the crankshaft.......this will need a pair of calipers, a set of feeler gauges, some 400grit wet/dry paper, a can of WD40 and a surface plate (or piece of window glass laid flat and taped down so it can't move). Measure the width of the bearing at each end and in the middle. Determine which is the forward side of the bearing (toward the front of the engine) when it is installed. Spray a patch of the paper with WD 40, then rub the forward edge of the bearing - making sure your pressure is even across the full width of the bearing - on the paper. Spray fresh WD40 from time to time.
Keep checking with your caliper to make sure you are taking the metal off evenly. Keep trying the bearing in the crank until it will fit and allow you to place a three-thousandths feeler gauge all the way around. Repeat the process on the other bearing half, making sure you remove metal only from the forward side of that half, too.
I need to clarify the 1/8" problem, though. I guess I should have said length when I said width. When I set a main bearing into the block, the bearing does not seat all the way down into the block. There is a 1/8" gap between the bearing and the seat in the block. It is like the bearing is "bridging" it's respective block cavity. I am sure I could press the bearing half down into the block but wanted to confirm that this is normal before I did so.
I'd like to bet you have one or two problems, either or both are easy to repair and quite common especially with an XPAG that has never received much proper attention. First, completely disconnect the stabilizer link assembly from the engine. This is the rod like assembly that is fastened to the frame bracket on the right front side from the water pump. If the engine has a tendency to right itself, it was a misadjusted stabilizer. Second, check the front motor mount below the cradle or bearer plate. It'll likely be squeezed out of its normal box like shape and bulge especially at the front and rear sides. This is due to the deterioration of the rubber and needs to be replaced. The bulged out rubber may have taken a "set" to lean to one side if it was in that misadjusted condition for a long time. Rocking the engine from side to side will also be very easy with a bad motor mount like it's sitting on a marshmellow. The above suggestions are made with the assumption that the frame, the link assembly and the engine stabilizer or engine control bracket are not bent. Last but not least, the rear engine mounts back at the transmission should also be carefully checked while you doing the whole job. Replace the three rubber parts as well as checking the mounting point on the bottom of the transmission and the bracket that holds the two thick rubber blocks. The rubber parts will probably be deteriorated like the front mount and the transmission mounting point frequently is found to be cracked. Your problem is not new, serious nor unprecedented.
Thanks for all of the help and information many of you have sent me on this topic so far. I have done some further investigation of my problem with the way the engine is sitting in the car. Here is what I have done and found out this past weekend.
1. I disconnected the engine stabilizer link and the engine didn't move one way or the other.
2. The front motor mount looks alright but the rubber might be soft, the engine moves very easily from side to side.
3.The bracket the engine stabilizer link attaches to that bolts to the frame has a problem. This plate doesn't look original (looks new). The rear bolt that attaches it to the frame was missing. I couldn't move the bracket around to line up with the bolt hole because it hit the bolt that attaches the cradle (piece that the front mount bolts too) to the bearer plate (on front of engine). How much clearance should be between the bracket and the bolt? This make me believe the engine is a little far forward. There was about 1/2" gap between the frame cross member and this bracket. The DPO had used washers to shim up the gap. Is the front bolt supposed to be through the rear inside shock mounting bolt.
4. The stabilizer link is on an angle (front to back). Where it mounts to the engine is forward of the bracket.
5. I have about 1 1/4" gap between the rear cover on the head and the engine bulkhead.
6. Is the center of the crankshaft pulley, center of the water pump pulley and the center of the thermostat housing opening on the same center line? My engine is sitting with the center of the thermostat housing to the right (looking at it from the front would be to the left). I can easily tilt the engine so that all three of these items are on the same centerline (which I believe is correct).
7. My car is an early TD which has Girling front shocks. Looking at some catalogs I see that the Girling shock has a thicker base then the later Armstrong shocks. My engine stabilizer bracket is bolted to the frame using the rear inside shock mounting bolt (bracket mounting hole on top of the shock). If the Girling shocks are thicker then this has to make a difference to the bracket in the way the bracket sits Can anyone tell me if the bracket is mounted correctly or do I need a different bracket with the Girling shocks?
1. That's good, as far as it goes. The stabiliser link is not supposed to force the engine into position, but to hold it in the right position once that has been established by means of the front and rear mounts.
2. If the sides of the mount are straight, then it's probably OK. If they are bulged, then the mount is due for replacement. If the front mount is bad, the rear mounts will be worse. ( And harder to replace)
3. We're getting into nomenclature problems here, I fear---I measured the front edge of the 1/8 steel front plate on the engine (between block and timing cover) and the rear edge of the stabilser bracket and found the space to be about 7/8". The stabiliser bracket has two bolts into the chassis, and one bolt that goes vertically into a little tab that is welded to the front crossmember. The bolt on the tab is about 7/8" OC back from the crossmember. I am wondering if that tab might be missing on your car and if the DPO bolted it horizontally, and too far forward, to the Xmember.
4. On my car the turnbuckle runs straight across. It's perpindicular to the connection on the engine and to the bracket. > 5. That my be revealing the problem. On the right hand side, I measured about 7/8" from the head to the upper edge of the footwell.
6. Straight in line and straight up is the way it's supposed to be.
7. I do not believe that there were two brackets. In the Service Parts List, there is only one bracket listed for the stabiliser.
Observation that the wear of the fittings inside the "protected" box was worse than that of the exposed fittings. These were all loaded with accumulated grease and oil, and sand, and dirt, and a couple of small rocks plus a number of unidentifiable objects. Now that you have asked, though, I think I will go to a motorcycle shop and see what it is that the cyclists use on their chains. Seems to me that the chains operate in a similar environment.
I ordered the Moss oil filter adapter for my TF. I asked for the complete package but did not receive an oil filter. Does anyone know what determines an acceptable brand, #, etc., for an oil filter?
I checked several oil filters that we around the house and found that both the Fram and Motorcraft filters that I had would thread on and the sealing gaskets would be in the correct position.
I have an adapter on my TD Mark II. It uses a PF-21 AC filter. I use an AC because the original oil bath air filter is also an AC. Also the PF-21 fits on my pickup so both use the same pieces.
Spin on type Moss filter part #235-880 Uses Fram PH3600, AC PF-56, Motorcraft FL-400A, Napa 1516, Purolator L20089 - L20195, Wix 51516, Baldwin B-243
I have a '52 TD that I would like to convert to a spin on oil filter. I believe that the kit that Moss sells is for later cars than mine. Anyone know where I might get such a kit or plans on how to convert?
Sure, Phil Marino (in California) makes and sells a very nice spin on adapter for the TC and early TD and one for TD/TF. It's machined out of a solid block of aluminum and should outlive the rest of the car. Around $60 as I recall. Phil's address can be found in any recent TSO.
Phil Marino, Bob Grunau, or Abingdon Spares sells a spin-on housing for the TC, adaptable to the TD. The TD mounting brackets are wider than the TC. Some of these filter housings have a groove cut in them, to fit in the lower groove of the mounting bracket. You have to perform some minor bending of the oil pipes to fit the pipes to the new filter housing. If you don't, the spin-on filter rubs against the lower bracket, possibly puncturing it.
I am now making a new batch of spin-on oil filter adapters for the TC and early TD which are slightly longer and will not interfere with the spin-on filter as the bracket will be entirely on the adapter. Appearance is stock, if painted. The adapter is solid machined aluminum with steel threaded button inserts where a thread enters so any removal of banjo bolts and/or filter is through steel threaded inserts which are permanently Loctited into the aluminum housing. I can provide references of satisfied owners if requested. Cost is $65.00 US$, including packing and postal cost in North America.
Moss Catalogue MGT-26, that arrived here yesterday, shows the oil cooler kit for early cars on p.49. I could not find mention of the filter conversion kit for early or late cars, though I bought one from Moss for my "late" engine a year ago. I'm wondering if the oil cooler kit might accept a filter. Perhaps a call to Moss would turn up the answer to this question, or an orphan adapter that's still on the shelf though not listed in catalogue.
Has anyone tried to use the MGA/MGB round steel gaskets that fit between the bottom of the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe on a TD? I must have replaced the triangular gasket about 8-10 times over the years! Keeps blowing out in relatively short periods of time. Yes, both surfaces seem flat. I just thought that having a round gasket like that might help keep the gases contained and directed through the exhaust system.
Even if the flange surfaces are perfectly flat you'll still have gasket failure if they don't align correctly with each other. That's difficult to accomplish when the exhaust manifold is clamped firmly to the engine and the lower end of the header pipe is clamped firmly to the chassis and the rest of the exhaust system. Have you tried loosening up the lower end of the header pipe to provide some give? Often that will let the flanges pull up tightly against each other.
I'm not familiar with the MGA/B setup, but some older MG models use a round ring with the outer diameter machined into a shallow double cone which forces into similarly machined countersinks in the manifold and headfer pipe flanges. This works pretty well when new, but once the assembly rusts (and it WILL rust) it can be hard to get apart. Also, once the countersinks in the flanges become rust-pitted, it can be difficult to get a good seal. Ideally the ring should be machined from stainless steel to avoid some of these problems.
I prefer a standard flange gasket, with the flanges bolted together before the rest of the exhaust system is secured. Actually what I really prefer is a Derrington-style tubular header that does away with the separate header pipe, but that comes with its own peculiar set of installation problems.
I've had to replace the gasket in my 52 twice in the past three years. Each time it was caused by the brass nuts having come loose. Actually, that should read " by my failure to periodically snug up the brass nuts".
I bought an aftermarket intake manifold for my TC, which lacked this piece when I purchased it. The new manifold has four 8-mm-diameter holes in the bottom at the center, directly below the port for the air cleaner. Seems odd....I can only guess they are drains for oil dripping out of the filter, but they provide a direct path for air to bypass the filter.
Can someone with an original manifold tell me if it has these holes? If so, does anyone know what are they for? Are they to be just left open? If there's no additional part I'm missing, I thought I'd secure a piece of foam to the inside over the holes - it would at least keep the gravel out.
BTW, this manifold, while ascetically very nice, is poorly machined and did not fit as purchased. I questioned Moss Motors about it and was told that all the manifolds are like that - it is the best replacement they can find. The service rep read from something (it wasn't in the catalog!) that stated several hours of hand fitting may be required. In my case, several days of fitting and an hour of maching would be closer. (The most minor of three problems was that neither of the carburetor-mounting ports was flat. It was, in fact, while refinishing these to get a reasonable seal to the carburetors that I realized the four holes were huge air leaks - why worry about flatness!)
I can tell you that all the original TC air cleaner manifolds had the holes to which you refer. I'm afraid I have no clue as to why the factory put them there and agree it would seem that a small amount of unfiltered air can certainly enter there. However, unless you drive a lot on dirt roads, I doubt it would make a lot of difference to the life of your engine.
I own two original ones that have these holes. No idea what they're for! I have two of these manifolds(original) and 4 carbs. I use them interchangeably with no fitting problems.
how do you secure studs to the exhaust manifold?
Not sure exactly what you are asking but a stock TD header is held in place in conjunction with the intake manifold. There are keepers, shaped like miniature rocker arms, which act as clamps. Each one does double duty in that it holds part of the exhaust and intake on either side of the stud. Nuts are used to secure them. There are 4.
Generally they screw right in. They are 10mm x 1.5 threads. If the holes are enlarged, suggest Heli-coil repair. Hopefully, you have the header pipe to mate up with the manifold, so that the drilled & enlarged holes for tapping the heli-coils into are in the same plane as the holes in the header pipe.
There are clamps (Moss 433-630) that go on the studs (328-760) and are tightened down by nuts (311-100). See page 6-7 of there new catalog, key numbers 93-95.
I have a TD and use 80W90 gear oil in the transmission (gearbox). I have heard of the wonders of using synthetics in our LBC's. Can anyone give some real life experiences and suggestions which Redline gear oil I should use. I seem to remember the MTL stuff is what I need.
I've been using Amsoil Synthetic Gear Lube (80W90) in the gearbox and differential of my '53 TD for about a year. I took it out for a run yesterday (about 40 degrees F and sunny in New Jersey, top down of course and sidecurtains stowed). The car's thermometer never ran above 75 degrees C. The transmission was smooth as silk, except of course when I missed a shift or
beat the synchros.
I'll take a shot at your questions, first 90w120 is a .multi-viscosity
gear oil which is fine for all T type rear ends and transmissions. I use 90-140.
I need hypoid gear oil for the rear end and transmission, I have seen this in auto parts stores as gear oil 90w120, but it does not
state if it is for hypoid gears. Is this ok to use?
Er... Being an old fart and an unabashed traditionalist, I have always been under the impression that where any gears are involved, specifically rear axles and gearboxes, the key word in any oil used in LBCs MUST BE HYPOID!!!
I use Castrol 80W-90 HYPOID in both components in my own blown TD and so far, after 10,000 hard pushed miles, all appears well.
The factory called for Castrol Hypoy SAE 90.
We've been through the Redline thread several times before so I'll keep this short. I put Redline 85W140 (Ithink) in the TC's gearbox and it was the next best thing to a rebuild. I can't praise it highly enough.
The tranny in my TC is tired, it was noisey and very difficult to shift when cold. Not long after I got it I drained the transmission and differential and replaced the oils with the appropriate lubes recommended by the manual. The transmission was just as noisey and just as difficult to shift but I
then figured at least I'd done what I could to prevent further damage.
While at GoF West last year I attended a tech session and the subject of synthetic oils came up. The group couldn't come to a consensus on motor oil but I heard nothing but glowing reports of Redline synthetic gear lube When I got home I replaced the 140W gear lube in the tranny with the
recommended Redline gear lube (85-140 I think). It was (is) the next best thing to a rebuild-in-a-can. The transmission was smoother, cooler, quieter and easier to shift. All this for $12!
Redline synthetics are specialy formulated for older (vintage) gearboxes and differentials and are available in a wide range of flavours. I have no affiliation with them at all but I just have to pass on my experience. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
In the MG Y and TD I use Redline MT 90. It is 75W 90 weight
I purchased a qt of red line oil from Moss Motors 75w90ns.Now,in their latest cat.I see they now have sae 140 gear oil-"the only correct oil to use in your t series.What should I use.Thanks Jim
The old manuals say sae 90. I've been using castrol hypoid 90, which means that I can use the same can for the reaend. It is also a non-synthetic oil, which,of course, didn't exist when the book was written!
There has been much discussion on this. Do not use regular gear oil in the rear end. You need hypoid oil for the shearing action of the gear surfaces. Conversely do not use hypoid oil in the gear box. I use Redline products in the gear box and Castrol hypoid in the rear.
I have read all the discussions about the distructive effect of the hypoid additives on the brass parts in the transmission. Can you buy regular 90 weight gear oil locally and where do they sell Red Line oil for the transmissions?
Yes, I buy 90 wt gear oil locally. Red Line i purchase from a retailer 50 miles away and he UPS's to me. Moss Motors's MG-TD catalog lists the Red-Line 75W90NS as a "Transmission Gear Oil" - I have purchased this and it is clearly marked on the back of the container as a Hyploid Gear Oil. My understanding from this thread is that a hyploid should not be used in the gear box (Transmission). Additionally, this same product's description states that it is not recommended for use in most differentials - does this eliminate consideration of this product for use in the rear end as well?
Moss Motor's MG-TD most recent catalog lists the Sta-Lube Gear Oil SAE 140 , Multi-purpose Hyploid as the only correct oil for gearbox, steering box, and differential. I understand the reservation on using Hyploid in the gearbox, but what might be the current wisdom for use of this in the differential?
Now I'm off to the auto store to try to find a Red Line (Non-Hyploid) 90W gear oil for the gearbox!
For the diff. in the TD, use SAE 90 hypoid only. It should clearly state this. In the transmission get some Redline MTL SAE 75/90. This is a synthetic oil that is made specificaly for manual transmissions. It lubes better and cooler. Modern Hypoid oil is not designed for transmissions containing brass parts. And will attack your syncros if gotten to a prescribed temerature.
I'll take a shot at your questions, first 90w120 is a multi-viscosity gear oil which is fine for all T type rear ends and transmissions. I use 90-140. Remember do not over fill the rear end, by that I mean do not fill to the top of the filler plug hole, just to the level plug.
The MG engineers very thoughtfully provided a damper spring so that the shifter rod (in the aluminum extension housing) would not rattle with engine vibration. The cumulative impact of the constant downward pressure of the plunger and the abrasion of the steel rod across the aluminum bearing surface is a ditch dug in the bearing surface. In mine it was about 1/16" deep, with the effect that the arm at the end of the rod was about 1/8" below the (somewhat) spherical bearing surface of the shift lever itself.
Abingdon Spares quite thoughtfully provides a sintered bronze (oilite) bushing insert to alleviate this problem. Unfortunately, they do not have any good advice with respect to how to install it. The problem is that the hole is worn eccentrically in the extreme, and simply drilling or reaming out the existing hole will yield a bigger hole that is centered on the old worn hole. This will reduce the rattle but will also leave you with a shifting rod that is grievously mis-aligned.
One must then enlarge the hole on the original axis. This problem is exacerbated by the location of the hole, about six inches from the end of the casting, and its depth, about an inch and a half. The presence of only one flat surface on this casting is another annoyance.
Been driving the old TD after it's 25 year storage. At first it didn't want to go beyond 3K rpm but it seems more willing to rev every time I take it out. Had it up to 4K rpm (55mph) yesterday for the first time. I want to take it to Indy which is only 50 miles for me, but that seems like a long way at 4K.
I expect the engine to be noisey but not the transmission. At about 2K rpm she starts to rattle. The amount of rattle depends on how hard I am accelerating. Cruising it kind of depends on exactly what rpm I'm doing, but it always gets loud when I accelerate hard. Other than the rattle, the transmission shifts smoothly and does not use any oil. If I grasp the lever firmly I can make the rattle go away. I put a new operating shaft plunger and spring in (boy were the old ones ever worn), and this made the shifting much smoother but it did not help the rattle. Any advice on what to look for? Does this sound like anything that should keep me from driving untill it is fixed? It's a little too late to do anything before Indy.
Your problem is worn bearings. One of my TDs has had the same problem for several years. Don't let it keep you from going to Indy. Are you using 90 weight gearbox oil? Bearing replacement requires the removal of the gearbox, disassembly and special tools.
Actually, you don't need special tools to redo bearings in a TD gearbox. The only really challenging problem is getting the shifting dogs onto the sliding hubs without having the little spring-loaded balls find inaccessible corners in your shop (and even this doesn't need to happen if you are just doing bearings). You can stake the balls into the holes one at a time by gently peening the edge of the holes with a pin punch. You do need a fake (short) shaft for installation of the laygear, but that's just a piece of rod.
Now if I could only get my 2nd gear sliding hub (backordered since Adam was a pup) I could prove all of this.... Sigh.
Actually, I used a large flat hose clamp to keep the steel balls from traveling around the shop. Sort of like a ring compressor, then just pushed the sliding hub into the gear.
I get a rattle (that I think is originating in the transmission) under hard acceleration. I can subdue it by holding the shift lever tightly. I got some advice here earlier that I intend to use, but just now I don't think the problem is serious enough to warrant pulling the engine. I notice that the rattle only occures after the engine has warmed up. This makes me wonder if perhaps a heavier gear oil in the tranny might help keep the rattle down, the theory being that the tranny oil is thicker when the the engine is cold. I am presently using Valvoline SAE 85W140 gear oil. Does gear oil come in a heavier weight? Is there an oil additive that might help? Is this a stupid idea? The transmission is otherwise behaving nicely.
I guess you know what is wrong...... The transmission has some wear in the bearings, etc, etc., hence the rattle. I don't blame you for not wanting to pull the transmission for just the rattle. Be careful about thickening up the oil too much. You do have a couple of "quick fix", "tuneup in a can" type solutions. Red Line is the name of a high tech synthetic gear oil that may help. There are several oil additives on the market, such as Slick50 transmission treatment. I have used it, and it helped with my problem. ( For the curious, my problem was a stiff gear change in cold weather.) Just try one solution at a time, though. Mixing all of this stuff together would not be a good idea. The last option is just to live with it. I drove an A/H Sprite for years with a noise that may have been worse than yours.
Your problem may be just a vibrating shifter caused by wear in the shift selector. By tearing up the carpet and removing the transmission tunnel, you can remove the shifter extension. Examine the shift selector for wear. I just rebuilt a TD transmission, and the shift selector on that one was significantly worn. You can buy a new one, or carefully weld some new material and grind back to the original shape. Also, make sure that the detent ball and spring at the base of the shift lever are still there. Quite often they are missing. The base of the shift lever usually has a groove cut in it by the detent ball from years of use. You can turn the shift lever 180 degrees and reinstall it, to give you a new wearing surface.
Is the rubber snug fitted before (under) or after, (over) the transmission tunnel ?
If you look at page 140 of Horst Schach's "The Complete M.G. TD Restoration Manual", you can see that he installed the rubber snug under the transmission tunnel. Based on that reference, I did the same thing when I assembled my TF. It was a real pain to slide the metal tunnel over the rubber. I am not looking forward to removing it at some time in the future. That part of my car had been taken apart in 1960, so that, unlike most other parts of the car, I could not tell how it had been assembled at the factory. Several MG restoration experts here in the Grand Rapids, MI, area were surprised when they saw what I had done, and said that they always put the snug on top of the metal tunnel.
I put mine on top of the tunnel too. Just trying to find the definiitive answer. the rubber cover fits under the metal transmission cover
Can anyone tell me what the correct end float for the lay gear is for an MG TD gearbox?
Currently, there is .034"
0.034" is far too much clearance. Blower gives 0.48 to 0.77 mm, this is also far too much and I believe an error. MGB manual gives o.002 to 0.003 Inches ( 2 to 3 thou ) or 0.05 to 0.08 MM and I think these numbers are in the correct range. I think Blower missed a decimal and intended 0.048 to 0.077 mm, same as MGB. I have used 0.002 to 0.004" clearance and have had good results. You should aim for these figures. Usually two new thrust washers gives this clearance and may even need some taken off the faces to get clearance.
I set mine to 0.006 by making new thrush washers. The gear noise seems to increase as the end float increases.
I am finally getting my gearbox back together and have got a question. How tight should the nut on the main shaft for the rear flange be?
The similar nut on the input shaft of the differential is torqued to 140 ft/lbs. I don't expect that that amount is necessary, but if you're not using a lockwasher, then it should be close to that amount.
Somewhere I've seen torque values for this nut but I can't lay hands on right now. I do know that you must be careful with the felt seal in this assembly as you can torque against it and get a false reading and then later the joint will loosen and the gearbox will start jumping out of gear. Make sure the splines have slid past the felt seal before the final tightening.
I would agree with 140 ft-lbs, minimum 100 ft-lbs. On the early TD G/B this nut is the only thing locking the speedo gear to the mainshaft. Too much torque could force the split ring in front of center bearing to pop out of its groove. You are tightening against this split ring.
First you must make absolutely certain that the felt seal is not trapped between the bearing and the flange. Use oil/grease to help slide the flange past the felt. I usually have to work the seal with a screwdriver to get it fully seated. I also remove and replace the flange a number of times (without the nut) till I can tap it home against the bearing with a satisfying metallic sound which indicates the seal is not trapped.
If you have the earlier speedo drive gear and mainshaft without the woodruff key (pre TF, I think), you have to tighten the flange nut so that the speedo gear is held tight enough so that it cannot spin on the mainshaft. The other indicator is to look inside the box at the washer just to the rear of the first and second hub. When the mainshaft is pulled to the rear by tightening the flange nut, this washer should pull up tight to the circlip, but not to the point of bending the washer. In other words, everything to the rear of the center bearing is a sandwich. Pull it all together with the flange nut. Actually, you're locating the mainshaft in the gearbox as you do this.
I'm at the office and doing this from memory, so if you require more detail, please feel free to contact me on or off list.
Thanks to all who responded to my question on tightening then rear nut on the gear box. I pulled the flange off when I got home and found that it did catch the rear felt seal so the flange was not bottomed out all the way.
I found an easy and fool proof way to solve this problem. I removed the rear housing and fit the drive shaft flange in the housing first. This way I could see that I had it properly installed inside the seal. I then slid the housing into place with the flange still in the housing. I lined up the splines and then slid the assembly home. Simple and easy!
Noticed a vibration somewhere in the driveline of my TD. You feel it at idle, revving the engine, in the seat of the pants. It seems as if it's in the frame. I believe it was there before the cam replacement, I just wasn't paying all that much attention. Now that the car's power has been restored and throttle response is so much better(minus one throttle-return spring), I am more aware of it. Any ideas? I replaced the front motor mount, too.
Exhaust touch point on the chassis, spiggot bearing worn allowing the clutch plate to run off-centre, worn bearings in the gearbox, fan blade missing, ( once saw one that had gone up INTO the bonnet after shearing off...) Water pump bearings worn,( rock the fan...expensive,) First signs of worn main bearings.....is the oil pressure good with a very hot engine, at idle?
You say you have fitted a new engine mounting? Often the modern rubber is very HARD, and simply transmits more vibration, very true of the front one. The old rubber was probably very soggy, absorbing it.
Is the gearbox sitting on its cross-tube, again touching the chassis? New mountings needed if so.
Is the gearbox steady still there? A tiny eye-bolt facing down, with a nut, a steel cup, and a RUBBER WASHER, to stop the gearbox lifting.
After I replaced the rear engine mounts in my TD, a vibration was suddenly missing. My guess is that it was there for so long that I had become accustomed to it, but its absence is certainly nice. The rubber bushings on the engine stabiliser bar don't last very long either, if the rocker cover gasket leaks oil on them. (not that this would ever happen in a TD). If they perish, engine vibration can move into the chassis
FWIW, I had a similar situation with my TD last year. Eventually, I traced the cause to a loose connection between the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe. One of the brass nuts had decided to disappear.
My TD has been off the road since that day in August when something snapped at 75 mph on I-78 on the way home from the Lancaster Brits show.
I thought it was the supercharger but after removing it, examining it, remounting it and running the car with the drive belt detached, I think the blower is ok (scratching my head).
Symptom: running engine leads to rattle/vibration. Gearshift seems to be a little less firm in the hand than usual. Noise remains as long as engine turns, regardless of gear or neutral.
Already ruled out: Engine compression, water pump, generator all are ok. (Detached fan belt and ran car without generator and water pump and noise remains.)
Question: could noise be coming from gearbox/clutch? Where else could it come from?
It could be that you blew the clutch or Throw out bearing. Does the clutch feel normal. Does it shift gears? You also could have broken or collapsed a piston.
Is everything running normal? Shift ok start ok etc? Since this happens in neutral I would rule out the tranny at least for now and look for something loose that is causing the vibration. Does the muffler have a stay welded to it, if so maybe it has broken or how about the engine mounts front and rear?
Maybe it's something simple. Try inspecting the engine mount and the transmission mount. I replaced both on my TD and a number of vibrations and noises went away.
Why rule out the tranny? ... assuming that the 'TD' tranny is similar to the 'A' and 'B' trannies, then the input shaft and laygear are spinning when even the tranny is in neutral (they only stop spinning when the clutch is disengaged) ... IOW, it could be the input shaft and/or laygear bearings.
Thanks to all of you who provided me with useful suggestions of where to look further.
1. Clutch/shifting seems to be ok so I will rule out transmission as possible source of noise. 2. Engine & gearbox mounts seem ok. 3. Water pump & generator ok. 4. Rocker shaft/mount pads and rockers look ok. 5. Engine stabilizer ok.
Rattle seems to come from bottom of engine, not transmission. Any ideas on how I can diagnose it without taking apart the engine?
Could you describe for us again the rattle noises emanating from the bottom of the engine? When they occur, the sound, etc. Things that rattle when loose--oil pump, fume vent pipe, clutch linkage, air cleaner assembly, oil filter cannister, generator (3 bolts + bracket's two bolts), suspension parts....
Have you had any experience in changing the TC rear axle ratio? I'm thinking about getting one of Roger Furneaux's new ring and pinion sets while I'm in Europe this summer. I think it's about a 4.8 (but I'm working from memory at the moment, it might be a 4.6). I've also got Carl Cederstrand's book on converting the TD/F which has some interesting comments on using a Stewart Warner speedo gear modification to get the speedo back on track. Apparently from Carl's comments the main effect is to slow down engine wear at "normal" highway speeds (65 mph or so) at the cost of some hill climbing ability that might require a bit more frequent changing down to third. Acceleration is much less affected, I guess. Since over the next decade or so I anticipate moderate distance driving to GOF's etc, I thought it would be a worthwhile modification. I realize that MGA ring and pinion sets can be used, but suspect that the setup and machining required might be more than what seems to be a "drop in" for Roger's gears. Any thoughts on this? Would you say its worth the bother for a TC driven 2-4,000 miles a year (maybe more as I get closer to retirement in 10-15 years)?
In my opinion improving the gearing on any pre- 1962 MG is worthwhile. These cars were built to perform well on English secondary roads where acceleration was more important than a high cruising speed. The introduction of superhighways and our much longer driving distances has made a higher ratio rear axle gearing very desireable. However, keep in mind that a stock TC overall gearing is much better than a TD or TF due to the larger wheel/tire diameter of the TC. Speed in MPH is 15.64 per 1000 engine RPM in top gear, so 4,000 RPM gives you 62.56 MPH, not bad. Changing to a 4.875 ratio gives 16.43/1000 RPM or 65.72 MPH at 4,000 RPM. Changing to a 4.55 ratio gives 17.65/1,000 RPM or 70.6 MPH, possibly too much for a stock engine. You can calculate your own figures using the formula: MPH = RPM x Tire OD in inches divided by Gear ratio x 336. Of course any change in axle gear ratio will affect the speedometer reading, for a single ratio change down, I don't think its worthwhile to alter the speedo as it was probably optimist anyway. Would I change a a stock TC axle ratio just for the sake of better gearing when driving 2,000-4,000 miles a year? Probably not, unless I had to buy new gears anyway. So here are my comments on the question of how to improve the gear ratio: The MGA gears and Carl C. book are applicable ONLY to the TD/TF rear axle . No use for TC except for general discussion unless you are thinking of changing the whole axle unit ( see below ). I have listed some of your options below, of course any reference to a TC also includes the TA and TB as they all use the same axle design. I have driven a TC for 60,000 miles with a 4,875 ratio and found it very satisfactory. When I rebuild the car again, I will use a 4.55 ratio as the more relaxed highway cruising speed for our roads is justified. I also have a TD with 4.3 ratio MGA gears and a TF XPEG 1500 engine, this also works well but again, I would install a 4.1 ratio next time. To inprove the gearing on a TC you need to either buy a TA gear set ( 4.875 ratio), a Roger F. gear set ( 4.625 RATIO ), or change the whole rear axle to something else which has better ratios. Sorry, one more option is to put a Morris 1000 differential ( 4.55 ratio ) using the TC housing. Also, apparently some Ford units fit, but these require special axle shafts. I chose changing the whole rear axle on my TC to an MGA unit with the track reduced to TC dimensions and now have a choice of 5.125, 4.875. 4.55, 4.3, 4.1 or 3.9 ratios which will all fit the MGA housing. Of course these last three ratios are totally wrong for a TC. I used the TC brake back plates, brakes, Alfin drums, wheel bearing carrier and wire wheel hubs so the installation looks entirely stock. The housing, gear unit, axle shafts and wheel bearings are MGA. The MGA axle unit requires a slightly shorter driveshaft which I made from an MGB unit. The MGA axle unit gives a stronger unit than stock TC, better choice of gear ratios, is less expensive for me, and all the components are MG. Changing the gear ratio to 4.875 or 4.625 TC gears is a fairly straight forward bolt-in job, untill you come to setting up the gears. I have not much experience in setting up a gear set from scratch and don't know if the Roger F. 4.625 set has any detailed instructions. The TC manual, as well as other MG books, give some details on how to set the correct mesh and backlash of the gears. Installation of a Morris 1000 4.55 diff unit requires removing the TC spider gears and installing them in the Morris diff in order for the TC axle shafts to fit the splines. My analysis indicated that about 1/8" has to be machined off the face of the Morris housing in order to get the axle centerline the same as the TC. However, some installations have been made without this machining and apparently work OK. You have to drill the TC bolt hole pattern into the Morris diff and then bolt it in. I have no details or experience fitting a Ford diff. This reply is far from a complete "how to " instruction and is intended only to explore some of the options available. Cost and necessity are important considerations when making your desision. No doubt other options are possible and I would like to hear of any other alternatives or experiences from owners.
Two years ago I had the rear axle gears changed on my TD mKII (4.875 was the gearing in the MkII) to 4.1 from the MGA. I am most pleased with the change. Carl Cedarstrand's book said, if I remember correctly, that the 4.3 was preferred by most owners. I opted for the 4.1 on the basis that the MkII has the three or six additional raging ponies and could carry the higher ratio. I note that Moss advocates 4.55. Just yesterday I had an opportunity to drive a standard TD that had just been fitted with a Datsun 5-speed. As I am not at all sure that the instruments are accurate, the 3700 rpm at 65mph may or may not be true. It seemed to be a workable rig. The owner did not discuss the cost of having the conversion performed, so I can't compare to my experience. Perhaps later in the warm weather we can get the two cars together for a comparison.
The most commonly ratio recommended for the TD is 4.33 which is a standard MGA ratio and readily available. I put a 4.55 in mine because I do a lot of driving in the hills of upstate New York and New England. It was a great improvement but it was hard to find. If I was a flatlander I probably would have opted for the 4.33.
The gear you want is from an MGA 4.3-1, not from a B 3.9-1! The B is way to low. Your TD if it's stock has a 5.125-1 rear. Great acceleration but hardly something for long highway driving without the engine screaming away. My TD is set up a little stronger than the TD MK.II and I believe that extra power gives me a perfect balance with the 4.3-1 rear. Third gear is wonderful around town. You might go to the 4.875 or the 4.55-1 as an alternative to the 4.3-1 with the 1250 cc engine for a little better acceleration, but still gives you a buzzy 60mph.
Might suggest that you refer your questions to the guru of differentials, Carl Cederstrand of Brea, California. He wrote the book on changing the ratios. Carl is at <email@example.com . BTW, I'm in the act of installing a set of 4.30 gears into my '52TD.
Even the 4.33:1 of the MGA is a bit too tall if you live in hilly terrain. The optimum for a TD with a more-or-less stock engine is the MG Magnette 4.55:1 ratio.
My transmission was rebuilt with the car 2 years ago. Initially the gearing was very stiff but has loosened up nicely. The transmission would "pop" out SNIP
Drop the drive shaft at the rear flange of the transmission. See if the nut on the end of the main shaft is tight. This nut must be very tight. I do not have the torque raiting. I use a 24" braker bar.
Yes, good advice. The output shaft holds a lot of the "inner workings" in the right relationship with the gears etc. on the input or main shaft. If the nut is loose, then the rear shaft can move backwards under load, and cause a drop out. However, if the nut is tight, then there could be several other possibilities.
1. When the box was rebuilt, the person doing the work might have got the rear felt oil seal trapped between the inner end of the rear flange and the rear bearing's guard plate, giving a false appearance of being tightened in the correct position. After a while, the seal erodes, and the shaft becomes loose.
2. The box did not have all the work necessary to prevent drop out, carried out correctly. Drop out can also be a result of:-
a. worn sliding hubs,
b. worn selector shafts
c. weak springs in sliding hubs
d. weak springs in selector shafts locks
e. slack in the gear lever's operation, resulting in inadequate engagement of the relative gear
f. correct spacing washers, bearing guards and spring plates on both sides of the 'central bearing' missing
g. any combination of the above in greater or lesser amounts.
However, hold your breath. If the nut IS loose, chances are that was the cause of the problem. If you find it loose, place the car in first gear, and tighten the nut substantially. Repeat several times, taking the car out of gear between each cycle, to give the shaft a chance to creep forward, and bed down in it's correct position. If the oil seal was the cause, then at the worst you'll have an oil leak at the rear end of the box. If that doesn't solve the problem you will, in all probability, have to remove the box and investigate more fully.
My transmission remote control cover is worn quite back where the shaft goes through the housing, especially the rear hole. Has anyone drilled out the housing and installed brass bushings as Horst Schach described in his "The Complete M.G. TD" book on page 108? I'm not sure I want to try this myself so I have checked with a couple of local machine shops and they aren't willing to do the work either. I'm looking for a machine shop that will do the work (hopefully some one out there knows of one) or someone who has done it themselves and can give me some pointers. I do have a Shop Smith like mentioned in the book but am concerned about being able to drill out for the bushing since my hole is now egg shape. I'm afraid the drill bit will wonder and not stay centered.
Thanks again and thanks for the responses on my question about the gasket between the bell housing and transmission case. I still don't understand why a paper gasket isn't or can't be used if silicone sealer should be used to make a seal. And yes I did change the seal.
I'm not sure this is the way you want to go, but the following tip appeared in the June edition of the Octagon Car Club's "Bulletin:"
Botcher's Corner 5 minute TD gearbox overhaul: Well, not overhaul exactly, but it stops the lever rattling. Slide a front suspension rubber down the gear lever followed by a washer and a worm drive clip. Push down hard on the washer to compress the rubber and tighten the clip. This makes the action fell more positive and stops the chatter. It is hidden by the leather gaiter. By "front suspension rubber" I assume he means the A-Arm bushing.
I have one quick question for the list. I am finishing up the rebuild of the gearbox and noticed there is no gasket between the bell housing and the gearbox. Is there supposed to be a gasket? If not would it hurt to make a thin paper gasket to use. I noticed when originally removed the bell housing the DPO had sealed the two pieces together with what looked like silicone sealer.
The factory did not fit a gasket between the box and the bellhousing. A very thin film of silicone sealer will help prevent any seepage of oil between these two components.
I believe my support bracket for the rear rubber mounts (under the transmission) is damaged. The front and back sides (towards the front and rear of the car) of mine look to be bent out. Can anyone tell me if these sides are supposed to be straight?
The rear engine mount bracket should have parallel front and rear sides that are verticle and perpendicular to the frame. This is a common bending problem. As a matter of fact, I remember seeing a "fix" published in the NEMGT Register publication called The Sacred Octagon. The fix was to drill a hole on each side of the bracket from front to back and install a couple of bolts and nuts to prevent the spreading.
My rear tranny mount does not have straight sides. They flare out about 10 degrees on both front and rear.
The sides of that bracket should be perpindicular to the ground. A couple of years ago, a tech article in TSO attributed the owner's rough clutch engagement to the engine moving around because his bracket was flared out.
Over the last few weeks a problem has developed in my TF. I traced the problem to a cracked rear transmission support which seems to allow the drivetrain to twist under torque until the clutch engages. Definitely not good.
Yup. Been there, done that (TD).
Does anyone have experience with replacing >this rear mount? Once I unbolt it can I jack up the transmission and slide it out.
Yup. It will help immensely to take off the tunnel (a non-trivial job) to get access to the various bits. It's a lot easier doing some of the bolts from above instead of below, with crud falling in your face. There are a total of four bolts that hold the mount in place, two on the upper ears and two on the lower.
I know there is a fork that passes through the center of the mount. How difficult is it to remove?
