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MG TD TF 1500 - 53 MG-TD Brake Rebuild Parts Needed?

All 4 wheels and drums are off. She looks sad on jackstands, but better there than a ditch!
Only the front right brake looks to be perfect, the front left has major(new) fluid leak, and the 2 rear look like they may have had a leak too (pads slightly glazed).
I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT(Dot 5). So I need to order?:
2 sets shoes
1 front brake cylinder
MC rebuild kit (PN?)
rear brake cylinder rebuild kit?
new brake lines
and.....what else...bits and pieces...HELP!

DaveB recommended resleeving the front cylinders...I don't mind buying new if that is better in the long run.


J.C. Walck

For the cost...why not just buy all new shoes and do all at once... worn shoes can have special (thicker) adjuster added, but you would be better off when the time comes to have them on all wheels.

I did what you are doing only 5 years ago... was able to get away with honing all the cylinders/mc and they have been perfect since...!

Take a look inside the cylinders...polish if there is no pitting...'hone' if there is very little pitting, resleeve if a lot... replace if cheaper!

If you are doing everything at once...lines included, you could go to silicon fluid... responses will vary on the forum... no ruined paint anymore anyway (have had it in mine for 5 problems).


Joe - Include new flexible lines (2 front and 1 rear) in the list if your are changing over to silicone fluid. The trick to making that change is to have every trace of the old DOT 3 or 4 fluid out of the system. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Moss is listing new front cylinders at $42, buy new. At that price I would be hard pressed to rebuild unless the bore was virtually perfect. A few years ago they were almost $100 each, sleeving made sense then. You can remove the old cyls. (mark up and down on the backplate, etc., as they install either way, and the wrong way is bad- trust me), take apart and clean. They tend to get a corroded ring of pits right at the end of the piston/cup interface- right where the cup moves. If you can't polish to a mirror finish, replace it (but keep it for the future/sleeving, etc.). If it is mirror-finish with no longitidinal or radial scratches or pits then you could replace the rubber cup safely. Rear- again, the new ones are so cheap now, same comments as above apply.
My personal opinion: brakes/steering/tires are the most important part of the car- not a place to save a few bucks. Consider a set of shoes is $90, a leaky cyl will trash them in a hurry, etc. If silicone fluid gets on the lining it is junk. Master cyl- read the Moss catalog for descriptions. There have been several types used over the last few years, so not sure what kit you need. Another option: send it to White Post Restorations and they will resleve/rebuild it with a lifetime guarantee. They did mine a while ago, and recently a friend's TC master. My TD cyl came back with a thicker (and actually sealing) dust boot, and a brass piston evidently of their own manufacture- much better than the original. Cost about what the Moss repro MC costs, fast turn-around too. Fluid- DOT5 silicone. Also order and replace all of the copper sealing washers ( used at the master cyl/front and rear wheel cyl. banjo fittings). Lastly, don't be surprised if some of the flares crack on the steel lines- all seems well until you bleed the brakes, then it won't stop leaking. Check the springs for obvious wear/abuse/problems. Lastly, at the rear, order two oil seals. You will be 4 bolts and 5 minutes of work away from pulling the rear axles- do that and check if the inner splines are twisted. What do the rest of you guys think? George
George Butz

Just thought of something as the last was posting. Some machine shops recommend against using silicone fluid in sleeved cylinders. I don't know what the experience of others has been in this regard, but the conventional wisdom is that silicone fluid could leak around the sleeve as it is like synthetic oil and will leak past the smallest imperfection in any seal. Cheers - Dave

PS - I have been using silicone fluid (DOT 5) for the past 25 years, in both the TD and the MGB and have had excellent excellent results with it.
David DuBois

PS- will also need the rear cylinder "boot/cup" for each side as the new cyls don't come with the rubber handbrake lever boot.
George Butz

Give us time Joe, and we will have all your money spent just on the brakes ;) Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

master cylinder out.
FL: Removed cotter pin, nut and pad and washer. Looking at bearing. When I find a puller, will I be pulling just the TF wire wheel hub or more when I pull? I don't understand the manual, the photo is BAD, and the wire wheel hub changes the look. Do I understand that the entire back plate assemble will then come off with the wheel cylingers still attached(after removing hoses), or do I have to remove the 4 bolts & nuts behind the hub for that to happen? I don't see any mention of the 4 bolts in the book.

J.C. Walck

Joe, I don't have wire wheels, but I believe you will simply be pulling the wire wheel hub. It is probably locked into place on the outer race of the inner and outer bearings. Since we don't have tapered bearings on our cars, their is a spacer as well between the two. It is a good idea to carefully tap out the bearings using a stout block and a hammer while evenly supporting the drum or in your case, the wire wheel hub. That way you can clean the bearings and reinstall. A bunch of grease on the spacer is not necessary, just pack the bearings. You are correct about the back plate. The four nuts and corresponding bolts need to be removed to remove the back plates. I like to remove them to make building the brakes easier. There are some pretty comprehensive pictures of the brake system on my website, just scroll down and find a link to the MG TD15470 photosite and when you get to that page, click on the brakes section.

