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Lost and Found

1 Sep

TA0744 (YWG 356)

Craig Egglestone is trying to trace the history of his smart looking TA. It came back to the UK from Steve’s British Connection in Illinois sometime after June 2014. It is not known whether it was exported from new or went out to the US after spending time in the UK. The registration mark is an age-related one. Craig.egglestone1962(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

TC????? (MHW 658)

Matthew Whiteman would love to make contact with the current owner of his father’s TC, pictured here with him in 1958. Chassis number is unknown, but from the DVLA enquiry facility it was registered in December 1949, so It must have been one of the last few TCs built. The car is taxed and insured and sports green coachwork. It would be really good to hear from the owner if he or she could get in touch with Matthew at kinomatto(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

TD3612 (LXB 863)

Lost and Found items don’t always appear in this column as a result of a specific request. In this particular case, a past owner, Frank Fletcher, had contacted the editor to enquire where he might source a wheel brace for his TD. Frank was advised to contact NTG Motor Services, who came up trumps.

Following this, Frank sent me a picture of his TD (“Gordon”) which he acquired from “Bangers and Cash”. “Gordon” (TD27532) had only one long term lady owner and was sent by Frank to Ricketts Restorations for four years – it looks wonderful!

Gordon” (TD27532) with his two friends.

However, I digress. Included with Frank’s e-mail which attached the picture of “Gordon” was a postscript “My first TD, LXB 863 I think is still around – if you have any info on that one ????”

LXB 863 was purchased from Wivelsfield Garage East Sussex it was mint and colour MG light blue tan interior and hood.

TD3612 (LXB 863)

The DVLA enquiry facility shows LXB 863 as currently taxed and it still has blue bodywork (probably Clipper Blue).

If the present owner reads this, it would be good if he or she could contact Frank at: frankjfletcher(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

TD26050 (NEL 366)

This car was featured in the previous issue. Past owner David Smith has found another photo when the car was red. He can be contacted at uptlou(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

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Bits and Pieces

1 Sep

DVLA – Change of ownership

One of our members has recently received a worrying communication from the DVLA.

The letter from the Agency advised him that an application to register a new keeper for one of his cars had been received and if there was no response from him within 14 days a new V5C would be issued to the person who had made the application.

In a state of shock, our member decided to visit his local police station with ownership evidence. The police phoned DVLA to check on authenticity and it was indeed confirmed the letter had been issued by DVLA.

The DVLA have since withdrawn the letter.

There are a couple of points to be made here:

Firstly, a DVLA communication which has a time limit for a response regarding a matter such as this should surely be sent by Royal Mail ‘Signed For’ service, so that the Agency can be sure that the letter has been received. What if the addressee happened to be on holiday?

Secondly, if a response had not been forthcoming and a V5C had been issued to the “new keeper”, a V5C is not proof of ownership.

In this particular case, if I was on the receiving end, I would want a full enquiry to be instituted as to the circumstances surrounding the issue of this DVLA communication and the name of the person claiming to be the new keeper. I would write to my Member of Parliament, who would ask the Chief Executive of the DVLA for an explanation.

Dave’s Doughnuts

You must be getting a little tired of reading about these! I’ve just sent a pair to Switzerland and only have three pairs left.

I’d better get ‘cooking’ as they will shortly be featured in the Octagon Car Club Bulletin, which is certain to produce yet more orders.

Feedback on their effectiveness is very good. The latest report is from Philippe Ritter in France, who has just ordered a pair for his TR4A. He ordered a pair for his TA a couple of months’ ago and reported as follows:

“A small message to inform you that the doughnuts do work nicely in my MG. Smooth drive, no noise coming from the rear of the car at acceleration and deceleration.”

To order a pair, please send an e-mail to the editor at jj(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

Ian Ailes’ TD is now well and truly on the road. After what must have seemed like a never-ending restoration, petrol must have gone up a bit since the last time he filled the tank for five bob a gallon!

Extract from Auction Catalogue of Hussey’s of Exeter, August 1974

Chris Runciman kindly sent me this extract of a marked up1974 auction catalogue. Lot number 26, TC4437 (HDD 218) did not meet its reserve price of 975 GBP and was withdrawn from sale. It is not known if this TC has survived.

Lot number 23, a Jaguar XK140 fixed head coupe with C type cylinder head, sold for 410 GBP. The car has survived and is taxed and insured. A wise investment as current value must be 80,000 GBP plus!!

The Totally T-Type 2 Tour of mid-Wales

1 Sep

The tour was held over the August Bank Holiday weekend (23rd to 26th August). The Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells was our base for the weekend.

Thirty one cars originally entered for the tour, but due to various reasons the final entry was down to twenty seven cars, the majority of which were T-Types.

