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Lost and Found

17 Nov

Ross Harris in Australia has been in touch. I was sorry to hear that his dad (Claude) whose TA, (TA1980) was featured on the front cover of the October 2011 issue, died recently. Claude was 92.

Ross has just acquired TA2982 to keep TA1980 company. Originally registered in the UK as ETC 334 it was owned at one time by a T-racer, who purchased the car around 1960 in Swindon.

TA2982 was   brought to Australia by a lady called  Ann Pridham in the late 1980s, and up to now had been in the possession of Phil Dadd from Sydney for the past 30 years.

Ross would be interested to learn of any history of the car pre-1960 – jake(at)mgta.com.au [please substitute @ for (at)].

He is also seeking Photos and information on the Factory MG TA Trials cars originally registered BBL 82, BBL 83, BBL  84 and BJB 412. (Musketeers) and or contact with the owners of Cream Crackers BBL 78 BBL79 BBL 80 and BBL 81.

Ross is familiar with M.G. Trials Cars by Roger Thomas, having read it several times from cover to cover, but he is seeking more detail of the cars.

TC0918 (JUM 427) Paul Richmond is trying to locate the whereabouts of his late father’s  TC. He owned it from 1947 until 1953, when he had to sell it – the impending birth of Paul’s older brother meant a more family friendly car was required! The car was originally green, but was restored and painted red in the nineties and last heard of in Sheffield in 2013. Contact Paul on 077 3148 0291 – pfrguitar(at)gmail.com [substitute @ for (at)].


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Bits and Pieces

17 Nov

Wrapped (bi-metal) kingpin bushes for TB/TC and later TA

Bi-metal ‘wrapped’ king pin bushes – note the oil/grease groove which has a spur take off that feeds lubrication to the thrust faces of the beam axle’s eye.

Bi-metal ‘wrapped’ king pin bush showing the spur groove that feeds the thrust washer.

Eric Worpe now has these bushes in stock. He needed to advance a not inconsiderable sum of money to be able to offer these bushes at a price which is significantly lower than the phosphor bronze type available commercially.

The important point to  note is that the wrapped bushes are the correct type (as used originally when the cars were new) and by ordering in bulk it is possible to pass on significant savings.

Details of price and availability below:

For a set of 4 the cost is 32 GBP. For orders of between 3 sets of 4 and 9 sets of 4 the cost is 30 GBP per set of 4. For orders of 10 sets and above the bushes can be purchased for 28 GBP per set of 4.

Postage at cost on all orders.

These bushes will be available from the Editor at his stall (shared with Brian Rainbow) in Stoneleigh in February.

Enquiries to e.worpe(at)btinternet.com [please substitute@ for (at)]

Wire wheels refurbishment

Geoff Fletcher, whose restoration progress is featured elsewhere in this issue has e-mailed to say that he has just picked up his wheels from The Wheel Specialist, Garforth/Leeds after being blasted, powder coated and tyres (Blockleys) fitted. He says that they have made an excellent job and can recommend this company to anybody wanting some wheels refurbished in this area. They also fit tyres so they do the everything, which has its advantages.

Dave’s Doughnuts

Since the last issue I have ordered another 20 pairs and now have these in stock, albeit two pairs of these have just been sent to France to be fitted to an MGA and an NA. The last pair of the previous batch was sent to Neil Cowking, who reported back as follows:

“Goods received, fitted, tested, clonk gone!”

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

TA/B/C Brakes – Fitting of Thackeray washer

Paul Busby has been in touch as follows:

I have recently had the good fortune to work on two TCs previously maintained and serviced by others. Whilst overhauling the brakes on both cars I was concerned to notice both had the Thackeray washer (double spring washer) the wrong side of the brake shoes. This was most evident on one car by the wear pattern in the lining. The Thackeray washer should be behind the two shoes not in front, with the wide horseshoe retaining clip bearing direct onto the shoe.

Paul goes on to say that the manuals do not show sufficient detail on this but simple dimensional checking will make it clear. He is amazed how people even manage to fit the horseshoe over the Thackeray washer. This incorrect fitting also allows the washer to become unwound through the gap as most people also do not recognise the horseshoe should be used once and crimped closed just like a split pin.

Above: Thackeray washer in place before crimping. Below: This pic is without Thackeray washer as Paul could not hold together and photograph with one hand. Pin is new and up a few thou to take up wear.

Pic from the linings from one of the two TCs Paul worked on, showing wear patterns due to mis-alignment.

Paul Ireland’s new book

Paul’s new book is currently being printed and should be available for Stoneleigh in February, where it can be purchased from the Editor’s stand.

The link is: https://www.veloce.co.uk/shop/products/productDetail.php?prod_id=V5590&prod_group=Cars%20Vans%20&%20Trucks&

TC/9349

Just to let you know I am still at it” was the opening line of a recent e-mail from Michael Sherrell. Mike had recently returned from the Coalfields 500 Race Meeting held on 20/21 October at the Collie Motorplex, just over 200 kms and two and a half hours south of Perth.

Just before the event weekend, he was advised that he was the only entrant in his class. Whilst he would have preferred to have been competing with a host of TCs and like machines, he was happy to be at the back of a field of open wheelers, Caterhams etc. just to learn and enjoy the new track layout. The track has  been extended on from the main straight through a series of interesting bends, to a sharp left, on uphill though a combination of lefts on the top, then steeply down left and right, the last being a tricky little squiggle, on to the existing back straight – chicane, left and left, and back on to the main straight once more. 

Mike summed up his weekend driving experience as follows:

I drove my supercharged TC to Collie via the excellent Mornington Rd, competed in five, ten-minute events over two days, then drove home unscathed, again via Mornington Rd, on a high, energised and elated and so proud of my little TC/9349. What a machine!

Ed’s note: I would add…..What a competitor!

Two pics of TC/9349 at the Collie Motorplex.

Restoration Services

Some months‘ ago I was contacted by Mike Gardiner from Pangbourne with the request; Did I know of a reliable company who would finish his J2 and get it back on the road? I had no hesitation in recommending Adrian Moore of Finishing Touch Bodyshop in Weston-Super-Mare.

The work that needed doing on the car was mainly mechanical and Adrian picked the car up from Mike’s home and delivered it back when the job was finished.

I was pleased to receive this picture from Mike  with the comment “Adrian did just what I asked for – get the car in a state that I could drive it – he’s a nice chap to deal with – and every time you go, there is something else that is interesting to see!

That’s what I like, a job well done at an affordable price and a satisfied owner! (Ed).

Head Gasket and Bottom End Sets

I have a head gasket set for TB/TC/TD (to engine no.22734) and Y (to engine no. 17993). Good quality set made by Gaskets For Classics Limited. Price is 40 GBP plus postage.

