Bits & Pieces

Nineteen inch Radials for the MG TC: Bridgestone Ecopia 500 series – 155/70/19R

Following publication of this article in the February issue, there has been quite a bit of interest shown. The most frequently asked question is whether inner tubes are necessary with this tyre and the answer is ‘Yes’. Michael Sherrell, who sent in the article, points out that if tubes are not fitted, some air would escape through the spoke ends. He also commented “What has surprised me most is a dramatic change in straight ahead stability. The softer ride is welcome too.”

Roger Bateman showed the article to a friend who has spent many years in a senior position in the classic car tyre business who commented:

“As this radial tyre was designed for continuous road use and is a true 19” tyre and not a metric equivalent, there would seem to be no reason not to use it for the MG TC.  Of course, the dimensions will be different as a radial tyre is, at best, only about 80% aspect compared to a crossply. So, gearing, ground clearance, wheel arch gap etc will be impacted, but you might see an improvement in braking performance and certainly wet weather grip. The other thing is aesthetics; it will look different, but hey, people put truck tyres on E Types!”

Roger says that he looks forward to reports from other users of these tyres.

Guarantee Plates for TC2653 and TC6942

Oliver Richardson (Triple-M specialist) has the guarantee plate for TC2653. The car is not known to the MGCC ‘T’ Register, but may well be out there somewhere. Hopefully, this might help find the owner. If so, would sh/he please contact me at: jj(at)  [please substitute @ for (at)]. Tom Lange, who runs MGT Repair in Bar Harbor, ME 04609 in the US has the guarantee plate for TC6942. The ‘T’ Register records the car as being in the US.  Tom’s website is

Overhaul of Starter Motors and Dynamos

I have just had the starter motors for my J2 and TF1500 overhauled by Chris Wallis in Chellaston, Derby.

Overhauled starter motors J2 on the left and TF1500 on the right.

Turnaround time was good and the charges fair. Chris can be relied upon to do a good job and has years of experience behind him.

He has done work for owners in mainland Europe, but that was pre-Brexit and things are that much more difficult now.

Chris Wallis, 39 School Lane, Chellaston, DERBY DE73 6TF clwallis39(at) [substitute @ for (at)].

Tool trays for the TA

The tool trays on David Wilkinson’s TA were in poor condition, so he made a couple of moulds and cast some new ones using liquid silicone.

The trays have ply wood on the bottom, just like the originals and have been painted black.

As David has the moulds, he can make more trays if anybody requires them. As the silicone rubber liquid is very expensive, he needs to charge £100 for the two trays plus postage. Contact details are:

wilkinsondavidandjudith(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

XPAG Cylinder block detail

Paul Busby sent me the following two pictures. The first is of an old scrap block that was missing its main caps which Paul decided to bore out as a pre-preparatory run before linering his early banana block. You can see the additional horizontal stiffening ribs not present in round hole blocks. Must have been a pain for the pattern makers?

The second is of a scan of his banana block to get some dimensions for parts he has in mind to make. 

TF Thermostats and Radiator Caps

I have been in touch with Barrie Jones, of the ‘T’ Register of the MGCC about these items.

Regarding thermostats, whilst an illustration of the original bellows type is shown in the TD/TF workshop manual on Page A34, I hadn’t previously seen a picture.

Barrie has sent me one (below), which he had in his spares box, alongside a non-bellows replacement.

Following a question from a TF owner, which I couldn’t answer, I asked Barrie to explain the different applications of the three available temperature ‘stats’ (74, 82, and 88). Here’s the explanation….

“The temperature gauge was calibrated with 85C as the mid-point (normal) and the standard thermostat was 82 degrees.

In cold climates an 88 degree ‘stat’ could be fitted, whereas in hot climates the 74 degree gave a bit more leeway if you were stuck in a traffic jam.”

On radiator caps, Barrie pointed out that the TF is unique amongst the T-series models in having a pressurised cooling system. It originally used a LONG 4psi rad cap which raised the boiling point of plain water above 100C. If you also added 50% antifreeze, the coolant would cope with 112C before boiling.

Of the two caps available (4psi and 7psi) care needs to be exercised if choosing the latter. The water pump has a carbon gland that is likely to leak and fail if subjected to higher pressure than it was designed to take. Barrie suggests that you might get away with a 7psi cap with a new Racemettle pump, but not with the original pump.

Self-assembly garage kits

A warning to UK readers from Matt Sanders about these kits.

Picture taken before the UK storms of the third week in February.

Matt’s warning is as follows:

“Just a quick note to warn readers about self-assembly garage kits; there are some on the market that are not meeting current UKCA standards, I purchased one which was mis-sold as being strong, as you can see from the picture it is not!

It is now upside down and inside out in the picture. The company is being very obstructive and refuses to issue a refund and I have got Trading Standards onto the case after doing some research myself on the construction and materials aspects of these buildings.

For information, any metal building construction kit sold after 2015 must be CE marked or post 2021, show the new UKCA mark which replaces the CE mark.

Basically, these marks prove that the components in the product and the built kit is specified to a level of strength and performance and meets approved regulations.

Those not complying are being illegally sold.

There are some good products out there that meet the requirements, this wasn’t one of them!”

Max Verstappen in a TB?