Saturday’s route took us through the lanes to the town of Rhayader and onwards to the Elan Valley, taking in some fabulous narrow scenic roads around the four reservoirs and dams, before joining the mountain road towards Aberystwyth.

Our coffee stop was at the Hafod hotel in Devil’s Bridge, some 35 miles after leaving our base.

Devil’s Bridge, with its three bridges on different levels, and its waterfalls (300 feet), is a well-known tourist attraction. The first bridge is reputed to have been built by the Devil, but in reality was built in the eleventh century by monks; the middle bridge was built in 1708, wider than the lower bridge, to take horse-drawn vehicles; the top bridge was built in 1901 to cope with modern traffic.

A welcome sight in the village of Devil’s Bridge is this AA box, one of the few preserved in Great Britain.

For the benefit of our overseas readers, the AA (Automobile Assocation) had a network of these boxes (at one time, over 1,000). Members were were issued with a key to gain access to the box which contained a dedicated phone line direct to the AA for emergency breakdown callout.

By the 1990s with the widespread availablity of mobile phones, the phone service became redundant and the boxes, first introduced in 1912 as sentry type boxes, were decommissioned by 2002. Happily, some remain, like this one at Devil’s Bridge, and a couple are Grade II listed.

The AA patrol officer, when not attending to a breakdown, was often to be seen at the side of the road and if he saw the AA badge on your car he would salute you. The story goes that if he didn’t salute you, then you could assume that there was a police speed trap ahead!

After a welcome cup of tea/coffee in the hotel, there were a number of choices as regards routes/ things to do for our T-Type tourists. The railway station for the Vale of Rheidol Railway was a mere stone’s throw from the hotel. This scenic 11.5 mile journey to Aberystwyth was well patronised.

The Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forestry/Red Kite Centre was just under 5 miles away with its visitor centre, extensive walks and the chance to watch the Red Kites.

Alternatively, one could skip these attractions and make the return journey to The Metropole via the old drover’s town of Tregarron and over the Abergwesyn Mountain road. This is a spectacular narrow road over the Cambrian mountains for about 19 miles with the Devil’s Staircase (a steep descent with hairpin bends) waiting to greet you after 10 miles or so.

Some of the crews actually did the mountain road return journey after the train journey/the Forestry and Red Kite Centre whilst others, including yours truly, took the shorter route back to the hotel via the A44.

Full steam ahead through the picturesque Rheidol Valley.

There were stunning views from the train.

There was no shortage of sheep! They were often to be found wandering along the roads.

Thank goodness for passing places, albeit they were few and far between. These two views were taken from the cockpit of Patrick Michel’s TC.

All in all a most interesting and rewarding day in record temperatures for an August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Sunday route took us north through Crossgates and then through the lanes to Abbey-Cwm-Hir, where the the Hall is a Grade II listed Victorian family home with 52 rooms, many filled with amazing objects. From Abbey-Cwm-Hir we continued north through some lovely lanes to Bwlch-y-Sarnau and took the narrow road past Red Lion Hill to join the A483 south of Dolfor. After a couple of miles on the recently opened Newtown bypass and a further six on the A483, we took the B4385 at Garthmyl, passing through the quaint village of Berriew and along the lanes to Powis Castle.

This imposing National Trust property is a medieval castle, fortress and grand country mansion. The castle houses a wonderful collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. The Clive Museum (Clive of India) features more than 300 items from India and the Far East, dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries. On display are ivories, textiles, statues of Hindu gods, ornamental silver and gold, and weapons and ceremonial armour.

After a walk around the extensive and beautiful gardens below the castle, we took advantage of the catering facilities. The picture shows the Editor with our French guests, Patrick and Christiane.

Patrick and Christiane are from Martin Eglise (just south of Dieppe). They came across to Newhaven, stayed in Bognor Regis for one night, stayed in Keynsham for one night and then travelled with yours truly and Sue to Llandrindod Wells. The return journey took in a stop for lunch at Tintern, where our French friends were impressed with the remains of the Abbey, dating from 1131 but which fell into ruin after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, for which King Henry VIII was responsible.

After a brief stop for a cup of tea in Keynsham, our guests travelled to Salisbury where they stayed the night, before travelling to Newhaven for the return journey to Dieppe.

Patrick’s TC was sounding increasingly like a tractor and when he arrived home he found out why!

There was so much to see in Powis Castle and I should not forget to mention that during WWII George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis, shared the castle with his children and their families. As a governor of the Welsh Girls‘ School in Ashford, Middlesex he invited pupils and teachers to evacuate to the castle at the outbreak of war. The classrooms and dormitories are there to be seen together with recordings of the girls‘ singing lessons.

