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20 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

First drive complete!!   Car is super peppy!   Couldn't believe how strong it pulls in 2nd gear.    Rides very smooth and is very easy to steer and control.   All very exciting and somewhat terrifying sitting on a plywood while buzzing through the neighborhood in 4th gear with no brakes save the handbrake.    That will be the last of the test drives until I have real brakes and a seat.  :)   I will say that the handbrake does work pretty good.  Pull a little and you slow down, pull all the way up and the rear wheels lock and you skid to a stop.  Being the English style, it doesn't lock in place until you press the button... opposite of what I'm used to but perfect for what I needed.  Engine braking, of course, works well and is super fun in the car.   With that bit of curiosity settled, I've got a lot of more boring detail work to get done (like put all the lug nuts on...)

 

It just looks so happy to be outside and on the road!!  It has spent since the late 70s in various boxes in various workshops and I think it was more thrilled than I was to be running through the neighborhood today!

 

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6 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

I bet you had a smile on your face and gave some please to others that saw you on your short first drive?! Well done.

 

Indeed!  First cars we encountered were all smiles and waves!   You know you've done something right when your son is waiting at the street to jump on for the rest of the short trip and wants to know when he can drive it.

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)

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OK, so I'm going to need some help now.  I decided to set the valve clearance today even though I'm going to replace the tappets in the next couple of weeks.  I didn't put the new tappets in when I rebuilt the engine because they said I needed to run the engine at 2500 for 30 minutes immediately.  I wasn't sure that the engine would even run as I had no idea the initial setting of the carbs and timing was so generous.  I decided I'd get the engine running with the old tappets and replace the tappets after I was comfortable that the engine could run for 30 minutes without issue.  So anyway... I decided to adjust the clearance to 0.019 as specified in the manual (and on the valve cover).  Now that i've done that the valves are very noisy.  I went back and checked and I had everything at a tight 0.019 so it wasn't like I set it too loose (well, at least according to the specs).  I noticed that the valves were set to pretty much no clearance before I adjusted them though I didn't really measure.  They may have been around 5 thou. 

 

So my question is pretty simple... what the heck?  Are these engine just noisy?   I carefully labeled all the valve parts so it got put back just like it was.  Did someone set the clearance to something ridiculously low to "silence" some other problem?  Do I run the clearance down to 15 and see what the noise is like... 10?   I'm getting the tach cable next week so I should be able to put in the new tappets and run the engine for the required time.  Should I just set the clearance then and forget about it for now?

 

The persistent oil leak off the drivers side was indeed the bolt above the oil pump that apparently has no purpose other than to leak.  The next rev of the engine had this bolt replaced with a plug.  I added a fibre washer and applied thread sealant.  Leak is now stopped. 

 

I'd like to say that now there are no oil leaks but that just wouldn't be true.  The valve cover itself is stupid flimsy with silly thin mating surface and the cork gasket is undersized.  Getting the two together is nigh impossible.  The parts car came with a cast aluminum valve cover that I will be switching to.  It may not be original but it was a common aftermarket upgrade and probably for the same reason I need it... nice big flat mating surface to the head!   Also... since this is an XPGA engine, it does leak from the rear seal about 20 minutes after you get back from a drive.  It doesn't have a modern lip type seal though there are some kits made to add them.  I decided against that because it added a bit of complexity I wasn't comfortable with at the time and the reviews were about 50/50 if it worked.  People loved it or hated it.  A couple drops of oil is not that big of a deal so I left it as is. 

 

The core plugs have stopped weeping and now I'm not 100% sure the back one was anyway.  The core plugs are brass and still kind of shiny and the engine paint is glossy so I might have just seen a reflection.  Regardless, now that it has been up to operating temp a couple of times, it isn't leaking or weeping.  Shout-out to Laughing Coyote for calling that nearly a week ago. 

 

So after all that... the shaper didn't make it.  Hopefully it will be here early next week.  I'm going to take a day or two to strategize on what comes next.  The main goal remains the same... fully assemble the car sans interior and test drive.  Once I've worked the gremlins out I'll take it apart, do the bodywork, paint it, reassemble and install the interior.  The details of that process will be worked through over the next day or so.

