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Back Cover Photos

5 Jan



Above: TC8315 exported to Cologne in 1949, returned to the UK in 1980 and now at home in the snow in Poland.
Below: TC9601 at Harwich with the ship that was used for the film “The Boat that Rocks” in the background.


 


Above: From L to R – TC0663, Rolf Schmidt, Martin Franklin, Rolf’s girlfriend Sylvia and TC1558. Location is a little chapel called “St. Wendelins” situated on the north eastern edge of the Black Forest, Germany.
Below: New England MG ‘T’ Register Chairman David Sander with the ex-Frank Churchill TD.


 

Bits and Pieces

4 Jan

XPAG Overheating

No article this month I’m afraid, but I thought I’d share a photo of the gooey mess I found when I removed the water outlet at the front of the engine on my TC. It is quite likely that this engine has not been touched since it was installed as a replacement for the original by Abingdon circa 1956! However, when the car was on the road I cannot recall any overheating problems and this included some runs in the Derbyshire Dales.

The block will be chemically cleaned and pressure tested when I get around to it. Although relatively expensive, I regard this as money well spent (the head will also be pressure tested). I get this work done by Hurley Engine Services in Bath, who I recommend without hesitation.

I hope to have an article on water pumps in the next issue.

Following the article on XPAG overheating (Part 1) in October’s TTT 2, I was asked about flow testing a radiator and to find out about what was involved I paid a return visit to the company who checked mine. The procedure (in my own words, so probably not very scientific!) is as follows:

(1) Fill the radiator with water, undo the drain plug and check for gravity feed (from experience the rate of flow would be deemed as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’).

(2) Lay the radiator flat on its back, having filled it with hot water, and check for cold spots (cold spots would indicate a blockage).

(3) Flush through at speed to check that there is no ‘flush back’ (‘flush back’ would indicate that there is a blockage somewhere in the radiator).

I hope that this helps!

POLYURETHANE BUSHES FOR TCs & TD/TFs

Just before Christmas I was contacted by the supplier and informed that he had received 58 of each bush. Although I had ordered 200 of each bush (400 in total) I figured that 116 was better than none at all so I went down to collect them. I then worked my way down the list and fulfilled as many orders as I could.

I have subsequently ‘chased’ the supplier and insisted that I must have the outstanding balance as a matter of urgency.

Not wishing to confuse the supplier, I have now increased my order to 300 of each bush (as it looks as though the initial order is very near to being sold out) and as a result I have re-calculated the cost price, having now amortised the cost of the moulds over 600 bushes (rather than 400 as before).

The revised selling price is £2.35 per bush, plus a suggested donation of 50p per bush to the TTT 2 ‘hard’ copy fund.

Putting this selling price into context, the cost per bush from a major supplier is £8.20 and what is on offer is a “uni-fit” bush with the bushes for the front and rear leaf springs on the TC having to be trimmed to fit.

The photographs below show my part numbers 0073 and 0074. Part number 0073 is the shorter bush and fits the rear ‘eyes’ of the front and rear leaf springs on the TC. Eight (8) of these are required for the TC. Part number 0074 is the longer bush which fits the chassis tube at the front of the TC and the rear spring arrangement on the TD/TF. Four (4) of these are required for the TC and eight (8) for the TD/TF.

Above and below: The two longer bushes on the left are Part number 0074 and the two shorter ones on the right are part number 0073. Note the generous flange on the bushes, which was a feature of the original ‘Harris-Flex’ (rubber) bush.

VW STEERING CONVERSIONS

Dieter Wagner has commented on the article by Mike James in the October 2010 issue concerning steering arms. Dieter is not comfortable with bending steering arms as he says that the steering arm is the most important part of the steering. He adds that he is still producing VW steering conversions using the original VW steering arms which have to be modified to fit to our cars. The price is 680 Euro including delivery within Europe. He has sent the following picture which is explained in the caption:

In the picture you see the VW steering arm on top, the modified arm and on the bottom an original one from an MG TC

CAN ANYONE HELP TRACE THIS CAR?

Simon Banks sent me this photo of a TA with registration number JB 9449. The car is shown as taxed from a DVLA enquiry, but the owner is not known. Simon also has a photo of his late mother, who died recently, aged 97, sitting in the car with the gentleman in the above photo (‘Sam’). He would very much like to talk to the current owner. He can be contacted at sbanks ‘at’ ccom.co.uk

RECONDITIONING OF BRAKE MASTER AND WHEEL CYLINDERS

Mention was made of the service offered by Past Parts of Bury St Edmunds in Noel Lahiff’s article on page 15. The editor has used this firm and also Contract Auto Engineering Limited to whom he recommended Roger Francis. Roger was pleased with the service he received and wrote as follows:

“I have received back the reconditioned front cylinders today & they look remarkably like new! Also, what pleasant people they are to deal with & all for a total bill of approx. £90 including VAT/carriage etc.”

The company is in the process of moving from Stourport-on-Severn to Hartlebury, Worcestershire – an e-mail to them at enquiries ‘at’ classiccar- brakes.co.uk will establish current location.

ZIRCOTEC www.zircotec.com

“I have just had the manifold shot blasted and coated with a ceramic finish by a company called Zircotec. They claim that it is also a thermal coating that should lower the under-bonnet temperature. It wasn’t cheap at about £200 + VAT but they have certainly done a fine job.” Barrie Jones

TC CARB FLANGE DISTORTION

Bill Cullen asks….. “Is it a common fault on TCs that the carb flange distorts? A friend has recently brought a TC which has documentation showing that the carbs were rebuilt; whilst this was some time ago they have covered very little mileage but the flanges have distorted and air is being sucked in.”