Following a good few hours spent at Powis Castle, our route took us through the small town of Montgomery, the traditional county town of the historic county of Montgomeryshire, which is now under the administrative control of Powys, following Welsh Local Government reorganization some years’ ago. The town has two 13th century buildings; a castle and the parish church.

From Montgomery the route followed the A489 for a couple of miles to Sarn, where just outside the village we took the narrow (and potholed!) lanes to skirt around Clun Forest, via Anchor and Felindre, before joining the B4356 at Llanbister and on to the A483 which led us back to Llandrindod Wells.

Our stay at The Metropole Hotel coincided with the annual Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival and when we arrived back from ‘the Powis Castle day’ we learnt that dinner was to be brought forward by half an hour to enable some of the hotel staff to attend/take part in the torchlight procession through the town. This made its way to the town’slake, where we enjoyed an impressive firework display, claimed to be the largest in Wales.

On Monday morning it was time for most of us to say our goodbyes, albeit ten cars stayed over on the Monday night to avoid the Bank Holiday Traffic. The next picture shows some of crews getting ready to leave on the Monday.

The next one shows Graham and Sonja Walker in their TC with ‘Bentley’ waving goodbye.

The next picture shows George and Pauline Arber in their TC EXU (note rear bumper). George used to own TC8533 (FUN 504) which he deeply regretted selling all those years ago. It went over to the US and was owned by the cartoonist Phil Frank until his passing in 2007. Phil was the creator with Joe Troise of the fictional character, Nigel Shiftright.

The Nigel character was characterized as a scarf-wearing RAF Flying Ace, turned ex-pat racing driver, who continued his fight against the enemy on the roads and streets of California.

To quote Phil in a San Francisco Chronicle article, which must have been just before his death:

“Nigel is an Anglophile, loving all things British and imagining himself to be an unrecognized member of British Royalty living in the US with a fleet of spindly-wheeled old cars at his estate on Flapping Bonnet Lane.”

Acknowledgement to Bradley Restoration website

Ed’s note: FUN 504 was restored by Doug Pelton’s From the Frame Up in November 2014.

The last picture shows Brian Rainbow lending a hand with Paul Ireland’s distributor problem. Paul had noticed a misfire on the drive over from East Anglia, so decided to change the 123 distributor and revert to the standard one. However, there was a problem with firing up the engine after the changeover, but this was successfully diagnosed so that Paul and Christine could make their way back home.

All in all, it was a most successful weekend and we just could not believe our luck with the weather (it could have been so different in the mist and rain!).

Brian Rainbow had done a sterling job with the routes and our tour sponsors, NTG Motor Services and Hagerty International, did us proud with the rally plates and the roadbooks.

In recognition of Brian’s contribution, he was presented with a gift (a TA rocker shaft!) and Rosie, ever supportive, was presented with a Marks & Spencer voucher. Graham Walker did the honours.

To my embarrassment, I was presented with a sum of money by Christine Ireland for doing the admin work. I will put it towards a weather vane in the shape of a TF and will include a photo in TTT 2.

Supercharging an MG TD – a follow up

1 Sep

It is about 9 years since I installed a supercharger on my 1953 TD and once fitted I wrote an article for TT Type 2 (August 2011} and the Octagon Bulletin (October and November 2011}. Nothing technical but just a record of my experiences and thoughts.

The supercharger and fittings were supplied by Steve Baker and we fitted it together. I say “we” but in reality, he did 80% of the work and I acted as apprentice mechanic and second pair of hands.

Subsequently I met Steve and his son Luke at the Stoneleigh MG event about 4 years ago when my car was on the MG Octagon Car Club stand. We had a good chat, during which time I promised to write a follow up article. This is it, albeit a bit later than intended! Rather than repeat what was written previously I thought that answers to the questions I get asked most frequently might be of more interest.

Why did you fit one?

As a kid I read all of Ian Flemings’ James Bond novels and the books mentioned the whine of the supercharger on Bond’s old Bentley. It sounded very exotic to me and that sparked the wish to one day own a car with one fitted.

What preparation was necessary?

The engine had not done too many miles since a rebuild so the compression was checked. As all cylinders were pretty much the same the only additional work was to replace the core plugs after thoroughly flushing the engine and radiator. I added a second fuel pump to mirror the TD MarkII layout, but in hindsight this was not necessary as a single pump would have coped. The gear box was rebuilt at the same time as this had been playing up.

Did you upgrade the brakes?

No, the twin leading shoe system on the car has been quite adequate for road use.

What maintenance does it require?

The unit fitted is an Eaton 45 and does not require any particular maintenance. As a precaution I do check the drive belt and all the pulleys and fittings regularly.

Why did you choose this supercharger?

