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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 - TD27991 is almost done - pictures!

41 years ago, a friend and I would stand inside Ben's garage in Edmonton admiring his two red TC's. One of his TC's had original clamshell fenders, and one had cycle fenders. And now, 40 years later, those same front cycle fenders - now black - are on my TD. Once again, I see that the world always turns in on itself.

The idea was as much as possible to build some kind of homage to the K and M Magnettes - but in order to tune the chassis, I wanted as many MGB chassis parts as I could. So the TD with its independent front end was the only way to go. People told me that TD's were always considered the ugly ones in the T-series, but I always thought - even when I was 12 years old - that with the proper wheels and paint, it could be made to look longer and prettier than its original small-wheeled shape suggested. So it so TD27991 became the only honorable colors that real Brit racers could possibly be - British Racing Green with a black topline - and now the hood seems to go on forever. There's not much stubbiness left in this one.

So we're this far - everything's done but the wiring and the dash. The big brakes are in, the supercharger really does blow at 6 pounds, the 185/16 Michelin X's on 48-spoke wire wheels look way better to me than 5.50-15's on steel wheels, there's a 60 amp alternator instead of a generator, the 5-speed shifts as well as a Honda gearbox, there's a black fiberglass hard top to insulate and paint and fit over the winter, the front end's got an MGB swaybar - we even installed an underseat heater from a 1953 Pontiac up in the cowling. It's a real car now. We'll break it in through the fall and next spring, and then the real shakedown will occur over the next year or so in order to get ready for the September 2012 Targa Newfoundland.

In some way, all of you have been part of this process - the collective wisdom on this discussion page has been wonderful, and all of you have helped you to keep this small piece of beautiful silliness going. Thank you all.

I don't know if it'll be a long-legged 80 mile-per-hour cruiser I hope it will be - I'll find out soon enough. The gear ratios and final drive are right, the long cam and big valves and really neat header will help, all the extra cooling is in place, with the cycle fenders there's less drag, even the electric fan may give me a few more horsepower. But sometime before snowfall, it'll come out of Ken Miles' shop in Edmonton shop with the wiring done and the instruments reading, and it'll be time to try.

The pictures are a bit grainy - in spite of the seeming light, I took them without a tripod in late twilight tonight, and I used the big driving lights on the Taurus to brighten things up a bit. And it looks like Alberta Transportation says I can even run the original Brit plates - what a bonus.

Cheers,
Dave


Dave Jorgensen

Here's another shot.

Goodnight - and thank you.

Dave


Dave Jorgensen

Dave

Congratulations, the TD looks good. Daylight photos will make it look even better.

How have you attached the cycle guards and the roll bars?

good luke with the rest of the work and trial run

Cheers
Stuart
Stuart Duncan

Looks great Dave.....wow.... are you competing in the Targa?
gblawson(gordon)

Dave ,
WOW Very nice ....I love the look!
Cheers,
David 55 TF1500 #7427
David Sheward

Dave,
I remember back in 2005? when you were asking about 16" wheels on a TD,,,, at that time I wasn't sure if they would look good,,,, well THEY LOOK GREAT !!!

Any pictures of the engine???

SPW
Steve Wincze

Sweet!!! George
George Butz

Dave,
My congradulations on a job well done. The car looks great and it sounds like it turned out as you had hoped. From a dream to reality, wonderful. It sounds like it might be too late this year for that trail run to the Kananaskis but we can do it next year. If I get a chance I would love to make a trip up to see the car before it goes away. Lets hope the weather holds as I would like to do it on the bike.

George Raham
TD 4224
G. L. Raham

Dave . I would love a couple of photos showing how you mounted the front wings.
Who made those delicious wheels? They are perfect for the Bentlyesque appearance that you have achieved.
Sandy
esane@msn.com
SANDY SANDERS

Beautiul car, Dave. The car will certainly be capable of running 80mph all day. My TD with slightly raised compression ratio, and the 4.3:1 rear end is perfectly happy at 75mph (handheld GPS). That's about 4550 RPM given my tires. The XPAG is a very long stroke engine with a very short crank throw, so the angles favor a much higher piston speed than the standard limit of 2500 feet/min. This fact was well recognized even when the car was new.

The limiting factor will likely be the wind buffet at 80mph from the flat windshield and the slab front of the car, it can be much more fatiquing than the same speed in an MGB!

