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MG MGB Technical - HRG Derrington

Hi Guys,

Im new on here but Im actually a Riley 1.5 owners thinking about developing a competition Riley 1.5 with a an MGB engine.

I noticed some previous threads with discussion on the HRG Derrington head (see below).

http://www.mg-cars.net/mgb-technical-bbs/pistons-3-bearing-choices-2012090521341326153.htm

My me to use this setup I need to prove that the Riley 1.5 did complete using this HRG Derrington head conversion in 50s or 60s.

I noticed a chap called Peter A Allen has described his father in law once setup a Riley 1.5 in the 60s with a HRG Derrington head. Does anyone know Peter A Allen and would it be possible to get in touch with him?

Thanks

Chris


CJT Thorley

Hi Chris,

I'm Peter A Allen!

As to whether they competed, can't say at the mo. I don't think my pop-in-law did, but he ran it as a fast road car. The head subsequently going on his TVR Grantura.

He let me have some stuff on MG tuning - I'll have a look and see if there's anything on the HRG head. May give some clues as to whether it was homologated.

I'll try and get back to you in the next few days.

Off to bed......

Peter
P A Allen

hi peter thanks alot for the information.

can I ask if you have any pictures of the riley with the hrg derrington head on it? if not perhaps some current pics would be great too.

would ur father in law still have any documents on them the hrg head

has it served you well or has been been a bit troublesome?

ive jead mixed reports about them and wanted first hand experience.

my email address if cjthorley@hotmail.com if you have anything to forward.

thanks alot

chris thorley
CJT Thorley

Chris,

Unfortunately, I have not got the head currently. Just the rocker cover! From what he has said it gave a worthwhile performance increase at the time. We are talking 50 years ago, though!

I haven't any pictures of the Riley with the head on, but I have got some contemporary tests etc, which I'm attempting to scan in.

As this may be of general interest, I'll post to the nearest appropriate folder. The first is on an MGA which I'll post on the MGA folder.

Peter

P A Allen

Well, I tried attaching the test of the MGA with the HRG head, but it was so large (13Mb), that it wouldn't let me attach it.

I've sent it to your personal e-mail address, Chris.

Peter
P A Allen

Hi Peter

I had a good chat with Chris last week, may I trouble you for the HRG info as well please? I enjoy the history of the HRG heads and redeveloped the MGB version of the head for GT Precision in the mid 80s. The ones sold by B&G.

Thanks
Peter Burgess Tuning

Chris
I have just seen a HRG Derrington head which appears to be up for sale on the MGA experience forum.

If I had the money I would buy it myself but I expect it will sell for almost as much money as it would cost to fit a supercharger!

The sellers name is Dominic TL from Wallingford in Oxfordshire.

(Myself, Im saving up for a supercharger!)

Colyn
Colyn Firth

thanks for all the comments so far and very much appreciate the material from Peter.

I think I will be giving Peter Burgess a call very soon regarding a Derrington Head.

thanks again chris
CJT Thorley

Peter (Burgess),

I've scanned a couple of things and sent then to Chris via e-mail, as they were too large to be attached on the BBS.

If you let me have your e-mail address (or for that matter anybody else, if they're interested), I'll send you these. I've also got some other period VW Derrington HRG literature that I could try and scan. Some of it's fairly crudely produced: typed and then Roneo'd - I suppose all that was available back then. Very evocative though for somebody like me who used to pore over the advertisements in the back of my Dad's Motor Sport magazines!

Peter
P A Allen

Hi Peter

My email address is

peter@burgesstuning.free-online.co.uk

Thanks

Peter
Peter Burgess Tuning

Hi Peter,
I am keen on a copy of the info. I have an MGA running an original Derrington head.
mike.ellsmore@gmail.com
Mike
Mike Ellsmore

It may be worth you looking in this months Safety Fast Magazine. (November)

On pages 16 and 17 there is a short article about Cameron Gilmour in Scotland who apparently runs and supplies B series engines fitted with crossflow heads.

I presume that they are the modern equivalent of the Derrington head (about which I have heard mixed reports) .

His email address is camerongilmour@aol.com
website www.camerongilmourengineservices.com
telephone 01821 642618

Colyn

PS I have just looked on the website and it is a bit sparse.
Colyn Firth

Gentlemen, I have an HRG reference page available at

http://www.rhodo.citymax.com/HRG.html

High density scans that actually have clear enough definition to read articles take up a lot of space, so I've just posted the installation instructions, but should get around to scanning the complete catalogue and perhaps the HRG factory poster.
Bill Spohn

And what are the mixed reports Colyn?

Cameron sells the MSX which is similar to the HRG. Once modified the MSX head works well especially with twin Webers.

Peter
Peter Burgess Tuning

Peter, the issues with the MSX are that they are nowhere near as clean flowing as supplied as the old HRG was and need a bunch of work to get much out of them, and that they have casting issues that have resulted in at least one shop refusing to port them any more due to the risk of break through.

I know the HRG heads well, but have no personal experience with the MSX, so am quoting others (Sean)

If I get the chance I'll try to scan an original HRG catalogue this weekend for anyone that wants one.
Bill Spohn

Hi Bill

I thouht Colyn was saying mixed reports about HRG heads TBH. I know the problems with the standard MSX and know from a lot of testing how well the MSX can perform when properly modified. Same with the original HRG heads, brilliant when modified. I worked hard with George Endey of GT Precision who remade the HRG heads in the late 80s and marketed them through B&G, we altered the inlet porting and combustion chamber a fair amount and the off the shelf items were pretty good.

