Category Archives: Issue 59 (April 2020)

The Editor

I’m writing this editorial towards the end of February, well ahead of schedule, as my editorial assistant (actually, the ‘organ grinder’ – I’m the ‘monkey’!) is off to the US soon for a holiday, so I have to bring everything forward as I’m lost without him.

In February last year we were visited by ‘The beast from the east’ and it was damn cold. This February has seen visits by Storms ‘Ciara’ and ‘Dennis’ from the west. Both brought mild gale force winds and lashes of rain from across the Atlantic. It has not been cold this winter and I can barely remember the occasions when we had an overnight frost.

However, one of the benefits of an overnight frost is that one usually gets some sun the next day. So, because we have had very few frosts, we have had very few sunny days and it has been quite miserable. It’s not really T-Type motoring weather, except for the brave and one is left dreaming of those balmy summer days (ha, ha!) to hopefully come along.

It’s important to try to remain cheerful and see the funny side of life. One recent incident made me chuckle. I met an old work colleague on the bus going into town and we were discussing the frailties of advancing years. I mentioned that my visits to the barber saw less and less hair being cut off these days and his retort was that when he visits the barber, he has first to pay a search fee!

The MG & Triumph Spares Show was quieter than usual, due no doubt, because it was held on the same weekend that ‘Storm Ciara’ paid us a visit. Despite this, we did reasonably well and sold most of our copies of Factory-Original MG T-Series. We still have a few copies at 27.50 GBP (the recommended retail is 40.00 GBP) plus postage. You can order direct from me at jj(at) [please substitute @ for (at) and bear in mind that the underscore makes the jj look like ii].

We managed to find space for Paul Ireland to promote his book Classic Engines Modern Fuels – The Problems, the Solutions. Paul sold a reasonable number of the advance copies that he had brought along and purchasers got a signed copy. Later in this Issue we tell you about a website that Paul has created; this hosts a bulletin board to back up his book.

Before I write any more, I ought to enlighten readers as to the characters in the picture. The editor (hands on hips) is with Keith Herkes [MGI8/80 (two!) and YB owner]. Paul Ireland is in the background.

Looking forward to the better weather. I have a few jobs to do on the cars. The rear crank seal ‘fix’ on the TF1500 has not worked, so has to go back. I also have an MGA 4.3 crown wheel and pinion, but that job will have to wait until next winter – I have somebody to help me with it.

I will need the TF back with me by the end of May as I want to go to Pre-war Prescott as part of the MG Octagon Car Club contingent. The Club has supported this event since its inception, so immediate post -war ‘squire-riggers’ are allowed.

At the start of every new year I say to myself “This is the year when the J2 will be finished” and every year it gets put back a year. Well, this year I have high hopes as there is only the wiring to do. Brian Rainbow has offered to help, so as long as Messieurs Rainbow and James don’t ‘fall off their perches’ it really will be the year! 

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‘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 neither I nor the authors can accept responsibility or legal liability and in respect of contents, liability is expressly disclaimed.

Before doing anything that could affect the safety of your car seek professional advice.


Polyurethane bushes for the TC and TD/TF

Rubber bushes were used for the suspension on both the TC and the TD/TF models when the cars were new.

In the case of the TC, the following part numbers and descriptions were listed:

Front axle

Bush for shackle (top, rear) 4 per car Part no. ACA 5242
Bush for shackle (bottom rear) 4 per car Part no. 99557

Rear axle

Rubber bush for shackle (bottom) (rear spring) 4 per car Part no. 99555
Rubber bush for shackle (top) (rear spring) 4 per car Part no. 99557

For the TD and TF, the following part numbers and descriptions were listed (part numbers from the TF parts List):

Front suspension

Bush bottom wishbone 8 per car Part no. 126914

Rear axle

Bush rear spring 8 per car Part no. ACA 5242

You may have noticed that Part no. ACA 5242 is used, albeit in different locations, on both the TC and the TD/TF.

When I removed the bushes from the front suspension of my TC, they were rather a sorry sight as shown in the following picture:

These bushes were stamped ‘Harris Flex’ (the original makers) and were patented. ACA 5242 was stamped ‘Harris Flex CW8505’ and 99557 was stamped ‘Harris Flex CW719’.

The picture shows how these bushes distort, although to be fair to them, they had probably been on the car for a considerable length of time.

It is possibly true, although I have no evidence to prove it, except several users saying “these bushes don’t last 5 minutes”, that the rubber used in the replacement bushes nowadays is not as good as was used originally.

Due to the seemingly short life of the rubber bushes, replacement polyurethane bushes came on to the market some years ago.

One well known parts supplier offers a ‘one size fits all’ replacement poly bush for the original part numbers ACA 5242 and 99557. The replacement bush measures ¾” (not including the flange). This is fine for the ACA 5242, but the replacement for the 99557 requires a bush measuring 5/8”, so one is supposed to trim the bush to size.

When I looked at this several years ago, I was not happy to trim the bush to size so I decided to have moulds made for the different size bushes. These bushes [my part numbers 0073 (5/8”) and 0074 (3/4”)] are available from NTG Motor Services. The NTG part numbers are R134PT for the 5/8” bush and R134P for the ¾” bush.

Part number 0074 (left) and 0073 (right), replacing original rubber bushes, part numbers ACA 5242 and 99557.

Whilst I was about it, I had a mould made for the large bush that fits the large shackle pin at the rear of the TC (original part number 99555, my replacement part number 0145). This bush is available from the above supplier as part number R134AP.

Part number 0145 replacing original rubber bush, part number 99555.

Turning to the front suspension on the TD and TF, many owners have replaced the original rubber bushes with the polyurethane variety.

Soon after I bought my TF, I overhauled the front suspension with the help of my friendly ‘one-man-band’ garage owner and found the inner wishbone bushes to be sadly lacking (see pic). I was all the more concerned because the car had been purchased as having been completely rebuilt and had done very little mileage since its completion.

