Category Archives: Issue 15 (December 2012)

The Editor

Welcome to Issue 15, December 2012!

This issue is out slightly earlier than usual due to my IT man heading off to Brazil for a few weeks. You’ve also got an extra four pages this time but the downside is that the cupboard is almost bare as far as articles for the February 2013 issue is concerned.

Subscriptions are due from those of you who receive a ‘hard’ copy of the magazine and you should find a subscription renewal letter in the envelope. I’ve decided to keep subscriptions the same as last year, which means that we are running at the same subscription level as was set when the magazine first came out in August 2010. The subscription asked for would not be commercially viable but we are not running a commercial enterprise; there are more important things in life than money and recent cases of illness in my family has brought this into sharp focus.

Notwithstanding the previous comment about money, the healthy state of the finances reported in the previous issue has, if anything, grown even rosier with several recent donations helping to swell the coffers. A full status report of the position as at the end of December will be published in the February 2013 issue of the magazine, due out around the middle of January 2013.

The Manchester University XPAG engine project mentioned in Issue 14 started formally on 5th October. Paul Ireland, who has done so much to get this project off the ground, has produced his first newsletter on progress to date; you can read about it on page 18. As readers will know, TTT 2 and pledged £500 towards funding of the project and a cheque for this amount has been sent to Peter Cole, who is acting as treasurer.

Since the last issue the Classified section of the website has been completely revamped with a separate section for ‘Cars for Sale/Wanted’. Our website has an enormous worldwide reach and recently a TA rolling chassis project was advertised, sold and paid for all on the same day! An advertisement by the same vendor for a TC restoration project was sold well within three weeks of the advert appearing. If you have a car for sale/wanted or parts to dispose of, or wanted why not try a free advert on the website?

However do be aware if you are placing a ‘wanted’ advert that there are ‘scammers’ alive and well just waiting to relieve you of your hard earned cash with exactly the parts that you need! One of our members recently got taken in by a ‘scammer’ and we were able to help identify the fraudster with the result that our member went to his local police station and gave a full statement. It transpired that the fraudster was known to the police in another area of the country but was casting his net in a wider locality.

Support for the TTT 2 Tour of Rutland has exceeded my expectations and I have twice had to reserve more blocks of rooms in the hotel. However, we are now at capacity for the Tour and there are only a couple of rooms remaining. The hotel has been asked not to accept any more bookings once these rooms have been taken. I very much regret having to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ but I am already planning a bumper Tour for 2014 when hopefully we will be able to accommodate everybody. Watch this space!

In May of 2013 Peter Cole and Gillian Smith are organizing a run to Bollezeele, a small village about 14 miles outside Dunkerque. The location is convenient for most of the channel ports and for people travelling from the North via Holland. The proposal is to arrive at the Hostellerie Saint-Louis, on Monday 6th May in time for dinner and leave on Thursday 9th May. The price per room (2 people) for the 3 days Dinner, Bed and Breakfast will be in the region of 396 and 468 Euros depending on room choice.

Peter and Gillian have organized successful tours to this location in 2011 and 2012 and would welcome expressions of interest before Christmas to peter.cole11(at) {substitute (@ for (at)}. Address: 10 Princess Drive, ALTON, Hants GU34 1QS

Whilst on the subject of touring in France I would commend this article written by David Pelham. This was a Tour of Brittany in September 2012 for Y-types with a TD also taking part.

It doesn’t seem very long ago since this year’s International MG Show and Spares Day at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire but next year’s date of Sunday 17th February is looming up on the horizon. I hope to be in attendance and sharing a stand with Brian Rainbow (as we have done for the last umpteen years). More details in the next issue of TTT 2.

Enjoy the rest of 2012!



Totally T-Type 2 is produced totally on a voluntary basis and is available on the website on a totally FREE basis. Its primary purpose is to help T-Type owners through articles of a technical nature and point them in the direction of recommended service and spares suppliers.

Articles are published in good faith but I cannot accept responsibility or legal liability and in respect of contents, liability is expressly disclaimed.

The Resurrection of TA0844 (Part 7)

This is the last article in the series and I must thank Bob Butson for the time and effort that he has spent in writing for the magazine. I know that his articles have been very helpful to TA owners as well as being interesting to readers. This article contains some notes about TA electrics and we start with a spreadsheet which shows the power requirement for TA lighting in original rig and the same after modern bulbs (including halogen headlights) are fitted.

Click Spreadsheet for Bigger View

This spreadsheet was compiled by Ian Linton based on modifications for his TA. The power requirements far exceed those available. One can fit a TD dynamo rated at 19 amps as Ian has, or reduce the load by using LED bulbs in all locations except the headlamps. This latter modification will still result in some current drain from the battery. Ian obtained his halogen headlamp bulbs from

Setting up a G45NV D21 TA dynamo, which is rated at eleven amps (132 watts), to give this current continually, will result in overheating and possible failure. Brian Rainbow is reliably informed that the current should be limited to 9 amps for safe continuous operation, giving 108 watts.

