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MG TD TF 1500 - Carb Tickler Button Missing

My front carb has the tickler, (I guess that's what it's called), missing. I guess I'll have to fabricate a plug from aluminum to seal it up. Funny thing though, the back carb doesn't even have a place for one. Is this normal?
Oh yes, the Jubilee clips are on. Not cheese heads, but will have to do. PJ

P Jennings

Paul, you can buy the pins new or if you have some old junker B carbs, the piston lifter is the same thing. I might even have one laying around some where. If your going to the trouble to get the proper clips then you may want to get the correct float bowl lid also. Do the JB Weld but still have the correct appearence.

LaVerne, Are you saying that both carbs are supposed to have the buttons, or is the front cap wrong? PJ
P Jennings

it is best to have no tickler results!
I always remove and seal up the hole or add an o ring to keep the petrol from escaping
Terry Sanders

That's what I intend to do Terry, but for appearances, I would like to know if both carbs are supposed to have one? They will be sealed, I just want them for looks. I want no gas spilling out of those carbs!
P Jennings

hey guys, there has been a lot of anecdotal discussion about the ticklers and fires, etc. does anyone have DIRECT experience with this happening? not friend of a friend, etc. thanks. regards, tom
tom peterson


I did not know there was a problem with the ticklers until I read the comments on this board. I have had my TD for 38 years and have never had a problem. Have they leaked, yes. Maybe I have been lucky but being Irish with some Scots mixed in so far so good. Does it make sense that gas on the hot manifold is a probblem, well yes but if I hear the fuel pump ticking like crazy before starting I turn the key off and check the carbs. Doesn't happen very often and usually when the engine (manifold) is cold. A worse problem would be having the drain pipes cut too short and having them exit onto a hot manifold.

James Neel TD28423

To answer your question, yes, if one carb cover has a tickler pin, then both carb covers should have a tickler pin if you want them to match...conversely you can get another cover without a pin to match the other cover.
Gene Gillam

I have seen a number of MG's that had engine fires, but can't honestly say if it had anything to do with the tickler pin.

I still have both of mine. I can see that if the needle valve failed, you could get fuel up that high, but would you not also have a similar fire issue from the fuel going out the overflow pipe? It still is going to be blown back to the exhaust pipe?

Gasoline has an auto ignition temperature o 246280 C (475536 F) Wonder what the temperature is of the exhaust manifold at different places on the manifold or down pipe?
Bruce Cunha

I have been driving English cars since my 1937 Morris 10 purchased in 1947 during high school. I have never seen the need for using a tickler pin on a car. My English motor bikes are a different thing. My 48 Triumph speedtwin and 1950 Tiger 500 always need to be tickled to start in the cold Canadian fall and spring.

I have personally seen two fires on T cars when the floats got stuck and the float bowls flooded. A third was observed to be pouring gas over the manifold and shut down on startup before it was hot enough to self ignite.

If the overflow pipes are correctly installed no gas will get to the hot regions on flooding, provided that the tickler pins don't leak

Later versions of the float bowl cover for our SU's sealed the pin hole as you have seen on one of yours to fix the engineering goof.

Just because you haven't had a fire probably means you have never had bad flooding or are very lucky.
Don Harmer

Moss carries the pins (piston lifter pins) under P/N 375-045. the ones I got some years ago had seals with them which prevents fuel from escaping around the pins. I have not had any problems of fuel spurting from around the pins on our TD.

James Neel - your problem of the float bowls not shutting off after the car has been sitting for a period of time sounds like a misadjusted float lever drop level, in which it drops so low that it traps the needle and the float can't rise with the fuel level. To fix this situation, see the article, Float Lever Drop Adjustment in the Other Tech Articles on my web site at: Note: this is a totally different adjustment than the float level adjustment. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Grew up with ticklers on Amal carbs. British bikes, y'know. Still have a Beezer.

Wife couldn't get '51 fired up in the frigid temps to park it at our shop and wore the battery down. In all fairness, the "enrichener cable" broke a long time ago and I haven't replaced it. Had to drive home, grab the enrichener in one hand, tickle it with the other and it fired right up!

Never thought about the fire risk! Nice thing about blowers, the single carb cuts the odds by one half, and set back farther away from exhaust manifold will let me sleep a bit easier.
Jim Northrup

What carbs would have the bowl covers without the tickler pins? Amazing I have one carb with and one without a pin, but both carbs are the same numbers. Would they have been on another British engine other than an MG? PJ
P Jennings

This is strange. Here's a photo of the underside of the front carb top with the hole for a tickler pin. The hole is plugged! Not saying it is, but it appears to be part of the casting. So, bottom line, both carbs are sealed. I have some old B carbs and I'll get a pin from one of them, epoxy it in the hole and it'll look like it's supposed too. What do you think? PJ

P Jennings

Top shot. Haven't cleaned the carbs up yet, but they work perfect.

P Jennings

P Jennings,

The DPO installed a replacement cover without a pin hole.
Both covers fit a variety of SU carb models.

For a time if you bought a new cover, you could only get the later cover as they were no longer making the earlier cover for the pin.

Both types are now available

A caution, for those unfamiliar with the overflow system, be sure that you have the special fiber washer between the float bowl cover and the overflow banjo, or it will not vent to the overflow.
Moss part # 370-160, item 13, page 8, see the diagram

The washer has cutouts to let the fuel past into the overflow banjo.

Don H

Don Harmer

Thanks Don for that tip. I'll get a new set of the proper washers. The bolts are kinda chewed up, so I'll probably replace them also. Do it all at once. PJ
P Jennings

This thread was discussed between 08/12/2010 and 09/12/2010

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