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MG TD TF 1500 - Almost made it

Our MG club's October overnight trip is this weekend. About 300 miles round trip to a quaint tiny town on Florida's west coast. PERFECT weather. My TF sounds like a million bucks.

Twenty-five miles from our destination Jo Ann and I smell gas. Then it got worse. We finally pulled over when gas started covering the right side of the windshield.

The float bowl lid on the rear carb developed a hair line crack at the banjo. Gas was spraying onto the hood (bonnet) and starter box. I haven't touched the banjo for months.

We're sitting the side of a desolate road waiting for AAA to tow us 125 miles back to Orlando. Thanks for AAA Platinum!

Lonnie
TF7211
LM Cook

Tough break Lonnie. AAA is a lifesaver when you need it. Who would ever think to carry one of those as a spare. Sorry you miss out on the rest of the trip.

Bill Chasser jr
TD4834
W. A. Chasser Jr

Definitely a weird one! Big temperature change from the car heating up to full temp perhaps?
Christopher Couper

Could have been a whole lot worse Lonnie. I'm now thinking having an extinguisher on board is a really good idea. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Wow- Obviously a good thing fire did not break out. You must have taken the very very very long way to Safety Harbor, as I assume you were headed to the All British show there. It's 103 mi from Orlando to SH by interstate but of course longer using side roads, but 125 from Orlando should have put you in Safety Harbor on any number of roadways. Hope the repairs are simple. Rich
Richard Olson

The car broke down about 2:30PM. Tow truck arrived a little before 5:00. It's now 8:15PM and the tow truck, the car, Jo Ann, and I just arrived back home.

> Bill - thanks for the condolences.

> Chris - yep, never would have thought to carry a spare float bowl lid! Actually, I've been smelling gas for a couple of weeks. Thought that it was gas splashing out of the tank. The lid must have been slightly cracked and finally let go today.

> Peter - I was gonna buy a new "white dust" extinguisher last week but ran out of time. Now, I'm going all the way and buy and install a Halotron "clean" extinguisher next week. Today could have been a very bad day.

Lonnie
TF7211
LM Cook

Richard -

I'm getting a float bowl lid from a club member next week to replace my broken one.

We weren't going to Safety Harbor. The club reserved all ten rooms in a turn of the century hotel in Cedar Key, plus some more nearby rooms. Boat tours and leasure time tomorrow. Return home Sunday.

We do at least two overnights each year to an off-the-beaten-track hotel following two lane "old Florida" back roads. It's a great club. Formed in 1963. Some of the founding members are still the most active.

Lonnie
TF7211
LM Cook

Lonnie go with a halon system. Yes they are expensive but you do not want to be tearing an engine apart to remove residue should you have to use it . Also the dust makes a mess the halon gas simply dissipates.

Bill Chasser Jr.
TD4834
W. A. Chasser Jr

25 miles from your destination? Should have towed it there and enjoyed the weekend! I'm sure someone could get a float bowl lid to you by the time you left. Heck, I'd overnight one for the cost of shipping.

Now if you're a real trooper you'll fix the car, get back in and be there to surprise everyone in the morning! ;)
Steve Simmons

Steve -

That was the general consensus of the club members in the caravan. They stopped to hold my hand while we diagnosed the problem.

I guess that my Grundy Collector Car insurance could have towed us to the event. Then AAA towed us home on Sunday.

Anyway, the drive was terrific, until the breakdown. So it was still worth it.

Lonnie
TF7211
LM Cook

Awe, should have done it. You wouldn't have needed a tow home. It's a 5 minute fix! We've helped several cars get nursed or towed to events and then fixed them right there in the parking lot, from broken axles to radiator repair. It's part of the fun! As soon as a bonnet is raised, you get about a dozen grinning guys running over to help fix something. :)
Steve Simmons

Your very lucky that the engine didn't catch on fire. My car, many years ago had an engine fire due to a leaking carb dripping on the exhaust pipe. It caused the owner to crash into a guard rail and pretty much destroy the right hand side of the car. I had to replace the bonnet and side panels as the originals were warped. Consider yourself very fortunate. PJ
Paul161

Lonnie, post a photo of the split if you get a chance. Maybe something we could all watch out for.