I set out to get a period Shorrocks but couldn’t find one. This was available and as a complete kit, which is well engineered. Also, it looks very similar to a Shorrocks and coupled with the fact the maintenance regime is negligible, made the choice a simple one.

Has it impacted fuel consumption?

The simple answer is yes. Driving sensibly the car will return a little over 30 mpg. However, that doesn’t happen very often as it is far too much fun not to drive enthusiastically.

What is it like driving the car with a supercharger?

Not surprisingly, the acceleration is much improved and so is the torque, making the driving easier, perhaps requiring fewer gear changes. The normal engine running temperature has dropped from around 85 degrees to 78-80. It rarely gets above 85 even on a hot day or after a fast run. Starting in winter requires full choke but only for a very short while and in the summer very little, if any. Otherwise the TD gives the same pleasurable drive as always. The supercharger does whine, but quietly and only at higher revs.

Have you fitted a 5-speed gearbox or altered the differential to reduce the rev’s at higher speeds?

Not yet. I have been contemplating fitting a 5-speed gearbox for a while but haven’t found the time (nor the cash) to carry out the work. That job may have to wait until retirement.

Would you ever revert to the standard carburettor set up?

Not if can help it!

Colin Hooper August 2019

Colin’s TD pictured at a show soon after the supercharger was fitted.

Steve Baker’s website is:

Details of the Eaton supercharger are as follows:

Eaton M45 XPAG Supercharger Kit. £3,650.00 inclusive of VAT. The kit is supplied with fitting instructions and includes all necessary parts for installation, including a 1.5 rebuilt SU carburetor. The kit is set up for 6lbs boost suitable for fast road use.

Steve asks that you contact him in the first instance before ordering online.

Connecting up the coil

1 Sep

Steve Priston alerted me to the following details about connections to the coil.

Firstly, his experience of the running of his TC before and after the coil connections were swapped and secondly, John Saunders’ technical explanation.

Over to Steve………

“My 1948 TC did not like climbing the last part of a local, long but gradual incline, something that I had attributed to the much talked about modern fuel related problems.

It would easily maintain just over 3000 rpm, for two thirds, to three quarters of the climb, then really protest, causing me to rapidly lift off the accelerator, then after a short pause, gradually re-apply it, in doing so, losing a lot of momentum but all seemed well again.

I experienced this in a more dramatic way, when climbing another long hill but this time, requiring the use of third gear, holding 3500rpm, for the duration of the climb, knowing that the under-bonnet temperature would be high, again thinking fuel was the cause.

Then, as we have been experiencing higher ambient temperatures, my previously smooth engine, had developed a noticeable but slight harshness, felt through the accelerator pedal, when cruising on the flat, at 50mph, which earlier in the year, had certainly not been the case.

Having previously been assisted by John Saunders, drawing on his experience gained from living with a TC, I contacted him for his thoughts on my problems. I was quite taken aback by his response and the speed with which it was given and I immediately went to the car, still with him on the phone, with a torch and mirror in the other hand, to see how my coil was wired.

The phone was left on the battery box lid, for a moment, whilst I checked and sure enough, based on John’s own findings, my coil was wired incorrectly!

A couple of days later, having come off shift, I swapped the wires to the coil and out I went, heading for that damn hill again. No problems this time or traces of harshness from the engine – what a relief and thanks to John Saunders for the correct diagnosis.

I then delved through the paperwork, that had come with the car, to see when the coil was last replaced and who was responsible. It turned out to be the same company, that I discovered had claimed to have also replaced the condenser, which was definitely still the one fitted at the factory or by Lucas, by the superb standard of soldering!

The receipt was from 14 years ago, the car having covered 4000 miles like it, so I decided to treat it to a new Bosch coil, from Euro Car Parts, costing £20, just for peace of mind.”

Ed’s note: John Saunders‘ technical explanation and a diagram follows:

When the MG TC was new, if an ignition coil was to be retired for any reason, the replacement coil would be marked SW (for switch) on the low tension terminal receiving current, at 12 volts, from the battery negative terminal, through the ignition switch.

The other low tension terminal would be marked CB (contact breaker) and would be connected to the distributor low tension terminal, and thus grounded intermittently through the CB to the positive vehicle earth (see the diagram which follows).All this is well known and is not disputed or controversial.

Now step forward to modern times when all new vehicles are negative earth, and you will find, unless you buy a special coil marked SW and CB, that the coil low tension terminals are marked + and -. You will normally not receive with your purchase an illustration showing the coil internal electrical circuit arrangement as in the diagram which follows.

You will probably and understandingly connect the negative low tension coil terminal to the 12 volt negative supply terminal and the positive coil terminal to the positive distributor terminal. This is perfectly logical, but for any positive earth vehicle (e.g. MG TA, TB and TC) is exactly WRONG!

