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MG TD TF 1500 - Fuel line material


I was showing my '53 TD at an AACA show in Bristol, TN recently (was awarded a Senior) when one of the judges questioned me on the fuel line from the pump to the carbs. He didn't think that the lines should have the stainles braid over the rubber hose. He felt that it was not original. Now, I had never even thought about it and simply ordered new lines from Moss and installed them. I pointed out that in the interest of saftey that they should be braided. He didn't buy that and I think that I was docked some points because I couldn't verify that item. Does anyone know for a fact whether or not these lines were braided from the factory? The WSM appears to show a plain hose, but then those sketches are sometimes not in the best of detail. If the judge was correct what are my options? I don't think that the points deduction was great, but I am really curious now. Also when I show the car at higher levels, every point counts.

Thanks, Mark
Mark Strang

If you look at Chris Couper's "The Original MG TD midget" site there are a number of photos of an original TD.

The one shot does show a rubber looking hose from the fuel pump to the carbs.


Roy Challberg

The two less-than-30,000-mile cars I have owned had very old (exceedingly brittle and leaky) braided hose, similar to the blue-twist braided Moss hose. It was obviously neither stainless nor teflon, but I have not personally seen an original rubber hose on an un-restored car. Fuel lines are an obvious-need replacement item that can't be rebuilt, so replacement with what is available is the only option. I've never seen an old rubber hose with the original swaged ends, just FLAPS ordinary fuel line on incorrect male barbed fittings.

The 34,000-mile TD that Gordon Lawson so beautifully photographed has an obviously-replaced rubber line from the pump to the carbs (with hose clamps), and a braided hose from float bowl to float bowl.

I'd go with the braided line, no matter what. Perhaps Mike Goodman can answer authoritatively?

Tom Lange
Bar Harbor, Maine
t lange

I'm going to generalize a little bit more: most of the even semi-original cars I have owned have had replaced hoses from the pump to the carb (rubber or clear hose with hose clamps), but braided hose from float bowl to float bowl. That would suggest that the lower-pressure braided hose is likely to be original.

t lange

I don't know about originality and I have the Moss supplied braided fuel hose on our TD, but when I first bought the TD (1974) it had a plain rubber hose from pump to rear carb and a solid copper pipe from rear to front carb. Since the pump to rear carb hose looked a bit worse for wear, I had a new one made up at a hydraulic shop, complete with swagged ends. I suppose that the Moss supplied braided teflon hoses are not a problem, but the non teflon hoses supplied for the MGBs are a hazard in that one can't see the actual hose and I had one fail on me (fortunately in the garage). When I took it off, the hose under the braid was hard and crumbly - I replaced it with a plain, uncovered hose. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

I looked at my unrestored TF pictures. The carb to carb is braided, like the new replacements. The copper fuel line (remember the pump is in back on the TF) to back carb was rubber- not original- with screw-type hose clamps. George
PS- David D, some years back, Moss recalled a bunch of braided fuel lines as they failed like yours. That is when they came out with the teflon ones.
George Butz

Mark, the judge was correct and was sorta doing you a favor by privately pointing out a specific deduction item.

The stainless braid hose that Moss, and others, sells now is larger and lacks the coloration and the stripe that was in the original.

The originals were also a smaller outside diameter- 7/16 inch, while those bright stainless ones now available are larger in diameter.

I have attached a photo of two very early NOS hoses. These are applicable to the TD from the pump to the carb and from carb to carb.

As you will note there is slight variation between these two in the stripe that follows the braid, and a slight difference in color.

It has been reported that there were variations during production also, do to different suppliers, but they should be the same on a given car.

Either of these would satisfy judges as "original" type.

Most people ferret these original ones out on eBay or from NOS suppliers, but then reserve them for installation on the show field only as the inner lining material could be 50 years old or more.

Dallas Congleton


Thanks for the info. I guess that I"ll go with your recommendations if I can find them on ebay. Since I put on, change out, and take off various items before a big show,I guess one more item is no big deal. Now I just need to find them.

Thank all of you for your input.
Mark Strang

Mark - Perhaps I mis-read your original post. I thought you were saying that the judge claimed that NO braided hose, whether stainless or not, is correct. IF that is what he said, I disagree, based on the ownership of many T series cars, and agreeing with Douglas above.

Could you clarify, please?

If the judge felt that the STAINLESS covering of the braided hose was incorrect, then I agree. But I wouldn't trust my life a single mile with an original hose. If you drive your car at all, use a Moss stainless/Teflon hose.

Tom Lange
Bar Harbor, Maine
t lange

They are "Petro Flex" lines, made by Smith's. The metal braid was galvanised, which is why it gets darker with age. NOT stainless as often stated, and stainless will never look right.

Originally invented by "Petro Flex Tubing Co Ltd", absorbed by Smith's.
Obit of inventor here:

Google Petro Flex turns up a wonderful assortment of old ads, daring back to 1922, mostly aviation related.

Barney has an interesting page as related to MGA, and I believe that T series were the same, possibly braid differences. I am not entirely sure that Barney;s statements re the tracer are correct. Tracers are commonly used in the industry to mark polymer compositions or other construction features.

This hose is still available in the clamp-on lengths as used on MGB and similar, up to at least 18", so there must be a roll someplace. You could get it crimped using correct end fittings.

Also, the braid will come off the old hose, and could be fitted over a modern fuel hose and recrimped on the old fittings. The braid will expand or contract to fit slightly different diameters, though this will alter the helix characteristics slightly.

FR Millmore


I guess in thinking about it, the judge could have said that the stainless was the problem. I'll keep working on this since it has me intrigued. If I could find the hoses it might be worth it to change them on the show field after the car is positioned and then remove them before leaving. Stupid to have to do that but maybe that's how the game is played. I agree that it most likely would not be safe to use these old hoses. On the other hand, since it is a replaceable, maintenance item it should be allowed based on the fact that new and safer materials are a good thing.

Mark Strang

Mark, if you find a set of original or old replacement types, you could leave the new ones on the car, but have the "correct" ones on hand and show them to the chief judge, explaining the safety concerns. I am sure this would be accepted (as long as the old hoses you have are of the correct time period - if not you may muddy the waters even more ;^) )
Dallas Congleton


I think that you might be right. I have the photos and info on them if the issue comes up again. It has made for an interesting study. Always something new.

Thanks for the help.

Mark Strang

This thread was discussed between 05/09/2011 and 06/09/2011

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