Category Archives: Issue 19 (August 2013)

The Editor

Welcome to this issue of Totally T-Type 2!

The issue date of August is significant to me because August 2010 was the date of Issue 1 of this magazine. Now, three years on and with an impressive number of ‘subscribers’ and ‘members’, (no fees are charged, except for those in receipt of printed copies) it’s good to look back and see what has been achieved. It’s also good to look forward, but the recent sudden death of a dear friend has reminded me that there for the grace of God go I.

My good friend, David Pelham, died on 29th June. He was only 61 and suffered a heart attack. I had been conversing with him on Skype only a couple of days previous. David, with Paul Barrow, over in Montesano, WA, was the driving force behind the International MG Y Type Register.

I worked closely with David (and of course, Paul) as TTT 2 and the IMGYTR are kindred spirits, both being totally independent of any car Clubs. My condolences go to his wife, Shirley and daughters Kirsty and Carole, who I will see at his funeral tomorrow (15th July).

Many readers of this magazine are also members of the tabc website The tabc group has recently produced a fine enamel car badge – mine is so shiny that I could not take a picture of it without the light reflecting back so I’ve taken the image below from the tabc website.

The only drawback I found (which is not the fault of the tabc group) was a demand to pay 14.00 GBP from the ‘Jolly Old GPO’. Apparently 6.00 GBP is for the collection of VAT and the 8.00 GBP goes to Royal Mail for their administration charges. I understand that it is possible to avoid the Royal Mail charge by dealing direct with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs but you need to do this in advance of the package being delivered. Ah well! –but I’m really over the moon with the badge.

Preparations for the TTT 2 Tour of Rutland are now almost complete. We have a good entry of 33 cars on the Tour and a varied selection of T-Types. Topping the list of models is an entry of 10 TCs (including an EXU model), closely followed by 9 TDs (including a MK II). There are 5 TFs (including a TF1500). Pre-war models are represented by 4 TAs and 2 TBs. There is also a YA, a Cooper MG and a PB. All participants should have received a copy of the entry list just before the issue of this magazine.

The 2014 Totally T-Type 2 Tour of The Isle of Wight – Friday 05 September to Monday 08 September 2014 – 3 nights

Having signed the contract for next year’s Tour of the Isle of Wight, I have now paid a hefty deposit so fingers crossed as I need sufficient support to fill the forty (40) rooms that have been reserved. I know that the Tour is well over 12 months away but initial expressions of interest to me via the TTT 2 contact form or to jj(at) {substitute @ for (at)} would be most welcome. Some outline details were published in the last issue of TTT 2 and this produced twelve (12) expressions of interest, including a couple from outside of the UK (France and Australia).

On the back cover is a photo of TC5160 and there is a little story behind it, told by Graham Parnell:

I have just met (by complete accident) Roman & Genenieve Schonauer and their immaculate TC 5160. I was returning home from obtaining a successful MoT on my MGA and while driving past the Ruffwell Hotel, a mile from my home, I noticed a TC in the car park. I parked beside it and realised that this was no ordinary TC: it had Swiss number plates and was obviously on a tour of England. I immediately drove home and swopped the ‘A’ for my TC, and when I had taken some photographs of the two cars together, I went into the hotel and found the owners of this car. Roman has owned it since 1984, and I believe that it only had one previous owner, but it was not in good condition when Roman purchased it. He and his wife are touring England and spending about three months away from Switzerland. The car is very original and still has its original XPAG engine, number 5777.





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.

High Level Stop/Tail and Direction Indicator Flashers for T-Types

When I purchased my TC in 1960 it was fitted with Lucas L549 stop and rear lights mounted half way up each rear mudguard in a similar style to the later TD. These, in conjunction with the standard ST51 ‘D’ lamps, gave visible and reasonably high level stop/tail lights and served their purpose well, until a racing accident at Silverstone in 1965 necessitated a complete rebuild of the car. By the time the rebuild was completed some years later I had been influenced by thoughts of originality. I reverted to Lucas ‘D’ lamps (ST51) performing stop and tail light functions with direction indication being carried out by the flashing of either the left or right hand brake light, as was the practice for some export markets.

This situation, supplemented by hand signals, is a poor arrangement and unacceptable in today’s traffic conditions.

After looking at many alternative solutions to the problem I decided to develop my own system that could be converted back for originality purposes relatively quickly.

Design Objectives

– High-level direction indication with amber lenses.
– High-level rear and brake lights to supplement existing ST51 ‘D’ lights.
– Retain a ‘period’ appearance unless function was compromised.
– Keep the design independent of the spare wheel or luggage rack.
– Avoid modification of the body i.e. no holes!
– Avoid using the petrol tank side plate retaining bolts due to worries over their robustness.
– Achieve simple design reversibility for purposes of originality.

Location on Body

In the interest of originality I had decided that no mounting holes would be drilled and I had discarded using the tank side panel bolts due to the worries over the integrity of their fixing to the tank sides. (60+ year old projection welded studs?)

The two possible remaining locations were the two bolts clamping the tank straps to the body just under the hood line, or the tank straps themselves. Using the tank straps seemed a neat solution, and to avoid drilling holes for locating studs to protrude through the straps I opted for clamping slender brackets between the straps and the rubber backing strips. This would give me plenty of scope for deciding the optimum height of the lamps and ensuring that the two mounting brackets could be positioned out of sight behind the spare wheel.

