1973 MG Midget as acquired for rebuild by 'Dave' from Chicago, who spent the next several years doing a stellar job of meticulous body restoration. I have his scrap book of nearly 100 photos showing the project. All of the 'heavy' body work, was done by him.
A BMC factory photograph.
The cost new in 1973 was $2,789.00 USD.
A seemingly endless album of Midget photographs:
A short pause in deference to and recognition of all the old forlorn Midgets who were not fortunate to have a considerate steward or lucky enough to team up with a restorative benifactor, and just lay down to rust............
Mark III paint colors
1973 specific colours
The PO (prior owner) had sent for the cars specifics from the British Motor Heritage Trust http://www.mgcars.org.uk/namgar/bmiht/bmiht.htmedit
How many prior owners have left their mark?
The engine bay before the rebuild.
And so it begins...... Notice the body number plate on the A-post.
"What was it they told us that made us want to do this in the first place?" That must be the Limeflower color under the red.
If this doesnt make you run the other way..................
You know the advice the knowledgable ones always give? About buying "the best example you can afford". I never have followed that advice!? I always pick up some ratted out, rust infested, unloved, unwanted, abused derelict, and think I'm doing some noble automotive service by saving it from the scrap yard. Oh well, it takes all kinds, right?
Can you really make a silk purse out of a sows ear.......?
Doorless, floorless, sill less. paintless, and dashless. It must belong to me alright!
not for the faint of heart............
No rotisserie, just wooden work 'horses'.
Can you see the potential?
Finally some new metal!.
More sanding, bad metal being removed, new panels and repair pieces being placed. Who doesnt love new sills?
Lining up the fenders
Its as great as youve heard.
Time to consider the outside of the car
POR-15 http://www.por15.com/POR-15/productinfo/1GB/ to tub , front , undercarraige, and boot. Door fitment.
Boot lid fitment
Trial placement wings, front valance, grill surround pieces, front assembly. Wings with filler primer .
Its starting to come around well now.
The 'time'stamp' on the photo reads June 29, 2005. The PO has been working on it now from 1993 to 2005; 12 years!
F/S fill/sand; always more to do.
This is the PO's garage. MG and Route 66 signs on the wall for spirit and motivation. A Lucas poster for historical connectivity. And a Three Stooges poster to keep it all in perspective.
Twp dash setups against the back wall.....good, pick the best one for your future sale!
Another MG sign on the wall........good, focus on the marque.
And another Three Stooges poster.......I like this guy, he keeps things in balance.
There is a little extra filler here and there. This would have been the perfect time to fill in the side marker holes.
I do believe you can see the cracks in the rear upper corner of the stainless steel quarter light vent glass frame in this photo. That occurs when the straight edge of the frame is repetively pulled to close the door, the crack resulting from the unsupported strain.
Testing the bonnet for fitment.
New metal placed, old metal cleaned and sprayed
All old rust gone, new metal put in, old metal given a second chance.
Internet photo with of replacement floor pan. This is an underside view.
a 'chopped' cutaway Midget at an auto show
Definately not a 73' ad, but the bonnet ornamentation is intriguing. The magazine article follows.
Road & Track 1972 Mark III Midget review
There is always the option of an entirely NEW body shell from British Motor Heritage http://www.bmh-ltd.com/mini.htm
The shells on the dolleys have flat rear wheel arches, and some round wheel arche pieces are leaning against the storage bins.
Building a Midget body shell at British Motor Heritage in modern times. http://www.bmh-ltd.com/midgetshell.htm. Photos from Britishv8.org site.
Building a Midget body shell at British Motor Heritage in modern times. http://www.bmh-ltd.com/midgetshell.htm. Photos from Britishv8.org.
A beautiful top view of an original refurbished rear round wheel arch body. Very good view of seat frame mounting bolt holes. What a great piece of fabricated metal.
and, a beautiful bottom view of the Midget monocoque construction
I find it very telling that Roche Bentley of the MG Owners Club would have a Midget. Yeah :)
This is the actual ad that was on eBay. It had around 10 photos of the car (the bait!). This is the accompanying description (the hook!). The seller was a genuinely nice guy and very easy to deal with......( I bit!)..
MG Midget All major body work done. POR-15 http://www.por15.com/POR-15/productinfo/1GB/ and Dupli-Color primer and sealer sprayed. I applied seam sealer liberally to the interior as well as the underside of the car prior to transport to the painter. This is what I bought as it was on eBay http://www.motors.ebay.com/........... and oh yes, the engine , the transmission, and about 30 boxes of bits!
A sample of the parts organized by the PO. The drawers came with the sale.
A box full of rubber. Maybe use the tire flaps.
Some boxes left me guessing
Original style jack and storage case. I have never used one, but I have been told, " don't put your foot under the car when the jack is in use! ".
Proper seam sealer location, from British Motor Heritage site: http://www.bmhweb.co.uk/bulletins/seam-sealing/midget.htm
'Toe' panels did have to be welded in before I flat bedded the car to the painters. One is laying on the drivers side floor.
Seam sealer from Eastwood Automotive http://www.eastwood.com/seam-sealer-brushable-quart.html can be seen around the edges of the floor pans, foot well bottom, and around the edge of the transmission tunnel.
When the flat bed driver came to pick up the Midget to deliver to the painters garage he said, "you'll never finish it". "Why is that?" , I responded. He said that in 20 years of transporting he didnt remember one similar project being finished. Hmmm........that sounds like a challenge to me! Time will tell.
My daughter says the shell as it is reminds her of one of the sharks in 'Finding Nimo'! Do ya think....?http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/1/16/1232132936747/Gallery-pixar-Finding-Nem-009.jpg
My ex-1974 MGB [parked in back] was a garage mate for a while. It was a decent rebuild; same painter. http://picasaweb.google.com/Minorsands/1974mgb#. Photo #17 in the MGB album shows a voltmeter placed in the center console. I plan to do similar on the radio console of the Midget.
The red primer at the very bottom of the front of the drivers side fender was a dent and scratch I caused while rolling the car around and running it into an axle stand. Fortunately a little amateur panel beating and primer spray made it good as new
This is my inspiration. The SUPERB rebuild done by Carl Heideman of Eclectic Motorworks http://www.eclecticmotorworks.com/ for Classic Motorsports Magazinehttp://classicmotorsports.net/ in their article series, 'Modern Midget'.
The mixing table.
Closer to the color coat.
toe boards have been welded in
Modern paint, base coat, clear coat. Modern color [Ford Oxford White YZ]. The painter is a former professional, now in another line of work, however he will on occaision do a 'spray' for a friend. Especially if he finds the car interesting. He liked the Midget. I like the rakish exterior angles and lines.
The car came with the front assembly as is. I like the looks of the double vented front valance, but with the front bumper placed, it would not have shown well.
BTW, look at the clear coat shine on the bonnet.
Here is a ebay UK ad example of a double vented front valance ( the one I don't have )
The painter spent several hours daily for a week preparing the body which was essentially already 'finished' from the PO, before we went to the auto paint store to buy the supplies. The painter is a friend of mine and he explained to me the difference between a 'bargain shop' respray, a 'serious show car' respray, and a 'Ferrari LWB California Spyder' restoration respray. He gave me the 'serious show car' preparation and respray.
New rebuild of front suspension was done prior to my purchase, (new wish bones. coils, stub axels, brake kit, etc) . Frontline brake kit with modified MGB calipers and 9 inch Spitfire rotors to go in at a later date.
No rust, just a little overspray.
Will it look like this always? At least I am off to a good start. I read in a MGB book in the past, ( I do believe it was a Jim Tyler book ?), to paraphrase; "Keeping a clean engine bay will never have one be ashamed to 'lift their bonnet' in polite company", true words that can be applied to many of lifes circumstances!
"Nice (pressed steel)."
The MG Midget sure is a sleek work. The PO has put in new leaf springs, straps, bump stops, and rebuilt the rear brakes. The hand brake mechanism is missing, I'll pick one up on Ebay.
Tub treated with truck bedliner material. Moisture will never find its way to these floor pans. This will also help with sound, heat, and vibration control.
My painter was a former body man, so he gave special attention to alignment throughout the job.
The rear brakes and rear suspension were rebuilt by the prior owner. The hand brake mechanism is missing, so I'll have to follow ebay for awhile. I haven't deside on the wheel wells yet.............. Rubberized undercoating, paint black, add truck bed liner, add extra clear coat and leave alone? They sure look 'clean' the way they are currently!
Hand brake balance lever, ferrule-cross rod, and link rod. Purchased from Ebay http://www.motors.ebay.com/ . Nice, clean, great condition pieces.
A good view of the truck bedliner treatment. Its great to know the POR-15 http://www.por15.com/POR-15/productinfo/1GB/ is under it all. So, the water barrier includes; POR-15, primer, base coat/clear coat paint, and truck bedliner. I'm considering a sound and vibration material vs. traditional undercarpet padding. The PO gave me a 5' roll of undercarpet padding.
Adding a few components makes it start to look like a MG. Fitting up the rear bumper then door hardware comes next.
Fitting up the dash and wiring loom will come soon enough
The intention of this project is not to have a concourse or parade entrant. The purpose is to have a classic with as much modern componentry for reliability as possible, for around and out of town drivability. Appearance wise, I do intend to keep it as period correct as possible, (mostly).
Front side marker plinth: the left is from a Midget, the right is from a MGB. The Midget plinths are no longer available. However, other than thickness the length and width are the same. I placed the MGB units.
photo from MGExperience.org WayneW
These are after market bumpers. The car originals were too badly pitted and rusted to use. The after market metal is thinner than the OE, and I'm sure the chrome is thinner. The cost of rechrome is $$$ that of buying aftermarket repacements. (NOS showed up on ebay after I bought the after market pieces, that would have been nice). It took two people, 20 minutes, and heavy duty ratchet clamps to get the spring bar bolted on to the bumper.
The front amber side marker lamp black plinth base is not available. I bought those seen above from a MGB catalog. Some on the forum have said they are not the same thickness and angle. That may be, but they fit perfect, and look perfect, and I'm not sure anyone other than a concourse judge would notice.
My first regret...........I added the stainless steel molding strip to the sill (rocker panel) length, (not shown in this photo), and wish I had not. It did turn out nice with the molding strip, however the white and black paint edge was a perfect and flawless smooth match, covered in clear coat. It really was good enough unadorned by trim. When all else is done..........I may have to see about removing it and patching the rivet holes (?).
Well, I decided on Dynamat sound and vibration deadening material. The foil backing will also help with heat deflection. Its sort of like a pliable roofing shingle material with an adhesive side and a foil side. Great stuff, easy to cut and apply.
Dynamat in the doors. This is the kind of material used in modern automobiles to add sound muffling and a quality 'substance' to the feel and closure of the door. Fiddling with the door winding mechanism, and with the door lock mechanism, takes a lot of patience! I'm not sure trying to explain would help. Its a matter of sitting down and just slowly and repetively fitting things together until it fits up properly.
It looks a tangled thing, and it handles like one too!
a typical conglomeration of door pieces.
Door winding mechanism fitted. It takes a good bit of fiddling, and working different angles to get it set up properly. I had to use a silicone adhesive to hold and set the bottom edge of the door glass to the mechanism glass 'runner'. Take a photo of the bottom of the door glass attached to the the original winding mechanism runner , so you can replace exactly, if you intend to replace the glass
having the glass seat in the metal channel securly required silicone adhesive on the rubber molding. I also 'pinched' the channel just a bit for a more snug fit. Its probably obvious, but important to photograph the exact fitment of the glass and channel to allow accurate reassembly. Or, as in my case, adding new glass to a cleaned channel with new rubber.
After discussion on the Midget forum at MGExperience.org, the idea of 6 mil plastic cut to cover the door openings, and 3M strip calk used as adhesive is the way I will proceed with the inner door water barrier. ( *In the end I changed my mind about the strip caulk and used silicone adhesive instead*).
The door remote control and catch mechanisms just want for a little brushing up and fine oil or grease.
Door catch pieces were removed, stripped, treated, and replaced on the refinished door.
I cut a piece of plastic to use as a gasket behind both pieces.
This is the original thin piece of self adhesive plastic found behind the door catch plates.
The Moss Door lock fitting kit will be placed to stop the door lock 'key turn roll' that more often than not occurs
Cleaning up the hand brake mechanism and wire brushing the bolt heads is next. Note the Dynamat on the rear wheel well arches. This will help with road noise transfer.
Straightened out coat hangers, placed up to the proper locations, were bent to simulate the line placement. ( I didn't have the original lines to work with). This actually worked real well, and allowed for position checks and determining lengths, etc. Then, away from the car, I bent the actual aftermarket lines using the coat hangers as a template. Bending was done either free hand, or against or around pieces of dowel or rounded wood (like a thick hammer handle), I have a pipe flaring kit, and used the coiled 'tubes' included to insert my lines and decrease the risk of kinking while allowing for a smoother bend during the reshaping process, this worked real well.. I've seen the cars with the top point rebuild, and brake/clutch/fuel lines that looked as though they were computer generated they were so perfect......this isnt one of those,
Another fine stainless product on ebay UK
I read a thread on British Car Forum about someones very sluggish wiper movement. He greased up the rack and gained speed and better movement. I liberally applied white lithium grease before feeding the cross head rack into the casing.
I dismantled the brake pressure warning assembly and found the piston and "O" rings looking nearly brand new. The coverplate covering the unused passengers side pedal box opening (at the top right of the photo) is stainless steel. It and a few other items were sourced on ebay UK from seller ashleyhintonmgparts2002. He sells several different Spridget stainless steel replacement parts. All top quality of the items I've purchased.
Lever shocks were refurbished at Apple Hydraulics http://www.applehydraulics.com/ by the PO. I did the after market tube shock hook-up on my prior MGB. It was good, but well sorted Lever's are the way I'll go from now on.
No motor mounts came with my boxes of parts. I bought some from Matthews Foreign Car Parts eBay store site http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/matthewsparts&ssPageName=STRK:MEFSX:SELLERID. After cleaning them up and giving them a couple of coats of chassis black paint, and fitting up new rubber and bolts and nuts, they are ready to go. The bonnet release cable is seen on the transmission tunnel housing above. Imagine trying to fit that up after the engine is dropped in!
Working on the trunk. The evaporative canister was cleaned and painted. The rubber trunk lid buffer pieces finish the seal, and give things a sense of purposeful forethought.
The cleaned up fuel pipe piece can be seen all shiney like new after refurbishing.
Boot lid (trunk) front buffer pieces
This (very nice) foot well example (not mine) shows the floor connected original style accelerator pedal. I decided to replace mine with the 1500 'floating' style.
I'm not too fond of the floor based 'floor mounted style' accelerator pedal found on the earlier model Midgets such as mine, so I bought the 1500 one piece version on ebay, when it comes will clean it up, paint it chassis black, and mount it up. I'll use a flat black trim paint to take some of the shine off of the Dynamat, as it will not all be covered by carpeting or panels.
The after market rubber pedal pads are a good quality. I will leave the accelerator pedal 'padless' for better feel.
Here is an example I was looking for of the 1500 style gas pedal
1500 style accelerator pedal with rubber pad. Ii will be mounted 'padless' for better sensitivity.
All new wiper wheel boxes. The wiper cross head rack casing kit was not enough length to finish the job, so I purchased some copper casing at a local Lowes home supply store. Its a bit different size, but it fits great. Greased up the cross head rack very liberally with White Lithium Grease. Initially I tried using a 'flange' tool, on the ends of the casing pieces to fit on the wheel boxes. The tool I bought was not of good quality, and I didnt want to buy a good kit, thinking I would probably never have another need for it, I found the casing pieces secure just fine without flange ends.
The entire wiper system, minus the wiper motor.
Gotta keep it all light and in perspective!
By The Way: I've finished several cars, why don't they make the wiper mount soft washer fit the shape and angle of the piece better?
the pedal box started out rough, but can be beautifully cleaned and finished. The maincross bolt was in very good condition, so it was kept on, but springs, seals, washers and nuts were replaced with new.
Placing the proper bolts for the pedal box and wiper motor base is a process that requires patience, and bringing out the 'stubby', and angled, wrenches. I screwed in the brake light switch before placing the pedal box (yet another tip from a British Car Forum regular who has been there before me), ( other wise, it cannot be angled to screw in position or rotated to adjust the length when the box is bolted in place). The pedal box was given my usual cleanup, derusting, and painting. It took a good bit of work, but was worth the effort. New brake master and clutch master cylinders.
typical ribbed 1275 Midget transmission
this is a beautiful UK ad example of a refurbished rib casing transmission from a 1275 Midget
This was an ebay ad a while back of how someone transported their Datsun 210 transmission for shipping. I did similar with the motor when I sent it out, but with wood instead of this thick cardboard.
the engine doesn't come out pretty, and I see why some folks refer to it as a 'lump', but like most things in life it can be cleaned up real pretty ------>
I bolted up a chain like this at time of crating for shipment to the engine builder.
I had the motor rebuilt to stock specifications, but using many modern uprated components. Bored to 0.030" over gives it 1301cc. 9.0:1 compression ratio. ARP fasteners. Balanced. Aluminum head, bronze valve guides and stellite valve seats and valves for unleaded gas use. The Datson 210 transmission http://www.rivergate5speed.com/desc_of_trans.html was dismantled and refurbished as well. Rivergate Restorations,http://www.rivergate5speed.com/rivergate.html . And 423-332-2030
firstname.lastname@example.org.......another source for kit:http://billgariamotors.com/spridgetkit.htm
And another great source:http://gerardsgarage.com/Garage/Tech/5speedKit.htm
MG Midget Modern high torque starter, screw on oil filter, Datsun 210 five speed transmission and shortened gear shift lever. Rivergate Restorations http://www.rivergate5speed.com/rivergate.html. And 423-332-2030
The distributor will be the Flame-Thrower with the undercap electronic ignition, preset advance curve, and drive dog supplied. I've given a lot of thought concerning the alternator and decided to stick with originality (Lucas), but to increase output a little from the standard 36 amp unit to the 43 Amp MGB unit ( I've got nice information about converting the Delco 100 amp, and Bosch 13107 units for installation, and will keep that on the back burner). I'll keep a used Lucas in the trunk box as an on the road spare.
The datsun 210 transmission can be pulled from a 1979-1982 coupe, sedan, or wagon
An actual shift knob from a period Datsun 210 showing the shift pattern.
A Datsun 210 5 speed transmission. Years 1979 to 1982.
Datsun 210 5 speed transmission. The 3rd protusion coming off the side, in front of the shifter stalk is the electric reverse lamp switch. It does not fit in the transmission tunnel of the Midget. Some have cut holes in the tunnel to accomodate. Others have pluged the hole, and fitted up a toggle switch to the reverse lamps when needed.
Datsun 210 5 speed transmission. The correct model for MG Midget conversion has '60' stamped on the right side of the casing.
