Bits and Pieces

TB0251 Further to thearticle on the prototype TAs, it is pleasing to report that TB0251 is alive and well and is being brought back to life. The chassis and running gear have been fitted and the bodywork is virtually complete. The registration mark is BRX 805.

High oil pressure Following a question from a TF owner who was concerned about an oil pressure reading of 100 psi on start up of his recently rebuilt engine, Eric Worpe offered the following advice:

“The maximum oil pressure should be limited by the oil pressure relief valve in the oil pump to about 60 psi. Higher oil pressures run the risk of increased oil leaks, especially from the rear main bearing oil scroll and increased wear rates on the oil pump mechanism and driving gears. There’s little benefit in having oil pressures above 60 psi anyway.

The relief pressure is determined by the oil pressure relief spring (Moss part number 329080, NTG part number ), which can be reached by undoing the brass hexagon headed plug on the underside of the pump body. This should release the relief valve guide, relief ball and spring. Make sure the copper washer for the brass plug is in place.”

Thermostat Housing

Further to Martin Holloway’s article in the April issue on the subject of aluminium thermostat housings, Mike Green of NTG Services has asked me to publish the following:

“We have been supplying alloy bodied thermostats for over 30 years, having produced well over 1000, including many to the trade.  For years we supplied units with a fixed Waxstat as the original factory units were supplied complete with housing, manufactured by Smiths Industries. More recently we devised a way of making the Waxstat removable for replacement or change to a different value.  We also incorporated an optional disc with a small breather hole for those who felt that it beneficial to block the by-pass aperture.  The grade of alloy used is the same as used on alloy cylinder heads and marine applications.

However, concerning the deterioration of the metal and build-up of matter in the housing, we have encountered this problem just twice during all the years of production, the last one about 5 years ago, plus the one described in TTT.  All I can say is that the matter remains a complete mystery, and the only theory that we can put forward is that there must have been some chemical lurking in the cooling system from years ago in spite of thorough flushing that has caused this violent reaction.  Perhaps someone with more scientific experience could shed more light on the matter, but the fact remains that we only know of these 3 cases, otherwise we would have withdrawn the part from sale many years ago.”

Mike Green, NTG Services.  March 2019.

Log book for TF2823 Barrie Jones has been in touch to say that a green RF60 log book for TF2823 (registration mark GRJ 856) is available free of charge from Charles Leith Limited. Contact can be made by the owner via the website at:

GRJ 856 comes up from a DVLA enquiry as a 1954 black TF which is taxed until 31/12/2019.

Body to chassis packers for a TC

I’ve received the following from Graham Murrell:

“When I removed the body from the chassis in the late ’60s I found some thin felt that had been used as body packers. These had seen much better days and certainly were not suitable to put back as they would have been too distressed to be of any use.

Over the years I read as much as I could, TCs Forever! and the like, and gave the subject much thought and finally came up with the idea of using Polyurethane sheet which is hard enough not to compress too much, is extremely wear resistant and available in black sheet of different thicknesses.

As 0.25″ or 6mm is recommended I decided to go down the route of a 12″ square of approximately 3mm thickness and cut 2 packers for each chassis to body bolted joint. The front and centre ones being 50mm square and the rear being approximately 90mm x 32mm. The holes can be drilled with a normal drill.

I chose 3mm thick so that I could add extra or remove one to achieve the optimum body alignment with the rear door posts at 90 degrees to the floor/reinforcing angles. It would also be possible to use aluminium packers of varying thickness interposed between the 2 packers to enable smaller height adjustments to be achieved should it be necessary and still maintain a ‘soft face’ to mate with the chassis and body.

I have fitted mine and after adding an extra packer to the rear passenger side I am very pleased with the result.

I purchased mine from;

Batchelor Polyurethanes Ltd
5 Bannerley Road
Garretts Green Ind Est
West Midlands
B33 0SL

They are not inexpensive at £48.00 per sheet including postage packing and VAT but it should be a case of ‘fit and forget’ and the one sheet should make enough for 2 cars.

Central Lube System – Late TA and TB

Mike Inglehearn, who is co-organising TB 80 with Jeff Townsend, has made reproduction oilers for the central lube system (with all parts fully interchangeable with the originals), also the rear elbows and a replica square wheel hammer to the correct dimensions for the TA & TB. Mike made these originally for himself but has since made them for other owners.

Some pictures follow:

A pair of rear elbows

Oilers – the middle one is an original, the others are reproductions made by Mike.

