Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A-Post Repair

I am sure that I remember saying some years ago that one of the most important parts of restoring an MG Midget was to make sure that the doors fitted. Everything has now come down to this point. Did the chassis bend and twist when I removed all of that rusted metal? Or by some chance of luck did it all go according to plan. Welding in the door hinge repair would answer that question.

I cannot remember how many times I fitted the door whilst attached to the hinge repair, but it must have been a lot. I took my starting point from the top part of the repair against the original A-post as you can hopefully see from the second photo. I then made sure the repair was vertical and tacked a couple of small welds to hold it in place, then test fitted the door again to make sure all was lining up as it should and finished welding it in.

This left a small custom repair job that took no time at all to sort out. I do love making these.

I had to fix another rust patch around the windscreen support hole which also turned out very nice.

This now only leaves the outer skin of the A-post to fit and if the test fitting is anything to go by we are looking ok to crack on with it. 

There is some adapting to do to get the line correct on the top left of the repair to ensure the gap is consistent, but I am confident it will work out.

So looking forward to finishing this front side.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Right Hand Outer Sill in!

At long last the outer sill in all welded in and looking good!

I then needed to complete a repair to the point where the wheel arch meets the sill, as there was some rust in that area I had to cut it out, make a new section and weld it all in.

The issue I need to resolve is to close up all the gaps as I can see no reason to keep this as it is. The only reason I left a gap was because there is one on the left hand side and from photo's I have seen online there is also a gap. Why leave a gap where water from the wheel arch can come through the gap down to the A post? More research required!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Outer Sill Welding into Position - Part 1

After many hours of alignment preparation I decided to bite the bullet and weld the outer sill into position. I chose the lower contact points first just in case there was any metal warping that I might to able to correct in the top of the sill.

First off I needed to clean up each weld using my mini wire brush attachment.

After that I clamped around each hole and used a pick to ensure that no primer and only bare metal was exposed to ensure a clean weld. I made sure that every weld was completed at a different points on the sill to reduce overheating and warping.

Quit impressed with some of these welds. Funny how some go so well and others end up with too much metal in them.

Next job is to check the door alignment and complete the welds in the top of the sill. I will need to make sure there are no gaps around the sill which might let moisture in. Then grind it all down smooth and paint it to protect the section until it is time for the soda blasting!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Outer Sill Alignment

In order to make sure I get this outer sill aligned to the best of my ability I consulted with my friends at the MG Cars Enthusiasts' Club. They, as always gave me some valuable advice which was to properly line up everything first and make sure that the door looked good. 

But there was one job that I have been putting off for some time, not for any particular reason other than I was just nervous about cutting more metal away from the A post pillar.

The problem I have with this repair is the repair panel itself. I have noticed that the new panel is slightly smaller to the lower left of the hole where the windscreen support slots into. I guess that is something I will have to tackle at some point.

For now I needed to cut some metal away so that the A-post panel will fit in place so I can test fit the door, the wing and the A-post to make sure the outer sill is in position and ready for welding.

Oh look more rust! Hardly surprising as this spot it a usual suspect in terms of rusting points. I'll be back to sort you out later, but for now it was time to check the alignment.

I think that it all looks fairly good for a test fitting. I am happy with the gaps as they all seems to be constantly equal and straight. Hopefully I can start to tack some welds in tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Outer Sill Preparation

For the last couple of evenings I have been preparing the outer sill for one of my most nervous welds to date. If I get this wrong it could ruin the entire look of the car.
Gaps, wheel arches and bolt holes all have to be carefully considered to ensure I don't mess this up.

First job is to prepare the inner sill that is going to be covered for evermore (hopefully! Not doing all this again in a hurry) by painting it in a couple of coats of black chassis paint to protect it from the rust.

Then I drilled all the weld holes in the outer sill, took it back to bare metal and sprayed the edges with weld-through primer to protect the join from rust. I applied a couple of coats of chassis paint to the inner section, as shown below.

