hursst

1960 MGA Restoration

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On 12/23/2019 at 10:12 PM, chistech said:

A word of advice, when blasting the steel areas of the hood frame, put either sheets of rubber or 1/4 plywood under the steel to protect any of the sheet metal of the hood. Pay attention to any holes or openings in the framework where the blast can get through and contact the sheet metal. I restored a 83’ Blazer hood that had mint sheet metal but areas of rust on the framework. I blasted all the framework on the bottom and when we primed the hood and wet sanded, realized there was all kinds of spots on the sheet metal. Turns out the blasting went through the framework holes and stretched the sheet metal enough that we couldn’t fix it. I had to get another hood!

 

Been there, done that.  I was innocently removing some paint from the framework and some "overspray" from the blaster stretched the sheet metal... had to get a new hood. 

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

23 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

 

Been there, done that.  I was innocently removing some paint from the framework and some "overspray" from the blaster stretched the sheet metal... had to get a new hood. 

Glad to see I’m not the only one to make that’s mistake and I probably won’t be last either. Best way to learn and REMEMBER is by our mistakes!

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Big day today, engine was finally delivered.  Had a few missing parts, a few accounting errors on the invoice, and there are a few minor detailing issues I'll need to address, but finally have the engine back.  Looks like they did a good job overall, plus engine has been roughly broken in and roughly tuned.

 

Also, I found my shop manual, I had given it to the British Car shop months ago for reference and forgot all about it.  Of course, yesterday, I bought another one!  Although the one I bought is an original and is in excellent condition, so I'm glad I bought that one as well.  My "old" repro one will stay in the shop while the original one will go in the car when it's complete and will be more of an historical document.

 

Now I have my work cut out for me for a while to get this thing installed and sure up the rest of the chassis components that I have lying around.

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Well, that was nice surprise for you for the new year! Looks very good, if looks mean anything with a rebuilt engine. Another milestone reached.

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Looks great, congrats on a major milestone!!!

 

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Well, guess what, the engine tag on my just delivered engine is not my original engine tag.  My original engine ended up being cracked (discovered after the fact), which was a big reason why the engine took so long.  The first thing I asked for was for the engine tag to be removed from my original engine and secured, to be put on the replacement block.  I thought I was pretty lucky, as these engines are not stamped with the engine number, but rather they have a riveted tag.  The engine was taken from the British Car shop to a machine shop for rebuilding.  The machine shop was the one who removed the tag and immediately gave it to the guy at the British Car shop who was managing my whole engine build.  He assumed it was the correct tag.

 

So, I have a huge problem, not having the original tag will degrade the value of the car, not to mention the aesthetic for me as the owner.  As we know, us AACA-type folks want originality and numbers matching.  Boy, you just can't trust anyone to do anything correctly.  Now, the British Car guy is going to go over to their shop Monday and figure out what's going on.  With any luck, they have it sitting around somewhere and that will solve most of the problem.  I'm guessing it was either lost or destroyed and the shop lied about it and thought no one would notice, or they are simply negligent.  Either way, I'm going to sue for damages if this thing doesn't turn up.  My weekend is completely ruined.

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Got a call from the British Car shop a few hours ago.  One of the other guys tried to call the machine shop, and luckily, someone was there working some overtime, as they are usually closed on Saturday.  They asked and the machine shop found it in a pile of other parts.  The indifferent employees there didn't pay any attention and provided the wrong engine tag to the British Car shop.  Although this is still a huge hassle for both me and the British Car guys, as the British Car guys will have to come to my house to pop off the rivets for the old one and re-install the correct one, I'm quite relieved that it wasn't lost, usually these things don't work out and the shops get defensive on their stupid mistakes, then you have to threaten legal action before they decide to right their wrong.  Been there before.

 

Been going over the engine with a fine toothed comb.  It looks like they did a good job, but their attention to detail is lacking and they should have asked me questions on things before installing some repro parts that I didn't ask for, as I had the originals at home.  There were also a couple parts missing that they forgot to install, but I was charged extra for them.  For example, they did not paint the nuts and bolts engine color when the head and other parts were installed, they substituted modern bolts for some of the original bolts I provided (for non-stressed parts, like the air cleaner assemblies), and they used modern clamps instead of the originals/original style repros I provided.  I'll have to keep going over it to get it up to my standards.  It seems that with any shop anymore, there is no attention to detail, even with specialists, and there is no communication as what the customer wants if there are any decisions to be made.  I usually have to undue or fix many small problems that these shops create thru indifference, sloppiness, laziness, or lack of research or communications.  I would assume that you all go thru this, which is why most of you do ALL the work yourselves.

 

 Due to the disaster that was the first engine, the second engine had just as many problems, just different ones, so there were a lot of unexpected costs.  I insisted on a discount of about 8% off my total bill, as they had exceeded the 20% range that the state of VA allows on auto repair estimates.  Although the bill was much higher than originally planned, I think we reached a compromise where we are both calling it good enough.  Now I'll be working some overtime to try to pay off my massive bill.  Okay, enough complaining, back to the MGA work again tomorrow.

