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MG TD TF 1500 - Hand brake cable problems

Hi everyone,

I have just fitted new rear brake cylinders and am replacing the hand brake cables at the same time. However, it seems the cables are about 2" too short (which seems unlikely), or there is something else that is not correct. Can anyone help me with the following dimensions (my figures are in brackets):-

1. Distance from outer rim of the brake backplate to the centre of the clevis pin attaching the hand brake cable to the operating lever (0.375").

2. Distance from the rear end of the prop shaft tunnel to the rear edge of the brass casting which clamps the cables to the top of the tunnel (5.875").

3. Distance from the rear end of the prop shaft tunnel to the centre of the hand brake lever cross bar (11.375").

4. Length of handbrake cable (centre of clevis hole to end of threaded rod (40.25").

Thanks in advance,


Matt Davis

You will need to wat until tomorrow for my measurements.
I had a similar problem. I had remade my cables, some 26 years ago, using SS aircraft cable. When I went to install them I found them too short. I chocked it up to poor measurements but usually I make things too big.

I solved my problem by making extensions.

I will try to get measurements.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin

Is the brass plate on top of the tunnel the right way around? The outer cable goes 2 inches under the brass plate, if the wrong way around it would only abut the plate, and cause a 2 inch shortening of the inner cable.

There are very detailed pictures on my website.

Dave Braun

Remember that each car is a bit different. Mine has been completely disassembled and I have remade the cables. It does look like I made the pants too short based on your data. but here is what I get.

1) Outer rim of backplate to center of clevis is 1/2"
(See the top left frame of the attached montage)

2) Tunnel to brass casting, I measure at 4" (See top right frame)

3) Tunnel to center of cross bar, I measure as 11"
(see lower right frame.)

4) finally overall length. My measurements include my shop fabricated extenders, and was the sum of 5 measurements. I get 39-1/4 so your 40-1/4 should be good.

The last frame is one of my shop made extenders, just for your information.

Jim B.

JA Benjamin

Thanks Jim and Dave. I am sure the brass clamp is the right way around, but seems to be nearly two inches further forward on the tunnel than it should be; however this is not the only problem as the cable is simply too short to reach the cross bar. Having looked carefully at the photographs on Dave's website I have noticed that my cables come through the rear plate/tunnel higher up than they should. There are two holes in the plate, but no matching holes in the tunnel. Two additional holes have been drilled at the top of the tunnel about 2" apart and the cables run through these, as these holes are closer to the centre of the car than the original a slightly longer cable is needed. I am proposing to make some extenders, but not as sophisticated as Jim's as I do not hve the workshop facilities. I will also have to move the brass clamp back slightly.

I have checked the original cables and these are about an inch longer than the replacements. Another aparently simple job which has turned out to be more difficult due to past modifications!

Thanks again, Matt.
Matt Davis

The emergency cables seemed short on my TF 1500 also. What I found were 1 inch long aluminum spacers under the brass plate that Dave Braun mentions in his comments. The spacers had a longitudinal slit so they would go around the inner cable and form a space between the outer cable and the brass plate.
The problem was that with the spacers installed I had little adjustment on the brass adjustment nuts located at the emergency handle. I removed the spacers and everything was fine. I have no idea why the spacers were installed.
You might to see if you have the spacers?
Mark Stolzenburg
Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
Mark Stolzenburg

>I am proposing to make some extenders, but not as sophisticated as Jim's as I do not hve the workshop facilities

Figure out how much length you need.

Start with square stock. Drill two holes for clevis pins, on the same side, spaced by the distance needed. Note there is a minimum distance you can have.

Turn the part 1/4 turn. Drill one hole at the bottom of the slot, equal to or just a bit wider than the slot. The slot needs to clear the existing brake cylinder lever.

With a hacksaw cut two slots, into the third hole leaving material so the slot is just a bit smaller than the slot width needed. File to fit.

On the other end, cut two slots across the width of the square, just a bit shy of the depth needed to leave a tung. Then cut to remove the excess of the tung. File to fit.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin


Some history on your problem.
G Evans

This thread was discussed between 06/07/2013 and 04/07/2017

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.