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Bits and Pieces

18 Sep

Not much room left this month….

Three ‘split pins’ (actually, bifurcated rivets) on the front of the rear wheel arches on the TD

Replies were received from Andrew Wallach, Bill Chassser, David Tasa, Rob Brayshaw and a couple of others, whose replies I might have lost – apologies!

All were agreed that they hold a small wood (3 ply?) tacking strip (said to be about ¼” thick and 3 to 4 inches wide to the lower wheel arch for attaching the interior wheel arch covering, albeit one said for attaching the carpet.

I’ve passed this on to Pierre van Hell with thanks to all who took the trouble to reply.

Dave’s donuts

We now have a new supply and with the set-up costs have been amortised they can now be sold for £12 inclusive of postage worldwide). Please order from jj@tttpes.org {please substitute @ for (at)}.

Issue 49 Front Cover

Tom Lange has sent me the following correction:

This is not a Mark II car, but a UK RHD TD that was later fitted with a special EX176 engine (an early version of the XPEG) before being imported to the US in the 70s” Apologies, Tom!

Lost & Found

10 Sep

TCs 1472 (XVV 950), 2686 (HTD 166) 4245 (regnmark not known).

Chris Blood is seeking details of previous owners of his three TCs. TC2686 is known to have been an ex-police car (Lancs).

chris.blood60(at)outlook.com {please substitute @ for (at)}

Above (from top): TCs 1472, 2686 and 4245.

TA1932 (CKV 698)

This car is now in Germany with Franz Tenbrock. Franz is keen to trace its history. He already has details of several owners from 1963 when the car was in Sheffield (it changed hands four times in Sheffield between 1963 and 1965!).

TA1932 (was CKV 698) now in Germany.

As KV is a Coventry registration mark, the TA would have spent its early years in and around the West Midlands.

It’s a tall order to expect details of owners prior to 1963 but if anybody can help, please contact the editor.

TD14552

TD14552 (pictured above in the US) has a Volvo B90 engine (the cast aluminium rocker cover is an after-market replacement for the original tin Volvo one).

The owner, Charlie Baldwin, has a Yahoo Group called ‘VolvoenginedMGs’ whose purpose is to pass information along to owners of cars with Volvo engines and to give advice to those who want to fit them. The URL is as follows:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/VolvoenginedMGs

Charlie noticed that TD14561 also has a Volvo engine and is in the process of being made roadworthy again. He’d like to invite the owner to join the group and if he sees this and joins, he could tell the group about his interesting pedal arrangement.

Seeking all information on two 1947 MG TCs #2232 & #4258

Franklin Sprafke in Rhode Island, USA is currently restoring a TC that is a combination of two cars. The chassis he has is stamped TC2232, but the guarantee plate on the car is from TC4258 with XPAG 4997. The engine originally fitted to TC4258 is now with TC2232.

When the car was purchased in the US a few years ago it came with two sets of plates i.e. HEL 651 on the car (see pic below) and MWY 820D in the car.

Franklin is seeking details of previous owners of both chassis. The chassis from TC4258 is recorded as scrapped, but its matching engine was saved as was, possibly, the body. Alternatively, the guarantee plate might have been removed from the body of TC4258. Who knows!

TC7047 Registration mark UML 228

Darren Campbell is enquiring about this TC which used to be owned by his father. The car is shown as SORN on the DVLA enquiry service. Interestingly, although the car is shown as TC7047 on the dealer’s receipt, it may well be TC7447, as the engine number quoted on the receipt (XPAG 8129) was originally fitted to TC7447. Also, the date of build ties in better with TC7477.

TC3984 (JNK 88)

A TF owner has contacted me to ask about this TC he owned 50 years ago. It was blue (but is now green) and was sold to a chap by the name of ‘Damian’ (it’s probably passed through several hands since!). The car is on the road and on the T-Database, so hopefully we’ll get a result. Please will the current owner contact the editor at:

jj(at)ttypes.org< {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TC0277 (CUH 14)

Russell Squires used to own this TC in the 70s, which is thought to be the ex-Goldie Gardner car. During that time Russell carried out quite a bit of refurbishment from which he still has a file of bills and receipts. He would like to pass these on to the current owner if he or she reads this.

sukisealking(at)yahoo.co.uk {please substitute @ for (at)}.

Enquiry about a VA tourer (VA2124T Reg FLF 638) in the previous Issue.

Bob Somerville in Australia noticed my enquiry on behalf of the daughter of the late Graham Ash and kindly put me in touch with the owners, David and Paula Anderson. David sent me some pictures, which I have passed on to Jane Ash. Progress is described as ‘steady’.

I’ve also forwarded the pictures to John Dutton in the SVW Register.

TC3525 (was FSG 507 when in the UK)

Everard Van der Velden in Arnhem, Holland has asked for some help in his search for more history of his TC3525.

When the car was in England it had the registration mark FSG 507 and was known to be in Cornwall in the early 1950s. The former Cornish owner claimed that this TC was previously owned by the racing driver, Ron Flockhart, who tuned the engine to stage two, changed the wheels to 16’’ and fitted telescopic shock absorbers.

vandervelden47(at)gmail.com<{please substitute @ for (at)}.

TA1991 (CTE 506)

Jonny Leitner is seeking information about a TA owned by his father in the late 1940s. The car is shown as “Untaxed” on the DVLA website. The last tax was due on 1st September 2014.
onleitner(at)hotmail.com {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TC1683 (SH 7547)

I have a couple of black and white photos of this car, taken possibly at a Goodwood Revival. If the owner cares to get in touch, I will send them to him or her. jj(at)ttypes.org {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TA???? (DNF 66?)

David Atcherley sent me a photo of his father with his TA from the mid-late 50s. The photo shows a partial license plate: DNF 66? or maybe DNF 68?

I’ve trawled the DVLA enquiry service, but nothing has come up. NF is a Manchester registration.

david.atcherley(at)gmail.com {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TC1114 (BUD 952)

Christopher Runciman is keen to trace the history of his car. He refers to the pursuit of car history as ‘carchelogy’ (carchaeolgy?) and reckons that after 50 years of playing with old cars, he has a master’s degree in it!

