Dave's Cars

1952 MGTD


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UPDATE : 6/19/2011 - Click Here!!

happened to be perusing Craigslist, and saw this.
Went to see it; car is amazing! The inspection sticker is from 1977. I was told the car had not moved in 30 years. Fortunately the guy put it in gear and did not leave the parking brake on. The car rolls pretty well.
The interior is relatively intact.
The doors open and close just fine; the interior is still nice; the carpet is all there and in good shape.
The engine looks like a leaky 50 year old engine.
The paint looks like a 50 year old car that has been around.
The headlights do work!
Here's the underside. Looks like the automatic rust prevention system is working!
It will be interesting to see what it takes to get it running! You will note that the battery is set up for negative ground. The DPO bought a battery and stuck it in. I have since reversed the battery so it is correctly set up for positive ground.
The tool box is chock full of stuff. Still have not removed everything.
These are the nieces of the former owner. They are cleaning out his house and property and settling the estate.
After we made the deal I didn't waste any time! I called a tow truck right away. I was not going to lose this one.
The glovebox revealed the original manual, an old map or two, and a mileage logbook.
The first entry is in January of 1953 when the car had 59 miles on it. The log continues up to about 40,600 miles. The current mileage is 41,022. He filled up every 200 miles or so. That means there are 331 miles and at least one fill up unaccounted for. So what happened between 10-29-70 and sometime in 1977 when this car was last inspected? We will never know. He bought some parts for it in 1980, and kept up the tags until 1991. So clearly he intended to put the car back on the road. Some day.
Here's a service ticket; looks like the first checkup or something!
The odometer reads 41k miles, which means there is about 1,000 miles unaccounted for, but certainly verifies the original mileage. If in doubt, the carpet is still beautiful. I think its a pretty original car!
He ordered an interior kit from Moss back in 1981. This is the check sheet.
And here is the actual receipt. Why on earth did he order vinyl????
Here is the Arnoldt Catalog that came with the car!!!
Those two little yellow lights are turn indicators! They each have an arrow on them. They don't blink, by the way. They just light up from the toggle switch on the dashboard. Note the antenna on the back. Perfect place to mount a British flag!!!
Read This! Click here to read the best review I have read of these cars!
Interior from the driver's side
The horn works, the headlights, and three of the four parking lights work, the speedo may work, the oil pressure gage works, the water temperature gage may or may not work, and the tach does not work.
This car had the optional heater. Note the stickers still on the heater - shows it was not used that much. They dry out and fall off.
Interior again
Interior from the passenger side
Under the dashboard, which, by the way, still has the original "under dash" lining. Note the heater again.
This was a "official factory replacement" whatever that meant. I bet it doesn't work now!
Engine. You can see I pulled the dashpots and cleaned them up. They took a pretty nice shine! Now all I need is the time to really get it running again! Probably the most difficult task will be to clean the tank out without further damaging the paint. Which means I can't take it off or get it boiled out. Ah, well. Should be fun!
This is my favorite treasure - a set of Whitworth tools. They have come in very handy so far!
The engine is running. Changed all the fluids, cleaned out the dashpots and the needles, blew out the gas line and the fuel pump, attached a gas can to the line in the back, used some starter fluid, and although it took a while, the car ran. There's a lot of something accumulated on the exhaust, which obviously is burning off. I don't think the water is circulating. I was told by the nieces that it was parked due to a bad water pump, and I'm going to go on that assumption. It looked like the water was not circulating.
Further investigation indicates that one cannot tell from observation if the water pump is circulating. So perhaps it is the thermostat. This will take some careful analysis; I'm not about to cook this motor!
Polished some of the chrome here and there and I was amazed! Yes, its pitted, and yes the bumper has dents. But its lightly pitted, and takes a shine like brand new! Unbelievable! By the way, I believe the ignition warning light is not working, and one of the parking lights does not appear to work. I'll try bulbs first, then see what happens.
Tried swapping bulbs on the front parking light to no avail. That one I'll have to chase a little harder - cleaned all the connections but no. The license plate light, however, did respond to cleaning and now works. Tomorrow I'll get another bulb if I don't have time tonight to swap bulbs with the light next to it. Also did a bunch more polishing - that's a pretty rewarding thing to do on this car!
