Wednesday 6 May 2020

Boot Lid Repairs

Nice not to be working on the chassis anymore and with both doors more or less ready for blasting I chose the boot lid to be next up on my restoration journey.

On initial inspection I always thought that this wasn't too bad. Certainly had a few small blisters in the paint indicating some rust underneath, but the fact that there weren't gaping holes I was feeling fairly optimistic about this repair. 

I mean yes there was some bending to do...

Some gaps to align


So lets crack on with it!

Oh damn! Not so good then as there was a whole load of filler under the lip and rather a lot of rust and holes.

But the more I cleaned and the harder I looked I could just see more and more rust underneath the lip that holds the skin of the boot to the frame.

There were only two options really. Option 1 to buy a new one or option 2 see what I could do with this. After about 45 mins of working the lip of the skin off the frame the two parts came apart for the first time in 55 years. 

At this point I was thinking option 1 would not be a bad choice after all. 

But I am supposed to be 'restoring' this MG Midget after all. The skin was actually in good condition apart from the surface rust. If I could make some custom flanges for the worst parts of the frame and stabilise all the surface rust I might be able to turn this around.

With flap disc and rotary wire brush I set to work.

It came up really well and I was actually taken back by the engineering of this part. Now all the surface rust was gone from both parts it was time to stabilise the metal with rust converter.

Next job will be to start making the bespoke repairs.

Should be fun as I like making these.

After working around the whole flange in the usual manner. I then had to spend quite a lot of time making sure that the frame was as straight as I could make it, which wasn't easy as there are a lot of curves and angles to get right.

Then it was time to protect this side of the frame with chassis paint to stop it from rusting. This side is hidden behind the outer skin so blasting will not really touch it. 

The outer skin only had a couple of sections that needed to be sorted for rust. 

The metal is much thinner on these panels and so much more prone to warping during welding. It was also important to make sure that the flange that wraps around the frame and holds it in place wasn't damaged when I pulled it apart. Fortunately only two tears that were easily welded up.

So after a couple of test fittings and quite a lot of hammer work with my dolly set I managed to get all the edges looking straight and restored the curves to as close as they were meant to be.

It certainly fits a lot better than it did before and now there is no rust. It will need some filler to get it perfectly fitted but that's not a problem for me.

Next up is the bonnet!

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