MG TC rebuild.

Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
Hello everyone. I am looking forward to seeing if there are other older MGs being modified?. I am restoring a 1949 MG TC with numerous mods to make it more usable.
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Hello and a very warm, welcome to TorqueCars from me the admin!

So sorry for my very slow reply, my mum recently died and on top of that I've injured my back and shoulder so couldn't use a mouse for weeks!

I'm getting back into the swing of things now, but have to take it slowly. I'll try and get back to answer questions more fully, and I've got a ton of article updates going up soon.

I'm sure you'll fit in just fine and look forward to Talking Cars with you.

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Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
Hello.
I hope some of you are interested in what I think is called "resto-mod".

I am rebuilding 1949 MG TC which was abandoned in 1960.

My aim is to instal upgrades where it adds to the drivability but not detract from the charm of the car.

Probably the biggest change was fitting an Eaton M45 supercharger with stainless steel extractor manifold and exhaust to a fully rebuilt and upgraded engine. I have also installed a 5 speed Type 9 gearbox and a higher diff. I also now have a complete new braking system with "Alvin" drums and a servo.

There are far too many mods to list here but everything is reversible. The cost is prohibitive but at least it keeps me out of trouble!

Ray.
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
I love these cars, they predate the MGB which was one of my favourites.

I'm guessing things like power steering, ABS and fuel injection are typical mods you'll be doing?
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
You'll have to start a project thread so you can share updates and pics with us, but you'll need to get past our 10 post limit for uploading images.
 

Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
Hello Wayne. The idea is to rebuild the car respecting it's era. Basically, the TC is a pre War design so in a way I feel the need to respect some of it's limitations... but make improvements where I can. It will never perform or handle like a modern car but should still be an exciting, fun car to drive.

Respcting the period design, however, throws up some interesting challenges. One thing that has surprised me was a number of what I consider to be design flaws in the car and I see no advantage in perpetuating them if I can do something better. For example; these cars - like many other cars of the time - had what I consider to be a poor electrical system. One case in point is the lack of fusing,

Originally, there were just two 35 amp fuses which supposedly protected the whole car. Regardless of load, I would imagine the result of up to 35 amps surging through the loom would result in a fire long before the fuse had blown.! In fact, there have been quite a few dashboard fires in T types that I have read about. In response to this, I have installed a new loom but I now have 10 fuses to protect it. In addition, I have some rare and rather fragile switches that need protecting. My desire to keep high amperages away from the (wooden) dashboard and protect those switches has led me to installing a system of relays. I have 8 changeover relays in two banks. The fuses and relays are accessible but discreetly positioned so as not to stand out. Incidentally, normal relays have a tendency to emit high voltage spikes so I have chosen the type with a relay built in. (As found on Morgan cars). The reason for this is to protect the sensitive electronics - such as my new CSI electronic distributor. I have a transil fitted to the petrol pump for the same reason.

Still on the electrics, I have replaced the feeble Lucas dynamo with a 45 amp Dynamator. It looks like an old fashioned dynamo by is in fact an alternator. One of the consequences of doing this is more reliable voltage regulation and consequently I have removed the RF95 voltage control box from the system. The box is still in use, however, but mainly as a useful junction box. Both the original 35 amp fuses are still operable but as a back up,

Of course I have no desire to couple the brake lights as flashing indicators (as fitted to the American export models) so I have added period style lamps as indicators.

When these cars were new they had no petrol gauge; just a low level warning light. I have sourced a clever "hydrostatic" device that can be plumbed into the petrol tank drain outlet. Some electronic wizardry links to a new petrol gauge on the dash.

Incidentally, the car came to me with it's compliment of four gauges (plus clock) although they required restoration. I entrusted their restoration to John Marks (best in the business) and added a further three gauges. This required a complete rethink of the instrument board layout (which won't please the purists!)

Waynne. As it happens none of the mods you mentioned will be required.
1) ABS - not fitted.
Many builders would fit disc brakes without question. Yes, there is no contest between drums and discs BUT my aim is to respect the period appearance of the car and that alone rules them out. There are also torque reaction issues when trying to marry disc brakes to old technology (beam axle / leaf springs ) and for that reason I have retained and refurbished the original Luvax lever arm dampers. I have also renewed the springs and added a Panhard rod to better locate the front axle.

MY solution is to fit "Alfin" type drums with an improved brake shoe linings. These hugely expensive drums have a cast iron middle with a ribbed aluminium outer that dissipates heat. They were always a desirable period option. I have also invested in new brass bodied stainless steel wheel cylinders and master cylinder with new Kunifer brake lines with stainless steel coil armouring.

The brakes work fine but their design is inefficient. Later MG cars had twin leading shoes; a big improvement on the TC's single leading shoe arrangement - but the conversion would mean permanently altering the original back plates; which is at odds with my philosophy of making only those changes that are easily reversible. To that end I have opted for a 1.9 :1 servo to assist the brake pedal. I fully understand it won't improve the brakes but it should improve their feel. The servo (genuine Lockheed) is mounted under the floor next to the rear axle. Incidentally, one of the design flaws I mentioned is having the master cylinder under the drivers side floor board. I have added a remote reservoir accessible from inside the scuttle mounted battery box. This makes checking the brake fluid much more user friendly.