Here is the car without it's rear tire cover. Makes me really appreciate that spare cover!
And when you remove the spare, you see 50 years of grime. It will be interesting to see how this paint cleans up - it should be in the best shape of any on the car.
Here is the spare tire. It had no air in it at all, but it did hold air when I pumped it up. Just a little - I don't want it to explode!!!!!
Why look - its an original tire size.
And a Dunlop, made in England.
I wonder how old this tire really is?
And, of course, the logo!
5/5/09 - changed out the spark plugs and the car started right up! Ran great! The PO may have put oil in the cylinders - the plugs were quite black and oily.
The car moves under its own power for the first time in over 30 years!!!!!
June 1, 2009
We are starting to remove the gas tank.
This little shelf had to come out first. It has those cute little lights and that rediculous antenna.
The tank is out!
And here is what it looks like without a tank!
I know - this has no real business even being here. But I like these cars. It's a funny comparison, although not entirely fair - that's a 67 Datsun.
Now we're starting on the water pump. Here's a piece that came out.
And you can see it's coming along. or coming apart, depending upon how you look at it!
June 22, 2009
Publicity shot! now you know what i look like!
And this is Carlton, working away cleaning up the car. My ace detailer!
The front of the engine, dirty. we'll get to this!
After we disconnected the headlight brackets, we braced it just in case. It's pretty sturdy so I don't think it's such a big deal.
Here's a little cross brace that is just dying for the derust! in it goes! Even when it came out i had issues getting it apart; maybe it needs some Kroil or Magic Mystery Oil!
Here are the washers on the cross brace.
These are what holds the seat in. Took them out to clean; I'm going to get them right back in!
This is an area that has me confused - supposedly if you open these up, the steering column will loosen and drop, so we can at least get to some of the stuff under the dash. It all looks kind of scary to me! But we pulled the bolt, lowered the steering wheel a little, and then the under dash. We got to all we needed to, I think. I've put this back in, and at some point the under dash will go back in as well.
We decided to paint the wood in the back body color. It was black, but, for better or worse, and I know it's not original, I think it looks better, plus it's under the tank anyway.
And here is the tank, back on! Yay! If only the rest of the car was ready we could fire it up. But alas, that is some weeks away.
Shot of the garage and the car, in situ.
Pulling the front hub. One of the scariest things we did. I had been told that sometimes these hub pullers break the hub. This one really just slid off, so it wasn't so bad, but the front right was a little stickier. Yikes!
This is what it looked like when we took off the front left hub. Have you ever seen so much grease? Did this guy take good care of this car or what? Thirty years later, and this thing still oozes! I love it! Thank you Peyton!
This is the infamous adapter. I point this out because before I wire wheeled it, it was covered in grease. We looked at the replacement hoses, and they didn't match the originals. We were in a tizzy. We spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what the problem was, and if Moss was wrong, if someone had monkeyed with this at some point, or what the issue was. Finally, we realized that the hoses are indeed the same, but that little adapter, hidden by grease, has to be moved over.
Here we are, together, installing the front brake hose. Just another father son project.
The left front brake cylinders are installed! PROGRESS!!!! Carlton did these.
Here's Carlton polishing up the front hub before we repaint it.
Here's all the bumper parts, ready to go out to be sandblasted. Plus the license plate holder. They came back, were painted gloss black, and look great! The license plate holder and front bumper are installed. The back will be done Tuesday or Wednesday.
Here's the story on this: I was told that there is this guy in California who does a great job rebuilding water pumps, and makes them better than the originals. OK. Sounded good. Talked to him, and sent my old one out. Which, by the way, had a very nice fan pulley on it. No nicks, and just aged. The new pump comes back and there is this rediculous bright yellow fan pulley, which also has been damaged and welded up again, poorly. I was really, really pissed. It took me a lot of effort to get that heavy ugly yellow off, then paint it the red color. So I go to put it in, and one of the fan bolt holes is stripped. I call the guy, and ask him to send me another pulley right away, and I'll send him this one back. He gets all self righteous on me, like HE'S the customer, and I'm offending him, and it's too hot to work, etc., etc., etc. And he offers if I send him this pump and pulley back he'll refund me my money. But then what do I do for a core?? I lose big. I am very disappointed in his complete lack of customer service and caring.

