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MG TD TF 1500 - cluster gear removal 'Dummy' lay shaft

I am going to start my trans rebuild and after watching the video from the Club, they called out a dummy shaft to be used to hold all the needle rollers and such in the cluster gear. However, I didn't hear them call out a length.

Does anyone have one of these, or has made one so that they can pass on the dimensions so I can make one for my removal?

Alex Waugh

Hi Alex,
?cluster gear replacement 'tool'?
I made one 50+ yrs ago from a 1/2" dowel wrapped with enough masking tape to make up the proper dia.
I think it's still in a toolbox down in the garage, I'll take a look in the AM and let you know the length, unless someone else jumps in b4 then.
I suspect it needs to be just the length of the cluster gear so you can put the gear down in place and then push in the lay shaft from one end.
54 TF "Emma"
A W Parker

Alex I'm not sure about the needle bearings in the TF gearbox,but I've been through a few Sprite gearboxes including one about a month ago. They are similar in a lot of ways and others not. The needle bearings for the Sprite gear boxes are now made with a cage and even if they aren't I have found that a long rod will do the job. Just pack the needles in place with some grease. I used a round shaft screw driver that was made for adjusting headlights. Its about 2 ft long.
L E D LaVerne

Hello Alex. It should be the length of the cluster gear. If you have a worn old one cut that to length with an abrasive cutoff disk. Check the archives there is a tolorance for the end float on the cluster, which if too large will cause jumping out of gear. Note you have to drop the cluster to the bottom of the gearbox to get the other shafts to go in then lift the cluster up and push the cluster gear shaft in.

R Taras

Alex, I have at least one in the garage. I'll measure it tomorrow and will let you know. If you'd like I'd be happy to loan one to you. I seem to recall that it's made from 9/16" steel rod. Bud
Bud Krueger

I measured the lay shaft at 6.125". That should work. I went out to the garage to my tooling drawer and found a shaft It measured 6.344" long by 0.533" in diameter.

Its been over a year since I did I did mine but I seem to remember bosses on the inside of the case with slots ID so having a bit lo her shaft will Allow the lay shaft to be supported and make installation of the real shaft easier.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin

Not sure but I think it should be long enough to allow the thrust washers to sit on it as well otherwise the washers would be very difficult to position when all the other gears are in place.
Max Irvine

Alex. I rebuilt my box about 18 months ago. First attempt at a gearbox so I followed the workshop manual closely, which I found somewhat lacking. So much so that I was prompted to rewrite the entire section on the gearbox, based on my experience. If you're interested I can email you a copy. I've simply added to the original text from the manual with my inclusions in italics.
TD 5801
P Hehir

Hello Peter,

Would you be so kind and send to me a copy of your comments?

I have the manual and also a video explaining the whole procedure, but your insight will be surely very useful.

Thanks in advance.


J Benajes

The dummy shaft should be 160mm ~(6 5/16")in length. I used wooden dowel. Barrie Jones offers a write up and a DVD on this and mentions the length of the dummy shaft.
Declan Burns

Hello Jesus! (I've always wanted to say that). For the sensitives out there, forgive my irreverance. My missal is on the way.
Peter TD 5801.
P Hehir

Whatever the length, it has to just fit between the two machined bossed in the case, and be long enough to hold the gear and thrust washers and retainers. Think I used a wooden dowel years ago. George
George Butz

The dummy layshaft I made from an old layshaft measures 6 3/8 inches (162 mm)
I have used it on several gearboxs and it works fine.


J Scragg

Peter - I would like to have a copy of your transmission sheets for my files.

Best thanks.

Tom Lange
t lange

Ideally, the dummy layshaft should be 9/16" in diameter and fit between the flat faces shown below. All of the parts between #83 and #85 on the Moss diagram go onto the dummy shaft when the assembly is returned to the casing. The maximum length for a dummy shaft is 6 7/16" or it won't fit between the faces. Shorter than 6 3/8" may not retain all of the internal components. Alex, I have one that I'd be happy to send to you. No obligation, and you don't have to return it. Just send me your snail mail address to my email shown above. I had to buy a 36" length of 9/16 steel rod. I can still make more. Below is a view looking down into a casing. You can see the flat faces that the thrust washer plates butt up against. Next post will be the Moss diagram. Bud

Bud Krueger

Moss diagram of layshaft area. Bud

Bud Krueger

Hi Tom
You have mail
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Hi Peter,

I received your instructions. Thank you very much. This information will be very useful at the time I decide overhauling my TD gearbox.


PS: Unfortunately, and despite my name, I cannot recompense your kindness with any divine blessing(at least by the moment..).
J Benajes

The workshop manual declares that the dummy layshaft should be 6-11/32 inches (161.13mm) page F.6

Dave Braun

Bud. Is that a serviceable transmission case?
It appears to have had some brazing and still has a crack on the right side of housing around where the layshaft enters.

Sandy, it's the one that was in 'the53' when I got it. In spite of the brazing repair I did use it for a short time while I was rebuilding the gearbox in Lazarus, my regular 52TD. It's now just a test bed. Bud
Bud Krueger

Thanks for all the help folks.


I should have read the workshop manual. I have the DVD from the MG Car Club, but did not hear a length mentioned in the video.


I've sent you an email with the pertinent information. I look forward to hearing back from you.


I too would be interested in your set of instructions. I didn't see an email listed next to your name otherwise, I would have sent you a message. My email is listed to the right of my name in the header. Please send me a copy as well when you have a chance.

Thanks all for the help.

Alex Waugh

Bud & Alex. You have mail.
TD 5801
P Hehir

Just went and measured my collection of dummy layshafts to pick one out for Alex. Ah these senior moments, my recollection was off by 1/8". 6 1/4" is just about right. The long one is 6 5/16". Sorry about that. Bud
Bud Krueger

This thread was discussed between 30/11/2013 and 04/12/2013

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