NEW CHAIRMAN FOR THE NEW ENGLAND MG ‘T’ REGISTER LTD.

The new Chairman of the NEMGTR, who has taken over from Charlie Searles, is David Sander.
David needs no introduction to those who are regular attendees at Gathering of the Faithful (GOFs) events as he has been an almost ever present (only missing two) since attending his first one in 1979 when he was just nine years old!

An accomplished restorer, he has tackled everything from total restorations, including engine rebuilds and body construction to day to day maintenance tasks. His work has been formally recognised by the Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts Club with the coveted President’s Restoration Award in 1987 and 2011.

He is pictured on the back cover with one of his finest restorations, the ex-Frank Churchill TD.

He leads a long established Register, but one with an ageing membership (as elsewhere in the world) and faces a number of challenges, not least the disconnect between the huge number of cars which the NEMGTR has registered and the number of active members.

He has already recognised this and feels that there are actions that can be taken to encourage a greater number of participants. A key goal should perhaps be to encourage interest from younger members.

MG TA Slow-Running Cable

3 Jan

When I first purchased my current MG TA in the mid 1990s it had a disparate array of control cables, knobs and switches on the dashboard. One of the first jobs I did was to tidy up this mis-match on the dashboard, so I ordered a new set of control cables from Mxxx, and purchased a couple of the correct switches from an autojumble. I fitted all three cables and they looked good. The starter-pull and choke worked fine, but the slow-running cable did not work, in that it did not matter how far you screwed the knob out it did not increase the idle speed. I initially thought that it was because of wear in the carb operating arm, so I left it for the time being. A couple of years ago I had the carbs rebuilt by Eddie Biddle of Malvern Wells. He did a superb job and replaced the slow-running operating arm at my request.

I refitted the rebuilt carbs and set them up so that the car was running well again. However the slow-running knob still didn’t work. I wasn’t bothered as it had not worked for the previous 12 years and had caused me no grief, but it was annoying.

A friend down in Sussex, Ian Linton, had been rebuilding his TA for a number of years and had at long last got it running and on the road. Unfortunately Ian’s slow-running cable did not work either, again a new one from Mxxx purchased a number of years earlier. Ian found that the little nipple on the knob end of the cable had broken off; he re-soldered a new one on and it now worked fine. On hearing about this I checked my cable and discovered the same problem. Around the same time I acquired a number of old T-Type cables in very poor condition, including several original slow running cables.

About 8 miles along the Fosse Way from where I live is a farm with a few small industrial units in the yard. One of these units is occupied by a super little one-man band outfit called J.J Cables (no relation to John James!). They specialise in making new cables for the classic and vintage motor-cycle trade, supplying throttle, clutch, brake, magneto and speedo cables for any bike you care to mention. Back in 2001 when I was re-building my PA I needed a new rev-counter/speedo cable for the car. I took the broken cable (inner and outer) down to them and they made me a new inner cable complete with correct Jaeger end for me very quickly and at a very reasonable price.

So a few months ago I took a few of my old T-Type cables along to J.J Cables and asked them if they could please replace the outer and inner cables for me. I gave them the length of both inner and outer cables that I wanted and left it to them to do the business. A few weeks later I got a telephone call saying my cables were ready for collection, so I popped down to collect them. They had made a superb job of re-building them, have a look at the photographs of the before and after condition of the slow-running cable. I had three slow-running cables and a choke cable rebuilt. The choke cable and one slow-running cable are for a friend of mine up in Preston who is rebuilding a TA Tickford. I have fitted another of the slow-running cables to my TA, and now for the first time ever in my ownership it works perfectly!

So if you have a choke, starter or slow-running cable that is defective, rather than buy a new one give J.J Cables a try. Sadly they can only repair defective T-Type cables, they cannot make new ones completely from scratch – they are too busy with motor-cycle cables. I have asked John to add their contact details to the ‘Suppliers’ list on his ‘MG T-Types Hub’ web-site.

Brian Rainbow

MG TA Slow Running Cable

Above and below: photos of the old and the rebuilt cable
MG TA Slow Running Cable

Ed’s note: A good article and a very useful contact for repair of your dashboard cables. I like ‘one man bands!’

As requested by Brian, I have added JJ Cables Limited to the ‘Suppliers List’ on the website. For those who receive a ‘hard’ copy of this magazine (some of whom do not have internet access) the contact details are as follows:

J.J. Cables Limited, Hillfields Farm, Lighthorne, Warwickshire, CV35 0BQ. Telephone 01926 651470.

Addition of a Remote Reservoir to MG TDs and TFs

3 Jan

MG TDs and TFs have a Lockheed brake master cylinder combined with a fluid reservoir. This reservoir has a limited capacity and access to check the brake fluid level and add fluid is difficult in that the cylinder is located just below the floor near to the foot pedals. To gain access the carpet must be folded back and a metal cover, screwed down onto the flooring, must be removed. This gives access to the filler plug through a small hole in the flooring.

Even with the steering wheel removed it is difficult to position one’s head to see down into the opening and pretty well impossible to add fluid and check the fluid level. The only solution appears to be one which involves a mirror, torch and a purpose made dipstick.

Ed’s note: Keith Douglas’ solution was published in the October 2010 issue of TTT 2, available to read here.