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

A couple drops of oil is not that big of a deal so I left it as is. 

That's where I'm at with mine. I changed it 3 times. It still gets a little oil seep, but no drips (yet). Thanks to you I had to take the car out today and drive it around the block. It ran so nice. I adjusted the throttle rod, trans kick down rod and the carb mixture and idle screws per the manual and it's great now. At high idle there were little water droplets coming out of the tail pipe. Don't give up yet. You've come along way. It will all get worked out. I'm still doing a tweek here and there on mine. These old cars like to test us from time to time.

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If you are not already active on the MG Experience forum, then you should be. There are probably multiple TD owners on there daily, and the feedback generated by technical questions is really good. And there are people with a lot of experience on there. https://www.mgexp.com/phorum/list.php?1  Select 'T Series and pre-war' from the list on the left.

 

I am not sure what you mean by new tappets, in the US nomenclature, but I assume you mean what we call cam followers. No doubt you checked the rocker arms for valve stem wear when they were off,  although your valve noise certainly sounds like that. That would also fit with the clearances seeming tight originally, as sometimes they are adjusted by ear, when wear recesses don't allow feeler guage adjustment.  And .019" sounds excessive, (hot or cold?) but I'm not familiar with the xpag engines. I would have thought about .008 inlet and .010" exhaust., but if it's written on the rocker cover....... I would ask on the MG site.

 

The common mistake with the rocker covers is to over-tighten them. On the later BMC cars they are only tightened to 7or 8 foot lb, from memory. Too tight and they leak. The gaskets usually seem too small, but standard practice is to stick them to the cover first, with gasket cement, (not that RTV stuff), and no sealant between the gasket and head. None of mine leak. The alloy cover will distort less, and from memory the cars go about 10 MPH faster with one of those. At least they did in my youth. 

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As others have mentioned, you may have the later camshaft with .012 clearance.  As old as our TDs are, and as swapped around as many parts have been, you cannot trust the valve cover plaque.  The rule of thumb is .015 for TDs, unless you have some sort of race cam installed. And, yes, the XPAG is a noisy little beast. However, when right, it sounds like a good sewing machine.

 

I am one of those who have disdained the "modern" rear seal.  When the engine was torn down, I opted for replacing with the original type rope seals.  I leave a few drips of oil here and there but I rarely have to add oil.  My feeling is that dripping oil was an "unintended feature" which kept a steady supply of newer and cleaner oil being added to the crankcase. Why wait for scheduled oil changes?

 

I have greatly enjoyed reading about your restoration. You are making great progress.

Edited by DrData (see edit history)
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Thanks for all the help, I think this will get resolved fairly quickly.  Unfortunately I will not be able to get back out to the shop until later in the week.  I do think the .012 camshaft is a real possibility and I'm eager to measure that as suggested in the linked article.  I do remember the intake valve not opening/closing at the time I thought it should based on the TDC mark  (or something like that... I can't remember for sure).  The procedure for determining the 12 thou cam sounds very much like what I remember seeing.  Another thing I now understand a little better is the wear can tend to make a cup shape and a feeler gauge can bridge that shape and provide a false reading.  Once I get back out there I'll determine which cam I have and then I'll use a dial indicator to set the gap. 

 

The new master cylinder came and it looks great... just like the original but nicely machined and finished.  Looking forward to getting that on and the brake bled. 

 

I'm also quite excited to learn that the cast valve cover will gain me at least 10mph.  I figured it was good for something like that, but to hear it confirmed... well that's great news!  Just wait until I get the brass piston damper on the carbs, there will be no slowing me down!! ;)

 

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I followed the directions (thanks Mike!!) for determining the camshaft and I do indeed have the later camshaft and as such the clearance should be .012.  I warmed the car up and then set everything at a tight .013.  That seemed to help with the noise but it is certainly still there.  I'll leave things as they are for now.   I'm going to wait until I get a Colortune tool to tune the car up.  I've got a lot of work to do to get body parts on the car.   My son came out to the shop and we picked the body up and put it on.  It sure is nice to have a car small enough that you can pick the body up and a son that is strong enough and involved enough to come out and help.  It is interesting that he hasn't had much interests in the car until we went for a drive.  I think he likes cars but not really working on cars.   I hope to get a fair amount of work done over the weekend.   I'd really like to bleed the brakes, get the floor back in, get some seats and go for another drive!

