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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 - Starter Rebuild

Engine TD2 15613

The starter came apart easily enough, even though it was working fine when I tore apart the car last April. I wanted to paint it though, and I figured if it was greasy on the outside, it would be greasy on the inside. I was surprised by three things:

One of the brushes for the field coils is hanging by just a few strands of copper. Does the Moss brush kit include all four, or just the ones which make the ground? The Field coil brushes in this starter are on a continuous strand, crimped under one field coil strap. The end that is defective is longer to reach around the case to one brush location, the other end is about half that length as it already is close to its location.

The Starter Drive end is supposed to have a nut with a cotter pin. Mine is some kind of goofy round fastner. A picture of it is on the photosite. How the heck does one pull that apart?

I purchased a communtator end bushing from Blair Engle a while back, but it looks about a quarter inch longer than the bushing that was in there. I think it is a bushing for a generator instead, which isn't a problem, but those bushings should be about 1/2 inch long, right?

Dave Braun

This is a later starter. The drive end is held by a wire ring in a groove. To get it out you have to compress the giant spring with its retainer and get the ring out, then uncompress. The thing is dangerous! Best is a press; I have used my big valve spring compressor. If the Drive End bush is good, leave the killer alone.
The brush leads are soldered to the field coils, BUT: The field coils may be aluminum, in which case you have to cut the copper lead to the brush leaving about 1/2" to splice to. The one time I did this I used a short piece of copper tube as a splice connector, then soldered. And of course you must insulate the splice to prevent disaster.
FR Millmore

Thanks Fletcher. The front bushing has a bit of play, so I was hoping to remove it. I think I'll try to get new brushes and leave the 'killer' alone. A replacement starter from Moss is pretty reasonable so if this doesn't work, I'll just exchange it.

Dave Braun


Starter is the one part of my TD that has needed replacement the most. I think I have gone through 4 or 5 in the 30 years I have had my TD.

While you can crank start the TD (one very nice feature). I have a spare starter so i don;t have to crank while waiting for a rebuild. I replace one when it goes bad and have it rebuild by a local electrical repair shop. I wanted to keep the originality of the starter as it has casing numbers that are correct for my vehicle.

Most of these shops can rebuild yours if you get to a point you can't.

On this subject.

I have a spare starter for my 67 BGT. It looks very close to the TD starter. Anyone know if they are interchangable?
Bruce Cunha


I've had the same starter for 25 years. The bushings are a bit worn, and with what Fletcher said, I'm thinking I'm taking Lew Palmer's off-line advice and running it out to an auto electrical repair place he likes. The Generator came apart today, and looks great inside. All I did was clean it, and I'll respray it. But as long as I'm at the repair place, I'll have them run it on their test bench.

Dave Braun

25 years on any part, especially electrical, is pretty good. I have only had my generator done once. That was back in the 70's. The belt tension advice given on this site is one of the things I have followed for many years. I think that is why this unit has lasted so long.

Biggest issue I have with starters is development of flat spots. Perhaps that is why they have the end that you can turn if needed.
Bruce Cunha

A starter for an MG midget works fine in a TD. And it's a lot less expensive.. Just have to file down one of the bolt heads a bit to fit flush against the bell housing.

Steve Wincze

Dave, What is your email address? I want to ask you some printing queations.
steve tobias

Here is my email Steve, or work is dave at braunprinting dot com

As for the starter, the brush was difficult to remove from the field coil strap. I considered doing as Fletcher suggested and use a piece of copper tubing for a splice, but I was able to unwrap the brush wire and recrimp the copper strap. I then flowed solder into the joint, which given the size of the heat sink was difficult. I tried a small torch, but only suceeded in nearly starting the starter ablaze!

Reassembled and painted, it does run nicely now! Thanks for the help.

Dave Braun

Bruce - To answer your question about whether or not the TD and the early MGB starters are interchangable, they aren't. The MGB starter is considerably larger than the one for a TD.

Both the starter and the generator for the TD are about as basic as an electrical item can be. Other than turning the comutator, all the work can be done at home.

As for price, If you can find a shop that rebuilds generators and starters, such as Whatcom Electric in Washington state, a TD starter can be purchased dirt cheap if one has a core to return. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

This thread was discussed between 22/08/2005 and 01/09/2005

MG TD TF 1500 index

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