Congratulations,
dave
Dave Braun

Dave B.
Please explain -long stroke engine with short throw crank.
My house of smarts is not on duty now.
Sandy
SANDY SANDERS

Dave,

How much longer are your rods than stock? 1.4" or longer? And from the way I read your post you had a special crank made? Who made your pistons?

I'm building an engine along the same lines but going about it a bit differently. The crank was made stock size but my rods are 1/4" longer and the pistons have been modified to take up the difference it height...or would be if I could ever get them made.

Gene
Gene Gillam

Good evening all:

Thanks for your comments; I'm glad you like it - it's been a long time coming.

Stuart and Sandy: I'll post some pictures of the cycle fender assembly next week. Basically, the supports for the fenders are bolted in behind the backing plates for the brake drums, and the wiring for the signal lights [still mounted on the fenders] runs up through a small piece of steel tubing that's attached to the inside of the supports. I bought the wheels from Bob Grunau - they were a set that he'd used on his TC racer - and when I got them, they were straight and true, and all I had to do was to get them painted. I'm not sure what they would have originally been from, an XK120 Jag or an AC Ace, maybe?

I really wanted the rollbar to be an integral part of the rear of the chassis, but in the end the lateral chassis strapping in order to anchor it seemed a bigger job than we wanted it to be. Bearing in mind the long conversations on this site regarding the location of shoulder-belt mounting points, I'd wanted the roll hoops to be the top part of the triangulation for the belts, but there just didn't seem to be enough structural integrity to the hoops and it would have meant building a full four-point roll cage, and I didn't want to lose the use of the convertible top or mess with the fitting of the fiberglass top. So I'm a little embarrassed to admit that the roll hoops are just like those fake 'Style Bars' that you see on so many Miatas - but I liked the look of it as it was sitting on the plywood deck so much that I decided to go with it. As one wag said when he saw it "After you roll, the last thing you will hear before you lose consciousness will be the sound of shattering plywood as your rollbar goes though the floor...' So the shoulder belts are mounted as per the instructions in Horst Schack's Restoration Manual - I had to do something because my wife told me that unless there were shoulder belts, she wasn't getting in it. The hoops will have some useful purpose, though: Once we get everything else done. I'm going to tap the hoops and mount a piece of trimmed lexan as a windblocker - we've done the same thing to the rollbar on our Miata [a real rollbar] and it makes high-speed cruising a calm and quiet affair. With the Brookland's screens, I'm hoping to keep the windshield down as much as I can - but I think my co-pilot may not be as enthused about that as I am, and I can see the side-curtains being up a lot - and a windblocker will mean that I'll have company.

Yes, Gord, the idea is to start to head for the Targa in Newfoundland about the second week of July in 2012 - that ought to give us enough time to get organized. I want to drive in the Targa, though I think that to call it 'racing' will be a bit of a stretch - I just want to drive in the Touring Class along the Avalon Peninnsula at 85 mph without getting nicked by the Constabulary, and then stop to eat lobster every night. Maybe I can hit you up for a room on the way? I'm thinking of a Ford Diesel Supercab and an 18 foot trailer, although my wife suggested I drive the TD across Canada and ship all the parts by semi. Hmmmm - we've got three years to think about that one. I'm planning to retire in June of 2012, so I figure that the Targa will be a good initiation into my second childhood. I asked a pal in Edmonton if I could use his Bentley Turbo R as our tow vehicle, but he said no - I can't imagine why.

George - let's not give up hope on a tear down Highway 22 - if we can pull enough wires fast enough, then maybe there's hope for a run to Canmore before the snow flies - hope springs eternal.

So, more pictures to come. Thanks for your encouragement.

Best,
Dave
Dave Jorgensen

Dave... will look forward to your visit (if you want to come this far south?)....perhaps a good Wolseley as a tow car from here to there? Would love to go and watch...!
gblawson(gordon)

Sandy,

My comment probably has a better technical definiton in a textbook somewhere. I probably should have said "Long rod engine with a short crank throw".

The XPAG has a comparatively long stroke compared to the piston diameter, so the engine still has a decent capacity (it was done for taxing purposes, the British taxed on a theoretical horsepower based on cylinder diamter not capacity) but the rods on the XPAG are very long, much longer than needed for the capacity. While it makes the engine very deep to have such long rods, the crank (which determins stroke) is short throw compared to the rods. This puts less of an angle on the rods, so the engine can tolerate greater piston speeds. Of course, with the small cylinder diamter, you couldn't have a big rod angle in any case. It works to the advantage of the engine though.

