Dispatch 63 – Summer 2019

NEWS AND VIEWS

Well, summer might well be better this year, we’ve already had some warm sunny days and what an Easter here in the UK!

MGCC Silverstone has been cancelled for this year (due to resurfacing the track – presumably for F1), no alternatives/dates could be found. Let’s hope the MGCC take the opportunity to find somewhere else for next and subsequent years. Silverstone never seem to want us, especially in more recent times, and supposedly kept raising costs. Let’s get back to how things were – races for all models – more of the proper, smaller traders – less ‘pantomime’ attractions!

Unfortunately, due to a clash of events I didn’t make ‘Drive it Day’ in a D and haven’t heard from any others if they did? Pre-War Prescott ( July 20th) looks to be quite an attraction for Triple M MGs this year with entries already well up on previous years. The D Group marquee should be up in its usual place. Look forward to seeing you there!

I wonder if the UK Registration number GX 8702 rings any bells with any of our overseas owners? We’ve had an enquiry from the son of a former owner of the D Type this was on but we only have about 70% of original registration numbers with their corresponding chassis numbers – the rest weren’t notified back to the factory by the dealers so it’s just possible this is/was on a car now abroad. It is certainly not a survivor in the UK.

Following on from Dispatch 62 and the preparation of Onno Koneman’s D0495 for racing we are very pleased to report that he and it made it to Brands Hatch back in April.

Pictured herewith on the track in the car’s final racing colours – a real Dutch orange! Well done Onno for all your perseverance. Thanks to ace MG racing photographer Colin Murrell for these super pictures.

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THE GARDEN D

Many of you will remember ‘the Garden D’ found under much undergrowth in Weston Super Mare back in 2007 (see ‘Dispatch’ 18) and pictured here after uncovering.

I used to get asked about how it was getting on but not for a while and updates were in subsequent Dispatches. However, it is now completely finished and has been back on the road for a few months and owner John Emmett has kindly written this piece about it complete with a picture of it at Brooklands a few months back.

D0430 EMERGES FROM THE BUSHES

In the last ten years or so since D0430 was found in a garden in Weston Super Mare, it has passed through a number of hands towards its revival. In general, the route taken has been the logical one, i.e;

1. Gather information from the chassis file, archaeology studies of the remains, website resources for original photos, examination of existing cars (including the similar but more popular F magnas)
2. Chassis rebuild
3. Axles, steering, brakes and wheels, leaving no part unexamined.
4. Firewall, Engine and gearbox
5. Radiator, Body, wings and lights
6. Dashboard, wiring, seating and hood
7. Photograph and recover the UK registration no. for the roadworthy car

That isn’t to say that this route was either smooth or linear, and along the way it was found necessary to reproduce the manual advance/retard controls, windscreen wipers, brass floor plates, and some Petrolift parts. These almost certainly required reproduction because, to put it bluntly, they were rubbish at the time. Indeed, a difficult line was trodden between modern practicality, in the shape of integrating a modern regulator and small battery (saving 20kg), indicators and LED lamps, with what turned out to be a possibly wrong decision to nickel plate the brass plates, given that the original finish was probably just a wipe over of nickel chloride in order to cosmetically brighten them in the showroom.

We can gather an idea of the prevailing excitement from the first owner of this car; The factory chassis log shows that on the 9th of February in 1932, at least 10 D types were laid down with a rather random allocation of engines. 15 more followed in the next two days, after which there were only three more D types laid down until the 4th of April. On the 8th of April, there was an urgent service order issued for the fitting of a stop lamp to D0430, along with a dipswitch on the horn stalk, a rather bulky Berkshire electric wiper, and most interestingly, “eight-inch leather covers to the rear mudguards”. I have used upholstery leather here, but brown cow hide may have been original.

Interestingly, none of the factory extras listed in the instruction book were selected, although at 65 guineas extra for the supercharger, you might have thought about buying a Magna instead at only £40 more!

The next factory communication was to receive the owner details from Timberlakes’ of Wigan, and D0430 was subsequently registered WM7500 and went to live in a rather grand road of Victorian houses in Southport. By the first of June 1932 it was back in Abingdon, probably for a first service, but certainly to have the wheels sprayed black (FOC), presumably over the red that they were issued in. After that, an enquiry from Esher in SW London in June 1933 asks the price of fitting a Jaeger rev counter (10 guineas fitted for a 3 inch one), so the car was still being pampered then, although this rev counter was never fitted.

The car continues to maintain a good sense of humour despite its privations; After making a new clutch plate out of a worn out circular saw blade, I was sure to make it just bigger than the linings, so they can’t close up on the plate, but I did make it just a whisker too large, and the plate fouled the release buttons, preventing clutch release. Having sorted that out, I triumphantly selected first gear for the first time since maybe 1957, only to shoot backwards. Preserved from damage by the special Angel who looks over folk like us, I found the diff had been fitted upside down.

BITS AND PIECES

Peter Frost kindly sent this picture with a query if the 4 wooden spacers shown in the attached picture were fitted to D Types. They were well rotted on his J1 but when replaced made fitting the back wings much easier.

These are a new one on me and were not, I’m sure on either of my 2 Ds. Maybe later in production of the D/J1/F1 bodies the full wooden inner arch was reduced to the four sections only? Comments welcome!
Now an interesting piece on converting the D/M oil pump to the larger one on later models. With thanks to Gary Krukoski for permission to reprint it as it first appeared in the North American MMM Register Newsletter.

UPGRADING EARLY OIL PUMPS

This issue will go through the upgrade of the early oil pumps along with the upgrade to a modern spin on the oil filter.
First step is to increase the pumping capacity with a 1/4” spacer on the bottom of the pump. I used a product from Permatex called The Right Stuff to seal the spacer on Photo 1. Plate from S&V
This will now let the pump accept the set of .564″ depth gear.

Photo 2. shows the new and old gear.

Photo 3. shows gears installed and clearance checked.

Now with the pump capacity upgrade completed, you can start the filter upgrade.
You need to block the original outlet on the pump. This will force the oil through the filter.

See Photo 4. I fitted a tight steel plug in the passage.

Next you need to open up the front plate to accept a larger fitting. The fitting will come with the filter kit. It will specify the correct tap size. New fitting installed in Photo 5

The original bottom plate should be checked for flatness. It may need to be surface ground or lapped. Then a hole must be cut to match the output of the pump to filter.

You will need to fabricate a new line from the filter to the new fitting you installed in the front case. See Photo 6.
Also shorten up the line that sends oil to the head. ( small line on the left) Photo 7.

The threads on the filter are 3/4″ by 16 TPI.

The second style oil filter I have used is very similar. (red one in last photo). It only has one oil outlet instead of two compare to the first filter. You will need to add a “T” fitting to split the oil to feed the block and head.

One last thing I did was to install a union 3/8″ BSP X 1/2″ BSP special early Morris pump. This will let me use the later style supply line. You can see it in Photo 1. S&V # 2585

Green pump came from Bob Grunau (Canada) Red from Sports & Vintage (UK)

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