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MG TD TF 1500 - 52 MG TD - Just beginning

Greetings All. Well, I am the recent proud owner of a 1952 TD, with 5433 miles on it (farliy certain it's proper). Last on road and registerd in 1970 (lived it's life in Upstate NY, west of Albany), garaged (or barned since '70). Owner died in 2007, son has owned since, and not touched it. Brough ther home 9-29-12 and began the teardown in earnest this weekend. Engine moved freely (cranked by hand). All metal and wood is in great shape (save for the fr qtrs, just under door are worst spots). Embarking on a total frame off to do it proper.

I'm a waile away from addressing the ruyst issues on the Fr quarters, but I wnated to ask about possible apporaches to fixing these issues.

Can I stitch weld in a patch in to affected areas (assuming of course that the wood is solid)? I assume I'd have to slide a protective thin piece of metal to shield the wooden rail underneath). Or would a complete replacement of the affected panel be the preferred approach? How hard is it to disassemble these quarter panels?

Dave Braun suggested I repalce the panel as there is likely some rot from the infected panel that has bleed through to the rail. (BYW, thanks to Dave for turning me on to this site - it's great) Picture is day I picked her up (worst of rust is just visable)

Would welcome any and all thoughts and input.

Kind Regards,

Bob Bartholomew

R Bartholomew

I'd get it running and stopping safely, and drive it around a bit before you tear down. You will know the car much better, know what it needs and what you should (and should not) do. And if the mileage is even approaching original, you have a time capsule that ought to be preserved.

But the mileage is unbelievably low - as in I don't believe it. The car has wind wings and red wheels, neither of which is original, and more pictures would enable people to form an opinion. The doors don't seem to close perfectly which an original car door would, and the years between 1952 and 1970 are awfully many for such low mileage. All that being said, I LOVE cars like that! It looks like a straight car, but don't rush.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange


You are correct, the wind wings are aftermarket and not original. Not sure if the wheels have been painted (will check that later today), but all 5 are red as you see.

All "plumbing" is shot and rubber is dry and cracked, so as not to lend it worth trying to get running, so I embarked on the teardown straightaway.

I too was (and am a little still) suspecious about the mileage, but the son assures me his dad only drove if May thru Sept then put it away, and it's sat since 1970 untouched. Stil, there is a part of me.....

YouTube from this weekend, "52 mg td frame off begins oct 14 2012", your critique is warmly welcome.


R Bartholomew

Bob - that looks very good. The wheels from the factory were silver, without the chrome trim rims.

There are obviously as many approaches to a restoration as there are people doing them, but I would never have pulled that car apart. All rubber is easy to replace in situ, the engine can be gotten running with a good sump clean-out, and that's my way. The metal work that needs doing is indeed minimal.

I couldn't quite tell from the Youtube video what color the firewall is - it should be the same as the rest of the car. If different, that points to the car having been painted, which seems odd for a 5,000-mile car.

It's going to be a good restoration, and the many folks on this BBS will lend all the support we can.

best, Tom Lange.
MGT Repair
t lange

Bob, I was you about 3 years ago. I watched your video. You might find my series of videos of interest. Start with:

2nd bit of advice, follow what Dave Braun says and shows at his web site! Sounds like you've already met.

Keep us informed!
efh Haskell


I have watched all your videos as part of my "do I really want to go down this road" thinking as I approached the decision to buy the TD. Great stuff.

I haven't met Dave, but hope to. I lived in MN (where he's from) for 16+ years, moved to MD in '08. Still have family there so there's a chance I'll get a chance to meet him down the road.

I do believe my initial time estimates are likely unrealistic (to be finished by fall 2013), particularily given my "try to do it right" mindset.

His website is great. Confirms my decision that I made. I hope to ask a lot of dumb questions and have the TD communitee guide me as I progess (or regress).

I'll try very hard to keep a regular update via YouTube and hope eveyone can offer their words of wisdom.

Thanks Ed!

Regards - Bob
R Bartholomew

Is that an original unrestored Clipper Blue? If it is save a chip or two..
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Interesting from your video it appears to be this unusual "blue" color that has been mentioned/seen in some recent threads 're clipper blue. It's not the sky bluish "clipper blue" various members have but this odd blue/green/sea foam color. I've seen it in some spots on my 52TD and am curious what the BBS members think. I don't think that it was an original color from the MG color charts I've seen posted (or was it?) but seems to be a somewhat commoningly occurring consistent color. After market redo for the US?

