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MG TD TF 1500 - Repro Starter Question

The repro starter from Moss has two "ears" on it where the holding bolts go while the currently defective starter in my TD has 3 ears. Will the Moss starter work in place of the original? It was suggested that I might have a TC engine in my TD. If so, are the starter mountings different from the engine supplied for the TD? I can have the current starter rebuilt locally but the cost is twice the price of the moss repro unit. The current starter is a TC unit that has been converted to use the firewall mounted starter switch used on TDs. Thanks, Paul.
P.W. Lester

My TD starter and motor have two ears. I suspect two is the standard???

Jim Budrow

Hi, Paul!

I believe 3 eared starters are for a TC, but I know little about TCs. What is its Lucas number? I would guess that a rebuildable starter suitable for a TC is worth far more than a rebuildable TD-TF-MGA unit. Due to ring gear teeth issues, however, I believe a simple swap is unlikely. Someone more knowledgeable will jump in here, I am sure.

I can verify a prior recent post (sorry I can't recall the poster's name) that Autozone will sell me a rebuilt Lucas starter, suitable for TD-TF-MGA, for $44.95 plus $15 core charge.
Good luck!

C A Schnell

Check the serial number of your engine. I suspect it is a TC unit.Where on your engine is the ID plate? If it is located at the rear on top of the flywheel housing it very easily could be a TC. As such the two starters are not interchangeable. There is a difference in the number of teeth on the flywheel and the starter bendix assy is different and not interchangeable amongst the starter.
Look at Moss motors exploded view of the two starters and you can compare yours to the views. A simple way to compare is to check if your has the pinion guard # 29(148800) If it has its a standard TD starter. you can in that case use a two hole unit. The bolt spacings are the same.

P.S. What is wrong with your unit. If it is a bad armature then Holcombe Armature in Atlanta can rebuild the armature.Other than that they are an easy repair.
They do have an 800 number.
Sandy Sanders

I have been using an MG midget starter in out TD for years with out a problem,,, a LOT LESS exspensive. The only mod required is that one of the long bolts that hold the starter together must have it's head filed flat so it mates flush with the flywheel housing,,, From the out side, it looks just like an origional,,,,

Steve Wincze

Sandy, I will check the numbers tonight after work. It is certainly looking like I have a TC engine. The field coils appear to be shorted to the outer case of the starter. I read continuity from the outer case to the the input for the coil. If I can figure out how to loosen the 4 screws that hold the coils in place(they are really tight)I might be able to repair the coil. Thanks for the valuable information you and the other posters provided. Paul.
P.W. Lester

A TC starter has the starter switch mounted to the rear of the starter itself...and the starter pull goes all the way from the dashboard to the starter, not to a switch on the firewall. If that's what Paul has then he has a TC starter. Didn't the early TD's use the same ring gear on the flywheel as the TC's? If so, it's possible that a variant of the TC starter could have been used.

Sorry about the lousy photo but it shows the starter switch on a TC starter.

Gene Gillam

One end of the field coil windings should be grounded to the case. Don.t le the low resistance of the coils fool you into thinking you have a short to the case.
The starter is a series wound motor, which means the current goes thru the armature then thru the field coils with all wires being of low enough resistance to be able to handle the 60-90 Amp starting current.
Don Harmer

Gene, I definitely have a TC starter but someone ran a cable from the input up to a TD starter switch and did away with the original TC type switch.
P.W. Lester

Don, now you have given me something to ponder. I need a wiring diagram of some kind to see the current path of this starter. I thought I understood it but maybe that is not the case at all. This happens to me a lot. :-) Paul.
P.W. Lester


Can you post a photo of the back of your starter? The switch actually shorts across a couple of copper plates that are on the back of the starter housing. Have those plates been shorted out on your starter?

Gene Gillam

Thanks to everyone who responded. The information was truely valuable. I found out that an aquaintence from the Street Rod side of my car hobby owns a rewind shop and I dropped it off with him. He confirmed the field coils were, indeed, shorted and will have it back to me by the middle of next week good as new for a very reasonable cost. This is a great forum full of knowlegable people. Paul.
P.W. Lester

This thread was discussed on 29/05/2008

MG TD TF 1500 index

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