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[Car_Restoration] 1976 Mg Midget Into A 1968 Ah Sprite - A True 's


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#41
Jolly Green Monster

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nice work, looking forward to more updates and it maiden journey.

 

Simon



#42
cRaig

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Thanks, I'm looking forward to getting it finished and taking it for a drive! :D (drifting round a mcdonalds carpark near you soon.. :P)  The plan at the moment is to try and get it finished for graduation in around July, it depends how much the DVLA drag their heels with regards to re-registering it and issuing a V5/numberplate.

 

Anyway, a couple of hard, dusty days work, but we now have doors that fit!

 

The doors didn't need much trimming down to fit, but much more than could have been done without splitting the door skin on a metal door, and adjusting the frame of the metal doors and then re-skinning them wasn't something that I fancied undertaking. Some people may consider the fibreglass doors a "bodge" but I am happy that they have been done well enough, with enough care and attention that they don't detract from the car.

 

In an ideal world, we would have noticed the door shut lines were less than ideal before paint, but moving both the A pillar and rear quarter is a fairly large job, and normally undertaken due to rust, it's just unfortunate whoever swapped them previously didn't get the repositioning/jig quite right!

The comforting fact is that most midgets you see on the road have terrible door shut lines! :D

 

The fibreglass doors also meant we could (relatively) quickly and easily add a small wedge to the bottom of one of the doors to drastically improve the shutline against the sill.

 

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The stainless hinge brackets fitted in quite nicely, with a few shims needed to get them square and exactly in the right place. But with big headed rivets, the mounting to the door is really good.

 

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The doors arent bolted up yet, just test fitting in the openings, so the panel gaps improved further

 

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You can see the wedge that needed adding to get the door square with the sill:

 

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I'm really pleased, it was hard work, but we have ended up with doors that fit that much better than most midgets you see on the road (even some of the ones at the NEC Classic Motor Show had dodgy shutlines, I know- I spent quite a while inspecting them to summon enthusiasm to get on with the doors! :D)

It does mean that wind up windows arent a particularly easy under taking, but in all honesty the first thing you do in that car when you get in it is wind the windows down and put the roof down! :D

 

The plan is to make some window "panels" as found on the earlier Midget/Sprites, such as this

 

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Its a simple alloy frame, with a felt runner and two sliding perspex windows. Should look suitably racy/ retro, and will just "unclip" from the door and be stored in bags. Will look into them in the new year when the doors are back from paint, but they aren't a priority, just needed for waterproofing/ vague security if leaving the car outside over night.

 

Have also got the tonneau cover back from being fixed. Im really pleased with it! Smartens up the car/folded roof no end! :) Just needs the poppers fixing to the parcel shelf, as my custom one is missing them. You can also see how dusty things have got working on the fibreglass!

 

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So the doors are off to a small/ decent paintshop (as I cant be bothered to mess up the garage spraying things, and also lacking a compressor these days) Next job is to put all the fluids in it and think about getting it running...


 



#43
cRaig

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Quiet weekend side project. Getting a wrinkly dashboard! The crappy (38 year old) 1500 wiring loom has been condemned, as it had been chopped around and repaired too many times. So an Auto Sparks brand new wiring loom has been ordered, in age-specific 1275 spec for the new car. While swapping the loom, it makes sense to swap the dashboard at the same time, as the rubber bumper car had the 70's spec 'safer' plastic rocker switches, while the 1275 has the (much cooler) toggle switches.

 

I didn't want to pay for a refurbished dashboard, so cranked the heating up, alot of prepwork and a quick going over with a hot air gun and some wrinkle paint has been quite successful for a first attempt I think!

 

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While researching how to have successful wrinkle paint (its funny putting so much effort into getting paint to wrinkle up..) I discovered a fantastic suggestion- spray the rear side of the dashboard gloss white, so while rummaging to plug things in/repair things in the future, light is reflected much better and you can see what you are doing!

 

When the dash has firmed up for a couple of days (don't want to scratch the wrinkles off!) I will start building it back up with all new lucas switches, and give the gauges a bit of a clean up.



#44
cRaig

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Dash has hardened off, and have started building it back up. Quite tricky to do it without scratching the crinkle paint!