The Design

I had observed that some models of Morgan, various classic cars, kit cars and motorcycles had used chromed tube extensions from various parts of the body on which to mount lights.

I decided to go for a simple chromed tube assembly that would be mounted on two slim brackets clamped under the tank retaining straps. The D.I. lights would be located on each end of the tube and the high-level rear/stop lights would be mounted on adjustable brackets that clamped to the tube. All wiring would be out of sight inside the tube and then run discreetly down the side of the right hand tank strap, behind the spare wheel, to the chassis and be connected to the main wiring harness.

Photo 1 shows the basic layout before fitting. One of the slim brackets (to be clamped under the tank retaining straps) is in position on the tube and two of the four adjustable brackets which hold the high level rear and brake lights are resting on the work surface.

Materials and Tooling

Photo 2 shows the materials and tooling used, as described in the text.

After a little experimentation I decided that the mounting brackets could be made from 1 inch x 0.032-inch brass strip, which after forming, should have adequate stiffness.

Tooling for the brackets was made from three plates simply made on the bench from 60mm x 6 mm bright drawn steel strip, which were bolted together to make up the die. A simple stepped punch was turned from 9/16” diameter bright drawn steel bar.

The design of this tooling enabled the two mounting brackets to be accurately formed on the bench with a medium sized vice. The die and stepped punch enabled a swaged hole to be formed in the bracket, which gave good location on the tube and provided for a good filet of solder on assembly. In addition, using the same tooling the right angle bend could be accurately formed.

At a later stage an interchangeable plate also enabled the accurate manufacture of the rear/stop light bracket, which had a rolled end to accommodate the clamping feature.

Brass tube ½’’ OD x 16swg x 33.25 inches long was chosen, having sufficient wall thickness to accommodate an M10 x 1.25 internal thread at each end and sufficient bore to carry the wiring.

The raw materials were supplied on line from Reeves Model Engineers.

A soldering fixture to ensure accurate bracket positioning and alignment was made from 40 x 40 x 3mm angle iron and this as it was easily bench mounted in a vice, provided a very useful assembly fixture when the wiring was installed.

After soldering, the cross tube assembly and the four light mounting brackets were bright chrome plated.

Photo 3 shows one of the mounting brackets clamped under the tank retaining strip.

Lights and Electrics

I had purchased some time before a pair of pedestal indicator lights with full amber lens with 95mm chrome tubes from Stafford Vehicle Components Ltd. These had the size of lens that I needed. Initially I mounted these on chassis mounted brackets, but was not satisfied with the results. By removing the chrome tubes and making up two adaptors that had M10 x 1.25 threads I could fix these lights to either end of my cross tube, with the wiring passing through the tube.

I initially searched for ‘period’ looking stop and tail lights that I could incorporate but realised that strip L.E.D. lights would provide a neater solution. I purchased a pair of short L.E.D. stop lights (LEDST5) which were being sold as internally mounted 3rd brake lights by Car Builder Solutions

These lights had 14 L.E.D.s in a strip mounted behind a plastic red lens. I needed each unit to be both an independent rear and stop light so I modified the L.E.D. motherboard. With the addition of extra wiring half the light unit operated as the stoplight and half as the rear light. The plastic cases were modified with the addition of threaded brass inserts so they mounted on brackets that clamped around the cross tube. As these lights were designed for internal use, weather protection was provided by ‘potting’ all the internals with silicon gel. Wiring for these lights enter the cross tube by means of holes drilled on the underside.

Photo 4 shows attachment of direction indicator flasher and LED stop and tail light on the chromed brass tube.

Standard automotive cabling was used supplied by Autosparks with correct colour coding to extend the existing harness. By the addition of a green/purple wire to the harness running from the stop lamp switch via the Lucas DB10 relay unit to the rear of the chassis the stop lamp operated independently once the No. 5 terminal on the relay unit had been by-passed.


Reversibility, if required can be achieved simply by releasing the cross tube assembly complete with lights from under the petrol tank retaining straps, disconnecting the wiring from the main wiring harness and reconnecting the green/purple wire from the brake switch to the No 5 terminal on the flasher relay unit.

Photos 5 & 6 – two views of the high level stop/tail lights and direction indicator flashers.

(Click diagram for bigger view)

Ed’s Note: As you will have gathered from the introduction to the article, the author (Jim Pielow) has owned his TC since 1960 and raced the car in the 1960s. It would be interesting to know how many custodians have owned their T-Type for over 50 years – I bet there are quite a few!

There are a number of solutions to the problem of securing better visibility for the stop/tail lights and flashing indicators but this is the first I have seen that utilises the tank straps.

Replacing MG TD front suspension bushes using modern polyurethane components

The front wishbone suspension bushes give the independent front suspension its ability to permit the lower spring pan to swivel on the pivot arm, and move freely up and down with the objective of absorbing road induced shocks. In practice the TD’s front independent suspension became a long standing design that was introduced with the TD in 1950, and survived the TF, the MGA, B and C and through to the final MGBV8 of 1992, albeit in an up rated format.

The original suspension bushes were made of a rubber compound, and are still available as standard replacements that have done an admirable job. However, it is no wonder that these rubber bushes can show signs of wear, they have a hard life, firmly locating the suspension components in relation to one another as well as helping to absorb vibration and noise.

Rubber bushes deteriorate over time and it is now common to use a more modern polyurethane replacement. Although the replacements are more expensive than the rubber originals they are much harder wearing and, as they are time consuming to replace, it makes sense to invest in the modern updated replacement.