2) Power Steering. - not fitted.
The original steering was very direct but suffered from "wander". It could also fail without warning. The answer, as many TC owners have found, is to fit either a Nissan or VW steering box. I have fitted a VW box in place of the original "Bishop cam". One benefit is that although the steering is lower geared ( nearly 3 turns from lock to lock ) it is much lighter. To counter the gearing issue I have a new Blumells "Brooklands" steering wheel with a 15 1/2" diameter as opposed to the original 17". I also fitted new track rod and control arm ends but I may change those for rose joints. I have also renewed the king pins and bushes but added "Torrington" needle roller thrust bearings in place of basic thrust washers.

All the hubs have been renewed but now have taper roller bearings. New wheels and tyres are on order.

Fuel Injection - not fitted.

Instead of the twin carbs I have fitted an Eaton M45 supercharger. This is fed by a 1 3/4" SU. this may prove to be too big; a 1 1/2" SU is the more common fitment but let's see how it goes. The cylinder head has been ported and properly shaped for use with a blower. It also has bigger valves, double springs and bronze valve guides. Converted to unleaded and running a fast road cam. Rocker gear and push rods replaced and new timing gears with better quality chain fitted. The engine has been comprehensively rebuilt by MG guru Peter Edney with +60 racing pistons... but I have added a crank case pressure evacuation system operating from a scavenger unit in the exhaust. This mod replaces the old draught tube and works better than a standard PCV valve with a supercharger. As to the exhaust; I have installed a stainless steel extractor manifold with larger pipe and silencer; also in stainless.

There is so much more.....

Ray.
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Wow, thanks for sharing, this is a contender for post of the year. I'll be watching this project with interest.

I like your approach to this project.
 

Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
Thank you Waynne. You may be interested to learn that my project has divided opinions in MG circles. While I have had encouragement from a couple of neighbours - one of whom is also restoring a TC, there have been occasional visits from other T series enthusiasts who have been rather sniffy. They are of the opinion that I should be restoring the car to original spec. I think it is rather odd that considering MG was all about competition (back then) that they should limit their options in that way. Obviously, if I had a beautifully patinated original car I would not consider it as a suitable candidate for modification but when I found I had bought a lemon I had no compunction about putting my stamp on it.
 

Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
I am always happy to hear from other restorers.

I hope I have not given anyone the idea that I don't like original classic cars. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example I have a 1930 Austin Swallow saloon that is probably the most original and authentic in the World. I have owned my Swallow for 38 years. The downside is that this little car - called Trundles - which has an attractive coach built (Ash frame) body mounted on an Austin Seven chassis couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding...but there is no way I would modify it.!
 

thexav

Pro Tuner
Staff member
Points
387
Car
2002 Clio 172
Hello there and a very warm welcome to TorqueCars, it's great to meet you. We hope you enjoy your time here, it is a really friendly place with everyone here ready to share experiences, swap tips and talk about cars. You'll fit in really well buddy.
 

Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
Thank you for your welcome, thexav. I am hoping there are one or two others interested in classic resto mods. My 1949 MG TC is only mildly modified so as to retain it's traditional character...indeed it is probably much closer to being stock than hot!

I also have to admit that cars of this period were inherently unsafe but I am hoping that I can improve on that - for example - by fitting seat belts. Another worry I have is the location of the windscreen wiper motor on the top of the fold flat screen... directly in line with the passenger's head!
 
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Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
As I said before, the TC turned out to be a Lemon. What the previous owner had done was cobble together a basket case that had been imported from Australia. With a fresh coat of paint applied directly over the rust and a trim kit hiding all the rotten timber it scrubbed up quite well. The engine ran quietly with no smoke and reasonable oil pressure. It was only later that I discovered the engine had been filled with thick (gear?) oil. Unfortunately, the original pre 1960 oil filter had never been changed with inevitable results. Incidentally, the gearbox had been run with no oil in it at all.

The brakes failed as I drove the car onto the transporter. I should have demanded my money back at that point but I half expected they would need attention anyway. As it turned out the p.o.had filled the wheel cylinders with grease to stop fluid from leaking out.

A further litany of disastrous discoveries pointed me in the direction I needed to go. I could have sold the car on immediately but instead I decided to embark on a total rebuild but with all the popular mods that would make it a more usable car on today's busy roads.

To be continued... in the project gallery.
 
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obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
I don't understand why people do this, they have no respect for the car or the buyer. Karma will catch up i'm sure.
 

TCJBOLDIE

Moderator
Staff member
Points
707
Location
Brisbane
Car
2011 Honda FN2
A late friend had a TC before he was married and we could hear him coming a mile away with the copper exhaust .I also remember i that the front end had something like 3 - 4 degrees of positive camber on the narrow spindly front spoked wheels.
 

Restoman

Wrench Pro
Points
48
Location
Derby
Car
1949 MG TC
A late friend had a TC before he was married and we could hear him coming a mile away with the copper exhaust .I also remember i that the front end had something like 3 - 4 degrees of positive camber on the narrow spindly front spoked wheels.
As it happens, I fitted a copper exhaust with chopped down silencer to - of all things - a 1930 Austin Seven. I took the precaution of wrapping the entire pipe because of expected heat loss. The improvement was noticeable. The Austin Seven needs all the help it can get ...even if it is not exactly legal!
 

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