Datsun 210 5 speed transmission. The correct serial number for MG Midget conversion always starts with 'F'. Reportedly 'B310' is embedded in the serial number as well.
Under the cap, modern solid state breakerless Ignitor electronic ignition system with a pre-set advance curve for performance and drivability. Permanently mounted magnets for each cylinder rotating with the rotor, trigger an electronic chip embedded in the switching module. It switches twide the energy of conventional systems down to zero RPMs. The promise is for increased horsepower, better fuel economy and instant starts everytime.
No more points and condensors.
The fuel tank was treated to primer, followed by Eastwood Chassis Black paint. I had some extra Rubberized Undercoating and gave a liberal drenching to the top of the fuel tank as well, since that is the area most prone to rust. This tank will never see rust ( In my life time any way). The side of the tank has a little rubberized undercoating over spray.......( it happens).
This photo shows the OE SU mechanical fuel pump and placement.
This is the Carter ( P60504 ) unit I chose to use for the fuel pump. DrE, (a sports car knowledge master) on British Car Forum had high praise for them on more than one occaision. They have a permanet large particle fuel filter shown above. They seem to always be available on Amazon.com.
I attached two Carter P60504 fuel pumps http://www.amazon.com/Carter-P60504-Electric-Fuel-Pump/dp/B000BZX92K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1252888634&sr=1-1-fkmr0 , to the arch between the rear cockpit bulkhead and the trunk floor. Carter pumps are supposed to be quieter than the Facet style cubed type, very reliable, and come with a preattached 'coarse particle' fuel filter. These should never have to be replaced for the life of the pump. I'll still use a standard annually replaced 'fine particle' filter in the engine bay. One pump naturally for regular use, and one for back up, controlled by a toggle switch in the cockpit. I'll have to wait untill all is done, the car is off axel stands, and fully weighted with engine, interior, a full tank of gas, people, etc, to make sure there is clearance with the axel and differential casing for the pumps at that location. Probably summer 2010. However, at this point it looks as though it will be ok.
A cleaned up Lever rear shock is on the right.
This shows a left hand side to right hand side under view (i.e. left of photo is toward the front, right of photo is toward the rear). The copper fuel line coming off the fuel tank is seen on the photo right. It curves upward, and forward to curve toward the left hand side of the car (toward the viewer), to attach to the Carter pump fuel filter in the foreground. The spare pump cannot be run 'in-line' with the primary pump, (as told by my master mechanic). Therefore it serves as an on the road, ready located spare.
(others report it can be "in-line". I will report in the future the final outcome)
Fuel tank line and fuel sending unit wire exiting the tank.
Another view of the under arch over the rear axel
Undercarraige lines. Waiting for the drive shaft.
Entry point of fuel system wires; the fuel sending unit wire, the main fuel pump wire, and the back-up fuel pump wire.
When putting this together many MG Experience and British Car Forum folks shared photos of their vehicles to assist me in mine. Now I can add a few of my own.
The grouping includes the main fuel pump wire, the fuel tank sending unit wire, and the accessory fuel pump wire. RH side upper boot. I have been rightfully informed that the hole I chose for the wire passage was original to the fuel tank evaporative canister hose. If I decide to leave these wire here, I will obtain some protective tubing and tuck the bundle over to the side as much as possible to avoid 'in boot damage', (thanks Norm and Andrew on MG Experience Spridgit forum).
Carpet and Trim kit from Moss Europe http://www.moss-europe.co.uk/home.aspx. 3M Trim Adhesive used for the carpet, easy to work with. Carpet required a little trimming as expected. Finished pieces on carpet very nice. Carpet piece on rear bulkhead shown, only glued at vinyl trim attachment. The Trim Kits available seem to be of outstanding quality, however no screws and cups came with it. Fortunately I had some left over from a prior project.
Finished boot carpet kit. Chose black to contrast with biscuit interior. A real nice Victoria British kit. 3M trim spray adhesive was used for side carpet pieces. Main boot floor piece not glued.
Rear done. The 3 pronged black plastic trunk emblem didnt fit the 3 pre-drilled holes exactly, and the point of the triangle plastic prong snapped off. Its either an aftermarket design measurement flaw, or this was not the original 1973 boot lid. Perhaps the earlier boot lids, or the 75+ models had emblems with slightly differing prong specs (?). At any rate, two prongs seem more than secure enough. (the MG plate was in my boxes of parts from the PO).
The new gas cap, cleaned up fuel filler pipe, and new rubber grommet sure makes a pretty sight.
I like these front bumper/valance rubber grommets from Moss http://www.mossmotors.com/. They add a finishing touch. (I suppose the finishing touch is to distract from the washers!). I could grind the tops down to finish them I suppose?
I obtained nylon washers from a local NAPA store to use for contact between the bumper mounts and the paint, (they are white ).
After much searching and hunting for placement direction, I finished the fuel and brake lines, both were Autotec kits. The copper-nickel brake pipes were obtained from Moss Motors http://www.mossmotors.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=58642, and the copper fuel lines were obtained from Victoria British http://www.victoriabritish.com/icatalog/sm/full.aspx?Page=83. BCF J-PS deserves a TY from me! Its always so easy after seeing it once. I only used one of the plastic clips supplied with the after market line kits. Under the car I used the 'bobby pin' clips used on earlier spridgets. They fit in the holes in the under rails real well, and are as strong and secure as can be.
I have relied heavily on the internet, downloading photos of rebuilds, and parts. Ebay
Midget sellers have a tremendous amount of helpful photos in their ads. This persons engine bay detail helped me with several placement items, (as one example).
3.9:1 differential. Most MG experts feel this is the preferred gear ratio unit for overall performance.
Undercarraige showing the right hand side rail with the fuel line in the outer location, and the brake line in the inner position. The exhaust system not yet placed.
This view shows the fuel line on the outer side of the right hand side under carraige rail, going into the engine bay area, where it follows left along the inner edge of the opening, then it can be seen coursing along the left hand side of the edge of the engine bay, all the way to the front cross piece visible, then upward, infront of the Lever shock, to connect to the rubber SU carburator fuel hose.
Notice the truck bedliner material covering the underside metal.
This box has most of the dash cables. (There is that red paint again!). I like the 'B' on the bonnet pull knob, but the plastic and letter fixture are to old and fragile to use. Looks like a brake light switch in the mix as well, ( I better save that one, with the quality of the after market units being precarious). All of the behind the dash cables have been replaced.
The aftermarket dash replacement. Well molded. Holes must be cut by the buyer. It fits well up against the metal. DO NOT cut off the passengers side 'pillow' foam on the metal! It does not come with the replacement piece. I cut one of the large gauge holes with a x-acto knife after lightly heating the vinyl to make it more supple, then test fitted the gauge through the piece and the metal. Leaving the gauge in as a positioning anchor, I outlined the back of the next large hole, and after good scrutiny, determined its position was ok, then removed the piece and cut out that hole. A couple of holes came out with a semi-noticable mismatch, but I'm pleased overall. The piece comes with instructions on proper gluing. If I have to give a 'con' comment, it would be that the firm thick white foam backing is not uniform in thickness to a marked degree. Gauges and switches do not fit properly. I'll have to work with that and see how it goes.
This shows the varying thickness of the foam backing at different locations on the replacement padded dash. The bottle cap makes a good reference. One would think the thickness should be uniformly thin as the original.
One fellow on a forum stated he cut/shaved the foam to be more uniform in thickness. I'd like to see it.
Replacing or repairing the heater control device requires access to a 5/8" retaining nut. There is a small access hole on the side of the knob. Gently pushing in a small diameter punch will depress the spring activated catch button, thus allowing upward removal of the knob.
This shows the small button and the spring steel behind. The button catches in a depression on the control knob preventing unintended dislodgement.
After the knob is removed, a 5/8" long, thin walled socket just fits in the facing hole to unscrew the retaining nut.
This view shows the 5/8" retaining nut that must be removed to allow dismantling of the bezel and fascia.
From behind, we can see 2 of the 3 slotted screw pieces ( one at the 7 o'clock position, and one at the 10 o'clock position, the 3rd is at the 2 o'clock position hidden from view here) that must be unscrewed to allow final removal of the heating control apparatus.
Off the dash, all is exposed.
I've learned a good way to remove the securing rings from the warning and turn signal light housings is to use a pair of needle nose pliers with a fine point. Pry up 3-5 of the 'teeth', and the ring can be easily lifted off. Then the teeth can be repositioned for reapplication. Do not discard the metal ring...as far as I know they are not available for purchase.
Even in this photo, notice the foam thickness at the edge of the large gauge opening, then look at the thickness at the openings of the small indicator light openings.
With the teeth of the ring flattened, hold the securing ring flush to the dash-board metal, then easily press the indicator and turn signal housing pieces into proper position for a tight grip.
The aftermarket dash replacement is a beautiful piece out of the box. Foam back with a molded black vinyl front. All of the instrument and control and lamp openings require cutting for placement. Switches and gauge bezels nicely placed and snugged in the openings. The heater control knob opening on the left was not able to be fitted. The foam backing did not allow the heater control knob screws to reach the back for attachment. I may do without a heater control knob, or relocate it to the radio console. My gauges were all refurbished by Nisonger Instruments http://www.nisonger.com/ in Mamaroneck, New York. Great service, they turned out as nice as brand new.
Addendum: (As noted elsewhere, this after market dash was abandoned for an ebay procured piece).
The choke and dimmer knob fit well. The light rocker switch is snugged in, not enough room in the back to attach the clip due to the foam thickness glued to the vinyl. However, there is no way for it to come loose, unless forceably pryed. I was lucky, I found a pair of BEVELED blue and red indicator lights from earlier Midgets on ebay. The green turn signal indicators are a neat solid dark green, from a Jaguar parts supplier.
It does look real nice. Leave the under vinyl passengers side foam padding! Do not scrape it off, you need it for the fitment of the replacement dash. You would be tempted to remove it from the metal initially, but this is not supplied with the replacement, and, as is stated in the replacement dash instructions, no glue on this foam!
This view is to show the bezels sitting on top of the vinyl, not buried into the foam as I've seen on other replacement dash jobs. My preference is for the more 'proud' presentation of the instruments and other gear. It makes for a great looking fascia.
The opening shows where the heater control knob apparatus would go. You can see the thickness of the foam. And note the rocker switch placement. It was a frustrating dilemma for me, this foam thickness issue. ( Since finishing mine, I've read on mgexperience.net where one fellow simply sanded the backing foam untill it allowed proper fitment.............. I tried shaving and sanding a bit myself, the early results were not very satisfying with my abilities. I would like to see a youtube video of someone doing that, and the final result.
The vinyl was not initially cooperative with the fold over gluing to the metal. I carefully used a heat gun to soften the vinyl , then sprayed 3M Trim Adhesive (after taping paper masking), which gives up to several minutes for positioning before needing contact , then pressed the vinyl to the metal with good sticky contact, a few small plastic clamps, and several minutes of finger and thumb 'clamping' until firmly adhered. I did this one portion at a time for control.
The metal dash was in great shape when I removed the old vinyl. It had some surface rust. I wire wheeled it off, then gave a couple coats of Rust Encapsulator primer from Eastwood. The arch in the metal that sits over the steering cowl is stiff, with the vinyl and foam extending past the metal edge. I test heated it with the heat gun, and it stretches beautifully over the cowl.
The vinyl was gently warmed with a heat gun, then lightly stretched for pressure marking of the screw positions. Then I simply used a school style single hole punch to make the hole. All of the lamp wires will need bullet nipples soldered on. Good folks from British Car Forum gave me great instructions: #1. using 25-35 watt soldering iron, 'tin' the end of the wire with solder and let cool, #2. clip the bullet nipple securely , #3. heat the bullet nipple with the soldering iron , #4. place the exposed wire end in the bullet nipple, #4. touch the solder to the hole tip, the solder will wick inside, feed the solder to fill
The finished item. I do have to say, it is real fine looking.
The back of the finished item waiting to be mounted. The oil gauge line shown is not available currently in the catalogs. It can be purchased any length from an auto parts store with an end nipple to be soldered on and 1/4" NPT brass end nut for attachment to the gauge. The nipple and nut are available from Mossmotors. I ordered the finished piece from Moss Europe, its a little short, but the rubber hose through the cowl wall opening shoule be ok.
This is my favorite Midgetdom photo on the web.
Another favorite. An ebay Midget ad from a couple of years ago.
(They couldn't park the black or red Ferrari outside to make room for the Midget?)
someone has the best garage in town
Modern MG Midget design exercize.http://www.channel4.com/4car/gl/gallery/gallery/761/3
This is the cars parcel tray and door (the glove box). A little tired and torn. I decided the interior would suit me better, and be a little more elegant if it didnt have the 'glove box' door. So a finely crafted aluminum parcel shelf will replace it.
A piece of Automotive vinyl for covering the floor of the parcel tray.
Glued in place.
Parcel shelf made of aluminum to replace the cardboard like parcel shelf with the glove box door. I plan to line the inside with a black vinyl I purchased to refurbish the door cap pieces. Available through eBay UK seller: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/charliereed55/. He needed to know the application is for LHD.
The inside view of the parcel shelf. Well constructed. I do not fore-see missing the 'glove box' door
The 'crash rail' on the front of the parcel shelf
The parcel shelf is an out-of- the-way inconspicuous addition to the interior. It goes in with 4 side screws.
Perfect fit and well placed for best leg room.
I did have to cut the back part of the shelf as the slots pre cut did not quite line up with the 2 overhead brace supports on the car. ( my speculation is that it would line up on a RHD vehicle if placed on the left side of the RHD dash area )
This is a view of the Frontline Midget uprated brake kit, sourced from Moss Europe (http://www.moss-europe.co.uk/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=8124) . Modified MGB calipers to fit the Midget, 9" Spitfire rotors. Steel braided brake lines. This should actually compliment the stock rear brake set up well, and should improve stopping power measurably. Will fit this up soon.
The grill will get the usual treatment. It didn't require much. I ended up using 320 grit for the loose and cracked paint. The cup shaped wire wheel was used minimally for some deeper crevice flaking paint and grime as it is not too harsh on the aluminum grill. The round wire wheel was not used, it would have been to cutting on the aluminum I would imagine. I didn't take the whole thing to bare metal. Primer followed by a flat black trim paint should do the job well.
The grill ultimately required very little. Just a little paint off, wiping down, and black trim paint. I like it better without the internal stainless steel surround piece. One of the tabs is broken off on the top edge, and I'll repair it a little later on.
The grill had one of the top tabs broken off, so I found a piece of similar gauge metal and riveted it in place. It seems very strong and should make a good support
I chanced apon this cream and brown grill badge ( colors for MG TC and TD badging) on ebay. My car will have light tan interior trim, a darker tan carpeting, and biscuit seat upholstery. It will be a nice cue for visual continuity. I may not add the stainless steel color inside grill surround. IMHO the grill looks much more bold without it. Will decide when front headlights are placed, the grill opening surround pieces are rivited in, and the bonnet is aligned and finished.
Not the best light, but the badge centers real well, and looks like it belongs from original
This is the back of the grill and plinth, I didnt have to modify anything, just added a lock washer. Plinth already had the hole, as did the grill
Kumho 175/70/R13 tires http://www.tirerack.com/index_w.jsp mounted to Australian made Superlite 13x5.5 JJ wheels ( http://www.vtoperformance.com/) wait to be placed. I will need wheel hub spacers and slightly longer lugs for them to fit, (sourced from The Winners Circle in Cleveland, Ohio http://www.spridget.com/). The polished outer portion against the black rubber, and silver/gray center really makes them stand out. I credit Carl Heideman from Eclectic Motorworks ( http://www.eclecticmotorworks.com/ ), and his great Modern Midget articles in Classic Motorsports magazine http://classicmotorsports.net/ for this idea. The wheel center caps have a 68mm outer diameter hole. The MG logo is a 44mm diameter raised plastic self adhesive piece found at http://www.gbcarparts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=006%2DMG%2Dx4
Raised soft vinyl style MG logo wheel caps add a nice touch
44mm MG logo hub cap self adhesive MG logos are available from GBCARPARTS.com http://www.gbcarparts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=006%2DMG%2Dx4
They fit perfectly and look great.
Mounting the Superlite wheels requires use of a spacer and longer wheel lug. A standard Midget stud is shown above next to the required replacement. These are available from The Winners Circle; http://www.spridget.com/, and those fellows are ready to help with proper recommendations.
Another of many great ideas from Carl Heideman from Eclectic Motorworks in Holland, Michigan; http://www.eclecticmotorworks.com/index.html in his 'Modern Midget' article series in Classic Motorsports Magazine; http://classicmotorsports.net/, is upgraded swivel axels. These are heat treated for additional strength and have an additional support welded in. Sourced from The Winners Circle: http://www.spridget.com/. They are recommended generally for durability and longevity, most especially with wider tires.
New kingpins and bushing set to compliment the rest of the front end rebuild. These pieces were obtained form The Little British Car Company, a Moss distributor, http://www.littlebritishcarco.com/. Jeff at LBCarCo is great to deal with, as accomodating as anyone I've ever had web order dealings with, and adds a little 'Pavlovian treat' to most orders.
Though I will not be straining the car in competition, I still decided for some performance type upgrades. Timken tapered front wheel bearings and new oil seals will help modernize the front end. They were sourced through 'The Winners Circle' in Cleveland, Ohio; http://www.spridget.com/. Advice given to me, on top of the usual bearing replacement protocol:  throw away old spacer,  snug up the new bearing, then back off a bit until good play,  may need to file the nut a bit until good play,  new seals.
The shift boot components take a beating through the years. The retainer ring will be sanded and repainted. The rubber material inner boot will be washed then treated with Armor All, and reused. And likewise for the vinyl shift boot, cleaned and will see how it fits underneath the new leather gaiter.
Vinyl and rubber cleaned up and retainer ring painted
the original vinyl gaiter doesn't look to bad
Black leather gaiter for the interior. This well crafted piece was found on ebay UK (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/pjm-motors/) Black trim will compliment the biscuit and beige interior.
this is a trial of the leather gaiter over the original vinyl gaiter
An attractive gear shift knob.
A quick set up of the selected shift knob with the leather gaiter against the new carpet. I like the classic look and the color combination.
Vinyl replacement gaiter on top and original and leather on the floor. After much effort stretching the leather, heating the leather, working the original.........turns out the only one I could manage to fit was the replacement vinyl gaiter. The leather gaiter was too tight to wrap around the rubber base, and would not stretch to be able to accommodate the retainer surround. The original was just to warped and un yielding to allow the screws to be placed and tightened down. The replacement vinyl fit like a glove.
The vinyl went on perfectly, adjusted perfectly, and allowed fitment of the retaining ring perfectly. In the future, I may try to stretch the leather piece and try it again.
Trial placement of a 'new' used ebay gaiter was just great! I am so happy I found it! It was offered by 'British Masters'.