I also have 3 head gasket sets for TD 22735 on, YB  and TF to chassis no. 8173 i.e. TF1250. Price as above. jj(at)ttypes.org – substitute @ for (at)

Also for sale are several bottom end sets for TB to TF priced at 18 GBP plus postage.

When they are gone they are gone!

Tracing the current owner of a once owned MG

I was surprised to read in the November issue of Enjoying MG that the DVLA recently helped an individual to trace his grandad’s TC. The individual submitted a DVLA form to the Agency along with some old photographs and a reason why he was trying to trace the car. Nothing happened for a while, until one day there was a telephone call from the present owner.

I say I was surprised, because I tried this unsuccessfully some time ago (I even followed  it up via my Member of Parliament). At the time, I felt that there were unconvincing reasons advanced for the refusal, chief of which was that such a request did not meet the reasonable cause criteria.

Anyhow, the website reference is: www.gov.uk/request-information-from-dvla

I shall now contact Matthew Whiteman, who is trying to get in contact with the present owner of his late father’s TC and we will see what DVLA have to say.

A Clarification of the T-Type Ignition System

17 Nov

by Peter Cole and Eric Worpe

The ignition system used in our cars was invented by Charles Kettering in 1908.  Fig 1 shows part of his original patent submission.  His ignition system was used in nearly every car made worldwide exactly as he described it from soon after its invention until the mid-1980s. The Kettering ignition is an extremely simple and reliable arrangement consisting of an ignition coil, a condenser (see Note 1 at the end of this article) and a contact breaker, more commonly referred to as ‘the points’.  Prior to that time cars used a magneto to produce the ignition voltage.  Whilst the magneto was significantly more expensive to manufacture, it had the advantage that it could produce a spark without a battery.  More recently, refinements were made to Kettering’s ignition system such as adding a transistor to extend the life of the points or adding a resistor in series with the coil primary, which could be shorted out to aid starting.  Essentially however, even with a few tweaks, these ignition systems are directly attributable to Kettering.

Fig 1

The ignition coil consists of two windings, the low voltage primary and the high voltage secondary winding.  The ratio between the primary turns and secondary turns was typically between 1:50 on early coils and up to 1:150 on modern coils.  The coil produces the spark voltage by transforming the 400-500 volts across the condenser and the open points up to the 10 – 20kV required to produce a spark at the plug.

Our cars were originally wired with the positive terminal of the battery connected to the chassis, which is termed ‘Positive Earth’ or ‘Positive Ground’ in the States.  The coil terminal marked ‘SW’ is connected to the negative 12V battery supply via the ignition SWitch and the terminal marked ‘CB’ is connected to the Contact Breaker which, in turn, connects the CB terminal to earth when the points are closed.  The primary and secondary windings are connected together inside the coil and are designed to produce a negative spark voltage (see Note 2 at the end of this article).  A negative spark voltage is desirable because the spark plug gap will break down at a lower negative voltage than it will with a positive voltage.  This makes use of the ‘thermionic’ effect whereby the hotter central electrode of the spark plug will emit electrons more freely than the cooler spark plug body.  Hence a negative spark voltage will provide a stronger spark.  However, some cars such as the Citroen 2CV use a coil where both ends of the secondary are accessible.  Here, one end of the secondary is connected to one plug and the other end is connected to the other plug.  The benefit, at least in terms of cost, is that there is no need for a distributor, but one plug has a negative spark voltage and the other a positive spark voltage.   So, whilst a negative spark voltage is desirable it is clearly not essential. 

So, this raises several questions:  Does a T-Type with positive earth, using an original Lucas Q12 coil, produce a negative spark (see Fig 3)?  What happens if the battery polarity is reversed?  Does a modern car, with negative earth produce a negative spark (see Fig 4)?  What happens if a modern coil with terminals labelled + & – is used to replace an original coil with terminals marked SW & CB in a positive earth T-Type (see Fig 5)?  Will it still produce a negative spark? What happens if the coil connections are then swapped (see Fig 6)?

Any of these possibilities may be encountered in a T-Type today and possibly more than one.  Swapping the polarity of the battery is commonly done to accommodate modern electronics such as a Sat Nav or LED light bulbs.   Swapping to a modern coil is becoming increasing likely as original Lucas coils, some of which may be more than 75 years old now, reach the end of their useful life. 

To answer these questions, it is necessary to look at the ignition circuit in more detail and to consider some of the coil, coil connection and battery polarity permutations most likely to be encountered.  In doing so it might be helpful to refer to Fig 2 which shows the internal construction of a typical ignition coil and how the primary and secondary windings are arranged.  Fig 2 is reproduced by kind permission of Robert Bosch GmbH and is taken from their publication Ignition Systems for Gasoline Engines. (ISBN 3-934584-63-2)

Fig 2 Construction of a Typical Ignition Coil

Key to Fig 2:

1 High voltage output
2 Inter-layer paper insulation
3 Coil terminal insulator
4 Interconnection between secondary start and high voltage output
5 Case
6 Wide strap to fix coil to the car and aid cooling
7 Outer magnetic core
8 Primary winding
9 Secondary winding
10 Filling, usually asphalt
11 Base insulator
12 Inner magnetic core

1) T-Type with Positive Earth, using the original Lucas Q12 Coil wired as intended.

Fig 3 (Note: in Figs 3-6 ‘S’ and ‘F’ refer to the start and finish of the coil windings).

Referring to Fig 3, the finish of the primary winding SW is permanently connected to the negative 12 volt battery supply via the ignition switch.  At the start of the ignition cycle the points close connecting the start of the primary winding CB to earth.  Current starts to rise in the primary towards a level determined by the winding inductance, the winding resistance and the duration of the dwell period.  As the engine speed increases the magnitude of the primary current at the end of the shorter dwell period will be lower, and hence there is less energy stored in the coil to produce a spark.

At the end of the dwell period the points are opened by the cam on the distributor drive shaft.   The primary current then charges the capacitor across the points.  The primary inductance forms a tuned circuit with the capacitor to produce a voltage across the points of around 400-500 volts.  This is transformed by the coil to provide the voltage to necessary to create a spark at the plug.  The spark voltage will be in the range 10 – 20kV depending on conditions inside the cylinder.  The spark voltage will be NEGATIVE and the voltage at the points augments the secondary voltage. 

Note that if the connections to the SW and CB terminals of a Q12 coil or the battery polarity are swapped the spark voltage will be POSITIVE.  Swapping the SW and CB connections of the Q12 coil after the car has been converted to negative earth would revert to a negative spark but don’t do it!  Note the warning in the conclusion later in this article (after the commentary on Fig 6)

2) Modern car with Negative Earth, using a modern coil.

