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MG TD TF 1500 - Air Cleaners - Details, TF-1500

Looking for details of original air cleaners on TF-1500.

Photo of my air cleaners below.

The inside of the "Volks Ltd Guilford" air cleaners on my '55 TF-1500 are maroon inside and crinkle black outside.
> Do you think that these are the original air cleaners?
> What color and texture was the original paint inside and out?

One of the bolts that secures the top plate to the bottom plate had a rubber gasket and flat washer under it. (lower-left in photo) The other top bolts have no gasket or washer.
> Should the top bolts have rubber gaskets and/or flat washers?
> What color/finish should the top bolts (and washers) be?

> Any other details that you can share?

Yes, I know that the breather tube should be engine color. I'll paint it when I install the head that is being prepared for me.

My TF will never be a concours car, but I'd like to bring back parts to original look where ever it can be easily done.

Thanks for your help,


LM Cook


Where the long head bolts with the slot come from? Are they to secure back plate to carburetor? And if yes front hole or back?

B Gruzman

Outside: black, but not crinkle black. Not sure if satin or gloss black, I think satin looks better. Bolts- but no rubber gasket, likely cad plated and unpainted. The slotted one looks like the front sump to timing cover bolt. Have to hear from the TF experts. George
George Butz


Surviving paint on my Volks looked to me it was a gloss black as well as the engine fan. I used Rust-Oleum gloss black purchased at Ace Hardware.

The bolts on the front / back of the air cleaners were cad. I had them plated dull zinc that is a close match.

A good resource for the TF can be found here.

Frank Cronin

Hi guys.

Thanks for the info on paint and bolt color.

RE: The tall slotted hex head 1/4" Whitworth bolts ...

Here are two and possibly three confirmations that the tall slotted hex head bolts that attach the carb to the air cleaners are original.

#1) The Original TF midget, "The TF in Detail"
Info is about half way down the section section titled "The Engine"

"The aircleaners by Vokes of Guildford. These were painted gloss black all over and secured with cad plated bolts, Of the four bolts on the carburetor side, two of these should have extra tall hexagonal heads cut with screw slots to ease the removal of the aircleaners from their awkward position. These two bolts have their own part number. "

#2) Don Harmer noted the same detail in a post that he wrote on 15 February 2012 at 17:45:25 UK time in this BBS thread:

#3) I looked in the MG Midget (Series "TF") Service Parts List AKD804 and found two bolts listed to connect the air cleaner to the carb. Two of each per car.
Page J.3
Set Screw - cleaner to carburettor (2 per car) #AEG110
Set Screw - cleaner to carburettor (2 per car) #AJD6256N

FYI - I use one of the slotted bolts at the front of each air cleaner. I don't see how you could remove the front air cleaner without the special bolt. I just stick a short-medium length flat blade screwdrive into the slot and loosen it. The shaft of the screwdriver is between the float bowl and the suction chamber. Then I grab the loose bolt with some locking forceps and pull it out. The special bolt on the rear carb is nice but not needed. I use a 1/4" wrench on it and the other two bolts.

RE: Washers

After I posted my question, I saw washers under the bolts that secure the top plates of the air cleaners in a diagram in Plate "F" of the Service Parts List. Although I don't see washers in photo #TF9052-076.jpg attached to Frank's post.

I'm thinking about buying a home zink plating setup for bolts etc. Trying to match the details that Frank Cronin showed on his TF air cleaners. $300 may be a little hard to justify.

RE: Paint texture

I found some smooth texture black paint where the crinkle finish paint was chipped. I guess that is the original finish. I'll probably use Rustoleum Automotive Semi-Gloss in a rattle can.

Perhaps the maroon paint inside is primer (?) I'll preserve it when I paint the outside.

RE: Photos of unrestored TF

> Frank
I have almost memorized each of the 312 photos of TF9052. I downloaded all of them to my computer and to my iPad. The link is in my iPhone. It is an amazing resource. Seems like I look at it every day. Thanks for all of your work.