You don't wanna remove the fork. It's held in with a clevis pin (fastened with a cotter) on the bottom of the tranny. Very hard to get to in place. What you need to do is remove the nut on the bottom of the fork pin (under the mount) and lift the tranny sufficiently to let you slide the mount out, and vicey versey for installation. Come to think of it, you will most likely HAVE to remove the tunnel and drop the driveshaft as well. May need to loosen the exhaust pipe too. Sigh. You might be able to do it by rotating the mount as you slide it out or in....
You will most likely find the rubber buffers inside the mount all gungy, swollen and crumbly. Replacements are readily available from the usual suspects. However, I've done this twice and still can't figger it out. With new rubbers, the fork pin only baaarrely protrudes from the bottom of the mount. I can just get enough purchase to slip a nut on it, and that's pretty tight. In theory, one is supposed to have both a rubber buffer and a washer on this pin as well, but I've never been successful in getting same on. Am I missing something, group?
I have replaced the rear rubber mounts on my car--is that what has cracked on yours, or is it the tube on which the bracket fits, into which the little rubber blocks fit? In any case, you do have to disconnect the exhaust, loosen the front engine mounts, disconnect the turnbuckle of the front control link. You also have to lift the transmission tunnel, which means removing the seats. It took me far longer than I imagined something simple as this should take. It's all time, not skill, that's involved. The transmission has to be lifted a lot farther than one would think, since the pin/link in the center of the rear mount is surprisingly tall. THat was the hardest part for me, since the top of the transmission hit something (I forget what). Had I not replaced the front mount first, thus raising the front of the engine, I think that the replacement of the rear mounts would have been easier. While you are down in the dirt and the grease, check for wear in the clutch control linkage joints. I removed all the pins and levers, got new pins and had the worn holes filled and fitted to the pins. Great improveme
When I did that dirty deed, it was not necessary for me to disconnect the drive shaft, but I had the same troubles with the fork pin. I put it back in place with only the washer, drove a few miles, then was able to fit the rubber buffer.
I see from pictures in the book "The Complete MG TD" that the gear box cover should have insulation glued to it. Well guess what? My DPO strikes again, it's missing. My usual catalogs do not show this part. Does anybody know where I can purchase some suitable material for this purpose? It looks like it would not be difficult to cut it out to match the pictures.
I think this is one area where it would be unwise to skimp on insulation. I just replaced the motor mounts and took her out for a test drive without the gear box cover on (probably not a safe thing to do because the u-joint and part of the drive shaft is exposed). Without the cover, an immense amount of heat and noise come up from the transmission.
I just removed the original insulation from mine in the course of refinishing it. Apparently these stampings were not painted originally--the blackish "finish" on mine came off entirely in the parts washer. Wonder what it was.... ;)
The stuff is some sort of fiber, kind of like carpet underlay but thinner (abut 3/16") and more dense. I'm going to try some carpet and upholstery stores.
I am hoping that someone out there can give me advice about resealing the rear axle on a TD. I'm not a newbie at this sort of thing, but I figure some people may have developed some improvements on the original design.
The oil was running down the shafts and getting on the brakes -- it did not seem to be leaking at the lip seals. Since there is no inner seal, it appears that the tapered collet-looking thing that butts up against the bearing is supposed to do this job. I guess the metal-to-metal contact against the bearing was meant to stop the oil.
My plan at this point is to smooth the end of the tapered piece (which had some wear), and then to put a modern, plastic sealer like Hylomar, Curil, or Loctite Gasket Eliminator between it and the bearing. Anyone have a better idea?
My TD rear axle seals are leaking, at 18 months and 4000 miles, as did the seals before them. What advice can anyone offer to help ensure that the new seals do not leak? Also, are any brake cleaners noticeably better, or worse, than others for attempting to save the rear brake shoes? Thanks in advance,
Odds are that the oil leak is caused by a blocked vent hold in the axle housing. Somehow pressure builds up inside the axle housing as you drive and the seals aren't made to withstand any pressure. Opening up the hole may cure the problem. The hole is located on top of the left axle tube about 1 to 2 inches outboard from the main center casting. It's about 1/8 to 3/32" dia hole but an ice pick or piece of coat hanger wire will do the job. It's probably covered over with grease and dirt. Wipe away as much dirt, etc. as you can before poking to minimize the amount that gets punched through. On brake cleaner, I've had very good results with a spray can product called CRC Brakleen made by CRC Industries in Warminster, Pa. . I bought mine at a local auto parts store and is probably available anywhere.
I think my TD needs new rear axle oil seals. How big a job is this? Do you have to drain the oil from the differential first?
it's not too daunting a task. Drain the axle oil, remove the wheels, brake drums & shoes. Disconnect the brake pipes from the wheel cylinders. Remove the backing plates. Take a hammer and chisel and tap the bearing holder a few degrees clockwise so you can get at the back of it, then tap against that exposed flange to withdraw the bearing holder. Sometimes the bearing sticks in the holder, so the axle and bearing come out as well. Press the bearing and holder off the axle, then the bearing out of the holder. This exposes the seal, which you can then remove and install a new one. Reassembly, as the workshop manual always says, is the reverse of the above procedure, but you'll also have to bleed the rear brakes after reconnecting the pipes. And don't forget to add fresh oil to the differential...
Does the flange (SPACER, rear hub bearing) that holds the oil seal need some sort of sealant between it's face and the rear end housing? The manual doesn't show a gasket here, but I think there was oil seeping through this joint. (But maybe this oil first had to get though the seal.) I don't quit understand how all this works yet.
A very thin (read VERY thin) smear of silicone sealer on the face helps fill all those slight machining imperfections and prevent the future seepage of oil.
I knew it was to good to be true. Got 15 miles from home in the TD, stopped at an intersection and it would not go. No big noise, shifted in gear, let out the clutch and it did not go, of course this was a major intersection. I pushed it off to the side of the road, checked the clutch linkage, that had previously fallen out after the loss of a clevis pin, it was working, care would go in and out of gear but was not getting any power to the rear wheels. What gave out? An axle? The rear diff? How can I troubleshoot with out taking it all apart?
Wellll, lets see ... I can think of 3 things to say right off-the-bat.
1) is it really going into gear? ... ie, is the shift linkage broken? 2) Is the clutch stuck? ...ie, is the clutch not re-engaging when the pedal is released? sometimes you can look (with a flashlight) through the opening where the clutch fork goes into the bell housing and see enough of the clutch/pressure plate to determine if its working ... use a helper to push and release the clutch pedal while you watch 3) I'd guess its likely not the axle/diff ... raise the rear of the car so that the wheels are off of the ground, start the car and have a helper put it "in gear" and let out on the clutch . if the driveshaft is turning, the problem is in the axle/diff, if it isn't, the problem is in the trans/clutch.
TDs are renowned for breaking half shafts. When this happens, the symptoms are exactly as you described.
To check, jack the car up at the rear. Release the handbrake and put the car out of gear. Have an assistant hold one rear wheel still while you rotate the other one. The driveshaft should turn as you rotate the wheel. If you can rotate one wheel without the driveshaft turning, the half-shaft that side is broken.
Start the engine, shift into first gear, and let out the clutch. Does the speedometer register speed even though you're standing still? If so, you've probably broken a half-shaft in the rear axle. It's a common T-Type problem.
I pulled off one of the rear drums on the TF tonight to check the brake shoes to find that it was covered in oil. Since I've never had to do anywork on the rear axle of a car I thought I'd bounce it off the list. It looks like I need to remove what the workshop manual calls the 'Support-brake plate' or moss calls '226-380 Housing,bearing' to get access to the oil seal. Is there anything else that needs to be done or any gotchas that I should know about.
You are on the right track.Remove the plate in question and lever out the seal. Very carefully tap in the new seal, with the lip facing inward. Then reassemble.
For what it's worth, what seemed to cause the leak in the rear axle was that the bolts that hold the backing plate and the bearing assembly together had loosened up over the years.
After eventually getting round to replacing the rear wheel bearings and axle seals on the TC I thought I'd finally have reliable, oil free, rear brakes for a while. Well, I did. For a very SHORT while. I've come to the conclusion that the problem is worn axle splines, right side in particular. The long term fix is obviously to replace the axle and bearing carrier and I plan on getting in touch with Phil Marino regarding his tapered shaft modification soon. BUT.....
The Chief Financial Officer (Domestic) advises that this quarters budget for such items has already been depleted below a responsible level. In response the Engineering and Maintenance department has been looking for a short term fix. Anybody ever tried to seal this up with blue goo silicone? The CFO(D) has opined that this may be within the current feduciary restraints.
Not sure what happens on a TC when the axle breaks (although I think the TC/TD is pretty similar to the MGA), but given the rash of TR3 wheels taking leave of their parent vehicles, I'd say consider deficit spending or else park it, especially if you racing the car! (or run the B-GT - when the axle breakes, the wheel stays put!
The TA/TB/TC rear axle is an entirely different design from the TD/TF unit. A TA/TB/TC rear wheel won't come off if a half shaft breaks. A TD/TF rear wheel will.
1) The (Brown & Gammons) do a new gear set for the TD/TF transmission with a better (close) ratio. I'd like to try this sometime.
2) They are now seling the 4.3 and 4.55 ring and pinion gears for the TD/TF transmission. We have a number of club members who are ordering these for replacement this winter.
MG TD/TF Closer Ratio Gears Stronger (2X tooth width), better ratios, fits original gearbox case. Set consists of the input shaft, laycluster, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear. Ratios of: 1st 2.86 (3.5); 2nd 1.84 (2.07); 3rd 1.33 (1.385); top 1.1 (1.1) 899.00 Pounds Sterling (17.5% VAT included)
I figure that's an end price of around $1250, plus shipping. Seems like a deal to me.
I don't know what the second set of numbers (in parentheses) is behind each ratio. Let me know if you figure it out.
175 pounds sterling minus VAT plus about 40 pounds shipping cost per set. Also, figure on replacing bearings, gasket, spacer tube and drive flange. All totaled, I'm paying around $450 each for the conversion, doing the work myself.
I don't understand why you don't buy a good used complete MGA gear set which has all the parts needed to convert a TD/TF to 4.3 ratio. Cost will be less than $200.00 . Personally, I would'nt bother with a 4.55 set, 4.3 ratio is ideal for a 1250 cc TD ( IMHO ). A TF or TD/TF 1500 could pull a higher ratio of 4.1 or even 3.9.
The backlash is not set with tooling. The tooling - which I have made myself - is nothing more than a sturdy plate that can be bolted on to the opened housing. It has a dial gauge mounted to it, which bears on the pinion. It is not important to know what the distance is between the pinion head and the axle axis, only that it can be measured in relation to the new pinion position. That determines the required spacer thickness. The objective is to get the pinions in exactly the same position.
The backlash is determined by the position of the ring gear in relation to the pinion. Once the pinion is in correct position, the backlash is easy. If you have not messed with the distance collars, it should be the same on the new gears as it was on the old. The ring gear position does not change. Yes, I know that the MGA gears are not dimensionally the same as the TD/TF gears, but remember, these are not MGA gears. They are drop in replacements for the TD gears. Only the number of splines on the pinion force a new flange.
By the way, backlash can be figured out simply enough, too. Since backlash is simply the rotation one gear can go through without moving its mate, the angular rotation at the ring gear can be indirectly measured at the flange. Since we know that the flange rotates 5.125 times (on the TD) for every one turn of the ring gear, and you know the ratio of circumferences ring gear to pinion flange, one can calculate the ring gear backlash based on the backlash measured at the flange. Just as an example, if you put a bolt into one of the flange bolt holes, you can measure the circumferal distance between clicks of the gear backlash. Since the bolt hole is at a radius of 1.4", working the math out tells us that the required .006" of backlash at the ring gear is roughly equivalent to .030" at the flange bolt hole.
This is not a method described in Carl Cedarstrand's book, but is mathematically correct. And it's a lot easier than measuring the way he describes.
All this is well and good, but the job is not done yet. I'll let the group know how things turn out. That is if everyone else doesn't beat me to the entire supply of gears.
To each his own, as they say.
First, have you tried to actually find an MGA gear set? And the flange required?
Second, it all depends on the types of hills you climb. Yes, on shallow hills an on freeways, the 4.3 WOULD be ideal. But where I live the hills are a bit steeper. I also find, by reading Carl Cedarstrand' book, that the reduction in RPM at 60 - 65 MPH would put me in a range where my particular engine loves to run. I don't need 3750 RPM. I like 4000 just fine.
I have available for sale several good used sets of MGA 1500/1600, 4.30 ( 10/43 ) ratio, crown wheel and pinion assemblies at a cost of $200.00 US$ plus shipping or you arrange pick-up. This is the complete center section and includes gears, CWP, bearings, flange, bearing spacer and pinion location thickness washer etc as removed from a car. Everything you need to install a 4.30 gear set into a TD or TF. You need to surface grind the thickness washer to remove approx. 0.030" for installation in a TD/TF housing, adjust the bearing spacer to get the preload, and possibly adjust the carrier bearing spacers ( + and -- ), to move the crown wheel sideways to obtain the correct backlash. I have installed many of these units and I find the 4.3 ratio too low in my XPEG 1500 cc TD, Other owners with 1250 cc engines find 4.3 ideal.
My work on the TF is going well. New fuel pump and brakes all around will help the go and stop functions. Thanks for all the help from the group.
Special thanks to Lawrie Alexander out at The British Sportscar Center in California for all his help by email. Wish we had someplace similar here on the East coast.
Next question now involves driveability.
I want to upgrade my gear ratio on the TF to something a bit more reasonable. I don't pull stumps much anymore so first gear is pretty much unuseable and highway speed just wrings that poor little 1250 to the limit.
Does anyone have any tips on doing a gear change? I do have a spare MGA rear axle that could be a donor but it's a wire wheel axle and my TF will stay a solid wheel car. Not sure about the possibilities there.
Having dealt with trucks, where tractibility and gear ratios are are of the equation, I can tell you that it depends on where you live, what you want to do. Going to a 4.3, 4.1, or 3.9 rear end ratio is possible, but there are trade-offs. First of all, it is doubtful that you have a standard bore engine any more, unless you've resleeved and gone back to 66.5mm bore. So, you have a larger than 1250cc engine. OK. Now then, using a Pirelli 165 R 15 tire for reference purposes, it has a diameter of 23 inches; a rolling radius of 11.5 inches. The number of tire revolutions per mile = 10084 ~ RR (11.5"), which equals 877. What final drive rpm would you like to run? As the rear end ratios are not variable, the choices easy to figure. All calculations will be made at 60 mph. 4.55 rear end = 60 ~ 877 X 60 ~ 4.55 = 3990 rpm 4.3 rear end = 60 ~ 877 X 60 ~ 4.3 = 3770 rpm 4.1 rear end = 60 ~ 877 X 60 ~ 4.1 = 3595 rpm 3.9 rear end = 60 ~ 877 X 60 ~ 3.9 = 3420 rpm The ideal axel ratio if you wanted to go 60 mph at 3000 rpm would be: 3000 ~ 877 X 60 ~ 60 = 3.42. Well, you can't have that one. If I were in a mountain area, I would not go below a 4.55 rear end. Some hills, a lot of freeways, and flat 4.3 or 4.1. 3.9 is useable in a 1500cc (1466cc) engine. You will get to use third gear a little more, so tha you will now ahve two gears to use; third and fourth. Carl Cederstrand wrote a book on doing the actual work on changing the gears in your TD/TF differential. You could take the gears out of your MGA rear end (preferred) or locate MGA solid wheel axles, drums, and wheels. The MGA rear end has stronger axles. BUT, the MGA wheels are four bolt.
By the way, the conversion to the MGA gearset I mentioned in my previous message cost each member $450 in parts. This included all new MGA gears, bearings, spacers, and sundries.
Actually, the TF standard ratio rear end ratio is not that unreasonable. At 4.55 it is much more usable that the TD which used a 5.125 ratio.
I just completed conducting a differential workshop for our local club members in which 6 of us converted to the 4.55 ratio from the original 5.125. I'm personally pleased as I have increased my speed by 8 MPH at any given RPM. I can now cruise at 65 MPH by doing around 4250 RPM, which is where I used to be at 57 MPH - about as much as I wanted to push the engine. One could use the 4.3 gear set from an MGA, with some loss of hill climbing ability.
To do the conversion is not a difficult process, I just takes a lot of trial fitting and measuring. Carl Cedarstrand published a booklet some years ago on the procedures. This is still available from Moss Motors. It details the steps necessary to use MGA ring and pinion gears in a TD/TF rear end. I does require changing the spacers to the MGA style, and some gringing of the carrier bearing spacers. Overall, it's not a bad procedure.
Unfortunately, one cannot use the whole MGA rear axle, since it's way too wide.
The most difficult part of the whole operation is being able to measure the pinion head location. We did this by making up a pinion measuring tool. It consists of a flat steel plate which will slip over the axle case half bolts. From this is hung a cradle to hold a dial gauge which bears against the pinion head, thus allowing you to measure the relative positions of the original pinion and the new MGA one. I was surprised how well this tooling worked.
The final option, of course is to have someone else do the conversion. University Motors (Ada, Michigan) will do the change over, but it somewhat expensive due to all the labor involved.
Unless your TF engine has been hopped up, or unless you live where there are no hills of any consequence (and I don't mean mountains, just hills), you'll find the MGA's 4.33 axle ratio is a bit too high. I speak from personal experience, having owned and driven many Ts with both ratios.
The ideal is a 4.55 ratio, available from a Z magnette rear axle, or from Moss, who have just made available a kit to convert to 4.55. This does not sound like much of a change from the TF's original 4.875 but it does make a worthwhile difference.
Of course, plan B would be to fit the superb 5-speed gearbox conversion offered by Steve Neal in New England. It costs $1,750 or so but, if you haven't rebuilt your stock gearbox yet, that's about what a rebuild and a rear axle change would cost. The other benefit is that you get a quiet, smooth-shifting gearbox into the bargain!
By the way, whether an MGA rear end is wire- or steel-wheeled makes no difference for the T-conversion as you take the gears out of the pumpkin and adapt them to your differential.
For the first time in my life I must disagree with the above given response.
I converted my 53 TD to the MGA 4.33 gear ratio many year ago (around 20 as I recall) and have had excellent results. I can cruise at freeway speeds (around 65 mph) without beating the engine to death and have but minimal problems on steep grades.
And, I live in real mountains.
For those of you that were fortunate enough to have attended the GoF West 1997 you will recall the grade that must be pulled between Salt Lake City and Park City. You gain over three thousand feet of altitude in about 15 miles. I live in Park City and make that trip 15-20 times each summer. Granted, I do not pull it in forth gear, but third works just fine.
The trade-off for high end travel on the flats is well worth the occassional use of third fear.
The TF has a 4.875 gear set, which was used in combination with the 5.50 x 15 tires. Modern radials willl make that an effective ratio of 5.nnn since the radials will have a smaller rolling circumference. Check the MGA axle for it's gear ratio. That is marked on the gear set somewhere. Most TD/TF people find the 4.3 axle best, some prefer the 4.555 and some the 4.1 from the MGA. It's the gears that you will move over to the TF.
Just put a modified Datsun 1000 steering box into my TC before the weekend and drove it 500 miles around southern Australia during Saturday and Sunday. This is a major. reversible, bolt-on improvement...highly recommended.
I have imported and sold about twenty of those TC steering box conversions over the past two years. Yes, you are right. They make a TC steer like a modern car. It drove so great that I started selling the units here in the States.
Out here we fit a steering conversion using the steering box from a Datsun 120Y (Datsun (Nissan) 210. It was made around the mid to late 70's.). It will easily graft on to a TC steering column and the difference is unbelievable. It actually steers where you point the wheel.
Winter work continues on the TC as I ready her for a fast approaching spring season. Yesterday was a beautiful early spring day just made for top down touring. Naturally, the day before I'd pulled the carbs off to have them line bored. Today, thankfully, it's pouring.
The top felt bearing on my TC's steering shaft, the bearing just below the steering wheel has perished. Horribly. I believe I have a new felt here somewhere but I wonder if anyone knows a needle bearing number that will fit in there. I've seen the Tompkins kits advertised as including just such a bearing so I know there's one that'll do.
Torrington needle bearing number is B-1416 , its really not a good fit as the steering tube is 1.150" bore, the bearing is 1.125" OD., and the shaft od is 0.870" and the bearing 0.875" bore. So you see, the needle bearing will allow a lot of slop in the steering. Better to re-fit a well lubricated felt bush as original. Also, the column tube is just that, a tube , and does not have a smooth ID, due to the tube joint weld. I have several TCs and have worked on them for over 30 years, I have make oil filter adapters for spin-on filter to be used. Also, Alfin type aluminum brake drums. Also front axle replacement spindles.
The needle roller bearing that goes at the top of the TC steering column is available from Moss Motors (or one of their Distributors) under their part number 129-214 at $7.35 retail list.
I have friend with a nice '52 TD but he has a problem with steering wheel shimmy above 60 MPH,He said he checked wheel balance,everything looks tight in the front end I haven't had a chance to go look at yet. Any ideas on what to look for?
Weak dampers or their being low on fluid, bent wheel, tire balanced but out of round, under or over-inflated tires. He's getting the engine revs up there at a true 60 mph. Do you know if he runs at that speed for long distances?
Check the three rubber bushings where the steering column join. It should be down around dizzy. There are three on each side and they do wear out and it can be somewhat dangerous. I doubt this would only happen at 60 but it is a thought, mine were worn completely out and once I replaced them it was steady driving.
Here's one of those 'it happened to me' --- Is there any chance that he's running tubed tires with inner tubes that are a bit too large? Installing tubes of the right size for the 165/15's on my TD made a 70mph driver out of mine.
well we finally found out why my friend Bob,s TD is shaking all over the place he has 3 wheels that are bent or out of round!!! These are the slotted original wheels 15" 5 bolt pattern.Does anyone know if they can be repaired if not does anyone out there have any for sale?He really wants to drive it but is starting to get discouraged.Who would have thought the wheels would be tweaked.Any help will make him happy.
This isn't unusual. Most BritCar wheels are made of thinner gauge steel than we are used to in the US, so are easier to damage. Take them to a wheel repair shop for assessment.
Calling all wheel/hub experts. Help desired with sorting out the source of a wheel wobble.
I had the wheels trued a few weeks ago before the GOF West. Had new Firestones put on and off we went. At each stop one of the other drivers in our caravan would sidle up to me and say, "I' thjought you'd like to knowyou have a wobble a wobble in your right rear wheel." After about 5 or 6 such comments, I was prepared with the old "Yeah, I know, I'll have to have to getbthat checked out when I get home." So, I went home and checked things out..wheel is pretty true when off the car. Put back on tightened down a little more and forgot about it until this past weekend run to Bolinas, CA (Beeeutiful Day, Great roads, Fabulous scenery!) So I get there and the nice fellow who was behind me in the TC caravan on those great twisting coastal roads sidles up to me and says, "I thought you'd like to know that I noticed a wobble in your right rear wheel." Yeah, " I said shrugging it off outwardly while my heart sank anew, "I'll have to get it checked out when I get home." Ugh!
While on the way home no less than 4 drivers of Ford Explorers, Chevy Cavaliers, and a '53 stakeside flatbed with furniture and two mattresses I would not sleep on, tooted at me and then leaned out to shout.."Hey, buddy, I thought youd like to know your right rear wheel has a wobble in it!" Is there no place I can hide?! By the last greeting, I was able to lip-synch their words right along with them. Which, I am sure they thought was a very ungrateful and irreverant response on my part.
So I get home and take the offending wheel off and up to the wire wheel guy. I watch as he puts it on his machine and gives it a spin. It has a little run-out..maybe 1/16". Not bad. He says leave it and he'll remove as much of that as he can. I do, he does, and I pick it up on the way home from work.
Tonight I put it on and give it a spin...The wobble is still there...maybe 3/8 - 1/2" runout.! The hub turns true. The wheel turns true on the shop machine, but when put on the car, the wobble is still there. All I can detect is that the space between the brake drum and the outer edge of the inner wheel lacing flange could have as much as 1/32 - 1/16" variation from closest to furthest from the brake drum. Could that translate to 3/8 to 1/2" at the wheel rim or tire? Why would that nor show up at his shop? Is there something wrong with the bevel on my hub? Is the wheel bumping up against the studs that hold the brake drum? Doesn't look that way. All suggestions gratefully accepted.
Sure sounds like a bent axle to me. It's super-easy to pull the shaft, put it on a flat surface, and roll it. Why not give it a try.
I won't say "It can't be.", but remember It was stated that the hub runs true. This is not likely with a bend half-shaft or axle.
However, if the wheel is not square to the hub:
((>All I can detect is that the space between the brake drum and the outer edge of the inner wheel lacing flange could have as much as 1/32 - 1/16" variation from closest to furthest from the brake drum. ))
then the described wobble could occur. Yes, a small angular error at the hub could, with the 19" diameter wheel, translate to a very significant run out at the tire.
Thank goodness for the online help. Nothing makes me more frustrated than to find nothing in my hundreds of manuals, books and newsletters referring to a specific MG problem. The subject of this search has to do with a clunk that recently started on my TD's steering rack. I mentioned this problem earlier, but finding nothing written, have to come back to this group for any info you can impart. Here's the problem: -Pushing down on the front suspension causes the inner rack to hit the steering housing where the rack passes through at the inner ball joint at both ends. There is nothing that I have found that mentions this as a potential wear point when rebuilding your steering! There are no replacable bushes like the later B's have(Someone must have had a problem). The triangular rack rides through the circular housing contacting it along three areas. Grab the inner ball joint and push it up and down and you can feel a slight looseness up and down. Is this repairable? What would cause this to happen? Going over rough roads sounds as if the front end is about to smack itself until something breaks. Very disconcerting.
Thanks to all who offered some ideas on my clunk from the TD rack housing. Took a spare rack and pinion (don't we all have these on the shelf?) over to Rob Medynski in NJ and he drilled and tapped the right side damper boss(for either left or right hand drive, remember). I will pick up and hopefully this will tighten up the rack and eliminate the clunk. Greg Prehodka did this fix on his racer TD, too and fixed the problem, so I'm optimistic. If you notice a sharp clunk at slow speed over any surface, this is the only fix for it.
That's great to know. But what the @#%# is a "damper boss?" Is that when your supervisor is wetter than my supervisor? But seriously, I recently had my steering rack apart and don't recall anything that looked like a damper boss and I don't recall any reference to such an animal in the manual.
I do have a little freeplay on one side of my rack where the round dohickey screws onto the rack itself (how much you want to bet that _dohickey_ is in the manual). Horst Schach's book tells me to unscrew it and then use some emery paper on a flat surface to get it to fit closer. Unfortunately, I couldn't even get the blessed thing off to do the emery paper deal. Is the damper boss related to that?
Yes it is. The damper boss I refer to is the undrilled and untapped right side of the steering rack(assuming you have a left hand drive TD.) You say you have a bit of play on the damper side now. If you look under that domed nut you're having such a time removing, you'll find the following: several thin shims, a 3/4" spring and a hollow brass damper pad. The spring fits into the damper pad and when tightened correctly, forces the brass end against the rack to take up the play. There should be a clearance that adds up to .051" under the domed nut. This is the standard pre-load shim total. If you check on the road and this is too tight or too loose, it is permissable to decrease to .030" or increase to .070". Check the manual for the correct procedure when measuring. I wouldn't bother using emery paper, that's a lot of work, just remove a couple of shims to fit closer. It's a good idea to unscrew that damper assembly as I have seen cases where the bottom of the brass pad was worn away and the spring is wearing against the rack!
Folks, just a bit more info on what caused that clunking on the front end of my 53 TD. When I took the rack and pinion out of the car both inner ball joints were so stiff and not moving as to transfer all the wheel jounce right to the rack and housing! This with a rack that I lubricated with 90 weight very often. Putting back a rack housing that has 2 dampers, one on each end and tie rods with the proper free play.
Thanks for the update. Were the inner ball joints dry of lubrication? That you have used the 90 and they were stuck makes me curious. For years I have been using moly chassis grease in the rack, because Chip Old (I think) had said in the T-Series Handbook that it seemed to be OK. Now I wonder if the grease might be less likely to get into the ball joints than the oil would. What do you think?
Actually, the inner ball joints were not dry. They had been lubricated with the 90 weight. In fact, at one time I must have put some grease in there as well, since I found it when things came apart. However, it didn't travel far from the center of the rack. I plan on filling up the entire rack with 90 weight with one rubber gaiter loose so I can see the oil coming out. That should then be filled enough for lubricating everything. Just finished putting things back about an hour ago and will wait for the rain to stop before venturing out. Still have to check on the toe-in, toe-out as I replaced everything and lost my marks on the old stuff. The good news is , no more clunk when I push down on the headlamp brackets!!
Chip has already contributed to my query with the TD steering problem and Chip, correct me if I'm wrong, but someone mentioned that you felt using a good modern day grease would work. From my experience cleaning out the rack, all the grease was centered in the middle and didn't seem to be flowing out to the most important inner ball joints. The 90 weight, with the rack properly filled, will keep the entire length of the rack well lubricated. All the more important to be sure your rubber gaiters are not torn and allowing dust and water in to corrupt ball ends.
What could cause an audible "clunk' when negotiating bumps? The kingpins were replace during the rebuild 4000 miles ago.
Check the A-Arm bushings.
Let me suggest what caused my front end noise as a possible reason. Your inner ball joints may be frozen thereby causing the tie rod to be an extension of the rack and smacking the rack housing at the outer ends! Whew! The cure is to get the inner joints loose again. They should be a rotating fit with no play. Adjust with shims as the workshop manual recommends. Did that with my 53 TD and the problem has been solved. I also drilled and tapped for an additional rack damper, but think that may have been overkill, in my case.
A number of things could cause the clunk. I'd start checking for slack in the damper bushings, if you have the Andrex dampers, and the bolts in the pan of the lower A arms, the fluid level in the dampers, wheel bolts, all suspension bolts, the rubber bushings on the A arms. Jack up the wheels and shake them to look for loose tie-rod ends, wheel bearings and to check the kingpins-just in case.
I have the cupped washer on the lower A arm where it connects to the bottom of the king pin which has disintegrated. How difficult is it to replace it? I should remove the wheel with the car jacked up. Then what?
Does anyone have experience with front end alignment on a TD? I can't see any obvious provision for camber and caster adjustment. I have a copy of a very old manual, which gives alignment specs, but gives no information on making the adjustment. Is it simply a matter of replacing parts if the alignment is out?
In this case, I haven't checked the alignment yet, but I have done some front end repairs. I had to replace the spindle on one side -- I installed the original kingpin into the new spindle, because it was straight. I have noticed that the kingpin on the other side is slightly bent, though the car was in service that way in the past.
More or less. I found that some washers had been placed under one side of one of my front shocks when I disassembled for rebuilding. Given the paint pattern, these looked original, so I replaced them when reassembling. My guess is that the only adjustment, aside from toe-in, involved shimming.
The 165x15 is the one. I've had them on my 53 TD for the past 32 years and I remember the difference in handling was amazing. Gas mileage went up too. I currently have a set of Michelin XZX's on and they work great in the wet and dry. Some people have mentioned balance problems
with radials on T- series, but that's a factor of how good the balancing is done.
I use 28lbs front and 26 lbs rear in my Michelin 165 R 15 radials.
I like my Dunlop SP4n tires, but the they are now out of production, the last ones available being sold out about two months ago. The new ones are now Dunlop SP20, supposed to be a bit better than the SP4n. They handle well, are the correct size, and look great on a TD. Order Dunlop SP20, 165SR15. Tire Rack sells them now for $37 and change, just checked this morning.
I run Michelin XZX 165X15s on my TD I like 32 PSI.
I have a couple of questions concerning the right size (or best size) tires for both my TD and TF. I have had regular nylon bias tires on my TD for about eight years now. (Bought them at a really good price just when I needed them.) No real tread wear is evident but am conscious of the timeframe involved and dry rotting. I also want to buy a new set of tires for my recently purchased TF 1500. It is now carrying regular nylon bias ply tires, but want to get radials with the thin white wall for both cars.
Can someone out there tell me what to buy. What looks good. I think that I can get the small white walls from Coker tire, since I questioned them at last years' Carlisle show concerning availability. I questioned them, however, about straight replacements for the TD, not about anything a bit larger.
Origional tire size was 5.50 x 15. Current metric radial size would be 5.60 R 15. This is a popular size, as Volkswagen used it as well.
I have been running radial tires on my TF since restoration, and I would never, ever go back to bias-ply tires. Radials give the car wonderful driveability. The size escapes me right now, but I believe I'm running 165-15 radials. I can check this evening and send you the size tomorrow.
I believe you mean 165R15, which is what most people use. One (only) drawback to using the radial vs. the bias ply, is that the bias ply tended to be a taller (greater circumference) tire. Why does this matter? Well, if you still have the 5.125 original gear ratio in the rear, the slightly smaller diameter radial will only exacerbate the problem of high revs at highway speed. By how much? I don't remember exactly. I calculated it all out one time, and I think it came to a hundred or two hundred rpm or so. Also, different manufacturers have slightly different circumferences/diameters on their radials.
I have heard that Dunlop SP20's are a good choice, although you can find off-brand radials at that size pretty cheaply, if price is your greatest consideration.
I've got a friend that put 185/65/15's on his TD, but even he doesn't know why.
I agree with the 165SR15 recommendation. I have them on the TD, but must admit that as of this past winter have converted to the 4.55 rear end.
I also agree with the Dunlop SP20 recommendation. I have these or SP4s on everything including the J2, the TD, the MGA, and even my Jeep.
Most TD & TF drivers seem to use 5.50x15 or 5.60x15 bias ply, and 165x15 radials. The problem one faces is that even the bias plys have a smaller rolling circumference than the original Dunlop Gold Seal 5.50x15, hence the revs/mile increase with the new tires. The problem is worse with the 165x15, as they have a smaller circumference than the bias plys that fit the wheel The width of the rims limits the width (thus also the height) of the tire. Choices, choices. I bought Firestone 5.60x15 to replace some very worn Michelins X. They do look more appropriate for the car, but I would hazard a guess that the Michelin tubes alone would have better grip on the pavement than the Firestones. Memory is that the original Gold Seals on the car were the true inspiration for Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed", though that chapter was left out of the book. The Firestones aren't much, if any better. My advice is that you ask Coker and the other tire dealers for the largest tire they carry that will fit these narrow rims. One of our club members related at the last meeting that there are tires that fit our cars, but that they have modern, swirly, tread patterns that don't look right on T-series cars.
I vintage race my TD on 165Rx15 Michelins. They work great, although they are a little (a lot?) noisy when cornering hard. Another advantage is they are better in the wet than the competition Dunlops. The only time I can get close to the really hot cars is in the rain.
Just what do you mean by the right size? Are you talking about 5.50 x 15 tires? How would you feel about 5.60 x 15? We have known for years that this was a most common size tire, and that we should have no problem finding this size, as Volkswagons used the same (or near to the same) size tire. When they went from bias ply to radial, hence the change from 5.60 x 15 to 165 R 15, availability shouldn't have dried up. And, if oriigionality is what you seek, look to a Volkswagon parts place. One of our members was looking for bias ply wide white walls for his TD. He finally found Denman bias ply tires with wide white walls at a Volkswagon Bug Haus. Blackwalls might also be found there, as well as a selection of radial tires, or at least suppliers.
Further, he found that of this reduced choice, tread patterns were modern, swirly designs that he didn't want for his TD. Eventually he found Vredensteins (sp?) that he though looked right and bought a set. I've not heard a use report from him yet, not that our TDs are demanding of their tires. Whatever the difficulty of finding 165x15, I hope that noone repeats my mistake of buying 5.60x15 Firestone bias plys. They're wearing out fast, but not fast enough.
I've read that wire wheels were offered as an option on later TD's. Does anyone know which years this happened? Then again would they always look out-of-place anyway, making it a moot point?
They were never an option on TD's. Sorry. However, after the wire-wheeled TF's came out it became possible to retrofit the wheels onto a TD. IMHO, they don't look right but, that's just my opinion.
Sorry, whoever wrote what you read was wrong! The factory did not offer wire wheels as an option until the TF came along (introduced at the 1953 Earl's Court, London, Motor Show.)
Dealers were able to retrofit TDs with wires as the parts interchanged easily and, of course, many hundreds of TDs have since been fitted with wires by using either TF parts, conversion kits from people such as Moss Motors, or by the expedient of fitting MGA or MGA components.
And I'm not sure everyone will agree that TDs don't look good with wire wheels! I have a grey car with chrome wire wheels in my shop at present and it looks very elegant!
The cars did not leave the factory with wire wheels, but when the TF was introduced it did have them available. Since the running gear of both models is essentially the same, the TF parts can be used to make a WW TD.
During the rebuild of my TD I started disassambling the steering rack. Not that
it is that worn but to derust it. But in the books I found two different opinions on the lubrication of the assambly.
1) according to several including manual I should use gear oil.
2) according to the t type rest handbook (knudson) I could also use multi
As Grease is far more easy to handle than gear oil (not that messy) and getting
the gear oil in place is not that simple I am thinking of using the grease.
You can use either the gear oil or the grease. If yours has a grease fitting, I would probably go that way. I think that the choice depends partly on environmental conditions...grease works well in hot climates like ours...Louisiana.
Listen to Dick Knudson! Gear oil is messy and dificult to get in with a special grease gun. I have rebuilt many TDs in the past 30 years and have always used grease.
I noticed that in the handbook, but I also noticed that the MOSS MGB catalog warnes against using grease in the rack of the B. I figured there couldn't be that much difference between the B's rack and the T's rack, so I decided to stick with gear oil. I bought a separate grease gun just for the gear oil. The grease gun will only hold the oil temporarally, so I store it in a bucket and wrap plenty of paper towels around it when I am using it. Also note that the oil zirk on the T's rack does not have a one way valve on it. If it is filled above the zirk, the excess will leak out. (Just another puddle to keep the others company.) I cover the zirk with a piece of aluminum foil to keep dirt out, amazingly it seems to stay on.
I believe that gear oil was originally specified but modern grease is fine. When I first got my TD I attempted to put gear oil in, as per original owners manual. It stayed in for about two minutes.
For the past five years I have run it with grease in the rack and so far no problems.
Anyone have a tip on removing the steering wheel from a 1953 TD? I removed the nut, the bolt that locks the adjustment and can adjust the wheel in and out but cannot get it to come off the splines. The shop manual mentions removing a key (?) but the only key I can see locates the wheel on the shaft and does not appear to be removable (I did try to no avail!). Is it a rust problem? I have been soaking the splines in Liquid Wrench and WD 40 for days now but still no luck. Would appreciate any tips from those more experienced with TDs!
Yup, rust it is! That wheel is stuck on a tapered surface at the end of the shaft. (The key you refer to just stops the hub rotating on that taper.)
A puller of some sort or a BFH are your best resorts. Be sure the clamp you loosened (which allows the wheel and shaft to adjust in and out of the column) is tight before you do the hammer routine, though.