TC1114 has spent much of its life in the Pinner/Harrow/Enfield areas. Christopher has a list of five previous owners but would like to know more. runciman48(at)yahoo.com {please substitute @ for (at)}.

DVLA Items of Interest

9 Sep

1. Date of First Registration for Imported Vehicles

When a vehicle has been imported into the UK and is subsequently granted an age-related registration mark by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) the ‘Date of first registration’ on the registration document (V5C) is shown as the date the vehicle was entered on the current DVLA system. This is non-negotiable!

In the case of the build date (‘Year of Manufacture’) shown for the vehicle on the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service, this can be altered if it is incorrectly shown. However, DVLA require a letter from the appropriate owner’s Club with an extract from the Production Records in support; I have just done one for an Octagon Car Club member.

2. Exemption from MOT Testing

The Regulations state that vehicles built over 40 years ago and not substantially changed are exempt from MOT testing.

The decision as to whether a vehicle has been substantially changed (within the past thirty years)

rests with its keeper.

Criteria for substantial change fall into the following categories:

Chassis (replacements of the same pattern as the original are not considered a substantial change). An alteration to the chassis design probably would be, unless the following applies:

changes of a type, that can be demonstrated to have been made when vehicles of the type were in production or in general use (within ten years of the end of production)

Axles and running gear – alteration of the type and or method of suspension or steering constitutes a substantial change;

The VW steering box conversion might be allowed under the following:

in respect of axles and running gear changes made to improve efficiency, safety or environmental performance;

Engine: If your TD has a Volvo engine then this would be regarded as a substantial change. However, if your XPAG TD engine has been bored out to 1350 cc, then it wouldn’t.

From now (well, actually from last May when the regulations were amended), when you relicense your historic vehicle (now called Vehicle of Historic Interest (VHI) at a post office you will be asked to show the counter clerk a signed form V112 (Exemption from MOT) – it can be downloaded from the Internet. If you relicense on line there is a box to be ticked to confirm that your vehicle is exempt from MOT. JOHN JAMES

The TTT 2 Tour of The Cotswolds Weekend 2018

8 Sep

View of south wing of The Wyck Hill House Hotel and Spa with a wedding party in attendance.

The Wyck Hill House Hotel and Spa was booked some eighteen months prior to the TTT 2 weekend. We are increasingly experiencing the need to book hotels well in advance as hotels, especially what I would term ‘character hotels’, are keen to host weddings, which fill the establishments at weekends, just when we want to use them!

Our choice of hotel seemed to go down well with the T-Type tourists with many complimentary remarks about the food and the level of service. There is however a need for some updating to the rooms in this Grade II* listed building which dates from the 18th century. One guest quipped that you could have held a dance in the generous proportions of his room.

The routes had been planned well in advance by Octagon Car Club Chairman, Brian Rainbow and he and his wife, Rosie physically checked them in good time to type up the roadbook and deliver it to one of our joint sponsors, Hagerty International Insurance, who kindly arranged for a quality print job. Our other sponsor, NTG Motor Services Limited generously funded the production of the rally plates.

Within two weeks of the commencement of the tour our entry list of 43 cars had shrunk to 38 cars

due to health issues. Indeed, of the 38 cars which eventually made the tour, two crews who were originally down to come in TDs actually came in MGBV8s due to mobility issues (not the cars – one or other of the occupants!)

Our Saturday run took us through 75 miles of delightful Cotswold countryside. On leaving via the south side of the hotel we passed through some picturesque villages (the Rissingtons) before arriving at Bourton-on-the-Water, a mecca for tourists, especially Japanese tourists, who were keen to take photos of the cars. Some crews stopped in Bourton, others didn’t, moving on up the Fosse Way and turning left through the villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter and negotiating fords (see pic below, courtesy of Paul Ireland).

Richard Hirstin his Cooper MG was probably closer to the water than most.

We then passed through the Cotswold villages of Naunton, Guiting Power, and via another ford at Kineton.

Ed’s note: For the benefit of our overseas readers a ford is found where a road goes across a shallow stream/river without a bridge; there are over 2,000 fords in the UK.

By late morning we arrived at Batsford Arboretum, our first official stop of the day, having driven through the villages of Hinchwick and Bourton-on-the-Hill.

The Arboretum and Garden Centre is reached by a long narrow drive with strategically located passing places. A dedicated parking area had been set aside for us and the following picture shows the editor discussing the day’s progress with Brian Rainbow alongside Brian’s TA (photo by kind permission of Rosie Rainbow).

Coffee had been arranged in the spacious and well-equipped Batsford cafeteria along with a prepaid entrance ticket to the arboretum.

The arboretum contains around 2,000 trees, with a large collection of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines. It maintains the national collection of Prunus (sato-sakura Group) Japanese Flowering Cherry.

The staff of the Batsford Foundation, a registered charity, which looks after Batsford, were very excited because one of their trees from the Chinese forests Emmenopteryshenryi has come into bloom for the first time in 25 years – was it the warm spell?

Some of the cars parked at Batsford (photo by kind permission of Rosie Rainbow).

From Batsford (actually quite a few of us stayed there for lunch as the cafeteria was so good) we journeyed on through Blockley (the base for Blockley tyres, and also the home of Watsonian Squire, the largest UK manufacturer of sidecars and trailers for motorcycles) and on to Broad Campden and the small town of Chipping Campden.

Jeff and Angela Townsend’s TB pictured in Broad Campden(photo by kind permission of Jeff Townsend).

For our next stop we had a choice of either Kiftsgate Court Gardens or Hidcote Manor Garden (National Trust) before wending our way through a handful of small villages and arriving at the small market town of Moreton-in-Marsh with its gorgeous honey coloured stone buildings.

Our final stop of the day was in Stow-on the-Wold reached by a circuitous route from Moreton, which took us through Chasleton, Cornwell, Churchill, Kingham and Adelstrop.

At the Cornwell/Chipping Norton crossroads the roadbook told us not to worry if we saw MGs coming towards us from the opposite direction, as this crossroads is used twice. However, this was not a source of worry to some of us as we are quite used to getting lost and seeing other MGs who have taken the correct route coming towards us!