John James of TTT 2 supplies Autobush quality polyurethane bushes jj(at)

SuperFlex, also makes a quality product suitable for the T-Type. I understand that the bushes are not moulded but rather made from a solid rod that is accurately machined to size and therefore likely to be a good fit. SuperFlex makes the bushes in various strengths (i.e. for the MGBT V8) so it is worth ensuring you purchase the most suitable bush, the TD requires the soft version as used on the standard MGB.

For use in every day driving, visit – click on BMC, then MGB and select SF251-001KSS Front Wishbone Inner Kit. (Superflex, Wells. Tel: 01749 678152)

Replacing Front Suspension Bushes

Before starting the job of dismantling the suspension it is useful to ensure that you have all the correct tools and parts, it will be beneficial to have a hydraulic jack and axle stands to allow full access to the suspension. It also worth slackening the wheel nuts whilst the wheels are still on the ground so that they can be readily removed when lifted.

I found it is best to have the chassis jacked up and securely supported on the axle stands, or heavy wooden blocks, (see photo 1) in order to give safe access to all the necessary under chassis components. With the chassis jacked up you will have room to remove the un-tensioned spring that extends to 10” in length.

Photo 1

With the chassis raised on axle stand or blocks, the hydraulic jack can be re-positioned to underneath the spring pan to take the tension of the spring during dismantling (see Photos 2 and 4).

Photo 2

Photo 3 – Front Nearside suspension showing the wishbone arm bush at the inner end (left arrow) and the swivel pin nut at the right (inset) arrow.

The tension in the coil spring is considerable so great care should be taken to ensure that this energy is controlled. If the energy is released in a dangerous manner this may cause injury.

With the chassis of the vehicle firmly supported off the ground, place the hydraulic jack under the spring pan and raise the pan slightly to apply some tension in the spring but with the hydraulic damper levers clear of the rebound rubber.

The four bolts (item 30 on full page diagram) that secure the pan to the wishbones are now slackened off and the bottom link outer pan bolt (46) is now ready for removal. With this pan bolt removed from the swivel pin (45) the wheel hub/swivel assembly can be lifted up and supported by a block of wood between the shock absorber and its arm (see Photo 4 which shows Off Side suspension assembly).

Photo 4: the hydraulic jack under the spring pan (24) being lowered (in a controlled fashion) to allow the spring pan to be pushed down, gently releasing the spring tension as it expands in length.

Note: It is quite surprising how long the un-tensioned spring can be, so it is important to have the car high enough, on its stands or blocks, when lowering the wishbone assembly.

Having released the tension on the spring, push down the wishbone assembly and remove the spring. The front wishbone arm (25) can now be removed from the pan (24) by removing the 2 screws and nuts (30), that were slackened off earlier in the procedure.

Remove the front pivot arm split pin and nut (29) followed by the washer (28), this will allow the arm to be separated from the pan along with the front bush (26). Remove the rear pivot arm split pin and nut (29) followed by washer (28) allowing the removal of the spring pan, rear arm and assembly. One can now place the assemblies on the workbench for inspection noting any excessive wear.

At this stage it is worth noting that the bottom outer pin bolt has a number of important components that should be checked for integrity, during removal, including; slotted nut (37), spring washer (42), link seal, quantity two (40), support washer, quantity two (41), thrust washer, quantity two (39), one distance tube (38) and finally bottom bolt (46). Note. If the old bushes have oval holes this could be a sign that either the wishbone arm is bent or the swivel pin assembly thrust and support washers are missing.

Photo 5: Check the spring pan for corrosion or damage due to wear, and repair or replace as necessary. After any repairs and clean up, a fresh coat of paint (Hammerite) is a good idea as the area of the pan where the spring sits is liable to hold any water contamination from driving in the in the rain. Ensure the drain hole in the spring pan is clear.

The inner wishbone bushes (26) are now removed from the arms. I found that the old bushes were a tight fit and it was useful to employ a long nut and bolt plus a small tube and washer to press them out.

The wishbone holes should be inspected at the (outer) Swivel Pin end to ensure there are no signs of wear, if any hole is enlarged or worn the appropriate arm (25) should be replaced.

The pivot arm (21) should be checked for damage or wear. If dirt has contaminated the old bushes, this can result in pitting on the pivot arm end bearing surfaces. Give the arms a good clean and inspection. Some wear is likely as the old rubber bushes were more prone to allowing ingress of dirt. The arms can be etched primed and given a spray coat of black gloss to provide some protection. As the replacement poly bushes have a stainless steel inner sleeve (and grease) the likelihood of further damage is reduced.

(Click diagram for bigger view)
Photo 6 – the pivot arm should be checked for damage and wear

New polyurethane bushes with the stainless steel sleeve are (silicone) greased and relatively easily pressed into the wishbone arm inner holes. It is useful to be able to complete the insertion by holding the wishbone arm (with both new bushes fitted) in a vice and give the bushes a final very gentle squeeze so that only the outer rim of the bushes is exposed.

This makes the alignment of the swivel pivot bolt (46) through the two wishbone arms easier.

Grease the rear pin on the pivot arm and slide the pan assembly back on, followed by the large washer and castle nut (28 & 29).

Note. If using bushes supplied by John James it is important not to push the stainless steel sleeve into the bushes until they are fully seated on the arm as they expand! To assist fitment of the stainless steel sleeve into the bushes it may be useful to use a vice as the bushes have an outer lip which is slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the sleeve.