Yes, there is a key, and I'm not referring to the one that locates the wheel on the shaft. It is kind of oblong with rounded ends. It sits flush with the outer casing, so is very hard to detect. It is under the chrome coil thingie. As I recall, you have to push the end of the chrome coil (I don't remember whether outer or inner...) up (or down) as far as possible, so as to compress the coil, and the key is visible. Since it is flush with the surface, you have to pick it out with a very tiny screwdriver or some such. You can't remove the key unless the wheel is NOT against a stop, i.e., it is neither as far out or as far in as it will go. I know, clear as mud, but trust me, it's there, and you won't get the thing off until the key is removed.
Yes, there is a key, and I'm not referring to the one that locates the wheel on the shaft. It is kind of oblong with rounded ends. It sits flush with the outer casing, so is very hard to detect. It is under the chrome coil thingie. As I recall, you have to push the end of the chrome coil (I don't remember whether outer or inner...) up (or down) as far as possible, so as to compress the coil, and the key is visible. Since it is flush with the surface, you have to pick it out with a very tiny screwdriver or some such. You can't remove the key unless the wheel is NOT against a stop, i.e., it is neither as far out or as far in as it will go. I know, clear as mud, but trust me, it's there, and you won't get the thing off until the key is removed. Well, there's more to the story. The TD wheel is attached to a shaft which slides up and down on a splined steering column. The key to which I refer above keeps the shaft on the splined column, and has nothing to do with the wheel on the shaft. The removal of this key lets you take the shaft off the (main) column and get the assembly out of the car. Removal of the wheel from the shaft is then easily accomplished with a suitable drift (BF puller). While this can be done on the car, I found it easier if the wheel/shaft assembly is removed first.
Extend the steering wheel adjusment, and slide the chrome "coil" out of the way. Youthen have to use the point of aknife or similar to pop out the rounded "key". Withe this out, you can slide the splined shaft and wheel off of the steering column. If you want to remove the wheel from the splined shaft, then you will have to use a three jawed wheel, or gear puller.
There is a key, but it's not the problem here. The key will come off when the wheel does. Beg, borrow or steal a wheel puller from someone, and put it to work. Tighten, tap with hammer on the loosened nut, tighten, tap, etc. Tugging on the wheel is not likely to work, but if it does it will probably remove your front teeth when it comes off the splines.
I am trying to remove the steering wheel. Loosened the column bolt and pulled out the wheel to its stopping point. Removed the center piece and loosened the bolt holding the wheel to the column. Thought that the wheel would just come off at this point but, alas, stays where it is. I think they is a key at the top of the post, but how do you remove it. All assistance greatly appreciated!
TD steering wheel: There are two keys. One holds the steering wheel onto the adjustable splined shaft. The other is in the splined shaft, limiting the in and out travel of the splined shaft. To remove the key and extract the steering wheel and splined shaft, remove clamp at steering column. Use a pick to remove key from splined shaft. Shaft and steering wheel should come out. To remove wheel from splined shaft, undo nut on shaft, found after removing steering wheel center. You might need a gear puller to extract the steering wheel from the splined shaft.
You've loosened the clamp, so now you need to slide the clamp up the column, compressing the chrome-plated spring cover to expose the oblong-shaped key. Remove the key with a suitable pick, and the wheel, along with the upper 6-8" portion of the column, will slide out. DO NOT LOOSE THIS KEY, AS IT IS WHAT KEEPS THE COLUMN SECTIONS TOGETHER. Unless you are changing the wheel, you do not need to separate the upper column from the wheel. However, once you have this assembly out of the car, separation is a piece of cake. All you need is a big hammer.
On my TD, the key stays in the slot in the steering column and the wheel will, with some wiggling, slide off the column and the key.
I am now ready to remove the front suspension and would like some advise on the proper procedure. I don't see any way to use a spring compressor to compress the coil spring before removing the assembly from the frame.
I used the weight of the engine to hold the frame while I jacked up one side to compress the spring. Then I removed the lower bolt from the spindle or king pin and slowly lowered the jack to remove the spring. I also know a guy who braced the frame against the ceiling to do the jacking maneuver. He had removed the engine and didn't have the weight he needed to hold the frame down.
Horst Schach's book shows a picture of a movable floor jack with chain around it and the suspension. As you jack up the suspension, the chain compresses the coil spring.
I don't know how you would do the suspension with spring compressors, though I have read that owners have done it. My suggestion would be to use sandbags to weight the chassis down, making up for most of the weight of the engine.
As for the springs, the accepted, no-compressor method, is detailed in Horst Schach's book (and, I think, in the repair manual). It involves using a floor jack under the spring pan. The jack is raised to compress the spring against the weight of the car. If the engine is not in the car and/or the body is not on it, looping a chain around the suspension and connecting both ends to floor jack is needed.
My own personal method is to take my engine hoist, tie a 3/4" nylon rope to the pedestal, loop it once around the suspension, and then tie the other end to the boom. By raising the hoist's boom, the loop contracts and compresses the spring. This works pretty well with my bare chassis, but probably won't work on an assembled car with the front fender on. Be really, really careful using this method, however. Your rope has to be in excellent condition and you have to use your best Boy Scout knots. I wouldn't use this method on any car with heavier springs than the TD, which are pretty wimpy as front springs go. If you end up with a spring in your forehead, you didn't hear it from me!
- remove two bolts that hold shock to frame
- put jack/stand under spring
- remove nuts from spring u-bolts that also hold shock mounting plate/arm
- remove shock and link from anchor plate
- drill and tap hole in the end of the shock link mount for appropriate cap screw (1/4" sounds about right)
- work link back on (w/new bushing), using rubber lube (mine came from Sears), olive oil works too - get a body/fender washer of the right size for your cap screw and wide enough to cover bushing, put screw/washer into new hole. I've used this setup for a couple of years now on my race car and it works just fine.
FWIW, TD's handle better with soft rear spring/shocks, as long as the front end is stiff.
Has anybody used Apple Hydraulics for Shock Absorber overhaul.
Yes, I've used Apple but find them to be rather expensive. I have also used World Wide Auto Parts in Michigan. They do a good job at half the Apple price.
As long as we have a thread going on about shock oil, I have a question. When I started my TD restoration I purchased all new shocks, as the old ones where shot. I notice that the rear shocks seem to be much "stiffer" than the fronts. Is this normal? I feel like I'm getting a good firm ride on the road, but there is definitly more bounce in the front than the rear when I push down on the bumpers.
BTW, how do you check the shock oil level? Can it be done without removing the unit? (I assume that new shocks are shipped full of oil. Right?)
The Workshop Manual gives settings for the dampers, when removed from the car and tested on the work. Range of motion is 35 degrees each side of centerline, for both front and rear. Front--Rebound stroke setting--20 degrees per second at 400 lb/in torque at a temperature of 18 C or 65 Fahrenheit. (weight applied at end of 8 inch arm = 50lbs) Compression setting--20 degrees per second at 200 lb/in. (weight applied at end of 8 inch arm = 25lbs) Rear-rebound stroke setting--20 degrees per second at 400 lb/in torque(weight applied at end of 6 inch arm = 66lb 11 0z.) Compression stroke setting-20 degrees per sec at 250 lb/in. (weight applied at end of 6 inch arm = 41 lb, 11 oz. It appears to me that they both rebound equally, but that the fronts are a little softer in compression. To check the fluid level, just clean around the opening with a wire brush--get it super clean-- then remove the big top nut (girling) or the small filler plug (armstrong) and fillerup to overflowing. If it takes more than a couple of tablespoons, push the bumper up and down to remove any entrapped air. That's all there is to it.
How difficult is it to replace a front Armstrong shock on a TD? Do I have to remove the front wing? I certainly hope not.
You dont have to remove the wing. Remove the bolt to the top swivil pin. Then remove the four bolts holding the shock down. Thats it!
The shock link has almost pulled out of it's connection to the shock arm on the rear of my TD. Is there a way to fix this short of dismantling the entire shock and link and removing from the car?
I did fix the shock. i drilled a hole in the control lick and inserted a washer and cotter/split pin. Thank you all for the assistance.
You are probably better off taking them out. Although I have a TC, I had a similar problem. My right rear shock arm had slipped/worn its way almost off of the shaft of the shock body. The splines were shot. (This could end up being your situation too) Only the power of the geometry of the linkage was holding things together, and the shock absorbing capability was non-existant. As a consequence, I broke spring leaves. Taking the shock off is not that hard. Remove the nut that holds the shock linkage from the bottom spring retaining plate. If this bolt is "frozen" to its nut, it is a bear to remove. If this is the case, drop the spring retainer bottomplate and work on it out of the car. You will want to put new bushings in the linkage. The bolt and bushing at the end of the linkage that connects to the spring bottom plate needs to be pressed in with a lot of pressure. I cant remember from my TF, but the middle bushing may only be a hand press fit. The heavier press job will needs to be done by a shop or someone with a press ( I recall something about 400 lbs.)
I had a pair rebuilt for about $110 each. I know Apple Hydraulics in Calverton NY (1-800-882-7753) can rebuild them (maybe on a core swap basis for the TD).
I gave mine for the TC to Skip Kelsey and he sent them off to one of his sources. They came back completely redone...new paint, etc. They are STIFFER! I thought the ride was a little hard before, but after putting on new springs and the rebuilt shocks, the car follows the contour of the road great...but I need my shoulder harness to keep my ass on the seat when navigating Hwy 24 near here at 65 mph! They'll loosen up and the springs will too, soon I HOPE. Otherwise I'll offer the car to the Maidenform proving grounds for Bra research!
I am wondering how the rubber bushings are pressed into the shock links on the TC. Is there some sort of special press? Brake fluid on the rubber? Any hints would be appreciated.
It seems to me that Moss Motors sells a tool to press the rubber and shaft into the shock absorbers. It isn't that good, as it hopefully will last long enough to complete a set of shocks. Lubrication with urethane bushing grease (silicone) would help in the installation, but probably allow for the thing to come apart just as easily.
you need a rubber bushing installation tool set and a press or at least a good vice. The tool set consists of a inner tapered sleeve that allows you to compress the rubber and push it into the shock arm hole or lower link hole. Then follow with a tapered 1/2" pin to expand the bushing bore and follow the tapered pin with the shock link or lower pin. A job that sounds easy but is always difficult, even with the tool set. You always need a third hand to hold everything in alignment. I use hand cleaner as a lubricant and have made up some special holders to hold the link and pin in alignment when pressing them together. Good luck.
Agreed...I have the moss installation kit and it's still hard to install the bushes. I have wrecked a couple of bushes in the installation process. Simple solution.
I have heard various answers to this question: When replacing the front damper (Armstrong) on a TD is it necessary to remove the suspension spring?
No! it is not necessary.
Well, you don't really "remove" it, but a necessary result of the operation will be to make it "removable." In other words, the operation to remove the spring is pretty much the same operation you have to do to remove the shock.
The lever shock forms the top part of the front suspension. When you disconnnect it by removing the bolt that goes through the top swivel, the tension on the spring will be released and the brake drum assembly with the swivel arms attached will fall towards you. If you don't compress the spring first, at best you will be asking Christoper Reeve for riding lessons (wheelchair), and at worst they will be removing the spring from your head at the autopsy.
Therefore, you have to compress the spring first through some safe method. Spring compressors available commercially are typically too big for this function. Others on the list can describe home made spring compressors that they have used. Most people will use a floor jack under the spring pan, although this can also be dangerous if the car shifts at all. It is best to run a loop of chain attached to the jack at both ends around the back of the shock (padded to avoid scratching anything) for added safety. The latter method is a necessity when compressing a spring on a bare chassis that doesn't have the benefit of the weight of the engine and body on it.
Once you have removed the top swivel link bolt, you will find that the spring pan will also fall down and the spring can then be removed or may even just fall out on its own. The shock can then be removed by removing the four bolts that secure it to the chassis. Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove those four bolts until you have compressed the spring, disconnected the top swivel link, and then slowly released the tension on the spring.
Please be careful and read the manual closely before attempting this.
Having replaced the Armstrong front shocks on my TD I want to check the fluid level on the rear "dampers". Is there a way to remove the large cap from the damper without taking the unit off the car? I would then drill a hole and insert a small bolt for easier checking in the future. But for now how do I remove the cap?
it sounds like you have Girling shocks on the rear. Armstrong shocks have a small hex head plug on the top, which makes for easy removal for topping up. To make fluid replentishment easy, get a syringe and a flexible plastic hose that fits over the end of the syringe. Allows you to fill, but not from above the unit. This also works great for filling the master cylinder (tube not needed).
The question occasionally comes up as to where to find a machine shop to install and machine the MGA or TD front suspension swivel link bushings. Well, it finally got asked once often enough, and this time by someone close to my home, so I made some special arrangements.
Thanks to Ron Olds of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, for the loan of his MG TD swivel links, and a roll of film and photo finishing. After about one hour in my garage I have the photos to show how you can do the job at home without having to engage the services of a machine shop, and without a drill press or milling machine.
For all the nifty details and a picture tour of the (simple) process, point a browser to this address and follow the links to Suspension Tech: http://www.ntsource.com/~barneymg/mg01.htm
I'm to the point of installing the front suspension back on the frame and would like to know how tight to torque the bolts for the top and bottom links and the nuts for the A-arm pivots.
Well for starters, the bolts for the top and bottom swivel links are fairly high strength 1/2" bolts with fine threads and 3/4" hex nuts and lockwashers. If you use a 1/2" drive socket with a ratchet handle about 10" long you can just about pull your arms off without torquing them too tight, so give them a jolly good pull. They will accept well over 100 lb-ft of torque.
The nuts at the inner ends of the lower a-arms are a similar size, but they don't have to be all that tight, so long as you use elastic stop nuts (self locking nuts with nylon locking insert, commonly known as aircraft nuts), or a castellated nut with a split pin to keep it from unscrewing.
The bolts in the lower a-arm assembly are 5/16" with 1/2" hex heads and hex nuts (or a similar metric size for the TD). You can tighten these adequately with a 3/8" drive ratchet wrench with a handle about 7" long. With a 1/2" drive ratchet you could easily break the bolts by over tightening.
And now for a crash course in how to tighten bolts near the max without breaking them. Get a hand full of short hex head bolts in assorted sizes, 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8", several of each with some hex nuts to match. Fine threaded grade 5 fasteners would be the prefered models for this purpose, since these (or similar metric or BSW sizes) are most commonly found on MGs. Start with the smaller sizes and work your way up.
Put a bolt in a bench vice with the head down and the threaded end up, with the head about flush with the top of the vice jaws, and tighten the vice. Put a nut on the bolt and screw it down until it touches the head of the bolt. If the threads of the bolt do not go all the way to the head, use a nut one size larger for a spacer. Then select your choice of an implement of destruction (BFW) and torque the sucker down by hand until you break the bolt.
Repeat this process several times with different sizes of bolts and wrenches until your arm knows by feel when the fastener starts to yield before it breaks. Thereafter just remember to stop before you get there and don't over tighten it. You will then have a calibrated arm that works for torquing fasteners in all but a few critical applications (like use a torque wrench for cylinder head and connecting rod bolts).
Having traversed another 500 miles it was time to grease the TD. I took care of all the fittings from the suspension to prop shaft to water pump etc.
Don't grease the water pump often or much. Excess grease will come out on the pulley and sling all over the inside of you hood.
But I found I do not have the fitting on my pedal shaft assembly. It looks to have been removed and soldered over.
The grease fitting my have broken off in the shaft.
Will or should this prove troublesome? Should I have another one installed or leave well enough alone.The car was 'restored'almost 2 years ago and I have put over 3000 fun-filled miles on her.
It will take quite some time, but your pedal assembly will wear rapidly and will become loose. The other possibility is that the lack of grease will permit the shaft to rust, and the assembly will become stiff and bind up.
I certainly don't want to dismember my beloved TD to add a grease fitting.
Check closely and see if part of the old fitting is still in the shaft. Remove it with an "easy out" and install an new fitting. Also clean out the hole to remove old hard grease.
Some of the old great literature (i.e. Dante) had descriptions of hell as a place where people who did bad or inexcusable things in life were punished for all time. There surely must be a special place there for the English auto engineer who designed the clutch/brake shaft and box on the T-series cars. This has to be one of the most frustrating tasks on the MG.
For those who have been luckly enough not to have experience with this system, here is what is involved: A hole and tube is in the drivers side of the frame into which two bushings must be inserted. On the inboard side of the frame is a small box with several small access holes to contain the shaft system. The pedal shaft is inserted into the box and the bushings - but only after the free moving brake pedal and the keyed and bolted clutch pedal along with springs, connections for the brake master cylinder and push rod for the clutch have been assembled inside the box.
Successfully getting everything together and working properly within the confines of the box is difficult enough with a bare frame. Doing the job with the tub on is worthly of enough profanities to make a sailor blush. It is my hope that the auto engineer responsible for this design will spend all time having to assemble these systems with the transmission in the car.
In case you have not guessed by now, I have just finished doing this job. It was not until I got everything together on the car for the first time, that a problem with the new pedal shaft became evident. This reguired removal from the car of the system (again not an easy take) and getting a replacement shaft from the vendor (who shall go unnamed but who did not seem to be worried that their part was defective).
I did not tighten the clutch bolt until it was in the car. At that time I found that the brake pedal would not move independent of the clutch shaft. The main lession to be learned - assemble the system out of the car and make real sure that everything works well prior to the pain and suffering of installation in the car.
Ed, to be fair, don't forget you were working on a reproduction of a retrofit. The TF grew from the TD which grew from the Y. The TD kept the right hand drive pedal from the Y and for the change to LHD was then redesigned to fit something into a space it wasn't meant to go. The TF wasn't changed from the TD. Those of us who do a lot of restorations are painfully aware that some repros are satisfactory, some not. Some from one vendor work, others not. I've always said that the ONLY difference between a "pro" and "amateur" restorer is that the pro has already made all the mistakes and used all the parts that don't work... This forum should hopefully help prevent the re-invention of the wheel in some of these cases
David, Moss' was OK the last time I did one, about 3 years ago. You have to check that the clevis pin hole is drilled on center, (some were WAY off) and you have to grind the end of the brake pedal bushing which is too long. Other than that, I've put about 50 of them with no problem. I've returned about 6 or 7 for the hole offset, but would use them otherwise. I don't know about those of the other suppliers. Generally, you only have to replace the two bushings in the frame once or twice in 10 jobs, and they are a pain to ream. Don't forget the spacer rings between all components when assembling so thing don't drag and carry each other along during pedal travel. Another thing to look at closely while working on the linkage is whether the arm on the side of the sump is PARALLEL to the arm on the side of the bell housing. Many of the upper (double clevis) rods have been "lengthened" to allow for adjustment, and the geometry has been really screwed up and that makes things bind quite badly.
My TD had a clutch pedal that wouldn't retract, and a brake pedal that was worn to the point of being wobbly. The problem? The DPO never saw fit to lube the pedals. The TD even has a grease zirk for this very purpose.
In defense of the DPO of your TD, that fitting is not mentioned in either my TD owner manual or in the workshop manual. Apparently that grease fitting is on the US export cars only. Fortunately, my father found out about it when the car was new, and it has been included in the lube schedule. Last year, when I was filling and re-drilling all the clevis pin holes in the clutch linkage, I thought to replace the bushings on the pedals. It was an unpleasant job. Baffled, at one point, I called John Twist. He advised just leaving the job until such time as the body was to come off anyway, then told me how it could be done. It can be done with the body in place....but it's hard, and it turned out that the bushings were probably good for another 40 years or so. That's what can be called a learning experience. We could do a good deed for all TD owners by asking if they know about this little fitting, tucked up under the fender, kept secret from many by MOWOG himself. As to other places that might need lubrication and get overlooked, a useful tip in a recent Sacred Octagon was to oil the generator bushing felt. I did that, though I left the grease that was in the hole there too. Chip Olds gave a good list of lube points in the T-Series Handbook. If anyone needs that, I'll type it and send it out to the list. I'm sure Chip won't mind, as long as only members of the T-Register read it.
The TD used the YA's chassis, but the pedal box differed, the TD's being much improved. I rebushed and re-drilled my '52 YB clutch and brake levers in the pedal box last year, the YB's clutch pedal is on the opposite side of the chassis!! and gets all the water wash off the front wheel, ( RHD...) The new pedal shaft from NTG had a GREASE NIPPLE on it, as the original had not, and now I also include this one in the 1000 mile grease-up.
I started out to replace my old master cylinder and I keep finding more things I need to fix. The pedal box was filled with years of grease and dirt packed solid and now that I'm cleaning everything out I would like to fix the loose brake and clutch pedals. There is a lot of lateral movement due to wear.
How are the pedals removed and how do you fix this problem? I seem to remember many years ago there was an article in The Sacred Octagon about this but I have not been able to find my old issues.
Replacment of the bushings on the pedals and the pedal shaft is not one of the more fun things that one does to these cars. It's pretty tedious and frustrating, actually, in my experience. You need to get as much crud out of the pedal box as possible. You might even consider putting a hose in there to remove dirt. It's hard to get the wrenches on, you can't see what you are doing, and any grit just makes it more difficult. Essentially, what you are doing is to slide the pedal shaft (#6) out sideways through the hole in the chassis. You need to remove the circlip (#7), then remove the clinch bolts in the pedals. The shaft is notched to receive the bolts, so they must come out first The pedals more or less stay in place as you push the shaft out the side. Replacement of the pedal bushings is easy. You might check the shaft bushings for wear before you try to replace. Mine were OK, but since I had the new bushings I went to replace them anyway. That was a bad move. The outboard bushing is not perpindicular to the chassis--it's perpendicular to the centerline of the car, so it's not easy to press it in place. You can pull it in with a rig of different sizes of bolts, washer and sockets. But, if these pedal bushings are in good shape, just leave them alone. Notes in pencil that I left in my WS manual--not that I ever intend to do this again with the body on the chassis---1) #24 lever is not symmetrical. The thinner side goes toward the engine. 2) the "bent" end of the lower clutch rod (equiv to #10 cable) goes---I didn't write it down, but it only fits right one way so write it down when you get to this point. 3) Key in the clutch pedal most come out before #6 rod can be slid through the brake pedal and out the side. While you're at this, you might replace the worn clevis pins in the linkage and fill & drill the holes to get them round. If the pivot on the sump is worn, you can use the spare that's on the other side of the engine. Sump must come off, though, as it is retained by a nut inside the sump. The rubber bellows from a MC plus the plastic top from a 35mm film container, mounted on the clutch rods help to keep some of the dirt out of the pedal box, making this repair operation somewhat farther into the future than it would otherwise be. Allow a full day for this seemingly simple job.
Does anyone know of a replacement diaphragm pressure plate that fits a late TD rather than the spring variety? I am told that clutch judder may be eliminated by this installation. I assume the stock clutch disc and throwout bearing stays the same? My TD uses the 8" type.
I don't know of a diaphragm pressure plate that fits the late TD, but I know from experience that a common source of clutch judder in the TD is a worn/broken rear mount (transmision mount). There was a tech tip in 'The Sacred Octagon' regarding repairing this problem within the lasst year. In a '53 that I owned back in the 60s replacing the rubber in the mount cured a bad csse of judder, without touching the clutch.
Since I have have completed my TD restoration, I' ve had problems adjusting the clutch linkage so the transmission fully disengages when the clutch pedal is depressed. The TD is an early TD which should have a clutch cable but the PO replaced the cable with the solid clutch rod found in later TDs. Are the clutch rod and the clutch cable interchangeable? Is the same clutch link used in both early and late TDs? I ask because it seems as if the PO used a "customized" (read "homemade") clutch link. It acts as if the "customized" clutch link isn't long enough to disengage the clutch
I have run into this problem many times. I feel that it has something to do with the settings on the pressure plate when made, I'm not sure. The fix for it has been to take the clutch link.( thicker of the two rods) and cut it in two. splice in a 1/2in. piece, making the rod 1/2 inch longer. For some reason this fixes it. I changes the geometry.
My TD (10855) is from the cable days. When I replaced the Volvo engine with a late '53 engine (#28839), I decided to use the rod system. The standard link has worked fine for me. The Abingdon Spares parts list gives a better indication of which parts are different among the two systems than does the Moss catalog.
It appears in the workshop manual and in the parts book that they are interchangable, and that the only differences are the rods vs the cable. The cable-cars had a stop somewhere in the system so that the pedal wouldn't go down too far. I forget where it is/was, though, yet wonder if it might be preventing the pedal from moving far enough to give proper clearance. If there is excessive slack in all the forks and pins, and the pivot on the sump, a lot of pedal movement will be consumed before the movement gets to the clutch. 1/16" here and 1/8" there adds to about 1/2" easily. I had about 5/8" slack in my TD, couldn't get a proper clutch disengagment, and didn't know what was wrong until Schach's book suggested the repair.
If you have a brass cable anchor on your oil pan, a cable will be easy to (re)install. I prefer the cable to the rod because it is easy to bend the threaded end of the rod if you push the pedal in too far. One thing you might watch for is severe wear on the clevis pins and secondary link. This can loosen the linkage a lot and prevent proper disengagement. All of the bits are readily available from Abingdon.
This weekend I took the TD out for the first time since Watkins Glen and I noticed that the clutch was slipping. Does that mean I need a new one? Anyone have any experience replacing a TD clutch? Is this a do-it-yourself project? Any advice would be appreciated.
Sounds as though you got oil on the disc. Fear not, changing a clutch in a TD is simple............
Remove the seats and transmission tunnel, disconnect the driveshaft from the rear gearbox flange, undo the rear motor mount. Place a jack under the rear of the oil pan (protecting the latter with a piece of plywood) to support its weight. Undo the bolts that hold the gearbox to the engine. Remove the clutch assembly from the flywheel. Clean up any oil film you see, fit a new clutch (you'll need a pilot tool to center the disc) then, as they say in the manuals, reassembly is the reverse of the above procedure.
If this seems like a lot of work, pity the B and Midget owners who have to remove the engine to do a clutch change! I've done a TD in three hours, never bettered five for a B..........
I put in a new clutch this April, as part of the rebuilding of the engine. It is a DIY job. You can approach it two ways, removing the engine or removing the gearbox. While I removed the engine, and would probably do it that way again, a recent visit to a repair shop revealed a TD that was getting a new clutch by means of the gearbox being removed. Shop owner says that's the easier way and recommends doing it that way. Moss was not carrying the TD clutch (TD2 clutch) when I ordered, so substituted the MGA clutch. It works fine, though the pedal pressure may be a bit greater. Either way, engine or trans removed, you will need to remove the trans tunnel, which is the worst part of the job. Try to keep track of the bolts as you remove them. My car had bolts of at least three different lengths. If you put the car is up on jackstands, keep it there until the trans tunnel is back in place. The flexing of the chassis makes reinstallation of the tunnel difficult if the car is taken off the stands.
Also agree. However, be SURE to support rear of block. I use a specially cut 4 x 4. If you jack the tranny (after it's mount is loose) a TINY bit ( remember the fan will get close to radiator!!) You can just geta support in there. Then its a snap.
Could one of the suppliers or parts car owners on the list help me with this one? I'm missing the four bolts that hold the two rear shocks to the frame of my TD. The DPO had replaced them with bolts that are too thin, which would result in the shocks moving around. I couldn't find the right size at the hardware store and there is no listing in the Moss Catalog for them.
The correct bolt is 3/8X31/4 BSF. I only have one instock, but you can call Abingdon Spares Ltd. They list it under part no. 23/320. There about $1.90 each. You will need to also order the nut to go with it.
Greetings all, our '52 TD clutch has been very touchy for as long as I can remember. I restored the car a couple years ago, after it had been resting for several years. Before (as I recall) and since the rebuild, the clutch has had a "hair trigger" response. It's almost impossible to make a standing start on any incline, making the car rather unpleasant to drive much... I've checked the motor mounts, they SEEM fine. It originally had a cable actuated clutch, now has a rod actuation. Any suggestions?
Had similar problem with a TF. Changed the motor mounts, (back one too) ,replaced the stablizer bar and went back to cable actuated. Problem went away.
Your "cure" on the grabbing clutch in the TF... perhaps the thing simply has an extremely "heavy" pressure plate. You changed five searate items (3 engine mounts, a stabilizer rod, and the means of actuation), and I'll bet you *still* don't know what the *real* problem was!
I'm not casting aspersions here, I'm merely trying to point out that a "shotgun" approach to fixing something is not only imprecise, but quite often unnecessarily expensive. In the case of the two MG clutches, my sympathies...conversions are always difficult to deal with, especially when a previous owner may well have bodgered the whole thing. In the case of a cable having been replaced by a rod, if there was no provision made for later adjustment, then I would instantly become quite suspicious of the entire car, and quite carefully look for signs of other "improvements"!
A clutch, by design, is intended to wear over a period of time; if no provision is made to compensate for this wear, then the person making the modification is either a supreme optimist, or knows nothing whatsoever about machinery, and everything that he has touched must be viewed with suspicion.
As an aside...if a change *must* be made, then why not switch to a hydraulic clutch; a far superior means of actuation to either rods or cables? No, it's *not* original...but what is more important; originality or *enjoying* our old cars? A car that isn't fun to drive isn't really much of a pleasure to own, is it? (I just *know* I'm going to hear from JH on this one!!)
Of course your right, and I don't know what was really wrong, but all these items were in bad shape and needed replacement anyway. Perhaps each contributed to the problem, but since most of us only repair what is broken or may be broken, only a given problem sparks the repair and replacement of parts that are usually passed over, but are in need of repair ,especially in a 50 year old car,
I restored the car a couple years ago, after it had been resting for several years. Before (as I recall) and since the rebuild, the clutch has had a "hair trigger" response.
What did you replace in the "restoration"? Did you replace the clutch center (driven) plate with a NEW one? If the springs are worn (ie loose feeling) or broken then the clutch will judder. The springs are in the center of the plate to take up the shock of engaging the clutch and damp out the vibrations which become judder and then a grab. Worn engine mounts and (on the TD) a sloppy stabilizer bar all contribute to the amplification. A cable connection helps to provide isolation from a jerking engine so that a judder does not get passed on to the foot and become "positive feedback".
how do I tell when I have 3/4" of free pedal movement? My pedal seems to have more than that.
You go by feel. As you depress the clutch pedal, the first resistance you should feel is the clutch pedal return spring. If it the pedal just sort of flops around, it may be that the return spring has come loose or is broken. As you push the pedal farther, you should hit a point of greater resistance to your force. That's when the linkage is pushing the throwout bearing against the plate in the clutch pressure plate assembly. The distance the pedal travels between the "at rest" position to the point of increased resistance is called the free play and should be about 3/4". The adjustment is necessary to assure that the clutch pressure plate is not partially released against the clutch disc which would allow it to slip and cause it to wear faster.
Does anyone have a picture showing a clutch rod assembly? How does the rod attach to the pedal? Moss catalogue and Blowers do not show how it hooks up.
The rod attaches from the fulcrum lever on the sump to the clutch.
In the Moss catalog MGT-24, check the drawings on p.13. Assuming that you have a LHD car, pin 50 fits through the clevis on the end of rod 37 and through the hole in the lever end of pedal shaft 22. A cotter pin holds pin 50 in place. If you have a RHD, let me know. It's a little different.
Have you checked the mechanical linkage? Wear (ovalling) of the holes in the clutch push rod or the pedal and/or wear of the clevis pin can easily add up to loss of sufficient travel to activate the clutch. Know that, been there!
I missed the original post on this. Is this about the clutch linkage on a TD? I think I also have this problem. I heard that a quick fix for this was to shorten one of the link rods. Does anybody know about this? Also, how about converting to the early cable linkage as a fix? ( SN 17639 is supposed to have this anyway.)
Last spring I went through the job of filling all the holes and re-drilling to fit the new clevis pins. It made a big difference. Before starting the project, I talked to a couple of guys about using the cable and modifying the rods. The only one who liked the cable is a repair professional to whom I have never gone for service. Nobody liked the idea of modifying the rods. All thought that the system worked pretty well as designed, and recommended repairing the rods. One wonders why MG discontinued the cable in favor of the rods and pivots. It seems to work OK on the cars that I have driven, MG built 20+ thousand TDs before changing, and there sure is a lot less machinery hanging out there in the oil, water, salt and dirt. To do the job 100% it's necessary to fill and drill the hole on the clutch lever at the bell housing. I did not have the energy left to remove that, but I did all the other pivots, including removign the sump so that that pivot could be swapped to the other side. It looks as though it should be tapped into the thick aluminium, but it has a nut on the inside. I thought that while at it I should change the bushings in the chassis. Turned out to be a miserable job, and the change made no difference in pedal feel. OTOH, we learned about that pedal grease nipple in 1954 or so, thus this pedal shaft has always been greased regularly. Unless the shaft is really floppy, I would recommend avoiding that job unless the floorboards are out or the body off the car.
Thanks for the info. Another thing I'm wondering about is how the clutch linkage should be lubed. The rod style linkage has several exposed bearing points. Can anybody recommend a lubricant that won't wash off easily? Maybe the reason for those oblong holes was a lack of lubrication in the first place. Must be hell for a mechanism living underneath the chassis.
My thought is that the holes wore oblong _because_ of the lubrication, not for lack of it. The primary lubrication seems to be engine oil drip and crankcase blow-by. When I took them apart, all the joints were plenty wet with oil. Unfortunately, and what I think is the problem, is that the oil attracts and holds all the abrasives that are kicked up by the front wheels. What I am doing now is to give them an occasional blast with a silicone spray, hoping to avoid the stickiness of oil. I found that the rubber front cup on the master cylinder will fit into the hole at the front of the pedal box, and act as something of a dirt excluder. I drilled the plastic cap of a 35mm film container and slid it onto the rod also, as a baffle against the dirt. Additionally, the bottom hole in the pedal box will accept the rubber plug that is in the floor pan on the driver's side.
I'm in the process of rebuilding the rear leaf springs on my TD and have a few questions.
1. I would replace the silentblock bushing in the process. Any suggestions on how to remove this bushing?
2. Should I leave it alone (hate to do that after replacing all of the other rubber components)?
3. Does anyone have any other recommendations of do's or don't's regarding the springs?
4. I thought of having them powder coated while I have them apart. Has any one done this before?
The bushes at the front end are of SILENTBLOC manufacture, with an inner and outer steel tube, and rubber interposed between. If you obtain a tube, ( ie an old box spanner, or socket spanner,) just under the outside diameter, these old bushes can be drawn out. You will need a long threaded bolt, and a larger tube for the bush to be drawn into. I actually draw in the new one, using it to push out the old one, with a suitable diameter washer bewteen to protect the bush center steel tube.
Those at the rear end are just normal 'top-hat' rubber bushes, as used on the MGB, Wolseley 4/44. MGA, MG ZA,ZB, and millions of Morris Oxfords. If old, they often 'stick' to the shackle bolts.
1. With the spring removed from the car, I removed the silentblock with two sockets. One was just a hair smaller than the bushing and the other was large enough to receive the bushing. I used a vice on the bench to push the bushing out wiht one socket into the other. 2. I would replace them just to do a complete job. They deteriorate just like the other components. 3. Just make sure you put all the spring parts back together the way you found them. I'd also compare a part from one side to the opposite side component to see if they were about the same. You might discover a weak leaf in the process. You might get a clue if you looked at the car before taking everything apart. Was the car sitting evenly or sagging on one side ? 4. I used plain old gloss black enamel and let the parts sit in the sun for a couple of days before reassembly. It turned out great and is a lot cheaper. Like everything else, the job takes time but is not all that difficult to do.
My MG TF uses about 20 spring steel clips to attach the brake and fuel lines to the chassis. Moss lists these as p/n 326-326 with a price of $3.50 each. That seems a bit stiff for this part especially when you need 20. I don't see these in the Abingdon Spares Catalog. Anybody know of a less expensive subsitute that still looks right?
I'm not sure what these look like, but check Home Depot they have a lot of fasteners.
Old motorcyclist trick for lubing cables:
Disconect the cable
In one corner of a heavy duty baggie, cut a small hole just large enough to insert the cable end and a short section of the outer sheath (about 1/2 in)
Tape the baggie firmly around the sheath and pour about 2 Oz. of your favorite liquid lubricant into the baggie
Tie up the baggie and cable in a vertical position (BAGGIE ON TOP) over a catch cane.
Go have a beer or two and wait til the lubricant runs out the bottom.
Depending on the viscosity of the lubricant, ambient temp, etc. you may need
Cable is greased
Can't get my handbrake on the 52 TD to stay in the locked postion. It will hold the brakes if I hold it, but it refuses to set when I pull up and then push the button. It used to work just fine. Can somebody give me some help on repairs my kids are tried of taking out the chocks and having me drive off and leave them
The problem is probably the rachet inside the handle. Remove the handle, and remove the large rivit and washer thatholds it together. You might have to grind it some. The parts are all available. I recently went thru this The thing works perfectly now.
This , pretty much, has to be an interference problem. If you look at the bottom end of the handbrake, at the driveshaft tunnel, you can see the end of the hand brake pawl, where it engages the ratchet assembly. If you press down on the release knob, while lifting the handle, you should see, and hear, the pawl engaging the ratchet. Remember that you have to intentionally engage the pawl. After it's engaged, and you lift the lever, the spring below the knob will lift the pawl and cause it to disengage. You should be able to see all of this happening by moving the carpeting out of the way. Sometimes the knob can stick within the handle and prevent the pawl from engaging the ratchet.
Inside the brake lever is the little rod that connects the button to the pawl that engages the toothed, arced piece of steel when you press the button. If the pawl isn't moving far enough to engage the arced piece, the brake lever won't stay up. Have you checked for something extra, such as a stale piece of doughnut stuck in the lever so that the rod cannot move its full length? Are the teeth worn off the arc, or the end of the pawl worn away? Another possibility is that the rear brakes are so in need of adjustment that the brake lever is pulling up far enough to pass the teeth on the arc. In that case, all that's necessary is to adjust the rear brakes with the micram adjusters. Over time, the micram adjusters can wear their little points to a rounded shape, and they won't hold the adjustment. An easy mend for that is to use the corner of a file to sharpen their teeth in the worn area, so that their profile is that of the unworn teeth at the ends of the adjuster.
Try White Post Restorations in Virginia. They are the best. They resleaved all my TD cylinders and guarantee them for life.
I've seen cylinders from White Post and from Apple sleeved in brass. A friend had a bad experience with a TD master cylinder with a brass sleeve. The brass is very soft, don't know how well they hold up for wear, but he found out the hard way that they are very easy to scratch. The piston had a small burr on it, and when he pushed it down the bore he got a large scratch in the brass. If you touch the brass with a hone you get a rougher surface than may want, and the brass can gall up on the hone if your not using the right honing fluid. We never did get that one to seal properly, think there may have been a leak between the sleeve and the iron casting.
I have also seen a master cylinder with a stainless steel sleeve which impressed me very much. Unfortunately I can't recall who did the work. Does anyone know who will install stainless steel sleeves in a master cylinder?
