Welcome to the DMR Site for British Car Information.
MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.
MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Restoration sequencing
My nephew has a 1275 midget which he is starting to restore. I've done a few midgets before, but not requiring the work that this one does. It needs floors, spring hangers, A post / door hinges as well as front inner panels (footwell above sill and front).
What sequence of repairs would be best - i am thinking that the A post hinges repair first so that you can check door gaps, then floor and spring hangers etc. The sills have been done before and thefore I dont think that the car is too bad, but we'll see when we open it up!
Also, any views on working with a chassis tilter? - any views on how this affects works - do we need to do any strengthening before putting it in the tilter - which we were proposing to make. Anyone got one for hire or purchase - we are in gloucester.
Welcome to this BBS
Whilst I cannot point you directly at the correct topics, the archive section of this BBS covers your questions perfectly, I am sure that before long, someone will come along with the links.
I do know of a US contributor to here that has done a magnificent job of a Frogeye which he has documented and photographed comprehensively on his blog, again, someone will know of it.
Finally, there are chassis tilters available, I have one which is superb, but is promised to a friend and fellow BBS'r to use imminently for his Frogeye restoration, I'm sure you will find one closer to you too....
Please keep us informed of your progress and any questions, however trivial, please ask, you will find MANY will offer answers and solutions.
All the very best,
|Mark T. Boldry|
|Hi, if its any help in restoring a '72 RWA with the same work required. You can see my progress and the order i did it in here: www.k-midget.co.uk|
Theres no hard and fast rule as to the order in which to replace things, just take it slowly and only cut out one bit at a time!
before you dismantle anything and before you remove the doors, check the door gaps to A and to B post. If the gaps have closed up at the top of the B post this would indicate that the car has sagged. Careful use of a jack under the cills and beneath the B post should bring the gap back to parallel, top to bottom.
When you have got it right, then weld some braces across the top of the door openings on both sides. Once this is done you can then proceed with dismantling parts without loosing the basic shell dimensions.
It doe depend on how much of the car remains that can be used to determine new panel postions. My sequence would be the outer footwell side, then the inner cill, cross member, outer cill, A and B post repairs. I would leave the doors hung on what remains of their door hinges for as long as possible and use these to adjust and position the other panels around.
I would leave the rear spring boxes until after the cills have been done and replace floor panels last of all. That said a good system is to position as much as you can with self tappers and clamps so that you can adjust relative positions of the various panels before welding.
|Alan, a gentleman in Canada, Peter Plouf, has done about the most total rebuild of a Frog Eye body I've ever seen. His sequence seems to be about the best and he's documented it all in good photos here. http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2203663|
He designed some bracing that would insure the alignment stayed correct while still allowing access to repair the posts and fit the doors. Really nice work.
|Another one to check it out is www.raysmg.com - go to the bodywork section of his restoration. Its another extreme case but very useful pics!|
|Rob, thanks. I thought I recogised the name - I bought your old gearbox and it is now in my 72 midget. Whilst it is quieter than the old, the synchros need replacing on second and third as it keeps popping out of gear when decellerating. Oh well, at least it has given me the opportunity to rebuild the old gearbox without having to stop driving the car!|
Thanks for the info - most helpful
|Small world! Glad you can use the box, shame its not perfect tho!|
|Haynes sell a restoration manual which is worth getting your hands on - real horror pictures in there!|
I'd lend you mine but I am a bit far away.
If someone is prepared to ferry it from the London bridges run it is still up for offer. You can give in back in three years.
Also a must have is the free Midget and Sprite catalogue from Moss - this is the essential guide to every nut and bolt
|Hi Alan, welcome amongst us!|
I can give you the names and ISBN (I think) of three very useful books on Midget restoration, one of which (the slimmest) was the one I used for advice and encouragement when I rebuilt mine.
No 1, (my hero) Practical Classics and Car Restorer on Midget/Sprite Restoration ISBN 0-948-207-48-5
It is a reprint of a series of articles published in Practical Classics years ago,it answered almost every question I asked, but interpretation took some doing.
No 2, A similar book but much more comprehensive. Guide to Purchase & DIY Restoration of the MG Midget and Austin-Healey Sprite, by Lindsay Porter. ISBN 0-85429-336-1
And No 3 a more general "all about the car" volume but with some good body repairs details and a few handy drawings showing structural layouts, it is MG Midget & Austin-Healey Sprite Restoration, Preparation and Maintenance by Jim Tyler, published by Osprey Automotive. ISBN 1-85532-229-3
All three seem to cover each other's fields and the Lindsay Porter is probably the best all rounder (but I didnt have that until way after finishing my car, I bough mine for £1.20 in a book clear out at my local Public Library. You should be so lucky!)
Hope this list helps you and of course we can often answer fresh ones as you go along. There is an unbelievable wealth of experience here with most of us at some stage along the road you are treading. Dont be afraid to ask.
(Briefly, I positioned my bare wreckage on a couple of wooden beams to keep it all straight and began with the inner and outer sills, the rear cross section and the corrseponding front box cross section. Advice about the door shuts is worth considering too. I built up from there and ended up with a nice car which has repaid me in pleasure far more than the costs of restoring her.)
Pic. A work in progress
|and just as you are getting started looking for things which are not straight when they should be....|
Something that /everybody/ asks sooner or later is
"Has my car been in a shunt - the front chassis legs bend upwards at the front"
they do that, it's part of the design, the chassis legs have a kink of about 3 degrees at about the point where the spring pans attach.
I hate to be the kill joy, put Id really look around for a good shell and transfer everything over, or just buy a nice one that the owner HAS to sell. by the time you purchase a welder, rotiesory, panals, extra tools and stuff your going to be well over the price of another good shell and thats not even painted and worked over....not to mention the time involved.
your talking major surgry, Id certianly buy a high end gas mig welder and a plasma cutter, to do a great job, before you do any cutting make sure you make a jig to bolt the entire car down, so nothing moves. Id say spend sometime talking to Rob McGeown, he has done an awsome job on his rolling rust magnet
just make sure you have alot of time, patiance, and money....other wise this will turn into a 25 year long eye soar....besides convertable sports cars with nice overhuals are super cheap right now due to weather and poor economy
No one likes taking the romance out of a good resto project, but I'd ditto Prop's comments. With the economic down turn they'll be plenty of restored or re-shelled vehicles seeking news owners (unfortunately).
I was in your position in 1995, I added up the cost of restoring the shell and couldn't justify it on cost grounds alone (never mind the time!) and took the heritage shell route. I bought mine without the bonnet and boot lid to save money.
Probably the best money I've every spent. One day your garage is empty, next there is a full, brand new shell in it.. magic. I did all the sealing, undercoat and spraying myself.
I can't recommend it enough.
|J E G Eastwood 1|
|If its just about getting a working resotred car on the road then fine, seek a better shell. But if like me, its about learning the skills, fun and satisfaction of doing the hole thing - then just do it, even if it takes 10 years.|
|Thanks everyone. I must point out that I am not a complete novice at this game, and I echo Rob's comments.|
I have had two B's, and three midgets which I have carried out different amounts of work on. The question was really about what people thought was the best place to start work. I think that I now have this as checking the door shuts and welding / bolting some stiffeners to hold the car in place.
It's been a while since I did some welding, but I've extracted the mig out of the garage and given it a going over, so off we go! Now, where did I put that angle grinder!!!
|Great, dont forget to post some pics.|
This thread was discussed between 30/12/2008 and 01/01/2009
This thread is from the archive. The live forum is active now.