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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company

1949 MG TC

April 2015

In the pictures on the home page I commented about the wired rear wheel spinner. John read it and has commented as below.


The reason why the off side rear spinner is wired is because sometime in the late 50’s the half shaft did brake. I was working in GEC in Birmingham and having bought a ½ shaft I had asked a machinist in one of the workshops to remove the hub from the broken ½ shaft, which they could do (I had been recommended this was the correct procedure to adopt) as they had hydraulic presses to do the extraction. Unfortunately (Initially he did not tell me) he damaged the hub in doing so. He then found a replacement and pressed the ½ shaft into the procured hub. Sometime later when I noticed that the spinner seemed odd I queried the machinist what had happened he admitted his error. I vaguely remember (not to certain about this) he found a replacement hub by means of the one that mounts the spare wheel replacing it with the damaged hub, and used that to press on the new ½ shaft. His recommendation to be on the safe side was to wire it! as you saw.



0800 on the 24th April 2015, Steven arrives to collect the car with his car transporter. This is the first time in nearly 50 years the car has seen daylight. It doesn't look as bad as it did in the dark garage.


Here is a "video" of all the stills that Leanne, my step-granddaughter made as they pulled the car out of it's 48 year prison into sunshine and on to the transporter. CLICK HERE Below are some of the stills.


Maybe a bit of T-Cut would make it nice....


Apparently the hub comes off, probably because this must be the side with the broken half shaft.

On and covered.

I couldn't understand what was wrong with it. I was told it had a broken half shaft. I noticed the o/s wired up (see above) so assumed it had had a new one. But it would seem that it's the N/S that's broken, which is why the wheel wound it self out.


Just waiting, finishing off the Land Rover


More work on the Land Rover, then workshop swept and vacuumed ready for the new baby.


Car arrived a day early so I thought I may as well start on it. Came out quite well, don't you think?

OK, the last one gives it away, it's a model I bought which arrived today. I have one in red but this is an exact colour match for mine. Black with red trim.





Steven due at 0930. Come on Steven, don't worry about those silly driving rules and speed limits!

Well he did. He was in Noellet overnight. Rang me at 0830 to tell me he was near the Ford garage in the village. I went round and led him back. He decided he didn't fancy driving his huge rig down our lane so we reversed it into the road 100 meters back, on the opposite side of the road. We then got the car off by raising the top deck, driving a red Peugeot off and then lifting th TC at the back by strapping it to the top deck and raising the top deck so we could push the wheel and hub back on. (Remember it was sliding out when they loaded). I towed the car off with a very long rope and the Land Rover. Whilst I turned the LR round, Lynne and Steven pushed the TC out to the road. I then tied the TC to the LR and Steven drove the LR, Lynne sat in the TC and steered it and I tried to keep the wheel in. Failed! We had to stop 3 times to jack it up and push the wheel back in. Then I sussed it and if I pulled the car, by pulling sideways on the luggage rack the wheel stayed in. We got the car to the outside of the workshop, unhitched and Steven and Lynne went in for a coffee. I, emptied all the stuff Tanya had collected for me over the past month and Simon had put in the back of the car. There should have been a gallon of Muk-Off for me to spray over the car and engine before getting it into the garage, but it wasn't there! So I used the little drop I had and then used some rust remover to do the rest. I let it soak in and went for a coffee. After coffee I jet washed the whole car and the engine (as best I could). 

Lynne and I then pushed the car into the workshop with the Land Rover. When in I jacked up the front axle and Lynne pushed with the Land Rover whilst I pulled it round on the jack. Got it in position and jacked it up as high as it will go on my large axle stands (50 cm).

With it up in the air I removed the bonnet (two screws were seized but I got them off with a few taps with the knocking stick). Then started to get the rad off. Half way through I stopped for lunch. I then got involved in Lynne's credit cards, one of which is not authorised and the others she couldn't remember the PIN. So a long lunch. Then the poste lady turns up with a large, heavy parcel. It's the missing Muk-off. This pillock ordered it for here and it turned up 2 hours late!


After lunch I got the radiator off and then undid all the engine mountings, bell housing bolts and cables and wires. At 1900 the engine was out on the floor.

I had my dinner, went back to clean the tools and put them away and had a shower (I needed it, put it this way, I didn't need a best friend to tell me I stunk).

I'm now writing this up and uploading the pictures to the web server.

Parked up and ready to unload

Steve, playing with his Tonka toy, raising the top deck

If we study it long enough it may just jump off itself.

Just like an Edwardian lady, showing an ankle!

I better stop making Edwardian lady remarks because I'd be tempted to say what she's showing now.

