Category Archives: Issue 79 (August 2023)

Bits & Pieces

Steel gaskets (and nitrile bonded cork gaskets) for the tappet chest side plate.

This is a last call for these kits (it needs to be, as this is the last issue of TTT 2!).

At the time of writing, I have just three (3) kits left.

Cost is £14 plus £3.49 UK postage. The kits can be sent overseas for the appropriate airmail (or surface mail) rate.

If you would like a set, please send an email to jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)] and I will let you have payment options.

Reduction in price of some Regalia items

Reproduction of TF1500 sales brochure Publication No. H.54125

16 pages, plus front and back covers (shown above). Sales of the TF1250 were markedly slowing, so the TF1500 was introduced and the opportunity was taken to capitalize on Captain George Eyston’s record-breaking success at Utah, USA, where eight new International Class “F” records were set.

This is a nice reproduction and the quality is much better than the scan used here.

Price reduced from £7.50 to £4.00. UK postage is £1.15. Overseas postage is dependent on Continent.

Contact the editor at jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)] for payment options.

Reproduction of TF1250 sales brochure Publication No. H. & E. 53101

This is a fold out brochure to size 550mm (down) x 430mm (across). Price reduced from £5 to £2.50. UK postage is £1.15. Contact the editor as above.

Note:  The TF1500 and TF1250 sales brochures can be sent for £1.85 UK postage if ordered together.

Reproduction of TA/TB Parts List

Reproduction printed on coated paper. 76 pages. 

£2.50 plus £2.40 UK postage.

Contact the editor at jj(at)

[Please substitute @ for (at)] for payment options.

Gold Portfolio Books

A collection of interesting articles and period road tests. Two copies of TA & TC available at £4.50 each and one copy of TD & TF at £4.50. UK postage on each book is £2.50. 172 and 176 pages each book.  Both were previously being sold for £13.50. Contact the editor as above.

Practical M.G. TD
Maintenance Update & Innovation

I have one display copy of this useful little C5 sized book (contains 91 pages) Very slightly ‘dog-eared’ on bottom right-hand corner. £1 plus £1.85 UK postage. Also have three (3) new copies left at £6.50 each plus £1.85 UK postage. (Editor)

Operation Manuals (handbooks) for the TD and for the TF and TF1500

Two copies of each available at £4.50 per copy (both were previously being sold for £8.95). UK postage is £1.85. Please contact the editor.

Ed’s note: This completes the list of reductions. When they are gone, they are gone!

Now to some items that I wish to dispose of/no longer need.

Thick keyed washers for rear spring front mounting pin

For TC and probably TA and TB as well. As shown in the picture, I have five of these. I prefer to send two separate packages of two and perhaps the odd one which could serve as a pattern. These are free of charge (I have seen them advertised for £19.29 plus VAT). Just send me £2 for the postage for two and £1.50 for the postage for the odd one.

Phosphor bronze trunnions

These are ¼ inch slot new trunnions for TA and most Triple-M rear springs. Also suitable for front if ¼ inch main leaf used. Three sets of 4 available at £32 plus £3.50 p&p per set. (Note that Moss stock these for £49.50 per pair i.e. set of 2). For the keyed washers and the trunnions, contact the editor at jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)]

TF tank ends

A pair of new after-market TF tank ends. Some surface rust in places on the insides. £5 for the pair plus £5.50 postage. Contact the editor (as before).

XPAG (‘round hole’) head gaskets

Two new XPAG head gaskets (’round hole’). Suit late TD and TF/YB. Gaskets are from ‘Gaskets for Classics’. £5 each plus £3.50 postage for each.

XPAG bottom end gasket sets

Two new sets from ‘Gaskets for Classics, which include the correct section ‘rope seal’ identified by Eric Worpe and sourced by the editor. £7.50 each plus £6 postage for each.

XPAG/XPEG camshaft lock tab washer

New, still in B&G poly packet. Not the new shape, which is currently being advertised for £5.94 inclusive of VAT. Free, but please send the editor £1.50 for postage.

Brake hoses TD/TF

New, boxed, I’ve had them for a few years. £4 for the two plus £4 postage.

TA/TB/TC (and Triple-M) tab washers for front leaf spring pin

Free of charge (for two), but please send £1 for postage.

I noted that Moss are charging £8.29 for (I assume) two.

TD/TF crown wheel and pinion Crown Wheel and pinion from my TF1500. It was performing quite adequately until I had it changed for a higher ratio one from an MGA. £40 plus £10 postage. Photos on request. The ratio is standard 4.875.

Headlamp daisy rim screw

See Part number 641L on the website of The Complete Automobilist, £20.34 each, inclusive of VAT. Two available at £4 each plus £1.50 postage on each. The threaded part is not perfectly straight, but should fit ok.

Tappet chest cover plate

One available for £15 plus £4 postage.

Timing chain cover

One available for £20 plus £4 postage.

I think that’s about everything, except the kitchen sink! When they are gone, they are gone!

…….and to close……..

