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MG TD TF 1500 - T-Series Questions


Being an MGA person, I would like to acquire a T-Series MG. Which one I dont know yet depends on finances. My questions are:
- Are there any parts manual available?
- What books would you guys recommend to read to learn the details about the T-Series?
- Do you have any tips on what to look for when buying a T-Series?
- Are the T-Series 12V cars? Positive or Negative?
Any suggestions/comments are appreciated. I have always been around MGs throughout my life, but the T-Series I dont have much experience with.

Also, I have noticed the TDs always have disk wheels. Did they ever come from the factory with wire wheels?

Best regards,
Michael O'Brien

Here ya go - not a plug for the book seller,s but the links to the books were handy:

A good start.


Bobby Galvez

Hi Mike,
A lot depends on whether you wish to buy a turn-key car or one to restore. Buy the best one you can afford, as it is not hard to put 1000 hours and $10K parts into a T-series car.
* Parts: Get the Moss and Abingdon Spares catalogs. That will show you what parts cost.
* Original shop manual is very good and a book by Blower is good.
* CD from the New England MGT Register ($99)
* Use this forum's archives.
* Look for a solid body with good wood and good paint. The mechanicals are not so difficult as the body. Upholstery is fairly expensive, too.
* If you can find an unmolested (or properly restored) car that does not have kludges, you are way ahead, so you may need to take an expert along.
* 12 volt positive ground.
Others will have comments that are probably better than mine, but I just finished a basket case that took about 2000 hours over 5 years. If it had not been in the family since 1965, I would have done something different! :)
Kind regards,
Mike D.
MW Davis

All post war MG up to the 67 MGB were 12 volt positive ground.

The TD & TF are basically an MGA with a different body and smaller engine until the TF 1500., same suspension.
It uses fine thread Whitworth bolts, British Standard Fine instead of Unified Fine. You will need somw Whitworth wrenches.

Moss Motors and Abingdon Spares are a good parts Manuals.

Lots of books are available.

Don Harmer

- Are there any parts manual available?
Yes, but a Moss Motors catalog will do.

- What books would you guys recommend to read to learn the details about the T-Series?
The Imortal T-Series
Clasauger's Original T-Series

- Do you have any tips on what to look for when buying a T-Series?
As others have said, the wood. Also, the original air cleaner assembly. Proper unmodified suspension, the original four speed gear box (not a five speed modification).

- Are the T-Series 12V cars? Positive or Negative?
12V, Pos Ground, easily convertible to Negative by brushing the wire of the generator to the battery post.

Any suggestions/comments are appreciated. I have always been around MGs throughout my life, but the T-Series I dont have much experience with.
That's OK, I've woken up a couple of A models, but what I don't know about them could fill a library.

Also, I have noticed the TDs always have disk wheels. Did they ever come from the factory with wire wheels?
Only the later TF came with optional factory wire wheels. MG knew that disc wheels were stronger and lighter, and kept trying to turn the public in that direction, but wire wheels always meant 'sport car' so it was a hard sell. Most here would agree that a TD looks more 'natural' with disc wheels, but by the same token, the TF gear bolts right on. Some even take MGA gear for the front disks, and put those on.


Dave Braun

One plus for a TD is that it is much easier to work on the engine. A TF only allows access to the engine by way of the top pannels of the bonnet,,, whereas the TD side pannels also open up allowing much easier access to the engine and everything in the engine bay,,


"which one"... TC is basically a pre-WWII design. Very primative suspension, looks amazing. TD and TF: with independent front suspension and rack and pinion, they handle much like a modern car. Virtually all parts available. I find the cockpit of a TF more aerodynamic- less buffeting of the driver. Engine access much better on a TD. The wood/body crucial. Engine can cost 5K+ to rebuild. Mike's comment about an original or properly restored car very important! Please feel free to post pictures and ask us here about any prospects. George
George Butz

>It uses fine thread Whitworth bolts, British Standard Fine instead of Unified Fine.

...except for the engine & gearbox which is "Nuffield's Mad Metric" -- obsolete French metric thread (similar to modern fine-thread metric in *most* cases) with Whitworth heads.

Michael, what part of NC are you in?
Rob Edwards

I like the TD just because it is easy to work on compared to both the TC and especially the TF. As one who runs wire wheels on the TD i have to disagree with some of my friends on this board. My car looked lousy with steel wheels and looks much better with the wires. While they were not equiped from the factory with wires, dealers were known to put them on and of course owners did when they found out the wires from the TF would fit right on.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Hi, Thank you for all of your comments!!
Rob, I am in the Greeville area in NC. What about you?
Michael O'Brien

I'm in Raleigh. There's a pretty active group of T people here. If you have time some time, you might find it interesting to come to one of our monthly events. We have two every month -- a breakfast on the third Saturday morning of the month in Cary, and Noggin & Natter on (usually) either the second Thursday evening or the second Saturday. If you come, you can pick people's brains! ;-)

Our calendar is posted here:

The November N&N will be in Greensboro and the December N&N will be a my house.