Nearly naked, just the suspenders to get off.

OK, got it.

One fully naked lady

Final straps coming off.

The problem wheel, needs pushing back in.

You hit it, I'll watch.

See, it wasn't that difficult.

Ready to roll.

Lynne said to stand in front and smile. How's this?

Pug out of the way

Deck up, rope on, lets go....


Land Rover to position.

Does my bum look big when I'm tying a rope on - YES.

And then the corporation dust cart turns up!

Off and I sit in it for the first time.

Not easy to get out, is it?

I go to get the Land Rover..........


..... whilst Steve starts to push it out to the road.

keep pushing.

He got there.

In the road waiting to be towed to the workshop.

I'm tying ropes on Land Rovers again!

As Lynne was in the TC steering we didn't get any pictures of the journey to the workshop. I had to stop them 3 times to jack the rear up and push the wheel back in but then found that if I pulled the body out sideways the wheel stayed in. This is Lynne showing her amazement at getting there with damaging the car.

I'm taking the rope off now, easier that tying it on!

We had to pose for the photographer. Pity the sun was shining across the lens. It's about 1000.

I've taken the side screens off and the hood is folded back. Lynne decides to present her new car.


The following pictures are of the car after a wash. Not much better, really.


We had pushed it into this position with the Land Rover and as we both did it there are no pictures. Steve went after we got it outside the garage.

This and the following pictures are the car in the air on 50 cm axle stands.



These are pictures as I took it apart.



The following are before anything major taken out

Bonnet off. I'd forgotten just how heavy they are, not good for my back!

I wonder just how old this is?



Thermostat, crud or what? I had to cut the hoses which are solid and would not bend at all.

The footwells after removing 4 layers of rotten carpets. The screws holding the rubber cover over the gearbox are seized in. 

All the numbers. All correct as per the build records.

And the final clean up. All needed washing in petrol.


The engine is the original, XPAG 10878, as per the factory build records.

I have a few more pictures, but it's 2330 here and I'm tired so I'll do them in the morning. Good night.

OK, 0700 on Wednesday and I've finished the write up for the first day. Long! I hope the rest aren't this long (shouldn't be).

Seeing as I didn't start until 1100 and the target was to get the engine and box out I don't think I did too bad. The box should be out in an hour, only the prop to undo and the rubber cover to get off (so the gear lever and handbrake can be removed).


Finally I would like to say thank you to Lynne, my wonderful wife who pushed, pulled, tok all the pictures (up to getting the car in the workshop) and steered the car from the transporter to the workshop. This she found terrifying in case she hit something. I kept telling her no one would notice, but I do love her.




Today's target is to get the gearbox, front and rear axles off. Up at 0600 to finish off yesterday's marathon session, breakfast and start work at 0800. Bloody cold at that time of the morning!

Start on getting the gearbox out but then decided it would be easier to remove the carpets, seats and get the rubber tunnel cover out. 



The seats look bad but may come up a treat. I'll get all the metal strapping off tomorrow and start cleaning them then giving them a coat of saddle soap every day for 3 months. Then get some leather die and they could be better than new.

Drivers seat squab.

Passenger squab.


Close up, I think this will come up OK, with a good clean, lots of saddle soap and then a colour wash.

Floor with all the carpets, the rubber tunnel cover and the mess removed. Looks much better.

The rear after cleaning and the seats out.

With the gearbox out.

How many carpets make a TC? There were 3 layers of carpet, one of under felt and a rubber mat on the drivers side. That's how many.


With the floor out I removed the gearbox. Took ages as I couldn't get the gear lever out, but it came out with a shove here and a push there.

Gearbox, a good wash will help. Then open it up and see how it is inside.


Having got the gearbox out I started on removing the front axle.

Got the front shackles and shock absorber off but the rear shackles are seized. So I've left them soaking in plus gas all night. I bout 2 1/2 litre cans, one has gone already and the second is going fast!

Seized shackles on front.

Rear shackles are all undone but seized.

Got the spring hangers off. The two centre bolts on the other side sheared off.

Front shackle on rear spring. I have a feeling these seized shackles are going to take far longer than I thought.

As the rear axle is above the chassis it's easier to remove it with the body off. So I may carry on soaking the seized shackles whilst I take the body off.


Parts store, each area of fixings and bits are labeled and in separate boxes. 


I'm hoping to get the body off tomorrow but I also want to get the metal bits off the seats and take them in the house so I can start their treatment.




