Saturday 9 March 2013

Floor & Sill Repair Preparation

I have been following many peoples advice when restoring a MG Midget, to take it slowly and concentrate of small sections at a time. This is very important advice, as there is so much metal work to be done and I have to learn many new skills as I go.

Today I tackled the task of removing sections of the rusted floor plan that was originally spot welded to the chassis.

First job though was to buy some ear defenders as recent grinding activities had left me with my ears ringing for hours. I can't tell you how much a difference it made to my concentration. Removing the one sense that was distracting me from the job in hand helped enormously.

Spot weld by spot weld, I drilled each one and removed a small section. These drills holes will act as my guide to puddle weld in the new panel.

1965 MG Midget MKII Restoration 1965 MG Midget MKII Restoration

It was a relief to see that the inner part of the chassis was relatively free of rust. I will apply some rust remover and finish with black chassis paint before welding on the new floor panel. 

1965 MG Midget MKII Restoration

This section though needs some serious work. I would like to repair this with steel cut to size and welded in. Give me a chance to test my very new and raw welding skills.

New Supplies

Whilst browsing through ebay the other day I came across a bonnet (the only part not supplied with the car). It looked in good condition so I kept watch. As the auction end got closer there was only one bid of £10. Knowing that new you can pay £400 for a new one, I though it was worth a go and I was surprised that the bids didn't go much higher, as I won the thing for only £16!

I picked it up from a great guy called John who was having a clear out. He also offered me a box of parts that he was putting together and said that I could pick it up the next time I was passing by. He didn't want any cash for them, he only asked that I made a contribution to the Air Ambulance. So I thought I'd put the link here and see if some of my readers would like to donate as well. Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance

There are a few minor rust holes that can easily be sorted

This week it was my birthday and family very kindly gave me some more Moss vouchers, so my collection of new panels is coming along nicely!

Monday 4 March 2013

The First Cut

So now the really scary bit! With angle grinder in hand it was time to start to remove the damaged panels of the MG Midget. I decided to work on the offside of the car, because that side had had work done on it that was of a poor standard. I could also get the measurements needed from the original nearside where there has been no alterations.

I started by measuring every distance that I could and cross referenced it to the nearside. There where some differences caused by the poor patch jobs of a previous owner. After that I had to go for it and work out the best way to get the sills off.


So I started to investigate where the inner sill was attached. There didn't seem much...

Then I looked at the A post which was rusted at the base and cutting what I thought was the worst part only hinted that all was not as it seems. The whole panel was covered in filler! There is a large dent running right down the middle of it. So that had to go as well, which didn't leave much for the inner sill to hold on to, except the cross member. 


I decided to take stock of the panels I needed and with the vouchers my lovely wife got me from Christmas I popped down to Moss and purchased two new inner sills, two outer footwell side panels and a toe board. I still needed plenty more but for now the outer side panel helped me realise how bad the rust had got. So I cut out it out!

With a little more persuasion both sills came off, along with a section of the cross member and part of the floor!

So I am now left with tidying up the edges to prepare them for the spot welding, but there are more rusted sections on the front footwell panel and triangular support, shown here below.

But I am getting to grips with the metal work and even in this small section things are progressing and I am starting to love flap disks.

I also got the chance to practice some welding for the first time with the help of my 17 year old nephew, who wanted to see what his crazy uncle was up to. He thought it was 'Sick Man!'