The arrangement of the PLC2 switching and the two field resistors in the CJR3 cut-out alters the charging rate for various switch positions. In the LOW position both resistors are in circuit. In the HEAD position the resistors are switched out to give maximum output. I have heard that it was favoured to include an additional ten ohm resistor in series with the field circuit in the LOW position to reduce the battery charge. Overcharging causes ‘gassing’ in the battery and lowers the electrolyte level. I would be interested to know if anyone has tried this, and the outcome.

For all lamps, I have fitted an earth connection, taken to a chassis earth. The lack of these, relying on mechanical contact, which may be painted or rusty, is what gave the ‘Prince of Darkness’ his name. The cloth covered loom which I purchased some time ago does not have an earth provision for any lamp.


I used a 15D double contact holder inside a Lucas 1132 sidelight with an LED cluster which has a white section and an amber section. The bulb is No. LD1NDOW1BAY15D, this can be found at

Together with the rear lights (including the auxiliary rear lights) the current taken is 0.68 amps.

Rear / brakelamps

To have a single ‘porkpie’ lamp one side of the number plate is now illegal. It was powered by two15S parallel pin 6w bulbs, one for rear/number plate and one for a brake light. I have fitted a lamp each end of the number plate, an original ST38 and a later version (or reproduction) which had three 15S 10w bulbs. The reproduction lamp I had was obtained at an autojumble many years ago but the bulb contacts were loose and could not be tightened. My solution was to make a copy of the ST38 innards, achieved by sifting through my bin of plastics parts and cannibalising the repro lamp innards for the bullet connector sockets. The ST38 was fitted with an earth connection whereas the repro lamp relied on the mechanical connection of its securing screws. Paul Goff of makes an LED board insert for the ST38 which may be more suitable. I obtained a number of 15S bulbs, each with a cluster of 9 LEDs, very cheaply via eBay. These bulbs are brighter than the 10w tungsten bulbs.

Also I have installed a ‘high level’ brake light on a bracket secured to the top of the spare wheel carrier to show through the spokes. This is a 24 LED strip also obtained via eBay which takes 0.225 amps.

One lamp each side of the number plate may be legal but they appear to be mounted too low to be observed by some vehicles following close behind. For this reason I made an auxiliary lighting bar.

This design was chosen because I did not want to drill holes in the car body or in the Paul Ireland luggage rack. I made bracket hooks from 1.2mm stainless steel which support a 10mm square section tube, one metre long with the lamp mounts at the ends made from 1mm steel left from body skinning. The hooks fit under the luggage rack pivot bolts. A small six-way connector enables the bar to be removed with ease. The extra LED stop/tail bulbs and the indicator bulbs were purchased some time ago via eBay and the aluminium square section tube from B&Q. The Lucas lamps were found at autojumble.

The three photos above show Bob’s auxiliary lighting set up.
‘High level’ brake light and fixing bracket for positioning behind the top half of the spare wheel so that it shines through the spokes – a sensible safety mod these days!

Above: Reproduction ST38 obtained at an autojumble but with loose bulb contacts. Below: same light but now fitted with different innards as described in the text by Bob.
Photos show Paul Ireland’s luggage rack (mentioned in the text and shown earlier in one of the photos showing Bob’s auxiliary lighting set up) before fitting and fitted and folded down ready to accept luggage.


As mentioned in the June issue I have dispensed with the solenoid dip reflector for the nearside headlamp using the plain left reflector and another for the nearside from Keith Ardley. Tel 01353 778493. I used double filament halogen 35/35 BA15D bulbs coded B1235BA15QH from Paul Goff.

When setting up the double filament bulbs in the reflectors the bulb filament should be at the focal point for the main beam. In front of this point a dark spot will be observed in the middle of the beam, behind this a divergent beam is very broad and scattered. This can be set up as follows:

Mount the reflector in a piece of board which has horizontal and vertical markings, in an orientation as located in the headlamp shell. Mount the board in a bench vice at one end of the garage using a spirit level to check that the board is set correctly horizontally and vertically. Insert the bulb, lightly clamp and connect the main beam filament to 12 volts. Move the bulb in and out of the reflector until the correct spot is observed at the other end of the garage, disconnect the main beam and connect to dip. Rotate the bulb to orientate the dip pattern and clamp the bulb in the reflector. Repeat these moves to check alignment. The reflector is now ready to install into the headlamp shell for further horizontal alignment when fitted to the car.

The fog lamp will be fitted with a 35watt halogen bulb.