Fig 4

Referring to Fig 4, the primary start (labelled +) is connected to the positive 12 volt battery supply via the ignition switch.  At the start of the ignition cycle the primary finish (labelled -) is connected to ground via the points.  As the points open the secondary spark voltage is NEGATIVE but the primary voltage does not augment the secondary voltage. 

3) T-Type with Positive Earth, using a modern coil.

Fig 5

Referring to Fig 5, the primary finish (labelled -) is connected to the negative 12 volt battery supply via the ignition switch.  At the start of the ignition cycle the primary start (labelled +) is connected to ground via the points.  As the points open the secondary spark voltage is NEGATIVE and primary voltage augments the secondary voltage.   

4) T-Type with Positive Earth, using a modern coil, with the connections swapped.

Fig 6

Referring to Fig 6, the primary start (labelled +) is connected to the negative 12 volt battery supply via the ignition switch.  At the start of the ignition cycle the primary finish (labelled -) is connected to ground via the points.  As the points open the secondary spark voltage is POSITIVE but the primary voltage does not augment the secondary voltage.   

So in conclusion, we can see that no matter which type of coil you use, no matter how it is connected and no matter how your battery is wired you will end up with a spark that will run your car.  Some combinations produce a less effective positive spark voltage, so are not ideal.  This may be evident during starting when the battery voltage can sag to 7 or 8 volts, so starting may be difficult or even impossible.  It may also be evident at higher engine speeds when the energy stored in the coil is less so the engine may start to mis-fire.  However, none of the combinations of coil type, battery wiring, and coil connection will result in a situation that will overheat the coil, nor stop the car running, at least in the short term, but there are two possible areas of concern. 

The first is when the connections to an original Lucas Q12 coil are reversed.  Under these conditions the SW terminal is exposed to the voltage across the points (up to 500 volts) rather than the intended 12 volts battery voltage.  This may cause the insulation inside the coil between primary start and the outer magnetic core to fail. 

The second is when a modern coil intended to be used with a ballast resistor is used without one, or with one of too low a resistance.  This will overheat the coil causing it to fail and quickly burn out the points.  The way to avoid this is to check the coil primary resistance (between + and – terminals) of the coil using a digital ohmmeter. The original Lucas Q12 coil has a primary resistance of 4.2 ohms and the period accessory Lucas ‘Sports’ coil has a primary resistance of 3 ohms.  This primary resistance defines the ultimate primary current whilst the points are closed, at least at low engine speeds.  As long as a modern replacement coil has a primary resistance in this range it can be used as a direct replacement for an original coil.  A modern coil intended for use with a ballast resistor may have a primary resistance of less than 1 ohm, so must be used with a series ballast resistor.   The value of this should be chosen so that the total ballast resistor + coil primary resistance is around 3 to 4 ohms and must be rated at 50 watts.

Notes:

Note 1.The purpose of the condenser, which today is more correctly termed ‘capacitor’, is to slow the rate of rise of the voltage across the opening points.  Without it the barely open points would arc and the energy stored in the coil’s magnetic core would be dissipated before a spark voltage is produced at the plug.  Many capacitors sold today for classic cars are notoriously unreliable.  Anything with ‘Lucas’ printed on it is either at least 50 years old now, or more likely a poor quality Far Eastern copy.  Eric has recognised this and can offer a reliable modern capacitor encased in a copper sleeve ready soldered onto a base plate ready to fit into your distributor.  These are offered on an exchange basis.  A description of the problems he has found with early capacitors, and some modern replacements too, was published in TTT 2 Issue 31 (August 2015).  A copy of the article can be downloaded from the TTT 2 website by selecting the relevant issue from the dropdown box.  The article is well worth reading as it gives a fuller description of the operation of the T-Type ignition system.

2.The polarity of the spark voltage can be checked by using back to back LEDs in series with one of the spark plug leads as described by David Heath and others.  By using separate red and green LEDs or a single bi-polar red/green LED in series with the plug lead the spark voltage polarity can readily be detected.  Examples follow:

Fig 7A shows a LED spark polarity tester using a bi-polar Red/Green LED which fits onto one of the spark plugs in series with the ignition lead. Fig 7B shows the tester in use with a Lucas Q12 coil, wired as intended in a positive earth car.  This demonstrates the car has a negative spark voltage as indicated by the green LED.  Fig 7C shows the same car, but with the connections to the SW & CB coil terminals temporarily reversed resulting in a positive spark voltage as indicated by the red LED.

Fig 7a
Fig 7b
Fig 7c

Connecting up the coil

17 Nov

Following the article in the October TTT 2 two responses were received as follows:

Graham Knight posted the following comment:

“Thanks very much for an interesting article but I’m having trouble understanding the explanation. I don’t see that reversing the polarity changes the path the electrons take nor the resistance they encounter. Doesn’t it just make them flow in the reverse direction?

I came across this: https://mgaguru.com/mgtech/ignition/ig104.htm which confirms that polarity is important but for a different reason. That is that the central electrode of the sparking plug needs to be negative since electrons prefer to jump from hot to cold.”

Graeme Hogg posted the following comment:

“I too have been confused as to correct coil polarity and when researching the subject came up with two articles that appear to disagree with Steve and John’s conclusions as to the correct way around to connect the coil. Both also suggest that spark plug polarity is the more important factor.

Moss Motors at Coil Polarity and MGA Guru at https://mgaguru.com/mgtech/ignition/ig104.htm make for interesting reading. Perhaps Steve might check his spark plug polarity as described in the two articles and observe whether his current coil connection gives the “correct” plug polarity as defined in the articles.”

Peter Cole and Eric Worpe also contacted me and they have kindly produced the following article, starting from first principles.

SU Carburettor Tuning

4 Nov

By David Braun P.E.
Email:  dave@dbraun99.com
Website: http://www.dbraun99.com/

The following is a simple step-by-step guide for tuning your SU carburettors using a different method from that usually suggested in the various books published by BMC, Haynes, SU or Burlen Fuel Systems. This paper doesn’t try to explain how to rebuild your carburettors, the manuals available on the market do a fairly good job of that. Instead, it allows you to perform some simple tests to determine the condition of your carburetors as they sit on your car; how to adjust them; or if you need to remove them and repair certain functions.

Fig. 1 The S.U. carburettor – basic construction theoretical
From Tuning S.U carburettors by G. R. Wade
  1. Piston venturi. Squeezes down the area of flow.
  2. Piston surface. This is a clearance fit that governs the drop test times. If the piston is brass (or has steel weight on upper rim) no spring is needed.
  3. Suction dome vent. Communicates the downstream pressure with the upper side of the piston.
  4. Throttle disk. Controls the amount of air the engine receives.
  5. Piston vent. Communicates the upstream ambient pressure with the lower side of the piston
  6. Needle. Moves up and down with piston to increase or decrease the amount of fuel picked up from the bridge.