Can someone confirm that the MG-TD uses:
1. Front - 7/8" dia. Lockheed cylinders #30284 &/or #25250.
2. Rear - 7/8" dia. Lockheed #31968
I heard a rumor that they might be the same as used on my Sunbeam Talbots which are the numbers listed firstname.lastname@example.org
TD Front = Girling No. L30284
TD Rear = Girling No. L33668
I think we should mention that they are now Girling #s due to all the mergers that took place in the British supplier industry. Originally they were a Lockheed design and carried the same numbers but with a KL prefix (ie KL30284). You can find them with either number in either make box, depending on whether it is new stock or older NOS.
Before you attempt to "unfreeze" the rusted brake cylinders" by force or more solvents you might try something thathas always woeked for me although it can be messy. Find the appropriate size fitting for the line where where the brake fluid enters the cylinder and adapt it to your grease gun. The pressure generated this way by pumping the grease gun is far greater than you could otherwise exert. Have used this method for years and it never fails unless the cylinder cracks and then it was probably too weak to reuse anyway. remember you have to clse the bleeder fitting! It is a messy process but pretty foolproof and doesn't damamge the cylinders at all.
I too had stuck cylinders after 18 years of storage. After trying the soaking in liquid wrench for about 2 months, 125# air pressure for some period of time, the grease gun attached to an old brake line, I just drilled a 3/8" hole in the steel piston cup, used a "large" screw extractor and wrench and it came right out. You can purchase new steel piston ends without having to buy the whole cylinder which is very expensive for a TD since you need 2 per wheel. I did have a couple of spare cylinders to try my approach on.
While perusing Holden's most recent catalog (6th edition) I came across a new service for brake lines on page 100. Holden supplies copper/nickel alloy lines in sets for a long list of British cars. These include cut-to-length pieces and are fitted with solid brass unions. Flexible (rubber) pieces are not included.
I am at the "brake system" stage of my frame-off MGTD restoration and I am considering purchasing a set, which lists at about 57 bps, roughly $100. Shipping costs are additional, but are not much of a factor, since I am planning on ordering a number of things from them, regardless.
I have the following questions: Anyone have any experience with these sets? Are they properly sized and easy to install, as advertised? Are there better alternatives?
I haven't replaced any metal lines in the '52 TD, but I do wonder how sound they are at this age. How do the lines on your car appear? If you get the positive answers you need, please share with the list what you learned and how the installation went, and also what the inside of your old lines looked like....
Here's the info on the Holden catalog. I think it is about $6 or $7 with the exchange rate, I just gave them my Mastercard and they charged it. The catalog has a lot of different parts, mostly electrical, for many cars. Some are so much less expensive than Moss and others that it would pay for the shipping and then some. E Mail: email@example.com URL: http://www.holden.co.uk
How thick are new brake linings. I'm trying to decide if the shoes should be relined before they are installed.
Thickness of brake shoes can depend on how much is turned off the drum ID. Nominal drum ID is 9 inches. If a lot has been turned off you may need a thicker lining properly arced to the larger diameter. Measure the ID and work backwards to the lining thickness. I have some new re-bonded shoes that measure 0.280" thickness, including the steel shoe. Actual lining thickness is less, about 0.180" to 0.200". If original rivetted linings, you need a bit of space clear to the rivet heads, can't say what this should be exactly but probably about 0.060" clear is OK. Just don't want to have the rivets score the drum. Linings seem to last a long time on the TD.
My TC front brakes have given me problems for a long while, but racing at Lime Rock last year became very hairy. I wouldn't know if I was going to suffer a grabbing front brake as I approached Turn One at over 90 mph. Sometimes it was OK, sometimes the wheel locked up. Extra caution was certainly in order. Here's what I have done:
Feathered the leading edge of both shoes (TC's are single leading shoe) Skimmed the drums (which made a huge difference to braking effect once smoothly engaged) Which now means the shoes really touch first/hardest in the center, not the leading edge. Fitted NEW pistons a few years ago Reassembled the pistons last year with the recommended assembly lubricant, there's no sign of sticking or corrosion or wear. Lightly greased all rubbing surfaces. Piston/shoe; retaining washers; bottom pivot & spring. Checked and changed the return springs Made sure the retaining washers don't allow side play Made sure the shoes are not loose on the bottom pivot. Adjusted them so they are about one flat back from touching.
What haven't I done? Changed drums left to right to see if the grab moves with the drum (easy to do!) Changed wheel bearings. They feel OK but I'll make the conversion to tapered roller bearings. This is my biggest suspicion at the moment. Gerry Goguen suggests buying some softer linings from him which he claims will "be better for racing". I bought the existing ones from him, bonded to the shoes.
My father fad a huge problem of grabbing brakes on his speed six bentley. The problem was so bad that on one occasion it thisted the wheel centre so badly that the splines were wrecked.
The problem was all to do with the radius of the drum and the shoe. Skimming the drums alters this! We ended up making a tool to fit on the hub that would cut the linings to the same diameter as the drum. After that, no problem
Aw shucks, got me! I'm installing the new fronts wheel hubs, front brake pads, and new brake drums on my TF. All the parts I got from Moss. Only one problem, when I tighten down on brake drum nuts,,,the drum locks up big time. I can't budge it. Its not the brake pads, cause it turns fine until I tighten down, and Its not the bolt heads on the brake drum plate cause the hub turns great before the drum is put on.
Sounds like you don't have enough shims between the hub spacer and the bearing. Check the shop manual for the correct tensioning procedure.
Pressing new lug bolts into my new MOSS wire wheel hubs in a large vise, I failed to get the lug bolts in the last 1000th or so and absolutely straight. The brake drum cocked on the lug bolt threads before shouldering flat against the hub and the assembly would not turn. I pulled the lug bolts straight in the hub by individually tightening each lug nut against a thick washer placed over the lug bolt and flat to the hub. Once the lug bolts were sucked up tight and straight the brake drum shouldered on the hub easily and everything turned free when assembled.
Shim spacers sounds like the right way to go, thanks for the idea. After alot of measuring, fitting on, taking off, etc. I realized that the sides of the brake shoes are rubbing on the brake drum Front wall. Its like the brake shoes are too wide. But I measured the shoes to the old ones, and they are the same thickness. Unfortunately I can't compare the new drums to the old drums....I changed from steel wheel to wire wheel.
After all this, I noticed that the new drum had a ridge in the casting that sticks up 1/16" to high. The ridge is from when they turned the drums and stopped after going into the drum so far. It looks like either the drum isn't cut deep enough, or just as you had said, a shim between the spacer and the outer bearing would work perfect.
Thanks for the idea, gave me ideas fpr several areas to check. Never ran into such a thing, the rear drums worked perfect, not a single problem. The only thing I can think of is that maybe when I painted all the parts before mating them up. Kinda makes me wonder if that thickness of the painted surfaces between the stub axle assembly and the brake drum plate really makes a difference. The original had no paint between the stub and plate. It was all painted after assembly. A shim the thickness of the paint inside the hub between the bearings would push the hub out just enough to clear the drums. The only other recourse that I can think of was a suggestion from the Brake shop here in town. They suggested that I give them my shoes and let mill off 1/32" off the side of the shoes. That would make the sides of the shoes clear the drum.
If given the choice of shiming the bearings versus millling the shoes a 1/32"....anyone think that the millling idea is bad?
I'm well along on the brake job on the TF but I've run into a bit of a snag. The inner wheel bearing stayed in the drum assy. Is there a good tool/method for removing this?
Big hammer, long punch
Took the front tire off and now I need to pull the brake drum off and replace the wheel cylinders. Got the shop manual and it is greek to me. I also pulled that little cap off that sits over the big castle nut and looked through the grease and see a bunch of ball bearings. On my MGA there are some screws that hold the brake drum on, I don't see those on the TD. Before I dump a bunch of ball bearings all over the garage floor, How do I take the brake drum off.
Originally the factory had a special puller for the hubs which clamped around the hub and pressed on the axle shaft to remove the hub. I find that in most circumstances one can make do with a slide hammer that bolts on under one of the hub nuts.
Under no circumstandes beat the hub off with a hammer. It is far too easy to crack the casting.
I just went through this when I did my TF brakes. I had a friend helping who is also a mechanic. He got me a universal hub puller from Old Forge Tools, I believe the stock number is 2519.
This is one beautiful instrument. 1" diameter hardened screw shaft, all other parts of VERY heavy aluminum, a wheel and three arms that allow for pulling any hub I can imagine and other uses. It made pulling those front drums like pulling a hot knife through butter.
Last time I needed one was only after the car had sat for 15 years so I rented one for the hour it took. The previous 20 years I owned the car I never need a puller to get the drums off.
I really need some advice on this one: my '52 TD's timing is spot on, the mixture seems o.k., as the plugs are light brownish-gray, yet the fuel mileage is 23 mpg(US)! Is this really normal? I achieved this figure on the highway to & from The British Invasion at Stowe, Vermont weekend before last, 160 miles each way. I use premium gas & cruise at 4000 rpm. Ambient temp was 72 Fahrenheit and coolant temp stayed at 80 degrees Celsius. Any advicewill be appreciated.
My expierance in a TF is 24 to 27 gallons, but I run lien and usually do a little better than those with me on distance trips. I would say 23 to 25 is normal.
I always used to use regular in my TF and TC on the same theory that 87 octane is jet fuel compared to pool petrol in Britain in the late forties. However on advise from many, I switched to premium, not for the octane but for something to do with the volatility. The cars seem to run with less problems in heat etc, but maybe its mental. Anyone with facts on this choice?
Is there a test to determine if the sending unit on my 1953 TD is bad. The green warning light stays on regardless of how much fuel is in the tank. I have dutifully traced the wires and they are correct. The only variable now is the sending unit itself. I know with later model LBCs with gauges it is possible to ground the gauge and see if the needle goes to full but how does one conduct such a test on the TD and that damn warning lite?
Yes, it is possible that the sending unit is frozen in the 'light on' position. It's also possible that the wire from the lamp to the sending unit is grounding out someplace. First check - go under the car and remove the lead from the top of the sending unit. Turn the key on. Does the low fuel lamp come on? If so - the problem is not in the sending unit, but is in the wiring. If not - you have a problem at/in the sending unit.
Has it been working properly? Oftentimes, if the car sits with an empty tank for an extended period of time the pivot may bind up and prevent the switch from functioning. The switch functions by a closure to ground when the float drops below a certain level. It is possible to remove the small plate from the front of the sending unit and see the switch contacts. As a bridge player once said,"one peek is worth a thousand finesses".
It's not difficult to remove the sending unit, free it up, and reinstall it. The worst part of the job is draining the tank. I became an expert at that when I had a persistent leak. Drop me a line if you'd like some more help on this.
Another possibility is that the float has develpoed a leak and is not moving with the fuel level. The float can be soldered if it leaks.
I had an identical problem and decided it was in the tank unit. Lo and behold I was right. The float was fine but because the car had been stored for a long time, the trapped gasoline inside the contact section had turned to some sticky stuff and caused the float arm to bind in its axis. I opened it up, soaked it in laquer thinner, allowed it to dry out and reassembled the whole works. Continues to work fine. This was a normal condition because there is gas inside the float contact (box) which is sealed with a small gasket and four screws. The design apparently is that they couldn't keep the gas from invading the inside of the little box via seepage along the float arm axis so they added the gasket and closure plate to keep the gas inside. Moss sells a gasket kit consisting of the aforementioned gasket plus the round one needed for installing the unit to the tank.
Is there a clamp to hold the carb overflow tubes to the frame or do they simply "hang free"?
They tuck through the hole in the front engine bearer plate and then have a brass clamp that's held by the bolt alongside the timing cover.
There is a clip. Look in the Moss catalog MGT-23 on page 6, Item #69. It's mounted on the bearer plate. The tubes are bent as necessary to go through this clip.
They run from the carb bowls forward and down toward the forward engine mounting plate. After passing over it, they then bend to straight down, and are clamped my a little "M" shaped piece that has a bolt through the middle. If you see an empty hole in the plate, one that appears to accept about a 3/16" bolt (but it's the ww size, of course) that's the hole. Sorry, that is NOT correct. If that is what you found, someone had already changed it. The clamp is lower case "d" shaped, in brass and the pipes originally went THROUGH the front engine bearer plate.
No, there is a bolt that threads into the block outside and next to the timing cover (originally with a 3/16W head and near the "lump" that covers the tensioner) that both held the plate to the block and held the clamp. I probably have a couple of original clamps lying about. The hole for the pipes is @ 7/16 - 1/2 as I recall and the pipes have to make a real "Z" bend and it's a pain in the ass! ( vertically down, parallel to the rear of the plate, through the hole, and then down and parallel again, stopping just below the sump flange)
yes there is a clip. It should be located on the front side of the front engine plate/support that ends in the engine mounts. It is held in place by one of the timing chain cover bolts. They do not attach to the frame. Rather they are to be bent so as to arrive at the clip then down toward the road The path of the rear tube runs downward parallel to the sides of the float bowl, ( I ran mine off of the 7 o'clock position as you look downward at the top of the floats - rear)) then forward and downward at about 45 degree angle from the rear carb to the engine front plate/mount, through the clip, then downward toward the ground. The tube from the forward carb goes parallel the float bowl (Iran mine off the 2 o'clock position) and down to join the path of the rear tube the rest of the way. The clip is very similar to the kind used to hold electrical wiring flat against a surface. Moss sells them. Best to check out a good restoration manual for you model to see all this for yourself. The tubes tend to rattle together, so I added a plastic cable "zip" strip fastener to hold them tightly together where they join up. Hope this makes sense.
There is a clamp at the front engine mount plate for the tubes. The tube go through the hole and straight down.
sorry but I disagree with you on the routing of the carb overflow pipes on the TD. I always thought they passed OVER the front engine bearer plate, had a 90 degree bend down and were held by a single P ( or d ) clip which holds both pipes side by side and bolts to the 8.0 mm bolt holding the front bearer plate to the block on the outside of the timing cover. We agree on the clip. The TC pipes were similarily routed. For the TD, as a reference, check out page D-1 of the factory TD Workshop Manual, figure D-2 clearly shows the pipes routed on top of the front bearer plate and then down the front. For the TC, Refer to Instruction Manual for the MG Midget ( Series TC ), page 43, illustration no. 18 also clearly shows the overflow pipes routed over the front bearer plate and then down the front. It is possible that other routings were used, but as a first reference, I think the official factory manuals are most correct.
I STILL do not agree. MY information is based on personal experience with the cars while working at the dealer (Auto Engineering in Lexington Mass.) in the very early 50s. ALL the cars were fitted as I've described. For those with more recent MG experience it is very easy to fall into the trap of believing the printed word - especially when it's the service manual!!!
For a clear example of the problem: If you look at the exploded diagram of the TD/TF transmission on page F4, you'll see that the 1/2 gear hub has continuous splines between the detents. That was the original intent and so drawn by the artist in 1949. Cost factors made the factory go to the simpler, cheaper, annular groove - which wore and caused gear "rock", noise, and rapid wear. When Al Moss showed me his first prototype repro hub in the early 70s while I was in his office, I commented about that and he protested that he "had it made from the production drawings". I showed him the difference (which I had asked about and researched at the factory in the late 60s) and he subsequently changed them to the original design. This makes first gear much stronger and longer lasting when the hub is changed during a rebuild, but the whole process illustrates how you cannot necessarily believe the words and drawings in the factory manuals.
Just to throw "a spanner in the works" we all used to cut these off at a point level with the bottom of the float chamber. Stopped syphoning you see!!.
OK, you trumped my ace!! Your experience is better than mine. I owned a 53 TD in 1958 but can certainly not remember any details on the overflow pipes. Anyway, I checked 12 TD/TF front bearer plates in my possession and they ALL had the hole that you say was used for the overflow pipes. I then checked 6 TC front bearer plates and NONE of them have the hole. So I guess your routing could be correct for the TD, but the TC had the pipes over the top. However, I checked with an original owner of a 53 TD about the routing of the carb overfl;ow pipes. The engine has never been out of the car, but the carbs have been off and he states FOR SURE the pipes went over the top on his TD. The hole is also present on his front bearer plate. So why did MG install the hole?? possibly to route the pipes through as you say, but it appears that at least some TDs were built with the pipes over the top. Also, of course the TC. Anyway, I think the original question on fastening the pipes has been answered.
Well I drove my TD again today and it broke down again today. The problem lies in the front carb, to rich, pulled off the breathers and the back carb is pretty dry and the front one is gushing gas, in fact the smell of gas is strong right now as I type. Have jockeyed the adjustment nut, have had mechs and hacks like myself help me and nothing seems to work. Just had the carbs rebuilt this summer by a real mech.
have you changed the needle and seat? Pulled out the float and shake it to see if it has a pin hole leak? Reset the fork to 1/8 clearence? If this doesn"t work, then follow the experts.
Sounds to me that Mike L. hit the nail on the head. Mike R's front carb is flooding due to dirt under the needle in the float valve, or a just plain defective float valve, or a punctured float (less likely with these brass floats.)
So, what's the point of my post? A minor correction for Mike L., but one to be noted by Mike R.............the float height on an H-type SU is set at 7/16", not 1/8". The latter is only for HS carbs with plastic floats.
Well the TD is back but broke! Fuel is coming out of the front carb bowl where the float is, the gas is squirting out of the little pin on top where a person can push it down. Pulled the top off and the float seems to be free but the fuel flow is not being abated .
A simple fix. replace the float valve (needle-and-seat).
take the float out and make sure there is no gas in it. shake it! Change the needle and seat in the float bowl cover, and you should be alright.
I have a fuel leak around the gasket on the sending unit where it mounts on the fuel tank. When I replace the gasket should I use some type of sealer on the gasket? Any advice on any problem that I might have on repairing the leak will be appreciated.
I've been fighting the same leaks from the sending unit of my '52TD. One big problem - according to the folks at Loctite/Permatex, there is NO sealer for use in contact with gasoline. Is your leak at the edge of the circular mounting ring? or is it at the cover plate to the switch portion? Sometimes the mounting surface becomes distorted from being overtightened. The solution is to file it flat before remounting it. Leaks around the mounting screws can sometimes be cured by adding neoprene o-rings to each mounting screw. Add a flat washer between the screwhead and the o-ring to prevent oozing. Good luck.
Loctite Australia recommend RPK1 which is a 2 part putty. This is the only thing that has worked on my TC--although I don't know if I'll be able to ever remove the sender!
I called Loctite (1-800-Loctite) and asked them about RPK1. It's not in their listings. Perhaps it's only available down-under. They suggested that I might try their 'Ultra-Gray' product as a sealant with the gasket. I'll give it a try. But I must admit that I'm getting very good at siphoning out the tank.
Well, the folks at Loctite/Permatex don't know anything about their own products. I have sealed many a sending unit with good old sloppy old gungy old Permatex #2. Works great (and you have semi-permanent stains on your hands for days to prove you are macho). Put the #2 on the screws as well and don't tighten the screws too tight, that will deform the gasket. Despite all claims, _nothing_ else works.
I will attest to the #2. I used it in my unit and after several months it too started to ooze, albeit not as much as before the Permatex treatment.
Go to your friendly Yamaha dealer and ask for a tube of Yamabond. It is designed to survive being immersed in gasoline. Works great. I've used it to replaced a destroyed carb bowl gasket among other gasoline things.
. A possible solution to this problem, suggested by Steve Hardy of Boston MG Shop, is to use a fuel pump body gasket instead. They're almost identical in diameter and bolt circle for the six holes, and --- they're made of a fibrous material. I'll order some from Abingdon Spares tomorrow. Should have them installed by Tuesday evening. Then let's see what happens.
Forget neoprene gaskets on the T fuel sender! They extrude under pressure so one turn of a screw can go from leaking (not tight enough) to leaking (too tight) with little area in the middle. I don't know why they even supply them- a very stiff, hard neoprene would probably be OK but that's
not what you get. Try the original Cork gaskets which I got from Moss or Abington. I cut sheet cork into the gasket for the cover plate. I used Permatex Aviation on all seals but your Yamabond may be better.
Did you not let the stuff set up prior to assembly? It sounds a lot to me like you slathered it on, and promptly stuck the parts together. That is a way to make sure liquid gaskets fail. You really and truly are supposed to do what they say, let it sit exposed to air until it pretty well sets up to a hard tack. If it's wet, it does just as you've described, and promptly leaks. Be it Yamabond, permatex or any liquid gasket or gasket sealant. Parts cannot be assembled with the stuff on them wet, no matter how much you slap on. A thin layer, allowed to set up, is what works.
I didn't realize you weren't using any gasket whatsoever in there either. While I am not familiar with the assembly and installation of those sending units, many of the types I am familiar with require the use of a gasket for tension. Ie, the screw ring tightens by pressing against a gasket and the sending unit. If there is no gasket, there absolutely will not be enough tension to ever ensure a seal.
I went and looked as Lazarus, very nice! I take it that's you and the missus? I can well see why your daughter thought you killed it when she saw it. Heck, I'd think it was dead! If I stacked up a car like that I'd get a hundred zillion dents and scratches on the body parts. You are obviously a far better stacker then I.
The Yamabond label suggests a one minute drying tome before assembly. I gave it about ten minutes. Ambient was about 50-55F. Among the problems of this sending unit system is the fact that the unit is made of a very soft metal. Tightening the screws causes the flange to distort into a cup shape using the hole in the gasket as a form. There a six mounting screws on about a 2.5" bolt circle. It would appear that the threaded portions surrounding the hole in the tank may be some sort of an insert.
If you check out Yamabond using Yahoo you will find some service bulletins about its use. In one occassion it is used in lieu of a head gasket! I haven't yet tried it without a gasket. That may come. I was able to talk Gerry Goguen, the owner of Abingdon Spares, into sending me his last cork gasket. That'll be for tomorrow night's adventure. If this Nor'easter blows over by then.
I did some rather serious digging into this question and learned that there is NO sealant that can tolerate being in continuous contact with gasoline. Two-part epoxies can handle the gasoline but may be tough to undo at a later date. The best solution is to make sure that the mounting surfaces are clean and flat. Do not overtighten the screws that mount the sending unit, or the cover. Doing so will guarantee leaks because the gasket will creep. A fellow lister recently suggested using teflon tape on the screw threads. Makes sense to me. Also - sliding a thin flat washer followed by a neoprene o-ring onto the screws can help prevent leakage around the screw holes.
I had the need to remove the fuel sending unit after over a year of sealing it "permanently" with a Loctite 2 part putty and no gasket. It has been leak free all that time. After a few taps with a rubber mallet (after removing the screws!) it came off and I just sanded/filed off the filler which was a 10 minute job. I put it back using the same putty and no gasket. Still no leaks. I was so confident I would never get it (the sending unit) off without damaging it I already had my Moss catalog out preparing to order another one.
Get a new one. My old one was serviceable but it leaked as did the new one I put in. You need to use a gasket cement that is impervious to gasoline. I used Permatex 1A and 1B. They do a reasonably good job. Coat all 4 surfaces. The gasket on both sides, the sender and the tank. It still weeps but not too badly.
ran into some vapor-lock on my td after the hose between the carburetors broke i cut off the end cleanly and resoldered iit into the fitting. worked fine but wasn't far enough from the manifold. didn't know until then why the big loop was there, smart sometimes those english. tried 1/4 inch copper tubing. it worked but i worried about the copper becoming work hard and cracking. so i purchased a store hose and put it in.. it may not be your problem, but for the hell of it, try covering the pipe between the carbs with something to insulate it from the heat of the manifold. the electric fuel pump generally eliminates all but extreme cases of vapor-lock.. how hot is it under the hood ?? can the carbs getting hot enough to percolate ??
I wonder whether your problem is vapor lock or fuel starvation. Does it ONLY happen when hot? The fittings on the fuel pump are installed with fiber washers and they crush and gradually become loose. If on the intake side they can draw air. There is a filter in the bottom fitting (remove cap take out nylon filter and clean) and there is a brass screen filter soldered to the fitting at the bottom of the tank where the pipe attaches. This screen often is mostly clogged by corrosion (it is very fine) You must drain the tank, disconnect the line, clean the screen, and reinstall. Before you start working on anything, check the output. THIS APPLIES TO ALL MGs: a minimum pump output would be 10 gal per hour, more is better - a good SU can deliver 20. If you do the math 10 gph equals about a pint and a third per minute (.6 liter/min). Disconnect the hose from the rear carb and pump into a jar and see how long it takes to pump a pint or half liter. If it takes too long, your filters are clogged, or the line under the car is crushed, probably by a jack that slipped. Keep the end of the hose under the surface of the gas accumulating in the jar, if you get bubbles, you've got a leak on the intake side of the pump. (the latter applies to TC/TD only) Now you've got some idea of what you are looking for, good luck! Vapor lock ONLY happens when the gas on the intake side of the pump becomes so warm that it boils under the vacuum condition of suction. Since the gas in Rocky's short hose is under pressure, it would not boil easily and would normally only cause a problem when you park for a little while after a drive.
I would agree that we need to establish whether or not the problem is really vapor lock. Vapor lock is a problem related to heat. It is when the gasoline boils in the fuel line (or carburetter). The resulting vapor takes up all of the space in the line (or carburetter bowl) until the temperature cools off enough to let the fuel recondense to a liquid. Vapor lock is also aided by low fuel pressure, if you've got a whimpy pump or clogged filters / screens.
This time of year (where are you located and what is the temperature?) vapor lock would be unusual. My son's '76 Midget's previous owner said the car was very prone to vapor lock. As we went through the car we found that the metal fuel line brackets were not attached or missing and most of the metal line and some of the hose rested on the side of the transmission and top of the clutch housing. We replaced those brackets and got the fuel line onto the body of the car and off of the hot running gear. We also replaced a leaky mechanical fuel pump and the fuel filter. When the hot weather came, we never saw a fuel problem.
Check the fuel line routing. Make sure its not laying on hot surfaces. Make sure any heat shields are in place on the carburetter(s). Clean any screens in fuel pumps / carburetters and replace filters. If you still are having trouble, look for air leaks on the suction side of the fuel pump as Jarl suggested. They can't be seen. Leaks on the pressure side will be much easier to find. They drip.
One other thing to check would be the pickup tube and its screen in the gas tank although there can be quite a lot or rust and the like in the tank without having a problem. Unfortunately, the age of our cars can make this a possibility. The easiest way to check is to disconnect the hose and blow (with your mouth) back to the tank. There should be very little restriction (take the gas cap off). If there is, the screen on the pickup tube might be clogged up. If this is the case you'll have to drain and pull the tank off and do some serious cleaning. This is a moderately difficult job and one to be VERY careful doing. A well ventilated area is absolutely necessary, preferably outside on a nice day.
I had a Japanese car that the screen (a sort of can shaped thing about the size of a "D" cell) came loose from the pickup tube. The lack of the screen wasn't yet causing a problem but, the damn thing would float around in the gas tank and, every now and then, get its non preforated top sucked tight on the end of the pickup tube, starving the fuel pump. The car would die, the suction would equalize, the screen assembly would drop off. The car would restart (after cranking a bit) and be fine until next time. It took me a few months to figuire that one out.
Wanna solve vapor lock? Put a high pressure pump in the stock location and a pressure regulator just before the carbs. This is your best shot to prevent fuel vaporization in the line.
Our Ohio weather has been a bit on the hot side recently (>90!) and I 've started to notice my '51 TD's missing pretty badly after 20 minutes on the road. It's never a problem when the outside temp is <80 degrees. It's now 800 miles into it's rebuild. My mechanic suggested vapor lock but a friend thought it sounded like coil overheating. Question #1-- What aare the symptoms of a dying coil and could this be it? Question #2-- Is there any easy remedy if it is vapor locking? I have a 100 mile trip coming up in 7 days and am afraid I'll have to back out at the last minute if the weather is too hot. Help!!
Last spring I asked that same question here and was told that I had an intermittent short in my coil. I changed it and the problem was solved!
I had a similar set of symptoms with my 52 when I finally got it together and running. Was nice and smooth in the garage. Couldn't handle running after it warmed up. Naturally, I had the SU's rebuilt. I had described my symptoms to him. He told me to put the carbs on without tweaking them and --- if the problem wasn't cured, I should look at the ignition system, especially the condensor. To shorten the story, it was the condensor. It had a terrible temperature coefficient that woul cause it to increase its capacity as it warmed up from the engine heat permeating the distributor. BTW, I kept it just in case I run into somebody who seems to know too much.
The fuel pump on the early TFs was on the firewall, as it was on TDs. Apparently there was a vapor lock problem with it, as the pump was moved to a location near the fuel tank so it would pressurize more of this fuel line/system. At the GOF in Newton, in the parking lot which was as hot as a skillet, a number of drivers were discussing vapor lock. The consensus was that it doesn't happen in the T cars, that if the problem seems to be vapor lock, it's really some other problem mimicing VL. This argument was made most strongly by a couple of fellows who had installed heat shields between the exhaust manifolds and the carburettors, and had found them ineffective. Ideas about vapor lock problems: fuel level incorrect in the float bowls; mixture too lean, spark timing off, spark weak, air leak around carb throttle shafts, air leak at carb or manifold gaskets, and (believe it or not) one fellow said that he found the problem to be that the timing chain had been installed one tooth "off" during an engine rebuild. I don't know, frankly. This summer my MkII has started "vapor lock" miseries. It's never done it before in the 44 years we have had the car. Maybe fuel is so different this year, but more likely it's something related to 44 years of use. I have spent hours going over the engine and can't find a problem--could be the elephant in front of my face that I can't see. Please let me know what you did if you solve the problem on the TF. It may be shared.
\There was an article about this issue in one of the British enthusiasts mags recently. Although the article wasn't that good, it did seem to imply that most if not all "vapor lock" problems were due to failure of the SU fuel pump. The theory was that heat affected the fuel pump, and when it cooled it would work again, which mimics the effects of vapor lock. The writer felt that he had confirmed this by determining that his car stopped because the fuel pump was not working. Again, the article was not very scientific, but may help to confirm why the pump was moved from the firewall to near the tank in later MG's. Besides better pressurization, it may also have helped to get it out of the heat of the engine compartment and into the stream of cooler air under the car. I've decided that I will use a "backup" electronic fuel pump plumbed into the fuel line near the gas tank and out of sight on my TD restoration. I'll keep the SU for looks, but my experience with point-driven fuel pumps has led me to distrust all of them, no matter the manufacturer.
Thanks for your reply. Your idea of using a supplementary pump sure makes sense to me. My TD MkII has two pumps, so one is likely to be in service at any time, but in our MGB I keep a small USA auxiliary pump just in case the faithful SU that's mounted out of harm's way, just ahead of the RR tire, protected by the dirt, mud and crud of the road, lives. I have set it up with short rubber fuel hoses and clamps so that if the trusty SU were to take a vacation, the auxiliary pump could be hooked into the fuel line just ahead of the carburettors, and the wires lead around the engine to the fuse block on the opposite side. A real plus to the SU pumps is that one may either push fuel through them or pull fuel through them, without having to remove the SU. Now that you have mentioned it, I have noticed altered performance in the SUpumps during hot weather. They seem to 1) run very fast for a time, or 2) hesitate. The job gets done, but the pumps do act strangely. One supposes that the test for this would be to tape the cover to the pump body so to make it watertight, then pour cold water on the pump when it's acting strange.
All of the T's suffer from vapor lock, which is especially aggravated in hot weather (ambient temp >95 or so). In mine it will run OK, but if I stop for just a minute or two it is very difficult to start and "surges" (runs/relaxes) for several minutes. Ya gotta figure that having the float chambers about two inches from the exhaust pipe has something to do with this.... Only thing I can suggest is to double check and make sure that the heat shield is intact. It is a kind of sandwich, and all of that good asbestos can fall out, which severely compromises its efficiency. I have seen tinfoil on gas lines etc but I don't think that does any good. The only solution I know to be effective is wait until fall.
These cars are reported to suffer from fuel vaporization when the weather is particularly hot.
I found that during recent hot summers, when parking the car for, say 5/10 minutes, difficulty would be experienced within five seconds or so after starting normally, the running being very erratic, without power, necessitating kurb-side throttle blipping for up to half a minute before normality resumed. Starting straight away after parking or leaving the car for longer periods was without problems. Reading the Octagon magazine it seemed that a heat shield between carbs and manifold would solve this problem. I made one from two pieces of aluminium sandwiching a 1/8 Hallite gasket. The results were slightly better; but I did not consider the problem cured. This was 1994.
During the summer of 95 I travelled from Sheffield to the Lincoln Steam rally, a distance of about 55 miles. On arrival I found the classic cars were heading for the arena (display was brought forward) so without stopping I pointed the car in that direction and within 100yds the engine stuttered and stopped in just the same way as it did when suffering from so called fuel vaporization!
Up with the bonnet I felt the carburettors, expecting these to be hot (after the run from Sheffield); but no, they were cold. However the petrol pump was very hot! I gave the pump a good clout and tick-a-tick away we went. [I'm glad I didn't make the arena, it was bound to have happened then].
Thinking cap on. Modify pump to do away with the points. (Yes, I know it is done). I wanted to do it my way to try to prove my belief that the main problem with the fuel is the pump starving the carbs of fuel at any time. (I recalled that my TD always seemed to go better when nicely warmed up than when it had run for, say half and hour, ie when perhaps that pump was hot?)
When the car has stood in hot conditions for a few minutes, heat will pass to the carbs and some fuel is bound to evaporate; but as long as this is replaced immediately on switch-on, the float chambers will be full and no problems should arise. (This did not happen at Lincoln).
To the work bench. As a model engineer [hobby 2] and an electronic engineer [many years of working at it, now retired] I soon had the points replaced by a drop-on printed circuit using infra red detection and without making any modifications to the pump. The spring contact is removed; but can, with only a screwdriver be retrofitted in an emergency.
The system worked straight away, without any mods. There has been no further trace of fuel vaporization, the car now runs as well throughout a journey as when just warmed up and the pump only runs aired. This test period is about 3,500 miles in 18months. QED.
Another part of the equation is fuel supply and consumption. The max output of an SU pump is eight gallons per hour. Any car fitted with such a pump would return a fuel consumption of 10 mpg at 80 mph, so to my mind the allowance for missed strokes on the pump should be enough. But it obviously isn't or we would not find this to be such a problem. Don't forget that some tuning manuals recommended fitting two pumps also the 1500 TF had a high pressure one.
In my view these were all vain attempts to correct what is effect a faulty design; but nevertheless only really able to be corrected by the use of technology that was just not available at that time.
Anyway, I am completely happy with my modified pump, I would be happy to go into constructional details depending on the response to this article.
My gas cap has been weeping gas ever since I have had my TD. I put a new cork gasket in but am puzzled. Does the gasket simply lay in over the exposed lip or must one soak the gasket and force it past the lip down inside to the bottom of the opening?
When the tank is near full the gas will slosh up to the gasket and weep out all over the tank.
Any suggestions? How should the gasket fit?
Steve, there is a simple cure for your problem with gas spilling out of your tank. In a recent issue of our club."TC Motoring Guild" newsletter the "Classic Chassis" there was an article by Phil Marino showing, With diagrams, how to make a simple tube out of a plumbing part which will prevent the spillage.
I bought a sink flanged tailpiece. I had to cut off an angular piece of the tube as the bottom of the tube rubbed the back of the gas tank. The tube wouldn't go all the way in so I made the surgical repair.
Just got back this weekend from the T-register meet up in Boston and a couple of questions came up without answers, so I come to this learned group of MG savvyists. 1- We must have covered sparkplugs before but maybe not the modern day types now available(Is there a FAQ?). I've been running Champion N-9Y's since I've got 1/8" off the head, .040 overbore, 1-1/2" SU's, GJ needles, twin fuel pumps(ala MK. II TD), 4.3 MGA rear. I think I should be using a colder plug and want any recommendations you can offer. Old plugs look rich, with black deposits and white crud on top of electrode after a run back from Boston(200+ miles). Tail pipe pretty black, starts with very little choke, if any at all, jets all the way UP!
The plugs that you are using N9Y, are too cold for a TD/TF. Use N-5 or B6ES NGKs. WR7P Bosch Platinum, work very well. Thats what I use. As far as needles, I use a GL needle. It works perfect with Open carbs increased comp and bore, and especially with derrington extractor exhaust. The GJs are too lean at hiway speeds, with a performance setup. The HIs are just plain wrong. Too rich at low speeds, and docile at hi speeds. I have been fooling with this type of stuff for over 37 years, and love it.
If plug fouling was the only symptom, I'd say your plugs might be too cold a heat range. However the chokeless starts and the black tailpipe point at an overly rich fuel/air mixture. That's a carburetor problem, not a plug problem. Going to a hotter plug might keep your plugs cleaner, but it won't solve the underlying problem.
Normally the engine should just barely run or not run at all with the jets all the way up. If your jets are all the way up and your mixture is still too rich, then something is very wrong with the carbs. Sounds to me like your jets are either extremely worn or not the correct size to start with. GJ needles combines with 0.090 jets are correct for H4 carbs on an XPAG. Have you confirmed that the jets are actually 0.090? I've seen rebuild kits containing 0.100 jets, which are meant for H6 (1-3/4") SUs. The larger jet bore causes exactly the symptoms you described. Have you confirmed that the needles are actually GJs?
Other things to check:
Do your jets drip when the car is at rest? If so, check the condition of the cork jet seals. If they are shot, replace them. If the upper seals leak, they allow fuel to be sucked into the venturi past the outside diameter of the jets. This gives you a rich mixture that no amount of adjustment can control.
Are the float levels correct? If too high, then the fuel level in the jets is too high, giving you an overly rich mixture that can't be adjusted away at the jets.
Are the float valves good? If not, your fuel pump will overfill the float bowls, with the same result as above.
Are those twin fuel pumps of yours standard SU low-pressure pumps? They should be. High-pressure SUs or aftermarket pumps with too high a pressure rating, when mounted on the firewall, will sometimes force fuel past closed float valves even if the valves are good. High-pressure pumps are meant to be mounted back near the tank, not close to the carbs.
The trottle return spring and mounting brackett are missing from my car. The new parts are ordered but I'm not sure how or where the brackett attaches to the starter.
I just researched the same situation. The bracket is placed on the rear-most starter bolt. the bend in the bracket should slant toward the front of the car. The spring is hooked to the bracket and to the hole in the throttle linkage. hope this helps.
I have a set of diagrams that show the placement of all of the engine compartment return springs and the brackets and doohickies that hold them. I will dig them out and send same to you as an attachment. Is there any particular format you would like them sent in? Look for them by next Tues. PM, however, they were originally printed in the Feb '97 TSO (NEMGTR). If you can get a copy, you will have the whole article and the diagrams.
Where is the filter on the TD gas tank?
there is a mesh screen in the inside of the tank at the pickup, and a screen in the fuel pump. No filter was provided by the factory.
What is the "correct" setting for H2's with nylon needle and seat? I see 7/16" or is it 5/16"? What is correct? My run on problem prompts this question. I have found several printed answers to this. Which, if any is correct?
7/16", regardless of type of needle & seat.
The setting controls when the valve closes relative to float hight (and therefore fuel level in the float), so it is the same no matter what type of valve you use.
The TD/TF Workshop Manual (the factory book) specifies 3/8 inch (9.5 mm), which I have always used. Various aftermarket manuals list 5/16 inch or 7/16 inch, which are appropriate for some other SU applications, but I've always gotten the best results from 3/8 inch with the H2 and H4 carbs used on the TC/TD/TF.