The inner wishbone bushes as removed from my TF1500. On the outside left of the picture and the outside right are the swivel pin seals, which were disintegrating.

There are two suppliers of polyurethane bushes for the inner wishbone that I know of. Autobush – see pic (whose bushes I used) and Superflex. The bushes from Superflex were used by Jonathan Goddard in an article referred to later.

The Superflex poly-bushes.

Both NTG and the MG Octagon Car Club stock poly-bush sets for the TD/TF front suspension. NTG’s part number is R135AP and the Octagon’s part number is SAX079A. You need to be a member of the Octagon to buy parts from the Club (I hope you are!). If you’re not, you would soon recoup the cost of club membership through savings on parts.

Other polyurethane suspension parts

As the polyurethane ‘bug’ had well and truly ‘bitten’ me, I decided to have moulds made for the rubber angle pads that fit under the spring clips on the TD & TF rear springs – see pic.

Polyurethane angle pads as a replacement for the rubber pads on the TD and TF rear road springs (Octagon part number SAX031C).

Another likely candidate was the spring ‘saddles’ on the TD and TF rear spring (4 required) and these are sold by Octagon as part number SAX089B.

Polyurethane spring ‘saddles’ replacing the rubber ‘saddles’ on the TD and TF rear road springs.

Finally, although not made of polyurethane, I had some interleaf disc pads made from Nylatron following a suggestion by Barrie Jones, MGCC T Register Technical Specialist, for the TD and TF models.

Nylatron is said to have high mechanical strength, stiffness, hardness and toughness, good fatigue resistance, high mechanical damping ability, good sliding properties and excellent wear resistance. The cost is £2.07 per pad, which is less expensive than commercially available rubber pads and they should last a lot longer!

Twenty-four (24) are required for a pair of TD/TF/Y springs and are available from the Editor.

jj(at)  [please substitute @ for (at).

I have also sold these interleaf pads for BMC cars of the mid 1950s period.

Two ‘how to do’ articles have been published in TTT 2 on fitting front and rear suspension bushes to the TD & TF. Both these were written by Jonathan Goddard – the article on the front suspension with valuable contribution from near neighbour and fellow TD owner, John Hinds.

Front suspension

Replacing MG TD front suspension bushes using modern polyurethane components

Rear suspension

MG TD replacement rear suspension bushes using modern polyurethane components

Returning to the TC, some explanation is needed as to why there are two different bush lengths on the front suspension.

Firstly, the 5/8” bush is fitted to the leaf spring ‘eye’, one each side. As the spring is 1¼“ wide, the two 5/8” bushes fit exactly.

Secondly, the ¾” bushes go through the ‘tube’ in the chassis. As this boxed in part of the chassis is 1½” wide, the two ¾” bushes fit exactly.

The shackle plates ‘join’ the shackle pins which go through each set of bushes and to keep the plates parallel a 0.125 inch ‘washer’ is brazed to one end of the shackle pin (see photo).

In other words, the difference in the width of the chassis tube and the leaf spring ‘eye’ (1½”- 1¼“ = ¼“) is ‘taken up’ by the washer 0.25” (1/8”) thick 2 x 1/8” = ¼“.

March 2020.

MG TD replacement clock with Ford stepper motor movement

These replacement clocks have a 3D printed housing which I have designed around a “Ford” stepper motor movement. This Swiss movement is driven by a quartz driver circuit mounted in a separate plastic casing which is mounted behind the dash. These stepper motors were used by Ford in the 1990s and are only available second hand from car breakers/salvage.

Fig 1: Stepper motor in 3D housing

The Ford movement is a snug fit in the 3D printed housing, and is faced with a custom-made TD replica aluminium dial. The dial is spray painted so it has a greenish hue. The hands are either 3D printed or the Ford hands are re-shaped to simulate the original TD hands.

Fig 2: Dial installed on plate above motor

The advantage of these clocks is that once installed and connected to the car battery, they are maintenance free. The quartz drive circuit casing is fitted with two push buttons, which are used to advance or retard the time setting. This is a very practical in countries which have summer and winter time changes. It would take a concourse judge with good eyesight and a microscope to recognize that these clocks are TD replica clock.

Fig 3: Clock installed in the TD rev counter
Fig 4: Clock control buttons

The movement of the clock is incremental and not a sweep movement. Every minute you hear a tiny click (obviously not if the engine is running!) and the minute hand steps forward one minute. My testing has shown that the time keeping of these old clock movements is excellent.        

Price 80€

Declan Burns       [email protected]

declan underscore burns at web dot de

Loan of a 1954 TF and Consequences! (by John Murray)

Whilst chatting about the article on spark plugs in Issue 55 of TTT 2, my very long-standing friend, Tom Eaves, commented most kindly about my article in the April 2019 Issue on the Circuit des Remparts at Angouleme. He asked if I was participating this year and the sad response was “no as I didn’t have a car”.  Tom then drew my attention to the loan scheme idea, also in Issue 55.  I said I didn’t think anyone would be very happy about their car being taken abroad and hadn’t given it anymore thought.  His reply was to the effect that as he was going to spend the summer sailing, ‘JDR’ (his beloved TF is JDR 500), would just be sitting in the garage.  So, why didn’t I take ‘JDR’ to France and participate with her?

Now, although Tom is a good friend, ‘JDR’ is his baby, having owned her for over 50 years and  I was somewhat taken aback by his offer.  Indeed, his wife Christine had to sit down when she heard this!  My own dearly beloved was also nervous about taking Tom’s car, worth a considerable sum of money and thus quite a responsibility.  Nevertheless, Tom was quite happy and was soon on the telephone to the insurance company who were delighted to extend his cover at little extra cost.

As keen as I was, I had to tell Tom that I would be returning to France the following week and wouldn’t be able to get his car back until October/November at the earliest, thus depriving him of its use for several months.  No problem, he wouldn’t need the car this summer.  Besides, the insurance cover was for the whole year anyway.  So, that settled the matter.