Bob Lyell was sent this picture of Max Verstappen being paraded around the circuit before the start of the last Grand Prix in Dubai. Apparently in, (well almost in), a TB.

Mirror Resilvering

This is one for readers in the US, sent to me by Peter Hutchinson. Pete says:

“I bought a resilvering kit from Angel Gilding at

They explained precisely how to bring a mirror back and I was able to restore several mirrors with the kit.  Easy and kind of fun, too.”

Fitting flashers along with LED bulbs (Comment on Ian Thomson’s article in Issue 70 (February 2022).

Walter Prechsl has commented that he is in full agreement with the modification on the torpedo lights (the 1130 conversion set, at the front) but for the D-lights he has another solution, since, with two bulb holders, there is little space in the D-housings.

Please see his photos below with COD-LED elements stuck and wired on a Pertinax board.

Walter says that if anybody wants more information, he is happy to be contacted at: walter(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)]

Ed’s note: I contacted Ian and relayed Walter’s comments about his (Ian’s) D-light arrangement. Rather than me attempt to paraphrase I’ve published Ian’s response verbatim:

“Walter is right John and his way is arguably better than mine. The problem with my way of doing things is that two “bulbs”, or four light “units”, as I have done, is that space is at a premium and I am surprised that it is even possible.  This, unfortunately, creates a disadvantage, which I failed to mention, in that the bulbs are possibly just too near to the lenses to give an even spread of light across the whole of the glass. Walter’s method probably places the light elements far enough from the lens to avoid this.  I even modified my own front inserts to set the light slightly further back in the enclosures when I noticed it.  Perhaps I should have mentioned it.  Unfortunately, Walter’s method uses LED arrays which ask, I feel, just that little too much of the maker and cannot be easily replaced with an “off the shelf” bulb unit when it fails.  I think I made it clear in the piece that these were things which I was trying to avoid but maybe use will prove Walter’s method to be the best.”

Ethanoo !!!

No, not another diatribe on E10.   To me it’s even more worrying!  Let me explain.  The lady in doors who will be obeyed, suggested a new lawn mower.  For her to operate it needed certain essential parameters:- must be self-propelled, must have electric start and be fairly easy to control, i.e. not a great big solid cast iron lump.

So, M.G. not to my knowledge having made such a lawn mower, I was forced to look elsewhere.  After some deliberation I, sorry “we” decided on a suitable machine.  To save the firm’s blushes I will not name them – but think “spiders”.  This was supposedly a new model to their range and manufactured in the UK.  It fitted all the necessary specifications and appeared satisfactory to the Memsahib.  The new machine was duly delivered and after careful study of the manual was assembled by yours truly.  Now for the test drive.  This is where things get tricky.  Page 11 of the manual stated that ethanol fuel must NOT be used in the mower?????   Surely, since this was supposedly a “new” to the market machine it should be able to use ethanol fuel?

A quick call to the manufacturer really worried me.  I related the information contained in the manual to the lady from the Technical Department that it should not be used with ethanol fuel and that surely a modern engine ought to be able to do so.  The reply was and I quote…

“It means leaded fuel sir.  Ethanol is leaded petrol!!!!!!”

I tried to gently explain the difference and that to my knowledge “leaded” petrol had not been available in the UK for some years and that ethanol petrol was from 1st September the standard fuel sold at the pumps. I was asked to hold and was duly passed on to the Technical Manager.   Same story, ethanol is leaded petrol sir.  I asked if he drove a petrol car,  (desperately hoping it wasn’t an EV), when he said yes, I asked what fuel he used at the garage when he filled up.  He said regular petrol.  When I pointed out about E5 and E10 he said he knew nothing about that and insisted ethanol was leaded petrol.  A further discussion regarding changes to fuel availability in the UK from 1st September proved fruitless.

I ended the call – after all, I was paying – and tried a different tack.  I rang the agents who had supplied the mower and relayed the conversation to them.  They said they would get back to me.  To give them their due, they did!  They hadn’t got any further with the manufacturer either.  Indeed, they were as confused as I was.  The guy rang me back the following day and said that a lot of mower manufacturers used engines in their “new” models that had in fact been in production for some time and indeed could not run on ethanol fuel for any length of time without damage.  Their suggestion to customers was to use the mower then drain the fuel until the next time of use.  On no account to leave fuel in the mower over the winter.

Luckily, we T Typers, know that Esso supreme plus is – at least for the moment ethanol free and expensive as it is; that’s what my mower gets.  Actually, I pinch it out of the TD.  For some reason I did not feel inclined to pass this information on to the manufacturer.  But there we have it, folks.  Ethanol is most definitely “leaded petrol”!!

2 thoughts on “Bits & Pieces

  1. Walter Okon says:

    re: Ethanol is leaded petrol! I think the mfr and the agent were confusing ethanol with Ethyl, which was a leaded additive in (old) petrol.

  2. Mark Masters says:

    Hi, I fitted Hangkang Radials to my TC. Brilliant. Could have fitted Bridgestone but they were NZ$600 v’s NZ $400 for the Hangkangs. I had recently fitted new crossplies but was not happy with the ride so after seeing Mike Sherrill’s article I decided to give them a try. Well worth it in all respects including comfort of ride. They are so much smoother.

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