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MG TD TF 1500 - TF grill restoration

Anyone recommend someone to restore a grill for a '54 mgtf?

I have a few grill slats that are bent and the some minor dent to the center piece of the main grill. I apologize if I am not using the correct terms. Nothing major but it would need to be fixed since this is the center piece of the car.

I have read in the archives to contact a brass instrument repair for orchestras. Anyone actually do this? I also read someone in California has a tutorial how to do this as well.

I am planning restoration soaking as much knowledge from this newsgroup prior to restoration. I've learned a lot of good tips. I live in MA if anyone recommends a shop or can share information.


Frank Cronin

So far, you can still buy new slats from Moss. The shell I'd send it out to a chromer. They'll straighten it and re chrome it like new. Just for informational purposes, you can't buy a new TF grill shell, no one makes them any more that I know of, only TDs. That's a major problem with the TFs, as they were only made for two years and very few parts are made just for them compared to other models. PJ
P Jennings

PJ, who makes new/replacement grille shells for TD's?


Bobby Loughridge
B. F. Loughridge

Regarding TF Grills; Barry Walker in the UK has new shells on his website, 550 pounds each. And, there is a new one on ebay right now.

'54 TF
Tom Norby


I have a friend in New Orleans that accidentally damaged the grill shell on his TD. He contacted a music instrument shop and they gave him the name of a gentleman that worked on tubas, etc. He did a beautiful job on the shell and wasn't too expensive.

Gene Gillam

Hi Frank,

If you replace only some of the slats,you may be disappointed to find they won't have the exact same shape as the originals!

After having the chrome deplated on the slats,
most slats can be re worked to correct shape.
Annealing the brass (do not quench in water)
will enable you to 'push'the brass around like butter.Let it cool out in air before work is started. Sharp,pointed dents(small stone damage) are the harder type of damage to remove.However,by making up appropriately shaped 'dollys'from either wood or metal,these annoying items can be removed and a perfect surface re installed.

Use Mill Second Cut files only on your brass.They plane the surface taking off minimal parent metal.Other cross cut files will be a contributing factor in destroying your slats and/or shell.After the beating and filing processes,hand sanding through graduated grades of paper,will leave you with a surface ready for the buffing process.Then you will need to find a reputable plater.

Invaraiably,many restorers forget to look closely at the FRONT,UPPER,FLAT panels of the shell.When 'helpful'persons may have pushed the car into position say at a car show,they often place the heels of their palms on this part of the radiator surround thereby denting the shell in not one, but at least two places!Ugh!

The nosing piece to which the MG badge is affixed,needs careful fitting up before final plating.This piece is often assumed to fit correctly as is,however close examination can reveal unsightly gaps existing between it and the main shell.Depending on the damage,it may take up to two to three hours work to get back the close,factory fit.Keep checking for any fits using the badge in position AND the chromed false radiator cap.This will soon show up any gapping.

The chromed false radiator cap will often be linished so poorly that it begins to resemble a circle rather than an octagon.
Filing can soon reinstate the octagon.

This discussion is really only the tip of the chromeplating preparation iceberg.

I wrote an extensive article on T Type Chromework which was published in the Octagon Car Club 'Bulletin,'February 2006,No.429.

Hope this assists.
Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

Thanks for all the great responses. This has been a huge help. I've been doing a lot of research for preparation and this question was one of them for when the time comes.

Rob, thank you for the detailed response. I would love to read your article. How / where do I go about getting a copy of that?


Frank Cronin

Got the slats from Moss and had the shell restored by Nu- Chrome in Fall River, MA. Not cheap, but very nice work.

David Werblow


You have a very nice TF. Can you share why you replaced the slats from Moss and not try to repair the originals you had on the car? I have heard Nu Chrome is expensive. I have checked out their site before. I never contacted them. You do get what you pay for though. I do have a little experience myself when it comes to chrome having completely restored my Harley FLH from the frame up last year. I sent all my chrome to someone California to do five step chrome plating. There is no "hood" to hide the engine or imperfections on a Harley and everything needs to look real good.

The grill I have wasn't in an accident or crushed. I have no idea how it happened. Being in storage something fell or dinged it. The shell itself is in fine shape. Just a few of the slats and the solid piece that connects top to bottom where the hand crank hole is located.


Frank Cronin

If you had seen what my car looked like when I got itóno grill slates and a badly dented grill shell, you would understand why I both got new slates and sent the grill out. Unfortunately that center column is part of the shell; I don't think there is any way of repairing it without messing about with the shell.
David Werblow

Prior to plating and after straightening out the grill shell I have soldered into the center vertical section a brass rod (Brazing). It will strengthen the center piece so that it does not easily become deformed.
S Sanders

FYI to TF owners and back to the issue of new grills; I had an email response from Barry Walker in the UK. He is sold out of TF grills, but is preparing to make up another batch. He needs 3 more ordes to have enough for a batch. Price is about 650 pounds. Price of brass has increased significantly in past year, he says.
Nice to know they can be had, in the event someone backs into me with a raised pickup!

'54 TF
Tom Norby

Here's a TF shell on eBay.

Not sure, but it looks like it is a custom repro that you would have to chrome. FWIW, I know who the seller is. He is a well known collector of MG's and Ferraris.

David Littlefield

This thread was discussed between 05/03/2011 and 07/03/2011

MG TD TF 1500 index

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