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MG TD TF 1500 - Concealed Battery Switch

I own a 55 TF 1500 RHD with the 'Moss' green battery switch knob installed. At a recent car show, the judge gave me some feedback that it would be best to relocate ths switch inside the cockpit so the engine area mantains higher originality points.
I am looking for ideas on the best way to conceal the switch under the dashboard and what switch should be used.
Thanks for your assistance.
Tim Moylan

I just use a good toggle switch to the coil . switch off and the car will not start.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

The trouble with battery switches and kill switches is that it supposes that the taker will use a key to start it and drive away. A clip lead on the coil and a quick push start and away they go. I think even "The Club" is a better deterrent.

If you have a battery switch its better use is just to isolate the electric system in case of a short circuit.
JE Carroll

perhaps this is not anti theft, but wanting to remove the battery from the circuit while parked or stored.
tom peterson

I would leave it as is, and point out to any "judge" that it is a simple bolt on safety item, easily removable with no damage or modification to the car. Most clubs, including AACA encourage the use of such items, and do not penalize cars for their use.
Remember, these cars have a lot of live wires that are not fused. Any car should have these disconnect switches, and they should be used when the car is not being driven.
Any modification to the switch to conceal it or move it to the interior would modify the car,and hamper the effectiveness of this important safety feature. Just my $.02
D. Sander

I used to have one of those. The past few years I just don't tighten the ground cable and pop it off the battery when I park the car for the day. George
George Butz

Best theft deterrent is hidden switch for the fuel pump. That has worked for me. If they are going to steal it, and it won't start, they will come back with a different plan.
I had a switch on an Austin years ago that thiefs took. They got as far as the fuel in the carbs would allow. Not surprising that when it died they left it in the road. Surprising was that they ran to the nearest bar and were caught there!
My car was "gone" for about 30 minutes...wasn't hard to find, and of course, it fired right up when I got there with the police.
David Sheward

I'm not that familiar with a TF but this is where I put my switch. I use it mostly to disconnect the battery when I am working on the car.

Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

Thank you all for the feedback. I am not concerned about a theft deterent; just want to conceal the green knob to make the judges happy and also make switching off the battery easier.
Mort is it possible for you to email me a brief description of how you wired the switch to the battery? Thanks. Tim
Tim Moylan

I got em on both the TD and the TF for short circuit disconnect. I'm not all that big into judging but for any Bozo that didn't like it I'd personally tell him where he could hide it.


LaVerne, you hit the nail on the head.....
Tom Maine (TD8105)

I have found the cheapest way for a anti theft devise.
Used it on my model A fords also, despite several attempt by scum who wanted to steal my car .

I just take the the rotor from the distributor and put it in to my pocket if I have to leave the car somewhere overnight.
Gerard Hengeveld

Here is a sequence of three pictures.
In picture 1 you see a cable coming off the negative battery terminal( positive ground car). It goes down and appears to make a loop back to the starter switch.

Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

In picture 2 you see the line from the battery goes thru the side of the battery compartment and under the dash to the battery cut off switch. A separate lead comes off the other terminal of the cut off switch and back thru the battery compartment and on to the starter switch.

Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

Picture 3 shows what it looks like from under the dash. Just to the right of the heater you can see two grommets with the leads from the engine compartment. They go on up to the side of the glove box where the switch is.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

I have the green cut off on the battery as I want to cut to power off when not being driven. The reason is I do not want power going to the wiring. I also have a battery tender I use when sitting in the garage. I have not had any problems with the AACA judges and I am in the HPOF class.

Cheers, David
David Honness

Thanks for the guidance and pictures. Project begins this week.
All the best,
Tim Moylan

I did our wiring very similar, but I mounted the cut off switch to the "hoop" under the scuttle,, For me, I wanted to be able to get to the switch quickly, and once there is stuff in the g box, like gloves, small tools, maps, registration, first aid box etc, it wasn't convenient to mount the switch in there,...
The green switches are ok, but I had one fail on a tractor, look close and you will find the there isn't much of a contact area,,,,it got pitted very easily,,


You are right it does get messy in there. George Carlin once said that "stuff" always grows to fill the space available. When I get to refurbishing the mess the DPO made of mounting the glove box I will look at moving it.
Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

I have one on all my case easlily accesable from the drivers seat, but hidden from view. On my sedan I also wired the interior light to the cut off switch, so it would still work with the battery disconected.
Steve Carroll

Good day all:

I have acquired "kill switches" for both the TC and TD which closely resemble the one that "Mort" shows being concealed in the TD glove box. These are Pico, Part # 9450-11 units.

However; I have not attempted to instal them at present. Therefore; may I call upon someone, versed in "how to do it correctly" please post me a proper schematic or wiring diagram !

I do have a rough idea but that could, in my case, turn out to become catastrophic. I am neither an M.G. "Guru" nor an electrical wizard and will ask for help whenever it is required !

No offence intended, but I cannot clearly make out the cable routing, shewn in the three photographs submitted by "Mort", which should truly illustrate my ineptitude in fathoming this situation.

Should anyone care to respond to this communiqué, I may be contacted, off site, at: That should aid in avoiding excess web clutter.

Respectfully submitted:
Jack Emdall, TC6768/TD3191, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

Gerard Hengeveld has the best idea in my book for leaving a car over night, as in a motel/hotel parking lot and that is to pull the rotor out of the distributor. It only takes a few seconds to do and who carries a rotor for our cars in their pocket. Nothing will stop a pro from stealing a car, they'll tow it somewhere and stuff it in a trailer and it probably will never be seen again as a complete car. It'll be chopped up and sold as parts. Just my 2 bits. PJ
P. Jennings

Although PJ is correct there can be reasons for the kill switch besides theft. Whilst driving should you see vast amounts of Lucas smoke escaping from somewhere it would be nice to have a handy switch. When tinkering about the car it is also nice to have a handy switch. As to theft, it is just like securing your house. There is almost no way to prevent the true professional for doing his /her thing. We should just take reasonable measures against vandals, drugies and other demented sorts.
The hot lead from your battery goes to the starter switch. When you pull on your starter knob in the cab that starter switch closes and sends current to your starter motor. By interrupting that first lead from the hot side of your battery, with a kill switch, there is no power going to any device in the car.
Install your switch wherever you like.
Run a lead from your battery hot side to the switch.
Run a lead from the switch to the starter motor.
You are virtually done.

The reason my pictures are difficult to see is by design. On a quick look it looks like the cable goes from my battery to the starter switch but it really loops thru the firewall to the kill switch and back.

If you need more let me know.
Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

I was in too much of a hurry earlier. It should read:

Install your switch wherever you like.
Run a lead from your battery hot side to the kill switch.
Run a lead from the kill switch to the starter switch.
You are virtually done.
Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

Cheers lads:

Ah, yes ! The old Army trick of disabling a 3/4 ton, etc. Remove the rotar arm but, only in the case of the vehicle belonging to the bad guys, throw the ruddy thing away.

I opt for cock pit installation as it saves opening the bonnet everytime I park or work on it.

One thing I did forget, regarding fitting instructions, was the size of the lead wires one should use.

Is British 44 strand wire (U.S. 12 guage) compatible or should I go to British 65 strand wire (U.S. 10 guage).

Cheers all; respectfully:
Jack Emdall, TD3191, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

My highly technical answer is that I pick up some different lengths of battery cable at the local auto parts store.
Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

This thread was discussed between 02/02/2012 and 15/02/2012

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