Stow is the editor’s favourite town of the Cotswolds and we spent quite some time there with Sue shopping and me watching the world go by whilst sitting in the market square.

Part of the market square in Stow (photo by kind permission of Sue James).

Stow is steeped in history. It is situated on top of an 800 ft hill at the convergence of a number of major roads through the Cotswolds, including the Fosse Way, which is of Roman origin. The town was founded as a planned market place by Norman lords to take advantage of trade on the converging roads. In 1330 Edward III granted a seven-day fair in August, which was superseded in 1476 by two five- day fairs. An annual horse fair is still held on the edge of town.

The town played a role in the English Civil War and where I was sitting, watching the world go by at the cross in the centre of the market place, I noticed a plaque, which is pictured below.

The Stow cross and commemorative plaque (photos by kind permission of Sue James).

All in all, it had been a good day out and we returned to the Wyck Hill House Hotel a little tired.

Back at the hotel (photo by kind permission of Rosie Rainbow).

The Sunday tour was a little shorter at 69 miles, but there was still plenty to pack in.

Leaving the hotel via the south side, we were soon travelling down narrow lanes, through Church and Nether Westcote, Idbury and Fifield before joining the A424, which took us into the small town of Burford.

Parking is a real challenge in all the Cotswold towns but in Burford it seemed more difficult than most. We were unable to find a parking space which was a pity because the town has so much to offer. Here you can stay in a hotel frequented by King Charles II and Nell Gwynn (long time mistress of the King), dine where Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson once dined, or visit England’s oldest pharmacy, a chemist’s shop since 1734. On a more macabre note, you can visit St John’s church and witness the scratched name of Anthony Sedley on the baptismal font. Sedley was one of the ‘Levellers’ (mutinous rebels in Cromwell’s army), who were besieged in the church and had to watch from the roof as their ringleaders were executed in the churchyard.

From Burford we were soon back in the lanes, through Westwell, Hatherop, Coln St Aldwyn and Bibury, which was a recommended stop. Bibury is a number one destination for Japanese tourists possibly attributed to the fact that the late Emperor Hirohito stayed there whilst on a European tour. One of our T-Type tourists quipped that he should have parked up, put a sign in his TD which offered photos if you wanted to take one seated in the car for £5 a time – it would have paid for his weekend!

The photo below shows the TA of Kev and Mel Howe with Arlington Row in the background. Arlington Row is a group of ancient cottages with steeply pitched roofs, believed to to have been built around 1380 as a monastic wool store and later converted into weavers’ cottages in the 17th century. It is said that Henry Ford was so impressed with what he considered was an icon of England, that he tried to buy the entire row of cottages and have them shipped back to Michigan, so that he could include them in Greenfield Village!

Bibury with Arlington Row in the background (the river Coln is the other side of the wall (photo by kind permission of Kev Howe).

From Bibury, turning right at the Swan Hotel with the trout farm on our left, we drove 6 miles through the lanes to our coffee stop at Northleach.

The ‘jailer’, alias Brian Rainbow, was in attendance (I think he had lost his keys!) as we veered off the Fosse way and into the Cotswolds Discovery Centre.

The Cotswolds Discovery Centre is a multi-use building, housing the Visitor Centre, the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the Cotswolds Lion Café, the Cotswolds Dry Stone Walling Academy and of course, the Grade II* listed Old Prison.

It was a popular coffee stop, not least for the opportunity to sample the home-made Victoria sponge cake or the lemon drizzle cake (which had been made especially for us) with one’s tea or coffee. An added bonus was the substantial parking area, which easily accommodated nearly 40 MGs.

Several of the T-Type tourists took the opportunity to look around the Visitor Centre and then go through to view the Old Prison.

Julia Evans opted to have a brief stay inside, but the iron mattress was definitely not to her liking!

The Old Prison (formerly Northleach House of Correction) was built in 1792 and has had various uses over the years, including a Petty Sessional Court and a Police Station. It was still used for these purposes up to the early 1970s.

Suitably refreshed, we crossed the main A40 Cheltenham to Oxford road and headed towards Chedworth Roman Villa. Built in phases from the 2nd to the 4th century and discovered in 1864, it is one of the largest Roman Villas in the UK.

Passing by the old RAF Chedworth satellite station, we negotiated some extremely narrow lanes through Withington, Dowdeswell, Whittington and Brockhampton.

At Brockhampton there was a photo opportunity to ‘capture’ the stately house, built between 1639 and 1642. The property was requisitioned during the Second World War, and post-war was run as a country house hotel and then offices until 1979. It was then converted into apartments for those of substantial means.

George Arber stopped his EXU TC to take this photo of Brockhampton House. Pauline is studying the map.

We were now heading towards the ancient Anglo- Saxon town of Winchcombe with its inns, restaurants, tea rooms and shops (including several antique shops), full of character of times past. Passing through the town we noted that we were within half a mile of 15th century Sudeley Castle, whose chapel, St Mary’s of Sudeley, is the burial place of Queen Catherine Parr, sixth and last wife of King Henry VIII.

Proceeding through yet more narrow roads, we were now within a couple of miles of The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway, a volunteer-run heritage railway which runs along the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border of the Cotswolds, offering a 28 mile round trip from Broadway to Cheltenham racecourse. Its main station is just outside Toddington, which is where we stopped for some refreshments. Rosie Rainbow took the following photo of one of the trains.

The initials GWR stand for Great Western Railway, but better known to some as ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’.

From the railway station it was a 12 mile scenic drive, passing through Upper Swell and Lower Swell, until the junction with the Fosse Way at Stowe and the final 2 miles to the hotel.

The existence of Donnington Brewery (established 1865) in Upper Swell was noted for a follow up visit, particularly as it is connected with the Arkell family (Arkell’s Brewery, based in Swindon, Wiltshire) and the link with Oliver Arkell, who bought one of the first Raworth bodied MGs from Cecil Kimber on 11th August 1923.

Reflecting on the tour as I pen this article two weeks later, it was thoroughly enjoyable and well worth all the effort put into it. As I said at the Saturday dinner when presenting Rosie Rainbow with some gift vouchers, it would not have happened without the considerable efforts of Brian and Rosie Rainbow in planning, mapping and publishing the routes.