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Unfortunately I believe your experience is going to become (if it hasn't already) the norm.  It is very difficult to find people with a passion for their work and willing to do things right unless that work pays a significant amount... and even then it is sometime lacking.  Doing some right only for the sake of it being right is a foreign concept these days.  I've preached this to my three kids since day one and, thankfully, they have taken it to heart.  

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It is sad that people just don't take pride in their job. I am glad the motor is back home. John

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Made it up to almost 70 degrees today, so perfect day to hit the garage.

 

I spent the last week, when I had time, pouring over the engine and I'm finding dozens of mistakes and missing items.  I don't expect  most people to understand what AACA guys want or expect when I farm out work, but I'm not too happy with the detail of the work done on my engine.  They most likely did a good job on the internals and getting it running, but not so much on the aesthetics and detailing.  Here are the issues I found so far:

 

- Missing water drain spigot from rear of engine

- Carb vent tubes  rotated the wrong way, plus vent tubes are on the wrong carb

- Missing carb vent tube bolt and clip

- Head and thermostat housing bolts not painted when they should be

- Engine ID tag is for someone else's car

- Multiple original bolts swapped for modern bolts (some for good reasons, others not)

- Incorrect air cleaner lid bolts (after I supplied the correct ones)

- Carb return spring bracket not installed

- Areas of engine block that were not painted at all

- Two bolt holes at bottom front of engine had bolts and bracket put on them, then removed.  Not sure what

is supposed to go there yet, but something appears to be missing or was not installed correctly and removed

-Two bolts missing from engine mounts (this could have been a real problem down the line

-Incorrect hose clamps installed, after I supplied originals and correct repros

-Oil gauge inlet threaded conversion attachment missing

-Repro heater control valve installed, while I have the original at home.  I was never contacted about it, but I was charged for it (I had the charge removed).

 

These are relatively minor issues, so I just fixed most of them all myself, but for the price I paid and the delays I had, I would expect better.

 

Anyway, I installed the restored transmission on the engine, and the assembly is ready for installation once I get a few of the other items above rectified (Photos 1 & 2).  Guy from the British Car shop is bringing by the missing parts and will re-install my original engine ID tag.

 

Also broke out the clogmaster 2000 to blast my primary headlight buckets and some hood attaching hardware.

 

Overall good progress.  Project is still consistently moving along, just very slowly.

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Edited by hursst (see edit history)
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Sad to see such carelessness from the shop, but REALLY glad you are beyond that and moving in a positive direction, especially where the identification tag is concerned!

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Got home with a enough daylight and some temps in the mid-50's, so painted my headlight buckets and decided to install the engine.  I got the two missing motor mount bolts and installed them.  I also touched up a lot of the paint that was scraped up with installing the correct  engine ID tag and other mishaps, like the British Car shop not creating a tall enough engine cradle for shipping, so the bottom of the oil pan scraped on the ground and the bed of the truck they used to ship it.

 

Anyway, got the engine installed after 16 months of waiting for the rebuild!  (Photos 1 & 2).  Will have some touching up to do, some adjustments to get the mounting hole aligned for the transmission, then lots of detail work in getting various pipes, tubes, hoses attached as well as continuing on fixing the few details left that were missed by the British Car Shop.  Next will be to install the floorboards, trans tunnel, toe board, upper half of steering column, and hook up the emergency brake.  After that, the lower half of the car will be virtually complete.  I will go back to focusing on the bodywork after that.  Almost have the hood finished and ready for primer. 

 

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Are you gonna test run it in the chassis prior to surrounding it with a body?

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No, was run on a test stand at.the British Car place, so it's in good shape now.  Will need to be brought back to life again in 2-3 years when the car is complete or mostly complete.

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Looks great Chris.....sorry to hear about those little mishaps that you have to deal with....

 

 

Steve

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Thanks Steve.  So far, so good.

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Well, when I first saw you had the motor finally back, I figured no trip of the two Italian guys to the machine shop necessary and almost sent John an email saying so. Then I read a following post about the wrong tag and figured maybe the trip was back on! Then I read another post about the correct tag being found and the shop coming to install it on your motor, trip cancelled again. THEN, I read more posts about the lack of attention to detail by the shop and figure,,,,,TRIPS BACK ON!😂😂

 

Great to hear you’re pretty much squared away now. As most know, I’ve been through those same type of emotional  ups and downs with painters and it can really wear on us. With me, trying to get a few things done by others has gotten so difficult and it put such a bad taste in my mouth that I’m giving up restoring cars once I’m done with the 34’ pickup and 30’ 4dr. I’ve had enough aggravation from others to last me a lifetime. I’m going to enjoy driving and showing my cars and work on my RC planes and G scale trains while I move more into my golden years. 

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That chassis sure does look great!