I’ll take the Reconditioned TC Gearbox (Exchange) for £9.15 (nine pounds fifteen shillings) £9.75.

I thought my prices were good, but I can’t compete with Bill’s!

Lost & Found

TD9712 (AFL 972)

AFL 972 has been featured before in TTT 2. This time Nick Martin contacted me about the car as it used to belong to his father. I was pleased to be able to put Nick in touch with current owners, David and Sue Barnes. Nick has sent them some period photos from the time Nick’s dad owned the car, one of which is reproduced here.

TC0678 (BAG 322)

BAG 322 was owned in the late 1960s by a young school-teacher. He paid £160 for the car which needed some work. After two new back springs, and new tyres, he left a local garage £70 lighter. The story of the car was featured in the London Evening Standard in 1972 and I would have loved to have reprinted the article and the picture, but having contacted the newspaper it seemed that there might be too many hoops to jump through, and talk of obtaining a licence sent pounds, shillings and pence flashing through my eyes.

Such a pity because the article mentioned the time when the exhaust dropped off in the City with the owner holding up the traffic whilst lying underneath to re-hitch it with the help of two plumbers, who had supplied the all-important jubilee clip. Also, when a half-shaft broke in Islington and a young man in a hearse came to his rescue – no jokes, please!

The car is now owned by John and Sally Reay who purchased it in 2004. The pic shows John with the car, minus its 1960s style chequered grill.

BAG 322 underwent some major restoration in 1990 by its previous owner, and John has continued with some running restoration works since.

TA???? (EXR 443)

This is EXR 443, thought to be a TA, with Les Belcher at the wheel in his younger days, when in the early 1950s it was his daily driver. Les is 96 and is now in a care home. Paul Albért, who visits Les, managed to find this photo.

The story goes that Les wanted to go to America where he knew job prospects in the early 1950s were better than in England. However, he needed to raise some funds to get there. The opportunity presented itself while Les was in Oxford at a cricket match. He was approached by an interested buyer for the car, but having agreed on a sale price (the sale price is lost in the mists of time) the buyer did not have all the money on him. Apparently, no problem for Les… he took all the money the chap had on him, including all the loose change in his pockets as he reckoned that this would be sufficient to get him to America.

Who was the mystery buyer? Any leads to the contact form on the website, please.

TA2404 (FNU 90)

The May issue of Enjoying MG contained a couple of paragraphs and a photo of this car. Rick Eckersley was seeking information about his father’s old TA. I don’t know if any leads were forthcoming, but it is probably worth giving it an airing under Lost & Found.

It is taxed and so must be on the road. It is XPAG’d and probably still has its Shorrock supercharger.

Any leads to the contact form on the website, please.

Editor’s Note:

This is, sadly, the last ‘Lost & Found’ in TTT 2. It has been enormously successful in tracking down ‘Lost’ cars and has ‘Found’ quite a few. I know that readers have enjoyed the feature and they particularly like the period photographs. The good news is that I am hoping to run the feature in the Octagon Bulletin and will consult with Roger Muir, the Editor, about this.

Early XPAG oil pump priming

Not all XPAG oil pumps seem to be effective at self-priming which can result in anxious moments waiting for some oil pressure to build up when first starting an engine after an oil change.

One possible cause could be the inclusion of an anti-drain back flap valve in the modern spin-on filters that are used in one type of oil filter conversion. The oil pump already struggles to draw up cold thick oil from the sump against any sort of back pressure and the flap valve adds to the difficulty.

To help overcome any self-priming problems due to back pressure, the following guidelines might help.

1, Remove spark plugs so engine can turn freely using the starter motor, without loading the crank shaft bearings.

2, Fill up the new oil canister with fresh oil; this won’t help overcome the back pressure but will reduce the time for the oil pressure to build up when the oil pump is primed.

3, Unscrew the brass plug directly above the oil pump, and to the side of the lower dynamo bracket, the hex head needs a thin wall 1/4 BSF ring spanner.

4, Spin the engine using the starter motor until a cupful of oil and air bubbles have leaked out from the oil gallery via the opening. If after about 8 seconds no oil has leaked out, go to step 5. If oil does flow out, then replace the plug and spin the engine again. If, however, oil pressure doesn’t build up, remove the plug again and go to step 5.

5, This step attempts to remove all back pressures on the pump by partially disconnecting the pipe between the pump and filter. Unscrew the banjo bolt on top of the oil filter, making sure that the banjo adaptor doesn’t twist, as this puts a strain on the copper pipe where it enters the banjo adaptor. An adjustable spanner locked onto the adaptor could be used to stop it twisting. After unscrewing the banjo bolt until it is loose, spin the engine until oil squirts out. Retighten the banjo bolt and spin the engine until oil leaks out of the brass plug opening. Replace the brass plug and spin the engine until some oil pressure is indicated. Repeat 5 if needed.

