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MG TD TF 1500 - Engine noise?

Took the grandkids out for a Sunday ride yesterday. Just a little 5 mile ride one kid at a time. During the first ride I heard a slight knocking noise when making a left hand turn under moderate power. Once headed straight it disappeared until the next left hand turn. There was no noise on right hand turns. I blamed it on the heat as it was 95 degrees and I figured it could be just knocking of the engine under such temps(wishful thinking and denial). Took the second grandchild out and the noise was there again, but louder. I slept on it and couldn't come up with any ideas.

Went out this am with the temp about 78 degrees and it was still there. It is a deep metallic noise. I removed the right front wheel and inspected the brakes and all parts for rubbing and also checked the wheel bearings. They all seemed okay. Then I added lube to the rack and pinion assembly and drove it. Still there. Checked all of the hardware and everything appears tight. When going straight or on a right turn there is no noise and the engine has plenty of power. Oil pressure is good and temps are about 85 degrees. When turning left and I back off on the throttle the noise goes away! It only appears when I'm under power and going left.

In summary, left turns under throttle cause a deep metallic rattle on the right side of the car. I cannot feel any rattle thru the steering wheel at any time. Engine performance is not affected.

This is a bigger problem than just the noise. I am going to Bristol, TN on Wednesday to show my 53 TD to try and get my Senior AACA award. Since the car runs, I will be able to drive onto the show field under its own power and be judged. Hopefully, I can get the award based on overall workmanship. They'll never ask to hear it turm left.

I'm not to worried about the show part. I'm really bummed because we are allowed to do laps at Bristol Motor Speedway. With the strange noise coming from the car I really don't want to travel around doing left turns although I probably wouldn't go much faster than 60 mph anyway. I've been wanting to do this for 6 months and might not make it. Does anybody have a clue as to what this might be? Obviously I don't have much time to fix it so hopefully it'll be some stupid little item. I'm at a loss at this moment for any ideas. In any event it has to be fixed. My wife and I had "Maggie" out to get ice cream a week ago and there was no noise at all. My wife, as do all wives, has really good hearing and would have noticed the noise. I'm really puzzled by this one. It seems that these cars always puzzle us on a regular basis.

Thanks in advance,

Mark Strang

Brake shoe? Brake drum contacting brake backing plate? Exhaust contacting chassis?

Hopefully it isn't the engine, but check your oil level just to be safe. If it's low enough, and you round a turn hard enough, you can starve the engine and take out bearings. It happened to a friend of mine and his TC.
Steve S


Check your engine steady and engine/gear box mounts. You may need to cant your engine toward your steering column and away from the carburetor side of the bonnet. Also make sure you have the proper clearance for the exhaust pipe by having the right spacer / bolt nut combination on the pipe at the gearbox mount. Check for the attachment of the exhaust pipe to the manifold. The brass nuts are almost worthless... replace with stainless steel.

Without hearing the noise... hope this helps.

Dave Braun

Check engine mounts, engine stabiliser, and anyplace anything is close to anything else - exhaust, air filter to bonnet, etc. On a left turn, the top of the engine tends to lean to the right, and it moves the same way under torque, opposite way off throttle.
Low oil/air pickup would show as fluctuation in oil pressure.

FR Millmore


So simple after getting the combined knowledge of everyone. I had checked all of the things mentioned EXCEPT the stabilizer link. It had loosened up apparently or I didn't have it tight initially. I simply moved it about 1/8th inch towards the steering column and the problem was solved!

I guess I'm now going get to do some hot laps at Bristol. I suspect that 55-60 mph will be "hot" for Maggie.

Thanks again for the quick responses. Now I have to get her cleaned up for the show.

Mark Strang

Had to add a bit of length to my engine stabilizer rod adjustment-fan would just touch the lower radiator hose clamp on left turns. Was a bit tough to spot. Hang in there. Dan
Dan Craig

Whew! I think we're all wiping the sweat from our brow for you. Glad it was so simple!
Steve S

Don't get too carried away on the high banking at Bristol and forget that your oil pickup may become starved for oil.

Dallas Congleton


I don't think that Maggie would even consider the high banking but that is a good point. Probably couldn't get her going fast enough to even get her up there to stay. Me thinks I'll keep her on the apron.

Mark Strang

You're welcome. Good luck!

Dave Braun

Mark. I also had the same problem as Dan Craig.
There is very little space between the fan and the lower hoseof the rad.
Thoralf. Norway TD 4490.
Thoralf Sorensen (TD4490)

I had a similar problem. Not sure it is an issue but worth thinking about.
My right front shock "thru shaft" was loose where it exits the housing. This gave a hard "knocking" sound but not felt in the steering wheel. I'd also check the mounting bolts. Could be loose.
Peter Dahlquist

Mark, You may have to hold "Maggie" back ;^)

Dallas Congleton


Great photo. I think that there is an order of magnitude of difference between Maggie and your car. She thinks like a lady, not as an aggressor! Maybe she'll surprise me. Women sometimes do things like that and surprise us.

Mark Strang

Not my car Mark, a shot from the Internet. I have a trailer queen like yours, but have driven it around Charlotte Motor Speedway, and I think it was me that was not the aggressor.
Good luck at Bristol
Dallas Congleton

You going to try bump-drafting? Seriously , glad you found an easy fix. Try to post some pictures or video, that would be really cool! George
George Butz

Drive it like you stole it!
Read the manual : "Whist cornoring robustly" (best 3 words in there) ...the little ladies like it that way!

Mark ...glad to hear you will make the event. could always go "anti-nascar" ...turnning right, turnning right!

David Sheward

Where in Va. are you? I am in Salem in case you are passing through and need anything. Number is in phone book.

tw hager


We're in Williamburg. Going to leave tomorrow to go to Bristol a day ahead of the start of the weekend activities. Sue and I are trying to golf all 50 states so we want to get there and play golf ahead of the circus. Haven't done Tennesee yet. We've got 37 states done including the hard ones like Alaska and Hawaii. This will make 38! I'll keep you in mind in case something unexpected comes up.

Mark Strang

You could always visit Niagara on the Lake, Ontario and play the first golf course in North America
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)


That would be a fitting end to the challenge.

Mark Strang

This thread was discussed between 08/08/2011 and 10/08/2011

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