Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - Clutch bearing

Some people thought when my engine cut out during the St. Patrick's day parade that it might be the clutch throwout bearing. It turned out not to be the case (I believe that the camshaft bearings were overheating as well as possibly the conrod bearings).
But here I am cleaning the engine bay with degreaser and staring at the clutch bearing.
Obviously, because it's right there and easily accessible, I should replace it NOW! Even though it looks pretty good. I'm comparing it to the photos on Dave Braun's site and it looks way better than that. Additionally, there is no wobble in the fulcrum bar, although there is significant end play. Can someone tell me how much end play there should be? My clutch release fork rod can be pushed side to side perhaps 1/16 of an inch or a bit more...
However, I'm wondering what other preventive maintenance I should do to the clutch while I have the engine out of the car.
Geoffrey M Baker

I replaced mine with engine out just because I could! One thing I would check if I had the engine out like you, although not "preventative maintenance", is examine the bolts and threads that hold the bell housing to the block and make sure they torque properly. I wound up having to pull the tranny off again to install helicoils because I didn't do this. Would have been a lot easier with the engine out!
efh Haskell

I would second Ed's recommendation to inspect the threads for the bell housing - engine bolts, particularly the ones in the sump. Threads in aluminum are very easily stripped and if there is any doubt as to the condition of the threads, get a Heli-coil or Re Thread kit and install coils now. The kit you want is for a 8 X 1 mm threads - a somewhat uncommon thread, but they are available from places like McMaster-Carr or MSC or even British Tools And Fasteners Cheers - Dave
D W DuBois

Good idea... I have a metric helicoil kit because the first work I did on the mg was to fix two stripped threads on the intake manifold...
Geoffrey M Baker

Geoffrey - I wonder if you might profitably get, read and refer back to the following books:

Factory workshop manual
Horst Schach: The Complete M<G TD Restoration Manual
New England MG T Register: The T-Series Handbook
Malcolm Green: MG T-series Restoration Guide
"Woody" Wood The XPAG EDngine

Also, the majority of questions asked on this forum can be researched in the archives, where a wide variety of authors have already answered most questions in many different posts, and in many different ways. My feeling is that this forum functions best in supporting owners when they cannot otherwise figure out how to do something, after searching all the available resources. That's why you will find so few "I did that, too" and "YES!" posts - we're all too busy out in the garage fixing something!

I DO know that we are all glad your engine is progressing.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

As a general policy I would always replace the throw out bearing and clutch when the engine is out unless it had just about no mileage...reason is're there and it's a pain to get everything out again to get at it later. Just my two cents.
MG LaVerne

Instead of HeliCoils, consider the use of a Product called Keen-serts. They are a hardened steel insert. They are easy to insert needing only a standard tap size to open up the hole. Then they screw in and lock in place. Generally cheaper than heli-coils (unless you already have the tap and tool), and cannot be over-torqued, and will never fall out. They are available in 8.00 X 1.00 size.
LD Palmer

A few yrs. ago when I was restoring my TD, I looked at the carbon throw out bearing and remembered the frustration of splitting a farmal tractor apart every year to replace the clutch bearing. Moss at that time had ballbearing unit,so I installed that. The car has been in many parades since with no troubles.Is there some reason they are no longer on the market.Would like to get one for my MGA I am restoring.
DL Rezin

In the archives I read up on bearings and it seems that the ball bearing units don't wear well compared to the carbon units, because the fork moves the bearing through an arc rather than a straight line. The carbon face of the old bearings can handle this well but the ball bearing units cannot.
Here's a link to one o fthe discussions:

LD, I'll look into those, they sound interesting. On the other hand, I have a full helicoil kit in 8x1mm size with lots of helicoils, so sometimes its better to stick with the bird in hand :)
Geoffrey M Baker

efh, Dave D, thanks for the sound advice... I found one of the bellhousing threads was completely shot, two others have no threads for the first quarter inch. The timing cover has also a drilled out bolt hole at the pulley. Not sure what I'm going to do about that one. Looks like at least one helicoil, possibly three.
Geoffrey M Baker

Yea! Glad you found it now. I guess I did learn something restoring a TD!
efh Haskell

In the bellhousing, there are about 3/4 inch of threads available. As I said, two have no threads for the first 1/8 - 1/4 inch. My thought is that these do not yet need helicoils? What do you think?
I just replaced the shot one, that looks great now! Thanks again!
Geoffrey M Baker

If the others have threads on the first 1/4" then I would helicoil them all! But I'm no expert!! Others will chime in I'm sure. Also, I used a torque wrench to tighten them. Don't remember the setting, but it's in the archives I'm sure. Maybe some Locktight blue as well(?)
efh Haskell

Geoff, Have you seen these? I have been looking at them and I may try one in one of the cars next time trans is out. Interesting.

C.R. Tyrell

I'm not sure, CR. A lot of people reported problems with the roller bearings, because the carbon faces of the old bearings are intended to wear, whereas the roller bearings have no provision for wear (that is addressed in modern cars elsewhere in the linkage). People also say they just fail prematurely unless perfectly centered. The Teflon on the ones you mention seem like a step towards addressing the wear issue, but the centering problem remains; as the fork moves the bearing, it traces an arc, not a straight line, so how can you perfectly center it?
I know little about the clutch, but this is what I've read...
Geoffrey M Baker

This thread was discussed between 29/03/2015 and 30/03/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.