The rear pivot arm can now be bolted to the pan, not forgetting to fit the head of the bolts to the inside of the pan.

N.B. Do not tighten up the spring pan bolts solid but leave half a turn slack.

The front pivot arm can now be bolted to the assembly as above. Do not finally tighten until the arms are parallel to the ground.

The lower pan assembly is now pushed down vertically, the fully extended spring, with both ends smeared with grease, can be positioned between the upper Spigot disk (17) and the pan. Check that the “drain hole” in the pan is clear of the spring as mentioned above. Failure to do this will encourage corrosion to the pan. Release the wooden support to the wheel hub/swivel assembly and lower.

With the spring fully extended it can be tricky to raise the pan to re-attach it to the lower swivel bolt (46). It is therefore a good idea to remove the rubber bump stop (14) as this allows the hub unit to drop down further hence the lower pan does not need to be jacked up quite so far before locating the outer swivel bolt (46).

A bottle jack, or similar, under the outer end of the pan enables it to be jacked up slowly to allow the location of the bottom swivel (45) with the various washers and dust cap into the wishbone arms allowing the fitment of the bottom link bolt (46).

Note. I did consider using a pair of spring compressors, to reduce the length of the spring during this procedure, but I understand that they will not fit within the available space.

With the spring back in place re-attach the wheels and lower the vehicle onto the ground. Allow the newly assembled suspension components to settle back in their appropriate position before finally tightening up the four spring pan bolts (30), swivel bolt (46) and both pivot arm nuts (29).

Note that the swivel pins have also been cleaned on this vehicle!

The work on the front suspension bushes is now complete and, on this TD, the re-fitting of wings and body panels can now proceed.

Photo 7 – a finished nearside front suspension and as clean as a new pin!

Ed’s Note: Article by Jonathan Goddard with valuable contribution from John Hinds.

Front Cover – TF8765

Part 1 – The Early Years

Chassis HDC16/8765 joined the production line on 4th January 1955 and emerged on 5th January complete with engine XPEG 2542. She was a basic version produced for the UK market with no heater or other optional extras, but resplendent in dark red with red upholstery and beige all-weather trim. On 10th January she was despatched to CK Andrews (Motors) Ltd of Uplands Garage, Swansea, where she was prominently displayed in their showroom.

At this time the present owner was at school in Malvern Wells, not too far from another production line of vaguely similarly-designed sports cars. He was unaware at the time that the Spartan existence halfway up the Malvern Hills would be ideally suited to a future owner of an open MG. Standard school uniform was shorts and open-necked shirts, string vests were grudgingly allowed, sweaters issued when temperatures hit sub-zero and cold showers taken every morning.

Born into a long line of tenant farmers, the owner’s early interests were more agriculturally slanted with the natural history of the countryside becoming his main non-sporting pastime. His father had left agriculture in WW1 to become a fitter in the RFC. After the war, father’s mechanical interests led him to start a garage, initially catering for motorcycles, but developing a local agency for Morris, followed by Riley, Austin, MG and Wolseley, as cars became more widely used.

But we digress, so back to the star of this history. Early in March 1955 LWN 240 was sold by CK Andrews to Gordon Davies (Swansea) Ltd and used by a director, R H Rumble, as a second car. Vic Derrington tuned her to stage II specification and CK Andrews fitted a competition clutch, modifying the rear suspension and fitting anti-roll equipment. In this guise it was used by Mr Rumble to compete in races, hill climbs and rallies, winning several class awards. It was well maintained and the only problem recalled was with the clutch, which may not have been fitted correctly.

In December 1956, at about 5,500 miles, Mr Rumble reluctantly decided to part with LWN and she was traded in part exchange to Eric Ashmole Ltd of Swansea, who sold her to Miss Jenny Price, then working at the Osborne Hotel on the Gower Peninsula. Her main trips were visits to the Price family home in Farnham, Surrey and Miss Price recalled much reliable and enjoyable motoring between various postings in the hotel trade.

For the next seven years and 26,000 miles LWN became the second car of several members of the Price family, the son taking advantage of its competitive modifications to race her at Silverstone amongst other venues. During this period, reliability suffered and LWN was eventually returned to standard specification. In May 1963 the preferred competition vehicle of the Prices became a TR4 for which LWN was traded in to LC Charlton Motors of Camberley, Surrey.

She was soon resold to David Ings, who used her regularly during the summer months, his winters being spent working on cruise ships in sunnier climes. David spent over £200 on mechanical repairs and restorations, including a new crankshaft and engine rebuild. Bills on file include several from Toulmins, Richardsons, University Motors, Wadhams, Derringtons and most of the well-known MG garages of the South East. Once sorted, LWN again became a much-treasured and reliable vehicle: David recalled an easy cruising speed of 70 – 75 mph and a 1,500 mile tour of Britain which impressed an American girl friend.

In June 1966 David needed more appropriate transport and reluctantly (as with all LWN’s previous owners) decided to sell. However, it was not the last he saw of LWN. On Boxing Day 1987, having settled down to watch the Miss Marple film The 4.50 from Paddington, he was somewhat shaken to see “his car” coming straight at him on the screen. But that, as they say dear readers, is another and later story.

So LWN was again on the move, this time to Hayes, Middlesex and was purchased by a gentleman who already had a green TF 1500, but had been so impressed by LWN that he planned to swap. However, six months later, cash requirements and the higher value of LWN duly prompted an advertisement in a December 1966 issue of Exchange & Mart.

