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MG TD TF 1500 - Hints for changing clutch early TD

Tears in my eyes - one day before a charity event with old cars and one day after the 67th birthday of my TD the clutch broke down with a very loud noise.

If the prepre owner didn't alter the clutch it must be one with 7 1/4 size. I have a spare for that.

But what to do if the flywheel and the 16mm fork must be replaced? None of the german dealers has this parts.

What is the best process and do you have useful hints beyond the WSM?

You will be able to find the parts in the UK, but first you need to identify what is required. Several of us can advise you of possible sources. First thing to check is if its the external actuating mechanism or internal.
Dave H
Dave Hill

For some time I have been looking at various options for upgrading my flywheel and clutch. Dave's post “several of us can advise you of possible sources” has prompted me to put it up for discussion and advice.

I think this more or less fits in with the theme of the thread; replacing clutch and possibly flywheel…

My engine (XPEG) is being upgraded to higher power output and higher safe rpm. I need to settle on a source for a light steel flywheel and a light as possible uprated clutch with throw-out bearing to suit.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Kind regards,

M R Calvert

I had my original flywheel lightened by a local racing outfit, but is still much heavier than the specialist lightweight flywheel offered by Brown and Gammons. I suspect the B&G product is as good as you are going to get, but the racing fraternity would know better.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Thanks Dave,

I have looked at the current B&G flywheel and wondered why the change of design from their previous offering which was a spider style wheel. Is the new one better in some way or perhaps it is cheaper to make? It would be interesting to know.

Peter Edney has a spider style which looks like the old B&G, but is more expensive. Bod Grunau also has one which is similar but is significantly more expensive for me here in Aus. I am sure it would be very good.

Then of course there is the question of a lighter modern clutch.

M R Calvert

This posting has raised a good point. I know from experiences with my MG J2 that some owners of pre war MGs have fitted a diaphragm clutch from a Mazda to their cars. There must be something available for an EXPAG, even it it meant drilling and tapping the flywheel.

Jan T
J Targosz

Yes I see, its gone to a one piece steel design. They do race them, so it will be based on experience I'm sure. Best to send a nessage and ask.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Extremely rare to need to replace flywheel. If the old clutch worked fine until it failed, and the face of the flywheel looks decent it is likely fine. I would de-glaze it with sandpaper. Fork? Do you mean the fork that holds the throwout bearing? While possible, never heard of one of those breaking. Are you sure it was the clutch and not a broken axle? George
George Butz

I went with the B&G lightweight flywheel (older version). However, you also need to have a modified diaphragm clutch and throw out bearing. Manley Ford now provides a complete set-up:

I can attest that the system works well and is a worthwhile modification. No worries about the flywheel being too light. I had to source the clutch, a Ford Cortina part carried by Lotus people. I think the "curly finger" version provided by Manley is better than the straight finger version I found. Be aware that the two take different bearings. The straight finger clutch needs a more rounded bearing face. I used a Nissan bearing that was carried by NAPA. It fits onto the MG carrier.

J Barry

I use an MGB pressure plate along with a Datsun friction disc with the Datsun 5 speed. I would think the B plate could work with a stock friction plate. Someone would have to get the drilling jig made or borrow it from Steve Neal.
L E D LaVerne

Hello George,

I'm pretty sure. I'd selected 2nd gear and moved forward with help of the starter . Then I pressed the pedal - no separation. All this was accompanied by a loud rattle.


I was thinking snapped axle, but I think you diagnosed correctly.
George Butz

The clutch has been in bits and pieces. Only the release bearing seems to be acceptable for the next while - but a new part will do the job. The fork is in very good condition! The pilot bushing has been heavily worn too and the sealing at the gear box was stiff. For pulling out the pilot bushing I got a tool from a friend to press the bearing out with the help of grease. But the tool doesn't fit because the worn diameter of the bushing was too large. With the help of a jig saw and a DREMEL tool I won the play.

Today in the evening work will go on and there is one remaining question.

The clutch disk is not symmetric. Which side of the clutch disk is the front side?


Dear Mr.: Mueller,
if you need some parts clutch disk or flywheel drop me a line.
GK Guenter

Hello Guenther

thank you - I got a new and complete 7 1/4 clutch via ebay last year (paid 150€) and ordered the pilot bushing and the seal at LERNERS. Also I needed a new pedal fume excluder after one year - I guess that will become a yearly routine. The flywheel and the starter looks fine at first sight. How can I determine the wear of the teeth after this breakdown?

Did you made a 5 gear transition? If so - whats about the old gear box?

yes, ichanget to a 5 gear Ford gear box. The original I give it away.
GK Guenter

I would examine the condition of the flywheel very carefully, based on the condition of the disc. Unfortunately, to remove gthe flywheel the sump has to be removed.

If it needs to be re-surfaced, it would be a good time to lighten the flywheel for better response.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Hello Tom

the surface seems to be okay - no scratches and no coloured areas.

The front side of the clutch disk has been determined. With cleaned eyeglasses and bright light I could read "Flywheel side" - how ever reading helps.

This evening we had to make a break. However the new clutch is only a part with poor quality and needs some improvement for fitting into the holes we must find out.The pilot bushing is too tight also. Unfortunally I've trusted into the quality and didn't try if it fits onto the gear shaft. I'd pressed the bushing into the crankshaft without any controll. The clutch alignement tool has the same diameter as the gear shaft (15,8mm) and is very hard to insert. Am I wrong that there must be a little clearance between shaft and bushing?

If the bushing is not free to rotate on the gearbox input shaft you will have a problem.
It is explained very well here:

Declan Burns

Thank you Declan!

Indeed the inner diameter of the bushing was too small. It must be machined very carefully. May be the clearance is now more than the exact diameter of 0,625 Inch - but that it is much better than the old worn one.

This thread was discussed between 27/05/2017 and 03/06/2017

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