6, Replace the spark plugs and check oil pressure with engine running. 7, As the starter motor can be made to run independently of the ignition, you may wish to consider spinning the engine on the starter motor for a few seconds before turning on the ignition. This helps circulate oil before the engine “fires up”, particularly after a long engine rest period…

…………Oil filter conversions.

Some rogue cast aluminium adaptors for spin-on oil filters conversions were made many years ago. They were not cross drilled, resulting in the pumped oil entering the filter element through its central core. The filter element’s convoluted membrane is not robust if oil flows in the wrong direction, but more significantly any anti drain-back flap valve would block oil flow. Oil would continue to reach the bearings by way of the oil pump’s by-pass valve; however, the oil would be unfiltered and at a lower pressure.

Here is a photo of a rogue oil filter adaptor and the opened-up oil filter showing the flap valve which would cover the holes in the flange.

Take care choosing oil filters, filters for modern cars running on much thinner oils may not be suitable for the 20W50 oils used for XPAGs. The most common spin-on filter conversion is intended for 76mm dia. filters with a 3/4 inch x 16 UNC thread form. Some filters have an inbuilt by-pass valve and these can operate with differential pressures as low as 7 psi. A coiled spring feature at the base of the central core is probably the by-pass valve.The GFE 443 and its equivalents are intended for A series engines and seem to be a popular choice.

Eric Worpe

Ed’s note: Eric says that it’s almost impossible to find the specifications of oil filters in terms of maximum flow rate at a particular oil viscosity, capture efficiency of a particular particle size, by-pass pressure operation if valve is fitted, anti-drain back flap-valve if fitted, oil pressure drop as function of flow rate and viscosity, dia. of sealing ring and thread form. Whilst he suspects that the GFE443, intended for ‘A’ series engines running on 20W50 oil may be ok, he is unable to endorse it.

As we are discussing oil filters, I have two of type GFE102. The label reads as follows:

Oil Filter Element
with ‘O’ Ring [on oil pump]

Free, but postage of £4.00 for sending the two would be appreciated.
jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

The Dick Jacobs MG TD Special (SHK 7)

The June Issue of TTT 2 featured an article by Matt Sanders on the Dick Jacobs TA Special (CS 7695). Mention was made, and a picture included, of the successor to the TA, a TD-based Special (SHK 7). This attracted the attention of reader, Rob Dunsterville, from New South Wales, who when living in England, wrote an article on SHK 7 which was published in The Classic MG Yearbook 1974. This was edited by the late Dick Knudson, co-founder of the New England MG T Register in USA. To quote Rob from a recent email to me, “I was greatly assisted by Dick Jacobs himself and he corrected my draft and approved the final story so the details are authentic.” 

The article was entitled ‘SPECIAL, SPECIAL’ and with Rob’s permission (as the author) I have reproduced it here. I need to point out that whilst the words have been faithfully reproduced, the layout is different, due in part to print size, font, and positioning of some photos between the original article, as published, and TTT 2. Also, the pic of SHK 7 with rigged up rough luggage rack is different to the one originally published. The pic of the front suspension is ‘landscape’ rather than ‘portrait’.



Rob Dunsterville

To some, the ownership of an MG special is more exciting than owning a concours premier class winner. To own one that was well known in its competitive heyday, being driven to and from every event, must be going one step further. Perhaps the ultimate is the T Type special registered SHK 7. This is the car built up by Dick Jacobs whose career with MG’s is legend.

Tim O’Rorke is the lucky man with this car now in his London garage. In fact, it could be said that he is doubly lucky as this is his second ownership. He sold SHK 7, after worthy service, when his demands of motoring were beyond its capabilities.

He regained it when, by chance, he was browsing through a copy of Autosport early in 1973 and saw the familiar registration number in the sale column. The sirens called and with nostalgic memories flashing through his mind he set off in the successful pursuit of his old amour.

The Beginning

Dick Jacobs had been driving TC’s and the earliest TD’s for the MG Factory in races for production sports cars. From additional experience with his TA/TC (1937 chassis) based special, he could see in the TD the basis for a more successful car and set about building just that. A brand new TD chassis   had its rear end cut off and the rear end was ingeniously relocated using Panhard rods and coil springs, Dick says, “The production of this chassis was entirely due to the more than close cooperation of Syd Enever, the chief development engineer at Abingdon. The front suspension was modified to YB specification which was smaller and stiffer springs giving less unsprung weight”.

Into this rolling chassis he installed a TC block which had liners to reduce the swept volume. A polished and balanced crankshaft with special pistons all added up to 1,087cc (which is a familiar size coincidentally, to those who know anything about K3’s). The basic idea behind this reduction was that Dick could fit a supercharger and yet remain in the under 1500cc class. A standard XPAG engine of 1250cc when blown would be placed in the next class up to its disadvantage.

Early MG’s had superchargers fitted between the dumb irons and driven by the crankshaft. Later, the style changed and by fitting an extra pulley behind the starting handle dog nut, a blower could be mounted under the bonnet with no modification to the bodywork. However, Dick had a small problem. He wanted to blow the engine but a supercharger would not fit in the conventional position, as he had cleverly designed the body to be much too narrow to reduce drag.

