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MG TD TF 1500 - MG TF pull start to push button conversion

I can't find the instructions on your wonderful site for converting an MG TF from pull start to push button. Could you please send me the link or the directions? Thank you in advance for your reply.

David Winstead

I can't recall anybody ever doing that on this board.
I would think it could be done, but you would need a fairly heavy relay to handle the current. (or a massive "push button").

There should be quite a bit in the archives on re-building / repair of the starter cable and switch.

David Sheward

Shouldn't be to hard. Replace the pull with a push switch from an early Sprite. Hot wire from ignition switch to the new push switch. Replace the pull switch with a late 60's early 70's Ford selenoid at the same location ( it will require some bodgery to mount) and run the wire from the new switch to the selenoid. Your good to go.

This style solenoid works well for the conversion - typical Ford version that LaVerne refers to in his post. Power from your replacement dash switch to the S terminal will start things in motion. Dan

Dan Craig

But why?
Jan Kristoffersen

I use an old 6V Ford solenoid because it has a button on it to physically switch it, as well as electrically engage it... only about $10 on ebay, includiong shipping. Comes in real handy when working on the engine. I often pop the bonnet, tickle the carb and start the engine via the solenoid button.

Its clamped the solenoid right onto the starter, but, of course, you'd be hard pressed to reach that spot in a TF.

Jim Northrup

The button can be tucked anywhere. I wedged in into the instrument cluster (top center), protected by a couple of switches so it can't accidentally be bumped.

The switch grounds the solenoid wire on this particular switch. Double check yours because I have to deal with a variety of these critters that wire up differently.

You can mount the starter buton virtually anywhere, as well as the solenoid. I often get carried away with modifications, if you hadn't noticed.

Jim Northrup

Ditto Jan. The pull cable is the most totally simple and idiot-proof design possible. To change, you have added an electrical swtich, a lot of wiring, etc. I do recall there were aftermarket kits many years ago to do this. George
George Butz

The original pull switch, along with the flyoff hand brake combine to form an almost perfect anti-theft system for our cars, so I have to agree with Jan and George. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

It's not so difficult. We got one on our test bed. The button to the far right on the panel is the starter. The electric solenoid is bolted to the upright beneath the coil. The other upright is the fuel tank.

We're still looking for a steering wheel and drivers seat the right size.

Can't see why you'd want to do it though!!


A R Jones

12 volt solenoids are available generically from industrial supply catalogs and push switches, such as horn buttons are available from marine catalogs. Very simple to accomplish and the generic solenoids generally come with schematic diagrams. But I'll join the chorus; "BUT WHY?". In the event of a cable failure, one has only to pull the lever directly, under the bonnet, or if the origional type solenoid fails altogether, it can be jumped with a pair of insulated handled pliars!
Steven Tobias

The PO of my car set up a remote ignition and starting system on the engine side firewall using a ford type solenoid so he could turn the engine on and off while setting it up. The toggle lights up the fuel pump and ignition system, and the red button spins the starter. No other wires in the car and it actually worked pretty nicely. I may look into including that somewhere in that area when finishing it up. Take a look.

Mark Rotsky

He hasn't answered but I would think arthritic fingers would be a good reason.

Yes, any chronic painful condition of ones fingers could indeed be an argument for a push button solution, I can see that. But - at least on my TF - pulling out the choke is the really hard part, more like a two hands job. I think I need to check the choke wire and casing some day.


Jan Kristoffersen

I have in the past seen only one catastrophic failure of the original starter switch, which would lead some one to think about replacing it with a modern type relay. We think the copper contact bar inside was warn enough that it actually dropped inside the housing and shorted out. Couldn't tell what exactly happened cause the resulting fire melted it into an unrecognizable mass.

When you do get the push starter installed, I hope to see it at British By The Sea at Harkness JMemorial State Park on June 3rd!!!


If you need to replace the OE switch, be aware that the replacements are giving lots of trouble on MGA, lots about this on MGA board. Good reason to change over.

FR Millmore

I bought a Morris Minor starter solenoid. Looks the same, was cheaper and works fine.

A R Jones

This thread was discussed between 30/01/2012 and 31/01/2012

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