THE RESTORATION OF TC-1576

PAGE 2 - “THE CHASSIS AGAIN”

I did not work on the car from mid September until now since I was busy building VW steering kits for TC's. There was also Christmas and New Years with all those activities that delayed my return to working on the car. Here it is late in January and I have a parade to be in on March 13th. Time to get to work!

January 22, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen; THIS is the TRUE beginning of THE RESURRECTION OF TC-1576!

In my humble opinion the definition of BARE FRAME is: Bare of all parts and with no paint!

Check this out:

January 23, 2010

The first order of business with the bare frame is to add a piece of gusset in an area under the drivers seat. This is indicated in the book “TC's Forever”. I have also noted and area on the frame where there is a very old welded repair that I am going to clean up a bit. Then she is ready for paint. I have chosen to use paint rather than Powder Coat. I like Rust-oleum Ultra Cover which is a very tough durable paint and in the future if it is necessary it will be very easy to touch up. I was very pleased with the media blasting that I had done. The frame is really clean. I have taken some measurements and the frame seems to be very straight and true. I believe this will be an excellent frame to build on.

The plan remains to have the chassis running by March 13th for the Colorado Springs St. Patrick's day parade. We will see how it goes. My philosophy is that Zebulon Pike made it from the East Coast of the United States by putting one foot in front of the other, I shall put one part on after the other. One day it will again look like a 1946 MG-TC.

January 24th, 2010 to February 4th, 2010

First I painted the frame. As stated previously, I chose to use paint rather than Powder Coat. I like Rust-oleum Ultra Cover which is a very tough durable paint. In the future if it is necessary it will be very easy to touch up.

And now, the reassembly begins. As I stood there looking at my freshly painted (no longer bare) frame I decided that the first part to add whould be the VW steering bracket. So that's where I begain. Of course it must be simultaneous with the right front brake line bracket. 

The following album has more details:

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January 24th, 2010 to February 4th, 2010 continued

The last couple of days I have been working on the Pumpkin. I have had a set of TA gears for a long time and decided that now would be a good time to install them in the pumpkin. You can see in the second picture that when I disassembled the Pumpkin 24 ball bearings fell out. One of the bearing cages was intact and the other was in three pieces. I have heard, ever since I have owned a TC, that these bearings should be replaced with tapered roller bearings. Now we can all see why!

The tapered roller bearings to be used in the Pumpkin are:

#30207 - 2 required - 1 on each side of the Crown wheel.

#32305 - 1 required - In the front of the Pinon gear.

#30305 - 1 required - In the rear of the Pinon gear.

When installing the tapered roller bearings on the Pinon gear you must create a new spacer between the inner races of the front and rear bearings. This spacer must be the precisely correct length, and I mean PRECISELY! The spacer can be seen in the first picture on the shaft above the bearing #30305:

The process for this is to install the front bearing into the Pinon housing and the rear bearing onto the Pinon shaft with the bearing. I created a spacer that was about .020" too long. I used a lathe to reduce the length till it fit with only a couple of thousandths excess. The next step is trail and error. One must be very careful not to remove too much material from the spacer. If you remove too much the assembly becomes too tight and the bearings will fail. To begin you put the assembly together and check to make sure that it is too loose. You then disassemble the assembly and remove a small amount of material from the end of the spacer, put it all together and check. If it is still too loose you take it all apart again and remove a small amount of material then put it all together and check. This process is repeated over and over and over again till the spacer is PRECISELY, the correct length. When you get close you will not feel any looseness in the assembly.

The spacer is the correct length when you can place a one pound weight exactly 5 inches from the center of the Pinon shaft and the assembly is tight enough that it will not turn. If the distance of the one pound weight exceeds 7 inches from the center of the Pinon shaft then it is too tight. I chose to get it exactly between 5 and 7 inches. My friend Bob Rich has a special tool which measures this exactly. It took about 3 hours of trial and error but I finally got almost exactly between 5 and 7 inches. You can see in the second picture that the weight is supported at 6 inches. When we moved the weight just a fraction of an inch further out the assembly could no longer support the weight. One final disassembly, a thorough cleaning of the assembly, reassembly and a final test confirmed that we had it right!