His engineering ability soon overcame this and he moved the dynamo to the off side and put the puffer, a Marshall with a 1 ½” SU carburetter on the near side with the inlet pipe making a journey around the front of the head and into the inlet manifold in its usual place. This repositioning also allowed plenty of space for a four branch exhaust system, enhancing the discharge of exhaust gases. The re-routing of the plumbing allowed no room for a fan and was omitted, but an electric one is now on the car to ease traffic overheating problems.  Dick built the body from small diameter steel tubes and light alloy panels. Fibreglass has since been used for the bonnet, rear end inspection hatch and nosepiece. The shape was devised as he put it “from two photographs – one was the rear of a Frazer Nash and the other the front of an HWM, both very successful cars at that time.”

The cockpit and simple dash (Ian Nowell photos)

Head on view shows narrowness of design & cooling fan

Much of the car was lightened using the old technique of drilling everything in sight, including the accelerator pedal.

The mechanical modifications proved amazingly satisfactory and the car still retains the same crankshaft. Production MG’s were particularly competent in the road holding and handling department. This special, incorporating a mixed bag of suspension equipment was a different kettle of fish. Again, Dick’s experience and competition knowledge was used and development work soon sorted out the problems, so that the car now not only holds the road in a surprising manner, but handles superbly with the lightest of touches. Its difficult to realize that there was a problem at all, as it feels so good in comparison with a normal T Type.

Dick confesses that the car never won him any races, but he obtained overwhelming pleasure from its reliability. He was rewarded by being in the first three every time out, except in the Manx Cup Race, where he admits to over-revving the engine, which caused the blower belt to come off. He reckons that his most thrilling race was for the Ulster Trophy at Dundrod where he came in third in the 1300cc scratch race after removing the wings and head lights.

 He remarks that the car was a pretty and pleasing shape by the standards of the early fifties and this is borne out by the number of fresh offers he received for the car at every meeting. He finally accepted one from “ a young man who had made a lot of money producing films.” Disappointingly, the registration book has been lost between the periods of Tim’s ownership, and he cannot remember the name of the second owner.

 Tim bought the car from a doctor, who, he thinks, was the third owner. Apparently, he had had little joy with it as a star performer and sold it after two years. Tim soon found out the reason when he returned it to Dick’s Mill Garage in East London for an engine overhaul.

Dick had not seen or heard of the car for about eight  years  and  immediately  spotted  that  the

supercharger had been removed. When it was stripped down the lack of performance was abundantly clear. During an earlier overhaul someone had fitted the wrong pistons, not realizing that he was defeating Dick’s original concept. This gave a compression ratio of about 4:1 instead of about 8.0. With the engine back in shape, but still sans compresseur, Tim set off from Mill Garage almost directly for the Continent after quickly rigging up a rough luggage rack, as there is no space behind the seats. Even the passenger side of the cockpit is cramped with the battery half sunk into a well in the floor.

Tim with SHK 7 with rigged up rough luggage rack – note the drilled wheels.

“SHK 7 was as happy on the not-so-good Spanish roads as anywhere”, says Tim, “and she was quite capable of the magic ton with reassuring stability, even if the ride was a trifle hard at times.” Tim’s first competitive event in the car could have been a disaster. He had entered a sprint organized by the Cambridge University Automobile Club on one of the old airfields in East Anglia and had put fastest time in practice for his class. During the lunch break his eye rested on the TD disc wheels which had been heavily drilled full of holes for lightness. Tim spied hairline cracks joining each hole with the next one and that was enough to cause him to withdraw and drive slowly home.

The tyres at this stage were in need of replacement as worn Dunlop R3s are unstable in wet conditions.

All basic XPAG with long route for the inlet pipe from supercharger to manifold

Tim arranged for a garage to renew both the wheels and the tyres and was determined to have another go against the clock – his competitive spirit undaunted. On the road to the garage, he thought he could smell petrol leaking. He reduced speed and turned his head to see if the leak was from the tank. Suddenly the car in front stopped but Tim was unable to follow suit. An inevitable collision occurred and frighteningly, flames shot into the air from under the bonnet. Tim managed to put out the fire but the car was in no shape to go racing.

After two years of happy ownership, he decided it was time for another car and turned his attention to TR’s and the like. During those two years SHK 7 had served him well as an everyday car and his only one at that. It was only equipped with a primitive windscreen, hood and side curtains and these were fitted after Dick sold the car, but seldom used in the best MG tradition.

The car passed to a man called Clayton and then again to Jamie Granger. Under his direction it added more competitive miles and some modifications were carried out by Atlas Motors of Isleworth in Middlesex. These included fitting of an anti-roll bar, MGA drum brakes, and again a supercharger, but this time a Shorrock. SHK 7 then had a long spell in a private garage while Jamie was in America.

When he returned a couple of years ago, he decided to sell and this is where Tim reappears on the scene. During his first ownership it was painted blue but when he saw it again it was British Racing Green with white circles as it still is.