Our journey home to Keynsham (50 miles down the Fosse Way) was uneventful, 2700 rpm in top overdrive (50 mph) all the way. The little PB has never let me down in 20 years of ownership. It is a shame that she has to be sold.

Performance Figures

7 Sep

TABLE OF PERFORMANCE FIGURES FOR A STANDARD MPJG ENGINE AT CR 6.5 (MG TA)

These values were back-calculated from the published bhp/rpm figures in the MG literature, “Tuning and Maintenance of MGs” by Philip H Smith and elsewhere.

imep = indicated mean effective pressure, bmep = brake mean effective pressure, fmep = friction mean effective pressure.

bmep = imep – fmep

rpm

bhp

Torque

lbs.ft

swept vol cfm

mix flow cfm

vol effy %

imep psi

fmep psi

bmep psi

1000

10.5

55.15

22.86

16.8

73.5

105.5

1500

15.7

54.97

34.30

25.1

73.3

118.3

13.2

105.1

2000

20.9

54.88

45.73

33.4

73.0

119.5

14.5

105.0

2500

26.0

54.62

57.16

41.6

72.8

121.0

16.5

104.5

3000

31.1

54.44

68.59

49.8

72.6

123.4

19.3

104.1

3500

36.1

54.17

80.02

57.8

72.3

126.3

22.7

103.6

4000

41.1

53.96

91.45

65.8

72.0

129.8

26.6

103.2

4800

45.0

49.24

109.70

72.0

65.6

125.1

30.9

94.2

5000

43.9

46.11

114.32

70.2

61.4

123.7

35.5

88.2

5400

40.0

38.90

123.46

64.0

51.8

113.4

39.0

74.4

Notes:

  1. Torque calculation: torque = bhp x 5252/rpm. Mixture flow calculation from various sources but agrees with the general statement that 100 bhp needs 160 cfm at 60 F and I atmospheric pressure, i.e. 45 bhp = 72 cfm

  1. Swept volume in cubic ft/min. is the volume swept out by the pistons at each rpm.

  1. Volumetric efficiency is from swept volume and mixture flow comparison but also checked against the equation from “Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals”, J. B. Heywood, McGraw-Hill, 1988:

Vol effy (ev) = 2 x (mixture mass flow lbs/sec)/(inlet mixture density x engine displacement x revs./sec).

  1. The friction mean effective pressure (fmep) is based on work by H. R. Ricardo published in “Handbook of Aeronautics”, Royal Aeronautical Society 1931.

  1. The brake mean effective pressure was calculated from: bmep = 75.4 x 2 x Torque (lbs.ft)/Vd where Vd = engine displacement in cubic inches. Source: Heywood ibid.

TABLE OF PERFORMANCE FIGURES FOR A STANDARD XPAG ENGINE AT CR = 7.25

These values were back-calculated from the published bhp/rpm figures in the MG literature. Note that the calculated maximum torque and bmep figures do not agree with advertised data.

imep = indicated mean effective pressure, bmep = brake mean effective pressure, fmep = friction mean effective pressure.

bmep = imep – fmep

rpm

bhp

Torque

lbs.ft

swept vol cfm

mix flow cfm

vol effy %

imep psi

fmep psi

bmep psi

1000

10.56

55.46

22.12

16.9

76.4

110.0

1500

16.81

58.86

33.18

26.9

81.1

129.7

13.2

116.5

2000

22.84

59.98

44.24

36.5

82.5

133.3

14.5

118.8

2500

29.20

61.34

55.30

46.7

84.4

138.0

16.5

121.5

3000

35.56

62.25

66.36

56.9

85.7

142.6

19.3

123.3

3500

41.60

62.42

77.42

66.5

85.9

146.3

22.7

123.6

4000

46.55

61.12

88.48

74.5

84.2

147.6

26.6

121.0

4500

51.30

59.87

99.54

82.1

82.5

149.4

30.9

118.5

5000

54.31

57.05

110.60

86.9

78.6

148.5

35.5

113.0

5200

54.40

54.94

114.60

87.0

75.9

145.8

37.0

108.8

5500

52.58

50.21

121.66

84.1

69.1

139.8

40.4

99.4

6000

47.00

41.14

132.72

75.2

56.7

 

81.5

Notes:

  1. Torque calculation: torque = bhp x 5252/rpm. Mixture flow calculation from various sources but agrees with the general statement that 100 bhp needs 160 cfm at 60 F and I atmospheric pressure, i.e. 54.4 bhp = 87 cfm

  1. Swept volume in cubic ft/min is the volume swept out by the pistons at each rpm.

  1. Volumetric efficiency is from swept volume and mixture flow comparison but also checked against the equation from “Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals”, J. B Heywood, McGraw-Hill, 1988:

Vol effy (ev) = 2 x (mixture mass flow lbs/sec)/(inlet mixture density x engine displacement x revs./sec).

  1. The friction mean effective pressure (fmep) is based on work by H. R. Ricardo published in “Handbook of Aeronautics”, Royal Aeronautical Society 1931.

  1. The brake mean effective pressure was calculated from: bmep = (bhp x 2 x 39600)/(Vd x rpm) where Vd = engine displacement in cubic inches. Source: Heywood ibid.

This efficiency diagram and the tables of performance figures for standard
MPJG and XPAG engines have kindly been supplied by John Saunders.

Installation of TC Seats, Sliding Rails, and Associated Hardware

6 Sep

One of the standard questions when a TC is been restored is, “Where do I drill the holes to secure the seats? There have been a number of writings and numbers thrown around on seat placement. However, through the years new seats, new holes, new floorboards, aftermarket seat rails, and rebuilt tubs have all changed dimensions whether 1/8” or a ½” from the factory equipment. You need to fit the seat for your car only with your new or replacement parts. The following explains seat originality and details a successful “refit” of the seats of TC7670 EXU.

