Sunday, 2 December 2012

Heater Matrix Out!!

So after a lot of time (too much for my liking) I finally removed the heater matrix. The four screws that were putting up a strong fight had just about everything thrown at them, but in the end the two on the right hand side gave in to the heat of my wife's crème brulee blow torch. 

The other two bolts on the left hand side were more resistant to the heat so had to be removed by drilling off the heads and then using a star bit in a pre drill hole to unscrew the remaining bolt.

From then on it was more plain sailing and so I continued on with removing the wiring loom.

Until....Yes at last it was out!!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Socket Heads V's Screw Heads

Just a quick moan about last nights frustrations of not being able to undo a number of phillips head bolts. 

I have now spent about 3 hours trying to remove the four bolts securing the heating matrix without any signs of movement other than cross-heading the screws. 

I have tried some of the usual techniques, covering in oil and leaving for a couple of days, using a flat head screwdriver, hammering in a driver bit and mole grips but the metal is so weak nothing will bite.

I checked the welded in nuts from the floor heater vents and they are not rusty at all. Then in trying to get a better angle to one of the screws I decided it might be easier if I removed the starter solenoid switch, but then I ran into another phillips head bolt that stopped me in my tracks again!!

I think the only solution is to drill them out with a left hand drill bit which I don't own, yet! I will certainly replace them with nice socket bolt heads.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Progress Update

Having removed the dashboard my attention continued to be focused on removing the wiring loom. This meant that I could now move into the engine bay for the first time and start removing all components that require an electrical wire. 

Wiper motor, screen washer pump, heater matrix blower were first on the list.

MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII RestorationMG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration

As I removed each item, it crossed my mind that I could find out if they were working by connecting them up to the battery directly and to my amazement they all worked straight off. The wiper motor will certainly need attention, there is no way you could drive safely in the rain, the speed of the wipers would be far to slow.

During the removal of the heater blower I noticed that there was some corrosion around the base of the brass valve that feeds the heating matrix. On closer inspection, one of the bolts was missing. I unscrewed the remaining one and carefully removed the valve to find that the base was completely corroded, meaning that it could no longer sit flush on the head even with a new gasket. Fortunately the brass valve was ok, but I do need to find a suitable replacement bolt along with a base for the valve.

MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration

On a positive note, I finished cleaning the speedo and rev counter and they came up brilliantly.

MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration

Friday, 23 November 2012

An Evenings Work

Just a quick update on work completed tonight.

So I started by cleaning up some more chrome and glass whilst my wife was working, which again came up really nicely.

MG Midget 1965 Restoration MG Midget 1965 Restoration

Later on I gave myself 1 hour in the workshop to finally get the dashboard removed which required me to get the heater cable, speedo, rev counter and indicators off.

MG Midget 1965 Restoration MG Midget 1965 Restoration MG Midget 1965 Restoration
MG Midget 1965 Restoration MG Midget 1965 Restoration

I then found something odd. Earlier in the week I noticed that connected to the dashboard where two switches labeled 'Starter' and 'Choke'. Both were pull switches. I wanted to trace the wires to see what they were connected to, but unfortunately they were only connected to each other and nothing else, any ideas?

MG Midget 1965 Restoration

If I had to guess it was at some point a early immobiliser that required both switches to be pulled before the car could be started.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Learn from your mistakes

Over the past couple of nights I have been unable to get to the workshop, so I decided to clean up some of the parts that I have removed from the car instead.

I thought that a nice place to start would be the Smiths gauges. So with wire wool in hand I began to clean up the chrome and glass that was covered in black dashboard paint and general grime. I started with the fuel gauge and it was coming up very nicely. However there was a lot of dirt and dust on the inside of the glass and on the face. So I took the chrome surround off and cleaned the glass to almost new.

I then made my first real mistake of this project and decided the best way to clean the face of the gauge was to use a damp cotton bud.

MG Midget 1965 Restoration

I didn't realise that the 'artwork' was printed on with water soluble paint, which as you can see now means the car will never run out of petrol!

