Category Archives: Issue 73 (August 2022)

Bits and Pieces

Ron Ward, whose TC, which is being advertised below and graces the front cover, is also selling his high-spec spare TC engine.

Newly built XPAG 1500cc engine, complete to the following specification:

XPAW Block bored & linered at 72mm + .040 inch. Solid skirt four ring pistons.

Crank (crack tested) forging no. 168557 STD/STD, new shells.

Rods, Hi-Tensile Con Rod Bolts, Allen Cap Head Small End Pinch Bolts.

Fly wheel, lightweight, windowed, spider, steel, 120 tooth ring, 8 x allen cap head bolts.

Clutch, 7 ½ inch diameter diaphragm, all balanced.

Lip seals front & rear (using speedi sleeve), new billet steel ‘fast road’ (280⁰) camshaft, fitted Vernier timing sprocket set at 109 degrees, new bearings, bucket cam followers, combined horizontal oil pump/filter with spin on filter conversion.

Sump, large capacity 10 ½ pint T.F. Sump, central pick up.

Cylinder Head, “Laystall” aluminium large valve, bronze guides, short springs, aluminium spacer, metro guide top oil seals, block pocketed to clear, ported & balanced.

Engine has TC type front engine plate/mounting (TD/TF available).

Ready to fit & run in. Built initially as my spare engine.

Ron Ward – (01422) 823649 or 07790 458386

TC rolling chassis For Sale

Digby Elliott has asked me to advertise his TC project as follows:

Complete MG TC Rolling Chassis.  All major components repaired or replaced, crack tested where appropriate and prepared to original specification ready for assembly.     Engine and gearbox are available as optional.   Details on request.  07836-754034.

‘Then and now’ features

I’ve had a few comments from readers who would like to see more of these following the ‘write-up’ on Oliver Richardson’s mum in the last issue. I have a few ‘up my sleeve’.

I appear to have mislaid a comment, the gist of which said ‘she looks as good today as she did 50 years ago’.

TC2895 (ESR 57) is For Sale (see front cover picture)

I bought this 1947 TC in 1984 in a semi derelict/dismantled condition. Stripped it completely to the bare chassis which was dimensionally checked, shot blasted and painted. The body tub was stripped of all metal paneling, all rotten wood was replaced, retaining as much original wood as possible. Preservative treated & re skimmed in aluminium including the doors. The four wings, scuttle top, bonnet, petrol tank & front apron are original steel having undergone much refurbishment.

The interior is dark blue leather (collingburn) with black duck hood, side screens and full length tonneau cover (individual, matching bucket seats fitted).

The car was re licensed, MOT’d & put back on the road in May 2003 (the first time since 1963). Original registration number.

Specification: Chassis, Running Gear

Springs: Front, New, Fitted with two extra top leaves (ie. Lowering the front by approx ½“) No 2 leaves thicker. polybushed rear shackles. Bushed front eye.

Rear: Retempered and set, NO 2 leaf thicker, locating washers either side of the front silent blocks, rear shackles polybushed.

Shocks: Telescopic front & rear 1950’s conversion kit.

Back Axle: ‘Phil Marino USA’, tapered, keyed, threaded high tensile half shafts, hubs taper bored & keyed to suit, sealed bearings, machined & shimmed bearing carriers, bearing locking rings incorporating oil seals (ie. Dry rear brakes) diff ratio 4.2:1 Hypoid, all taper roller bearings.

Front Axle: Straightened, all angles jig checked. New kingpins & bushes, shimmed thrust washers, stub axles inserted with new high tensile shafts. Hub bearings opposed taper rollers, pre-loaded with shimmed spacers.

Steering ; Datsun type 140/141, re circulating ball, solid shaft steering box and column, panhard rod/hydraulic steering damper, heavy duty rod end track rods. Rod end anti tramp bars fitted.

Brakes: Front double leading shoe (TD/F/YB) with cooling air scoops and exit holes, front & rear Datsun (240/260 Z) Aluminium finned drums, Goodrich high pressure hoses. MGB remote servo and hydraulic brake light switch.

Wheels: 15” x 5.5J centre laced, 60 spoke fitted with 15” x 185 radial tyres. Powder coated silver.

Engine: Wolseley 4/44 XPAW (round water hole), block number 30029, over bored plus 140” giving 1380 cc, pistons solid skirt, 3 ring ‘aerolite’ USA. Dip stick repositioned as TC. Lip seals front & back.

Crank: Late type (forging number 168557) mains .010” journals .010”, glacier shells, end float .004”. High tensile con rod bolts, Allen cap head small end clamp bolts. All Loctite sealed.

Fly Wheel: Lightweight, windowed, steel, ‘spider’ 120 tooth ring. Allen cap head bolts, wired.

Clutch: 7 ½ inch diaphragm, ¾ inch diameter clutch operating shaft. Ball bearing clutch release.

Camshaft: Crane part number 340-0010, three quarter grind, adjustable timing sprocket set at 105 degrees. New bucket type followers, standard size (STD) new bearings.

Head: Laystall aluminium (dated 1953), large valve, bronze guides, short springs, aluminium spacer, metro guide top oil seals, 32mm chamber capacity, 10.4:1 compression ratio (block pocketed to clear), ported & balanced.

Induction/Exhaust: Derrington 4 into 2 into 1 extractor, incorporating inlet, 2 x 1½ inch SU/s, heat shield, spacers, K & N cone filters with stub stacks, air scoop intake on bonnet side, straight through large bore exhaust.

Lubrication: Large capacity 10 ½ pint TF sump, central pick up, baffled front/back, side/side with oil temp take off. Late type, horizontal combined oil pump/filter with auto priming, fitted with thermostatically controlled oil cooler adapter, taking a disposable oil filter cannister, Oil cooler radiator under the front apron, large, 20 P.S.I. oil warning light to dashboard.

Balancing: Con rods, end to end, pistons & crank separately, crank, fly wheel, clutch, sprocket, pulley & dog all balanced as a unit & marked.

Distributor: Electronic, negative earth, coil to suit, advance curve to suit camshaft/engine specification (calibrated/engineered by H&H).

Cooling:  New water pump, XPAW Pulley, plastic multi blade fan, expansion tank pressurised at 4 P.S.I. Smiths re circulating type interior heater fitted.

Gearbox: Ford type 9 five speed, all syncro having uprated first gear ratio of 2.89 (3.65) also heavy duty layshaft/laygear, large roller modification giving overall ratios of 2.89, 1.97, 1.37, 1.00, 0.82. Drain plug added.