Tim returned the car to Atlas for a thorough check over for registration purposes and peace of mind and used it during the summer of 1973. During the winter he tidied up a few bits and pieces ready for the finer weather this year but it was not to be. Tim has had many commitments away from London and has been unable to give it more than a regular check over. SHK 7 is eligible for membership in the Historic Sports Car Club and Tim hopes to reverse this summer’s lack of activity next season in both MGCC and HSCC events.

Thus, you can see that Tim is not a man to wrap this irreplaceable car in cotton wool. Far from it as his MG experiences will bear out. He started by illegally keeping a M type at school which he tinkered with during the term time. When he got his license, he was straight off to the Continent in his holidays. He took a good stock of big end bearings and that’s about all. It was easier to change those beside the road than fix the temperamental oil pump. However, he was stumped with a broken crankshaft in Switzerland.

Rear end with suspension modifications

His next MG was a blue PB which also became a European tourer and on one trip to France with the late Piers Courage, they took it in turns to frighten each other coming down the Alpine passes at about 60mph using only the handbrake as the foot brake had seized. He also had a couple of J2’s, one he thinks had a F… engine which was not so frowned upon in the early sixties. So, you can see that SHK 7 is in octagonal hands which will soon be gripping the steering wheel with all the tenseness that makes motor sport so exciting, or in a relaxed manner out some summer evening. As with all MG’s it will be most exciting to see a car such as this in action again.

Traditional TD/Y suspension with adaptations and mounting plate for anti-roll bar.

Editor’s note

I had hoped to reproduce a photograph of Dick Jacobs racing SHK 7 at Silverstone. As it was a photograph which appeared in Motor Sport publication, I asked permission to reproduce it, saying that I was willing to pay a reasonable fee. Unfortunately, after an initial acknowledgement, and then no further contact from the publication I emailed them again, but sadly, nothing.

The one photograph I have appears to be a photostat of a photostat and would look awful.

Rob Dunsterville, the author of this fine article, is keen to learn the current whereabouts of SHK 7. Any ‘leads’ to the editor, please. jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

T-Types and reliability

by Laurent Castel

Due to my job, I’m a bit mad about reliability. For mathematics, reliability is the probability of success of a mission. For classic car tourer, it is your confidence level about your car.

You can find several publications about how to improve the drivability (engine power, lighting, indicators, brakes…), car comfort (waterproofness, seats, heater…). The purpose of my present writing is to gather tips and tricks that make an MG reliable. Descriptions of these improvements are often already described and I will just make a reference. A trusty car is a car that you can drive daily but also enjoy when you put the suitcase in for a peaceful journey.

First asset for a reliable car is simplicity. The MG TD is a good candidate.

However, our cars are old with a high mileage on the clock – severe drawback for reliability! We all know it is a common task for us to change the tyres, the brake linings, the bulbs, or the points; less considered is the wear out of electric or rubber parts.

So, I first recommend to check or change the fuel hoses, the brake hoses, the various suspension rubber bushings, the fan belt, the dynamo, and starter motor brushes. All these are cheap parts and could spoil your planned holiday if they fail.

Almost impossible to check for cracks or voltage insulation, cheap also, you should replace all the high tension leads around the distributor.

A bit more expensive is to fit a new water pump if you fear a sudden leak. And why not fit an improved six vane water pump? See TTT 2 N°32 p23 – tests from Geoffrey M. Baker show a 30% coolant flow improvement.

Ignition is one of the fear of mechanics. However, it is very reliable even, (or especially?) keeping with the original Kettering system.

Why fit a sports coil, commercial appellation for high voltage coil? Reliability is for tourers, not for racers. So, keep on with a good old low voltage one. It will generate enough voltage for any high compression engine with clean plugs up to 5500 RPM. And it will prevent accidental arcing on the leads, the distributor cap, or the rotor arm.

In a similar way, change the rotor arm for a high voltage one, with no rivet: they are often red. GRA2101HQ from Moss or Distributor doctor. This is called the strength stress principle. Reduced stress, increased strength: more reliable. Coil, or more precisely the cooling oil inside is more prone to self-arcing at high temperature. So, make sure the coil thermal flux is efficiently conducted to the firewall. It is mainly conduction cooled. Attach the coil to the firewall with a wide bracket. The coil itself is convection cooled by the inside coolant. So, it is better to attach the bracket to the highest part of the coil. See picture.

I even smear a layer of thermal compound between coil and bracket and between bracket and firewall. Sold on eBay for powerful microprocessors!

Whilst on the ignition system, many of us have experienced failures with new condensers. These devices are often very poorly manufactured by an unknown guy somewhere in the far east.

Nowadays, special capacitors (the electronic name for condensers) are available for high voltage pulse applications. These are common in power supplies of many domestic appliances. Recommendation is to fit one of these. Forget about car part manufacturers for condensers. Chose the best capacitor manufacturer for electronic designs: Vishay (space domain manufacturer): MKP1839 or MKP1845 series are designed for AC and pulse applications. This is exactly what we need. Refer to TTT 2 N° 31 p4. Eric Worpe describes how to adapt this part inside the distributor. Such a condenser is installed on two of my cars.  4000 Miles on them.

