Bits and Pieces

Firstly, a couple of updates on items previously published. Dave’s Doughnuts have been ‘selling like hotcakes’ (see note below), or perhaps I should say ‘like hot doughnuts’?

Note: Selling like hotcakes. While the word “hotcake” dates back to the late 17th century and ”pancake” first appears in England around 1400, this phrase, with the figurative meaning “to be in great demand,” didn’t appear until around 1840 and there’s no evidence of a great hotcake demand that might have led to its creation.

Dave has asked me to publish the following:

“I developed the Doughnuts to reduce the clunk click from my worn rear TA hubs.

The hub/spline design no doubt is very technical and I am no expert to criticize. However, when I broke a half shaft, I replaced both with new hubs and with new wheels; guess what?…… they still clunked! If there is clearance to allow the wheel to be fitted/removed, then there must be the opportunity for rotational movement. If we grease the splines to stop wear and we grease the spinner cone, then the only friction surface to stop rotation is the inner cone. This is shiny metal of small area and of small radial distance.

The Doughnut has advantages, large radial diameter, large surface area and ‘pegs’ in the form of brake drum nuts and wheel spoke nipples. Being made of foam rubber, there will be a little ‘give’ that will be unable to resist maximum acceleration and braking torque. However, most of the time the Doughnut provides additional resistance to rotation, assisting the hard-pressed inner cone. The result – instead of the continual clicking as you drive along, all becomes quiet.

At £12 a pair from JJ and new hubs somewhat more !!! what’s not to like?

By the way, when fitted they don’t show. Don’t forget to clean & dry the surfaces.”

Coping with Incontinence

The drip trays/catch tanks/’nappy buckets’ are available from Bryan Purves, who is sending them all over the world.

Kuno Fjeldmark in Denmark contacted me to say how pleased he is with the quality of the product, which he confirms can be recommended.

Fitting a Vacuum Advance to a TA

Here is an update from David Heath:

“Since my article on fitting Vacuum Advance to a TA, things have moved on. [issue 34, Feb 2016]

1, We now have the results of Paul Ireland’s Manchester tests [published in TTT]

2, I have raised my compression ratio to about 7:1 by shaving off about 1mm from the head i.e. standard 3.38in/85.8mm to 3.33in/84.6mm cylinder

head height.

My centrifugal advance curve is fairly straight – 10deg at 1000, 20deg at 2000, 30deg at 3000 [no vac].

The vacuum pod is a 3/9/8 which gives a modest advance, about standard Metro and a Manchester suggested 15deg [crank]. With the vacuum connected, 15 deg will be added to the idle figure, thus a strobe reading of 20 –25 deg is normal. This is working fine, as the car moves off the vacuum advance sorts itself out.

The Manchester curve provides another alternative. John Saunders’ article [Dec TTT 2] shows his curves. These look good for the MPJG also, although XPAG derived.

The vacuum pulsing Paul Ireland mentions in his article, I suffer from too. I use a plastic petrol filter canister, approximate size of a large egg, looks odd but works. This must have a hard case to stop it pulsing too.

Engines are different, yours may prefer a variation from the above. I use standard 95 fuel, Manchester gives more choices. Fuel changes, summer to winter, country to country, so it’s difficult to make recommendations.”

Regulator repair

Graham Murrell has been in touch to advise that he has had his regulator rebuilt by Ribblesdale Auto Electrics Units Ltd, Deepdale Mill Street, PRESTON, Lancs PR1 5BY Tel: 01772 796047.

Email: units(‘at’)

Their charge (no pun intended) was £55.00 plus packing postage and VAT which totalled £78.00. Graham thought this was very reasonable.

Reclaiming registration marks

I continue to be busy doing this work for the MG Octagon Car Club (age-related applications are also dealt with).

The DVLA has excelled in dealing with two recent applications in record time…….7 days!

The first was for HNL 363, shown below in pre and post restoration ‘shots’.

The second was for MPG 349, the ex-Betty Haig TC, which has come back from the US and is pictured below, being taken for a run in the English countryside.

Here’s another picture of MPG 349 with Roger Farmer driving and Doug Nixon as passenger. Roger has recently published the biography of Betty Haig, Betty Haig – A life behind the wheel. The bookwas mentioned in December’s TTT 2 editorial and is available from Roger direct at agricola1(at) – please substitute @ for (at). The price is £35 inclusive of postage to a UK address. Overseas buyers are very welcome but will be subject to further postal charges.

Restoration services

The services of Finishing Touch bodyshop, which is within an hour’s drive from me (taking the scenic route through the Chew valley) has featured before in these columns.

The proprietor, Adrian Moore, has just completed work on TC4155 (MG 7379), which having been off the road for several years, came to him as a rolling chassis and some bits. The body was sourced from Andrew Denton and was then skinned and wings and panel work repaired before painting and handing it back to the owner for finishing.

This is the third TC that I know of which has passed through Adrian’s ‘shop’ and he is currently finishing a PA and a J2. The J2 was a referral from me; I was asked by the owner if I could recommend somebody reliable, who would not charge him a ‘king’s ransom’ to finish his car, and I had no hesitation in recommending Adrian. The J2 was fired up recently, much to the owner’s delight!

Have a look at:

If you page down a few cars, you’ll see me in CXV 671 arriving on one frosty morning in November!

From ‘basket case ’to’ ‘pride of place’.

Andrew Pearce bought this TA basket case just over a year ago (September 2017). It was an aborted restoration stretching back 25 to 30 years and, like so many, just sat there going nowhere which he thinks is tragic.

Whereas his previous two 1930’s MG restorations took 3 to 4 years each he was determined that this one was going to be quick– and quick it was as he drove it for the first time on 3rd October.

If you like these TA chassis/Q type bodies, here’s a couple of others for you……

And finally.. another ‘shot’ of Chris Bennett’s TF and trailer to go with the photo that is shown in the editorial.

Hagerty Insurance