Additional: Battery re located to rear (as TA/B), master cut off switch fitted, new wiring loom, everything independently earthed, high level brake/rear lights & flashing indicators, air horns, reversing light, rear fog light, brake light behind the spare wheel, all period Lucas 494. Matching 7” period Lucas fog and ‘flame thrower’ spotlights. Anti-run on valve, aluminium rocker box. Luggage rack. Solid state negative earth FACET petrol pump. ‘Filter King’ pressure regulator set at 2.5 P.S.I. Sat Nav/Mobile phone charger socket. Hi Torque Starter Motor.          90 BHP   CRUISE AT 70/75 MPH at just under 4000 RPM

Gene Ponder’s MG treasure troves are up for auction

by Stanley Daamen, Netherlands

Years ago, I wrote an article about the great classic car collection of the American car collector Gene Ponder. Now I write once again, having found information on the Internet about the forthcoming auction of his entire collection.

Firstly, some information about the man himself and the previous auction that was held in 2007. Gene Kupra Ponder was the founder and former CEO of one of America’s largest kitchen manufacturers, “The Master Wood Craft Cabinetry” in Marshall Texas. Born in 1942, he grew up penniless with his grandparents in Georgia, but after college he started his woodworking firm. His kitchen cabinet business prospered in the post-war US consumer boom and he became a multimillionaire.

After a very successful 50-year career, there was little that Gene could not afford. He spent a lot of his earned dollars on gifts and donations for charities in his area, but also on his great hobby, collecting mainly European classic cars and everything that has to do with these cars.  Our ‘hobby marque’ MG, especially attracted his attention including the TD with the Bertone designed body fitted by the American car manufacturer Arnolt, who started importing British cars to the United States in the 1950s.

Aston-Martin, Austin Healey, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo Maserati and Bugatti were also among his favorite marques. He regarded these cars as true art objects. His collection was carefully and tastefully housed on his park-like and well-maintained Texas estate on which he had three museum garages built. One of his famous sayings was “I buy things because I like them, it’s that simple.”

His first love for cars is the MG, and they have a very prominent position in his collection of mainly European sports cars. “The MG TC is the most beautiful car I own”, Gene once told a reporter. “This red MG TC convertible really fueled my passion for MGs and sports cars. It is also the first car that I restored myself”. A striking fact is that many cars from his collection are painted red.

The maintenance building is divided into two halves, one half is a restoration workshop that houses a large warehouse with spare parts for rare cars, and the other half is exhibition space. For years his regular mechanic Harold Rogers worked on all his classic cars. “Harold knows more about these cars than any 100 mechanics combined” said Gene.

There is a short video on YouTube under the name Garage Mahal – Gene Ponder about his collection from that period. His regular mechanic Harold Rodgers also has a say in this.

His favorite MG was the PB “Leonidas” racer, this was a beautiful exact copy in aluminum of the 1935 Le Mans racer by Miles Collier; perhaps the most famous pre-war MG in America. The original is at the Revs Institute in Naples Florida USA. Gene Ponder’s copy was sold in early 2007. More than 15 years ago I found this information about his mega collection, Gene Ponder then decided to put part of his collection up for auction. This happened on April 21 and 22, 2007 at RM Auctions in Scottsdale USA, the reason for the reduction of his collection was a serious heart attack that required surgery. Many rare Pre and Post War classic cars were then sold.

The MG TC with supercharger, restored by Gene Ponder himself, was also auctioned for $81,000.

This auction then consisted of 1168 lots, in addition to cars, it also consisted of motorcycles, car and aircraft models, advertising signs, petrol pumps, display cabinets, parts and many car memorabilia. In total, this part of his collection yielded more than 15 million dollars. Check out by The Ponder Collection 2007 auction results

His wife died in January 2022 and his mechanic Harold was unable to get under his cars to work due to age-related ailments. “Age is catching up with us all” said Gene Ponder in a press release, and now 80-year-old Gene Ponder indicated that he will be auctioning off his entire collection of more than 120 cars, and motorcycles, as well as an enviable and extensive selection of automotive memorabilia at the end of September. This auction will be hosted by RM-Sotheby’s at its Marshall Texas estate. The auction house has already spent more than 1000 manhours to map out its collection of 1243 lots. Top pieces from various European car marques will also go under the hammer at this auction and many MGs that he had added to his collection since the previous auction in 2007, including a 1935 MG-PB Airline Coupé from Carbodies. It is striking that a considerable number of handmade MG specials are auctioned. Gene Ponder was a big fan of this and he gave it various names such as replica, recreation, conversion or tribute model. Sometimes he adapted the original with extra accessories such as a time period supercharger, a different colour or interior, but he also had complete cars rebuilt. He must undoubtedly have given orders to many restoration companies to have all these beautiful things made. For example, there are 8 MG TCs for sale in September, including a few very nice specials, one with a boat tail body and supercharger.

The supercharged TC and the Leonidas racer ‘rebuilt on the basis of a TD’.

Gene also had the MG Leonidas racer rebuilt again, but now on the basis of a TD. He even had the MG Pickup TD made as a replica based on an MGB, the original was built by Moss Motors USA in 1953. A total of 35 MGs are offered for sale of almost all types made by the MG Car Company. The Automobilia lots up for auction in September range from engine blocks, classic gas pumps from various brands, motorcycles, pedal cars, engine blocks from various brands, car lifts and trailers, racing trophies, furniture, mascots, classic signage, jukeboxes, complete tools and parts racks with unknown content, neon billboards to wall art and much, much more.

Whatever your interest in any marque, there really is something for everyone to discover in the Gene Ponder Collection. “It’s a tribute to virtually unattainable European sports cars that are rarely seen outside of museums,” Gene Ponder reported.

There is a short video on YouTube announcing this auction under the name RM Sotheby’s Presents The Gene Ponder Collection:

If you want to take a good look at all lots in this auction in advance, sit down and open the website Gene Ponder Collection / Available lots / RM Sotheby’s

Ed’s note: To be continued (after the sale).

Lost and Found

TF3521 (JZ 9119)

Dwaine Hayes from Vancouver, Canada contacted me a month or so ago to tell me that his good friend, Roger Jones had passed away. Roger was, in Dwaine’s words, “an avid TC guy”. I recall that Roger contacted me on a couple of occasions as he was working on a beautiful EXU TC, which he had all but completed just before he died.

Roger originally hailed from Merseyside before emigrating to Canada and when in the UK owned the TF you see in the picture above. The photo was found by his wife when dealing with his affairs and she, having contacted Dwaine, he in turn wondered if JZ 9119 could be located through ‘Lost and Found’.

JZ is a Co. Down (Northern Ireland) registration. It does not show up using the DVLA search facility, but surely the car is still around somewhere?

Any ‘leads’ to the Editor, please at jj(at)ttypes.org [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Dwaine is curious to know if anybody can help with the history of his two TCs – TC2031 and TC2828.

I stand to be corrected, but I think that TC2031 was exported from new to the US. Dwaine bought it in 2013 in Salt Lake Utah; it had come from California at that point and has a replacement motor from University Motors 1954.

TC2838 was originally registered HPT 482 in the UK.

If you can help with information on either of these TCs, please contact the Editor at the above address.

TF3860 (HDP26/3860)

This car was featured in the June issue. On looking into its history further, it seems that I failed to spot that one of the registration numbers quoted (KZ 8734) is a Co. Antrim (Northern Ireland) registration.

