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MG TD TF 1500 - What's the Worst Job on a TD /TF

I thought nothing could be worst than aligning the doors on my TD. It took me weeks and literally had me in tears a number of times. On an agro scale of 1 to 100 I would have given the job 90+. BUT have now found one that deserves 95+ Has anyone found an easy way of fitting the lower felt bush into the steering column ? I have tried oil, grease, compressing it with a jubilee clip (similar to putting in pistons) and eventually resorted to pushing it in with a screwdriver. I now await the postman bringing me another felt bush to replace the one I have shredded. I'm not in a huury though need to wait until the doc removes the stitches in my hand - the screwdriver sklipped.

Jan T
J Targosz


Having just completed this task, check the felt and make sure you have the right one for the application. The top and bottom ones are sized differently. I had my shaft out of the outer case and the lower bush slipped right in....then I tried the top one, it wouldn't fit when I tried to re-install the steering shaft. Needless to say I had the two felts mixed up and should have noticed that there were two different part numbers.

With the shaft out of the casing and the lower bush "blocking" piece removed, both of the new felts should fit easily and when the shaft is pushed back into the case it should slip through without too many problems.

Good Luck.

Brian Smith

Try replacing the rear leaf springs without taking off the rear fenders. It can be done but it's a bit tricky. Don't look in the manual because they tell you to take off the rear splash and fenders.

Chris Couper

Jan - Absolutely nothing can competer for worst job with having to rebuild an engine with a rod through the side of the block for the second time because you made the same %#@!! stupid mistake twice! Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Rod little end pinch bolt torque, right!

Chaps, Trying to stop fuel leaking from around the tank sender unit has to be quite high on the list. I've had the sender out four times, four different gaskets, some oil soaked , some dry, two types of sealers, the tank off and sitting on the bench for days with fuel in for a drip test. Then over the weekend I found fuel dripping from the bottom electical terminal where it's leaking out from inside the sender unit itself. Thinking about making up a blanking plate and throwing the bl**dy sender unit in the bin. Then there's trying to fit the felt seal in the gearbox rear drive flange ........ Not forgetting ...... (where do you stop?) AB
Adrian Bennett

Rear damper link bushes?
The engine steady bar nut thats under the water pump?
Working in the pedal box trying to fit the spring to the bottom of the brake pedal?

Felt seal in rear gear box flange. Anyone have a way of making that easier.

I soaked it in light oil but think I might have to wait until install the tranny to tighten (read muscle) it down. I'm a little concerned about this because what if I can't get it in?


By far the worst was dealing with my wife when she found out how much the engine rebuild cost after being unable to buy new living room furniture due to lack of funds!
George Butz

Now that I am enjoying driving my TD after 4 years of working on it, I do not remember any worst things.

George, just hide the receipts like I do.



Replacement of the pedal shaft that the brake and clutch pedals move on has got to be the worst "minor" job on the car.

Ed Curtis

Rebuilding the pedal shaft was by far the worst job of all. If you have never done it you have missed a great challange.Before total restoration I did it ina the car by myself, the first thing I did to the newlly acquired car. Stood on my ahead, needed 5 hands for woodruf key and nearly tore the fender off replacing the outer bushing. The second time was while the car was stripped down to bare fram. Much better. Other proceedures were difficult but that was the worst.
Ellis Carlton

Ed and Ellis
Does this look familiar ??


Then there's trying to fit the felt seal in the gearbox rear drive flange

Felt seal in rear gear box flange. Anyone have a way of making that easier.

It's simple, if you follow the right proceedure. The felt seal washer will never get trapped between the bearing protector and drive flange or anything else if done this way:

1) Assemble the tranny to the point of adding the tail shaft housing and drive flange. Put the bearings, spacers, bearing protector, etc. on the output shaft. The only parts left to added should be the tail shaft housing containing the seal, the drive flange, the washer, and the nut. Do a try run of the flange, washer and nut without the tail shaft case to make sure everything bolts up tight and you know how much the output shaft sticks through the nut. Remove the nut, washer and drive flange, leaving everything else on the output shaft.

