The author’s TB
Chassis TA1957 had hung on the wall of my garage for around 30 years and I decided recently to refurbish it with a view to building up a car from the bits and pieces I have accumulated since I bought my TB around 1970.
Generally it is in good condition, fairly straight but with a few splits and cracks and badly butchered rear spring front mount spigots. I decided to replace these as someone appears to have used a drill to remove the metalastic bushes plus they were pitted with deep rust.
I had no previous experience of removing these spigots, but from inspection it was clear to see that they screw into the chassis cross tube under the rear body support brackets which are riveted to the chassis.
On the near (left hand side looking to the front) side a vertical tapered pin sticking out top & bottom was clearly visible. This knocked out easily and the spigot unscrewed without trouble although spanner travel was minimal due to the spigot being enclosed by the body bracket. Simple eh?!
After removal I noticed that the cross tube had 2 small raised areas showing on the outside which had not been visible before. These turned out to be metal plugs which filled 2 holes in the tube at right angles to the pin position – see photo 1, i.e. horizontal, where, clearly, another taper pin had previously been. I assumed from this that the original pins were placed horizontally and that this spigot at least had been replaced during the life of the car.
PHOTO 1 – Near side showing original and later pin positions.
The off side had no visible pin showing despite cleaning up and using a magnifying glass to try to identify any blemish or mark to give me a clue. Was the pin vertical or horizontal? I decided that the only way to determine the location of the pin was to cut off the spigot and drill into the remaining metal to expose the pin inside the tube but leaving the flatted section so that the spanner could be used later to remove the remains. After a bit of sawing, angle grinding and drilling I could see inside the tube.
PHOTO 2 – Offside with pin nearly out – note split outrigger permitting pin removal.
The result of this was that the pin was horizontal, which was to be expected from what I had found on the near side. With careful measurement I marked the pin position on the outside of the tube, made an intelligent guess about which way it tapered (I could see it inside the cross tube using a torch but the taper is not easy to see) and with a hammer and drift knocked it out. It was surprising that this pin was initially invisible from the outside and one must assume that these were ground off flush with the cross tube as part of the manufacturing process.
It does appear that when the cars were manufactured the spigot was pinned in place prior to being fixed in the chassis as it would seem that the pin cannot be inserted with the body outrigger properly fixed – see photo 2. The pin hits the outrigger metal – not a problem on mine as the outrigger was moveable due to vertical splits in the metal adjacent to the rivets.
Interestingly both threads on the spigots where they go into the cross tube were clean and shiny. I expected water penetration to have rusted these over the years – see photo 3 (right). I have purchased new spigot units from NTG – (“can’t remember the last time we sold any of those”) and taper pins and reamer from BBN Online. The taper pins are 3/16 x 1½ inches imperial taper.
I’ll fit the taper pins vertically as they can be pushed in through the circular hole on the top of the outrigger.
I’m hoping the refit will be easier than the removal. If it’s not I’ll let you know. I had to buy 25 taper pins so if you ever contemplate this job let me know as I can’t imagine I will be changing another 23 spigots in the future!
Finally, as far as I am aware these spigots are the same on the TA, B and C.
Ed’s note: Jeff used to race his TB. If you have a copy of Chris Harvey’s book “MG The Immortal T Series” you will find a colour plate of JPC 901 on page 90. The photo was taken at Silverstone – the car was red in those days.
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