The SU carburettor has four moving parts. Taken in order of their function, they are:

  1. The float and needle;
  2. The sliding jet to facilitate starting;
  3. The throttle disk and shaft;
  4. The variable venturi piston and suction chamber.

Assuring that these four parts are in working order and then adjusting these parts to work in concert with each other (and in multiple carburettor set-ups, with the other carburettor(s)) is the key to tuning the SU carburettor.

Preparation

Setting up and tuning an SU carburettor is based on the premise that both the engine and the carburettor are in good shape. The following should be checked on the engine prior to setting up the carburettor to determine if the situation will lend itself to optimal timing, or if expectations should be lowered to ‘good enough’.

  XPAG or XPEG Engine ‘B Series’ Engine
Engine Compression
This will assure even airflow through the intake manifolds into the engine.
About 145 psi all cylinders within about 15 psi of each other About 170 psi all cylinders within about 17 psi of each other
Valve clearance
Helps the engine breath by facilitating airflow at the proper moments during its cycle.
Follow the indication on the valve cover or as suggested by the manufacturer of the cam installed, but likely 0.019, 0.015 or 0.012 inch for an XPAG; 0.015 or 0.012 inch for an XPEG As suggested by the manufacturer of the cam installed, but likely 0.015 inch.
Sparkplug Gap
Promotes the complete burning of the combustion charge under compression.
0.025 inch with standard coil and points. 0.030 inch with Pertonix ignition. 0.032 inch
Dwell sets up the cycle period of the coilwith standard points (omit with electronic ignition –Pertronix but do check the wires for chaffing inside the distributor cap). 0.015 inches of point gap will yield 60º of dwell with the high lift distributor cam. 0.015 inches of point gap will yield 60º of dwell with the modern distributor cam.
Timing
Initial setting to time the flame front in the cylinder. Use whatever timing advance your car will tolerate without pinging under load.
A good starting point is 8º before top dead center (BTDC) static timing or at low idle. With 8º static and 25º mechanical advance the timing will be about 33º at 3,500 rpm. 14º BTDC at idle with the distributor advance vacuum hose disconnected and plugged.

In addition, the carburettor should be checked carefully for: (already completed on rebuilt carburettors)

  1. The throttle disks should seat evenly in their bores with no sticking or misalignment, with the sharp edge seating last.
  2. The pistons should pass the suction chamber drop tests at the same rate:
    3-5 seconds for a 1-1/4″ and smaller carburettor
    5-7 seconds for a 1-1/2″ and 1-3/4″ carburettor.
  3. The throttle shafts should be secure in their bores with no noticeable leakage.
  4. The jets should be centered and the needles should not show evidence of wear from sliding along the sides of the jet.

Correct any questionable conditions in either the engine or the carburettors. The tuning methods will still be helpful but optimal results will only be achieved on a well-maintained engine and carburettor system.

Theory

The manuals, including the SU publications, state that the float bowl fuel height is set by inserting the properly sized bar stock or a drill rod between the forks of the shut off lever and the lid. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Since the float bowl fuel height is directly communicated to the bridge fuel height (a liquid seeks its own level) it is important to get this measurement correct. The manuals rarely tell you that the resulting level of fuel at the bridge should be 0.120 to 0.200 inch below the bridge.

The other critical item to be undertaken is the depth of the jet below the bridge. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) The manuals give the starting point as six flats (one full jet adjusting nut turn) down. But what they don’t tell you is that the preferable starting point for the depth of the jet below the bridge is 0.070 inches. Again, there are several factors that can affect the relationship between six flats and the optimum depth of the jet and the corresponding depth of the carburettor needle.

  1. Thickness of the jet adjusting nut
  2. Length of the jet
  3. Packing around the jet centering nut
  4. Carburettor body thickness
  5. Placement of needle in the piston.

On a single carburettor installation, the variances are not a big deal, but on multi-carburettor installations the manuals suggest that each adjustment is made the same amount on each carburettor. If the variances stack against each other so that the starting points of the two essential measurements are not the same on each carburettor, making each adjustment the same amount on each carburettor will not result in the same state of tune for each unit. Varying the settings on either carburettor independently of the other will soon result in confusion and a lack of certainty with respect to both the starting point and the state of tune achieved. The following method will eliminate much of the confusion, provide an excellent starting point for tuning and allow for consistent results. Consistent results will yield the maximum performance of the fuel delivery system to the engine, which in turn gives us the maximum performance that can be reasonably expected. And that’s exactly what we want.

In Practice

These instructions are for existing carburettors and provide several good starting points. For rebuilt carburettors by dbraun99 LLC, the steps already completed are noted. In general, note that the pistons and suction chambers are paired, and should not be mixed and matched without reason. Any parts that are removed should be replaced in the same orientation on the same carburettor from which they were removed. Placing items on a clean cart in order of removal is advised. Some of the parts are old and of dissimilar metals. Corrosion may be present. Proceed cautiously with disassembly to avoid breakage.

Step 1. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) With the air cleaners removed, unscrew the caps and remove dampener and rods from the top of the suction chambers. Check that the jets are centered by lifting the pistons to the top of their travel and allowing them to drop. They should fall quickly to the bridge with a satisfying click. If they hang up midway or don’t fall fully to the bridge, center the jets.

Step 2. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Remove the suction chambers and pistons from the carburettors, being careful not to mix up the two sets, and being careful to assure that the pistons and suction chambers remain in exactly the same orientation to each other. Pour out the dampener oil. Note that the venting holes in the pistons go to the rear of the carburettor body and are keyed by a side or front key.

Step 3. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) If you haven’t completed your drop tests, plug the vent holes (and the top of the suction chamber, if you have the vented type) and perform the tests, allowing the suction chambers to drop off the pistons onto a soft surface.

Step 4. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Using a dial caliper or metal rule, adjust each needle to the same depth from its corresponding piston face.

Step 5. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Remove the choke return springs from the choke assemblies at the bottom of the jets and screw the jet adjusting nuts to their full up positions. Exercise the jets up and down in their packing.

Step 6. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Turn on the ignition and let the pump click until the bowls are full, or turn the engine over and allow the mechanical fuel pump to fill the bowls. Now look down from the top of the carburettor and note the height of the fuel in the bridge. Move the jet up or down until the level of the fuel stabilizes in the bridge and the height of the jet matches the level of the fuel. It will take several tries to get this right. Using a dial calliper, measure the depth of the jet below the bridge. Since the jet is now residing at the same height as the fuel, the depth of the jet represents the depth of the fuel below the bridge. Each carburettor should have the same fuel depth within ± 0.020 of each other, and both fuel depths should be 0.160 ± 0.040. It takes some practice to measure the depth of the jet below the bridge. The goal is to keep the dial calliper perpendicular to the bridge. The dial calliper, if set too tightly, will push the jet down, disrupting the measurement, and if set too loosely will make it difficult to accurately measure the depth.