The assumption is that the car came to Northern Ireland from South Africa and if this assumption is correct, it would have been registered KZ 8734.

However, the car was registered BSK 391when it was purchased from Coy’s auction house in 2009.

If I have got the story right, I am currently struggling to understand why it became BSK 391 since, again on the assumption that it came across the Irish Sea, I think it could have retained its KZ 8734 registration.

Another mystery to solve! jj(at)ttypes.org [please substitute @ for (at)].

TA1449 (CTB 401)

Paul Taylor would very much like to hear news of his late father’s car. CTB 401, an ex-Lancashire Police TA, was his first car. His mother, pictured above with the car in the 1950s, is now 90 years young and took her driving test in the car all those years’ ago.

CTB 401 comes up from a DVLA search and its current status is that it is on SORN. The last V5C was in 2010.

Your Editor has a very poor (and getting worse) memory, but he does remember registration numbers. Mrs J jokes that although he can’t remember names, he knows the individual’s car and often, its registration number.

Well, CTB 401 ‘rang a bell’ and after a bit of research an email from Rick Buckley was located.

Text of Rick’s email as follows:

“I bought my first TA (TA1449) – (CTB 401) in 1968 when I was 14 and it was in pretty bad shape having originally been a Lancashire Constabulary car and then passing through several owners before I bought it for £25 with a cracked block and the engine in bits. I did some research and managed to get the 2 photos below from Bob Cuthbertson who owned it in 1964. He lived on Ash Walk in Alkington at the time, which is where the street photo is taken.

CTB 401 in the mid-1960s

Needless to say, I attempted quite a bit of work on the car but never got it built up and running and after several years of accumulating parts I eventually sold it to John Beavan of Ross-on-Wye in 1993. John rebuilt it with a 1500 engine and sent me pictures of it finished in black with a blue interior as per the original police scheme. I included in the sale some parts from another badly damaged TA.”

Ed’s note: I asked Rick for a copy of the photo of the rebuilt CTB 401 and he duly obliged with three!

Rick gave John Beavan the log book(s) for CTB on the sale of the car. Fortunately, Rick kept a copy, which shows that Paul Taylor’s dad (Raymond Arthur) owned the car at an address in Bury, Lancashire in March 1957. There was then a change of address to Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in April 1959. He finally parted with the car in October 1959 to an address in Rochdale, Lancashire.

There is a strong possibility that the car is in a museum somewhere as Rick recalls that John Beavan told him when he sent the photos (which date from 1994) that he was considering selling it to a museum. This may explain the very low mileage when you look at the (available through the DVLA site) MOT history from the 2010/11/12 dates.

Rick still has the old aluminium front number plate that can be seen from the 1950s photograph, which he will gladly make available to anybody who might want it.

These photos show John Beavan’s nearly completed rebuild – there were just a few outstanding jobs to finish on the bonnet, grille and radiator surround.

This ‘Lost & Found’ article started with an enquiry from Paul Taylor who wanted to hear news of his late father’s car. He’s certainly got plenty of news now – let’s hope that we can find its whereabouts!

TD13025 (KFG 388) and TD27201 (DNH 487)

Nick Ofield is hoping for news of two TDs he owned in the past.

First, TD13025 (KFG 388).

Nick owned this TD for nearly 18 years from 1974 until 1992 and would love to get in touch with the present owner. The car comes up using the DVLA search facility as ‘Untaxed’ as at January 2003 and the last V5C change is recorded as 30th January 2003.

Better news (in that it has much more recent history) of TD27201 (DNH 487).

Nick owned this car for one year only in 1966/67 (the picture was taken in 1967 on Barossa Common, Surrey Heath). The car comes up using the DVLA search facility as ‘Untaxed’ as at May 2018 and the last V5C change is recorded as 23rd  November 2011.

If you can help fill in some gaps about the history of either car Nick is at suphanne(at)hotmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Engine swap

Simon Burns has been in touch. He is searching for the original engine fitted to his TD (TD11279). The car should have XPAG/TD2/LHX11751, but it has an earlier engine XPAG/TD/LHX5377, which came out of TD5055. I have suggested that the original engine may have ‘given up the ghost’, was replaced, and may have been scrapped….so a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, which isn’t in the haystack! Nevertheless, as you ‘never know’ I offered to include this in Lost & Found’.

If anyone can help, it would be appreciated. email:

simon.j.burns(at)btinternet.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].  Phone contact is 07970862809.

MGTC (KUP 440)

Cathy Dawe is hoping that the present owner will see this ‘Lost & Found’ item so that he or she will contact her with news of the 1949 TC (chassis number not known) which her father once owned. The car comes up using the DVLA search facility as Taxed and on the road with a ‘Last V5C’ date of 13th March 2012. The following two pictures show her dad at a Bedford Automobile Enthusiasts Club speed trial and her mum with the car.

If you can help, Cathy’s email is: cathy.dawe(at)btinternet.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

TC4057

The following has been received from Bunny Metz in South Africa:

“As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the latest TTT bulletin. Thank you — your work is greatly appreciated. Not sure that this (very long shot) query is in the right slot, but thought I’d put it out there….!  Very nearly 60 years ago, aged 18, I bought my first car, a red TC, whilst living in Salisbury, Rhodesia (Harare, Zimbabwe). I loved that car! I was a member of the local MGCC and the mother Club, with whom I registered the car in 1964.  TC4057 / XPAG 4681 left the factory on 17/11/47.  I traded her in for a Healey 3000 and the dealer told me he then sold the TC to an American doctor who was stationed in Malawi.

I now live in Knysna, S. Africa, where I asked the local MGCC South Cape’s registrations officer to please enquire of the mother club as to whether they knew the car’s current owner and location.  The answer was that it was still registered in my name! My guess is the good doctor returned to the US, taking the TC with him. Perhaps through your excellent publication, I might find out if she’s still on the road.

Incidentally, my love for the marque began long before my first car.  About 70 years ago my father bought a new TD in Johannesburg (dark blue / light beige upholstery). Aged around 6 or 7, I spent many happy hours travelling around with my parents, ensconced on a cushion behind the seats!

In my dotage, I am now on my 5th MG, a pristine ‘50 TD, which I’ve owned for the past 14 years. So, virtually a lifetime in our wonderful world-wide MG family! Cheers!”

Bunny’s contact details are: bunnyandjan(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Ed’s note: Bunny sent me a picture of his TD, but I rather liked this one which was sent to me back in 2010 by Tony Lyons-Lewis.

The photo was taken in Knysna, a small coastal town on the south east coast of South Africa, sort of half way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The area is quite heavily forested and there are a number of lagoons (lakes?) in the area. Knysna is on one such lagoon that is tidal. The gap behind the cars is called The Heads and is a narrow channel connecting the sea to the lagoon.

Bunny’s TD (TD3309) is flanked by an MGA Twin Cam and a TC which, when the picture was taken, had just been acquired by Peter Vadas. I didn’t ever get to know the chassis number of the TC.

