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Looking great!  Nice that you got the reamer and did your own shocks.  I shipped mine out due to lack of machine tools and the knowledge to do it right even with machine tools.  Makes the resto even better when you can do so much of it yourself.

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Got the front backing plates put together, brakes and hubs assembled and on the car.   Put the wheels on for a bit just so I could see it on the ground.  Things are starting to come together.  I think I have everything for the rear and to finish the brakes.   Would be great to roll it out of the shop (and stop it). 

 

 

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That's looking really good Jeff. Many years ago I reassembled a dismantled TC and I assure you it didn't look that good when I was done. We weren't thinking much about "restoration" in those days, at least not to the point of replating the bolts!

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Thanks Joe, this has certainly turned into a bit of an art project as well.  :)  There's something fascinating about the old bolts with all their unique stampings after they've been cleaned and plated.    We're both hooked on it and all sorts of things around the shop are liable to get plated pretty soon!!

 

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I think there is a great deal more art in restoration than is widely understood. My favorite word for this sort of thing (which I've probably bored you with before) is verisimilitude. It means "it looks right". The difference between looking right and looking repaired can be very subtle. Often, the viewer has no idea why things don't look right but he realizes something isn't. In that sense, it is very similar to my real work designing books. I often say that a good design should be invisible to the reader... he just finds the book easy to read but doesn't really appreciate why that is the case. So it is with good restoration... it should look right. Over restored parts are just as jarring as wrong parts so a slavish desire to make everything "perfect" or "better than new" accomplishes exactly the opposite. You are hitting a bullseye here...

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I had to make some tools to get the rubber shock bushing pressed home.  The OD of the bushing is 1.020" and the ID of the shock is 0.745"   Moss Motors sells a tool kit (3 pieces) for $75 or so but I though this would be a great time to get some work in on the lathe.  I bought 1.25" aluminum bar stock (2011) as I figured it would be very easy to machine and plenty sturdy enough to press in the 4 bushings.  I bored a 0.700" hole and then modified an inside thread tool to get the taper as I didn't have a boring bar.   Since it was aluminum it wasn't a problem and was easy to do.   The "funnel" has an ID of 1.100" at the big end and .700" and the small end.  There is a step at the small end so that it will plug into the shock link.  I made another piece that holds the shock link in place and also limits the depth the bushing gets pressed in.  I still have to make a "guide pin" to get the other end of the shock link into the hole but that'll be another day.

 

It took way too long to do this and would have been much more time effective to buy the tool set from Moss but it was a great chance to improve my skills on the lathe. 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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44 minutes ago, Luv2Wrench said:

It took way too long to do this and would have been much more time effective to buy the tool set from Moss but it was a great chance to improve my skills on the lathe. 

 

 

 

Good thinking... unless you get into the habit of doing these things, that will always be the case. As you do it more, it takes less time and, more to the point, you will certainly come against a great many more things where there simply isn't a tool available or it's really expensive. I figure I spend just as much time making tools as I do using them but even I'm surprised when a tool I made for another job is just right for the one I'm currently working on. It happens more often than you'd guess.

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More lathe work today.  I finished off the third piece of the bushing tool set by making the guide pin.  The guide pin fits around the end of the link and is tapered to ease pushing the link into the bushing. 

 

The other end of the shock link connects to a plate that is under the leaf spring.  The link attaches via a special bolt.  You can see a similar bolt in the third picture from an MGA link.  The bolts are $30+ each so, again, I decided it would be worthwhile to make them.  I started with an old chisel as I was able to determine this was made of high quality tool steel.    I couldn't figure out how to turn the taper so I ended up grinding a tool with the desired angle.   This worked really well and I think it was probably the right way to do it.   My threading skills are still a little weak and since I can't turn the BSF pitch anyway... I used a 7/16"-18 die that I ordered back when I started the project.  After I finished both parts and verified the fit I cleaned them up and plated them.  They ended up a little too shiny since they had a smooth finish from the lathe and not the media blasted finish. I don't think it is a problem as it shouldn't be too noticeable. 