The fitting of a remote reservoir addresses both access and potential low fluid levels, eases the bleeding of the brakes, and enables the car user to see any drop in fluid level by simply lifting the bonnet.
The sketch below shows how I installed a remote reservoir to my TF.

The installation was not that easy as access is from above, and this necessitates removal of the seats, steering wheel, drive and transmission cover and the timber floor panel on the driver’s side.

The master cylinder sits in a fairly restricted space between the pedal box and a tubular chassis cross member.

These restrictions were further compounded by the additional supports on the cross member for the 5 speed gearbox fitted onto my car, and I found the best solution involved a banjo off the front of the master cylinder (photos 1 and 2) with a 1⁄4 in feed pipe up (photo 3) to the remote reservoir which I located on the outside face of the tool box under the bonnet (photo 4).


Photos 1 & 2: two views of the cramped space; the banjo fitting off the front of the master cylinder can be clearly seen in both photos.


Photo 3 showing banjo fitting and 1⁄4” feed pipe

Please note that no modifications to the existing master cylinder are required other than the replacement of the filler and cleaning plugs.

However as the work necessitates removal of the master cylinder the owner may take the opportunity to have the cylinder refurbished by a specialist, say Past Parts of Bury St Edmunds, beforehand.


Photo 4 showing position of remote reservoir

MATERIALS USED
Remote reservoir
Single chamber remote reservoir by Girling.
7/16 inch 20 tpi UNF connection.
F 7/16 20 tpi to 1⁄4 inch pipe.
I purchased mine from Europa Spares on the Internet.

Feed pipe
1⁄4 copper pipe of length sufficient to wind down to a location beneath the master cylinder where it is connected to a 1⁄4 inch flexible pipe.

I used standard copper as this is easy to bend using a pipe bending tool.

Flexible pipe and banjo
13 inch long purpose made flexible pipe with a female union at one end to make connection to the 1⁄4 copper feed pipe via a 7/16 inch, 20tpi UNF brake nut and a 1⁄4 BSP banjo and bolt at the other end.

Ideal Hose and Safety Ltd at Rugby made up the flexible hose connected to the banjo and banjo bolt, but no doubt there are others who can do this.

Connection to master cylinder.

Remove the existing drain plug at the front of the master cylinder reservoir. You can drill and tap this to take the banjo bolt but the interfaces must be perfect as brake fluid leaks readily through weak points.

I replaced this plug with one from a Morris Minor restoration company and drilled and tapped this out to take the banjo bolt. Owing to the tight space between the front of the master cylinder and the circular chassis cross member I found it necessary to reduce the thickness of the head of the banjo bolt to enable a fit.

I used standard new copper washers and a big spanner to ensure a tight leak proof fit. In my case the location of the 5 speed gear box connection very much dictated the angle of the banjo.

Existing filler plug. This is a 1&1/8” 20 tpi UNF aluminium plug 3⁄4 inch deep with a vent hole. I tried sealing this but was not assured that it would not leak in time so I replaced this with a solid steel plug from the same Morris Minor restoration company who supplied the other plug. I fitted fibre washers which gave an adequate seal with the new plug well tightened down.

Filling: I left off the new plug from the original filler hole and only put this in at the last moment during filling before the brake fluid spilt over to ensure that there was little or no air trapped in the master cylinder reservoir.

Note: I then made a suitably large opening in the floor above the master cylinder so that I could see the end connections and tighten the bolts if necessary. I covered this with an aluminium plate screwed down to the floor. This being beneath the carpet, it cannot be seen.

Since fitting this system in January 2011 I have found it so useful in not only having the comfort of being able to see the brake fluid level at any time but in bleeding the brakes. It is so simple to top up the remote reservoir during this process.

Additional Note: During the course of this work I discovered that the same Lockheed master cylinder was used on a number of cars in the 50s most notably the Morris Minor. MM specialists often replace the drum brakes at the front with discs and as the reservoir is insufficient they have been fitting a remote reservoir for some time. They use standard 3/16 copper pipe and connect this direct into the predrilled plug they screw into the front of the master cylinder. They have room to do this not having a tubular cross member in the way.

Recently another MG Kilsby member has fitted this system to his TF and in this case used 3/16 copper pipe connected to a flexible pipe and a banjo. I used 1⁄4 inch to ensure I could overcome the air lock during initial filling.

Noel Lahiff

The Story of ‘Kermit’

3 Jan

‘Kermit’ (TC4896) is named after the little fellow on the left. The TC, green in colour, graces the front cover of this issue.

‘Kermit’ was purchased by Flt Lt HC Cooper, Royal Australian Air Force on 2nd July, 1948 for £711.13.2 and registered as SA 239743 (as it is today) from Motors Ltd of Gawler Place, Adelaide South Australia, chassis number TC4896. The first photo shows a copy of the record of sales.

The M.G. was used daily around Adelaide until 1950, when Flt Ltd Cooper was transferred to Woomera Air Base for 3 years, making 7 round trips on extremely rough roads to Adelaide.

Driven to Queensland due to a transfer with the RAAF for a few years, the car was finally driven back to South Australia. By 1956, 100,000 miles were registered on the ‘clock’. The next 15 years were spent in Adelaide with TC4896 making several interstate trips – averaging 4,000 miles a year.