Next problem was to beg, borrow or “acquire” a suitable trailer.  Again, problem solved – another MG enthusiast acquaintance offered the use of one.

Knowing the legendary French bureaucracy, the necessary paperwork had to be sorted.  Now in France, cars over 30 years of age are categorised as classics and only need a MOT (or CT as it is known) every 5 years.  But, in the UK cars over 40 years don’t need any MOT and ‘JDR’ didn’t have one.  The thought of trying to explain that to the French authorities when they wanted to check ‘JDR’s’ paperwork was worrying.  So, ‘JDR’ went to see Matt at Autotest with the request to “check everything please”.  The idea being that if there were any issues, they could be dealt with before departure.  ‘JDR’ passed with flying colours!  So, armed with a new MOT, a letter of authorisation from Tom, insurance certificate, paperwork for the trailer and a still very nervous wife, we set off for France.

The journey went without mishap and ‘JDR’ was unloaded and given a test run just to check everything.  So, you’re in rural France in the sunshine with a superb 1954 MG TF.  You just have to drive, don’t you?  Well, it just so happened that the local French club that we belong to had a rally.  A perfect opportunity to give ‘JDR’ a good test run and see how she coped with temperatures up to 30 deg.C.  I have to confess at this point that I don’t like 30 deg.C plus, but, well, when you’ve got ‘JDR’ sat in the courtyard….

Several other trips ensued and as the date for the Remparts drew near, excitement mounted.  The group we would participate with are termed the ‘Rampartiers’ and this year we would be joined by several cars from the Kent Sprite and Midget Club who came as invited guests and had been on a tour of Europe, culminating with the Circuit des Remparts.

Now came the moment everyone involved with group organisation dreads.  There were two cars missing.  One, was a MGB roadster driven by Richard & Helen Norman who were regular participants and more worryingly, the other was the Club President and group organiser!  Then the mobile phone rang…….  Richard had a serious problem with the ‘B’ and wouldn’t be able to take part.  Then, worse still, the President was “hors d’combat” and wouldn’t be there either!  That left me in charge!  The President went on to tell me that he’d been in touch with the executive of the Remparts and told them I would be the club President for the run and would lead the group as I had done the Rallye before and knew the ropes.  Yeh, but I didn’t speak fluent French and ‘she who must be obeyed’ wasn’t happy about navigating and leading a group.  She likes to see the countryside, not having her head buried in a route book.  Now I’m in the doghouse and I’ve got a group of 18 cars expecting me to know what I’m doing.  Excitement now turned to worry!  Surely it can’t get any worse?  (oh yeh!).

So, we head off in convoy to the start point with Mike leading, as he said he knew the way.  You’ve guessed it – two roundabouts later and we’re lost in Angouleme.  Somehow, we blundered our way to the start at which point I am separated from the rest of the group.  It’s explained that as the Club President my car is to be displayed in front of the main building with the cars of the other club Presidents and invited special cars.  I find that I’m parked next to a row of rather exotic – and very, very, expensive – cars.  Indeed, the car next to me was the Renault Le Mans prototype and on the other side a genuine C type Jaguar!  Surprisingly, the little TF attracted a lot of interest from the other participants and the public.  All well and good but, my group is now parked some distance away and I can’t get near them.

After the necessary French petite dejeuner, (an essential at all Rally’s in France), it was time for the off.  However, because of the huge number of cars, over 400, it had been decided that there would be a staggered time start.  So, ‘muggins’ found himself being sent off first without my group!  Ok I thought, I’ll tootle along and let them catch me up.  The Marshall’s and Gendarmerie had other ideas.  I found myself being ushered through road junctions and roundabouts like royalty and soon was miles away from the still waiting to start group.  Indeed, I was so far ahead that I was at the lunch stop for over 45 minutes before the first car in my group arrived.  No problem, wait until all the group arrive and have lunch, then set off on the afternoon run together me thinks.  The organisers had other ideas.  The “Presidential” cars were to parade through the centre of the village before the afternoon run.  So off we went, separated again.

By now the temperature had started to rise, unseasonably so.  Soon it was 38 deg.C, something I’d never experienced in the 3rd week of September before.  I’ve already said I don’t do temperatures much over 30 deg.C and I was worried about ‘JDR’. With Tom’s agreement ‘JDR’ had already been filled with Castrol 4 life coolant which has a much higher boiling point than water.  Boy was I glad as I watched the temperature gauge of the TF rise towards the 100 mark.  As long as we kept moving all was well but, any hold ups and the temperature shot up again.

We, despite factor 50 sun cream, large hats and copious drinks, were also feeling the effects of the heat.  Now I know you can drop the windscreen but, I’d left flies-in-the-teeth motoring behind when I’d graduated from motorbikes.  Besides, there are some interesting and large insects in the Poitou-Charentes region and I didn’t want a face-to-face encounter with an angry frelon (think hornet but much, much bigger and with a nasty disposition).  So, the screen stayed up.  Eventually, after not a few anxious moments with the temperature gauge, we reached the finish.  Unbelievably, we were the first car to arrive – we even took the organisers by surprise as we weren’t expected for at least another 45 minutes!

All good things come to an end and all too soon it was time to return ‘JDR’ back to the UK and Tom.  The journey back was uneventful and she is now snuggled down in her garage, albeit, fitted with a new multi-bladed fan from a late model MGB to improve cooling as Tom would like to take part next year.  My grateful thanks to him for his trust and generosity.

Conclusions:  be prepared for any and all eventualities, especially with old cars and high ambient temperatures that T-Types were never designed for.  I cannot recommend Castrol 4 life highly enough, although to be fair, ‘JDR’ didn’t faulter.  We did have to do running repairs to Mike’s TD and a Midget blew up its battery in the heat.  But that’s another story.

