Showing posts with label restoration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restoration. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Steering Rack Rebuild

The steering rack was in good condition. It was just really dirty!

So it was the usual process of stripping it all down and preparing for paint, then putting it back together with some new parts.

It is important to make sure that there is no horizontal play or excessive floppiness in the tie rods. If there is the shims that sit behind the ball housing have probably worn and will need replacing. They are not easy to find.

The teeth on the rack bar also need a good inspection as if they are warn then you need a whole new rack as they are also not easy to find.

Also the main pinion needs to be checked for wear. Again not easy to find if it is excessively warn.

These definitely needed replacing!

But the whole main part was generally in very good condition and came up well using the wire wheel brush.

The main issue was the parts that were missing. Like washers, gaiters, grease nipples and clips. But once ordered they all fitted perfectly.

Below are the new shims that help the column fit into the brackets securely.

Here is the steering column all in place! All that is left to do is inject the oil that lubricates the rack. Later models use grease.

The Rebuild Begins

Over the last couple of months I have been preparing the chassis to start installing the steering and suspension. In order to do that I needed to paint parts of the engine bay.

I bought a few rattle cans of old english white paint and started to prepare the engine bay which involved sanding down the primer to provide a key for the new paint to stick to. I used 200 grit sandpaper and gave it a good once over. Then hoovered up all the dust as best I could. Then using a specialist paint cleaning solvent and lint free cloths I sprayed and wiped down all surfaces and allowed to dry. 

Once the first coat was applied I needed to repeat the process with even finer sandpaper. Starting with 800 and then 1000 grit for the final 3rd coat. The finish was really good for my first attempt and considering it was just the engine bay I'm very happy.

The first item I wanted to install was the steering column which I had recently finished restoring with the new parts.

It went in so well having cleaned up all the parts so next up was the front shocks or dampers.

Starting to come together! Next up will be the front suspension.

Monday, 1 March 2021

Rear Brakes Rebuild

With new parts delivered I could start rebuilding the rear brakes.

I mentioned before that the rear bearings are in good condition so I won't be replacing them. Before I could rebuild the brakes I needed to put the rear axle and hub back on with new oil seals and gaskets.

Both surfaces of the hub needed a good clean. I used fine wet and dry paper to remove all the old crud.

As part of the preparation I had removed as much of the surface rust from the back plate and then applied a couple of coats of rust converter and then a couple of top coats of black chassis paint. It was now ready to start to install the new parts.

First up was the oil seal and gasket. I made sure the groove was very clean and then put a small amount of oil in the groove to help settle the seal.

Gasket goes on easily.

Then carefully slide the half shaft in the differential and then on to the inner hub mounting bolts. If you have wire wheels like me make sure that you put the correct hub and half shaft in the right end of the axle. Then make sure the screw hole is aligned and then tighten the screw.

Once that is in place I moved on to the wheel cylinder that contains the two pistons that force the brake pads on to the drum. I should point out that I did paint the pistons before putting them back into the cylinder to stop them rusting as they did before.

In order to keep the cylinder in place you have two options. Could can either use a washer and circlip or you can use a clip as I have used. This is partly because a new washer is not currently available from Moss and it needs to be exactly the right width. The clip I used is slightly bent to ensure everything is tight and stops the cylinder moving around.

I have seen some people use a tools to get this clip on but a screwdriver and a little bit of pressure and it clips on well, even if it did scratch the paint, which I tidied up afterwards.

Next up is to put the handbrake arm and new seal in place. Quite easy to do.

Then the pads themselves. This is a fiddley job!

I have to admit that I had two goes at this and it took me a while to try to understand why on one side the pads were reasonably tight and in place and on the other the pads were flopping around all over the place.

It turned out that although the springs looked ok, one wasn't even the right spring and was longer which caused the looseness, but also over time springs lose their strength, so I bought a new set from MGB Hive

I still cannot believe that someone had fitted the old pads with this top spring. The braking must have been all over the place.

The best way to show how to correctly fit the pads is to use this diagram:

When I fitted the pads I put the top spring in place first and then slid the pads over the hub and slotted the handbrake arm into the slots as shown below and then set the top of the pads into the cylinder pistons.

You need to make sure you clip the spring around the handbrake arm, which helps to stops vibrations and the brakes squeaking.

The bottom spring is tricky to get on. Although the photos show the pads in place, I actually fitted the bottom spring with the bottom of the pads off the adjuster just behind the hub. This allowed the pads to be closer together and the spring was easier to clip into place. Then you pull the pads back into their slots on the adjuster.

Once that has all been checked and making sure it is all tight you can fit the drums on. 

If like me there is some rubbing when first fitting, you should check the adjuster to make sure it isn't over tightened. But some initial rubbing is normal until you get a chance to drive the car to test the brakes. They should settle in with a few miles. If not you need to check the installation again.

New Parts Arrive!

After a long wait and thanks to my family for some vouchers at Christmas I was able to place my order with Moss for some much needed parts! Big thanks to the guys at Moss for helping me out with a discount!

The majority of these are to help me get the car back on the wheels so I can start preparing it for paint. 

When the boxes arrived it was very exciting and it felt like Christmas all over again. 

Most of the parts were for steering, suspension and front and rear brakes.

Really looking forward to getting these on the Midget!


Tuesday, 1 December 2020

First Round of Paint

To continue with the plan of making the MG Midget a rolling chassis so that I can get it to the paint shop without damaging the work I have already completed I needed to paint some key areas of the chassis. 

The idea is to repeat the process of the underside of the chassis, as in completing the seam sealing on all panel joins and then paint, leaving the main external body for the professionals.

I decided to use a brushable seam sealer that when dry can be sanded and painted over. I have found Granvilles G-Pro product was very easy to apply and dried very quickly. That still didn't help though with the amount of edges that needed to be sealed. I spent ages inside the cockpit and the engine bay making sure the every edge was done. 

Please make sure you follow the safety advice when using this product as it does have a strong glue like smell. I used an filtered face mask when applying.

When you use the brush it is difficult to get a smooth finish and if there are sections that are going to be on show you can use a tool, similar to a bathroom silicone sealer tool to smooth the product down immediately after brushing on. I found this made the sealer last much longer as you can push the product into the joint and along at the same time, whereas with the brush it is harder to force it into the joint or gap. 

After a few hours over a couple of evenings I had completed all the areas.

The next step is to prepare the chassis for its first coat of paint. I decided to get the cockpit ad boot done to avoid any stray black paint on the outer Old English White paint. 

First job was to sand down the primer and any rough dried sealer to provide a key for the new paint to stick to. I used 200 grit sandpaper and gave it a good once over. Then hoovered up all the dust as best I could. Then using a specialist paint cleaning solvent and lint free cloths I sprayed and wiped down all surfaces and allowed to dry. The aim is to remove any grease or dust particles that can affect the paint adhering to the primer and sealer. This should be done each time between coats using finer sand paper each time, before you get to the final top coat.

It does take time to do all this preparation, but what's a couple more hours after 8 years!

Now my thinking is that partly to save some money but also to put the best protection on these inner panels which are prone to rusting I have decided to just use more satin black chassis paint on any panel that is going to be covered by nice new carpet or interior trim panels. I think it turned out quite well so far.

Next up will be the engine bay with nice new Old English White paint.