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Thread: New Project, '52 TD

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    Luke Skywalker vette's Avatar
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    New Project, '52 TD

    Hello Folks, I believe most folks here don't know me but I post on the Austin Healey forum quite a bit. I have a '63 Healey 3000 and an MGB plus a few other cars but, I do work for other peoples cars at times. Next week I am receiving a '52 TD to make some repairs. I have worked on many LBCs including an MGA which I restored, but I have never worked on a T-series before.
    I thought I would mention this to all of you in hopes that you can give me some tips on what I might run into.
    From what I have been told the brakes are hard but don't stop the car, the carb fuel bowls leak but tapping on them will stop the discharge, and the clutch has its issues meaning that they say you have to push the pedal all the way to the floor hard and then it is hard to get it into 1st or reverse gears and they have broken the clutch cable more than once.
    I appreciate any help you can give me. This car will be a little new to me. Thanks again Dave.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Hi Dave - welcome to the T family. It's a great design from the 1930s, improved over the next 15 or so years.

    When the car arrives, take a test drive and then post your questions. The brake refurbishment on my TD was the toughest part of the job. You'll find out why when you try to remove all the drums!

    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Jedi Knight Brinkerhoff's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Dave , You'll be taking the whole car apart to fix all the deferred maintenance , typical of old MGs. Brake lines , wheel cylinders, shoes , etc. The rear drums are one piece with the hubs and can be a challenge and the drums and axle splines wear out. It sounds like you'll need to pull the engine and gearbox out to put a clutch in it. You can pull the gearbox through the interior but you have to pull the interior completely out to do so. A 3 prong puller will pull the hubs and drums off. Kevin

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    On another MG thread here, I recounted how a clever mechanic siamesed another TD brake cylinder next to the stock one and hooked it up to a slave cylinder at the clutch. It was a Lea-Francis engine and gearbox conversion, but it might work as well on a stock TD. If you're not a stickler for authenticity, you might consider a conversion.

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    Luke Skywalker vette's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Thanks for the responses everyone. This car in appearance looks like a very fresh restoration, even the interior and the engine bay is perfect. I was very puzzled looking at it because it seems so nice yet had these troubles. Here I found out that the owner bought it about a year ago and didn't recognize the problems. We don't know the history before that. So thinking about getting to the clutch, I have been thinking it may be a better way to go thru the interior because the front end is so pristine. I thought maybe I won't risk marking it up. Because of my lack of experience with the T-series I don't know how much of the front end has to come apart to get the engine and trans out that way. I've pulled many MGA and MGB engines and trans. and the Healey, not worried about the work, just wondering at this point which would be the easiest way. I figure an engine lift can help to lift the trans thru the interior. What do you fellas think?
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Jedi Knight Brinkerhoff's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    The gearbox isn't heavy and its pretty straightforward to pull it through the interior. The bell housing bolts thread into the aluminum sump and are prone to strip easily if the correct 8x1.0 mm bolts aren't used so may need Heli coil inserts . When you pull the seats, floors etc. apart you'll get an idea of how well it was put together as far as proper fasteners vs. hardware store stuff. I'm pretty sure you'll have to remove the toe panel on the firewall also. As you know there are a lot of details that need to be right on any car when its restored so that it works right, these are no exception other than the whole car needs to be taken apart to fix minor things. Do you have a manual and Whitworth wrenches?

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    Luke Skywalker vette's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Thanks Kevin, I think I have a manual of sorts. About a week ago after I looked over this car I came home to do a little homework. I found a manual in a pdf file on-line. So far it seems to be giving me what I need. Here's a link if you want to check it out.
    http://www.ttalk.info/MG-TD-TF-WM.pdf . I will get whatever I need to do the car. So speaking of Whitworth, no I don't have any Whitworth wrenches. So I will have to get some of them as well. Do you think I should get just a few specific ones or will I need something more like a set. Thanks again.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Not my area but 52 TDs used metric Bolts???
    The bell housing bolts thread into the aluminum sump and are prone to strip easily if the correct 8x1.0 mm bolts aren't used.

    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    The tooling used to produce the engines and gearboxes was from old turn of the century French Hotchkiss machinery, the metric thread sizes and pitches are used in the castings but originally with Whitworth heads on the bolts ( some nuts) so that the lads in Britain could assemble without changing hand tools . The 8.0 x 1.0 mm thread is common and close to a 5/16" x 24 NF thread , with just enough difference however to ruin the threads in the cast aluminum sump and the timing chain cover so the clamping strength is lost. Its a little detail but furthers our understanding of how well these cars were built and how well they are restored when servicing them later. The MGA was completely different with SAE sized threads and bolts on major components.

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Thanks for the thread information. I learn something new every day here.
    I am helping out a bud with a 55 AH 100, (almost finished) would the "pseudo" Whitworth bolts be used by the Healey plant?
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Joe, I rebuilt a Healey 4 and I can't remember its been too long .

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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    My Morris Minor has some Whitworth -- I bought 2 sets of wrenches and a set of sockets. Worth having the correct sizes, makes things work easier. Besides, it's a chance to buy some new tools.

    I do remember reading about those engines having metric threads and Whitworth heads. Strange stuff gets done sometimes.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" under restoration
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie"
    '70 RHD MGB
    '06 Triumph Bonneville T100

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    Luke Skywalker vette's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Quote Originally Posted by drooartz View Post
    Worth having the correct sizes, makes things work easier. Besides, it's a chance to buy some new tools.
    .
    Absolutely.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    I've got a set of Whitworh wrenches and sockets I'd be happy to lend you. Send me an email.

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    Luke Skywalker vette's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Thanks pd. I appreciate that offer. I may have some locally. I sent you a PM. , Dave.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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