 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Assembled the rear backing plates, they are ready to be bolted to the rear axel.  Assembled the rear shocks.  These had been reamed and also need a "dish style" core plug to replace the ones I removed to press out the arm.  I could only find the dish style core plugs in England and fortunately the company there (Core Plugs International) were just fine sending 4 little plugs all the way across the pond.  I think the total including shipping was less than $15.  The Internet is a great tool no doubt... but you still need a company that is willing to take 4 little 1.125" core plugs, put them in a little pouch, fill out the customs paper work and send it to the US for less than $15. 

Used the tools and bolts I created yesterday to assemble the links and attached them to the shocks.  Hung the shocks from the frame.  I really wanted to get the leaf springs hung and the axle attached but time slipped away from me. 

 

While putting the backing plates together I made several trips out to the parts car either to see how something was attached or to steal a part or two.   While it seems obvious, I don't think I realized just how important a good parts car is.   I've gotten a LOT of stuff off that car to restore a car that was "all there".   Probably more true for a basket case project, but one shouldn't underestimate the value of a good parts car.

 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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The trend of getting (seemingly) more done on the weekdays than weekends continues.   

 

Plus... it is all so simple with the "restore by numbers" diagrams. ;)

 

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Looks nice. The diagrams make it easy! What is no. 19? a loop attached to the chassis and slung under the axle? it would restrain suspension hang-down on hard cornering and thus control body roll.

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Yes, no. 19 is a "check strap" and no. 20 is a "bump stop".  I need to find some rubber to go in the bottom of 19 and attach it with rivets.   Should be fairly simple but I haven't gotten to it yet.   The top bolts straight into the frame rail.   I also need to fabricate no. 14 which keeps the u-bolt from chaffing the axle. 

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Nice progress today but now I've run out of parts again.  I thought I had the nuts for the u-bolts but they are nowhere to be found.   One of the tires I planned to use is flat and I was going to patch the tube but found out today there isn't a tube in it.  I believe the MG TD originally had tubes.   I'm not ready to buy tires so I'm not real sure what I'll do.  I might be able to put something like fix-a-flat in it for the time being.   I also need to restore the wheels so I might go ahead and do that now.  That will somewhat defeat my goal of having the car "on the ground" but it is probably the best course of action at this point.  I might just put some air in the tire, drop the car on the ground, take some pictures and then take the wheels back off. 

 

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There's the Rolls Royce armored car trick from WWI... cut a hole in the tire and, with it on the wheel, fill it with concrete. It makes it really "bulletproof" but I bet it's tough on the springs.

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I once went on a beach safari on a trailer behind a tractor. It included a bit of wading for the combination (not me). We had a flat tire. While us punters were wandering around looking at the gannets on the headland, they took the tire off, filled it with sand and put it back on. Trouble was, it was wet sand and while sitting waiting for us to return, it moved and compacted, developing a flat spot. So we got a bumpy ride on the way back!

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Looking good. You have to love a fresh, black, rolling chassis!

Those short MG spring hangers can be tricky as you gradually load the chassis with bodywork, tank etc. By then they are out of sight, and sometimes tend to hinge upward, or lock in the straight position, rather than hinging downward. I have found the need to lever them down and slip in wooden wedges until they sit correctly under load. Just something to keep an eye on, that you are most likely aware of. Have not done a TD, and quite possibly they have a lug to stop them turning up the wrong way.

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33 minutes ago, Bush Mechanic said:

Looking good. You have to love a fresh, black, rolling chassis!

Those short MG spring hangers can be tricky as you gradually load the chassis with bodywork, tank etc. By then they are out of sight, and sometimes tend to hinge upward, or lock in the straight position, rather than hinging downward. I have found the need to lever them down and slip in wooden wedges until they sit correctly under load. Just something to keep an eye on, that you are most likely aware of. Have not done a TD, and quite possibly they have a lug to stop them turning up the wrong way.

 

The workshop manual tried to convey this issue but failed... but since you've described it in a very understandable way... I now understand and will be looking out for that.  I've been looking at every picture I can find to try to figure out just how those hangers work and why mine appear to be going up and not down.  Many thanks for explaining it!!

