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Back Cover Photos

10 Jul

Above: John Lambie with TC8206; photo taken at the annual “All British” car show in the country town of Gingin, 80 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia – a great event that attracts about 600 British cars. Below: Rod Cooper with his two TFs. The ‘baby’ is an electrically powered children’s TF built by the Sunny Days company in England in the 1960s and just restored by Rod. The ‘grown-ups’ has been owned twice by Rod – first in the late 1960s and again re-purchased approx. 10 years ago. Thank you to Matthew Magilton for the pic, taken at the MGCC of Victoria Concours at Flemington in April.

Above: Peter Kerr in ‘Yellow Rebel’ at speed at Lakeside Raceway in Queensland. Do those TR drivers know what he has under the bonnet? Below: Two pictures from the T-Type Tour 25-26 May 2013 Denmark (Danish & Swedish MG Clubs).

Bits and Pieces

9 Jul

Carburettor Specialist

I’ve just had the carburettors on my PB rebuilt by Ed Biddle of EB Engineering. Ed operates from 246 Wells Road, Malvern Wells, MALVERN Worcestershire WR14 4HD. Telephone 01684 577564. Ed has rebuilt carbs for several T-Type owners, including Brian Rainbow (overhaul of a pair of brass bodied TA carbs).

Ed also provides a complete refurbishment service for T-Type windscreen assemblies. A useful chap to know and located in a very nice part of the UK in ‘Morgan country’.


The Editor’s rebuilt carbs by Ed Biddle. They are actually from a C-Type, so are 1 1/8 inch compared with the standard 1 inch.

Having fitted the rebuilt carbs and started the engine, the float bowl on the first carb overflowed. I had fitted a new Petroflex pipe from pump to carb and assumed that there might have been some debris in the new pipe as there were some fine bits of black debris in the bottom of the bowl. So, I took everything apart and started again, only to have the same thing happen upon re-assembly. A little fed up by now, I fitted my old Petroflex pipe and everything was fine. The new Petroflex pipe was returned to the supplier and full credit given.

Having had more of my fair share of problems with these Petroflex pipes I asked a friend to make up some copper tubing to fit between pump and carb and here is the result.

The Low Fuel Light

“The Low Fuel lamp is held into the dash by a collar and spring arrangement that fits from behind the dash. The collar locks into position by rotating it after passing over spigots that are pressed out of the body sides. There are two spigots diametrically opposite each other and two cut-outs in the collar to allow the collar to pass over them. There are actually two sets of spigots to accommodate dashboards of different thicknesses.

To get at the lens you would first need to remove the bulb holder which simply pushes into the back of the body (Just pull it out of the body – don’t twist it as there is a means of preventing it rotating). Then remove the collar by rotating it to align the cut-outs with the spigots in the body and then pulling the collar and the spring off. The lamp body will then be free to pull out from the front of the dash. Once out of the dash you will see that the bezel is held in place by two tongues that are bent over to hold it in place. Carefully straighten the tongues to release the bezel, lens and ‘Fuel’ symbol.

Sounds complicated, but it isn’t really. In fact it’s a pretty horrible arrangement. The collar is a tight fit on the body making it difficult to remove, especially when standing on your head in the foot well of the car.”

Ed’s note: The above dis-assembly instructions were kindly provided by Peter Cole in response to a request by a TC owner who wanted to replace the broken lens on his fuel light.

In a follow up e-mail Peter provided some more useful information as follows:

“The lens of my original Fuel Lamp is missing, so I have no idea what it looked like, but the reconditioned original sold to me (see contact details for the supplier at the end of these paragraphs) has a clear plastic ‘lens’ which is simply a disc of green Perspex material. Behind that is a thin brass disc out of which has been etched the word ‘FUEL’, so only the letters transmit light from the bulb. I would guess originally the lens was back printed with an opaque paint to the same effect.

A word of warning: the tongues of the bezel, both on my original and on the reconditioned one, are extremely fragile. They snap off really easily so you may have to resort to using adhesive to hold it in place after replacing the lens.”

(Reconditioned original provided by Digby Elliot. He deals in second hand T-Type parts and some repro items. He is also a useful contact as he restores gearboxes, handbrakes, windscreens and other parts. He can be contacted on 07836 754034).

Replacement clocks MG TD – second generation

In Issue 23 (April 2014) Declan Burns told us that he had made a small batch of replacement clocks for the dish faced speedo on the TD. At the time he was having difficulty with sourcing suitable ladies watches which were used for the replacements. In a recent e-mail he advised that he thinks he has now solved the supply problem – over to Declan…

“I have just received a sample clock from what I hope to be a reliable UK source. I have ordered some more as I am really very pleased with them. As opposed to the first batch, these are actually insertion clocks with a Japanese movement as used by many major watch manufacturers and not ladies watches.