Step 7. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) The difference in the measurements from optimum in each carburettor bridge is the amount the fork must be changed in the corresponding float bowl lids. Either eyeball the change and re-check, or measure the current setting of the float fork with bar stock or a drill rod and select a new bar or rod of the correct size. Each 1/32 difference in rod will change the setting 0.03 inch. Do not be surprised if the new settings are vastly different from the original 7/16 inch quoted in the manuals (for H Series) or 3/16 inch (for HS Series), and different for each float bowl.

Step 8. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Remove any excess fuel if needed, refit the float bowl lids and allow the pump to refill the bowls. Repeat the measurement in Step 6, and repeat Step 7 if needed. Reinstall the float bowl lids a final time once you are satisfied.

Step 9. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Lower the jet adjusting nut 9 flats down (1-1/2 turns of the nut). Set the dial calliper at 0.070 inch and lock the setting with the setscrew. Reposition the dial calliper as you did for the fuel depth measurement and turn the jet adjusting nuts up a flat and push up on the jets to fully seat them against the nuts. Repeat until the jet is 0.070 below the bridge. It may be necessary to back off the adjustment a bit the closer it gets to the proper setting. Continue to keep the jet fully against the adjusting nut. This is the starting point for idle mixture on the carburettor, and probably within 0.010 of optimal.

Step 10. (already completed on rebuilt carburettors) Replace both piston and suction chamber assemblies being careful of their orientation. Recheck the piston drop to assure that the jet is still centered. If the jets are not centered, adjust as needed and repeat Step 9.

Step 11. Loosen the throttle bar clamps and make sure each throttle moves independently from the other. Back off the idle adjustment screws, then turn each down one full turn.

Step 12. Start the engine. After a bit of warm up adjust the throttle screws EVENLY until a steady 1200 rpm is achieved. Using a Unisyn, a rubber hose, or SU kit cat’s whiskers adjust the idle screws INDIVIDUALLY until the rush of air into each carburettor is equal, and the car is idling at 1200 rpm when warm.

Step 13. Lock the throttle bar clamps. Note that locking the clamps does not preclude some twist and variance caused by the accordion form of the clamps, so it is important from here on that both idle adjustment screws be adjusted the same amount.

Step 14. With the engine turning over at 1200 rpm, raise each jet adjusting nut one flat and note if the engine increases or decreases. Go up a second flat on each jet. At each adjustment assure that the jet is fully against the jet adjusting nut. When the idle speed starts to decrease, note the number of flats. If the process has taken more than a minute, clear the engine by blipping the throttle.

Step 15. Note the engine rpm. Readjust the engine to 1200 rpm with the idle adjustment screws. Turn the adjusting nuts down (lowering the jet) one flat at a time on each unit. Note the number of flats for the greatest increase in engine rpm and also where the rpm starts to decrease as you continue to lower the jet adjusting nuts. The difference between the greatest engine rpm and where it starts to decrease should be about two flats. Adjust the jet adjusting nuts to be between the greatest engine rpm and where it starts to decrease.

Step 16. Clear the throttle and adjust the engine rpm with the idle adjustment screws to between 500 and 800 rpm depending on your preference. With the flat of a screw driver just beneath the piston, rotate the blade to lift the piston 1/32 of an inch and listen to the exhaust note. It should speed up momentarily and then settle back to idle. If it speeds up and stays there, raise each jet adjusting nuts up one flat. If the engine speed falls off without increasing, lower the jet adjusting nuts down one flat. If no change is perceived, leave the jet adjusting nuts where they are.

Step 17. With the engine off, top off the dashpot oil (engine oil is fine) to within a half-inch of the top of dashpot chamber. As long as you feel resistance when you install the damper and rod you have enough oil. You need a vented cap on the dashpot if you have a non-vented dashpot chamber. You need a dustless cap (one with no vent) if you have a vented dashpot chamber. Reinstall the air cleaners.

Step 18. Take the car for a test drive. It should be set to go. There are additional fine-tuning techniques which can be employed during a test drive to both optimize needle selection and to assure optimum fuel air ratios. On a close to standard engine with standard carburettors, these tests should not be necessary. If acceleration and response aren’t satisfactory, and your engine passed the tests noted above, you may need to do further fine-tuning or search for another problem.

Safety Fast!

A note about the author and dbraun99 LLC:

Dave Braun is a registered mechanical engineer who practices in the areas of aircraft propulsion, systems and certification. He works closely with his clients to assure that designs and manufacturing processes meet FAA requirements and result in safe, profitable and durable products for OEM and aftermarket installations. He is delegated by the FAA to make design approvals on their behalf.

Dave restored his MG TD from 2005 to 2008, developing a website with photos and text to aid in his eventual reassembly of the car. The website grew and was discovered by enthusiasts so he made it available to the general public. There is a donation link on the bottom of the front page of  http://www.dbraun99.com/ to help fund the cost of hosting the site. Since then, Dave has restored a 1970 MGB and those pictures are on the site as well.

In the process of tuning his newly restored TD, Dave discovered that a lot of the practices advocated were flawed and/or based on the best technology available at the time of the manufacture of the car. He set out to develop procedures and processes that would allow a more precise tuning given the changes in the intervening years. This carburettor manual is one of those procedures. dbraun99 LLC is also available to rebuild carburettors for various British cars.

Dave has been published on his own website, and in various club newsletters and magazines, including many articles in MG Driver, the magazine of the North American MGB Register. He serves as technical coordinator for the North American MGB Register.

 2011-2017 by David Braun, P.E.

Ed’s note

FAA = Federal Aviation Administration, an operating mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

OEM = An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer. The largest OEM company in the world by both scale and revenue is Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics company which manufactures parts and equipment for companies including Apple, Dell, Google, Huawei and Nintendo.

Source: Wikipedia.

Factory-Original MG T-Series

3 Nov

Available from early November is this new book, the successor to Anders Ditlev Clausager’s Original MG T-Series, which was first published in 1989 and was constantly in demand and in print for 30 years until 2018, when work on the new book got underway.

Whilst Original T-Series contained 104 pages and 150 colour pictures, the revised and enlarged Factory-Original MG T-Series runs to 160 pages with more than 340 illustrations.

The aim remains the same, namely to provide a detailed guide, in words and pictures, to correct factory specification and equipment of all models of the MG T-Series cars from TA to TF1500, including the TA Tickford drophead coupe.

