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MG MGA - Faulty steering gaiters

I picked up a set of steering gaiters today for the MGA that I recently rewired, and have discovered that the small end has a hole of c. 10.7mm instead of the c. 17mm that is required to get over the end of the tie rod. I am certain that stretching it over the tie rod will cause it to split, even if I though it had that much give (and I'm not going to try.) Have I been given the wrong gaiters or are the current batch from the usual suppliers from a new and incorrectly dimensioned source?

The trunnion dust seals (new from Moss, received on Monday) are already degraded in the packaging, so it's pointless fitting those as well. The first one I tried split immediately as I eased it over the cup washer. Inspecting the others shows that they are not in the best shape either. Is this the first case of them being rotten fresh out of the ziplock bag? ( I do know they have the reputation for rotting before a project has even hit the road for the first time)

dominic clancy

Send it all back. It's the only hope to get the suppliers to stop shipping crap parts.
Barney Gaylord

Supplier insists that they are correct and that he uses them all the time! So I will try them and see if it splits or not on fitting.

dominic clancy


I seem to remember it was a tight pulling the gaiter over the tie rod stub. Plenty of lubricant required. My issue was that the recess for the jubilee clip was not wide enough and I had to use cable ties to secure oil tight seals.

Steve Gyles

Steve, -- Send pictures before and after installation. I still think it's wrong. Both end openings should be about the same diameter as the journal diameter where they seat.
Barney Gaylord

There's tight and there's virginal! I don't see that a 17.5mm rod is going to fit a 10.5mm hole without something giving up the ghost. I'm either going to end up bloodied from trying or the thing is going to tear, regardless of how long the foreplay is!
dominic clancy


I did not take any 'before' pictures. I will venture out into the cold, wet and sometimes stormy night to snap the 'afters'.

I've no comment on 'tight fit', 'plenty of lubricant' and 'virginal'!

Steve Gyles

I bought a pair of SR gaiters from SFaire recently to replace the Moss ones I got years ago and which I don't trust.

The SF holes are spot on 1/2" diameter. I wouldn't have thought you'd have a problem with your 11mm diameter especially if you use a bit of lubricant.

I'm surprised, however,that anyone still buys Moss rubber parts after all that's been written about them on this forum. .......................Mike
m.j. moore


Picture attached. Should the shoulder normally be wide enough for jubilee clips?


Steve Gyles


I did in fact have a sort of 'before' picture.


Steve Gyles

What are you guys smoking?

The tie rod is 5/8" = .625" = 15.8mm approx
The section the gaiter fits on is reduced, so the hole has to be, and is, smaller than 5/8". It is true that some repro gaiters seem to have smaller than OE holes, but I've not had any split there. The problems are usually with the bellows falling apart after a short time.

They never used Jubilee clips, which are too wide and have very nasty edges to poke holes in the boots.
The correct clips are about 1/4" wide, with ears through which go some very small screws with nuts, which are sometimes very annoying.
Cable ties are actually an improvement, unless you are concours nutso.
It is not necessary to clamp these like the car is hanging off them; they seal pretty well with no clips, which are only needed to keep the gaiter from moving out of position at full lock.

MGA's are measured in inches, not mm!

FR Millmore

Ironically my Moss gators are the ony rubber parts from them that have not fell apart
gary starr

I just put new gaiters on from Moss and they seem to be well made. No problems fitting.
JM Morris

I'll take a picture of the hole against the rod to illustrate the point. I thought I would get to it tonight, but instead went with another local MGA owner on a Judson test drive so he can decide if he wants to buy one. It seems he is sold....

(And the idea of beer at the top of the pass was more enticing than an evening at the nasty end of a steering rack)
dominic clancy

Here is a picture of mine , no problems here


Is it possible that the gators are for an MG midget. BL changed the steering rack to a Spitfire rack around the time when they put the Triumph 1500cc engine into the Midget.
I had got a set of gators for my newly restored Bugeye (it uses the same tie rod end as an MGA) and they were as you described the gators you have.
My guess is they are the wrong part.
JR Alexander

Parts suppliers habitually tend to rationalize their stock by trying to keep only one or two types of Gaiters on hand. Yes some will fit other applications but may not function well due to size differences.

Then there are the generic "fits all" aftermarket types that will work fine as long as the dimensions are very close.

BMC and Triumph gaiters are quite different in shape and in configuration but can be made to work in other applications.

I was a partsman for the MG, Triumph, Austin, Morris Jaguar dealer here in Calgary and have seen most of these parts first hand when new.

Occasionally we'd run out of stock and would have to try and fit something normally intended for another brand of car. They can be made to work, but the proper part usually always fits and works best.

S L Bryant

Well I have installed them, and they do seem to fit, much to my surprise.

But the new electronic board for the fuel pump only runs at 6V and not at 12V, so that means the car is still sitting in my garage till I can figure out why - do SU make 6V electronic pumps?
dominic clancy

Just changed mine and having seen this thread replaced the clamps with cable ties.

The new rubber seems to be a bit thicker so the bolts don't reach now.
Dan Smithers

This thread was discussed between 25/10/2011 and 31/10/2011

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