Others swear by 7/16 inch (11 mm). I'd suggest that you try 3/8 inch first. If that doesn't give good results, try 7/16 inch.
Does the 1953 MGTD have a positive ground (earth)? In my car, the positive post is grounded to the chassis.
All TD's are positive ground. Your's is correct.
One word of caution if this is the first time your replacing the plugs, check to see that it is the original head. Early heads had the 1/2" reach, later plugs used the 3/4 reach plugs. I've seen later heads running 1/2" and 3/4" hitting pistons in early cars. A Bosch equivalent plug for your L10 is the W145T1, KLG is F50, Lodge is C14 and NGK is B4H1.
I use Champion N9YC (extended tip,copper 3/4 reach in my late 53TD).
I have collected the following information from a variety of sources.
TC, YA, TD to engine number XPAG/TD2/22734, YB to XPAG/SC2/17993
Originally, for these engines, the factory recommended the Champion L10S plug. This plug has not been produced for many years. Champion replaced the L10S with the L7. The L7 was superseded by the L85. The L85 was replaced by the L82C.
The Champion L82C is a current plug and is recommended by Champion as the replacement for the L10S, L7, and L85.
1. The Champion L10 is far too hot for the T-Type and should not be used, except for special applications.
2. The Bosch W7AC can substitute for the above plugs. Bosch recommends the W7AC as an alternative to the Champion L85. Champion lists the W7AC as a substitute for the Champion L82C.
3. The Lodge 3HN is listed as an alternative to the Champion L82C
TD from XPAG/TD2/22735, TF, YB from XPAG/SC2/17994
These engines originally used the Champion NA8 plug. This was replaced by the N5 which has been superseded by the N5C.
1. It is important that the correct plug be used as the TC plug is a =BD="reach while the late TD and TF plug is a =BE" reach.
2. Of course, the engine numbers listed above assume that the original head is fitted.
However, after 50 years, we can assume that the original head may have been swapped at some stage. How can you tell what head you have? I know of three ways.
a. Look on the bottom of the head. If the water passages are a banana shape instead of circular, it's an early head.
b. Measure the spark plug threads. If the depth is =BD inch instead of =BE inch, then it's an early head.
c. Look at the number cast into the head. If it is 22952, then it should be an early head.
My TD takes the same plugs. Iuse L82C's in my TD and have used L86C's if you need one heat range hotter. They are readily available and also found in many motorcycle shops.
The last seminar on Saturday was on discussing sparkplugs. Having reviewed theory, he got into practice, with discussion of current fuels and sparkplugs. In summary, he said--use 87 octane since the old measurement differs from today's. Set timing about 5' ahead of the book's recommendation--I worked this out on the crank pulley Sunday night--32 original advance + 5 = 37 which is a tiny bit larger than 1 3/16 inches on the crank pulley. Mark with liquid paper on the pulley and set with timing light. Set plug gap at what the spark plug maker recommends. He's finding best results currently with NGK plugs. Says they have a closer gradation of temp ranges than others on the market today, the higher # being the Colder (unlike Champion) He recommended that one start with a B6HS, or BR6HS for a resistor plug (these are the 1/2" plugs) They have the 3/4" also, but I forgot the letter designator. He said that N9Y has been superceded by L82C if I recall correctly. Another factor he mentioned, just to complicate things, is that today's RFG or whatever they now call what used to be called gasoline has different burn characteristics. Example-if using a Colortune, one must set the mix so that RFG burns orange with a hint of blue, not the blue that Colortune recommends. Apparently TDs need a richer mixture when running on this stuff.
The plugs that you are using N9Y, are too cold for a TD/TF. Use N-5 or B6ES NGKs. WR7P Bosch Platinum, work very well. Thats what I use.
The only numbers I recorded for an NGK plug is a B7HS (cold) and a B6HS (hotter). I copied this out of a spark plug book at a local discount house. I can't say what the significance of the other letters might be in the NGK numbers you mentioned.
The best plugs to use in the XPAG & XPEG engine are the NGK B6HS for the short reach, and B6ES for the long reach. They have a wide heat range, and work quite well.
Bill Schooler's post about the TD having two different spark plug reaches rung a bell. My plugs soot up fast also. The number cast into my head is 22952. Can anybody verify which plug is proper for 22952. (Something is fishy here if you transpose the nine and five you get 22592, which is suposed to be 1/2 in, maybe a typo?) I tried the wire down the spark plug hole test suggested by Chip Old. I came up with 5/8 in, exactly half way between 1/2 and 3/4!
So, anybody got a 22952 head? Please let me know what plug you use. The "22952" casting number indicates it is an early XPAG head (TB/TC/early TD). Use 1/2 in reach plugs.
Are you telling us that there's a typo in the T-Series Handbook? In the Golden Anniversary Edition, your article, "Back to Basics # 7 - Ignition" carries the statement "All XPAG heads I have seen or heard about which bear the number 22592 (I REPEAT 22592) are early heads, which therefore require 1/2 in reach L-7 plugs." Should that, in fact, read 22952 ? yes 22952 is correct.
Chip Old discusses this in the T Series Handbook, but the real world isn't necesarily what everyone thinks it should be. Per Chip, the head on XPAG/TD3/22308 should be 1/2", but it's a 3/4" and this is a one-owner car. He gives some head #s to watch for, but this head is "none of the above" Maybe it's a MkII modification that was not clearly documented in the parts book--I don't know, but it isn't what the books say it should be.
MG went to 3/4 reach plugs in 1952 at eng.# 22735. However as someone else pointed out, you should check the depth with a piece of bent wire. Lots of heads have been swapped about over the years. The B6ES plugs will work just fine in the 3/4 reach head.
In getting ready to tune my TD, I referred to the manual and found that the recommended plug gap is only .020 to .022. The seems rather close. Also, timing is to be set at TDC. In light of the recent discussion regarding timing for the MGB engine, would be be beneficial to advance the timing somewhat? Experience/ideas?
John, I time my 52 TD at TDC and set the plug gap to .025. I use either champion L82C or hotter L86C plugs. New #'s are 811 and 830.
The gap of .020-.022 is correct for a TD with the standard coil. In general, the static (!) ignition timing at TDC is the optimum spot for a standard TD. If nothing else, it's the best place to start from.
Are those 1/2 in. reach plugs or 3/4in. reach? Isn't your TD a 52? I think that John's may be a 53 with the later head. John, if you're reading this, see which head you have on your TD before you buy your plugs.
You can set the gap to that specified by the maker of the sparkplug, which is probably in the .024-.025 range. More than that is not likely to give you any benefit. Look for a thorough discussion of this, written by Hal Kramer, in a future issue of TSO Yes, it is beneficial to advance the timing a bit. Remember that the 0 TDC setting is a stationary measurement, not with engine running. What I did was something, suggested in TSO a year or so back, in which you measure the diameter of the crankshaft pulley, then calculate in inches the degrees of advance you want to have at 3500 rpm. The Workshop Manual says 32 degrees. Most of us are running about 36. Mark your measured spot, then rev up and set the distributor so the timing light flashes at 36 degrees at 3500 rpm.
I don't know about the Autolite, but the Champion plug is the N5C for the later heads with the 3/4in. reach. Earlier, 1/2in reach plugs are the Champion L85.
I "believe" that the L85 is no longer available and Champion recommends the L82C for TC's and earlier TD's
The TD XPAG fires: 1-3-4-2. So when connecting the HT wires with #1 being at 8 o'clock on the distributor cap. Is #3 at 10 o'clock, #4 at 2 o'clock and #2 at 4 0'clock? If the rotor moves clockwise shouldn't this be correct?
Just trying to connect the plug wires so she runs smoothly.
Yes, that would be correct if the rotor moved clockwise.....
But it doesn't, so #3 should be at 4 o'clock, #4 at 2 o'clock and #2 at 10 o'clock.
Get it right and the fun starts at 3 o'clock (or whenever you hit the road with the TD)!!!!
My starter works some of the time but not all of the time. If I get the damn thing to start by pushing it then the starter will work correctly for a while. The brushes etc look ok on the starter but tonite I could not get the car off the chock ( I live on a hillside and chock the car) finally roll the car over the chock and push started it and the starter worked, Any comments or advice? Hey at least it is not a hot topic, like the rest of tonite's stuff. I am an investigator for the state Campaign Finance Registry and I hear this stuff all day. The LBCs are suppose to be a break from work not a busman's holiday. I am also a military retiree so I guess one can never get very far away from all of it.
First thing to check is the starter switch. Try bridging it with a pair of pliars to see if the starter works consistently. Trace all the wires, breaking and re-making all connections, including those at the battery. Be careful with jump-starting. Most folks who have broken rear half-shafts think that they broke because of jump-starting. Using the starting handle is safer for the car, if not for your arm.
How does one determine if a starter switch and/or starter is bad and in need of replacement? Who has good prices and quality on starters for a TD?
The switch question is replied to in another posting. The starter may be tested by using a jumper cable from the battery to it. Try to get the polarity right. If the starter is dead, it may be just the brushes that need replacement, something you can do yourself.
My battery tests OK. It is the switch or the starter. how do I check out the starter switch so I don't have to remove the starter/
I just went through this with my TD. I had a lose connection on the starter. Went to tighten it and mangage to twist the post out of the inside, so be careful. Anyway, I bought a used starter from a guy up in New York but while waiting I took the old starter to a shop up in the road and ahe repaired the post, cost $25.00 but sometimes it does not want to start like it has a dead spot. The other starter arrived and I put the jumper cables on it and it whirled but would not engage and I took to this guy and for $27 he fixed it up like a new one. I now have a spare and will probley put the New York one on and try it out as soon as I get my dash back together, never again will I put a dash in a TD, what a job, it has taken me weeks.
Having gone through a series of starter problems last spring allow me to try to help. First off I'm assuming that the starter on your TD is the same as on a TC. I believe they're the same unless you have a Mk II in which case all bets are off. You should have a heavy lead (AWG 4 or similar) from the battery to the starter terminal. The terminal is connected to an insulated post inside the switch cover. The starter cable attaches to an arm which sticks out of the switch tower. The way this arrangement works is that when you pull the cable the arm moves a large copper disk in side the switch which shorts the hot lead to the starter windings inside the switch. The FIRST starter problem I had was when one of the copper sections inside the switch wore away to the point that the copper disk could no longer travel far enough to make contact. I manufactured a new part from a piece of copper buss bar and was away to the races again. The symptoms for this problem were much as you describe. I'd first off check that your starter is properly grounded. Check your motor ground strap. If in doubt use jumper cables to ground the block to the battery/frame. If that checks out, next check that you've got power to the starter terminal. If so I'd next look at the brushes, make sure they're under spring tension by gently pulling on each of the brush shunts (leads). If the brushes are too short to maintain constant spring tension against the comm they may open circuit your starter. (hope for this one because brushes are cheap and easy) Testing the starter/starter switch continuity through the brush holders requires access to at least two brush holders and even then may locate a problem but won't tell you whether it's in the field or the switch. To (maybe) eliminate the switch you could hook your test lamp to a brush holder and then ( after making sure everythings out of harms way) operating the lever. If you see full voltage at the brushes it indicates that your switch is okay. If you see full battery voltage at two of the four brushes it shows that the field windings are healthy too. If you don't see any voltage it may be because you're connected to a ground brush, move you're connection to an adjacent brush holder. If you see full voltage at two holders, your brushes are in good shape and the starter is properly grounded then your armature has gone away and you'll have to replace it. ($$) If you get no voltage at the holder then either the field windings are open or your switch is hooped. If you can access both the hot brushes and one has substantially less voltage than the other when the switch is closed then you've got an open field. To find out for sure you're going to have to open the starter switch. I don't know about a TD but on a TC this is MUCH easier if you take the starter off the car. Unfortunately there's not much more you can check untill you get it out. Hope this helps and, since I've already had a couple wobbly-pops, I hope I don't send you on any wild goose chases. If you've any questions let me know, I'll be glad to help. BTW have you got a starting handle? I had to use mine for three events last year including our over-nighter to Whistler. Got lots of attention from bystanders when I cranked her over by hand and she fired right up. LBC's are just TOO cool, eh?
First - take a 12VDC test light, hold tip on switch to starter lug, DO NOT turn ign switch on, push plunger - if light come on switch is good. CHECK ground strap from engine to chassis. If these OK remove starter and bench test. If bench test is bad to poor just take to motor service shop.
Thank you. I am always amazed at the assistance and kindness one receives from those fine folks on this list. I am 48 years young and when a child it was common place for most people to be courtious and helpful. Nowadays it is unusual for people to be such...but not MG people. We are simply the best. thank you all. I will start sorting things out today.
To check the starter switch itself remove the switch and put a jumper wire between two of the contacts. This will bypass the internal connections and if the switch is bad this should over ride it. The wiring to the starter could also be bad, as was already suggested take a wire directly from the battery to the starter. One other thing might be the solenoid. You might try bypassing it with a heavy screwdriver or insulated pliars.
Looks like I will have to replace the starter switch after all. It wouldn't start again.
Before I say anymore let me get it straight. You have a bowden cable operated start switch built into the starter with only one wire to the starter, no dash switch, no solenoid, right? In either case did you try turning the starter slightly by hand? Some times you can get a dead spot on the comm.
As I said earlier, the starter on my 'new' TD quit while in the driveway of the seller. I bought the car anyway. Since I have gotten the service manual and, near as I can tell, the starter I'm using doesn't match what is in the manual.
The starter has the following identification numbers:
LUCAS 25238A 12V M35U 1 44 70
When I pulled the starter, I was impressed that the bendix spring and gear looked to be in very good shape. My first concern was that the screws that hold the drive-side plate to the starter have been ground off quite a bit -- I assume for clearance.
When removing the plate from the battery side of the starter, there are four brushes that run against the copper commutator plate that is perpendicular to the starter shaft. Again, the four brushes are running parallel to the starter shaft against the plate and are spring-loaded from the battery-end mounting plate.
The interior was actually pretty clean and the brushes looked new (were still quite long). The bushings are also still good showing little wear. The problem was that they was a lot of carbon build-up on the plate on the starter.
I took out some metal polish and my Gibbonizer and polished the plate and brushes and put the whole thing back together. The starter is now working fine and spinning the motor with authority.
The only real disturbing find was that the teeth on the ring gear are quite worn -- maybe 1/4 of the drive-side of the teeth are worn away. Pulling out my Midget manual, it appears that the starter is from the Spitfire-based 4-cylinder motor. Is this a normal replacement?
The starter was rebuilt by yours truly by merely disassembling the unit (which turns out to be from an RBB Midget) and finding the commutator plate carboned up. A little work with the Gibbonizer and it is now spinning fine.
Do you know if there is any other coil that will work on a TD? Besides what Moss would have.
I was able to take my old coil to a local parts house and find one that would match, less than $20US, if we had looked hard should have found one for a lot less but I am not a very patient person. I also had to break the solder on the plate in the Dist to replace the condensor (what a pain) the condensor was pretty cheap only a couple of bucks. The points looked fine just took my wifes favorite nail file and hit them a few licks. The TD fired right up. I am going to put the old coil back on when I can find another small nut and see if it was indeed the condensor, which is where I am guessing the real problem was. I am now the pround owner of an extra condesor and when the mail gets here an extra set of point, just in case.
Just got a new Moss coil. The polarity is not marked as my old one is marked. how do I tell positive from negative? It's a repro of the Lucas original just advertised in the new catalogue.
I've had two reply both in conflict. Is the CB contact breaker + or - ?
Are there no markings at all? If none, call Moss. Otherwise, the coil usually is marked "+" or "IGN" and "-" or "SW". If it carries one of these markings, then in a positive ground car, the + or IGN goes to the distributor and - or SW goes to the ignition switch. In a negative ground car, the leads are reversed.
I just removed the lucas coil from my 52 TD
which has the terminal connections marked CB and SW. The new coil has the connections marked with + and -, so how do these related to each other? I would like to install the new coil in the morning.
SW = "+" CB = "-"
On the original coil the "CB" stands for "contact breaker" (ignition points to us Yanks) and the "SW" stands fo the ignition switch.
If your TD's electrical system is still in the original positive ground configuration, then the "+" terminal on your new distributor connects to the points and the "-" terminal is for the wire from the ignition switch.
If your car has been converted to negative ground (i.e. to allow use of a modern radio), then connect the "-" terminal to the points and the "+" terminal to the switch wire.
The coil will function if the connections are reversed, but the spark will be weaker.
I have some questions on the coil on my TD. The coil seems to quit working when it gets hot (heat from the engine compartment). Does the coil quit because it is hot or is the coil bad because it quits working when it gets hot? I had the car out yesterday and it was very hot outside. I usually don't drive in that kind of heat. Once the coil cooled down the engine would start again. I would appreciate any expert advise.
The simple answer - the coil should not quit working due to under-bonnet heat. If, by any chance your coil is not an OEM type, it could be from the genre that require a ballast resistor when operating. They will get inordinately hot if running from a full 12 volts and may very well become a problem.
The original coil on my TD seems to be conking out when hot also. A new one is on order, as of this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are only $27 in the Moss list...probably should have had one on my shelves long ago but anticipated that they would be outrageously dear. I asked the list about the testing of coils a couple of months ago. Arthur Pfenninger was kind enough to send me this info, for which I thank him sincerely. It's this sort of help that makes the list worthwhile for me. " Disconnect all wires to coil. Set multimeter to lowest ohms scale. Connect to + and - posts. Reading should be about 1.5 - 3 ohms. Much higher or lower indicates a bad coil. Next check secondary circuit. Set meter to high scale. Put one lead on either + or - terminal. You should get a reading between 6,000 and 30,000 ohms. Make a note of this reading and the scale you used to get it. If your coil is good you will know in the future what a good coil should read, and you can see if yours has changed. The next test is for an internal ground. St the meter to the high ohms scale and connect one lead to the + or - terminals and put the other lead onto the case of the coil. The needle should not move at all. If it does move, the coil is internally grounded and must be replaced. A tip to MGA owners is to make sure that the coil does not rest directly on the generator. The vibration has a nasty habit of wearing a hole through the case of the coil causing the power to arc from the coil to the ground." I found my coil to have only 1100 ohms on the second test.
Being an OF, I remember a problem my Dad had with a '59 Ch*vy. The engine ran fine until the coil heated up. Then it would just quit. As soon as it cooled down, ran fine again. Remember a coil is a transformer with many coils of fine wire. If a wire breaks internally as the coil heats up, the expansion of the core, wires etc. can open the circuit. Then as soon as it cools everythings ok. I'd replace the coil.
Not sure if this would apply to the TD, but I had a similar situation with the Midget once. Turned out the coil was getting hot because the resistance wire was no good. If the car ran long enough it would actually burn out the innards of the coil (went through 3 of them before I solved the problem). Does the TD have a ballast resistor or resistance wire? If so, you might want to check it out.
TDs don't have resistor or resistor wire in the circuit--it was a simpler time....
Wait a minute here, 5 degrees is retarded from 10 degrees. The full statement is 10 degrees before top dead center (BTDC). Top dead center is when #1 is at the absolute top of it stroke. The ten degrees refers to how many crankshaft degrees (before or sometimes after) TDC the spark fires. So 5 degrees BTDC would be less advanced than 10 degrees BTDC. But aren't the degrees for BTDC measured BACK from TDC, hence a spark firing at 10 degrees BTDC would occurr *before* a spark at 5 degrees BTDC, therefore 5 deg is more advanced (along the stroke) than 10 deg BTDC. If after you have adjusted the dwell correctly if the timing is out too far then the distributor needs to be loosened and turned until all the marks line up. OK. I'll try and turn it more, but it sure seems like its at a 'limit'. I suspect that your dist. has a lot of play in the shaft and when you set the dwell with a meter instead of a feeler gauge it moves past the amount that you can adjust with the "dizzy" I was worried about a worn distributor shaft as well, but the timing marks are rock solid with the strobe, as is the dwell angle.
10 BTDC is more advanced than 5 BTDC ( spark occurring 10 in advance of the piston reaching TDC). If your dwell angle and timing remain pretty steady, you probably don't have much distributor shaft wear to worry about. Seeing as how you are setting your timing with a light, I'd say you are trying to set it too retarded by the numbers you're quoting. 10 BTDC would be close to right ( book) if you are idling at 500 rpm with the vacuum advance disconnected and plugged ( I believe you have a '66 right?). If your idle rpm is higher (1000-1200), you will probably need to set the timing more in the neighborhood of 20 for it to run right, because of the advance being cranked in by the weights in the distributor.
BTDC stands for Before Top Dead Center. Therefore 10 degrees BTDC is 5 degrees more advanced than 5 degrees BTDC (further away so to speak). The term advance here is with respect to TDC 10 degrees before is more advanced that 5 degrees. I think your confusion has to do with why in the heck are we firing the plug Before the piston gets to the top? OK, I was hoping to save myself the typing, but here goes. To get the maximum power out of an engine, the maximum pressure in a cylinder must occur at somewhere between 5 and 10 degrees of crankshaft rotation AFTER TDC. But wait you say, AFTER the plug fires before. Yes, grasshopper, you are correct. The reason for that is that the combustion of the air fuel mixture is not, I repeat not, instantaneous it takes about 3 milliseconds to combust the mixture in the cylinder. At 1000 RPM three milliseconds is about 15 degrees of crankshaft rotation. So if we want Max pressure in the cylinder to push the piston down as hard as possible, we need to light the mixture 15 degrees before the 5 to 10 degrees after that I mentioned earlier. 15 degrees before 5 degrees AFTER is 10 degrees BEFORE. If you were to retard the timing 10 degrees to TDC then Max pressure in the cylinder would occur at 15 degrees After Top Dead Center. The Max pressure would be lower, the power produced would be less, more heat would be transferred in to coolant, and the car would run like a dog. So what happens if you open the throttle? I glad you asked. At 2000 RPM you still need 3 Ms of burn time. But now 3 ms is 30 degrees of crank rotation instead of 15 because the crank is going twice as fast. Therefore there needs to be something that advances the timing beyond the base. There are two used on MG's Centrifugal and vacuum advance. Just for giggles take you timing light and check the timing at 2000 and 3000 RPM you will see that it is much further advanced.
Can anyone cross reference me to a coil that I can get for the TF that is an acceptable replacement that I can get locally. NAPA, Traks, and Advance Auto are all likely possibilities. Thanks in advance.
I think I can help you here. Go to your local NAPA store and ask for a coipy of their Echlin Catalog #104. It lists all of the available ignition/electrical parts for 'older' cars. In the MG section you'll find the listing for coil # IC64. NAPA catalogs are free for the stores, so you should be able to get one from them.
I am in need of points, condenser, and possibly a new coil for my 52 TD (3 and one years of work almost running). I followed the spark-plug thread and purchased new plugs at a local parts store for a little over $1.xx each. (Moss was over $2.00 each). Is there a part number for points, condenser, coil. Or am I stuck with mail order from Mo$$, Abingdon et al.
There are alternate sources, not the least of which is NAPA. Ignition components sold by NAPA are under the Echlin label. Go to your neighborhood NAPA store and ask them to get you a copy of the Echlin catalog #104 "Ignition, Electrical System Parts, Early Model Cars & Light Trucks Thru 1974".
The Contact Ass'y (points) is Model #CS201, the coil is Model IC64, the rotor is Model EP41. The Condenser is an EP29, but if you have an early distributor, your condenser is soldered to the plate. Electrically, the EP29 is the same component.
BTW, that same coil, IC64 is spec'd for all MG's from 1949-1974, the EP41 rotor is spec'd for all except the MGC (it takes the EP44). The points, CS204 are spec'd for Magnettes and early MGA's, CS207 is for everything from 1956 to 1974 (all models). There is no cap for 1946-1955, but there are caps listed for all other models.
How does one determine which Dist one has in his TD?
The TC-TD up to (C)#2091 used dist#40048&40162. TD-TF from (C)#20942 used Dist#40367&40368.
The number is stamped into the side of the Dist.
The distributor model # is on the flat end of the distributor casting. You will have to remove the dist from the engine to see the #s, however.
The points on my TD won't stay where I set them. All screws are tight and I drive for a short distance and all is well. I go to start the car again and the points need adjusting. Any solutions to this situation? This has never happened before. The points are well bedded in and only 2000 miles on them. is the whole points unit moving on the base plate? If not then check that you have lubricated the shaft (lobes) of the distributor where the fiber block rubs against it. I have seen where the dry or sometimes rough shaft will wear down the fiber block resulting in closed gap of the points. When you readjust the points are you always finding them needing to be opened further? Just a thought
I Do not know TDs but I'll hazzard a suggestion. How are the bushings in your distributer? Bushings are fine. The points are pitted. I will change them.
Are they opening wider on you, or closing up tighter? If they're getting tighter (less gap/more dwell), the fiber or nylon (plastic?) piece that bears on the distributor cam could be wearing abnormally. Got a spot of lube on that cam?
The TD has been running great for 2500 miles. Went out for a spin and got a "rough" running engine. I decided to check the points and they were pitted so I filed them smooth. Started and still not quite right. So now I am changing condensors. Each of three condensors do not do the trick. Could the points need replacing or maybe even the coil? I had no problem with the car one day and the next day I started it up and it will not run well. I did clean out the carbs, filter at fuel pump etc., etc. The timing is right on the mark and the points are gapped to .o11. Coil or points or maybe even a fourth condensor? What do you think?
I did all yo did last week on my B finally found the trouble. A spark plug which looked perfectly good was the problem. $30 worth of parts and it was a $2.00 spark plug. I just changed out all 4 plugs, new points, and new condensor and it ran just a bit better but it still "stutters" somewhat. The plug wires have 4000 miles on them as does the coil. what next?
Open the hood and take a look at the spark plug wires and coil in the dark. You might also want to spray a little water on them, you may have a bad wire or coil. Also did you clean the cap? ...Art How can I tell if the coil is bad?
I posted this a week ago or so, so it may look familiar to some. To test the coil for internal resistance disconect all the wires going to the coil. Set your multimeter to the lowest ohms scale. Now with the meter connected to the + and - side of the coil you should get a reading of about 1.5 to 3 ohms. Much higher or lower indicates a bad coil. Next check the secondary circut. Set the meter to the high scale and put one lead on either the + or- terminal. Put the other lead into the tower at the top of the coil. You should get a reading of between 6,000 and 30,000 ohms. copy this reading down along with the scale you got it on. If your coil turns out to be good you can use this reading in the future when the coil may again be in question. This will be your bench mark. The last test that you need to do is for an internal ground. Set the meter to the high ohms scale and connect one lead to the + or - side of the coil and put the other lead onto the case of the coil. The needle should not move at all. If it does there is an internal ground and the coil must be replaced.
If you want to check the condenser there are a couple of ways to do it. Disconnect the small wire and make sure it is not touching anything. Set your multimeter to the dc scale and measure the voltage from the disconnected small wire to the to the screw on the distributor that the wire is normally connected to. If you get any voltage the condenser is bad. The other way involves using a screw driver on the points while the condensor is disconnected but I won't go into it now because I don't want to run on and on and...
My problem is solved. Checked the coil and it was OK. Replaced all plugs, points, condensor and the car now runs well again. I do not know what did the trick but all is well again.
I recently painted the engine compartment. While doing that I decided to clean up the wires going to the fuse holder and the voltage regulator. (MGA) I removed each of the wires one at a time and discovered several were corroded. I cleaned each one, and scraped the ends so they would make better contact. It is amazing how smooth the car now runs. I thought it was running well before! You might check that. Good luck
Problem: Rough running XPAG (TD) engine, all speeds, loaded/unloaded, all mixtures, all temperatures.
Therapy: Replace plugs, plug wires, rotor, cap, condensor, coil, clean and adjust points, adjust timing. Adjust mixture via lift-the-pot and colourtune. Check fuel pump. No seegar.
Suggestions: "Maybe it's sticky valves" (have newly-installed bronze guides). But roughness occurs at all speeds, hot or cold. I lift the valve cover, let it run at idle, put feeler under each rocker. No tangible difference when roughness occurs.
"Maybe it's bad gas" (gas is about a year old). I drain the gas (what a mess!) and refuel. After a few minutes to flush old gas out of the line and the pump, engine is still rough.
So I took out the distributor and stared at it. Nothing better to do.Sometimes staring is good. Used the magnifiers while staring, being a blind OF. I noticed a bit of wear on the top edge of the projection on the points that rubs against the cam. Looking kinda sideways, I noticed that the movable part of the points was not quite vertical.
Another case of LLL (Laid Low by Lucas).
The pivot on which the moving point mounts is a brass pin that is press fit into the mounting plate. This pin had come loose. Because of the spring tension, the projection that rubs on the cam was raised a bit, causing it to rub also on the underside of the rotor. This friction prevented the points from returning properly.
Has anyone tried the Petronix ignition in their TD? If so, what is the prognosis? I was tempted to purchase one at Carlisle but didn't.
In the glorious tradition of this (and other) lists, I will start out by saying that I have no answer to the question that Steve asked, as I have not tried the Pertronix in a T-type. However, I would like to share the discovery, just yesterday, of a serious problem with a Pertronix unit that I installed in an MGB.
After installing the Pertronix, I wanted to check that the advance unit was working. A vacuum pulled on the unit made the plate move when I looked at the distributor with the cap off. However, the engine did not seem to perform as if it was receiving full advance. I disconnected the vacuum pipe at the carburetor and applied vacuum while the engine was running. No change in idle speed! Off with the cap, checked the plate again - still moving. A break for lunch to ponder this seemingly impossible situation.........
After lunch, I removed the distributor for closer inspection. Eureka! Problem discovered. This particular Pertronix unit was machined in such a way that the mounting plate that attaches where the points used to be was too wide. In other words, its outer edge fouled the cap, thus preventing the base-plate from being rotated by the vacuum unit. The fix was to remove it and sand off the excess metal on a belt sander. (A file or bench grinder would work, too.) When replaced, it made a big difference in how well the engine ran.
So, all of you who have fitted your distributors with a Pertronix unit, may I suggest you check to make sure that your distributor cap is not interfering with the P-unit where it attaches to the base-plate. Perhaps those of you who do find a problem would be so kind as to let me know so I can relay the information to the supplier if - indeed - mine was not an anomalous situation.
I have put a few TCs, TDs and TF with the Petronix unit. Joe Curto can supply the unit and mounting plate
The secret or problem with them is that they require a special "breaker points" plate. Joe Curto has developed the best plate for the dist., and sells Petronix with plate. Skip Kelsey sells the units; I don't know if he has a plate, but he might have a better price. The unit slides over the dist. cam. The high lift cam is best for the unit. Symmetric can might work with little alterations; asymmetric cam would need more work. The benefit: a distributor that works better than new. Any bushing play is negated. The irregular grind of the dist. cam is gone. The engine runs smoother than ever. Negative ground vehicles easier hook up than positive ground. Different kits.
I've been running a Petronix in my 1275 powered TA for several years, it works great. I have equiped an xpag dizzy with one for use in my Arnolt have not installed it as yet. The dizzy plate must be modified to make the unit work. I have a write up on this somewhere....Mike Goodman in LA has made plates specially for this purpose. The Petronix is for negative ground only but I have heard that they are coming out with a positive ground version.
We after the last post I decided to break the silence. I found an extra condenser installed on the fire-wall beside the coil. It is not hooked up to anything. It is on the left side of the auto, and looks real bad. I checked to see if there was one inside the Dist. and yes it is in there.
On the TD's did they install an extra one or was it too big to fit inside the Dist. The wire looks like it is long enough to touch the CB side of the coil.
I did install the new adapter for spin on filters today. The post was so tight that I had to take apart half the fender to get enough room for a good size wrench to break it loose. After that it went real smooth. You ask why was the rush, well It started out as a oil change. After examining the used filter I found that the spring was missing inside the old filter assembly. Looks like the P.O. didn't put it back. I thought he knew how to change oil. That's alright I've already changed it twice and didn't catch it. I quess it show's what kind of mechanic I am, LOL.
The condenser you spotted might be a radio noise suppressant - if the car has or had a radio.
No, this is a crutch some PO has installed....probably when he thought the proper one in the distributor had failed..
What you may be seeing could be a radio suppressor but may be a common arrangement to provide back up for the condenser in the distributor. If the condenser fails you only need to attach the 'spare' condensers' wire to the coil and you are away again. The only problem would be in the unlikely event that the failed condenser has caused a dead short to earth. This is pretty unlikely.
Our road service crews with the motoring organisations do this whenever they suspect a condenser failure in a stranded car. It is quicker and cleaner than opening up the disritibutor. They recommend that all non electronic ignition cars should have this spare rigged up, the cost is insignificant.
I wonder why designers always put the condenser inside the distributor. The two nodes the condenser hooks to are available back on the firewall. I imagine it gets pretty hot inside the distributor, not good for electrical components.
Does anyone know how to or if you can replace the spring loaded electrode in a distributor cap?
Moss Motors and Abingdon Spares sometimes have the spring-loaded center electrode. Try them first, or whatever vendor you normally do business with for Lucas parts.
Just pull the old one out and push the new one in. If the old spring doesn't come out with the carbon electrode, make a hook out of a piece of stiff wire to snag it and pull it out.
As I tested the horns on the TD I found that none of them worked. cleaning the points and adjusting them didn't work. So the question is:
Is there anybody out there with some sort of description of the electrical insides of the horns. I suspect tese due to the fact that the horns are electrically not totally the same inside due to soeme work of the PO.
The electrics are very straightforward, nothing but a coil and points. Most likely you have a problem with corrosion in the magnet gap. The horns work by alternately pulling and releasing a metal armature, and often (especially when the car is left to sit for a while) rust develops in the gap and freezes the armature. You can cure this by disassembling the horns and cleaning. Loosen all of the nuts that hold the pot-metal casting to the base and gently pry the assembly apart. Note that there are paper gaskets here that will need to be replaced. You'll probably have to make your own, I've never seen them for sale anywhere.
Before you do anything else check for continuity through the horn. If you get a closed circuit you will know the coil and contacts are okay and all you need to do is adjust the contact gap. An open circuit could indicate a number of things. Contact repair is possible but an iffy proposition at best and rewind/repairing the coil is best done by a pro and would be more expensive than replacing the horn. Which brings me to my last point. I have a TD/TF/MGA high note horn that I don't need. Contact me before you buy a replacement. I'd be willing to pull it open and have a look for you if you've got some specific questions
My restored TD is not wired for brake lights. How do I go about doing this project? The lighting is fine otherwise but I need brake or stop lights on this car.
There should be a brake light switch under the car just behind the master brake cylinder. This switches 12V to the bright filament of the dual tail light bulbs.
(The dimmer filament comes on with the headlights.) Earlier TDs did not have turn signals, but I think they all had brake lights. If you need a schematic diagram of the wiring, let me know. I could scan it and attach it in an email.
My car was restored using the harness (loom) from Moss. The stop lights have never worked. I do have a circuit tester but not a wiring diagram. Could the switch be bad? I just don't wish to bleed the system to install a new one.
All TD's had Stop lights...in fact all MG's from at least 1933 had them. Trouble shooting this circuit may be difficult without a diagram but shorting the switch that is operated by the hydraulic pressure should make the lights on both sided come on. You have to have the key on too as I recall.
Early TD's had a 9 post regulator, later ones had a 5 post regulator and a seperate fuse block. Which do you have? In any case the stop switch is fed from terminal A4, which will have green wires attached. When you turn on the key, you should have 12 volts at this point to ground. Now go to your brake light switch, check the voltage there. There should be 12 volts on the green wire side and zero on the other..
Short the switch, now there should be 12 on both. If you have a turn signal relay box, it now gets complicated as the brake light circuit runs through the relay box.
In any case after you short the switch, you should now have 12 volts on one pin of the tail light sockets. If you don't , find the grouped plug connectors somewhere there at the back of the car, pull all the connectors clean them and lubricate with WD40 or silicone spray, then plug them back in making sure they go right home.
If you have turn signals, or if the harness was the one for turn signals and your car was not so equiped, then you are loosing the circuit at that point. Only a wiring diagram is going to help you trace it if this is the problem. I can fax you a copy of a wiring diagram if you wish. In retrospect, this is your likely problem, a turn signal harness in a non turnsignal car.
After a quick 9 holes at the local links, I was on my way home when the car beside me says "Hey, nice car! Do you know you don't have brake lights?" Argggg!!! I have turn signals, running lights, and all other accessories work fine. I checked/cleaned the ground by the left rear damper. I think the brake light switch gave up the ghost. Anyone know how to test it or do you just ASSUME that's the problem at this point and get a new one? (Can I get one locally?)
Disconnect the two wires from the brake lamp switch and hold the connectors together. If the brake lamps light up, you know the switch is bad.
I think the easiest way to check the switch is to short the two terminals together (which is what the switch does when activated) and see if the brake lights come on. If it doesn't come on, the trouble must be else where. A wire with alligator clips on both ends is handy for this purpose, but you could do it with a screwdriver or pair of pliers if a second person watches the lights for you. BTW, my schematic shows that the ignition needs to be on to power the brake lights.
The test for the switch is to clip an ohmmeter across its terminals, observe the reading, then step on the brake hard and again note the reading. If the switch is OK, the reading will jump to show very low resistance. Conveniently, the switch is under the floor on the driver side. It's the little gadget with wires that's in the hydraulic line. Commonly, if the switch doesn't work, there is some crud in the hydraulic section of the switch. Have you checked that the wire from the switch to the brakelight sockets is OK? Have you tested the brake filament in both bulbs?
Now, I have a question for you. My brakelights stay ON. Thought it was a bad switch. $25 later, found that either the new switch was DOA, or the old switch was OK and there's another problem. Thought it might be the master cylinder retaining some slight pressure in the brakeline. Have bought the rebuild kit but haven't yet rebuilt, as the brakes don't seem warm to the touch and the switch takes a fair amount of pressure on the pedal to activate the lights. Ideas?
The factory called for a series 27 battery. I use a series 24, which is cheaper and works just fine. It is narrower also
The TD battery specification given, back in the 50s, was Lucas GTW9A, 51- amp at 10 hour rate. 12 volt positive earth return. Hope this helps.
According to John Twist's technical notes:
Length: 9 7/16" Type 22NF-36 (Interstate Battery)
Width: 6 13/16" Cold cranking Amps: 400
Height: 8 1/4" Reserve Capacity: 86 minutes
I know the license plate lamp wire goes into the spare tire frame and comes out right behind the hub. How is it routed from there? Does it just hang down over the gas tank and then run into the wiring harness? The DPO has obliterated the original wiring in the rear of the car and I can't find any pictures that show this detail. Thanks in advance.
That sounds right. The wire comes under the gas tank, up to the hole in the cener of the tire munting brachet, throught the tube to the opening by the license plate bracket. It's a good idea to leave a slight drip loop here to keep water from draining down into the tube. If you don't already have one, I'd suggest buying a copy of "The Complete M.G. TD Restoration Manual" by Horst Schach. I wish that it had been available when I was trying to put mine back together.
You're right. It comes straight down from the hub, then passes between the tank and the splash pan on its way to joining the rest of the harness where the harness is strapped to the rear chassis cross tube. Just checked my car to be certain.