The reason is that when the coil terminal marked

“–“ is fed directly from the battery, via the ignition switch, the coil primary winding carries the full battery output to earth, through the contact breaker, with a higher current load the faster the car is run. This quickly leads to significant overheating of the coil and missing ignition pulses, and ultimately to an internal short circuit in the high tension coil and complete coil failure. This has happened to me twice, necessitating a tow home by a friendly neighbor each time.

So, what’s to do? Very simple; ignore the polarity markings on the new coil and install it with its “+” side toward the battery/ignition switch supply side and the “–“ terminal connecting with the distributor (CB). When the LT terminals are connected in this fashion, the current is fed to both the low tension LT coil and to the high tension HT coil, by the internal design in approximately equal proportions, thus halving the LT heating effect.

It will pay to check the resistance between the low tension terminals. For a TC in normal use, i.e. no competition, using about 5,200 RPM as a maximum, the resistance should be around 3.3 to 3.6 ohm. If it is about 2.6 ohm, as my new coil, use a ballast resistor; I have 0.8 ohm ballast fitted. An LT resistance of about 3.6 ohm should be fine for a normally used TC.

You can check coil temperature with your hand; warm to very warm is fine, too hot to touch is trouble.

Fuel supply modifications to a TC

1 Sep

Having grown tired of attempts to get his SU petrol pump working reliably, Steve Priston decided to fit a Facet pump. Here’s what was involved….

Having had the standard AUA 25, SU fuel pump fail on my TC, I tried to cure its reluctance to keep going by fitting some new contacts; but the best that I could get from it was something that must have sounded like a WW2 airborne dog fight, in the distance. Unfortunately for me, despite hours of persevering with the diaphragm positions, the guns kept stopping briefly, as the SU tried to save its ammo!

The pump had caused problems before, by the tell-tale chewed-up screw heads, so it was time for a replacement; but rather than blindly fitting the same thing, it was time for some research to see what other people had been doing to their cars.

A Riley man, a friend of a friend, had fitted a modern, American made Facet fuel pump, by his tank, with a return fuel line, back from the engine bay, connected to the tank’s filler neck. This worked for him, despite not having a regulator or even a flow restrictor on its return line.

A very good friend, a V8 Morgan owner, had fitted his Facet pump, also close to the fuel tank, but this time a pressure regulator, made by Malpassi was used. This was able to regulate the supply pressure, having a range of between 1.5 & 5 psi, easily adjusted, via a top mounted screw, with a lock nut. He had seen the fuel boiling, in the glass filter bowl on his regulator, whilst positioned under the bonnet, so had moved it to the rear of his car, near the pump!

This second version seemed to be the way to go, not having to worry about a return line to the tank, but just requiring a means of mounting the two major components close to the TC’s tank; however not too close, in the case of the regulator, which was not going to have a filter.

I don’t like drilling extra holes in anything, if it can be avoided, so after much head scratching, with the new pump being offered about, I decided that I would use the nearside rear axle bump stop fixing holes. I then cobbled-up an alloy bracket, from a piece of off cut angle, mounting it under the top of the chassis rail to be held in place by the nuts of the bump stop bracket.

In this picture you can see the alloy bracket (shown in the previous picture) secured in position by the nuts of the bump stop bracket. Once secured, it acts as the mounting bracket for the pump.

An overhead view of the arrangement.

Apparently there is a preferred way to mount this type of pump, to avoid any issues with cavitation, which is for the flow to be upwards and for the pump to be at a 45 degree angle. So that was my target, proving to be ideal for connecting to the existing copper line, from the tank, which travels along the outside of the nearside chassis rail.

The pump in question is listed as negative earth, as I believe are all of their pumps, but this could be overcome by using rubber mounting blocks, along with plain, non-conductive rubber tubing. In fact, this model has a plastic outer casing and when I put a meter across the inlet filter/outlet hose tails, there was no continuity.

The regulator comes with its own bracket, which requires bending so that it remains horizontal when screwed to the plywood as shown; the use of a 90 degree hose tail, making for a good alignment, with the copper fuel line, which needs about 18 inches cutting out under the axle, with a little bending to suit.

The pressure regulator screwed to the ply behind the lower part of the seat back backrest.

Of course, it will need wiring and a 5-amp fuse, which to me is not my bag but had to be done whilst laying on my back, when an ice cream would have struggled to melt quicker than I was!

Having altered the float chamber tops some time earlier (see later text), it raised concerns over the possibility of rupturing part of the fuel supply system after the pump, especially above that damned exhaust, should the car be involved in a frontal impact, so I have fitted a second-hand inertia switch, from a Rover. I think that the same model is used on many cars but I doubt they are fitted just up the back of the dash, on the passenger’s side.

