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MG TD TF 1500 - dismantling phase completed

No questions to put to this knowledgeable group at this time, but just wanted to take this opportunity to express my thrill/excitement/pleasure at having removed the last remaining part off the frame of my '54 mgtf, at 4:30pm Pacific Daylight Savings time, March 18, '09.

As I have previously posted, I took possession of this TF in August, with the intent of doing a complete "frame-up" restoration. This TF had been, for all practical purposes, a one-owner (PO had had the TF for all of 54 years, except for the first 6 months of its life).

The frame is now devoid of any external parts and now I face the joy of the refurbishing/rebuilding phase(s)

Just wanted to share this momentous, for me anyway, occasion.

Cheers -- John

JL Brickell

Now comes the next chapter.

Cheers John...but that was the easy part...grin.
Gene Gillam

Yes John, this is truely the starting point of frame-up. I can image the exciting feeling. Wish you lots of fun and some good luck in the upcoming journey. Greetings, huib
Huib Bruijstens

How well I remember being at that point in a restoration. Everything from now on is uphill but very satisfying.

While you are at this point don't neglect to replace the bushings in the pedal box. This is the time to do it. After things are together is is a monumental task.

R. K. Jeffers

Congrats John - working on an unmolested car is a real joy. Be sure to put your blinders on and enjoy each little, individual task as you progress. If you break it into a few concurrent tasks at a time, you won't get overwhelmed.

preserving the original character of your "one-owner" car with the various restoration decisions will add up to lots of fun and you will be very proud of your accomplishment

Just be careful and don't rush to fast - savor the time bringing the car back to life....

enjoy and keep us posted..

J. W. Delk

Congrats to you, John
And congratulations in recognizing the value of a one owner, unmolested TF.
My advice... for what it's worth.. try to picture the TF as you want it to be at completion... even write it down... take a picture of some other TF that you are trying to emulate.... then move slowly through to that commitment.
I never wanted a show car with my TD, but I wanted the cleanest RHD driver that I could honestly complete by myself. It's been three years now, and I haven't regretted one minute. Turn up the radio to some oldies, sip a few suds and enjoy!!

Good luck and stay close to this home for encouragement, advice and support.

Sid Orr

Sid, remarkable wording you chose about picturing the end result. Are you familiar with the creation process as teached by Robert Fritz? Greetings, Huib
Huib Bruijstens

Thanks for all of the encouraging thoughts. All of you who consistently contribute to this site have been a source of assistance and support. For those contemplating a "frame-up" restoration, I have found the following to be most helpful to one, like myself, who is quite new at this game:

1. Dave Braun's web-site and the restoration of his TD. Given that I found very little of the restoration literature that deals with the dismantling process, Dave's web-site proved invaluable. Again, I would stronly encourage Dave to put this into the form of a book.

2. This BBS TD - TF site runs a close second to Dave's web-site. I now have a stack of printouts of threads from this terrific site that is now approaching a foot high.

3. The Workshop Manual and the TF Service Parts List, have, of course, proven to be essential; especially the Service Parts List for the larger size diagram plates making the viewing of all of the internal parts and how they fit together so much easier.

4. "The Complete M.G. TD Restoration Manual", by Horst Schach. This will be more useful during the restoration phase, but I found some of Horst's text and photos to be of help in my dismantling phase.

There were other references I consulted, but these were the ones I kept coming back to most often.

Then, of course, there were the personal correspondences from folks on this BBS TD-TF site, that helped me through some of the most troubling spots.

JL Brickell

I am a high school teacher... I plan lessons and teach by objective... that's why my advice took that particular bent... You have sparked my interest in Robet Fritz, though... next on my reading list, Huib.


Sid Orr

A couple I did not see in your list I found to be a big help:
Best of luck and Enjoy.
David 55 TF1500 #7427
David Sheward

Hello John,
That is truly a milestone,however I'm sure everone here will agree that dismantiling is the easy part. I remember when I got to this point many years ago with my TF and am embarrased to say I'm still not done. Hopefully you took a lot of pictures. The one thing I regret is not taking enough. Photo's of an original car to work on is of great value when reassembling.
I have found this site to be an incredible resource for information. I have all the books, visit all the sites mentioned, but only wish Dave Braun had done a TF.
Best of luck with your restoration.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

OK, since it has been brought up twice in this thread... and not to threadjack,

My website is copyrighted and is not to be used (except with permission) for commercial purposes. It is for hobby use. To everyone who kindly acknowledges its usefulness (even those who've asked me to restore a TF just to get the pictures on-line) I am very grateful.

The beauty of the pages is that they display great on-line, but would require a lot of work if published in a book as printing requires greater resolution. The other problem is that the book would require at least a thousand color photographs (the site is more pictures than words), and I seriously doubt a shorter abridge version would be as useful (I think Horst Schach has that covered already). To produce several thousand copies (after all the work of editing, rewriting and reformating it into a page layout) it would probably have to sell for $80 to $100 and I would be sitting on about 5,000 of them looking for a distribution channel!

I've briefly entered into discussion with a large vendor to distribute the CD of the site for those with dial-up or without the internet. I'm reluctant to take it off-line just because I make a CD or publish a book, I remember when all the electrical MGB data departed because the author wrote a book. I got the book and I was pretty disappointed in the editing, and once it is in your readers' hands it isn't easy to fix. The website is, so I would tend towards leaving it available on-line.

If you are interested in such a project and would purchase a CD even though it would stay on-line, let me know by email so I can go to the large supplier with concrete numbers. My object isn't to get rich, it is simply to allow as many people as possible to have access to the data. Frankly, I think on-line is the perfect way to disseminate the info. And hey, if you don't want to buy a CD but you are grateful, you can always go to the parent site and do a pay-pal donation!

Dave Braun

Dave, thanks for the explanation and what you have expressed regarding the, very logical, reasons for not putting what you have on-line in the form of a book. Makes perfect sense...once explained. Trust me, I will never make such a suggestion again, but I will be forever greatful for what you have provided on line.

Cheers -- John
JL Brickell

John, you will no doubt receive from this group the best tech info to be found anywhere,except the info or advice I am willing to share with you. This info comes from owning my TD for forty years and restoring same for the past ten years. I also restored a 1958 TR-3 over the course of three years.This restoration game is a young mans game,of which I'm not anymore. I also drove and maintained a TR-6 for thirty years. Yep, owned all three at the same time, have not had a fingernail free of grease since I turned thirty years of age!
Now my advice in one word...."HOLES"...! yep, HOLES. And what to do with them? Cover them or plug them up at all times. I don't know where you are restoring your car, garage, barn or kitchen table, but exhaust pipe,intake manifold,fuel tank openings,carbs and anything that will attract mice, chipmonks, hornets, or bees HAVE to be plugged or covered up. If not you may, no, will find mice bedding, acorns stored, butterflies and hornet nest in these "HOLES". When these critters are found in your fuel tank you will be flushing it out at least ten times, and maybe again tomorrow depending on the weather. ...Voice of experience my man, voice of experence.
Best regards, Daniel

D Desmond

Everytime you take anything 'out' for service (chrome, repair, whatever) write it down! And when it comes back, return it to the main 'pile' of stuff....don't have the box of chrome bits, or the 'new' bolts, etc spread out around the house! At one point I had the trunk of my car filled with boxes, my kitchen table spread out with bags of parts (I'm a bachelor) and it was just all too much....Keep it all together, in marked bags, etc etc!
Of course my Wolseley's rear seat will just have to stay in the living room another month or so!!!!


This thread was discussed between 19/04/2009 and 21/04/2009

MG TD TF 1500 index

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