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1968 MG Midget - Bodywork repair and welding


SiC
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1 hour ago, Gerrymcd said:

Something in particular?

Half full = You might be starting slightly further back from where you thought but you'll get there. The good work you've done on all your other cars is testament to that🙂

More bodywork needed than I hoped. Basically not seen shiny metal when I've gone picking.

The Blue 1100 was far, far better than I expected. Only needed the brakes freshening up.

This not only needs bodywork but mechanical TLC too. Hopefully thats mostly just a carb sort-out to get it running properly and sort the dodgy accelerator pedal.

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1 hour ago, SiC said:

A walk, poke and drive around introduction. Much easier than trying to do it through pictures.

With a clickbait thumbnail to try getting impressionable YouTube viewers in. One day I'll be able to monetise my channel. Probably a lot sooner if I put more effort in!

Lack of SHOUTY CAPS, not clickbaity enough!

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49 minutes ago, SiC said:

More bodywork needed than I hoped. Basically not seen shiny metal when I've gone picking.

The Blue 1100 was far, far better than I expected. Only needed the brakes freshening up.

This not only needs bodywork but mechanical TLC too. Hopefully thats mostly just a carb sort-out to get it running properly and sort the dodgy accelerator pedal.

The Midget. I'd do exactly what you say. Check anything structural but the rest I'd leave it - once you start pulling it apart it's going to need lots doing. Personally I'd get some rust converter in the gaps, skim with more filler and rattlecan it. Then get an enjoyable summer or three out of it.

I'd paint the wheels silver or cream personally and get a second hand hood cover and then just drive it till it breaks in the sunshine sometime then decide what to do after that.

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As the seller hadn't sent off the V5, I had the previous owner (to him) address on the one I had. Side note, if I'd known he only got it this year, I wouldn't have got it.

Anyway, some Streetview Snooping shows clearly what has happened here.

April 2011 - I wonder what is under that cat piss tarp?
2064429111_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_49_48PM.thumb.jpeg.729bee49722ff2ebe767fabc0a14bdd7.jpeg

September 2011 - All is revealed!
209896080_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_50_04PM.thumb.jpeg.3a3d21812eeb633e9cfe428bde976c3c.jpeg

June 2015 - Still there but gained an additional convertible
685227270_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_51_04PM.thumb.jpeg.94d69b6b954d7820c22e1e6333ba112e.jpeg

September 2018 - 3 Months after its last MOT it is hiding behind the (comparatively) enormous Fiat 500.
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Jan 2021 - Still there but two modern convertible 
1597118162_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_51_47PM.thumb.jpeg.771e66e86c9da01d90aceeaba17a0b16.jpeg

April 2021 - Decade on its still under its now knackered cover and not really moved in three years
2009312126_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_52_05PM.thumb.jpeg.b71c43806337b64fedd32c2ad410a528.jpeg

 

June 2021 is when the seller bought it.

Car covers are on the same hate list as filler. While useful for light use, they're too overly used and do more harm than good.

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3 hours ago, SiC said:

As the seller hadn't sent off the V5, I had the previous owner (to him) address on the one I had. Side note, if I'd known he only got it this year, I wouldn't have got it.

Anyway, some Streetview Snooping shows clearly what has happened here.

April 2011 - I wonder what is under that cat piss tarp?
2064429111_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_49_48PM.thumb.jpeg.729bee49722ff2ebe767fabc0a14bdd7.jpeg

September 2011 - All is revealed!
209896080_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_50_04PM.thumb.jpeg.3a3d21812eeb633e9cfe428bde976c3c.jpeg

June 2015 - Still there but gained an additional convertible
685227270_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_51_04PM.thumb.jpeg.94d69b6b954d7820c22e1e6333ba112e.jpeg

September 2018 - 3 Months after its last MOT it is hiding behind the (comparatively) enormous Fiat 500.
750574725_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_51_32PM.thumb.jpeg.4d9349f96954a42ad903b4e18dfb0ecf.jpeg

Jan 2021 - Still there but two modern convertible 
1597118162_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_51_47PM.thumb.jpeg.771e66e86c9da01d90aceeaba17a0b16.jpeg

April 2021 - Decade on its still under its now knackered cover and not really moved in three years
2009312126_WhatsAppImage2021-12-20at2_52_05PM.thumb.jpeg.b71c43806337b64fedd32c2ad410a528.jpeg

 

June 2021 is when the seller bought it.

Car covers are on the same hate list as filler. While useful for light use, they're too overly used and do more harm than good.

I like all the streetview shots, my house has only been pictured once!

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20 hours ago, SiC said:

As the seller hadn't sent off the V5, I had the previous owner (to him) address on the one I had. Side note, if I'd known he only got it this year, I wouldn't have got it.

Anyway, some Streetview Snooping shows clearly what has happened here.

How do you make streetview go backwards & forwards in time?

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Whoever sent me that hammer is a baaaaaaad person. They also knew I'd do this with it. 😆

 


That a-pillar really is not that bad thankfully and should be readily, quickly fixable.