A reliable movement is essential as you don’t want to have to correct the time on a regular basis – although the watches I was using were “Citron” and were very accurate. The new ones are slightly dearer but only by a few Euros but this extra is offset by coming with a spare battery. They will be available with Arabic or Roman numerals.

You wrote in the last issue of the magazine that some people were having difficulty with my email address. That’s my fault for using declan underscore burns at web dot de. When sent as a link and underlined it is difficult to see the underscore. That’s the reason.

I have attached some photos of the insertion clock showing details and what they look like when test fitted on my car. I test fit them before I send them out. I think they don’t look out of place. I am expecting a delivery today and have some housings already made up.

The pin is just to make the installation easier when fiddling under the dash and can be removed if required as it is only pushed in.”


Photo 1 – TD replacement clocks 2nd generation.

Photo 2 – TD replacement clocks 2nd generation.

Photo 3 – TD replacement clocks 2nd generation.

Photo 4 – TD replacement clocks 2nd generation.

Repair of Clocks

The services of David Ward were mentioned in Issue 24 (June 2014). David’s offer was as follows: “If any of your members are interested I would be willing to see if I can repair their clocks. A very small fee would cover my expenses”. David can be contacted by e-mail at: warddavidc(at)virginmedia.com Please substitute @ for (at).

Since the last issue he has received a couple of clocks for repair. The first one was relatively straightforward but on the second the original contact pin was worn through by 90%. This has been replaced but the clock will only run reliably at 15 Volts at the moment. Further tweaking is required.

Rear Axle stamping?

Rolf Schmidt is curious to identify this stamping on his TC rear axle. Anyone know?

Knight Engine Services

Mention was made of Knight Engine Services of New Factory Unit, Furnace Lane, Nether Heyford, Northants, NN7 3LB, tel. 01327-340900 in an earlier Issue of TTT 2. Members of the Kilsby MG Club visited the premises for a guided tour and were suitably impressed, so much so that the proprietor, Dave Knight, picked up some useful work after the visit.

Dave is currently working on a TB (XPAG) engine and I hope to feature some of the work he has done on this engine in a future Issue.

Hagerty Classic Car Insurance

I continue to receive reports of useful savings in insurance costs by using our arrangement with Hagerty. To qualify for this offer, please call Hagerty on 0844 824 1130 and quote the following promotional code: CCTTT. I was able to test their breakdown/recovery service recently (not that I set out to do so!) and was well satisfied with the response time and recovery arrangements.

XPAG REAR MAIN SEAL

John Lambie sent me the following pictures on setting up the rear crescent plate for minimum oil loss, using a dummy crankshaft piece, made by John Bowles of the MG TC Owners Club in Perth, http://www.mgtcownersclub.com John is coming to the UK in September 2015 along with 17 other Australian crews for the MGA Register’s Lands End to John o’ Groats Run.


The crescent is set for the correct clearance as necessary by dressing the ends using 800 wet/dry paper on plate glass This method has been used successfully to produce dry engines, without resorting to after market seal kit solutions.

Showing the use of a 0.003 ‘feeler gauge’ cut from a Carlton Mid-Strength beer can.

More polyurethane parts

I still have a supply of polyurethane bushes for the suspension on TC (front and rear) and TD/TF (rear) models. There has been a small price increase and the bushes now cost £3 each, except for the bushes which fit the large shackle pin (lower) at the rear of the TC, which cost £4. These bushes are sold as a service to members as is apparent when compared to the price charged by one commercial supplier (£8.95 and £11.86 respectively).

Additionally the bushes for the spring ‘eyes’ on the TC models do not have to be cut down as they are the correct length at 0.625 inches. They are a separate part from the 0.75 inches bushes which fit the ‘eyes’ of the TD/TF rear springs and the chassis ‘tube’ at the front (lower shackle pin) on the TC.

I have recently sourced some polyurethane spring ‘saddles’ and spring clip pads for the TD/TF models. These cost £5 each and £3 each respectively and can be seen in the pics below.

I also have a few spring ‘saddles’ in dark blue polyurethane which are suitable for the MGB but whilst slightly shorter in length will fit the TD/TF. These cost £3 each plus postage and four (4) are required. I can be reached via the website contact form or e-mail direct to jj(at)octagon.fsbusiness.co.uk – please substitute @ for (at). Telephone 0117 986 4224. Postal address: 85 Bath Road, Keynsham BRISTOL BS31 1SR, UK.

Finally, I’m not afraid to admit that compiling this Issue has been a bit of a struggle this time. Much effort has had to be expended in putting my J2 back together after it had been painted by Adrian Moore at ‘The Finishing Touch’ in Winscombe, Somerset. The result is stunning and I’m so very pleased. A car which I’ve owned for 49 years and which sometimes I thought I would never finish is now beginning to come together nicely.