I remember hearing about the position used by Ford, in their early Mondeo estate cars, not enjoyed by a friend, with a fully loaded boot, when he stalled it so violently, that the switch was activated, in heavy traffic, on a motorway!

I would say that this is all straight forward work, best undertaken when the weather is a little cooler so the sweat doesn’t fill the lenses of your glasses! 

Sourcing the parts

Once again ‘good old’ eBay again came into its own to find what I needed cheaply and to get it quickly. Surprisingly, the cost of all this lot is similar to or cheaper than, that of an original type SU pump but the Facet was only £32 including postage, rated at 6,000 hours.

A Facet PRO243-K pump.

A Malpassi FSEFPR008B regulator, with 8mm hose tails.

A pair of Syntec FPA rubber mounts, although longer ones would be an advantage.

A pair of Syntec NPT Fine, 90 degree, 8mm hose tails.

Some 8mm / 5/16″ bore non-overbraided fuel hose and clips.

Prior to this pump replacement, I had already decided to see what I could do to improve matters with hot fuel under the bonnet. The fuel hoses to the twin carburettors were re-routed by swapping the float chamber tops over. This enabled me to run the feed to the front float chamber around the back of the air cleaner, so that being nearer the bonnet louvres, it was away from being directly above the exhaust manifold.

Re-routing of the fuel hoses to keep the carb to carb hose as far away as possible from the exhaust manifold.

I also wondered why the hoses from the SU pump and between the float chambers, were such a large bore size, when later cars employing a similar SU set-up, had either 1/4″ or 3/16″ bore tubing. So, I made some new hoses in 6mm bore, reducing the hose stored fuel volume, by around 40% per inch, but now with a further reduction as a result of removing the contents inside the SU pump as well.

Ed’s note: The old fuel hoses which were replaced using new hoses of a 6mm bore had a bore size of 8mm. Steve now has a 35 inch length of fuel hose under the bonnet, instead of a 29 inch length.

The above, to my mind could only but help with the problem of vapour lock, caused by so much fuel being heated under the bonnet, as its volume has been reduced. The smaller bore hoses also increase the fuel velocity from the pump so it is not exposed to the heat for so long either; at least that is my view!

To finish off, I saw the original mounting position for the SU pump, to be where logically, the coil should now be mounted, no longer tucked partially behind the rocker cover and in a position that nicely disguises the missing pump from the bulk head, and also nearer to the louvres.

The coil now re-positioned to where the SU pump was originally located.

Since this work, I have adjusted the fuel regulator a couple of times, now being just two turns up, from being fully home, having only five turns of adjustment.

The engine idles beautifully, especially when hot and I have now adopted a way of starting the car, after it has been parked for as long as it takes to eat a nice cake and ‘down’ a decent coffee. This is to simply to pull the starter, then let it idle for a few moments, whilst the oil pressure goes up, before driving away, hopefully now without any drama or embarrassment.

The Way We Were – our TD love story

1 Sep

(Mike & Fran Johnson) MGCC-Cape Town Centre

From childhood Dinky toy days, it was my desire to own an MG. Although there were many other makes, the name MG seemed to be the car synonymous with the term ‘sports car’. In December 1963 at the end of my first year as a poorly paid apprentice, I managed to have saved some money and assisted by my mother with a reluctant loan, I bought my red TD for R320 (then about PDS160). A joyous moment and that first drive home from in a howling south east gale is today clearly embedded in my memory.

The price of the car soon faded but the loan share had to be repaid and in the coming months there were times when I could not afford petrol, which was as I recall, about R3.60 (PDS1.8) to fill the tank. Nevertheless, I was driving my dream and enjoying every moment behind the wheel or under the bonnet. It was particularly sporty driving with the windscreen down and too poor for the luxury of aero-screens which perhaps explains my hairless crown today.

Lunch time on Cape Town’s own Daytona Beach – 1964

Bloubergstrand Cape Town – 1974

At the time of buying the MG, a sweet 12 year old girl named Frances, lived across the road from me. Some 5 years later she started taking a rather keen interest in both the MG and its owner. Thus, began the ‘romantic period’ and the TD, now sprayed racing green became known as ‘Cosy’ for obvious reasons! On 6th February 1971, 50% ownership of my TD was unwittingly relinquished to the ‘girl across the road’ at our wedding ceremony. Later that evening our ‘Cosy’ took us for a short honeymoon to Stellenbosch.

As time moved on, the TD saw only occasional use due to my marine career, purchase of our home and a growing family naturally took precedence. Dear old ‘Cosy’ showed her displeasure at this neglect and eventually refused to budge from the garage due to major defects. Sadly, this is where she then reclined for the next 33 years, but thankfully was not sold, as so often happens.