The publishers, Herridge & Sons Ltd, are offering TTT 2 readers a discount of 7.50 GBP off the normal price of 40 GBP for signed copies, post free to UK addresses. Post to Europe is 5 GBP and rest of World 12 GBP. The discounted price of the book, inclusive of postage is therefore 32.50 (UK) 37.50 (EU) and 44.50 GBP (Rest of World).

Readers should use the discount code MGTTT19 and you can order via the publisher’s website: www.herridgeandsons.com or phone 01409 281990, or by post to Herridge & Sons Limited Lower Forda, Shebbear, Beaworthy, Devon EX21 5SY.

Please note: Signed copies are only available from the Publisher.

I have two copies of Mike Sherrell’s TCs FOREVER -MORE! These are priced at 60 GBP plus UK postage of 4 GBP.

Payment for TCs FOREVER – MORE! Can be accepted by bank transfer to:

Account Number 3345 8268
Sort Code 77-73-11
or cheque payable to The MG ‘T’ Society Ltd and sent to John James at:
85 Bath Road, Keynsham, BRISTOL BS31 1SR

TC 8365 – A Painstaking Rebuild

2 Nov

Geoff Fletcher has been sending me photos of his rebuild as it progresses and I thought I would share some of them with readers; they might be particularly helpful to those currently engaged on rebuilds.

Geoff is no stranger to rebuilds, albeit not with MGs. His Healey pictured below, which he has owned for 40 years, has been restored/rebuilt by him twice now, the second time needing a chassis replacement.

The car was a chance barn find and the owner, a local farmer, took some persuading to part with it. Geoff told me that admirers of the Healey sometimes think he is rich owning such a car, but he originally paid £350 for it. At the time of purchase, a marque expert’s advice was to scrap the car and to let him find one in better condition for Geoff. This offer was politely declined.

Geoff first e-mailed me back in October 2017. He had read my article on bushing front leaf springs using SAE 660 bronze and had contacted Brost Forge to make a pair of main leafs (leaves) with oversize 5/8 inch ‘eyes’.

Ed’s note: Sadly,Brost Forge ceased trading in June 2019. I always found the proprietor, Chris Wann, to be most helpful and his springs were extremely good. Yet another old established supplier, who has decided to call it a day.

Chassis TC8365 obviously needing a good clean and paint. (October 2017)

That’s much better! (October 2017)

Above: Cylinder block before work started Below: looking better (October 2017)

Condition of the gearbox (October 2017)

By March 2018,thegearbox had been stripped and cleaned, components, gears etc rebuilt onto shafts with new bearings. Synchro’s were very good showing little, if any, sign of wear. Everything was stripped and cleaned, including synchro hubs. The whole lot was covered in what looked like varnish, but it was the old oil that had dried and had coated everything inside and out. Degreaser wouldn’t move it, and it was necessary to use a solvent based degreaser/cleaner. 

Also, by March 2018 work had commenced on building up the chassis, with the front and rear springs fitted and the front axle in position.

Shackle plate arrangement at the rear of the rear spring and front of rear spring is fitted with a silentbloc bush suspended on a ½” diameter ‘pin’.

Shackle plate arrangement at the rear of the front spring and front of front spring is suspended on a ½” diameter ‘pin’. Front axle is in situ.

By August 2018 Geoff had rebuilt the gearbox with great attention to detail as the next picture shows and all but rebuilt the engine. As part of the engine rebuild, he cleaned the head studs with a die nut, but got so far down and it started to cut into the threads. A good way of finding out that your studs have stretched. New studs were purchased.

March 2019 – backplates, kingpins, hubs, shock absorbers, hydraulics, fitted.

March 2019 – more work on the engine and radiator now fitted. Wiring started.

Geoff bought the extractor manifold when he first purchased the car and was told by the dealer who sold it to him that it was a direct replacement. However, it was nowhere near as it fouled the steering box and would have needed to be modified, which Geoff was reluctant to get involved with. He therefore decided to revert to the standard arrangement, as shown in the next picture.

By April 2019 Geoff had changed the exhaust manifold back to standard and fitted the carbs and a heatshield (next picture).

Geoff sent me an update towards the end of July. At the time, he was just finishing making and fitting the brake pipes “not my favourite job, getting the bends right etc” he said. He’d also ordered one of Tom Lange’s stainless steel thermostat housings and is very pleased with it: https://mgtrepair.net/Thermostat.html

At the time his differential was with Roger Furneaux for rebuilding and fitting with a higher axle ratio; he now has this back from Roger. He’s also received a 20 thou oversize sector shaft from Andy King and bought some new Blockley tyres. Having sent the wheels away for truing and finishing, he is hoping to soon have a rolling chassis and will send more pictures then. To close, here’s a couple showing work on the brake pipes.

British Racing Green – so what is the correct shade?

1 Nov

A good question and the short answer is…. there isn’t currently one! But fear not, here’s an article on the various Green shades you may find useful in helping you find a shade for you. (Colour examples are included in this article).

My quest started 40 years ago whilst building the mighty Airfix 1:12 Bentley 4 ½ litre kit, the Green colour was quoted as Mid Brunswick Green, surely should this be British Racing Green, I wondered?

MG Q Type replica 1934 in ‘Brooklands Green’.

Recently I was preparing a project built on a Y type bare chassis and decided to go for a green paint. The project car was to be styled on an MG Q type and the plan is to do the whole car in one shade of Green. This led to me considering a number of green shades.

Not only that, but paint base types; I wanted to brush the chassis paint and spray the body panels which might present problems with some paint types. Although the car above looks a mid-green, it is in sunlight and looks darker in neutral light.

MG over the years has a confusing range of paint shades, with the same colour having different names across many years. ‘Racing Green‘ is the factory’s MG TA colour, also known as Dublin Green, EmGee Green or Apple Green.

Racing Green looks quite acceptable as a ‘British Racing Green’ colour if you want a standard MG shade without having to have something mixed to pattern.

Paint Ranges

You might come across colours with RAL or BS4800 codes. RAL is a German system devised in the 1930’s and the RAL codes are derived from the numerical Red, Green and Blue (RGB) values of the final colour code – RAL6010 for example is a Grass Green.

Essentially this ‘standard’ means any paint mixer should be able to produce a tin of paint exactly to the colour made up of the Red, Green and Blue composition information of the RAL code.

RAL was produced for transport signage originally, but has grown to many hundreds of colour shades, some with descriptive names as well as the code number. RAL6010 Grass Green for example, is often used in restoring lawnmowers and is near to Atco Green.

The BS4800 British Standard shades range was originally produced for transport related non-vehicle applications but now covers many vehicle colours too.

UN Paint codes on containers – a quick guide – This is most important to know!

