Bits and Pieces

Thermostat Housing – The following has been received from Martin Holloway:

“The issue of overheating in T series cars has been covered at length, both here and elsewhere. Causes seem to be many and varied, and solutions range from replacement or re-cored radiators, replacement radiator fans and so on. One aspect that I have not seen mentioned is the thermostat – or more specifically, the thermostat housing.

The XPAG engine originally had a non-replaceable thermostat in a cast iron housing. Many T series owners have replaced the original housing with a new aluminium one, re-engineered to take a modern, replaceable thermostat. These are available from many suppliers. I fitted one to my TC as part of a recent rebuild.  

A year or so after rebuilding the engine I had occasion to remove the radiator top hose. I found, to my horror, that the thermostat was blocked with a large quantity of aluminium debris; in fact, the area of the housing above the thermostat was full of an aluminium paste.

I have included a couple of photographs of the cast aluminium thermostat housing after removal and cleaning. The extent of the corrosion is extraordinary; what you cannot see is the quantity of corroded aluminium paste scraped from the thermostat before removal, and that the upper hose seating rim has been reduced to the consistency of pastry – it distorts and crumbles under light hand pressure. The damage to the rim is not as a consequence of a ham-fisted removal of the top hose but what happened when I squeezed the rim with my thumb.

And this in less than a year and five hundred miles – with an aluminium suitable corrosion inhibitor in the coolant, a re-cored radiator and a chemically cleaned (and thoroughly flushed) block and head.

I replaced the housing with a beautifully machined one in stainless steel from Tom Lange –  There are further photographs detailing the corrosion problems with aluminium housings on his website.

So; if you have fitted a replacement aluminium thermostat housing to your T series, it may be worth spending literally just a few minutes lifting the radiator top hose to take a look.

Ed’s note: This is most worrying. I wonder if one of the poorer grades of aluminium has been used?

TA head gaskets

Gordon Norman has had a solid copper head gasket made for his TA MPJG engine and it has proved a success. He has paid for the programming of the CNC water jet cutting machine and can now offer these head gaskets for £98.00 each, sent worldwide at the appropriate postage for the country in question. He says that these gaskets, which are made in England, are not available anywhere else at the moment.

Enquiries to Gordon at: gnorman(at) {Please substitute @ for (at)}

Set of 4 165 SR 15 Michelin XZX OFFER

Longstone Tyres are currently offering a set of four of these tyres for £349.20 (£420 for a set of five). I am shortly going to order a set and get them fitted and balanced by Steve Chave in Semley, near Shaftesbury, Dorset. Those who can balance wire wheels are few and far between. I’ll let you know how I get on in the next issue.

Restoration of the MG Hennefahrt

The car is a MG TD MK II special and possibly the only one of the custom-built bodies made under German post war production which survived in Europe (some may be in the US). It was the subject of an article in TTT 2 Issue 34 (February 2016) by Georg Rahm. Georg has recently been along to the premises of Rainer Kuehner, who is restoring the car and is currently working on the shell and paint work. He sent this picture of the current state of the restoration and has promised to pen another article when the car is finished.

The original Brooklands Silencer

Ian Ailes has kindly sent in the following:

“The original Brooklands Silencer was made here from 1924 at Yard Metal Works in Ship Yard, behind the Ship Hotel and next to (today) Waitrose just off the High Street in Weybridge, Surrey.  It was founded by Les Anstead and his son Derek took over the business as a blacksmith until his death in 2011.  It is still there.

Derek often found me bits of metal to restore my TD.    

The race track is basically opposite St George’s Hill, one of the most expensive estates in England.  Needless to say, they complained about the noise so the silencer was introduced and the 24 hour race became the Brooklands Double 12, racing 7am-7pm Saturday and Sunday.”

Ed’s note: A fascinating piece of history. I wonder how long it will be before the building is demolished to make way for a new development?

Manchester XPAG tests – the conclusion

Paul Ireland has written up the last in his series of the Manchester XPAG tests. Regrettably, I do not have the space to include it in this issue, but it will be in the next.

Dave’s Donuts

You must have been ‘eating’ them, because I only have three (3) pairs left from an initial order of 20 pairs. I will be taking these to the MG Spares Day at Stoneleigh on 10th February and will, in the meantime, order another 20 pairs.

The Early M.G. Society Limited (EMGS)

Those of you who are members of the MG ‘T’ Society will know that the covering letter which comes with the automated e-mail, telling you that a new issue of TTT 2 has been published, gives a link to the latest issue of the EMGS Newsletter. The EMGS has recently re-vamped its website, which is well worth looking at. It is at

A hard to detect rattle

I recently received the following enquiry:

“I have a 1954 MG TF 1250cc engine, that seems to have suddenly developed a rattle from possibly the gearbox when I hit 35…. nothing until I hit 35.

All gear changes are smooth or as smooth as they can be. Can’t find the source when stationary, but as soon as I hit 35 it starts, if I lift off the gas slightly and dip below 35 it stops, doesn’t matter if I’m in 3rd or 4th it’s the same thing.”

Dr. James’ diagnosis was “probably propshaft”, but I thought it wise to check with the Consultant, so I asked Barrie Jones. Barrie came back with the following:

“I agree that a worn or loose UJ is the most likely cause. However, there are many other possibilities.

The gear lever remote shaft could be worn,
the alloy housing for the remote could require bushes, the damper on top could require a new spring or a new damper (use MGB ones),
the rear stay on the bottom of the gearbox could have its cup washer the wrong way round (see my book)***.

Also, I had this on my TF until I replaced the spigot bearing in the end of the crankshaft. A new one stopped the rattle immediately.”

*** Barrie’s book entitled Barrie’s Notes: Maintaining a 1955 MG TF in the 21st Century is available, priced at 6 GBP plus postage, from the T-Shop on the website It has sold hundreds of copies worldwide and I have just topped up my supply with another fifty (50) copies.

A wonderful little book for not very much money!