Bits and Pieces

Supply of MG T-Type Ash Frames (including Timber Parts)

Supplier, Andrew Denton gets the thumbs up from Ian Veale, who recently bought some bits for his TC restoration. “He was friendly, helpful, reasonably priced and the parts I received were top quality. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.” Andrew Denton, phone 01757 617455.

Some TA Clutch Tips! Mike Green of NTG Motor Services appreciated Brian Rainbow’s article in Issue 44. He points out that the springs and circlip for the spigot bearing carrier which Brian thought are unobtainable can be supplied by NTG as a set with springs and 3 separate circlips which function equally well, see:

Mike added that NTG also stock a number of other parts for the TA clutch.

NTG’s new advert, which can be seen on the back cover, includes a pic of their catalogue – their 21st Edition!

From the Frame Up’ – Latest Catalogue

Doug Pelton kindly sent me a copy of his latest ‘11th Edition Catalog’, which has been out for a couple of months. It can be downloaded from his website (140+ pages if you print it), or purchased for $5.00 plus shipping. To receive a free copy, place an order over $50.

The latest edition now contains many TA and TB parts.

High Axle Ratio for a TA

The following has been received from Adrian Sheppard:

In 1937 my TA was one of the faster cars on the road, overtaking rather than being overtaken. Those days are long gone, and the cruising speed is on the slow side for motorways and A roads. I look with envy at the XPAG engined later T types with the transforming solution of fitting a 5 speed Ford gearbox. There seems little chance of the same solution being found for the MPJG engines of the TAs.

Recently I took my differential for re-furbishment to Roger Furneaux and discovered that 9:39 ratio crown wheels and pinions are available as a replacement for the standard 8:39 ones. I sucked my teeth a bit at the cost but decided to go ahead anyway as I average between one and two thousand miles per year on motorways and A roads.

This is my assessment for anyone else considering the change. On the positive side, cruising at 55 mph rather than 50, with occasional bursts to 60+ mph means I am more comfortable and less of an obstruction to other traffic. On the downside, hill climbing in top gear is a bit poorer. I also find myself being more heavy-footed than previously, and hanging on to the lower gears longer before changing up.

In conclusion, for my pattern of use of the car, the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages. However, for cars which do not do many miles on fast roads, it probably isn’t worth the expense and trouble of making the change.

Dave’s Donuts (no you can’t eat them!)

The following has been received from David Heath:

If your rear wheel splines are worn, like mine, it’s Klunk Click every trip! To replace the hubs/wheels is expensive, which got me thinking. After some experimenting I developed Dave’s Doughnuts.

Simply it’s a foam rubber ring which fits between the brake drum and the wheel. As you tighten the spinner the ring is squashed tightly in the space. The rubber forms around the drum 1/2 nuts on one side and the spoke nipples on the other, stopping the wheel moving to and fro.

I have used them for years and it stops the klunk click by 99%. If you go trialing they may not be man enough but in normal use, they work surprisingly well.

Cost is £15 per pair inclusive of UK postage. Please order via The Editor jj(at){sub @ for at}

New Technology Meets Classic Vehicles
Brittrix, Ltd.

While you likely have seen many modern vehicles whose tail lights seem brighter than you might expect, chances are that they are running with LEDs. Not only are they considerably brighter than the original incandescent bulbs, they draw considerably less current.

Why is this important to owners of classic and vintage vehicles?

Many older vehicles used rear facing lamps which were designed in an era where there was far less traffic, the lighting regulations were far less stringent, and there was a lack of distracted drivers behind the wheel of their near-autonomous Detroit iron. No cell phones, blaring surround sound, nor screaming kids in the back seat.

Also, the electrical systems were designed for cars without all the conveniences of modern cars. Thus, even in the best of circumstances the classic vehicle electrical systems are challenged to keep up with the needs of their lighting – extra tail lights, turn signals, driving and fog lamps all take their toll on vehicles with marginal charging systems.

The answer is brighter lights and less demand on the electrical system. Enter the LED.

Can I use the LED bulb as an answer? Yes, but there are a few disadvantages.

Most LED bulbs are constructed in such a way that in order to gain an advantage in the level of brightness, they need to place many LEDs into a very limited space. This means that most of the LEDs are placed so that they face the side of the bulb, not facing to the rear. LEDs are very directional. That means that the majority of the light is sent sideways, not to the rear where it is needed. The result is that the LED bulb is only marginally brighter than the incandescent bulb it replaces.

Another disadvantage is that many LED bulbs are only suitable for cars with a negative ground electrical system. This is fine for most modern cars, but many of our British cars built before 1962 utilized a positive ground system. So if one tries to use a negative ground bulb in a positive ground system, either the bulb will refuse to work, or the bulb will go up in smoke.

Third, many of the LED bulbs emit only a white light, yet the lenses in our classic vehicle tail lights are either red or amber in color. Since the light emitted from white LEDs actually is made up of a full range of light in the visible spectrum, when that light passes through a red or amber lens, much of the light emitted is filtered by the colored lens, resulting in a significant loss of brilliance.

The answer is a purpose-built LED light board which is specifically designed to match the pattern of the tail light lens.

All of the LEDs on an LED light board which need to be seen from the rear are indeed placed to emit light to the rear, not on the side where that light output is useless. They are available in either positive or negative ground, so will work with whichever system your classic vehicle requires. Finally, the light emitted by the LED light boards are matched to the color of the lens in your tail light, usually red for brake and tail, amber or red for turn signals, and white where there is a provision for license plate illumination. This ensures the maximum light is directed where is needed – aimed at that text messaging teen driver behind you.

“But don’t I need to change the turn signal flasher if I convert to LEDs?” Not necessarily. Assuming you still use incandescent bulbs in the front turn signals, a change in flasher is not always necessary. The average turn signal bulb draws enough current to trigger the flasher. And even if they don’t, there are fully electronic flashers available at your local car parts store which will be a direct replacement, or require only a very minor wiring change. Some can even be wired in either a positive or negative ground car.

“But are they really brighter than either incandescent or LED bulbs?” Absolutely! The best of the LED bulbs I have found have 12 LEDs facing all to the rear and produce around 12 candlepower. By comparison, our inserts use up to 44 LEDs and produce as much as 300 candlepower.

“So how much power savings can I see?” The 1157 incandescent bulb draws 1.75 Amps. (21 watts / 12 volts = 1.75 Amps). By comparison, our typical brake circuit draws 110 milliamps (.11 Amps). You would need to install 16 light boards to equal ONE 1157 bulb. This is to say nothing about the heat generated by the 1157 bulb, which takes its toll on the vinyl and rubber parts in the lamp. Touch a lit incandescent bulb and you will understand. The LEDs are cool when lit.

“But won’t the LEDs blind the driver behind me?” No, the LEDs emit the majority of their light over a moderately narrow field (about 30 degrees). So if the following car is outside that range, they will notice the bright brake light, but not be blinded by it. If they are too close and within the range of the brightest light, you want them to be unable to avoid being dazzled.

Brittrix, Ltd. designs and manufactures LED light boards for most classic MGs from 1934 to 1962, and nearly all classic Minis. Other British vehicles often use the same tail lights, so there is a good chance we have a tail lamp insert for your British car or truck. We are always looking for additional opportunities so if we don’t have a light board for your particular British car or truck, get in touch. View our current offering at or email us at [email protected]

Ed’s note: That’s it folks, our last issue for 2017.

First issue for 2018 will be February, due out around about mid-January.

Keep safe and well……………Safety Fast!