This photo also shows the radio console, black crinkle paint, English Walnut veneer where the speaker grill used to be, 3 toggles, and a voltmeter placed. The 'Midget' logo adds a nice touch to the radio slot.
This gear shift sub gaiter piece was on ebay. I didn't like the original (behind) but assumed it was my only option. The ebay piece is remarkable with all parts and no rubber cracks. It also sports a more appealing profile that will fit my leather gaiter.
The original rubber material sub gaiter piece.
The leather gaiter with the new rubber/vinyl lower profile piece fitted.
Motolita steering wheel hub
The Moto Lita steering wheel is a superb master craft piece.
14" MotoLita wheel. It took a bit of search to find the slotted style that I like, but eventually sourced from England. http://www.moto-lita.co.uk/ . Since my purchase I have also seen it on the Rimmer Bros. Triumph spares web site.
I hada this steering wheel puller from 2 MGB projects in the past. I'm glad I still have it. It wasn't expensive, but saves me the inconvenience of getting another.
Using an adjustable wrench, the steering wheel not was loosened up, but will be left on as the boss is progressively removed.
I need to take off 2 of the steering wheel screws to fit the steering wheel removing tool. The replacement Moto-Leta steering wheel is 14" diameter, if I recall, the MG wheel is 15".
The Moto-Lita boss kit came with two options for the boss fascia surround. I choose the chrome set up.
Just trying to get a feel for the visual of the steering wheel set up. I had some brake work done on my Miata a few years ago and the mechanic upset the steering alignment such that the wheel was turned about 3-5 degrees from center while driving straight on...........it was maddeningly annoying! After about 6 months I got it 'straightened out', I determined never to tolerate that again.
The steering wheel puller would not fit the MG steering wheel screw holes. Easy remedy.........bend the screw to fit the hole placement.
Showing what a vice and necessity can produce.
This photo shows the recently fitted leather shifter gaiter........I like it.
The push horn electrical contact and the steering boss electrical contact do not match.
Should be an easy fix...........cut off the circle connector, strip off some wire plastic, crimp on the blade connector.
Not exactly electricians tools, but it works.
I opted for the non-stalked seat belt replacements. No real reason.
Notice on the steering wheel boss the marking 'TOP'. It should come as no surprise that they marked that there for a reason. How does the old expression go? "Ask me how I know"? :)
To tighten the steering wheel nut I needed a 1-1/16 socket. The well of the boss was too deep to accomodate the adjustable wrench used to remove from the original. Fortunately, the store is only 15 minutes away.
SU H2's before refurbishing
Carbs were refurbished by University Motors in Ada, Michigan. I thought about a Weber, (had one on my 'B'), but emailed a tech guy at Moss UK a couple of times, and he explained the superiority of the SU, which was "over" engineered with superior street/ racing funtionality, very specific for the vehicles mounted to. Besides, don't you love it when people look at your engine bay and say, "hey, what are those!?".
I did a lot of web searching to find pics of the linkage to put these together. There are lots of SU photos, not lots of clear linkage photos. I finally saw 1973 SU carb photos in great condition for sale on eBay, with 3 great pictures. Thats all I needed, I had these together in 5 minutes. OldGreyNorm http://stores.shop.ebay.com/oldgreynorms-Britain-Bits__W0QQ_armrsZ1 , he sells good Spridget parts and takes great photos!
SU HS-2 (1 1/4")
I bought a new heat shield and painted it with high temp paint.
SU HS-2 (1 1/4")
I did make one change to the otherwise superb SU HS-2 carburetors..........I substituted Grose jets. Shown here is the Gross Jet with the visible ball end on the left, and the standard needle and jet on the right. http://www.bayshorecad.com/Sleds/Literature/Carbs/Grose-Jet/Grose-Jet.pdf
Grose jet http://www.mossmotors.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=29281&SortOrder=32#top http://www.mossmx5.co.uk/Shop/SearchResults.aspx?SearchText=grose%20jet&WebCatalogID=39
Removong the steel pin to separate the float bowl from the lid with needle nose pliars, to change the needle out and insert the Grose jet.
The standard needle and jet positioned in the float lid. Finding a tool to remove this was a search. I finally found in the back of my work bench drawer a little ratchet screw driver with 20 or more head attachments that did the trick.
The work surface.
I placed the Grose Jet into the upside down float bowl lid. To set the float level I placed a screw driver shaft a little less in diameter than 3/16" between the upside down float bowl and float lid. This allowed the float bowl to just sit on the Grose Jet.
I saw this K&N air filter back in my MGB days and didnt forget about it. I think its a great piece for the engine bay. Aside from the fact that I like the way it looks, it is a K & N sport piece, designed to not cost engine power, so it should add to engine performance. This alloy assembly incorporates stub stacks in the base plate and is for twin 1.25 inch SU carbs. David Vizard says in his book this filter can be installed on the A-series engine with SU carbs "without actually costing the engine any power, due to filter flow losses". http://www.mgocspares.co.uk/acatalog/MGOC_Spares_1275_175.html
K & N competition air filter. http://www.mgocspares.co.uk/acatalog/MGOC_Spares_1275_175.html
A well cut carpet kit from Victoria British http://www.victoriabritish.com/icatalog/sm/full.aspx?Page=69. Digital cameras catch so much light! I didnt notice when I took the photo that I should have vacumed first. It really is a lush black.
The kit even has a piece to cover the area under the lock catch.
everything needs to be cleaned up. after wire wheel treatment for all rust, I treated the metal with several coats of clear.
with the help of a new after market gas cap, it looks as good as new
fuse box with new wires
Clutch hydraulic line placed. Used the 'bent coat hanger' method here as well, bending the actual lines out side of the car to match the shape of the coat hanger. It was much easier than dealing with the lines unshaped in the engine bay and under the vehicle. I was absent a master cylinder to hose clutch pipe, and sourced this one from Moss-Europe http://www.moss-europe.co.uk/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=1319#top.
I plan to not have a radio, and found this one inch rubber plug from VB MGB parts catalog ( 12-504 driveshaft oiling hole plug ) fits the antenna hole perfectly and looks rather purpose made.
Another dilemma! Windscreen frame rubber seal is near non-compressable in the middle. I've had many suggestions on British Car Forum, and MG Experience, and tried them all.........I continue to weigh my options :o .
I ordered Industrial Strength Velcro 10cm x 5 cm strips from Amazon.com to hold down the carpet piece above the rear bulkhead arch piece.. I cut them in half and placed a square in each corner. Placing the velcro was easy enough....remove the adhesive plastic backing and place the four squares where desired on the car, test fit the carpet, then individually place the velcro mate piece on one corner, remove the plastic adhesive backing, lay the carpet on top for a 'stick', then do the next, and the next, etc.
The carpet piece holds down very well. ( I didn't want to screw into the metal, or glue it to the section at this time).
Bits and Pieces (items such as these must have been the inspiration for the DC5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoRLIJJSG4o. Thanks to folks on British Car Forum I now know #1 are tapping plates for door hinge, # 2 & 3 are lower dash attachment pieces, #4 is the odometer trip turnscrew under dash holder, #5 dosnt belong to my car at all, its from a Bug Eye Sprite, and #6 is a stiffener piece for the velcro attachment piece for the front of the hood on the outer of the cockpit surround.
I found a nice tech article on valve cover polishing http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=97179 and might give it a try. The worst that can happen is I dont do a good job and end up taking it to a shop to polish. A simple hand drill buffing and polishing kit was purchased http://www.sears.com/shc/s/v_10153_12605_Tools?adCell=AH&psid=53194320&sid=ISx20070515x00001c that included the polishing compound bars. A rotary tool will help for the difficult to get at areas.
I placed the Oil Cooler from the Moss Kit http://www.mossmotors.com/. The entire kit is superb. Very good directions come with the kit.
I decided not to do the drilling and connection fittings hook up to the new gas tank to fit up the evaporative condensing canister and its hoses. Ten years ago I wrote to the then NAMGBR technical advisor for the identical situation on a MGB, and he sent me this letter on an alternative option............ So, another cap drilled (inside only, not through and through). Did you know?......the North American MGB Register has a 'Midget' register http://www.namgbr.org/midget.htm
These Tex Viewmaster Spring Back chrome side mirrors are heavy and solid and very well built. They are super in hand. I'll put a little lithium grease on the inner spring before attaching to the door.
After market side mirror, Early Lucas style, from North American vendors.
I considered placing the side mirror on the quarter light vent window frame, as someone on MG Experience Forum described , so as to not drill into the door skin.? . Some have done just that, but it would expose the side glass frame to damage in the event of a 'brush by' to the mirror which would be much more difficult to repair than a door skin. I will not be placing the mirror in this location, just visualizing what it would look like. I like these 60's era Lucas styled mirrors , but also like the original design items noted prior.
This mirror matches the B&W 1973 company promotional photo displayed at the beginning of this album. Attractive aftermarket side mirrors are available from:
http://www.texautomotive.com/classic.html. Also available from British Motor Heritage Limited www.motoringclassics.co.uk
Credit to http://spridgetguru.com for the source.
Lining up the mirror location required to main considerations: first, I had to ensure that the adjustment of the mirror facing allowed for some visualization behind, second, I had to make sure the back support plinth would fit in between the items behind the door skin. Then finally, as best as possible try to leave room for the quarter light to freely open.
The length of this piece kind of limited positioning.
Eventually a position was decided on, and holes were drilled.
I used a small Carpenters level to make sure at least they were horizontal is much as possible.
I like the look of this mirror a lot.
The passenger side does have a bit of convexity to it as with modern mirrors.
Truck bedliner treatment painted on undercarraige as well as body tub above. The orange color in the cavity is actually a little Eastwood Rust Encapsulator spray I had surplus of and sprayed into those two openings. http://www.eastwood.com/rust-encapsulator.html . (What are those openings for anyway?. It is possible the openings are for a temporary block placement for body alignment?)
Undercarraige with truck bedliner painted on. The painter told me he thinned the bedliner to allow use of the sprayer, and applied several thin coats for a build up.
When I began wire brushing off the old paint from the radiator overflow tank I found this nice 'brass ' metal underneath. I read in a restoration book that the reason Abingdon painted them black was to allow a better heat transfer to the atmospher, thereby assisting in engine cooling. I decided to clean it up and leave it unpainted. But not wanting to decrease heat energy dissipation I put on several coats of satin clear finish from Eastwood hoping this would accomplish the same end as the original black paint. http://www.eastwood.com/paints/clear-coats/ew-diamond-clear-satin-bare-metal-aerosol-11-oz.html.
The heater unit was completely dismantled and refurbished. Paint stripper followed by wire brushing and then wire wheel on a hand drill got to bare metal. New rubber for the air intake flap was placed, as was new soft foam for the heating element wrap around, and new dense foam for the base cushion. New outer clips with approriate decals finished it nicely, and anti-rust primer outside and inside will offer protection. Compare it finished to photo #5 where it was ingloriously swathed in blue paint.
The back side. A good deal of surface corrosion can be appreciated in the photo. Fortunately its superficial and has no structural significance. As I mention throughout the photos, I use Eastwood Rust Encapsulator for just about everything. On a MGB I kept for 10-12 yesrs it held up totally http://www.eastwood.com/rust-encapsulator.html. This was followed with black trim paint.
Thats new rubber around the air control flap. The inner metal of the heater unit was a rusted mess too. I cleaned it up as well as the air flap, as seen above.
The cabin fresh air vent doors needed wire brushing and painting.
a work of art in itself
The fresh air vent doors were stripped of their paint, brushed of their rust, and repainted as new. Visible is the single piece (1500cc model) accelerator pedal I bought on ebay to replace the floor mounted unit specific to 1973, cleaned up and mounted. I sprayed the top half of the Dynamat with flat black paint to eliminate the shine and help to blend into the upper foot well area that is not covered by carpeting.
The fresh air vent doors with new screws are shown.
When temporarily fitting the grill I noticed I didnt fancy the white background of the front panel assembly showing through from behind. TB on British Car Forum was kind enough to show a photo of his red Spridget with a painted black retro-grill area. It looked great. I did like the silver metalic look of the aluminum oil cooler just visable behind the grill slats. So, decided I will paint that area the same color. The masking may not be pretty, but its impenetrable.
Finished front panel assembly spray. I used Dupli-Color Truck, Van & SUV T229 Siver (M) from NAPA after a very light 320 grit sand, and a little once over with a scuff pad. It read as specially formulated to be used over any painted surface, (5 light coats), followed by Eastwood Diamond Clear for Painted Surfaces (5 light coats). It should hold up to the elements well. And, it achieved the effect I was after, a bit of contrast from the body color and grill black .
I placed the rubber cockpit surround, the six Tenax studs, and the seven 'Durable Dot' fasteners. I figured out the rubber surround has one side contoured to allow 'hiding' of the nuts of the pegs on the inside. I also figured out the peg length is not long enough ( 3/8" is the standard) to accept a lock washer and be able to attach the nut. I'll have to wait untill the rubber is compressed over a day or so and then place one by one. When its time, I'll unscrew the 'Durable Dot' fasteners and place the stainless retaining strip over the rear collar of the hood material. The screws holding the 'Durable Dot' fasteners screw directly into the surround metal, and have no nut.
*(later entry udate; the 5/8" studs had a larger 'head' and would not accomodate the Tenax snap............I went back to the smaller size stud! ).............The rubber cockpit surround never did flatten out to allow the lock washer to be placed. I eventually ordered the 5/8" length Tenax stud (the 3/8" are the standard length) from Moss Motors http://www.mossmotors.com/ , and SAE Grade 2 chrome #10 flat washers from http://www.BoltDepot.com. This allowed me to have a broader outer rubber contact area, the chrome also highlights the studs much more assertively. Behind the rubber is a standard flat washer, followed by a nylon flat washer for the painted metal contact. Then through the hole in the cockpit surround metal, where 'now' the lock washer and the nut fit properly and securely.
3/8" compared to 5/8"
After placing the rubber windshield frame to body seal, (from a major supplier), I was faced with the situation where the lower center rod bracket would not reach to screw down. The rubber was near noncompressable. I tried numerous suggestions and ideas to no avail. Finally, I ordered a seal from MacGregor British Car Parts http://www.macgregorukcarparts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT, and easily worked the MacGregor seal on the winshield frame, got the frame and windscreen bolted in, and the center rod bracket and bracket packing shim secured in place. It took under 1 hour to do, was a perfect fit, and is problem free.
These are two sources of windshield frame to body seals. The one on the left is from a 'major supplier'. The rubber is very firm with what I now describe as an unfavorable elasticity. Also, notice the wider 'fin' on the 'keel', making it difficult to fit into the groove at the bottom of the windshield frame. The (wonderful) piece on the right is from MacGregor British Car Parts out of Ontario, Canada http://www.macgregorukcarparts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=MG. A truly remarkable piece of rubber, molecularly superior in flexibility and compliance. The 'finned keel' is easily wedged into the groove on one side, then the other side is gently eased into position with a plastic windshield tool, requiring only 5 minutes of work, without lubricant or unkind words. The extra 'lip' on the left hand piece is not noticed or missed on the right hand piece when fitted to the frame.(IMHO)
The rubber windshield/frame seal finished and placed, looking right and proper. Use of this green 'windshield stick' from Victoria British made the job a snap, and allowed to not bother with lubricants, soap, tape, wire, string, or any other aids for fitment.
Another 'end on' view. This is of door seals. The one on the left is Furflex. It is nice. It has folded over aluminum pieces that run the length of the seal that serve to 'clip' on to the metal edge of the door. It works well, I've used it on two vehicles. The example on the right is a Bristleflex seal available from Moss and MacGregor British Car Parts. It has a steel wire core, and as can be seen the rubber 'fingers' to grab the frame edge. An 'as original' product. Reading different threads has given me the impression that this may be the choice product. This is the piece to go on my Midget.
I decided to replace the U-joints since the drive shaft was off the car. Fortunately the OE Hardy-Spicer brand is readily available. The flange was painted up as nice as the shaft, however placing the U-joint resulted in a little scuffed finish. Following the guidence of internet instructions, I took it apon myself to take on the job. After all, it reads as simply a little 'tap here' and a little 'drift there'. And the circlips! ........one just cannot imagine the experience of removing a couple of old circlips with broken ends!!!
I wire wheeled the drive shaft before spraying it with Eastwood Rust encapsulator http://www.eastwood.com/. Then I sprayed 3 coats of Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black, their most chip resistant finish. The tools in the photo are shown as a reality check. The red colored [tool] is my 'tapper', and the other [tool] is my 'drifter'. Add about 90 minutes of time, a good bit of sweat, and a few passing moments of hopeless futility, and eventually the job gets done. (There is actually a very nice write-up on removing and replacing a U-J in the Grahame Bristow book, 'Restoring Sprites & Midgets', on page 60 and 61).
the exhaust manifold will be cleaned up and painted. a broken off stud had to be counter drilled, heated with a torch and extracted.
The exhaust manifold was cleaned up with a wire wheel on a hand drill, then painted with Eastwood Satin Black High Temp Coating for manifolds and headers http://www.eastwood.com/. They claim a temperature rating to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. I like the way it looks.
The right side splash panel and engine bay prior to clean up and paint.
The splash shields were pretty rusty, but solid. They were treated with the wire wheel, then soaked and scrubbed with a rust remover and inhibitor. This was followed by Eastwood Rust Encapsulator spray. Rubberized undercoating was sprayed on, allowed to dry for several days, then finished with two coats of Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black paint http://www.eastwood.com/.
I read about this 'Brake Light Switch Relay' on a British Car Forum thread. I then found the sellers web page and decided to place one on my car. This is it. It makes sense to me and I will place it when I get moving on the wiring loom. http://homepages.donobi.net/sufuelpumps/Other_Subjects/Electrical/General/Brake_Light_Relay.pdf
It's a sign such as this that helped me decide to replace the entire electrical system.
The original wiring loom. I decided at the onset to not reuse it. I obtained the excellent color correct laminated poster size wiring diagram on eBay, sold by Prosperos to help with placing the new loom.
I ordered a modern solid-state voltage stabilizer from 'Bits4Brits' , (seen on the cowl assembly wall):
http://www.bits4brits.net/Stabilizer.html. It is a direct replacement for the OE contact breaker type. This unit is designed to maintain a steady 10v stream at all times without fluctuations as might occure with the older technology units, thus reducing potential harm to the gauges. Looks the same as original.
The modern solid state voltage stabilizer on the left, and the 1275 two prong flasher unit on the right, mounted to the cowl assembly 'fire wall' unit over the passengers side foot well, which would be behind the dash were it mounted, is shown for those like me, who might need a photo reference for reassembly. The flasher unit holder was a rusted mess in a box the PO had labeled 'UFO's. They are not available aftermarket. I removed the rust and painted it a Cadmium paint. When the 'knowledgeable ones' on the forums say to "save everything", more sound advice was never given.edit
This view is looking down into the bottom of the door. The 'foil' like material on the side is Dynamat sound/heat/vibration material. The metal pieces to the left are part of the window winding mechanism. And the reason for the photo is the black felt covered piece on the bottom. This is a 'stop-pad' for the door glass when fully down. I had none in my parts boxes from the PO. They are available fortunately through Ebay UK seller..............
ashleyhintonmgparts2002. So, here it is in-situ.