JOHN JAMES

“Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach!”: The story of TC7134

8 Jul

Do you remember the series of Heineken TV advertisements from 1974? Here’s one of my favourites:

Well, I’m not proclaiming this boast for TTT 2’s trace and track service but we have a pretty good record of researching and tracking down car history.

So when Des Johnston from Bangor in Co. Down Northern Ireland contacted us and asked the following:

In 1961 I sold a TC to a Medical Doctor in Detroit. I think his name may have been Middleton. I still have the original receipt or bill of sale dated 1st Feb 1949. The chassis number is TC 7134 and the engine number is XPAG 7778 I wonder is this car still anywhere in the world and if so I would love to get in touch with the owner as I also have some 8mm cine of same taken in 1960?

…….we asked the question of the tabc list and discovered that the car is still in the USA. Thanks to LaVerne Downey who took the trouble to respond and tell us that the car was (at the time) in his ‘shop in Colorado.

Prior to the arrival of the car at Laverne’s workshop, TC7134 had been put in storage for 40 years. The following YouTube clip shows the owner, Bill Patterson starting the car and driving it after all those years in storage.

Bill plans to give the car to his son Tom, who lives in the Palo Alto area of California.

Here’s a photo of the car when it was still in Northern Ireland:

When we told Des Johnston that we had managed to locate TC7134 he was absolutely amazed, as the following quote from him shows:

I cannot believe that you have got a reply and so quickly! I sent the car on a Headline ship from Belfast across the Atlantic and up the St Lawrence to Detroit in 1961. I needed the money to get married as I was young and foolish! I am still married to the girl I met when I had the TC.

If the present owner could contact me or send me a picture of the plate on the firewall I would be delighted.

We duly arranged for Des and Bill to exchange e- mails and Des sent us an updating e-mail:

I made contact with Bill Patterson in Colorado, the present owner of TC 7134, and have sent him the receipt for same. His father bought it from me for him in 1961 when he was at medical school and he has owned it ever since.

He added:

Bill’s father had a brother Andy living here in Ireland and he approached me in the town of Newtownards, County Down one morning and asked me would I sell the car as his brother in USA wanted one for his son. A price was agreed on the spot and Andy got me the money from the Bank outside where the car was parked. It had taken all of 5 minutes. He took the car and I had to proceed on to work in Belfast on the bus. That lunchtime I bought a 1957 Goggomobile T300 with exactly half the money I had got for the TC and what a disaster the Goggo was but that is another story…

Des gave us details of the history of TC7134 prior to him owning the car:

TC 7134 was bought new by a Sam Jeffery, who was serving with the British Army in Germany (in what capacity I do not know) He was able to buy the car less purchase tax as a serving member of the forces.

In the early 1950s he brought the car back to Northern Ireland and sold it to a car dealer by the name of Kelly who had it registered with the Belfast number OZ 1032 and who gave it to his daughter who owned it till I bought it in 1959.

It was rather odd how I got the receipt for the car. Sam Jeffery, on returning to Northern Ireland, joined The Royal Ulster Constabulary and in 1960 he was serving as a Detective Sergeant in Newtownards, Co Down where I was living at that time with my parents. Well, one evening at home my father answered a ring at the door and came to me saying ” What have you been up to now, there’s a policeman in the drawing room and he wants to speak to you”. Two of my friends had TCs at that time and it was not unusual for us to break the 30 MPH speed limit and a lot worse at the time so I immediately assumed the sergeant had a court summons for me but no, it was the receipt he had in his hand. He told he had seen the car parked in the Town Square one night and wondered was it the same car he had brought back from Germany, so he took the liberty of lifting the bonnet and checking the chassis number, confirming that it was indeed as on the receipt. The car was an export model but the only difference I could see was the addition of flashers on the body near your shoulder which I see from your photos have been removed. The colour was Reno Red or maybe called Emgee red. I added the Brooklands steering wheel and rear 16 wheels but now I can’t remember if they were on it when it went to America. I think it may have had an old valve or tube radio.

I always regretted selling it and about 20 years ago I bought the remains of another TC with the idea of getting it to look like 7134. The project is well on but due to advancing years, reducing financials and increased immobility its very slow! It is of course also Reno red with red upholstery.


The original sales receipt for TC7134 for £452.10 (no purchase tax). This amount was paid by draft to Nuffield Exports Ltd. The small receipt is for D.M. 40 in respect of clearance fees at Cologne docks.

TC7134 in LaVerne Downey’s ‘shop in March 2014.

Ed’s note: The reference to Sam Jeffery lifting the bonnet on TC7134 brought back a memory to me which I look back on with laughter, albeit it was not so funny at the time. I was chugging up a steep incline in my Series 1 Morris 8 when I crawled past a Police Constable who was pushing his bicycle up the hill. He tapped on the roof of the car and said “Pull in up there lad!” Yours truly, 18 at the time, got booked for a noisy exhaust and bald tyres.

