T-Series & Prewar Forum

TD/2 idle speed?

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TD/2 idle speed?
  This topic is about my 1953 MG TD
tmorehouse Avatar
tmorehouse Silver Member Tom Morehouse
Eastford, CT, USA   USA
1953 MG TD "Gordo"
1958 Nash Rambler
1959 Triumph TR3A
1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b    & more
After searching MGExp and other sites, I've still not found a spec warm idle ("tick over"?) speed for T series cars.

Closest I've seen is The Sacred Octagon, 1986 archive, stating "the recommended 700-800 rpm" is often difficult to achieve due to suction leaks.

Is there an actual spec for warm idle speed? Something more than just "lower the rpm until the ignition light just begins to flicker on".

Tom M.

History: 1975 MGB, 1959 TR3, 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S, 1960 M-B 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, OK, USA   USA
Tom, On idle speed, I don't go by any specs, I set the idle where I feel the engine sounds comfortable, funny terminology I know but that's how I put it. My TF is set around 900 rpm and idles very smooth but has snap when I punch the throttle. My plugs all run the same color (checked with Color Tune) and the exhaust is a dark grey. As an old expression goes, tune it by ear! Just my 2 cents worth. PJ

I made a mistake on the other site and said mine was set at 850, not so, 900.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-12-07 07:46 AM by Paul J.

LaVerne Avatar
LaVerne LaVerne Downey
Fruita, CO, USA   USA
1954 MG TF "Green Hornet"
1969 MG MGB
1979 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
Something in the range of 850 to 1000 rpm would be normal. It also depends on what cam might be in the engine...a hotter cam is generally going to require a higher idle. Myself I shoot for something fairly smooth AND a point where the charging light goes out. I think I'm at 1100 on my TF but I also not the tachs are not particularly accurate.

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Robert H Gold Member Robert Harvey
Wichita, KS, USA   USA
1951 MG TD "Millicent Grace (Millie)"
yeah--like Paul said--wherever the engine sounds comfortable. I think mine is just under 1000.

TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
It all depends on the cam and the stage of tune. Example. My Andrew’s 236/236 roller cam idle spec is 1500rpm. Though I have it idled down to about 1200rpm it begins to get a little lopey because of the lift, duration and overlap which causes poor fuel atomization and draw due to decreased vacuum

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