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MG TD TF 1500 - TD front brakes

I helping a friend put new tires on her TD. When driving her car, the front brakes pulled hard to the right on braking. I removed the front drums this morning and the brakes seemed to be alright. The shoes are loose, but have sufficient linings. I tried to remember my car on it's restoration and the brakes. There are no anti-rattle springs on the front brakes of her car and I thought that mine had them. It has been 5 years since I had mine apart, but I thought they had springs to hold the shoes to the backing plates. Am I having an early senior moment or do they in fact have anti- rattle springs? I don't see any holes for the springs in the backing plates. I also noticed the springs in the Moss blow up of the rear brake assembly, but not on the front. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks John
John C. Hambleton III

My 51 TD doesn't have springs holding the shoes to the backplate on the front.
There aren't any springs on the back either or holes in the backplate but I did wonder about the diagram in the Moss catalogue. Will look forward to other comments.
j c rathbone

Recently did all four wheels on the TF. Should be keeper springs on all shoes. They are not what you are probably used to. They don't use a pin and cupped washer with the pin going thru the back plate. The end of the spring has a hook affair that engages into a slot on the inside of the back plate. You should be able to see the slots with the shoes removed.


Before you go any further trying to correct uneven braking on the front wheels, you will likely want to check the rear brakes. If oil soaked, which is not uncommon, this will also cause significant uneveness in braking.

Lew Palmer
Lew Palmer

There are no factory/stock keeper springs on TD/TF front brakes that I have ever seen- only the two long return springs (inclding my late 51TD, TF1500, very early TD which the front suspension/brakes I just rebuilt last week sitting in my garage right now, and 53 TD in town.) Early TD's do not have the keeper springs or the welded- on slotted tabs for them on the backplates on the rear either. The most common reason I have found for severe pulling is frozen/stuck front wheel cylinder pistons. Make sure adjustment is correct. George
George Butz

George, I have the springs on all 4 corners. Do you suppose I have some aftermarket back plates or what?


Could be- who knows what has been modified over the years. It seems that it would be a good idea to have something definite to keep the shoes in place. They could be stock plates with a slot cut in, or a tab with a hole spot-welded on like the rear ones? Maybe someone with a service parts list could look to see if any part # change for the backplates in early TD production?
George Butz

My TD 15470 does not have the keeper springs on the fronts, but it does have them on the rear.

Of course, a simple tire change wouldn't cause this, but the forward brake cylinders on the fronts have to be mounted so the pistons are down. The aft cylinders on the fronts have to be mounted so the pistons are up. Are both wheels set up this way? Did you drive the car before the tire change? Was it good then? What about adjustment? Whenever I try to follow the manual's method of tightening until just locked, and then backing off one notch, I always get a dragging drum. I usually back off two notches. Finally, is the brake fluid making it all the way to the cylinders?

Good luck
D. A. Braun

John - I have no idea if the springs are used on the front brake shoes or not, they are not shown for the front brakes in the parts list even as a later modification. I would say that to find out which corner your problem with the uneven braking is concerned, take the car out onto a gravel road or parking lot and at about 15 to 20 mph, stand on the brakes hard enough to lock up the brakes. when the car is stopped, get out and look at the skid marks. If one corner doesn't show a skid mark, that corner is not braking (probably due to a frozen wheel cylinder. If one corner skids befor the rest, that corner has a grabby brake, possibly due to brake fluid having cotaminating one or both of the shoes. Good luck - Dave
David DuBois

This topic came up a number of years ago (May '96). I just checked the archives and found this response from the venerable Carl Cederstrand:
Allow me to relate my anti-rattle spring experiences with my 1950 TD. The rear brakes fitted to 1950 TDs did not include anti-rattle springs. Everytime I would drive over the railroad tracks that went through town (Urbana, Illinois) I would hear the rear brake shoes bang against their brake backing plates. Somewhere I read about the addition of these steady springs (spring-brake-shoe steady) so I ordered a handful of springs and two of the later brake backing plates (RH and LH). These later brake backing plate were required since the later plates had upper and lower slotted tabs welded to the plates for attaching the steady (beehive) springs. Once installed, the bump noise problem disappeared completely. That was 4 decades ago. Mr Byam's description of the beehive spring is exactly correct.

AKD 834 shows for Rear Brakes:
Brake-shoe steady pad, #300989, 4/car
Steady Spring, #7H7927, 4/car
Neither is shown in the illustration, nor is there an indication of their being a later modification.
Bud Krueger

This thread was discussed between 22/06/2005 and 23/06/2005

MG TD TF 1500 index

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