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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.
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.

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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've rotated the tyres so now the front ones are smoother, we'll see how I get on. I do need to source another matching wheel for a spare as these are full time 4wd so you need to keep the tyres rotated regular and within a very similar tread depth. look - there's even a sticker telling you to:

       
      I really need to get some new number plates for it! If anyone knows a place who could make some OE style ones with that font all the VW dealers seemed to use in the 1980s, that would be grand - I want some with the dealers logo putting on the bottom:

       
       
    • By captain_70s
      Hullo,
       
      I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at £300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
       
      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:
       

       
      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
       
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:
       

       
      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
       
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:
       

       
      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
       
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
       
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
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