Refurbishment of an MG TC Grille

1 Jan

The grille on TC4332 was in poor condition with the slats bent and rusted particularly at their connection with the upper and lower cross bars. The outer slats that connected directly to the radiator shell were broken, probably due to mistreatment in the past. The lower cross bar had broken across one side of the central hole. It was decided to restore the grill. The slats are of rivetted construction with 1/8″ brass rivets securing them to the upper and lower cross bars. The cross bars, the two central slats, and the two outer slats are connected directly to the radiator shell. The slats appear to have a slight concave radius, can anyone confirm this?

To start, the slat rivets were carefully drilled out; I say carefully since the metal slats are very thin being 20 swg (0.91mm) and it is possible to enlarge the rivet holes. The slats are folded with a long edge and a shorter edge to an included angle of about 30 degrees, the longer edge being about 11/16″, the shorter edge about 1/4″. The slats shorter edge are cut 1/2″ in from each end, bent almost flush (in line with) with the longer side and drilled to accept the rivet or the radiator shell fixing.

The slats were cleaned with a wire mop in an electric drill, it was not possible to clean inside the included 30 degree angle, this can be solved however by sawing a piece of wood to an angle of 30 degrees, wrapping it in a medium emery paper, securing it in the vice and rubbing the slats along it.

Following painting of the grille slats with a zinc rich primer (rattle tin) and the repair and strengthening of the lower cross bar the problem of reassembly arose. After several mainly unsuccessful attempts to pop rivet the slats to the cross bars using soft copper rivets, it was decided that a bolted solution would be simpler and stronger. The web site of Namrick fasteners was visited and 3mm x 10mm CSK slotted machine screws obtained with hex nuts and lock washers. Assembly of the grill then became simple, see the following photographs.

Les Hancock
lestc4332(at)hotmail.co.uk [substitute @ for (at)]

Photo 1 – slats attached to top cross bar

Photos 2 & 3 showing slats attached to bottom rail (above) and front view of top and bottom slats attached to rail (below).


Photo 4 – view from back of grille of TC0750.

Richard Mascari’s TC grille – Richard says that Ford Tuscan Beige is a perfect colour match to Mike Collingburn’s biscuit/fawn upholstery.


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