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MG TD TF 1500 - How do I

I recently purchased a 1952 TD from a gentleman in Kentucky. He sent along with the car an additional bonnet, the top sections are painted Racing Green as is the car but the fenders, running boards are black. The MG has been fitted with a B20 Volvo engine, my car came with the MG engine which was removed with the transmission and sits in my garage. I have parts that I'm sure must have some value but being an 85 year old neophyte, who doesn't move very well due to a botched lower back operation, I bought the car I waited 62 years to buy.
I don't have the time or knowledge all of you on this site have. I only fulfilled a dream from when I saw the MG in the NYC Auto Show in 1952. I will probably give it to my grandson next March as part of his wedding using wedding cars tunbridge wells gift.
I have a few question, which I'm certain someone out there has an answer for me.
1. Does the MG engine have any value, and who can I offer it to for sale?
2. I notice in Moss catalog that they do not have side panels for TC or TD for sale. Is anyone who is restoring a 52 MG interested in buying lower panels that have never been used, being painted in gray primer, or the top panels that are painted British Racing Green?
3. Most important to me is the type of gasoline to use. A Volvo engineer in Sweden told me to use the highest octane available as the engine has a 10:1 compression ration. They are building upscale 7-11s in Florida called Wa-Wa which carry ETHANOL FREE gasoline at a premium of .80 cents per gallon. That's no problem because the MG is only driven a few miles on any particular day.
I believe when does engines were mfg, as well as early MG engines our gasoline contained lead. I am adding about 6oz of lead substitute when I fill the tank. Is that a right move or am I wasting money or worse yet causing damage to the engine.
Any help will be appreciated.
ST Reale

Well you may get a few different responses.

to summarize for those who don't like to read:
- Yes you can sell the engine.
- I think you don't need lead substitute, ethanol free, and likely do not need high octane fuel.

to answer in more detail:
Does an MG engine have value: I would say yes. other may know what value that is. There are not many spares out there, so people are looking for them.

Gasoline to use:
- the problem with ethanol is it actually will dissolve old rubber, since you have a new motor, it is likely not worth the money to buy ethanol free. Ethanol actually can help with the humidity (if you add seafoam to help stabilize the fuel, that will add more alcohol)
- Lead: the volvo can likely handle the lead free, I searched for B20 and there was an indication of hardened valves so you should be fine, but I did not do a really deep search.
- Octane boost. I would be sure I knew what I had before I spent money on high octane fuel. B20's would range from 8.5 to 10.5 compression, and even at 10.5, you are likely ok on lower octane, but I would try to figure out what engine you have.

You might want to consider rebuilding the MG Motor and re-installing it into the MG... as a thought.

A few notes:Ethanol will actually raise octane.
Higher octane represents resistance to detonation from pressure and heat (think knocking)

D Engel

Hello ST and welcome to our group. You have found a wealth of information here and friendly people who are most willing to help with most any problem.
If the engine and gearbox are in useable condition, the car will always be worth more with the original rather than the Volvo set-up.
Since the side panels are painted gray primer, it does not necessarily mean they have never been used or trimmed. There is a market for reusable parts.
Ebay provides a geographically wide market coverage but are not cheap charging about 10% of your selling price plus shipping and Paypal gets a cut too.
If you can provide your location, there is a good chance that one or more of our regular membership can pay you a visit and give you much advice. Most of us have joined the club known as "been there, done that".
Other than that, stick with us.
Another Octogenarian.
Jim Merz

I am located in Seminole (Tampa Bay area) FL
ST Reale

ST, you didn't say if the car is in running condition with the Volvo drivetrain. When I found my 52 TD, after a 30 year delay (1958 - 1988) it had a Volvo B16 engine and gearbox. I really wanted a TD, not a hybrid, so I hunted up and installed, an XPAG engine and gearbox. I've never regretted having done so. IMHO, you might want to seriously consider having the car returned to its original configuration and sell off the Volvo parts. Good luck. Bud (only 79)
Bud Krueger

ST, Suggest visiting Glenn at Glenn's MG repair in ST. Pete, he can answer any questions. The Suncoast Classic/Nature Coast English clubs are very active,more Brooksville based. There is another club in your area as well. I think Glenn is active in the other one. I know someone over your way who may be interested in your engine, email me for the contact info. George
George Butz

First welcome to the group, and congrats on fulfilling the dream, as many of us here have also done.

As I understand it...if the car is running with the Volvo engine, run it, and enjoy it.

You said you will be passing the car along to your grandson. IMHO : I would keep the motor/tranny with the car, particularly if it is the motor original to the car! Your grandson could use it "as is" but have the option of returning it to original if he saw fit at a later date.

If you would like to know if the motor is original to the car we can definitely help you there. I'm out in the garage so don't have the link, but there is an on line data base for that info, or if you post your vin # we can tell you what motor # is as well as how to check numbers on the engine.

You will find this group most helpful so do come back for any help you may need..we are a friendly lot!
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Welcome ST. I would suggest that you move slowly, (no pun intended) & aquire as much info as you can about your finally fulfilled dream. Talk to as many TD owners as you can. I'd take George's advice & get in touch with Glenn at your earliest convenience & anybody else who owns or used to own a TD, especially your local MG car club members, with the view to shaking off the neophyte tag. The more you know the better able you will be to make the right decisions. I would definitely NOT sell the engine as you (or your grandson if he's really lucky) may well decide to reinstall it a bit further down the track. If it was my car that's what I'd be doing. You'll get answers to all your questions here. Don't be afraid to ask. So enjoy the car & drive it as often as you can. It's a great way to meet people who share the love of the marque. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Back in the house now this and enter your vin # to see correct engine # for the car.
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

This thread was discussed on 14/08/2014

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