Through the years, many parts have migrated between models, to include the dash instruments. It was a bitter realization that TC7670 had MGA gauges as part of a classic 60’s restoration. So the hunt was on from the start to find an original set of gauges for my car. Today the same hunt continues for others. But what do you need to look for? And how do you identify a proper TC instrument? The answer lies in the face.
Below is a summary of the face markings for each instrument.
Speedo: BRITISH JAEGER / S. 461 / 1675 / MILES PER HOUR
S.461 is the original part number. 1675 represents the internal gearing or cable turns per mile (TPM). The later TD speedo is often found in the TC because it appears to be correct with the “flat face”. However, it has the markings of S561 and 1600.
The #1600 is very telling and should be a red flag for TC owners. This # highlights that the TPM is calibrated for TD. If used in a TC, your indicated speed will be wrong. Also, for those that have changed the rear axle gear ratio in your TC, the speed may be in error also. To solve this problem, a repair shop can recalibrate the internal gearing to your specific car.
Finally, some export models were calibrated for kilometers per hour (KPH) instead of MPH and the faces reflected this.
Tach: BRITISH JAEGER / K.30
Primary TC identification is made with the K30. Often, this particular instrument gets confused with the very similar TD tach face with K45. The TC/TD clock faces are also the same. However, the TC clock has an extended stem below the dash for reset. The TD clock stem is on the back of the clock.
Amp: Early & Late Faces
a. MADE BY JOSEPH LUCAS Ltd BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND / AMPS / -20 to +20 (early TC)
b. AMPS / -20 to +20 (Late TC)
The above early markings were also common to the pre-war TA/TB gauges except that they had AMPERES spelled out. During the post-war period this was shortened to “AMPS”. The transition to the late face occurred at an unknown time, (1946-47?), when the Joseph Lucas markings at the top of the gauge were dropped. The face then took on a “plain” appearance with only AMPS and +/- 20. This same gauge carried over into early TD production. Then there was a final variation changing the range to +/- 30 for the later TD. Today, many restored instruments proudly display the Lucas markings.
Oil Pressure: LBS. PER SQUARE INCH / BRITISH JAEGER / 45854 (X45854)
The oil gauge will generally spark a discussion as there are sightings of 3 different oil gauge faces. (Please reference the oil gauge photo to follow the following points.) TA/TB oil gauges had the # 45854. This numbered face continued well into TC production with a confirmed sighting in early 1948. At some later time an “X” was placed on the number as a prefix yielding “X45854”. Other markings remained the same. Finally, a 3rd oil face followed which added “Made in England” at the top and a new number “OG/54” under the needle. The X45854 remained but was relocated on the bottom of the dial. The telling fact for this face is that OG/54 was the newer British Jaeger “replacement code” for the oil gauge. This 3rd face would be considered an aftermarket item.
Today, if you are looking for instruments, be happy with what you find as they are becoming more difficult to locate. However, if you are trying to restore the instruments as appropriate for your TC then face the facts and consider the above information.
As always, I welcome comment. Doug Pelton, doug ‘at’ fromtheframeup.com
Acknowledgements: A special thanks to John Marks, Vintage Restorations and Fred Kuntz & Craig Seabrook, Whitworth shop for sharing their knowledge about our gauges.
Editor’s Note: Thank you Doug – as always meticulously researched and with wonderful photographs.
Mention of John Marks in the acknowledgments reminds me that it would be useful and complementary to Doug’s article to follow on with a piece written by John about the colour of TC instruments which appeared sometime back in The Sacred Octagon. I have John’s permission to do so. Apologies in advance to those who have read the article before!