TC10148 (UMG 76)

Nick Hayman is enquiring on behalf of a friend for past history details of this TC. The car is in Jersey and the owner is looking to sell. Some history is known, but it would be good to expand on this to go with the sale of the car. nicholashayman(at)icloud.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

TD26039 (was LDA 444, now YMG 92)?

If the above details are correct and TD26039 was originally registered LDA 444, Ian Ailes has some early service papers for this car. There’s a service sheet from Carr’s Garage in Tavistock (Devon) dated 10th October 1964 and one from C.E. Pulleyblank, Motor Engineer of Plymstock (Devon) dated 10th January 1965. The owner at the time was Mr Murray.

Ian is happy to pass these papers on to the current owner. His contact details are as follows: mgv8ian(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Ed’s note: Although some of the service sheets refer to the customer as “Mr Murray”, one refers to “Brigadier Murray”.

CVD 101 (Chassis number not known)

Royston Goodman of the MG Octagon Car Club has bowled me a ‘googly’. An acquaintance has told him that he has a continuation log book and a V5 for an MG. The problem is that we don’t know, for sure, for which model MG!

The registration number is CVD 101, which shows up from the DVLA search facility as ‘Taxed’. Date of first registration is November 1946, year of manufacture is 1931 and cylinder capacity is 847cc. The date of last V5C is 18/12/19. This would possibly indicate an M-type. However, the continuation log book and the V5 make no reference to 1931; both give the date of first registration as 21/11/46. The V5 gives the cc as 8.05 and the log book refers to 8.05 H.P. roystonagoodman(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Further efforts to limit the effects of under-bonnet temperature in a TC – update from Steve Priston

This is an update from Steve Priston’s article in Issue 58. Following publication of this article there were some comments made as to why the modifications carried out by Steve were necessary. A couple of members said that they had not, so far, experienced any overheating problems.

The following are some extracts from what Steve said in reply:

Please do not feel in any way that these modifications are necessary, if you are not experiencing any difficulties with the way your car is behaving, after all, everybody has a different driving style and certainly expects or hopes for different things from a car.

I come from a classic/vintage motorcycling background and am a time served Mechanical Fitter so make reversible changes, realising that our current fuel situation is not going to get any easier for our vehicles to cope with.

As with everything that I do, to try to improve the reliability of my car, I ensure that it is reversible. Unfortunately, in many cases, it can only be a compromise. Like trying to keep the modern fuel cool, in a small engine bay, with a great lump of hot cast iron radiating heat, with only a vented cooling system and large radiator to cool things down.

So, this sets the scene for what follows by way of update from him – over to Steve……

Want something neat to deflect the heat?

Following on from the write-up in issue 58, I have given the under-bonnet heat situation some more thought, first deciding to trim down my 3mm thick alloy heatshield so that it resembled the profile of the commercially available stainless-steel ones because its centre, upper portion, looked to be directing some of the heat from the middle of the exhaust header, onto the inlet manifold or at least impeding the airflow.

Photo shows Steve’s original 3mm thick alloy heatshield as shown in issue 58, which he subsequently decided to reshape.

Having re-shaped the shield, I then spotted that it might just be possible to fit an additional smaller shield, between the manifold, the edge of the cylinder head and of course those two centre exhaust outlets, directly below.

This involved a bit of cardboard folding and cutting, having decided first, that some light gauge, 2 inch alloy angle section that I had, might just do it, which it did, after a bit of adjustment, as can be seen from the photos.

Photos show two views of the additional smaller shield to locate as described above.

The additional smaller shield is attached via two cylindrical alloy spacers, to the larger shield, in an effort to better transfer some of the heat it would collect, then hopefully these would help to dissipate it better, looking at the small amount of space between these components, you will appreciate how this is quite fiddly, to get it in.

Please be aware, that I also employ a pair of Tufnol insulating spacers, between the carburettor flanges and the main heatshield.

Ed’s note: A picture showing the additional shield in situ is included under the next heading.

Want to move it out there for cooler air?

Another change that I have made, is to my pancake air filter arrangement, by adding an alloy spacer, to move out the rear filter, getting it away from the shielding effect of the front one, by moving it one and a half inches over to the offside.

Sometimes when checking the spark plug colours, I had noticed that the front two appeared to be very slightly weaker, than the following pair, this was the motivation for the change.

Above picture shows back filter moved out by one and a half inches. Picture below shows tapered bore of the spacer.

As can be seen from the photo, the spacer has a tapered bore, as an attempt to compensate for the extra distance that the filtered air has to travel, over its neighbour, its ‘octagon’ shape was an after- thought!

As suggested recently by Paul Ireland, it is connected to the rocker cover breather, via some 6mm bore PTFE tube.

Want to keep your fuel cool and still blended as intended?

It had been suggested to me by more than one friend, that the best thing I could do, to help cope with this change in our fuel, was to somehow get the fuel to return back to the petrol tank – so how do you do that, without doing something irreversible to the car?

Well, I already use a rear mounted fuel pump, also having a fuel pressure regulator. So, I cast my mind back to my last carburetted car, a 1986 Vauxhall Astra 1300, which had two different sized fuel lines, in a nylon type material, running along the underside of the car. My recollection of this was only because at some point the rubber hoses at each end had needed replacing.

Nylon now, would of course be no good, but using PTFE tubing instead would; this giving the advantage of being able to be threaded along the inside of the chassis rail, rather than having to fabricate the lines in rigid stainless steel, then attaching it to the outside of the rail, where the two lines would be visible.

Next, having had a good look at the underside of the petrol tank, I decided that the returned fuel would have to go back into the tank via the 3/8 BSP drain plug port so I would need to make up some sort of snorkel tube, to discharge the fuel into the very top of the tank. For this, I bought some 8mm outside diameter stainless steel tube, creating what can be seen in the photo, the pipe resembling something like a bow.

The requirement for this curved shape, was due to the sloping rear panel of the tank because I didn’t want this new internal pipe, to touch the inside of the tank; but it would have to reach the top inch or so of head space, allowing it to discharge fuel, without any risk of syphoning, thereby avoiding any need for a non-return valve.

The fitting used for the tank connection, is something that I modified to suit but could be bought as an 8mm to 3/8 BSP nipple, that is then simply drilled to allow the 8mm pipe to pass right through; its olive was tightened onto the tube before fitting it into the tank, to make that job easier, then the compression nut was slackened off, before fitting it into the tank.

This was achieved by first jacking-up the rear of the car, then by leaving the compression nut on the fitting loose, it could be screwed into the port, with the bent tube remaining stationary up inside the tank. To get an effective seal on the olive, without the need for it to be excessively tight, I over-taped the olive, with plumber’s PTFE tape, a trick from years of working on sterilisers, that had to pass stringent leak tests.

This then left me with no easy means of draining the tank, which now it seemed, more than ever would need addressing, as we are advised not to leave ethanol fuel for too long in our vehicles.