Electricity is often neglected by mechanics. A good wiring is the key to reliability. Splice is banned.  Add a short ground wire to chassis for any current sink (headlights, horns, fuel pump).  Insert shake proof washer on the terminal to penetrate the metal. See picture.

For hot wires (the ones carrying voltage) fit a rubber boot on the terminal. Many of us experienced the sudden engine stop due to the tacho gear box that rotates down to the distributor terminal. Fitting a rubber boot on it prevents a possible short circuit to ground.

See pictures.

Horns draw lots of current. It may damage your expensive Lucas push button on dashboard. Insert a relay. See TTT 2 N°30, p15 from myself.

In TTT 2 N°22 p16, Peter Cole explains how to protect the contacts of the original fuel pump by fitting a Transil*. This reduces the electric arcing across contacts and thus decreases wear out.

Install a redundant fuel pump as in aircraft! The inner design of the Lucas fuel pump allows to fit a secondary pump in series on the fuel pipe. A modern one can then be hidden just below the tank. A simple switch can activate the second pump without even stopping the car in case of failure of the Lucas one.

I have a Facet cube type pump which also allows fuel to freely flow in it when not powered. Don’t forget to test the redundant pump from time to time.

If you are about to remove the tank, a good thing is to coat it. It then is less prone to rust due to ethanol blends. It also copes with pin size holes and freezes all particles in it. You can get the resin material from several dealers. Restom, well known French manufacturer, makes its own kit including de-rust, cleaner and resin. A real best seller here. I’ve never heard any complaint about it.

Whilst at the tank, the sender unit is a well known leaky place. If it is leaking, replace the original cork gasket.

Ed’s note: The Octagon Car Club sells a gasket set (2 gaskets) in ethanol resistant rubber (you need to be a member to buy spares from the Club).

If it is not leaking, leave well alone (“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”).

Many people claim to install an inline fuel filter after the pump. In case the filter is totally clogged there would be a risk of pump damage if it is installed before the pump. But in case the filter becomes totally clogged you would have certainly experienced problems before! The engine would stop well before the pump overheats. So, I personally recommend to install it before the pump. Just at the output of the tank. You don’t want any particle in your pump as well.

There is absolutely no risk for the pump if you check the filter regularly (once a year). They are transparent. Change it every 5000 Miles. It is really cheap.

About brakes. Leaky cylinders? Stuck piston? Change the fluid for silicon based fluid. This laborious job is described everywhere. It really is worth it. You will just forget about brake maintenance for at least a decade. Protect the bleed nipples with rubber caps. Sold on eBay for a few pounds. Do the same for grease Zerk.

And of course, don’t forget the regular maintenance as described in the workshop manual. Have your checklist ready at the beginning of the season. Many discussions on forums about checklists.

Your T-Type is now at the highest level of reliability (for a 70 year-old grandma). However, carry a minimum of spare parts. Just for peace of mind!

The Distributor Doctor (Martin Jay):

MG Octagon Car Club:


*Note: Transils are available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

GoF Here We Come!

“Where are you going?” asked the US Border Guard.

“We’re going to Buellton California”, I replied.

“Who’s we?” he asked.

“Me and the two guys in the lane behind you”, I replied.  He turned around and looked at Gary and Kerry in the 1955 MG TF in the lane behind him.

“Carry on” he said, and off we went for a quick pit stop in Blaine, before hammering down the I5 to the exit to Fairhaven.

It was 6:30 am on 23 June 2022 at the Pacific Truck Crossing. I’d spent the night at Kerry’s house in Fort Langley in order to save myself the extra hour it would’ve taken me to travel from West Vancouver to meet the team in Aldergrove.  As it was, today was going to be the Longest Day. Not only did we have a distance of 350 miles to travel, but today also included a ferry ride.  Our destination was Tillamook WA, on route to Buellton CA for the 50th GoF West meeting.

At the Shell station, just off the exit to Fairhaven, we met the rest of the gang.  Warren and Kerri Shott and their blue ‘53 MG TD, Alan Donaldson in his red ‘50 MG TD. Unfortunately, Kim was unable to bring ‘Scarlet’, his red ‘50 MG TD, since he had some concerns regarding the engine’s health, so he brought his Hyundai. Kim is the UnClub’s tail-end Charlie, since he always brings up the rear of any convoy.  He’s the guy who picks up any pieces that may fall off the cars in front of him. Kim knows everything there is to know about the T -Series cars and a very valuable asset to the team. It turned out to be fortuitous that he brought his Hyundai and had the foresight to include a tow-bar.

After filling up at the Shell station we decided, since we had enough time to get the 10:30 ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend, we could make the trip via the scenic Chuckanut Drive rather than going down the I5.  And so, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ set off.