At this stage forgive another intrusion from the supporting cast. Your scribe, having driven off-road for several years, had taken his driving test in 1960 shortly after his seventeenth birthday – and failed! After the third failure, the long-suffering tester mentioned over-confidence and the need to resolve several bad habits. (Such bad habits were later found to be of great advantage in autotests, but perhaps examiners expected three-point turns rather than handbrakes and screeching tyres!) The need for a course of formal instruction was reluctantly accepted. Success brought with it the realisation that old tractors were perhaps not the ideal form of road transport, so a well-traded-in Morris Minor from father’s garage became the “first car”.

In 1965 an article on Cecil Kimber and MG in one of the garage magazines prompted an interest that soon became a passion. The next car had to be an MG, but which? Correspondence, still on file, with Wilson McComb, Gordon Cobban, Mike Allison and other stalwarts of the Car Club provided excellent advice. As much road use was anticipated, reliability was paramount and advice suggested that MMM and early T-types might be best avoided (Ahem! Ed). After seeing several TDs and TFs, the decision was made in favour of a TF and the search started.

Many very tired and modified 1250 and 1500 examples were examined and rejected. The holy grail of a “good, original runner” within a restricted budget seemed out of reach. But then came that December 1966 Exchange & Mart advert, which included “TF 1500 1955 two owners, (slight exaggeration!) low mileage, full history, must be seen, £425”. Some haggling would be needed, but it was worth a trip.

In the event the advertiser was accepting offers for either his green or his red TF. The green bodywork was excellent but its engine sounded well past its prime. Despite a £75 premium, some slightly suspect bodywork and a cracked windscreen, the engine of the red TF sounded excellent and a test drive confirmed the searching had been worthwhile. Negotiation reduced the price to £410, an overdraft was duly obtained and two weeks later a collection visit arranged.

Unlike the test drive, the collection visit was carried out in torrential rain, which quickly overcame the wipers, caused brake fade and gave the lie to the phrase “all-weather equipment”. But now the driver’s earlier years of preparation on the Malvern Hills came into their own and, just before Christmas 1966, at 49,540 miles, LWN 240 started her new life in the Midlands.

Part 2 – A New Home

Having attended to the windscreen wipers, managed to source another windscreen from Auster and added a few extras, LWN was very drivable and was used as daily transport to work in Birmingham. The lack of suitable wet weather equipment was solved by the new owner getting a full-length riding coat (no plastic dustbin bags then!), but wet-weather passengers, after one outing, were few and far between. A new job with Fisons in Ipswich and Felixstowe increased travelling and suggested that the TF was not ideal for East Anglian winters. So, during the winter months LWN remained garaged in Alcester and the old Morris Minor, followed in turn by an MG 1100, a Saab V4 and an MGB GT, were used as commuting and daily transport.

During the years from 1967 to 1975, LWN was also used in competitions and off-road events. She excelled in local club rallies and auto-tests and even competed in a few races. Inevitably this and the significant increase in mileage, now well over 100,000, suggested the need for a major rebuild. Part of the parents’ garage was loaned and, on a very restricted budget, work commenced. Various body panels were removed to reveal that problems were largely superficial. There was little rust and everything appeared very original, even the mechanics were in a better shape than initially thought.

However, different jobs in various parts of the country brought restoration to a standstill and for the next five years the only action entailed turning the engine. Despite the lack of a road-going MG, the owner was fairly active in the MGCC and had become acquainted with a certain Mr Gammons, who had joined forces with a Mr Brown and was resolutely opposed to any MG lying unrestored. After a little negotiation, Ron kindly agreed to schedule work according to the owner’s finances and LWN was transported to Baldock.

When purchased in 1966, LWN sported a coat of Tartan Red, which was believed to have been original as no previous owner recalled a respray. But, during further dismantling, Ron found the original red had been Old MG Red and it was agreed that, as virtually all the car was original, it would revert to this colour. Luckily for the owner’s finances very little work was needed on the engine or gearbox, so in July 1982 a resplendent LWN returned to Alcester.

With such a pristine vehicle, auto-tests and other enthusiastic events were considered out of the question, so entry in club events was restricted to concourse and other undemanding competitions. However, the owner found the concourse crowd a strange bunch, very unlike their auto-testing comrades, and, after the 1983 MG Silverstone, when several disgraced themselves and embarrassed other entrants by arguing with the judges over what was and was not original, he decided that this was not for him.

LWN excelled in road runs and was a regular entry in the early Regency Runs, Wings, Kimber, Bronte and many others. These led to MG Weekends and many regular visits were enjoyed to MGCC Centres all over the country. One of these was the 1987 Tour of Lincolnshire, an event in which many new friends were made, so much so that Tour of
Lincolnshire weekends then featured regularly in LWN’s calendar.

Friends included Doug Samuel (TF 1500) and Malcolm Poore (TD Mk II), with whom a keen competitive rivalry developed on the Tours and with whom, together with Doug’s late brother David in his TD, LWN was later to make several ‘MuskeTeers’ overseas trips.

Early in 1987 Ron Whitehead, Hire Fleet Manager at British Motor Heritage, had been approached by the BBC, who were seeking a red, mid-fifties MG for their Miss Marple film The 4.50 from Paddington. Ron tracked down LWN and a deal was struck, although the BBC money was (much) less of an attraction than the interest of a film set.