After poking and prodding more stuff, I'm feeling a lot better about this little car. Read that as I couldn't put any more holes into it. Note through these pictures the magnetic light stuck on the body. This was in part intensional as it reassures there is some metal there! Not least as the light is quite top ended and doesn't stay stuck all that well.

First thing was the driver's side quarter light has quite a big gap between the window and windscreen. Purplebargken noticed this from my video.
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Worried it was the door drooping or even the car bowing in the middle, this was the first thing I checked. The shut line isn't too bad thankfully. I mean it's awful compared to a new car but for what came out the factory, it's not too bad.
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Looking inside, it appears just to be the rubber seal that is torn and squashed.
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Compare those to the nearside which is much shaped still.
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Something I'll have to get sorted at some point otherwise driving in the rain will be even less pleasurable.

Floors look and feel solid.
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Inside a pillar too
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A bit flakey down here on the nearside but I couldn't get my corrosion assesment tool to make a hole.
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Jacking points good and also can feel there is no huge chunk of filler either. Might stick my snake camera down there and take a look sometime.
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I picked that big piece of filler off. This is solid and not thin, just rough. I think filler was used to correct the lines. The tool is too blunt to chip more filler off here. It has adhered well, so presumably if I did, there will be nice shiny metal underneath.
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That's back up from chipping the section behind the hood that water was squeezing out of in the video.
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Notice that there is shiny metal at the top. I'm super pleased to see this as it suggests the only rusty sections is where water has got in. Not that it's had a skim of filler over a very rusty body.
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Also note the magnet in the light sticking firmly to the panels. This is excellent as it means there is highly unlikely any filler there. Especially as you can see the step change from the original paint and the primer. Also you can see the panel joins at the top.
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I started picking more off the offside arch to try finding shiny metal but stopped as I think most of this needs to come off. Again at least it's not filler. Just cracked paint that water has got under from being under that bloody car cover.
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Nearside rear arch will need some love. The arch itself is really thin with filler behind. I poked this hole bigger to take a look. Filler isn't actually that thick on the inside. Not sure even really why it's there. Misguided attempt to stop dirt getting up?

At least the torch magnet stick on the panel!
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Bottom arch is definitely crusty but this is an easy fix TADIS area too.
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The nearside a-pillar where definitely some work will be needed isn't too shocking.

Where the door rubs on the body, it's not scraped off filler. Only paint. So this is highly unlikely to be thick with filler.
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The top is not great but it's solid still. Can tell from both sides that it's not thin metal. Clean up with a wire wheel and fresh filler will be fine. Absolutely no reason to cut this out and replace here.
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Bottom of the a-pillar is a mess. But looking inside I can clearly see decent metal that makes up the door hinge mount. This is excellent news as I really didn't want the hassle of trying to replace them and re-aligning doors. I've tried capturing this in the picture but hard to get.

A cheap repair panel (literally like £7) for the bottom of this pillar is going to be absolutely fine.
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Moving to the engine bay is even better news. Having a good poke around I couldn't find anything bad bodywork wise. That brake master looks ripe for replacement though, especially given it's single line brakes and decent replacements are cheap enough.
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Wheel stud is, hilarious, being used to plug the vacuum port. Reading through the history, I believe this manifold and carbs is off a Morris 1300. No idea why but doesn't really matter. I want to get this to a rolling road eventually for a true carb tune-up.Wheel stud is, hilariously, being used to plug the vacuum port. Reading through the history, I believe this manifold and carbs is off a Morris 1300. No idea why but doesn't really matter but I think it probably would have had a brake servo. I want to get this to a rolling road eventually for a true carb tune-up which will sort any needle/mixture discrepancies.
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Dashpots were almost completely devoid of oil. Only a small amount at the bottom of both. This explains the juddery running. Super easy fix.
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Brightwork is ... bright. Good as modern stuff is crap and goes rusty easily. Especially as this has been under a tarp.
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Finally a few quick underfloor photos. No concerns that I can see here.
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So all in all, I'm significantly happier after having a good look. A combination of the dirt, grime, moisture from transportation and my expectations killed my enthusiasm on Sunday. But today with a fresh set of eyes it looks much better and not (so much of) a turd.

Also helps that the dim fluorescent light in storage always makes things look better too. 🙉

 

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I'd junk the hard top and track down a hood and the get out there with the top down which the car is all about. 

You need a flat cap or flying cap and a large shaggy dog. I feel a bit sorry for the car languishing  under the tarp - it's raring to get out and about.

You might even recoup some costs by selling the hard top.  That hard top will be heavy too.

Car looks really OK. Just wants conserving to stop deterioration getting worse. Enjoy.

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Your Midget looks impressively solid considering the previous long-term owner left it to languish under a car cover for so long. I'm with you on hating the damn things -  even the best quality car cover does more harm than good to a car stored outside for a sustained period. 

Is there any note of a full resto within the last couple of decades? It must have been pretty much mint condition when originally covered outside for it still to be so solid in all the right places. 

It'll be interesting to see what the driving experience is like compared to your GT. 

