NEWS & VIEWS

Trust you are all keeping safe in these strange times, the lockdown has certainly given us some time to catch up on jobs in the garage! I must give credit to Colin Murrell for the super picture of the two Cs dicing in the wet in the last issue – I thought it must be one of his but hadn’t had confirmation before it went to press. Enjoying some warm sunshine and fettling back in April are D0464 on the left and D0311 on the right!

Spotted in a 1952 edition of ‘Motor Sport’ by Digby Gibbs is this advert for a D Type for £100.

Bill has done some detective work on the files and colour and on the basis that cars didn’t move about so much in those days it could be either D0390 or D0426. Sadly though, neither of these have survived.

Another non-survivor, spotted by Cathelijne Spoelstra on a T type facebook page are these pictures of D0397.

It shows Howard Macken when he was 2 years old in 1945 with his father and mother taken near Llandudno, North Wales.
And another item from Catheljne is this period post card of the church at Barnet, North London.

It shows what could be a D, J1, or F1 with Registration JH 981 but again working on the files, and finding a number close to that on another D, it could be D0267 which has not survived. Does the registration ring a bell with anyone!

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Peter Green

Peter GreenPeter sadly passed away on April 20th after losing his battle with leukaemia; he was a Triple M man through and through. Whilst not owning a D Type he was a staunch supporter of the D Group and was Chairman of the MGCC Triple M Register when Bill and I started the Group and he could not have been more helpful or encouraging to us. We extend our sincere condolences to all the family.

His funeral was on the 15th May and donations in his memory were for ‘Leukaemia UK’ or ‘The Guide Dogs for the Blind Assoc.’ There is an online link which should still be open at https://peter-johnthomas-green.muchloved.com or direct to the charities themselves.

Jane Power

We lost another friend to on 13th May, to cancer. Jane was the widow of Derek Power (see Dispatch 19) and we kept in touch and remained good friends. I know she followed Onno’s Konemann’s exploits with Derek’s old D0495 with interest. We shall miss her.

Bits and Pieces

Philip Bayne-Powell has 3 brand new advance/retard rod brackets for sale at £20 the 3 plus postage. Pictured here.

Philip can be contacted at 1942mgman@gmail.com

D Types were fitted with a vacuum wiper motor at the start but virtually all have long since been changed to electric; but does anyone know how the chromed vacuum pipe was held onto or against the windscreen before entering a piece of rubber tube to go through the bodywork? Let me know if you do – a picture or sketch would be very welcome!

Some of you may have seen the book published earlier this year: “Classic Engines, Modern Fuel – the Problems, the Solutions’ by Paul Ireland. It is centred around investigations on a TC and some aspects are quite technical but it applies to all old cars and there are some useful conclusions and an appendix for tuning SU’s.

I bought my signed copy from Paul at Stoneleigh back in February but they can be obtained from the publishers at www.velocebooks.com Soft cover £15.99.

Peter Frost has a few brand new knobs for the Petrolift as pictured here.
He only has a few so first come first served. £3 each to include UK post and packing; Peter can be reached on frostpeter@talktalk.net

And talking of the Petrolift; on the Triple M Register website – off the menu look under ‘Document Downloads’ then to ‘Technical’ and the last item under Carburettors and Fuel systems is ‘SU Petrolift’. Here now you will find two super drawings/diagrams giving all the parts of the Petrolift and how it is made up.

Regular readers will remember the discussions on rear view mirrors some years back and in particular the bracket holding said mirror off the side of the windscreen. Well Vintage MG Parts (link from our website) have just added them to their list of parts, brand new manufacture, chrome on brass. Mounting hole centres are 3”.

If you look at Vintage MG Parts Facebook page for the 26th April there are some interesting pictures of the brackets in manufacture. Richard Hardy tells me that he is in a position to crank the boss heads over for the longer J4 style ‘Girderscope’ mirror brackets for those fitting to J4 style cars and which are mounted to the windscreen position by the B-nut. Their Facebook page to is worth viewing for several other videos of parts in the course of manufacture and news from MMM members.

Car for sale

Derek Sheldon has decided to sell D0381 after the lockdown is over. The car is fitted with a PA engine and gearbox with twin SUs and was converted to hydraulic brakes in the fifties. It comes with full weather equipment and some history. Derek has had dynamo rebuilt, electronic regulator, indicators (front indicator incorporated into the side lamp) and hazard lights all LED, new rear D lamps. Power outlet for SatNav. New 12v fuel pump, new steel fuel tank. The brakes come from a 1935 Wolseley Hornet and has new master cylinder, slave cylinders bored and sleeved in stainless steel, new rubbers and flexible hoses. Wipac glass fuel filter.
Some pictures herewith:

Derek is asking £25K and can be contacted on 01256 782765 or derek.c.sheldon@gmail.com

Fuel tanks

John Emmett has again kindly written an interesting piece for us about fuel tanks – a good read for the continuing lock down!