 

Quite pleased with how its looking, very 60s with the chrome toggle switches and crinkle paint. Should look good with the red carpets :)

 

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#45
Reebmit

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Craig, great thread..I had a midget RWA 1972,one of my best cars had it for 13 years, it was built as a fast road/hill climb car. Went through almost every iteration of A series with straight cut boxes through to the toyota 5 speed. This then evolved into a seriously hot Ford crossflow, circa 160 hp with ford 5 speed, car only weighed around 500kg so went really well. Handling was superb especially with rear wheel drive, you could put in anywhere. Miss that car, I would like to do it again but probably with a Red Top Vauxhall... I will look out a pic or two... keep up the good work, will follow with interest

Found it, god, me and dad 20 years ago.... scary really

Attached File  Midge.jpg   39.5KB   0 downloads

Ha Look at the cars in the background!

Edited by Reebmit, 20 January 2014 - 08:55 PM.


#46
Bogsye

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Good effort on the door alignment - makes a big difference. I recall about 5 attempts per side pre stressing the shell and tacking the sills. Worth the effort though. Usually Spitfires and Heralds that look like they have wings poking out.

#47
cRaig

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Ace picture Reebmit! :D I really like the look of midgets without the bumpers, I think they can look really smart. Bet it had a bit of shove with 160bhp! I think I have settled on a crossflow 1275 through the Frontline type 9 five speed as the eventual engine setup. Need to save up the pennies for that though! So the plan is to live with the 1500 engine until we either save up, or the engine goes pop.

 

Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with the doors. It was a lot of hassle, and some expense of the glass doors, but much less work than chopping around the rear quarter/sill join. When it eventually goes rusty again and needs welding, I will make sure everything is put back in the right place and it can have metal doors again! Or by then I might have saved enough up for a heritage shell, who knows!

 

Bit more electrical prep to sort, then its just waiting for the new loom to arrive, and running that and wiring things up! Looking forward to an electrically reliable midget!! :D


Edited by cRaig, 20 January 2014 - 09:42 PM.


#48
Bogsye

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Longlive the bumperless look :)

 

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I'd quite like to do another but perhaps a k-series and re-work the back suspension. Mine had a basic fast road engine (no where as high an output as 160) and I did the Frontline front suspension kit & ARB. Took a Mini RC40 exhaust and chopped it around to fit, which seemed to work well.

 

Apologies for the thread-swerve....!



#49
cRaig

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Mm, quite jeaous of your bumperless looks now! :D Still, I guess dropping the bumpers off isn't much work in the future if we fancy a change. I think I'll still miss the rubber bumpers in some sad way! They were very useful as "parking sensors", and sitting on while eating lunch in a french layby etc!



#50
Reebmit

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There you go Craig some serious motivation now... not that you need it, looks to be coming along nicely, Brians car looks great... You're right bumperless looks really good but can be done at any time. K series is a nice conversion and suits car perfectly.I think like all these car projects its good to get the cars to a point where they are back on the road then do small projects at a time to keep the motivation there...its really hard when they sit at the back of the garage for years on end. Keep up the good work!

Edited by Reebmit, 21 January 2014 - 08:29 PM.


#51
Simes

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How have I missed this thread.....excellent work.

I love old british cars....whitworth, imperial..........nightmare!



#52
cRaig

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Project is pretty much on hold again due to uni work, but things are moving slowly in the background. Got the doors back from paint, the chap has done a really good job, taken out the few flaws from the fibreglass moulding process (one of the doors was slightly sunken in the middle) certainly should look the part, need to get the rest of the car machine polished asap to match! :D

New autosparks wiring loom has arrived and been loosely pulled through the car. Will start working on the car again in earnest in a month or two..

 

Sadly now the doors are finished I'm running out of reasons not to just pull my finger out and get this finished..

 

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Edited by cRaig, 23 April 2014 - 10:28 AM.


#53
cRaig

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Turns out the doors have been painted the wrong colour. Original metal door is pictured on the right. Sometimes wonder why I bother with all this car rubbish..

 

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Bit annoying that they were supplied with the paintcode and the paint came from the same paintshop that mixed the paint when we sprayed it. It turns out it had some solvent in it which was only vaguely mentioned on the paint tin label, which they can no longer use, and that shifts the shade of the finished paint a few shades out, so the direct replacement no longer matches.

