A rare axle fracture on my MG TC 0976

In the previous issue, Chris Parkhurst recounted how he had the same problem. Fortunately, Chris discovered the weakness before going out on the road – Manfred wasn’t so lucky…..

“It was a nice summer evening in June 2010 and I was just starting the engine to move forward at a green traffic light, when suddenly, with a loud bang, the left backside sagged downwards and stopped.

Obviously, my surprised face at this situation amused the already watching passers-by, but fortunately some people, who couldn’t watch this agony helped to lift the car at the rear and pushed it to the side of the road.

First everyone skillfully examined the car, and soon it was obvious that the axle was ripped off and that I would not be able to continue my journey.

After a break in a nearby Ice-cream café the service car arrived and took us home, luckily only a few miles.

Manfred’s TC on the tow-truck – note the rear nearside wheel jammed tight under the wing.

But what had happened?

The perforated connecting element had ripped of between the leaf spring bracket and the axle tube (see red lines in picture). Because of this the car sagged down so far that the back wheel rested on the upper side of the rear wing. The wheel was blocked and the car could not roll anymore.”

Another ‘pic’ of the damage – leaf spring has dropped due to the fracture.

(Having returned home and assessed the damage, Manfred continues the story) …………

“So, I demounted the rear axle and welded new and more solid panels on both sides of it to be sure. While I was working on this problem, I noticed that it must have been an old fracture, which had developed continuously.  You could see corrosion on the surface of the fracture.

Also, the original weld seam had been executed very sparingly, maybe they had to save money on this part of the production back in 1946? Only in the book TCs Forever I could find a similar accident, seems like they had the same issue.”

More substantial plates have been welded in and a recurrence is now extremely unlikely.

(Having completed the welding, Manfred turned his attention to the rebound hoops – ‘catch brackets’ as he calls them…………)

“In the process of reassembling everything I asked myself why the catch bracket caught neither the axle nor hindered the blocking of the back wheel- since this is what it is supposed to do.

Actually, the catch bracket is 4cm too long (see above picture, more than 7cm) so it is not able to catch the rear axle before the back wheel blocks in the rear wing! Which guy measured this?

If the axle fracture had happened at higher speed, it would have been a really dangerous situation!

I could not bear thinking about this and for a while I did not want to drive the car any more.

Hence, I shortened both catch brackets to about 4cm (see above pic) so that in normal condition a gap of approximately 7.5 cm is still maintained, this is about the space which the wheel still has in the wheel arch.

Maybe I should have shortened the brackets by another 1 cm, however they should now fulfill their task in a case of emergency and catch the axle.

Then it would still be possible to hobble home, though considerately lowered and without suspension…and maybe this would prevent an accident with serious consequences as well.”

Manfred Brausem (Germany)

Ed’s note: David Heath has suggested U-bolts. The axle is 2 1/8inch dia and the bolts would have to be about 9 inches long, thread, either original or modern with nylock nuts? 

One thought on “A rare axle fracture on my MG TC 0976

  1. joe lloyd says:

    The check straps on the back axle are designed to limit suspension movement in the event of overloading a sound vehicle. Modifying these will only result in a false sense of security.
    I personally favour ‘U’ bolts as a fail safe but these should not be over tightend as the axle casing is not designed to be loaded in this way. Metal fatigue in old vehicles is always a risk. Great publication as always, thanks again
    Joe Lloyd

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