Good luck!
Dave Braun

Also mark the back plates right and left if you remove them, up and down also. If you switch them there is not enough room for a wrench to tighten the banjo bolt next to the steering arm. At this point, you may as well change the suspension seals and inner a-arm bushings (use the B V-8 steel tube kind), especially since you have to remove the brakes and backplate to change the bottom swivel seal anyway. David D was sure right about spending $$$- but the rubber stuff is really cheap and you won't have to do it again for years. George
George Butz

Please, keep the advice coming. Safety Fast...and First. And while I have it apart, I can live with the time and cost. The wife says do it right, what a gal! I'll take it slow and easy. We took the B-LE out for a backroad run today...another beautiful day on Whidbey Island, WA. Hopefully when the TD is well, we'll be able to organize a couple more tours of the island for the NWMGTR Club. Thank you all for adding to my T-knowledge. -Joe
J.C. Walck

With wire wheels on a TF, you don't have to remove the hub to service the brakes.

The drum is bolted to the hub by six studs in hub and thin nuts.
These studs and nuts are US Fine (Unified)
This akes it much easier to remove the drum, you don't meed a puller.
The back plate does not need to be removed.
Don Harmer

Parts on order so far:

Part # Description Qty
183-168 PIPE SET, BRAKES-1
182-130 BRAKE SHOE SET, 4 SHOES for front-1
182-130 BRAKE SHOE SET, 4 for rear-1
180-075 WHEEL CYLINDER, rear, Aftermarket-2
180-840 BRAKE HOSE, front & rear-3
180-620 WHEEL CYLINDER, front, "Classic Gold"-4
281-378 RACK SEAL SET-1 (they are torn)
280-580 SEAL-4
280-498 BUSHING SET, MGB-GT V8 type.-1
324-908 WASHER SET, banjo fittings (12 copper washers)-1
324-898 WASHER SET, brake hose (3 copper washers)-1
324-730 WASHER, master cylinder adaptor-1
324-180 LOCKWASHER, brake hose-3

Master Cylinder...attached photo...say's Lockheed on side, rebuild kit ??? p/n 182-910 ???

J.C. Walck


You have to dissassemble the Master Cylinder to know which kit you need. See Moss PDF
to figure that part out.

Dave Braun

I recently went through this and my m/c was, of course, the middle style (the one for which no kit is available). Like George, I sent mine off to White Post. I shipped it Thursday afternoon, UPS says they received it Friday, it was in my mailbox the following Monday. Incredible turnaround. They evidently circumvent the lack of available kits with the brass piston that George mentioned. So far, I've been *very* pleased....
Rob Edwards

I went through my brakes in 2006 and had all wheel cylinders and m/cylinder redone at White Post Restorations in Virginia. All were brass sleeved and come with a lifetime warranty. The cost was $150 for the M/cyl and $60 ea for the wheel cyl's and was well worth the money. They come back complete and ready to install. I think this the 4th and last time I have rebuilt the brakes since 1959.

MAR Mark

You can see the hefty master cyl boot in the above picture I was talking about- it will really seal and last. George
George Butz

I contacted White Post, they gave me a $225 price + $20 for shipping. If I go that route, will I be able to use Dot 5/synthetic with the brass sleeve? The whole object of replacing everything was to go to Dot 5 for safety AND to save my paint.

Does anyone know a trick for removing the 1 1/4" hub nuts on the rear? Do you remember which side nut goes which way CW or CCW on with side? The WW hubs don't help. Note photo of what I found in RR hub. I could put the rear wheels back on if needed, note: there is no MC in car and fronts are disassembled.

J.C. Walck


Both of those rear castleated nuts are RH thread, But the proper torque is 150 ft-lbs and then to the next cotter opening. This torque is to preserve the tension on the axles and help reduce wear that might occur on the splines. Quite frankly, I had to go somewhere with my axle for the additional shop air required to remove my nut. For this reason I reduced the thickness of my shim the amount to get 150 ft-lbs near the cotter hole on reassembly, and used a college linebacker and an offensive lineman to tighten the nuts. Honestly, this is all on my website under brakes and suspension. Have you visited it yet?

As for Sleeving, I'm using Dot five with all four front cylinders brass sleeved. No leaks. So it is possible.

Dave Braun

I borrowed a 3/4 socket set with a 1 1/4" socket to remove the rear hub nuts. The passenger side come off with just the weight of the BIG socket wrench, the other side just spun was on tight. I tried everything to hold the shaft, while I tried the castleated nut, nothing would keep it from spinning. IDEA-I put the tire back on that side, put some 2x6 boards under the tire, lowered the rear end (repositioning jack stands) spun the spinner off, but the socket on the nut, and it came off easy. All brakes and plates are off now.

The master cylinder is pitted along the 6 o'clock position down the entire tube from moisture. I've decided to order an aftermarket MC from Moss.
Thanks for all the help.
J.C. Walck

Joe, if the rear backplates are off, just tap the outer axle bearing housing out, pull the axle out and check the inner splines for twisting. Make sure you clean the housing to axle faces really well, and use a thin film of blue Permatex or something to seal when reassembling. Clean, spin and check the axle bearing too of course. George
George Butz

This thread was discussed between 30/05/2009 and 04/06/2009

MG TD TF 1500 index

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