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 - dead battery

went to take the TF out for a ride and found the battery flat. Its been sitting for a while so hooked up battery charger for several hours after which it fired right up. The ammeter was showing a charge output from the generator so figured I would take the car out for a run to put some juice back into the battery. Stopped for gas and the battery was dead...not so much as a click from the starter. Fortunately our cars have cranks and I was able to get going again and make it home. Tested the battery and all cells show flat and it wont take a charge. Any suggestion on a good replacement battery? Not looking to give Moss $200 plus for a tar top just heading to Sears for a replacement. Appreciate thoughts on a good one to get. thanks
jeff payne

How long did you leave the charger on the battery before removing it and taking the car out for a spin?
I'm thinking maybe it charged enough to start the engine but when you shut it down to gas up there wasn't enough power to restart it.

The generator on our engines takes forever to charge a battery as compared to the anternator type of charging systems.

Maybe all that's needed is more charging time, be sure you have the battery plates covered with water.
Most any Sears battery will do the trick, me, I opted to use the Optima 6 pack battery myself.

Hope this heads you toward a positive end.
L. B. Tyson

And that your driving experiences will no longer be negative.......
gblawson - TD#27667

.Jeff Two things come to mind from the symtoms you describe. The first and most likely is a drain on the battery. This is best tested with a clip-on D.C. ammeter, try first on the cable from the battery to the starter switch. Any other loads should show on the ammeter.

Second thought is the cable terminals at the battery. Remove and clean the inside of the clamp. This is more likely if you have the helmet type terminals. Also clean the outside of the battery terminal.
Hope this helps,
R. K. (Bob) Jeffers

as always thanks for the input. checked the battery with a hydrometer....its official all cells have given up the ghost. Will head to sears for new pace maker. Actually Gord you must admit that short of ones XPAG grenadeing the negatives are of a minimal variety and to be honest the smiles on passers by while hand cranking the car added some positives to the event!
jeff payne

Jeff, After you purchase a new battery you may want to buy a battery tender. Nice little item that keeps your battery charged while sitting for long periods of time. Works great on one of my other cars.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

Dan H: I am new to this sort of stuff, and assume that is the correct way to start a comment. If not, mea culpa. Was interested to know the name of the battery tender you use, as I would like to get one, and thought to piggyback on your experience. Thanks. RUSS

I have had good success with the following:

12-Volt 1 Amp BatteryMINDer Plus Model 12117

Manufacturer website:

Same product, lower price, can be found here:

Larry Shoer

Jeff, I have gone to the Optima gell type batteries from NAPA. For the last 20 years or so I've stuck with the NAPA 72 month type. Mainly because my brother in law owns the store. I think that the standard lead acid batteries they sell are pathetic and I've told him so. They rarely last past 3 years and fail totaly without notice. I had one in a truck about ten years ago that I drove across town to look at an MGB for sale and after looking at the car I got in the truck and went to start it and had zero juice. Could not even jump her to get it started. I now have a NAPA gel type in my truck ( about 3 years old) and have put one in the fork lift at my wife's business (about 4 years old) that would constantly eat one every two years. Out doors and a lot of starting for short runs. Also just put one in the MGB and one in the TF.The jury is still out as I haven't seen what the life is yet so I hope it was worth the expense.


I'll second the suggestion to use a battery tender. I put on the battery in our TD a little over a year ago, on a battery that is 6 years old and beginning to show its age by needing a charge if it sat more than a couple of weeks without driving. Shortly after starting to use the battery tender (purchased from Eastwood) I had an issue with the 25 year old sloshing compound in the fuel tank dissolving and gumming up the fuel pump check valves and the needle valves in the carbs. I finally got the tank back on this summer and when I tried to start the car, expecting many attempts of the starter grinding away, I had the very pleasant surprise of the starter spinning the engine over at a great rate of speed and the engine firing right off. Regarding which batteries are good, the Optima has to be at the top of the list, with the interstate batteries running a close second. Stay away from the Excide or any of the batteries made by them. Cheers - Dave

PS to Gordon - "And that your driving experiences will no longer be negative" - Groan :)
David DuBois

I let a specialist select a good battery from the vast supply available, of course looking black etc., and I never pay more than US$100. I have a trickle charger for when I am not driving the car daily and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made.

Denis L Baggi

Russ from NJ,

Are you planning on going to the New England MG "T" Registers GOF in Cape May NJ Sept 19th 23rd ??

Steve Wincze

STEVE: In answer to your question, I am indeed planning to go to the GOF in Cape May this September, and have registered. I "hope" to be able to take my TF, which should be finished the restoration process by then, and the GOF would be its first outing. Of course, all is dependent upon not only that, but also the demands of my business (semi-retired, but still keeping my hand in)and the various other demands which seem to crop up out of nowhere - not the least of which are grandchildren. However, I am about 60 miles north of Cape May, and was born down in that area - a nice area for MG drives, and I think everyone who attends will be favorably impressed. RUSS

I chose a mid range ($65.00) battery from Canadian Tire (have no idea who makes them)...put it in 4 years ago and it has been perfect...i try and drive the car a fair amount (every couple of days) and let the generator keep it charged (unlike alternators of course, they don't charge at idle)...anyway...for that amount I will just get a new one when it goes...have never had to charge it!
This winter I may try one of those solar units!
gblawson - TD#27667

Is a 1 amp charger about right to maintain the charge on our T's ir us 500 ma a better choice?
Jim Merz

Jim - More important than the charge rate, is the ability for the tender to shut off when the batery is topped off, then turn back on when the level drops below the optimum point. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

A TC owner near here and a local TD owner both had batteries explode- both were on "tenders". No idea what brand, or if they shut off. The TC blew when he pulled the starter- must have been quite a sight with the acid dripping into the footwell of the near-perfect TC. The walls of the battery were blown outward so it was stuck in the box. With the TC's lidded box, this may have been hydrogen build-up, blowing from a spark. (He had a quick-connect on the tender wire which just went through a tiny hole in the battery box so it was "sealed") The guy with the TD just found it had blown up at some point while in his garage. So make sure it turns off, and if you have a TC, take the battery box lid off to let it vent. George
George Butz

Dave D. I would think that the shut-off could be a limiter on the voltage rise as the battery approaches full charge. One description of a battery tender that I read somewhere said that the voltage was limited to 13.8 volts. This to me seems reasonable.

There is a company up in your area Dave called Ample Power. They make regulators for wind chargers on yachts. The kind that have three or four stages of charging. You might want to contact them for any info that might be pertinent to our discussion.

Information I keep getting seems to indicate that Optima batteries want a lower charge voltage than standard lead/acid. Anybody got any information on this??
R. K. (Bob) Jeffers

This thread was discussed between 23/08/2007 and 24/08/2007

MG TD TF 1500 index

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