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MG TD TF 1500 - TF brightwork & chrome
Before sending out my metal to the chrome guy, I have some questions and some observations. My TF is an early one finished at the factory Nov 30 1953.
For one thing, what is really neat when taking these cars apart are the numerous metals and metal plating finishes they used to make them - copper, brass, stainless, cadmium, chrome, or simply painted etc.
I posted some pictures so you can see. I will have to do multiple post since I can only post one pic per post. I do refer the Original mgtf website as a guide and to compare to my car. Since the car has been in the family since '57, there is less chance with multiple owners adding, customizing to the car. Having said that, to determine what color a certain piece is, metal finish, I am allowing the car "speak to me" how it was when I left the factory.
Here is my first question / observation.
The hood center strip and side strips. My center strip is chrome and the hood side strips are not plated. They are stainless. I look on the Original MGTF it is reversed. It states the hood center strip was polished stainless and the side strips are chrome. Here is a pic with a quick buff on the wheel to the side strip.
So you TF owners out there, is this consistent with your cars you have?
|IIRC, Emma's center strip is stainless, sides are chromed.|
54 TF Emma
|A W Parker|
|The second item are the knockoffs for the wheels and the spare wheel.|
My spare wheel is definitely chrome but the wheel knock offs are not. The pictures are not great since the sun was starting to go down and taken indoors but you should be able to get the idea. The ears to the knock offs have rust probably when the shop reshaped them from being dented in the past by my dad using the wrong hammer to remove them. A steel hammer may have impregnated some steel in the alloy. In any case, I am not sure of the alloy they are made of but they seem light. I did not buff the knockoff entirely, only the ears slightly just to see what potential finish it was. It is the second one from the left. So with more time buffing, they can be nice and shiny and could it be mistaken they were always originally chrome?
Have you tried a magnet on the knock offs?????
|This is the front bumper. My question is about the holes. I believe the holes on the top above where the crank hole is not original because there was some half assed bracket to install a front license plate for the state of MA to pass road inspection. Am I correct? Fill them in?|
The holes on the bottom correct I think. They are evenly spaced and I think consistent how the British installed those long licence plates to be mounted below the bumper. Am I correct on this?
|My last are the headlamp trim rings. There is a copper rivet and it looks like it was added after chroming to install the tab. The tab underneath is just plain metal.|
Where can I get a copper rivet or does anyone know the size??
|Steve, the magnet sticks to all the knock offs. Thanks for your reply.|
|Then, I would have to assume that they are chrome plated steel?????|
|On mine : Center bonnet rail is stainless (purchased as "NOS" replacement years ago from UK...pretty sure the one "on" the car at purchase was chromed brass. It was "chipped" and I gave it away to someone in need so can't check it for sure) ...side rails chrome. |
Bottom holes on bumper consistant with what I have "UK style" front plate mounted with. I'm with you on ones "on-top" having been added at some time.
Knock off's are chrome ...I had a set of stainless ones that came with my car also ...but they did not have "MG" logo on them.
Headlamp shell: If I am looking at what I think I am looking at ...should be a chrome tappered screw that goes on bottom to attach to the car instead of rivot. (At least that is how mine is.)
Can get you a pic of that last one if not clear on what I meant.
|My 54 TF was restored from a low mileage car 20 years ago, and I presume that the brightwork is mostly original. Bonnet center strip is chromium plated brass, side strips are stainless. |
And I love all the nice details on the TF, inside and out. Even the toolbox is a work of art with its off- white felt lining and dual opening.
|On my TF the original center strip as well as the side strips are chrome plated brass.|
|J K Barter|
|My center strip is chromed brass; I don't recall the side strip construction.|
There were two reproduction headlamp rims included in the parts that came with mine. They were neither drilled for the attach screw nor had the tab riveted on. I just bought two more that were advertised as having the correct rivet. Alas while they have the rivet, there's no tab riveted to it! They are drilled and have a screw. I guess I will drill the tabs off the original bent up rims and epoxy them to the repros.
|J E Carroll|
|Center strip: I recall an article some years ago that the center strips were made both ways- stainless and chrome plated brass. My TD has a stainless strip, and the original TF I helped restore years ago had a chromed brass one. Pretty sure the knock-offs are suppose to be chrome plated steel. I have original knock-offs, and maybeheadlamp rims in the attic- will try to look at this weekend. George|
|I think that the rivet on the OEW headlight ring were originally chrome. The repos. from Moss have no rivet just a dimple. The ones that Scarborough Faire sells do have the rivet, but no current repo. has the tab.
|My TF came to me with stainless on all three pieces. Replaced all with chrome over brass.|
|L E D LaVerne|
|This is great stuff! Thanks to all who responded. The center hood / side strip finish discussion is interesting with all the different combinations. Perhaps supply and using different vendors when these cars were made. It is almost similar to a tool roll if your car came with a Shelly or King Dick jack or screw driver, it depended on what was in stock at the time. |
As for the knock offs, mine are definitely not plated. I can remember as a small boy and when I was older washing the car noticing that the wheel knock offs were not bright and shiny like the spare wheel. Chrome peels and pits with age... these have a dull looking "patina" to them but with some time on the buffing wheel, they can get bright and shiny. So who knows... I'm curious what you find in your attic George.