Sorry for the confusion,
dave
Dave Braun

DAVE B.
I cleaned my glasses routed out the ear wax and I think that I can see clearly now.
Thanks for the description.
SANDY
SANDY SANDERS

I think most if not all British engines were like this for the reason mentioned (good old taxes)...When you see a 9 HP rated engine, it was the tax rating and actual was more then doubled/tripled!
(as a kid I pictured horses hooked up to the front of a car....seemed reasonable).
gblawson(gordon)

Dave B:

So with a magnifluxed stock crank, balanced rods, and a line-bored block, what is the safe rev limit on an XPAG?

Dave J.
Dave Jorgensen

Some more pictures:

I test-fitted the hard top. I'm not sure how it'll lock up to the top of the windshield - it just fits into the nubs for the soft top, but we'll have to fabricate a clamping system. In any event, it sure looks pretty - not quite an Airline, but with a little bit of work...

A few more to come.

Dave


Dave Jorgensen

Just with the Brooklands screens.


Dave Jorgensen

With the windshield up:


Dave Jorgensen

One of the room mates:




Dave Jorgensen

Blower and header. The MGB catch tank worked! The red hose is the heater line.



Dave Jorgensen

Stuart and Sandy:

Here's a shot of the cycle fender brace behind the brake drum.



Dave Jorgensen

And just for comparison's sake, here's where I started on April 4th, 2005. What a long journey.


Dave Jorgensen

What a monster supercharger....and i like the treatment of the windshield frame....suits the overall look!!!
gblawson(gordon)

Varom...Varomm... Varoommmmmm.

Very nice Dave.
LED DOWNEY

Dave J,

"So with a magnifluxed stock crank, balanced rods, and a line-bored block, what is the safe rev limit on an XPAG?"

Honestly? I don't think you will ever see the safe rev limit, unless you end up with valve float due to the springs. Your pressure on your engine due to the supercharger will be a bigger factor than exceeding 6,000 rpm assuming you have the correct geometry of the rockers and push rods. A stage IV engine should see peak horsepower at about 5500 rpm.

The camshaft also comes into play, if you have the camshaft original to your engine, you already have the best street and tuning use camshaft they put in the motors, the 168553 introduced after TD2/24116.

With regard to the crankshaft, a more important aspect to consider is the condition of the journals. WKF Wood suggests that if an engine is subjected to frequent high revs (I've always read this as 5200 rpm and above)that hard chromium plating be used. Otherwise, a mild heat treatment after machining to raise the surface rockwell hardness to 52-68 followed by light polishing, is a good idea. Funny thing, he never was big on line boring.

I know people who drive their XPAGs at 5000 rpm for miles. I believe that the engine has a resonance at 4400 rpm, so I always avoid that range. I don't believe your engine will suffer if you drive it hard, but there probably is not a lot of benefit to going over 5500 rpm (with occasional bursts to 6000) assuming you installed standard size valves (the breathing will be maxed out at 5500 rpm).

warmly,
dave


Dave Braun

Dave,
Going back to your first post on this project,(years ago), I must admit I had my doubts.
NOT ANYMORE!!!!!
I keep looking at the pictures....
This may well be my all time favorite TD!
Tastefully done with an "eye" towards what might have been done "back in the day".
Excellent Job.
Cheers,
David 55 TF1500 #7427
David Sheward

Dave,
Again, excellent job!!!!!!! One question though,,,, I don't see any lights on the front fenders, but there seems to be a wire going to the area near the brake line,,, what am I missing ???

SPW
Steve Wincze

Steve:

When we finish the wiring this week, we'll be running the wires to the signal lights on the front fenders. They standard-issue, with King-of-the-Road red jewels in them and KOR emblems for the big headlights.

The problem is that I put the side lights and the KOR emblems in a safe place, and now I can't find them.


Aaaargh!

Dave
Dave Jorgensen

Dang-thought I was the only one that did that. New Brit Wiring harness on shelf in my shop somewhere-makes ya feel like an idiot,eh? Good look on the car-hang in there. Dan
Dan Craig

I'm still looking for a set of Piston Rings from a thread on this BBS months ago...can't even find the thread now!
and my come-along...my dolly...my wallet...my keys...my checkbook....my brain, and, oh yea....my left foot...what the heck did I do with my left foot?
Cheers,
David 55 TF1500 #7427
David Sheward

Dave,
I think I saw your Dolly over here in CT,,, she didn't have your wallet or your checkbook though,,,,