Vel’s Parnelli Jones (VPJ) Racing team and M.G. Restoration Business relating to M.G. TD 26639

7 Jul

It is true to say that Parnelli Jones is an American racing legend who raced and sponsored just about every American sports car you can name, but it was late in his career before he became involved in M.G. – however, this was more about business than racing!

Vel Miletich, Parnelli Jones, created Vel’s Parnelli Jones (VPJ) Racing team of drivers, engineers, designers, and mechanics that dominated the American automobile racing scene of the 1970s from Jones’ humble early career, to the highpoint of motorsport, back-to-back Indianapolis 500 race wins and three consecutive United States Auto Club National Championships.

The name “Parnelli Jones” is closely associated with the many disciplines of auto racing. Best known as the winning entrant at Indianapolis with Al Unser and the Johnny Lightning Specials in 1970 and 1971, the Vel Miletich/Parnelli Jones team eventually encompassed several different disciplines of motorsport. In addition to running what was then the USAC National Championship circuit, they were also fielding cars in USAC Silver Crown dirt track events, Formula 5000 events on road courses, NHRA drag racing, off-road racing and even Formula One race team from late 1974 to early 1976.

Jones also owned and operated several successful businesses. Parnelli Jones Inc., operated 47 retail Parnelli Jones Tire Centers in four states. Parnelli Jones Enterprises was a chain of Firestone Racing Tire outlets in 14 Western United States. Parnelli Jones Wholesale was a reseller that sold and distributed shock absorbers, passenger car tires, and other automotive products to retail tire dealers.

To further support his racing team ambitions, in 1982 Parnelli started a business restoring and selling interesting vehicles including MG sports cars.

It is believed his involvement was limited, due to his racing ambitions, but it did help to support his racing interests, that inevitably put a drain on finances.

In 2012 the opportunity arose for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation to acquire many of the cars, from the well-preserved Vel/Parnelli collection. The Foundation board members had no hesitation with making that acquisition. These cars are ideally viewed in person at the Indianapolis Motor speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

The Museum is located five miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis on the grounds of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is recognised as one of the most highly visible museums in the world devoted to automobiles and the auto racing. In 1987 the museum and Speedway grounds were honoured with the designation of National Historic Landmark. Perhaps not surprisingly M.G. cars do not seem to figure in this grand hall of fame!

The vehicle referenced here, with the Parnelli Jones Racing connection, is M.G. TD26639. This vehicle was not an Abingdon factory export model and is therefore most likely a private shipment to the US, as this is where the vehicle was eventually fully restored.

So, TD26639 with engine # XPAG/TD/26797, was restored by “Vels Parnelli Jones Racing” in December 1982 and was only the second car restored by the new, Torrance, California, “business”. A plaque was attached to each restored vehicle stating, “Manufactured by Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing”. This might seem a slight stretching of the truth but the quality of work was certainly of a high standard.

Note: Parnelli Jones “Manufactured by” plate (below) has recorded the car as ‘Model No.’ TD 28639. This number appears to be incorrect, not least because the car’s chassis and chassis plate correctly record TD26639 as well as Engine No. XPAG/TD2/26797. Perhaps the original car number on the well-worn Abingdon chassis plate, next to the battery tray, was mis-read by the Parnelli enterprise?

In November 2007 the MG Car Club T Register certified this UK based car by reference to the original Factory Production Records, confirming that XPAG/TD2/26797 is the correct engine fitted to chassis number TD/26639. The car was confirmed as being manufactured on the 10th April 1953 and was not exported by the factory in Abingdon.


Guarantee plate on the bulkhead

The car has travelled very few miles since its US “rebuild” and it is in first class condition.

The Restoration work carried out in California is very fully documented in a 11.5 x 12 inch leatherette folder containing 12 double size pages carrying the Parnelli Jones Racing logo. Page one of the folder (reproduced below) confirms that this is restoration No.2 of the new enterprise and stating “Thank you for allowing us to restore this piece of automotive history. Signed “P.J. 1982”.

This folder has stayed with the vehicle since its restoration.


Vel’s Parnelli Jones Restoration Logo from the first page of the folder.

TD 26639 with its UK Registration Plates prior to restoration.

TD 26639 after its 1982 restoration with its US plates

TD 26639 as she is in 2014, back in the UK.

The car is currently being offered for sale for £36,000 by Beaulieu Garage Ltd in Hampshire – www.beaulieugarage.co.uk – just a two minute drive from the National Motor Museum.

Acknowledgement is given to Jonathan Goddard, who did the research for and prepared this article.