Any wiring diagram will do. In fact I have two manuals with good drawings. However for me, the best is that offered by Prosperos on ebay. They are beautiful, color correct, poster size, laminated, car specific drawings.
a little helpful diagram for the splash gaurd placement
Test fitting the radiator mounting bracket
Test fitting the left hand side 'splash' gaurd
Test placement of the radiator expansion tank over the splash guard
The right side rear tail and side lamp wiring connections. This new side lamp assembly has wiring color different from the wiring diagram designation. The side marker lamp wire should be red according to the wiring diagram, but it came as green, (as seen above). Fortunately, earth is still black. So its easy enough to sort through.
Some of the original pieces that came with the purchase
a engine/transmission mount, greasy, grimy, and worn, before clean up
There was no engine or transmission mount in my boxes of parts. I bought a used transmission mount from a well supplied Ebay seller, 'Matthews Foreign Car Parts'http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/matthewsparts&ssPageName=STRK:MEFSX:SELLERID , and spent a good deal of time degreasing it, then cleaning it well with metal wash . After that was done I did my tried and true Eastwood Rust Encapsulator primer, followed with Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black paint http://www.eastwood.com/. Both front and rear mount pads, and tie bar, as well as new nuts, bolts, and washers from Moss.http://www.mossmotors.com/
The glass, rubber molding, mirror and brace rod, and screw hardware as available was replaced with new. I thought about 'polishing' the aluminum, but internet search indicated it may affect the aluminum 'anodized' nature of the metal, so I simply cleaned it up a bit.
Its some effort to fit up the frame bottom rubber. Its a real chore to fit up the glass rubber, and the glass to the frame. This was my second frame to be done. I hope it is my last. I didn't take any photos, but suffice to say, its a major undertaking. The glass rubber glazing is attached as best as can to the edge of the glass. Then I had the top, bottom, and one side loosely screwed in place. Then the glass is pressed in place as well as can be. The glazing is resistant. Then the open end is approximated to position and screwed in as able. After this, tension straps are place all around and checked every few hours for re-tightening as the rubber yields. After a couple of tightenings, it is left for over night. By morning the rubber glazing is seated and the glass is in position, allowing for final tightening of the frame screws.
This is an MGB windshield I completely redid with all new components including glass. It was the same for the Midget. Unfortunately I did not photograph the straps and clamps that went into the fitting of the glass molding and glass into the frame!
The rubber glazing will fit clean and tight in the end.
All quarterlight side vent hardware was replaced with new.
replacing the rubber molding on the side vents involved first buying from one of the 'big house' retailers, which resulted in a failed attempt due to poor fitment and stubborn rubber. As occured in the past, after purchasing from a UK based seller with probable different manufacturer resource, they fit right up. Replacing the glass itself required the heat gun and careful removal.
The stainless frame on the left shows a typical very common crack in the metal. Years of drivers grabbing the frame to close the door is too much strain on the joint line. The chrome frame on the right is reported to be made of bronze and seems to have a bronze-weld?
End-to-end veiw explains it better. The stainless piece on the left (with crack visible) displays a thinner metal connecting the top to the side of the frame. The chrome piece on the left shows a much thicker gauge metal on the top edge.
The rear top corner of both left and right quarter lite stainless steel side vent frames on my 1973 had cracks inner and outer . On Ebay http://www.motors.ebay.com/ these Mk ll (earlier model) chrome pieces became available. They were in outstanding shape. I did change the vent window and seating seal, as well as the corner finisher, all associated chrome screws, and the pivot spring on the under side.
The Mark ll chrome quarter lites are much superior to the stainless steel. The ebay aquired Prosperos color wire diagram is seen above the rear bulkhead
The grill surround is really going to need some cleaning and attention. Fortunately the bright metal is an easy clean and polish, and the black will look like new with black trim paint.
I sourced a Stebel ( Flosser-Germany) Nautilus compact 135 decible air horn, through the helpful suggestions of British Car Forum, (Amazon.com). Here I'm test fitting it bolted through one of the not used accessory hose openings. The horn placement obstructed the grill fitment by about 1/8 inch unfortunately, so I'll have to reposition it more toward the center, requiring drilling of a bolt hole. Much as I never enjoy drilling into the Midgets sheet metal, I have determined it will fit if I drill a hole in the blanking plate covering the unused airduct opening on the cars left. Also, test placement of the painted grill surround pieces seems to fit well.
Test fitting of finished grill, and bonnet 'down' for a change. The bottom and side grill surround pieces have been rivited in, and the bonnet alignment seems good. I dip the rivit barrel (the end) in Waxoyl prior to placement. I did similar ten years ago on another MG, and when checking, have found evidence the Waxoyl still remains. I still like the grill without the inner grill molding.
An alternative replacement is this fiberglass Midget hood. The hood comes with steel reinforcements and nut plates for the hinges bonded in.
It weighes about 22 pounds.
Preform Resources.com – Redford(Detroit) Michigan USA
Preform Resources,Inc./Dave Craddock, composite parts that FIT! Complete design & build services. 313-533-2457 email@example.com
I purchased these very good condition turn signal lamp lenses from a 1966 Midget off ebay. I feel they will add a nice variation to the front end as compared to the amber color. They are supplied by yellow 1157 bulbs
The dash lamp wires had no bullet nipples, and required soldering on. I hadnt used a soldering iron since around the time Yoko split up John and Paul, and I wasnt particularly good at it then. I had proper technique described to me on the forum, but my best efforts did not produce good results. I then found a technique on Youtube that worked well for me; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9yY9Kk4bEA. Its a little crude compared to the eloquent techniques described on the British Car Forum, but I can get through it and it works well for me.
I couldnt resist a little MG accouterment, but didnt want the typical dash placement. I thought the clean heel board in the boot would be a fine area for my own private presentation.
More to be added in future.
A quality automotive vinyl was ordered over the internet from Great Lakes Fabrics, Inc. ( Allante AL-02 Black) http://www.glfi.com/vinylbook.htm, to refurbish the door cappings. I'll also use it to line the parcel shelf. My favorite sticky stuff, 3M Trim Adhesive should work well. I also have a can of general purpose contact cement as an option.
(Since finishing this project, I have worked with Gel Contact Cement on other items. I feel the paint on gel is much easier to work with and allows a more controlled application than the spray).
I want the rear to be as reliable as the front with uprated components. Moss offers these UK made hardened steel competition axel shafts with flanges retained by splines and nut instead of the stock taper. They are heat treated to 39-41 Rockwell hardness. These will never twist or snap. They were purchased from Jeff at Little British Car Company http://www.littlebritishcarco.com/
Seats were ordered from Victoria British . I've re-strapped, re-sprung, re-cushioned, and re-upholstered two sets of seats over the years and thought I would go for these Suffolk assembled seats. They are faced with soft Bridge of Weir Scottish leather and manufactured in England. They are superb.
A detail view of the seat lever. This color is with camera flash....it actually is pretty close to the 'in person' color.
A trial positioning. It still amazes me how 'compact' the seating is in the Midget.
These are MGB seats I reupholstered on my project before the Midget. It was a good kit from VB.
The seat runner rails that came in my boxes included the 4 on the right. They are not currently available in the catalogs. They have a bit of surface rust, but are essentially whole and strong and should clean up well using my usual modus operandi. I'll start on that a little later on. The 4 runners on the left were not in my boxes of parts from the PO. Fortunately, these items are available aftermarket from the usual sellers.
With the carpet matting already cut for bolt hole placement, it is time to place access holes in the carpet.
Snap hole was too large to accept rivit, so a properly sized screw with a small head did the job.
I have read several methods to line up the bolt/screw access hole in the carpet, from burning with a solder iron to using a special circular cutting punch. The one certain is to not use a drill on carpet fibers, it will only cause a tangled wrapped tightly wound mess. So, looking for simplicity, I simply marked the exact spot over the holes with a marker, on the carpeting. Very simple and accurate.
I used a large nail to punch a hole through the carpet to identify the point on the carpet underside.
The nail raises carpet fibers though the bottom which guides me in my cut.
Then from the bottom side, I cut a hole.
They line up perfectly.
Test fitting the seat to floor pan rails, they line up perfectly. The front of the rail has a fixed bolt that protrudes.
The back hole of the rail has an open hole for a bolt to go into this captive nut. Seen from the underside of the floor pan.
After POR-15 and primer paint, the captive nuts wanted for a little cleaning out prior to screw placement.
I bought this cheap 'Tap & Die' set several years ago and it has served me well on several occaisions.
Test fitting the screw it works well. The screws are not available through the catalog suppiers. So I picked up several 1/4"X 1" automotive grade 5 pieces at a large home supply store and they worked well.
The front 'fixed' screws on the rail were lacking nuts and washers. Again at a large home supply store I found grade 8 nuts flat and lock washers. I took the rail with me to ensure the right size nut.
My bride to be helping by tightening up the seat rails first with nylock nuts. Not too tight to avoid bending the track guide. I decided to have the under seat adjustment lever on the door side of each seat.
A bit of white lithium grease was sprayed in the rail track slide gooves.
I started by first placing the floor rails on the seat rails, then using masking tape to hold the floor rail 'behind' the seat an inch or so. Placing the seat in the space, this allowed me to start the screw behind into the floor pan captive nut. I did not fully tighten. Then using the adjustmen lever at the front of the under seat, I slide the seat as far rearward as it would go and reaching under fiddled about (for a good while) to position the front preattached screws into the holes through the floor pan. Then form under neath the car I placed the flat and lock washer and nut on each bolt. After 'jiggling' the seat into position I then tightened all for securely.
The floor pan carpet was not glued. This allowed for good workability for screw and hole placement and finding. The seat rails do mor than enough to keep the carpeting in place!
The passengers side seat when smooth and easy. I placed the back screws first, half tightened, then move the seat back on its rails and did the front screws.
Finally both seats in! The drivers side was more difficult than the passengers side. I placed the front 'fixed' bolts first, then the rear.
The front seat rail bolts fromt the underside. This also shows some of the underside weather protection..........POR-15 followed by truck bedliner spray.
The rear seat rail screw through the captive nut.
This is the set up for attaching the Suffolk seats to the car, the back reclining lever on the door side of both seats (marked with a paint brush in this view), the slide adjustments also on the door side. Steering wheel on drivers side for orientation. Floor rails placed on seat rails on passengers side seat, and on ground on drivers side seat.
The concern is that the reclining lever would crowd too much if on the transmission tunnel side of the seat, which is already tight with the seat belt stalk and the handbrake lever on the drivers side.
One tip I have read about on MG Experience is to tape the rails to the seat prior to placement in the floor pan bolt holes, then simply remove the tape afterward.
BTW, I find it peculier that the rail to seat bolts and Nyloc nuts are not listed in the Midget catalogs, but are available in the MGB catalogs.......they are the exact components :)
Not a Midget line, but great for DYI'ers replacing their seats: look at this fellow putting the seat in.......he has the floor rails preattached to the seat slide rails. Fitting them up with a little masking tape will hold them steady for placement, then remove the tape after placed. Also, notice the 6 inches or so forward position of the floor rail on the seat rail, he is showing us the best way for fitment! Bolt in the front first, slide the seat forward after, then bolt in the back. ( I'll comment on how it works after I place my seats )
I have always liked the toggle switches from the Mk ll mid-1960's Spridgets. These NOS pieces appeared on eBay http://www.motors.ebay.com/ . One box had a shelf stock routing slip enclosed. Though they are not period correct for my car, I'll find a place for them on the radio console (which will be radioless). They are very versatile as 'dual' switches, and will be used for the back up fuel pump, for possible front fog lights, or whatever idea comes up in the future.
The decision was made to paint the wheel wells black. I think it will emphasize the presence of the Superlite wheels and bigger rubber , and add to the contrast from the Oxford white body color
Front end from the inside view. Its a clean machine.
Front wheel well. A little patch work visible
Rear wheel well.
For those of you professional body folks, I offer my apologies for insulting your sensibilities with my masking. The paper is packing paper from a shipment box of parts. For my purposes, it works well.
Supplies gathered and at the ready. The wheel wells were prepped with 320 grit light sanding in a back and forth cross pattern, and the more difficult to get at corners and edge angles were gone over with a scuff pad.
The first spray. No turning back now. For prolonged spraying, the hand held triggering device is a nice comfort item. It is available through Eastwood Automotive http://www.eastwood.com/, and I've seen them elsewhere at various stores and in catalogs.
Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black (available in satin or gloss ) http://www.eastwood.com/ , sprays on very cleanly with no spatter, and accurate directional spray. It seems to have a high particle content, and discharges fully through the entire can volume. This paint layers very well. In my experience its everything the company claims it is. So far , so good!
The outdoors is a suitable paint booth for this type of painting. Its nice to have the fresh air on this warm autumn day.
MG Midget wheel well's,.... I'm done. Final paint coat sprayed for a total of five, ( I know !, a little over the top).
In a few hours the tape and paper will carefully come off. ( Don't you just love the A-post lines on a Spridget?)
I've always liked the MG back side.
Wheel wells finished and masking removed. My son, home for the weekend from college is willing to help out. I'm happy with the results.
I like the 'Midget in flight' look.
Rather snappy looking. Front wheel well.
Great contrast. The Extreme Chassis Black up close is like hot fudge on vanilla ice cream http://www.kraftfoods.com/images/recipe_images/TOBLERONE_Hot_Fudge_Sauce.jpg. Rear wheel well.
Forward view of rear wheel well. I'm getting eager to start on the hand brake mechanism and press in the longer wheel studs.
The decision was made not to spray the forward area of the inner fender to keep it looking as neat as possible. The splash panels will be placed soon.
Fuel tank. Painted with my usual recipe.
This is how a new fuel tank comes. Made to perfection in Canada and ready for painting. I did use a good bit of metal wash to clean first.
I always use a weight distributing piece of wood either front to back or side to side on the cross member piece when lifting the front end. There is visible evidence that one or more PO's in the past have used the sheet metal center as a jacking point, (notice the bent upward section contacting the wood block). I've found for the MG's I much prefer the 6 ton jack stands and the 3 ton low profile floor jack to the lesser models.
Wheels back on, and back on the ground..............on to something else.
Plastic self adhesive clips for the wiring loom to metal connection. They came from the PO, I have not decided to use yet?
Trying to find a lettering stamping service. This is an aftermarket chassis number plate for Midgets up to 1969. These are readily available from the usual sellers. I like it better than the 1973 era plate that was original to my car....so.oooooooo, this is the one that goes in. I'll track down a stamping shop.
I do not have the chassis number, so I'll have the vehicle identification number stamped on this plate. The plate will be at this location. I'll need to web search some photos for the facing of the wording.
A few vendors
The bottom dash panel support brackets, and the odometer reset trip screw bracket responded well to rust remoal and black trim paint. A few of these are seen in their 'before' state in photo 151.
Original handbood 1973
Original 1973 UK sales brochure
I'm starting with the easy parts of the wiring loom. Originally I had the flasher unit placed behind this wall, which would place it behind the dash. I thought it would be more accessable in the engine bay should it ever require replacement. Additionally, the new loom layout has the flasher unit wiring coming off the wire bundle on this side of the cowl wall. The ground wire is ready to go. I'll scrape the paint off the metal first for good contact, then cover the screw edges with Anti-Seize or similar product. Notice the broken loom metal hold down straps. This is where I may use the plastic adhesive pieces shown prior, or I may screw in an appropriate size metal clip.
Fuse box is set up. And the wires to the heater motor at the standby.
The engine bay branch of the main loom on the left hand cabin side of the cowl wall was routed through after a rubber grommet was passed through the end. The spade connectors fit up to the after market washer fluid motor, (thankfully).
The end plug is ready for the wiper motor mating. The two wires coming off the back of the plug wiring have bullet connectors and colors that do not match the colors of the bullet connected wires seen coming from the brake light switch. I'll have to sort that out,
The five wire connector plug, [shown] , for the wiper motor, would not fit through the opening shown above, to get it from the main wiring loom in the dash area to the engine side of the cowl wall. Using masterful advice from DrE on British Car Forum, I took the end of a coat hanger, pounded it thin and flat on my vice surface, then filed it to an approximate 1mm blade, (shown above green arrow). It then fits into the end of the five wire connector plug to release a 'catch' that holds the spade ends in place. With all of the wires out, and after writing down their proper positions in the plug, I was able to feed the wire through the hole above, as well as the grommet, and reconnect.
There was no boot light switch loom in my parts boxes. I made one up and wrapped it in the blue plastic tape for continuity with the rest of the loom.
Wireing from the boot snaked through the passengers side body panels to the cabin floor. The red wire is the feed to the accessory fuel pump.
Body number ID plate cleaned and rivited as per a photograph taken by the PO in 1993 . I sprayed it with satin clear paint to avoid surface rust.
Vinyl hood waiting to be fitted. This is from MG Owners Club. From their O/E Quality Hood section. It has a zipper rear window and comes complete with 6 Tenax fasteners.
A nice instructional site for mounting: http://gerardsgarage.com/Garage/Tech/topWS.htm
The MGOC http://www.mgownersclub.co.uk/ hood has pre-cut openings for the Tenax fasteners, and pre-sewn velcro at the bottom ends. The underside has what seems to be a brushed cloth like backing.
The vinyl is superb quality, with fine stitching and material alignment. The MGOC hood has pre-cut openings for the Tenax fasteners, and pre-sewn velcro at the bottom ends. There is a fine leather like grain.
I like this hood color and want to keep it at eye level as a reminder
A very good page on proper folding of soft top:
Polished stainless steel rear soft top retainer bar.
The hood was scrapped for a replacement, the frame cleaned, rust removed, treated, painted, and joints lubricated
The three leatherette straps are in decent shape on the hood frame.
My first experience in the 90's with hood frames found them to be rust prone. I consider myself lucky with this one. It was restorable condition surface rust. It cleaned up well, and all the joints worked freely and correctly. The three restraining straps should last another 25 years or so.
Header rails can be a rusted unusable piece with their thin metal and head forward position facing the elements. I was lucky, surface rust only. It didnt affect the structural integrity. Wire wheeled, Eastwood Rust Encapsulator, and Extreme Chassis Black http://www.eastwood.com/ should allow it a couple of decades of service.
Adding the readily available as original decals makes for a very satisfying refurbishment.
New buffer pads and screws. Header rail seal and retaining strip yet to be placed.
A nice taught hood on a well cared for frame adds greatly to the spirit
this is the kind of thing that makes me think I can make something more interesting to look at
I thought of trying a fiberglass radio console to add a little variety to gauge and switch placement.
