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MG TD TF 1500 - TD Engine Replacement Numbers

My 52 MG TD ID Plate shows an engine replacement has taken place sometime in its past. The original engine was an XPAG TD2 15733 installed in April 1952 when the car was produced. The engine presently installed in my car is a replacement XPAG TD2 C17793, The engine block stamp shows it was originally a 17586 produced in June of 1952. I've read about gold and silver replacement engines but this is painted red and the worn areas indicate it's the original paint color. Can anyone make enough sense out of this to tell me when this engine was replaced?

Mike I

Nope - a complete junkyard XPAG engine was running $150-250 back in the 60's, so the engine could have come from anywhere.

The number of your present engine has a "C" in it that I don't recognize; is that number on your brass tag? And it's different from the engine number stamped above the tag, on the plinth? Strange... Can you post photos of any and all tags? You might have a Morris Replacement Engine tag; I can't be sure.

If you verify the numbers for me I can tell you which car(s) the engine came from originally.

If your original engine was XPAG/TD2/15733, then you have TD15250. The production records I have are a bit unclear, but it appears to be a Home car, RHD, one of 10 made that day.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Consult Neil Cairns' Engines for MGs, Chapter 4 Page 34 where he goes into quite some detail on factory replacement engines and their nomenclature. Gold Seal engines were first produced in 1958 so it's not impossible yours was a pre '58 replacement engine.

David Wardell

The MG Car Club had some info on the lettering on replacement engines:
"A large number of cars with XPAG engines have had BMC replacement engines (Gold Seal) fitted. These usually had no XPAG on the octagonal plate, but instead a letter prefix (A to E have been seen) probably denoting the over-bore sizes, followed by a larger than usual number (E99794 has been seen). With replacement engines, the original number of that engine can sometimes be deciphered just above the octagonal plate, stamped on the block."
The plates on the car and engine are pictured below.

Mike I

The engine plate is shown below also. Above this plate the number 17585 is stamped in the block.

Mike I

What is on the other brass plate behind the exhaust? That is not original. George
George Butz

Attached is the ID plate on my XPAG engine in my Y Tourer. I am unsure of its source or when fitted but believe "Replacement Engine B7630" is from a TC.

As can be seen it has a square plate like yours, but has a round "XPAG Type" stamp in the middle. When I get home on Monday, I will have a good look at the number stamped into the block above the plate.


Stuart Duncan

Apparently that's a plaque identifying the reworked specs for the engine. This is the best shot I could get of it. It says:
"Morris Motors Ltd
Replacement Engine
Bore Size +.040 "
Crank Size -.020 "
Shop No 51"

Mike I

Any comments?
Mike I

I work with the factory Production Records, photocopies of the original factory ledgers giving chassis and engine numbers, date produced, and basic spec like LHX, EXLNA, EXR, Home, TD/C, etc. There are NO details about individual colors, equipment, etc. Included also are occasional specifics about when an engine was swapped on the production line, presumably due to a discovered defect. There is nothing about later swaps, as interest in the car ended once it left the factory. From these Production Records I can verify original engine numbers, verify TD/C status, and give the car number where only an engine number is available. The on-line records are amazing but not without flaw (transcription errors of omission and commission are not uncommon, nor are omitted final engine digits due to programming restrictions).

You have a replacement engine, most likely obtained from or installed by a dealer. The branches of both Morris and Wolseley (and later BMC) had programs for supplying already-rebuilt engines on an exchange basis, and the large brass rectangular Morris Motors tag under the manifold identifies the rebuilder and gives specifications of that particular engine. (Of course, it may have been rebuilt since, with different dimensions.)

The aluminum octagonal tag and number show that it is a replacement engine, one that was supplied by the factory by rebuilding an engine that probably was returned for some defect, or was exchanged for yet another rebuilt engine. I have seen these plates both embossed and hand-stamped, both versions by the factory.

You have three numbers associated with your car: the original engine supplied with your car, the number on the aluminum replacement tag, and the number stamped on the plinth. The second of these is a variable number, supplied with the engine. The first and third are absolute. Your three are:

Engine original to the car: XPAG/TD2/15733 (which means you have car TD15250).
Replacement block XPAG/TD2/17586 (which originally came in TD17110)
Assigned aluminum tag XPAG/TD2/C17793. The "C" is part of an alphabetic sequence assigned to rebuilt engines - I believe A-E have been seen.

I don't know what else there is to know, especially since your engine could have been painted, supplied, and installed at any time. Any later owner could have painted a Gold Seal engine red, just as a rebuilder would have stripped the engine paint off in order to fully clean it, and then re-painted it red.

I'm happy to answer any further questions - is there something specific you wish to know?

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Mike i, I'm keeping a database on body numbers could you verify that your body number plate contains these numbers 22381, 14610, 82170? My eyesight isn't what it used to be.


Tim Burchfield

Tim, your numbers are correct.
Tom, thanks for all your research. It gets a little confusing when the replacement engine which was originally installed in June 52 on a TD 17110, was subsequently reinstalled on my car which was TD 15250 produced in April 52. Yet that could have happened anytime between then and the last time BMC remanufactured those engines. Also quite a coincidence that the original engine in my car was swapped with a "C" engine whose assigned number is also so close numerically. I wonder if all this means anything with regards to when it was done? In any event, I guess none of these facts can help determine when my engine was replaced which was my original goal. One good thing was the replacement engine was factory rebuilt with spec changes marked on a tag.
Mike I

So much information has been lost, since for so long these were just cars. Who cared about a replacement engine in the 60's? A TD was just a 10-year-old car then.

MG destroyed tons of T-series and earlier archival records and production information when it enlarged the production line for the MGB in 1961, taking over storage areas.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

This could make an interesting page in the Original MGTD midget website. I would need some better quality photos though.
Christopher Couper

Which photos are not good enough? Stuart Duncan's photo is out of focus, but the others seem to be OK.
Mike I

Dick Knudson did his doctorate whilst working at Abinbgdon. I have heard him say how dismayed he would be, when he found that some precious records had been destroyed. I know that Dick himself, made a serious effort to recover much that was headed for the dustbin.

I believe that much of what Dick recovered, was mainly correspondence, and technical data. How many record files he saved, I have no idea, but I'm sure he would be happy to talk with you; but I would start with an e-mail. (you recognize the number, of course!).

Abingdon was mainly production (and racing, in the day) whilst design and engineering were over at the Oxford Drawing Office, and it is there I believe, that the drawings lived, and were ultimately destroyed. I could be wrong on this and would like to be corrected if so.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gord Clark

Mike: "Which photos are not good enough? Stuart Duncan's photo is out of focus, but the others seem to be OK."

All but the silver one look out of focus to me but I am getting older. :-)

I need you to send them to me in an email or send an email allowing me to use what you posted here. I need some trail of authority.

email is in my header.

Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 02/06/2017 and 14/06/2017

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