This time however, I did actually drill and tap an 1/8 BSP thread into the side of the large hexagon brass tank outlet fitting, which at the time also required a replacement gauze; the extra threaded hole could simply be plugged, if needed.

This new tapping allowed me to add a ¼ inch ball type drain valve, to which I have fitted an additional plug, as shown (below), to prevent accidental draining, now making this task both simple and safe.

Photo showing the addition of ¼ inch ball type drain valve to which an additional plug has been fitted to prevent accidental draining.

This tank part of the job, had been what had put me off of attempting returning the fuel for a good while, so the worst was now hopefully solved.

My attention then turned to what fittings I could lay my hands on, to sort out the other end, under the bonnet, as can be seen in one or more of the pictures, with the smaller 1/4″ bore return line, passing over the top of the 3/8″ bore supply hose.

Ed’s note: Some under-bonnet ‘shots’ follow:

I decided that by ensuring that the fuel should remain cool, when pumped to the float chambers, that I would swap back the float chamber tops, reverting to the standard arrangement, with the hoses running closer to the cylinder head, having felt previously, that the front banjo fitting was perhaps a little vulnerable, should the car have a shunt.

It had also been suggested, that to be able to control the supply to the carburettors, that I retained the fuel pressure regulator, only this time it should be in the return line so I dismantled it, to alter its flow direction but expect that this was not really necessary.

With opposite ends of the system ready, I decided that I could also both simplify and tidy things up, by moving the fuel pump inboard of the chassis rail.

Having thought briefly about the pipe sizes for the run along the chassis rail, I seemed to remember that the Astra had an 8mm bore supply, with a 6mm return so this is what I went for, meaning 10mm and 8mm PTFE outside diameter tubing was required.

When using compression fittings with this type of tubing, I decided to make up some short lengths of very thin-walled stainless steel lining tube so that the olives would work as intended and once again over taped them, also where the SAE J30 R9 rubber hose joined the 10mm PTFE tube, I fitted a longer piece of liner tube for where the hose was double clipped.

The pump was mounted between two pieces of hose, with both being covered with some nylon mesh sleeving, as a form of extra protection.

The two lengths of PTFE tubing are protected by lower specification rubber hose, which I cut along its length, then pushed over the tube, clipping it in place, this in turn being routed along the chassis rail, clipped up as required. 

Now, by simply opening the filler cap, with the pump running, you can both hear and just see the fuel as it returns into the main body of the fuel in the tank below.

One last thing that I felt I should do, was to fit a manual fuel pump switch, simply so that when ending a journey, it would allow me to run down the amount of fuel in the engine bay, by running the engine until it stopped, hopefully lessening the possible issues of corrosion slightly.

Please note, if having just read this article in disbelief, of what I have done to my car, my justification is simply because it gave me something to do but also, I hope has helped to “future proof” it for a while, as fuel becomes less suitable. Also, please be aware that I haven’t yet had my car anywhere near as long as many of you reading this, having only acquired it at the age of 50, in 2017 so will have to hopefully put up with it for a while yet!                                    Steve Priston

Editor’s note: Just to close, a couple of underneath the car ‘shots’:

Revised fuel pipe routing, no longer outboard of chassis rail.

Reliable, less expensive, modern Facet fuel pump, well out of harm’s way. https://www.fuelpumpsonline.co.uk/facet-guide-27-w.asp

Editor’s further note:

The article was sent to Paul Ireland for comment, at Steve’s request.

Paul had some reservations based on his son’s experience of fitting a fuel injected engine into his Lotus Europa. He had a lot of problems with his Facet fuel pumps failing. The problem arose because these must be mounted horizontally otherwise the pump rollers run on and wear the side face. This can cause the pump to jam.

With such an arrangement it is very important to fit a fuel filter between the fuel tank and pump. Facet pumps are very susceptible to dirt in the fuel. He was not sure where Steve fitted the fuel filter.

He added that Steve mentioned the pressure regulator but he did not see where he fitted it nor its pressure setting. With such an arrangement the regulator needs to be fitted on the fuel return path to the tank. It must also be set to the same pressure that a normal pump would generate. Too high a pressure may cause the needle valves in the float chambers to fail.

Modern cars that are fitted with a system to continually return the petrol tank also include a swirl pot on the fuel feed to the pump. The purpose of this is to remove air from the fuel before it is pumped into the high pressure circuit. In the case of the MG RV8 for example, the swirl pot is fitted inside the petrol tank.

Given this swirl pot arrangement Paul is not certain what the effect of air in the fuel line would have in Steve’s arrangement.

Paul’s comments were fed back to Steve, who replied as follows:

“There are significant differences between the high pressure re-circulating systems as used on modern fuel injected vehicles and those used for my more simple low pressure application, because the high pressure systems employ more complex components that are totally unsuitable.

There are many versions of both fuel pumps and regulators available, even those specifically for retro fitting carburettors to an engine already using a turbo with a high pressure system for injectors, so you need to study the relevant application of these for safety’s sake.

I have used a Facet Posi-Flow 60106, 4 to 6 psi pump, with a Malpassi  PKA, 1.5 to 5 psi regulator; combined they cost less than an SU pump alone.

The Facet pump used is only rated at 4-6 psi; the instructions clearly describe that it should be mounted as I have done, being inclined at an angle, to prevent cavitation within the pump, having its own inline, replaceable filter simply screwed into the inlet port.

The fuel pressure regulator is of course positioned within the return fuel line and is not a multi ported version of the Malpassi unit, just having in/out ports because that is all it needs, unlike those for fuel injection, it also is their lowest pressure version, as required by the SU’s, with its sole purpose now being to create resistance to the fuel flow, above that of just returning it in a smaller bore pipe.

The regulator must be thought of in its current application, as more of a chicane, with the pipe system being the race track, in actual fact no matter what setting it has been tried on, it doesn’t upset the running of the car one bit, so has no effect on the float needles seating.

As far as issues through the return fuel carrying air bubbles that it has collected at the float chamber interface, well, this is part of the reason for the snorkel in the petrol tank having its exit end cut half way through, then bent over to approximately 90 degrees, to produce something of a spray at a time of higher pressure and with the exit at the top of the tank, it should help to de-aerate it.

With the tank vented, as they are, there is little chance, if any of a pressure build-up within it and in my experience of purified water systems, the feed water is supplied via a “spray ball”, into the tank, to de-aerate, like a showerhead. Please be mindful of the fact that what I have done to my fuel system has been through advice and guidance, from a retired Ricardo employee, his role with the company, was as their “engine rigger”, in other words, the person who rigged up the test beds for all manner of engines, setting up all of their supplies of fuel, oil and coolant, addressing any special requirements, as discovered, during the extended test periods.

The retired Ricardo employee did mention the use of a swill or swirl pot, but only if I had a problem, as they are more of a race track fitment, unless a vehicle suffers from issues that they can cure, as I understand the later carburetted VW Golfs did.