(This idea was eventually abandoned)
Fiberglass radio console idea. Top row from left to right; Smiths voltmeter, heater control knob ( if the turns and bends allow the cable to work ), three 1960's era toggle switches, rocker style hazard switch. Bottom row left to right; hazard red light indicator, MG radio blanking plate, cigarette lighter.
(Ultimately this fiberglass idea was shelved)
Circular openings were started with a 1/16 drill bit pilot hole, followed by 2-3 larger sizes increasing the diameter to keep things as controlled as possible. The larger holes were finished with a 'hole saw' of the required size. To cut the rectangular hole for the hazard rocker switch I used the rotary tool with a thin grinding disc for a 'rough' cut, then a file for final edging and fitting. I find using a rotary tool at 35,000 rpm's requires a delicate hand.
(it was a fun project, but abandoned)
One of the screw mounts had snapped off while trying to take the nut off, on the heater control knob facing. I found a screw with the same thread count, rotary tooled off the head, 'carved' a few scratch marks at the base of the back piece, and applied a little J-B Weld. It anchored itself well in the scratch marks and the screw thread. It is an unstressed mount, so the J-B Weld should do the job well (?).
Here is the transformed radio console. I'll be the first to admit its a little 'busy' looking. But, in my opinion, the console is unsightly to begin with, so a change up is just a rose by a different color. The pieces are not secured, just placed for visualization. The heater cable mechanism has enough room to manuever in the back, and a quick check of the heater cable shows it will funtion through a sharp turn up and out the top. Of course it will need to be sized to effective purpose.
( eventually abandoned the figerglass radio console idea)
That fiberglass almost looks like vinyl. The radio blanking plate conveys a more solid presence without the stainless steel suround piece.
One for the engine, one for the boot. I should test the original .
The 1973 steering column cowl on the right. And a later model cowl on the left. I'm deciding if there is any advantage in using the later model cowl with its low hanging underside.
This VG condition later model rack was given to me because several of the plastic end pieces (the spacers the screws go into at the end of the slats) were cracked or missing. I havn't decided if I will use it.
I used one of the good plastic end piece to make a few carboard molds, then filled them with J-B weld. I then filed and sanded them down to make a decent fit, the color pretty much matches the original pieces. The rotary tool ( a Craftsman, Dremmel clone), paid for itself that day.
Just waiting to be mounted. Much will get done rapidly once the wiring loom is up and sorted.
Original North American 1973 sales brochure page 1
I'm starting on the wiring loom. I have bullet connectors and Dielectric Grease. What could be easier! It should be as simple as can be from here on out! (isn't that right?).
First up.....connect the rear loom to the main loom.
Two unused loom off shoots will have to be dealth with.
I will not be using the belt buckle switches, or the passenger seat switch. So I'll bundle their wiring components together for under carpet.
And here it is, ready to be placed under the carpet.
Drain and seat rail bolt hole openings were cut into the Dynamat.
The PO left me several wiring loom plastic holders with back adhesive. Several of the original metal tabs were broken off. Very strong adhesion.
Another style of a wiring loom retaining piece. With the two visible broken metal loom retaining tabs absent, this is a very good option.
Time to bring up the steering lock and stalk pieces for a trial . Its been 1 1/2 years to get to this point, I like how they look!
I had enough wiring exercise for today, so I decided to test fit the floor carpeting. I've been debating on placing under carpet matting. The PO had given me a 5' roll. The carpet over the transmission tunnel is a little loose , they must have made allowance for placement of the insulation matting. So that answers it for me......I'll cut up some pieces.
The prior owner included this insulation matting with the sale.
The colors from the after market brake light switch do not match the colors of the loom wires, but being only two wires for circuit completion, it doesnt matter, other than for continuity of identification. (I'll just have to remember).
I placed this [ brake light switch relay ] . It was discussed in a prior photo http://homepages.donobi.net/sufuelpumps/Other_Subjects/Electrical/General/Brake_Light_Relay.pdfedit
. The wiring from the aftermarket brake light switch did not match the wiring diagram, but after some consideration it was sorted out. The relay was attached just next to the pedal box with a self tapping screw near the box bottom over the foot well. The paint was sanded to bare metal for ground contact. The instructions with the relay were easy to follow.
Posted by: tinymg (24.176.110.)
An idea I might consider: (MG Experience Spridget Forum), for crankcase breathing
Part numbers are Moss 377-415 (fuel pump spacer) and 697-125 x 2 (gaskets); a brass 3/8 male NPT x 3/8 hose barb; and the existing fuel pump block-off plate with a hole drilled in it for the pipe fitting. I used the spacer to ensure that there was no protrusion by the threaded end of the hose barb past the interior surface of the block into the crankcase, since I wasn't sure how close the rotating machinery in there came to the wall. The hose is connected to a Jegs 547-605-375-01 mini catch can mounted to the interior fender wall. There are a couple of different mounting options for this, thanks to a PO I already had holes drilled in the fender wall so I used them. Just be sure the can is vertical enough so that it vents and drains properly, and that there are no loops in the hose.
Posted by: tinymg (24.176.110.---)
Date: September 19, 2009 09:21AM
An idea I might consider: (MG Experience Spridget Forum)
I found this little write up in the Moss Europe Late Sprite and Midget catalog. A succinct but sufficient lesson for those of us with no engineering training or race experience.
This 5/8" front sway (torsion) bar will be fitted as an ugrade to the stock 9/16". This was sourced from Moss Europe http://www.moss-europe.co.uk/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=1180&SortOrder=2. I appreciate their informative tech section. A 5/8" bar is also available in North America from Victoria British http://www.victoriabritish.com/icatalog/sm/full.aspx?Page=87. Grahame Bristow in his book; 'Restoring Sprites and Midgets' (Brooklands Books) explains well that an upgraded sway bar is the "most worthwhile suspension improvement for any Sprite or Midget". He also explains that bars too thick (ie fast road/competition or pure track) will cause a significant comfort loss producing considerable jarring due to inflexibility and stiffness, becoming more unpleasant to drive with increasing bar diameter. This also comes with a cost to other suspension components with more strain and earlier wear.
Originally I had purchased and fitted this 3/4" front anti-sway bar from The Winners Circle http://spridget.com/.
After doing a little more belated home work I have decided the 5/8" bar is more suited for my car, for the reasons mentioned on the 5/8" photo after reading the Bristow book and reviewing the advice from Moss Europe catalog. This was fitted up, but not taken on the road.
3/4" front anti-roll bar with hardware kit came from The Winners Circle; http://www.spridget.com/, to replace the 9/16" stock unit. Nylatron bushings replace the stock rubber for the front. This is a lead from the Carl Heideman http://www.eclecticmotorworks.com/ articles; 'Modern Midget', in Classic Motorsports magazine http://classicmotorsports.net/
Moss UK Technical Advice offers the following:
"An uprated anti-roll bar will help you get the full cornering benefit from your classic....It is important not to fit too stiff a bar, as this will ruin the ride comfort, transmitting road shocks. We have found the ideal anti roll bar for a standard road car is 5/8", a modified car will handle better with the 11/16" bar. 3/4" for competition cars may prove too stiff for road use and will push the handling towards understeer. Experience has shown bar stop ends should be used on road cars."
So, the 5/8" set up was obtained and set up..............
This is the 3/4" sway (anti-roll, roll, torsion) bar as fitted up before change over to a 5/8" diameter bar, right hand side view . End links are adjustable. (p.s. I'm not a racer, that adjustability would have been lost on me.).
A part of the original loom. Multiple gauge and switch lamps were powered by the one red/ white stripe blade connector lead above. I'll have to devise something similar.
The new aftermarket wiring loom was without any bullet connectors. Using the "quick but sure" soldering method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9yY9Kk4bEA , I attached bullet nipples to the high beam and ignition indicator lamp wires.
Additional wires were similarly readied, under dash. A carboard box with a shop towel served as the work bench. With these left hand side directional indicator lamp wires, since they needed blade ends attached, 5 inch extensions were added for ease of placement.
The door cockpit light switch was a mess, so was replaced with new, (seen on the door side of the little box), but had no attached wiring, so, a suitable length was made up with a blade connector for the switch on one end, and a bullet nipple for connector attachment to the purple/ white stripe wire on the opposite end.
A cascade was made up for the four gauge lamps, for both the red/ white stripe feed wire, and the black earth wire. After soldering, heat shrink material was placed. Use of bullet connectors.
The Midget threshold plate was attached with silicone adhesive. The plate adds a nicer touch than I thought it would.
The back of those cleaned gauges look very nice.
The red/white stripe wire above, with the blade end, is designated for the 'panel lamp reostat switch'. It is the only red/white stripe wire comming off the main loom to service the dash. The wiring diagram also indicates the gauge lamps supplied by red/white stripe. As such, I added the pink plastic 3M 'quick connect' device seen above with the black wire and blue shrink wrap showing bullet nipple link that I can connect with the cascade piece. Fortunately the loom supplied an earth bullet connector higher up.
A great poster from Sprite-Midget Club http://www.sprite-midgetclub.org/
There is a great youtube video on MG steering wheel removal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwf2BDC5DMo that involves John Twist pulling on the wheel, while his assistant strikes the center bolt with a mallet. I didn't have a second person, so I bought this steering wheel removal tool from NAPA. The diameter of the tool cross bar didnt match the diameter of the wheel center screw holes. so, I bent one of the tool bolts in the vice. It worked very well. The wheel just eased itself out with every turn of the center counter force screw.
Test fitting of the steering column cowl. This one is from the later year Midgets. It has an enlarged underside with a blanking plate on each half, as compared to the 73' style. I may revert back to the Mk lll cowl.
I've stopped work on the dash and wiring for the time being. I have to fit up pipe and hose to the oil gauge before going any further. Over 1 year I've had these gauges and this just slipped my mind? A little work on interior matting pieces after first cut and trial placement. They will need to be trimmed for proper fitment. Utility scissors worked well, but not without 4 new blisters on my fingers.
Under carpet matting material has been cut up for placement. The transmission tunnel pieces need tailoring. I'll lay unglued the piece in the boot. Once the spare tire is down, the carpeting will not budge. The top piece of the rear assembly I'll attach with velcro. The floor pan pieces will not move when the seat rails are placed, so no glue there. The foot well and transmission tunnel pieces will be well glued. Once again 3M Super Trim Adhesive will be my choice.
Two pieces of matting material cut and trimmed, then glued with 3M Super Trim Adhesive spray cover the transmission tunnel. The foot wells and transmission tunnel use emptied one can of spray. The matting and carpet over the main floor pan will be sprayed just a little in the middle, as it will be well held down by the seat rails. I did place the carpet over the tranny tunnel as a fitment test. It stayed placed with normal carpet-matting resistance. the radio console and arm rest will add to non-movement.
Stainless steel threshold plates were attached with clear silicone adhesive. I've used silicone adhesive in the past, it has a very strong bond coefficient. Waxoyl will be sprayed in the sills through the access hole in the middle of the door opening, in the A-posts through the access hole for the door cockpit lamp switch wiring, to the bottom of the door frames, and to the rear wheel well arch through a boot opening. The pump can is placed 3/4 deep in a bucket of hot water to liquify the jam consistency Waxoyl. This allows a good flow of spray. From prior experience a little goes a very long way, and I learned from prior experience, plenty of paper and cardboard under the vehicle as a drip mat****its very runny and messy before it settles. A very authoritative DIY restoration guide recommends mixing the Waxoyl with 50% fresh engine oil, as it will creep into existing rust much better. Castrol 20-50 spots the garage floor.......... reminders of MG's past.
From Moss-Europe.co.uk Late Sprite & Midget catalogue. Areas for WaxOyl
While waiting for parts for the dash gauges, I decided to fit up the 3-point seat belt kit. Wouldnt you know the mounting holes at the bottom of the inner sills, at the front of the rear wheel arch were rusted useless. The other 4 captive nuts were perfect fortunately. I've never rethreaded screw holes before, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFYa6sjhh_E but necessity dictates.
The engine bay plate came today. It was stamped by Clarke Spares and Restorations http://clarkespares.com/ from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, (This was another lead from British Car Forum). They offer engraved style or embossed. My other original body plates are embossed, so I stayed with that style. As can be seen, a tremendous job was done. Here I'm riviting it to the left hand inner wheel arch valance location. I coated the rivit and complete underside of the aluminum plate with Waxoyl prior to placement.
3 point retractable seat belts by Beam's http://www.mossmotors.com/ are temporarily placed after rethreading the lower inner sill mounting points with a Helicoil 7/16" replacement piece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFYa6sjhh_E . They seem to be a quality set up. The Helicoil repair is a unique thing for a first timer like myself! The pink straw was to blow out the powdered mud from the wheel arch mounts after dislodging the ancient mud-wasp nests. The transmission tunnel carpeting is not trimmed or tucked in place in this photo.
I was amazed at how well the seat rail pieces cleaned up with the wire wheel on the hand drill motor. Must be galvanized. They will easily be cleaned to look as new. No spray finish is required. A little white lithium grease in the slide grooves when the time comes should work real well.
The original syle door panels are very nice, but I decided to opt for a little something different
Moss Europe door panel trim with carpet bottom half style. The fiberboard on the back side has hole cutouts for door hardware placement.
Kill switch idea from :
For 1973 Midget. 1=water temp and oil pressure cables. 2=heater control cable. 3=choke cable. 4=wiper motor wiring loom. 5=speedometer cable. 6=bolt hole for black earth battery lead. 7=washer fluid tubing.
I've read on a thread about the difficulty of opening the bonnet if the release cable malfunctions by loosening at the end. I noticed what I believe to be an unused opening at the top of the drivers footwell. A back-up hood release cable fits nicely out of the way. We will see how it sorts out with the future hook up.
Also, in this photo, I have 2-3 coats of flat black paint sprayed on the DynaMat, to the level of the carpet edge.
Finally ready to connect some wiring and gauge cables through the cowl wall. A few forum inquiries have left me with the opinion that if I ever have to replace this wiring harness again, it will be from a verifyable British Heritage Supplier, (Leacy Classics of England http://www.leacyclassics.com/ is reported to be one of those suppliers of accurate manufacture).
With the kind help of the forums, I have the cowl wall openings accounted for.
Another dilemma. The four wires to the right are from the new ignition/starter steering column unit. There should be a white/green stripe wire to mate with the one coming from the new main loom ( which is seen wrapped in the blue wiring loom tape). Also, there is no Brown/white stripe wire (which comes off the new ignition/starter steering column unit) on the main loom. After looking through Haynes, Bently and Leyland wireing diagrams, it seems there is no Brown/white stripe wire at all to be found! Since it is one of the 'four' coming from the ignition/starter unit in the diagrams, I've deduced it is the right wire, but the wrong color for the White/green stripe match-up. It will be connected; (WG to NW). The Pink/purple stripe wire seen coming from the main loom is not to be found in three manuals or the color Prospero poster as well. It is a true mystery to me. So, for now it hangs.
This is a view showing the Flosser Nautilus high decible air horn mounted securely by a single bolt from the horn housing, through a drilled hole in the back wall, and 'inside' the grill radiator recess area, with plenty of clearance. The oil cooler is to the left, the inside of the front grill is on the right. The view is facing to the left side of the car. The horn came with a relay switch that will be hooked up soon, (once I decipher the instructions). Below the horn are seen two screw holes for the former horn bracket.
The oil pressure gauge hose, fitted to the oil pressure gauge pipe, was too small diameter to fit the smallest available hose clamps. So I took both pieces to an auto parts store for sizing, and obtained and cut a piece of 5/16 hose to use as a collar, and these great Swedish made ABA 15 hose clamps fit like a glove. (I do not recall where I obtained these clamps).
The fuzzy door strips in the window glass opening proved to be a major challenge. Many attempts to mount them with the clips failed. The Spridget forum on MG Experience had a nice thread by 'Techspecial', where he explained using 3M VHB double sided tape on the back side of the strips for contact, and then successfully attaching the clips. I obtained double sided 3M super strength trim tape at a local NAPA, and applied it full length to the fuzzy strip back side. The rubber strips on the opposite side of the glass opening, with slightly different shaped clips were easily attached with the fabricated 'clip holder' tool, ( a cut and bent brake lock tab washer), shown above. The screw driver was used as a T-handle for leverage. One of the spring clips is seen properly placed in the tool, ready for application.
After the 3M super strength trim tape was applied to the fuzzy strip, a couple inches of the covering plastic was pulled back to 'stick' one end of the strip to the inside of the door glass opening. The strip was then held in place while the remainder of the backing was easily pulled off. I reached underneath to push the strip against the metal, and used the clip holding tool to push it gently from the top side. The 3M tape does not cause the fuzzy strip to protrude out because the back is 'dished' a bit for the edges, ( a fortuitous design).
This view shows the metal spring clip 'loaded' in the purpose made tool. The flat side of the clip, with the two end 'claws' goes on the metal side, and the angled side of the clip, with the inward angled two teeth, goes against the fuzzy strip.
The clip tool is placed in the glass opening slot at the end of the door, then it is slid toward the middle, where the clip is 'loaded' in place. It takes a strong controlled pull, and light side to side rocking force of pull, to bring the clip up and seated against the metal. The fuzzy strip stays in place with the tape. The clip tool has to be periodically reshaped due to bending with the force.
A good light helps. Much bending down, laying on the ground, looking from the top, and side holes is required to ensure the clip starts with the flat side behind the metal edge first, then it can be pulled up with the angle side sliding over the fuzzy strip. A few times I used a long flat edge screw driver to push the clips fully home.
This view is inside the door, looking up to the top glass opening. The door glass is seen. The foil looking cut piece is Dynamat on the inner door wall. The clip tool is hanging from above down. And a clip can be seen fully seated attached to the metal edge just above the tool. The fuzzy strip is there also, but difficult to see.
This view shows the other style clips ( at the upper top left corner) for the rubber edge piece, on the opposite side of the glass opening.
A different view looking bottom-up showing a fuzzy strip clip as attached to the metal edge, (flat side of the clip), the fuzzy strip is fully attached as well, just on the other side of the metal. and the tool hanging down, leaning against the door glass.
The result: a very solidly placed door window glass rubber strip on the outer side of the door glass opening, and a very solidly placed (strong 3M double sided tape, and 6 spring clips per door side) fuzzy strip on the inner side of the door glass opening.
Fuzzy and rubber strip against the door glass
All things go to rust................
MG factory, Abingdon. circa 1970's. from the internet.
photo credit: http://www.webring.org/hub/mgcars?w=1024;rh=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Estinch%2Ecom%2Fmg%2Findex%2Ehtml;rd=1
From the Internet. Marker board in the MG factory showing quality index of vehicle manufacture back in the day. Notice MGB is at the top and Midget is second.
early Midget on production line. note the sliding side curtains
year unknown, but very early production. probably frog eye
MG Midget entire vehicle components packaged two per shipping crate for delivery to Australia for assembly.
