Most Heartbreaking Wrenching Story
(with happy ending)
(No, not that kind.)

1955 MG TF 1500
My daily driver back in 1992.
Working in a Jaguar restoration shop.
MG needs engine rebuilt.

New/used block, caps, rods.
Only reused crank, head and pan.

Everything else new.
Balanced, blueprinted, ported.
Time, love, patience, care, detail.
Starts first crank.
Strong, smooth, beautiful.

After 108 miles, tapping from engine.
F***, F***, F***.

Remove head.
Scoring on #4 cylinder.
Take apart front of car again.
Take apart engine.
Wrist pin came loose, moved sideways, scored liner.
After time, realized that bolt that holds wrist pin has very little clearance to the rod.
When torquing down wrist pin bolt, socket brushed against edge of rod, giving wrong torque readings.
Bolt came loose, wrist pin moved.

(Connecting rod picture

Regrind liners, new pistons.
Time, patience.
Grind socket to almost paper thinness, quadruple check torque of wrist pins.
Engine back together.

Strong fast 1500 engine.
Idles smooth, runs perfectly.

There is an oil leak.
Yes, I know British and old.
But this is a puddle oil leak under the rear main/bell housing.
The longer the drive, the bigger the leak.

Remove transmission and fit aftermarket modern rubber seal.

Still has oil leak.
Pours out the back.

Now I move away, and leave the car with my Father, who was the original owner, who taught me to be a mechanic.

He drove it, but it ran low on oil and spun a bearing.

I returned, later.

Take apart engine, regrind crank, new bearings, and sit and stare at the rear seal.
Sit and stare at the rear of the crank.
Sit and stare at the rear cap.

What is this tube on the rear cap for?

Ok, it lets the oil on the rear bearing fall back into the oil pan.


Does it need to be this long?

What is the oil level?
How far does the metal straw hang down?
Does it sit in the oil, thus not allowing the oil to drain properly from the rear main cap?
Thus forcing it to come out the rear mail seal?


Yes, its sits in the oil.

That is the reason for the oil leak.
Just this damn little metal straw.
Cut off straw.

Put engine back together.

Drive it as my daily driver for 5 years (2003-2008).

It was (finally) the best running MGTF in California, (if I do say so myself.)