Early in 1970 at 160,000 miles, the car had an engine overhaul and new paint, from black to its colour today. Bob Reid of Kurralta Park, South Australia carried this out. After another 25 years (Adelaide & interstate) with the speedo approaching 300,000 miles, another engine overhaul/paint was again carried out by Bob Reid. In 1995 Flt Lt Cooper was not in good health and TC4896 did little mileage.

No. 4896 with its original plates, handbook, tools and papers (as seen in the auction advertisement in the second photo) was purchased from Bennett’s Classic Car Auction S.A. (Deceased Estate) by the car’s second owner, West Reynolds (ex Royal Australian Navy).

Before proceeding much further with the story it is worth commenting on the ‘MG Roadster’ details in the record of sales. It will be noted that the cars are recorded by their engine numbers rather than their chassis numbers.

The first entry is ‘XPAG 5482’ for which the corresponding chassis number is TC4893. The next, ‘XPAG 5212’, is TC4626. This is followed by ‘XPAG 5496’, which is none other than TC4896 (‘Kermit’) and lastly ‘XPAG 5438’, which is TC4833.

Apart from ‘Kermit’ (TC4896), only TC4893 is in the database of the UK’s ‘T’ Register. It would be good to know that TC4626 and TC4833 have both survived.

One further point; the production dates for these cars range from 26th January, 1948 to 26th February, 1948.

Returning to Kermit’s story, West Reynolds had been looking for a good unspoilt TC, having sold, one by one, a modern Midget, MGB and ZB saloon, leaving him with a MGC GT. A friend drew his attention to a one owner TC which was being offered for sale by Bennetts, Classic Car Auctioneers in South Australia. West, who is based in Perth, sent for the details and was provided with photos of the car and the original bill of sale and guarantee certificate which was made up in the form of the display board which is reproduced in this article.

Dealing from a distance (Western Australia to South Australia) dictates that you ask a lot of questions before submitting an auction bid. The auctioneers said that the car “drove well” and the only problem was that it had a poor hood. Having satisfied himself sufficiently regarding the history of the car and its rebuilds, West put in a pre-auction bid, which was rejected; the auction failed to reach West’s bid and the car was put in a container, then train and arrived three days later in Perth.

An apprehensive West wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but what “greeted” him was an unpolished and dusty TC with windscreen wipers falling down. It was unregistered, the brakes were almost non- existent, it had a mind of its own in steering and
got very hot on the way home. All this from a car that, according to the auctioneers, “drove well”!

West takes up the story from now:

“A week of examination did give some relief, even after a wash it looked good, the side curtains, interior & carpet were good, forget the hood, did have the half tonneau. The brakes were all basket cases, so was the cooling system, and the front end was doubtful.

I was still working, and decided to give the repairs to Mike Sherrell (who better! Ed), which turned out a good thing, as I would never have crack tested the front end. The firewall was given the proper colour, the radiator slats, & the horrible gold rocker cover. Here in Perth the TC Owners Club have a Parts & Services Reference Folder, made from contributions from the members over 50 years now. John Bowles (engineer) is the guru here in TC repairs, mend any part, revamp & update any TC car. The Datsun steering box is a must, which he would have converted many, the Morris Minor Differential conversions for different ratios for keeping up with modern traffic, oil cleaner conversion etc.

Later on the new hood and full tonneau cover were made. The wheels were the last expense, sand blasted, spokes checked and painted, not powder coated.



Above and Below: Kermit undergoing a ‘face lift’ with Mike Sherrell



Above: Now with correct bulkhead colour



Above: Kermit and cousins at Battle of Britain air display

Kermit is not a concourse car, but fits comfortably in to any group of T.C.s Kermit is very original, draws its admirers at any car show especially when they read the history – comments such as ‘does it glow in the dark’ (stationed at Woomera Air Base in S.A. I guess referring to radiation the U.K. & RAAF with their testing of the Atom)”.

West Reynolds, Perth, Western Australia



Above: Kermit ‘showing off’

Ed’s note: The front cover picture was taken from Kings Park, the most popular visitor attraction in Western Australia. Kings Park and Botanic Garden was originally known as Perth Park but re-named Kings Park in 1901 in honour of King Edward VII following a visit by his son, the Duke of York (later King George V). The Swan River is in the background – the leafless trees are bottle trees (baobabs) [adansonia digitata]. A native species of Madagascar (and Australia), they were transported down to Western Australia from the Northern Territory and there was much speculation at the time as to whether they would transplant. Judging by the photo above, they haven’t done so bad!

Indicator Lights on an MG TC

2 Jan

Following Colin Hooper’s article on fitting rear indicators to a TD, I offer a slightly different approach to rear lights on a TC.

Picture 1 shows the rear of my car when my ownership started 5 years ago. Note the low level indicators, the single reflector (surely an MOT failure point) and the shiny number plates.

MG TC Indicators
Picture 1

The first modification I made was to fit a high level brake and rear lamp from Stafford Vehicle Components. The light is located above the spare wheel holder. The wheel holder was removed, a bracket made to go behind the holder, the light fitted to the bracket and the whole was assembled. Depending on the thickness of the bracket you may need longer bolts to hold everything together, see Picture 2.

MG TC Indicators
Picture 2

Although it is behind the spare wheel, the light shines through and makes us more visible to drivers behind. I also fitted a pair of reflectors adjacent to the brake lights.

Over time I became concerned that the indicators were set at such a low level that they could not be seen by drivers who often are far too close. My solution to this was to buy pedestal lights and spot light mounting brackets from SVC so that the lights could be attached to the supports for the luggage rack.

