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This weekend I tackled the rear end and front control arms.  I took most of the rear axle apart, but couldn't get the hubs off, as I don't have the correct sized socket (yet).  I also removed the gear carrier (photo 2) to inspect the gears and start cleaning it up and getting it ready for repainting.  There's a slight amount of slop between the ring and pinion but I'm not sure how much slop is acceptable.  I'm also going to test where the ring and pinion mesh to see if they cover enough area, I think its "backlash?"  I know very little about rear axles, but am trying to learn something as I go.  I may have to visit an expert, as I don't know what I'm doing if this items require adjustment, with the thrust bearings, shims, and gauges used.  Overall, the insides of the axles look quite good, surprisingly, so I may have it easy.

 

I disassembled the lower front control arms (photo 1).  These are easy, so I'll concentrate on rebuilding them and getting them back on the car.  The center link may be a different story, as it may require a press and reamer, neither of which I have, so I may have to take them to a machine shop, but I'll see what I can do after I disassemble them.

 

I took my rear leaf spring to a shop to have the old bushings removed and new ones put in (I don't have a large enough vice or a press to get them out myself).  I also took all my brake parts and clutch slave cylinder to White Post for restoration of those parts.  I've used them before and have been happy with their work.

 

So, I'm about out of floor space with these parts scattered about and need to focus on getting these parts restored before I tear anything else apart.  Moss is having a big sale, so I'll be buying a ton of parts within the next 2 weeks, such as a hub socket, bearings, gaskets, and lots of other unrelated parts, which will help me continue.  Tomorrow I'm going to take it a little easy and go to a car show.  I'm exhausted from taking all that stuff apart!  Happy Labor Day everyone!

 

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My hub nuts have large cuts in them, where a previous mechanic must have used a chisel to get them to rotate.  I'm going to order the correct socket through Moss Motors and have a go at it.  I'll also replace the nuts while I'm at it. 

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On ‎9‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 3:19 PM, hursst said:

Yes, one is LH, and other is RH.  I have made no attempt to remove them yet, waiting on the correct socket.

 

Hope you don't get the same kind of surprise I did with my bent ring spanner. Three weeks to find one and my first lesson in translating English to English, was to learn that a bent ring spanner is an offset box end wrench.

 

Looks like you're making good progress on the MG, little heads up on the steering. If there is any play in the king pins you might find it's worth the money to get the remans, reaming those new bushings isn't as easy as it sounds.

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Thanks Digger.  I'll probably look into that, I won't be doing any reaming on my own, I'd farm that work out. 

 

I'm learned a lot of "english" in the last year, so have learned most of the terms.

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Really dug deep on the project this weekend.  Disassembled the entire rear axle after getting my hub nut socket from Moss.  Here's the offending nut (photo 1).  Octagonal,  1 61/64" size.  Since I took the axle out of the car, there was nothing to hold the axle from just spinning around when I tried to get the nut off, so I had to get creative (photo 2).  This ridiculous looking method worked great; I had both hub nuts off in about 30 seconds, as the tree held the axle firm.  Got to use my 1930's hub puller again (photo 3).  Had to get creative again in removing the hub bearings.  Barney at mgaguru.com and The MG Experience websites were lifesavers (photos 4-7).  Was able to replace the oil seals and re-install the hub bearings, which looked to be in excellent condition.  I found that a small empty can of Ortega Green Chilies was an absolute perfect match for the diameter of the oil seals, which made pressing them in a snap.  Here's the disassembled axle (photo 8).  Next step is to clean and strip the axle housing, then blast the backing plates, and start putting the axle back together.  Haven't gotten a verdict on the carrier ring and pinion backlash yet, but it's on the to do list.  Just a got a call from White Post that my brake parts are ready, so that will help get the whole axle assembly back together.  I also have a lot of suspension parts ready to sandblast, so looking forward to getting those parts cleaned up.

 

I also bought a zinc plating kit from Eastwood this weekend.  I tried it out and it works quite well.  I really wanted some long-lasting protection for the fasteners instead of painting them or leaving them natural.  I think this will help the car look better, provide long-lasting corrosion protection, and it won't come off easily when torquing down the nuts and bolts, like painting it would.