Definitely with the MGA, and most likely with the Midget, the CKD kits were collected and packed in what was called the KD Department in Cowley(?). Everything had to be packed for a two month sea voyage so that parts did not deteriorate in transit. The timber packing cases were then trucked to the docks where they would sit for more time before loading. This would happen again in Sydney, but in the reverse order. Consequently Australian Midgets were at least 2 months old when they arrived.
(paraphrased for applicability)
Spridget assembly line; circa 1961. From MGB Driver; www.namgbr.org
Looks like Mk ll midgets going down the line.
1964, midget bodies being unloaded from truck transport.
(Will credit source from Internet once located)
Midgets going down the assembly line. Morris Travellers going down the line just to the left. Internet photo mgnuts.com
Late model Midgets moving down the line. From MGB Driver www.namgbr.org
MGB-GT's on the right, and I do believe Midgets (?) on the left production line.
And a midget in the bottom right corner of the photo.
MGB-GT on the right. Flat rear wheel arch Midget on the left with wire wheels and lined up Midget bonnet's with center 'spear' in the left foreground.
(enlarged detail of prior photo)
RB model Midgets heading down the line.
The last manufactured MG Midget: December 7, 1979. From MGB Driver www.namgbr.org
This is the very same last Midget to come off the assembly line in Abingdon. It presents at a car show in England.
Here they are, all lined up
MG Midget Abingdon Production line 1969.
(The footage was apparently used as back drop for a British political video position statement trying to analogize a production line with comrad equality and the inequality of other forms of societal structure. Not related to MG, but we were lucky they made the film for posterity).
These are MGB's not Midgets going down the production line. But it gives a good period representation of the times and scene.
MGB-GT, not Midget, but good production line scene at Abindon.
Not a Midget photo, but great period MGB line offers feel for the times in production.
In 1980 The MG Car Club distributed these window stickers in a valiant and noble effort to forestall or prevent the closure at Abingdon........we know how it turned out.
I was hoping to have the engine and transmission dropped in before winter, but this is as far as I got.
My mechanic is still trying to get one of his bays open. It seems some Jaguar has been occupying it all summer for piecemeal front end work. If he can clear it out before the heavy snow and ice hits then we get started on some major work.
Frontline front brake set up, and new rear axels are planned. I'm hoping to get it done over the winter.
Always a sad day when you tuck the Midget in for the winter. But, it is an unusually warm day today, 45 degrees F (7 degrees C), so I have to take advantage of it and get it stored, before it gets too cold.
Maybe I'll get lucky and the mechanic will call in a week or two, ready to do some work.
This pretty much tells the story......cover over the Midget, and snow thrower at the ready :-(
This is the wire access opening for the courtesy light switch, ( door activated ). This hole is on the outer sides of the foot well, behind interior panels, and directly opening into the A-post. Through this opening, the spray wand or tubing can be placed for Waxoyl infusion into the A-post. There is just a bit of fiddling required to navigate the spray wand around the courtesy switch housing built into the A-pillar. If you stick your finger in the hole, you can assess the exact layout.
Not my car, but this is why Midgets probably wouldn't do well here in the winter.
Finally winter snow is gone. Taking a look outside the garage.
Tomorrow will be flat bedded to the mechanics for engine and tranny fitment. While there, also put on Frontline front bake kit, new rear axels, possibly tapered front wheel bearings, add the longer wheel studs, and place the new Superlite wheels and Kumho tires.
cleaned up a bit
Internet photo. Love those wheels. This photo from UK source.
Aftermarket arm rest.
This showed up on MG Experience forum. JH did a wonderful job with his after market arm rest and the speaker panel. JH also placed a third brake light visible here at the bottom of the photograph. We commend his effort and keep mindful of it for reference.
Original half tonneau in outstanding shape. Found on ebay.
New Old Stock tonneau. A new 1973 manufactured piece kept in dry storage, from A&B Motors in Seattle since their closing in 1978. . By the looks of it probably never used.
The date stamp, the cloth printing, the stiching, the studs and snaps, the cloth backing and vinyl are all in showroom new condition.
Bits and pieces waiting for placement. It really is organized in its arrangement, it just takes a special understanding to know the method, ( OK I confess, its a lot of pecking and hunting! )
Engine and transmission finally in.
I placed a new wiper motor, and will use silicone fluid for brake and clutch hydrolics .
The Midget is 'packin' now!
Rear wheels on, with the hardened axle, wheel spacers, bigger tires, longer lugs, and those great Australian Superlite wheels. The body is riding a little high at this point. It will 'sit down' some as a little time goes by. This was similar on a prior MGB rebuild.
Hand brake fitting hooked up.
Its been a long time coming to get something in the transmission tunnel.
The chrome hand brake stalk has been buffed and polished.
bit by bit
This item is a new aluminum water outlet elbow without the bracket for the air pump. Genuine British made part . Fits all Midgets and Sprites with 1275 engine and crossflow radiator. Great item for cleaning up the engine bay when removing the smog equipment. Eliminates the air pump bracket extention . Comes complete with proper cork gasket. New bolts were purchased from the usual sources.
Oil cooler lines placed ( Moss kit )
Frontline front brake kit with Spitfire 9" rotors, and modified MGB caliper
along with the Frontline brake kit, are the longer lugs and spacer shown, which allows for larger 'offset' wheels and 'bigger' tires.
Motor ancillaries added.
Another 'hold up'! The accelerator cable opening has a guide mount that went missing. Its not in any of the usual catalogs. Will have to source it from the breakers. Or, I have one other idea for a modern replacement......?
Close up of the 'lonely opening'.
This is the passengers side mount fixture. I am avoiding utilizing it at this time, but may have to in the future if I cannot locate a replacement for the drivers side.
Continues to come together. The heater box is a big obtrusive thing in the engine bay. But when cleaned up and made pretty, it looks good.
The radiator and shrowd placed. I like the aluminum aftermarket water outlet elbow modified design.
Tight fit, love the brass
Pretty SU's. The heat shield was painted with high temp engine paint.
A rubber like gasket was placed under the heater box.
After 3 1/2 years, its time for the battery!
Automec fuel and brake line kits were used. A fine product. In the usual 'big' catalogs and UK sources.
Found a replacement for the accelerator cable through engine bay guide piece. Will see what it takes to press it in.
The heat resistant molded ABS plastic textured dash top repair cover.
Not being satisfied with the aftermarket replacement dash (they look beautiful, but gauge, switch, lens , and knob fitment is dreadful), I came across a fine used item. Some gentle soap and water followed by Armor All showed it to be a great 40 year old item. Sold through the catalogs the ABS plastic top dash piece replacement is a fine cover. It comes with dash top silicone adhesive and easy instructions. Fitment is a sort of 'snap-in-place'. The replacement vinyl capping is one of the better after market pieces and ideas. It has a nice leatherette grain, and is a pliable well formed plastic. It fits like a glove and looks great.
A tube of Bondaflex clear 100% RTV Silicone Sealant/Adhesive comes with the dash panel. The instructions state to apply a bead of silicone around the entire underside of the panel, no closer than 1/2 inch from the edge, and no where else. This is to ensure a uniform bond ring, and the areas without adhesive allow normal expansion and contraction with temperature change. This panel is specially formulated high heat resistant ABS plastic.
After the bead of silicone was placed 1/2" from the edge around the entire underside of the panel, I used a carboard pad to evenly spread the silicone on the bead line. I also 'tapped' along the entire bead to gently 'lift' the adhesive for an equal bond to the dash and the panel. All silicone near the edge was wiped off.
This shows the bead placement.
After the silicone bead was placed, the panel was carefully (to not smear the silicone) positioned on the dash. The top was pressed down and the edges had finger pressure applied around the entire piece to make contact with the dash. Masking tape was placed to hold it all taught. The panel is a bit 'springy'. The opposite ends are the areas that require the most securing. It will 'set' for 24 hours. Telephone books were placed on top to maintain correct pressure and position of the piece while the adhesive hardens.
The top view of the replacement cover shows the nice grain pattern and smooth flowing curves. I had just taken off the masking tape after adhesive had 24 hours to set. So, it has not been wiped down with Armor All yet.
On ebay the seller appraised this dash as a 9 on a 0-10 scale. I bought it to check it out. It is in fact a 9. It had one small tear on the drivers side top of the dash. The dash top replacement from Moss makes it a 10. Here it is, silicone adhesive applied and dried. I like it a lot. Will put gauges on and abandone the aftermarket replacement dash.
Notice the vinyl facing to metal back thickness in this photo, ( even and uniform.....aka perfect) and compare that to the replacement dash photos.
The top replacement is super. It fits like a glove. The replacement piece edges are barely visible. Once fitted up with gauges, lenses, knobs and such, it will look like it is fresh from the factory. I treated the near 40 year old dash vinyl to several wipes of Armor All for protection into the next 4 decades.
Fitting up gauges, switches, and indicator lights to the old great condition dash-board. I also refurbished the odometer trip reset piece bracket, and new nuts and washers for the entire project.
An original dash with a new replacement top piece, instruments and electrics placed. I like it....alot. Original trumps aftermarket. Will keep the Armor All bottle in stock.
The reostat turn knob was missing. I searched for awhile on ebay with no luck. The black plain dash knob as fitted to MGA and MGB thru 1967 looked to be a suitable alternative. It is. It ads a sense of mystery to the dash facing.
Original dash with replacement vinyl top. The green turn signal indicators were sourced from a Jaguar supply dealer. They offer a great look. The red and blue indicator lights are from Mark II Midgets, with beveled glass. This before manufacturing cost cutting changed to plastic. Luckily found on ebay.
The refurbished dash has been placed back on ( in) the car. It looks good. It took dropping the steering column to work it in. The cut down/shortened Datsun shifter is right. Also seen from this angle is the top of the door frame, with the glass rubber and fuzzy strip replaced and nicely placed. The blue book folder on the passengers side floor is the instruction manual sent with the Rivergate Datsun 210 transmission kit.
I'm looking forward to the Moto Lita steering wheel being placed, but will save that for last to avoid inadvertant scrapes or worse. The more I look at the solid green turn signal indicators the more I like them.
Now that I have decided to use an original dash, the heater control knob has returned to its rightful location. That leaves a large hole in the center console. I am covering the hole with a nice enamel style raised MG badge. A bit too much 'MG' logo for the space, but it adds a nice visual.
(note: the fiberglass console was eventually scrapped)
This is an available adapter kit from Gerards Garage for the Datsun 210 transmission, http://gerardsgarage.com/Garage/Tech/5speedKit.htm. Using the Datsun clutch as a kit component has its appeal. I learned about this kit after completing my conversion.
This image is taken from a thread on clutch plates from MGExperience.net, offered by Gerard of Gerards Garage mentioned earlier. It shows the difference in material quality from a BMC disc on the right as compared to the Datsun disc on the left. Notice the width of the clutch disc material.
Again, Datsun item on left, BMC on right. I add this to the album as this serves as my reference for future considerations. With photo credits and product comparison going to Gerard of Gerards Garage as noted prior.
I began putting together the Mark ll tail light lamps and was kind of complaining to myself about the three rear set screws missing from the 'open' bag of one of the backing plate assemblies. And I was remembering how stubborn the bulbs can be with fitment. When half way through I realized that it will be all I can do to not break anything during assembly. Its a very fiddly thing putting this together with a good bit of strain on the plastic components to do the job!
Some of the fussy things that have to be dealt with are pointed out here. The metal piece indicated by the orange marker has to be bent to line up with the hole in the bezel ( red marker). Simple enough, just careful approach to not break the metal extension or bend the back plate. The black marker indicates one of the plastic 'tabs' that the bezel has to slide over and 'snap' into place. Again, easy enough until the fragility of the plastic is taken into consideration.
This view shows the metal protrusion (five sided with the point) that the back plate will slide into for the top catch. We can also see how the amber plastic has a small rim to anchor the bezel rim.
This view shows the underside of the red plastic 'tab' or 'nub' that the metal bezel edge slides over and gives a tiny 'snap' into place. Its not quick, and its not easy, and you concentrate on not cracking the hard plastic.
This is showing the edge of the red plastic with the 'tab' properly seated against the edgeof the metal bezel rim. I'll admit its not rebuilding an engine, but there is satisfaction in doing this without a crack in the lens!
When you think you have placed the amber and red lenses correctly and begun to fit them into the metal bezel, close checking reveals its necessary to start over......again.
The amber lens does have a slight lip to fit into the red lens goove.
When the two edges feel connected and smooth its a good fit.
after a few minutes or so of fiddling around, I've decided fitting the lenses together is the best first step.
Then, trying to keep the lenses together, attempt to situate it into placement on the bezel. This requires seating the red base, fitting the amber lense ridge against the bezel, and bowing out (bending) the side curve of the metal to 'snap' the tab nub of the red lense into position.
You can see the tab here. First I tried to hold the lense together with my right hand, and using my left hand tried to bend the metal just enough to snap the tab into position. That didn't work well, and it felt as if I would crack the plastic.
Then I tried holding the lenses together with my left hand, and use my right hand to force the plastic over the bezel edge. That didn't work, ( again for fear of damaging the plastic).
Then I tried to hold the lenses with both hands and using my thumb and a finger bowing out the metal on both sides. That allowed one side to snap into place.
Then finally using both hands on the remaing tab/nub, I gently forced the metal edge up and over the tab/nub and a very gratifying 'snap' indicated it was finally seated.
Oh, and with no bent bezel or cracked plastic.
The bezel rim is seen 'in position', filling the slot, and snugged up properly.
This edge shows the slot open. The bezel remains to be fitted over the tab/nub.
Fortunately the plastic never has to be removed from the bezel. Bulb change only requires the one bottom screw to be removed. It seems to be a decent quality kit. I've not seen an original. The plastic is Made in England, Lucas branded. The padding is thick and of good quality as well. One pad for the inside of the lamp, and one pad for the back side of the lamp.
Bending the metal bottom extension which holds the lense and bezel needed to be done on both pieces for the screw to line up for placement. Not difficult, just a bit concerning to not snap off the attachment in the doing.
The final assembly is a fine looking very good quality item. And I do find the styling to be very appealing.
They are beautiful.
1/43 scale model (Solido) 1969
these are occaisionally available. mostly on ebay UK
Another view of the Solido model
the most superb 1:43 model by Spark
these have been showing up on ebay recently
the Spark 1:43 detail is remarkable!
Another 1/43 model that comes in kit form:
One of the self modeling kits
1:18 Midget diecast model......Not. There has never been one made. This photograph of a Ford Mustang 1:18 diecast shows the suberb manufacturing craftsmanship of Autoart diecast models. My appeal is that all viewing this will email Autoart Ltd. to the attention of 'Product Developement' to request that they produce a ( MG Midget round wheel arch chrome bumper ) 1:18 diecast. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org If they get the message that there is a substantial enthusiast MG Midget collective in the world they hopefully would consider. Autoarts fabulous work can be seen here: aa-collection.com
Maybe the best Midget art. Hand drawn.
A real nice Midget poster from the internet.
as soon as I locate the source i will credit it
only lacking the bread, wine, olives, and cheese
Notice how tight the tonneau fits. And this is the first ad I've seen with someone actually working the hood. And finally, always a smile in the drivers seat.
A great ad piece. Sultry, self confident, well packaged, alluring, enticing, fine curves, its a great RWA Midget to be sure!
This is not an ad for a 73', but I like it
A copy of an actual period newspaper ad, with price. It's a rubber bumper which places the ad at 1975 or later. But since there is little likelyhood of finding an actual newspaper ad with selling price for 1973, will keep for nostalgia sake.
1970 Midget cost $2,279.00 USD, 838 pounds GB
The all inclusive Bentley manual
The Leyland Sprite Midget workshop manual
1991 fold out brochure from BMH advertising the Midget body panels
Midget magazine from one of the Asian countries in the 1970's.
1275cc 94mph 0-50 in 9.6 seconds
VHS video available a couple of decades ago.
Donovan, mid 60's, doing a promotional in a Midget for his hit 'Sunshine Superman'.
Hmmmmm.....MGB on the bottom
Fidelity Investments saw fit to use a Midget in one of their promotional pieces
struttin' a bit
This showed up on MG Experience forum once.
Miss MG North America 1960's on a beautiful Midget
The grand prize at the 1962 Disneyland Spring Fling is this 1962 MG Midget courtesy of the British Motor Corp.
Just a great period photo. Part of one of the earliest sales brochures.
The Beatles had a scene for the movie 'HELP!' in 1965 involving a Midget and a Spitfire. The footage was never included in the final film cut. This footage exists in the film trailer only. It is difficult to determine from the still photo here who was driving the Midget. Paul is in the Spit, and if the 'hat' is in any other part of the movie, we could determine who is driving the Midget.
While filming in the Bahamas, The Beatles rented British sports cars. According to various stories, they drove to a rock quarry and began having races. There is filmed evidence of this fact: in the theatrical trailer, there is a 3-5 second excerpt of these two cars driving in the quarry mixed in with other movie footage.
MG Midget engine. Not mine, but certainly an inspiration!
Classic Car Portraits on any British car; http://www.classiccarportraits.co.uk/pages/MGMidget6280.htm
Went for the engine start-up today. It started with a 'crack', strong and crisp. It had the nice 'throaty' sound ascribed to the Falcon exhaust system. Still some issues with the tach gauge, and a few electrical gremlins to sort out, but soon to get after the interior, soft top, seats, etc. I decided to go with the polished aluminum valve cover.
You can see the master cylinder.....purple silicone brake fluid. Lots of discussion about that on the forums, I subscribe to the 'its not an issue' side of the argument. 10 years in my MGB was without problem.
I am very pleased with the wheel and tire choices.
I plan to use a silicone valve cover gasket. It should offer less future maintenance and better chance of long service. The recommended adhesive is Red High Temp Permatex. This was found on ebay. gasketinnovations.com
Close enough to a 1973. Actually, other than a calander build date, there is no difference. With the driver cacooned in the Midget, this photograph exemplifies the old expression about, ".....not getting into a Midget, but 'wearing it'.....".
I needed to replace the brake pressure failure switch on the brass PDWA. On receiving the part,181-955 as listed in the catalog for 1275 Midgets , from the supplier, I found it would not fit. I then found a blog where someone had the same problem. They ordered C8AZ-2B264-A sold directly by Ford Motor Company Parts site. It is the same as Moss 141-725. It fits.
141-725 is the pressure fail switch cross referenced to MGB in the catalogs.
181-955 as listed in the catalog for 1275 Midgets brass PDWA did not fit my car, ( I assume the brass PDWA was original to my car).
A typical PDWA with switch
I have been reluctant to add a luggage rack to the boot lid . I was given a very nice rack and like the looks of one on a Midget. I read a comment on MG Experience forum where a fellow had the same sentiment. He bought another boot lid to add his rack to. Then when the mood struck him, he would just substitue the carrier boot lid for the non carrier boot lid. I thought about it. Here it is.