Now here's the trick. Don't put the extension on now.

2) Insert the seal into the tail shaft extension.

3) Slip the drive flange through the seal into the tail shaft extension as far as it will go.

4) Check inside to make sure the seal is still in place and hasn't pushed clear inside.

5) Slide the tail shaft with the drive flange onto the tranny making sure that the flange bottoms first on the output shaft. DON'T slide the housing up against the case yet. Leave it slid towards the flange. YOu're basically installing the flange before you attach the extension to the tranny case.

6) Add the flange nut and finger tighten, or ratchet it up, but don't torque. You quite often have to leave the washer off as there won't be enough length for it yet.

7) NOW slid the tail housing the rest of the way onto the transmission and bolt it up.

8) CAREFULLY remove the flange nut, add the washer, torque, and key the nut. Don't allow the flange to slip back at this stage, or pull it off to take a peek, as you'll need to start over.

Good thread guys. My worst job was to remove the steering rack and pinion. Spent 2 days on it 5 years ago before I gave up and bolted it back. Finally decided this was not going to beat me and persevered and got there. This should only be done before the body goes on I reckon.


Paul van Gool

Steve; I reckon that brings back nightmare memories. I remember standing on my head inside the car and trying to hold the woodruf key and the bolt and trying to get it all fastened down. It would drop and I would persevere. Patients, I would tell my self. Yes Ed that brings back memories. Things like this are what helps make my little car so dear to me.
Ellis Carlton

Hi everyone, Wait until you have to fit the Hood & Side screens!!!!!!!!!
David Tinker. Wales UK
David Tinker

I agree with Ellis Carlton: The pedal shaft was, hands-down, the absolute worst....I discovered after some research, the British never considered it might ever need replacement,back when they built those cars, thus the welded-shut box that makes access to replace those spacers and springs a virtual impossibility, without the need to spend a month in a sanitarium afterward.

Moss Motors gave me the name of an outfit in New York that really knew this operation. The NY people sent me drawings and diagrams of some special (not hard to make) tools I could fabricate that would make the job easier. They did, but not that much easier.

If I had it to do again, I would cut that cursed box open to do the job, and then re-weld it shut. Or put hinges and a hasp on it.

Sam Suklis

sam suklis

I have to second the pedal shaft box. By far the worst imaginable job disassembling- here in Florida the box will be full of grease and packed with sand, oil, brake fluid, etc. The last time I did mine (even with the motor out), I put one washer on the wrong side, and had to take the cursed thing apart again! I recall something slipped, I cut my hand, and had a brused a rib from laying across the door sill! At least stuff was clean that time. A TD in town here had the bottom cut away so it could be bent out of the way- not a bad idea!
George Butz

The doors, the far...

3rd restoration

I agree that working on the clutch/brake pedal shaft is the single hardest thing to work on, but there are a few items that really take time, especiall when not done correctly the first time. Putting the whole front suspension on just to find out you have the swivel arms on backwards is one. Getting the whole radiator grill and headlights on to find out you put the radiator support plate on backwards is another.

Bruce Cunha

Rebuilding the tub, replacing the wood around the doors and in the doors. VEEEERRRRY tricky! Nailing all of those nails in was really something. Each nail required from 3 to 5 tries, and afterward my garage was littered with all of the casualties! Also, replacing the clutch shaft in the bell housing. Also tedious because the new shafts come without all of the holes drilled.

On the rear felt seal, I pre-empted most of the frustration by giving up on getting the rear flange through that felt seal un-modified early. I ground a chamfer on the outer edge of the flange and it slipped through the seal without too much protest. I checked with Ernie here in Tucson and he agreed that this method was a good one, and had used it himself.
A Voss

With my method, no modifying of components is necessary. And it works every time. You're just changing the assembly sequence.


This thread was discussed between 05/05/2003 and 11/06/2003

MG TD TF 1500 index

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