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1948 MG TC
MGT Register: 10065
Nissan 5-speed & steering box
TC6911 Ownership History
|February 3, 2024 - I took Mina to another MG Club outing, this one the February monthly meeting. The heater was a welcome addition but the car ran perfectly despite the chill. It was by far the oldest car at the meeting, with most of the attendees in MGBs.
|January 20, 2024 - Mina hasn't gotten much use lately - cold weather and other activities have kept her in her garage. However, despite 30 degree temps, I I decided to use her for an MG Club run today to downtown Portsmouth VA and the Beirgarten restaurant. She started with no issues, and I put up her top and side curtains. Then I made the happy discovery that the aftermarket heater the prior owner installed works really well! As usual, the car got a lot of smiles and comments, through one lady noted that people were certainly smaller when the car was made. I think I surprised her by getting my rather large bulk into the car with only a little contorting. Driving with the side curtains and top was quite different, but no issue.
|October 29, 2023 - My MG club set up a 'Trunk or Treat' event at Big Ugly Brewing in Chesapeake VA today. We had 15 cars, including Eleanor (The light blue TC) and a 1957 MGA roadster that used to be mine. We must have had well over 150 kids for the 2-hour event. I went through all of my candy plus three more that the brewery provided. With actual Halloween looking like a rain-out, I expect we had a lot more kids than usual. Dinosaurs. the Adam's Family Wednesday, and the Mario Brothers were the most common costumes.
|September 15, 2023 - A beautiful day meant taking Mina out to do some errands. Coming out of Costco, I was amazed at how tiny the car looks parked between a 'compact' sedan and a pickup truck. It almost appears top be a kiddie car! Lots of thumbs-up and grins from other drivers - not to mention the grin on my face as I drive her.
|September 2, 2023 - I have been driving Mina as often as I can, and took her to the TRAACA First Saturday gathering at Doumar's Drive-In in Norfolk today. She was perfect as usual, and had a half-dozen folks of all ages sitting in the driver's seat before we left.
|July 28, 2023 - After several months of sitting, I finally got TC6911 (Mina) back on the road today! I went to Canada for a big horse show and just got back. The brake pedal was still solid with no leaks, and everything else looked good. The car just needed to have the rear wheels put back on, which I did this morning and took her out to best bud Chip's for her first run since the end of April. When I got home, I replaced the MG badge on the spare tire hold-down. So far no action on repainting the undersides of the fenders - I want to get some driving in!
|July 16, 2023 - I was sure the master cylinder was completely blown after it leaked out all the fluid in it overnight. So sure, in fact, that I ordered a new master cylinder and everything else to rebuild the brakes. I was putting together this post for the web site and realized something was off in the picture. The pushrod was stuck all the way in! While bleeding the system yesterday I had not tightened one of the bleed nipples, and the pedal went all the way to the floor when Chip pushed on it. That apparently jammed it in place. I went back out and had to use needle-nose pliers on the pushrod, but it popped back out and I was able to get it back into the pedal cup. Full hard pedal! I will check the system later to see if there is any leakage, but I have a hard, full pedal, and the brakes are adjusted. All I have to do it put the rear wheels back on. Plans are to wire brush the inside of the the front and rear fenders and repaint them flat red.
|July 15, 2023 - The TC is almost ready to go - the hubs have been sealed and tightened in place, the drain plug threads sealed, and the correct axle oil (85/145) added to the full mark. New gaskets all around. Derek at From the Frame Up included the old Pinion and Carrier bearings when he sent the rebuilt pumpkin back. Yikes! The pinion bearing I was sure had gone bad is the best of the lot, while the carrier bearings have grooves and rough spots all around! The question mark now is the brakes - we lost pedal pressure completely trying to bleed the rear brakes. I will try it again, hopefully tomorrow. But the car is close to being back on the road!
|July 13, 2023 - A mix of progress over the past couple of days. Chip came over to help bleed the rear brakes, which should have been easy. However, a loose bleed valve on the far brake cylinder got air into the system and we lost the pedal. No leaks in the hydraulic system I can find. That has been put off for a while, and I went back today and got the driveshaft installed and the left shackle back on. All hat is left is getting some non-hardening sealant for the hubs and then getting the brakes back up.