I think that as the SU float chambers have their own unsealed tickler units built into the chamber caps, that this should not be discounted as a means of effectively venting off vapour, should it build up: also, that in my car’s particular case, the temperature build-up, within its float chambers is very small, due to the effectiveness of using both heat shields and Tufnol insulating spacers combined.

As we currently live on the south coast, with its well-known appalling traffic problems, our return journey very often includes the last mile and a half, in heavy, slow moving or often stationary traffic, where I experience no issue whatsoever, with the behaviour of the car, even to the point that if the weather is very hot, I tend to switch off the engine, whilst waiting at traffic lights, before joining the “merry throng” westwards because of how confident I am of it restarting, without issues.”

Ricardo plc: https://ricardo.com/about-us

What’s in your Head?

If I can share my information on valve guide materials, I’m hoping to create an exchange of our experiences and the options available.

During the 1980s, leaded petrol was fast disappearing and becoming more expensive. My daily motorway drive was in a 10-year-old MGB GT 1800, with a TD for weekend leisure.

The BGT engine was not running well and I decided that a rolling road check would be wise. I made use of the local facility of Peter Burgess, who has an excellent reputation for preparing MGB and other race engines.

The bottom end, carburettors and electrics were all ok, but the cylinder head was pinpointed as requiring attention. Therefore, it seemed a logical update to have valve seat inserts and copper alloy valve guides fitted.

As a Metallurgist I was interested to know the specific alloy that would be used. However, this was not an easy question to answer as suppliers often used their own nomenclature. So, I volunteered to investigate by doing literature surveys, chemical, microscopic and hardness checks on what was on the market, plus a trip by Peter to the local scrapyards, retrieving valves from accident write-offs.

Just to say at this point, the convention for Brass is Copper/Zinc and for Bronze is Copper/Tin. As my experience was not with copper alloys, it was a learning curve for myself.

The six samples showed four basic alloy types (see Table 1),

Microstructural observations based on the basic phase diagrams for Copper/Zinc, Copper/Tin, and Copper/Aluminium were as follows:

Type 1 This was an alpha structure highly strained, non-annealed with a relatively large grain size.

Type 2 This was an alpha structure with an annealed recrystallised, much finer grain size.

Type 3 These were predominantly beta with a small feathery grain boundary alpha and a reasonably uniform precipitate.

Type 4 This was a duplex structure, fine alpha grains, surrounded by an irresoluable second phase.

Heat treatment and machinability were also reviewed.

Peter’s alloy of choice was the CA 104, but with time and the knowledge that thermal conductivity was similar to cast iron, he moved on to CZ 114. However, occasionally, the valves would be nipped in the guides, so with advice from Delta Bronze he moved on to his current material CZ 135 (HT 20).

The chemical composition of CZ 135 (BS2874) is shown in Table 2 with that of CZ 114 for direct comparison.

The thermal conductivities are shown in Table 3 with Grey Cast Iron and CA 104 for comparison.

With the addition of Silicon to CZ 135 the formation of Manganese Silicide needles give an excellent wear resistance over time.

Both alloys are often referred to as a Bronze, even with large amounts of Zinc; CZ 114 prefixed as a Manganese Bronze and CZ 135 as Silicon Bronze. However, some suppliers use the term High Tensile Brass due to their high Zinc contents, which is more in line with the convention I mentioned earlier.

Just digressing, how many of us call our kitchen foil ‘Tin’, when it is of course Aluminium?

The choice of guide material must be influenced by head geometry, engine operating conditions and thermal expansion characteristics of itself and the valve material. CZ 114 and CZ 135 have a very similar value of 20/21 x 10 (to the power of 6) K.

An article on the MG Experience forum in 2018 By Steven Savage is an excellent read with his comments on the relative merits of the two alloys and valve types.

My old MGB GT is still on the road but I have not been able to speak to the current owner of his experience. The TD misbehaved a few years ago and underwent the conversion by Peter with CZ 135 guides.

I have been in touch with several cylinder head refurbishers, requesting their alloy choices with a mixed response.

CYLINDER HEAD SHOP – (Predominantly motor cycles) use COLUMBIA METALS alloy COLISBRO (Cu Ni 2.0% Si 0.6%) for engines operating below 10,000 rpm and TROJAN (Ni 3.0% Si 1.0%) for above 10,000 rpm.

H.T. HOWARD & Co. Ltd use a spring tempered phosphor bronze.

Other companies either did not know, would not pass on the information, or never replied to me.

I hope this article will generate an interchange of our experiences, enabling an understanding of the options available. Maybe someone has experience of valve materials and matching them to guides.

David Barnes

The SU Pump Revisited 

This year marks the ninetieth anniversary of the invention of SU’s Type ‘L’ Fuel pump which was used through the T Series production cycle, including early TFs up until December 1953, when from TF1501 the pump was replaced by a high-pressure variant located at the back of the car over the rear axle.  This change was probably motivated by the higher under-bonnet temperatures of the TF and the tendency for fuel to boil when moved by the negative pressure pump.  The Type L pump was patented in the names of R. L. Kent and J. N. Morris with no mention of The SU Carburettor Company.  The patent was applied for in October 1932 and finally granted in December 1933 as GB Patent 403209.  It was followed in 1935 by US Patent 1987257. 

Fig 1 – a cross sectional drawing of the pump taken from GB Patent 403209.

These patents describe how the internal shape of the coil housing is contoured to linearise the magnetic pull on the diaphragm over its range of travel and how the diaphragm can be centralised in the coil housing by the use of “a plurality of radial thrust pieces having spherical peripheries”.  Pretty much everything else is described as being accomplished by “convenient means” but the patent goes on to mention an adaption to pump liquid concrete.  The cross-sectional drawing of the Type L pump, (previously shown) is taken from GB Patent 403209.  Note there was originally a spring holding the lower valve shut.  This spring is not present today.

Prior to the invention of the Type L pump, earlier MGs were dependent on the Moriscott ‘Petrolift’.  The name Moriscott being a contraction of the names of its inventors, the same J. N. Morris but this time with co-inventor M. D. Scott. The Petrolift was a ‘Heath-Robinson’ affair that featured a vent, which under certain conditions was found to spray fuel over the hot engine.  So concerned were MG about this they issued Service Information Sheet No 7 in January 1932, reassuring owners “that the matter has been taken up with the SU Carburettor Company, who are investigating”.  Meanwhile, they advised owners that it was imperative to ensure the vent hole was oriented away from the engine towards the dash! Ed’s note: I think that the firewall was originally referred to as the dash.

Fig 2 – M.G. Car Company Service Information No. 7 January 1932.

