Welcome to our Site for MG, Triumph and Austin-Healey Car Information.


MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGA - MGA Adjustable Steering Wheel Surprise (to me)!

I had not tried to slide my adjustable steering column until today. It was stuck in place so I assumed it was rust that was holding it in place. I freed it up and saw what I thought was a layer of surface rust. Once freed up, it slid in and out very freely. I thought I would clean the rust off and to my surprise, the splined area of the female section of the shaft is plated with a layer of brass or copper!

Some of you long-time MGA owners may have already known this but I was surprised. I'll put a little white grease on it and should be all set to attach the outer steering column tube and the chromed expansion sleeve when I get to that point. I realized when I put the clamp on to hold the woodruff key in place that I need to rotate the column 180 degrees so the clamp tightening bolt will be on the bottom.


JL Cheatham

You don't need to rotate the column, as the clamp will rotate with the inner shaft it clamps to.
Dominic Clancy

What is the white ellipse above the clamp?
Bolney Coupe

My present MGA doesnt have the adjustable steering column but my previous Coupe did and I seem to remember that there was a spiral chrome metal cover that telescoped out to cover the greasy splines.

Is there not one of those on your column Jim?

Colyn Firth

The white ellipse above the clamp looks like the top of the shifter knob...?
George G.

George, -- The white ellipse is top end of the gearshift knob.

Jim, -- Any chance the copper color is some anti-seize compound?
Barney Gaylord

Yes, the ellipse is the reflection off of the gear shift knob. It's the knob that came with my 5-speed. It will be changed when I complete the interior.

I have a new spiral chrome metal cover that will go on after carpet and dash are in. I just have the inner shaft and steering wheel on now so I can maneuver the car around the shop.

I used a brass-bristle brush and WD-40 to clean the splines and the picture shows what I ended up with. I think anti-seize compound would have come off with the vigorous brushing I did. I think it's somehow plated with copper or brass.

JL Cheatham

THe chrome spiral Colyn refers to expands and contracts as the adjustable length of the column moves in and out. Further more, the spring effect pushes the wheel towards the driver as the clamp is loosened. If you have the wheel pulled back towards you it masks the bare spines and looks neater.
I have recently found that if i leave the spring out, I can get the wheel just that little bit further forward and the remaining gap isn't sufficiently large to look unsightly without the chrome "cover".
Graeme Williams

You said "You don't need to rotate the column, as the clamp will rotate with the inner shaft it clamps to." I realize it will turn but the way I have it now, with the wheels aimed straight ahead, the bolt in the clamp will be on top rather than on the bottom. I have looked at my sreering column u-joint and I think I assembled it 180 degrees out of phase in order to have the clamp bolt on the bottom with the wheels straight ahead. I sure don't want to take the u-joint apart again but I'm too anal to leave it that way.

JL Cheatham

Maybe someone wiped the clean shaft with copper sulphate solution, this will put a thin film of copper on the surface (old trick for marking out steel where you dont want to mark the steel when scribing).
Mike Ellsmore

I have two As and they both have the copper finish on the splines. It must be some form of anticorrosion treatment.

M Wellard

Copper anti seize goop?
G Gilly

This thread was discussed between 13/01/2017 and 31/01/2017

MG MGA index

This thread is from the archives. Join the live MG MGA BBS now