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1968 MG Midget - Bodywork repair and welding


SiC
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Bodywork wise it's bad. Apart from the passenger A-pillar, the front wing I think I'll need to replace. I have a repair section for the rear of it but the front is super crunchy. Don't think it'll survive me removing the wing without it crumbling.

Rear arch on the passenger side is bad. This was from a couple of love taps with my shoe.
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Drivers side isn't as bad.
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Most of that was from under this MOT style patch.
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Interior is all present. Seat foam is knackered and the driver's seat wobbles about.
Weirdly the passenger seat is missing it's seat back lever.
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Hard top is missing the brackets at the rear. Again no idea why they aren't there.
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Accelerator cable is fubar. Explains why the idle is all over the place. Simple and easy to fix though.
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Wiring is a bit squiffy. Has a cigarette socket on the far left of the dash. This was fitted by a classic specialist garage. Can't say they did the tidiest job.

Neither of this high beam light repairs either.
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Yeah it's not the best. Looks like a fair bit of bodywork too. Will have a go through and make a plan of what needs doing, what I need to order and the priority order.

Le Si Sighs.

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  • SiC changed the title to 1968 MG Midget - Back Home
13 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

I love the looks of the early Midget, after one on the cover of a kids book I read probably a half century ago. T'was a red one.

I do like a good red, green or white Midget. Definitely prefer these bigger bumpered cars too. Tempting to repaint this in one of those colours. Out of the factory it was Red too. 

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6 minutes ago, Matty said:

Oh, and if you get fed up with it, I'll have your engine box and diff please 🤣

This is pulling a very healthy 60psi warm idle and ~75psi when revved! If this car ends up being a complete turd, the ~£1.5k going rate for a Midget 1275 engine, box and diff would pay back the £2850 delivered I paid for it.. 😬

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42 minutes ago, SiC said:

This is pulling a very healthy 60psi warm idle and ~75psi when revved! If this car ends up being a complete turd, the ~£1.5k going rate for a Midget 1275 engine, box and diff would pay back the £2850 delivered I paid for it.. 😬

Won't get to that, biggest worry is rot and you've proved you can deal with that. Imagine if you were paying labour rates on bodywork

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There is a card in the interior point out what each unlabeled switch does. Noticed last night there was additional text on the back.

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Very useful to know about the fuel gauge! As it's on quarter, it does at least mean there shouldn't be much fuel left in it. Probably find I was only a mile or two off from running out on the way home. 🤣

Not quite sure what pedal it's talking about though. I presume the dodgy accelerator pedal. 

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1 hour ago, SiC said:

There is a card in the interior point out what each unlabeled switch does. Noticed last night there was additional text on the back.

PXL_20220506_223229605.thumb.jpg.b6c38f5bb4e696c0d101cb80235f95f0.jpg

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Very useful to know about the fuel gauge! As it's on quarter, it does at least mean there shouldn't be much fuel left in it. Probably find I was only a mile or two off from running out on the way home. 🤣

Not quite sure what pedal it's talking about though. I presume the dodgy accelerator pedal. 

Fuck. If that's the tyre pressures it'd explain why I'm 4 wheel drifting mine everywhere!

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Came up with a to-do list but ran out of wipeboard.
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Rooting through the box of bits, I found these. Not sure why they are not in the engine. Hopefully it's because they weren't needed!
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Picking at more of the paint blisters found this weird paint effect under the main paint. I mean at least it's not rust but presumably this is from poor paint prep? @GingerNuttz
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Just now, SiC said:

I wondered if it was a reaction from different types of paints with their solvents reacting with one and another. 

Usually get cracking (fry ups) from incompatible paints.

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I had that with the underside of the MGB. Thought they were compatible too.

There are some large cracks in the paint on the other side. Not like the fry-up above but large sections separated by cracks. My guess was filler contracting/expanding more than the paint did. Don't think I've got any photos on this phone to show.

I think it's got a crap (DIY?) paint job that's been made worse by a car cover on it for years. Probably should have all the paint taken off and redone. Where it's got filler on, it appears to be mostly over solid metal. Almost been used to correct panel height differences. 

Might have to ask around and see how much it would be. I guess a couple of grand? Wouldn't be much paint though as it's a tiny car!

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13 minutes ago, SiC said:

I had that with the underside of the MGB. Thought they were compatible too.

There are some large cracks in the paint on the other side. Not like the fry-up above but large sections separated by cracks. My guess was filler contracting/expanding more than the paint did. Don't think I've got any photos on this phone to show.

I think it's got a crap (DIY?) paint job that's been made worse by a car cover on it for years. Probably should have all the paint taken off and redone. Where it's got filler on, it appears to be mostly over solid metal. Almost been used to correct panel height differences. 

Might have to ask around and see how much it would be. I guess a couple of grand? Wouldn't be much paint though as it's a tiny car!

Better to have it stripped to bare metal and redone or it'll just be a pain in the arse trying to fix it every time it cracks or that.