I am a brand new owner of a 52 TD. I've figured out all of the dashboard controls except one. I believe it may be for the windshield wipers, but I'm not sure since it doesn't appear to do anything. The control in question is just to the left of the dashboard dimmer control. It seems to turn on quarter turn to the left or right. Is this the wiper control?
That control is for the fog lamps. Running from it to the front bumper is a wire that may be ready to use, although you may have to connect a hot lead to the switch. Check the wiring diagram to see where it originates-I forget. The wiper switch is within the wiper. Looking at the wiper motor, there is a large lever that overlaps a smaller one. To activate the wiper, pull the large lever about 1/4 inch straight out, turn down to put the wipers farther onto the glass, then move the small lever sideways. The small lever is the switch for the wiper motor.
Meanwhile..... another problem I noticed on my "shake-down" cruise is that the ignition light is dim but never goes out. Removing the load and jumpering the generator leads I seem to have enough voltage (>16v). However I only get about 6v out of the voltage regulator reguardless of generator RPM. I have the early 9-post regulator. I have done a visual inspection - both coils look ok, and nothing seems burned or broken. I have cleans both sets of contacts to no avail. Can anyone give me some ideas on what might be wrong or how to troubleshoot this regulator problem. If it were a 5-poster, I would simply buy a new one but the cost of a 9-poster makes me want to see if I can dig around in with my meter to see if I can fix this baby before I apply for a home equity loan. Does anyone out there repair 9-post regulator?
Have you tried following the procedures and settings that are given in Section N of the Workshop Manual? I believe that they are equally valid for 9-post or 5-post. It sounds as if you're at home with a multimeter so it shouldn't be too bad to do.
If you get into this adjusting procedure, you might find that the adjusting screws are hard to reach. I made up two angle screwdrivers to get at them. Take two 6d finishing nail, pound each end flat with a hammer. File to appropriate screwdriver blade shape. Bend one so that the blade on the short leg of the screwdriver is parallel to the length of the long blade, and the other so that the short leg is perpindicular to the long blade. With these, you won't have to disconnect the regulator from the firewall to get at the screws.
The TD ammeter is held in place by four semicircular tabs which are actually part of the case and located at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 oclock positions if I remember correctly. They are bent outward and back against the rear side of the center panel. The problem is that all too frequently, they break off when bent back and forth like bending a strip of metal. Almost needless to say, "Been there and done that". The only fix I could come up with is to take an appropriate sized radiator hose clamp to hold the meter in place. I ground grooves in the clamp in the areas of the illumination slots so that the instrument light could pass by the clamp and into the gauge. I think I ground two grooves for the light. Slide the instrument in place, orient the clamp in place and tighten it down a bit. Doesn't have to be too tight to hold. It worked for me.
There's no free lunch. As I understand it, halogen headlamps will produce more light, but that will require more current. I don't know about extra heat in the bulbs being a problem, but I'd bet the wiring produces some.
Some time ago I got an excellent link from this list regarding automotive lighting. Please point your browser at http://lighting.mbz.org/faq/. There's info about halogens lamps as well as those funky blue headlights, European spec lamps vs. DOT, how to wire headlamp relays and more stuff you didn't even think to ask.
I have been following a thread on the MG MGA BB about using Halogen lamps... I wonder if these bulbs would work in my TD with the the same lack of ill effects or would they pull more juice and put out more heat than the old TD could stand...
Be carefull while using halogeen bulbs. In the B a setup of halegeen headlights normally requires the use of relais. Otherwhise the current eats away your lightswitch. (the one near the steering wheel.) The plastic used just melts after using hte lights for a longer period. First it seems ok, then after ca half - one year, depending of use of course, it starts melting. (the newer ones melt as easy, thus only relais may work) But thats on the B. Mine suffered from this and I have heard similair stories, several times. In your TD you may not want to risk the burning of your lightswich as they are quite expensive (If remenbered correct) But as always the older switches may be more resistant to heat as not that much plastic is in the switch.
I'm rewiring a Morris Minor now and will do my TD next year. Can anyone explain the lack of fuses on circuits like lights and fuel pump?
If you ARE going to fuse your headlights, take it from me: fuse left and right seperately! I once had a broken wire on a side marker touch the fender and pop the fuse for all running lights on a Mazda pickup. At 50+ MPH on a moonless night, on an unfamiliar road through a corn field losing your headlights instantly rates very, very high on the pucker-meter.
As to why they're not generally fused, well... chosing between burned wires and a country ditch at 50 MPH I'll buy a new wiring harness every time....
There is a pretty good headlight aiming guide on this SOL site:
So, how many feet in front of the car should the dipped headlights be? ..... I did find something about the MOT in the UK and that the dipped beam should be 15 degrees. My trig is a bit rusty, but the headlights are a whopping 2 feet off the ground, so for a 15 degree angle they should land 7.5 feet in front of the car. That certainly doesn't seem right.
Sounds more like 1.5 degrees would be about right. That would come to about 75 feet out front. But that's not the way to align headlights.
Park the car on a level surface, about 25 feet away from a vertical wall, with the high beam headlights shining on the wall. The brightest spot in the middle of the illuminated area should be the same height as the center of the lamp and directly in front of the car, level and straight forward. It helps if you cover one lamp while adjusting the other. Don't worry about the angle of the low beams, that will take care of itself. This method works well for the US pattern sealed beam and halogen lamps.
If you have the European style E-pattern lamps, there is a sharp cut off line where there is bright light below and very little light above. That line on the wall should be at the same height as the center of the headlamp.
There seem to be a lot of advantages to reversing the ground on my MGA. How would one attempt this ? I guess its just not reversing the battery cables. How would you re-polarize the generator etc. ... This may or may not work on a Tseries car
1. switch the wires on your battery so that the negative goes to ground.
2. hook a jumper wire to the hot side of the fuse box and quickly touch the other end to the small terminal on the back of the generator. Do this quickly there will be a little spark. This will polarise the generator so that it is now set up for negative ground.
3. Switch the wires on the coil. The sw side or - should go to the distributor, the cb or + should go to the switch.
4. Start the car and make sure that the igition light goes out.
5. Drive away. For those with newer MG's with electronic tacks a few other changes would be necessary.
How to reverse from negative to positive? Can I still use my radio if ngative ground?
Before I switched polarity in my MGA, I used a modern (neg ground) radio by isolating the case from the metal dash with a wooden face plate and supporting the back of the radio with a plexiglass bracket. (Both home-made.) Now the neg ground radio could be used in a pos ground car.
Easier to switch polarity...
It is easy to change the battery pol. Just reverse the leads on the Amp Meter and then arc the F terminal of the generator to the A terminal of the voltage regulator. You can also reverse the two leads of the coil for proper spark pol., but it is not required for operation. I think it may increase the eff. of the spark. I have done many cars and have never reversed the coil leads.
The question posed by Mr. Gordon Royal for an explanation of the operation of the 30 m.p.h. warning lamp ('thirtilite') raises a companion list of other applications for this switch mechanism. The electric switch in the TC speedometer that turns on the 'thirtilite' is a rotary switch that closes at a particular pointer position. This switch consists of a long finger that contacts a silver plated (?) radial arm attached to the deadband (stabilizator) wheel. The silver plated arm is adjustable and rest against an insulating disc of what appears to be a paper reinforced phenolic resin. Since this arm can be rotated to any angle, the switch can be adjusted to close at any desired pointer position (m.p.h.).
If you want a 65 m.p.h. warning lamp rather than a 30 m.p.h. warning lamp, simply rotate the arm. To rest the arm hold the dead band wheel still with one finger and then rotate the arm to its new position by pushing it with a small screwdriver. In fact, there is no impediment to transferring the switch mechanism from the speedometer to the tachometer and thus employing it as an engine r.p.m. warning lamp. Set it to any r.p.m. you choose. These switches, which were included in the later speedometers, can be reset or transferred to activate lights, whistles and bells that comes on at any road speed or engine r.p.m.
Purchase a few of these wonderful old chronometric mechanisms with their warning switches and you will have enough parts to do anything you want. Interchange end plates, the dead band wheel, the transfer (recorder) wheel, the switch bits and you will have constructed the Jaeger Tachometer that before existed. Chronometric mechanisms are symphonies of mechanical parts that incorporate many wonderful mechanical subtleties. They are beautifully made, have interchangeable parts, and with proper tooling are a joy to work on.
A friend of mine has a problem with the wiper motor on his TD. He has the Motor apart and needs the armatures re-wound. Has anyone done this before , or can you tell me where he can send it to get this done. My understanding is that a new motor is $300.00 + in US funds.
Hal Kramer advertises in the Sacred Octagon magazine of the NEMGT Register that he repairs wiper motors and clocks. Contact him at SBCP70A@prodigy.com or phone 413-442-0651 in Pittsfield, MA.
Where does it get its power from? Have most of the correct wiring in the car but the das cluster is a bit off center for correctness. Where can I get a hot lead to hook up my clock? Next question. Speedo cable turns, speedo has been rebuilt but speedo no workee. Any suggestions?
I went to my wiring diagrams to look this up for you. Now I understand why you asked--it's not in any of the three diagrams I have. In my car it's a brown wire, just like all the other 47 year old wires that are now brown. The wire disappears into the gloom above the under-dash panel, headed off in the direction of the ignition switch. That would be a logical point for it, since it needs power at all times.
I went out and got a piece of 16 gauge wire, cut it to length from the fuse box on the firewall and ran it to the back of the clock and it runs.
My clock stopped working. It was restored and transistorized by Hal Kramer. Is Hal on the web?
What do I look for when trying to troubleshoot this problem. It has worked for 3 years. I just installed a new Lucas battery 3 weeks ago and it has more "juice" than my Interstate. Could that have precipitated the problem? Any ideas anyone? The connections are good.
Hal Kramer can be reached at SBCP70A@prodigy.com or 413-442-0651. BTW, you didnt switch from a + ground to a - by any chance did you? Switching polarities does a number on anything transistorized!
Steve isn't putting you on--TDs really did have clocks, little buggers about 1" on the face, at the inside of the tach case. They are mechanical, windup clocks, only they self wind. There's a little rachet gizmo that moves as the spring winds down and then contacts another contact. When that happens, the points zap and the ratchet gizmo flings back, winding the clock for another few minutes. You hear it ticking away and then a soft brzpp sound as it rewinds. The clocks ran well. The one in this car ran for ten years or so. When I heard about Hal Kramer working on them, I sent mine to him. A couple of days later it was back, clean and eager to be installed. In place it runs "like a Swiss watch" and keeps perfect time. TD oil pressure gauges and ammeters may or may not be accurate, but the speedos and tachs are, shall we say, optimistic. The clock is spot on. It's nice to have a mechanical instrument that's very much a part of the era of the car. If you happen to see any old British movies of the period, see if the guys have wrist-watches. I'm going to bet that they do not. By the time the Bs came along, wrist watches were ubiquitous and the car clock was less necessary.
I have told this clock story before, but some new list members might enjoy it. This really happened. I got my TF in 1986. The clock did not work. I drove it to California and back on the Ocean to Ocean trip of the NEMGTRegister, clock did not work. I drove it all around New England on the NEMGTR Lap of N.E. Clock did not work.I drove thousands of miles to GOF's etc between 1986 and 1990. Clock did not work.
In 1990, the car was shipped to Britain with 89 others for the NEMGTR Circuit of Britain. First day out on the way to Chester ,I thought my wife had fiddled with the clock as the hands were no longer in the usual 8:20 position. She told me I was crazy, why would she touch the clock setting. The clock, it seemed had fixed itself. I set it and it ran perfect for the three weeks of the trip. When I picked up the car in the U.S. after shipping it home, the clock had stopped and hasn't run since. Seems they only run in the motherland.
Who can rebuild my speedo and tach? Any suggestions? I am sending the clock off to Hal Kramer to be redone and updated internally with new guts of some sort that will help it never to die again. I am tired of guessing how fast I am going and if I am over revving the engine.
Nisonger of NY or MO-MA out west. Both advertisers in TSO. Of course Vintage Restorations of England for a concours job and a long wait.
Mo-Ma for my money. AND they now have a GREAT clock fix!!
IMHO the finest work is done by
Vintage Restorations The Old Bakery, Windmill Street Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4UU England
I have had the TD's speedometer done and the rest are now in process. The rework of the dial face and bezel was outstanding.
Where is the proper place to affix the #plate to a TD generator? Did the plate come from the factory on the generator?
I never saw a number plate on a TD generator. They always had the numbers stamped into the frame of the unit as far as I know. Maybe some suitable substitutes had plates but I dont know about those.
I have a question for the experts on the list. I'm presently performing a frame-off of a 52 TD. When pulling the body off of the frame, do you have to suport the door frame like on a MGA to keep the body from bending in the middle? Should I remove the front scuttle(sp?), you know the part the windscreen attaches to? Are they hard to realign when you reassemble? My body looks clean, although it is in need of a touch up, The frame is rusted and that's what I want to tackle first. Any advice is appreciated very much.
I reject the claim to being an expert, however I did go through this myself a couple of years ago. The tub off the frame in one piece, scuttle attached, with no need to support the bottom of the door frames. I built a fairly simple dolly from two by fours and casters to hold the tub while I worked on it. Alignment is not particluarly difficult except (a big exception) getting the doors to line up.
A short piece of scrap screwed into the latch pillar just under the dash and running to the elbow over the rear inner fender will prevent any flexing of the body in the door area. I used sheet rock screws and had good results. This will allow the doors to be opened and closed. I also used some 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" X 1/8"angle (Home Depot) on 2 X 3's 36" long utilizing "C" clamps to simulate the frame support. If you prefer you could drill holes into the angle iron and bolt it in place while you worked on it.
The screws for the floorboard of a TD or TF are 1/4 BSFX5/8 long or 1/4BSFX about 1 1/8 long.There are NO wood screws exept on the outher side.
Are there t-nut holding the running board to the wooden frame on a TD?? I've removed the bolts from the front/back fender going into the running board, also remove the nut on the 3 bolts going into the wood frame.. Cant seem to get the bolts out. Do I tap it out with a hammer or is there a t-nut on the wooden frame??
No T-nuts. As I recall, there are nuts on the ends of the bolts where they protrude throught the frame. After they're removed, the bolts are still stubborn. Grab the head with a pair of vice grips and pull while twisting. They'll come out.
I have to replace one of the hinges on my driver's side door, but need to know what's behind them, or rather, what's holding the bolts that go into the body tub. Wood? A metal plate?
Check the Moss catalogue, TD Body Panels page, #51, 450-770 for an idea of the bracket's appearance.
The bolts go through the wood, then there is a flat washer and a lock washer and a nut. You have to remove the trim panels to access the nuts. On one of the rear hinge halves there is a third screw-head and that one is a wood screw that just goes into the wood.
You'll find the body sheet metal worked into the mortised hinge recess in the wood door frame. On the other side of the frame post there is just a washer and nut. I bought some 18 gauge steel, one and a quarter inch wide strips from the local hardware store, and cut them to about 18 inches long. I drilled appropriate holes to match the hinges, and used new 1/4 by 2 1/2 in. flat screws. I installed them along the back side of the wood member to reinforce the opening, making a sandwich of the post, with the hinge on one side, the steel on the other. I put a similar second piece inside the door, against the rear post. I had to notch the steel a little bit to accommodate the metal tub reinforcement pieces. I welded the nuts to the new steel plate, which probably just made alignment more difficult than it needed to be. The end result is a good solid door attachment.
Is there a way to tighten the hinge short of pressing in bushings in the existing hinge. My hinges were painted while on the car during the rebuild and I prefer not to ruin the paint job. The one upper hinge is sloppy. I don't want to dismantle it to repair it. I have a new hinge from Abingdon spares but it is a somewhat thicker piece of brass and the hinge itself is not an exact match of the other 3 hinges.
I can't get the old pin out of the old hinge. I thought a new pin might help, but I can't drive out the old one. Any suggestions?
Any "easy" way to fit doors properly after a rebuild. Mine didn't engage in the lock-cylinder. They would catch only on the lock's outer lip. Hence when going over rough roads the doors would open. I took off the stop plates and cut out more wood on the door pillar and re-set the doors. I don't get that double clisk when the door closes. I have to push on the door while pulling back on the door handle. This is difficult when I am already inside the car. Is this just another tedious trial and error process with the TD or is there a way to adjst the doors now that I have them installed somewhat properly?
The usual reason the doors don't close is that they have warped. There is a brace inside the door that runs diagonally across the structure. It is accessible by removing the inside trim panel. This usually needs to be shortened or bent or ??? to get the door into a semblance of the correct shape to meet with the body. Note that getting the door and body aligned can be impossible if the body wood has collapsed too much.
The story goes that on the assembly line T type doors were kept in three sizes, small, medium, and large. We don't have that luxury. Actually the solution is not easy.
Since the body flexes ( don't seal up the seam on the rocker under the door as some body shops do) the best answer is to place shims when mounting the body to the frame, and check door alignment. Second the door may be warped and requires an adjustable brace inside the door behind the interior pannel ( see A. Bonds reply) Between these two adjustments everything should fit.
The easy and incorrect way ,if the fit is close ,is to shim the door lock so it reaches the second click. Abingdon Spares sells them in the shape of the door lock at a cheap price.
If the door doesn't go to the second click, it is dangerous. A car with a door not going to the second click is failed automaticaly on the Safety Fast Inspection conducted by the NEMGT Register.
Last and cheapeast fix used by hundreds of T owners is a bungee cord from the door lock to the support under the dash.
The work of re-fitting doors to a T-Series car is onerous. Many factors contribute to making this a difficult and frustrating job. If the wood of the tonneau has deteriorated to the point that either the hinges are loose, or the striker plate is loose, corrective treatment will have to be applied at these points to ensure both these objects are able to be properly secured. If the hinge pins have worn allowing the doors to flop up and down they will have to be line bored and new oversize pins fitted to eliminate the play. Only after these points have been taken care of, can a restorer attempt to get the doors to fit properly. If the tonneau has been removed for a complete restoration, it is extremely unlikely that it will go back in exactly the same place as before, resulting in changes to the size of the opening into which the door must fit. It is possible to alter the size of the opening by either packing up the tub's metal side rails where they are bolted to the chassis, and even by altering the length of the diagonal threaded brace which attaches to the triangular shaped firewall mounts and the front of the chassis, thereby either stretching or contracting the door openings. Another possibility is changing the shape of the door hinges by either increasing or flattening out the radius of the curved portions, or by judicial use of packing shims underneath them. Occassionally all of these options I have outlined may have to be employed to a greater or lesser extent to enable a satisfactory fit to be obtained. It follows that the relative position of the lock/striker plate will have to be adjusted via shims to ensure proper closing. Finally, it is quite possible that the door itself may have to be 'flexed' or twisted for correct alignment with the door opening to give an aesthetically pleasing appearance. This can be done in situ by grasping the item firmly, placing one's feet in the appropriate position and applying a rotational force, accompanied by loud grunts, which always has an impressive effect on any bystanders, usually resulting in an appreciative round of applause and complimentary remarks, such as 'Oh, isn't he strong', or, in my case,'I just LOVE his accent'.
Making TD (or TC & TF) doors close properly is quite straightforward. You just have to realize that the hinges must have no free play, the doors must fit their openings really well, and the latches & strikers must be (a) in good condition and (b) mounted so that the "bolt" of the latch goes into the hole of the striker, not just under the notch at the end of the striker. That notch is supposed to be the "safety" catch.
I am slowly piecing together the body of my '50 TD. It had only about 10% original wood - I refer to it as a "flat Pack" when I acquired it. The timber kit I bought has worked well to date. The back quarter pannels and rear guards appear to be great. Next step was the doors. New timber inserted per various book's instructions. Hinges re built with new SS pins etc.
But when I mounted the driver's door, the problems began.
Firstly, the rear side (hinge side) fits well. The top near the cowling fits well, but the rest/bows sticks out to the extent of about 1,1/4 inches maximum as you move from the top right to the bottom left. I can force the door into shape by brute force but this doesn't seem the right thing to do. Building up the side wood work doen't seem appropriate either.
All wood work appears to match patterns I also acquired from another source so I am reasonably confident in the kit.
How much influence do the internal wood joints alignmnet have on this lateral shape of the door?
Unfortunately the standard texts I have on TD T series restoration all say this is the hardest part, but have little other helpfull comments.
Door alignment is almost never easy. I suggest you take the hinges off the door post and then see if you can make the door fit without forcing it into place. If you can, then you will probably need to plug the old holes in the piller and redrill them. Since you have never seen if the door was fitting correctly when you got the pieces, perhaps the door is bent slightly. I've made several sets of wood from copying as accurately as I could the old wood, the door never seemed to fit easily. I finally started fitting doors before making and putting on the door surround skins. This worked much better and was successful first try.
Some of the old timers also used wire with turn buckles the re-alinge the door. There was an article several years ago in the TSO's (NEMGTR) on how to do this. Do you also have the about 3/4" flat strap brace that is under the door panel and runs diagonally.
A common problem, difficult to conquer compeltely. The door should have a bend to it, with the lower front corner as much as an inch and a half closer to the car than the upper rear. Take off the diagonal metal strap and screw a quarter inch eye bolt into the top rail at the back and a second one into the bottom rail at the front. Then twist some heavy wire into the eyebolts and install a turnbuckle in the middle. Tightening the turnbuckle will pull the lower front in. The top front may bulge out a little, but this can be corrected by shimming the door latch, if you don't overdo the turnbuckle correction. After you are satisfied, re install the metal strap, drilling new holes in the strap so the wood screws have a new place to hold. I've heard of legendary restorers who can accomplish this by bending the metal strap, but this way seems better for us less experienced. Then check the vertical alignment of the top front of the door with the body. Sometimes the hinges need to be bent a little, which I'm told can be accomplished by placing a rag between the hinge leaves and gently forcing the door closed. Doing so to the lower hinge will raise the front of the door . . . the upper will lower it.
The door hinges on my TD are worn. Can they be bored out and used with oversized pins? Is there an outfit that does this kind of work that I can send them to? New ones are a bit salty.
I just went through that last year on my TD. Make sure they're all bad - I got away with just replacing the top one on the driver's side and that made a world of difference. I'd try to find someone local to do the boring out, shouldn't be too difficult for a competant machinist. Try an automotive machine shop first and if they can't do it they will know where to send you. Compare what they want to the price of new ones,maybe they won't be so pricey after all. The tough part is adjusting the door after get the hinges right. I added a turnbuckle and cable set-up where that flat strap of metal goes diagonally across the door which allows more adjustment- works kind of like what I've seen on old wood storm doors for a house. This was in some recommendation in TSO many years ago. Good luck.
I can't seem to get the right hand door to fit properly after removing it to paint and installing new hinges. It appears to be hanging too high as there is interference along the top curve. I tried shimming the top hinge, but that pitched the door too far forward and it started hitting more towards the front. Anybody have any tips on making the door fit? (Honest, it fit before I took it off.)
Uh-oh! Bob, did you say NEW hinges? You may have to try swapping the upper and lower hinges for effect. It is not unheard of to mill, file, sand off a bit of stock. Door-fitting is guaranteed to try one's patience. Compare the fit with the original hinges vs. the new ones in order to get an idea of where the difference is. That's assuming your PO didn't toss them out, too. A wee drop of spirits sometimes helps. Good luck
I compared the old hinges to the new ones and discovered that the closed position gap on the old hinge is 3/32 inch and 6/32 inch on the new hinge. I thing this is the main problem as I had already estimated that the door needed to be shifted back about an eighth of an inch.
I've found that brass doesn't take kindly to bending, so I'll try grinding and filing to get that 3/32 inch back. Wish I had access to a milling machine (and knew how to use one).
If any of the part suppliers are reading this, please check your specs on this part.
Sorry about that. You might be able to replace the original hinge pins if you have access to a decent (and willing) machinist. After you fit the doors - be sure to check the fit of the side curtains to assure that their frames are not contacting the cowl.
I bought the hinges from Moss. Turns out the right hand side needed 1/8 inch removed to make the door fit. I did this with a hand held electric grinder. The left hand side was just right the way it was. Before any more grinding, I measured the door opening and discovered it is exactly 1/8 inch wider than the right. So I guess each door is somewhat of a custom job. It would be nice if the replacement hinges were made on the skinny side and supplied with shims.
The shims are not at all uncommon. It is a truism that the doors
are individually made and fitted.
Another quick way to keep both sides of the bonnet up is to go the the hardware store and buy a length of 1/2" copper pipe. Buy 4 rubber caps that look like crutch tips that fit over the ends. At home measure and cut the pipe so that one end sits in the round spring of the rear latch (inside the hood which is now up in the air) and the other end rest on the rear bottom latch plate (where the handle locks the hood down) Measure the pipe so the hood is just shy of verticle in the center. Cut a groove in the end of one rubber tip so that it will fit over the lower hood locking plate- the other end should fit nicely inside the spring for the hood lever. Do the same for the other side and you will end up with a "flying nun" T. The rubber ends don't seem to be bothered by engine vibration, but if wind is a problem I would probably attach a bungee cord form top to bottom for more security.
The wood holder on top of the battery box is a little more elegant but the pipes were quicker for me to fabricate and also give access to battery and tool box.
Over the past several years there has been many articles on this issue - it is a pain to constantly lift the left, then the right, etc. What I do is make up a little angle bracket about 1 x 2 which fits under the fifth bulkhead-to-body mounting bolt. Then I use a 1/4 in rod of suitable length threaded at the lower end to take a stop nut. At the top of the rod I mount a rubber ball about 3/4 in D. The lower end fits in a hole in the bracket and the ball end fits into the spring loop of the hood latch mechanism. This will produce the "gull wing" look at shows and is very handy for getting at the full engine compartment as needed. Hope this is useful.
There are little props one can buy that will hold both sides of the bonnet up at the same time in sort of a gull wing configuration. I made my own out of thin wall 1/2 inch conduit. I believe my design is superior because there's no chance my props can be accidently knocked out.
The purchased props are short, about 18" and sit between the top of the battery and the rear bonnet latch hook. My design is much longer and extends from the bonnet latch hook to the rear hood latch bracket. I flattened one end of the conduit then bent it into a "Z" shape and then coated it with liquid rubber. To use I open one side of the bonnet, hook the "Z" end into the bracket then put the latch hook into the other end of the conduit. Repeat on the other side et voila, the MG Gull Wing. A piece of foam or a rag between the two bonnet halves will prevent any paint damage if the bonnet gets bumped. These two props fit nicely behind the seat back and don't interfere with either the toneau, hood or sidecurtain storage.
For the TD should the color of the radiator grill be the same as the interior of the car or should the grill be the same color as the car ?
General rule is that the radiator grill slats should be that same as the interior color. The exception is that when the exterior and interior are the same color (red/red, green/green) the body color is used, as rarely will the body and trim shades of color be exactly the same. This prevents having two shades of the same color body paint and also is easier and less expensive.
I have not seen paint codes for different interior colors. Perhaps some one has them as there is only tan, biscuit, red(regency) and green(apple), unless I've forgotten one. A paint shop should be able to match a swatch or upholstery piece.
Chip Olds' research revealed that the cars left the factory with silver wheels and and the grille was usually painted to match the upholstery, though sometimes to match the body color. Which grilles were upholstery color and which were body color is uncertain. See his Points of Originality in The T Series Handbook.
On TCs and TDs, the grille color should match the interior color (to be original). But you asked for advice, not facts, so......paint it whatever color you think looks best. It's your car and you'll have to live with it!
The grill slats should be the same color as the interior of the car.
What was the original color of the distributor body on an early MG TD engine (XPAG 1747)? Surely they weren't painted MG red (maroon) along with the engine. My guess is they were painted black as they came from the Lucas factory. Any thoughts?
After twenty three years of doing this for a living, the only color I've ever seen was the natural alloy. Admittedly, some distributors had red oversparay on them but I've always attributed that to careless engine re-sprays. I've never seen any trace of black paint.
I bought my 1950 TD in 1959 and it had been stored 6 of those 9 years, and the body was "natural" (unpainted). They did and do get dirty but they were never even "shiney" a very dull grey unpolished body.
According to David Lawrence in his book "Let There be Y's":
"Distributors were left in there natural metal finish. The caps were black 'Bakelite'. . . ."
As most all components of the TD and YB engines were the same I assume this would be true of the TD distributors.
Now all you must do is determine what "natural metal finish" is.
I have never either seen one or seen a photo of an xpag distributor that was painted. They all were unpainted as far as I know.
How is the fuel cap removed from the fuel tank. I am replacing my tank and want to use the old cap but can't figure how to remove it. I'm sure someone out there will know how.
The cap is held on by either a cotter pin or small bolt. The trigger is also hold in the same manner. I use a small nut and bolt with locktite.
I took the radiator shell off the old TD with re-chroming in mind. Took off the louvers, tried a magnet - nope not steel, did a little scraping on the inside - yellow color. Good I thought, no problem chroming brass. I started to wonder how the threaded studs were attached to the shell, the ones that hold the louvers on. I thought that they must be braised on. I did a little more scraping. Horrors, they're soldered on. How will this affect the chroming process? Will the studs have to be removed and soldered back on later? Somebody on the list must have gone though this.
Just went through this with my TC shell---not a problem at all. I didn't have to remove the studs. I noticed the plating shop covered each stud with a but of plastic tubing so they weren't actually plated. hope this helps
The false nose piece on my TD radiator shell has a torn dented spot. I bought the reproduction part, but it is a poor fit. Is there a way to repair the original? The nose is made of brass, BTW. I'm thinking that some hammering and soldering/leading could make the old nose whole again, but I don't know if the solder/lead can be chromed. Thank god for the reproduction parts (especially when the original's missing), but they're not always perfect.
It is quite normal for solder OR brazing to be used to fill dents before re-chroming. With steem parts like bumpers it is the only way to fill ground out rust holes.
How ever, have you tried the services of a 'Tin Smith'? A 'tin-basher' should have no problem removing such a dent.
I ran into a similar problem with the reproduction false nose not fitting. I'm not sure why some of these suppliers even bother selling junk like that. As far as repairing your original, it is probably best left up to your rechromer to do so that all of the materials and the quality of the repair are compatible with the rechroming process. You may even want to make your radiator shell/car available to them so that the fit is good.
To be 'correct', what color should the bolts/nuts be that protrude inside the TD that hold the gas tank straps to the top of the body tub.
There are four of them with washers. My interior is biscuit. Should they be painted the same 'tan' as the top bow or left unpainted?
I can't seem to find any references in any of my literature.
I painted mine black-including washers. I know that I read that this was correct somewhere but can't remember where. What color should the bolts and nuts be that attach the wings?
The wing bolts should be body color as per the T-Series restoration guide. I still have no definitive answer as to the tank strap bolts/washers on the inside of the TD. So far I see Black and interior color but no references.
All TCs, TDs and TFs had these parts painted to match the seats and panels. They were hand-painted after the interiors went in. I guess that was one of the jobs for the Abingdon apprentices!
The color of the TC firewall and engine was a big stumbling block in my house when we were restoring our 1946 TC. We'd read about "grey", "greyish green", and other vague descriptions of color. Finally, when I removed the small square retainer, bolted to the firewall, the piece that's used for holding the slow running cable, starter pull cable, and choke cable, I spotted some of the original color on its back. My wife, who is an artist, said she wasn't surprised by the confusion, when the color had been referred to as a greyish green. It is actually a GREENISH GREY. I guess that makes quite a difference to color fanatics. You'd be surprised how great the color looks next to the copper, the brass, and the black of our bonnet on the finished car. It is not at all hideous to us.
Our son did the complete ground up restoration of the car. We're very proud of his accomplishment. This past summer, the car won quite a few trophies, including two second places, two first places in class, and a Best of Show. It wasn't docked anything for color and seemed to be admired a lot.
It may well be true that the colors originally used changed slightly from day to day as surplus paint was added to the pot. The color actually does look like a combination of battleship grey and a military "green". However, I can testify that the following is the true color for one MGTC, #0529, made very early in 1946.
Early TC's - '45, '46, and I think most of '47 had a ghastly green firewall. At least people in North America think so. When I repainted my '46 I found evidence of this green paint under the firewall bolts so I assume this is true. The Australians and New Zealanders seem to paint the firewall a very light grey color which is much more attractive. They also paint the engine a different color - a lightish green. Over here the engines seem to get painted the same as the firewall; at least on early cars. I have no idea why cars in Oz or NZ would be different from what we see over here.
Later cars had the firewall painted the same as the body and the engine was a fairly dark red. I elected to reproduce the green color since that is what is expected here in the U.S. and I would probably get tired of hearing that I had the wrong color at every GOF.
After an afternoon of attempting to remove the sending unit from my 1953 TD gas tank I have concluded that the tank has to be removed from the car. Am I correct in this assumption? Even my stubbiest screwdriver could not undo the top screws that hold the sending unit in place. The shop manuals I have are silent on this issue.
I have never come across a TD gas tank that had to be removed to take out the sender. A stubby screwdriver has always done the trick, albight there could be a first time. It is not simple, but unless the screws are rusted in place, it should remove with not too much trouble.
You might try an angle screwdriver. If that doesn't work, you'll probably have to 'almost' remove the tank. Unbolt the spare tire carrier at the top and bottom. Remove it. At that point you should be able to just tilt the tank back enough to get a decent sized screwdriver on the unit. I just did this a couple of weeks ago, although my tire carrier has been removed for racing so I only needed to undo the retaining straps at the top and tilt the tank.
I had to use an offset screwdriver to get those top ones to break free. It can be done.
I just received a set of gas tank end panels from Moss. I know the middle should be painted, and I assume the outer rim must be masked off with tape. Is this correct? If so, at what stage is the tape removed? While the paint it is still wet? Dry? Partialy dry? Any tips will be greatly appreciated.
Never worked on a TD in my life but I have been around paint. If you are going to remove tape, do it somewhere between wet and dry, erring on the wet side. Start w/ an area that will not show. Pull the tape off at a 45 degree angle over the stripe (or other color) and watch for "strings". If it pulls off cleanly, proceed. Don't yank as it will booger up the paint if some sticks. Do it very slowly and watch as you do it. Maddingly slow, but functional. Speed it up and I promise you will be sorry.
Yes, taping off the chrome bead is the way to go. Remove tape when the paint has set up, you don't have to remove immediately. 3M has a new, blue-colored masking tape that's and improvement over the old, beige, tape. Costs more but usually worth the difference in price.
What color should the piping between the fenders/running board and body be on my TD? I've painted the car ivory and chose red for the interior.
Buy the NEMGTR book on the T series, these questions are answered in the book. From memory, the fender piping was painted the car color, and I mean painted, not matched. I prefer black, for all colors, but that is not original, and I don't care for cars that match the interior color as some have done.
The piping should be the same color as the body. Ideally, it should be painted with the same paint that is on the body (but use a flex-additive).
If you want to go "by the book", the piping is to be painted the same color as the body. You see an awful lot of TDs at the shows with contrasting, black piping however, and it looks pretty good, IMHO.
I'm in the process of replacing the piping between the fenders and the body. Should I use some type of sealant or just bolt up snuggly.
Just bold up snugly, the piping is the sealant.
Does anyone know what the original wooden dashes were finished with? I suspect my dash has been replaced and is now in fairly sad condition. I plan to have several gauges serviced this winter and to refinish the dash while I'm at it. I'd like to recover the dash with the appropriate veneer if I can find out what it was.
Just off the top of my head, the early ones were veneered and the later ones were covered in Rexine to match the upholstery. My Jan 49 TC has a Rexine covered dash.
Also, my dashboard has veneer. Was this original on the TD?
TDs did not have a wood fascia. All TD's had cloth on the dash, and were not veneer. This was a popular after market upgrade, but not from the factory. Looks nice very often. The fascia panel (dashboard) should be covered with the same material (vinyl) as the other non-leather sections of the car's upholstery. Ideally, the vinyl should be dyed at the same time as the leather. The veneer dashes are after-market items.
Can't get the instrument panel out of the dash. Only got the choke, starter and oil water temp gauge and the six slotless screws that hold it in. Any advice?
It's easiest to remove the entire wooden dashboard, then to take out the instrument panel. Remove the screws in the underdash panel (if your car has it) Disconnect tach and speedo cables and break the oilpressure gauge connection, , remove the screws in the glovebox door hinges, then remove the eight phillips screws. The wood panel will then pull out into your lap. At that time you will have to figure out a way to support the thing while you remove wires. Sounds complicated; it's not.
Is the TD steering wheel medalion and cluster panel to be the same bronze color? Can anyone give a definitive answer? I want my car to be "correct".Also, I understand that the Tecalemit oil filter was a bronze-ish brown color. Can anyone help on this color too?
Yes, the instrument panel and the steering wheel centerpiece were originally the same bronze color. Moss Motors sells the paint in a spray can under the number 220-530.
The filter canister was a slightly darker bronze. Moss doesn't carry that one; you'll have to try a paint store and look for a slightly darker color than the dash bronze turns out.
I am installing the rubber (Moss Part 280-250) which is for the Cowl to Hood. But when I took the rubber off to do the restoration, I forgot if the rubber bead goes over the dash and then nail the flat spot to the Top Rail and Front side Rails. Or if the rubber bead is placed on the Rails and butted up to the dash top.
The rounded section of the rubber overlaps the scuttle (cowl) with the flat section fastened to the support timbers. In other words when the bonnet is in place, the flat sction is covered by the rear edge of the bonnet, and the rounded section overlaps the body. The rear edge (rounded section) is the only part that shows - and it DOES show.
I had a feeling that the rounded bead went over the cowl. But wasn't 100% sure. I just hated the thought of putting in all those nails, and then finding out that I did it backwards. Not as easy pulling out all those nails as it is to just unbolt the part and try another direction.
Everything is out painted and ready to go back in, new problem. The existing holes where the old dash was are of course are where the new one is to go, this is the first time anything I have bought fits right. The problem is the holes in the wooden backboard are way to big for the wood screws that came with the dash. Will wood filler be strong enough to support the dash? Or will it break down? Should I use wood filler, bolts and maybe wood glue? I am not much of a wood worker, so any of you craftsman out there let me know what I can do. Never again will I replace a dash in a TD! At least not in the summer.=20 I have missed out on quite a few days of great driving
fill the existing holes with short pieces of wooden dowel available from your local lumber store. Before you go there, measure the size of the old holes and buy a dowel as close in diameter on the large side as you can find. cut the dowel to a length that will fill the depth of the hole you want to fill, sand the leading tip to a sort of a point, coat the outside of the dowel with carpenters glue and drive the dowel into the hole until flush with the wood surface. Allow the glue to dry, then you can drill the appropriate size pilot hole for the screws you are going to use right into the new solid surface (probably the center of the dowel itself). that should give you a onetime permanent fix. You will probably get other advice about the latest chemical concoctions on the market, but I've tried all the latest goo and fillers that they have on the market and they all fail eventually (specially if you have to undo the screws for any reason later. Once you do that you have to start all over again with more filler. The above repair will be as strong or stronger than the original wood i
I have just gone through the same excercise on a TC. I drilled out the holes to one half inch and filled and glued in birch doweling, sanded smooth. Solves the worn hole problem nicely. I wouldn't rely on wood filler.
