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MG TD TF 1500 - 1954 MG TF Wiper Mechanism

Hi I am rebuilding my 1954 1250 TF. I am getting on well but I am stuck on a faqirly trivial point but it is bugging me. The TF wiper mechanism is the problem.
I caanot work out how the switch operates.When you push the handle in and turn it doesn't seem to make contact with the switch. I took this all apart some 20 years ago so I cannot remember how it worked.
Of course I may have a part missing but I don't think so. Has anyone got a drawing of how the handle and switch operates. Any help would be most appreciated.
Cheers Dave
D Williams

PUSH IN, ROTATE until you feel the handle engage the wiper.
The wiper will move back as it drops into the slot. This turns on the switch.

You may have to remove the wiper from the spindle to get it to rotate far enough. Then Reset the blade.
Don Harmer

Hi Don, Many thanks for your help. Very much appraciated. I can push and rotate the rod and it engages in the slot ok.But I cannot make contact with the switching mechism to make it open or close the electrical contacts.

Cheers

Dave
D Williams

Hi Dave,
where abouts on Merseyside are you? I am in Birkenhead
Are you sure you have a good supply as far as the switch, I had the same problem but the break was in the green wire from A4. Don't rely on the manual, it doesn't even show a switch.
Ray
TF 2884
Ray Lee

Hi Ray,

Nice to hear from you, I live in Heswall. I have the switch and wheel box in my hand! It has been removed from the car for too many years! I can push the rod in and turn it to engage the drive. No problems there. However I cannot see anyway that the electrical contacts can be physically made to open or close by pushing the rod in and turning it. There is nothing there that will make any contact. I think I must have a part missing.

By the way do you know of anywhere locally I can get chrome plating done and also a good car paint sprayer.

Many thanks for your help

Cheers

Dave
D Williams

Dave could you possibly have the passenger side unit in your hand? That unit has no switch. Just a thought.
Cheers,
Bob
Bob Jeffers

There should be a cam on the shaft that closes the switch contacts.
Don Harmer

Dave ...what Bob said! Mine drove me nuts for years till I figured out my car is LHD ...my wipers are set up for RHD! (The "switch" is in the passanger compartment).
I run with some old stock locking glove box doors so it was a "no-brainer" for me ...I put a toggle switch under the dash and wired it to the motor.
I can actually turn them on now when it's raining without have to stop, unlock the covers and try to engage the knobs in correct sequence.
Cheers,
David
David Sheward

Hi Bob David,

Unfortunately I have the driver's side unit in my hand with the switch gear attached. I just cannot phathom out how the switch gear operates. What part the rod comes into contact with switch?

I may have to go down the route that David suggests and install a switch under the dash to operate the wiper motor. It's just bugging me not knowing how the original switch operates.

Many thanks for your help.


Cheers

Dave
D Williams

Hi Dave,
you have mail
Ray
TF 2884
Ray Lee

The original switch operates (at least mine did) under the “3rdt principle of Lucas Electrics:
1: Off
2: Dim
3: Flicker (or Intermittent, Lucas was the Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.)

Perhaps a PO has installed a three-position Lucas switch? The three switch settings are:
1: SMOKE
2: SMOLDER
3: IGNITE.

Perhaps it needs “re-filled”.

Seriously …the problem I had was getting mine “in sync”.
At least in my case once I got the “main” switch on the only way I could get that was by
turnning off the key and lossing the nut on the other one, (after engaging the secondary).
After that it would do a fine job of spreading the bugs about.
(For actual “rain” rain-x works better).

Let me know if you need some new smoke.

Cheers,
David


David Sheward

"What part of the rod comes in contact with the switch?"

A circular fiber cam, about 9/16 dia & 1/8 in thick is on the 1/4 in rod near the switch. When the clutch is engaged the rod and cam move about 3/16 so that the cam now closes the "fingers" on the switch.

The cam is easily seen on the rod next to the switch.

It sounds like the cam is missing if you don't easily see it.

If missing, add a toggle switch



Don Harmer

Here's a picture of what Don is talking about. You can see the tapered ramp that closes the switch leaves. This assembly is usually located at the drivers glove box. Be sure you don't have them reversed. The passenger side has no cam or switch setup. It's the goofiest operation.

Dick Lambert

Problem solved!! Yipee. Thanks to everyone especially Ray who popped around this morning and solved the problem. There was no contact being made between the black cam and the lever operating the switch. Ray carefuly bent the lever so that it is now making contact with the cam and the switch is now operating correctly.

Easy when you know how.

Cheers

Dave
D Williams

I was cleaning the switch on my YA that has the same switch as the TF, so I thought I'd take two pictures of the switch in open and closed position; just for the records.

First one is open (OFF) second one is closed (ON)

Willem vd Veer

and the second one

Willem vd Veer

Reactivated for wiper switch info.

I commented on this thread a few years ago and gained two new friends.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

Good stuff, but having got the switch to work, do you find that the wiper motor has enough power to move both wipers at once? Mine really struggles to do this, even though I replaced the cable. The motor seems surprisingly noisy. Any suggestions before I tear it out and fit a later motor from a Sprite? Other than using Rain-X.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Dave.
Do you by any chance have new glass, we found with Dave's (see above) very high friction till the glass aged.
They are very sensitive to arm pressure so check that. New arms seem to have strong springs and I don't think we go fast enough to blow them off.I have also found that washer additives add drag so I just use a drop
of detergent.
I have the original motor and it copes OK
Does you passenger really need to look out of the letterbox slot. LOL

PS where did you get the cable as it is smaller diameter than the midget/ Sprite.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