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January 24th, 2010 to February 4th, 2010 continued

The pictures here show that I did indeed turn the shackles on the rear springs over and installed the rear axle housing.

And that's it for today. Tune in again tomorrow for the ongoing saga of TC-1576!!!

Things to do in the near future;

  1. Tapered roller bearings in the front hubs.
  2. Complete the assembly of the front end.
  3. Complete the assembly of the pumpkin.
  4. Install the pumpkin.
  5. Install new rear axles. (half shafts)
  6. Install the new rear axle nuts with lip seals.
  7. Rebuild the master cylinder.
  8. Complete the assembly of the hard brake lines.
  9. Install new rubber brake lines.

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February 4th, 2010 to February 7th, 2010

One thing that I am constantly finding is that it is very time consuming to first clean a part, remove all grease and paint, then re-paint said part, then install said part, then paint touch up the paint and paint the bolts that secure said part. For what it's worth, I am cleaning all paint, grease, and rust off of each bolt, nut, and lock washer. I have often quit for the evening looking a bit like Al Jolson!

The first thing that I did since the last installment was finish and install the Pumpkin. After the Pinon gear and housing were set with the proper pre-load the Pinon had to be installed into the pumpkin, but it had to be installed in the right position. The front face of the Pinon gear had to be installed precisely 96.86mm from the center line of the crown wheel. This took some time and some shims between the Pinon housing and the pumpkin case. Next the ring gear had to be installed into the pumpkin housing. After installation the ring gear had to be adjusted for lash. That is the forward and backward movement. This assures the correct interface between the ring gear and the crown gear. Once it was all adjusted and correct, I installed the pumpkin into the rear end housing.

Then I moved to the front of the car. I had the stub axles in my spindles replaced with new ones. The original stub axles on the TC are not made from the best steel and on occasion they crack thus allowing the wheel to leave the car! That can be very hazardous to your health.

When installing the spindles I used new King Pins and made sure that there was no up and down movement of the spindle on the King Pin. On one side of the car I had to remove .003" (that's 3 one thousandths of an inch) from the bushing that goes between the spindle and the axle. On the other side of the car I had to add .013" (that's 13 thousandths of an inch). For reference human hair is about .002".

I am finding that the details take time, but I believe that the details make the difference between a car that looks nice and a car that both looks and drives and runs nice! I am still working on my goal of having the chassis running again by March 13th for the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

My next project will be to clean the front brake backing plates and install them. I will then install the front hubs. This will require the making of a shim to go between the new tapered bearings. More on that when I get it done.

Things still to do in the near future:

  1. Tapered roller bearings in the front hubs.
  2. Complete the assembly of the front end.
  3. Install new rear axles. (half shafts)
  4. Install the new rear axle nuts with lip seals.
  5. Rebuild the master cylinder.
  6. Complete the assembly of the hard brake lines.
  7. Install new rubber brake lines.

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February 8th, 2010 to February 13th, 2010

Since the last installment I installed the brake backing plates for both the front and rear axles and completed the brakes and lines. I have also installed the rear wheel bearings and the nuts with the lip seal. Now I am waiting on the rear axles. I also installed the Tie Rod and am currently working on the Tapered Front Wheel Bearings.

Do you remember those rivets that I removed from the right front of the frame to install the VW steering bracket? Well, I found a use for them. There were three empty holes left in the frame from removing the stock BC steering bracket, soooo...... I used a bit of Permatex Form-a-gasket (hardening type) and put the two rivets into the empty holes. I had to make a third rivet from a 3/8 bolt. The Permatex will hold them in place and make the side of the frame look factory and they will be removable at a later time if a future owner wants to go back to the stock steering.

Starting to look like a chassis now!

Still to do in the near future:

  1. Finish Tapered roller bearings in the front hubs.
  2. Install new rear axles. (half shafts)
  3. Install the brake drums
  4. Rebuild and install the master cylinder
  5. Connect the brake pedal.
  6. Install the Shocks
  7. Install the wheels
  8. Set the car back on the ground!

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February 14th, 2010 to February 18th, 2010

THE CHASSIS HAS TURNED FINAL FOR LANDING!

