Bits and Pieces

XPAG Overheating

No article this month I’m afraid, but I thought I’d share a photo of the gooey mess I found when I removed the water outlet at the front of the engine on my TC. It is quite likely that this engine has not been touched since it was installed as a replacement for the original by Abingdon circa 1956! However, when the car was on the road I cannot recall any overheating problems and this included some runs in the Derbyshire Dales.

The block will be chemically cleaned and pressure tested when I get around to it. Although relatively expensive, I regard this as money well spent (the head will also be pressure tested). I get this work done by Hurley Engine Services in Bath, who I recommend without hesitation.

I hope to have an article on water pumps in the next issue.

Following the article on XPAG overheating (Part 1) in October’s TTT 2, I was asked about flow testing a radiator and to find out about what was involved I paid a return visit to the company who checked mine. The procedure (in my own words, so probably not very scientific!) is as follows:

(1) Fill the radiator with water, undo the drain plug and check for gravity feed (from experience the rate of flow would be deemed as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’).

(2) Lay the radiator flat on its back, having filled it with hot water, and check for cold spots (cold spots would indicate a blockage).

(3) Flush through at speed to check that there is no ‘flush back’ (‘flush back’ would indicate that there is a blockage somewhere in the radiator).

I hope that this helps!


Just before Christmas I was contacted by the supplier and informed that he had received 58 of each bush. Although I had ordered 200 of each bush (400 in total) I figured that 116 was better than none at all so I went down to collect them. I then worked my way down the list and fulfilled as many orders as I could.

I have subsequently ‘chased’ the supplier and insisted that I must have the outstanding balance as a matter of urgency.

Not wishing to confuse the supplier, I have now increased my order to 300 of each bush (as it looks as though the initial order is very near to being sold out) and as a result I have re-calculated the cost price, having now amortised the cost of the moulds over 600 bushes (rather than 400 as before).

The revised selling price is £2.35 per bush, plus a suggested donation of 50p per bush to the TTT 2 ‘hard’ copy fund.

Putting this selling price into context, the cost per bush from a major supplier is £8.20 and what is on offer is a “uni-fit” bush with the bushes for the front and rear leaf springs on the TC having to be trimmed to fit.

The photographs below show my part numbers 0073 and 0074. Part number 0073 is the shorter bush and fits the rear ‘eyes’ of the front and rear leaf springs on the TC. Eight (8) of these are required for the TC. Part number 0074 is the longer bush which fits the chassis tube at the front of the TC and the rear spring arrangement on the TD/TF. Four (4) of these are required for the TC and eight (8) for the TD/TF.

Above and below: The two longer bushes on the left are Part number 0074 and the two shorter ones on the right are part number 0073. Note the generous flange on the bushes, which was a feature of the original ‘Harris-Flex’ (rubber) bush.


Dieter Wagner has commented on the article by Mike James in the October 2010 issue concerning steering arms. Dieter is not comfortable with bending steering arms as he says that the steering arm is the most important part of the steering. He adds that he is still producing VW steering conversions using the original VW steering arms which have to be modified to fit to our cars. The price is 680 Euro including delivery within Europe. He has sent the following picture which is explained in the caption:

In the picture you see the VW steering arm on top, the modified arm and on the bottom an original one from an MG TC


Simon Banks sent me this photo of a TA with registration number JB 9449. The car is shown as taxed from a DVLA enquiry, but the owner is not known. Simon also has a photo of his late mother, who died recently, aged 97, sitting in the car with the gentleman in the above photo (‘Sam’). He would very much like to talk to the current owner. He can be contacted at sbanks ‘at’


Mention was made of the service offered by Past Parts of Bury St Edmunds in Noel Lahiff’s article on page 15. The editor has used this firm and also Contract Auto Engineering Limited to whom he recommended Roger Francis. Roger was pleased with the service he received and wrote as follows:

“I have received back the reconditioned front cylinders today & they look remarkably like new! Also, what pleasant people they are to deal with & all for a total bill of approx. £90 including VAT/carriage etc.”

The company is in the process of moving from Stourport-on-Severn to Hartlebury, Worcestershire – an e-mail to them at enquiries ‘at’ classiccar- will establish current location.


“I have just had the manifold shot blasted and coated with a ceramic finish by a company called Zircotec. They claim that it is also a thermal coating that should lower the under-bonnet temperature. It wasn’t cheap at about £200 + VAT but they have certainly done a fine job.” Barrie Jones


Bill Cullen asks….. “Is it a common fault on TCs that the carb flange distorts? A friend has recently brought a TC which has documentation showing that the carbs were rebuilt; whilst this was some time ago they have covered very little mileage but the flanges have distorted and air is being sucked in.”


The new Chairman of the NEMGTR, who has taken over from Charlie Searles, is David Sander.

David needs no introduction to those who are regular attendees at Gathering of the Faithful (GOFs) events as he has been an almost ever present (only missing two) since attending his first one in 1979 when he was just nine years old!

An accomplished restorer, he has tackled everything from total restorations, including engine rebuilds and body construction to day to day maintenance tasks. His work has been formally recognised by the Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts Club with the coveted President’s Restoration Award in 1987 and 2011.

He is pictured on the back cover with one of his finest restorations, the ex-Frank Churchill TD.

He leads a long established Register, but one with an ageing membership (as elsewhere in the world) and faces a number of challenges, not least the disconnect between the huge number of cars which the NEMGTR has registered and the number of active members.

He has already recognised this and feels that there are actions that can be taken to encourage a greater number of participants. A key goal should perhaps be to encourage interest from younger members.