Rob Edwards

Hi Rob,
Please send me your email address. My email listed here is incorrect. Should be "@gmail".
Best regards
Michael O'Brien

I have both a TF and an MGA; The TF is a fun to drive ( Particularly with the wind-screen down) and beautiful to look at, but nowhere near as comfortable or as fast as the MGA.
David Werblow

Michael -- use the email address by my name, just delete the "deletethis."
Rob Edwards

Michael, There are so many variables when recommending a particular car for someone to buy. It depends on a few things that only you know. How much do you feel comfortable spending? How much CAN you spend? Are you going to do the restoration work your self or have it done? How many skills do you have? Restoring a T series car by your self, requires fairly high end wood working skills if the car needs wood, a lot of them do! Mig/Tig welding skills and a lot of wrench pulling, which also brings to mind, you need a set of Whitworth wrenches,(very expensive). The nuts and bolts on these cars are a trip in their own rite! Different non standard threads on various bolts. Not trying to discourage you, but just throwing out things to think about before you jump into the world of T series cars.
I am restoring a TF, and even though a TD and TF are basically the same, the TF has a few odd pieces that were only made for two years! Some you can not buy new and very rarely buy used. If I had to do it over again and knew what I know now, I'd have bought a restored TF ready for the road or possibly bought a TD for restoration, as availability of parts is better.
If owning a TF isn't an obsession, I would personally recommend to start with a TD. JMHO. PJ
Paul sr

Hello Michael and Rob of NC. I'm in Summerfield, north of Greensboro, NC.

I bought my 52 MG TD (registered as a 53), from a fellow in Burlington, NC and it had been in his family for 26 plus years but it had been sitting for years. I had been looking for quite a while and went from the eastern shore of VA to central FL. I had a lot of cars to compare and they helped in my decision making process.

I bought the best car I could afford and then I went to work: replaced four rear wheel cylinders, one front wheel cylinder, had the d/s front Girling shock rebuilt, rewired the rear tail lights and tag light as the PO had wired them for a negative ground instead of a positive. I had the tires shaved and wheels balanced at Hendrix Wire Wheels in Greensboro. I just replaced the passenger side rear shock link and this past weekend I replaced the upper and three lower hoses on the radiator. Tweaking the doors is my next project.

Butch McKenzie of Europa Imports in Burlington, NC is an honest English car officianodo and mechanic.

The people on this board are great and the knowledge imparted is priceless.

I'm having a blast working on the car and driving her. Best fun I've ever had in a car.

R C Flowers

"Tweaking the doors is my next project"
Mine too ...for about the last 15 years! LOL
OBTW...Nice looking 53!
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Paul - Thanks for your input. I restored an MGA so I am not going into this "cold". Also, just curious where would I find a set of Whitworth wrenches, bolts, nuts, taps & dies?

RC Flowers - very nice TD!!
Michael O'Brien

Michael, The Whitworth tools can be had from Moss or other suppliers of T parts.
Here's where I usually buy my British tools, taps and dies, along with nuts and bolts. ONE STOP SHOPPING! (Grin).
There not a bargain basement store, but the prices are about the same as everyone else. I have no affiliation with them, I like them because I can place one order to one company. PJ
Paul sr

Also see ebay for Whitworth or BSF tools and Tap and Die sets
I have found some real bargains here
Don Harmer

I have found Whitworth tools on ebay....They work fine, even though they are India made....Also have gotten some used "King Dick" , on ebay....
To me , it's the taps and dies that are ridiculously priced...Some are absolutely outrageous.
E.B. Wesson

"Also see ebay for Whitworth or BSF tools and Tap and Die sets"

Be very careful about the taps and dies offered on e-bay. The vast majority of them available from New Zealand sellers are actual Whitworth threads, which are useless on the T series cars as all of the British threads are British Standard Fine rather than Whitworth. You can get BSF taps and dies from British Tools & Fasteners in New York and Uni-Thread in England. Cheers - Dave
Daved DuBois

Michael, I have a TF-1500 that I restored and started driving this July.
It's not a concours car but a real nice driver.
I've had it to a couple of local shows and won trophys.
I'm thinking of moving on to another project and am considering selling the TF.
I'm located in NJ.
Picture of car and Best of Show Trophy, from September.
Do you have any interest?
Thanks,Dave B.

DW Burdette


Would you please contact me if you are interested in a '51 TD 'Project ' car that is running, inspected, insured and licensed that is taking up space in my garage, and that I would like to dispose of before winter sets in. I have placed an ad in the Decemeber TSO.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qu.
Gordon A Clark

This thread was discussed between 27/10/2012 and 01/11/2012

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