However, ‘she who will be obeyed’ has decided – having sat in Mike’s car – that a TD has slightly more room than a TF and so I am permitted to look for a TD for next year.  Now, I wonder who might be persuaded to……

Ed’s note: Mention of “the loan scheme idea” at the beginning of this article, prompts me to give an update on the Classic Car Loan Project.

At the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs’ (FBHVC) ‘Club Expo’ event held on 25th January at the British Motor Museum, one of the loan vehicles was on display and is pictured below.

This beautifully restored Alvis TA14, which belongs to Jack Meredith is being loaned to young motorist and classic car enthusiast, Josh Bennett for a year.

Rachel Cook, another young newcomer to the classic car scene is taking charge of a restored1954 Ford Popular for a year.

I have been in touch with Jack Meredith regarding the DVLA application process for an age-related registration mark for his TD. The TD, pictured below, is currently being restored by the same team, comprised of the student body and lecturers from the relevant courses at the North East Scotland College in Aberdeen who did such a wonderful job on the Alvis TA 14, ably assisted by Peter Milne. Once it is finished it will be offered to the Classic Car Loan Project. The MG Octagon Car Club is supporting the restoration with advice, technical support and the provision of spares required for the restoration at cost price.

TD3986, an import from the US.

Jack will keep me updated on the progress of the restoration and when the car is finished, the granting of an age-related registration mark by DVLA through the service provided by the MG Octagon Car Club will be a formality.

Ed’s further note:

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs’ (FBHVC) website is at  

The MG Octagon Car Club’s website is at:

March 2020.

A summer and winter TD

Issue 58 included some pictures of Dieter Wagner’s TD in soft top and hardtop versions.

Dieter explained that he has only one set of side screen frames for his TD, but two sets of curtains are needed; one set for the soft top version in fawn and one for the hardtop version in black. Therefore, he changes the curtains to the frames as required for summer or winter use. He took great care for the fitting of the side screens starting with the frames. All angles have to match with the front screen frames and the body. He made patterns of hard paper for the side screen covers. For the hardtop version of the side screens, Plexiglas was used.


The three previous pictures were sent to me by Joe Lloyd. The car is chassis number TC9515.

ANOTHER TD HARDTOP (from John Woodward)

“Seeing in issue 58 the nice photographs of the 1953 Red TD with hardtop has prompted me to look again at my TD hardtop, which has been waiting for restoration for over forty years. This came with my (also red) ‘53 Mark II. The car had been well used when I bought it and although I’m not sure of the history, it had modifications and signs of having been used in competitions.

I have been told that hardtops were not made at the Factory, but the construction of mine is unlike any other that I have heard of, or seen pictures of, and if any were made as a works hardtop, I believe this is probably it.

Briefly, the construction is of ash, skinned in aluminium, fully lined and insulated. The covering is the same fabric as the hood and side screens. It has 3 well-proportioned laminated flat glass windows with beautiful one-piece chrome frames and the overall shape follows that of the hood with the rear side screen in place.

The hardtop is presently garaged in London and stored in such a way that limits any good photographs hence only the two. In preparation for restoration, the covering, lining etc have been removed, but kept for future reference. The window frames are already re-chromed (one shown). I thought that before restoration I would investigate if there is anyone out there who may think it worthwhile to use it as a pattern for further production and to see if there is any real demand. Maybe it would also fit a TF and could be adapted to fit other T-Types.”

Front cover: TD14678 XVV 788

TD 14678 rolled off the production line at Abingdon on the 27th March 1952. It was one of 32 TDs built that day, which included 4 TD MK II models. All were exported to North America and were therefore, left hand drive cars.

I acquired the vehicle in May 2016; it was in a somewhat dilapidated state as can be seen from the photograph, taken when I collected it from a lady who had re-imported the car from a classic car dealer in the United States.

Further photographs show how much deeper the deterioration had progressed.

The second owner, whose family I am in contact with, bought the car on December 22nd 1954 and used it daily, until he became ill and was unable to drive the vehicle. The car was garaged for a while, until the owner bought another suitable vehicle, that he was able to drive.

The car was pushed outside and placed under a tarpaulin following the acquisition of the replacement vehicle, for some forty years.

There it remained until July 2013 when it was sold to a classic car dealer in New York, when the owner needed funds for a care home.

The MG was last used in the 12 months between April 1964 and April 1965, the windscreen sticker details this period, but unfortunately the tag number issued to it during that period is unreadable.

The car was purchased by a lady in Crewe, Cheshire, England in June of 2014 and shipped to the UK, with the intention of restoring it. Her husband was however deeply involved in restoring his very early E-type Jaguar and, the decision was made to sell on the MG.

I bought the car in May of 2016 and transported it to my home in Hampshire.

Its condition left much to be desired.

Much to my surprise, on fitting a battery to the car, all the electrics worked, the woman from whom the car was purchased stated that she had run the car for a couple of minutes, with no adverse noises.

There were only two real areas of rust, at the bottoms of the front and rear quarter panels on both sides. I made the decision, albeit erroneously, to replace all four quarter panels, if I had known of the skills of my coachbuilder then, I would have got him to cut out and rebuild the rusted areas, but, Ho Hum, the lack of experience in restoration.

Many of the screws and bolts securing the panels to the ash frame, were corroded to the extreme and had to be cut away to enable access. The wiring loom had rotted through and needed to be replaced completely.

The car had suffered some bumps and bruises during its use, storage and shipping. All surviving panels would require media blasting and reworking, to recover the original shaping.

Much of the ash frame crumbled when touched and, the area in which it was stored, obviously contained oak trees! How do I know this? When removing the seats and parts in various other areas, there were literally hundreds of acorn shells.

The actual colour of the paintwork was indecipherable, due to the amount of weathering on the panels, even the insides of these panels were faded. But with the assistance of the colour code lists, for the original TD, the opinion was that it had been Autumn Red.