From Chuckanut Drive we merged onto Hwy11 and hit traffic.  I got separated from the rest of the crew behind a large truck and other vehicles and as we entered the roundabout to turn onto Highway 20, horror of horrors, I took the wrong turn off and found myself on a divided highway heading to Anacortes with no way to turn around until I reached Fidalgo Bay, at which point I was about half way to Anacortes. After doing a U-turn back onto Highway 20, it was pedal to the metal down to the roundabout and back on towards Coupeville.  Now I was far behind the crew.  Whether or not I would  make it in time for the ferry was my main concern. ‘Chillipepper’ didn’t let me down and we made it to the ferry terminal with time to spare. 

From Port Townsend we travel down the 101 along the scenic Hood Canal, with an obligatory pit stop for ice cream at Hoodsport.

Hoodsport pit stop for ice cream

Then it was on to Tillamook via Astoria. We rolled into Tillamook about 6:00 pm after a long 12-hour day.

Friday 24th of June. Today’s destination is Gold Beach Oregon, a mere 245 miles away. We proceeded down the scenic Highway 101 with a variety of weather varying from warm August sunshine to cold and misty.

Left: Arch Cape, Oregon Right: Humbug Mountain

Lincoln City, Oregon

Entering Coos Bay with Greg and Alan in front of me I noticed that the Shotts and Kim were not behind me. I signal Greg to stop.  We waited quite a while and when they didn’t appear I managed to call Kim, who informed me that the Shotts’ TD had experienced a catastrophic failure and he was unable to get it started.  He suggested that we carry on to Gold River and they would catch up with us.

Late in the afternoon they arrived at the motel in Gold River in Kim’s car. Kim informed us that after having to make adjustments at a mechanical shop to the tow bar in order for it to fit the TD, they had towed the car into Coos Bay to find a place to leave it. While trying to arrange to leave it at a Toyota dealership, a stranger pulled up and offered to let them leave the car at his house.  They took him up on his offer.

“Aren’t you concerned about leaving the car with a stranger”? I asked. “Say, when you get back there, the car is gone, and he just denies ever having seen you”?

Something to worry about for the next 8 days.

Heading to Ukiah California the next day along Highway 101, we detoured through the spectacular Avenue of the Giants and the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  Humbolt Redwoods State Park.

Humbolt Redwoods State Park

Days 4 and 5 we continued along Highway 101 through Monterey, and Big Sur to the Golden Gate Bridge then on to the Old Pacific Highway (Hwy 1) and finally arriving in very sunny Buellton California.

Three Cars at Big Sur

The GoF agenda included displays of arts crafts photos, and models. Also featured were technical sessions, a funkhana, and the field car display [PICTURE River View Park Field Meet 1 & River View Park Field Meet 3] and a rallye/tour, receptions, and buffets dinners.

River View Park Field Meet

Three and a half miles from Buellton lies the Danish town of Solvang – Danish architecture, Danish bakeries, and a bust of Hans Christian Andersen in the town park.  No visit to Solvang would be complete without a sample of Danish pastry.

Danish and Coffee Solvang

Gary, who had attended many GoF meetings, suggested that we enter the rallye/tour with me as driver and he as navigator. Gary had a plan. After picking up our tour itinerary and the clue sheets we set off. However, I noticed that Gary wasn’t pay particular attention to identifying all the clues on the route, or worrying about our timing. We just enjoyed the drive along the scenic winding country roads. At one point we missed a turn and proceeded on our own tour, linking up with the itinerary further along.

Awards night and the Magnificent Seven from BC cleaned up. Alan won the second place in the Car Display TD Class, Warren and Kerri won the Hard Luck award. The group won the ‘Cumulated Highest Mileage’ for any MG club, with a total of 4345 miles. I won the individual long-distance award for having travelled 1474 miles from West Vancouver to Buellton and Gary and I won the rallye award for ‘Dead Last, But Finished’. That was Gary’s plan.

The Magnificent 7 Winners

After four glorious days in Buellton, we headed home on July 1. On the way to Monterey, California we detoured through the scenic suburb of Pebble Beach. The second day we travelled to Ukiah and on the third day to Gold Beach.

On the fourth day, heading toward Tillamook, Gary’s TF experienced a water pump gasket failure.

Roadside Repair Water pump gasket

Once again thank goodness for Kim, his Hyundai and the tow bar. After a brief roadside inspection, it was determined that we’d have to tow the TF to North Bend, where Warren and Kerri had left their TD. Much to our relief, there was the TD in the Good Samaritan‘s driveway. The Good Samaritan was a gentleman named Harold who extended us great hospitality while the TF water pump gasket was being replaced.

After five hours of repair work, we were back on the road to Tillamook.