 

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Thinking about it, and the penny dropped.

 

The rebound straps are likely the key to the problem. When you compress the suspension to attach the rebound straps, you will have an opportunity to  start the hangers going down their correct path. At least with a bare chassis there will be no need for 6 bags of cement in the boot, in order to lower the body enough to connect the rebound straps! (Although that method is probably safer than using a large clamp).

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Look Ma, no jack stands!!

 

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So yes, when I started to put some weight on the back (me) one of the hangers went up.  I had a stick handy and was able to make it go down.  They seem happy now.

 

I found some rubber for the check straps (rebound straps) so I will be making those up tomorrow and this weekend.  Hopefully I can get them attached without much issues and the hangers continue to go down.   I'm really, really glad you mentioned that in your post because I would have been really confused when one went up and one went down.

 

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Also... in case your wondering... no, it isn't some strange perspective trick with the camera, the two rear tires are different sizes.   I'm not sure that either of them are the same size as the two on the front either.   I'm probably going to live with this until I'm pretty much finished as I don't want to buy new tires and then get them messed up.

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Luv2Wrench said:

I don't want to buy new tires and then get them messed up.

Very sensible. I am amazed at how many restorations we see with chassis etc. sitting on new white wall tires, busy oxidising as we look at them for the next 3 or 5 years, not to mention getting dirty.

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I'm really behind on the videos but I've managed to put another one together.  I'm trying to get caught up but, fortunately, progress on the car is keeping me busy!

 

This video is pretty boring but for MG TD enthusiasts or someone restoring one, it should be fairly helpful.

 

 

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I like the aluminum valve cover. I don't remember if those were stock on TDs or an accessory but I pulled a NOS one out of the dumpster at the Volvo/MG/Saab dealership I worked for when I was in my 20s. I also got a NOS set of TD hubcaps for the disc wheels. I used both of them on the MGA I "restored"... though I think "restoration" is a bit of an exaggeration. I bought it in a junkyard with a bent frame but otherwise in extremely good condition. I had the frame straightened and replaced the front fender that had been crunched in the accident that brought it to the junkyard... also free from an otherwise rusted to nothing example that was laying on its side down behind my work bay. Fortunately, because the car was on its side, the fender I needed was on the up in the air so, unlike the rest of the car, it wasn't rusted badly at all.

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1 hour ago, Mark80439 said:

Being a British motorcar, I'm curipos: are the brackets/boltholes mirrored on the opposite side of the firewall?

 

I recall reading that there were more TDs shipped to North America than sold in the UK. Made sense to have things things mirrored for ease of production of both RHD and LHD cars.

 

FWIW, the US was once a big automobile exporter which is obvious when you look at the firewall of my '33 Plymouth. All openings and cut outs on it are mirrored so that it could easily have been assembled for RHD operation.

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@Mark80439  Most things are though not everything.  If you look a couple posts up, you'll see the front of the frame.  Note that the detent for the steering is on both sides but the box for the pedals is not.   I guess areas that would have been difficult to do were mirrored, areas done later in the process were not.   Also, notice the steering rack casting has bumps on both sides.  LHD has the steering shaft/gear on the left side while the RHD would have it on the right.  At production time the casting would be machined one way or the other.   Gearbox has similar features as does the engine.   There's been plenty of times I wondered what a particular casting feature, bracket or hole was for.

 

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Hope everyone is having (or had) a great 4th!!    I had a little extra time today and was hoping to make a lot of progress on the engine.  After getting everything setup and verifying I had everything I needed, I decided to check the clearances on the main bearings.  Unfortunately that's pretty much where things ended for the day.  I had the crank ground .020 under and while that was correct, there was a problem with the middle bearing.  The middle main bearing is flanged and thus has a thrust surface as well.  Since the bearings are .020 over, the width is also .020 over.  I asked my machinists to check this but I guess he missed it.  As such, the crank wouldn't fit in the middle bearing.   I was pretty disappointed and frustrated as I really hadn't even gotten started and it was already over.  I decided to take the middle bearing out and test the clearance on the front and rear bearings.  The desired clearance here is 2 to 3 thousandths and it measured out at 2.5 so I was pretty happy with that.  I checked the connecting rod bearings as well.  The desired clearance there is .5 to 1.5 thousandths and it measured right at 1.0 thousandths.   Having those measurements dead nuts on pretty much made up for the earlier issue with the middle bearing.  Hopefully my machinists can get the middle of the crank ground down to fit the bearing without much issue. 

