I’ve been rather slack regards updates so here’s the last 8 months in one post.
The front dampers have been replaced with MGB units fitted to some Mamba Motorsport adapters. The only real issue was that one damper ended up with some air in it and offered zero damping. Once this was cleared they worked fine. The only slight reservation is that there isn’t as much droop before the shock bottoms out.
One problem with the Midget is that it isn’t designed for people near on 6’2″ in height. This means that seat selection is crucial in order to fit comfortably. Therefore when I had the chance of a pair of Caterham seats I grabbed them. They fitted nicely and it really feels like I’m sitting on the floor – they’re that low. They also are quite comfortable and even Mrs S likes them.
The final obvious tweak has been the new grille that was picked up for £20. It looks much smarter than the original black grille but part of me still quite likes the original grille.
I’m starting to feel like I’m on a roll and that the 4AGE Midget is making real progress although as usual I’m having to revisit some jobs. The GRP wings have had some attention dealing with cracks and drill holes. The trial fitting however highlighted another problem, how do I top up the brake fluid?
The Tilton master cylinder lid wasn’t removable due to the wing being in the way. Fortunately the Tilton was part of a kit and a few hours later the reservoir was remotely mounted.
The other day I picked up a nice set of Minilight style wheels and for the first time in about 3 years the car is off the axle stands. I was rather shocked at how low it is and foresee a bad back from bending over it if I’m not too careful.
Here’s the first escape from the shed…
The hydraulic clutch wasn’t working and sounded like it was leaking fluid but fortunately I had the old brake master cylinder spare so this was substituted. I still wasn’t getting the clutch to release so the spacer that was there to move the pedals nearer the bulkhead (this was a suggestion I’d seen somewhere) was removed. This was a success and now the clutch worked.
Evidence that it could move under its own power….
Progress seems very slow so I needed something to give me a boost. The rear end has had a lot of attention and a kilo of filler of which most appeared to be sanded off again. The photo below is from part way through the filling stage and I’ve come on a bit since then. It just needs final sanding and defect filling then will be ready for a primer.
The scuttle and A pillars were next for attention and to ensure that all was aligning correctly the wings and nose were trial fitted. Suddenly it looked like a car again.
The nose section required a bit of welding and took a few evenings to clean to bare metal and was the most awkward item to work on so far. I just couldn’t get it to stay still or in a position that I could comfortably work on it, hence 2 evenings work.
To give me that boost and to clear some workshop space I decided to spray the front end. This will then allow me to drop the engine back in and move the hoist out of the shop into another shed. Here’s how it looks tonight.
Used up another days leave and made a bit more progress in the engine bay. The usual practice is to fix the engine mounts to the chassis rails on the Konversions after strengthening them. The original engine is mounted on to the suspension turrets with brackets taken from the front of the engine and after a while just sitting and looking at the engine bay that is the route I decided to take.
Hunting through the pile of metals produced some 5mm plate and in another drawer was a Fiesta Mk1 engine mount left over from a Westfield. The Fiesta mounts were ideal for this conversion because it was easy to fit them on the surface from where the original mounts were removed. I know it doesn’t seem like much completed for a day spent in the garage but I’m chuffed.
After doing other jobs like oil changes on the 964 and repairing another compressor it was time to look at the Midget and see if the engine will fit.
The picture below says it all.
Now for plan B.
Been a mixed few days since the last posting. Friday morning another courier turned up and delivered the remaining paints and fillers. Thank you UK Mail, you delivered next day and at the first attempt. After sending my dear wife to work it was into the garage for a clean up and masking session. Mid morning I started on the barrier coat and just as I’d finished spraying the compressor died. It is only a small 25l Tiger and it had to work hard to keep up so it really needs replacing with something bigger.
Saturday was spent at MG Live in Silverstone and this was our first MG show. Having stayed locally overnight we arrived just before 09:00 and a lot of stall holders were still setting up. Learnt a few things from chatting to the drivers in the paddock and then checked out the Magic Midget stall and had more useful advice. I managed to pick up a set of anti-tramp bars for half price so didn’t come away empty handed.