I took better picture of the headlamp trim ring outdoors and this tab I'm talking about. My Harley has something like it for the same function called a top spring. Basically to secure the top half of the ring and then screw to tighten in place on the bottom. The picture clearly shows that this copper rivet was added after the ring was chromed. Just trying to figure out the exact size. If someone has a trim ring with the rivet taken out and measure the hole, I will be able to figure out what size I need to replace.
I'm out on a trip right now but when I get home I'll drill off a tab and let you know what I find.
I'll need to move the tab to the reproductions so maybe we can find chrome rivets.
|J E Carroll|
|Re the centre hinge ~ I am the only owner of my TF and on the centre hinge and the side strips, niether respond to a magnet, but both are plated. |
So I can only suspect that stainless is the material.
As for the spinners, many years ago, brass reproductions were being offerred. I have seen only the larger size - 45 mm in brass, but I'm sure the 42 mm knock-offs were being made in brass too.
|Gordon A Clark|
|Gordon, Since you are the original owner, I'm sure if you check further, you will find yours are chromed brass. According what I've read on the three bonnet pieces, all TFs came from the factory with those being chrome plated brass. PJ|
|Most stainless steels are slightly magnetic.|
New knock offs can be had from Moss probably cheaper than rechroming the originals.
|Frank, the origianl knock offs are positively chromed. I filed through a spot, and the underlying metal is a different color, more gray, and kind ofthe color yours are. These also have the tiny pitting/green stuff all over that indicates chrome. Two original TF headlight rims: The rivets were chromed and not brass. There is a thin ring of chrome around the edge on both, and a couple of specs left on the curved part. I would guess the layer of chrome was very thin and polished off? These knock-offs and headlamp rings came from a second owner (bought in 1957) TF 1500 with 17K original miles on it. George|
|SUGGEST YOU CONSULT ANDETRS CLAUSAGERS BOOK ON TF RESTORATION. ALONG WITH THIS BB IT IS A GREAT RESOURCE. BEFORE YOU SEND YOUR CHROME OUT TO BE REDONE TRY THIS. LAY CHROME OUT ON SHEETS OF NEWSPAPER, IN A WELL VENTED AREA. SPRAY YOUR CHROME WITH EASY OFF OVEN CLEANER. LET IT SET FOR A WHILE THEN CLEAN IT OFF WITH WARM WATER USING THE ROUGH SIDE OF A DISH WASHING TYPE OF SPONGE. YOU WILL FIND THAT A GOOD DEAL OF YOUR CHROME MAY COME BACK TO LIFE. FOR SOME PIECES YOU MAY HAVE TO CLEAN THEM MORE THEN ONCE.|
|Observations on my 55 TF (3 owners, original paint):|
All 5 spinners are magnetic and chromed with small traces of surface rust and have the MG logos. All 3 owners carefull to use correct leather/copper Thor hammer.
Centre strip looks chromed and slightly magnetic.
Side strips not magnetic.
Clausager did not get everything right. He was relying on peoples opinions in much the same way as we are here. My humble opinion is that the Americans, Aussies and Kiwis often have a better handle on originality than a lot of the Brits simply because the cars lasted better and are more numberous in these countries. No offence to the Brits of course.
|Cleaning chrome can also be accomplished by rubbing the piece with dry aluminum foil,,, This was a "Tip from Heloise" that I remember from waayyy back,,,,it works quite well!!|
| "Tip from Heloise"|
She was the bomb!
Think she was the "first one" that I ever heard to say use Coke on rusted nuts!
|But is Coke what it used to be? Does not clean old coins like it used to. Like your lateral thinking though.|
A rawhide hammer is far, far, the best.
Have a look at http://www.garlandmfg.com/mallets/split.html.
|Gordon A Clark|
|Agreed Gord. I use the Thor copper/leather. Mostly use the leather then one or two taps with the copper to be sure.|
|Hammers, Because of the replacement cost, I use a pure lead hammer. The MGB I restored in 06 had new wing nuts on it. The wheels have been off quite a few times cleaning for shows. There isn't a mark on the chrome.Have a new set for the TF, lead hammer only on those also. PJ|
This thread was discussed between 13/12/2012 and 20/12/2012
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