I did get the cam installed and that worked out well.  I managed to get some other stuff done on the car so the day wasn't wasted.  I spent forever installing the pedals only to realize they're probably going to have to come back out.  They have a boot that goes over them and I think the only way the boot goes on is with the two pedals loose of the shaft... otherwise the tops of the pedals are too far apart.  Oh well...

 

 

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Had a great day today.  I have two nice wheels and three not as nice wheels.  I media blasted those (twice) and straightened the rims using my Craftsman MG TD Wheel Rim Straightener™

Managed to dodge the rain showers and got three nice coats of primer on the wheels and other items like the driveshaft. 

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One issue I've had is the tail casting of the gear box is broken where the clevis attaches it to the gearbox mount.  This is a common issue with the MG TD.  I've seen various fixes with the common theme of running a bolt through to either fix the broken area or for the clevis to attach to.  I drilled a hole straight through and then tapped one side.  I ran a bolt through with Loctite red and cut the head flush.  It needs to be flush on each side as that is where the rubber sits in the mount.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I'll fill in the area with JB Weld and finish it off with a little red paint.  Should be stronger than the original and look at least similar. 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Still holding to the couple of hours a day routine though it is sometimes hard to see the progress.   I got two of the MGA tires mounted on the newly restored wheels and put those on the rear so the car is back off the jack stands! These are just for rolling the car around and I'll be replacing all the tires with new tires when I'm done. There were several miscellaneous pieces that didn't get painted that I now need, mainly the radiator.  I got those painted and started getting those items on the car. 

 

I got the crankshaft back and have started assembling the engine. I turned a 2 hour job into 6 hours but the end results was it was done correctly.  I had to make some little fixtures to hold the grudgeon pin in a vise (while in the piston) so I could tighten the bolt on the rod without bending the rod (or scratching the piston).  My ring compressor tool was just a little too big so I had to run out and get a smaller one.  Once I finally got the pistons and rods in and connected to the crankshaft it proved difficult to turn over.  I was worried about that so I tore it all back apart and measured all the bearings again one by one. As physics would have it... they all still measured 0.001" like they did when I checked them before I put it together.  I think the issue was a combination of the assembly lube I'm using, very thick and tacky, and the 0.001" fit on the connecting rods.  So with the thicker lubricant, 1 thou bearing clearance and new rings it was just a little tighter than I'm used to feeling.   I'll get the cotter pins in, wire the nuts on the main bearings and then start on the rest of the engine.  I've laid everything out and I should be able to make some better progress tomorrow. 

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Somewhat better progress today but I've come to the conclusion that I'm just slow.  I'm slow getting out to the shop in the morning, slow getting started, slow getting back after lunch, slow, slow, slow.  I've probably always been a little slow but now that I'm older, I've really gotten slow.  It helps that I don't make as many mistakes as I used to and I enjoy the relaxed pace but I do get frustrated when installing the 10 cylinder head studs takes over an hour. 

 

Anyway... got the oil pump on, cylinder head and mostly assembled the rockers.  I still need to tighten the bolts on the rockers as well as torque them down and bend up the tabs.   A good bit of my "slowness" is I'm having a hard time finding things.  Baggies that I carefully labeled have, apparently, been able to grow feet/wings and move themselves about the shop.   I do think.... that the more I get put together, the less stuff I'll have to dig through and thus the faster things will get.  :)
 

 

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Losing stuff in the shop.... yeah, that happens. I was always amused at my father: he kept an index of where stuff was!  He wrote it in an exercise book with alphabetic index. I am now realising it is not a bad idea.