Hello again friends. Well, here is what I have done since the last update:

  1. Finished Tapered roller bearings in the front hubs.
  2. Installed new rear axles. (half shafts)
  3. Installed the brake drums
  4. Rebuilt and installed the master cylinder
  5. Connected the brake pedal.
  6. Installed the Shocks
  7. Installed the wheels

The process of converting to tapered front wheel bearings is very similar to the process of fitting the Pinon Shaft in the pumpkin. This process would be much easier and quicker with the use of shims, but I preferred to make new spacers and make them fit. The new spacer was made from a piece of 1 1/4" steel bar stock. One end is drilled smaller than the other to allow the spacer to fit fairly closely at the small end of the axle. The first picture below shows the pieces. I found an article on the TABC website which explained the process of doing the conversion, however there was a part that I decided to do differently. The article on the TABC website said that when done the end plan on the hub should be between .002" and .005". That seemed a bit loose to me. I ask the TABC group what they thought and had several answers that varied from having the same amount of pre-load as the Pinon Shaft to the .002" - .005". I finally decided to go in between. My logic is that either extreme will apparently work and it seems to me that there should be some difference between bearings running in oil and bearings running in grease. The bottom line is that I set mine at zero. No preload, but no clearance either.

TIMKEN BEARINGS - FRONT 2 each 30205 and 30304

TIMKEN SEALS - 2 each 470625

The next project was rebuilding and installing the Master Cylinder. I had a Master Cylinder which was identical to the TC Master Cylinder, but just a bit taller. My stock Master Cylinder was not in great shape. The one that came with the car was an aftermarket one. Anyway, the one I used being just a bit taller will make it easier to fill with fluid. Any of you who have ever put brake fluid into a stock TC Master Cylinder know that crawling into the drivers foot well and trying to hit the cylinder when pouring the brake fluid will understand how much easier the taller one will be to fill. OK, it's not stock, but at least it is the right kind. Who can see it anyway.

The last major project was the rear axles. My friend Martin Willis (Martins web site)  made the axles for me. I already had a pair of brand new hubs so I decided to go with splined axles rather than the popular tapered ones. Martin turned the differential end of the axle down and tapered it up to the diameter of the axle. The idea of this is to allow the axle a longer area to flex. The weakest point is at the end of the splines and basically reducing the OD of the axle allows it a greater area to flex, rather than concentrating the flex in one very small area. I was planning on using the speedy sleeves to seal at the hub end of the axle but we decided to make our own. By doing this we were able to make a sleeve that was an interference fit with the axle and thus did not need to use any cement to hold the speedy sleeve. In the fourth picture below you can see where I marked our sleeve and inserted it. The line that you can barely see was scribed by the actual nut/seal which I purchased from Doug Pelton (Doug's web site).

TIME FOR A COMMERCIAL PLUG HERE!

My friend Doug Pelton (Doug's web site) has been a tremendous help to me on this project. His suggestions and his storehouse of parts have been very helpful. THANK YOU DOUG!

My friend Martin Willis (Martins web site) has also been a tremendous help. Martin has made both my front axles and my back axles. He has also made some of the key parts to the VW steering kits that I have been selling. Martin does not have the specific knowledge of our cars that Bob Grunau and Roger Fruneaux have, but I consider him a highly skilled machinist, with a great deal of automotive experience. THANK YOU MARTIN!

My friends Bob Grunau [grunau.garage@sympatico.ca] and Roger Furneaux [roger.46tc@virgin.net] have also been a tremendous help. Both have offered their experience and incredible knowledge of our cars. THANK YOU BOB AND ROGER!

Without the help of these four friends, my car would not be what it is becoming! I highly recommend each and every one of them.

I must also thank my wife Anne! She has put up with an incredible mess, my grumpy/frustrated moods, and my very odd hours! THANK YOU ANNE!

This is not to say that these are the only people who have helped. There have been many others who I have not mentioned that have also been a great deal of help to me. Many members of the TABC list have offered their advice and ideas freely.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

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February 19th, 2010 to February 20th, 2010

THE CHASSIS HAS LANDED

What a relief. The chassis has now been stripped to the bare frame, repainted, reassembled with new rear end gears and all new bearings in the front end and the rear end, and a rebuilt Master Cylinder!

