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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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    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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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Hi All, Well Ifinally got the TD in my shop and have had just a little time to look at it but this is where I'm at with it right now. I'm going to address the brake issue first. I have discovered that the brakes seem to be ok on the RIGHT SIDE of the car but there are NO BRAKES on the LEFT SIDE wheels. That's a new one on me, don't think I have ever come across this scenario before. But it may be a simple fix. I pulled the left rear brake drum and the inner workings they look perfect. The shoes look new, the backing plate, cylinder are as clean as a whistle. The wheel cylinder is free enough to move on the backing plate although I will probably give it some WD40 to make sure it is as free as possible. So I moved on to the left front wheel. AH HA, you knew I was going to have trouble there. Can't get the drum/hub off the spindle. I used a slide hammer attached to the lug bolts but can't budge it. Doing a little research tells me that these drum/hubs are hard to come by and could break. So this has slowed things down some. Looking in thru the adjuster whole, things here also look really clean and in good shape. The adjusters were in good shape on both wheels. I would really like to get the front hub off but just to get things working it might not be necessary. When I tested the brakes yesterday I found it odd that the right side wheels will lock up but the left side wheels keep on spinning. I am just wondering if the left side adjusters simply were just not adjusted up at all and the shoes just couldn't touch the drums. So today I will put the rear drum back on and adjust the shoes accordingly and just maybe I will have brakes all around. But if that isn't it, then I need to get the front drum/hub off. Can you give me any ideas and will I destroy the bearing trying to get the drum/hub off. Is it possible to break the drum'hub getting it off? 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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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Dave , I use a multi fit puller , I think fits Jeep axles. Adjustable feet fit three of the five studs and a center bolt pushes against the stub. It should come right off .

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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Thanks Kevin, Tomorrow I will go shopping for a gear puller with the right fingers. If I don't find one I guess I will make one. Thanks for giving me the confidence to hoist on 'er pretty good. Even tho things look in good shape thru the adjuster hole, I believe the adjusters are worn good. And on the LF I can't verify that the wheel cylinder is expanding. the shoes on the back look at about half life so I am wondering if the fronts are worn more. If the drums have been turned and the shoes worn and the adjusters worn it may be that there is too much space in there to get the brakes to lock up. New shoes and adjusters might do the trick.
    So since I couldn't do much with the brakes today I decided to look deeper into the clutch problem. First thing I noticed is that the nuts on the adjusting rod were backed off all the way almost to the end of the rod. So I was trying to ascertain if there was much friction material on the clutch plate. Looking at the lever at the throw bearing fork, the lever is positioned about 20 or 30 degrees off of vertical towards the front of the car. With my hands alone I can pull it back to almost vertical. I can't believe that I would be depressing the clutch springs by hand so I am assuming that this movement is just the take up on the pedal and linkage. So I adjusted the rod to almost bring this lever to vertical but not quite. I started the engine with the car on the jack stands and ran the trans thru the gears with no grinding. Even stopped from a constant cruise in 4th, stopped the wheels with the brake pedal and put it in reverse with no grinding or crunching. But I don't know if maybe I am over adjusted on the clutch rod in that the clutch may not be fully against the fly wheel and would allow slippage if force was put on the wheels. Can't take it outside with about a foot of snow right out side the garage door. So maybe all it is, is adjustments. But that's a weird one. This car looks really good. But not perfect. It looks like an older restoration that has seen little use since the restoration. Maybe was in someones private collection. Maybe someone who really didn't know much was playing with the adjustments. But there is some wear in the brake system that will have to be corrected. 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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    Jedi Knight Brinkerhoff's Avatar
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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Does it have a cable for the clutch or solid rods?

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    Re: New Project, '52 TD

    Well here is the latest issue. I noticed today when I was messing with the clutch adjustment and the pedal assembly that the pedal assembly sure doesn't feel right to me. The brake pedal rocks sideways a little bit and when you push down on the clutch pedal the brake pedal moves down with it a little as well. Then if you have the clutch pedal depressed and you apply the brakes, the brake pedal will not return completely until you release the clutch pedal. Seems like there are at least some bushings bad. I don't immediately see how the pedal assembly comes out. Maybe have to remove the floor uh? Any one with experience in this area. Thanks 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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