SU Carburettor Dampers

6 Jul

Oh, you push the damper in, and you pull the damper out, but the smoke goes up the chimney just the same…

Early TCs suffered a slight flat spot whenever you hit the accelerator after cruising. The twin H2 carburettors did not have dampers until they were introduced in August 1947 at TC3856. The same thing happened with the H4 carbs on the TF, which were modified in February 1954 at TF3495.

So, how do the SU carburettor dampers work, what oil should I use in them, and how full should they be?

1) When an XPAG engine is running at a steady slow-to-medium speed there will be a high vacuum in the inlet manifold, but it is “hidden” behind the (almost closed) butterflies so not much vacuum reaches the carbs. Therefore, the pistons inside the carbs will sit quite low.

If you now operate the accelerator sharply, the vacuum transfers to the top of the piston causing it to jump upwards, allowing a large gulp of fresh air to enter the engine. This has the effect of producing a temporarily weak mixture, which is not what you need for acceleration.

The sole purpose of the damper is to slow the rise of the piston under such circumstances. With the engine sucking hard and the carburettor pistons reducing the size of the hole, the airspeed over the jet is forced to increase, producing a venturi effect that sucks extra fuel. In other words, it generates a temporary rich mixture – just what is needed for instant acceleration.

2) The grade of oil in the dampers is critical. You need more damping when the engine is cold in order to provide a richer mixture while the car is warming up. So, you need an oil that gets thinner as it gets hotter. Therefore, you are better off with a straight SAE20 oil rather than a multigrade 20W/50.

Personally I use 3-in-1 or Redex petrol treatment additive, but you can buy special damper oil from Penrite. (Burlen recommend SAE20 engine oil).

3) Over-filling the dampers is a waste of oil. Each dashpot has a hollow tube inside that the damper fits into. It is only necessary to keep these tubes topped up with oil, leaving a little space for the damper. Any more oil will overflow and it will quickly get sucked into the engine and burnt.

In the case of SU’s without dampers, they still require oil every 1,000 miles, but the oil merely lubricates the guide tube. It has no damping effect.

Barrie Jones


A tale of two Ts

5 Jul

This article appeared in the MG Octagon Car Club’s magazine ‘The Bulletin’ sometime back, so apologies to Octagon members who are also TTT 2 subscribers and will have seen this before. The author, Kevin Halstead asked me to publish this because he didn’t get any feedback from the ‘Bulletin’ article.

For what it is worth, my feedback is that rather than spend the money on a TD2000 I would buy another MG – but then, perhaps I have missed the point!

I am the proud owner of a 1953 MG TD who has recently purchased a TD2000. I thought you might be interested in hearing about their differences and similarities, and as I am stuck indoors due to snow I have finally got around to writing this article.

I feel both cars have their strengths and weaknesses.

You cannot get away from the fact that the MGTD is the original and therefore ‘the real thing’. Visually it looks to me just right and is probably a good investment. It is ideal for tinkering with and for going on short trips, and even long ones. The problem is practicability, sure it will get you there but it will be at a slower pace than a modern car and more likely to break down. Also the safety issue is worth considering, the brakes for example!

On the other hand the TD2000 has modern engineering and therefore is more practical, giving my wife something easy to drive with the old looks (I mean the car’s looks are old, not the wife’s!). Indeed on a recent trip to the Peak District it was easily capable of keeping up with modern traffic. However the downside is that it is not an original (but how many originals are original?). Its looks are different from the MGTD and the ride is higher.

Looks can be changed to a certain degree as I have done with my car. I have changed the indicator position so you have side lights on the wings, replaced the HORRIBLE plastic mirror with a nice chrome one and moved the rear number plate so it does not appear to be stuck on the bumper! There are other changes I would like to make if cost and getting the wife’s agreement were not an issue!

The cost factor is also worth considering: The TD2000 is £25,000-£30,000 new which I feel is a lot of money for what it is. Whereas the MG TD seems to be selling for roughly between £10,000 and £25,000, I was lucky enough to buy a second hand TD2000, 4 years old, for a lot less than £25k. The downside was that I only had the choice of one car hence that is why I have two black cars!

So there we are, I suppose it is a matter of ‘you pay your money and you take your choice’, and if you are really lucky you get to have one of each!

Could it be the TD2000 is the car MG would have built if they had carried on with production in small numbers or could nothing beat the original?

I would be very interested in hearing the views of others – please comment below.

Keeping it on the straight and narrow – Aspects that affect TA/TB/TC steering (Part 6)

4 Jul

Eric Worpe delivered a superb presentation at the MGCC ‘T’ Register’s ‘Rebuild’ seminar in March 2013. Eric used flip charts to aid his presentation and I have been working with him to ‘flesh out’ the flip chart notes to produce a series of articles for inclusion in TTT 2.

Eric divided up his presentation into seven headings which he termed as “Seven Deadly Sins”. We have so far covered the first four ‘Deadly Sins’ i.e.

