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MG TD TF 1500 - TD front brakes

I like to convert my 53 TD to front disk brakes. I heard you can do it with MGA brake parts. Has anyone done this??
MLS Salvanelli

I cant answer your specific question, but I believe that properly set up drum brakes combined with an aftermarket vacuum/servo booster would give you much the same result at a much lower cost, and without ruining the looks of your TD with discs, especially if you use wire wheels.


Jan Kristoffersen

There are a few threads in the acrhives about this,,, it seems like an A suspension can be fitted,,,,but not that easy,,,
Steve Wincze

You can also use MGA drum brakes on the front. They are 10" diameter instead of the 9" diameter of the TD.
This only works when you have wire wheels as the bolt pattern of disc wheels is different.

MGB disc setup is pretty much bolt on.

We picked up an MGB with wire adapters for $75 off of Ebay. Scored the front discs & shocks, the complete 3.92 rear end, fuel pump and a sprinkling of other goodies. Sold engine & tranny for a profit. Nice option with the B front end is the anti-sway bar. We had to switch to the later TD fenders with the shock bulge, but fortunately, we already had them. Not sure if anyone else ever bothered, but I cut and welded TD & B steering arms and located the tie rods where I wanted them. There were backing plates but the look of the new disc is nicer, in my opinion.

Jim Northrup

The conversion is relatively easy, that said it is hard sometimes to find the parts themselves. I did it in about 4 hours and they work like a charm. Lots better than the old drum system. I have wire wheels on my car and the hubs can be a little harder to find. Stopping power is superb and I feel much safer. You can easily convert back. you do need to change out a few parts and have to cut approx one quarter inch off the tie rod end. not a bad job at all.

Tom Maine (TD8105)

Heres an article from the MGCC Y type site, I believe the YB set up is the same as a TD

Regards Chris

Chris Pick

One other point that has been brought out on this forum (thanks all for sharing important tidbits)...
the stock master cylinder has a thin rubber seal on the end to hold back some pressure for the drum brakes and this should be removed so the discs don't drag.
Is this correct guys?
Jim Northrup

I know that this was brought up in another discussion about removing a seal and everyone in our club that has discussed this disagrees. I did nothing to my master cyl and I know of one other that did nothing and we have never had a brake dragging problem. I have run mine for a couple thousand miles with no problem and the other one has been running his for years with no problem. just my 2 cents worth.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

In the photo, just above the coil, there is mounted a 1915 DeLaval oiler. This is the "new" brake fluid reservoir on our '50 TD. Had to go with the "Real McCoy" since the new plastic ones disintegrated. Ought to be easier to keep an eye on the fluid level and refill, plus, adds a touch more reserve. It is fun to watch the fluid level change while playing with the brake pedal. Before removing the seal, the fluid would drop, refill about half ways up and then slowly finish rising over the next few seconds. After removing the seal, it seems to rise back up in one motion, but still takes a couple of seconds or so as the rear shoes retract.
This car hasn't been on the road yet, so there's no driving experience to report one way or the other. The disc brakes didn't seem to bind up before removal of seal, but I'm glad it is out now.
Anyone out there adapted a dual circuit master cylinder? My wife is hard on the gas until the very last second and then clamps down on the brakes hard. Every time I ride with her, I wonder if "we're gonna go together" this time out. My left hand is always twitching just above the e-brake handle, like I have Parkinson's disease.

Jim Northrup

I'm intrigued...are you using this as an extension to the Master Cylinder reservoir? If did you hook it to the Master Cylinder?
Bob Dougherty

I retrieved one from an import car and mounted it on the firewall of my TF. Then I took the cap from the master cylinder and drilled and tapped the removeable cover and installed a 90 degree hose barb. I used a new gasket with a little dab of silicon to reseal it. Hooked up a 1/4" hose and filled the new reservoir. This has been on the car since 1985 and is still serviceable.
It was a small unit about 2" dia by 3" high. white with a black screw-on top. I paid $1.00 for it.
This way you can check the fluid level each and every time you open the bonnet LH side.

Here's the tiiny reservoir and the hypodermic syringe for adding fluid. Being forced to use the syringe (smallfunnel works, too) minimizes the brake fluid running down and peeling paint.

At the halfway mark, the level will drop nearly to the bottom with pumping, but not disappear.

Jim Northrup

Here's the master cylinder. No hole in the floorboard.
Vent hole in the filler plug (cap) is soldered.

I think what looks like a white film on the master cylinder is the intense flash reflection off the clear coat. Gotta go look at that again. Can't have a MC that looks like it has psoriasis.

Jim Northrup

Jim & Sandy,
I think a very good idead, as I am uncomfortable not being able to check the fluid level (of course I could but what a pain!) This summer I backed out of the garage and the pedel went to the floor...MC was empty...leaking...would have noticed if I had a reservoir under the bonnet...Another project to start to plan!!!
Bob Dougherty

Do you remember what car your set up came from?
Bob Dougherty

Jim, I'm converting my TF to disc brakes at the moment using the MGB front suspension units. I'm using the MGB front shocks which bolt straight onto the TF mounting plate but how did you handle the rubber bump stops. I plan on using the MGB ones and welding a bracket from the top of the spring tower to each ear at the top. I assume you also cut the brake fiting off the end of the TD/TF brake pipe and installed the male end off the MGB.


AJP Preston

Guys--- I have an 1967 MGB parts car with wire wheels. What parts do I remove to convert a TD to disc brakes? The TD has steel wheels and Girling shocks which I would like keep, is it possible?? What other parts are worth saving for someday?? Generator is already in the TD (I built an adapter for the tach drive). Has been in use over 5K miles now with no problems. The sway bar is not needed because the car has an MGA sway bar from J.C.Whitney installed. Talk about cornering flat,Wow. 13 row oil cooler below the radiator, holds 50#'s hot at idle, 70#'s at speed.

Alternatively, My TF has wire wheels, so disc brakes would be an easier swap. But that car is pretty much stock and I would like to keep it that way.

Of course the big problem is after I remove the parts from the front suspension, how do I get rid of the hulk??
I think I'll also remove the rear gears, I've already checked and the axle is marked as a 3,919 ratio. I'm sure somebody with a TF1500 would love to have those gears.
Bob Jeffers

BOb,Here is a photo of a brake resevoir that was given to me at GOF Central in Auburn a few years ago. Maybe this is what you are looking for.

Tom Maine (TD8105)

My new rebound rubbers came with a basket case TD, so I'm not sure what they are intended for. All I recall is making aluminum spacers. The single cushion on top doesn't match the two pads, but it'll do.
I bought the British stainless braid brake hoses for the MGB and made all new steel lines.

As I recall, we used shocks and steering components from the B, and lowers are original TD but Bs are virtually the same (have the hole for the sway bar). Kept the TD springs, even kept the vintage Air Lift helpers. I cut & welded the B & TD steering arms together to adjust for the difference in racks and tweak the geometry to my liking. ...or you might cut tie rod thread.
If you want to keep steel wheels, I think you'll have to change hubs.
Some scrap yards will pick up. You might give them a heads up to bring a rolloff, or torch it into smaller, manageable pieces like I did... seem to recall cutting the car off the engine, tranny & rear end rather than vice versa. Paid $75 for the MGB (of course, that doesn't include the $200 diesel and 20 hours of driving), sold the engine & trans for a lot more than that. Even the seats went for more than the original investment. Probably got more than $75 for the scrap leftovers. I just scrapped a Ford Contour today for $226.15.

Jim Northrup

This thread was discussed between 17/11/2010 and 23/11/2010

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