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MG TD TF 1500 - 1953 MGTD Charging and related electrical items

Where to start. First there were problems with the TD charging with the lights switched on. When driving at a moderate speed when I turned on the headlights, the amp meter dived to the left. In fact the amp meter never was to the right of 0. Following some comments I read on this site regarding making minor adjustments to the volt regulator I did make a minor adjustment tightening the screw and took the car on a short drive. Low and behold the amp meter showed charging and still was changing when the lights were turned on. Success .. I thought.

Pulling into the garage and turning the car off, I noted the red charging light was lit with the engine off. Opening the hood I noticed and very faint smoking from the generator and disconnected the battery. Now all I need to do is touch the + battery cable to the + pole and sparks will fly. Do you have any ideas where I need to look??

Donald Lepley

The biggest problem that I have found with the original Control Boxes is dirt and corrosion. The light dirt and corrosion (that is hard to see) can really interfere with its function.

Clean all points well with a good contact cleaner and strips of printer paper cut into 1/4" strips, until the dirt no longer shows on the paper.

Check the generator connections and inspect brushes and commutator for proper tension of brush holders and cleanliness of commutator.

Clean all grounds!!

If you have not read or studied it the Lucas Corrospondence Course is a must in showing how to test and adjust. Copies are available free on the net.

Polarize the generator.

I suspect you have over adjusted the control box... usually means... start again.
... CR
CR Tyrell

Where are the sparks flying from? The dynamo? Regulator? Battery? If the dynamo had been run with a snug belt it has likely worn out the bronze bushing in the end plate. If sufficiently worn it will cause the armature to make contact with the windings. Also check the brushes and clean up the commutator and check for thrown windings. You need to find the short before you end up with MG flambeau
W A Chasser

Hi Don,
Reverse the adjustment you made, clean the contacts as suggested,
Go onto and download section
"voltage control" this is an official Lucas training manual.
Follow the instructions and all should be OK.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

The regulator has two coils and contacts. One controls and limits voltage at the high end. The other (the cutout) is like a one way switch that only allows current, when voltage high enough, to flow in to the battery. If that is mis-adjusted or sticks shut, at low or no revs, current flows from the battery into the dynamo. Likely that is your problem. George
George Butz III

Yes those sparkes. They are coming from the battery terminal as soon as I touched it to reconnect the + cable. What really tipped me on the problem was the low voltage dash light was on with the engine not running.
DML Lepley

This thread was discussed between 10/01/2021 and 19/01/2021

MG TD TF 1500 index

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