Still, they have scanned an original panel now, and we have the proper paintcode for future reference. Turns out our shade of MG Flame red matches Scania Truck Red perfectly...not sure if that is a good thing or not! :D



#54
cRaig

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Wow, another year.. where has the time gone..?

 

Well, between graduating, various other projects, starting a business, pottering with the 205, have made some more progress with the midget (the current good weather is encouraging me to work on this over the 205, I miss top-down driving..)

 

Since the last updates the old 1970s wiring loom was condemned (at last!) and a new autosparks loom has been purchased and fitted. Was pricey at 300 quid, but money well spent. Its a lovely thing, fits nicely, with period braid etc, and they happily increased the spec over the age-specific standard, by including wiring for a boot mounted electric fuel pump, hazard wiring as per the later cars, and other little touches such as extra wiring for electric gauges.

 

This meant the new wrinkle painted dashboard could be fitted at long last. So much more satisfying wiring it in to a new, less crusty wiring loom!

 

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Also fitted the genuine radio box we picked up cheap from Beaulieu, have fitted a sony head unit, which even though its a modern unit I think is plain and unassuming enough to not look out of place (plus it happens to light up pinky-red!) It has an aux in, which is ideal, and I've fitted a hidden amplified FM aerial which means we can have radio without having to fit an unsightly electric pop-up aerial which most midget owners resort to. The sound is really great from the new speakers and parcel shelf, actually get decent bass, its not prize wirnning by any stretch, but sounds as good as a boggo modern car, eg the 406, which is a real plus to driving it on long journeys- actually being able to hear the music!

 

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Have ditched the mechanical capiliary dual oil pressure/water temp gauge, and have replaced with with brand new smiths electic gauges with matched senders, so should be both more accurate and reliable! The oil pressure sender has been replaced with a pressure switch- which is attached to the red warning light which in standard form is the blocked oil filter light. Less ideal than having a pressure gauge, but still will alert to any major problems (I had little confidence in the old gauge anyway!)

 

Really pleased with the dash, I think it looks so smart with the wrinkle paint and new gauges. Do like the dash mounted ignition switch, more satisfying than the steering lock one (which was crap and often sticky anyway)

 

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Tackled a few more wiring jobs, including pedal mounted dip-dim switch (very cool period feature, every car should have one! :D)

 

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And sorted the general boot wiring, including a new facet fuel pump mounted in the boot. For added "safety" have also fitted an inertia switch in the fuel pump feed picked up cheap from the scrapyard. Admittedly its not going to give the midget a staggeringly good euro NCAP rating, but every little helps :P Parcel shelf wired in neatly, and underside of parcel shelf covered in fabric, very pleased with how its come out.

 

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Also discovered on filling the fuel tank that the old tank which I had cleaned up and painted was starting to 'weep' petrol, no specific leaks, but the paint on the outside started bubbling/lifting, which suggested that at least some fuel was making it through the tank, which didnt fill me with joy. A new tank was sourced and fitted, which also gave the opportunity to fit a new matched sender to the fuel gauge, to try and improve the smiths standard 'guess-ometer', accurate to the nearest half tank or so..

 

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Refitted the oil cooler, as I wasnt happy with it, and the cheap bobbins were already starting to perish. Made a new aluminium mounting bar, and used 'double' bobbins, which I have alot more confidence in. Also fitted the spare FIAMM pair of horns left over now the 205 has the oe compressor one. Should be friggin loud! :D

 

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Also resolved the lack of colourmatching doors. I lost patience with trying to match the colour accurately.. so went for a contrast instead. It has the added benefit of pissing off every dyed-in-the-wool MG owners club midget beard. :D

 

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3M matte black vinyl wrap is a joy to work with, and for a first attempt at wrapping, I think they have come out rather well! Perhaps not to everyone's (or indeed, anyones..) taste, but its something a bit fun and different. Currently debating a matte black stripe front-to-back over the car to tie it all together.

 

Fitted the repaired toneau cover, and, from some angles its starting to look like a finished car..! Bled the brakes today, just need to source a new clutch pipe and then that can be bled as well.  Then it just needs fluids and the engine wiring up, then can get it running...! You never know, it might even see this summer...

 

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Edited by cRaig, 21 April 2015 - 08:48 PM.


#55
BusEngineer

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Excellent update as always Craig