I have since found out that it is possible to send the gauge to a specialist to have it restored. Both and offer these services as well as complete refurbishment.

So with my new found knowledge of how to carefully clean my gauges I finished off the other two without further incident.

MG Midget 1965 Restoration MG Midget 1965 Restoration
I even tested the water temperature gauge by boiling some water, putting the thermostat in and watching the dial swing round was a brilliant feeling.

I had some time spare so cleaned up the ignition barrel as well.

MG Midget 1965 Restoration MG Midget 1965 Restoration

Monday, 19 November 2012

Wiring Expeditions

Over the past few nights I have been trying to unravel the seemingly miles of wires connected to my dashboard.

Some of which are easy to identify, others are quite a mystery even with my trusty colour wiring diagram:

MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Leg Bone Connected to the Knee Bone....

MG Midget 1965 MKII RestorationYesterday evening I set out with a clear strategy in my mind about how I was going to tackle removing the dashboard, whilst documenting what all those little wires were and where they had to go back to. I even found a colour wiring diagram for my Midget's year to help me find my way. The steering column though was causing me a problem and that had to be removed to get the perfect access to the back of the dashboard.

I do remember reading somewhere during my research that Midgets are quite tight on space and can be tricky to work on. So on trying to remove the screws holding the steering column in place I found that the job would be made easier if I removed the radiator, even if it was something I had planned for the future. Checking my trusty secondhand Haynes manual and after removing the hoses, it was just a matter of removing four nuts. Problem was that I could only find one nut and replacing the other three was a load of brazing around the two top bolts. Someone in the past must have lost three of nuts and decided the best way to secure the radiator was to put a hot torch and solder to it!

I have to admit I did prefer this to welding, as my experience at school during CDT classes reminded me that brazing was fairly brittle and after a couple of knocks with a mallet and screwdriver it broke and the radiator was free.

MG Midget 1965 MKII RestorationWell after all that I got a bit carried away and decided to remove the remaining front body work and exposed the front crossmember, which allowed me to properly get to the steering column and has left the engine nicely on view.

Having a quick look around, the front chassis looks in good condition. Also the engine looks like it hasn't been touched in years, everything from the leads, alternator, distributor and even the oil filter looks very dated. Kim from Magic Midgets said it was unmolested and I do wonder if the mileage of 4,450 is correct? Probably wishful thinking!

The lesson learned was that when setting out on trying to complete one job you never know the sequence of events that will connect you to other jobs. Try and focus on one job at a time. Next job...remove the steering column!!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Removal continues

Over the past few days I have been feeling increasingly more relaxed about this project. I think this comes down to the simplification of the task. By breaking the car down into its smallest sections possible it has allowed me to focus on the parts the need the most attention, which for this car is undoubtedly the floor as seen in previous posts.

I will certainly be needing the repair panel for the floor sections above including the crossmember. But I am hoping that the spring mounting repair panel (shown as 12 or 14) will be enough rather than having to replace the whole bulkhead which looks, on initial inspection, in good condition.

MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration

The focus has been on the stripping down of the cockpit area, including windscreen and wipers, heating parts and general clips and trims. The dashboard is obviously very daunting which is going to require some major thought about the best way to ensure that all the wires are going to find there way back to there original locations.

The bulkhead trim is a real pain to get to without completely removing the dashboard which in turn will be easier to assess with the steering column removed. I am hoping that all those hours playing Tetris on the Gameboy will come in useful!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Jobs completed tonight

Just about to head off to bed, but thought I would give a quick update on what I did tonight.

MG Midget 1965 MKII Restoration
Removed the rear number plate holder, rear lights and housing, reversing & number plate light. Also took off the boot lid, fuel hose and two chrome hood or tonneau catches.
Then moved on to removing the nearside door hinges, both door striker plates and the gear stick housing.

On Saturday will be looking to work on removing the dashboard, windscreen and wipers.