The hole in the brackets was far too big for the pedestal light so I filled it in with some bushes. I drilled a hole at the bottom of the support leg and another at the top so that it was just visible when the rack was put back on the support. I fed a wire up through the tube so that it was hidden and secure. I needed to use long nose pliers to persuade the wire to go through the top hole. I then fitted connectors to both ends of the wire and attached the new wire to the existing wire for the indicators. I attached the earth wire to the brackets Pictures 3 and 4.

A small amount of clear silicone was applied to the wire where it went through the support leg to prevent moisture ingress. Although the new lights came with bulbs, I wanted to carry a spare. The lights use a 23w bulb which can be obtained from most motor cycle dealers.

MG TC Indicators

Pictures 3 and 4

MG TC Indicators

I moved the reflectors on the brackets which previously were used for the indicators and changed the shinny number plates for more appropriate ones. Picture 5 shows the final result of these changes.

MG TC Indicators
Picture 5

I have also removed the separate front indicators which were obscured by the wings and inserted the SVC dual front indicator and side light arrangement in the existing side lights.

Because of my hearing loss exacerbated by wind noise when driving the car, I couldn’t hear the indicator so I have added a buzzer (a couple of pounds at an auto jumble) to the flasher circuit and now know when the indicators are in use. I hope that these changes make my TC, my wife and myself more visible and safer when out on our jaunts.

Frank Shore

Ed’s note: SVC is Stafford Vehicle Components Limited, founded 10 years ago by TC owner Steve Taylor with help from his wife, Barbara and now joined by his son, Ed as Sales Director. SVC are good people to deal with and supplied all the parts to enable me to fit flashing indicators on my PB. They can be contacted through their website www.s-v-c.co.uk

The fitting of brake/indicator lights seems to be a good source of articles as I have been promised yet another one on fitting them to a TD. This will appear in a future issue.

Old Lock and Key Co

Supercharging the XPAG

2 Jan

I read with great interest the recent article by Colin Hooper in TTT2 # 7 on his experience of installing a supercharger on his 52 MG TD. What captivated me about the article was not the supercharger system, but rather his opinion of it, as I am the guy who designed and built it.

Supercharging a MG T-Series today is nothing new; in fact when our cars were in current production there were over half a dozen different manufacturers that were making kits. The enthusiast driven aftermarket quickly saw the limits of the mighty XPAG and jumped on the opportunity to add some sorely missing “grunt” to Abingdon’s meagre effort. English companies such as Shorrock, Marshal-Nordec, Arnott and Wade made superchargers, as well as the Italians with SCoT and Itel-Meccancia.

Even we colonials got into the act with our American home-grown effort from Judson. Most MG T owners nowadays tremble at the thought of supercharging their cars as they all have heard the dark tales of destroyed engines, broken crankshafts and mushroom clouds of lost money. In these stories the teller usually has forgotten to mention that when the alleged engine failure occurred, he was p*s*ed out of his mind, running 7,000+ RPM and fitted it to a worn-out old lump with millions of miles flogged on it. The truth is a properly set up supercharged engine is every bit as reliable as a normally aspirated one, maybe even more so.

How? A supercharged engine is able to make more power at a lower RPM than an atmospheric induced one due to better intake charge distribution. Also the power impulses on the crank tend to be more equal in strength as the intake charge is under pressure.

How does it all work? In a perfect world (with our XPAGs being 100% efficient) when the intake valve of a XPAG engine opens, air and fuel fills the 312.5cc volume of each cylinder with the pressure of the atmosphere at around 14.7 psi. The net result of all this is around 50 horsepower produced at the crankshaft. Now if the pressure filling the cylinder were raised by 50%, you would now stuff 468cc’s. into the same volumes yielding a corresponding increase in power. So a supercharger adding an additional 7.5 psi pressure or “Boost” to the intake system, should now give you 75 horsepower.

The reality with our XPAGs is we really only see about a 40-45% increase due to the inherent inefficiencies of the engine. Still a 45% increase is wonderful improvement; remember that when you are pulling on to the motorway next time with your stock spec motor.

XPAG Dyno Results Graph
Note: All dyno measurements taken at the rear wheels.

Marshall-Nordec Supercharger
One of the more popular Marshall-Nordec superchargers as fitted to a TD. Photo: author unknown, but thank you!

Arnott Supercharger
An Arnott installed on a TC. Photo: author unknown, but thank you!

The superchargers originally offered for the XPAG engines fell into two basic categories: “Roots” pump type superchargers such as Marshall- Nordec, Wade and SCoT and concentric compressors, such as the Shorrock, Arnott and Judson. These two different type superchargers achieve the same result of pressurizing the intake system of the engine, but go about in two different manners. The Roots design is an air pump; it makes no pressure internally in the supercharger, but pumps the manifold with fuel and air faster than the engine can ordinarily consume it, creating pressure in the intake tract. The concentric superchargers trap a volume of air and then internally compress it before releasing it into the inlet tract. The German word for supercharger is “Kompressor” and Mercedes proudly emblazes the sides of their product with it, though in reality, they actually use a “Roots pump” type supercharger!

For years I have fooled with superchargers on MG T-Types; this initially involved rebuilding old units and in many cases, making new parts for them as well. The problem is that the original units that crop up for sale on Ebay and at the autojumble, are 50+ years old, expensive, often need rebuilding and lord help you if you need replacement parts!