Thanks again for the info that all of you provided.

LM Cook

Here is a do-it-your-self zinc plating post on another forum.

I have not tried this although I most always use electrolytic cleaning on all my nuts and bolts. Thus I have no Idea if it will work but except for finding the Zinc it costs nothing.

One technical note. He continuously calls the Zinc "Cathodes" Although they are connected to the positive terminal.
That makes them anodes.

If anyone tries this please post as to the results.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin


Can you please measure the long headed bolt for the air cleaner. That is to say what is it's height or extension. I have the bar stock and plan on having some made...


R Brown

Great research about the slotted bolts. Learned something new today, I should stick to TD stuff. George
George Butz

Here is a pic of my originals. You can see one of the slotted bolts. The little BSA bike spanner is very handy for this job.


M Magilton

I have an original pair on my car. Each has a stamped number under the Vokes Ltd. lettering. I have repainted mine flat black and it partially filled in the numerals. You can see in this photo some of the very small digits. Interesting thing is that the two were numerically in sequence.

'54 TF

T Norby

Also, I have a pair of repro's to compare to the originals. The lettering of Vokes Ltd and Guildford on the originals is broader, spread out. On the repro, the letters and tighter, closer.
I tried to take a side by side photo, but could not get the light right.
Don't know if anyone cares.....

T Norby

Its all good information Tom.
Can you tell me the stamped numbers on the originals?

M Magilton

Hi All,

Original TF Air Cleaners :

.Vokes LDT Guildford

.Numbers-D17938 1SS1 and D17937 1SS1

.Three(3) different type of setscrews used.
(with good reason!)

.Gloss Black

.Setscrews and washers Cadmium plated.

.The outside covers are held on via two(2)
setscrews which have an unsually shallower
head and are 'locked' with internal star
washers,not the normal split type lock washer.

.Work beautifully.

Rob Grantham

Yes Rob
Those are the digits. Same on mine.
You can see them, tiny, in Frank Cronins second link up above, on the virgin red TF.
Think I'll repaint mine gloss black. It sure looks better than flat.

'54 TF
T Norby

Side by side comparison of Vokes original and repro.

J K Barter

the number stamped on my air cleaner is clearly D47938 1SS1.
J K Barter

Oops! Had closer look in bright morning light today,and indeed Mr Barter is correct.If you examine the first numeral closely,it is a 4 and not a 1.Apologies.

Rob Grantham

> Bob -
I posted dimentions of the bolts in your thread "TTall slotted hex head 1/4' Whitworth bolts"

> Tom and Rob -
I can only see a ghost of the numbers on my Volks air cleaners. They are filled with paint. I'll try to keep them visible when I strip and repaint them.

> Jim B -
I'm gonna have to try DIY zinc plating. Here is a link to a similar method with more documentation ...
"Zinc Plating at Home with Common Materials"
by Tom Gugliotta

Google - diy zinc plating - for more sites.

> All -
Thanks for your answers and new details.

LM Cook

What type and weight oil are you guys using on the filter itself.

54 TF
T Norby


The WSM specifies engine oil.

I use SAE 30 engine oil. Allow the excess oil to drain off of the element before installing it into the air cleaner housing.

Cleaning and oiling an MG oil-wetted air cleaner element should be similar to a 1954 Chevrolet truck standard air cleaner. See pages 26-27 "Air Cleaner: Maintenance-Standard Cleaner" in this 1954 Truck Operator's Manual -

Don't expect an oil-wetted air cleaner element to filter out 1-micron particles. It catches stones and bugs in the mesh and attempts to trap smaller particles in the film of oil on the element as the air weaves toward the carburetor.


LM Cook

I was thinking about K & N filter oil. Anyone feel it would be superior??

T Norby

This thread was discussed between 29/04/2014 and 04/05/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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