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MG TD TF 1500 - Driveshaft Observations

Almost ready to reinstall the tub onto the53. Seemed like a good time to redo the driveshaft (propellor shaft if you insist). Put it on the bench and saw that the universal joints are not aligned:


Bud Krueger

Then proceeded to pull things apart, cleaned them up and installed a new set of u-joints. I'm still amazed at how the same u-joints fits every T-car, MGA and MGB. Upon reassembly I came across two things that I wasn't aware of: 1) alignment arrows stamped into the tube and yoke of the shaft assembly, and 2) the presence of a (now disintegrated) cork gasket under the dust cap.

I haven't found any reference saying that the driveshaft was painted. Any ideas on that? Hard to imagine that it's just left to get rusty.

Bud


Bud Krueger

Bud, I always prime and paint my drive shafts. I've never encountered any drawbacks because of it. Actually it's not only benificial by keeping the rust away, but it stays cleaner. I also try to get the greasable U joints when ever possible. PJ
P Jennings

The newest u-joint (Made in USA) has an interesting feature, the grease nipple is on the end of one of the bearing shells: Bud

Bud Krueger

Mine is Blue ...don't know if that is correct or not.

Been that way for a while as it is in need of some fresh paint.
(It might be black or red by the time you read this ...not sure I have any blue paint!)
David Sheward

Putting the nipple on the end is a good idea,, sure makes it easier to get to,,,, the only improvement would be to have a nipple on all 4 caps,, that way you are sure of getting grease to all of the bearings,,It always seems that when a U joint fails, there is one cap that is dry and rusty with destroyed needle bearings,,,

SPW
STEVE WINCZE

Nice idea. Actually other than location, the grease galley is still the same where all 4 bearings get grease. Only drawback is, with the fitting in the highest cylindrical force area, the Zerk ball must be cleaned before greasing, so no grit gets in there causing the ball not to seal. PJ
P Jennings

Bud, Satin black on the entire prop shaft. You can mask the ends of the u-joints.

Didn't notice / know about the alignment arrows. Pretty cool.

warmly,
dave

Dave Braun

I hate to imagine the vibration that driveshaft generated misaligned. VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
Jim Northrup

Remember, Jim, this is the car with the rebuilt engine where the builder only tightened up 3 wrist pins. Bud
Bud Krueger

"Didn't notice / know about the alignment arrows. Pretty cool."
Read WSM, Sec G6. Plus this is standard practice on such assemblies, not that the marks are always very clear. See Paul Hunt's MGB site for more.

All OE propshafts I ever met were originally painted scantily with cheap assed gloss black, no primer etc. Which is why they get rusty!
And why would you mask the U joint ends? Maybe to start things rusting? I smear grease or wax based rustproofing in the ends to prevent such, as this is the prime reason you cannot get old UJs out.


"Only drawback is, with the fitting in the highest cylindrical force area, the Zerk ball must be cleaned before greasing, so no grit gets in there causing the ball not to seal. "

You are supposed to ALWAYS clean any grease fitting before greasing it! Not doing so is sufficient justification for having your hands beat to death with the grease gun. Extensive surveys in industrial situations show that grit from dirty fittings causes more damage faster than lack of routine lubrication, which is why we now have to suffer no fittings on most things.

FRM
FR Millmore

Fletcher, I don't have rusty u-joints. I won't bore you with the obvious reason why. I also didn't read the workshop manual on the prop shaft. I knew they had to have their flanges aligned, I had it balanced, I was aware of the grease fitting relief, and I knew which way it went... and which bolts to use to attach it. I don't like to waste my time reading things I don't need to, I like to waste my time typing things on forums!

warmly,
dave
Dave Braun

Bud,
After looking closely at your alignment arrows,,, aahhmmmm,,,,, they seem to be maybe one spline off????
SPW
STEVE WINCZE

You are supposed to ALWAYS clean any grease fitting before greasing it! Not doing so is sufficient justification for having your hands beat to death with the grease gun. Extensive surveys in industrial situations show that grit from dirty fittings causes more damage faster than lack of routine lubrication, which is why we now have to suffer no fittings on most things.