After years of supercharging MGs, I became involved in supercharging current production vehicles as a vocation. I was supercharging new cars during the day and old ones (MGs) at night. It was bound to happen, and it eventually did; the two crossed and a new XPAG supercharger system was born. I was working for Moss Motors at the time developing Mazda and Honda superchargers for their Jackson Racing division. For the T-Series, I chose to use an older design “Magnacharger” M60 as it had the right flow characteristics and a vintage look and these units sold well until the manufacturer decided to discontinue the unit. I think Moss sold around 200 of these units over a 4 year period. During this same time I left Moss for greener pastures in the supercharger field, but not before I designed their MGB supercharger system as well.

Moss Supercharger
One of my ”Moss” systems installed on a TF 1500. Photo by author.

Even after I left Moss, my MG brethren continued to hound me for a new XPAG blower as Moss’s supply had now dried up. By this time I was working for a major OEM supercharger supplier and was supercharging tens of thousands of TRD Toyotas and new English vehicles as well; the current Lotus Elise SC and Exige. I built a handful of new systems for the T series using an Eaton based MP45 supercharger built by my current employer with parts based on the old Moss system. By happy coincidence, those parts ran out at the same time as the supply of the appropriate blower to fit them dried up. This forced me to start from the beginning for the third time with a clean sheet of paper. This new system was inspired by the vintage predecessors but uses modern technology to achieve a better result. I also added all the improvements I had learned from the earlier iterations. This Supercharger is designed to fit the XPAG and XPEG engines fitted to MG TB-TC-TD- TF sports cars from 1939-1955, providing a boost pressure of 6-10 psi depending on engine configuration. Higher boost levels are possible and this supercharger under racing conditions is capable of supporting an engine to over 150 bhp with the correct modifications as necessary.

MG TA Hill Climb
Jakob Vigselo at the Skilborg, Sweden hill climb in his 150+HP Mirage Garage supercharged XPAG engined TA. Note all four wheels are off the ground! Photo by Nils Millar

With my new system, I felt I needed it was time to give it a proper name other than “just another one of Terry’s blowers”. Years ago one of my MG mates, Craig Cody dubbed my home garage “Mirage Garage” as I was always working on MG projects there. Well the name stuck as I now had a product for a business that does not exist. (hence the Mirage aspect) The new Mirage Garage supercharger is the result of over thirty years of supercharger experience and development. It utilizes the latest Eaton 5th generation MP45 supercharger technology as used on the Lotus sports cars and In fact the internals of my blower are directly interchangeable with these cars. The standard kit will deliver 5-7 pounds of boost which is good for about a 45% increase in rear wheel horse power. The big boost kit that makes 8-10 psi is available too.

The supercharger unit is completely self contained with no need for external oil supply or drain lines, with the first recommended service at 100,000 miles, or in XPAG years, about the time your grandchildren will seek their pensions. The kit comes with everything necessary for installation except the carb. It uses a SU H4 (1-1/2”) carb with some minor mods explained in the installation instructions. The supercharger installation requires no cutting or drilling and is completely reversible.

In Colin’s article, he added an additional fuel pump, but unless you are going hard-core racing, your single, standard S.U. fuel pump will work just fine. Installation time is four to eight hours depending on the vehicle and your beer consumption. To date I have over 50 successful installations.

Mirage Garage Supercharger
The latest offering from Mirage Garage fitted on a TC. Photo by author.

Mirage Garage Supercharger
The “Mirage Garage” Supercharger kit. Photo by author.

Driving a stock MGT in modern traffic can be a harrowing experience. You have a limited amount of power and must struggle just to keep up and not get run over. So to answer the big question: “What is it like to drive a supercharged MGT?” Here is a real world example: In the course of my testing there is a hill in my home town that is quite long and steep with an eight percent grade. When climbing it in my absolutely stock ’53 TD, I found myself crawling up in 2nd gear while winding the engine at very high RPM just to try to stay up with traffic. Supercharging the same car, I can now blast up the hill quickly in 3rd with modest RPM. It is a good feeling to know you are able to run with modern traffic, and that you have reserve power to get you out of a tight spot. Distribution of my new Mirage Garage Supercharger kit is handled in the UK by Steve Baker at Steve Baker MGs steve ‘at’ stevebakermg.co.uk and in the USA by Tom Lange at MGT Repair and by myself tpeddicord ‘at’ rocketmail.com for the rest of the world and the USA.

Once you try a supercharged XPAG, you will never want to go back to a normally aspirated engine again. It is true what they say about power, it really does corrupt you!

Terry Peddicord

Ed’s Note: Thank you Terry for an interesting article with some great photos.

The Resurrection of TA0844 (Part 4)

2 Jan


Photos 1 & 2 – two views of the Luvax replicas supplied by Available Austins Ltd

We left Bob Butson (owner of TA0844) in the December issue, having sorted out the mess his engine was in and having fixed his gearbox. Bob takes up the story from now on:

The chassis was now complete, except for shock absorbers. I decided to save the telescopic conversion for later consideration and use Luvax replicas. These were made for Austins but very closely resemble the originals, with the same outside appearance and fixing hole spacing. They are supplied by Available Austins Ltd. Tel: 01676 541276. The rear arms and links, one front arm and two chassis pins were missing. These were obtained from Vintage and Classic Shock Absorbers Ltd. Tel: 020 8651 5347. Photos 1 & 2

Someone has queried the engine mounting which I used. This was a later mounting used on the TB/TC. The hole in the chassis engine bracket has to be enlarged to accommodate the sleeved rubber bush. This is illustrated in the drawing from an old NTG catalogue. NTG can supply all parts at mgbits.com (Ed’s note: the drawing is reproduced with permission of NTG at the end of this article).