Matthew.
M Magilton

Lonnie, I have a hunch that I can tell you how it happened. I started a thread on this about ten years ago, but I can't find it. Many (but not all) fuel line banjos are recessed at the outside edge where the banjo bolt goes through the banjo. The washers that you get for attaching the banjos have an inner diameter that is a good. snug fit around the banjo bolt and are large enough in o.d. to seal the gap between the banjo and the carburetor. HOWEVER, this o.d. may be slightly too large to fit into the recess where the banjo bolt goes into the banjo. You probably won't notice this and will find a slight fuel leak when you power up the fuel pump. The natural tendency is to crank down on the banjo bolt (distorting the washer) until the leak stops. It wouldn't surprise me to see this added torque causing the cover to crack. Bud
Bud Krueger

I broke one of my covers years ago, doing just as Bud outlined.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin

OK, definitively, which side gets the recess. I've noted the asymmetrical nature of the banjo but have just guessed at which side gets the bolt and which side goes to the whatever (carb, float bowl top, block [for oil lines], etc.). Thanks. Jud
J. K. Chapin

I found the split in my float bowl lid.

It is at the opening on the forward facing side at a mold joint. I couldn't see a split inside at the threads, but it must be there too.

> Matthew: See photo below.

> Bud: You're right that I probably over tightened the banjo bolt. I vaguely remember a leak at the banjo when I installed the new line almost two years ago. I tightened it a little over a couple of days until the leak stopped. Looks like it took almost a year and a half for the casting to finally split. It must have started about a month ago. That's when I started smelling gas, but thought that it was splashing out of the gas tank. Although, some club members helped me with my carbs about that same time - perhaps one of them added some extra torque to the banjo "just for good measure." Even so, it must have been very near the breaking point and would have failed eventually anyway. The fuel line probably vibrated constantly during the 125 miles at speed and finished cracking the lid.

I checked my banjo bolt, fiber washers, and fuel line. The fiber washer is a tight fit inside the brass banjo on the fuel line, but it does seat inside the recess. The bolt has a shoulder under the hex head (almost like a washer.) The shoulder is smaller diameter than the fiber washer OD. When it is snugged down into the lid, the hex head and shoulder do not contact the lid. The ID of the fiber washer is snug to the banjo bolt. So I believe that the only flaw was with me - from tightening too much. Of course, who knows how much previous owners also abused the inlet on the lid.

> Jud: I searched for SU documents that defined which side of the banjo should be recessed. Couldn't find any. However, the recess in the banjo on Moss FUEL LINE, carb. to carb. (16") #376-070 for my TF can only face one way ... away from the float bowl lid. So that means that the recess is on the same side as the head of the banjo bolt.

Lonnie
TF7211

LM Cook

OOPS - error. The split is on the rear facing side of the rear carburetor float bowl lid. The split faces the firewall.

Lonnie
TF7211
LM Cook

Lonnie, thanks. That seemed right to me so that's how I did it. Jud
J. K. Chapin

Jud -

We were right about the orientation of the banjo ...
http://www.jcna.com/library/tech/tech0006.html

See #X-B: "Inlet Banjo Orientation - SU Carbs"

Lonnie
TF7211
LM Cook

Ditto P Hehir. I carry a fire extinguisher ever since the car engine died and when I opened the hood the steel braid covered fuel line had developed an invisible, internal crack and was spraying gasoline over the exhaust manifold. I replaced the fuel line but with the same type (as I couldn't find another) but some day I want to replace it with something that won't hide a defect the way the steel braid line does. Just a rubber fuel line that you can easily inspect would be a better solution.
I'm going to check my banjos, this is a good thread...
Geoffrey M Baker

This thread was discussed between 23/10/2015 and 26/10/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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