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.
There has been some progress in the last few days. All the panel joins have seam welded with the exception of the floor pan to the chassis rails which has had spot and some stitch welding. At least it will be easy to split the floor pan from the chassis rail in 20+ years time when the next floor is fitted.
Attention then turned to the A post. A new lower hinge mount had been purchased along with a lower 1/4 A post cover. The rest of the A post was made up from sheet steel to replace the rotten bits and all welded in place. Again, most joins were seam welded for strength and to keep the water out. Some tidying up is still to be done and he door needs persuading to line up with the straight sill but that will be another day.
And these are some of the panels and bits that have been cut off so far:
I’ve been a slacker with regards updating the diary over the last few weeks. Just after the last post I had a few good evenings work and the new floor was cut to size and all the panels were clamped or clipped together with Cleco clips and clamps. It felt like progress just in time for my holiday so off I went for a week.
Upon return from holiday I had a day to myself so was able to get into the garage and fully prepare the panels for welding. It is amazing how much time the fine fitting takes and after 5 hours I fired up the MIG and started welding some panels into place. The inner and outer sills were welded together off the car and then added as an assembled unit. One thing I did discover is that the 5mm holes created by the punching tool really are too small for MIG welding, especially on the vertical surfaces. As a result a lot of the joins will also be seam welded as well now to ensure it all holds together.
Part way through the welding I replaced the regulator and welding clamp on my Clarke 135TE welder. This made a huge difference to the consistency and quality of the welds and I wish I’d done that earlier.
Here’s the latest photo – there is still a lot of welding to do including seam welding the floor panel along the transmission tunnel. For the time being attention has turned to the side panel and A post.
Over the last few days I’ve attacked the floor with the cutting disc and grinder. The cutting disc came out to and a few cuts later had most of the floor out and the sill dropped off with one good cut. The door is now wedged shut and is all that is holding the drivers side together.
A couple of hours this morning had the remains of the floor removed. I was hoping to create a flange in the foot well along the transmission tunnel but the steel was too thin to be used so I had to grind all the spot welds holding the floor pan to the chassis rails. It was well worth doing and I’ll have a very solid chassis afterwards and lots of nice clean edges to weld to.
Rather a late update as I’m now tackling the toe boards but the rear bulkhead is temporarily in position. Due to the lack of good edges to align panels to I’m taking a cautious approach and only welding what I have to initially and using Cleco clips where possible.
Here is the rear bulkhead repair section clipped in place.
..and this is the interior view where it has been partially welded. There is nothing holding the sills at the rear so there isn’t really any strength in the side of the car, but fortunately the transmission tunnel is sound so hopefully when the sill is removed from the front it will still hold together.
Yes, I know there is no cut out for the spring hanger box section but at this stage I had no reference point as to where it goes.
The final picture for today shows the inner rear bulkhead clipped into place. Also the spring hanger section has been fitted and held in with Cleco clips and a repair section along the top of the bulkheads has been tacked into place. When I’m happy everything aligns ok then they will be welded into place.
I have already started cutting the toe board away but no pictures yet so that will have to wait for another day.