On 14 August LWN was collected and spent the next five weeks on location. The owner was invited down for a day on set and told, “you can go anywhere, Ducky, but for God’s sake stay behind the cameras”.

It was a fascinating experience for a country lad. Dear Joan Hickson thought LWN was ”such a pretty little car” and quite enjoyed her spells as a passenger. Maurice Denham thought it “a bit too sporty” for him and preferred the Daimler, while the director suggested that LWN’s film owner enjoyed driving her too much and should reduce the need for re-takes.

The episode had an interesting sequel. As mentioned in Part 1, the film was eventually shown on Boxing Day that year, much to the amazement of David Ings, a previous owner. David had settled down to watch a little TV that afternoon and suddenly there was ‘his car’ coming towards him full frontal on the screen.

After contacting the BBC and Ron Whitehead, David met up with LWN again at the SE Centre’s 1988 Brooklands Gathering for an afternoon of reminiscences and a spell behind the wheel.

In the 1990’s Birmingham was certainly not the place to leave an open TF when commuting, so use was restricted to weekend motoring events. MGCC Centre weekends still figured prominently, with LWN acquitting herself well in auto-tests and other competitions.

TF gearboxes are not renowned for longevity, particularly when subjected to the use to which LWN had been put, and in 1989 failure of first gear necessitated a minor rebuild, followed by a major rebuild in 1994.

In 1995 misfiring revealed a blown head gasket and several potential mechanical problems. By now LWN had covered over 200,000 miles, so a complete engine rebuild was commissioned. This gave her a new lease of life, both in normal use and in competitions.
By 2000 considerably fewer T-types were seen in MG weekends and a, by now, slightly battle scarred LWN was often added to MGA and MGB auto-test classes. Lincolnshire airfields and farms are great places for auto-tests, but obstacles often suddenly appear around blind corners to catch out the enthusiastic competitor – and fiendish ‘Poachers’ rarely place a key cone where it is suggested on the diagram!

Many of her erstwhile competitors were now being used only for road runs and LWN was indeed quite a pleasant car to drive long distances. On a Lincolnshire Tour in the late 90s a long discussion with Steve Hall (Hall’s Garage, Morton) prompted a decision to improve her touring ability. In 2000 Steve not only converted the head and checked over the engine, but also fitted a 4.55:1 diff and a tow bar.
Accompanied by the late Ian Lloyd’s lightweight trailer, LWN now makes an excellent tourer (even able to take the owner’s better half’s wardrobe for three weeks) and frequently crosses the channel for battlefield tours, European Events of the Year and simply holidays touring with friends.

LWN often figured in competitive results, notably winning the Tour of Lincolnshire outright in 1993, the old Hare & Hounds Weekend in 1996 and the T-Register Car of the Year in 1996.

Now, even having completed over 300,000 miles, she often appears in better shape than her owner. She certainly runs hotter than she did pre-conversion with a tendency to over-run. A heat shield has improved matters but it could still be a problem – if ever we have hot summers again. More recently, a Hi-Gear 5-speed gearbox has been fitted. This has made a significant difference to overall performance and LWN’s touring ability.

She still covers over 2,000 miles a year, usually on road runs and various Steam Fairs and village shows. Although it is now 31 years since her last full restoration, LWN still looks good and with a little TLC should reach pensionable age before another major call on her owner’s bank balance.

Roger Jackson, Alcester, Warwickshire UK.

Ed’s note: Roger’s “if ever we have hot summers again” throwaway remark has come back to haunt us, since at the time of writing this (2nd week in July) we are sweltering in temperatures of 30° C (86° F) here in the UK. This reminds me that I have a few TF heat shields for sale (please see the entry under ‘Bits and Pieces’).

The history of TF8765 first appeared in the Octagon Car Club’s Bulletin a few years ago. I have edited and adapted it for use in TTT 2 and Roger has since brought the history of the car right up to date. I saw this substantially original example of a TF1500 in June at a gathering of Midlands MG owners in North East Gloucestershire.

Keeping it on the straight and narrow – Aspects that affect steering

Eric Worpe delivered a superb presentation at the MGCC ‘T’ Register’s ‘Rebuild’ seminar earlier this year. Eric used flip charts to aid his presentation and I have been working with him to ‘flesh out’ the flip chart notes to produce a series of articles for inclusion in TTT 2.

Eric divided up his presentation into seven headings which he termed as “Seven Deadly Sins”. Here they are:

1. CHASSIS – is it true?
2. FRONT AXLE – Geometry – castor, camber, kingpin inclination angles.
3. FRONT SPRINGS – saggy, un-lubricated, floppy shackles, worn spring eyes.
4. KINGPINS – worn bushes, axle eyes & loose cotter pins.
5. TRACK ROD & drag link ends, worn balls and cups, poorly set up.
6. TRACKING set up, tyre tread & pressure.
7. ‘THE BISHOP’ – BC steering box.

In this issue we will deal with heading 1 (Chassis).

First, it is worth recording Eric’s introduction to his presentation as follows:

“Anyone looking at the Tabc Forever or T-Register forum internet sites would soon pick up that any discussions on the steering are likely to end up in internecine war.

One side will state that:

A TC needs to be driven with a gentle touch on the wheel and wants to be allowed to find its own path with only an occasional mild hint from the driver as to direction.