So I get to spend $20 on a helicoil kit, plus my own time, plus I'm further delayed by his complete lack of caring and competence. So I fix it myself. Under protest.
Here I am, after all the frustration and delay, finally putting the fan on. Whew!
I put the new front bumper on tonight. We are replacing all the chrome bolts, but they are a few days away. I used the old ones on this, but they will be ready to swap. In a few days we'll replace those and put the rear on. WOW!!!
Heater hose clamps - I dropped one; not sure where it went. Of course these clamps aren't available locally. Wasn't sure what I was going to do. I can always get them from Moss . . .
Coincedentally I swapped dishwashers tonight (7/27/09) and found what I needed on the old dishwasher. Can you tell which is which???????
Putting on the fan after putting in a helicoil. Note the background music - this is the correct music to play while working on a TD!
This is Peyton Ohlson, the previous owner. Definitely NOT a DPO!!! More like a GOOD Previous Owner (GPO)!!!
Put the new bumper on. Thanks, Peyton, for getting us that!!!
Here you can see the replacement bump stops we put in. Note the aluminum spacers - we had to take off a few thousandths to make them fit. What's up with that, Moss Motors?????
Not sure who thought it was a good idea to put a wood platform under the battery. You can see, if you look closely, the two bolt heads holding the heater on below.
Here's the rear bumper! Yay!! Notice the base for the short wave antenna. I want to use it to display a British flag when I drive it.
After all that work, we took it out for a test drive. The radiator chrome is not on, nor is the hood. But it sure drives nice!!! You will also notice that the speedo is not working. I've got a cable on order; I hope that solves it. The tranny end is totally caked in grease - that's going to be a dirty adventure!
And here it is, all back together, running and driving! How exciting!!!
But then we had some issues with the brakes and with the Generator and Tach. This little booger had to come off - this is the gear reduction between the generator and the tach. Apparently something sheared off the adapter. I was told that it's because one of the fittings was loose. It could also just be old age!
This came out of the assembly shown below.
Although rather dirty, you can see where it attaches to the generator.
This, and the pictures below, show what is actually supposed to be connected and how.
Dave DuBois sent me these.
Thank you Dave!!!!
We had a little party at the house. The car behind me is Tiffany - the 1949 Triumph Roadster of Dave Pilcher
I was having issues with the brakes. Wasn't sure what was really going on and started some detailed investigating. First, found that the front right brake line was not quite tight. Problem one solved. But the master brake cylinder leaked at the joint where the line exited. Finally figured out there there is a washer and an adapter required.
Here they are, with teflon tape, ready to be installed. Worked great! Just have to have the correct parts! I have now learned to check for adapters, washers, etc with this car. It is like no other!
And the title fight continues. For several months I have been trying to get a title for this thing. The DPO (Peyton's niece) really has not been much help. She did a little here and there but it clearly was a very low priority for her. The title was lost, and although she applied for a replacement title, the state said there was a problem. The problem, I discovered, was that the last series of numbers matched to a 53 GMC Pickup. So they wanted this form and that form filled out, which we did, and eventually got nowhere. My solution, after giving up on the niece, was to apply for a bonded title. Cost me about $125, but hopefully it will be worth it. The other option would have been to have put in a mechanic's lien, which i think would have been cheaper and faster. But anyway, I went down to the county, and they said I needed the car appraised.

I find this terribly humorous - in classic economic theory, an item is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Not according to Dallas County. I needed to get it appraised, and that would be the value. Then that determines the value of the bond for the bonded title. So although most people want a high appraisal, I wanted a low one. Plus I was trying not to keep shelling out cash. So fortunately a friend of a friend is in the car business, and he gave me the paper I needed.

Went back to the county and they said I needed to get a "greensheet." That is a piece of paper which states that the vin # matches. So I went to a gas station, but they insisted that a greensheet requires an inspection, and with the brakes being iffy, one parking light not working, and no seat belts or turnsignals, I knew the outcome of that one. Solution: go to a different office. And they were very nice, and everything was in order - no inspection (and I guess therefore no greensheet) required because in Texas no inspection is required for antique vehicles, but the address on the bond did not quite match the address on the rest of the paperwork. So rejected again!

