Sunday, 24 November 2019

To bead or not to bead

I have read quite a few posts on forums where MG Midget owners have discussed replacing the rear wing beading. As it is a common rusting point where moisture gets in under the beading and silently rots away the joint where the rear wing meets the main section of the chassis. 

I am extremely lucky in that the wings are in very good shape around that area, but there is a little rust bubbling around the beading and in one small section it has come away. With further probing with a screwdriver found that this beading needed to be replaced. 

There has been a few debates about the best way to tackle this problem. The more pure enthusiast will suggest that originality is vitally important and certainly in the restoration guides it gives a very good description of how to attached a new beading strip with brazing techniques. 

There is another view though that the beading was a cheaper alternative during the manufacturing process than making the seam between the wing and the chassis seamless. Today this gap could be filled to make a smooth and impenetrable fix by using the lead loading process, which uses molten lead to shape the desired finish.

This is a highly skilled job to get this perfectly correct as you can see in this video: YouTube - Lead Work and on my MKII the beading is a lot longer so there is more to get right.

So far I have removed the beading and cleaned out the joint with the grinder and a metal cutting disc to remove the rust, which thankfully is limited and then applied rust converter to stop further corrosion. I'll have a further thought about which way to go.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Left Rear Wing Repair

Getting this rear wing done was one of those major milestones that I have been looking forward to for some time. 

I had to look back through the blog to remember how bad it was rusted and the poor attempt to repair it.

Which all needed to be cut out

You can see the damage behind which was all fixed a year ago in this post: Left-hand-rear-wheel-arch-repairs

Certainly looks a lot better now behind the wing, which leaves the next job of lining up the new replacement panel.

Needed the usual preparation of weld through primer and holes for the welding.

Then make sure it lined up ok. This took quite a bit of fine adjustment with the angle grinder to make sure that the panel fitted just right, but also left a small gap between the new and original metal to weld into. About 1mm to 2mm is normally about right.

Then a final spray of chassis paint to cover the parts that the sandblaster probably won't reach.

And then it was time to weld it all and grind to a smooth finish.

It will certainly need a thin coat of filler to make perfect but considering the extent of the damage I'm very happy with this result.