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MG TD TF 1500 - Pedal box shaft removal

So... in my research for this project, I found a few things that would have been helpful that I had to compile from a couple or three different threads on the topic, and some that I learned that I didn't read on here. So I thought I'd put a little post together that might be helpful to someone else.

I did my shaft remvoal with the engine and tranny out. I did NOT take the floor boards out, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who says it's easier. I just didn't want to take them out and found that I could grab the woodruff key from above with a little bit of patience.

Step by step...

1. Remove zerk
2. remove circlip from outer side of frame
3. remove all clevis pins and extract the clutch cable/rod from the pedal box
4. remove brake master cylinder "fork" from pedal box (this may not be necessary, but I did so from an access perspective). I found that in my situation, I had to take out both bolts for the master cylnder in order to get enough motion in the "fork" to allow it to be removed past the brake pedal.
5. remove brake pedal return spring.
6. remove pinch bolt (it must come ALL the way out as it indexes into a 1/2 recess in the pedal shaft (this will make more sence once the shaft is out for you to see)
7. Use a brass drift making sure that the drift is smooth on the edges so as not to score any of the bushings (this is assuming that you have already replaced them. Don't worry about fouling them if you plan on replacing them in this process. A step that is HIGHLY recomended)

NOTE: it shouldn't take much of a strike to move the shaft out of the pedal box. If you are hitting it a lot and it doesn't move, stop and investigate what might be holding it up.

continue striking the drift to move the pedal shaft until it reaches a limit (mine was about 3/8 to 1/2" past the frame edge when it stopped). You can verify that you are in the right spot in that the brake pedal has come to a stop on the inward limit of the pedal box and that the clutch lever arm is flush or just outside of the pedal box itself.

8. remove the woodruff key from the top side of the pedal shaft (this is where having the floor boards out would make it easier, but if you sight down from above with a good flashlight and use reasonably long needle nose pliers, you should have no trouble)

NOTE: I found that in my case the clutch pedal had become rather sticky on the shaft and thus needed to be moved towards the outside of the car in order to get it off the woodruff key. In order to hold the pedal shaft in place, I put a spanner between the outside of the pedal box on one side, under the clutch actuating arm, and then jammed it between the inside of the pedal box and clutch limit stop on the other end. This then allowed me to go back into the cockpit and slide the clutch pedal outwards to reveal the woodruff key.

9. Now that the woodruff key is free, you can nearly remove the pedal shaft by hand. If needed, a slight tap with a mallet on a brass drift will be all you need to get it the rest of the way out of the frame.

once out of the frame, extract the pedal shaft from the two pedals making sure to save the two washers that set up on either side of the pedals.

NOTE: My shaft was so worn that when I went to pull the shaft out of the two pedals, the brake pedal bound up on the grooves worn into the shaft and wouldn't let the pedal shaft to come all the way out of the clutch pedal. I found that if I was able to manipulate the brake pedal left and right along a horizontal plane (the plane of wear), that the pedal shaft came right out. No amount of extra pounding with a malet was needed.

Now that I've completed this removal project, I'd have to say it wasn't as bad as everyone said it was. However, I have a 55TF with the hole in the bottom of the pedal box. This allowed me a lot of visual access to what was happening. Also, with the trans out I was able to get my whole head up into the spot where the trans would otherwise be and thus again gain a lot of visual access. However, having the floor boards out would solve this problem just as well.

I hope this helps someone else who is getting ready to do this job. My brake pedal was VERY sloppy and I look forward to the new brake feel when it's done.

Alex Waugh
1955 TF-1500

PS: being 34 years old at the time of completing this project likely helped a lot as I am still quite flexible. A lot of crawling out from under the car and back down was done in order to finish this job.
ABW Waugh

Alex, a very useful description. It is worth adding that these instructions are specific to a left hand drive car. I have recently removed the pedal shaft from a right hand drive car and it is much more straightforward as the clutch pedal is not keyed to the shaft and the clutch cable/rod is connected directly to an extension of the pedal rather than to a lever attached to the shaft. I too found the job resonably easy, but had removed the floor boards first. Matt.
Matt Davis

Here is a tool I fabricated to remove the frame bushings, which you may want to replace, as well as the shaft. It is based on the tube and pressure screw princple used for removing suspension bushings etc. You do not have to remove the tranny using this tool. Cheers Phil

Phil Atrill

Phil -- That is much more elegant than the one I made! Can you make some sketches and put them on here so they will get into the avchives? That way the next caretakers of our LBC's will have some guidance on how to make the job easier and quicker.
Thanks in advance.
Bob Jeffers

Thanks Bob, Basically, it was fairly simple, used a 12" x 3/8" threaded rod with five hex nuts to match. The tube is 4 3/4" x 1 1/4" I.D. A 2" heavy duty concave washer was used to keep the rod centalized in the tube at the end with the pressure screw and backed up with smaller washer which should be kept lubricated for ease of operation. The business end comprises two washers ground to fit the I.D.of the frame tube precisely and are sandwiched between two hex nuts. Hope this helps . Phil
Phil Atrill

Thanks Phil -- Yes that's very simple. Could easily be adapted to put new bushings in the frame also.
Bob Jeffers

Remember that the lubricity and life of these oilite pedal-shaft bushings is greatly enhanced and extended when they have been soaked in oil for a few days before installation, or by immersing them in hot oil on the stove for just a few minutes (old pan, and watch carefully!). This is often overlooked in the process.

t lange

I last replaced my shaft bushings 40 years ago. Like so many of you, I also made a drift to remove and replace the bearings.

However, I made one mod that I highly reccomend; and that is to cut spiral grooves around the length of the shaft, and make two extra lubrication holes.

Someone made a sketch of this which I saved, and its attached.

When I replaced the shaft, I slathered it with MoS²and haven't had to open it since, AND the real beauty of this, is that I still have no side-play.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.

Gordon A Clark

It also helps to drill all the way through the shaft's two existing lubrication holes to double the grease egress.

t lange

IMHO, please make the same list for the replacement,,,,,

Steve Wincze

"Remember that the lubricity and life of these oilite pedal-shaft bushings is greatly enhanced and extended when they have been soaked in oil for a few days before installation, or by immersing them in hot oil on the stove for just a few minutes (old pan, and watch carefully!). This is often overlooked in the process."

I have already explained this technique to Alex. Instead of an over night soak (which I always forget until I am ready to install the bushing), do the following:
Place one open end of the bushing on your thumb, with the other open end pointing up. Fill the bushing with oil until the oil is brimming over the open end. Place your other thumb on the end of the oil filled bushing (it helps to be double jointed here) and press your thumbs toward each other. Watch the bushing and in a few seconds, when oil starts oozing through the pores of the bushing, your twenty four hour soak is complete. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois


I will try and write something up for reinstallation.... especially if I find something that would have been helpfull in advance.

ABW Waugh

Reviving this thread. Working on my pedal box at the moment. The brake pedal was able to move sideways about just as much as back and forth... Managed to remove the pedal shaft and pedals. With the tub in place as well as the floorboards. Indeed not a nice job! And the play.. now I know. The pedal shaft was more like a tapered piece of metal. I also found out that the body has (or should I say should have?) some bushings. Want to replace them also obviously. Thought of the tool Phil made. But on my TD on the outside of the frame it looks like any bushing is hold in place by an edge, as only the shaft itself (with the circlip) protruded out of the frame. So how can I remove the bushings with the tool, as I suppose I can't get the washers "behind" the bushings?

Thanks, Mark
M Smit

This thread was discussed between 27/12/2010 and 18/11/2019

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