Monday, 20 April 2020

Rolling Midget

Now that I had finished the main chassis I decided I no longer needed the tilting mechanism I built as the underside of the MG Midget was finished and free from rust.

I wanted to build and rolling platform for the chassis while I worked on the doors, bonnet, boots and wings.

So I came up with this. Two pallets and four castors. 

I googled the probably weight of the chassis and it was suggested somewhere between 350 to 400kg. So I made sure the castors were up to the job.

I think that the car is starting to look more like a car. For the first time ever since I bought Midget I got one of the seats and sat in my 1965 MG Midget. They are really small!

Front Chassis Legs

I don't think that I have taken more measurements before whilst working on this MG Midget, than I have during the repair of the front chassis legs that support the front valance and radiator.

I have been contemplating the best way to repair these. I did think about making bespoke panels section by section. The reason for this was because I was really worried about keeping everything aligned. There is so much anchored to this part that if I made a mistake the consequences are massive in terms of the overall finish of the car, especially gaps.

But the damage was extensive...

So I just decided to buy the replacement sections and cut the old ones off.

Which was very daunting I have so stay. There was a moment when I looked down and thought what have I done.

But I did take as many measurements as I could.

and then started to offer up the new part.

It became very apparent that there are many different variables that you have to get right. I think I counted 10 in the end and the only way to check if I had got them all correct was when both of them were done and the radiator and front valance were in place.

Next was to weld on the radiator mount and that had to be cut off the old part, cleaned up and prepared for welding. I then had an idea about how to get this as close to perfect as I could.

When I moved into the garage I designed a tilting mechanism and part of that used the radiator mounts. 

I realised I could bolt this back on and that would help me get this part back, with the help of the measurements.

All seems good and so on to the other chassis leg.

Although this one wasn't as damaged I felt it was better to do them both. It also gave me a chance to clean out the box section and painted rust converter down there for added protection.

Then it was just repeat the process and work off the measurements. I hoped I had got the other one correct. Only a few more welds and we'd find out.

So now with that complete would the front valance fit?

It did! I was so relieved. And this meant that all of the welding on the main chassis was complete. Just the boot, bonnet, wings and one of the doors to tidy up and we're good to go to the blasters.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Door Repairs

Over the past few weeks I have been working on various sections of the chassis, tidying up areas that I had either not completely finished or had missed. Most of these are small little jobs that needed welding and making good. I also completed the outer sill end on the rear wheel arch. Certainly not worth another post, but they can be awkward to finish off neatly!

Having finished the rear wing and wheel arch I wanted to check the gaps again around the door and the front wing. After fitting I remembered that there was some filler present on the bottom of the door. 

After removing all the filler this is what I discovered!

I thought it best to cut out the worst parts back to good metal.

The rust had worked its way into the main door structure, but much of it was surface with some pitted metal.

But once it was all cleaned and the holes welded up, with a few coats of rust converter it started to look good again.

Then with the primer to seal it up.

Just needed to make a new panel

And start to weld it in.

And finish up.

Now for the bottom left

Template ready

Think it will fit in there

Trying to keep the amount of heat to a minimum to reduce warping of metal

Although the photo looks ok across the bottom half where I have welded, there was significant warping. Many people warned me of this. I had read up on metal shrinking techniques that help pull the metal together to reducing the warping by tightening the metal. I tried it here with a blow torch and a very damp rag. Heating up the area you want to shrink, but only a little. You don't want the metal to blacken if you can. Then you apply the damp rag to cool the area and this shrinks the metal and helps correct the warping.

I think I will need more filler here than I planned but as long as everything looks straight I'll be happy. Which it is.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Right Rear Wing Repair

Time to complete one of the last major sections on the chassis on my MG midget.

The rear wing on the right hand side had some particularly interesting repair sections.


It has been some months now since I completed the wheel arch and floor panel so this left me with a good starting point to work from. First job was to offer up the repair panel and mark out the cutting line.

When it was all looking right and aligned it was time to cut the old metal out.

There is some rusty metal on the lower end of the downward curve of the wing that will need to be cut out and replaced. I will also need to weld up the holes and any joints that are exposed to moisture creeping in. Then I need to prepare all the metal in this area with protective paints as there will be parts the sandblaster can't get to. 

The repair panel seems to offer up nicely. So quite a bit more prep work and then we're good to weld in.

Here are some photo's of the repair to the lower downward curve. Should be ready to attach a flange that the rear wing panel will attach to.

This gives me the chance to make up a bespoke repair again. There wasn't much of a template left.

All cleaned up and we're ready to weld in the rear wing panel!

I have always been really worried about warping the metal on these outer panels. It is really important to make sure that they don't warp outwards as they can cause the whole panel to look out of shape that no amount of filler will ever fix. The way that I have found works reasonably well is to take your time and not weld in one place for more than a second. That way you don't build up too much heat in the panel which can cause the distortion.

I think this repair panel has come out just fine.

There are a few small areas that need tidying up but I think that finishes off this section, which means I have only two areas left on the main chassis and that is the front chassis legs and the sill ends on this right hand side. After that it's the doors!