The upholstery was beyond recovery, from the seats to the door and general trim cards.

As the strip down progressed, I made a list of the likely parts required.

The strip down begins:

My garage is of the standard modern integral type, much of it used for the storage and operation of household white goods, therefore barely room for anything else, but I just managed to squeeze the MG in, enabling me to work on one side only, then turning the car around to work on the other side.

On my driveway, we had a small trailer, which was utilised for the storage of large panels such as wings and bonnet (hood to our US cousins who will be reading this).

The list of spares was getting longer, I added up the likely cost of spares alone, good job I was sitting down at the time!!

Having stripped the car, I found that the whole of the underside was covered in a thin waxy grease which had hardened over time. Having scraped it all off, I found that the chassis was in perfect condition, black paint with area of bright steel showing. All the suspension rubbers were perished, the shock absorbers were fully serviceable to my amazement. The steering rack gaiters were perished and full of tears. All the brake wheel cylinders were seized solid and the master cylinder showed signs of corrosion internally. The thermostat housing was corroded, and the thermostat itself corroded even more so, to the extent, that it was impossible to extract it, the radiator was choked solid.

The fuel tank rusted internally, and the side screen box fell to pieces as I was extracting a squirrel nest. The carpets were rotten.

The period of some 48 years under a tarpaulin in the open air, and use of the vehicle as a storage facility for the squirrels had taken a toll of the old car.

The side screens were covered in a kind of sap from the trees and were impossible to clean effectively, the material from which the screens were made had rotted so new ones required. The soft top/hood had received much the same degradation and would also require renewal.

Brake linings and lines were age damaged and corroded respectively well beyond recovery.

The chassis was wire brushed and sanded, then painted with a long lasting weatherable paint.

Refurbished original master and brake wheel cylinders were fitted along with new brake lines and flexible hoses. New parking brake cables replaced the seized originals. New brake linings all round.

A replacement clutch kit was fitted.

The steering and suspension was re-assembled with new rubbers and securing bolts.

The wheels were taken for blasting and painting, along with all the body panels.

With the wheels back, along with new tyres sourced locally, (the ones fitted when I bought the car looked to be the best part of 50 or more years old and were of the cross-ply variety, the new ones were radials, 175/65 15s) I now had a rolling chassis.

Having fully serviced the engine and had the cylinder head upgraded for unleaded fuel, I jury rigged the engine and it ran on the third attempt, smooth and relatively quietly with a lovely note from the new stainless-steel exhaust system.

Radiator away for re-coring, heater (yes there was one fitted) flushed out and flow checked. A replacement heater tree connection sourced from Graham Smith.

New horns as the old ones failed to work at all.

Much of the chrome work was in a poor state, all removed and taken to a re-chroming business not too far away. Very expensive, but I did want to retain as much originality as possible.

All media blasted panels off to the coach builder (John Holden), for reassembly following assessment of corrosion levels, so new battery tray and toolbox made and fitted to the bulkhead (firewall). A little re-working of the positioning of panels was required. New fuel tank purchased as the old one was rusted internally.

All the rotten ash frame was replaced including the floorboards.

Once satisfied with the set-up, off to the paint shop next door, (Sean Watson, who has done some big and excellent work which has been displayed at Pebble Beach).

With some difficulty, we traced the original colour as Autumn Red. I decided to keep it original, with some surprises, as once prepared and painted, the shade of red changed, dependent on the lighting that it was subjected to:

Each panel was prepared, painted and then fitted separately.

Next to get it home for fitting out externally.

The sealed beam headlamp units were for left hand drive, so had to be changed, the new ones incorporated parking lights within them, a plus as far as I was concerned.

The chrome arrived back and the new wiring loom, with indicator wiring added. Minor rewiring alterations made and all systems operating.

All ready for the motor trimmer (K.L.F. Automotive, Micheldever, near Basingstoke, Hampshire) to fit the carpets, seats and covers, and to cover the dash panel and exposed areas with the material supplied along with the seats.

New side screens, hood and additionally half and full tonneau covers.

The car drives beautifully, the tyres are great and hold the road well, even at speed, initial tyre pressures I set at 25psi, but having driven it a few times, adjusted them to 28psi, which work well.

The steering is precise. The only drawback is the noisy gearbox, which I will have refurbished in due course.

I still have a problem though.

That is trying to wipe the grin off my face!

Steve Mansbridge

Postscript: This picture shows the car when it was relatively new in the US before it was employed as a store for the squirrels.

DBL 54 (TC0554)

The story of DBL 54 is a familiar one, where “the best laid plans of mice and men” (see note) meant that the rebuild has only recently started.

The car has been owned since 1965 and was used as everyday transport until 1971, when it was left in the owner’s father’s garage. There it stayed, but the intention was always to re-house it in the owner’s garage. However, a delayed plan to retire early and set up his own Consultancy in 2000 meant that the owner was busier than ever and the MG did not get moved to his garage until 2007. The final change of plan was that a company for whom the owner had been doing some consultancy work, offered him a contract to reorganise it and place it on a sound footing. This took until 2018, when the owner finally retired.

Note.. ”of mice and men” comes from the poem by Robert Burns “To a mouse” and has evolved to mean that plans do not necessarily come to fruition when future commitments cannot be forecast.

Anyhow, to return to DBL 54…. the picture below was taken at the start of the dismantling process.

The next picture gives an indication of the general condition of the chassis.

A new body has been sourced and the engine is being rebuilt by Ron Ward:

valerieandron(at) [please substitute @ for (at)]. A 5-speed gearbox has been ordered from H-Gear to coincide with the completion of the engine.

Eric Worpe will be checking the front axle with the supply of proper fitting kingpins (those currently on the market having been found to be undersize).

DBL 54 looks set to return to her former glory!

