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Very excited to start a new project that is very similar to the Metz Roadster project.  The MG TD is also a basket case and my daughter is also going to be helping.  The differences, however, are pretty big.  The MG TD was a running car that was disassembled for a restoration that was never completed, the sheet metal is in near perfect condition and was, at one time, ready for paint.  Unlike the Metz, parts for the MG TD are available online... very different from the Metz.  This is also a different daughter, as this is my younger daughter and she will be joining the project this summer after she returns from her freshman year in college.

I hate to interrupt the Metz restoration just as I had finally gathered/reproduced the missing items but the chance to work on the MG TD with my daughter this summer might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  While the Metz is an interesting car to me, the MG TD is an amazing looking car to my daughter and thus very interesting to work on.  We can also order parts and spend our time working on the car rather than making parts (though that process is growing on me).   

 

Here is a picture of the engine, parts (and junk), main body and chassis parts.  The body, engine and transmission are all number matching so this is a real car and not an "accumulation of parts" like the Metz.  It appears the car was last on the road in 1978.  Yes, you see MGA parts here and there.  The MG TD was being restored along with an MGA and MGB GT.  My parts include a fair number of MGA parts though the MGA is nowhere to be found.  The person I bought the TD from still has the MGB GT and it is for sale.  

 

The plan is to sort parts, rebuild engine/transmission while waiting on daughter to finish first year of college.  Once she gets home we'll get the chassis painted and assembled.  From there it will be body work/paint, assembly and then interior.   (I must chuckle at how simple the plan seems...)

 

 

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10 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

The plan is to sort parts, rebuild engine/transmission while waiting on daughter to finish first year of college.  Once she gets home we'll get the chassis painted and assembled.  From there it will be body work/paint, assembly and then interior.  

 

Simple plan, complicated execution! :)

 

Seriously, this looks like it will be a great project. Early British sports cars are somewhat simple machines ( I have a Triumph TR3A) but have some weird quirks that can baffle you at times. Consider hooking up with a good MG TD forum that can provide advice, how-to's, and even leads on parts sources.

 

It's great that you and your daughter are going to work on this car together. My two sons would assist on the old cars when asked, but didn't seem to "enjoy" working on them (but did enjoy riding in them, which was good).

 

Keep us informed via updates here, will be looking forward to following your progress.

 

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Can't wait to see your posts.  I'm sure you will pass by my MGA timeline quite quickly and get in right back on the road.  Good luck going forward.

 

-Chris

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Thanks for the support guys, I'm sure I'll need it!!

 

We've gotten a pretty good start.  All the boxes have been gone through and parts have been sorted.  Unfortunately it seems that all the neatly labeled tiny boxes with nuts/bolts and other small parts are for an MGA.  Would be great if we had the MGA all the parts came from.  I guess that somewhere someone has an MGA with no small parts and maybe they have all the small parts for my TD.  In addition, a lot of the new parts are for an MGB.  The good news is that it doesn't look like we're missing very much other than nuts, bolts, cables, wires, etc.   The engine turns over easily, all valves move properly.  Once small concern is that it might turn over a little too easily as the spark plugs are still in it!!

The gearbox is my first focus.  The "first motion shaft" (the shaft that sticks out and goes into the pressure plate and clutch) was either broken off or cut with a torch.  While that can easily be replaced I was worried that whatever force broke the shaft might have damaged the rest of the gearbox.  Fortunately after taking it apart and inspecting and measuring, it looks like just replacing bearings, thrust washer and gaskets will put the gearbox back in top condition. 

 

 

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I'll be creating videos as I go.  They will be a little behind the posts in here but might contain some additional information.  Here is the first one. 

 

 

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The machine shop called and, finally, I got some good news about the engine.  He magnafluxed everything and found no issues.  Valves and guides are fine.  Camshaft is fine.  Crank is fine but will need a 20 thousandths grind so I'll get 20 under main bearings and rod bearings.  Cylinders were fine but were pretty rough at the top.  They were already 60 thou over so we're taking them out to 100 thou over.   Everything cleaned up great and head was nice and flat so only needs a skim.  I've order the parts and they should be here next week.   I also ordered gearbox parts as well as chassis and brake parts.  I'm probably going to switch the plan up a bit and shoot for a rolling chassis a little sooner.  Space is really tight and I still need the shop for occasional vehicle maintenance and repairs (6 cars in the family) so I think the best place to store things is, well, on the car and in a state where it can be rolled around.  

Here's a link to the next video.  These videos are a little boring as their primary goal is to help me remember how I took the things apart so that I have some hope of putting them back together.  In addition, I'll apologize ahead of time for repeatedly calling the gearbox a transmission. :)

 

 

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Thanks Paul.  I'm using iMovie on a Mac.  It works fairly well as long as you don't need to do anything more than drop clips into the timeline and insert some transitions.  You can do some basic editing on each clip and insert some titles and whatnot but it is pretty basic (it comes free with the operating system).   