The MG D fuel tank was shared by the F1/F3 models and then later used in the J1. In the parts list it is numbered 1115, which means that it was almost certainly made by Morris radiators at Oxford, in a factory shared since 1926 with the chromium plating plant. A pretty stinky place to work by 1931, although the final works just off the Woodstock Road didn’t close until 2001.

At the time of the D development, most cars were changing from scuttle mounted fuel tanks to a rear mounted tank with some sort of pump under the bonnet, a Petrolift in the case of Morris. The capacity of the earlier scuttle tanks was quite limited, say 4 gallons or so, and the first rear tanks such as ours were not much larger. Oddly, the limited range issues never seemed to worry people at the time.

Cutting off the end of my tank shows that it was soldered up from lead coated 18swg steel (fig 1). The good news for those of you whose cars haven’t spent 50+ years in a garden, is that it shows little wasting on the inside, the holes in mine having rusted through from the outside, accompanied with the usual dent caused by rear end collisions.

The solder used is slightly pasty, so is probably 60/40 lead/tin, and you can see the way the joints were formed in figs 2 and 3, although how the ends were assembled is a puzzle.

Either they were solder tacked in and then the flanges folded up around the joins, or the ready flanged ends were pulled into place from the inside. The big blobs on the outside at each baffle position, are in fact solder blobs over quite small (3/16) steel rivets.

A replacement tank

The modern equivalent of lead coated steel is zintec sheet, which in contrast to galvanised steel is delightfully easy to solder. The original tank was only 30 x 12 x 6 inches, tapering to 4 ¼ inches at the top, so you will need a need a piece of zintec 785 x 880mm to make the shell, and some sort of folder to bend it up, although a couple of bed-sized angle irons, clamps both sides and a block of wood plus hammer will do.

You should be able to reuse the filler, the two little strap saddles and the two 3/8 BSP brass bushes. The longer “Main” collector has a 3 1/4 inch tube fitted, so the petrol is collected 3 inches from the tank bottom. This is normally fitted to the offside bush.
If starting from scratch, pipe unions can be simply made from 3/8 BSP male to 5/16 tube unions, whilst the filler cap could be any cap of approximately 2½ inch internal diameter with the brass collar turned to suit. Make sure it has a vent hole. All fittings should be riveted on as well as soldered for safety.

Returning to the shell fabrication, I cheated a bit by spot welding the baffles in place. (Fig 6 shows temporary handles soldered on for ease of assembly), but I did solder buttons over the outside bare spots, just as if they were riveted. Remember, however, to solder and weld outdoors, not only because of the Lead and Zinc fumes, but also the flux (zinc chloride) vapour will leave a rust layer on any nearby steel surface days later. By the way, you should be able to recover quite a weight of solder from the old tank end seams. There was so much excess solder around the original tank, that you might think it over designed. In reality, the excess lead damped vibration and was usefully flexible in the event of a blow to the tank.

Fill with water to test, adding some alkaline degreaser to neutralise any flux residues. You will get a sense of respect for the tank once you have lifted it full. Incidentally, the early F2/J2 tank weighed twice as much as ours when full, and the flat back could have drummed horribly. It was perhaps as well that few J2 owners could afford 12 gallons at a time.

Refitting

Make sure there are three felt or cork tank bottom mounting pads, as well as felt under the straps and spare wheel support. The tank fits snug against the offside of the space, rather than centrally, so do make sure no wires are trapped as you refit it, and that no metal is touching any bolt heads etc.

Check that the 4 drain grooves in the wooden cross member at the very rear bottom of the car body are not blocked as these are important to drain any petrol vapour fumes. Maybe this is also a good time to check that your side screens next to the tank are interleaved by some soft material, in order to prevent rubbing of the window material.
Vibration is a tanks main enemy, leading to chaffing leaks from unsuitable mounting, and fatigue splits. Vibration can manifest itself in odd ways. I once used a light wooden dowel rod as a TA dipstick and left it sitting in the tank. In a remarkably few miles, it had hammered itself right through the bottom of the tank.

Interestingly, petrol safety had started in the UK long before motoring, with the 1871 Petroleum Act followed by the Petroleum (Hawkers) Act of 1881. Pratts employed 1000 horses pulling Petroleum delivery carts by 1900. Filling stations with underground storage tanks were introduced during 1920’s, but by the time of our cars, attention had turned in the 1928 Petroleum Consolidation Act towards controlling the ugliness of filling stations. Petrol was now engaged in a roadside advertising war, hardly surprising, bearing in mind that an F Magna owner would have needed to fill up every 100 miles or so.

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