Bits and Pieces


Ron Engstrom recently e-mailed me from California to say how pleased he is with his newly restored TC. He added that he is grateful for the help he received along the way from Bob Alley and Kerry McDonough. One very happy man! – you couldn’t send some of that lovely weather this way could you Ron?

Restoration Award for TD0267

Further to the story and front cover in the previous issue I’ve heard from Robert Browne that he’s received the Restoration Award from his Club ‘The MG Restorers’ Association’.

A richly deserved award, may I say (Ed).

(From the website )

The MG RESTORERS’ ASSOCIATION is Sydney based and was formed in 1979 by a number of MG enthusiasts whose primary aim was to promote owner restoration, preservation and maintenance of their cars as opposed to “cheque book” restoration. This goal continues to this day, however the social side of the group has grown, so that there is now a balance between technical activities and social events, such as weekend and midweek runs, weekends away and extended tours.

Membership comprises a close knit group of 60 enthusiasts with MGs dating from the 1930s to modern. Within the group considerable areas of technical expertise are on tap and assisting in other members’ problem solving and restorations is heavily promoted.

The benefits of membership include access to the Historic Plates scheme and Regalia. As no expensive journal is published, subscriptions have been unnecessary beyond a nominal joining fee. The Association is funded by the sale of badges, club merchandise and raffles etc. Members are informed of forthcoming activities by either email or telephone and organisational duties are distributed throughout the membership.


The Society of Automotive Historians in Britain present their Michael Sedgwick Award annually to a book, which deals specifically with aspects of motoring in Britain and which demonstrates “excellence in its research, presentation, readability and novelty, and will materially further our understanding of the subject”.

Instigated in 2011, the award is in memory of the much respected motoring author, the late Michael Sedgwick.

Last year, (in Issue 33 of TTT 2) we were pleased to report that the award was presented to Stewart Penfound for his book entitled “Harry Lester, his cars and The Monkey Stable”.

This year, we are delighted to report that the award has been presented to TTT 2 member and TC owner, Mike Harvey for his book Skinner’s Union – A history of the Skinner family and the S.U. Company. The book emerged as a clear winner from a final shortlist of three very strong entries. (£20).

Push Button Indicator Switch

Brad Purvis recently sent me pictures of what looks like a push button indicator switch on his TF. It’s actually installed upside down! Brad is at pains to point out that he didn’t install it…..


Anton Piller has issued a correction to the number of the oil seal mentioned in his recent article (TTT 2 Issue 39).

Instead of Oil Seal 95-120-12, order number CR 99369

It should read BAVI 95-120-12.

This article generated some interest in the form of comments posted on the ‘read directly on the website’ facility.

Ian Thornhill reported that he had sourced a 10mm Viton seal (rather than the 12mm, mentioned by Anton) and added “The seal has ‘SOG’ on it 95-120-10 it has a dust seal as well as the main spring filled oil seal. I purchased some of them from ‘Eriks’

They also sell a front crank seal in Viton, but with a dust seal rather than the single lip more commonly available. The lead time was about 5-8 days, but they were very helpful.

If they will not ship abroad, I am happy to purchase and send out using PayPal if it helps.”

Here are the pics of the rear seal:

MG TA Triple Valve Spring Caps and Bases

The following was received too late for publication in Issue 39, but was reproduced in the covering e-mail which announced that Issue 39 was available on the website.

The MPJG engine in early life had Double Valve Springs and matching Caps and Bases. At present, you can get new Triple Springs but there is no source beyond used for the caps and bases. On the other hand, if you still have an early engine with double springs there is no source of double spring replacements.

I am having 51 caps and 60 bases made for Triple Springs but I am happy to increase the order if I get further requests. I will have a spare set of 8 of each unreserved. Prices yet to be finalised but items will be supplied with a VAT invoice. [email protected]

The next issue is the collets. The Morris 10 ones were 6.3 mm long whereas the MPJG ones were 8.7. The MG ones are not available, however, the taper and internal diameter on the Morris 10, MPJG and the XPAG collet are the same/similar so any could reasonably be used. The recommendation is to use only the original size collets, however my engine came fitted with the shorter Morris 10 ones and there are no signs of any ‘ill effects’.

Since this notice appeared, all the caps and bases have been sold, but there is just one unreserved set of 8 of each available.

It is understood that NTG Motor Services may have limited stock available.