Lost & Found

TC10248 (LTC 999)

Jane Brooksbank is keen to trace the current owner of this TC which was bought by her husband from a garage on Ripon Road, Harrogate and was owned from 1965 to 1968. Having tried the ‘Lost and Found’ facility in the MG Owners Club, she has received one response from a previous owner, who she thinks bought it after the person who bought it from her husband back in 1968. It had been in a nasty accident and needed some work, which he completed.

The car is shown as being on the road from a search of the DVLA’s enquiry facility and is green in colour, which it was in Jane’s Husband’s ownership (with a red grille).

The car is on the T-Database, so there should be a good chance of tracking it down.

Janeebrooksbank(at)  [please substitute @ for (at)]

CKD TCs sent to Eire in 1946 (Chassis numbers 1752 to 1787)

Chris Ferneyhough owns TC1768, one of 36 CKD (Completely Knocked Down and supplied as a kit) TCs sent to Ireland in 1946. Chris is trying to trace the early history of his TC and would like to know who assembled these CKD cars in Ireland and where did they assemble them?

I would hazard a guess and suggest that it is unlikely that there would have been more than one agent for the building of these cars, but does anybody know?

 TF2385 (484 HYK) and TD registration number NI 6777 (chassis number unknown)

Jan Mazgaj has asked for help in tracing two cars he used to own. His association with MGs goes back to 1961 with his first car, a TA for which he’s only a black and white photo of it ‘hidden’ under a tarpaulin. He bought the TA before he was even able to drive but sadly does not have a record of it. The TF1500 pictured below (TF2385) was used as his daily driver ‘in all winds and weathers’, but that was the requirement at the time!

His TD (chassis number unknown) is pictured below with Jan and his wife in the front and a pal and his in the rear. These were the days before seat belts and Jan says he often used to drive around like that!

TF10009 (621 CYH)

Colin Hithersay’s TF1500 is a RHD export model that he was told, when he purchased it, was originally for Rhodesia.

He can’t find any history to confirm that, but it was re-imported in August 1976 from Kuwait.

From this date he has a complete history until he purchased it, but he would still like to find the missing pieces of the jigsaw.

Colin’s e-mail is colin.hithersay(at)  [please substitute @ for (at)]

TC0918 (JUM 427)

Since the request for details of the present owner of this car was published in the previous Issue, Peter Richmond, whose father used to own this car, has received a photograph of the car as it is now.

Whilst this is welcome progress, Peter would still like to get in contact with the present owner.

He can be contacted on 07731480291 or pfrguitar(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

FVN 292 (TC10157)

Mike Jones has asked me on behalf of an elderly gentleman he met in a coffee house if the owner of this late TC can be traced. It was owned many years ago by this gentleman, who ran his own garage business. (I can’t make out what he did to the grille, or is it just painted two colours?).

The car comes up on a DVLA search as being “Not taxed for on road use” with the date of the last V5C issued as 19th June 2009.

Mike would be pleased to pass on any replies received.

mikej(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

Bits and Pieces

Bill Thomson

Last Summer I responded to an offer from Björn-Eric Lindh in Sweden to send me some photos of Bill and his premises. Björn-Eric and Gabriel Öhman (my long-term Swedish ‘pen friend’) were regular visitors to Bill’s premises in the 1960s (they also frequented the ‘Boneyard’ – premises of the Bones – Terry and the late Barry.

Since that time, Björn-Eric has been spending time catching up with some outstanding commitments, and has recently e-mailed me a selection of photos. Here are some of them:

Above: Bill’s premises at 106 Kingston Road (now occupied by Nathan & Co. Solicitors). Below: Bill helping a customer.

From a study of Google Maps, number 104 Kingston Road is Kingston Road post office. Judging by the postbox in the left-hand corner of the pre-preceding picture, it looks as though the post office was there in Bill’s time – a rare survivor!

A ‘shot’ of one of the storage areas in Bill’s premises – ‘manna from heaven’ in those days when T-Type and Triple-M spares were hard to come by.

As I mentioned previously, Björn-Eric has not been well and has in fact had to sell his M.G.s. He sent a card to all his M.G. acquaintances in the summer of 2019 with a picture of a 4-wheel mobility walking frame on it. It read as follows:

My Dear Friend(s),

About a year ago my back decided enough was enough and started giving me trouble. Since then I have had to change my way of living quite a bit, but I am still alive and kicking. As before, I am using a four-wheeled vehicle, now made of carbon fibre, but not as fast. One of my M.G. friends has suggested supercharging, but I doubt I can consume the amount of cabbage, peas etc., needed to give any real effect.

This is the reason you may not have heard from me for some time. But I am now catching up on things!

And remember the wise words of the Monty Python gang:

Always look on the bright side of life!

Have a good time (and so says Gun).    /Björn

In the e-mail Björn sent to me, he included a picture of his first TC, bought in 1962 His closing message read:

After 57 years, Gun and I are without an M.G. We bought our first M.G. in 1962 and sold the last (1936 NB) in 2019. Many happy years.

Björn’s TC bought in 1962.


Graham Murrell asked the following question:

“When I stripped my 1947 MG TC chassis No. TC4212 in 1967 for a major rebuild, I stored all the parts for future refitting. Now some 53 years later, I have taken some of these parts out of storage to review their suitability for reuse.

One of the items recently taken from storage is a pair of corner hood tacking strips, commonly known as the ‘hockey sticks’. In the process of cleaning these up I noticed that the face of these items which could be seen from inside the car were covered in black Rexine type material, whereas all the other faces were covered in a light green/grey Rexine.

Because there seems to be a certain amount of uncertainty regarding the original hood colour for the TC and/or the date the change was made from black to fawn, I wondered if the black inner face to the ‘hockey sticks’ was indicative of the original hood colour. Having some idea of the lengths M.G. went to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, I think it would be highly possible that this would be the sort of thing that could have been done.