If the holes are really oversize, I'd drill the hole bigger and glue in a plug cut from a piece of dowel rod. Then redrill for the correct size screw. If the hole was just loose, I'd cheat and insert a few slivers of wood maybe with a little wood glue and reinstall the screws. I wouldn't use wood filler, but it might work. I'd prefer wood there, if possible.
Did all TDs have a foot rest on the passenger side? Mine doesn't have one and I don't know if it came like that or if the DPO threw it out. I wouldn't even know about it, if I hadn't seen the part in the catalog. Thanks in advance.
As far as I know, all the TDs had the passenger foot rest. The parts manual verifies this. Some owners took them out to provide a little more leg room albeit somewhat warmer from the engine heat.
Yes, they did. I removed mine to lift the trans tunnel to replace the rear engine mounts to stop the shudder, etc. and was amazed at the amount of footroom that could be gained for exceptionally long-legged passengers. Chances are that you will find the screw holes for the footrest in the plywood floorboard.
Does the passenger side footrest bolt up against the firewall without any spacers (like a block of wood)? The footrest was missing on my TD, so I bought one from Moss. The firewall has the holes for the footrest, but there are no holes in the floorboard. I wonder how that happened. Are wood screws are used to attach the footrest to the floorboard?
When I rebuilt my TD, it had no spacers between the firewall and the footrest. Only a couple of bolts, lockwashers, flatwashers and nuts. The lower end was fastened with wood screws, either two or three. They went through the main rug to hold it in place and the flap on the footrest covering is glued in place to hide the wood screw heads.
It bolts directly to the firewall. It is held in place with nuts and bolts.
How appropriate that you should ask! I spent two miserable hours yesterday trying to get the frigging footrest out of my car, unsucessfully. There are at least two bolts that hold it to the firewall. They are either 5/16, 1/4, 3/16 or maybe metric or possible some custom japanese size or US. All I learned is that it is possible to recall all the neat words learned in the Navy years ago and that none of the wrenches in my box will stay on the little buggers to turn them out. They are up in the dark triangle, concealed behind the carpet, seemingly slightly recessed below the top edge of the box. They are bright, shiny and gleaming in their perversity, visible, touchable, but not turnable. At the lip that rests on the plywood, there should be three holes for screws to fasten to the floorboards. 5/8x8 roundhead screws are/were in there. When I get the thing out, later today, I'll let you know what the bolts are, if there is a spacer, etc. Would you like a paper pattern of the holes? I could make one, then fax or mail it to you.
Here's the scoop on the footrest fastenings. The upper, forward end has two slots for bolts. The slots' outer ends are 7/8" inch from the edge of the folded-up extension that fits against the firewall. The slots themselves are 1/4" high and 3/8 inch wide---that is, the things could be drilled with a 1/4 inch bit, then enlarged to be the 3/8" wide. The bolts for these slots are 3/16 WW. The outboard bolt passes through the footrest and the firewall, and its nut is in a hole that is straddled by the bracket for the downward-sloping firewall brace. It's also a 3/16 WW nut, that it not immediately visible at first glance. The inboard bolt is same size, and its nut is just inboard of that same bracket, as the bolts are roughly 2 1/2 inches on center. Ed observed that one needs about 3 ft of extensions. That's right, if you want to have full swing on the ratchet wrench, in the clear behind the dashboard. If you use only 2 ft of extensions, you may be able to reach the nuts on the engine side with your prehensile right arm and hold a wrench on them. There is a good cubic foot or more of empty space under there, BTW. Perhaps someone can come up with an idea for a hinge and latch arrangment that would allow this footrest to flip up and make this useable storage space. Would certainly hold a plastic peanut-butter jar of distributor cap, rotor, condenser, etc and a fuel pump (all the parts we carry for our MGA and MGB friends, not for ourselves, of course).
I got in my hand the New England T series handbook -91, where they show a trunk rack for TDs low fitting behind the spare wheel. where can I get my hands on one. Must be much better than the Brittish, which is placed above the sparew. I need it for a planned tour through Europe this summer.
They're called Amco-Style Racks. Try Moss' MGT catalog (MGT-23) page #A11, part #243-700 f/TD 243-800 f/TF. Priced at $429.95 but I think that= they may be on sale. Best bet is to buy it from one of the folks here on the list that sells at discount from Moss, e.g., Skip Kelsey, Just-Brits, to name a few.
I'm in the process of disassembling my car for restoration and have a problem I'm trying to solve. The water outlet on the head to the radiator does not line up with the top inlet on the radiator. The inlet on the radiator comes out of the top center, the outlet on the head is to the right. This creates a definite offset in the top hose. I believe the engine is leaning to the right (if I mount the original style air cleaner to the carbs I have an interference between it and the engine enclosure). I have tried to adjust the stabilizer link to straighten the engine but there is not enough adjustment.
1. Should the radiator top inlet be in the center line of the radiator?
2. Should the outlet on the head and the inlet on the radiator line up?
3. Where are some areas I can look at to see where my problem is?
4. How do you tell if the engine is sitting correctly (I don't know if it is leaning to the right or the front is offset to the right)?
The stabilizer link is not supposed to be used to bias the engine position. It's supposed to be adjusted to meet the engines natural resting position. My hose lined up within a small fraction of an inch, and was no problem. Maybe your rubber motor mounts are shot, thats the only thing I can think of. Since I put in new motor mounts and new rubbers on the stabilizer link, the engine has a nice firm feel when I shake it. Before, it was loose as a goose.
The motor mounts are the first line of suspicion primarily the front one. The rad and engine should line up pretty well without being forced by the stabilizer. If a new front motor mount doesn't correct the problem, then the front engine bearer plate or cradle may be bent and/or cracked. Look at the area where the plate bends 90 degrees to transition from the vertical to the horizontal part over the motor mount on both sides. This is the area where they normally crack and have to be welded. Or some ham fisted prior owner could have damaged the plate by who knows what method, like dropping the engine.
Quest. 1. Yes, and the thermostat casting is a straight pipe.You said that yours was off to the right. That's not the standard unit. If it is not rising straight from the head, it could be a replacement that worked but didn't fit. There have been some strange connections seen to this part with some efforts to install a heater in the car.
Quest 3. Where are some areas I can look at to see where my problem is? The engine mounts are on the centerline of the chassis, so if they are in good shape the engine should be in the center too. You might check for oval bolt holes in the front mount, and look to see that it is symmetrical. The aircleaner manifold should clear the side of the bonnet easily, unless you have the MkII manifold and do not have the additional bump on the side of the bonnet. Are these the standard carbs? Are you sure that the radiator is standing up straight? Perhaps getting the car onto a level floor and putting levels on car and radiator would reveal something.
I just had my radiator shell re-chromed. I had to buy a new False Nose (as MOSS calls it) because the old one was beyond repair. My question is about the metal strap soldered on the bottom of the nose at the rear. I'm not sure what to do with this strap. The old nose shows the imprint of a strap, but it is long gone. Is the strap supposed to be soldered to the shell, or just bent under? Will chrome even take solder?
No idea really why it's there, but it should just be bent under the shell. Don't attempt to solder or otherwise fix it permanently.
My understanding is that the strap, which has a hole in the end, is secured
by the nut on the MG badge.
Heres one for you T seried mavens - a friend of mine jst acquired a TD (not sure of the year) - it has been - shall we say - somewhat modified and has all MGB running gear but the body is a "real" TD - the strange thing that struck me is that it has a hard top - Im no T expert but i dont remember ever seeing one before - were they common? or just some sort of aftermarket thing - apparently it fits very well so couldnt really have come from any other model
The fiberglass hardtops for a TD were an accessory sold mostly in the California area I believe back in the fifties. They weren't a factory type but several manufacturers did sell them. I don't know if you could say that they are "Rare" but they aren't all that common either.
Anyone out there know what it takes to put a 3 bow top and frame and side curtains on a car that originally had a 2 bow top? Is it a bolt-in or are there modifications to the car necessary?
Any estimates on the current value of used TD front fenders in good condition?
I've got an opportunity to purchase a new 3 bow top and some other parts, including fenders, at what looks to be a favorable price and would like to know if it is worthwhile.
The two and three bow top frames each require the appropriate type of top or covering. In other words, the tops are tailored for the frames. The car will take either top and frame but the side curtains are also different and have different frames as well. As for the fenders, I dont know the current value but obviously is dependent on condition. There are two types of front fenders as well. The later ones have a bump to accommodate the later Armstrong shock. The early fenders have no bump. There is a slight difference in the front lower edge contour or outline between the two fenders. I had to have these mods accomplished when I wanted to put an early fender on my 53 TD.
How does one count the bows for the top on a TD. I have half a set of side curtains and when I go to buy another set I was asked how many bows? Two or Three. I said " I dunno". And is it odd to ask for just the rear curtains?
There is one bow at the intersection of the back canvas (window) panel and another more or less over the steering wheel. If the top is a three-bow, then there is another bow over your head. Since the three-bow top sets higher there, the rear curtains are different, and there is a different procedure for storing them.
Well now I have gone and done it, broke the little tiny line that goes from the rad to the temp gauge. Whats this gonna cost?
If this is a capillary rather than an electrical gauge, the tube contains ether that expands to register the temperature, assuming the tube and sender are not seperable the replacement of the tube may be straight forward but the ether replacement may not- it would be probably cheaper to replace the sender and gauge with a stock item- unless an MG spares shop has an old equivalent
One more question. Can I run the car without the gauge in place? That is will I have any problem with the oil pressure gauge? The pipe on the back of the gauge is open will this be a problem?
If I recal correctly, it is your coolant temperature line that has broken. If so, it will be absolutely no problem to run with the gauge in place. BTW, that combo Oil/Water gauge is one of the hardest items to find. (My 52, #10855, doesn't have one, but I'm looking.) I suspect that the basic gauge components are the same as those used in MGA's, even though the faces are different. Perhaps some of the MGA gurus (Barney, Carol) might be able to help you out. Best of luck.
I just read your postings on the UKBBS. DO NOT RUN THE CAR WITH THE OIL GAUGE LINE OPEN ENDED!
The pipe at the back of the gauge will not be a problem The other end of it will be. Somewhere there is probably an open line to the mechanical gauge and this should have oil pressure, hence the gauge. Make sure (and I mean engine rebuilding sure) that you don't have that oil line open.
You can enjoy the TD without the temperature gauge, but you will need to keep the oil line connected to the gauge or cap it off. There is oil in that line, at whatever pressure the gauge shows, so it will squirt far and fast. The threads on the compression nut are who-knows-what British threads of the era. Why don't you just leave the gauge in place until you have a new one, or wait until the car is laid up for the winter to send in yours for repair.
I thought that I should let you all know that Moss has remanufactured the thermostat & housing for the TC-TD. Part number is 434-168. Their regular price is $82.45. This one is correct. It is made of cast iron, the screw thread in the holes for the thermostat elbow are correct (2BA), it fits perfectly onto the water outlet elbow. The ridge on the housing still requires that you start the nuts with the housing not seated onto the water outlet elbow. They even included a ridge at the top of the housing, for better hose clamp sealing purposes. I don't think that this was in the origional design; so we do have one improvement. I do not know what the thermostat temperature operates at, so I must assume that they selected a compatable temperature. New item, master cylinder rebuild kits. Currently, both Abingdon Spares and Moss Motors are getting their rubber kits from BROVEX. Moss Motors only gets the rubber parts, and the kit you get comes in a plastic zip lock pouch. Abingdon Spares sells you a kit, in a box, complete with the concave (wavy) washer. Also, their price is lower. So, you can get more for less.
The radiator mounting bracket holes are not in the center, they are closer to one edge then the other. Which way should the bracket be mounted? With the holes closer to the front or the rear?
This is an often asked question. The support bracket is different back to front, as well as having the rad mounting holes off center front to rear. The rear side of the bracket is the side where the lower edge of the vertical support/reinforcing is sloped from outer side edge to the center hand crank hole in a straight line from each side. This results in a gentle "V" on the rear face. The front of the bracket has the crank hole enlargement in the vertical face in a definite enlargement locally at the crank hole only and the lower edges are not straight. Easier to see it on the bracket than describe it.
I'm befuddled, but that's not unusual. The support member that the radiator mounts to in a TD can be installed in either of two orientations. It is almost symmetric however, the radiator mounting holes are slightly offset in the fore-and-aft direction. Another way of looking at it is that the two flanges with the hole for the crank are quite different in size. One is a broad flange that tapers uniformly toward the center, the other is a narrower flange.
Can anyone tell me for certain which way the support should me installed. Should the narrow flange be toward the engine or toward the bumper? An 'expert' told me that mine was reversed (narrow flange toward bumper). Today I got a look at another TD and saw that it was the exact same way.
I have a TF that I'm doing a full restoration on, and you know, I had the same concern when I mounted mine, which way was the front, and which was the back. I took pictures, before I took it all apart, but sometimes, I think I always don't have the one picture I should have taken.
At first, I was looking at the flanges, trying to figure it out. That just confused me more, until finally I looked at the hand crank holes in the flanges...they were different. On my TF, they are shaped almost the same, but one is smaller. Finally, it dawned on me why they were different. The hole closest to the engine should be smaller, while the outermost hole, closest to the bumper should be the larger. This way, as you feed in the hand crank, the larger hole helps quide you to the smaller hole, then the smaller hole, helps guide you to the crank pully.
I'm not the expert, maybe some one else can help more, or even correct me. But I had to figure out which way on mine, and to do that, had to figure why they would be different.
your "expert" is out to lunch!!! The narrow or smaller reinforcement on the bracket goes to the front of the car or toward the bumper. The wide, or broad, full width "V" slope goes to the rear.
Had the same problem. IMHO the wide V goes closest to the engine; the shorter, rounded one is forward.
You can add the Parts Book to that list. I have an original parts book with the large fold-out illustrations, and it is very obvious that the wide V is shown forward. Ditto the Moss catalog illustration, FWIW.
"I just happen to have the radiator off of my car now. Regarding the front and back of the radiator mount: The front has a rounded curve with an approximately 1 1/2" radius around the crank hole whereas the back is a longer sweep without much curve.. I don't know how clear that is. However, the best way to tell which
was the bracket goes is to look at the two holes where the studs from the radiator drop through. these holes are closer to the rear (toward the fire wall)
than they are to the front. If you put the bracket on backwards your hood won't fit properly."
I asked this question some twelve months ago on the other list and got three different suggestions, work that out. I finally fitted the support with the longer downward edge to the front; last week I tried to fit the bonnet (hood)and had a lot of problems so I reversed the support to perhaps move radiator slightly forward but did not achive anything. Have since gone back to the original with long edge forward. I did trim some metal off of the ends of this support that I could move radiator more side ways if needed. I have not been able to find any definite photos of this support clearly exposed but if you look very closely in the MG workshop manual you will be satisfied that long edge goes to the front.
I looked at the radiator support in my car; support has never been unbolted. The after edge has the hole for the crank incorporated into the vertical part of the support. It's located just below horizontal center line of the support. The forward edge has the crank hole in an area that's set down below the mass of the forward edge of the support. That is to say that at the front the hole is in a part that appears to be hung down somewhat, whereas at the rear the hole is in the main vertical itself, not an "extension".
Moss may be giving him the correct info. The TD setup is unusual. The following was printed in the April, 1990 issue of TSO: "Most TCs and TDs are running around with the original thermostat, either because of a lack of knowledge or the almost prohibitive cost of a new one. One very effective solution to the problem that I have used is as follows: "Remove the thermostat housing, using a screwdriver, pry off the valve that is at the top of the housing, and remove the remains of the old thermostat. Break out the flat piece of metal with a hole in it hat the stem of the old thermostat passed through. Clean up any burrs that remain. Purchase a 160 or a 180 degree thermostat depending on season. One that I use is for older Fords. The thermostat fits into the top of the housing perfectly. Drill two 9/64" holes through the edge of the thermostat and the flange of the housing using two 1/8 x 1/4 brass rivets inserted up from the bottom, back up with punch held in a vise and peen over the end. Result: a neat installation that can be changed over to a summer thermostat with very little difficulty, saving some money and ensuring that with all other factors being equal, you'll have an abundance of heat. A thermostat, properly working, is a very important part of the machine-it insures faster warmup and maintains a constant temperature in the engine.
The original TC/TD thermostat had an outer sleeve that also moved to block the bypass hose when the thermostat valve opened. The bypass hose is that smaller diameter hose that runs down at an angle to the steel 3 way connector for the lower hoses. The bypass' function was for the water flow when the system was cool to be directed to the thermostat bellows (and not through the radiator) to help the thermostat to open as early as possible when things warmed up.
With the suggested modification, you lose the blocking function and you have a constant opening (of about .75 square inches) allowing water to bypass the radiator AT ALL TIMES. Not a good thing, sort of like having a pencil sized connection between your veins and arteries just downstream of your heart - your legs wouldn't like the circulation problems a bit! You're saving some money at the risk of overheating, and if you block the bypass, your "new" thermostat will be sloooow to open. Better to do it right the first time!
It isn't clear from your description what he already has or what Moss Motors sold him. In the original setup the housing and thermostat mechanism were a single unit. You couldn't take it apart to replace the thermostat, you had to replace the whole unit. If that is what Moss wants to sell him, then I'm not at all surprised at the $85 price.
Over the years several different replacement housings have been sold that do allow you to take the housing part to replace only the thermostat itself. What Moss sold him may be a thermostat meant for one of those replacement housings, but not necessarily THAT specific replacement housing. If this is what he has, then he should take the housing to a local auto parts store and dig around until he finds a 160 degree thermostat that will fit.
However I suspect that what he has may be an original unit with the thermostat gutted out of it. This was a fairly common "fix" when a DPO didn't want to pay the price for a new unit, but running without a thermostat is not a good idea. What you save in the short term, you pay over the long term in the form of increased engine wear caused by abnormally slow warmup. If he has a gutted original housing, then he needs either a new complete original-style thermostat unit or an aftermarket housing (if anyone still makes them) that will accept a modern thermostat.
By the way, the "siphon hose" is the thermostat bypass hose. The other end connects to the steel "Y" tubing that connects the water pump to the bottom of the radiator.
Replacing the old TC/TD thermostat is a good thing. Regarding the article; I would add one thing. When you use a new style thermostat instead of the old version you loose the sliding piece that covers the bypass tube. So once the car is up to temp some amount of coolant is still going to take the easy route and avoid the radiator.
I would block off the bypass opening by just replacing the existing gasket with a solid one.
Don't block it completely! There needs to be some circulation through the block and head while the thermostat is closed in order to promote even warmup and to prevent localized hot spots.
A better approach is to restrict flow through the bypass, but not block it completely. I use a home-made brass spacer between the thermostat housing and the bypass elbow, with a 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch hole to allow some flow.
I agree with *** on the bypass question, its better to have the original thermostat which blocks off the bypass when open. However, in the interests of economy, I have installed many modern 160 degree thermostats into the top of the original housing as described, ie knock out the old guts and install a new thermostst above the bypass. I drill two 3/16" holes in the new thermostat flap to ensure some water circulation during warm-up. The number and size of these holes no doubt will cause further debate, but at least you get the idea. Then install a solid gasket or piece of sheet metal across the bypass opening and screw the elbow back on. Now we have a stock appearance and blocked off the bypass entirely and all water is forced through the radiator.
About a year ago I fitted a modern WAXSTAT type thermostat to my 1952 YB, with the single carb XPAG engine. I simply refused to pay the very high price of the original type. I fitted a plate of alloy, a 'solid' gasket on the by-pass hose connection, as Dave suggests,( or the water does not bother to go through the radiator...) The thermostat I fitted cost =A32.50 at an autojumble, ( 88 degree,) and I had to file off about =2E010" from its diameter on the outer edge to let it into the recess of the standard housing, where the old version was anchored. It works perfectly.
I place the thermostat on the thermostat housing side of the thermostat/ water outlet junction. There is a recessed area in the thermostat housing, that a modern thermostat will fit into with only a slight amount of material removed from it's outer edge. To compensate for the bellows action on the by-pass, I make a plate with two holes for the securing screws, plus a 3/8" hole for water. This has been a satisfactory flow-restrictor. I use a 160 degree thermostat. About a $5.00 repair.
I mounted ordinary lap straps in the TD by using the bolts provided with the kit and anchoring them behind the chassis cross member with a robust plate of steel. Other installations use a 1/4" chain looped around the crossmember and the bolts run through the ends of the chain. Horst Schach in The Complete MG TD Restoration Manual has a section on installation of 3-point harnesses. It is very appealing to me, but I haven't done it yet. With respect to the safety issue, one wonders if the lobotomy done to the passenger in a T-Series MG because his body pivots and head strikes the wiper motor is better or worse than sliding on his head down the road. The glove box pull centers perfectly on a child's forehead also. Has anyone moved the wiper motor to the center, as they were positioned on TDs after December, 1952?
I rolled my TD restoration out of the garage today for the first time and putted around the neighborhood. It didn't explode or catch on fire but I did notice the speedo doesn't work. It goes up to about 30 and falls back to zero only to rise up to 30 and then back to zero..over and over. Does this sound like something simple to fix or does it sound like I need to send it to be rebuilt?
My B's speedo was fluctuating about 5 to 10 mph, then I noticed it get much worse while the odometer was changing from 19999 to 20000 and the trip was changing from 199.9 to 200.0. I remembered someone else saying something about stiff odometer wheels, so stripped the speedo. Wheels seemed fine, but the main input shaft felt a little stiff. Put a drop of oil on each end of the shaft and it felt looser. Back in the car, it's now as steady as a rock.
My 52 TD wants to shake when I put it in reverse. This only happens after the car has been driving for about 30 minutes, when the car is cold it backs up with out a problem. The engine, transmission and clutch were rebuilt about 3 years ago with less than 3000 miles on them, (new clutch assembly).
I had a similar problem with my MGA. I had done the clutch install myself. I forgot to replace the pilot bushing, which when worn can cause a "judder" (as the Haynes manual describes it) when releasing the clutch. Perhaps this is a similar problem?
My TD shook when I backed up for many years, especially when going up hill. The problem was the transmission mount where it is held down to the frame with a forked bolt that attaches to a hole in the transmission case casting. The hole on my tranny case had broken off, therefore there was actually nothing attaching the tranny to the car and under load in reverse it would jump around. This is a very weak point in these cars and I'm sure many of them are broken. When I rebuilt the transmission a few years ago I had a piece made to replace the hole on the transmission from steel and bolted to the tranny case. The judder problem went away.
Perhaps yours is loose and when the rubber heats up on the transmission mounts more movement is allowed. Be careful though, if you tighten it, because too much tightening will break the piece off of the transmission case.
Things to check are the rear engine mounts for deterioration, the engine stabiliser bar for adjustment, the holes and clevis pins in the clutch linkage for wear, rear axle bolts. There is the possibility of oily clutch.....one hopes not..... Is the cotter pin in the clutch housing free to jiggle and keep the drain hole open?
The rear gearbox broken mount can be repaired easily ( if the gearbox is out ) by drilling a 3/8" hole across the boss that hold the clevis , then install a 3/8" rod through the holes. Finish ends of rod parrallel to the boss sides. The clevis pin now pulls down on the rod. The rod is held in place by the gearbox mount rubbers. Easier to do than explain. Any problems, email me. Another possible problem, the rear mount cradle is weak and often bent or broken so the gearbox mount rubbers float around without locating the box securely, Repair as required, but again, easier with G/B out. New front mounts have known to shear at the rubber to steel plate interfaces, so don't assume the front mount is good just because it is fairly new.
When I hit the highway the TD can accelerate to 55 mph all right, but the car gradually looses power and can't sustain that speed. If I slow down for a while, the power seems to come back. I'm thinking the fuel delivery may not be keeping up with the demand from the carb. Does anyone know of a good way to check this, or some other problem that may cause this symptom ? The car has a new fuel pump and the filter is clean.
What filter? Check the filters on the pump and on the carbs, then trace the fuel line for hidden filters back to the tank. Check the screen in the tank ( a pain in the a**.
Just two words "Bad Coil". As the coil heats up it breaks down.
I had a similar problem with a TD belonging to my nephew. Car ran fine for years, then he had a gas tank leak so had the tank repaired and cleaned. A "new" fuel pump was fitted on the firewall by a DFCE (dumb foreign car expert) garage. The garage also fitted an inline fuel filter on the suction side of the pump. Car would run fine at low speeds, but as soon as you tried to push it a bit it missed. Turns out the garage fitted an MGB universal pusher fuel pump on the firewall, then compounded the problem by fitting the fuel filter on the suction line. Pump just could not cope. To add insult to injury, the DFCE threw out the original SU pump complete with discharge elbow. First I tried my spare SU low pressure fuel pump, leaving the filter in place. TD ran better, but not good. Removed the filter and all is well. So, I would stick to the original SU fuel pump and screens in tank, pump base and carbs and leave the fuel filters to modern cars.
Consider looking for dents or kinks in the metal portions of the fuel line that could be causing a restriction. Rust from the tank could be jamming up against insignificant looking dents in the line to the pump causing a restriction. The inner layer or lining in an old section of flexible fuel line may be coming unbonded and balooning into an internal restriction at higher rates of fuel flow. Float height adjustment might be too low in the carbs. There may be water in the float bowls of your carbs. There may be a leaf in your gas tank that moves over the outlet at times of higher fuel demand. Forty degree F or so air temperatures combined with high ambient humidity, plus high air volume and velocity entering the carb throats could be causing your carburator(s) to ice up. This icing up is hard to check as the ice usually has melted buy the time you get to the side of the road and lift the hood to look. Having the air cleaners off is a given since you've been trouble shooting your carbs for the last twenty miles.
Have you got the TD/TF float bowl attaching bolt, or the MGA with rubber bushings? I have heard of the rubber partially blocking the inlet hole into the carb body.
I think the cap-tank venting you suggested may be the problem. I hit the highway with the gas cap ajar and the car didn't loose power. I looked all over the place for some kind of vent hole to clear but can't find one. WHERE is the gas tank vent? My tank and cap are completely original. There must be some way for air to get in. Thanks for the advice.
No this is not an article ( Reprinted from The Southeastern MG T Register Newsletter (July 1997) about neat cars, but things that we might consider inspecting on our collector car cooling systems. These will minimize any problems in this area during the hot summer driving season. What I am going to do is to take a look at the individual components of the cooling system with regards to their inspection areas.
Radiator - This part of the system is often overlooked until there is a visible problem such as apeak. First the radiator core needs to be cleaned on the outside. Insects, leaves, etc. will greatly effect the efficiency of the radiator. Second, make sure that there is nothing blocking air flow to the front side of the radiator. Remember, plaques, badges and novelty license plates may be fun, but they can all block air flow. It ls also a great idea to flush the cooling system with a cleaner annually to eliminate corrosion and internal contamination. They are very detrimental to the heat (transferability) of the radiator and internal engine water passages. Radiator caps don't go on forever. They should be replaced after several years to make sure that they continue to seal and function properly.
Cooling Fans - Look at the blades to make sure they are not cracked or loose on the hub. If you haven't seen what happens when a fan breaks, you don't want to. It Isn't a pretty sight!
Hoses & Belts - lf they haven't been changed for awhile (5 years is maximum), it is about time. If you aren't going to change them, tighten all the hose clamps and re-tension the belt(s).
Thermostat - There isn't really much to do, unless you want to change to 160o for summer use from your old weather thermostat. Many cars will run hotter without a thermostat installed because the coolant moves too fast through the radiator and doesn't have enough time to transfer the heat away from the coolant. You might want to check with other people with the same type of car you have, for their experience before running without a thermostat. Just a note about thermostat rating: A 160ostart to open at 160oF and gives full flow at 180oF. This 20oF rule generally applies to all thermostats. Incidentally, 180o coolant temperature is great for an older engine to operate efficiently.
Waterpump - Depending on the car you have, make sure that it is lubricated properly and that the mounting bolts are tight. Wiggle the shaft both up/down and in/out. If there is movement you may want to replace the pump. This is generally a sign of major wear. Feel for dampness around the shaft seals, which is a sign of deterioration. This generally calls for pump replacement
Coolant - This is one of the most controversial subjects among hobbyists, as a lot of our cars were designed to run on only water with an alcohol based anti-freeze solution. As we know, water at atmospheric pressure boils at 212oF. When this happens, coolant boils out and our cars run hot. New cars run a mix of 50% coolant (ethylene glycol or propylene glycol to 50% water). They do this for two main reasons:
1 . Boiling point - 50/50 mixture boils at 227oF instead of 212oF.
2. Contains Corrosion inhibitors plus lubricates the water pump.
Let me deal with each one of these areas separately.
Boiling Point - Naturally the higher the boiling point. the better for our cars. True? Yes, but the higher concentration there is of anti-freeze the poorer the heat transfer of the coolant solution. A 30% anti-freeze mix is about 20% less efficient in heat transfer. Any efficiency loss greater than this in newer cars is okay because of the system design improvements but 20% is maximum in our older systems. A pressurized cooling system will drastically raise the boiling point like a pressure cooker about 2o per pound of pressure. (a car with a 15 PSI system using a 50/50 mix will boil at 265o F). While we are talking about coolant concentration benefits. let's mention freeze protection. A 50% solution freezes at -34o and a 30% solution at about 0 which is more than adequate for our area (Georgia, USA)
Corrosion Inhibitors - A car cooling system is a battery, which by definition is two dissimilar metals suspended in acid. Just think of the types of metal the coolant comes in contact with and the coolant itself becomes more acidic with time. To prove this to yourself, take digital voltmeter and test the system the following way: Take the positive lead and put it in radiator without letting it touch anything but the liquid. Touch the other lead to the battery. 0.2 volts ....is great, 0.4 volts....is serviceable and 0.6 volts... the solution is acidic and needs attention. The corrosion inhibitors keep this electrolysis/corrosion from occurring, which prolongs the life of the system. Anti-freeze also contains foam suppressors to minimize the creation of foam that inhibits heat transfer capacity of the coolant solution. So, I guess the bottom line is that a 30% coolant to water (distilled water preferfed), is the best all around solution we can use in our cars. There are some other things that you may want to consider in your cooling system tune-up:
Fan shroud- The best thing you can add, most heating problems are caused by incorrect air flow control.
Check lgnition Timing and Air Fuel Mixture - Lean mixtures and retarded ignition timing will also cause an engine to run hot.
Additives - Water pump lube and corrosion inhibitors can hurt. I think the jury is still out on the super cooling additives. If you have any hard proof let me know.
I hope all this helps? You and your car have a real *cool* summer.
Has anyone ever made a heat shield for the carbs.? Would this help my vapor lock? How about a electric fan, would this be work to keep the fuel lines cool.
My TD used to vapor lock badly in hot weather/low speed driving. One of the first fixes I tried was a heat shield but it provided little if any improvement. The ultimate fix was to install a second electric fuel pump directly underneath the fuel tank where things are nice and cool. This pump provides a pressurized fuel line to the original fuel pump instead of it having to suck fuel up the long line from the tank. I have had zero vapor locking since. The added fuel pump is essentially unnoticeable unless somebody lays on the ground and looks up under the rear bumper area. Be sure to put a gas filter ahead of the new pump.
Place a second fuel pump in the system, at the rear axel. This was one reason why the TF moved the pump from the firewall to the rear axel area. Your fuel lines are 5/16", so seect a pump with 5/16" fittings. Pep Boys and other parts stores sell a Purolator fuel pump for about $30.00; it is the same pump Moss sells for $70.00. This pump will "tick: all of the time, like the SU when you are out of gas. A better choice, if you can find one, is an Airtex electric fuel pump, part no. E80 16S. Quieter, and mounts with a clamp, and one bolt. The vapor lock occured due to the reformulation of gasoline for today's engines. Most engines are fuel injected. Pumps deliver fuel at higher pressure. The boiling point of fuel was lowered.
After trying several things without much success, I bought a heat shield for my TD from Geoff Love at the English Connection. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. They were $65.
Just installed my rebuilt XPAG engine and am having problems keeping it cool. Engine rebuild included cylinder resleeving, new bearings, new 3/4 race camshaft, new valves including valve guides and hardened seats. Above work was done by a local machine shop and I assembled the major parts and installed the engine.
Symptoms: Engine starts and runs fine for first five miles then temperature continues to increase until coolant boils (gauge reads 185 C but doubt its accuracy as coolant should be good to about 265F. It appears to me that the engine is putting out more heat than the cooling system can absorb.
The water pump appeared normal on installation.
The radiator was tested and cleaned by a local radiator shop with no discrepancies noted.
Thermostat was tested and opened normally. I then cut out the center part of the thermostat and reinstalled just the ring. This helped by slowing the rate of temperature rise but end result was still the same.
Any ideas on what could be causing this? Could it be from all the new parts, the camshaft etc.? I am just driving it short distances until this gets resolved. Total miles on the rebuild now is about 65.
Incidentally air temperatures have been in the 90's the last couple weeks.
This may be old information to you, but are you running 2/3 to 3/4 water as coolant? Too much antifreeze impairs cooling. I found this out the hard way years ago. Use about 1/3 antifreeze and use Redline in your cooling system. You will gain maybe 10 or 15 degrees reduction in temperature.
Also, you can take your car to a smog shop and they can put the sniffer in the coolant with the car running and you can see if you've got a cracked head or block or bad head gasket. Exhaust gasses in the coolant will cause terrible overheating.
Did you gap the rings? If the end gaps are too small, the rings will bind when they heat up.
What were the bearing clearances when you Plasti-gaged them? (I assume you did?)
Did you have the block boiled out and properly de-scaled (shot-peening is the favored method)? Did you make sure the transfer hole behind the rear core plug in the side water gallery was clear? Did you - as good XPAG engine builders recommend - duplicate that hole behind the front core plug in the side gallery?
Are you positive the cam timing is correct? Where is the ignition timing set? Were the carbs rebuilt and are you sure your needles are suited to the 3/4 cam?
Lotsa questions because there are lotsa possibilities!
Two thoughts. What is the end play on the distributor shaft? Should be no more than .015". If you can grab the action shaft of the distributor, and move it up and down more than .015", then the dist. timing is changing as you rev the engine. Remove the dist., remove the gear from the shaft, and install a phenolic washer, reducing shaft end play to ..006" -.015". Second thought, retorque the head, when hot.
Thanks to every one that responded to my e-mail on overheating. It now appears that I have a leak from the #3 cylinder that is causing my problem. I am going to pull the head again and if all looks ok reinstall with new studs and new head gaskets. I am using two as previous owner apparrently milled the head to increase compression to about 9.6 to 1.
Just a quick note. While I have never used two gaskets myself I have heard that it is a practice to be avoided. Back in my hotrod days when we used to fool around with engines quite a bit I was tempted to use two gaskets to bring down the compression on an engine I'd bought. The engine rebuilder told me that was a sure way to blow head gaskets. Could this have been your problem from the beginning?
My solution at the time was to use a single, extra thick gasket that was available from the speed shop. Not sure if such a thing is available for a T-series.
Could you live with the 9.6 : 1 ? You're going to run premium gas anyway, I'm sure.
I just caught the tail end of the discussion on your engine. But the last one I noticed that their was some comments on using two head gaskets.
I just had my engine milled for a total overhaul, and I found that I also needed two gaskets because we couldn't zero out the rocker assembly because it was milled. I was going to use two gaskets but my MG mechanic talked me out of it. Instead, we used shims under the rocker assembly. I just needed one set of shims. Now I am glad he talked me out ot it. My engine runs great, and I don't worry about blowing a head gasket either.
Have you thought about putting shims under the rocker assembly insteadd of two head gaskets?
Thicker-than-stock gaskets for XPAG/XPEG engines are not readily available, unfortunately.
Even using Premium gas, it's not wise to go over 9 to 1 compression (about 160 lbs. cranking pressure, typically) with a cast-iron head and the relatively primitive combustion chamber shapes found in Ts, As, Bs and Midgets. The almost inevitable pinging will eventually destroy the rod bearings or even crack a piston.
I've used two head gaskets in many engines, without problems. Of course, it's sensible to use new head studs as well, to coat both gaskets with Copper-Kote and to be very sure to re-torque as soon as the engine reaches operating temperature, then again after about a dozen starts and stops of the engine.
I also make it a habit to torque any head down when I first install it, then re-torque it just before I start the engine. It's surprising how much even a single head gasket will compress under initial torque and the second go-round always gets some additional movement on the head nuts. Better to spend a few moments re-torquing than to blow the gasket on start-up!
It has been many years since I used to drive a TC. I was under the impression that my TC had 13:1 compression. Am I dreaming, has senility set in? The car was modified for racing, used a Laystall Aluminum Head, and when racing ran on "fuel". I was also told the car crossed the finish line doing 105 mph. Should I research my story better, or is all this possible. I never raced it but it sure was fast! Too fast, while going through a tight S bend on the way home, I gather the oil sloshed the wrong way, the pump starved, and the rod knocked. A divorce forced the sale and I never got to see it repaired.
An over-bored XPAG fitted with what were known as "High-top" pistons (they had a big extra piece above the normally flat crown, which practically filled the combustion chamber) and the Laystall head would have given at least 12.5 to 1 compression. As you said, it would have had to run on "fuel", as opposed to the 92 octane gas available at the pump today. It would still work today for Vintage racing, using Racing fuel (but, last time I bought that, about 18 years ago, it was $4.00 a gallon........dread to think what it is today!)
Check your ign timing. Also the end play of the dist., which causes inaccurate spark avance. Try changing the fan to an MG-B.
A better solution would have been to shorten the pushrods by the amount milled off the head. Rocker stand shims do give you back the ability to adjust your rocker clearance with a milled head, but they mess up the rocker geometry by changing the angle between the rocker arm and the valve stem. That often causes accelerated valve guide and rocker arm wear.
Yep, I more than agree here. If the change is any where near, geometricaaly speaking, severe; oops. The only way I can see to 'shim' it is if the difference is in the 3 figure range (and I'm not reallt to sure about that).
It would take sitting down with calipers, gauges, etc. to figure out how to maintain the angles, surfaces, etc.. In other words:
How to drive a DIY'er ***NUTS***!!!
Sounds like good advice. If I found a crack in the head how would that get fixed or is there an aluminum head available as a replacement.
Timing was originally set at TDC static as per the book. Later I set it to 35 degrees total advance at 3000 rpm. The advanced seemed stable while I was setting it.
The engine is being rebuilt due to problems with two pistons, most likely due to detonation and too much compression. I am being told that todays premium is not enough octane to handle a 9.6 to 1 compression.
I am using shims under the rocker assembly and shortened push rods.
By the way how do you zero out the rocker assembly?
good point on the3 anti-freeze. also, check timing not retarded.
