The Resurrection of TA0844 (Part 4)

Bob Butson continues with the account of his rebuild. In this instalment he describes some of the ‘extras’ that he fitted along the way.

Modified pedal shaft

I had to saw through the pedal shaft to remove the seized brake and clutch pedals, so I made a replacement from stainless steel with drillings for greasing (see photo 1)

Photo 1 – the replacement pedal shaft

Photo 1 – the replacement pedal shaft

To retain the shaft at the chassis end I used a pin through the shaft protruding from both sides. Photo 2 shows the small cutaway on the existing chassis hole for the retaining pin. What cannot be seen is a washer which is on the inside of the chassis. There is an arrangement of stainless steel spacers on the shaft to ensure that the respective pedals are in line with master cylinder and clutch lever. The oilite bushes for the pedals were obtained from

Photo 2 (above) – shows the small cutaway as described in the text. Photo 3 (below) – view from inside the chassis rail looking forward

The VW steering box conversion

The box which came with the car was a Bishops Cam type. On disassembly I found that the case hardening on the worm was crumbling away as well as other wear. At the time a replacement worm was unobtainable. I understand that the MGOCC are seeking a supplier, so this situation may change. As I mentioned in an earlier article, Roger Furneaux supplied my VW conversion. This was ordered with a splined steering wheel shaft as for the TC. The car had arrived with a very rusty but original steering wheel and soon after, I purchased a Brooklands steering wheel with a splined boss from John Kimble in Dartmouth, Devon. This was easily fitted and gave the extra in-out adjustment.

The cooling fan

I fitted a plastic fan from an MGB for better cooling and a cogged belt no. BX44. This helps to reduce the load on the water pump front bearing. It was necessary to reduce the thickness of the spacer which forms the cover over the waterpump spindle retaining nut, in order to effect sufficient clearance between fan and radiator. Originally the fan was yellow, which blends better when painted satin black. Photo 4 shows the fan belt and the close-fitting fan. The fan fixing holes match the original but are slightly bigger. The boss has a slightly larger moulded depression than the diameter of the original fan spacer. These two facts make it possible for the fan to be fixed slightly off centre. I used a narrow strip of brass shim to increase the fan spacer diameter, to give a push fit.

Photo 4 – showing toothed fanbelt and MGB seven bladed plastic fan

Water temp gauge

Sometime in the past at autojumble I bought a complete but not working water temperature gauge with a rusty white face. This was converted to a working instrument with the correct green face by Chris Clark. Tel: 01773 550485.

The gauge was to be fitted after the dashboard was fitted to the sub-dash, as this would be easier on the capillary tube. The LED assembly was secured with a clip on the back of the gauge and the gauge was clamped at the back of the sub-dash (see photo 8).


I decided to be different and veneered the dashboard in Santos Rosewood without the bookmatch. The photo of the back (photo 5) shows the additional cut-out for the water temperature gauge, with cut-away parts for gauge lamps. The sub-dash was similarly cut. The dashboard cut-away was to a depth which left it about 1/8 inch thickness. The veneer and glue film was from Vale Veneers.

Photo 5 – extra cut out for water temp gauge

Connectors for the dashboard

Photo 6 shows the connectors between the dashboard and the main loom. Two eight-way connectors, a six-way and a four-way were sufficient. The eight- way connectors are male and female to avoid wrong connection to the loom. Wire and connectors were from Vehicle Wiring Products Ltd. Tel, 01159440101. The main loom with wires for stop-lamps and indicators was provided by The two bottom connectors are a six-way for an indicator switch and a four-way for a low oil pressure indicator. There will be more about these in a later article.

Photo 6 – showing the connectors between the dashboard and the main loom

LED Panel lamps

I have converted TA0844 to negative earth to accommodate LED lamps all round. The exceptions are the headlamps and the flashing indicators lamps.

There are six panel lamps illuminating the TA dashboard, originally12 volt 2.4 watts each. The current taken for six totals about 1.25 amps; if LEDs are used this would be about 0.15 amps maximum. I wanted LED replacements without altering the wiring. As I had a number of broken MES lamps and a few which were blackened, a conversion to LED was easy.

To start, crunch the bulb to remove the glass and with small pliers remove the remaining outside glass and filament connections. Screw the MES base into a suitable holder and drill into its centre. This removes the remains of the glass and some of the holding cement. I used a gas soldering iron to remove the solder at the base centre.

The longest lead on the LED is connected to a positive voltage. This connects to the base centre terminal via a limiting resistor for negative earth. The other lead connects to the outside of the base.

I used an L9294vr41c-cts-c1, 5mm LED, White, Low Current, Product code 56-0418, from . This LED has a 130 degree illuminating angle and when used with a 560 ohm resistor gives about the same light intensity as the original bulb. The resistors were 0.125 watt and came from my spares bin. All electronic components stockists will have these.

Bend and shorten the longest lead on the LED as shown. Shorten one of the resistor leads and solder these two together. Insert the assembly into the bulb base, adjust the position of the LED and solder the outside connections. Use a small soldering iron for the resistor connection to the LED. A larger iron is needed for the outside connection. Heat the base close to the point of connection to reduce the time in which the LED lead is subjected to heat.

A dab of Araldite will hold the LED in the centre of the MES base.

Photo 7 – shows panel LED lamp construction

For the additional gauge two more LEDs are required. I made the assembly shown in photo 8 The limit resistors are in the leads. The araldite blob covers the connection between the two LEDs.

Photo 8 – showing LED assembly made for the water temperature gauge lighting

In photo 7 from left to right: the LED with positive lead to the right, leads are shaped, an attached 560ohm resistor ready to insert into the base, the assembly in position for soldering and the working Panel light.

A Speedometer cable conversion

I had a spare speedometer cable. Although long enough to fit the TA the instrument end-drive was of square section. I made a converter for this to fit the earlier Yeager tube fitting on the instrument. A drawing and photo will be included with the next article.

Bob Butson

Photo 9 – shows Bob’s dashboard which he veneered in Santos Rosewood.