|July 10, 2023 - I got the differential assembly back today, and installed it with a new gasket and Black RTV on both sides. Hefting it up in place was a bit of a job due to the angle, weight, and (sigh) my age. Still, it is secured and ready to go. I will probably hold for the day, then attack tomorrow to finish things up.
|June 22, 2023 - The differential assembly was pulled and carefully packed, then shipped off to From the Frame Up. It arrived in Mesa, Arizona today at 7 PM, signed for by Derek, who is the person likely to do the rebuild. I am rebuilding the back brakes, with new cylinders, washers, springs, and clips. The left side is done, with the right side to be finished up this weekend. I plan to wire brush the insides of the fenders and redo the flat red paint, and also replace the fuel filter hidden behind the left wheel.
|June 16, 2023 - Pulling the rear axle turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. The wire wheel hub prevented use of the normal axle pulling plate, and the large clamp that worked with the slide hammer moved around too much to get a decent grip. This morning I tried using the smaller clamp with had a lock that kept the arms in position on the wheel knockoff, and I was able to get the axles released! Then it was just a matter of undoing the bolts and pulling the assembly. I plan to ship the unit out today and hope I can get it back and install in two weeks or so. Though there has been no indication of a leak and the pedal has been full and hard, only a small corner of the rear shoes show any wear. I am rebuilding the brakes while I have access. New brake parts coming as well, so the back end should be ready to go.
|June 11, 2023 - More research and the discovery of metal particles in the rear axle oil has convinced me that getting the rear axle set up is not something I want to tackle. Happily, Doug Pelton's From the Frame Up shop not only will set the pumpkin gear dialed in, but can convert it to a superior tapered bearing set. I have the hubs ready to pull, but have to figure out the best way to do it!
|June 4, 2023 - It has taken just over a month to finally get the pinion shaft out. The conversion to Nissan 5-speed included a new driveshaft which would not slide out with the rear axle in place. I ended up undoing one side of the axle and jacking it up to get clearance, after which removing the driveshaft and pinion shaft cassette was easy. I have stopped there for now - the question is if I can tackle this myself or if I need to take it to a professional shop.
|April 29, 2023 - Some semi-serious noises are coming from Mina's rear axle - best I can tell (with the able assistance of Best Bud Chip) is that the pinion shaft bearings are going bad, allowing the pinion gear to shift a bit out of alignment with the ring gear. The TC has a removeable pinion shaft cassette, so there is a chance I can fix this myself. If not, I will have to pull the whole axle and take it to someplace like Mizzels that fixed the Mazda. I had to leave it outside last night to make room for the Avanti parts car so it could be stripped while it rained outside. Mina stayed nice and dry, with her full weather equipment and a car cover to keep her safe. And today she moved into the garage with the Morris Minor, with more room to be worked on for both cars.
|April 6, 2023 - As much as I liked the original Clipper Blue paint, I sanded the cowl panel mostly to bare metal, then primered it and painted it with a near-perfect match. Interestingly, I took a large paint chip to a local auto paint store and tried to match it there - they got close, but wanted about $160 for 6 oz! Oreilly's had a near-perfect match for $16 for 10 oz. With the windscreens and mirror back in place, the new paint is hardly noticeable. I have some 1600 grit wet-dry paper and spray detailer to see if I can liven up the old paint. On an interesting side-note - I took a closer look at a 1972 color 35mm slide of the car which shows the current paint - and also showed the car had front and rear bumpers identical to those gifted to me by a friend recently (See the March 28th post). I have been told these may be EXU dealer-installed bumpers, or they may be popular options from aftermarket providers. In any case, they are quite rare, and it is pretty surprising that I was given a near-perfect pair from another car! I like the nerf bumpers, but may see if I can get these on Mina. (I had the slide digitized at Walgreens)
|April 5, 2023
Mina's paint is sorta presentable (rough), but the cowl has large patches of
peeling paint and bare
metal. I got busy this afternoon and started on redoing that one
section. Off came the windshield, racing screens, and rear view
mirror. Then I started chipping off the old paint. This proved
surprisingly easy - it looks like the repaint, done sometime in the late
1960s, did not adhere well to the original paint. The darker blue
and primer came off in chunks, revealing the original Clipper Blue.