Seats:

The seat bases were made of ash wood with an early and late style. The early had round holes in the base and the later had elongated slots to let the air pass through upon compression. When finished, the openings should be covered with a course fabric from within the seat and the wood edges of the holes and wood bottoms should be painted flat black to give it a finished look. Also, an upholstery tape will cover the finished edge of material to wood. The original seat cushion said “DUNLOPILLO LATEX FOAM CUSHIONING, MADE IN ENGLAND, P36A/B”. (The A or B indicated which side/part # for the pillow). The cushion had square open chambers in the bottom of the dense spongy latex bottom. (Remarkably, the original cushions from TC7670 were in such good shape that they were reinstalled during its restoration as part of the effort to make it as original as possible as it came from the factory, so these will be a time capsule for the next restoration).

The seat backs have a plywood backboard with a set of springs fastened to it. The original coil springs were anchored to a frame made up of very heavy steel wire about 1/8” diameter. After market seat-back spring sets went to a framework consisting of strapped steel, providing a stronger base. The seat back also had holes to release air and should havethe wood edges painted the same as the seat bottoms.

Original seat back upholstery was finished using black cut nails (tacks) on the back of the seat. One distinct feature of the TC is the ribbed upholstery on both the bottoms and the back. There are 2 different methods of forming this pleat. The first is to take batting in between 2 layers of material and stitch together. The second is to stitch the 2 layers together and then butt a strip of batting and then repeat the process for each pleat. The original process used the latter method which gives a “puffy” type look to the seat and a more pleasing dimension to the eye. This may be a consideration for your restoration and selection of your vendor. Caution:Do not install any hardware on the back of the seat back until the seat bases are sited and placed.

Seat rails:

Original seat rails can be identified by the 3 screw holes in the floor mount tab. Some aftermarket rails only have 2 holes to secure the rails to the floorboards. The rails were cad plated (satin silver color) with the exception of the adjustment handle which was polished chrome. Even rusted seat rail can be resurrected to like new condition. Simply send the base rails and the non-chromed rail to the cad plater with all your nuts and bolts to get freshened for your restoration.

Then send the rail with the adjustment handle to the chrome plater and tell him to polish the handle only.

The seat rails are fastened to the bottom of the seat by 12 slotted flat head screws, screwed into T nuts in the seat bottoms. If you don’t have the original screws then you can use 10-24 screws from the local hardware. Some replacement seats have 10-32 threaded T nuts so select your screws accordingly. Unfortunately, the modern screw heads may be a little too large but you can trim the heads down on the grinder to a diameter to fit the rail itself. When installing the seat rails keep in mind that the adjustment handle goes to the outside of the car for each seat. After the rails are fastened to the bottom of the seat then slide the seat hinge rails into place on the seat bottoms.

Seat Installation:Where do I anchor the seat rails to the floorboards? There is no exact answer but there is a solution.

Adjust the seat in a notch that will let you move forward a couple of notches after installed. (This will allow your 16 year old son to drive the TC on his first date or to the prom.)

Place the seat bottom with rail attached in the car. Position and adjust the seat to parallel the tunnel. Then move it as close to the tunnel as possible which will allow only enough space for the thickness of the carpet over the tunnel. This would be about ¼ – 3/8” spacing.

  • Next move the seat towards the rear of the car while holding the seat back hinge parallel to the deck lid riser. Stop when the seat back hinge approaches the starting handle clips with ¼” to spare. If you are tall, and need extra leg room then you may consider removing the starting handle clips and repeat this step with a ¼” clearance to the riser only.

  • Check the clearance between the seat and the outside of the car. You should have about 1 ¼” spacing and the outside of the seat should parallel the outside of the car.

  • When satisfied with the clearances for these 3 sides, site and drill your holes for the rails to the floorboard and repeat the process for the other seat. Original fasteners where #8 x ½” slotted countersunk wood screws but through the years many of these have been replaced by other fasteners because the WS have pulled out of the floorboards. A suitablealternative is using #10 machine screws with a T nut under the floorboard.

  • Once the seat rails and bottoms are secure then it is time to fasten the hinge sleeves to the back of the seat. Some words of caution:Sometimes the seat hinges are not symmetrically installed per set. Therefore, measure the center of the hinge sleeve from the center of the tunnel and then site the same measurement on the back of the seat from the center of the back seat tunnel scallop. Install the bottom of the sleeve tangent to the bottom of the seat back. (This assumes that the tunnel was installed at the longitudinal center of the car, which you should also check). Use a #6 x ¾” slotted round head wood screw for the sleeves except for the bottom 2 screws and then use a shorter 3/8” long screw due to the reduced thickness

  • Next site the seat back adjustment brackets by first holding them in place with the wing nut to the wheel arch bracket. Make sure the washer/spacer is installed between the 2 brackets. Now let the seat rest against the brackets to determine the correct placement of screws into the seat back. Use tape to outline the perimeter of the bracket instead of marking up your new upholstery. When satisfied, position the tonneau bar with its top tangent to the top of the upholstery on the seat back. The bottom screw holes of the tonneau bar should be no higher than level with the top holes of the adjustment bracket or within ½” (see photo on page 18). Fasten brackets and tonneau bar to the seat back using #8 x 1” slotted oval head wood screws.

  • Finally, slide the seat back hinge sleeves onto the seat hinges and check the final fit.

Showing positioning of tonneau bar fixing relative to adjustment brackets

There may be other techniques or tips or suggestions which are always welcome. Please provide comment to Doug(at)FromTheFrameUp.com

Doug Pelton
www.FromTheFrameUp.com

Doug Pelton, Proprietor
Mesa, Arizona, USA
480-588-8185

MG TB80: 80th Anniversary (1939-2019)

5 Sep

2019 will be the 80th anniversary of entire production of the MG TB; to celebrate we are holding an event specifically for MG TB owners. TB80 will be run alongside the MG Octagon Car Club’s Founders Weekend from the 10th to the 13th May 2019, which is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the MG Octagon Car Club.

The Founders weekend itself will be based at the Oxford Spires Hotel, however due to the limited number of rooms reserved for the Founders weekend and no additional space available in the dining room at the Spires, TB80 will be based at the Bird in Hand Inn near Witney and will join the OCC on their runs on Saturday and Sunday.

The Bird in Hand http://birdinhandinn.co.uk is a charming 17th century Cotswolds country Inn with delightful en-suite rooms and serving superb food.