 

You are probably thinking about things a lot more than you might have in the past, so you only do it once. It takes longer that way but is very satisfying.

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Luv2, I continue to follow your most interesting thread! Do have a question, since I am not familiar with MG's,.........the broken clevis mount on the tranny: what is this clevis that mounts here actually for?

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I can certainly identify with being slow. I've started the reassembly of my project and I try to be so careful to avoid putting something together in the wrong order and have to undo it to put another item in place. Well, it happens but it sure goes together more quickly the second time with the added experience!

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8 hours ago, r1lark said:

Luv2, I continue to follow your most interesting thread! Do have a question, since I am not familiar with MG's,.........the broken clevis mount on the tranny: what is this clevis that mounts here actually for?

 

Thanks r1lark!  

 

The engine is attached to the frame in two spots, the front and by the back of the gearbox.   The weight of the engine/gearbox is resting on rubber blocks (both front and rear).  Any side to side movement is resisted by the two bolts in the front engine mount and a stabilizer arrangement just above that.  Vertical movement is also resisted by those two bolts in the front.  The gearbox mount (where the clevis attaches) is a little different.  It needs to allow a little more movement... certainly a little more rotational movement.   What it doesn't want to do is let the gearbox lift up.  This is where the clevis comes in.  It will allow the gearbox to rotate but not move up.  It was common for these mounts to break because the desire to lift in the lower gears is prevalent.  The fix that is recommend (with the bolt) should still allow the rotational movement but hopefully resist the vertical movement.  I'm hoping the bolt (grade 5 not grade 8 ) will also have a little give... at least more than the casting did.  Knowing my luck it'll probably break on the first drive :)

 

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More stuff bolted on.  Water pump, timing gears, chain, tensioner, etc.  Just about ready to put the sump on along with generator and starter.  I'll rebuild the carbs next.  Still need to assemble the gearbox and add that along with bell housing, pressure plate and clutch to the engine.  Can't put the engine in the car without all of that as the back "mount" is on the gearbox!   As such, the likely hood of it running this weekend is pretty much nil... along with the fact that my "core plug set" that I ordered doesn't come with the one for the camshaft.  Like... why not???   I've ordered those items and some other things that I need but those will not be here before next week.  However... the piles of parts is rapidly dwindling and thus easier to find things.  I took some time to separate out all the parts that were not going to be used as they were extras, original but too worn out or for a different car/engine.   I would have done this earlier but, quite frankly, I really didn't know what was what. :)

 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Moving along... got the sump installed and other bits finished on the engine.  We're now waiting on the core plug for the camshaft, rubber bushing for the stabilizer bar and various copper washers.  Those should be here Monday and I'll be able to button the engine up.

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I have two sets of the SU H2 carbs (the other set is from the parts car) and I'm currently evaluating which one is the least bad.  My mountain of parts came with two carb rebuild kits but unfortunately they're probably 40 years old and some of the cork pieces are unusable.. as such... another order placed, another wait for parts.

 

 

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Started putting the gearbox together.  The gear box for the TD has some extra fun for assembly.  It uses the old style loose needle roller bearings.  The layshaft (which runs along the bottom of the gearbox) has a set at each end.  To get them in you have to have the shaft in place.  But... the layshaft can't be in place before assembly because it gets in the way of the first motion shaft.  The first motion shaft has to connect to the rest of the gears with, you guessed, more needle roller bearings.   You stick those in place with assembly lube and the hope for the best as you join the shafts together.  To make room for those the layshaft has to lay at the bottom of the gearbox and to do so you have to make a dummy shaft.  This way you can install the bearings and all the gears on the dummy shaft (which is the exact length of the inside of the gearbox) and lay this on the bottom.  Once the first motion shaft and main gears are joined you lift the layshaft up into position and slide the real shaft in and push the dummy shaft out.  It sounds impossible but it is actually pretty easy to do.  I should be able to finish up the gearbox tomorrow but, of course, I forgot to order a part or two so I'll be waiting on those. 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench
typo in carb type (see edit history)
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