I plan to eventually repaint the car in that color, but for now I just
want to take care of the bare metal. I'll sand, give it a coat of
etching primer, than do a color coat with some Dupli-Panel that might be a
shade darker, but is better than bare metal!
|March 28, 2023 - I have been annoyed by Mina's exhaust outlet, which was about 8 inches too short and stained the license plate and right taillight. So tonight I measured the outlet (2 inches!) and picked up an extension and clamp at O'Reilly's. The sawzall made quick work of getting the extension cut down to the right size, and I cleaned everything up before reassembling. That should take care of the stains - I just have to be careful for a while to make sure the extended tailpipe doesn't drag! As a side note, fellow TC owner Tim H. gave me some really nice bumpers that were on his TC when he bought it. They look professionally made, but I have not seen this design before. Even the brackets are chrome plated. I cleaned them up and then stuck them in Wildflower's garage.
|March 20, 2023 - One drawback of a modified car is locating important spares later on. The most critical items I could think of were the clutch disc and throwout bearing, since the pressure plate is usually OK to reuse. Mina has a Nissan 210 5-speed conversion from Skyhook Engineering installed about 2000. The replacement parts list shows the clutch disc as coming from a Nissan Sentra FWD 1988-90 (BWD#99604). After a lot of searching, I found the 99604 number cross-referenced to a CP21080 which I further tracked to a 1988-90 Nissan Sentra 4-wheel drive. These are already getting hard to locate, while the normal front-wheel-drive version is easy to get. I ordered a spare even though I do not think I'll ever need it, and also got the correct 062-0807 Beck/Arnley throwout bearing. Both arrived today and will go in a box to be tucked away 'just in case.'
|March 18, 2023 - The new front UK-style plate arrived this afternoon, complete with mounting plate. I wasted no time getting it installed, and took Mina out for a fun ride to visit Chip and snap a photo in a local park. I also got a copy of 'THE PUT-IN BAY ROAD RACES' by Carl Goodwin, a book about road races in Ohio that Mina was probably at least a spectator for, and possibly a competitor in. An interesting side note is that one of the more prominent racers, Bob Satava, did some brake work on TC6911. I found a receipt asking that relined brake cylinders be sent to him. I have had Mina out several times the past few days for joy rides - still a bit cool for extended runs, but still great fun!
|March 13, 2023 - I spent the day working on Mina's dash - the new ignition switch was a bit of a pain to install, requiring that I not only pull the main dash but the center instrument cluster to get access to the switch retainer. However, I checked it out before I put everything back in place, and everything is working. No shorts, no smoke. The seat belts, which I thought would be awkward to work on, turned out to be easy. They are attached to the frame cross-member with J-hooks, and all I had to do was remove the bolt and replace the belt on each. I can actually use them now! I also installed the 'MG' logo pedal pads from From the Frame Up, as well as the new steering wheel. And as a finishing touch, I installed the new gas cap release lever spring and put some additional Lift-to-Dot fasteners in Wildflower's old full tonneau and got it to fit (sort of) on Mina! More projects planned, but the TC is ready to roll again!
|March 10, 2023 - Talk about quick delivery! I priced new steering wheels for Mina recently as the Brooklands wheel that came with her has an open crack on the rim. A friend gave me an original TC wheel that works but is also cracked, and would cost $595 plus postage to get restored. A replacement rim and spokes for the Brookland's was $495 plus shipping and tax. Then I checked Brown & Gammons MG in England and discovered I could get the actual Brooklands rim with the Bluemels badge that you have to buy separately for the US market wheels for $325 shipped! Better yet, I ordered the wheel on Tuesday and it came in less than three days later! I swapped out the hub tonight. As a bonus, I ordered a 15" rim that will make getting in and out 2" easier. Mina's car cover also came in today, and I am hoping that the From the Frame Up order will finally arrive in the next few days.
|March 9, 2023 - The new ignition switch arrived today from Moss, along with a few pieces of shiny stuff! The windshield has wing bolts and acorn nuts that have seen better days, and the new parts were very cheap. You can see the old parts on the windshield - all the plating was gone on the wing nuts and acorn nuts were corroded. I decided to wait until tomorrow to attack the ignition switch - I may have to pull the dash loose again. No luck yet on the parts I ordered from From the Frame Up more than 3 weeks ago. They have been holding the order for the custom license plate, even though I have emailed them twice to tell them to ship the parts right away and I would pay the extra shipping when the plate comes in. I am very disappointed - they usually get parts shipped out in a day or two. I'm hoping the main order goes out by tomorrow. They lost the sale of the ignition switch and chrome bits because I was afraid to order time-sensitive stuff from them. Moss came through in just a few days!