Good luck on the redo and definitely keep us posted! This is an awesome ACTIVE BBS.
R Biallas

I also don't think it is an original color.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Tom and Randy,

I don't see the "clipper blue" you refer to. Car seems "green" to me. Nor am I now certain if this is a possible repaint (as Tom Lange suggests as I belive the engine bay is now black, but I'll check tonight). I'm learning a ton here.

In talking to the former owners son, I wouldn't surprise me if it was. It was kept in an area of NY that according to him was predominately dirt and gravel roads (which I can attest to from the undercarriage). Solid wood and metal, but lots of caked on dirt. He (his dad) only took it out in Mid June and stored it religiously the day after Labor day.

If anyone wants a particular photo or video to help tell more aboutu her, please let me know and I'll shoot it tonight.

Going after the passanger rear wing tonight. Will have to chisel off a few bolt cradles to to that, then on to the dash & windscreen.

I tried to get the wind screen off, took the three screws holding the windshield to the side brackets, but it seems like there are 4, I must be missing one on each side.

Thanks - Bob
R Bartholomew

Hi Bob, et al,
The overspray at the bottom/side of the grill and at the firewall tells me it's a repaint job, plus the firewall's different color. And it looks like, from the amount of rust along the rocker panels & elswehere, that it's likely the mileage isn't original, at least not driven only in the summer months.
I had a 52 TD as our only car, and lived in that same area, Troy, NY, in 1962-4. Winters are brutal. I finally learned that "snow" is a 4-letter word.
On the quarter/rocker panel repairs, take a look at the work I did on our 54 TF a yr+ ago, at:
I had wood rot there, and you can see the metal cut away. I'm no body man, the guy that did it sure did a beautiful job, from scratch pcs of metal, cut, fit, weld, grind, etc.
Nice project, you can do it in the time you've allotted, if you can work at it almost daily. Ours took a yr, and for about a 4 month period thru the Winter I worked some time every day except for about 3.
good luck, keep us posted
54 TF "Emma"
A W Parker

If you don't have it, here is one of many sites that are very informative 're MG T-series.

This site has the original colors pictures.

Hope all these comments you get now and in the future are not taken as criticisms but just helpful insights and suggestions from like minded enthusiasts! We enjoy every one "saved" from the rust heap or broken down to pieces.
R Biallas

...with 5000 miles on it, they should be Dunlop tires....???

Looks great...will watch with interest....
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

Randy & Gents,

I will never be offended or put off by any coomment, I've read all reservations on the mileage as honest questions, all of which I share.

I hope I continue to get all your comments, assistance, insights and quesitons as I move forward. That's what I love about communites like this (I'm a member of a similar Mercedes thread), honesty and pursuit of the facts is key.

The owners son is quite confident, but as he told me, with him mom passing in August, there's no one alive to inquire further to. I'm 50, he's a little younger than me (he's an MD) and he remembers only as a very young boy riding in the back, and that it was always on blocks in a famly friends barn covered the entirety of his childhood.

I share all your reservations on the mileage, but in the the end, as I crawled all over her and poked and probed as best I could, I surmised that the mileage, while "suspect" appeared to support its condition. I know the winters in central ./ upstate NY well, as mu wife is from Watertown NY. Regardless of whether the mileage is 5433 or 105433, she's going down to her bones and coming back to life. I still believe she's in great shape and worthy of the path I am embarking on.

I'll still need all your help and advice along the way as there are areas that I'll be getting into that I've never tread before. But like a marriage, the journey is worth it.......isn't it?

I'll get the chasis # and engine number tonight and share.

Thanks again Gents!!
R Bartholomew

Could be a green color but look blue in the photo. Whatever it is , it will be a fun car to get on the road again. Looks like a nice project, better than what most of us started with. I know a lot of the folks on this board will be happy to help and answer questions that may come up. We tend to be a little picky about some things but all in good cheer.
On the subject of the red wheels, I have seen others like that on various cars. Some black and white factory photos have shown dark wheels as well. I know there are some archive stuff on this somewhere. In any event, welcome aboard and may the Lucas god not haunt you in your repairs...
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Here's my quick mileage test: Wiggle the brake pedal left and right. If there is movement, it's not a 5,000-mile car. The pedal shaft and bushing replacement are part of such a disgusting job - especially with the car together - that nobody in his right mind would ever tackle it in the old days.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange


At the moment, brake pedal is frozen, cannot wiggle at all or depress. Not sure that is good or bad. But I have read enough to know what a horrible job that awaits me.

