New Owner with Basic Questions

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    Hi All – 

    My name is Anay, and I’m new to the Forum.  Just picked up an assembled 1952 MG-TD Replica with a VW Engine (’85), 250 miles on the engine.
    Looking for anybody to help me understand basics of the car.  For example:
     – Looking to put some sound/speakers in… how does one do that?
     – Maintenance advice if I have to store it in my garage during the winter?
     – Thinking about enhancing some of the engine parts – any advice?:
    – New carburetor
    – New gas tank
    – New coil and spark plugs
    – New fuel pump
    – Automatic points conversion kit
     – Wiring loom – everything seems ok, but its given that it’s pretty old… would anyone recommend re-wiring the car?
    I’m pretty new to cars – just a basic “do-it-yourself” guy, who is looking to upgrade his knowledge beyond oil changes, air filter changes etc…
    Anybody willing to help mentor me through some of this?
    My Best,
    Johnny L. Baxter


    Welcome Anay, I’m not usually the first to respond but you have found a treasure chest of knowledge and willingness to help. There will be some one on the forum who can and will answer your questions.
    edward ericson


    Welcome, Anay. Typically with these old kits you tackle the needed repairs first, then the upgrades. So how’s it run? How old is the oil, fuel, and brake fluid? How old are the tires? If they’re more than 5-6 years old they’re due for replacement. If you are new to air-cooled VWs then let me be the first to recommend John Muir’s “Compleat Idiot” repair & maintenance manual.
    edsnova2015-10-18 20:20:30

    john barry


    Hi Anay welcome!!

    and I also recommend the –
    Haynes Repair Manual for the VW Beetle & Ghia   1954-1979 for bare bone basic.
     and yes  store your MGTDr inside for sure .Thumbs Up


    Welcome Anay.   I am looking at your list of “enhancements” and wonder why you would do any of them or even consider replacing the wiring loom.

    I’m with Ed and his post. Ed, doesn’t post BS.  (Usually Wink)  

    My one piece of advice is: Drive the heck out of it until it’s just too cold to drive it any longer. If problems do not show up during your trips, smile – be happy.  Or…..if things to show up,  then THERE  is your winter to-do list.



    Don’t do what I did, which was replace the alternator belt (guessing yours might not be generator) and got the pulley nut tightness wrong. Tore the pulley off the shaft because I thought the noise was engine knock or pinging. Torque spec on that nut is 43 ft lbs.

    Engine timing needed adjusting on mine so you will probably want to at least check that, along with cylinder compression and valve clearances so you know what things are at.
    And speaking of timing, the distributor I have is the mechanical advance. Most people prefer vacuum advance. So if you also have one of these “009” distributors you’ll more than likely notice hesitation during acceleration, which makes it a challenge to get going from a stop.
    Mine had just 1121 miles on the odometer, already added another 1300 miles since March.
    Hopefully yours looks new too, but look for oil seepage once your driving it. I replaced the oil sump cover (bottom of engine) right away after finding the old one warped at the bolt holes with 2 gaskets instead of only 1.
    A kit for replacing the copper washers will be needed, which goes with the gasket. Although if you don’t have a leak you can just drain old oil using the large bolt in that cover plate. Mine was seeping oil out a few drops over a weeks time so not real bad but I wanted to be sure the sump filter inside wasn’t full of sludge, and it wasn’t. Just a thin film of black goo sitting on the bottom of the plate.
    See what carb(s) you have to get info or help on it. I was confused by the one I have, thinking it was for water-cooled cars with electric control retro-fitted. Has brand and type stamped onto base of this one.
    I make do with a carport but have looked at temporary storage sheds, a big tent for a car. About $400. My car has a cover from previous owner I can use during bad weather or prolonged non-use of the car but it’s not something I want to keep knowing how insects, mice, chipmunks and squirrels love such places.
    If you have a good convertible top with side curtains, and tonneau cover too, those are things you won’t need to try getting. Mine were in great shape from being garaged a few decades, luckily.
    Oh, and gas tank… you can probably get new replacement tank from a local VW or foreign auto parts store but there’s online sellers with a cost of about $130, on up, so might be cheaper that way except for delivery cost. But will need filler neck cut down and welded to shorten it.
    This is one type you would need:

    LRH2015-10-18 18:11:30

    Paul Mossberg


    Welcome aboard Anay!

    I suggest you spend some time getting to know your car before you starting  in on any major work.

    And spend the rest of your free time search this site. There is a wealth of information here.

    All will be answered in time. Thumbs Up

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)



    Welcome aboard Anay. Here’s the link to te membership map. I believe there is at least one maybe two members in WI. I used to live in Beloit, WI before work moved me down here in GA.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    John Simion


    About your sound, I used Retrosound speakers that are surface mount. Although expensive, I don’t see how anything else would work. I was able to contour 1/2″ wood up under the dash on the sides and glue that in, then attach the 4×6 speakers to that. The rears are 8″ round and surface mount to the back edge of the storage area. All four speakers require some grinding on the edges to get a flush mount. The stereo itself can go directly into the dash although I wasted many hours building mine into a fake “glove box”.



    You’ve reminded me that I was going to say this before. The pair of speakers in my car are in the under-seat compartments, facing frontward. I think they’re either 4X6 or round 6″, I would need to look again to be sure but there’s definitely room in there for speakers.

    john barry


    Like everyone has  said  , just  drive your car and you will have plenty of  projects 

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