Eventually restoration began in earnest in 2007/8. After so many idle years and living near the salty air seaside the car was indeed in a sorry state. Those who have tackled a complete restoration know the frustration and disappointment experienced during the course of the project. However, perseverance pays and the end result is an incredible sense of job satisfaction, achievement and pride.

Having owned our now Clipper blue TD for 55 years and after so many years off the road we are once again, at every opportunity, enjoying the soothing exhaust burble taking us back to our younger years.

Who says a ‘love triangle’ will not stand the test of time?

Above: The way we were – the 3 newly weds 1971. Below: The way we are now – still the 3 newly weds 2019.

SU Fuel Pump Types

1 Sep

Having recently changed the SU pump on my TF1500, (the previous owner had asked a garage to fit a new pump and a late MGB pump had been fitted, which was not to my liking) I did some research on the Internet and found the following:

L (low pressure pumps) – These are found on the T-Series (TA, TB, TC, TD and early TF) and earlier MGs.

They develop up to 1.5 psi and have a flow rate of 1.3 pints per minute (9.6 gallons per hour).

HP (high pressure pumps) – These are found on late TF, MGA, Z Magnette and early MGBs.

They are the same outline and size as the low pressure pumps or sometimes come with a longer coil housing (referred to as a High Pressure/Long Body pump).

They develop up to 2.7 psi and have a flow rate of 1.1 pints per minute (8.4 gallons per hour).

LCS pumps – These were used on the MGA Twin Cam and on the Austin Healey.

They use the long coil body of the High Pressure/Long Body pump and have a large, rectangular pump body on them.

They develop up to 3.8psi and have a flow rate of 2 pints per minute (15 gallons per hour).

AUF 300 series pumps – (now AZX 1300 series) – These are found on all of the later MGBs plus many British cars of the 1960s and later.

They have what is called a “plain air bottle” on the inlet side and a flow-smoothing device on the delivery side.

They develop up to 2.7psi (AZX 1307) or 3.8 psi (AZX 1308) and a flow rate of 2.4 pints per minute (18 gallons per hour) for both types.

My car was fitted with an AZX 1307.

Front cover – TC4431 (MPA 894)

1 Sep

Chris Tinker, long time TC owner, uses his car far more than most. The front cover shows his car in front of the Café de Paris, Monte Carlo. Here’s a short account of the car’s history…

I’m back from a wonderful expedition this summer through France and on to the Piedmont area of North West Italy. To drive up to the world-famous Café de Paris, Monte Carlo has been a long-held ambition and MPA 894 was welcomed despite notices barring entry to this idyllic spot. The TC has driven admirably, with only a flat tyre and a snapped fan belt to hold me up. I sent John a photo or two and he kindly agreed to publish them, and asked for a short article on the car and my ownership. Thus a few words….

I bought it as my first car in 1972 for £450, in a driveable condition. It needed to be, being my sole means of transport. The first bill, from J J Silencer of Canterbury, was for an MOT in October that year, at a cost of £1.70 ……… I also have records in the front cover of my handbook of refuelling, and petrol averaged about 35 pence per gallon.

In early ownership I looked after everything despite not being an engineer, as so many current owners seem to be! According to my mother’s diary of those years, I spent literally hours under my car keeping her roadworthy.  The first matter was a slipping clutch! I had to remove the gearbox, and the handbook came in useful at that stage as did my Publican who had a gantry so that I could lift it out. I’d never even seen a clutch plate before. This was learning on the hoof!!

Further work on my own included keeping the bodywork in reasonable condition – I had a marvellous little Humbrol spray for patching up the lovely primrose yellow colour. This colour led, by the way, to the car’s name, the Noddy Car, as it is known to the family.

In the mid-seventies I see I used Octagon Sports Cars (London E17) for parts – as one example, a front spring cost me about £5.25 in 1974. So far as professional work was concerned, Toulmin were called in for some work as listed on an invoice I have – lots of work around the engine including water pump and carbs, and even a new brake master cylinder. The bill was a massive £122.97 so I must have been feeling rich!!

Looking through my log of the 80s, I managed to fit new big end shells and a new rear spring, performed a de-coke, rebuilt the carbs over one winter (much enjoyed that!) and so it goes on.  A decade later I remember fitting a new wiring loom.

The engine was reconditioned in 1979 by Baileys of Canterbury at a cost of £289 including parts, and has been twice since by Richard Coles of Coltec – I had a high lift cam for a while but it failed, and I decided to go back to standard. George Edney did his unleaded head conversion back in the ‘90s, and it has served me well ever since. Since my earlier efforts to maintain the paintwork, it has been professionally sprayed, 1980 and 1987. And then in 2010 I had a major rebuild by Tom Pizzey which included a further respray with the modern two-pack paint which continues to hold up very well.  For spares these days I am lucky to have NTG just down the road – they are friendly and efficient and I am a regular customer!

