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MG TD TF 1500 - Gordon Lawson has to be laughing somewhere

If you remember Gordon rescued Diane and I when the fuel pump on Tommy refused to allow its points throw, about four things being wrong at once. It was 2010, Gordon left the car show he was at, and drove to the east side of Ohio to bring us the fuel pump off his TD. We spent several days with him before leaving for our trip on the trans Canadian highway. Did I mention he did all this on the Fourth of July, although being Canadian that didn't matter much, it just meant our options were, well reduced. It took eight hours of his day.

So now Diane and I are in the B on the way to French Lick Indiana. The Fuel pump is the only thing I left alone during the restoration, as it was only a few years old. Every once in a while (actually four times over the past two years) since the restoration, the B would just quit. Never when I had the stuff needed to trace the electrical side. In anticipation of a stoppage, I had what I needed on this trip, but no joy. The electrical side was fine. Spark, voltage, CB wire, cap, rotor... The billet filter showed fuel. The car would only start on full choke.

I removed the fuel line into the carburetors and lo and behold, no pumping until I crawled under the car and gave the fuel pump a rap! Diane and I laughed, and at the same time we both said... 'Gordan's laughing too!' A pump is on order for home, I'm sure I'll be under the car a few more times.

Thanks Gordon, for the laugh!

Dave Braun

great little story,,, and a wonderful way to remember such a fantastic , knowledgeable, generous guy!!!

Steve Wincze


If you haven't already, check the pump ground at the license plate mount in the trunk. It could be that whacking it just got you a better ground. I might come up to French lick for a day just to mosey around. I couldn't really justify 4 days and didn't see a one day registration option.

C R Huff

Charley, Thanks!

You were almost right... on Diane's car there is a double connector that is just by the right hand tail light. The single wire to the ground side of the pump was loose there. But I solved this problem last!

The fuel pump is the only thing on the car that we didn't refurbish because it had been purchased from Moss only nine years before... how time flies!

I pulled the pump and applied power with test leads, it pumped but not as strongly as I expected. I applied a field repair (actually a parking ramp repair) of the fuel pump, cleaning the points and resetting the throw. I could actually feel the improved suction and pumping, but once I fitted it to the car the pump would not run until I chased down the disconnected ground in the four way connector in the trunk.

I agree with your assessment. I think somehow the pump was getting an occasional ground through another path, working most of the time, but weakly, and then dirt and moisture did its work to help eliminate that ground. The points were quite pitted, but Diane's nail file took care of them.

Because of the previous pertronix failure that burned up my white circuit I was expecting an ignition problem due to the occasional stoppage of the engine (four times in two years since restoration) so I had all my electrical trouble shooting stuff with me. Of course the white circuit was completely rebuilt in the restoration, but I suspected bad leads at the tach or something. Good thing I had the gear with me because having a VM and a test lamp is the easiest way to find a bad ground! I was pretty shocked (not literally) when I found it was all on the pump side.

I plan to send one pump to our own Dave DuBois this fall for his optical trigger upgrade.

Dave Braun

Had a very pleasant chat about gordon (lower case) with our other Gordon (Clark) yesterday at the GOF. He truly was a talented, generous person. Bud
Bud Krueger

Now, now, Bud - behave yerself ....

Its gonna cost me, I know!

Glad you got back safely. Wasn't that a great driving week-end, especially in the Green Mountains?

Will get the ColourTune off to you this week.

Gord Clark
Gordon A Clark

Glad you got it taken care of, Dave. I never doubted you would. I was sorry I didn't make to to French Lick, especially since I only live about an hour and a half away. It seemed to me that if I was going to be crashing the party, the Wednesday car show would be the appropriate time. But, I had a dental appt. at mid day, which meant there wasn't time to go either before or after.

I ran into that ground problem in my GT on California Hwy 1 just a couple miles south of Leggit, and it died on a blind corner. I bought a spare Facet in Santa Rosa, but didn't find it necessary to put it on till somewhere in Oklahoma, and when I did, the new pump didn't work either. That's when I found the ground.

C R Huff

Two Gordons - Yes Lawson must have smiled when my bea utiful wooden steering wheel he made over an original frame was on my First Place TF at the VT Gof! It was the first one he sold and had written serial 251 on the inside. It does get sticky when damp as the first ones he made he used tung oil and I have to figure how to remove it. I finally got to meet the wonderfully friendly Gordon Clark at the Gof, and my wife called him cousin! And his daughter too!

Fist place at Middlebury moves you up to Premier Class in Aururn Maine!
Steve Wincze

I can attest that on this site, there are so many gentlemen with great insights and kind comments that has helped me through the struggles during the restoration of my TD. I thank you all!

Bill Brown

For those who weren't aware, Gord Lawson was a talented guy. His "full-time job" was a set designer for the Shaw Festival Theater in Niagara-On-The-Lake. He was skilled with his hands and he could be called-upon to cobble up something quickly.

He was also a skilled cartoonist, and I am sharing with you, a drawing he sent me, that he made of himself,

Cute, eh?

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.

Gordon A Clark

Thanks Steve W for the reminder about Premier, another thing to keep this smile on my face. Was good to meet you at the GoF along with others who appear on this fantastic BBS, and put a face with the name.

This thread was discussed between 15/06/2014 and 28/06/2014

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