The rate we have negotiated for the 3 nights B&B for two people in a double room is £345; for single occupancy the rate is £280 for the 3 nights.

The Bird in Hand, White Oak Green, Hailey, WITNEY, Oxfordshire OX29 9XP.

In the evening, tables will be reserved for us in the restaurant, allowing people to choose individually from the Inn’s daily menu with choices ranging from fish and chips or steak and ale pie, to fillet steak or lobster (when available) and of course vegetarian options; be warned however, that due to the size of their portions many people only manage 2 courses!

Booking a room

To book a room please call the Bird in Hand on 01993-868-321, specifying you want to book one of the rooms reserved for the TB80 weekend on the 10th to the 13th May 2019. Andrew, Tom and Jodie have all thefull details but they can be very busy at times, the best time to contact them is between 10.00 and 12.00. However, Andrew advised me that any of the other staff can make the booking, but for people not to worry if they are given the wrong price as he will subsequently correct it as long as he knows it is for TB80.

The main thing is to make the booking, if you have any problems or questions you can also contact Mike Inglehearn (contact details below). Once you have made a booking please let Mike or Jeff Townsend (contact details below) know so we can keep a track of how the bookings and numbers are going.

The entry fee for the Founders weekend event will be £30 per car (reduced as we will not be joining the MGOCC in the evening at the Spires)

This promises to be a great weekend with daily runs organised by the MGOCC, great accommodation and superb meals, so make a note in your diary, get booking and let’s celebrate the 80th anniversary of the TB in style with a weekend to remember.

For more information contact Jeff Townsend or Mike Inglehearn

jeff.townsend@hotmail.co.uk

mingle54@btinternet.com

TB0415 belonging to Frank Langridge in New Zealand. It was on the front cover of Issue 7.

Making a TA Go Faster!

4 Sep

When I was with Derry Dickson in July we talked about his ownership of MGs which dates back as far as 1950. It was then that he bought a rusty wreck of a TA which he had to ‘make do and mend’ to keep it on the road. Money being in short supply meant that anything that needed doing on the car had to be done by himself. It was a steep learning curve but thankfully eased somewhat by the help and understanding of his local garage from whom he learnt a lot. Improvisation was the order of the day for there was not the abundance of technical know how and help to which we are now accustomed. It is against this backdrop that Derry apologises in advance for some statements and facts which might make today’s experts cringe!

Over to Derry…………..

“In 1960, having owned a TA for 10 years, I decided that the TA’s only fault was that it had a virtually ‘untunable’ engine. The obvious answer was to fit a ‘tunable’ one, and it didn’t take me long to decide on the XPEG unit.

My reasoning at the time was that the TA’s suspension is that little bit superior to the TC’s (no arguments please, it’s a fact!) and that 1466cc give just a little more urge than 1250cc. Finally, it was the only conversion that wasn’t going to offend my strong feelings about other engines being installed in classic cars. This way I was not going to have to alter either engine or gearbox mounting points.

Bugatti is quoted once as having said in reply to criticisms of his great cars’ brakes I build my cars to go, not to stop. All very well in pre-traffic congestion days, but I like to be able to stop when I have to, and anyway M.G.s have a motto to live up to. Thus, I approached conversion to greater power with some caution and in three separate stages:

First Stage was to improve the trunnion suspension even further by fitting Woodhead Monroe dampers; these were obtained from the makers with simple and very rugged adapter brackets.

Second Stage was to improve the braking: this was carried out expertly by Bowden Engineering Company, which fitted TD brake parts to my existing back-plates. Fitting the hydraulic piping presented the only difficulty, as it meant juggling underneath the car with varying connections so that the modern narrow gauge pipes could link up with the existing ¼” copper pipe going to the unchanged rear brakes.

Note: The marked increase in efficiency of the front brakes necessitates even more care when braking in the wet than is normally required).

Third Stage. Having tested the car thoroughly and found the road holding and braking to my satisfaction, I set about the final stage of fitting a new XPEG unit (number F3282), obtainable at that time from Abingdon.

This operation is best divided into III phases:

Phase I. Assembly of the necessary parts which are:

XPEG engine unit (un-staged) complete with clutch and distributor. (XPAG engine unit complete with clutch and distributor may, of course be used instead, and is indeed easier to fit – see gearbox section)

TF bell housing (TC housing retained of course, if using XPAG unit)

TC gearbox complete with remote control gear lever and with the TA speedo reduction gears fitted (the two ratios are interchangeable);

TC engine front mounting plate;

TC dynamo pulley – fits TA dynamo;

TF starter motor;

2 x 1 ½” SU carburettors – each float chamber must be in front of its carburettor to enable the existing TA throttle linkage to be used;

Rear mounting bracket for dynamo (TC, TD or TF will do).

“Y” water pipe for connecting bottom of radiator with pump and crankcase water gallery.

Remove the TF front engine mounting plate and replace it with the TC plate – no additional holes require to be drilled, it bolts straight on. The only machining in the whole venture now has to be done: the front bearing of the 1st motion shaft protrudes beyond the body of the gearbox and therefore the opposing face of the bell housing must be machined out to a depth of approximately 3/32” to receive this. There must be no space between the bell housing and bearing: should the recess be machined too deep, then make shims to fill the gap – the shallower the recess and the fewer shims required then the stronger the bell housing will be at this potentially weak point.

A TC bell housing could of course be used, but the clutch actuating shaft and fork are less robust than that on the TF housing and might wear excessively because of the heavier duty clutch springs incorporated in the TF clutch.

Phase II

Having bolted the front mounting plate, clutch housing and gearbox together, the assembly is ready to mount into the car having removed the bulkhead and steering column. No alteration to the engine mountings is necessary and there is plenty of room for all – even the starting handle dog lines up with the handle “tunnel” (a very different story if you try to fit an MGA unit).

The steering column must have ¼” removed from the outer surface of the steering box body at the mounting bolt, to allow the column to move ¼” nearer to the chassis; if this is not done then the column itself fouls the front edge of the starter motor.

(Note: the TC column sits higher than that of the TA and therefore provides ample clearance).