Well, sorry I gave the impression that I grease dirty fittings. The average person might, might mind you, pick up a grease gun once every couple of months? I have valuable farm and construction equipment that gets greased every day. There are over 25 fittings on one tractor. They all get wiped before greasing. We use portable air grease guns to save time. Not everyone wipes those fittings and is the reason I mentioned it. PJ
P Jennings

Was waiting for that, Steve. The arrows are stamped in alignment with the same gender of spline on both places, ergo, they must be half a tooth away. Bud
Bud Krueger

FRM.
Cool ...black paint I have!
It will be black very soon.
Always wondered why it was blue....nothing else is.
David Sheward

PJ -
It's not that you gave the impression that YOU grease dirty fittings, it's that your explanation could lead folks to think that if the thing doesn't whirl about, then greasing dirty fittings might be OK.

Dave -
"I don't like to waste my time reading things I don't need to,"
Does x ray clairvoyance come with x ray vision? If you had told me 60 years ago how to decide what I don't need to read without reading it, I'd only be 28 years old now and would probably be rich. So, what's your excuse?

David - I think HiVis might now be a requirement on Ag PTO shafts now, and if you are going to dirt-track it, a lot of tracks used to require that they be painted white, 'cause they fell out a lot and were a serious hazard on the track.

FRM
FR Millmore

Fletcher,

My excuse is I studied prop drive shafts in college in my kinematics class (I skipped statics, you could back then, but I wish I hadn't). I remembered what I was taught and installed the drive shaft as I was taught. I saw no reason to revisit the procedure in a manual that may just confuse me (Queen's English and all). 18,000 miles in three years and it hasn't blown through the prop shaft tunnel yet, so I must have done something right.

Would you like to know what other sections I didn't peruse in the manual? I can probably list them for you.

I didn't read the section on water pumps when I rebuilt my water pump.

When I put in new axles, I skipped that chapter as well, but I did have the correct torque value.

I put the front end together without benefit of the manual as well (I did check the free spring length specs first though).

I assembled the brakes based on how they came apart, and the next day fixed a friend's brakes who managed to create trailing shoes in the front (he had trouble stopping the car).

I did the carburetors using the little card that came with the Burlen rebuild kit. They don't leak, and I get about 25-26 mpg, which I'm happy with.

I layed the wiring harness in based on logic, but I did look at the wiring diagram when I drew my own and ordered a semi 1953/1952 harness for my exact needs. It came from England.

I rebuilt the starter and the generator just looking at my pictures and the Moss Catalog.

There's some other stuff too, I would have to go look over my website to remember, but I actually have to get this Instruction for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) for this aircraft engine modification pulled together instead right now.

I'm building an MGB right now. It is a lot more complicated. I have looked at the WSM a little on that. I hope to have the engine start next week.

warmly,
dave
Dave Braun

Dave,

Must be you are still young enough to retain confidence in your ability to remember what you learned in college. I now ask questions here that I would not have given a second thought a few years back. Enjoy that wonderful ability, May it last you as long as you wish to put it to use.

Best personal regards,

Jim Haskins
J. M. Haskins

Jim,

Age is what you make of it. Now, I bring two pair of glasses into the shop sometimes, because I don't always know what my eyes will be doing. I try not to lean over the engine compartment too long, so I can straighten up once instead of walking in the house stooped LOL. I won't even go into how long I pause when I reach for a wrench because I left it on the bench I'm already working at.

But, I am young- 55 years right now. I still consider myself to have my learners permit on this stuff. And when I don't know something, I look it up. However, not knowing whether there were ARROWS on the drive shaft, (but still completing the job properly) is not something I or probably you need to look up, know, or even ponder. I still think it is cool that there are ARROWS, and if my MGB project wasn't in both sides of the shop I would probably have Tommy at home and I would have already crawled underneath to find the arrows, and then smiled. In fact, I'm delighted to know that the factory felt it was necessary to put on the ARROWS, but in a "Gosh, why did they bother with that safety wire" kind of way.

I bet if I crawl under your car tomorrow my friend, I'll see properly greased and aligned U-joints.

I always figure that everyone on this forum is my age, more or less. I'll continue to think that.

warmly,
dave
Dave Braun

Dave-
Well,
I was joking when I asked what's your excuse, but it might be premature. "Still completed the job properly"? "but in a "Gosh, why did they bother with that safety wire" kind of way?"
The arrows are both phasing and balance marks, there being two correct phase positions but only one correct balance. I've had freshly balanced (and correctly phased) propshafts come into the shop with the arrows not aligned (I filed the arrows off and made new ones to suit the new balance), and I've seen correctly phased shafts that were out of balance, which was corrected when the arrows were re-aligned.