Sunday started with a trip to Maplin to purchase a capacitor for the compressor. This is the state of the old one:
The good news is that this fixed the compressor so on with the next task, painting the underside of the car. All went well and it will have another coat tomorrow but it looks far better than it did when the car arrived and it will do for me.
Another weeks holiday to use up so set the target of getting the car back onto axle stands. By the start of this week the underside of the floor pans and the rear wheel arches were epoxy coated, seam sealed and the wheel arches were stone chipped. All I had to do was prime and spray them with a chassis black then I could drop them body onto axle stands and return one engine stand to its owner.
However the folks at City Link obviously decided I had better things to do so didn’t deliver the paint on Tuesday and claimed I wasn’t in. Wednesday PM I’m wondering where the paint was and chased the supplier. He supplied a tracking number and that was when I discovered that they’d done the “phantom card” that City Link are renowned for. I commented to the supplier that they would probably at 18:15 update the system to say no one as in, but I was wrong. They updated the system at 17:47 to say I wasn’t in and had left a card. Complete utter bollox.
I advised the supplier that they’d not delivered and using City Link’s system I said I’d collect from their depot. The supplier then rang before I set of this morning (Thursday) to say that despite saying I’d pick up the parcel, it had been loaded onto a van at 07:18. Here I am at 17:25 waiting for the paint to arrive but suspect that it will be in the depot very soon and I’ll have a trip over to collect it.
Having nothing better to do I’ve moved stuff out of the garage into the wood store and then thought I’d strip the paint off the body work. A thoroughly dirty and noisy job but very satisfying to see a change and some progress, and what’s more I’ve even taken a photo.
Edit: 18:55 and the paint arrived.
It has been a while (nearly 5 months!!) since I posted an update on the Midget. Unlike my mate Crispin who is making progress on his 106 Rallye, the Midget seems to be dragging on and on. With a weeks annual leave to use up I cracked on with the target being to get the underside epoxy coated and stone chipped and get the chassis back on to axle stands. However come day three I realised that this wasn’t achievable due to other dependencies.
The first non chassis task was to modify the gearbox tail to position the gear lever further forward. The tail was removed and carefully measured and the cut lines marked.
Cutting commenced and almost immediately there were sparks from the rear cut – I’d just managed to clip the sleeved bearing. No problem really and once removed was cleaned up, the oil seal removed and then welded by a local chap.
While it was away attention turned back to the chassis and more cleaning up in preparation for coating the underside was done.
Today, while doing some more tweakng for the gearbox I managed to slice a finger on the cutting disc in the angle grinder. Carelessness stopped play.
A few weeks ago I finally finished the nearside floors and part of the wheel arch. Today was another step forward when the body was mounted onto a spit made from a couple of engine stands. Unfortunately the stands are about an inch too low and the body won’t spin 360 degrees but a least I can get to the underside now.
Progress has been slow and I didn’t realise how long ago it was that I last updated the site. The offside wheel arch is the current focus of attention at the moment. The idea is to get the chassis structurally sound so that it can go onto a rotisserie and then finish off the body work. As the rear spring mounts are attached to the chassis member that attaches to the side of the wheel arch and the floor, it was essential that the wheel arch and floor were solid. A small repair to the chassis member was made one evening (so that I had a reference point to ensure the rear didn’t sag) and then a section of the floor with the shock absorber bracket was cut away.
The inner wheel arch had seen many repairs and these repairs were failing. Rather than buy a new inner wheel arch at around £170 I cut out the minimum I could and using cardboard templates I cut a sheet of 0.9mm steel to an approximate shape. Plenty of hitting it with a hammer had it formed to shape and again the Cleco pins were a huge help in allowing the work piece to return to the same spot for making and forming. The new panel was then butt welded into place and finally a repair section for the floor to wheel arch was fabricated and welding into place.
Someone forgot to charge their camera battery so no photos at the moment.