When I acquired TA 0844 it had a totally rusted fuel tank so I purchased a reproduction from Sportscar Metal Works in Iver, Buckinghamshire sportscarmetalworks.com. Only when it was time to fit it did I realise that the filler cap fitting, which was brazed in, was for the later pressed steel top. Since the tank had never contained petrol, the whole fitting was easily removed with heat and a pair of naval cutters, it was destroyed in the process. I made a new one for the correct screw-on cap which incorporated a lock. Photos 3 &4

MG TA Filler Cap

Photos 3 & 4 showing brass plate with shaped cut-out and the locking mechanism in position
MG TA Filler Cap 2

MG TA Petrol Cap 3
Photo 5 – the finished article

Credit for the idea goes to Alasdair Enticknap who wrote an article published in the Octagon Car Club Bulletin. In this article he describes how to fit a lock into the later pressed steel cap fitting which has a hinge pin. He purchased a Halfords Locking filler cap Part No. XS584 for a Fiat Uno or Cinquecento and describes how he made a brass plate with a shaped cut-out to fit into the neck of the filler cap fitting. The fitting that I made incorporates this filler cap and shape. The dimensions of the cut-out shape and its thickness were determined from the cap.

The fitting was turned from a piece of stainless steel bar, the top having the diameter and thread pitch to match the screw-on flip-top filler cap. A hole was cut through the centre after cutting away the correct depth for the lock; then the tank side was cut away leaving the correct thickness for the lock cut-out. The lock cut-out shape could then be filed out. The fitting has a flange which rests on the tank covering the old filler hole and provides an area for silver soldering to the tank. It is necessary to orientate the whole before soldering, to ensure that when the top is screwed on it flips open in the required position.

The water pump I restored as original, hence the article in TTT, July 2010. I understand that there is an alternative to the graphite seal (a seal can be made from lignum vitae, a very dense tropical hardwood which contains its own oils giving it self- lubricating properties – Ed)

The carburettors which came with the car were not good: the bodies were damaged but the pistons and pots were serviceable. Some of the furniture was never used on a TA. I had acquired many parts over the years and was able to rebuild a complete set as original. The search for the correct layout led to writing the article about TA carburettors which appeared in TTT, Nov 2010.

The starter and dynamo were fitted with new bearings and brushes and the starter drive with new springs. Lucas parts numbers as follows:-

Dynamo DA21 228163
Brush set 221879
Bush 238567
Bearing 189308
Pulley 706205
Starter M418A 255309
Brush set 255240
Bush 256112
Bush, drive end 256113
Coil 491612
(The coil came with the car and has no dents. Hopefully it is serviceable)

I have a large list of many manufacturers’ parts numbers for the TA, which is most useful when at autojumble. A copy has been uploaded to the Technical Archive on the TTT 2 website. Additions to this list will be welcomed.

The starter was fixed with socket screws from Roger Furneaux for ease of removal of the motor if it became necessary. For restoration of the dynamo reduction gearbox see TTT 2, Issue 7.

The gearbox speedometer pinion housing modification to prevent oil working up the speedometer cable was illustrated in TTT 2 Issue 1, with a modified exchange housing from Doug Pelton. For those who wish to do this themselves, see photos 6 & 7 below. I did this modification some time ago and I cannot find to whom to attribute it but many thanks. It was obtained via http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mg-tabc. For membership of this group, email fdshade ‘at’ aol ‘dot’ com for details and for access to the extensive technical files at www.mg-tabc.org

MG TA Pinion Housing

Photos 6 & 7 – modifying the gearbox speedometer pinion housing
MG TA Pinion Housing 2

The distributor was fairly good. Unusually it was fitted with an oiler and tube for shaft lubrication – Photo 8. The shaft was worn but the bushes were good and a new shaft was a good fit. Advance springs, rotor arm and cap were obtained from distributordoctor.com

There are many versions of the oil filter conversion. The one I chose was illustrated in TTT 2, Issue 2.

MG TA Distributor

Photo 8 – Distributor showing oiler and tube for shaft lubrication

The body was ready for its skin and I decided to use 1mm steel. The wheel arches had been obtained as a pair some time before but needed some alterations to make a good fit.

I was able to locate steel angle for the body support irons in imperial dimensions. The original ironwork was scrap except for the body side support behind the seats.

Soon after purchasing TA0844 I was offered a pair of unused original rear wings with just surface rust from storage. These required slight alteration, hence the heat marks. Of course the bonnet was out of square with the body and radiator and needed a small increase in length on the nearside.

MG TA Body

Photo 9 – showing most of the metalwork finished

The front wings were restorable, as was the scuttle top, firewall and kick board. The doors, running boards, fuel tank and rear wings were scrap, but useful for patterns. Sportscar Metalworks made the tops of the running boards, which were supplied without their ends and brackets attached, fully shaped and wire-edged, but about 1/4 inch longer at each end. This was to ensure a good fit between the wings by enabling the removal of metal from either end.

Extensive surgery was required to the front wings. Rust had attacked at the mounting points, the running board ends and the sidelamp mounting holes. They were not matched. The nearside was a poor fit to the chassis rail. It was necessary to split the spot welding and realign.

The first body part to be made and fitted to the wood frame was the sidescreen compartment. The body frame could then be fitted to the chassis, where all mounting holes lined up without a problem. All the panels could now be fitted.