Dash lamps

These were covered in TTT 2 Issue 11. They take 0.32 amps.

For this all LED operation, the current required will be 0.32 amps for dash lights, 0.68 amps for sidelights and rear lights, 0.47 amps for brake lights and 0.47 for indicators (per side). The indicators can be ‘on’ both sides to give a hazard warning. Also required are 5.85 amps for headlamps and an additional five amps approximately for coil and pump. Total for night- time fine weather running is 12.32 amps.

The ‘S’ and ‘H’ fuses in the cut-out need downsizing. For the S (rear, brake and side) total current is 1.8 amps, and the H 5.83amps. Suitable fuses would be 5 and 8 amps respectively, old style examples can still be found at autojumble.

I hope the battery charger still works.

Bob Butson

Ed’s note: Full details of Paul Ireland’s luggage rack were given in TTT 2 Issue 2. Paul can be contacted by e-mail octagon(at) (substitute @ for at) or by telephone (44) 1206 298736.

Ed’s further note: Brian Rainbow, having helped me proof read Bob’s article, has flagged a couple of points to watch: Bob mentions that Ian Linton has fitted a TD dynamo to his TA giving more output. If you do this, please bear in mind that the TD has a 2 brush dynamo and requires a regulator, therefore you must replace the TA Lucas CJR3 cut-out with a suitable cut-out/regulator like an RF95 or similar, plus a link wire on the PLC2 ignition switch so that High and Low operate the same. Bob makes a very wise choice of LED bulbs in his TA. LED bulbs are polarity sensitive, and most proprietary LED bulbs are for negative earth. The TA is positive earth as standard, so you must buy positive earth LED bulbs, or convert the car to negative earth which is a fairly simple conversion.

A Rare Axle Fracture on my MG TC 976

It was a nice summer evening, and I was just starting the engine at a green streetlight, when suddenly, with a loud bang, the left backside sagged downwards and stopped.

Obviously my surprised face at this situation amused the already watching passer-bys, but fortunately some people, who couldn’t watch this agony helped to lift the car in the back to push it to the side of the street.

First everyone skillfully examined the car, and soon it was obvious that the axle was ripped off and that I would not be able to continue my journey.

After a break in a close ice-cream Café the service car arrived and took us home, luckily only a few miles.

But what happened?

The perforated connecting element had ripped off between the leaf spring bracket and the axle tube (see red lines in picture). Because of this the car sagged down so far that the back wheel rested on the upper side of the rear wing. The wheel was blocked and the car could not roll anymore.

So I demounted the rear axle and welded new and more solid panels on both side of it to be sure. While I was working on this problem I noticed that it must have been an old fracture, which had developed continuously. You could see corrosion on the surface of the fracture.

Also the original weld seamed had been executed very sparingly – maybe they had to save money on this part of the production back in 1946? Only in the book “TCs Forever” I could find a similar accident, seems like they had the same issue.

The new plates are a bit longer, just to be sure that there is a better support on the leaf spring packet. In the process of reassembling everything I asked myself why the catch bracket caught neither the axle nor hindered the blocking of the back wheel- since this is what it is supposed to do.

Actually the catch bracket is 4 cm too long- so it is not able to catch the rear axle before the back wheel blocks in the rear wing! Which guy measured this? If the axle fracture had happened at 80 km/h it would have been a really dangerous situation!

With this thought in my mind I did not want to drive anymore- hence I shortened both catch brackets, so that in normal condition a gap of approximately 7,5 cm is still maintained, this is about the space which the wheel still has in the wheel arch.

Maybe I should have shortened the brackets by another 1 cm, however they should now fulfill their task in a case of emergency and catch the axle. Then it would still be possible to hobble home, though considerately lowered and without suspension…and maybe this would prevent an accident with serious consequences as well.

Manfred Brausem MG TC 976

Ed’s note: I am not sure if the catch brackets would be up to the task in the event of a catastrophic failure as experienced by Manfred – they are relatively flimsy. I think their function is one of ‘bump stops’ assuming that the axle is attached to the springs, not when it has broken away.

Another weak point to be wary of is that of the holes for the spring fixing bolts being too near the edge of the spring hanger bracket. The way to overcome this (and probably to strengthen the whole assembly so as to minimise the possibility of bracket failure) is to weld a 1 inch wide strip of 1/8 inch mild steel to the base of the bracket as is shown in the following photos:

Photo 1 shows the former to shape the strip
Photo 2 shows the strip in position before welding
Photo 3 shows strip now welded
Photo 4 shows underside of the spring hanger bracket – note holes not now so close to edge

Urgent Warning for XPAG Owners

The following warning from Paul Ireland was included as a ‘News’ item on the website on 2nd October. Not everybody has access to the website and some of those that do may have missed the item, so it is published in this issue of the magazine.