Whilst on this subject I noticed the following advice about Triple Valve Springs, which is worthy of publication:

(From The Light Car 1949)

“With all high-efficiency engines, the question of preventing valve bounce is important, and, in the case of the Midget, three springs are used for each valve. These are of the usual helical type and fit concentrically around the spring. The outer and inner springs have their coils wound in one direction, and the middle is wound the reverse way so that there is no risk of the coils of one spring becoming trapped between the coils of its neighbour, as would happen if the springs were wound in the same direction.”

MORRIS 10 or MG TA Pistons

The above sent by Tim Parrott. TA on the left and Morris 10 on the right. Rings and gudgeon pins will fit but pistons won’t due to different gudgeon pin height.

Fitting a Rear Wing on the TA

Single Handed Wing Fitting

Translations for our readers in the US –

Wing = Fender

Fuel tank = Gas Tank

The Fuel tank must be fitted in the correct location.

Prop up the running board and leave an overlap to support the front of the rear wing.

Bolt the wing to the Fuel tank and then swing up to the correct position and balance on the wooden support.

Line it up laterally by eye; there are no published dimensions on to how far it should stick out from the tub. I did check the wing front was near vertical with a long spirit level.

I have limited space and my daughter bought a bicycle. I was not pleased. It was raining last night so I could not put it outside.

This is considered a large garage by the builders who sold me the house!!

Using tech tips from Doug Pelton, mark the hole spacing on top of the wing!

The tub frame is between 1¼ and 1½ inches thick, so mark a point 5/8 inches in from the inner edge of the marker line and drill the holes to clear the screws. Deburr the holes. I bought a tool from Screwfix, but it wore down fairly quickly.

Put the wing back in position and bolt to Fuel tank, set in correct position on the lateral line and drill and screw into place with as few screws as possible in case you change your mind! When you are happy then fit the rest of the screws.

Loosen the screws and fit the piping (yet to be made!).

Took around an hour, some people talk of taking days!

Episode 2

I lied as to how easy the wing was to fit! Working in a small garage with access to one side of the car only seems madness, but that is what I am stuck with. Having got the first wing on, the second has to match. I could not find many instructions on this subject. This is not a definitive set of instructions but a shared experience!

All did not go well at the initial fit of the second wing as I found a few issues.

  1. The hole for the tank bolt was in a different position on the offside wing compared to the nearside. (Filed oblong until the wing lined up.)
  2. The tank was not level with the rear of the body.
  3. I had not checked that the wings were the same circumference front to back.
  4. I had not measured the wing fit on the nearside, before I turned the car around and put it back in the garage and jamming it up against the wall.
  5. I marked it up before I measured the other wing. Worth having a set of coloured felt tips as the second set of marks were done in Blue instead of Black. (99p from the 99p shop).

The tank was sitting on 4 layers of 1/8 rubber sheet and removing one of these from the offside brought it back level. This dropped it around 3mm on the right hand side. Picky yes, but it needs to match the back of the body tub. I need to add that the dimensions of my car as found had strayed from the original as the body had dropped by 1.5 inches at the back since 1938. My thanks to Mick Pay for supplying a better set of measurements from his car. There is a debate on how far forward the wheels come in the rear wheel arches and does the front of the wheel just foul the wing when you remove it. I looked at a multitude of pictures on line to get the right fit. Micks fouls on one side and not on the other! Advice from Doug Pelton was line the wings up by eye!

There are three dimensions that are critical:

  1. Back tip of wing to top of body. Around 30 Inches. You can rotate the wing in the wheel arch around three or four inches. I was an inch out on the first attempt.
  2. Edge of wing to Sidescreen slot. Around 8 Inches. This controls how far the wing protrudes.
  3. Front bottom edge of wing to body tub. Should the base of the wing line up with the body – No idea! Black was first attempt with the wing too far in, blue was second. Mark the inside as well as the outside.

Finally, this shot shows how the wheel appears within the wing, with an oversize gap to the running board.

Occasionally it gets outside to see the sunlight…..but there is still a lot to do!

Tim Parrott Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Ed’s note: Tim has sent me a few pics of his re-wiring project, which I hope to feature in the next issue.


These were the brainchild of David Pelham, who sadly passed away in 2013. Bryan Purves took over the project after David’s passing and he continues to supply these worldwide. He tells me that he can’t get enough of them! The price is 53 GBP and can be ordered from Bryan via his website If phoning, he is available to answer on Tues/Wed/Thurs. Please note that these will not fit the 5-speed gearbox.