I fitted the door frames using the original hinges with new balls and pins, and reinforced the doors with steel corners as per the TD. Photo 10 shows this, but the lower front bracket has yet to be screwed in.

MG TA Doors

Photo 10 – doors reinforced with steel corners

The door aperture was covered also as that of the TD. Photo 11.

MG TA Door Modification
Photo 11 strengthening bar for door aperture

Am I stirring the OP? After the next article they will be steaming.

Bob Butson November 2011

MG TA/TB/TC Engine Mountings

Drawing of TA and TB/TC engine mountings referred to on page 4 and reproduced with kind permission of NTG Services.

Editor’s Note: Address for Rique Llinares

Rique, who makes Ash body frames and burr and straight grained walnut dashboards has contacted me on a couple of occasions regarding his correct address. It seems that some prospective customers are trying to contact him at his previous address which was at Town End Farm Cottage, High Casterton. Rique moved from this address five years ago! – his correct address is now:

E.Llinares, 1 Meadowcroft, Ireby Road, Burton in Lonsdale, CARNFORTH, Lancashire LA6 3LT. Tel: 01524262588 Mob: 07787393926 email: riquellinares(at)hotmail.com (substitute @ for (at) ).

The Editor

1 Jan

Welcome to Issue 10 and 2012! This is the second full year of the magazine (In 2010 there were three issues; August, October and December), so 2011 was the first full year of publication.

I start the year full of optimism, buoyed up by the wonderful support you all have given me. I occasionally have to pinch myself as a reminder that what I produce from this once tidy fourth bedroom, which has been turned into an untidy study, goes out to an appreciative worldwide audience, but I never forget that none of this would be possible without you, the contributors.

Now to the financials for 2011 and it’s good news!

Donations in 2011 amounted to £676.02; the balance brought forward from 2010 was £197.45 so the balance at the end of 2011 was £873.47. Donations which were received as amounts over and above the cost price of spares I supplied in 2011 amounted to £332.20; the balance brought forward from 2010 was £36.95 so the balance at the end of 2011 was £369.15. Adding these two income streams together (I have amalgamated the general donation fund and the TTT 2 donation fund to make life simpler) the total balance at the end of 2011 was £1242.62.

I made reference in the previous issue to the high cost of the printed copies of the magazine due to the small print run. Despite the fact that most ‘hard’ copy subscribers paid over and above the asked for subscription, the apportioned shortfall between the cost of providing them with the magazine (including postage) and their subscriptions was £125.49. The apportioned cost of providing the complimentary copies was £246.64 so a total of £372.13 needs to be deducted from the figure of £1242.62 quoted above, leaving a net balance at the end of 2011 of £870.49.

I regard the overall financial position as very satisfactory and confidently predict that even without another single ‘general’ donation in 2012, income from a small amount of advertising and from amounts contributed in excess of the cost price of spares (and treated as a donation) will ensure that the ‘balance sheet’ at the end of the year will be stronger still.

The first calendar year of our website ttypes.org has been a resounding success, with a number of essential resources being added, including an online database of nearly four thousand MG T-Types worldwide at the MG T Database. The website has also attracted over 700 new readers to Totally T-Type 2, and going forward into 2012 subscribers continue to grow at a similar rate of two per day on average.

My son is pleased to report that his eBay helper website, MG AuctionWatch, has just undergone a much-needed “rebuild”. MG AuctionWatch now lists more than twice as many T-Type auctions than before, dividing cars for sale, parts and books and manuals into helpful sub-categories, making the current selection of T-Type auctions on eBay even easier to browse. You can test drive the new MG T-Series section of the site at http://www.mgauctionwatch.com/ttype

Doug Pelton is now starting his fifth year in business – I find this hard to believe since it only seems like yesterday that he sent me some pedal spring sets to offer for sale here in the UK when his fledgling business was being established. Doug’s worldwide customer base has grown from 18 countries to an incredible 30 in the past year and he has just brought out the second edition of his catalogue (catalog for our cousins in the US). You can download the latest edition at fromtheframeup.com From The Frame Up LLC is an amazing success story built on service excellence and the supply of good quality parts, which have been painstakingly researched. I raise my glass of Old Speckled Hen to you Doug!

The MG International Show and Spares Day on Sunday 19th February is rapidly approaching so I guess it’s high time I dusted down the display tables and located the new spares which I offer for sale. I will have some XPAG head gasket sets and bottom end sets at roughly half the price charged by some dealers and also plenty of correct polyurethane suspension bushes for TC/TD/TF along with my usual offerings of kingpin sets (now only a few left) and shackle pins.

I shall be sharing a stand with Brian Rainbow and we shall be located in Hall 1, just over the way from Barry Walker’s stand. Brian always carries an amazing selection of spares, particularly those for the MPJG.

I leave you with a ‘shot’ of a freshly painted J2 rear axle – a mere ‘toy’ compared to the weight of a TC axle. It’s just what the dining room table was bought for all those years ago!

JOHN JAMES

 

 

DISCLAIMER BY THE EDITOR

Totally T-Type 2 is produced totally on a voluntary basis and is available on the website www.ttypes.org on a totally FREE basis. Its primary purpose is to help T-Type owners through articles of a technical nature and point them in the direction of recommended service and spares suppliers.

Articles are published in good faith but I cannot accept responsibility or legal liability and in respect of contents, liability is expressly disclaimed.