Ray. Yes its new glass and could certainly be a factor.
I did hope that wiping the screen with something slippy might assist rather than hinder. I'm just wondering what you mean by "washer". I have lubricated the wiper spindles but can't remember what with (possibly oil). I don't have any washer spray arrangement - just wipers only as std.
Good idea, I will check the spring tension - all new so could well be too strong.
Not essential to get the passenger side going (as well) but seems a sensible precaution as visibility must be even more limited without.
I only replaced the cable inner and not the outer, I didn't notice any difference in diameter. It made no difference anyway.
Dave H
Dave Hill

One thing is to make sure the cable is very clean with new lubricant in it. The cable will work much easier thus making the wipers to be more efficient and faster. The old grease on the cable and housing gets hard over the years. PJ
Paul161

Dave,
you are going to need a washer system, you know what our weather is like.
I have seen a washer nozzle fitted into the bonnet strip retainer so no holes are drilled in the scuttle top. I have also seen tubes inserted under the rubber and removed when not in use.
I was joking about your passenger ;-)
Ray
Ray Lee

Yes the cable was clean with plenty of grease as lubricant, but not too much. No problem at all moving them when lifted off the screen.
However I think Ray was right about the springs as they are far too strong as supplied. I have bent them away a bit and that has improved things considerably.
Ray is also probably right about the washers as well. I am something of a fair weather driver, and Cambridgeshire is the driest part of England, but sooner or later I will get caught out. I like the idea of mounting the spray heads on the back of the chrome bonnet retainer - its a relatively cheap part, and replaceable so can be hacked about without too much concern. Thanks.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Thank you for reactivating this, Ray Lee.
Do any of you TF owners have stock wipers that actually work? Generally, I try not to drive in the rain, but I can't always avoid it. I suspect my wiper motor has never been refurbished, and have contemplated it.
Can anyone confirm that it is worth the cost and effort?
Any recommendations on motor repair in the US?

Interesting to read Ray's comment about new glass. I have new glass this summer. After that I tested the wipers and deemed them to be rubbish. Hmmm....

Tom
'54 TF
T Norby

Before you spend any money, try cleaning it up yourself. My TF wiper sat in storage for many years and did not work when I tested it. I carefully dismantled it to find old hardened grease in the gear box which was easy to dismantle , clean and re-lubricate. The electric motor was also easy to take apart, however be cautious as the brush assembly is very delicate. I cleaned and polished the commutator and CAREFULLY adjusted the tension of the brushes to the commutator. I Lubricated the two bearings, assembled everything and it worked perfectly. It was actually an enjoyable task. Regards, John TF 6773
JR Mahone

I have had my TF for over 40 years and have never had any wiper problems. It has the original type motor and gives a full sweep. I do have a separate switch as well, it is not a good idea to reach through the wheel while driving.
The only time it is off the road is when they salt, so it often sees rain. One problem is at night, with main beam, heater and wipers you are near the dynamo limit.
Mind you it is still like looking through a letterbox while driving!.
One thing to watch is that the thrust pin is not over adjusted. It needs to be tight enough to allow it to turn without too much slack in the wormwheel gear.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

I probably don't want to know the answer but can you remove to clean and lubricate the cable without pulling the dash? will the cable feed back easily through each of the individual gear boxes under the dash?
bob
R Brown

http://www.british-car-part-restoration.com/price_list.html



George Butz

Bob, removing the glove boxes will be necessary to expose the system. The bolts that hold the gear boxes should be accessible through the dash opening. I can't guarantee it'll work this way, as I did mine with the dash out, but sounds very feasible. You might have to drop the under dash cover frame also. PJ
Paul161

I have pulled the cable out completely and fed a new one back through past the two boxes with the glove boxes in place. Its a very fiddly job but can be done with perseverance. To get the cable past the gear boxes you have to pull back the engaging gear whilst pushing and twisting the drive cable at the same time. To lubricate the cable properly - with grease - and reach all of it, its the only way,
Dave H
Dave Hill

To remove cable.Take off wipers and just pull out the cable. Clean cable with petrol re-insert and check freedom of movement (you may have to twist in like a screw).If free then you don't have to remove glove boxes.
P.S. I would rather do an engine change than that.Last time I did a glove box my back was in spasm for days.
PPS had to rewrite this as predictive thinks reinsert is reindeer
Ray Lee

Sounds like a two person job and doubt my better half is up to it so will source a friend before I attempt. Thanks for the help. It worked when I installed it without the blades but is very, very slow with the blades installed. Maybe that is normal.
bob
R Brown

Went to garage to post how many sweeps per minute my wipers do!!!!!!
Serves me right for boasting. They worked when I parked 2 days ago, but not now.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

Phew !!!.
only a faulty wiper by-pass switch, now replaced.
My wipers do 26/28 single sweeps, 1 or 2 blades on a wet screen.
I have never had any problem with this speed and I presume that it is about the correct rate.
When I bought the car the passenger wheel box was stripped. For 10 years I persuaded the MOT man (gov safety test) that only de-lux models had auto wipers on the passenger side and they had to wipe by hand on base model.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

I bypassed the original TF wiper switch and fitted a small under dash panel mounted with toggle switches to operate both the wipers and the screen washers.

The PO had drilled the scuttle to fit nozzles, they had been removed when I purchased the vehicle.

The wipers still operate in a primitive fashion, replacement wiper blades are very costly so I keep usage to a minimum.
G Evans

Tom N, The wipers on my car work perfectly. I cleaned the cable housings by soaking in mineral spirits and brushing out with 22 cal rifle cleaning patches, then cleaned the cable in my parts washer, gearboxes also. Let dry good and lubricated everything with Lubriplate white lithium grease. Striped the drive motor, cleaned the armature, installed new brushes and greased the bearings and gear box. I'm very happy how the system works, even though, hopefully, the car will never see the rain. PJ
Paul161

This thread was discussed between 12/06/2011 and 06/12/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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