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MG TD TF 1500 - Axle nut/cotter pin

Last question (I promise, well at least for this morning) on brakes... In putting back the drums on the axles, I noticed that the cotter pin/castellated nut assy on the axles is a bit "off". By which I mean, I can tighten down the castellated nut far enough - easily - that the cotter pin sits a little too much forward of the slots in the catellated nut- the cotter pin engages the nut, but not by much and I think it would be easy for the nut to slip around behind the pin. An additional washer (maybe 1/16 thick) would take care of this; has anyone else noticed this issue? It's probably partially because the castellated nuts are pretty beat (someone was mean to them at some point) and general metal wear on the drum face etc; but I'm wondering if I should add a washer, and if so, should I add it between the brake assembly backing plate and the drum, or on top of the drum beneath the big washer? If I added it between the two it would allow more clearance for the brakes etc... and would that be good?

Geoffrey M Baker

It might be a good idea to buy a new nut and washer from Abingdon Spares or Moss and try that to see if the fit is better.
That way you get a better nut and it may resolve the issue.
Worst case I would add another large washer under the nut.
But first I would replace it. Looks like it has had a pipe wrench on it as well.

Just my 2c worth. :)
R D Jones

It sure looks like Brutal Baily or Primitive Pete got to it but if you tap the loop end in and bend one end of the shop end - in, it will be pretty secure. I'll bet you buy a new nut anyway so you won't be accused of beating that one up!
JE Carroll

Yes, they took a beating at some time and I PROMISE is wasn't me. I had to by a 3/4 drive set to handle these large nuts (and a few others) and NEVER took a pipe wrench to them, but Rod's right - that sure looks like somebody did! There has been a lot of really bad mechanical work done to this car (juryrigged carb work, incorrect brake cables, odd TC and MGA parts used just because they fit; it wouldn't have been my anglophile dad because he would always want to buy the exact correct part, preferably made in Abingdon, by someone wearing spats... so clearly an insane garage mechanic was in charge of it for a few years).

Anyway, I'm going to just put in a couple of big washers (I'll drill the interior diameters to fit). Even beat as they are, they're solid metal and work perfectly. There's no slippage despite the beating.
Seems like a waste to spend $50 (incl shipping) to replace these - and I think I'd probably still need the extra washers!
Geoffrey M Baker

You'd have to check the archives but I believe the general method is to torque to the 170-200 ftlb range then to the next slot. If beyond the 200+ range then add a thin shim to allow to get to at least the min torque and clear slot combination. You DEFINITELY want to get them tight! From experience I had a sheared cotter pin and ended up watching my rear tire roll by before the rear end thunked onto the ground. Most fortunately I'd just gotten off the x-way onto residential side streets.
R Biallas

Geoff, the first issue is one of tightening the nuts to the proper torque value. It's a big one for those nuts, 150 ft-lbs if I recall correctly. Then worry about lining up the castle nut spaces to put in the cotter pin. Check the archives for some of the tips used to fix the alignment, e.g., swapping washers, grinding off a few thousandths, etc. Bud
Bud Krueger


A new washer and nut is only $25.00 at worst.
Well worth the investment for Safety's sake.

Here is a link to other torque values you may at some point need. :)

R D Jones

I would replace them both first, and if that doesn't ameliorate things put another washer under the existing washer. There is obviously something going on, but I can't immediately think what. The castelation should not be so far down.

Bud is right - tighten to as tight as you humanly can, or torque to 150 foot-pounds. Any less and you will soon develop play between the drum and the axle, and will then have to replace both.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

I agree with the safety concerns above. No doubt that nut is cracked and fatigued internally. Cheap insurance to replace.
George Butz

This thread was discussed between 27/02/2014 and 28/02/2014

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