 

There's no way to complete a restoration as a journeyman without the help, tips, and encouragement of all the AACA members and various car club members from marque-specific clubs. Each different car I work with is a whole new can of worms.   I hope I can pay the knowledge I'm gaining forward to other enthusiasts over time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More progress on the MG over the last week.  Working on the suspension now.  My sandblaster works for about 20 minutes, then clogs up with moisture.  I can only get so far, so only working on the driver's side at the moment while I wait for a less humid day, or to add a third moisture trap to my system. Completed the driver's side lower control arm assembly and was able to re-use the original hardware after cleaning and zinc plating them.  Turned out really well, looks good, and should protect the bolts from future corrosion (photo 1).

 

Also completed the driver's side leaf spring assembly.  De-rusted each leaf to bare metal, threw some graphite powder on them and re-assembled.  Clamped them up with a generic nut and bolt and bent the factory clamps back into shape, rust treated them, primed, and painted them as a complete assembly.  Also turned out nicely, but they do have some minor pitting on them (Photos 2-3).

 

On the side, also re-finished the valve cover.  Knocked out the dents and tried to cover up some of the shallow pitting with extra primer and sanding, but not sure it it's good enough.  Will probably do some more sanding to get a better finish, but doesn't look too bad overall (Photo 4).  Will need installation of the 2 badges, 2 rubber grommets, and the oil filler cap.  The oil filler cap cable frayed, so had to remove it.  I'll try to piece it back together with a new cable, but could be a little challenging to get it just right.

 

Also got back my brake parts and clutch slave parts from White Post Restorations.  They did a great job, hard to tell they were even the same parts.  Dropped off the generator and starter for rebuilding the other day, so should have those parts back by next month.  Trying to do engine ancillary parts as side projects to make it easier for the engine re-builder.

 

Next is to do the passenger side suspension parts while degreasing the rear axle and brake backing plates and starting to repaint and reassemble that.  Still need to replace the pinion seal, then have the backlash measured before I can put the whole thing back together.  Pretty happy with the progress, but still a little slow.  Continuing to try to do a little each day and a lot on the weekends.

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6 hours ago, Zimm63 said:

I added a moisture trap on the inlet side of my blaster.  That backs up the one at the source.

 

Have not had issues with clumping.  

 

 

I have a trap on the inlet side as well, but it's a Chinese blaster, so who knows if it does anything.  I also put one on the outlet side of my compressor.  It's improved from where I started, but still clogs up.  I guess I should ditch the Chinese water trap and replace it with a better one.  Really frustrating.

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On ‎9‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 5:16 PM, hursst said:

I have a trap on the inlet side as well, but it's a Chinese blaster, so who knows if it does anything.  I also put one on the outlet side of my compressor.  It's improved from where I started, but still clogs up.  I guess I should ditch the Chinese water trap and replace it with a better one.  Really frustrating.

 

Nothing wrong with a Chinese trap that a 5 gallon bucket of ice water and 25 feet of air hose won't fix.

Build yourself a poor mans condenser between the compressor and the first water trap by putting a coiled length of air hose into a bucket filled with as much ice and as little water as possible. Don't let the first water trap get more than half full, keep the water in the bucket ice cold and your airline will stay dry. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Work and social activities have cut into my MG time recently, but still trying to get out there and do something each day, so some progress to report.  Had a great time at Hershey and met some more great AACA folks in judging school and throughout the field.  Bought an NOS door, used radiator, restored exhaust manifold, and gas tank.  My pass side door is incorrect and from an earlier model, so had to get a correct door.  The radiator was missing when I bought the car, the original exhaust manifold was in 3 pieces at the bottom, and the gas tank has fuel so old that it has turned to something that looks like horse manure, not to mention rust.  I may try to save it in the future, but for now, another gas tank is the better choice.  I also got my starter and generator out for rebuild and restoration on the side.  I should have most of the engine components ready to go by the time I tackle the engine internals themselves.

 

My sandblaster still only works for about 20 minutes before it gets hopelessly clogged, so I bought a third water trap, which I will install soon.  Hoping it solves my problem. So, blasting of parts is much slower than expected.  That being said, was able to blast both lower control arm assemblies (photo 1), 1 coil spring, and some unrelated parts for the engine.  Was also able to install one of the leaf springs (photo 2).   Tough doing the leaf springs, as I need time to strip all the rust off, put the whole works together, re-seal the 4 attachment brackets, and get a coat on rust inhibitor on it before any flash rust has time to occur.  Tough to do in the limited time I have after work, or in the rain, so have to wait until a clear weekend where I am at home (hard to find the time!).

