Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - Speed bleeder problems?

I know from the archives several of you have changed to speed bleeders with great success. I installed mine yesterday and found that 2 of the 4 will not tighten enough on my car at least. In one case it tightened with no leaks but a few minutes later I pressed the brakes to bleed the other side and the first one then blew Dot 5 all over the floor. They are leaking from the bleeder itself, not around the threads. Wondering if anyone else had this problem? They warn NOT TO OVERTIGHTEN or you may have to send the banjo to them to have broken end removed! Warning heeded, but still leaky. But something like this on the road would kill me! I called them and the nice lady is sending me a new bleeder but had no answers.

I also found I had to have the wife press the pedal so I could watch for air bubbles starting/stopping. Granted I didn't have to turn the wrench after each press, but it's still not a one man job like I expected. Plus it adds a "moving part" to something that had none for 60 years. Am I missing something here?

efh Haskell

When I installed my bleeders last summer, I was surprised at how much force was needed to screw them all the way in. I had been careful to see that they went in straight and with the threads. But, they all were uniformly tight. I believe there was a thread on this and others noted that tightness, or firmness.
I have had no problems since installing.

'54 TF
Tom Norby

I just installed these on my E-Type and they worked very well, with a few conditions:

*The threads are coated with a substance that prevents leakage through them, but cause them to be difficult to turn, as Tom notes. Given the warnings, you may have been too tentative on the tightening.

*I found I needed to loosen them more than the 1/4 to 1/2 turn they recommend to get them to work. Maybe that's just related to the setup on the E-Type.

*I also like to see the fluid and whether I have any bubbles. I addressed this by forming an elevated loop in the hose, doing my pumping, then looking at the fluid still in the loop for bubbles. You might also try a catch bottle that keeps the end of the hose in the fluid at all times so the hose doesn't drain and you "lose" the bubbles.

As an aside, I hope I don't spark yet another debate on silicone fluid. And I apologize if you already know what I'm about to say. I've used it in a couple of cars and recommend it when completely rebuilding a brake system. However, it is very important that you take care not to introduce air into the fluid. The new bottle should quiet on a shelf for at least several days before using it and you should attempt to avoid agitating it as much as possible in the bleeding process. That way you'll avoid the spongy pedal people complain about and perhaps having to bleed repeatedly. I've bled my cars that way and I've been very pleased with silicone's performance, even in my racing midget.

Good luck!

David Littlefield

They come with a "thread-seal" on them ...I was a little uncomfortable with how much torgue was required to seat correctly. A little scarry ...but have had no problems with them.
As for bleeding, had no problems doing it by myself.
David Sheward

I have used Speed Bleeders on three cars, but not on the TD, as yet....
The big thing is the brand name....There are several "generic" speed bleeders, that are really no good....
My experience was that if it wasn't made by Russell, it was "crap"....
Now, I don't know who is making them for the "T's", but that could be the problem.
One other thing, the depth is critical.
E.B. Wesson

Edward, who is "Russell"? Mine came from from "Speed Bleeder Products, Inc.) in Newark IL. Is that Russell? The depth seems identical to my old ones but the number of threads is not the same. The thread sealer does make it scary but I tightened them as much as I dared.
I called them again yesterday but nobody has returned my call as yet. Hum...this is becoming not worth the effort and my time. We'll see. So far $39.95 out the door.
efh Haskell

Ed, I had the same problem, seems to me the "speed bleeders" are US thread and originals are metric. I couldn't bring myself to" really crank down" the SB's in fear of stripping the the housing thread. Removed the SB's and reinstalled the originals & bled them the old way recommened in the TD workshop manual.
Any body wants my speed bledders can have them for the cost of postage. Never again.
Best regards, Daniel
D Desmond

Dan, you've got mail. Bud
Bud Krueger (TD10855)

Daniel, do you remember who made yours? Mine claim to have the correct thread so I don't think that's the problem. Of course, they don't return my phone calls now. I just hope my old ones don't leak now!
efh Haskell

Bud, no mail yet...
Ed, I'l look it up when I return home and then post.
D Desmond

I'll look at mine today also ...think I put the old ones in packaging from new ones and saved them.
I do recall that the company I purchased from was very quick on responce and a pleasure to work with.
I have had no issues with them.
Maybe somebody is offering a cheap "knock-off" that is not up to specs?
David Sheward

Here is the link to the "real" Russell Speed Bleeders, sold by "JEG'S":
E.B. Wesson


I suspect Bud, like me, can't get through your spam bot. I tried to email you to take up your offer on the speed bleeders, but couldn't get through.
David Littlefield

David Littlefield, got your message, you get them.
Sorry guys ,wish I had a hundred so everybody could have a set.
As best I can remember, these are not "Russell Bleeders", maybe that was my problem.
I'll look it Monday & post info.
D Desmond

Crap ..I forgot to look today.
The ranch-king threw a drive belt so cutting the grass became an all day ordeal.
(Must have been jelous of all the attention the MG gets...LOL)
David Sheward

