Tuesday 22 August 2017

Offside Rear Wheel Arch Repair

Been a few days since I was last in the garage but managed to grab a couple of hours this evening. I have to repair the wheel arches before the new rear floor panel can be fitted. 

Before I remove the bump stop plate I wanted to make sure that I had a good repair panel for the arch, so I went to work to make a custom one.

Below is what I need to create.

I thought the best way to reproduce the curve was to copy the better nearside arch.

I remember watching CarSOS on TV an they had a good method to get your cardboard template as close as you could.

As you can see by keeping the cardboard steady and using a hammer to gently tap around the line the cardboard falls away to leave the shape you need.

From that I flipped it over and created the full template and cut out the metal panel.

Close enough for now. I'll see how this matches up when it's time for the floor panel to be welded into place.

I finished off the evening by treating the rust in the supporting member. This involved using a wheel wire brush and sandpaper on the hard to reach places. Then coating in rust converter which should seal the metal for the time being and stop further rust. I will paint with chassis paint later on.

Good progress for a couple of hours!

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Boot Floor Removal

Couldn't delay the inevitable next step, cutting out the boot floor, well starting to anyway. There are quite a few welding points to tackle, but as always I decided to take one step at a time.

First stop the easy bit!


Cut the main floor section out

When I starting looking at what next to cut it out it became very clear that I really do have to sort out the right wheel arch, which has always been a real mess!

This is what it look like before I started removing all the patch panels back three years ago...

... to reveal this!

Before I can get anywhere close to putting the new boot floor panel back in place I have to sort this whole area out, which includes the bump stop panel and the lower part of the chassis member.

So I started to cut away the rot. Now talking from experience I don't think it is as bad as it could be the chassis member is mostly intact and the rear suspension mount is attached to some good metal.

So I am thinking I need to take off the bump stop panel to help me remove the boot arch. Make good the bump stop panel and clean up the good metal and treat with rust converter. Then I can see about making some new repair sections for the chassis member and the wheel arch. 

Monday 14 August 2017

Gearbox Clean up

In order to give myself some variety during this restoration I have been choosing some parts of the MG Midget to clean up and this time I felt like the gearbox was in need of a wash, but only on the outside for now as I will need to read up on full restoration.

It certainly was caked in muck and oil!

So a soak in degreaser was required.

And after about 1½ hours scrubbing with wire brush and even an old toothbrush to get into the hard to reach places it eventually came up quite nice!

Once dry and admiring my work I realised that I hadn't ever tried to see if the gears worked, so turning the shaft I was so pleased to find all four forward gears selected as expected and I even found reverse!

No major noises or worrying movement, so on the face of it a positive little job, but I will still need to make sure I check the gears more thoroughly before attaching it to the engine!

Thursday 10 August 2017

Lower Rear Panel Repair Continued

Further work tonight on the lower rear panel and managed to weld in the 80cms strip.

I'll finish grinding down the welds to a smooth finish and then make sure the curve is good. I think this has turned out well and an important section to do so that I have got an edge to weld the boot floor too when I get to that stage.

I need to figure out what section I need to focus on next. I am thinking the offside wheel arch is really bad, so I will spend a couple of days having a think about that.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Lower Rear Panel Repair Continued

Tonight I continued to work on the rear panel and shaping the custom replacement panels. Having the new boot floor panel really helps me work out the angles and gaps needed to get a good finish.

I have found that plasterers tape is very good for marking out the cutting area as the square mesh helps me see if I am cutting straight or not.

Test fitting is so important, but it looks ok. I had to make a flange at the bottom to ensure it welds correctly on to the boot floor panel.

A few tack welds to keep it in place

Hopefully get the other half in Thursday night.

Monday 7 August 2017

Lower Rear Panel Repair

I started to create a custom repair for the rear panel. After cleaning all the old paint and filler I measured and the rust was 99% contained within a 5cms width gap. 

I made the decision to make a 80cms strip that would be welded in place after cutting out the rusted area. I will make separate repairs for each section under the rear lights housing later on.


I really enjoy shaping the metal to fit.

Rear Panel Inspection

The rear panel has two main damages areas. The first is where is is connected to the boot floor as you can see from the photos below.

The second is the damage to the offside (right) rear lights housing which is pointing inwards.

The only option I could see was to cut the rear panel away from the rear lights housing.

That allowed me to persuade (bang with the hammer) the lights housing to go back more or less inline to its original position.

I will need to spend a lot more time to get this right but for now I am happy that I am confident I can restore this panel back to its original shape which is necessary to get the new floor in place.