A tin of paint may have a UN code on it, such as UN1263, the UN code is a unified coding system for transporters, so that they know what is in a can before it is loaded for shipment. This is particularly useful in case of a fire or spillage, so that it is known how to deal with it and any potential dangers. However, it is not always straightforward with paints.

UN1263 – is usually a brushable paint, often called ‘Transport Enamel’, Semi-Synthetic paint, Synthetic Cellulose, or Alkyd Resin paint. It can be thinned for spraying.

When purchasing, always buy the recognised ‘pack’ of primer, thinner and top coat wherever possible from the same source, so that you lessen the possibility of paint reaction or failure during use. Not all UN1263 code paint products work with each other!

Some brands of UN1263 paint such as Kramp or Vapormatic are quite heat resistant and are used on Tractor engines as well as vehicle parts which do not get so hot. Kramp has around 800 colours in their range. You can buy these on-line.

Brushed or sprayed 1263 semi paint takes around 8 hours to dry off.

Cellulose can be applied over UN1263 if sprayed in light build up coats, but as always do a test piece first to see that there is no reaction. Cellulose confusingly has a UN1263 code too! Generally, they are best kept as separate paints for separate applications. If you do have a lot of spraying experience then you’ll probably be ok in this case.

Proper Cellulose dries off very quickly, it is often touch dry in 10 minutes, it does take time to fully harden, a week or more.

UN1950 – This covers Acrylic paints and 2k paints which are Acrylic. UN1950 is available in aerosols, it is thinner in this instance for spraying, it is also available as a paint in a tin for mixing for spraying. Cellulose can be applied over Acrylic primer if done carefully. I have done this on guitar bodies using UN1950 filler primer from an aerosol and then cellulose top coats. Acrylic over Humbrol enamel or some Oil based paints reacts!

Modern Acrylics in litre tins for spraying are usually water-based and flat finish, they need a top clear lacquer coat to give you the shine, you will need that on a water-based paint.1 part and 2K Acrylic also needs a lacquer over metallic paints without exception.

2k Acrylic used to be an Isocyanate compound paint but this is now changing to a less toxic paint recipe. 2k is a paint base which you mix up with an activator (hardener catalyst) compound. Normally this paint system is used professionally, but you can buy a clean air fed mask system so you can use it with the right set up at home. Do not use 2K without an air fed mask under any circumstances, it can cause organ failure and death.

Paint type advantages and disadvantages:

UN1263 Brushing semi paint – Dries slowly, takes about 8 hours to dry. Good ‘enamel’ finish (glossy not ‘hammered’ enamel look!) good protection from weather, will age over time from dirt, rain etc. flexible to an extent when dried, so good for chassis parts. Used widely on Tractor restorations for example.

UN1263 Cellulose – Dries quickly, takes a week or longer to harden off, dries to a nice deep ‘vintage’ sheen, ages nicely on an older car or restoration, can be cut back by hand with Farecla G3 rubbing compound if ‘orange peel’ finish occurs during spraying, does find edges of filler (often when heavy coats applied), liable to ‘sink’ where surface imperfections occur, not widely available as it is only allowed for vintage vehicle use.

Also, liable to sink or ‘search’ into grain of wood if a filler or sealing primer is not used over wood. Likely due to the thinners composition, certainly seems more stringent when you get it on your skin. Recommended for the vintage look.

UN1950 Acrylic – Smelling of ‘Pears’ thanks to the Acetone in some Acrylics, available in aerosols pre-mixed or in litre and larger sized tins which can be thinned out for spraying. Dries fairly quickly, can be prone to chipping. Aerosols useful for smaller items where mixing up a gun of paint is costly, many shades off the shelf available in Halfords etc. Useful for MG TC centre console panel type applications.

Sprayed Acrylic from a hand mixed batch is tougher than from a 400ml Aerosol; it is likely to be a water- based paint nowadays so will require a clear lacquer coat for a shine. Tougher when clear coated. Most modern cars are sprayed in this type of paint.

UN1950 2K Acrylic – Mixed from a paint base with a catalysing activator liquid compound. 2K paints dry in 20 minutes and goes very hard, very quickly. The sprayed paint reacts with the air in the spray shop and the activator in the paint to ‘set’ the paint quickly by chemical reaction.

Will go rock hard if left in a spray gun to dry out and renders it useless – be warned, wash your spray gun out as soon as you have finished. 2K can be left liquid in a spray gun for around 30 minutes max. before it starts to go off.

Highly dangerous to spray if you don’t have an air fed mask system, often only sold for professional use. Finish is often very ‘glassy’ and looks a bit ‘hard’ when compared to Cellulose. Often used on ‘chocolate box’ car restorations and along with oven heating to help cure the paint off.

Paint types – Here’s how they define these paints

1k or single pack = A Paint base + Thinners.

2K of twin pack = A Paint base + Activator + Thinners

Paint matching advice. You may need to be aware of the following…

Optical matching – A Dulux type colour centre has a device called a Spectrometer which can analyse the RGB (Red, Blue and Green) values (composition) of the paint colour when scanned. Armed with these values, you can go to an automotive paint shop and hopefully get the same shade as analysed. RAL uses RGB Values.

Paint names – One man’s Almond Green may not be another’s. – On a TA or TB the Green colour shade names don’t always cross refer to the correct shade for the car.

Model changes may have a ‘new’ shade of Almond Green that is noticeably, but only slightly different to the previous model. A move often done in the industry as part of making ‘changes’ to avoid comments of this car being just a model name change over the previous car.

A good example of name and shade changes is the British Leyland ‘Brooklands Green.’ This is a fairly mid to dark green from BL days and a nice BRG style colour, but be aware that Land Rover also used the name in recent years and their shade is much darker, almost a black / green. So be aware that old or historical names can be misinterpreted, superseded and sometimes just incorrect.

This happened to me with this colour! The Land Rover darker shade was supplied, not the old BL shade. Paint suppliers only supply what is asked they don’t question, so ensure that if there is any chance of ambiguity, it is clear what you are ordering!

Original paint – Some caveats to be aware of here – firstly, some vehicle producers bought paint from the cheapest supplier on the day, or bought job lots that were either ‘close to’ or ‘adjusted’ in their own paint shop to the correct colours of their products. Different pigment origins can also affect the end colour too.

Secondly, paints can fade with UV light exposure. Green isn’t too bad in this respect, but Blue and Red shades really do oxidise and ‘weather’ badly. (Often a good rub with T-Cut does get back to a good example of the original colour by cutting down to sounder paint layers below).

If you can find a part like the inside of a glove box lid, that’s likely to be the closest you’ll get to an ‘original’ shade, as it has likely had less UV exposure to fade it.