Whilst the other side will write,

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the steering debate. I’m afraid to say that I’ve been so frustrated by the steering issue that I’ve sold the car; one too many frights out on the road and nothing seemed to make any significant difference and I’ve reached the conclusion that the steering was not for me. I’ve now bought a nice TF”.

Most Tabc drivers’ experiences lie between these two views, some might not even realise the level of steering vagaries until they come across a hazardous situation. It’s unlikely that just one problem exists and so the whole steering system needs to be examined, akin to a holistic approach.

Gestalt theory states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and this may apply to the Tabc steering where the interaction between worn, badly adjusted or distorted components can produce an effect greater than anticipated.

I hope to look at seven aspects of the steering set up, which could be described as the seven deadly sins.”

This first part looks at the chassis and how the absence of any cross bracing can lead to lozenging of the two chassis rails. The diagonal measurements (Fig 1) are crucial in assessing any problems whether these are due to lozenging, bent front arches or bent side rails. The diagonal measurements should be within 1/8″ of each other.

Figure 1: the diagonal measurements should be within 1/8” of each other.

Hydraulic or screw jacks can be used to correct the diagonals or straighten the chassis; don’t be too surprised at how springy the chassis is, necessitating an over-correction which then relaxes back to the true shape.

Photo 1 shows a jig used to straighten chassis distortions. The screw jack is supported by a robust RSJ from which some moveable clamps are used to control the area over which the chassis needs to be corrected. Wooden blocks help spread the load and preserve paintwork.

Photo 1 – example of a jig used to straighten chassis distortions.

Inspection of the chassis prior to a rebuild cannot be over-stressed; various points that need reinforcing are detailed in Mike Sherrell’s TCs Forever! One particular weak point is just behind the cross-brace (Fig 2) that supports the radiator. The chassis is fully boxed up to about a couple of inches from the cross brace to chassis flange. The abrupt termination of the 4th chassis side sets up a stress concentration which needs to be reduced by welding in a “fish tail” section.

The underside chassis section of the dumb iron extension which runs forward of the cross-brace is also stressed, look for cracks or nicks in its edge which will propagate. Consider welding in a reinforcing strip along the edge.

Figure 2 showing the weak points just behind the cross brace which supports the radiator.

If the car has been shunted at the front, the dumb iron sweep might be distorted; this can often be detected by a dimple on the underside of the chassis rail just forward of the cross-brace. Look for the front spring shackle that doesn’t hang vertically.

Correcting a bent dumb iron sweep is difficult as the chassis is quite robust and considerable force is needed to unbuckle any distortions. My first attempt used a hydraulic ram and a supporting jig (Photo 2) but was unable to achieve a complete correction. This convinced me that a final correction may even necessitate sawing off the dumb iron section from a point two inches behind the cross-brace flange and then using a hydraulic press to iron out the bulge in the side rail.

Welding back the chassis needs a skilled approach using a strip of 1.5mm thick steel behind the chamfered joint area. The first weld pass should be with a TIG welder and should incorporate the steel strip in the root weld. After the initial TIG weld, the remaining void can be MIG welded and then reinforced with a fish tail section on the underneath running back from the flange supporting the bump-stop rubber.

Photo 2: Correcting a bent dumb iron sweep.
Photo 3 – TIG welding the chassis together.

Welding up the dumb iron accurately needs a jig as shown in photo 4 – this supports the front spring eye housing with reference to the tube in the chassis for the shackle rubbers and the underside of the straight chassis section.

Photo 4 shows a jig for use in conjunction with welding up the dumb iron.
Figure 3 shows a diagram of the jig attached to the chassis to enable the front dumb irons to be checked out and to set up the correct alignment for local welding repairs to the chassis, Although this jig is meant for a TC it can be adapted for the trunnion based TA and TB.

Ed’s note: In the next issue we’ll look at deadly sin Number 2 (the front axle).

And finally… rumour has it that one TC owner was heard to say to another “Steering a TC is a bit like riding a horse”, to which the other replied “Well at least the horse knows where it’s going!”

More TA tweaks

Ever since I have owned my TA, when out driving every now and again I would get the smell of engine oil burning on the exhaust. On inspection of the exhaust front down pipe I could see oil marks and crust from burnt oil. The culprit is the clutch operating arm.

The TA cork clutch runs in oil. The flywheel teeth throw the oil from the small sump in the base of the clutch housing up into the housing where there is an outlet port to return oil to the engine sump. As a consequence of this, the clutch operating fork and shaft are always covered in oil.

The clutch operating shaft just runs in a 5/8th inch line bored hole in the cast alloy bell-housing. This shaft operates a large thrust bearing ball race to pull the clutch pressure plate backwards when the clutch pedal is depressed. Consequently there is always some wear in the bell-housing clutch shaft hole, and this is where the oil exits, then drips down onto the exhaust front pipe directly beneath.

As I had taken my engine out to do a precautionary clutch plate change before going to the Scottish Highlands in the summer, now was the time to solve the problem. I took the bell-housing to my local engineering shop and asked him to bore out the near side clutch shaft exit hole to a diameter of 22mm to a depth of 3 mm (see photo 1).

Photo 1 – shows the near side clutch shaft exit hole bored out ready to accept the lip seal.

Photo 2 – lip seal now fitted.

With the engine back in the car, and before I fitted the reconditioned cylinder head (see TTT 2 issue 17) I got my dial gauge out to check the TDC (top dead centre) marks on my timing case housing and crank pulley. They were spot on, but when checking the ignition timing you cannot see these marks easily because the radiator is in front of the markings. You can only see from the side and introduce a bit of error due to parallax. I had made a small timing pointer to fit via two of the small bolts on the timing case oil seal housing (see photo 3), so this was fitted on the passenger side of the engine.