A sequel to yesterday, which i forgot to add, was that when I'd removed the seats and cleared up I found 3 old coins, a penny, threepenny bit and a sixpence, a note from an MG specialist in Bradford which is undated and an invoice for brake shoes dates 19th July 1969. Also a tax disc from March 1967 and the one on the windscreen dated July 1967.

Tax discs from 1967. Note the cost was £6/8/0 for 4 months. 8 Shillings is 40p. £19.30 today. Dream on.

Three old coins. For the younger ones they are (left to right) a shilling (2.5p) a large penny (0.42p - I think) and a threepenny bit (1.25p). I will clean them in a glass of coke and photograph again (this time with the shilling the other way up!)

The note from Hoffman & Robinson Ltd and the written part enlarged. They are no longer in business, at least they are not in the phone book under that name.

An invoice for some brakes shoes. The brakes shoes were in the car as well, kindly placed their by John (previous owner). They look like they are for a Mini, the original, not the current. These invoice systems were popular before computers. They fitting into a metal case and were multi part. You wrote out the invoice and pushed your pen into one of the two "pegs" holding the paper in the case and it came out. The top copy is torn off for the customer the copies are wound back into the machine. Simple. (one copy would be for stock control which would have been a manual card system and another for accounts.) The back of this invoice is blue carbon for copying.

It would appear they have relined the customers shoes as it says "works shoed". The price for two sets (front and back) was £3/10/0 (£3.50). In 1969 I was getting about £20 per week as a car mechanic. About 18.5% of my weekly wage-some may think that was expensive! The shoes are bonded, not riveted on, must be an early example of bonded shoes.


Today is one month since I bought this car but only the third day I've had it here, in France.

Started at 0830 by removing the badge bar with broken fog lamp and horn, and 4 more bolts. The I start on the wings. Not a lot to undo once the front 4 bolts are out of the apron but two rear bolts are difficult toe get at due to the bulkhead partly obscuring. As the bulkhead has to come off I decide to take it off now and come back to the wings when it's off. I clean out the rubbish in the toolboxes and the it's time to remove the batter. Huge, heavy thing and with 5 fractured vertebrae I have to find a way to get it out.

Only problem was the battery got jammed (you can see the back edge is under the lip of the battery box) and the lead strap just tore out.

Got it.

One broken , 50 year old battery. Do you think it'll charge up?

Next job was to remove the regulator. Good colour coding! So I tied labels on each set of wires with the terminal number on it. Only problem was, later on when pulling the loom out, all the labels came off as it was pulled through the hole in the bulkhead. I've got a wiring diagram so it's not a problem.

Dash out next, I've labeled all the cables with stick paper labels so they won't come off when the loom is pulled through.

Looks complicated but it's so much simpler than modern cars.

Not a Lucar spade connector in sight. They came about 15 years after this car was made.

The wings came off fairly easily except for getting the wing stay off. The wiring will not pull through so I have to remove the stay and leave it on the car. The bottom bolt comes out in a few seconds but the top bolts which go through the sidelamp had to be cut off.

Eventually, after about an hour of cutting with the Dremel I get the wings off and then to get the last bolts on the bulkhead and that came off.

All the shackle pins, other than the front ones of the front axle are seized. I've been soaking them in Plus Gas every hour and when it's down to a bare chassis, if they're still seized I'll use some heat to get them out.

Half way there. Took a lot longer than anticipated as I had to cut off about 6 of the floor bolts.

In the morning I have the transmission tunnel to get off, should not have rusted bolts (fingers crossed) and then the tub should come out. I can then decide if I need a new ash frame. Suspect I do but best be sure before ordering it. The target is to have a bare(ish) chassis by Saturday evening as we're off to the races on Sunday. (local horse race meeting).

The reason you can never have enough tools. I had to use all these extensions (I have another two 3/8" drive and some 1/4", 1/2" and 1" extensions) to get the bolts on the front panel of the bulkhead under the dash.

A pile of wings and bulkhead.


I reckon I have 6 weeks of de-rusting the panels and then all the nuts and bolts and fixings, brackets and other metal bits. But I'll probably do the chassis first and paint it with POR15.


Even though I expected to be further ahead than I am, I'm happy with the progress. I timed myself getting on the floor to do something underneath and then getting up again to get the right tool and it took 1:20 seconds. Something I could do in less than 10 second if it wasn't for my back. Another reason I'm so slow is that if I get under the car and the tools I need are on the opposite side I have to get up and lay down facing the other way as I cannot roll over on my back. Now maybe you can tell me the rule that says the tools I need will always be on the opposite side to that I'm on.




 Now move to May to see what happened next. Hope you're enjoying this, I am.






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