However… be aware that the paint on the top of the car may have been refinished to a close shade at some stage after and the inside parts weren’t, so do some detective work to ascertain if you can see evidence of a refinish that may differ from the shade you are looking to achieve.

Also, a previous owner may say ‘they painted it in ‘xxx Green’ when the shop may have just used a paint they had near to that, so again, do your research because it’s too late when it’s on the car!

Colour chip cards with the original paint colour on are available from some paint suppliers.

Computer monitors can give various different ‘versions’ of what a paint shade actually is from monitor to monitor, according to how they are either calibrated, or handle the colour or how the video card displays colours.

The golden rule really, here is to ideally have the colour in your hand. It’s too late once you open the tin, or start spraying! (or order it and find it is way off the shade).

Thorough mixing – Some paints may have been on the shelf for up to a year or more and the pigments and solids have settled, really stir the paint up well to avoid thin paint without proper ‘body’ which can affect the end colour.

Test paint colour on a sample piece before you go anywhere near your car with it, see the paint dry and decide if this is the correct shade.

How will your car look in this shade? Sometimes a colour might look good on the chip card but on the car, it doesn’t quite look right. Have a range of colours to try.

Two tone colour schemes – Lay colour chip cards over each other so that you can see how both shades work together – or don’t. The paint sprayer often only will spray what you specify. Once they start spraying, they are usually committed! So, avoid undue expense by not getting it wrong at this late stage!

RGB to RAL conversion– You can visit a site with a conversion process where you put in the RGB colour values and can in many cases, get a direct or close RAL code equivalent.

Some paint shops don’t use the RAL system. So, take an actual paint sample they can match to, or take a Spectrometer reading from.

PRE-1960 paints safety – Many if not all Pre-1960 paints contain Lead, take care when removing old Pre-1960 paint, it sticks and lasts a long time to things because of the Lead!

Ok, let’s go Green…

Here we’ll look at some Greens in the range to give you an idea. These are ‘on-screen’ colours so do ensure you have an actual paint sample to compare for the final decision before you buy. Always look at a spread of colours before making your final choice!

Shades of Green – Blue and Green makes Yellow as we all know, but in our consideration of dark green colours the Blue or Yellow tone can affect the ‘warmth’ of the colour.

Shades like Atlantic Green, used on a 1947 YA I owned had a lot of ‘blue’ tonation, much like a Norwegian christmas tree type of shade, what I would call a ‘cold green’ look.

A ‘Castrol’ type Green has more yellow in and so is a ‘warmer green.’ I prefer warmer green shades personally.

EXAMPLES OF COLOURS ON CARS

MG C type in a Light Brunswick style shade
MG PA in light Brunswick
MG PA Special in Mid Brunswick Green
MG TA/Q in a very Dark Green with ‘Blueness’
MG TA/Q in a Green with blue hint similar to YA Atlantic Green

Above left: MG TA in a Racing Green shade right: MG TD in a darker Green perhaps Woodland?

MG TA Tickford in Westminster Green and an Opaline style shade
MG Q Type replica in Brooklands Green

I hope that you have found this article useful, if any members have enquiries regarding paint for restorations then contact me by email on fender57red(at)yahoo.co.uk  [Please substitute @ for (at)] or call 01544 350320.

Ed’s note: Thank you Matt Sanders for a most informative article. I hope it will be particularly helpful to those who have reached the painting stage on their restoration, or those who are contemplating a respray.


The Editor

1 Nov

Welcome to Issue 57, December 2019.

I am indebted to Gustaf Ruberg in Sweden for allowing me to use one of his wonderful drawings for the front cover. Gustaf’s drawing was in landscape (wider accross than down), whereas we needed portrait (wider down than accross) for the front cover, so some adjustment needed to be made. This was entirely beyond me, but that’s what we have sons and daughters for!

Stewart Penfound, TA/B/C Registrar for the T Register, kindly sent me an account of two continental tours – in a J2 in the summer of 1949, and, in 1951 in a TA. It was an extract from a newsletter of a Yorkshire car club and is a fascinating insight into what our cars are capable of. Even more so if one considers the state of the roads in Europe just after the end of World War 2.

The 1934 J2 took our intrepid travellers to Monte Carlo and back, covering 2,000 miles in 10 days. 

The J2 was sold after a couple of years’ and a 1938 TA purchased to do a fifteen-day tour of France (which took in the 1951 Le Mans where a British victory – the C-type Jaguar – was celebrated), Switzerland and Italy. A total of 3,200 miles was covered, with petrol consumption of 33 mpg and oil usage of 2 pints. Considering that this included some “pretty rapid dashes” which are referred to in the text, such performance is creditable.

The first tour would have been undertaken before the introduction of roll on/roll off car ferries which were introduced in Dover in 1951 and as the second tour mentions a “dash to Boulogne”, loading would also have been done by crane as port of entry to the UK would have been Folkestone.

In thanking Stewart for thinking of me, it brought back memories of my first journey to mainland Europe. Not that I can remember much about it because I was not much older than seven, so it would have probably been 1953 or 1954.

We …..my brother, who would have been six and my sister who would have been four, travelled in the sidecar of what I think was a BSA 350cc motor bike. What I can remember was that my sister sat on my lap in the front seat of the sidecar and my brother in the back. Even clearer in my memory was the sound of my mother, riding pillion, knocking on the roof of the sidecar to stop us arguing (almost certainly because my brother would have wanted to change seats from the back to the front).

A subsequent journey several years later in a 1953 Hillman Minx was altogether much more comfortable, albeit it broke down in Belgium with a clogged radiator.

The “height of luxury”, a few years later, was in a 1961 Series IIIA Sunbeam Rapier. By then I was old enough to drive and enjoyed doing 90 mph in top overdrive.

Later in this issue there is an advertisement for Factory-Original MG T-Series the successor to Anders Ditlev Clausager’s Original MG T-Series. The Publisher is offering TTT 2 readers signed copies at a special price. Signed copies are only available from the Publisher.

I shall be selling copies at the Stoneleigh MG spares day on February 9th for 27.50 GBP (list price 40 GBP). As usual, I’ll be sharing a stall with Brian Rainbow (TA Brian) and we’ll be in the same place as we’ve been for the last umpteen years (Hall 1, opposite Barry Walker).

I should have copies in early November for this price plus postage.

The pic below (and the details) was sent to me back in the summer by John Elwood in the US. The Greenwich (CT) Concours featured a special class of Arnolt cars during a two-day show, June 1st and 2nd.  In addition to a pair of Arnolt Aston Martins, and ten Arnolt Bristols, were six of the 67 Arnolt MG TD Coupes built and one of the 30 convertibles.  This was surely the largest collection of Arnolt cars in one place since the Arnolt warehouse fire in 1954 burned a dozen Bristols.

John’s car is the light blue one – very nice too!


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