Phase III

Now, all that remains is to make all the connections necessary for the engine to function; I shall deal with these under the following headings:

Electrical

Starter motor requires to be worked electrically, this means a push-button on the dash and the appropriate solenoid instead of Bowden cable and switch.

Earth braided cable from engine to chassis

Distributor – no change

Mechanical linkages

Choke – no change

Clutch – direct linkage provided by a chain comprising 3 x 1” links (see drawing).

Accelerator – the lever for actuating the “butterflies” must be situated at the rear end of the shaft if the existing pedal and lever are to be used (this is why the rear carburettor must have its float chamber to the front; compare the TF which has its chamber to the rear).

Water Hoses

Blank off existing header tank flange and braze in another one of 1 ½” diameter to a suitable position and at an appropriate angle to take a simple L-shape hose from the thermostat.

Instruments

Rev counter, a reduction box as used on a TB, TC, TD, or TF is essential because the TA box has too long a driven spindle, which causes the box to foul the distributor body.

Speedo cable – connects direct.

Notes

A little ingenuity is required when attaching the rev counter cable to the output drive of the reduction box, as the coupling varies between early and later T Types.

The TA back axle and 19” wheels all round have been retained.

Conclusions

Some may say “Is all this trouble worth it?” All I can say is that the proof of the motor’s in the driving and here are some facts to prove it:

The fuel consumption was 33.5 miles per gallon over 24,000 miles of very varied motoring.

The oil consumption still stands at 1 pint per 500 miles.

The car achieved a maximum indicated speed of 95 m.p.h.

The oil pressure after 24,000 miles is 55 pounds per square inch at 3,000 rpm, hot.

The maximum thermostat temperature was 95 degrees centigrade, obtained on the Italian Autostrada del Sole at midday in June 1963.

Acceleration is embarrassing to most other road users.

The car has completed three summer Continental camping holidays complete with wife, self and camping gear, without a mishap. The longest holiday being a 5,000 mile trip to Pompeii (via Spain!) which included the Autostrada del Sole down whose 130 miles the speedo needle was kept between 70 and 80 m.p.h. In fact, during the 24,000 miles of fairly brisk motoring, I have only had to renew the spark plugs 3 times, oil filter element 5 times and one radiator hose.

All this and am I satisfied or am I? Come to think of it, one or two of the hotter Minis are hanging on to my tail, so maybe I’d better do some Stage Tuning now!

Post Script

Since setting out to write this article, I have fitted a Laystall Lucas head (Compression Ratio 9.3:1 costing £61-5-0d) and an extractor exhaust. Only two comments after 2,000 miles; Firstly, the m.p.g. now stands at 35.5 and secondly, where are all those Minis?

Ed’s Note: A Laystall Lucas head for £61.25!

Here are some period photos:

The arrow pointing to the n/side of the dash reads “Also glove box with St Christopher – very necessary!” (I should think so at 95 m.p.h. Ed). The Note: reads “Birds eye walnut dash; Oil pressure, RPM, speedo, oil & water temperature all grouped together and lit by one bulb externally placed in the middle, throwing a red light (good for night vision) direct on to the B/W dials.

A Mews somewhere in the west end of Edinburgh – TA2243 with other T-Types.

Town of Nevers: camp site on the river Loire – according to Google, the site is still there.

XPAG ENGINE CAMSHAFT

3 Sep

Since early 2010, over about 20,000 miles, I have had experience on my TC of a camshaft purchased from NTG Services with which I am very pleased.

I ordered the “standard” specification cam with a nominal timing of 18-58-58-18, cam lift 0.21 inches, tappet clearance 12 thou inches. The company also offered at that time an alternative “competition” cam with nominal timing 20-65-65-20, cam lift 0.25 inches, and tappet clearance also 12 thou inches.

Recall that the timing figures given above, conventionally refer to, in order:

Inlet valve open (IO) in degrees crankshaft, BTDC (before top dead centre)

Inlet valve closed (IC) in degrees crank, ABDC (after bottom dead centre)

Exhaust valve open (EO) in deg. crank, BBDC (before BDC)

Exhaust valve closed (EC) in deg. crank, ATDC (after TDC)

The valve rockers on my car have the standard cam to valve lift ratio of 1.463, so the maximum valve lift is 0.307 inches (7.8mm).

I have checked my cam on the bench and have found the following results in crank degrees, using a tappet clearance of 12 thou inches.

Note that the timings given below are as a zero velocity (theoretical) valve movement, not simply the timing of the camshaft alone.

(IO) 14 deg. BTDC, (IC) 54 deg. ABDC. Duration 248 deg.

(EO) 47 deg. BBDC, (EC) 18 deg. ATDC. Duration 245 deg.

The valve overlap period is thus (IO) + (EC) = 32 deg.

The inlet valve lobe centre angle (LCA) is 110 deg. ATDC, and the exhaust valve LCA is 104.5 deg. BTDC. The lobe displacement angle (LDA) is 107 deg. cam shaft, note – not crank degrees.

See the calculations set out below.

Calculations

The lobe centre angles (LCA) are the points in the four-stroke timing cycle where the inlet and exhaust valves are at their respective maximum lifts and thus maximum air/fuel mixture and air/exhaust flow rates. There is a complicated relationship between the vibrating gas flow dynamics in the inlet and exhaust systems of the engine and the LCA and LDA values of which the designers had to take account to obtain the best performance in practice on the road of the finished motor. Some modifications (tuning) of these relationships are possible on an existing installation, but are limited without extensive and costly mechanical changes and much experimental effort. Simple improvements (say + 10%) are available to an intelligent owner-driver, but much more than this is usually expensive.

The lobe differential angle (LDA) is rigidly built into the camshaft design and cannot be changed, except by changing the entire shaft. It is the angle between the two lobes inlet and exhaust on the cam shaft itself and is measured in degrees cam, not crank.

The main impact of the LDA upon a functioning motor is in effectively fixing the overlap period for a given valve timing. The extremes of design variation of the LDA are from a minimum of 100 deg. cam to a maximum of 116 deg. A low value of (say) 102 deg. would be for a competition car engine with an overlap of more than 55 deg. crank, while a 114 deg. value (say) would be for a smooth limousine type motor with about 10 to 20 deg. crank overlap.