This one was on ebay. I could judge from the photos that it was in decent condition. And, it had the drilled holes and faded paint marks of a prior boot lid, same shape and size as mine, (placed here as a trial fit). I have an aftermarket badge already, but may clean up the original to see how it looks.
I will probably use a aerosol base and 2 part clear coat product for home DIY. This is a great Youtube video for guidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08iHSCxza2o&feature=colike
Examples of aerosol 2k products are readily available on the internet, http://www.repaintsupply.com/pd_oxford_white_clearcoat.cfm. And; http://www.eastwood.com/spray-max-2k-rapid-filler-primer-gray-aerosol.html...................http://www.eastwood.com/spray-max-2k-high-gloss-clearcoat-aerosol.html
I used a little J-B Weld to fill a few small pinholes.
[;) don't cringe] I used it the same way about 20 years ago on another project and it still holds up
After watching the professional painter on the youtube video, I have decided I do not need to take this to bare metal. I'll go through the steps he demonstrates and see how it goes.
primed under side first
I had a left over can of Honda black basecoat used to repair a blemish on my sons car door last summer. I decided to use it for the underside of the boot lid. It sure looks rough before the clear coat. The digital photo accentuates the contrast more than in real life.
Oxford white YZ basecoat applied, 3 coats after 600 grit primer sanding and cleaning with metal wash. I used my favorite paint booth.....the outdoors
2K clear (2 part) was sprayed outdoors. Two part aerosols have toxic isocyanates, so I don't mind spraying outdoors where I can step away for air. I sprayed 4 coats, about 10-15 minutes apart, after reviewing the youtube video on using aerosol paint for DIY. http://youtu.be/08iHSCxza2o Once the can is 'activated' the potlife is only 48 hours so with nothing else needing clear coat, I used up the whole can. The aerosol can recommendation is 2 coats for most applications. In a couple of days I will add the hardware. Its not professional, but it turned out as good as I hoped it would. A little red paint shows through after scuffing the high points. Fortunately these points will be covered by hardware.
while waiting for the clear coat on the boot lid to harden I will clean and polish the stainless steel luggage rack, the chrome end pieces and boot lid handle
fortunately the luggage rack plastic end piece plinths are in great shape, they are being cleaned and treated to a bit of Armor All. The bottle recommends 3 rounds of 30 minute soaks.
the boot handle screws are near impossible to manipulate due to there location on the boot lid inner structure. I had to use these angled needle nose pliers to hold the nut in position, then wiggle in my little finger and apply rotating downward pressure to get it to catch the screw thread. It requires a good deal of patience.
Finished. It turned out real well. The 2k clear coat aerosol is great stuff. I waxed the paint after 4 days. No buffing was done, it finished glass like smooth. The rack hardware is very nice quality.
So the tally for my 'free' gift luggage rack is: used Midget boot lid and shipping $85.00, 2 cans primer paint $15.00, 1 can auto quality base coat $16.00, 1 can 2 part clear coat $28.00, various sand paper and scuff pad $10.00, badge left over from prior project $0. Total $154.00 USD.
This is a beautiful style luggage rack.
a 1930s-1940s era leather strapped suitcase will compliment the luggage rack for extra carrying capacity.
The original aluminum boot lid cover cleaned up pretty much. Paint dissolver worked well for the black background paint. I'll buff and polish the bossed MG and edge surround, then paint the granular base gloss black enamel.
Using these buffing and polishing bars on the cloth wheel, it shows what the aluminum looked like as original. A great deal of aluminum rubbed off on the cloth polishing wheel. The 'M' is buffed, the 'G' is next.
It really polished up nice. So much so it looks like polished stainless steel. I'll have to find some black acrylic paint. This may turn well enough to replace the plastic aftermarket piece on the body boot lid.
ebay purchase, boot lid hinges
the red paint came off within 30 minutes to reveal an original blue paint underneath
just following the product directions
This stuff does what it claims. Some folks use brake fluid. It may be less expensive, and is supposed to work just as well.
Sprayed with Eastwood chassis black and finished.
angled heater hose connector cleaned up
Trial fitting of the fiberglass console failed, as the unit was too large. With the dash in and the carpeting supported with a bit of undercarpet padding, it cannot be squeezed in. It would require cutting away the involved portion of the sub-carpet padding, and cutting away a top portion of the fiberglass aftermarket radio console. I shouldn't be surprised. New plan, another look at the original console, above, and figure a way to get the volt meter placed.
This radio console has been removed of all rust, sanded and primed in black. I plan to use black wrinkle paint for the unit, and a burl walnut venner over a back plate covering the radio speaker hole, which will have toggle switches and a Smiths volt meter mounted. This is a black primer, waiting to get black wrinkle aerosol. The black wrinkle paint might be a good alternative to the vinyl covering.
This was jsut sprayed with wrinkle paint from Eastwood. The label recommends two coats. I watched a few youtube demonstrations and took some of the advice. Temperature outdoors today 77 degrees F, humidity nil. Sprayed a light coat initially (youtube recommendation). This product is a 3 minute wait between coats, . The directions intructed for 2 thick coats of spray. I gave it 3 thick coats of spray, separated by three minute intervals (extra coat youtube advice). I found you can lay it on pretty thick and it does not drip. After the last coat, I used a Wagner heat gun, another youtube recommendation. I waved it about 10 inches (25 cm) over the console for 2-3 minutes, being careful to not hold it in one position which would expose the paint to heat damage. Here is the console immediately after the 3rd thick coat of spray
I think the wrinkle spray is a good alternative to the vinyl cloth covering. I found it takes several days (up to 7) for the paint to be 'cured', and free from risk of nicking and scraping damage.
I tried for several days to source a scrap piece of luxury automobile interior burl or other wood grain plastic from a square piece like a glove box door, to cut down to fit in the radio speaker opening. No luck. Then I found a sheet of 12"x12"x 0.025" aluminum. Cutting it to fit makes it strong enough to place in the speaker opening. Thus I can add toggle switches or some other instrument if needed. It will be covered by burl walnut veneer finished with an epoxy resin mix.
Not having a drill press makes for a less than tradesmen quality effort. But with this 'cone' bit and the hand drill, it is good enough
For the console facing idea I had to see if I could drill a 2 inch hole in aluminum before deciding to proceed. I picked up a 2" (51mm) BiMetal hole saw for metal, and a 6L hole saw arbor. They fit my hand drill. I tested on this piece of aluminum. It works pretty well. A bit rough edged, but that will all be covered with veneer or wrinkle paint.
I will use the midget badge from the boot lid of 1960's Midgets for the radio blanking plate. I like the look of it. Holes will have to be drilled in the plate to match the badge studs.
This is the layout. The only concession I may have to make is leaving off the courtesy lamp, which will probably overlap the volt meter.
The hole saw that I have is 51mm diameter. Smiths gauges are 52 mm so I will have to hone out the diameter an extra 1 mm. I picked up some barrel sanding pieces for my Craftsman rotary tool that should do the job. The rotary 35,000 rpm speed makes it a little precarious, so a light touch is mandatory. Smiths gauges have a 56mm bezel, and sufficient room was allotted to not cross the edges of the speaker opening.
The next step is to glue the burl walnut veneer to the aluminum blanking plate. Its roughly cut with hand scissors. Contact cement painted on is how I intend to mount the veneer. A search of the internet reveals much varying advice and recommendation on gluing and finishing.
I tested samples of the burl walnut veneer with both satin and gloss polyurethane, light pecan and maple stains, and a clear acrylic. The clear satin acrylic seems to bring out the highlights best. The gloss acrylic highlights the irregularities and my less than professional skills too much. The others darkened the wood excessively. The web has numerous protocols for the 'proper' way to finish veneer...................(this isn't one of them).
In the end I will be using an epoxy mix to finish the veneer. It offers a deep gloss depth the sprays cannot produce.
I found a piece of Circassian Burl veneer. Also known as European walnut, English walnut, French walnut, and Russian walnut. This is the wood veneer Jaguar used on the XK120 and XK140 dash. Its a little more orange and bright than North American burl walnut. I will give it a try.
Contact cement to 2 sets of console speaker opening blanking plate. After ensuring that the Smiths gauge fits in the opening, ( having honed out to 52mm ), the two pieces are being glued to offer a little more structural support than one piece alone. It seems as though it would work fine with only 1 thickness of aluminum, but, I have the material. One set will be treated with the wrinkle paint, and the other set will have the Walnut Circassian Burl veneer glued on. Then decide which I like best.
Using the same contact cement to bond the aluminum pieces, both aluminum and veneer are treated as per the can instructions. It took three coats on the veener because of its porous nature to obtain the recommended 'glistened' appearance at 15 minutes before making contact with the metal.
I do not have a veneer 'roll' to flatten the natural wood waves and distribute the cement on the veneer. So I took a small rubber mallet and gently tapped the waves and distributed the cement from the back of the aluminum piece. I learned from my first attempt with the North American Walnut Burl that the waves require sufficient compression for proper flat bonding. The tacky veneer in the hole openings is covered with paper scrap.
The veneer flattened out quite nicely, and no cement bled through. The Circassian burl is very beautiful. I can understand the satisfaction musical instrument craftsmen, furniture makers, and auto dash makers must get. When this is fully cured, I'll have to decide the best approach to cut the hole openings. I have a few days to consider this.
I wrapped the cemented veneer aluminum plate piece in clean paper, laid it on top of a small layering of news paper, covered it with another small layering of newspaper, ensuring a very flat even contact, then placed a heavy wooden block on top, with a 10 pound bag of cat litter to press the veneer firmly and uniformly against the aluminum for drying. I will leave it in place for at least 3 days to bond, wrinkle free. The product information states 7 days for total cure.
The beautiful Circassian English walnut veneer glued to the aluminum plate. Totally flat with no waves or bubbles. I drilled a starter hole in the openings, then used a fine point scissor to cut open the gauge hole to near the edge. I used the rotary tool with a cutting attachment to shape to the metal edge. A few nicks, but re-fitting of the instrument pieces covers the imperfections.
I will be finishing the veneer with an 'epoxy pour mix' instead of the acrylic spray. It should offer more depth and gloss.
Addendum: after working with the veneer, and about 6 hours after removing from the weighted block. Two small areas on the edge began to lift a bit. The cement is still just very slightly tacky. The can directions did say 7 days for total cure time. It goes back under the wooden block and cat litter 'press' for 3-4 more days.
While waiting for English walnut veneer glue to cure, decided to 'dress' the original console with the speaker blanking plate ideas to check the combination of components. All wrinle black paint, or veneer in the middle? I'd been trying to come up with some idea to add depth to the speaker blanking plate area that wasn't too much trouble. I decided to cut out the speaker grill mesh with the rotary tool and a cutting disc and keep the chrome surround.
This is the final presentation if I decide to go with black wrinkle paint speaker grill opening. The trial with the light fixture was an instant 'no go'. It totally destroyed the visual aesthetic of the entire facade by covering the top half of the Smiths voltmeter gauge.
Practice 'full dress' with speaker grill chrome surround. The North American walnut veneer here is a failed first attempt at veneer surfacing. This console mock up is another idea put to rest. The volt meter gauge is covered by too much of the dash. While visiting my daughter a couple of days ago, I mentioned my project and the plan of using satin acrylic spray to finish the veneer. She has experience with 'pouring epoxy' over art objects which makes them essentially indestructable. Showing me an item, it was smooth as glass, crystal clear, and unable to be easily scratched. That is probably what i will do to finish the 'actual' console in a week or so. For now, this is to visualize the concept.
This layout appeals to me, its too bad the dash covers the top 1/3 of the console.
I decided to repair the gauge hole opening on this piece, by cutting a circular piece of aluminum to fit the opening, then cutting a square aluminum piece for a backing, and J-B Weld epoxy them together. After it is smoothed a bit I will apply a vinyl covering to get back to original presentation.
So I glue the vinyl facing with Gel Contact Cement, and I'm starting to like the supple visual texture, as original.
Just what I don't need, another idea to ponder.......
The Gel Contact Cement is wonderful to work with.
will glue on and smooth out the vinyl. The gel contact cement is great to work with. The most workable approach is to glue around the speaker opening first, then let set. Then glue around the radio opening and let set, and continue to proceed in that method. This allows control of an otherwise real 'sticky' situation. Also pulling the vinyl taught and ensuring the seams are at the appropriate locations is a must.
Since I am using the aftermarket horn set up, the original high tone and low tone horn brackets are free. I'm thinking about mounting these 3 inch diameter accessory driving lights on the horn brackets (as shown) , and placing them behind the grill (maybe). They can be wired to one of the toggle switches. I'll have to trial place them for fitting, space allowing.
a great looking bumperless rear end
This hood liner from http://classic9leathershop.com is light and made of aircraft industry material. I ordered it for my car. It keeps the exterior of the hood cool and will not reflect engine heat back down toward your intake.
Made of 1/4 inch nitrile vinyl closed cell foam rubber, these hood liners will not absorb water or oil. They are light, about 11 ounces on average, are fire retardant and insulate against sound and heat.
You can wash the liner and hose it off. Since the material is made for aircraft firewalls and bulkheads and is FAA approved for aircraft, its extremely light and unlike the factory liner will not absorb water and resists mildew.
It has a closed cell texture on one side and a smooth finish on the other. Most liners are symmetrical and can be mounted with either side facing the engine. A decal can be adhered to the smooth finish side only.
3M Spray Adhesive #80 will be used to apply the hood liner. It is a high temp adhesive made for this type of material. The hood liner measures 6mm in thickness and is very light.
A thin carpet material dash cover will be used on hot sunny days to cover the dash cap to avoid melting or loosening the silicone adhesive, and warping of the new dash cover.
The original steering column cowl needed cleaning up. I washed it with dish detergent to remove any grease and grime with a gentle cloth scrub. Then treated with three 15 minute soaks of Armor All.
Finished cleaning. Fortunately the screws and inlaid screw capture were in good shape.
A new engine number plate was obtained from Clarke Spares & Restorations; clarkespares.com. A fine embossed job on an aluminum plate. The steel rivets are from Moss.
MG MIDGET/AH SPRITE REAR DISC BRAKE CONVERSION KIT NEW
Ol Phartz Partz Disc Brake Kit
Here is a 9" rear disc brake conversion. With the largest discs that will fit under 13” wheels, powerful calipers and pads this conversion brings a Spridget’s braking right up to date, with a very positive pedal and superb stopping power. This is a bolt-on kit and comes in several stages for road or race applications. The full kit comes complete with new discs, calipers, pads, adapter brackets, fitting kit and full instructions with installation photos. All you need to install is time and tools.
This kit is easy to install, retains the original emergency brake hardware, replaces the rubber brake hose with a stainless steel braided brakeline and fits many aftermarket 13” wheels as well as the factory wheels. This kit features a full 9” rear rotor with proper sized caliper pistons for optimum braking power. The caliper is mounted in the correct location to provide superior braking torque and due to the caliper location this will fit both semi elliptic and quarter elliptic spring cars. The caliper is mounted on a high quality 6061-T6 aluminum billet CNC machined bracket that is black anodized.
All of the stainless steel braided hoses in the kit meet and exceed DOT MS 106 specifications. The kit hardware is grade 8, grade 10.8, stainless or military specification.
on ebay from CARCRAZIE51 for $1,250.00 USD
Bristleflex fuzzy door seals are available in colors as well as black vinyl. They offer an easy 'push on' application in OEM style. They are available from macgregorsukcarparts.com in all colors, and black from Mossmotors.com. Others probably offer as well.
End view of the Bristleflex door seals and the black vinyl door seal. The bulb size makes for a OEM style fit.
I will be using this silicone gasket for the valve cover. They are softer and provide a more uniform seal than cork. The silicone will be permanently adhered to the valve cover using Permatex Red Hi-Temp gasket maker. This allows easy removal of the valve cover for adjustments and inspection. After the valve cover is thouroughly cleaned, a thin bead of the gasket maker/adhesive is applied to the sealing surface of the valve cover. The silicone gasket is placed in position after which the valve cover is placed, gasket side down, on a clean firm flat surface to allow drying of the sealant/adhesive. This will take several hours to cure. On my aftermarket alloy valve cover, I will apply the rounded side of the gasket to the valve cover surface for permanent adhesion. The flat side of the gasket will press against the head sealing surface. These gaskets are available on ebay, or directly from gasketinnovations.com.
my daughter poured the two part epoxy for me,
it is just a little too glossy for me......I'll do a little 400 grit wet sand to 'satin' it up a bit
One option was to have wrinkle paint for the console 'box' and the grill section............
a clean inside
I decided to go with the epoxy covered English Walnut veneer and black wrinkle paint. Face to face the veneer finish is satin like and the subtlety works well
The next series of photos are of a 1973 original Midget with 8,500 miles. It was on ebay. It represents as is originality.
A common complaint on the forum is the fit of the boot lid on rubber water management trim.....the boot lid seems to 'ride' to high. My car with new rubber is no exception. It looks very neat here, with four 'bumper' blocks placed as well.
This is the boot lid with the handle closed and locked!
I'm sure Midgets didn't leave the docks from England like this.
I wondered if the blame was on the bumper blocks ?
On the forums high boot lids were often blamed on the after market rubber trim. This piece is from one of the 'big house' retailer catalogs.
Many forum contributers have recommended MacGregor's as a source. I had purchased trim from them in the past and know it to be superb, as original quality. So I ordered boot trim from Mac's.
The MacGregors offering is on the left, and the 'big house' supplier is on the right. The two were nearly identical. Both had soft pliable cushioning and excellent metal grip ends.
This was not the problem of the high boot lid position!
I took another look at the entire apparatus to figure out the problem. The boot lid hinges do not lend themselves to adjustment so that was out. The rear rubber 'bumperettes' appear to offer no sound function so I took them off. Close operational observation of the closure on the front bumperettes revealed them to be not in the way.......
so I took the rubber trim off for an examination and found the closed fit perfect. The only remaining element was the closing handle and latch.
Maybe this allowed for adjustment ?
I loosened both screws and pushed the peg plate downward. It did drop down approximately 7-8 mm. Tightening back up I thought that might compress the rubber trim a little more for a better fit.
That was the answer! The boot lid now fits to a very acceptable level.
This photo may be a bit misleading with lighting effect, but the boot edge is now near equal in presentation to the surrounding body edge, and the spacing is close spec.
That turned out well.
So now I have the MacGregor rubber placed..........I'll leave this one on.
Closed, the passengers side door seemed to over step its position....................this is all to common with the 3 MG's I have owned.
The door closing plates are made for adjustment for just this situation.
Back to as original MG specification (near perfect ;) ).
I have had a 1/2 can supply of Waxoyl since the 90's when I restored two MGB's. I thought it time to use up the supply. The only area I am concerned about is the sill area.