 

 

Unfortunately, I discovered that one of the control arm link hole pairs had ovaled out (Photo 3), but the other side was okay.  Didn't notice until after I had finished them the first time, until I read about this issue in a Moss catalog.  Got out the welder and welded up the area that was ovaled and got it back into round (photo 4).  Still have some minor finishing to do, but bolts now fit properly with no movement.  Will now get these semi-repainted, finish the other coil spring, then finish the other leaf springs.  Then I'll get the rear axle squared away and installed before I move on to the shock absorbers.

 

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Per the water situation with you compressed air: I don't know how your shop is arranged so what I have done may not be possible for you, but I thought I would share. 

 

My compressor is in the far back corner of my shop.  I used 3/4" copper pipe for the run from there to the front of the shop.  Instead of a direct route, the pipe goes vertical up the wall from the compressor into the attic to the highest point in the attic.  From there it begins a gentle descent across the back wall and down the long wall to the front.  The total length is approximately 50'.  The pipe continues all the way to the front wall where it goes down the front wall into the shop.  This part of the run has a valve on it that can be opened to remove any water that has fallen out of the air on its 50' journey down through the attic.  About 8' short of the front is the take-off for air in the shop.  The take-off goes up at a 45 degree angle, over about 1.5' and then down into the shop.  That pipe continues straight down to the floor where the is another valve that can be opened to remove any water.   About 6' off the floor there is a T-fitting and from that, finally, is the pipe that supplies my air.  It goes into a water trap and then a regulator.   The theory behind this arrangement is that hot air (and water vapor) will cool and the water in the air will fall out during the 50' downhill run through the attic.  Since the take-off for the supply into the shop is angled up at 45 degrees, any water that has fallen out will pass by.  The same theory is that any water that does make it past that point will certainly be overtaken by gravity and fall past the T-fitting that goes to the water trap and regulator.  

So... how does it work?  This is one of the few cases where reality meets or exceeds theory.  I'm located in Georgia.  It is hot and humid here.  I can run my 30 cfm Ingersoll Rand compressor for hours on end while media blasting and never get any water past the trap.   It takes multiple months for water to actual accumulate in the trap at all.  The two drains I've installed are a different story. When I open the valve on the front wall a considerable amount of water is released.  The valve under the takeoff does have some water but not that much.

 

This type of setup might be impossible for you to do given the arrangement of your shop area.  If so, please ignore my ramblings.  If, however,  you can do something similar you might find it works much better than adding water traps. 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Jeff,

   That sounds like a great system, but I have a deep 2-car garage with living space above (dry wall on ceilings) and I have a mobile Craftsman compressor that I wheel out into the driveway to do my blasting, so I won't be able to configure that setup, but I appreciate the advice either way.   I think I'll try the ice bucket method addressed above, then mess around with some other techniques.

 

-Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

More small progress on the MGA.  Got both lower control arms on (Photo 1), and the other leaf spring on the back (Photo 2).  Almost starting to look like it may end up being a car in the future.  Still working on a few brackets for the rear axle, then I'll complete the refinishing of the axle housing and get all that back on the car.  From there, the focus will be on the rear axle assembly, with a few engine parts going on the side.

 

Also found some great parts at Hershey including an exhaust manifold, fuel tank, NOS door, and radiator (Photos 3-4).  My exhaust manifold was broken in 3 places at the bottom, my fuel tank was full of 45 year old gasoline and rusty, my passenger door was wrong for the car, and my radiator was missing.

 

I also took the starter and generator out to a shop for restoration and they did a beautiful job.  Not sure if the starter is supposed to be painted at the back, but will research and figure it out soon (Photo 5).

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Quick update this time.  Very little progress made.  Got some rebuilt/exchange rear shocks from Moss, as my old ones would need rebuilding and I don't have the facilities to do them myself.  My only gripe is that the Moss rebuilders paint the whole thing black, which is incorrect.  They should be natural aluminum which black painted arms.  I don't understand why a company with so many years of experience not only does the wrong finish, but it's an added cost and step to prime and paint them.  Very frustrating, so now I'm going through a very long, messy process to remove the paint from my shocks.  Much unnecessary wasted time   I also picked up new connector shafts (the old ones had the studs spinning in place, so the nuts could not come off.  Also, the rubber bushings inside the socket where shot, so they had to be replaced).

 

I dropped off the rear axle ring and pinion carrier to have the backlash set and new seals/bearings, since I didn't have the correct tools, gauge, and experience to do it.  Cheaper to farm it out.  I've also been slammed with work, travel, and trying to replace a GM A/C compressor seal, which might be the most frustrating task I've done yet.  Progress will be very slow for the next 3-4 months, I'm afraid, but I try to make some progress every day, no matter how small.