 

Here's the 3rd part where we stumble our way through taking the engine apart.  One of the issues with the MG Workshop Manual is that it is written from the perspective of fixing a certain item, like the oil pump or water pump.  It doesn't really serve as a guide to tearing down the entire engine at once.   

 

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)

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Jeff,

    Great video on the trans.  Maybe I will try to work on my own trans, I had originally thought it above my skill level and I should farm it out.  I'd love to be able to do it myself, maybe your videos will encourage me to give it a try.

 

-Chris

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Chris,

I very much thought the same.  I figured I'd just poke my head in there and see what was what.  I found multiple sites with great information and it really turned out to be one of the less complicated parts of the car. 

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Working on a "basket case" restoration is like working on a puzzle without the box top to show you what it looks like.  In this case it is even more difficult because I don't have all the pieces and pretty much none of the special BSF nuts and bolts.  Today that changed!!

I picked this guy up for a reasonable price.  The engine is seized, the body is rusted through and it has no usable interior parts... but it is a great "box top" and a great supply of nuts and bolts. :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, the elements have done a number on that one! Do those bodies have a wooden frame with sheetmetal covering?

 

By the way, really nice blast cabinet!

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Yes, wood frame with sheetmetal wrapped around and nailed.  The wood on this poor guys is 90% gone... not just rotted, but decomposition cycle complete gone. 

 

Thanks!  I made the cabinet long enough to handle axles and it has worked out very well.   

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The parts car has proved to be even more useful than I had imagined.  For every part I removed that I needed it seemed that part was connected to two others that I didn't have either.   I've removed everything I need for now and will keep it as is to serve as a guide during assembly.   I'm getting ready to do that assembly right now!  I removed the body tub from the frame and set the frame up outside.  I pulled the Clogmaster 3000 out of deep storage, bought 500 lbs of blast media and went to work.  The Clogmaster was in rare form... nary a clog the whole time and it produced a wonderful stream of media.  I blasted the frame twice and was done in about 3 hours.  I have no explanation for its performance.  It worked wonderfully and acted as if it were a piece of professional equipment.   I've got some pretty good tools in my shop now so maybe it got used to hanging out with them and decided to up its game.

 

 

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Wow, you'll be caught up to me and pass me by in no time!  Great work, nice to hear the Clogmaster is working for you.

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2 hours ago, hursst said:

Wow, you'll be caught up to me and pass me by in no time!  Great work, nice to hear the Clogmaster is working for you.

 

After breaking down the parts car I have a much better understanding of what you went through taking your car apart.  I can easily see how it took you so long.

I also found out why the Clogmaster was in rare for.  First, it didn't clog because it was virgin media straight from the bag.  Second, it easily removed the thin layer of primer someone had applied to the frame after they properly blasted it.  I tried using the Clogmaster on part of the parts car and it wouldn't do much of anything... so I increased the amount of media coming out and it pretty much clogged right away.   So... new rule, only buy project cars that have already been blasted and primed. ;)

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Paint... is always a good thing.  :) 

Two coats of SPI Epoxy primer with one more to go.  On the last coat I'm going to up the reducer to 20% to flatten the finish a little more.   I do like gloss, but the MG chassis parts were satin, so satin it is.  SPI Epoxy primer has UV protectants in it so it doesn't need a topcoat.

 

 

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Yes, paint is a good thing! It can be a nightmare, but usually not on a frame. Nice little frame! I'm sure you can lift and move it yourself without the help of a hoist, or am I wrong?

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3 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Yes, paint is a good thing! It can be a nightmare, but usually not on a frame. Nice little frame! I'm sure you can lift and move it yourself without the help of a hoist, or am I wrong?

 

Thanks Roger.  The frame is about 250lbs which is about my limit so yes, I can move it around by myself but it sure is easier when the daughter is around!!

 

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The parts car is out of the shop and I'm thrilled to have some room back.   I rearranged the shop a bit to make room for an long narrow rolling table.  I wanted to be able to lay parts out and make sure that I had everything prepped for paint or plating.  I've run into some issues with the dampers (shocks) but I think I'm pretty close to getting those rebuilt.  It is a long story but the short of it is that I've decided to do it myself.  I've got the lathe, mill, press and other tools I need to get it done correctly and promptly.  The frame paint is complete and I'm very happy with the sheen.  It'll probably take me all of next week to get the parts prepped and painted but I'm hopeful I'll be able to start putting them on the frame next weekend. 

 

 

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Dampers (shocks) have consumed a lot of time but they're sorted now and I'll reassemble after paint.  I'm getting close to paint right now... need to blast front drums and a half-dozen other parts and then go back over everything one last time before wax and grease removal and, finally, paint (epoxy primer).  My goal was to get a rolling chassis this weekend but I managed to mess that up by forgetting to order a few parts and some parts didn't get here on time.  I've been fairly good with getting things to the shop when I need them and not waiting around too much but it has been a battle.  I certainly underestimated the complexity of procuring parts.  Fitting this around a full time job and family life has been tricky as well but I've enjoyed it so far. 

 

 

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