R Bartholomew

To remove the windscreen, one frame to cowl bracket has to come off-three big phillips screws, and one small one (on the top of the bracket). Then undo the wing nuts and acorn nuts and the whole frame will come off. I recall that there is a screw that is hidden under these brackets, so you can't just remove the exposed chrome screws on the frame mounting strip. Hope that makes sense. George
George Butz

Bob, I've been working on the restoration of a '53 TD for the past seven years. It was last inspected in '72. I wish you the best of luck. It's quite obvious that your car has been repainted. Look at the color of the paint that shows where you removed the running boards. Bud (
Bud Krueger

Other comment: take a lot of close up pictures of anyl and everything- upholstery, top bows, doors, dash, engine compartment, brackets, etc, etc. Photograph every square inch of the car. You will not remember where it all goes! Also bag/tag everything. Throw nothing away. Many cleaned up/restored/rechromed/repaired origial parts are by far better than repro stuff. George
George Butz


Car is defintely a respray, seems original color was a bit darker.

Car Number: TD 7702
Engine: XPAG / TD LHX 8140
Body Number: 7120 / 71974

George - Thanks for the info on getting the windshield off

One bolt on passenger wing frozen, a real pain, any tricks to getting it off? I've had to peel nut gages and grind off a few heads, can't access nut cage on this one (second nut coming clockwise from rear of fender (as you look at it)

Thanks - Bob

R Bartholomew

Production Record

gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

TD7703 (closest I have in my data base) ended up in Michigan at some point....location unknown in 2012
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

AL Parker,

Just went through you link & pics. My Q panel rust is in same area, but I don't think I have the same rot issues. Did the body ship stitch weld new metal after the cut away?

Interested in knowing what was done.

R Bartholomew

I would reinforce note, 'DO NOT THROW ANY PART AWAY'
until your ENTIRE restoration project is complete (if that every really happens). This includes screws, bolts, pieces of wood, carpet, everything. Label very clearly and store in clear plastic bags. you can group the bags in boxes by location on car.

Of equal importance, use a good digital camera, and take many, many , many pictures. you cannot have too many views as you dismantel part by part.
R W Hinton

Have not seen him post in a bit, but Dave Rezin had a lot of lower rust that he repaired on his TD. He did a fantastic job. Should be able to give you some advice.

I looked up his old postings, but did not find a contact and my e-mail address for him has gone missing.

Bob. As we always say here, "It is your can and the choices you make on how you restore it are up to you", but I would suggest you rethink your two tone paint thoughts.

Not saying the TD does not look good with two colors, but with all the work you are going through. Keeping it an original color in my humble opinion, will add to the value of the car.

I rebuilt my TD in 1974 and painted what was a sun bronze car, ivory. My TD will get another ground up restoration in a few years and I am giving serious consideration to bringing it back as original as I can to what it was when it left the factory.

Just my two cents.
Bruce Cunha

Bob.Re. the color looks just like mine.My painter used the code for Rover BLG N29
British racing Green Dark.Its a more bluish than the other Greens.I dont know what the code is. My painter has topped working due
to problems after many years of usuing
different paint additives.He can't'remember
Where he got the paint code.
Nice car. Just a little polishing snd you are
done. Good Luch.

regards Thoralf. Norway TD 4490

Thoralf Sorensen (TD4490)

Another item I did not see in previous notes. The interior color should match the grille slat color. Looks like the grille was repainted, or the interior re-upholstered.
John Masters

As Bruce Cunha said, I cut out the rust spots and welded new metal in place of the old. Most new panel patches I used a crimper and riveted new metal in plac
e. Not likly to warp the metal. Took very little putty to fill the seam. The bottom of one door was rusted through, I cut the bottom 3 inches off the door and made a jig to make the inner and outer pieces, as they are a compound curve. Like a dope I did't keep the Jig.
Dave Rezin
DL Rezin

R Bartholomew, Maryland, USA wrote:
AL Parker,
Just went through you link & pics. My Q panel rust is in same area, but I don't think I have the same rot issues. Did the body ship stitch weld new metal after the cut away?

Sorry to be so late in replying, busy longish weekend -- I do not know just how it was done, I didn't get over there at the right time. I can put you in touch with them if you'd like, ST Restorations, New Bern, NC.
email me if you wish.

A W Parker


Welcome to the website. I'm glad you are posting. And you will get a ton of good advice to sift through. These guys are the most knowledgeable TD-TF guys on the internet.

Dave Braun

This thread was discussed between 16/10/2012 and 22/10/2012

MG TD TF 1500 index

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