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MG TD TF 1500 - TF 1500 Collision

I'm looking for a wee bit of advice, and the usual "moral support" that I always seem to find from fellow MG T Series owners... In May of 2003 I began the process of a complete engine rebuild in my '55 TF 1500... The job was completed in time for Memorial Day week end 2004, after all the usual (and some unexpected) "speed bumps" along the way, and some humbling experiences during the rebuild... I took the car out on Saturday of that week end and put about 100 miles on her... The sound and performance was an "orgasmic" experience... On Sunday I again took the wee thing out for a spin, and put another 49 miles on her... I was anxious to get the first 500 miles on the new engine, at the prescribed various speeds, to break it in... Incidently, there was no sign of any oil leaks from the rear seal after my initial 100 mile drive on the Saturday... That is something that gives me great satisfaction, since I have the original design "oil thrower" seal in it and not the lip seal conversion kit...

That brings me to "the event"... I was just 3 blocks from home, after my 49 mile drive on Sunday, and a 19 year old girl in a big Dodge Durango pulled out from a stop sign, when I was 20 feet from the intersection... My beautiful little car impacted the Durango on its left rear wheel, and a very big wheel it was... The impact was to the left front wing of my car...

The left front wing is destroyed (bent and torn metal)... The bumper, of course, and the radiator is pushed back and towards the right side of the car... The two frame extentions that the front bumber is bolted to are bent towards the left side of the car... As a result of this the right wing is "radiused" down close to the right front wheel... The left side of the bonnet won't open and is pushed back along with the left side inner panel that the left wing bolts to... The right side of the bonnet does open, and there is no visible damage to the engine compartment (thank God)... Apart from the fan blades being rendered still by the radiator... The radiator did not rupture but is jammed against the fan blades, so the water pump won't turn... Of course, in my 3 block drive home the water temp increased rapidly and my fan belt "smoked" as it slid over the stopped water pump pulley... I managed to drive the car the 3 blocks home and get her into the garage... Other more serious damage, that became evident in that 3 block drive, is that the left front wheel is turned left about about 15 degrees when the right front wheel is straight ahead...

Now that I have "vented" the details of the event I have some questions... The two extensions to the frame that the front bumber bolts to are bent, as I said... They do not appear to be available parts, either through Moss or others... Although they are assigned a number in the MG Shop Manual... Has anyone out there had a need to replace them due to similar circumstances? If so what was the source or remedy for the repair? Also, I have a question for anyone who lives in South Eastern Michigan (my neck of the woods)... I need to get the car into a good shop that can handle all the repairs required... In my search I found T & W Auto Body Inc. on Williams Lake Road in Waterford, Michigan... They were recommended by University Motors when I called them for some direction on this... University Motors is located in the Grand Rapids area, a considerable distance from me, but a widely know depository of "T" Series knowledge... I have not visited T & W Auto Body yet to discuss my needs, and show them pictures of the damage, but on the phone they sounded like a good choice, and they are familiar with "T" Series cars... They have also worked with Hagerty Collector Car Insurance (my Insurance company)in the past... Have any of you folks in Michigan had any experiance with T & W Auto Body? If not, is there a suggestion as to a good shop that I might look into? I live in Rochester Hills, Michigan, and of course want only what is best for my car...

Oh buy the way, I also broke my right foot in the collision... Therefore I'm not at a point where I can run around and check out repair shops right away... The foot is no where near as high on my priorty list for worry and concern as the car, but has had me on my butt for the last week or so, and will for the next couple of weeks at least...

Also, for you Michigan folks that may have attended, or been in the Battle Of The Brits Car Show in Sterling Heights, Michigan, there is a picture of me and my beautiful little car on the cover of the sign up brochure that you may have just recieved in the mail... They have used that picture for 3 years now on their sign up brochure... I sure hope everything comes together so that I can drive it this summer, since I was off the road all last summer, and be in the show in September... I missed it last year due to the engine rebuild...


Rod Macleod - '55 TF 1500 "Molly"
Rod Macleod


I'm terribly sorry to hear about your mishap. The most important thing is that you are ok. Do attend to your foot.

The car can be fixed. When i was a kid my father was in a wreck with his favorite car. It was totalled, and he got a concussion. He loved that car (a Gran Torino with police Ppckage special). When I asked him about it, he said that the car was only metal, and that metal can be replaced, people can't. As much as I love my cars, he is still right.

Best of luck in the repairs of both man, machine and psyche.

Ira Spector


My heart goes with you too. I just hope her insurance is adequate to cover a full and professional repair.

I might first suggest you take the car to a frame shop that have a laser frame alignment jig, and determine if in fact, the entire frame is straight. All planning can be done once you know to what degree the car has to be dismantled and repaired.

On page S3 of "The Bible", there is a good sketch of the side elevation and the plan view of the frame including the dumb-irons (T-Series parlance for frame extensions). The dimensions are there too. I suggest you scan this drawing, blow it up as big as you can and take it with you when you go to the frame shop.

You may also want to do the same for the drawing on S7 which provides considerably greater detail, particularly of the dumb-irons.

In fact, the entire Section S gives good detail of frame repairs, and I suggest you read it all, before doing anything.

Regards and good luck,

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.