Steel adapter union rear trunnion

More oilers

Two pics of the ‘Enro’ wheel hammer, one in the toolbox of Mike’s TB and one on its own.

Mike can be contacted at mingle54(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Fitting Reversing Lights to a TD or TF

The TD and TF have the facility to install automatic reversing lights by fitting a switch to the side of the gearbox.  The bad news is the gearbox tunnel has to be removed to gain access to the blanking grub screw on the nearside of the ‘box that has to be removed.  Once off it’s a straightforward job – apart from putting the tunnel back of course.  One option might be to cut a hole in the side of the tunnel and fit a rubber grommet to seal it.

The switch is available from Intermotor part no. 54850.  It is necessary to fold down the tongues to avoid fouling on the tunnel. 

Lighting Regulations

These are governed by the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, all 99 pages of them.  They are complicated but are there for a reason which is safety. 

Optional Reversing Lights Schedule 14

No more than two may be fitted.  They must be white and not exceed 24watts per lamp.  There is no requirement for a tell-tale on a motor vehicle first used on or after the 1st July 1954 provided that the electrical connection is such that the reversing lights cannot be illuminated other than automatically when the vehicle is in reverse gear.

Once you have installed the switch, all you need to do is take a power feed from the stoplight switch and run a return wire along the chassis rail down to the back of the car.  The wiring clips are notoriously expensive.  A cheaper alternative would be to use electricians’ clips sprayed black (see pic).  They come with a very strong sticky backing to fit them to the chassis. 

I used a pair of Lucas 1130 sidelights mounted on modified P clips on the rear valance incorporating separate indicators using the twin bulb holders.  The wires drop down behind so no drilling. 

Lucas 1130 sidelight with modified P clip.

Top of picture shows original bulb holder and bulb, bottom shows twin bulb holder, which fits inside the Lucas 1130 sidelight.

Lucas 1130 sidelight fitted to rear valence using a modified P clip.

Rear Reflectors

These have been the subject of great debate at the Fairmile MG meeting recently and this is the definitive answer. 

Rear Reflectors: Schedule 18

Two reflectors must be fitted, not more than 400mm from the extreme outer edge of the car, at least 250mm from the ground and not more than 900mm.

The Minister for Transport made a statement in Parliament on 7the April 1954 that

As from 1st October, 1954, the carrying of reflectors will become obligatory for all vehicles, including cycles. 

Note that this is retrospective so all MGs must have them fitted of whatever age. 

Ed’s note: You have probably noticed the nearside rear reflector fitted at the bottom of the tank. It is held in by a bent P clip behind the tank panel.

Maestro di MG 29.3.19

4.75/500 x 19 Tyres

In reply to a query from Martin Franklin, Dieter Wagner offered the following advice:

Usually I fitted 4.75/5.00 x 19 Dunlop tyres on my MG TC on the back. They are more expensive than the 4.50 but the advantages are:

– they last longer
– better road holding (more rubber on the road)
– more comfortable
– you save about 3% revolutions
– the car looks as yet better

Every TC is a bit different so you may have problems fitting them. Sometimes it is necessary to lift the car with the jack positioned under the spring in front of the rear axle. So that the axle will move a bit backwards for fitting. I think you can fit them on the front as well. Then the look is more harmonic.

Here’s a picture of Dieter’s TC0444 with 4.75/5.00 on the back. When in Dieter’s ownership the TC originally had swept wings, but he opted to have cycle wings at a later date.

With advancing year’s he’s sold the car now, but still drives a TD in memory of his first MG which he owned in 1962.

Longstone Tyres  list some alternative makes for the larger tyres. I like dealing with them.

Oil – As a relatively new TF owner, I always consult Barrie Jones if there is something I need to know about maintenance. I recently asked him what oil he uses in his TF1500 and he told me Comma 20W/50 Classic – it’s lovely greenish stuff!). I bought 2 x 5 litre cans on the Internet and whist the car was on the ramp having its MOT I asked my friendly ‘old school, one-man band’ garage owner (there aren’t many of these about nowadays!) to change the oil and filter for me. Yes, I know one can do it oneself and I do have an inspection pit in my daughter’s garage where I keep the car, but it seemed silly not to avail myself of the facilities.

In fact, I’ve decided that as long as we both ‘keep going’ I’ll get the oil changed annually when the car has its MOT.

Note: Barrie has owned his TF1500 since 1966.