Note: The following article was first printed in April 1992, and recently reprinted in the April 1997 issue of mgTalk, the article contains some useful information on the proper lubrication schedule for your T-Series MG. by Dick Martin, USA
At the tech Session last month, it became apparent that not everyone was completing a systematic program of lubrication. In some cases, this was the apparent result of benign neglect. In others, it is apparently due to lack of knowledge of what lubricant to use and where to use them. The following is a step by step discussion in which I hope I have included all appropriate items. The change time intervals are taken from the The MG Midget ( Series TD) Drivers Handbook
As discussed in previous articles, engine oil should be changed every 3000 mile or six months whichever comes first. The oil filter should also be changed at this interval. Recommended oil for the Southeastern climate is Castrol GTX 20w50 multigrade
The gearbox oil should be checked each 1000 miles and topped up to the "High" mark. It should be drained and refilled every 6000 miles. The recommended gearbox lubricant is an extreme pressue "EP" gear oil of 90 weight such as Castrol Hypoy C Gear Oil (SAE 80W90)
The rear axle lubricant should be checked every 1000 miles, also changed every 6000 miles, with the same oil as the gearbox. It should be filled to the level of the square-headed filler plug on the right front of the differential housing, just behind the rear universal joint. When changing the oil, be sure to clean the hollow center of the drain plug before it is replaced and tightened. ( Be sure to check this plug for tightness. A lost plug can spell disaster!!! )
The sterring rack also uses the 90 weight hypoy gear oil. A "grease" fitting is located in the front center of the rack housing. Use a handgun to apply ten strokes every 3000 miles. Don't overfill or the rackboots will leak or blow out.
The following items should be greased with a high quality lithium based grease. If the intervals are followed, several strokes of a hand gun should be sufficient:
Drive Shaft- Univeral Joints (2)....1000 miles
Sliding Joint (front)..1000 miles
King Pins- upper and lower........500 miles
Tie Rod Ends- (2)...................500 miles
Hand brake cable....................1000 miles
Brake/Clutch shaft (LHD Models).....500 miles
The front hubs and water pump use a "heavy" bearing grease. The grease available today requires little maintainance. However the recommended interval for the wheel bearings is 6000 miles, whereas the water pump require two strokes with a grease gun every 1000 miles
On TD's, the air cleaner sould recieve the same service interval as the engine oil, every 3000 miles. The filter element should be removed and cleaned in kerosene (or mineral spirits); then drained and dried. All sludge should be removed from the outer filter container; then wiped clean and refilled with engine oil (20W50) to the level indicated. Every 3000 miles the distributor cam lobes should be lightly smeared with a small ammount of lithium chassis grease. At the same interval, the generator should be lubricated with the same grease. To accomplish this, unsrew the lubricator screw at the rear of the generator, lift out the spring and pad, half fill with grease. Then replace the spring and pad, and screw the lubricator back into place.
Every 1000 miles a 20 weight, non detergent oil should be used to "top up" the carburetor damper.
At 3000 mile intervals, this same oil should be used to lubricate the distributor cam bearing, the cetrifugal advance weights, and the post on which the contact points pivot. In each case only a few drops are needed and care should be taken to avoid oil on, or in close proximity to the point contacts.
I recently installed a combo oil pressure and water temp gauge . It seems to be working fine. My question is what are acceptable water temps ..and when should I pull it over? Second question - The water temp core sensor sits high in the radiator and I seem to have to top off the water level after each drive to keep fluid above the sensor. Is this normal?
Under normal conditions, the temp should hover around 71 to 75 degrees C. Under hot conditions they will run 80 to 85 degrees C. I start getting nervous once they pass 90 degrees C. As to the water height in the tank, you really can do nothing for it except the following. Go to a wrecking yard and get a late MGB overflow tank. They are made out of brass, and good quality. Then install a series 24 battery. Slide it all the way to the left side of the battery box. This will allow enough room to slide the overflow tank in the space provided. Go to a good hardware store and pic up several feet of clear plastic hose and connect one end to the bottom of the overflow tube on your radiator. The other end to the over flow tank that you have just installed.Attach a smaller length to the over flow tube on the bottle, and let it hang straight down below the car. Replace the pressure cap on the bottle with a non-pressure cap. Part no. GRC 126. Then make sure that you have a good rubbler seal on the cars radiator cap. You now have a very good coolant recovery system on your MG-TD/TC. The coolant will now expand into the overflow bottle, and when it cools it will be drawn back into the radiator. This way you never lose coolant, and also you have more coolant available to keep your car at a reasonable temperature. I did this to my car about 12 years ago, and have had no more problems.
Although you will find those who will tell you that the normal position for the needles on that gauge is the oil pressure at 0 and the water temp at 100, that's not quite true. The thermostat will open at 65-70C and the car will run in 60-70F degree weather with the temp needle at 70-80C. On long grades in hot weather you will probably see it edge over toward 90C, but it should not stay there long. Drive the car a while and tell us what readings you are getting under various conditions. Of more concern to me is that you have to keep topping up the radiator after every drive. Unless this little engine is overheating fiercely and boiling off the water, there is a leak somewhere, and you are losing a lot of water. Do you have the O-ring gasket on the radiator cap? Is the overflow tube up to about 3/4 inch from the top of the filler neck? Is there any cream-colored liquid or foam on the engine dipstick?
I did the same thing to my 69 B-GT, and left the 7lb. cap that I run on the Radiator. There I used a coolant recovery bottle that I got at the Auto supply. It does not have a sealed cap on the bottle.
Many thanks. I've also been bugged by the amount of coolant that is tossed out of the overflow pipe. I like your approach.
It was a beautiful day for motoring. All of a sudden the tachometer stopped working while cruising on the interstate at 60-65mph (love those 4.3 gears). Cussed and fussed about the dad blasted tach cable all the way home. Gotta' buy the whole thing. Should be able to replace the inner cable, etc. A few minutes ago I discovered that the problem was in the tachometer gearbox. Well, not really in the gearbox. It seems that the nuts had fallen off of the two screws that hold the halves of the gearbox together and the gears were no longer meshing. Fortunately, the grease held things together well enough so as not to have lost anything (except the nuts). Tomorrow they'll be replaced by a couple of elastic stop nuts. If you haven't checked yours recently
the ORIGINAL assembly was with peened pins, like rivets. The fact that you had machine screws in there means that someone had = it apart - for repair or whatever - and did not peen over the end of the replacement screws or used Nylocks the way you are planning to. Only those owners with "dismantled" tach drives are likely to have your problem.
Were spare plugs ever mounted on a TD? some of the earlier cars had them mounted under the bonnet. If they were used, where is the "correct" mounting point?
To my knowledge they were not originally mounted. I have a spare plug holder mounted in the middle of the battery bracket. It looks quite nice, and is easy to get at.
I have never seen an OEM spare plug holder in a TD. Some cars do have them, but I think they were dealer or owner-installed.
Anybody have any experience running tubeless tires on their disk wheeled TD's? I haven't tried it because I felt that the rim wouldn't seal them adequately. Sharp turns would put an extreme force against the rim and cause tires to separate. Besides, were tubeless tires available at that time? All experiences will help me decide to go that route since eliminating tubes might help with the balance problem I've been having. If there is less mass turning, fewer problems with scuttle shake or am I wrong here?
I can speak to that issue. When I got my 52 it had a virtually new set of Semperit 165-15 tubeless radials on it. During the first four years I had the tub off of the rolling frame. I had to periodically add air to two of the tires so that I could move it around. After getting it driveable I found that filling the tires was a hassle, so I took the tires off and had a look. The air was not leaking from around the bead, it sealed okay. The leaks were from the inside, hub, section of the wheels. It was basically from corrosion. One wheel was bad enough for me to hunt up a replacement. I installed a set of tubes. Seemed all right until I installed the 4.3 rear end. Too much shimmy above 60 mph. The tubes were too sloppy a fit into the tires. I bought a set of 155/165-15 tubes from Moss and them installed and carefully balanced. Made all the difference in the world. I now chicken out at 70.
BTW, the NEMGTR Safety Fast inspection requires that cars have tubes or the car will not pass the inspection.
I have NOS Dunlop Gold Cup bias ply tubeless tires (5.60x16) which I originally installed without tubes. Held air just fine for many years just sitting in the basement but one of the members of the local MG Car Club said tubes should be installed. The reason cited was that the type of rims we have will allow the bead of the tire to slip off the edge of the rim under a sudden or hard turn. I don't expect to encounter this hard turn condition but safety is obviously a factor. It was explained that American cars of the day have a "safety rim" which has some kind of a bead retaining feature built into the rim that resists the bead of the tire slipping off to cause a sudden deflation of one or more tires. So, I stuck tubes in the tires just to be sure. Now that I have the 4.3 rear end, I also have the scuttle-shake problem at higher cruise speeds. Balancing helped but didn't totally resolve the vibration problem. Now, I'm told that I should have tubeless tires with tubes to solve my shakes. From what Bud says, it sounds like I won't be much better off and probably make some scavenger very happy with a near new set of bias tires and tubes. I also read that bias tubes are different than radial tubes so I get the short end there too! It's beginning to look like I should leave well enough alone tire-wise and just be happy that the engine isn't flogging itself to death when I hit 60 or 65 MPH. I'll be looking for more opinions on the subject. .
II've never used tubes in a TD with solid wheels but have with other cars that have had a hole in the side wall. Always worked with no problem.
I disagree. Dave should know better. Using tubeless on non tubeless rims is dangerous. To do so will get you an automatic 15 points and a failure when going through Safety Fast check. Get tubes.
My TD has 4.1 gears, Firestone 5.60x15 with tubes, and it goes just fine, as fast as I dare drive it, without vibration. It's not tubes that cause vibrations necessarily. The Owners book points out that the tubes should be installed with their heavy part adjacent to the tyres' light part, and tubes and tires were both marked. I don't know--we just put the tubes in the tire so that the valve went through the hole in the wheel--no effort expended to find light/heavy areas. As to the bead slipping off the rim, it seems to me that the beads stayed on the rims when the cars were new and that it's the air pressure that holds the tire in place, not the tube that holds it in place. Yes, there were "safety" rims advertised once, but I don't know what is is that makes them "safe" I'll stick with my theory that the tubes aren't necessary with skinny bias ply tires unless the tire people tell you to use them; that radials may require them because of their incredibly better adhesion. Michelin, for one, is insistant that "radial-type" tubes be used. They say that conventional tubes will split, giving you the very blowout that you didn't want to experience.
I believe that running tubeless tires on a TD is an automatic fail on the NEMGTR Safety Fast check. The rim definitely does not provide enough of a lip to hold a tubeless tire. You can probably go for a long time though without a problem but just let the pressure fall a bit, hit a curve a little fast and off comes the tire.
Another NEMGTR member was telling me Saturday night that there is a place in CA. (not British Wire Wheel) that will "modify" a wheel to allow use of tubeless tires. He is planning on doing that for his TF.
What is it that is different about the bead of tubeless and tube-type tires? Did Detroit provide a different wheel when tubeless tires became standard? Is the rim of an MGB wire wheel different from that for the disk wheel where the tire bead contacts? Carol, in Texas, runs tubeless tires on her wires, albeit with some silicone on the nipples, and she cheerfully admits it. If you can find out the name of this outfit in CA, I would be interested to learn what it is that they do.
MGT's, here in West Milford NJ. was telling me that an auto speed store in Florida NY can add a bead around the TD wheels to accept the tubeless tires, too. I haven't as yet checked it out but will and report back. This is an interesting subject. I don't proclaim to know any of the answers, but this summer one of our club members debuted his beautifully restored 56 TR3 smallmouth. He took it to one of our slaloms and on the first tight left hand turn proceeded to peel his newly installed radial (tubeless) from the right rear wheel accompanied by a lot of sparks as the undercarriage slid across the parking lot.
I think I would keep the tubes on those old rims.
The incident Len cited is exactly what was identified to me long ago as being the problem with not installing tubes on our TD wheels. As the force of the abrupt turn pushes the tire bead toward the centerline of the wheel, the air is dumped the same as in the case of a blowout and away you go! The tube, as I understand it, doesn't actually keep the tire on the rim but it helps restore the bead to its normal position on the wheel as the wheel revolves. This restorative action is enough to retain the tire where it belongs. Now I I've spouted off everything I think I know about the subject. From the standpoint of safety, the reason for the tubes is not that you plan to make hard turns, it's for the unexpected occasion when you have to do the maneuver to stay out of other troubles. As for the safety rim, as best I remember, the "safety rim wheel" was first touted by Chrysler products back in the 40s maybe the later 30s. I have no idea what the physical characteristics of the improved wheel was but I imagine it was some sort of a retention bump on the bead seating area. Maybe somebody out there knows or remembers more details but I think the safety wheel preceded the tubeless tire by many, many years. My turn to get off the soapbox.
Thanks for the explanation. I still don't see how the tube can supply more pressure to the bead area than the air did, but that it might hold the air (pressure) in place for a moment longer may be the answer. I'm waiting to see if someone can answer the question about the shape of the rim used on the tubed MGB spoke wheels and the tubeless MGB disk wheels. Perhaps that wil tell us more. Len, do you know the width of the TR3 wheel? The size of the radial tire? I still wonder if the roll-off-the-rim problem is not in some way related to modern tires being used on T cars, tires that should be mounted on wider rims. I have been following the discussions of MGB obsolete size 165x14 as the suggestions about different sizes pass by.
Over a year ago I reported the odd occurrence of my 54 TF "breaking up" while cruising along at 3800 rpm and taking on a very slight grade on the interstate. If I pushed in the clutch and let the rpms drop for a second the car recovered. The engine never died or coughed, and the engine would rev with the clutch in but would not recover unless it rested for a second or two . I could get through this without much loss of speed, but it was annoying.
In other situations, or around town, the car ran great. In fact I usually forgot about the problem until I would go on a GOF, and drive for some time on the interstates to get there. Last month I drove from N.J. to Boston for the NEMGTR GOF and it drove me crazy.
I have done the following. rebuilt the carbs, changed the needle and seats, floats, jets and needles.
changed the fuel pump, blew the lines, changed the tank screen
changed the coil, points condenser and plugs.
It was even suggested that the air cleaners were clogged, so I tried driving without them. I also checked that the carb overflows were clear. Nothing helped.
I bit the bullet and removed the head which was done three years ago to replace a burned valve and I when I had installed bronze valve guides with stellate valves so as to run un leaded. The problem was with the guides which apparently oxidized, would heat up and then move within the valve guide bore.
Redid the head with old fashioned guides, stellate valves, and the problem is gone.
Anyone else with bronze valve guide problems?
I'm having my morning cup of coffee here in Grapevine, TX at NAMGAR's GT-22 and thought I would check my mail. By coincidence, yesterday we had a tech session on machine work on the engine, and the speaker, Bob Webber of SFD Engines in Dallas, told us that he no longer uses bronze valve guides for _exhaust_ valves. Largely because the exhaust valve just gets too hot and causes various problems, such as you describe. Although he still installs bronze valves on the intake side, he says he is also uses iron guides in many engines and is not sure whether the advantage of the bronze guides are worth the potential troubles.
YES, YES, YES!!! Exactly the same problem when I restored my TF. In 1994 I installed "Stellite" valves and silicon-bronze guides. Whenever the engine got to operating temp, cruising, BAM, a sticky valve. Let off the gas, push in the clutch, the engine cools 1/100 of a degree, and you're off again for 30 seconds or so. My solution was the same as yours. I replaced the guides with cast iron. No problems since, and at least 5,000 miles. BTW, complained to Mike O'Connor, my Moss part guy back then (1994), and he said that my gripe was the first that he had received. Looks like I'm not alone anymore. My advice? Stellite valves are great. I put them in a '51 TD and my '55 TF and have had zero problems, BUT DO NOT USE THE SILICON-BRONZE GUIDES. Tim in Dallas Bob, Tim and David all replied, thanks. Yes as Bob said, the guides could have been reamed another thousands, but it was too late as the guides were moving in their bore.
I'm not that good at the technical aspects, and rely on the pros for engine and trans work, leaving myself to repairs that can be done with a socket wrench. However the frustration of the last trip to Boston got to me, and I called around to my various contacts to locate a big valve T head, and negotiated a deal for a swap.
I am told that the bronze guides oxidize, especially over the winter when the T types are rarely used. ( for those of us who have winter) . It just seems that I went through a lot of aggravation and costs to make the car better for unleaded, where there is no evidence that my non racing use required the modifications in the first place.
I did not use hardened seats on the first or second head as I had been warned that they often became dislodged and could destroy the engine.
This whole history should generate some discussion of whether or not it pays to modify the valves etc. for un leaded gas use, as the cure may be more dangerous then the disease. Maybe this applies only to T types as the later cars, especially the later B's were built for unleaded and the casting procedures for the head may have been modified to accept the unleaded valve train.
I would be interested to hear comments.
By coincidence, this topic was also covered by Mike Ash, Technical Editor of MGA! in a tech session today. He says he has a couple of cars that have done 50k to 60k miles on unleaded gas without hardened valve seats and hasn't had any noticable difficulties. He hasn't had those heads off, though, to see if there is any valve recession. He does recommend the stellite valves, whether or not you get the hardened seats and bronze guides. Other sources I have heard seem to support Mike's experience. I would be curious to hear if anyone has actually seen a head whose valves had receded due to use of unleaded gasoline-- I have yet to hear of anyone with first hand experience with this supposed phenomenon.
I purchase some of the British enthusiast publications, which seem to reflect some amount of hysteria over this subject, since they are now phasing out leaded gas in that country. I think there is more concern than is warranted, considering the evidence so far.
In any case, I have never heard anyone knowledgeable on this subject recommend pulling a good head just to put in hardened seats, etc. They only recommend it be done if you have to do work on the head anyway.
I have read several different articles that insisted that cars with original never rebuilt heads which ran with leaded gas already have reaped the benefits of lead and will be fine using unleaded gas for the feasible remaining life of the head. However, once you rebuild, you should go the unleaded-head route or use an additive.
I just put bronze guides into the TA and I'm leaving today on a 800 mile trip to GoF West!! I've had hardnened seats for a few years now...and the iron guides that the guy "knurled" had eaten up my valve stems and seals. Mike what clearance did you have on those bronze guides? My machinest said 2 thou minimun, more like 2.5/3.0.....Skip Kelsey been running bronze guides for years and highly recommends them. Hardnened seats can fall out if not properly installed.....problems can occur in all parts of an engine if not properly done!!
My opinion is that fancy stuff for unleaded gas is not needed until you have to pull the head for other reasons, then why not do it, it doesn't cost much....The brits are paranoid on this subject with out a lot of reason....however given their driving habits, constant high engine speed to beat out every yank in a roundabout my give them pause. Over here where you guys don't put a 1000 miles a year on your garage queen, why worry! ;-)
Wish me luck....I'm trying for the hard luck award and I haven't even started yet...Thurs evening one of my 6v batteries just up and died....a nother panic and its not even a year old. MOWOG forever!!!
Terry, I didn't want to worry you. Obviously, my guides were reamed just a hair too little, as my problem was very occasional. I agree that no one should redo the head unless something demands a rebuild anyway
The point is the guides themselves. Here in the northeast, it isn't realistic.to drive during the winter and the pro who looked at my head said that this inactivity allows the bronze guides to oxidize. He claims to have taken heads apart and found powder from the guides messing up everything. As to the seats, he feels that the modern engines with castings made for the new seats are better prepared for them , taking a 50 year old head and installing them, no matter how good the machine shop , will always be a risk.
The real issue is whether the risk of something going wrong outweighs the need for it in the first place. My TF is not a garage Queen, its been coast to coast, all over Canada, and Great Britain. But I do not race it, drive around town most of the time (thats why I have kept the standard rear) and is really only runs hard when going to a gathering. Last year we went to Indy and drove 650 miles in one day on interstates in near 100 degree weather. At a steady 4000 rpm , its hard on the engine. Does that type of driving once or twice a year require a no lead head. I don't know.
You are right, the British are nuts on the subject. I am a little less paranoid about the effects of unleaded., yet I am not convinced one way or the other. I feel the same way about additives such as "Relead"
As to the seats, he feels that the modern engines with castings made for > the new seats are better prepared for them , taking a 50 year old head and > installing them, no matter how good the machine shop , will always be a risk. Mike, that's nonsense. The installation of hardened seat inserts is a repair technique that dates from way before our T-Types were built. The age of the head has nothing to do with it. Some heads are tricky (or even impossible) to install inserts in due to the way their valve pockets are designed, but that's not an issue with the XPAG/XPEG head. If an insert falls out of an XPAG/XPEG head in a car that gets the kind of use you described for yours, then it wasn't installed correctly.
Bronze guides and precautions against unleaded fuel are two different issues, so lety's look at them sperately. Rapid valve guide wear has always been a problem in the XPAG/XPEG series of engines. Lack of lubricant isn't the problem. There are no valve stem seals in the modern sense of the word, so more than enough oil works its way down into the guides. Lack of proper retention of lubrican, however, is a problem. The real problem is incorrect geometry between the rocker arm and the valve stem. This puts a lot more sideways thrust on the valve stems than there should be, which accelerates wear on the guide bores and on the valve stems.
Ideally when the valve is at half lift, the rocker arm and the valve stem should form a 90 degree angle. That is seldom the case in any production line engine, but even with all new parts the geometry on an XPAG/XPEG is almost always way out of whack. This has to be corrected by either machining the bottoms of the rocker shaft stands or by inserting shims under them, depending on which direction the geometry is off. On an old head that has slightly sunken valve seats due to many rebuilds, the latter is more common.
On a side note, the practice once advocated of shimming up the rocker shaft stands to compensate for a radically milled head is dead wrong. This does give you back a reasonable range of valve lash adjustment, but it throws the rocker arm geometry way off. The better approach is to shorten the pushrods.
Getting the geometry right does improve valve guide life, but it's still far from ideal. The friction surface between rocker tip and valve stem top is pretty small, and the rocker tips aren't very hard (especially if they have been reground to compensate for wear). Once the rocker tip wears, it imposes more sideways thrust on the valve stem even if the geometry is right. What we really need is thicker valve stems or a thrust cap to install on top of the stem. Even better, how about roller-tipped rockers!
The rocker bushings and rocker shaft also wear rapidly, and the resulting slop imposes even more sideways thrust on the valve stems. Hard chroming the shaft helps somewhat in this case, but you still need to replace the bushings more often than on most other engines. Phosphor bronze guides help to reduce wear because they retain lubricant better, and because the material has a lower coeficient of friction. They do expand more when they heat up, so the cold clearance between guide bore and valve stem has to be slightly greater (as you discovered), otherwise when it gets good and hot the guide will clamp onto the valve stem. When this happens, the moving valve tries to take the guide along with it. Rapid valve seat deterioration due to use of unleade4d fuel is a different issue. Even with leaded fuel, XPAG/XPEG valves and seats go bad pretty quickly. The 30 degree seat angle is partly to blame. It doesn't provide as good a "wedging" seal as a 45 degree seat, so sealing is not as good as it could be and there is more chance of hot exhaust gas leaking past the seats. This causes the seats to erode more quickly. Recutting the seats to 45 degrees helps considerably.
The materials used also have a great deal to do with it. All cast iron is not alike, and I suspect that the alloy used for XPAG/XPAG heads is a bit soft. The original MOWOG valves were of fairly high quality, but some of the replacements sold over the years have been pretty shoddy.
Once the valve seats recede too far below the surface of the combustion chamber (either from too many regrinds or from long-neglected wear), the only choice is to install inserts. These days it is also common practice for older engines to install inserts even if the seats are not receded, as a preventive measure with unleaded fuel. The installation of inserts is a common machine shop job, but like any other machinework its success depends on how much skill the machinist has and how carefully he does the job. The valve seats are bored out to a slightly smaller diameter than the outside diameter of the inserts, giving an interference fit on the inserts. The bore is made very slightly deeper than the depts of the insert. The inserts are then pressed into place. If the interference fit is too great, the inserts or the head may crack. If the fit is too loose, the inserts may fall out. The inserts must be pressed fully into their bores. If they don't hit bottom, they will be subject to hot exhaust gas from underneath, which can overheat them. Once pressed in, the insert should be very slightly below the combustion chamber surface. This allows the machinist to peen the cast iron over the insert, helping to keep it in place.
I've never used them, but as a further hedge against unleaded fuel some swear by stellite-faced stainless steel valves. Whether or not all this is really necessary for any given engine depends on how that engine will be used. If the car is rarely driven, ar is driven like an antique (heaven forbid the rev counter should ever go over 3000 RPM!) then why bother. It won't rack up enough mileage in the owner's lifetime to wear anthing out. If it racks up a lot of miles, especially at modern highway speeds, then I think bronze guides, attention to rocker arm geometry, hardened valve seat inserts, and high-quality valves are well worth the effort and expense. Basing opinions of the worth of all this for an XPAG/XPEG engine on the experience of MGB and Spridget owners with their BMC engines, as some have done here, is senseless. They are very different designs, with very different problems. > Thanks Chip for the excellent and trusted treatise of valve geometries > and the resulting problems. I always learn a lot from what you write. > > FWIW to the statisticians, on the Ocean to Ocean 11 years ago using an > engine with almost all new replaceable parts in my TC, I burned a hole > in an exhaust valve about 6000 miles into the trip on about day 18. I > was using standard valves from Abingdon Spares mating with steel inserts > in an alloy head, the origin of which I didn't know, but I doubt they > were hardened. We were using only unleaded fuel with an additive of > various brands thrown in each time. I think one or two other cars did > the same thing at about the same mileage, > > I've had the head off several times since and the exhaust valves are > always freckled which laps out quite easily. In other words, a > premature pitting. > > Is burning a hole caused by lack of lead, or by pre-ignition creating a > hot spot?
Most inserts are hardened, so those in your alloy head (Laystall-Lucas?) probably are.
A hole burned through a valve indicates extreme overheating of the valve, or a poor-quality valve that was unable to stand up to normal abuse.
What shape was the seat in at the time? A lot of heat transfer from valve to head occurs via the seat. If the seat is in bad shape, transfer is partially blocked, so the valve runs hotter than it should.
I recall some of you having problems with silcon bronze style valve guides. Was the problem ever resolved? I am getting ready to rebuild the TD and I would like to know if the added expense is worth it.
Another question is would worn valve guides cause smoke to come from the draft tube, or is this like I suspect a ring problem?
Presently when I drive it looks like a good amount of blue/black smoke is coming from the draft tube/breather pipe. I dont see much coming out of the tail pipe so it has me a little puzzled.
We have tried bronze valve guides in several different engines. In some we noticed no problems but also no improvements. In my own MGA, I had to replace them with steel guides after less than 10K miles as I was blowing so much smoke out the tailpipe on the over-run...... My advice? Stick with a well-fitted set of steel guides.
More likely rings, as the draft tube vents what's in the crankcase and smoke there is a result of combustion gases getting past the rings. Old oil will, however, smoke more easily than fresh oil. When did you last change the oil? And what weight oil are you running (XPAGs don't like thin oil!) A compression test would also provide useful information, followed by a leak-down test if you have access to the equipment for that..
If we are talking about fastener head sizes, there are only a few on the B which use Whitworth (or British Standard) wrenches. British Standard head size is similar to Whitworth head size, but differs by 1/16"
Boy, if people weren't confused before, they sure will be now. See http://www.team.net/sol/tech/whitworth-hist.html for a full discussion of this. However, to sum up, the British used shank size not head size to denote the sizes of their wrenches. British Standard Fine altered the head size on a particular size shank. The result is that a BSF Wrench of 3/8" will fit the same nut as a British Standard Whitworth (BSW) 5/16" will fit. I guess this is what Paul means by a difference of 1/16". SAE wrenches will only fit BSF or BSW by accident, since they are sized by
the size of the head of the bolt. BTW, Whitworth threads are different from BSF threads and are not interchangable, although the wrenches will fit. Confused yet?
Part of the confusion is that the old Whitworth head measurement became known as British Standard (BS). This is entirely different from the modern thread pitch known as British Standard Fine (BSF). BSF is for all intents and purposes the same as the SAE's United National Fine (UNF). That's why you can go down to the local 'Murrican hardware store and find bolts whose thread size will work on a B.
Eeewww. Where do I start? Ok, see above concerning "head measurement" as regards Whitworth and BSF. Now, let's go to threads as a separate issue. BSF threaded bolts are only found with BSF heads, however, as stated above, a Whitworth wrench will fit exactly, but it will have a different size marked on it. However, BSF threads are NOT the same as SAE or UNF threads. If you try to put a BSF bolt in a UNF or SAE (or vice versa) it will not fit. UNF is the SAE standard that British cars went to in the 50's and 60's. The MGA and younger MG's had mostly UNF (same as SAE) threads with some exceptions, mostly related to fuel lines and brake lines.
Actually, BSF and UNF aren't the same. I had to take a crash course on this stuff when I got into older MGs. BSF fasteners are supplied in inch diameters but the thread is cut at 55 degrees and the number of threads per inch is different than UNF. 55 degree threads with a slight radius at both the crest and valley of each thread is the whitworth thread form. This same form is used also on BSW (British Standard Whitworth-coarse thread version of BSF), BA (British Association) and BSC (British Standard Cycle). The heads are also made to a different measurement than those used on the UNF and UNC fasteners we're used to in the US and so need a wrench with a different opening. The reason you need a set of whitworth wrenches.
UNF are also in inch diameters but the threads are cut at 60 degrees and have more or less "sharp" crests and valleys. So the two systems aren't interchangeable. UNF and UNC fasteners are available at most good hardware stores.
Clear as mud? I hope so, because this should be enough BS about BS!
Wait a minute!! We haven't even discussed Nuffield's Mad Metric, which are the Whitworth-headed non-standard metric threaded bolts found in pre-1956 MG engines! And what about British Association (BA)? And British Standard Pipe (BSP)?
The net of all this is, if you have an MGA or MGB, don't worry about it. If you have a TD or earlier car, you'll lie awake nights trying to figure it out.
I am in the process of rebuilding my 53 TD. The car has been woefully mistreated by DPO's. For example, there are three different kinds of bolts holding the fan blades and the two that match are the wrong kind. Many bolts are missing, studs have been replaced by bolts, etc. I seem to find lots of discussion of, and adequate sources for BSF fasteners for the body, but I haven't found any sources for, or much written about the peculiar metric bolts for the engine. I have two rebuild manuals (Schach and Green) and I don't see any mention of this subject. Does this mean that it is not a problem, or does it mean that it is an insurmountable problem? Do restorers substitute something else, do they have a source of the so-called Nuffield metrics or what? Can "Metric fine" bolts (i.e. 8mm X1mm metric fine) be substituted? Are some bolts in the engine compartment BSF? (For example those that attach the horns, fuel pump, coil, etc.
For a good description of the peculiar engine bolts, get a copy of the T-Series Manual from the NE MG T Register. Chip Olds has an invaluable explanation of this peculiar thread & head combination. Essentially, they are a metric thread used during WW1, with bolt heads sized to fit Brit Standard or Whitworth wrenches. Other threads were those used in British industry at the time. You might try Moss or Abingdon Spares, or some of the advertisers in TSO for these bolts. In the article is mentioned Metric & Multistandards Components Corp, Elmsford, NY. My copy of the T-Series Manual is copywrite 1986-that information may no longer be current. However, even if you have the correct bolts, they won't be of much use to you if the threads in the original holes are stripped unless you can fill the holes and re-tap. It will be necessary to determine the time&cost/value relationship to many of these individual bolts. I don't think that you are likely to unduly wrack the frame in any manner short of a collision. The frames were considered stiff in their day, though we think of them as being pretty noodley today. How well did your doors fit when four tires were on the ground? How well do the doors fit when the car is up on jackstands? So you won't damage the frame by lifting it, but you might not want to remove and replace body pieces when it is up on jackstands. The cars were on their wheels at the factory when the bodies were installed. Your idea of supporting at the back with two supports and then using one under the front cross member sounds OK to me. I have done it that way, and felt that there was less twisting of the chassis because of an uneven floor situation than with four supports. What sort of wood supports are you engineering? Will you be able to achieve the rigidity of the jackstands without taking up more working space under the car? I started with a pair of 2,000 lb jackstands. These were fine for the weight, of course, but were not large enough to give adequate working room underneath. Next set was 4,000 lb units. With four of them under the TD I certainly had an adequate (infinite?) reserve of strength, and finally had the space to move the creeper, my elbows, and to focus my bifocals. You can bolt through the existing holes in the crossmember. One supposes that they are there to lighten the weight of the car, as in high-performance vehicles like the TDs and TFs "every ounce counts". I've never seen them discussed.
I found that by ordering hardware from Gerry Goguen's catalog (Abingdon Spares) I was able to match things up quite well. The Abingdon Spares catalog lists their item number along with the official MG part number. The only place that I was thrown for a loop was in the captive nuts in the plywood for the seat backrest. Other than that, I was able to obtain the proper fasteners from Gerry. He used to provide a free list of all of the body-related fasteners.
I have my TF somewhat apart to put in a new master cylinder and I saw that the lower bolts securing the bell housing to the engine/sump were missing. I acquired a few from Abingdon and when I went to put them in place found that the threads in the sump are no longer viable (read GONE).
Do I need to pull the sump to have threaded inserts put in the holes? Can I use a helicoil (is one available for a Whitworth thread?)?
Helicoil is what I did, but understand THESE ARE NOT Whitworth or BSF threads. I think you will find that nearly all bolts in the XPAG and XPEG engines are 8 mm x 1.0 fine thread metric. Originally, they had a british size head, but the thread form is fine thread metric. You should be able to find the correct helicoils at a good automotive shop, especially one that may have its own machine shop.
It's not uncommon, sorry to say. Helicoils are the way to go. It's a metric thread, and i believe it's 8mm x 1mm. Might be worth investing in the helicoil kit if you're doing more than two, otherwise any decent machine shop can install them for you for about $20/hole.
As other have indicated, the bolts are 8x1 mm metric. I use Keenserts. Prefer them to helicoil because you don't have to tap an oversize hole, just drill an oversize hole with the drill included with the kit. Available from Metric and Multistandard Components. Several locations. And, yes, you'll have to remove the sump (or gearbox).
Helicoils are really good, and very easy to do. If you only have one to do, the cost of around $20 for the kit, which includes a tap, is kind of high, but still worth it. I had to do one on the TA and am more than happy with the result and level of effort.
The 1.25 X 8 should work fine, as you have to drill out the old thread anyway. Then you tap the hole for the new bolt. It is the same diameter so not to worry.
Has anyone used silicon gasket?
I thought I ought to try and do something about the oil leaks on my Alvis 12/50 engine while I am reassembling it. The three places I had thought of using silicon gaskets are: between block and aluminium crankcase to replace a paper gasket, and on the metal-to-metal joints between oil pump and sump and between a cover plate and sump (aluminium).
It seems that there are two types of silicon gasket, blue and red, for different applications, but the packaging is not very explicit.
What happens when having spread the silicon on the face and the nuts are tightened? The packaging says that any excess on the outside can be trimmed off with a knife or wiped off with a suitable solvent. I am not too fussed about the outside, what happens inside? How do you stop it squeezing into water/oil ways?
Once again I dip into the vast pool of experience of the listers for suitable advice, please.
The Red is for High Temperatures. The blue for cooler. The problem is the O2 sensors. I don't think your car has one. RTV cures with moisture. Locked in the spots you spoke of it may never cure. The "rubber worms" that break off, if you do not clean up, plug holes everywhere except where you want them to. It is good stuff if used properly.
From my experience I can only say beware. As you correctly anticipate you dont know what squeezes inside the engine and it will end up on the suction gause on the oil pump or other places where it can do a similar amount of damage. At the risk of stating the obvious the most common cause of oil leakage is surfaces which aren't flat. I generally use paper gaskets and Hylomar spray on gasket cement sealer with good results however if the mating surfaces have sufficient area to facilitate the machining of a groove then one can use O ring material which is almost invariably better than gaskets.
I confess that I used silicon sealer in several locations on my Triumph Southern Cross recently, and all seems well. If there is any doubt about the mating surfaces, then you must make a thicker gasket. I echo the concern of others that a thin smear should do it. I also tend to favor the outside of the mating surface with the idea that the stuff will squeeze to the interior edge of the joint and stop there. The same principle as a good fireman who can spray just enough water into a burning house to put out the flame and leave the house as dry as possible afterward...
I have also used this stuff and would just add that some joints rely on the thickness of a paper gasket to provide proper clearances (eg bearing retaining, end clearance in some oil pumps).
Just to add my random thoughts to the pile:- 1. In general, IMHO anything like plastic gasket etc is a waste of time! The only time things like this work is where you have a good enough mating surfaces that it would have worked without it. 2. You should all remember that gluing components together is a very silly idea, as they have to come apart again one day, and it may be a lot sooner than you expect. It took three weeks to get the Head of our Humber because some silly person used a paper gasket and some Goo. The whole front end of the car was suspended 12 inches in the air by the head whilst vast amounts of penetrating oil soaked in to everything. Finally the gasket had to be sawn partially through with a home made brass blade. 3. Mating surfaces should be clean and flat, gaskets of the right sought used (paper/cork/copper etc) and a light coating of grease (possibly high temperature) applied to each side of the gasket, they should not be glued in place with all these awful coloured substances. When you take things apart you should be able to undo some bolts, take off the component, take off the gasket in one piece and possibly even reuse it. Would you use a soft Rubber drain plug in your sump, no you would not for fear of it letting go and ruining your engine. Why then use it somewhere else for just an important a job. As was said (and I have learned the hardway) there is no secret to a good seal, its just clean, flat,mating surfaces, with a good surface finish, the correct gasket material & thickness, a smear of grease on mating faces, the correct torque on the fasteners. As an impoverished motorcyclist years ago I tried all bodges with sealers, its all a waste of time. Do the job properly take some time, it will save in the long run.
Sometimes when I run over a "dip" in the road I get a loud noise from under the back of the TD which sounds like a pipe being hit by a hammer. Shocks have been rebuilt in last year. The noise is louder and happens more often if someone is riding in the car with me.
My B used to sound like it was smacked by a hammer every time it went over the slightest bump. Turned out to be worn out rubber in the link arm that couples the rear shock to the leaf springs. The TD has the same arrangement. When the rubber goes, you have metal hitting metal.
What is the clearance between the exhaust pipe and the side curtain storage box? I have noticed that the current Falcon Exhaust pipes do not have the correct bend to clear this area. In fact, the an extension of 1 inch to the rear pipe hanger helps to gain clearance in this area. When you go over a bump, the body and chassis flex (very little) but it just might be enough to have the box contact the pipe.
After a new tail pipe was installed in my car, there was a sound of a pipe being hit with a hammer too. Turned out that it was a tailpipe being hit by a rear axle. The new mounts were slightly different from the old mounts, and the slight difference caused the interference. While you are poking around, do check the level of the fluid in the shocks, just in case they are low.
In the past few years I have been a subscriber to several lists. Though I have not been extremely active with them, whenever I had a specific question, it was answered politely and quickly. I have also had the opportunity to add my $.02 worth in when it came to questions in my business. I have set up a webpage for the shop (very new still working on it...) with a FAQ section for bodywork, paint, prep and woodwork questions. Hoping this will help the groups take some of the load off this area and in searching webpages body/paint repairs just aren't covered well or at all. I am in the middle of a sill, floor & rocker replacement on a cust's TR-3 that I will be adding a step by step page on when the job is done.
Any questions you think should be covered please tell me. Your constructive criticism is alway appreciated for the webpage and the content. http://members.home.net/bmack99/paneldoctor/