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MG TD TF 1500 - Preparation for a 1500 miles trip

I bought my TD29276 in 2007 and I collect a several good memories but also some unexpected surprises. When I make weekend trips in the past they bring me about 200 maximum 300 miles away from home typically without major problems. Two times I had a real brake down. Number one was a broken gearbox just in front of my garage after a full day cruise. The second event was a broken axle also close to my home about 1 mile away. All this problems are fixed and this should not be a problem the next time.
In preparation for a long trip, about 1500 miles through the southern part of England Im thinking now about spare parts to be taken with me on such a trip. It is plenty of time to be good prepared because the trip will start in August 2010.
My plan is to start in the very north of Germany, were the car is permanent located. Goin to Esbjerg in Denmark, take the Ferry to Harwich, Essex going north of London heading Abington, going further to Malvern, visiting Morgan Car Company. Via Bristol and Bath we will go then to Cornwall. Visiting Tintagel, St.Ives, Lands End and other attractive places. From there we will go via Falmouth, Plymouth to Dartmoor National Park. Next Highlight on the tour should be the Great Dorset Steam Fair in Blandford, Dorset beginning of September. From there we are strolling back to Harwich and with the Ferry back home.
In the Archive I found something, but in particular the thread Suggested Spare Parts for Trips? seems to be very helpful. In this thread different recommendations are given, which reflect the different experiences of the writers.
My car is still a good runner and actual not any problems happens. The engine runs well, starts excellent and has good oil pressure and a stable idle behavior. I know thats good but is not a guaranty that the car will run such a distance without problem. I have only very little information of the restoration which was performed somewhat in the 70th. The Cylinder pressure are good and equal, Carburetors are in good condition with very little play in the shaft bearings. All in all I can say the engine looks good. But I have no idea on the camshaft or on the crank shaft. Sure it makes no sense to take a crank shaft with me on this trip but is there any opportunity / possibility to check something to get a good feeling on these components?
In preparation for this trip I have decided to change the original gearbox to a 5 speed FORD Type 9 with the Hi-Gear conversion kit. Ill replace the tires by new ones and make a special maintenance task to make sure everything is in good condition when I start.
But Murphy never sleeps. Therefore, how can I prepare myself and my TD to have a good trip without surprises? What can I do more?
Ill take the normal spares with me, points, condenser, fuse, some wire, nuts, rubber bands, tape whatever, and I will take a new fuel pump with me, just in case.
Do you have any further suggestion?


I would think your list covers just about anything that might go 'bad' on your trip... based on my experience travelling, the fuel pump is a good spare to have..... If you add up your total planned trip mileage, you will find it is just two of your previous weekend's travel....and now that you have done the axles, you should be fine!

Add a spare generator, and pre-install a pulley. The decent Moss repros are not very expensive (or at least a couple years ago this was true). Otherwise in this country cell phone and AAA card (for road service/towing). George
George Butz

For England, if you are motoring during the summer months and will be driving the car with the TOP UP, a raincoat, umbrella, galoshes, waterproof trousers socks and underpants, sou'wester, goggles and a cell phone in a plastic bag are all essential items. (For Scotland, take two lots of the afore mentioned items and warm underwear). With the TOP DOWN, I would recommend the French Riviera instead.

If you normally wear your wrist watch on your left wrist, change it to your right wrist, which will seem uncomfortable but a benefit will be that, being on the "inside" of the vehicle, it will be less prone to water damage. It will remind you to drive on the left hand side. (Watch for multi language road signs as you leave the harbour on the left hand side of the road. However, they may be a bit indistinct through the rain).

Have a nice drive.
G.E. Love

Thank's G.E. for your recommendation, but my watch is waterproof and it's not a swatch from the US but a real good one from Switzerland. Against the cold weather I understand that Scotch whiskey will help. I should report later on that if I can.


I'm not real big on carrying heavy spares on a trip. 99% of the time a bad generator can be fixed with bearings and brushes, two very light items. A fuel pump can be fixed with a set of points. Bigger wear items may be a spare fan belt, spare water hoses, and the other items you mention, but they are all very light too.

In this age of express mail services, almost any part can be sent to where ever you are with only a delay of a few days at most. Even if you aren't comfortable field repairing a generator, you can find a shop who is. Also, I might point out that you are going to a country where these car parts were in great supply, it isn't like you are traveling to a third world country where good mechanics are few and far between. Just go and don't worry.

Dave Braun


The UK is blessed with several good suppliers, so take their phone number and ask for a spares catalogue from each before you go, so you can ask for the correct part. Then there is the MG car club and the TD interest group who will almost certainly be willing to help in emergency.

If all fails and you gat really stuck, let this group know (take a wi-fi enabled netbook computer and find a Starbucks) and I am sure you will find there are many nearby with rare bits of spares somewhere in their garage!

Ian Bowers

I can't think of a better place to break down than in the UK. As mentioned you can get overnight delivery of most if not all parts. Make sure that you have a recovery service (like AA or RAC). It might even be worth ringing them to see if they will cover a European reg vehicle. They're cheap and if you do break down, go for a pint and let them sort it out. If they can't get you going at the roadside, they'll get you to a garage. On a personal note, (I know many will disagree), I'd leave the original tranny in the car, and plan my route on the B roads. You don't sound like you are in a hurry, the B roads are the ones you want to be on, and the car will happily do 50 mph all day long on them. Also I would consider replacing the fan with the 7 blade MGB fan. Some of the places you mention will have you sitting in heavy traffic in August and if you get a hot day or two (it can happen!) overheating may be a problem. Finally, let me say that I'm extremely jealous - we had to miss our spring drive this year (Spain and France) and I'm still pretty sore about it! .... Chris
Chris Malcolm

Hi Guenter,
if you are a member of the MG Octagon club this could be an advantage as all our cars are pre 1955. If you have a problem our members are all over the UK and I am sure the club would put you in touch with somebody who could help.We have driven from the UK to southern Spain after having done no more than change the oil and grease up. By the way take a grease gun as our roads will drive out your trunnion grease in no time at all.
Have a good trip
TF 2884
Ray Lee

This thread was discussed between 27/07/2009 and 28/07/2009

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