Depending on the state of the body underneath it could be more than a couple of grand, they might have to pull the panels etc if there's big dents filled in and no doubt be tack welds under the paint in places 😂

Every old car comes with the tack welded body repair since "it's gonna be hidden m9"

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Might be another rattle can job then! Need to get a heavier power feed to the garage sorted so I can run my 150l belt drive compressor. 

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Loving the project! 
The note about the fuel gauge reminds me of my Spridget. TADTS I found out the hard way and it ran out of fuel on me. Luckily a passing motorist helped me give it a push so that I could free wheel down a hill towards the petrol station. 
Once we got it rolling I went to jump in but found the diminutive door was not dissimilar to clambering through a cat flap. Nearly wiped myself out. 
 

It did prove to be a great little fun car.

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Drained the fuel out in preparation for welding.
"Why does it need welding?"
"It's not structural, it's just to make it look prettier!"
That didn't go down too well 😂
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Before draining the fuel, I disconnected the coil to prevent it overheating while I left the SU pump running. Naturally the connection broke in my hand. 
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Fuel is definitely at a certain vintage. Surprised it was running at all really.
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For comparison, this is 6 month old Esso Super Unleaded (so 0% Ethanol).
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Carbs looked pretty clean inside though, even if the fuel lines are heavily perished. Will still strip them down to check over and clean.

Old fuel seems good enough to run the engine, so it'll be burnt off in the lawnmower. Those engines run off pretty much any old shit.

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Started stripping the interior out yesterday. I mostly wanted the seats removed as the driver side is wobbly and both are collapsed from either foam or webbing degradation. The carpets probably didn't need to come out but as the car is so small, that only takes a further 10mins.
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Rooting around the back I found a full length tonneau cover. This explains why the soft top roof probably is original, knackered and not replaced. I'm really happy about finding this as this is what I wanted to do all along. These covers are quite expensive to buy and about the same as a replacement hood. I really like classic convertibles without the hood in the back. Gives much cleaner lines. Not least the Midget hood when up is quite ungainly (imo) in appearance.
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It fits like this and you undo whichever side is occupied.
While something fiddly to do, the hood on the Midget isn't exactly straightforward affair either. I intend to be using the car as a local toy that either for a summer evening blast or to whizz to the shops/etc locally. Then stuff it straight back into the garage after.
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Also found the hard top mounting brackets. Pleased about this too as I was going to buy replacements. I think some of this was removed by the last owner in expectation of stripping the car down for renovation.
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On 5/7/2022 at 3:43 PM, GingerNuttz said:

Better to have it stripped to bare metal and redone or it'll just be a pain in the arse trying to fix it every time it cracks or that.

Depending on the state of the body underneath it could be more than a couple of grand, they might have to pull the panels etc if there's big dents filled in and no doubt be tack welds under the paint in places 😂

Every old car comes with the tack welded body repair since "it's gonna be hidden m9"

This is a better picture of the offside paintwork. The primer on the top was the last owners work. The patches around the arch are me picking at it 🤣

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I suspect the last owner did exactly the same thing as me by picking the scabs and then realising he needed to put something back over to protect it. The bits I picked was the rusty finish straight under there. It's actually solid and quite thick metal, just brown... When I get a chance I will run a wire wheel over it.

My suspicion it was poor prep and then being under a cover caused it to go like that. Thankfully the level of filler on most of this is minimal! Like you said, it could well have tack welded panels on over the rust. Hopefully not as I've got that fight on the Dolomite to put right and I want this back on the road ready for summer! 😳

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3 hours ago, SiC said:

This is a better picture of the offside paintwork. The primer on the top was the last owners work. The patches around the arch are me picking at it 🤣

PXL_20220508_132636822.thumb.jpg.01bc55f0cbfeb7e504c3d8f55be917d8.jpg

I suspect the last owner did exactly the same thing as me by picking the scabs and then realising he needed to put something back over to protect it. The bits I picked was the rusty finish straight under there. It's actually solid and quite thick metal, just brown... When I get a chance I will run a wire wheel over it.

My suspicion it was poor prep and then being under a cover caused it to go like that. Thankfully the level of filler on most of this is minimal! Like you said, it could well have tack welded panels on over the rust. Hopefully not as I've got that fight on the Dolomite to put right and I want this back on the road ready for summer! 😳

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9" grinder and a box of 36/40 grit discs and just rip the lot off. 

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3 hours ago, GingerNuttz said:

9" grinder and a box of 36/40 grit discs and just rip the lot off. 

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Or one of these from 3M on a not quite so angry 4 1/2" one. Not cheap but very effective on larger surfaces. DO NOT use on anything resembling a sharp edge tho, it'll wear really quickly. It barely touches the metal and heat is minimal.

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5 minutes ago, Scruffy Bodger said:

tmp-cam-91335349.thumb.jpg.19d433a50787dc1277fba2123110a1e4.jpg

Or one of these from 3M on a not quite so angry 4 1/2" one. Not cheap but very effective on larger surfaces. DO NOT use on anything resembling a sharp edge tho, it'll wear really quickly. It barely touches the metal and heat is minimal.

Aye you need to take it slow with the 9" or the panel can warp, we went through tons of the 3m discs when we stripped truck beds for spraying, couldn't fault em apart from the price. 

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

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