Saturday, 3 April 2021

Steering Column rebuild and fitting

Whilst I'm waiting for the front stub axle bushes to be fitted and reamed and the wheels sand blasted and powder coated with silver paint, I thought It would be good to sort out the steering column so that it was ready to turn the wheels when the front suspension was finished.

I will be getting a nice new steering wheel as this one has seen better days and certainly isn't the one that came with the Midget in 1965!

Plan of attack was to take it apart and wire brush all the old paint off and then apply some nice new paint. Most of it was just dirty.

The steering column is basically two parts. The inner column and the outer sleeve. To separate them you have to remove the fabric bushes. One at the top of the sleeve and one at the bottom.

First remove the brass clip that holds the bottom fabric bush by sliding out of the eye slit.

The bush is looking quite dirty. So will be replacing that.

Next up you have to remove the steering wheel. 

Remove the horn push by unscrewing it and undo the main nut. 

The steering wheel will come off once you have also removed the electric contact point for the horn and indicator. 

Then you can slide the inner column out of the outer sleeve. After cleaning off the old paint I sprayed some primer and black chassis paint on the column and started to rebuild it with some of the new parts, like the fabric bushes and the seating rubber.

I started with the lower bush.

Then the upper bush, which was a bit more fiddly to get it square.

But managed it in the end.

The old seating rubber wasn't that bad but made sense to get a new one.

Another part bolted on to the chassis

Next up is the dust excluder. Which I found really tricky to fit.

It needs to go in this hole.

Like so.

But then I found trying to slide the column through it without it coming away really difficult and I tried about three times, but it kept coming off. 

In the end I realised I could just about fit the dust excluder with the column in place by using a very small flat head screwdriver to get the lip of the rubber over the metal edge and then slowly turning the dust excluder round the hole whilst using the screwdriver to make sure the lip of the rubber was in place. Once I had worked that out, it only took 4 minuets! 

Then I could grease up the teeth on the pinion. and fit the column. Make sure you have removed the bolt from the column before fitting.

Then time to fit the rubber packing and the cap of the bracket.

Once I was happy it was all in place I fitted the bolt.

Now I am not sure if this part is standard or someone manufactured it but it did come off the Midget so I thought I should clean it up and put it back. It is designed to keep dirt off the end of the steering column and pinion.

I can't see any example of it on any diagrams but I like the idea of it. 

One half is held in place by the steering rack mount and the other attaches to a bolt that has been put through the suspension bracket. Just need to find the bolt to hold it in place. It's got to be around here somewhere!

But it is all fitted and ready to start turning the wheels when they are ready to go back on! Good thing is that the whole mechanism seems really tight.

Even though the steering wheel is a quite shabby just having it in place is a good feeling! Might have to get a seat in place to see how it feels all together!

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Master Brake Cylinder and Pedal Box Rebuild

 The master brake cylinder and and pedal box was in a right state!

MG Midget Master Brake Cylinder Rebuild

MG Midget Master Brake Cylinder Rebuild

MG Midget Master Brake Cylinder Rebuild

Years of grime and rust needed to be cleaned and prepared. Which as always starts with the disassembly!

Start by removing the springs. Please note they should be the same! Need to order some new ones I think.

MG Midget Master Brake Cylinder Rebuild

Then remove the wire clips that hold the clevis pins in place.

MG Midget Master Brake Cylinder Rebuild

Remove the clevis pins themselves

Turn the pedal box over and undo the nut holding the pedals in place.

You might be able to see the remains of the draft excluder in the bottom of the slots. Need a new one of those whilst I'm at it!

These need a good once over with the wire brush wheel and new pedal rubbers to add to the shopping basket. 

Then remove the two bolts holding in the master cylinder to the pedal box.

Master cylinder should come out without too much fuss.

Needs some serious attention, but nothing I haven't tackled before and no welding required!

The cylinder itself all seems in once piece. It is a very solid part.

Best to remove the adjustment screws for cleaning.

The pedal box looked solid so gave it a good going over with the wire brush wheels.

Came up really well under all that grime and rust.

A little bit of surface pitting from the rust, but not enough to worry about.

I gave it a couple of coats of rust converter and left it ready for black chassis paint.

Time to take the master cylinder apart for inspection.

Not much of the gasket left!

What did remain needed to be carefully removed so I used a flat razor blade.

Then on to the chambers

Have to unscrew both these bolts to remove the chamber cover and gasket. Which also was perished.

The pistons themselves were stuck in there so I used the push rod to wiggle them around and eventually they did come out.

That is some dirty sludge! I'll need to buy a new set of seals and shims before I can put this back together.

This is the order they go in. You'll notice the white spacer which goes against the brake side. I guess it helps make sure the brake goes back quickly after you remove you foot from the peddle.

Time to inspect the chamber and I suppose unsurprisingly the surface was damaged. 

I have read that some people have used a honing tool to skim the surface to remove these holes. For me I didn't like the idea of that so sent mine away to Past Parts who did an amazing job! 

I only asked them to re-bore the cylinders with new stainless steel liners but they cleaned and oiled it as well for me. Highly recommended.

So then I just had to finish cleaning the pedals and paint.

Time to put it all back together! After cleaning I repainted these to protect them from further rust.

Cap could do with a clean.

New draft excluder in place.

Definitely needed a new pedal bolt!

Don't forget the spacer between the pedals.

Make sure you use the short bolt on the underside to hold the master cylinder to the pedal box. The other one is too long and it won't fit in the chassis.

Still waiting for new springs....

New foam surround.

Very pleased how this has come out and looks so good with the pedal rubbers.