Is your car fitted with an XPAG engine and does it have an oil pressure gauge? If so read this warning.

On the early TCs the oil pressure gauge is mechanical and connected to the main oil gallery on the engine by a flexible hose between the engine and bulk-head.

In 2004 / 2005 I replaced my hose with a new one bought from Moss. (Photo 1)

Photo 1 – the first hose referred to in the text (the one that failed).

Like another TC owner who reported this issue in the Octagon Car Club magazine, I fortunately noticed this hose was about to fail before it actually did. Needless to say, the consequences of such a failure can be very expensive as it will cause an instant total loss of oil pressure.

The problem arises from the fact that the ends are straight sided and it would appear the hose has been push fitted and glued. In the case of my car, the engine end of the hose had 1⁄4” gap where the oil pressure had pushed the hose down the ferrule. One very slight pull and it came off completely.

As you can see from Photo 2, my replacement has crimped on ends and is rated at 6000psi.

Photo 2 – the second hose referred to in the text, the one with crimped on ends and rated at 6000 psi.

It can be ordered from:

Piratek Ipswich, 20a Riverside Industrial Park, Rapier Street, Ipswich IP2 8JX Tel: 01473 688288

If you send your spiral wrapping spring, they will fit it for you.

MG TA Rear Telescopic Shock Absorbers (Update)

The June issue (Issue 12) contained an article by Ian Linton describing suitable brackets for installing telescopic shock absorbers to the rear of the TA. The article was accompanied by a drawing. Following a number of comments, Ian has revised his original drawing to reflect these comments and further measurements and this is included in this issue.

Ian is grateful to all those who contacted him.

Telescopic Shock Absorbers

Click here to view bigger size

Front Cover – BBL 80

BBL 80 lives just a hop, skip and a jump from me, but until recently I had not seen this historic TA ‘in the flesh’.

As the front cover caption indicates, BBL 80 competed as one of the four Works supported 1938 ‘Cream Cracker’ trials team cars. The four cars were:

Why ‘Cream Cracker’? – some background

Two of the ‘BBL’ drivers, Maurice Toulmin and J. E. S. Jones, competed in J2s in the December 1933 Exeter Trial and won Premier Awards.

Maurice Toulmin was later (March1934) to acquire one of the new P-type models with swept wings and was joined by ‘Mac’ Macdermid, who acquired his PA at the same time; both cars were blue in colour. Toulmin and Macdermid were joined by Jack Bastock, who bought his (green) PA the following September. These three drivers formed the basis of the 1934/35 ‘Cream Crackers’ team.

The cars were given comprehensive support by the Factory, with lightening (inter alia, cycle type aluminium wings and bonnet) and various mechanical mods. Indicative of this support was the fact that they went back to Abingdon to be prepared for both the December 1934 Exeter Trial and the Lands End Trial, held in April 1935. At this point it was decided to paint the cars cream and brown and they were nicknamed ‘Cream Crackers’, some say after a biscuit, but nobody knows for sure.

The decision to adopt this colour scheme was almost certainly for publicity purposes. The one hundred consecutive ascents of Beggars Roost by an M-type in May 1930 was celebrated in an advert by the Publicity Department of the M. G. Car Company, with much emphasis being placed on the fact that this was a “perfectly standard model”.

For the 1935/36 season the three PA Midgets were replaced by Marshall ‘blown’ PB Midgets with further lightening (more aluminium panels) and detail improvements from experience gained with the normally aspirated cars. The improved power to weight ratio, together with better damping (shock absorber) characteristics must have been welcomed by the drivers.

The overhead cam ‘Cream Crackers’ had been enormously successful, but what was to come?

The Arrival of the TA Midget

The introduction of the T-Series Midget in June 1936 must have raised doubts in the minds of some in the MG sporting fraternity as to whether the new model would (a) be competitive and (b) if it was, would it receive support from the Factory?

For a start, gone was the free-revving overhead camshaft engine which had powered M.G. to so many competition successes – to be replaced by a push-rod engine; and had not Leonard Lord closed down the Competition Department on his arrival at Abingdon?

The doubts over competitiveness were answered by the reliability and performance of the MPJG engine used in the 1937 Team cars and as far as support from the Factory was concerned, Leonard Lord had departed from the Nuffield Group by 1936, albeit the tight rein over which he had held Abingdon prevailed long after his departure.

A typically muddy West Country trials track

Against this background support for the Trials teams was maintained, but from now on it was to be on altogether a more businesslike basis. For example, there was a formal agreement for the duration of the Trials season which entailed the driver purchasing the car at a special price (for the 1938 season the price was £210 with a buy in price at the end of the season of £170).The supply of the car and the beneficial terms within the agreement – e.g. certain expenses, tyre allowance (18 tyres and tubes inclusive of tyres and tubes issued with the car), and bonus payments for winning awards – was on the strict understanding that the number of trials to be entered should not be less than twelve but not more than eighteen so as to form a calendar of events to be approved by Abingdon.