Friday, September 4th, I received the plate and the title application was approved!!! When the title does, in fact, arrive, I will truly celebrate.
Not really sure when I got the title, but its here. Finally. Guess I should celebrate, huh?
As a humerous aside, the neice called me a month or two later, and said she found out I had gotten the title. Seemed she was annoyed I didn't tell her. Ah, well. Nice to know she cared just a little tiny bit.

Many people think we got a really great deal on this, but i'm not so sure. One very similar car went up on ebay, and was a no sale for just a bit more than we paid. And it was running and driving! I think everyone thinks these cars are worth way more than they are in non-restored condition.
12/23/09 - the weather was beautiful so we tackled the brakes.
Tightened the adjusting screws on all fours sides, and now they work really well. Yay!
It was Christmas Day; there was snow on the ground, and I had to go for a ride!!!!
12/30/2009 - trying to stop this thing from ripping out any further. I really need to pull the under dash piece, but I just don't have time for major surgery. So for now I'm gluing this back up.
replaced the cap, rotor, and plug wires. Notice all the tools I had out on the dining room table, including, of course, the checkbook! It made an amazing difference!!!!! Guess I should have done it sooner.
Unfortunately, when I went to revise a few things, this is what happened.
This is NOT how it is supposed to look! I have to go back and use the old ones. Hopefully, these parts should not make a difference.

Article on MG Engine History

This is a very detailed and lengthy treatise on MG Engines.

Then I figured out how to fix them! Used a philips screwdriver to encourage the joint. Seems to hold up!
I'm getting ready to put in a pertronix. Instructions are pretty straightforward, and simple.
This plate comes out, and a new one comes in. The pertronix gets wired from the ignition, bypassing the coil, and then a wire goes from the pertronix out to the coil. The other side of the coil goes to ground.
Very simple until you look at the wiring harness. There is no way to know, without testing each wire, which is the wire that goes to the coil. So we did that, and got it all figured out. But then we found out that you can't run a pertronix with these funky old spark plug wires. So, for now, I guess I'm running on points! I should replace them.
Then I got these in! They hold the hood up so you can display the engine and/or do some work on it without folding the hood over on top of itself, which stresses the screws and the wood they screw into.
Perhaps not what you would expect on an MG website. I think they look good together, and certainly there is a certain homage owed to the TD by the TR6. Very different cars, but I think my two favorites.
Only the high beam was working on one of the headlights. If I were really lucky, it would be the bulb. I certainly did not expect that. But - this time I was lucky. Replaced the headlights and they both worked. Figured at this point I should replace both of them, which I did. Should be good for what - another 60 years or so????
Hmmm. Think I have some seals that need to be replaced???
This car is sitting in a friend's garage, and I go visit, and drive it every month or so. It usually takes a bit to start, but it always runs great! One of these days I'm going to bring it back to the shop and fix the speedo.
This gear reduction drive recently arrived. Once again I have a tach!!
Its finally time to put in seat belts. Here is the page from the Victoria British catalog where I ordered them. Actually for a Triumph Spitfire (sorry). I ordered the red ones and they match really well. Since we had to take out the seats to do this, I am having the seats recovered with the kit that Peyton ordered way back in 1980.
And, of course, no good deed goes unpunished. While the car was there, the guy noticed a myriad of things that needed correcting, including some bushings and a carburettor rebuild. Sheesh. So all of the parts are on order from Abingdon Spares, LLC. They make really good reproduction parts, unlike some of the other houses who's parts, I've found, aren't quite spot on!
The car is back, and running and driving. It had an oil leak, and since the valve cover had come off to set the valves, I figured it was a good time to replace the gasket which I had been unable to find before. Since the valve cover was off, it was time to have it sandblasted and repaint it. I never knew about that little brass plate on the front. So cute!
And then painted
And on the car
Finally my daughter ventured out enough to actually drive the car for the very first time
She really loved it.
11/6/11 UPDATE
11/6/2011 SOLD!
Yes, today Sallie drove off with her new owner. He was very excited to get the car, and the extras I threw in.
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