Now for a good shop cleaning and putting tools away etc.

Then I can begin with installing the engine, the wiring, the scuttle, and the VW steering! Followed by the body, fenders, interior, and the rest of the car, of course.

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February 21th, 2010 to February 28th, 2010

Then the new wheels arrived. Many of you will not approve of the chrome wheels, but again it is an easy thing to change, and it does no harm to the car. I know chrome wheels are a bit glitzy but I like them and so does my wife.

THE SCUTTLE HOLES:

My scuttle was a mess. I was able to identify 14 extra (non original) holes, including one that was an inch big. Someone on the TABC email list suggested that “maybe a previous owner got a new electric drill for Christmas.” How ever they got there it was time for them to go. I got out my MIG Welder and went to work.

To determine which holes stayed and which holes went I contacted my friends on the MG-TABC email list. Several folks told me to check the book "TC's Forever" and there I found a very nice picture which identified the original holes. Another TABC friend sent me a chart from another source which I also used. The two sources agreed, with the exception of several holes in the "toe board". I determined that the discrepancy was the holes for the studs that the carpet attaches to on the inside so I left those holes.

In the following pictures you will see that there were 21 holes in my scuttle that I questioned. 14 of those holes were welded closed.

Well, that's about it for now. I have 12 days left till the St. Patrick's parade. I certainly don't expect to have the car finished, but I do believe I can have it running and drivable by then. The next project is to paint the brake drums body color, which is British Racing Green, of course. I will then put the tires on my new wheels, install them, then begin installing the wiring harness.

Lots to do, but it has been going well!

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February 29th, 2010 to March 12th, 2010

The next issue I decided to address was a leaking soft plug on the side of the engine. This is the second soft plug problem I have encountered with this overhauled engine. You may remember from my earlier post that this engine was overhauled, possibly 25 years ago and had never been run till last September. When I knocked the soft plug out I found rust! Lots and lots of rust! I decided it would be prudent to remove the rest of the soft plugs and try my best to wash the inside of the engine as best I could. One of my MG friends, Walter, loaned me his pressure washer and fortunately we had a fairly nice day so I pressure washed the inside of the engine.

Did I mention that I painted my brake drums what is going to be "body" color. I think they look nice with the chrome wheels, and will look even better when the car is finished. There are those who cringe at the thought of painting brake drums anything but black, however there are others that say that this was a dealer option. Whatever the case, I happen to like them, and it is my car!

After the brake drums and engine cleaning I started in on the wiring. I am really glad that I don't have to do that again. Time out here to thank Doug Pelton for the 33 pictures he emailed to me showing how to route the harness. I had no idea what was correct. My previous car had a home made wiring harness and on this car it was not installed when I got the car. Well, it is in now!

An area that I was a bit concerned about was on the left side of the frame where the harness passes the hand brake mechanism. It looked to me like there was a serious potential for the harness to rub. I made myself a small bracket to prevent this.

The main harness is in, but look at all these wires that go to the instrument panel!

I still have some things to hook up here.

The next project was the steering. I installed my VW steering box and decided to modify the Pitman Arm in such a way as to allow the Drag Link End to ride on top of the Pitman Arm, rather than hand down from it. I also used a VW Drag Link End rather than a TC Drag Link End at the Pitman Arm. The left end is still TC. This required the fabrication of a new Drag Link. My friend Martin Willis came in handy here!

Just a bit of wiring left to hook up and I am finally ready for the parade. Well, not before I added my badge bar and Brooklands Screen.

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March 13th, 2010! - Finally! PARADE DAY!

JUST 50 DAYS FROM A “BARE FRAME” TO “CHASSIS IN A PARADE!!”

The seat was just a bit too high and too far forward, but it worked. I did not have time to upholster it!

I must say that the TC is quite a spunky car without a body! It just zipps right along. Traction is a problem however, the rear end is very light!

Well, that's it for this installment. Stay tuned for further adventures.

I believe it is just about time to add the body, then fenders, what the heck, maybe even doors and seats someday.

I will continue working and keep you posted on the progress

HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!

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