|March 7, 2023 - I took Mina to this month's TMGC meeting with Chip riding along. The faulty ignition switch works fine when you have the headlights on, which let me drive her with no issues. This was the first meeting the car has been to, but prior owner Tyler Robbins and his wife joined the club back in 1998 when they were vacationing from Ohio at Fort Story! It was a bit cool tonight, but we braved the chill and went there and back with the windscreen folded! I ordered a new smaller diameter Brooklands wheel this morning from the UK - I decided against spending nearly $600 to have the original wheel restored. The new wheel is about half that.
|March 6, 2023 - Mina's license plates came in today and I got the back one on right away. The front UK-style plate is still in production - hope to get it by the end of the week. The main ignition switch has started going bad, which is causing the intermittent shutdown. That didn't stop me from taking her out for a fun ride this afternoon. Lots of thumbs up and comments from other drivers. I have ordered a replacement switch for the car, as the one in it is probably a repop installed about 1998. Until I get it, the car will run with the headlights on. Oh, and I found a disconnected spade plug hidden by other wires - turns out a 'mystery' switch on the dash was what turned on the driving lights. The driving light switch works fine - there may have been something else connected to the driving light switch at one time.
|March 5, 2023 - Best Bud Chip came to the rescue again - I had given him a TC Owners Club badge a few months ago, figuring that I would never own another TC and I already had one badge. Well, Mina came along, and he volunteered to return the badge for Mina. I was able to provide a nice unused Williamsburg Touring badge with a green T-series like his TD as a trade of sorts, and got the badge installed on Mina tonight. Oh, and I zip-tied the wiring under the dash back as it was. The tach quit working yesterday, and when I got home I discovered the cable had come off the end of the alternator drive. This was easily corrected, and also explained why the tach was disconnected when I bought the car.
|March 3, 2023 - After reporting the odd shenanigans of the driving lights and the missing screw to my neighbor this morning, he went into the back room and handed me two small medallions - one of Saint Benedict and one of Saint Michael - the latter had actually been blessed. I went ahead and put one in each door pocket this morning at his behest and started the car up. The Fuel light was on, appropriate since I am down to less than two gallons. I went in to get my phone to take a picture and when I came out the car was off. The whole main power circuit was dead. I checked under the dash looking for loose wires, especially on the ignition switch. Everything came back on despite not finding anything, and the car started and ran fine afterwards. I'll leave the medals in place. And the Fuel light is still working!
|March 2, 2023 - Combining some body contortions that belied my age and size with language that belied my upbringing, I finally have the driving lights working properly. I used my iPhone camera to search, and then pulled the dash loose for a better look. No loose wires anywhere I can see, yet the fog light switch did not have an outgoing lead! I ran a new green lead to the relay, and also installed a 30 Amp fuse in the main light power feed. However, putting the dash back, I somehow lost one of the dash screws - extensive searching failed to turn up the missing item, despite having carefully placed them all together in a spot on the passenger floor. On the bright side, Mina is ready to go with all of her equipment in working order. I even treated the seats, cleaned the interior, and installed a new shift knob! Though I plan to just enjoy the car for now, a new paint job is definitely in the future. The current paint is literally falling off the top of the scuttle, leaving bare metal. The TC was originally Clipper Blue, and I will probably return her to that color eventually. For the time being, though, I'll see if I can find a match to her current color and do some touch-up.
|February 28, 2023 - The wiring for the driving lights was bewildering and remains so. It turns out the relay was damaged, but when I plugged in a new one the left driving light came on. The switch didn't do anything. Turns out the left light was wired to the middle 'powered when off' contact and the right light was wired to the 'powered when on' contact. So they should not have ever worked properly. After rewiring them to both be on the same 'powered when on' contact, I verified that the switch was working. However, when I took a picture (at left) it turned out that the power lead is the only one on the switch. The other lead appears to be disconnected (The red lead across the middle showing the open end on the left). Yet I checked the driving lights right after I bought the car and they both came on when I used the switch. I quit for the night, but think that I can get them hooked up again tomorrow. And for all the fuses added, the driving lights main power line is unfused directly form the battery! Something I plan to correct.