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Didn't quite have the amount of time this weekend I was hoping for but managed to make some good progress anyway.   I put the new master cylinder in a bled the brakes and this time they work great with no leaks.  A lot of things had to be taken apart to get the firewall off so that the tub could go on, all of those things have now been reconnected.  While the fenders and hood are nearly perfect, the tub has some issue and now was a good time to evaluated them.  I removed the windshield and was able to get a good look at the problems behind the windshield mounts.  The passenger's side has been cut out and a piece of sheet metal inserted but not welded.  The driver's side has been treated but not cut out.   The other issue is on the bottom of the passenger side rear quarter panel.   The problem with all three of these areas is there is wood immediately behind the areas that would need to be welded.  Getting access to the area in the lower rear quarter panel looks nigh impossible with nearly the entire quarter panel area needing to be taken apart.  The construction is a wood frame with the metal formed and bent around the wood and then nailed on the inside.  The various metal panels are also spot welded together. 

 

The scuttle piece (where the windshield mounts attached) appeared to be particularly difficult to work on.  There is a multi-piece intricate wood frame in that area coupled with some metal supports.  I took the scuttle off the parts car to have a closer look.  After taking various supports out on the inside and while working on removing more supports the side of the scuttle fell off!!  At first I thought it was rusted through in that area and broke.  Upon closer inspection I realized that the scuttle has a top part and two sides pieces that, while possibly brazed in one area, are not welded together and can be removed!  As such, I will be able to remove the top of the scuttle and make the repairs needed.  A huge relief!!  I'm not sure what to do about the other area but I'll worry more about that later.

 

I sorted through parts and bolts again and things are starting to come together.  While I had almost zero nuts and bolts for the chassis and suspension, it appears that I do have some nuts and bolts for the body parts.  It took forever to go through things but I was able to find multiple pieces and start getting them together on the car.  A good bit of that you can't see in the pictures but some of it you can.  I have what I think is the original backing board for the dash along with the front piece that was probably made some time after the car was.  I certainly will not be using the front piece but the backing piece seems in good condition and will probably stay.  I managed to find all the nuts and bolts to put these together!!  The dash is in temporary and I'll be taking it back out to put the gauges in and some basic wiring.

 

I'm trying to find/fix what I have as I add things to the car but I'm also making a list of what I'll need to buy.  Fortunately that list is not growing quickly.  I'm not sure what I'll do about the seats.  I don't have the old seat vinyl so really the only way I can put the seats in is to use the new vinyl.  I hate to do that because I might damage the seats as I finish the car.  I also want seats in it so I might see if I can get some seat covers to protect them. 

 

I plan to spend another few weeks getting everything on the car that I have at which point I should have a great list of what I'll need to finish.  At that point I'll take things back apart and start body work.

 

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Even the later MG TF,  that was launched at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1953, had an ash frame. At the time, it was criticised, but today it looks like an elegant update; being 3 inches lower, with sloping grill and faired-in headlights. The Austin-Healey 100 and Triumph TR2 appeared at the same show and their full-width bodywork and 100 mph top speed made the 80 mph TF look rather antiquated.

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The shaper finally made it to the shop!!

 

15" Hendey Friction Shaper from right around 1900.  Hasn't been used since around 1941.  I'll start restoring it right after I finish the MG.   I'll have a report on the MG tomorrow... gotta find a place for this bad boy to live for a bit.  It is a big boy and weighs right at 2000 lbs.  Very happy to get it off the trailer and on the ground without issue! 

 

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Even if I did my apprenticeship in a mechanical school (a very long time ago), I don't understand what this monster is good for. Could somebody educate me? One is sure: I would not need this machine for my scale models!

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)

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On Youtube there is a program using these machines, and others from the late 1800's,into the early 1900's. Dave Richards Steam powered machine shop. Very interesting show to watch if interested in old , original machines.

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