I think I remember that there was a flap of hood material that lay on the top of the ‘hockey sticks’ which in the case of a black hood would have been black and the black theme was perhaps taken to include the inner face of the ‘hockey sticks’ to take the hood colour down to meet the upholstery colour which in my car’s case was apple green.

If you have any thoughts, ideas or historical knowledge that can refute or confirm my findings, please let me know.”

I decided to consult Tom Wilson, who came up with this detailed answer:

“The short answer to Graham’s inquiry is “no”, I don’t think the hood rails would be covered with material to match to hood.  The longer version below.

Graham, you’ve found some interesting history on your car and you raise a question many have asked.  Based on my research, most of the answers about black hoods have been incorrect.  Here’s what I believe to be correct and some suggestions on what you’ve found:

As the general rule, all TCs from the beginning were made with tan colored hoods.  As I recall, I’ve only seen one factory or period photo of TCs with black hoods (and I can’t find it right now) – it’s of the TCs posed on a snow road, a group supposedly shipping to Switzerland.  Some of the TCs made for police use had black hoods – these were custom orders.

TC tubs were built at Bodies Branch in Coventry from the very beginning of production.  Bodies Branch (a Morris Motors company) made, painted, installed the interior trim, attached the windscreen, and installed the weather equipment (hood, side curtains, tonneau cover).  The hood, side curtains, and hood frame were made by Coventry Hood & Sidescreen Company.  The hoods were attached to the frame before by Coventry and delivered to Bodies Branch to be installed as a single unit (Part/Drawing #19552 in Spec 259).  The material used for the first 4,928 bodies (up to TC5180) was Fawn shade 21 double texture rubber proofed hooding, what was commonly known as wigan, and it was supplied to Coventry by Bodies Branch. 

From TC5180 on, material was changed to a cotton canvas, and the tonneau cover became this as well (previously made by Bodies Branch Trim Shop out of black Rexine).  I never figured out why they changed to a lower quality, less waterproof material; it was probably due to cost control or shortage of materials in the postwar economy.

The covering on the rear tub rails (Graham refers to as ‘hockey sticks’; Spec 259 names these #19424, 58, 50 Top Back Rail Hood Fillet and Corner Hood Fillets) happens when the tub is trimmed.  The corner covers are 2 pieces sewn for each side; the longer center rail is a rectangular piece.  These would have been part of the interior kit as cut and sewn.  The covering of these pieces extends down the inside of the rear section of the tub and are visible above the top edge of the side curtain box.  A color different than the interior here wouldn’t look right, and would add complexity to a smooth installation.

Graham, what’s probably happened with your car is those pieces were recovered by a previous owner using what they could find at the time.  That’s not to say that TC4212 was made differently.  It’s a December 1947 car; 240 were built that month, so production was flowing better.  The tank and munitions work was just winding down (MG continued the “war work” until the end of 1947), so the factory was finally fully focused on sporting motoring machines!”

Tom Wilson

Ed’s note: Spec 259, referred to by Tom, is the TC Factory Specification Book, which details every part (including nuts and bolts and screws!) that went into the manufacture of the TC. I have a copy for sale at 20 GBP plus 3 GBP postage.

jj(at) [please substitute (at) after the jj and before the with @]

Transils – an explanation as to how they work

The points on your SU fuel pump are at the mercy of the high voltage (up to several hundred volts) that is generated each time they open, causing them to arc. The basic explanation for such a high voltage (bearing in mind that your battery is only 12 volts!) is that it is an effect that happens each time a current through a coil is interrupted.

To negate this high voltage (i.e. to limit voltage transients) the Transil comes with a rated voltage. Below the rated voltage there is no connection between the two terminals, but above the rated voltage the terminals are connected together (dead short). Consequently, when the points break the high voltage which is generated across them is shorted out by the Transil, so saving their burning and pitting.

A query was recently raised from a member who initially fitted a Transil, but then disconnected it because, when fitted, the pump appeared to pump less vigorously. He wanted to know the reason for this.

I asked Peter Cole, who wrote the explanation as to how the Transil works and who also supplies the item to the MG Octagon Car Club, for an answer.

When a Transil is fitted the pump appears to run less ‘vigorously’.  This is only evident when the pump is running on the bench without being connected to a fuel supply.  It runs faster without a Transil than it does when one is fitted.  This is because during the time when the pump’s magnet is on, as well as lifting the diaphragm, it also stores energy in the magnetic field.  At the end of the ‘suck’ period the magnet turns off and the diaphragm falls back to its rest position.  With no Transil fitted, the voltage across the points rises to 300 – 400 volts, hence the visible spark, and the energy stored in the magnetic field is dissipated quickly.  When a Transil is fitted the voltage across the points is restricted to 24 volts and the energy stored in the magnetic field dissipates more slowly.

So, to summarise, with a Transil fitted, the off period is longer but the on period, when the Transil plays no part, remains the same. Hence the pump runs more slowly, and may appear to be running less vigorously.  The reality is when pumping fuel, once the float chambers are full, the pump only operates every few seconds so the longer off period is immaterial.  I would also point out that several years ago Burlen may have noticed my idea and now fit Transils to their new pumps, also supplying them with their pump repair kits;  running without a Transil is not to be recommended as the life of the points will be significantly reduced. 

Ed’s note: Transils are available from the MG Octagon Car Club (you need to be a member). The part number is SSU048B, part description is Transil Kit for SU Petrol Pump Points, and the price is 4.92 GBP plus postage.

Fitting is simplicity itself. The Transil is supplied with ready-made solder tag connections. All that is required to fit it is a screwdriver (instructions provided).

TD /TF. steering rack column oil seal

The following has been received from Erik Benson:

“Here’s one for you!    I have had TDs for 60 years and loved them all. Here is something I have only just come across, and I bet not a lot of other people have either.

There is a felt ring oil seal where the steering column shaft enters the rack housing.   They probably NEVER need changing, but I thought I should as there was a tiny leak.   Seems like a simple job? …….  that is why I write this, after a very frustrating day.    I have never seen instructions on this, so I thought I could help you other innocent souls.