If you are mechanically competent, which is clearly the case, you can do a lot without reading anything. More so if you actually learned EVERYTHING previously, and if you still remember it ALL. College professors don't know everything, so they can't very well teach it to students - "Them that can, do, and them that can't, teach." I personally had a lot of problems listening to Professors feed me theory with no understanding of how machines work, and it put me off Mech Eng, much to my financial detriment. Many of our friends here don't have that ability or experience, and should be given both the info and the technique to find it - RTFM!

I could build a whole car from raw materials, but if possible I still review any appropriate books when starting a job, or maybe afterward. I figure I get the advantage of untold years of experience and study from that reading. And it is precisely that reading that has given me that ability. I had figured out that there must be marks such as the arrows, and looked for and found them, long before I ever read about them.I don't even have a T series, or many other things I've studied the books for.

"And when I don't know something, I look it up"
My question was "how do you know what you don't know until you look?", another way of stating the old saying "it ain't what you don't know that's the problem, it's all the crap you know that ain't so."

There is nothing, aside from a few electrical gubbins, that makes an MGB any more complex than a TD, from a Mechanic's perspective.

Do you expect that anyone will bother to read your ICA? Or should they rely on what they "know"?

BTW, at 66 I'm more flexible (and totally pain free) than I was at 36, or 46 - guess why - Reading about how and what causes the problem and then fixing it, even if it is contrary to what the "Professors" tell us.
And I still tend to think of "us" as "kids", with lots to learn!

"When your hubris exceeds your competence, you are screwed."

All in fun and learning

FRM
FR Millmore

Fletcher,

When I don't know what I'm doing I look it up. That's how I know. If it breaks later (thinking fuel pump here) then I get a chance to learn more. But I acknowledge your point.

I doubt I'll build a car from raw materials. Can't see the point. But I might build an airplane from such.

The B is much more complicated, on a factor of at least two. Overdrive, instrument panel, rotten plastic, wire wheels (ok, that's my fault, but it is what it is now), disk brakes, a boot, fuel pump and battery at the 'wrong' ends, alternator, pressurized coolant, etc. I am not counting on the B to be perfect on the first drive, but it will be as perfect as I personally can manage before we take it to Chicago in July. I will further complicate it further by adding three relays, but that's because I can.

The ICA is required by the FAA. I'm a consultant DER. I have to play by their rules. I'm pretty sure only a third of the mechanics will read the ICA, of those, only 10% will benefit. The rest can handle the airwothiness on their own. But it was my joke to mention here (it is a manual :)

I'll start reading the manuals before a job if you start cutting a few people a bit of slack. Everyone's goals for these cars are different. Some of us are happiest driving trouble free, and some of us are happiest when something breaks. No one needs their hands broken with their own grease gun.

Still your friend, and appreciative of your special genius,

dave

Dave Braun

Dave,

Next time I am under there I will be looking for the arrows. If you get a call come by and pull me out by the feet. I won't require ant help if Im taking a nap.

Best regards,

Jim Haskins
J. M. Haskins

Jim,

I just looked at the MGB drive shaft I put new u-joints in a few years ago, while the 'wire wheel conversion that turned into a restoration' is close to getting her driveline put back in. Darn if I didn't get those ARROWS (very faint) in 180 degress out. Didn't seem to hurt the car though. I just reversed it to the correct orientation. One u-joint feels 'sticky' I think I'll replace it.

Don't you love crawling under your TD and with a rag gently clean off all the accumulated oil while you look for loose and frayed items? I sometimes think that if I croaked under there, not only would I be very happy, but I'm pretty sure no one would be able to tell...

warmly,
dave
Dave Braun

So much easier to reinstall without the tub. Bud

Bud Krueger

Pretty!

But what's the duct tape for? And are you going to get a bigger exhaust?

warmly,
dave
Dave Braun

Shucks, can't remember what the last application of the duct tape was. Give me a minute and I'll figure it out. That's the exhaust system that came with the car, ca. 1972. If it ain't broke, etc. That's another $300 that I don't have to spend to make it a drivable machine.
Bud
Bud Krueger

This thread was discussed between 02/04/2012 and 05/04/2012

MG TD TF 1500 index

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