Photo 3 – small timing pointer with white paint on tip to line up with TDC and 5° BTDC paint marks on the crank pulley.

With TDC established I made a new mark on the crank pulley to line up with the new pointer, and painted both marks with white paint. I also made a new mark that equates to 5 degrees BTDC. On a TA the crank pulley is 11cm in diameter, so 110 x 3.142 divided by 360 then multiplied by 5 comes to 4.8 mm. The new mark on my crank pulley was cut 5mm (nearest I could measure) before TDC. I tend to run my TA with a static setting of around 5 to 7 degrees before TDC. It is quite nice when using my stroboscopic timing light to be able to see the marks accurately and adjust the distributor easily from the same side of the car.

Brian Rainbow

Bits and Pieces

Insurance Renewal

The following was recently received from the owner of TA3061:

Just renewed my insurance through Hagerty – excellent service – excellent quote- £112.10 against Footman James at £203.80 – many thanks for the advice.

Ed’s note: We have arranged a discount for our UK readers with Hagerty Insurance. To qualify for this offer, please call Hagerty on 0844 8241130 and quote the promotional code CCTTT.

New stub axles for TC

These are available from Tim Patchett (T-racer) at £630.00 per pair. Please contact Tim for full details: happypeople222(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

Leather seat restoration

I have recently had the bench seat and the two cushions in my PB restored by the Leather Revival Centre in Gloucester. I’m ashamed to say that I have not taken sufficient care of my seats over the years and the leather had become dry and cracked. When I collected my seats from the Centre recently I could not believe the transformation – they were like new!

Owner (Greg) is very enthusiastic about classic and vintage cars and much of his work is on Jaguars. His premises are situated right opposite the Royal Gloucestershire Hospital in the centre of Gloucester. He sent me the following details of his services:


All kinds of leather restoration, repairs – re-trimming, colour dyeing, colour changes. Splits/ cracking/ hard leather/ burns/ holes. All makes and models. Tel: 07977- 995207 e-mail kingdomjag(at) {please substitute @ for (at).

TA/TB/TC Alternator

I have received the following from Chris Parkhurst:

“Please find attached pics of the Alternator; just to recap……. UK made, 1 year guarantee, 50amps, rev counter drive on rear, simple connections on cut out box, must be negative earth (easy to change) half the weight of the dynamo. Looking for 6 to 10 buyers, cost £395 + £15 p&p or collect from Aylesbury. Dealer price is about £480 +VAT. E-mail me or call 01296 423366.

TD & TF rear springs

I have been too slow on this project to “catch a cold” but I now have an original example of each and hope to make some progress by the next issue.

Heat shields for the TF

I have three (3) of these in stock for the TF. These are supplied to me by Barrie Jones, Technical Specialist for the T Register of the MGCC, The cost is £15 plus postage. Any small profit (if there is one as I can’t find the invoice at present!) goes into the TTT 2 and website fund.

Oil drip trays

Brian Purves has taken over the distribution of the XPAG oil drip trays following David Pelham’s passing. Bryan can be contacted at Telephone number is: +44 (0)1342 315009.

Brass core plugs

Following some concern expressed about the possible effect of different expansion rates when using brass core plugs in a cast iron block, Eric Worpe has come up with the following research:

“Cast iron expands at the rate of 12 ppm per inch per deg.C; Brass expands at the rate of 20 ppm per inch per deg.C. [ppm = parts per million.]

The difference between cast iron and brass is
20 — 12 = 8 ppm/inch/deg C.

If we now assume a 2 inch dia. core plug and a 100 deg.C temp change the expansion difference is :-
8 ppm X 2 inches X 100deg.C = 1,600ppm = 1.6 thou.

So for a worst case situation the difference in expansion is 1.6 thou.

For typical conditions say T amb. = 10 deg.C and T max. = 80 deg.C and a core plug dia. = 1.75 inches the expansion difference is only approx. 1 thou.

Whether 1 thousandth of an inch expansion of the large core plug relative to the cast iron block is significant is unknown to me.“

Ed’s note: We need to also take into account that the core plug is (or rather should be) splayed-out correctly into the block’s counter-bored housing.

Back Cover Photos

These two T-Types are currently for sale on the website. The asking price for the TD is £18,995 and £28,500 for the TC. Contact Brian Rainbow 01926 612415 regarding the TD and Nick Sawyer 01527 579511 for the TC.

Above: Mike Sherrell in TC9349 ‘snapped’ at Northam Round-the-Houses in April. Below: TC5160 (from Switzerland) and TC3423 (Devon, England) in the car park of the Ruffwell Hotel, Thorveton, Devon – see Editorial.

Hagerty Insurance Discount

We are pleased to announce that we have arranged a discount for our UK readers with Hagerty Insurance! To obtain the discount:

Call Hagerty on 0333 323 1138
quoting discount code CCTTT

In order to qualify for the discount you must quote the above 5-letter code over the phone when obtaining a quote.

I first became aware of Hagerty last year when the insurance policy for my MG PB was due to be renewed. I was aware of their existence in the USA but was not aware that they had a UK ‘arm’. Their quote was lower than the two other UK classic car insurers I had previously dealt with, service was prompt and professional and above all else they came across as genuine classic car ‘lovers’.