The SU part number for the Type L variant specified for most of the T Series is AUA25, and for the later TFs is AUA54.  The numbers were originally punched into an aluminium label held by two of the coil housing fixing screws but few of these remain intact today.  There were many variants of the pump with only minor tweaks to suit the requirements of different car manufacturers. For instance, the Morris Minor used an AUA66 which is identical to the AUA25, except that the familiar ¼ BSP threaded output connector is replaced with a plain spigot.  Later, there were higher capacity variants with a coil at each end of the pump chamber used in Rolls Royce and Bentley cars and a high capacity single ended variant, the LCS.  Pumps were available in 6V and 12V versions. Originally the 6V pumps had a brown cap and the 12V pumps had a black cap.  Unfortunately, these caps no longer provide an accurate guide to the pump’s operating voltage since the first attempt to fix a dead pump was usually to hit it with a large spanner, thus many caps were broken and replaced with whatever colour cap was to hand.

So, what is the difference between a Low Pressure (LP) and a High Pressure (HP) pump?  Originally the answer was not very much, now the answer is even less.  Both pumps have an active suction stroke when the coil is energised, creating a magnetic field that attracts the diaphragm, drawing fuel into the pump base.  This is followed by a passive delivery stroke when an internal spring returns the diaphragm to its starting position whilst expelling fuel to the carburettor float chambers.  Both pumps have two valves; one which closes during the suction stroke preventing fuel from being drawn back from the float chambers and the other which closes during the delivery stroke, preventing fuel from being returned to the tank.

During the suction stroke the magnetic field created by the energised coil must attract the diaphragm, compress the return spring and lift fuel from the tank.  The LP pump has a relatively weak return spring, so cannot expel fuel to a height much above itself during the passive delivery stroke.  For this reason, LP pumps are usually found on the bulkhead of the car at or around carburettor height. 

The HP pump has a stronger return spring so it can deliver fuel to a much greater height above itself, as required following the change on later TFs when the pump was relocated to low down at the rear of the car.  To compress the stronger return spring during the suction stroke, the HP pump requires a more powerful magnet.  The very first HP pumps for the TF achieved this by using a taller 3 inch coil housing compared with the shorter 2 ⅜ inch coil housing of the LP pump.  Later HP pumps reverted to the shorter coil housing and this shorter coil housing with its stronger magnet is now common to both HP and ‘Post 85’ LP pumps.  Thus, today, the LP and HP pumps essentially only differ in the choice of return spring.  

The Low Pressure pump started life with a brass base.  This continued until 1948 when it was changed to the current two-part die cast alloy base.  As far as I have been able to establish, there were no original brass based HP pumps but some may exist today because most of the pump’s components are interchangeable.  Spare parts are readily available from Burlen Fuel Systems, making the pumps eminently restorable, but because of the price of spare parts, it is probably only worth restoring the early brass based pumps.  Sadly, for the later alloy based pumps, and for the environment too, because of Burlen’s pricing policy, it’s almost cheaper to buy a whole new pump and throw away the old one.  As an example of just how restorable pumps are, Fig 3 shows the same brass based pump, which appears to have spent most of its life at the bottom of a lake, before and after restoration.

Fig 3 – the same brass based pump, before and after restoration.

The SU pump was fitted to many British cars up until the mid-1970s and possibly beyond that, but reliability has always been an issue for a number of reasons.  The first was the earth terminal used on very early brass based pumps.  This consisted of a 2BA post that replaced one of the six screws around the periphery of the coil housing attaching it to the base.  Over time, corrosion could prevent a good electrical contact between the terminal post and the coil housing, causing the pump to fail.  SU resolved this by replacing the earth post with an earth screw tapped directly into the side of the coil housing.  LP pumps used a 2BA earth screw and HP pumps used a 4BA screw.  The earth screw provided a reliable earth connection and for a while also provided a useful means of differentiating between the pump types.  The exception to the rule however was the AUA54 HP pump for later TFs which also had a 2BA earth screw.  Today, both ‘post 1985’ LP and all HP pumps feature a 4BA earth screw in the side of the coil housing, so that means of determining which type of pump you are looking at has gone. 

The more serious ‘Achillies’ Heel’ of the pump are the electrical contacts used to energise the coil.  As these contacts open, current continues to flow in the form of a tiny arc vaporising a minute amount of contact material each time they open.  The result is the contacts don’t last very long, again causing the pump to fail.  An arc can result whenever, current flowing in a coil is interrupted.  Energy stored in the coil develops whatever voltage is necessary to jump across the barely-opened contacts.  Unless a means is found to prevent this arcing, the pump coil can produce several hundred volts from the 12V battery supply.  This phenomenon is of course put to beneficial effect in our Kettering ignition system where the 12V supply is used to store energy in the ignition coil primary winding, which is then transformed to several thousand volts at the spark plugs as the distributor points open. 

SU made several attempts to reduce the arc and thereby extend the life of the contacts.  Very early pumps used a second winding of resistance wire wound on top of the main coil winding and connected in parallel with it.  This so called ‘burden’ resistor was intended to absorb energy from the coil to protect the contacts as they opened, but sufficient energy remained for the contacts to arc.  Later, SU tried adding a capacitor in parallel with the contacts, at which point the pump circuit became exactly like the ignition circuit, where the capacitor fitted inside the distributor slows the rise of the voltage across the just-opening contacts until they are far enough apart not to arc.  The capacitor was fitted inside a modified pump cap provided with a familiar bulge.  In terms of improved reliability, it was only a marginal improvement as capacitors of the day were notoriously unreliable so the quest for a better solution continued.

Somewhere along the way the single contact was replaced with twin contacts, but in terms of extending contact life twice ‘not very long’ was still ‘not very long’.  SU then looked for more exotic solutions and tried a ‘Varistor’.  This is a device that does not conduct at low voltages, but as the voltage across it rises it clamps the voltage to a predetermined level.   Unfortunately, the Varistor did not really clamp the voltage across the contacts to a sufficiently low level to prevent them arcing.  Next, they tried a semiconductor diode.  This proved to be a very effect solution which clamped the voltage across the contacts to less than a volt but immediately made the pump polarity conscious.  Whilst a diode could be fitted to suit either battery polarity, it meant care was needed to ensure the correct polarity of pump was fitted to each car or again another failure resulted. 

About thirty years ago I introduced the idea of fitting a ‘Transil’ across the contacts which provides a perfect solution and extends points life significantly.  A Transil is another semiconductor device which limits the voltage across the opening points to a low level, thus preventing them arcing completely.  It is not polarity conscious like a simple diode, so any pump fitted with a Transil can be fitted to any car irrespective of battery polarity.  Some time later I offered this solution to Burlen but they wrote back saying my solution was flawed and they didn’t want to lower their standards.  (I still have their letter.) It seemed they preferred to continue with even more attempts to solve the problem including one with multiple diodes and a capacitor bundled up in a piece of heatshrink sleeving.  Fast forward to today; guess what?  They now supply Transils with their pump repair kits.  I guess they feel enough time has elapsed since my offer that they don’t even feel the need to acknowledge my contribution. 