Gordon A. Clark

TF I bought last year had been crunched on the front end. Pitiful repair job had been done on both of the front rails with brazing rod. Since I wanted to rebuild the car as new I cut the old ones off and took them to a local metal fab shop and had them make me a new pair. Next was the worst part of the whole ordeal. Spent most of the day finding a shop with large enough dies to put the car number on the new piece. Thought things were ok till I got home and compared them to the old pieces. The fab shop cut the openings for the rack in the wrong place and I had to have them make another set (no charge thankfully) but then had to go across town again to get the stamping done again. I cut the bumper mounting iron out of the old parts and welded them in place and then using the measurments in the manual I welded the horns back to the frame. Its not perfect but certanly looks better than what was on the car. The frame is still sitting in my shop waiting for a trip to the powder coater so I can easily send photos if you like.
Safety Fast

Hi, fortunately your injuries were limited and hopefully will heal speedily.
One of my great fears when driving my TD is looking in the rear view mirror at a tail- gating driver on a cell phone.
If you should find more serious frame damage I noticed this frame on ebay which did not sell:

When I was 19 I got a 56 Chevy (a real crummy one) which I thought was great. Had it only a couple of weeks and was headed to the auto parts store with my dad to buy sparkplugs. On the way we were victims of a hit and run which sheared the front off the car -- my dad's ankle was broken. I thought first to call my brother who could then tell our mom so she won't be too upset. As I explained the accident to my brother he replied -- at least you were still on your way and hadn't spent money for sparkplugs yet.

Best of luck,
D F Sexton

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the comments and advice... Gordon, I have made copies of the drawings on pages S3 & S7 of the Workshop Manual in anticipation of my meeting with the people that will do the work... This, in conjunction with potographs, that will be ready this afternoon, will be very helpful for a technical level discussion... Hopefully, the damage to the frame will be limited to the "dumb irons" on the front end... It appears that fabrication of new "dumb irons" will have to be undertaken from the feedback I have seen so far... You would think that there would be a supply of these somewhere, since they are guaranteed to be "victims" in a front end collision...

Rod Macleod - '55 TF 1500 "Molly"
Rod Macleod


May want to let the group know that MI has "NO FAULT" Auto Insurance. Do you have any recourse against the driver? I would hate to think that she has no liability.
Bruce Cunha


Ah yes, the Michigan "No Fault" insurance issue... The young girl that caused the accident is insured, and recieved a citatation from the police... However, I learned something that I wasn't aware of concerning the Michigan "No Fault" insurance law... Michigan is unique from ALL other States concerning the way the no fault insurance works... I always thought that the insurance company of the person who caused an accident would eventually pay for all the damages... When,in fact,in an accident the insurance of each party pays for the propery damage and medical costs of the person and vehicle that they insure... Therefore, my insurance company (Hagerty Collector Car Insurance) has to pay for all the expence concerning my TF 1500, and my medical bills... The girl who caused the accident gets the same same consideration from her insurance company for damages to her vehicle... Incidently, the damage to her Dodge Durango was minimal since the impact was square on her left rear wheel, in line with the axle... There was minor denting to the quarter panel just in front of her left rear wheel, but that was it...

Consequently, as a result of the infinite wisdom of the Michigan State Legislature, in enacting such a law, the insurance rates here are some of the highest in the Nation... To me it makes no sense that the insurance company of the person who causes the accident does not have any copability for the "victim & his vehicle"... Also, that insurance company will, undoubtedly, raise the insurance rates of the person who caused the accident... My rates remain the same, but my insurance company is paying the bulk of the damages... Go figure...

Rod Macleod - '55 TF 1500 "Molly"
Rod Macleod

I checked through my NTG and Gammons & Brown catalogues and can confirm that frame extensions are no longer available from them. Please accept my commiserations. Women, young, old or middle aged, driving 4X4's are a menace here too. They know nothing about inertia or Newton's Laws of motion, they think they are invulnerable in their big butch vehicles.
John James

Hutson in the UK have a secondhand pair of the front chassis extensions in stock, or they can make up a new pair for you. They build TF replicas and do lots of body and mechanical parts. I hope this helps.

Their contact info is:
The Hutson Motor Co. Ltd.
Pawson Street, Bradford,
West Yorkshire, BD4 8DF

Telephone: +44-(0)1274- 669052
Facsimile: +44-(0)1274- 669685

John Scragg
52 TD
John Scragg

John Scragg - Thanks for the "heads up" as to the information about Hutson Motor Co. Ltd. with address and phone /fax numbers, ect...

John James - You are Sooooo right!! It seems that there are more women on the roads in big 4X4 vehicles than men... I seldom see one driving without a cell phone held in one hand and the steering wheel in the other... I'm not being anti women, it's just a fact... They are, afterall, "verbal creatures" to say the least...
Rod Macleod

Not to be sexist, but, over time I have been 'drilled' by a mature woman in her BUICK (in the early 70's when they were passenger trucks) and by a chippy in the 80's in her Firebird, so 'been there done that'. Both instances were in TDs, thankfully no personal injuries. Get yourself well and the car can be fixed. Press on 'Safety Fast' Gordo, will we see you at the invasion? MGs this year!!!

This thread was discussed between 09/06/2004 and 10/06/2004

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