So, how do you get the fragile felt ring into its slot?

It is like some kind of IQ test!

You WILL ruin your first delicate wee felt ring, so get two (OR some soft string!)

So, first thing . . .  observe the pinion shaft . . .  it is NOT parallel sided.      The splines at one end and the other end are wider than the main shaft.  There is only ONE way to get the soft felt into its groove.  

Undo the bottom cap and slide the pinion shaft down an inch and a half. . .  (you have already removed the three bolt flange at the top end) Slip the ring felt seal over and down the splines and down the shaft. . .  then with a fine screw driver prod the felt into the space and down into the groove.  When you push the shaft back up into place, the shouldered end will seal the felt into place.

I could not help feeling that an O ring could do the same job . . .  or even a length of soft fine string.

Anyhow, I hope that you will not have all the stress now, of ignorance that I had!

Job done . .   Erik

PS:  If you do the seal with soft fine string, then you do not have to remove the three hole flange at the top. I cannot imagine how string could escape once it is in the groove   but obviously the original does work.   Has anyone tried an O ring?”


On sale on my THE MG ‘T’ SOCIETY LIMITED stall at Stoneleigh were some sets of the ‘wrapped’ (bi-metal) bushes that Eric Worpe has organised from Leeds Bronze. The investment that Eric had to make was fairly substantial and has not been made with a view to making a profit, but on the basis of recovering costs plus a small margin for loss of  interest on capital (not that there is much interest to be earned these days in the UK – soon the Banks might be charging you  for holding your money and it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds!)

These bushes are an exact copy of the bushes that were fitted when the cars were new and have a considerable price advantage over those offered commercially. This was certainly recognised by the customers at Stoneleigh (I sold out!) and by purchasers worldwide (they have gone to Europe, the US and Australia).

Details of price and availability below:

For a set of 4 the cost is 32 GBP. For orders of between 3 sets of 4 and 9 sets of 4 the cost is 30 GBP per set of 4. For orders of 10 sets and above the bushes can be purchased for 28 GBP per set of 4. Postage at cost on all orders.

Enquiries to e.worpe(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

Bi-metal ‘wrapped’ king pin bushes – note the oil/grease groove which has a spur take off that feeds lubrication to the thrust faces of the beam axle’s eye.

As regards kingpins, I have mentioned earlier in this Issue that a check of some currently on the market has found them to be undersize. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they could all come from the same supplier.

The consequences of fitting undersized kingpins and expecting the ‘slack’ to be taken up by the cotter pin has been covered in a previous issue and I recently noticed when researching some old Octagon Car Club Bulletins that a similar warning was given way back in the days of Tony Jenkins.

It is for this reason that Eric Worpe is currently trying to find precision engineering companies who might be able to make up standard sized as well as a range of oversized kingpins. However, precision grinding, as well as case hardening facilities, are no longer that common.

Classic Car Storage over Winter

Steve Priston has sent the following in response to Paul Ireland’s article in the February TTT 2.

“I am somewhat puzzled by Paul Ireland’s latest contribution, mainly because I have been using a small dehumidifier, to protect the contents of my garages, for many years.

Like most pieces of electrical equipment containing fans, they need to be maintained, something quite clearly stated on my recent replacement unit, due to problems caused, through “blinding” of the inlet air filter screen, through dust etc.

This would eventually have the effect of causing it to overheat but being a fridge derived piece of equipment, it should surely have some sort of thermal safety cut-out?

Yes, you will have to attempt to draft proof the space in question and must accept that this is likely to involve quite a bit of work, to improve the effectiveness of the dehumidifier, as garages don’t make this task easy. Also, if like me you are just trying to minimise seasonal issues with moisture, you don’t want the unit to run continuously because of the expense, so I have found that a mid-point setting on its humidistat, is about right, maintaining that level, all the time the doors are shut.

Perhaps if your garage is more like a cart shed, or doesn’t benefit from having a nice dry floor with a damp proof membrane under it, then putting a vehicle into a desiccant bag is the way to go, especially if you are prepared to let the odd lovely winter’s day pass you by?

If you have not visited the garage often enough, over dampish weather, you will likely determine that the dehumidifier’s catch tank, has been full for a while because of tell-tale signs, as you look at metal surfaces, that if the unit was still performing, would usually remain perfectly dry, confirmation that the equipment has been doing its work effectively in the past.

A very useful side effect of operating a dehumidifier, is the acquisition of plenty of distilled water, ideal for coolant and washer bottles, even her ladyship’s steam iron; or if you expect to leave things for some time, then a drain line, can be run, to outside, allowing a constant loss system.

I do have a major safety concern however, over putting your precious vehicle into a bag. This is how potentially difficult or time consuming it could be, in the event of needing to urgently remove it, to a place of safety, say in the event of a fire. In this situation, when you would want to roll it quickly outside, possibly an even worse problem being faced, than if your car is stored up on blocks, something to consider, as new housing developments seem to build dwellings so close together nowadays!”

Items made to order by Mick Pay

In the February issue I mentioned the items made to order by Mick Pay and published a whole colour page. Mick has since sent me one of his petrol filters and as the pictures show, it is a superb piece of kit. The filter can be removed for cleaning.

The filters are supplied without pipe connections, the thread for connections is ¼ inch BSPP.

Compression fittings can be bought from Cotswold Engineering Supplies (1/4 BSPP x usually 5/15 OD).

Mick Pay is at mgp188(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

Paul Ireland’s book

Paul’s book was on sale at Stoneleigh. He has created a website that hosts a bulletin board to back up the book. He also plans facilities to allow people to share information such as which fuel they find works the best for them and publish their advance curves.

He would be grateful if interested parties could have a look at the site, try registering, logging in etc. and provide any feedback.

Also, he’d much appreciate if those who host websites of their own could include a link to his site.