Peter
Peter Burgess Tuning

Hi Guys
Interesting
Several years ago I had a Derrington on a 1500cc speedboat engine and later fitted it up to my Mk11 MGB
It came with all the paperwork from Derrington and a writeup from an English magazine
I still have the papers
A copy of a writeup from "The Motor" November 12 1958
Derrington papers for head patent No 37666/57 including a list of compattable cars including Riley 1.5
A drawing of SU carb setup with part nos for brackets/anchors/clips etc
Drawing of a coldair box/ breather setup to suit MGA
Drawing of mods needed to heater air duct to clear carbs
Drawing of throttle control bracket with part nos
Original parts list with prices
Fitting instructions and tuning advice

A head with guides inlet manifold and plug spanner is priced at 58 pounds 10shillings and 68/10 with valves

Mine was modified new and came as an Alexander head
It was HRG but modified by Alexander??????? complete with race valves and springs and solid spacer rocker gear and alloy rocker box at the grand total of 140 quid including headwork and piston set
it ran 10.6-1 comp on the 1500 with flattop pistons with 7/8 pins on special rods( moded twincam rods I think they were) and twin 40mm webers

Brings back some memories this does
Bloody long time ago Willy

William Revit

Hi Willy

I am sure Bill will answer better, but, as I understand it HRG designed and produced the heads and Alexander, then VW Derrington were the retailers. So really we are talking HRG heads not Derrington or Alexander :)

Peter
Peter Burgess Tuning

As an aside, I recently bought an MGA ally head which seems to be a prototype...I posted about it on the MG experience forum and got lots of info from Bill about the HRG stuff, we still haven't got to the bottom of the head I bought though.

http://www.peter-burgess.com/RareBeastie.html

Peter
Peter Burgess Tuning

Can someone please comment on how to recognise a B&G/George Edney crossflow head? This might be a stupid question as the answer may be as simple as "one that doesn't have HRG or MSX on it"!

I think they were 800 each, does anyone know how many were made?

Thanks,
John.
John Prewer

Hi Peter

I feel a bit of a twit now that I have had a good look at the paperwork mentioned before
I have always refered to the head as a Derrington as that is what they are mostly known as here
On reading back through what I've got here it is in fact all HRG Calcroft Road Chessington Surrey and Alexander on the account
The only place Derrington gets a mention is in the (The Motor) writeup
I can't remember if there was anything stamped or cast into the head - it was a few years ago now
It's been good thinking back about it though
I used to run the 60/80-75/45 sprint cam and it ran reasonably sensible at idle with the Webers
One thing I can remember about it on the 1800 running this cam is that it was really responsive to changes in exhaust and went better and better the shorter the exhaust and ended up with 28" long 1 3/4 -1 5/8 primaries and an 18" x 2 1/2" collector
I ran 16deg initial timing and 34 all in at 3 1/2
It pulled like a train from 2500 right through to 7000
I wish I still had it thinking back--------or not

cheers Willy
William Revit

Thanks all for contributions.

Can I ask if anyone has any of this documentation they can send me????

A copy of a writeup from "The Motor" November 12 1958
Derrington papers for head patent No 37666/57 including a list of compattable cars including Riley 1.5
A drawing of SU carb setup with part nos for brackets/anchors/clips etc
Drawing of a coldair box/ breather setup to suit MGA
Drawing of mods needed to heater air duct to clear carbs
Drawing of throttle control bracket with part nos
Original parts list with prices
Fitting instructions and tuning advice

Im particularity interested in anything that makes reference to its compatibility to with a Riley 1.5 like the "Derrington papers for head patent No 37666/57 including a list of compattable cars including Riley 1.5"

My email address is.....cjthorley@hotmail.com

You can call me also on +44 7827 938 879

Thanks alot

Chris
CJT Thorley

Chris
See how you go over the next few days and see if anybody over there sends you anything
If nothing happens I can post you copies of what I have or better I could do the scan and email thing I guess
See how you go
Willy
William Revit

Willy, the link I posted to my site includes fitting instructions, descriptions and a June 1970 price list.
Bill Spohn

Cheers Bill
I hear you loud and clear
cheers Willy

Just trying to get Chris what he wants/needs
William Revit

Hi, Willy

I have just had a look for the Derrington patent and drew a blank with that number. It looks to me like an application number rather than a patent number. So I looked for Derrington as an applicant. Seemed like Arthur Derrington was an active fisherman, back in 1910 or so! Wrong bloke. Victor William (VW) Derrington did patent a steering wheel in 1954, a fine wood rim alloy job.

Any chance of the patent number please?

Mike

Mike Standring

The heads are HRG engineering not VW Derrington who were the retailers.

Peter
Peter Burgess Tuning

Hi Peter
Yep
Went into town today and scanned what I have with the intention of being able to pass it on but when I got back and opened the email I found I had stuffed up
Because of the old size of the paper most of it's on I've missed one side and don,t want to send it out like that I,ll have another crack at it Monday
Mike
37666/57 is the no. I have??????
William Revit

Hi, Willy,

here is a picture of the steering wheel patent. (Image): As you can see there is an application number in the same format as the one you gave. The patent number was six figures, then seven like the number in bold.

I can only assume that the patent was applied for but never granted. You often see "Pat Pend" on all sorts of things but that is no guarantee that the invention was good enough to be patentable.

Mike Standring

And the figures from the patent:


Mike Standring


Chris
You have mail ----------------------------- at last
William Revit

Sorry about this late response, I should have kept an eye on this thread seeing as I posted on it a couple of times.
Peter, I have re read my last comment about crossflow heads and I can see that it wasnt very clear.

I meant to say that I had read that the MSX head needed lots of work to make it perform as expected whereas the HRG head design was a much better performer straight out of the box.

Cheers

Colyn
Colyn Firth

This thread was discussed between 01/11/2013 and 29/11/2013

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