CHASSIS – is it true? – Issue 19 (August 2013).
FRONT AXLE GEOMETRY – Issue 20 (October2013)
FRONT SPRINGS – Issue 21 (December 2013)
KING PINS – Issue 22 (February 2014)
TRACK ROD AND DRAG LINK ENDS – Issue 23 (April 2014)

We skipped an Issue, so there was nothing in Issue 24, but we return to the fray in Issue 25. In this issue we’ll look in depth at the sixth ‘Deadly Sin’: TYRES AND TRACKING. Over to Eric……………..

TYRES

“With most TA/TB/TCs covering less than 2,000 miles per year, the length of time taken before the tread wears down to the legal limit probably exceeds the safe life expectancy of the tyres. How long that is depends on variables such as driving style, pressure, exposure to sunlight especially UV, temperature, road surfaces and even exposure to ozone from arc welding.

As the rubber compound hardens with age, the tyre’s adhesion qualities deteriorate, especially in the wet. So, if you ever find the rear of your car overtaking you on a roundabout, it’s time to consider new tyres. Look for fine cracks on the side walls, especially if the tyres have been run on low pressures, which can result in “fatigue” of the sidewalls, a particularly dangerous situation that can lead to “blow-outs”.

Check the date code on the side wall, which since the year 2,000 should have four digits indicating the week and year of manufacture, i.e. 2604 would be week 26 in 2004.

If you’ve ever wondered about how tyre pressures are determined, you are not alone. Minimising tread wear over the whole width of the tyre would seem to be a good starting point and one simple to examine. However, other aspects such as road grip, ride comfort and even lighter steering have potential influence.

In the case of the TA/TB/TC models, tyres make a significant contribution to absorbing road shocks given the stiff suspension set up. This feature is somewhat challenged by those who increase tyre pressure to reduce steering effort, although I’ve heard of one dealer in Excelsior tyres advising a front wheel pressure of 35 psi compared with a figure of 24 psi recommended in the “Brown Book” for the Dunlop B5s.

I would be concerned at increasing the tyre pressure as this might not only lead to premature wear of the tread’s centre section but also put additional strain on the suspension components, in particular the stub axle spindles. But then you have renewed these, haven’t you?

16 inch rear wheels were a Factory endorsed modification and gave the advantages of greater tyre cross sectional areas on stronger wheels, giving a softer ride.

There’s a surprisingly wide choice of 19 inch tyres, all at quite high prices compared with regular modern tyres. The table which follows shows some of the choices available, together with tyre dimensions and an approximate guide to cost excluding VAT.

Dunlop B5 tyres were fitted originally, although Blockley and Excelsior Competition H both have a pre-war tread pattern, which some claim improves the handling of road irregularities. Softer composition rubber gives better road holding especially in the wet, but at the expense of wear.

Avoid the cheaper plastic-like inner tubes as these rupture, good quality rubber inner-tubes are likely to be between £15 and £25 and should have an offset valve stem.

Ed’s note: The reference to Factory endorsement applies (I think) only to the TC. I’ve been unable to find any evidence of 16 inch rears being fitted in the period when the TA and TB models were in production but I stand to be corrected.

The TA ‘Cream Crackers’ trials cars were initially fitted with knobbly tyres on the rear wheels to help with grip but I think these were on 19 inch wheels not 16s. In any case, these were banned in 1937, probably due to the success of the TA in trials.

The Dunlop B5 may not have been introduced until the post-war period. The tyre on the front of the TA sales brochure doesn’t look like the B5.

TRACKING

Setting up a static toe-in compensates for the tendency of the front wheels to splay outwards due to the wheel being offset from the king- pin’s centre of rotation (Fig. 1).

The splaying-out forces are generated under forward movement conditions and increase due to road resistance, speed and when braking (Fig. 2).

As the front wheels splay outwards, they compress the pre- loaded springs in the track-rod ends (Fig. 3); this and various deflections in the linkages are taken into account when specifying the toe-in such that the wheels end up running in parallel, which improves straight line stability.


Fig. 1 – Wheels offset from king pins

Fig. 2 – Wheels splay outwards as vehicle moves forward

Fig. 3 – Springs in track rod ends compress and then limit amount wheels splay out

The most obvious sign of incorrect toe-in can be seen on the front tyres as they will be forced to “scrub sideways”, a misalignment of just 1/8 inch in toe-in can result in an equivalent wear due to scrubbing the tyres sideways over 17 feet for every mile travelled. (yes, I know I should get out more). The effect of scrubbing the tyre sideways is to produce a “feathered” edge to the tread blocks (fig. 4). In severe cases, one edge of the tyre can also become worn down (fig. 5). However, this effect can also be due to excessive camber angles. A modest level of tracking error can take many miles before any “feathering” indication becomes apparent, so some vigilance is needed.


