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MG TD TF 1500 - MG TD StartUp/Inspection

Apologies in advance, I could not find the last post I put on here 6 months ago or so.

I was hoping that I could get some advice on how to begin accessing the next steps for my possible restoration. But first a little backstory…..

My dad owned this car going back to his college days (1965ish). Supposedly it was his daily driver for quite a while. I am not sure what made him stop driving it but I am guessing it was marriage and kids (me). Ha. I know that there was never anything major that went wrong, aka something that went bad and caused him to stop driving the car. It has been 15ish years since we last had it running (pushed it out of the garage and then right back in). But the time before that when it was running was also about 10-15 years before that. I remember vividly that one of the main things we had to resolve last time we had it going was to clean out the fuel line (but I don’t think that’s out of the ordinary). It has been garage stored for at least the last 30 years.

Car Details:
MG TD 1952
TD/C 18050
Engine No 22250 (should be 21844)*
*you all last helped me understand that the original Mark II engine must have been swapped out at some point.

I have looked in the archives but could not find much on accessing damage and also things that should be done when starting a car for the first time in a long time. I remember the last time my dad and I were talking about the car he had me go out into the garage to see if I could get the oil pressure gauge to move, but it would not.

What are some of the first things that I should look for and/or check? Do you have any good material on this? Or can you point me in the direction of any older threads? During my initial searches I saw someone mention this YouTube page Episode 161 is about “Restarting a MG” but that will only get me so far. Also, I do not know how to do 80% of what he mentions with only some small engine knowledge.

I am going to visit my mother this week and was planning on checking out the car a little more. Any help would be appreciated. The plan would be to bring the car to my house sometime this spring if I believe I can handle the task.

I have contacted my local MG Club and some of them have offered to help once I bring it down to NC. I just want to assess the car before investing the time in bringing it down and having it sit in my garage forever. I want to make sure nothing major is wrong that would cause it to be unrestorable for some reason. Here is the link to a local shop that I was thinking of getting to take a look at the car if/when I bring the car down

Thanks in advance for all of the info!

-Scott G.

I have more pictures if that would help anyone.

SCG Scott

Scott, whereabouts are you in NC? There are quite a few very knowledgeable T-car folks in NC. Bud
Bud Krueger

Scott, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who can help. I'm working on a 51TD with similar history (been sitting 20 years, my
My dad drove it till the 90's but not much).
My first recommendation is the hardest - and it's one I did NOT do...
Pull the engine and have it cleaned and boiled. There's probably decades of accumulated junk obstructing the water passages that you can't clean out without complete removal. I *thought* my engine was OK (my dad thought it had never had work done and was low mines, but in fact it was bored out to +040 and had definitely had work done) ... till it overheated and melted the bearings, and it was because of obstructions in the water passages.
Once you've got it out of the car and cleaned, a competent shop can mike everything and let you know if it's OK or not. With any luck, you might be able to reassemble without having to spend a lot on parts - something that won't be true if you get it running again and it overheats!
And if you do clean and check it, then you've got peace of mind going forward with the rest of the restoration...
Geoffrey M Baker

I'd bring it on down & get stuck in! If it ran 15 years ago it should run now. Use the winter there to get her ready for the spring. Priorities are clean fuel lines, tank, filters, float bowls & pump. Flushing out the block in situ with a Guerni or some type of chemical such as the 1st stage cleaner when using Liquid Intelligence is a better alternative to stripping the engine. Check the radiator for leaks. Definitely sort out the problem with the oil gauge. Ensure the engine turns over by hand & do a compression test. Get hold of both the Driver's Handbook & the Manual, use the local car club resources & prepare her for starting. Don't forget to enjoy the exercise. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Pull the plugs and squirt oil into the cylinders and let soak overnight. Pull the valve cover and drizzle oil over the rockers and especially the pushrods- it will drain down onto the lifters and eventually the cam. Change the oil. Then try to turn over slowly by hand. If free, use the starter with plugs out and see if oil pressure builds up. Above advice correct but don't forget to clean the points as they will likely be corroded. May as well replace the radiator hoses as they will be rotten and will also make it easy to flush rad and block. Good luck! Then after a runner, brakes, suspension rubber, etc., George
George Butz

Thanks everyone for your comments so far. I'm sure I will have some questions once I read through everyone's suggestions 4 or 5 times to let it all sink in.

Bud. I am in the Raleigh area. Car is currently in the Richmond, VA area.


SCG Scott

This thread was discussed on 14/01/2016

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