Whilst the Transil provides the perfect solution to prevent the contacts arcing as they open, there is still another problem associated with the contacts. During storage the contact material has a tendency to oxidise and become coated with an insulating film.  So just when a spare pump is called upon to rescue a stranded car the spare pump may also fail to operate.  It can be no coincidence that new contacts are supplied in a sealed airtight polythene bag.  To help prevent this happening, pumps stored under the bench or in the car for just such an emergency should be stored in an airtight bag, ideally with a desiccator pouch. 

Clearly a solution that replaces the points is required.

To this end Burlen offer a fully electronic conversion.  This consists of a Hall-effect device to monitor the diaphragm position and a semiconductor switch to replace the contacts.  It’s a solution, but it needs careful adjustment and is eye-wateringly expensive.  Surely there must be a better solution?

It occurred to me at about the time I started fitting Transils to pumps that a feature of every pump variant so far, both those using contacts and the electronic version, is that the pumping capacity is limited by the hysteresis of the contacts or the Hall effect device.  That means the diaphragm only travels far enough to flip between the hysteresis levels, it does not fully expel all of the fuel in the pump chamber on every cycle.  I felt it should be possible to design an electronic circuit not limited by hysteresis but still able to mimic the rapid ‘ticks’ of the pump at turn on and then settle down to regular slower ticks to keep the float chambers topped up.  Such a system would then utilise the full travel of the diaphragm and hence increase the amount of fuel delivered in each pump cycle.  I made a few half-hearted attempts to design such a circuit at the time, using the discrete electronic components of the day, but I quickly realised they would never all fit inside the pump cap.  However, today in an era when electronic components are significantly smaller and have never been cheaper, it can now become a reality.  Normally, the pump actually has three operating phases.  Firstly, as the ignition is turned on, it makes a series of rapid ticks when it is just pumping vapour raising the fuel from the level in the tank to the pump inlet.  Next, it makes a series of less rapid ticks as fuel is pumped to fill the float chambers.  Then finally, it either stops, or if the engine is running, it continues to tick slowly to supply fuel on an ‘as required’ basis.  This can be simplified into two phases, rapid ticks at turn on and regular ticks to keep the float chambers full.  This ‘signature’ is now very easily mimicked by a tiny microprocessor and less than a dozen lines of code*.  Such a processor today costs a few pence and is smaller than the head of a match.   The processor can then drive an electronic switch to control the pump coil.  So, it has taken ninety years to perfect, but we may now finally have it.  A pump with no contacts to oxidise, no pedestal, and no finicky adjustments.  It just works!

Peter Cole

Fig 4 – a working prototype of a new electronic pump.

* The processor is programmed using ‘C‘ programming language which was provided by my son Richard.

Availability of Transils

The editor is asked from time to time about the availability of transils. They are supplied by the author of this article (Peter Cole). pcoleuk(at)gmail.com [please substitute @ for (at)].

Fitting the transil Fitting is simplicity itself. The transil is supplied with ready-made solder tag connections.  All that is required to fit it is a screwdriver.

Photo shows a transil with ready-made solder tag connections along with transils awaiting fitment of the connections.

Photo shows a transil fitted to an SU pump

The Editor

Welcome to Issue 73 – August 2022.

There doesn’t seem too much to laugh about these days in the UK, but a note in the post from Martin Franklin made me grin. Martin is the TC owner (I’d better say ‘supercharged TC’) who sent in the Warning! “This machine is subject to breakdowns” etc., etc., which appeared in April’s TTT 2. His latest ‘pearl of wisdom’, which is situated on the passenger side dashboard of his TC, was gleaned from a newspaper article over 30 years ago and is as relevant today as when it first appeared. Here goes….

Drivers of vintage cars tend to be Bulldog Drummond types, who regard rain, hail, sleet, snow, fire and freezing fog with cavalier contempt.

“Put the hood up? – you must be joking old chap!”

In their world, the thrill of thundering along in the open air is measured by the number of flies lodged between teeth clenched tighter than the doors of Fort Knox.

These wind-blasted road warriors maintain the belief that he who suffers in this life is guaranteed freedom from speed limits, contra flows and traffic lights on the motorway to Nirvana.                                                                                

Ed’s note: Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond is a fictional character, created by H. C. McNeile and published under his pen name “Sapper”. Following McNeile’s death in 1937, the novels were continued by Gerard Fairlie. Drummond is a First World War veteran who, fed up with his sedate lifestyle, advertises looking for excitement, and becomes a gentleman adventurer. The character has appeared in novels, short stories, on the stage, in films, on radio and television, and in graphic novels.

Nirvana (in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.

(Nirvana was also an American rock group).

Accreditation is due to Wikipedia to whom a small donation will be sent.

We had a visit in July from Douglas Wallace and his friend, Derek Simpson. Douglas lives in Bali, Indonesia and it was his first trip back to the UK since 2019 – Derek looks after Doug’s cars (TC, TD and MGA) over here. They were on their way in Doug’s MGA to his native Scotland, via Brian Taylor’s garage in Shropshire where Doug is having work done on his PB. It’s always good to welcome them both and there’s always so much ‘catch up’ to do that the time flies by.

Also in July, I called in on Charles Penny in Malvern.

I have a standing invitation from Charles to call in for coffee whenever in the area, but until now I haven’t been able to make it. Happily, I needed to collect my rebuilt J2 carburetters from Ed Biddle, who is also in Malvern, so it was a ‘fuel efficient visit’. From Malvern, I motored up the M5, across the M42 and down the M40 to the Fosse Way and Brian Rainbow’s house in Harbury (just off the Fosse) to collect the cylinder head for my TF1500. The journey back home, free of motorways down the Fosse was quite delightful.

For the benefit of our overseas readers, the Fosse is an old Roman road, which was built to link Exeter in the south west to Lincoln in the north east via Ilchester, Bath, Cirencester and Leicester.

This issue’s front cover features Ron Ward’s 90 bhp TC, which is advertised for sale as ‘last article’. Ron is also advertising his spare engine in the ‘Bits & Pieces’ section. Also in this section, Digby Elliott is advertising a TC rolling chassis.

Returning to my visit to Charles Penny, I took the opportunity to have good look at ‘Tizi’, his TA and also his TF1500, which is being recommissioned for the road. Whilst we were discussing getting things done, Charles came up with the following:

The Doers Do. The Dossers Don’t.

The Denigrators denigrate the doers.

They are the most Dangerous as they prevent progress.

The Delegators are determined that others, any others, do the doing.

Dreamers dream of being Doers.

The Destroyers destroy all that the Doers do.

They are the Damned.

The Determined press on.

Oh, to be a Determined Doer! It is but a Dream.

Wacker Neusone Ltd invented the first vibratory rammer back in the year 1930.

As many of you know, I do registration work for the MG Octagon Car Club. You’ll also know that I have locked horns on many occasions with the DVLA. The latest contretemps was over an application to recover the original registration number for a YA. The case had been ongoing for several months (I won’t bore you with the details). Just as I was giving up hope, I received an email from the member saying that a V5C had been received for the original registration number, but it wasn’t for a 1947 MG YA ….it was for a 1947 Wacker Neusone!

JOHN JAMES