Fig. 4

Fig. 5

“Feather” edging can also be due to the effects of rear wheel steering. Any misalignment of the back- axle sets up a tendency to “crab” which is automatically compensated for in steering the vehicle. Regular checks for loose clamp bolts between the spring plates and the back-axle bracket are well advised. Also check the distance between the spring’s front eye and axle. The locating dimples/nodules in the springs may not be positioned equally due to odd springs or the nodules may have worn down and slipped out of their locating dimples. Do consider regularly checking the various other suspension fixings such as shock absorber fixtures, back-plate mounting bolts, shackle plate bolts and anything else that gets shaken about.”

Eric Worpe

Looking for TC10208 (JWT 185) and TD29133

3 Jul

TC10208 (JWT 185)

Graham Podmore has been in touch to say that he bought MG TC JWT 185 from (he thinks) Hunts, in Broad Street, Birmingham around 1959 and part exchanged it 2/3 years later at the same garage for a TR2, “What a difference!” he recalls.

The TC head was taken up to stage 2 and finally rebuilt after losing oil and causing much damage. The car then was red.

JWT 185 featured in Issue 12 (November 2005) of ‘Totally T-Type’ and was then in the ownership of David Budgen, who bought the car in 2003 from the previous owner (Tony Silvey).

If my (failing) memory serves me right, David sold the car to a dealer (might have part exchanged it for an MGA). Where is it now?

TD29133 (it has had three registration numbers!)

TD29133 started out in life as NOV 2, a Birmingham registration number issued in 1953. This registration mark with a low number would obviously have been attractive to somebody with these initials so it was sold and a new number 3966 AD allocated. The present owner bought the car earlier this year when it still had the 3966 AD plate but was told by the seller that he would retain the number before selling the car to him. The car then sported the registration number 552 UYF.

The present owner would like to fill in two gaps in the car’s history i.e. from 1953 to 1960 and during the 1970s.

It is known that the car was in the Plymouth and Penzance areas in the 1960s and also in Cardiff. By 1970 it was in Holywell (North Wales). The longest period of ownership was by Richard Charles O’Brien living in Croydon. He owned the car from 1984 to 2011 but it has so far not been possible to trace him.

The present owner has now taken the car to France. If any information is received via the TTT 2 contact-form I will pass it on.

Front Cover – TC1397 – MG 7357 (was KPJ 244) – A TC Reunion

2 Jul

TTT 2 has a pretty good record of tracking down cars. Several months ago Kelvin ‘Vic’ Lee, a previous owner of TC1397 contacted the editor to ask if he knew the whereabouts of his old car. No sooner said than done, ‘Vic’ was pleased to hear that it was alive and well and running about in Cornwall. Current owner, Nick Hayes takes up the story of his introduction to TC ownership and his recent meeting with ‘Vic’ and his wife, Wendy.

“Like so many of us in our early motoring years in the mid 1960s, we all dreamed about owning a sports car. I was no exception. When the day finally came to talk to my parents about affordable personal transport, motor bikes were usually top of the agenda. Somehow the thought of their only son purchasing a friend’s Triton 500cc motor cycle did not go down too well to say the least!

Old motor cars had always been in our family, so when my father suggested something a little more sensible, but reasonably sporting, he suggested an ‘old MG’. This, fortunately for my mother’s sanity, seemed a good alternative. A vintage Bentley was the preferred choice of mine, but dad suggested something a little less expensive and more allied to my mechanical abilities! Fortunately, 3 litre Bentley ownership (a 1922 car) was to feature later in my motoring life.

It was while I was attending technical college and several lads seemed to be running around in Austin 7 specials, Singer 9s etc. but the student’s choice was an MG TC. The die was cast. Chatting to friends, it came about that a friend of the family had actually just finished tidying up a J2 and was about to start sorting out a TC. That was it. Enter KPJ 244 into my motoring life. My first car! Helping the friend and dad, we got it reasonably sorted out and with the usual parental financial assistance, and a total clear out of my Post Office Savings Bank account, the princely sum of £150 was paid over!

That was spring 1967, so dad gave me driving lessons, and I passed my test, in the TC! The MG became part of our family life. I even courted my girlfriend Mary in it, went on all our Cornish holidays from the Midlands where we were living, and when we got married it took us on our honeymoon. The TC was our only everyday car until we sold it to a friend of mine in 1973”.

Ed’s note: Apologies for the quality of the photograph, but it’s an old one from the 1960s when they didn’t have photographic equipment at prices and super resolution we are used to now.

TC1397 is in the centre of the picture. The red car is FEL 306, a TA Tickford. (F)EL was a Dorset (Bournemouth) registration. This car appeared in an advertisement sometime later, possibly Car Mechanics, for exhaust systems. It featured a large front view of the car stating, ”…..will Fred’s banger pass the sound barrier?”

