Bits & Pieces

Then and now ………

From Oliver Richardson…

How’s that! My mother, same TC 59 years apart. Went for a half hour drive on Mother’s Day and she was even talking about having another go at driving it after a 50 year gap. Used to drive it daily.

TC6686 (HDG 661) bought by Oliver’s dad in ’63.

More on 19 inch radials for a TC

The following was received from Adrian Martin at the beginning of April:

I just wanted to express my thanks to Michael Sherrell for his very helpful advice on fitting radial tyres to a TC in the article in the February 2022 edition.   It came at a perfect time for me.

I am about to set off in our TC on a 2,500 mile run into Italy and back.  I have been running on standard Blockley tyres which are very good and certainly better than the “old” Dunlops but I needed a new set for this trip.

Michael said that he fitted the Bridgestone tyres but I chose to fit four Continental 155 70 19R 84Q because they have a more traditional tread pattern. 

Radials can be a bit rougher on the inside than Crossplys, so I provided the tyre fitter with a bag of French chalk to lubricate the inner tube inside the tyre.

The tread is about 15mm wider than the Blockley which is obviously an advantage on the road and I don’t think the tyres detract from the “classic” TC look.  There are a couple of photos attached.

The handling of the car really is significantly improved and the car is a joy to drive.

The one thing that I am still experimenting with is the tyre pressures.  The recommended pressures for these tyres on the heavy electric BMW i3 are 33 to 36 psi on the front and 41 to 44 psi on the rear depending on load.

I felt these were too high for the TC and have tried 28 all round at the lowest and 35 psi at the highest.The car seems happier at lower pressures but somehow, I worry that the bulging lower profile tyres don’t look quite so good and might be more prone to punctures.  I shall keep trying different pressures on a variety of roads and temperatures.

Ed’s note: I asked Adrian about inner tubes as I have received a few requests regarding these.

He confirmed that inner tubes are certainly required and the French chalk powder is important to avoid friction. He added that he used two of his existing tubes (probably Dunlop) which were in good condition. Also used were two new Blockley tubes (19 x 4.50) which cost £57.60 delivered.

It might be worth adding that other than Bridgestone and Continental there are also a couple of other makers – check out which is a very good value National supplier.

Road Springs

I recently had an enquiry from Colin Howes, Chairman of the MGC Register of the MG Car Club.  A mutual friend (Heinz Mueller in Switzerland) mentioned to Colin that I might be able to help. Colin wanted to keep his original springs, so was looking to have them re-set and retempered.

We discussed the possible options (Jones Springs in Wednesbury, West Midlands and Owen Springs in Rotherham, South Yorkshire). Colin decided to take his springs to Rotherham and reports that the results look encouraging. The springs are back on the car and it appears to be sitting at the correct ride height so hopefully they won’t settle too much further over time.

He would be happy to have his experience quoted for anybody looking for a similar service.

Steel tappet cover gaskets and nitrile bonded cork gaskets

Chris Bonner has been in touch to say that he made his own ‘steel’ gasket from 2mm aluminiumm but carried out a small design modification. He lowered the breathing holes below the centre line (his thinking was that the breathing will have further to travel giving longer for the oil to drop out). For the cork gaskets he cut the centre out of a standard one.

He reports on his experience, having fitted the modification as follows:

I have now done over 500 miles having fitted the baffle plate and have cruised on the motorway at around 70/80 mph, the fitting of the baffle plate made the engine breath a lot better with no residue oil coming out the breather pipe.

The original cork baffle restricted the breathing having distorted to the extent of blocking the breather pipe.

A great success – one of many modifications I have carried out over the years.

Ed’s note: I still have a good supply of the steel and nitrile bonded cork gaskets. The price remains the same at £12.50, but the UK postage is now £3.35. Overseas postage is very expensive and it’s best to contact me for a quote jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Several purchasers have remarked on the value for money of these gaskets. Bulk ordering has meant that not only have we been able to keep the price low, but we have also been able to set some money aside for Paul Ireland to buy more books and pens, pencils etc., for the school children in Tanzania. I have sent him £184 so far and it should be possible to send at least as much again.

Here is a reminder about the fitting instructions from Paul Ireland:

“To fix, I would recommend using a good quality gasket sealant such as red Hermetite or Loctite SI 5980 Gasket Sealant Paste. Put a thin coat on one side of one of the cork gaskets then press it onto the steel plate.

Put a thin coat of gasket sealant onto the exposed side of that cork gasket and offer the steel plate up to the cover, using two of the fastening bolts to locate it.

You can then put a thin coat of sealant on one face of the final cork gasket face and put it onto the steel plate. Coat the final face and offer the cover and steel plate up to the engine, using the fastening bolts to keep everything aligned.

It’s probably easier than fitting the original cork gasket.

However, please be aware it’s not a magic fix to the oil leaks, it just helps to reduce them.”

Loctite SI 5980 (other brands are available).

Bright Work repairer and Chroming company

Chris Wright has contacted me to say that he received good service from a company in Kingston upon Hull. The company is All Metal Polishing, Unit 12, HU9 5SD. The proprietor is a classic car ‘fan’.

He, (Peter) has recently repaired Chris’ TA radiator cowl; repairs included making a new centre strut, repairing a complete split around the starter handle hole, repairing splits on all four corners, repairing dents and fitting the grill fastener studs and of course re-chroming.  All done at a very reasonable price.

Toolkit for a TF

Brendan Hussey has sold his TF and has this toolkit for sale brenjo3(at)  [Please substitute @ for (at)].

1x King Dick 6″ twin liftjack + extension bar + handle, 1x hammer

1x spark plug wrench

1x extended wheel brace + part

1x wheel nut wrench with chrome disc remover end

1x King Dick adjustable spanner

1x Collingburn tool roll

3x Melco box spanners 3/8×5/16ww,7/16×1/8ww, 3/16×1/4ww +tommy bar

1x Dunlop tyre repair kit +contents as per photo

1x screwdriver

1x grease gun

1x MG cylinder head spanner

1x tappet spanner

1x tyre pump

3x King Dick open spanners 3/16×1/4ww, 5/16×3/8ww, 7/16/1/2ww

1x pliers

2x Dunlop tyre levers

1x tin Schroder valves (contains 2 valves)

1xSU carb jet spanner 1/8 x ¼

1x Lucas feeler gauge 14/16 thou

1x feeler gauge 19 thou

1x Lockheed brake bleeder tin + tube

Any reasonable offer accepted.

TC petrol tank & TD/TF front bumper bar

John Hill has a TC petrol tank (not shown here) but looks good, except has a hole in the bottom. Free of charge, but must be collected from Reigate, Surrey. Also, a TD/TF front bumper. f_j_hill(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

One thought on “Bits & Pieces

  1. John Hall says:

    Please tell Oliver R that his mother looks as gorgeous now as she did back in the day! I love the “then and now” photo idea, and would love to see more.

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