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1 hour ago, chistech said:

Well, when I first saw you had the motor finally back...

Thanks, I'm sure this won't be the last aggravation, but I should be able to do everything else myself, except the gauges and what's left of the chrome, although I'm not sure about the paint.  I've never painted a whole car before, plus my garage is a superfund site; there's no way I could paint a car in there as is.  I've heard about inflatable paint booths, so may look into that.  Or, I may just farm it out to a shop.  Still have a long way to go on the body, so we'll see.

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19 hours ago, chistech said:

I’ve had enough aggravation from others to last me a lifetime. I’m going to enjoy driving and showing my cars and work on my RC planes and G scale trains while I move more into my golden years

Ted, I was thinking along those same lines a few years ago.....I got done restoring my Black '69 Impala ( 14 year process ) and for my 50th birthday, I was going to get a new Dodge Challenger....nope. I ended up getting the "69 Super Sport. It must be some kind of sickness within a person to go thru this process again....lol

 

Steve

Edited by STEVE POLLARD (see edit history)
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21 hours ago, chistech said:

Well, when I first saw you had the motor finally back, I figured no trip of the two Italian guys to the machine shop necessary and almost sent John an email saying so. Then I read a following post about the wrong tag and figured maybe the trip was back on! Then I read another post about the correct tag being found and the shop coming to install it on your motor, trip cancelled again. THEN, I read more posts about the lack of attention to detail by the shop and figure,,,,,TRIPS BACK ON!😂😂

 

Great to hear you’re pretty much squared away now. As most know, I’ve been through those same type of emotional  ups and downs with painters and it can really wear on us. With me, trying to get a few things done by others has gotten so difficult and it put such a bad taste in my mouth that I’m giving up restoring cars once I’m done with the 34’ pickup and 30’ 4dr. I’ve had enough aggravation from others to last me a lifetime. I’m going to enjoy driving and showing my cars and work on my RC planes and G scale trains while I move more into my golden years. 

Ted, I can use a trip. Let me know when you're ready. I happen to like Virginia. Mix business with pleasure. 

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20 hours ago, hursst said:

Thanks, I'm sure this won't be the last aggravation, but I should be able to do everything else myself, except the gauges and what's left of the chrome, although I'm not sure about the paint.  I've never painted a whole car before, plus my garage is a superfund site; there's no way I could paint a car in there as is.  I've heard about inflatable paint booths, so may look into that.  Or, I may just farm it out to a shop.  Still have a long way to go on the body, so we'll see.

Hursst, it is frustrating to say the least, but now that this is behind you,  keep on it.The car is coming along nicely.  Really great work. John

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Thanks John.  Pressing ahead just the same.  Didn't really lose any time with this, as I was able to work on all the other parts of the car, so not too upset by it, it's just kind of a shake your head thing.

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Steve, you'll get way more enjoyment out of the '69 SS...

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Another weekend at home, so another weekend with the MGA.  I got the transmission bolted in (Photo 2), all the engine mount bolts bolted in, and the driveshaft bolted in.  I kept going and got a battery cable hooked up, the exhaust hooked up, the vacuum advance assembly almost hooked up*, and a couple wires hooked up.

 

*The British car shop rotated my distributor 90 counter-clockwise, which threw off a lot of things.  The adjustment wheel is now touching the starter, and the vacuum advance unit is directly in line with an oil tube, blocking the vacuum advance tubing and reservoir.  I brought this up to one of the owners when he was at my house installing the engine tag, so they will have to move the interior pin, or whatever it is 90 degrees in order to get it correct.  I can't understand why they wouldn't have just done this correctly the first time, as it's caused a lot of problems already and I don't know why they would think this could work, considering it's not really functional in that position.  Very frustrating.

 

I then moved on to installing the lower firewall panel (Photo 1), the steering column, the transmission tunnel, and one of the floorboards (Photo 3).  I thought this would be the easy, fun work, because it's all the original parts and it should just go right in.  Of course, that wasn't the case, so there was a lot of minor adjustment needed to get everything to fit correctly.  I'll have to do a lot of touch up work, as there was a lot of scraped paint and cursing going on.  No big deal, it's easy to touch this stuff up, though.  I was able to get one floorboard installed, but it was very difficult to fit, as the transmission tunnel mounting rubber bushings in the middle (repros) are new and slightly too hard, so the whole thing is difficult to seat.  Still good progress when I look back at the day, but I could have done much more.  Spent a LOT of time just making slight adjustments.

 

Also discovered I am missing my clutch slave cylinder tubing and that I had the incorrect setup on my slave cylinder (I had some 1500 parts that were removed with the 1600, simplifying it).  Easy fix.

 

Also, ordered a repro clip from Moss for my valve cover vent tube.  This is was the wrong color, the wrong shape, and was 3x as thick as the original.  I real piece of crap.  I wended up going to the junkyard Friday and found an original clip from an MG 1275 (ADO16 car), which is the exact original part.  No substitute for original parts.

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