It looks like Russell does not list the correct thread for TD/TF.
It should be 3/8 x 20 BSF and they only list 3/8 x 24 AF

if you use the 3/8 x 24 AF in a 3/8 BSF hole it will be hard to install and will leak!
Don Harmer

Copy/paste from earlier archived thread:
Installed a set last Spring. Quite happy with them. BTW, the product is:
Speed Bleeder Products, Inc., SB3820 3/8 x 20. Bud

The SB3820 units are working fine. Bud
Bud Krueger (TD10855)

Appears that the "Speed Bleeder Products", part, and the "Russell Speed Bleeder" part, look virtually identical...Even the way they operate, the finish , and the coating.....Veeeeeery interesting!
E.B. Wesson

I seem to recall paying about $20 for the set that I bought from Speed Bleeder Products. Bud
Bud Krueger (TD10855)

I also got a set of SB3820 from Speed Bleeders and had no problem installing or using. I also got a set of those plastic bags with the tubing attached. Made it easy to do as a one man job.
Mort TD 1851

Final status as of 6/22/11. Speed Bleeders, Inc. is giving me a full refund for 4 bleeders, no questions asked. Fyi, she stated they manufacturer the bleeders for Russell and Russell does not stock the size for the TD any more.
efh Haskell

Here are the ones I got. (package with old bleeders in it). SB3820 3/8 x 20
The gentleman I got them from was:
Kirby Fleming - 891 South Lake Street - South Amherst, Ohio 44001
kz10cubed "at"
Answers his email very quickly and was a pleasure to deal with!

David Sheward

Here is a pic of the package from some I got from recently. These were not for the TD, so the size is immaterial to this discussion, but it is listed on the back of the package.

It makes sense Speed Bleeders makes these for Russell, particularly since the Speed Bleeders name is trademarked and the patent numbers on the Russell website and the Speed Bleeders website are identical.

I'm interested in seeing what Mr. Desmond's look like...

David Littlefield

I'm at homebase now and have more info, the speed bleeders I purchased were from " Kirby Fleming, South Amherst, Ohio" . I wish I kept the packaging, but all I saved was the address on the box.
David Sheward, glad they worked for you. Used on a TD ?
Dave Littlefield please email your USPS address, they are yours. Send a donation to your MG Club and we are square.
Best regards, Daniel
D Desmond


Sent you an email with my address. I got your spam bot reply again, so let me know if it doesn't go through.

David Littlefield

Dave Littlefield, got your address OK, will ship today. Please post your results.
Best regards, Daniel
D Desmond

Used on TF.
Wonder if you got the wrong ones?
I don't recall if the # is actually "on" the bleeders. (doubt it)
Think Kirby still has a record of the sale?
David Sheward

Dave S.
Maybe I did get the wrong ones...?, it was a while ago, the postmark on the box says April 2010, I didn't save the blister pac. As I recall, in email converation with the seller, they said they would fit my TD. The instructions said if they leak, tighten them more and it will seat itself. Not on my car! Trying to match threads with the originals showed a difference. There was a heavy coating of sealer on the SB threads, maybe to make up the difference. I cleaned up the originals and re-installed. Works fine.
Best regards, Daniel
D Desmond

Why would you buy speed bleeders from a site which does not list MG as a car type and starts at 1955 for the year of manufacture when Google leads you to which lists both TD and TF? This is where I purchased mine. They were easy to fit and work exactly as described.

M Sutton

I suspect some got 3824's instead of 3820's that are correct for TD/TF.
Wonder how many of those were phone orders?
i.e. a "B"...a "T" ??? Sometimes hard to tell the differance!

David Sheward

Once I get Dan's bleeders I plan to take the thread seal off of one and compare it to both 3/8" x 20 and 3/8" x 24 threaded bleeders I have.

A thought-- all my slave cylinders are rebuilt originals. Could it be that aftermarket cylinders have a different thread on the bleeders?
David Littlefield

The bleeders screw into the brass "Y" adaptors in front and a steel adaptor on the rear, so the threads are the same.
George Butz

The SB's Dan sent me appear to be correct for the TD. I took the gunk off the threads of one and checked it against an original. The threads matched up fine. I then screwed the SB into the TD bleeder port and it went in easily. I even took one of the SB's with the gunk on the thread and it went in fairly easily, as well.

Now, there is no fluid in the system and there won't be for awhile. I couldn't check how well they sealed. Coincidently, I was bleeding the front brakes on my XKE today with SB's. I found that one of the bleeders was leaking slightly out of the top (under pressure) and I had to crank it down fairly hard, seemingly more than the others, to get it to seal. Almost to a point that I was uncomfortable.

So it seems there is nothing wrong with the threads, so unless there is something odd about Dan's brake system, they should have screwed in with a little effort. I could see, though, that it may have taken more effort to get them to seal.

That's all I could figure out without actually putting fluid in the system and bleeding it.

In the meantime, I will send off for the thread sealant from SB and reseal the ones Dan sent me and use them in my system.
David Littlefield

Dave, you are a brave soul to "crank" them down enough to seat. Happy it worked out for you.

Respectively, Daniel
D Desmond

The package
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

This thread was discussed between 24/06/2011 and 19/10/2012

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.