The next day we headed home. But Gary’s woes were not over. Near Shelton WA, his TF got a flat tire! After a roadside tire change, we were on our way again. Three T-Series on the road and one behind a tow bar. Back up the 101 to Port Townsend and then the ferry across to Whidbey Island onto I20 over Deception Pass then the I5 at Burlington. At Bellingham, Gary Kerry, Kim and the Shotts heading off to the Sumas crossing, I peeled off to the Pacific Truck crossing, and Alan continued on to the Peace Arch crossing. Parting Was Such Sweet Sorrow. After another long day, I arrived home at around 10 PM.

Tony Cohen





It was September 1962 and I had left school to join the real world! Thanks to a family friend, I was able to secure a place on a 5-year Engineering Apprenticeship with Ferranti Ltd at Hollinwood, Lancashire. For the first 6 months we were in the Training School being taught how to file, saw, and use Lathes, Milling and Shaping machines and then to use these skills to make a complete set of Engineers tools, including Die and Tap holders, Calipers, Gauges and even a Junior Hacksaw. These items are still in my study at home.

The next 2 years were spent working in each of the eight manufacturing departments of the High Voltage and Power Transformer Division and earning our first pay packet, which enabled us to become independent to enjoy our free time playing cricket and rugby and at weekends, hiking and climbing, as well as visits to the local dance halls and public houses.

It was during this free time that I worked with and met two of my still best friends, one of whom owned a 1953 MG TD, but with a 1500cc engine from an MGA. Enthused by this sports car and with a little help from my parents and grandparents, I now had the means to start looking for an M.G.

The search began and by the 31st January 1965 I put a £10 deposit on a 1946 MG TC in Clipper Blue from Archway Engineering in Manchester. On the 8th February 1965 I paid a further £40 and my journey began. The car was used as my daily transport to work, but more importantly was the freedom to travel around the UK in my spare time. Many epic journeys were undertaken; sailing holidays in Salcombe, coastal climbing near St Ives, numerous visits to the Lake District, including a few journeys over Hardknott Pass. Also, two annual overnight drives down to the Earls Court Motor Show.

As they say, all the best plans are often not achieved and a promotion at work led to my going to Canada to work at Ferranti-Packard and Ontario Hydro. On my return after 9 months a new job as Overseas Sales Manager was taken up and my girlfriend Ann agreed to marry me. This was despite memories of an epic journey in DBL 54 over the Derbyshire moors at night in the pouring rain, where she had to hold the passenger door closed when going over bumps, and to keep tightening the hood screws to the windscreen, finally having to manually operate the wipers when the motor packed up.

All this early motoring came to an end in August 1971 when the car was gracefully retired into my father’s garage in serious need of some body work and with a plan to have the engine taken out to try and sort out why the car was not as powerful as another friend’s bog-standard TC.

DBL 54 in semi-retirement

Fast forward to October 2007 and the condition of my father’s garage deteriorated, forcing me to remove the TC and bring it up to our double garage at Littleborough.2008 saw the commencement of a very slow strip down of the TC and it soon became obvious that a bigger place was needed to store all the bits, so a new shed was built. However, for the next 10 years I was employed to run a small Cable manufacturing company, which provided more funds to feed the TC rebuild. Progress only really started in the middle of  2019.

The first order was to Andrew Turner for the refurbishment of carburetters, and which produced the first surprise of the project in that the two carb bodies were of different lengths. Fortunately, Andrew was able to find a matching pair. The carburetters, as bought, never had any manifold or filter canister fitted. A new filter system is yet to be decided.Next up were the shock absorbers which I entrusted to Raj Patel to recondition. I also organised for a complete rebuild of the original radiator.

It was at this stage that I carried out a more detailed look at the engine and gearbox to assess what would be involved in its restoration. I started with the original Guarantee plate on the battery box, which gave the original car number TC/0552 and engine number XPAG 1340. TC/0552 agreed with the stamping on the front nearside chassis. However, the details on the Buff registration book, which was a continuation book, recorded an engine number of XPAG B 66320 with a 1344cc capacity?? The cylinder head was the correct 22952 so that was encouraging.Ed’s note: This would have been a replacement engine and bored out to +100 thou.

I then looked at the engine block to check its casting details, which were MM in a Diamond and the 7A8 (Jan 7 1948). Finally, I cleaned up the circular disc on the engine block, which was a Morris Motors Limited Engine Branch no. 77037 and an inner disc showing Type XPJM! which I understand had an original 1140cc capacity. This does then perhaps explain why my TC, as bought, was much slower than my friend’s TC. The gearbox was stamped XG782 which I understand was a standard XPAG.Ed’s note: This engine would probably have been bored to 1250cc.

Fortunately, I was able to sell both the engine and gearbox and subsequently placed an order with Ron Ward for a replacement. Ron lives just 3 miles from me and I continue to have regular discussions on all things MG TCs and life in general. Subsequently, I placed an order with Hi-Gear for a new 5-speed gearbox.

Ed’s note: Terry lives in East Lancashire, on the border with West Yorkshire – Ron lives in West Yorkshire, on the border with East Lancashire – 3 miles apart.

Above: The XPJM engine which came with the car. Below: Two ‘shots’ of the XPAG engine (minus air filtration) now fitted.