I have enjoyed many Continental holidays in the TC, visiting such places as Geneva, Lugano, Florence, Siena, Rome, our Honeymoon in Brittany/Paris – including parking right under the Eiffel Tower – and Christine and I have also driven through the Rioja valley and on to Salamanca and Madrid. Alpine passes conquered include the Simplon, the San Gotthardo, the Grimsel and the massive Stelvio.

Above:  At the Barolo vineyards above Alba (Italy) Below: by the coast at Antibes (France).

Of course, driving a TC is not always going to be without incident. Back in the earlier days I remember smoke rising from below me – this was not the usual smoke from some leaking oil, but white smoke!  I looked under, rather perturbed, to find that the blowing silencer had almost set the wooden floor just above it on fire! This was quickly extinguished, and I then applied some silver foil to the wood to prevent further potential fires until I returned home and fixed the exhaust.

On another occasion, a core plug fell out, leaving me without water. This was behind the carbs, so off they came by the roadside with emergency services rolling up to see what was the matter… I knocked in a new core plug, my co-driver acquired water from a nearby house, and we were off again within the hour. I do carry plenty of spares!! Lucky to have the core plugs though.

Other problems have included a piston blown at the top due to running with too weak a mixture, a blown head gasket (just last year in France!!), a snapped fan belt and rather more flat tyres than I would like.

I also had a leaking joint on the oil pump to filter pipe quite recently near Orleans, and made up my own washer with some old inner tube I always carry. It is still fine, so I’m leaving it alone! The only really alarming failure was the steering box drop arm – fortunately at a very slow speed in a Devonshire village

This summer I topped 150,000 miles, and as I spent three years out of the country, this comes out at about 3,500 a year.  I never completely lay the car up as I like to take advantage of those dry sunny winter days (often February) to go out for a run and let the cool dry air blow through the vehicle just in case any condensation has been encroaching. And I usually have a Christmas day drive.

Chris out in Provence within the last 6 weeks.

I intend to plan further expeditions and would love to join another Autumn Tour (TTT 2 or T Register) though dates are difficult for me. However, I actually hosted one once (based near Ipswich) and my wife and I joined a Yorkshire one a few years back based at my birthplace Skipton. So, onwards and forwards – (not upwards yet I hope!) –  I love driving my first car and will continue to make much use, sometimes daily again maybe, of this treasure.

Ed’s note: I think this is a perfect example of man and car in harmony.

When Chris’ mother was alive and living in Bude, Cornwall, Chris used to call in on us for lunch and a chat, having set out from Ipswich in the TC that morning. Suitably fed and watered he then set off for Bude.

Ipswich to Bristol is just over 200 miles; Bristol to Bude is around 130 miles.

You can do it in a TC!

More on Worn Front Axle Eyes

1 Sep

Since publication of Eric Worpe’s article in the previous issue of TTT 2 there have been a couple of comments as follows:

Peter Bick had a similar problem with a Jaguar with oval eyes and was told that braking causes the kingpin to rock forwards and backwards, inflicting more wear in the axle eye. When the cars were in production, Jaguar listed a .008” oversize kingpin, but now of course, these are generally unavailable.

However, he managed to find a NOS (new old stock) pair of kingpins, which he had hard chromed and then ground 0.10 inches oversize to fit the reamed axle eyes to suit.

While hard chroming the kingpin he also had a hole drilled and tapped at the top of it to take a 5/8 inch blot. A swaged wire strop was attached with an adjustable turnbuckle back to a bracket on the chassis so that now every time the brakes are applied this strop should stop the kingpin from moving forward.

From recent experience, Jeff Townsend confirms all of Eric Worpe’s findings relating to the sale of undersized kingpins in the UK. He says that while Eric was fitting new spindles to the stub axles of TA1957 he asked him if he could fit new kingpins and bushes at the same time. Having purchased a set from one of the trade suppliers, Eric found that the pins were up to 0.5 thou undersized. Further investigation indicated that pins from other suppliers might be the same.

It was indeed fortunate that Eric got to hear that Gerry Brown was having some 2 thou oversize pins made. Whilst the TA axle had been straightened and steering geometry reset as far as possible, the eyes were found to be slightly oversized. The oversized pins are now a good fit in the eyes.

Eric also fitted some original ‘wrapped’ (bi-metal) bushes, so the car is well engineered around the front hub area. In fairness to the undersized pins supplier, a no quibble full refund was offered and accepted.

Ed’s note: Eric is expecting delivery of the wrapped (bi-metal) bushes by the end of September. Price will be very competitive.