Inlet cam LCA = (14 + 180 + 54) / 2 – 14 = 110 deg. crank

Exhaust cam LCA = (47 + 180 + 18) / 2 – 18 = 104.5 deg. crank

Cam shaft LDA = (110 + 104.5) / 2 = 107.25 deg. cam

Discussion

In seeking a new camshaft, my aim was to optimise the engine power at mid-range engine revolutions (2000 to 4500 rpm) to give a smooth, flexible and economic cruise performance. The standard NTG cam has supplied this perfectly. I was not interested in all-out speed and acceleration, although when pushed, the car does accelerate well, both in top gear and the intermediate ratios.

The motor has a fairly high compression ratio (8.8 to 1), standard valve sizes, a distributor with 20 deg. crank vacuum advance and a maximum centrifugal advance of 28 deg. crank with a static advance setting of 6 deg. crank. The total advance is thus 34 deg. crank, which is attained at 3,500 rpm and above. The maximum engine power is about 60 bhp at 5,000 rpm.

My TC has a higher rear axle ratio to give a top gear of 18.3 mph/1,000 rpm compared with the standard gearing of 15.8 mph/1,000 rpm. A level road maximum cruise speed of 70 mph at 3,800 rpm is attainable with a little more to come. The flat out maximum on this gearing is about 74 mph at 4,000 rpm (about 50 bhp).

Addressing the LCA and LDA values again from a performance aspect, for a competition type motor a low inlet LCA is normally in the range 102 to 106 deg. crank. For a mildly sporting engine the 110 deg. value is typical.

The lobe displacement angle (LDA) on the NTG standard camshaft of 107 deg. cam is a good sporting compromise in the 100 to 116 deg. cam range.

The valve duration for the standard cam at inlet 248 deg. crank and exhaust 245 deg. crank are, in my opinion, very acceptable for a mildly tuned sporting car, as are the overall inlet and exhaust valve timings and the valve lift of 7.8 mm, especially when taking into consideration the timing retard effect of the 12 thou. inch tappet clearance.

To sum up, the TC performance with this cam is what I hoped for at the start. The car is torquey and flexible in top but is able to rev well when required. At 5,000 rpm in third gear (13.6 mph/1,000 rpm) 68 mph is a maximum, but 60 mph in this gear is only just over 4,400 rpm.

Because of the high gearing and the vacuum advance, the economy is good at around 45 mpg on a run. Overall, I am very satisfied.

John Saunders

Ed’s note:

John has sent me an interesting paper entitled “Combustion Processes in the XPAG Engine”. The typed document he sent me runs to just over 10 pages, but I reckon that its reproduction in TTT 2 would come out at between 5 to 6 pages.

It is quite hard to follow (not due to John’s style of writing, but due to the difficulty of the subject matter to the layman) and I am trying to ‘get my head around it’ and think of ways in which it could be presented so that it would be easier to follow. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying!

Mike Green of NTG Motor Services has sent the above picture of the company’s standard camshaft. It is Part number B284 and retails at £298.80.

https://www.mgbits.comTel: 01473 406031/406032

The arrow pointing to the n/side of the dash reads “Also glove box with St Christopher – very necessary!” (I should think so at 95 m.p.h.Ed). The Note: reads “Birds eye walnut dash; Oil pressure, RPM, speedo, oil & water temperature all grouped together and lit by one bulb externally placed in the middle, throwing a red light (good for night vision) direct on to the B/W dials.

A Mews somewhere in the west end of Edinburgh – TA2243 with other T-Types.

Town of Nevers: camp site on the river Loire –

according to Google, the site is still there.

Front Cover

2 Sep

(The Editor with Derry Dickson’s TC5405)

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours down in Sherborne, Dorset in July in the company of Derry and Carol Dickson. The Dicksons moved down to Dorset a few years ago from their home in an idyllic location in Cove, Argyll and Bute to be a lot nearer to their children and grandchildren.

Photograph taken just after the restoration – it appeared in the Helensburgh journal.

I had always intended to visit Derry and Carol, who are about 50 miles south of Keynsham, but somehow it never worked out.

As the front cover and the pictures on this page show, Derry has a very fine TC that goes rather well and can still show a clean pair of heals to some ‘moderns’ when driven enthusiastically by its 88 years young driver!

JYC 860 is chassis number TC5405, built on 5th May, 1948 and fitted with engine number XPAG 6152, which it still has. Exported to Kenya from new, the car has had only three owners prior to Derry’s ownership.

Finished in Nightfire Red with beige upholstery, following a chassis up restoration in 2000, the car has an impressive number of modifications and extras, which are listed below:

  • 1350cc engine rebuild
  • Stage 2 cylinder head
  • New steel crankshaft
  • ‘Incontinence’ cured by meticulous attention to the rear crank seal
  • Alfin type front brake drums
  • Twin leading shoe front brakes
  • New stub axles
  • Taper roller bearings in front hubs
  • Two fuel lines with an SU pump on each
  • Tow bar
  • Rear fog light – manual
  • Reversing light – manual
  • Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel
  • Woodhead Monroe telescopic front shock absorbers
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Spares compartmentalised tray over the back axle (holds a lot!)
  • Nearside wing mirror
  • Twin pan air filters
  • Hydraulic brake light switch
  • Higher ratio diff (37/8)
  • Original Jaeger instruments – black dials
  • Original clock – circuit board digital mod. (courtesy of Clocks 4 Classics)
  • Bishops modified steering box
  • Replacement steel drop-arm
  • Stainless steel luggage rack – incorporates eye-level LED strip brake light
  • Stainless steel exhaust system with “Fish-tail” end-piece
  • New mohair tonneau, hood and side screens
  • Walnut veneer dashboard
  • Amber indicator lights front and rear – LEDs
  • LEDs in front side lights
  • LEDs in brake lights

I really must make the effort to get back down to Sherborne and have a ride in this car!

A couple more photos follow:

Above: a roadside stop for a cup of tea and no doubt, the opportunity for the dog to stretch its legs. Below: this picture lives in the sitting room in a frame. The event was a recent Rotary meeting in Sherborne and was taken by a local photographer.