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MG TD TF 1500 - Intake manifold

I've just removed the air filter and intake manifold preparing to work on the carbs.

Two things: looks like all four bolt hole threads are severely damaged; there is very little thread left. I'm suspicious that Past Owners may have been jamming the wrong bolts in but without any thread gauges I can't tell if these are original or modern metric or SAE. (The bolt heads have three different patterns on them). In any case as I say there isn't much thread left. I know this is not a part that needs to be under severe torque, and I might be able to get away with just putting it back as is, but I'm wondering what you all think... is this another job for a helicoil and some new bolts?

Second thing, what's the opinion on having this item chromed? It's very scratched and aged, but polishes up OK and would look, in my opinion, just great with chrome... what do you think?
G M Baker

Easier to polish... remember, working aluminum is about the same as working wood... you sand with (depending on how deep the scratches are) about 200 grit and go all the way to 800...then a 3M pad, then a metal polish (Autosol)....


As long as you have it off, take the time as Gordon says and polish it properly!,,, just like working with hard wood,,,, it is much more rewarding to explain that it is polished rather than chromed,,, (and a lot less expensive)

Steve Wincze

And if you come around here, I shoot people who chrome aluminum! Seriously, chrome works for a little while on alum castings, then starts to come off, and makes a real mess.
Put helicoils in it.

FR Millmore

To achieve a beautiful chrome part, you must have a beautiful part to begin with.
Scratches & gouges do not disappear with bright chrome, they get magnified as gross flaws.
Polished aluminum can be as beautiful as chrome and can be rebuffed as time go on.
jrn Northrup

This was just with Autosol without any sanding...


GM - The bolts for the filter elbow to carburetors are 8 X 1mm approx 7/8" long with a 1/4 Whitworth head. You can get a 8 X 1 mm helicoil kit just about anywhere helicoils are carried (they may have to order it for you) and considering that the 8 X 1mm thread is the most common one on the XPAG/XPEG engine, it is a worthwhile investment. For a comprehensive list of fasteners/threads on the XPAG/XPEG engines, see the chart, Fasteners for XPAG/XPEG Engines in the Other Tech Articles section of my web site at: Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Haven't tried Autosol yet but I have used Mothers Mag Polish and it works really well. Polish small sections at a time and wipe off, the cloth will be black but the aluminum will sparkle like chrome. A friend with an old motorcycle swears by it and all of his aluminum parts look like brand new.

Brian Smith

i agree with all here..polish and helicoil. regards, tp
tom peterson

I prefer a more satin look, very easy to do and maintain. I use WD40 and the maroon 7447 3M pads. Spray the WD40 on daily and let it soak for a few days, longer if there is severe corrosion. It soaks into all the pores, softens the white stuff, and displaces water; and stays in there for future protection. The pads can be used 'en mano', or cut into various sized squares and used as a buffing wheel on a slow speed motor. The corners of a fresh set are amazing for getting into corners and recesses. Once clean, WD40 on a cotton shop rag keeps it spiffy. I've used this for years on bikes, Jaguar engines, uncoated alloy wheels. Good on brass and copper fittings too.
WD40 is also excellent on rusty chrome. I have a Norton Commando that had 100% rust exhaust system, thought there was no chrome left but I sprayed WD on it for two weeks and then rubbed it clean with a shop rag - NO abrasives on chrome! When done, one muffler had some tiny rust pits, but everything else looked new from 3 feet away. Did all the alloy bits as above and got 2nd at a show, behind a 100 point plus resto, and ahead of several trailer queens - and I rode it 200 miles in the rain to get there.


FR Millmore

Nice bike Fletch, but you are not at all like what I pictured you.

By the way I a believer in Mothers Mag polish also. Sand her down to 1500 wet, rubbing compound and the finish with Mothers. Looks like chrome. PIA to do though.

You could try to retap the holes with a 8 X 1MM tap. You can get these taps at Ace HW for about $5.00, or you can get them from Moss for $25.00. Amazing markup that is an indicator of what they do, in general.
Mike Davis
MW Davis

OK, you've sold me, guys!

I took a series of files (I bought about a thousand metal files at an estate auction once for $25, and find that using metal files will work faster and they last far longer than grades of sandpaper, and I have some very fine fines) and took out all the deep scratches, then the pitting, then moved to 320 grit sandpaper, then steel wool pads down to #000.

Amazing! Looks quite spectacular. I'm not quite done yet so I won't post a pic yet. I'll helicoil the threads as I do think it won't hold for long given the poor state of the current threads.

FRM, here's my last project, my biodiesel motorbike I built over the past two years. Rode it from MX to Canada on 11.24 gallons of fuel this summer.

G M Baker

And here is the manifold all nicely filed, sanded, wirewooled, buffed and polished.

I'll check for helicoils.

G M Baker

Excellent job. You rarely find anyone today who knows how to use a file. I file bits of metal smooth and straight for relaxation!

A;so, superb choice on the diesel bike. As a fellow RE owner, I gotta approve! Is he a thumper or a two hole motor?

Could you email to above address? I would like to know more.

FR Millmore

This thread was discussed between 10/11/2009 and 13/11/2009

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