The 1937 TA “Cream Cracker” team of Toulmin, Crawford and Jones, driving ABL 960 (chassis no. TA 0930), ABL 962 (chassis no. TA0932) and ABL 964 (chassis no. TA0934) respectively, competed in eighteen events, including all the major Motor Cycle Club (M.C.C.) trials and won the coveted 1937 M.C.C. Team Championship.

The cars were not without some teething troubles, but this was surely only to be expected of a new model.

For 1938 the team of four (cars and drivers are listed at the start of this article) used 1548 cc VA engines, which, by March of that year were bored out to 1708 cc with 73mm WA pistons being fitted. Once again the team won the M.C.C. Team Award.

Continuing on to the 1939 season the team was still going strong despite a bit of a rumpus over what tyres could be used which caused a distraction with ‘Mac’ Macdermid penning a critical letter aimed at officialdom in the December 1938 issue of ‘The Sports Car’; but this was to be academic with the onset of hostilities looming.

BBL 80 – History

Derek Pearce has owned BBL 80 since 1989; the previous owner was John Barnacott. John wrote about the car as part of an article on the TA ‘Cream Crackers’ in the January 1973 issue of Safety Fast magazine. There is a photograph of the rolling chassis, which might well have been the second rebuild as the caption to the photograph says BBL 80 as she was at the time of writing.

The first rebuild might have never been! We have Julian Ghosh, a past President of the Vintage Sports Car Club (VSCC) to thank for rescuing this Historic Trials TA. As part of my research in writing this article I telephoned Julian and he was most helpful in sketching in the background to the discovery of the car.

BBL 80 climbing Blue Hills Mine on the Lands End Trial. Derek collected a Gold Medal award in the 1995 Lands End Trial with the car.

Julian was an apprentice at Jaguar Cars in the late 1960s/early 1970s and ran a TC for his daily travel to work. One day, one of the chaps in the Experimental Department told Julian about a friend of his who was selling some MG parts for which he wanted £5. Spares being difficult to come by in those days, Julian went along to have a look. He found a bit of a motley collection, but there was enough to warrant parting with a ‘fiver’ and the deal was done………..except that the vendor said “but hold on – you’ll have to take the rest of the car!” However, there was a bit of a snag as “the rest of the car” was in a lock-up garage and the vendor hadn’t paid the rent so it would be necessary to come and collect it after dark.

Buoyed up by his new found good fortune, Julian duly arranged to collect the car after dark on a trailer and take it from Coventry to his home in Sutton Coldfield. Later that week another of the chaps in work said “I’ve got the log book for that car” and added that he was looking for £5 before he would part with it. Julian steadfastly refused to pay anything for the log book and the ‘would be’ vendor finally relented.

Upon seeing EX155/4 in the log book Julian realised that he had acquired something special and started the restoration in earnest. Restoration was found to be more than a little problematical because our friend who rented the lock-up garage had started taking parts off the car and was quite handy with a hacksaw for parts he couldn’t easily remove.

So, incredible as it may seem, here is yet another MG, and an important historic one at that, which was saved just in the nick of time!


Ed’s Note:

My thanks to Derek for providing me with much background information to help with the preparation of this article. The following were the principal articles/books/booklets consulted:

• MG T-Series – The Complete Story (Graham Robson)
• M.G. Trials Cars (Roger Thomas)
• Safety Fast article January 1973
• The 1995 Trials Car Reunion (Roger Thomas)

Reconditioning the XPAG Water Pump

In the October issue of TTT 2 I mentioned that I’d just had my XPAG water pump reconditioned by E.P. SERVICES of Wolverhampton (Tel: 01902 452914). When I sent the pump I asked the company if they would take photos of each stage of the operation and they duly obliged. So here’s what they sent me!

Photo 1 shows my water pump as supplied, ready for reconditioning.

Photos 2 and 3 show old unit after stripping down. Photo 3 is a close up of photo 2 to show worn parts and worn seal face on impellor.

Photo 4 – new bearings, larger modified seal and impellor face, shown machined and polished

Photo 5 – body and pulley de-greased, bead blasted and painted shown with all new parts.

The Saga of TC4332 (Chapter 3)

The Soda blasted and painted chassis was collected and returned to the garage where it was elevated onto axle stands and cuts from old railway sleepers. Assembly to a rolling chassis could hopefully now commence.