The dark khaki green TC is FSC 809. (F)SC was an Edinburgh registration issued from 1947.

Do either of these two registration numbers ‘ring any bells’ with anybody?

Anyhow, back to Nick…………………..

“Over the years we had many other vintage type ‘second’ cars, to restore and use. I always knew where the TC was as my friend had kept it.

Finally, after many years, I was offered the chance to buy TC1397 back. It returned to our family in May 2010, not long after I joined TTT 2. Unfortunately my friend had changed the registration number from KPJ 244 to MG 7375, so when I registered it with TTT 2 I quoted both the original and current numbers.

Sadly I did not get the old log book back with the car, so I was unable to look up any previous owners, although I did have an idea of one or two previous owners from memory.

When John contacted me and informed me that the previous owner wanted to get in touch I thought it would be a great idea.

So, at the beginning of May this year “KPJ 244” was reunited with ‘Vic’ Lee. ‘Vic’ and his wife Wendy came and spent a wonderful day getting to know KPJ again. After lunch at Marazion, ‘Vic’ had a drive. He was very pleased – just like old times, regardless of the oil leak!

It was an amazing day as during most of our early life we had lived near ‘Vic’ and we were able to reminisce about our youthful periods of ownership and old mutual friends.

Certainly from my point of view, this is a lot to do with owning an old MG, especially a T-Type, it seems to live in one’s memory, whatever other cars come and go in one’s motoring life. So we also have ‘new’ friends in ‘Vic’ and Wendy thanks to our dear old MG TC, and thank you John for starting TTT 2!”

Ed’s Note: All part of the service, Nick! Some photos of the day follow………………


TC1397 in its beautiful home surroundings of West Cornwall.

Nick (on the left) and ‘Vic’ discussing the trusty XPAG.

Ready for the lanes!

The Editor

1 Jul

Welcome to Issue 25, August 2014!

Some readers may have seen the article by ‘Alfred Lane’ in the current edition of MG Enthusiast entitled “90th anniversary? – That was last year!” The writer argues convincingly that the first MGs were produced in 1923. Indeed, I have a scanned copy of a receipt issued to Oliver Arkell for the purchase of FC 5855 on 16th August 1923, one of the six Raworth bodied MGs (see advert below from The Isis dated December 5th 1923 by kind permission of Phil Jennings, co-author with Robin Barraclough of Oxford to Abingdon.)

The M.G. Car Company was not established until 1928 but according to Wilson McComb, MG Historian, its in-house MG Salesman’s Handbook introduced on 1st January 1928 begins on the first page “When the M.G. Sports Cars were first introduced in 1923…”

So will the Centenary celebrations be held in 2023?

Your Editor has been busier than usual since the last Issue getting his hands dirty in the garage and spending time finalising the arrangements for the Isle of Wight Tour which is being held at the end of August. This Issue is a couple of days late in coming out and the next one may be a little delayed due to me losing a few days in the critical preparation period of the magazine due to being away on the Tour.

We have 42 cars on the Isle of Wight Tour, almost all T-Types, but a couple of Triple-Ms, a YA, a MGA and a MGB. At least 3 local T-Type owners will also be joining us.

Ferry tickets and rally plates were sent out in June and I am hoping that the Roadbooks will be sent out in early August together with a request for some money for the accommodation package and the entry fee. The entry fee has been set at £25 per car, which is almost certainly a lot lower than similar events.

THE 2015 TTT 2 TOUR – LANCASHIRE LANES AND YORKSHIRE DALES

The 2015 Tour will be centered on the Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn, Lancashire.

Set in the historic Ribble Valley at the heart of rural Lancashire, Stirk House Hotel is surrounded by splendid views of the magical Pendle hill and rolling countryside of the forest of Bowland and Yorkshire Dales.

The Tour organiser is Grant Humphreys and he has booked all 32 rooms in the hotel from Friday 21st August to Sunday 23rd August inclusive. The tariff is £225 per person for 3 nights’ half board. This is an extremely competitive rate for a hotel that “mixes 16th Century charm with luxurious classic interiors, creating a hotel that delights and exceeds expectations.”

Grant welcomes initial expressions of interest at grant.chumphreys(at)btinternet.com Please substitute @ for (at).

THE 2016 TTT 2 TOUR

Venue/area not yet decided but initial thoughts point to somewhere around the Midlands, either to the east or the west.

And finally… my 1933 J2 which I bought for £35 in 1965 (with a conrod through the side of the block) has been taking up much of my time during these past few weeks. It has just come back from the paint shop and now there is plenty to do. Target date for completion is Spring 2015, which will be the 50th anniversary of my ownership and she will then be 82! Everything comes to him who waits!

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.