|February 24, 2023 - A couple of discoveries today - first of all, the TC has a Panhard rod installed on the front springs. The LH bracket mounts on the chassis; on a TC it is held by the four bump-stop bolts. The RH bracket mounts on the front spring where it bolts to the axle beam, and replaces the existing bracket (which also carries the shock absorber link). This mod. prevents the axle from moving when you turn into a corner. The other discovery was puzzling - the positive lead (power) of the battery was not connected! It has been sitting on top of the post, yet I have had no trouble cranking or running the TC! Secured now. I still haven't determined why the driving lights have quit working - no sign of a break in the wiring, and the fuse and bulbs appear good. Still, it almost has to be something pulled loose when I installed the nerf bumpers.
|February 24, 2023 - I put antenna (or nerf) bumpers on the front of Mina today. More involved than it looks, as I had to get longer bolts for the badge bar and splice the wiring for the driving lights. Her front UK-style license plate (MINA TC) has been ordered from From The Frame Up, along with a few other goodies. Doug Pelton called to verify the plate number and also chat a bit about prior owner Tyler Robbins. However, after the job was done, I found that the driving lights no longer work. I expect I pulled the main power lead loose when I installed the bumpers. Should be an easy fix.
|February 23, 2023 - The original EXU steering wheel that Richard gave me is in pretty good shape, with only one partial split on the actual rim. I can get it restored by Ben Cordsen, who redid Wildflower's steering wheel back in 2009. However, since that is a bit pricey, I want to make sure I like using the EXU wheel instead of getting another Brooklands. Mid-position (the wheel is adjustable) works best, and I was also able to get the seats slid back all the way to give me more legroom and make getting in and out easier.
|February 22, 2023 - According to the GPS app, Mina's speedometer is pretty accurate, and it looks like the tach works well too! The engine is doing about 3000 RPM at 63-64 MPH, which shows up as 65-67 on the speedometer. Very accurate for 75-year-old mechanical components! I drove over a hundred miles today, and had a wonderful time. I also shared Mina with friends who also own TCs - the consensus was that the TC would be in their garage if it wasn't in mine. I was worried about trying the Brooklands aero screens this morning and rolled to my Mom's with the main windscreen up. However, the day warmed up and I got brave - and was amazed to find that the racing screens do an excellent job! I've left the windscreen folded down. At least part of the drive was on the 'correct' side of the road due to construction that closed the right lane. And friend Richard gave me a really nice EXU TC steering wheel which I will get refurbished. Overall a tremendous day!
|February 21, 2023 - Mina is officially mine after a visit to the DMV. And 'MINA TC' was available as a plate number, so I have temp tags until I get the personalized plates in. I got a fully enclosed frame and put a hard plastic plate behind the temp tag to keep it from flapping, and also to help deter potential theft. With luck, I should be able to take her for a real drive tomorrow. Turns out that the tachometer cable I thought was missing was actually zip-tied to wiring and just hanging a bit out of sight. I connected it back up and the tachometer seems to be working. A new app on my phone will track speed through GPS, so I can make sure I keep her legal until I get used to the sound of different RPMs.
|February 19, 2023 - I picked up Mina (short for Menaka) today - along with lots of extras! Besides tools galore, there is an extra fuel pump, side curtains, books and papers, and even some history! But the real shock came when I drove her today for the first time. The car is FAST! As in, I'm gonna have to be careful until I get used to the feel and sound. I found the turn signals, and everything works great. My first drive was a blast, the second one she started spitting. The plugs had loaded up, probably from being driven around the neighborhood at low speeds by the prior owner, Once I cleaned them the car took off! Looking forward to getting her on the road - already insured and just have to wait for Tuesday to get the car registered. I removed an add-on center console today to make it easier to get in and out of.
February 17, 2023 - A friend from the car club told me about an MG TC he'd been asked about - inherited and now being sold. I went along for his first look last night and fell in love. Granted, to paraphrase the famed Will Rogers, 'I never met a car I didn't like.' The car was obviously driven and set up for fun - it has quite a few modifications. The biggest of these are a 5-speed Nissan gearbox, and a Nissan steering box. It also has been converted to an alternator, and has 8" tripod headlights. The engine cowl/firewall is covered in engraved plaques detailing the electrical system, how to adjust carburetors, etc. Although the paint is awful, the actual structure seems really solid and the rebuilt original engine runs smooth and has strong oil pressure. There are also spare parts that include another chrome wire wheel and tire, a hand crank, and a car cover. I'll be picking the car and parts up on Sunday - more details afterwards!
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