The front and rear springs were dismantled, mechanically cleaned and painted in a primer prior to being reassembled, the leaves being lubricated with Graphite grease all as the excellent article in TTT 2 by Eric Worpe and John James. New polyurethane bushes were purchased along with new rear spring front silent block bushes and the rear springs mounted on the chassis. The front springs followed again with new polyurethane bushes and new front pins supplied with certificate of quality by John James.

The front beam axle was mounted on the front springs using new long hexagon bolts, six being purchased at Stoneleigh and two from “From the Frame Up”, care being taken to ensure it was the correct way round.

The stub axles were re-bushed and new king pin assemblies bought and assembled on the axle. When dismantled, a number of very thin washers came off the stub axles; enquiry with Doug Pelton at From The Frame Up (FTFU) showed these to be associated with tapered front bearings and not needed with the new standard bearings fitted.

In the intervening time the front brake back plates were sent to a machine shop in Birmingham, (yes some still exist!) and repaired, the unwanted holes being filled and re-drilled to accept the correct brake cylinders. These were fitted and the front hubs bolted on. The track rod was fitted with new ends and connected. The dampers were refurbished by Raj Patel of Recon and Return in Leicester, new bushes were purchased and attempts made to re-bush the damper arm and damper link, my advice is “don’t try this at home”. I enlisted the aid of a local independent garage who installed the bushes for “buy me a pint”. All now appeared complete at the front end.

Attention now turned to the rear end. The differential was refurbished recently according to the previous German owner, although no proof was provided. I decided to accept this as fact and bolted the differential casing in place on the rear springs using new bolts. The rear brake back plates were bolted on; the inner hubs were fitted with new bearings and the hubs bolted to the casing using a new seal and 50mm diameter nut kit supplied by Roger Furneaux at Mad Metrics. These are a massive improvement on the original castellated nuts, much mangled in my case, and good value for money.

When I dismantled the rear hubs the outer hub and the half shaft came out separately; in my naivety I assumed this was correct. When I came to reinstall the half shafts it soon dawned on me that there was nothing to prevent the half shafts moving laterally inside the casing. Enquiries revealed that the half shafts should be a high force (140 KN being quoted) press fit into the outer hubs with approx 3mm of the shafts showing inside the hub. More £ signs started to flash! I managed to locate two second hand half shafts and hubs but these had badly deformed 42mm spinner threads and the spinners would not run on, so I bit the bullet and purchased two new half shafts and hubs.

The refurbished dampers, bushes in place, were bolted to the cross member, now reasonably straight and the re-bushed link connected.

The amount of time, let alone the money, to arrive at this current state should not be underestimated. The cleaning and painting of all the individual parts was very time consuming and very messy. In hindsight it would have been easier, if not cheaper, to have had all the ancillary parts soda blasted and primed ready for painting by myself using “rattle tins”.

A better looking newly painted TC4332 chassis (upside down for ease of spring pin replacement) than the one shown in Issue 14 of TTT 2.

The existing brake linings were about 50% worn so I decided to have new shoes and linings, whilst retaining the existing shoes and having them re-lined for future use. I therefore purchased a complete set with new pull-off springs from the Internet. More problems! When I came to fit the new shoes the combined thickness of the shoes with that of the compressed Thackeray washer could not be accommodated on the bottom pivot pin. A comparison with the existing shoes showed that the shoes were identical except for one important detail, the way the offset at the pivot pin end of the shoe had been formed. On the original shoes the offset had been made by reducing the thickness of the metal around the pivot pin hole at the base of the shoe. The new shoes had simply been folded, the original thickness being retained. Also the new shoes were 0.75mm thicker than the originals, this causing a total greater thickness of over 2mm. More expense, as the shoes had to be sent for grinding, because I was not confident of achieving a good surface using a normal grinding wheel.

The replacement shoes were an inferior copy of the originals no doubt manufactured in the Far East; the moral is clear be careful what you buy!

A similar problem was encountered with the handbrake cables, but more of that in the next chapter.

lestc4332(at) {substitute @ for (at)}.

Ed’s Note: Raj Patel of Recon and Return is at 39a Avenue Road Extension, LEICESTER LE2 3EP. Telephone: 0116 244 8103.


I’d wish I’d known the following when I made an octagonal GB plate to go on my PB:

– Make sure you have a calculator and a measuring device on hand. – Start with a perfect square i.e. all four sides of equal length and all four inside angles a perfect ninety (90) degrees. – Measure one side and multiply that by 0.2929, then take that dimension and measure from each corner, both ways and place a mark. Join the marks to form an octagon. Easy!

I have to admit to ‘stealing’ this from a paragraph written by Dick Knudson in a past copy of The Sacred Octagon.

The Editor

A Tale of Two Ts

This short article has come about as a result of the Editor mentioning the registration number MG 4950 in the TA Airline article (August 2012 TTT 2). The original registration number of the Airline was MG 4952, chassis number TA0355; MG 4950 is chassis number TA0352.