Next I presented the outer sill to the inner sill and sprayed a little primer through the holes to highlight the welding line.

This was then stripped back to bare metal and sprayed with weld-through primer.

 Finally the outer sill in (hopefully) in position ready for welding.

The gaps and arches all look good, including the two ends of the outer sill which I was relieved to see ends perfectly in-line with footwell end and the rear bulk head. Must have done something right! In case you are wondering why the blue wing, the guy I bought the MG Midget off included it in the price as the old one was too far gone.

Next post will be welding in the sill and then on to the A and B post repairs and fitting the door.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Where does the time go

It has been a long while since my last post, but I have been somewhat busy working on the house that we bought nearly two years ago. Every room and the garden needed to be redone. During the summer I spent nearly all my time working in the garden trying to transform it from a jungle to something we can enjoy as a family. During the winter months to date I have been sorting out the bathrooms. I'm happy to say that I decided that enough was enough and it was time to get back to the MG! 

There was a couple of things that encouraged me to get back it, the first was watching quite a few episodes of CarSOS, kind of hoping that I would appear on the show, only to get frustrated that it wasn't me and telling myself I must get back into the garage. The other was some nice gifts friends and family gave me for Christmas.

My last post explained about getting ready weld in the floor. Well I am please to say that I completed that job back in the summer. I just don't think I took any photos. My next job is to align the outer sill and prepare the area for its fitting.

I am so happy that the sill and the wing appears to line up really well. The b-post repair also looks like it should fit into place with near perfect gaps all round.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

It's Nearly Floor Time

I got a message today from Andy Mc in Holland today telling me to keep going! He also had a link to his website of his MG Midget project which I recommend you check out: http://superspridget.blogspot.nl/?m=1

That was all it took to help me decide that I needed to make some more progress with the car and so tonight I finally got the repair to the shock absorber bracket completed after the second time of trying.

The first time the welds didn't take at all and the whole repair just popped off. I guessed because I didn't increase the voltage on the welder to accommodate the thicker metal. So after drilling out the welds and turning up the power I gave it a second go and all was well, as you can see.

This now means there is nothing stopping me from welding in the new floor panel!!

I had to check when I first tried to test fit this panel to fit and it was the 1st April 2013. 

But so much has happened since then both with the car and with life in general, especially the new garden which has been consuming my spare time since September last year. 

I finished off the evenings work by doing the final test fitting before the big weld.

I also though it would be good to see the before and after photo.

Very happy with the way it has turn out and I am certainly looking forward to getting the next section done, just got to remember to turn the welder voltage down before I start!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Floor Pan Preparation

During the last few weeks I have been preparing the chassis and new floor pan to fit together ready for welding. It turns out there is quite a lot to think about. First off you very quickly realise how many holes you have to drill. I lost count after 200!

Then there are the tube sections which will be covered up forever more. I wanted to treat these with rust protection to hopefully give them some extra life. Midget's have seemed to suffer badly around the crossmember area, probably because of the jacking point clear lets moisture into that section.


Another area that will be mostly hidden is the gap between the inner and outer rear bulkhead. Once I have completed the chassis the plan is to take it to a sandblasting company to take all the metal back and prime with an Epoxy paint. I am sure these gaps will be hard to blast when the floor pan is in, so any protection will be useful. Both of these sections I used rust converter or primer and then black chassis paint. 

I then spend some time cleaning down the bare metal and zinc priming all the contact welding points. This included the new floor pan and as you can see the panel on the right is all prepared. Shame really as the new panels look so nice!

I've got quite a lot of welding to do here. Best to take it slow so not to warp the metal.

It was only the other day when I realised I might have hit a problem. If I weld in the floor plan now, it will be very difficult to weld in a repair section that links the shock absorber bracket to the rear suspension mount as shown in the pictures below.

I have made it even more difficult because of my chassis tilting device that uses the shock absorber bracket for support. So the option I came up with was to weld the part to the suspension mount first and complete the weld at a later stage when I can get better access. 

Hopefully I can get welding soon!