 

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Will you stop picking at the bloody thing?!

Traffic may not be too bad, you have the antipodean radiator option (header tank in radiator, fan shroud). Don't be tempted to dial the heater tap. Just leave it on hot and shut your flaps (ooeer) instead. Why? Dial it and the thing will leak. 

Rest of the engine bay looks fine. Only difference between the 1300GT manifold and the original is the brake servo takeoff (which wasn't drilled on the ones fitted to the Sprite/Midget).

Phil

 

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Just catching up with this, plenty of scope for improvement as the project progresses. Having done a Midget to a high standard I’d suggest Heritage panels, they fit far better and came of the same (or refurbished) tooling - meaning less fettling. 
I found Leacy Motor Group to be the best supplier for me, they secured lots of new old stock and original tooling from suppliers too. Scott is particularly helpful, has been with them forever so is knowledgeable from the parts side. 
I’m looking forward to following this, good luck with it. 

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Bought a scab plaster (panel) for the A-pillar from Moss. Only the bottom three quarters section but will fix the worst of the bottom. Rubber seal is for the driver's door as the gap is wide enough that I'll get soaked in a rainstorm.
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Went down to storage to show my mate it and gave it a quick run around. Also topped up the dashpots which stopped the juddery on acceleration.

Startup is a bit difficult on this at the moment. Needs a lot of choke when cold and easing off ever so slightly will cause it to quickly die. Pretty sure the fuel is pretty much gone off. Once warmed it'll run with the choke fully in but revs are a bit high. Lower than when the dashpots were empty but still higher than I like and turning it back causes it to be even more lumpy.

I've got the opposite problem of oil pressure on this one. Far too high when cold! Potentially the oil relief valve jammed/sticking?
c4fd31ac13bca961a6b9071c5da14d0d.jpg

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On 19/12/2021 at 01:20, Shandylegs said:

If you haven’t already ordered the panels, I have a Ashley Hinton NS wing repair panel that I didn’t end up using. Yours if it will be of any use?

Popped down to the unit to turn the car round to build up the OS of the car. I dug out the wing repair panel at the same time. PM me your address and I’ll forward it on…..

8A8E4248-96B5-463A-854D-172D298D7C60.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nah, that's just cold oil unless it goes off the scale when you rev it.

Once it's been running a few minutes it should settle to about 70. Those gauges can be ferociously inaccurate too. 

Don't read into it too much right now

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  • 4 months later...

With the BGT serviced and its fuel pump electrical connection fixed, I took it back to storage. Decided it probably was time I bought this home and got it sorted. Packed a bunch of tools as if I did then sods law dictates that I'd more likely make it home without incident.
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Popped the bonnet for a quick check over. Made sure I had oil, topped up the dashpots and reconnected the battery.
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The Dynamo regulator looks a bit sketchy. I plan to convert this to an alternator system anyway.
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Evicted the several spiders calling it home.
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Checked the pedals worked and moved the organ style accelerator pedal under the arm. This is broken anyway and it's a really bad design organ pedal. I plan to possibly change it to the later 1500 pedal that is just a normal pedal. Either by fitting a replacement or welding on a flat piece.
That fluid looked like water but I didn't bother checking exactly what it was. If it was brake fluid then I'd probably not want to drive it home. Better to not know right?
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Turned on the ignition to hear the reassuring clunk of the fuel pump priming.
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Pushed the car forward by hand so the Dolomite back seats didn't get blasted by oil. The thing at the very back is the knackered hood of this.
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Pumped up the tyres. These are modern tyres but all cracked. Something on the replacement list.
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It doesn't sound like it's particularly happy and not running on all four. I didn't do too much investigation as it did run and pull itself along. However the plugs look ancient and the leads are all stiff+brittle. No doubt it needs a tune-up.
Fuel is likely at least 2018 vintage and maybe older, which almost certainly won't be helping things.
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Checked over the gauges and everything looked nominal. Did both a foot and hand brake check. With everything set to go, I left the choke set to 2k rpm. Off choke it would hesitate and try to stall - probably that crap fuel in there. With super fast idle, I could drive without really needing to use the accelerator pedal. Useful trick if you have an accelerator cable snap and you need to limp somewhere so you can get the idle adjusted higher.

All ready to set off for the couple mile journey home!
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About 5 to 10 mins later I had the reassuring sight of the garage in front of me.
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Side by side, the Midget is nowhere near as good a condition as the Moggie. While the paint is tatty on the Moggie, it's completely solid and a fresh braking system. Midget needs a lot doing to it.

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Btw I checked that fluid in the driver's footwell when I was home. It's got that slippy feeling to it. So almost certainly brake fluid. Both masters look sketchy. I've got a brand new brake master but I think the clutch slave could do with rebuild/replacement too.

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  • SiC changed the title to 1968 MG Midget - Bodywork repair and welding

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      I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
       
      Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
       
      As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
      The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
       
      ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
       
      Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
      Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
       
      The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
       
      I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.

      On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............'
      For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle!
       

       
      It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
      My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
       
      Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
       
      All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
       
      That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
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