John Masters in Wichita, Kansas, USA noticed mention of his car and e-mailed this article.

I have long been an aficionado of antique cars – and anything else with an engine. I am a 20 year veteran of the US Air Force and spent my entire career in automotive maintenance. To that end I currently own four antiques. For some strange reason, I have always acquired cars that are out of the ordinary. Unique body types and limited edition models have dominated. My first MG was a 1952 YB Saloon. Only a few thousand were built. My Model T Ford was a 1926 Fordor, again a limited production body type and rarely seen. Ever heard of a 1954 Ford Comete Monte Carlo? It was built in Poissy by Ford of France. Only a few in the US and I had one of them. Other cars were similarly acquired, driven and passed on to new owners. Today, half of my antiques are vintage MGs.

In 1992, I was offered an old MG by a local friend. He had owned it for several years and his wife no longer drove it. She wanted it out of the garage to make room for her modern car. I agreed to take a look. It was a red MG roadster, the same year as my first MG – 1952. I drove it, liked it and bought it. Then I started researching. This was before Internet access. I had questions about some of its equipment, especially the two fuel pumps and the extra shock absorbers that were not shown in the Moss catalog. I called Moss Motors and was discussing the car with the salesman. He asked me for the chassis serial number. When I told him TD/C-xxxxx, he said it was a rare Mark II model. A Factory competition machine.

Since then it has been on numerous tours, shows, parades and displays. It has had its share of difficulties as most vintage cars do. I had driven it to a show at the state fairgrounds about 60 miles from home. Round trip was uneventful. The next day, I decided to take it to the filling station to top off the tank. I got 100 yards from my driveway when it suddenly lost power. Engine was running and speedometer registered, but it was not moving. One rear axle shaft had sheared. A few weeks and numerous phone calls later, it was back on the road again. In the late 1990s, I acquired he 3rd member of an MGA and installed the 4.3:1 ring and pinion in the original TD axle housing – quite a job, but not nearly as difficult as some have indicated. I have undone numerous “improvements” by previous owners and maintained the car as it should be. It is not a 100 point show car, and probably never will be. I like to take it out for an occasional spin, parade, car show or trip to the ice cream parlour. It always draws a crowd.

In 2009 a local friend asked me to evaluate a Model A pickup for a friend of his. Since I have had Model As for about 20 years, I agreed. In the background of a few of the photos, I could see a red roadster with the recognizable shape of an MG. When I asked about it, I was told it was a TD. Not interested as I already had a red TD. The owner then responded with a group of photos and said; “No, it is a mid-30s TA, it runs, and is for sale too.” A few e-mails and a couple telephone calls later, I was planning on a weekend trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. When I checked it out, it would crank over, but would not fire up. Price was re-negotiated and I loaded it up in my truck and headed back to Wichita. I later discovered that the carbon centre of the distributor cap was missing! It was not inside the distributor housing. It took a while to locate another cap, but when I did and tried to crank, it immediately started! I was able to drive it a bit, but kept it off the streets until I was able to license, insure and register it. It still had both of the original British license plates (MG 4950).

When I started to evaluate the overall condition, I was concerned. Although the car was complete, it was in rather poor condition. Body wood was OK. Seat risers and floorboards were only good for patterns. Although a challenge, I was not deterred. My father was a carpenter and passed along most of his woodworking skills. Many chassis rubber pieces were in poor condition.

Although the TA has a different engine from the TB and later MG T-series, all of the motor mounts were the same. Most of the chassis was serviceable, but needed cleaning and lubrication. Shock absorbers had been converted to tube type. Radiator hoses were nearly rotted away. The oil filter was sealed with duct tape. A previous owner had bored holes in the rear fenders and mounted taillights, a reflector and turn signals directly on the fenders. Headlights had been converted to sealed beams. I suspect that the modifications were done before the car came to the United States as all the lights and bulbs are Lucas brand. Exhaust system was a mess of flex-pipe and an incorrect muffler mounted on the opposite frame rail. Air filter and fuel pump were generic parts store items. The dashboard had been changed to one with a straight edge on the bottom, like a P-series and had also added chrome octagons behind the tachometer and speedometer, also like a P-series. Tachometer and speedometer had been reversed. Recently, I had to repair a flat tire and found a red, Dunlop inner tube inside the tire. 2 previous patches carried the Dunlop and Made in England logos. How many years had that tube been in the tire?