I discovered the original Waxoyl pump mechanism didn't want to 'pump' after all these years. So I found an old hand held yard and garden duty pump bottle and reallocated it for automotive use. Prior to using the Waxoyl I placed the cans in very hot water in a utility sink for about 30 minutes. This softened the wax to a thin consistency, allowing shaking and stiring for proper spray consistency. I then located the access slots on the inner side of the sills just above the floor boards and sprayed liberally front and back.
The wand is about 15 inches long and the sprays ejects to about 2 feet so I am confident the entire area is aturated in Waxoyl.
Here lies my proof of target acquisition. Waxoyl leaking from both the very front and the very back of the sills. I will give this over night to thicken up then 'rout' the openings for water drainage.
Fortunately, for purposes of clean up, I remembered from prior use how messy Waxoyl is. I layed down some plastic film for a drip cloth.
These after market faux 'Lucas PL' lamps have been waiting patiently to be placed. Did that today. I like the look.
For gluing on a bonnet liner I need to remove the bonnet from the car . I worked an old shower curtain into the space between the back end of the bonnet and the windshield. Undoing the bonnet prop makes me remember how much I dislike that set up, with torque on the bonnet challenging a permanent crease on that side of the metal if it should be closed improperly.
The grill went into place 'reasonably easy. One support bracket cracked, but still snuggly in place.
I placed an old shower curtain over the engine bay, and a soft floor rubber backed rug on the shower curtain for the bonnet to lay on.
After loosening the 4 bolts holding the bonnet to the hinge bracket, I lowered the bonnet to finish removal of the screws. This gives me more control over movement and position.
On removal of the four bolts I simply lower the back end of the bonnet onto the rear shower curtain then lowered the front end. Removing the hood prop up front, the piece is now laying over the engine bay.
Cleaning dust and minor grime was all the prep necessary for the gluing. 3M spray ahesive #80 was used due to its high temperature rating an,d it's specificity for this type of material. The hood liner m, aterial is resistant to water, oil, fuel, heat, etc. I dry fitted it then using a razor knife cut the excess to fit.
First job was to spray the bonnet liberally. This I did using a piece of cardboard as a back splash. This worked exceedingly well, no over spray anywhere. Then I place wax paper over the glue (as per directions), and went on to spray one side of the liner itself. Placing the liner on top of the wax paper, the idea is to now slide the wax paper out from between the two glued surfaces allowing them to make contact. Well, its not quite as slick as indicated. I ended up lifting the liner off the wax paper, removing the wax paper, laying that side of the liner on the glued bonnet, then repeating for the other half side of the liner. That went ok.
It actually works very well and looks nearly factory applied. No air bubbles, the edges were shart and fit well, and the glue isvery very 'grabby'!
I used the reverse order to place the bonnet back up and put it in position to screw it to the hinge brackets. It all goes pretty smooth.
Back on it looks as if it has always been there and finishes the engine bay appearance.
After the interior panels were placed, there remained one interior area on the B-post for vinyl application. Using some brown paper I made a pattern for the vinyl cutting.
I masked the area surrounding the area and used a 3M spray adhesive. It is actually quite well for aiming and there was no overspray. The 3M products give several minutes of work time.
Spraying the underside of the vinyl and the B-post, I allowed 5-7 minutes for the glue to dry a bit before making the application. I labeled the side of the vinyl 'P' and 'D' to ensure no placement application errors.
The green masking tape was all that was needed for spray protection.
With good pattern precut, no after application touch up cutting was required. I premarked the opening for the hood/soft top snap. The applied the chrome topping piece.
The chrome top finisher brings it all together.
This photo shows the 'back side' of the B-post with the vinyl glued on.
I'm going to recover the door capping pieces with the same vinyl as on the parcel shelf.
The heat gun works exceedingly well in softening the old glue for old vinyl removal.
No end pieces torn or ripped. Its very important to keep the old piece intact for pattern making and orientation to the aluminum piece. Proper glue is one that will not act as a solvent to the automotive grade vinyl. I have three spray cans on the shelf: 3M trim adhesive, Duro All-Purpose Spray Adhesive, and Loctite High Performance Spray Adhesive. They list numerous porous and nonporous applications.
The original vinyl on the door cappings is easily removed with a little heat from a heat gun. Very little to clean up. I was careful to not tear the ends of the original vinyl to help with the new gluing, as I have no prior 'door cap recovering ' experience, and any help on how to proceed , fold, cut, etc. is welcome. I started by cutting an approximate size piece of the new automotive vinyl.
The new vinyl cut to approximate working size, has the capping position lightly marked for placement after initial glue is applied. I used a spray glue specifically labled for automotive materials use. I did a sample test piece the night before to insure no bleed through or dissolving solvent effect. The glue was sprayed to the capping and carefully to the material per directions over 95% of the capping, leaving the ends unglued. This I let dry over night.
The next day I masked the portion of the capping I didnt want glue contacting, and sprayed the overflap as seen above. I held it down and kept pressing for adhesion for about an hour till I was satisfied it was holding. The next morning, the wider edge, (show above), took well. The thinner edge did not adhere, ( i trimmed the edge above for fitment before gluing)
The next day I used an all purpose adhesive, labled for metal, fabric, etc. I decided to use it for the edge above and the ends because of quick drying properties. The replacement vinyl is thicker than the original, which makes it a bit more tricky to work with. I used the metal spare above to press down the contacts for ten minutes or so and it held fine. Prior I had also pretested this adhesive for 'stick' and suitability for the material.
Everytime I think I'm pretty good with my hands, I come across a project such as this to remind me otherwise! I worked the end many ways, many times, and 'snipped' excess material carefully, after satisfied with positioning. Remembering the carpenters mantra, " measure twice, cut once".
The 'working' side of the door capping looks a fright, but the ends hold well, and stay put. The glue used in the MG factory must have been superb for this function, as well as the thinner weight vinyl allowing easier manipulation of the ends.
End result; the 'pretty' side of the piece.
Since finishing this I have used 'Gel Contact Cement' brush on, on other projects. It is my new favored medium for any future similar work. Total control with the brush on, and accurate utility with the 'gel' formulation.
As my Midget came as a stripped shell, I had no reference for the water barrier placement. Fortunately ( from ebay photo ) when this vehicle was repainted, the painter did not feel it necessary to remove the plastic barrier. This allows me exact and proper orientation for new barrier placement. It is apparent they did pull down the barrier plastic on the largest opening.
A reference for covering the door openings to prevent water damage to the door panels.
A plastic covering will need to be glued over the existing door panel openings. Adhesive marks indicate area to be recovered by water barrier
I use many ebay sale item photos for guidance on placement. fitment. positioning, etc. for many aspects of the rebuild. In this case, this door gives outstanding evidence for the plastic water barrier locations on the inner door. On respray of an original orange car, they left the plastic water barriers in place.
I plan to use 6ml vinyl and the all purpose adhesive for gluing.
After completing the inner door reuirements (windows, crank mechanism, lock mechanism, etc.), an exact order of proceeding should be adhered to! This is what I learned:
#1. Inner door is completely done and time to start the door interior reassembly #2. have the door cap finished and ready to place #3. with the special attachment pieces on the door cap (3 or 4), slide the attachment screw to position by holding the door cap at an angle and placing the screws over the holes. #4. you will probably only be able to access 3, maybe 4 holes because of hand size and frustration #5. using finger tips, and sell positioned finger size wrenches, gently tighten the screw with the proper nuts #6. hint: do not do this when tired #7. do not fully tighten the nuts #8. allow 'wiggle' from the door cap and trial fit the door panel #9. ensure the door panel fits under the door cap properly. this will guide how much the door cap screws need to be adjusted. #10. now place the water barrier by your method
Using appropriate sized paper to make patterns, I cut out vinyl pieces for gluing to the door frame.
Here I am; all vinyl cut and glued into place. [might I point out that the door cap is not placed!]. :(
Off came the top half of the glued vinyl to access the holes to place the door cap!
My hand could find 3 access holes for screw and nut fitment. That is plently secure.
Visually lining up the screw to there input place is a must.
Then crouching dow to look 'up', finger slide all three to perfect location, and simply 'fold' the door cap down with the screws in place.
I had to be very patient and fastidious with the nut to avoid dropping in the inner door as I had already glued the vinyl on the lower openings which would have made retrieval a major annoyance! Its amazing how grippy, and how contorted one can get their fingers when in a challenging predicament!
Various lengths of appropriate sized wrenches are required to do the job. It seemed each hole access reuired a unique method to complete the nyloc nut placement.
Its not for the easily intimidated to put in these six screws and nuts (both doors) !
What luck! A ratchet actually worked for one of the access openings!
Now then, door cap on (it is now allowing room for the door panel to slide under the door cap lip), and water barrier placed. I also added the door trim fuzzy at this point.
I opted for chrome replacement window crank handles.
The panel replacement kit has pre cut out holes for most areas of screw hole , stud, clip, placement, etc. I made frequent use of parts catalogs, ebay MG Midget photos , and manuals to assist with placement. Some holes had to be drilled in the fiberboard, and paper templates were used to assist with proper loction.
The panel kit was pre-cut and near perfect. I did have to drill out 2 of the 3 holes for the soft top hood frame seen behind the B-post. The gear shift vinyl is noted above, bulbus and missing the top rubber extension piece. At this point I had already trial fitted the leather gaiter seen and found it not able to fit.
No problem using the gasket above as a template for the hole cuttings to match the three screw holes necessary for the soft top frame attachment.
The retractable seat belts are from one of the catalog suppliers.
Catalogs tto help when sorting out how to place items back on the car, in this case the door stop strap.
Placement of the door stop straptt on the side wall is easy enough (screws). The end that ataches to the door has a unique design for placement...........
The 'hook' pivots on the rivet to inside the leather fold, then the leather end piece is stuffed into the door slot where the 'hook' piece opens up to lock into place.
I forgot to mention, once again, the 'tap' set comes in handy to open out the screw holes after car paint and such.
Even though the concept is easy, like almost every thing else on the Midget, patience, proper application, and a greater than expected amount of force is necessary to place properly.
The panels are pre drilled for door component cut-out and application of the attachment clips.
I found the easient way to work with these clips is to start on one end of the door panel and work down. Laying on the ground and looking up to know which way the clips need to be positioned is a big help. Near the end of the second door, I realized there must be a pattern to the position of the hole cuts for the clip placement, but alas, I did it the hard way and finished the job.
The door handles crowded the piping a bit, but, I am not phased much at this point and chalk it up to uniqueness!
This photo shows the 9not so bad looking) vinyl shifter gaiter, before I obtained the shifter boot and placed the leather gaiter.
I have never liked the strain placed on the gauge steel by the bonnet prop. Surely the torque on the bonnet hinges can't be good. And its only a matter of time until someone inadvertently leans on the edge of the bonnet exerting a near unrepairable crease at the pivot point that is the hood prop contact.
I was at a car show a few years ago when I saw this prop rod looking as if it was purpose built for the job. It has adjustable peg in hole lengths and is solid and sturdy. I often wondered where the owner obtained it. I was shopping for paint at a ( Lowe's ) home improvement store when I spotted this in the paint roller handle section. Well I'll be! There it was..........the same 'automotive' car prop I saw at the car show! It fits perfectly, is near impossible to dislodge with normal 'bumping', retracts when not needed, and keeps the bonnet supported with equal pressure. The unit extends from 24" to 48". As above in the photo it is at 36" which allows for normal open position of the cars prop rod without having to unscrew one end. It does fully extend to 48" with the cars prop rod unscrewed which give quite remarkable access to the engine bay.
I found brown screws with cups to attach the foot well panels. I noticed the old screw holes, however lining up is impossible, so new holes were drilled.
The panels are a nice fiber board covered vinyl. This photo also gives a view of the 'rubber bumper' style gas pedal I bought on ebay to change out the older hinged style accelerator pedal.
Wow that is a wide space caused by the wiring loom to the engine bay, on the outer wall of the passengers side foot well.
It had me wondering in the beginning.............
But, the fiberboard just folds over it as if not there.
It all starts to close up well with each additional screw placed.
I have read over the years of malfunction of the hood/bonnet release latch cable coming loose and leaving the Midget owner perflexed and panicked about getting into the engine bay again. Suggestions have been made about a contingency pull cable. I have had this one in a box of spares for years, as well as a spare accelerator cable stop piece and thought I might commission both of these items to reserve duty.
Looking over the front area I noticed thee was no quick way to get this job done. However, it shouldn't be to difficult. I would have to take off the grill. It was also just a bit more crowded than original due to my addition of an oil cooler unit.
The screwdriver points to the inner wheel arch area where the factory placed hood/bonnet lrelease latch cable can be seen. I thought I would drill a hole for the accessory cable just at the location of the screw driver tip.
I removed the cable and T-handle from the metal tube housing and using a dremmel tool, cut off the flat wire acable guide. Then I retightened the nut to the cable guide tube and secured into position.
This photo shows the factory setup in back with the wire cable going through the small post and the screw cable stop behind. In the foreground can be seen the new cable tube securely attached with the nut and grip washer. I originally tried to just 'lassoo' the cable around the latch release baar piece, with the cable secured after by the spare accellertor cable stop piece. This did not work well. On trial it opened the latch, but left the accessory cable in a stretched contortion.
A photo of the accessory cable nicely and unobtrusively tucked in the front of the wheel well next to the factory cable insert location.
After realizing the 'lassoo' method was inferior I had to come up with a better idea. Looking at the spring activated latch mechanism I decided to drill a purpose hole for the new cable to run through. This did not work well. The mechanism steel is harder than my titanium coated drill bits, so I scrapped that idea after a few moments of drilling attempts. Then I dicided to simply run the accessory cable wire through the existing hole in the mechanism that is placed for the spring. This worked very well.
I ran the cable thtough the spring hook hole and secured it with my extra accelerator cable stop piece. This too worked very well. Three trials of both the original cable release and the back-up set-up revealed flawless operation and no fouling from either mechanism. If I had reason to order other supplies from the parts sellers I would have ordered the screw type cable stop as original to the mechanism (shown above), however, using old stock repurposed works well for this project.
The final set up. Original (which more than likely will never fail), and back-up set-up.
I wanted a kind of 'freer flow' exhaust system without crossing over to a 'stage' set up. The Falcon stainless steel system, guaranteed for life, seemed like a good choice. When I read that it has a great throaty exhaust note, that helped me make up my mind.
The Falcon 1275cc Stainless Steel exhaust system. The manifold flange is part of the kit.
The new 'Falcon' exhaust coming off the exhaust manifold.
Nice piece of bent stainless.
It attaches very securely to be sure. The company must take great pride in their product, they welded on two stainless name markers.
Pretty close to a 'free flow' muffler. Notice the bracket attatchment coming off the top of the muffler, this is the only way possible to attach the unit to the car..............
......its the muffler attachment that gives the tail pipe a slight 'inward' angle as opposed to a straight on or strait on and slightly curved upward presentation.
Rivets had to be drilled out of the header rail retainer piece. It pretty much mangles the retainer.
The hood frame was cleaned up in the past. I applied leather conditioner to the 3 support straps, and sprayed black chassis paint to the frame.
Several sources of hood fitment have been collected over the years.
This beautiful hood is from MG Owners Club. It has zip out rear window and pre-cut openings for the snaps and fittings.
I've read in the past 2 different methods for removing the rivet particles after they are drilled out. One method is to squirt some silicone into the end of the header rail then shake the rivet pieces into the silicone where they will stick. The second method is to drill a hole at the end of the rail and shake out the rivet pieces. I found the PO had drilled a hole, (must have had a hood change in the past), so with this 1/4" hole I spent about 15" turning and shaking the rattling rivet pieces. About every 5th turn a piece would fall out. After 15 minutes they were out completely.
To place the hood frme I balanced one end on the attachment piece, and screwed in the other end. The frame should be pushed 'down' a bit when placing at this point to allow for hood 'tightening' adjustment at the end.
Then I screwed in the remaining end for a secure fit. After the hood is placed on the frame, some slack can be taken up by adjusting these screws for position. This is to avoid the hood 'balooning' when driving. The hood should be made fairly tight from the onset as it will stretch some with use.
I ordered tonneau bows on ebay.
The hood frame fits true..............
........................and has good free flowing movent.
I'll let the top just lay on the frame for a few days until I get some 80 degree F weather to allow some stretch to the fabric before gluing to the header rail.
This photo reminds me I have to remove the sticker off the bonnet stay and try to figure out why the windshield washer motor won't spray.
The Superlight wheels are too wide for the standard wheel retainer, and not wide enough for a comfortable fit from the next size up. I had cut the end off of a tiller a couple of years ago from my sailboat and had it laying around. It seems a perfect spacer for the tire retainer piece. I sold the sailboat, so now this can remind me of my other passion.
With the addition of the aftermarket oil cooler, the air duct has its usual space crowded out.
Placement of the air duct would crowd the oil cooler lines. I'll have to decide if I want/need the air duct.
I still very much like these Australian made Superlight wheels!
I've been checking my bits boxes for an appropriate size screw to attach the velcro hood piece. One that would go through the chrome finisher with a cap end nut. No luck. For some reason I had a few snap ends with pre fit pointed screws. I decided that will go to the front of the velcro strip and the smaller screw will go to the rear.
Holes were drilled as appropriate (they are different size screws), the velcro inner metal was drilled, and the vehicle edge was drilled.
It all went in very easy. I most likely will never have the snap piece on the hood end, but this piece is not in the way and it looks rather purposeful as it is.
Not too bad looking. First hood test shows it works well.
I had to use a screw to keep the snap on the B-post on one side. The hole had been drilled to large when the PO had removed the original rivit. If the screw head interfers with snap closure I will grind down and smooth the screw head edges and flatten the rounded head to fit.
The engine block id location has one steel rivit hole open, but the other one needs to be drilled out.
I had this stamped at some point over the past few years. Clarke Spares (listed elsewhere) did a very factory like professional job. I think its time to add it to the vehicle.
I found this flattened punch at the bottom of my tool box. I can tap in the steel rivets with a little precision with it.
Fits nicely and adds another bit of detail.
Tenax fasteners were included with the new hood.
This little 'key' was included to screw tighten the fasteners to the pre-cut holes. I have also read in an article that two small nails held between the fingers can serve the same purpose if no key is available.
They make placement of the Tenax fasteners pretty fool proof; pre-cut location holes on the fabric, pre-drilled holes on the vehicle body, and screw together Tenax fasteners.
Screws for the rear hood retaining bar have pre-drilled locations on the body of the vehicle. Its only the matter of punching a hole in the end lip of the hood fabric at the proper location to make it all align. I started with the most center screw and worked my way laterally left and right.
I found a nice internet ebay photo of a properly placed retaining bar as guidance. The bottom hemmed vinyl just touching the bend in the vehicle angle.
I checked the retaining bar against the vehilcle body for opening alignment..........this was a perfect match. So, I used the alignment bar to mark hole position in the vinyl.
I used a couple of sharp nail points to puncture a hole in the vinyl. An awl would work better if I had one.