SPW
Steve Wincze

Hello Dave
Iím coming in rather late to this thread so I hope you see this; I just wanted to say- wow, a right fine job youíve done there. The pre-war style paint treatment really works. Iím going to hang a copy of your TD over my workbench for inspiration for my own TD vintage racer project. A couple more questions if you donít mind. What paint manufacturer and color code is the green you chose. I see from one of the pictures an MGB radiator expansion tank with pressure cap? Are you running a stock radiator and pressurized system; if so did you come off the overflow line below the radiator cap for your expansion tank line? And lastly, could you post a couple of pictures of the headlight attachment set-up youíve used. That headlight treatment, along with the paint job really gives your TD that classic look you were going for.
Thanks
Hiram
H.L. Kelley

Dave,
Is your windshield frame black, or is it the photo? I think I have the same hardtop for my TD and I will take a couple photos of the clamps that keep it in place on the windshield as well as the brackets that attach to the side curtain mounts. It will be a few days before I do that since I'm getting ready for the Central GOF in Sheboygan here next week.

Great looking TD!
Regards,
Mike Marini
Sheboygan, WI
M Marini

Mike:

It's powder-coated black. I always thought that TD's would look better if you could fool the eye into looking past the chrome windshield frame. That's why I painted the whole topline - from radiator to gas tank - black. It's a trick that the Magnettes used in the 30's in order to get the hoods [bonnetts] to look so long, and I really liked the idea of having the black on the windshield frame disappear into the hood, particularly when the windshield was folded down. I even thought of powder-coating the brooklands screens, but I thought that we still needed a bit of 'bling' up there. I'm pretty happy - it's definitely not stock, but I think it looks pretty good.

I also wanted the valences underneath the hood louvres black - it takes some of the green visual mass away from the tires, and also makes the hood longer.

I learned all this from my daughter, who's a designer. It's good when kids get smarter than their parents...

Dave
Dave Jorgensen

Hmmmmm ... a seriously good-looking TD. The angle you took the picture of the hard-top certainly flatters the car, and deservedly so.

I'm glad I contributed to that hard top. I'll be seeing Paul Gaynor (regular contributor to this forum), the originator of this hard-top in the Boston area, in a couple of weeks and will direct him to this pic. I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

To others considering a hard-top, beware. A TD hard-top does not a TF, fit. As I'm sure Dave will attest, I attached his hard-top to a TF-1500 that I was sending up to the Yukon, and piggy-backed Dave's hard-top on it, with an overhang of about 1Ĺ". Duct tape did the rest!

It took a lot of sleuthing and ingenuity to get the top from Boston to Edmonton/Leduc via Stowe, Rockburn, and Montreal.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Quť.
Gordon A Clark

Gord:

That's why this website is so great. Without it, I wouldn't have found Paul's hard-top, or you. And when Mike gets the pictures of the hard top clamps, then that solves another one hundred problems. We're able to work so quickly, now.

So, Gord, thanks so much for the work on the hard top, and Mike, thanks in advance for the pictures of the hard top clamps.

Gord, I'll send a high-res picture of the hard top that you can pass on to Paul.

I still remember in 1968, I was 12 years old and I'd been given a tired Austin A40 as a birthday present. I wrote a letter to a company that provided T parts, and in my best 12-year-old handwriting I told them that I'd pulled the Somerset body off and I asked if they could help me turn it into a TC. About three weeks later, I got a rather terse reply indicating that they weren't in the business of turning old Austins into counterfeit MG's - I wish I'd kept the letter and been able to stick it in the glove box.

Thanks,
Dave
Dave Jorgensen

Dave.
Even the cows appreciate the beauty of a fantastic MG-TD.
Thanks for the photo of the front wing attachments
What is dangling down underneath the rear. It looks like a spare wire or ????
Sandy
SANDY SANDERS

Dave, please take this as a well meaning suggestion - you have gone to great lengths to make a fantastic looking motor but I think that if Alberta Transportation will let you run with original reg plates then the original colour of silver on black might stay in more with your colour scheme (sorry, I hate the new style yellow!).... Chris


Chris Malcolm

Good Morning Dave,
When you are ready for your first trial run, would you consider meeting me in Rocky Mountain House. It looks to be about halfway for both of us and we could meet at a Tim Hortons or McDonalds etc. What do you think about this idea or do you want to do the full trip? Looking forward to meeting you and the car.

George Raham
TD 4224
G. L. Raham

This thread was discussed between 04/09/2009 and 11/09/2009

MG TD TF 1500 index

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