TA0352 proudly displaying her British MG plate
TD/C18895 still with its original engine XPAG/TD3/19184

Today, the TA is still undergoing repairs, upgrades and restorations. Universal joints were replaced. Tail lights have been replaced with British style “D” lamps and the holes in the rear fenders welded up and fenders repainted. A correct exhaust system is in place. The new, correct dash is currently being prepped for installation. The broken MG nosepiece medallion has been replaced. Seat risers and floorboards have been replaced. Fuel pump and air filter have been replaced with correct items. The British license plates have been restored and reinstalled. I have no aspirations of making it a show car, but rather a driver for local shows, parades and the occasional tour.

John Masters Wichita, Kansas, USA

Ed’s Note: John’s TD MK II is TD/C18895, an export model (as the overwhelming majority of this model was), which was built on 19th August 1952. John has the vehicle history for the TD from about 1959 through to the present day and has owned the car for 20 years. In 1959 it was in western Kansas. There was an MG dealer in the early 1950s in Denver, Colorado from where it is assumed that the car was originally purchased. Mention of TD MK II chassis numbers reminds me to correct an error which crept in to the previous issue of TTT 2. In the feature article on TD/C29478 I said that as far as I knew, this car was the third but last Home Market TD II produced. Eagle- eyed Tom Lange spotted this mistake and sent me the following:

TD/C 29478 was followed by 29479, 29480, 29438 (out of sequence but indeed made on 7/17/53), 29607, 29792 and 29908, all Home cars.

Unrelated, but 29867 was described in my ledgers as EXL/FL, which I take to be Finland (?????).

He added that he has a copy of the original Production records for the TD model and can help with queries related to date of production and engine number fitted as well as technical queries relating to the MK II model as the following answer he recently gave to a MK II owner illustrates:

Later cars did indeed use a larger internal- diameter air intake (snorkel), and a larger oil- bath air cleaner. But earlier cars used the stock 1-1/4″ intake, with slightly modified carbs to suit. If you remove the 4 bolts and take off your air cleaner unit you will be able to see the outer flanges of your carbs. If the bolt holes for the air intake are round then you (very probably) have a later car, and the larger manifold and air intake are indeed right for your car. But if the holes have been filed horizontally oval, then your car (very probably) came with the stock 1-1/4″ air cleaner.

The down side of that is that with the 1-1/4″ air intake the engine is no doubt somewhat strangled.

Manchester University XPAG Project

The XPAG Project Team Members

Newsletter – November 2012

This is the first of a set of planned monthly Newsletters to all involved in the XPAG engine trial. The research project is being run by a team of 4th Year MSc Undergraduate students of the Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Department (MACE) at Manchester University (formerly UMIST) under the guidance of Professor John Yates and Dr Rob Prosser. The six students undertaking this research project, work with the minimal of direction, and have access to the excellent departmental engineering facilities, an engine test cell and can call on the expertise of the Lecturers and Technical staff.

The project started formally on 5 October when the students were briefed by John Yates and Rob Prosser after which, as the client representative, I met with the group. It was clear that even at this early stage, all the members were very keen, knowledgeable and already aware of many of the problems faced by classic car owners using modern fuels. I spent time explaining the operation of two of the key components of the XPAG engine, the distributor and carburettors to help them when the time comes to getting the engine running. It is hard to believe such important parts to a classic MG owner probably went out of use before these students were born!

The project will use an XPAG engine loaned by Andrew Owst, a long-time member of the MGCC from the Bristol area, delivered to Manchester by David Heath. It will be fitted with a fully rebuilt distributor on loan from the Distributor Doctor and a pair of gleaming new carburettors on loan from Burlen. The XPAG engine was running when it was removed from the car, however, since then most of the “external” parts, such as oil pump, filter, etc. have been removed. I showed the group the engine, a box of replacement parts lent by NTG in Ipswich and the engine test cell they will be using. One job for them will be to remove the diesel engine currently in the cell before their tests can be run.

As part of their academic assessment, the next task for the group is to produce a plan, budget and milestones for presentation to John Yates and Robert Prosser. The Group are planning to come up with engine mount designs to allow the XPAG to be installed in the test cell which will be submitted for manufacture towards the end of October as soon as the dimensions are finalised. They are also in the process of deciding what tests they will be carrying out.

Peter Cole has kindly agreed to act as treasurer for the project. Please could the sponsors either transfer their donations to:

Manchester XPAG (Account No: 73699250, Sort Code: 20-44-51) and email Peter pcoleuk(at) {substitute @ for (at)} once this has been done.

Or post a cheque made payable to “Manchester XPAG” to: Mr Peter Cole, 8 Aldbourne Drive, Bognor Regis PO21 4NE

Time now for you to book a place at T Register Rebuild 2013 on 23 March to meet with the Group and discuss the project yourselves. See for further information.

Paul Ireland

Ed’s Note: A cheque for £500 has been sent as a contribution from TTT 2.

Distributor Doctor

The test cell with diesel engine currently installed. This engine will be removed to make way for the XPAG engine.