 

 

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This week, I was able to clean up the shocks I exchanged and make them look pretty good and original (photo 1).  I stripped the incorrect black paint off the body, then clear coated the aluminum.  Turned out quite well.  I was able to refinish and reuse most of the original hardware (photo 2).   I was also able to install the repro shock rods on that go to the rear axle.  Here's everything installed (Photos 3, 5).  Here's the whole completed car so far (photo 4).  Still not much to look at, but I hope to get the rear axle back on next.  No word back from the guys where I dropped off the axle carrier for thrust adjustment, but not in a hurry, so I'll check in in a couple weeks. 

 

Taking a only a 1/2 day at work tomorrow to try to get the rest of the rear axle hardware stripped and metal prepped, then maybe strip the axle housing and start getting it ready for paint.  Getting the rear axle housing back on there will be a big step.

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Thanks, gentlemen.

 

Marty, like you, I think attention to detail is the most important part of a restoration.  Your car, for example, appears to have every detail correct and I think that makes a huge difference in appearance and keeping the historical aspect of the car and era in focus.  The extra time spent in doing it right is well worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another update.  Worked like a dog over the last 2 days to get to a certain stopping point, as I won't have time to work on it for the next week.  Finished up all the mounting hardware on the rear axle (photo 1).  Was able to blast, prime, and paint one backing plate (photos 2 and 7).  My sandblaster is still hopelessly worthless.  I can only get about 15 minutes of work before it clogs with moisture, so didn't get to the other backing plate yet.  No way to get it to work right unless I buy a fixed compressor and a better blaster.  Good enough for now.

 

My main goal was to get the axle cleaned up and a layer of rust encapsulator on it.  Here's most of the way thru (photo 3), then mostly cleaned up (photo 5), then ready for rust encapsulator (photo 8).  While I waited in between jobs, I created a brass ferrule cut out of a wire crimp and made it as close to the original as possible for the cable that attaches the oil filler cap (Photo 4).  I had to use a bike brake cable, as that's the closest attachment wire I could find to original style.   With a little work, I was able to get it to fit through the hole in the back of the cap, which is slightly larger than the hole in the top of the cap, so this side is complete (Photo 6).  Still need to make one for the other side of the cable and attach it to the refurbished valve cover.

 

Next weekend, should be able to prime and paint the rear axle assembly and get it installed, or at least that's the goal.  I also got back the axle carrier from shop.  I got a new seal installed and it turns out the ring and pinion are in spec with backlash, but not by much.  I should be okay with the careful and occasional driving I'll be doing when it's finished.  Cleaning and painting the exterior of that will be next, then I start with the axles, hubs, and brakes on the rear.

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On ‎30‎.‎10‎.‎2017 at 12:32 AM, hursst said:

 

I also took the starter and generator out to a shop for restoration and they did a beautiful job.  Not sure if the starter is supposed to be painted at the back, but will research and figure it out soon (Photo 5).

 

 

 

 

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As I have more experience with US cars than UK ones, I have following question: should not generator an starter motor be black? Anyway, those parts are good looking!

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Hello, one would think, but multiple sources say that these were painted engine color.  I'll site "Original MGA"  by Anders Clausager as one book that explains this.  According to the book, only replacement factory generators are black and there were a few starters that were factory installed in black, but most were engine color (reddish maroon) throughout production.  Thanks to Artie's Electric in Manassas Park, VA for the restoration of the generator and starter.

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Ugh, no real updates on the MGA.  Cold weather, travel, and work duties are greatly slowing my progress.  I was able to finish the valve cover last weekend.  Turned out quite well overall (photo 1).  I have the rear axle housing and carrier ready for primer, but can't paint because it's too cold.  Monday is supposed to be almost 60, so hoping for the best so I can at least get primer on them.

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The weather yesterday and today was in the mid-50's to mid -60's, so I was able to leave work a little early and get to work painting the rear axle and carrier (Photos 1-4).  I used Eastwood chassis black extreme and seem to have fairly good results.  Very pleased that I could get some more painting done in December.  This will allow me a lot of time to put all this stuff back together when it goes back to normal winter temps soon.  Won't be able to work on it for the next 2 weeks or so with the holidays and travel coming up, but hope to start putting the axle together after the new year and get it back where it belongs.  Most of the other rear axle and brake parts are ready to be installed, so it should come together fairly quickly.  Merry Christmas!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Found a day to work on the MGA in between holidays.  Was able to install the rear axle carrier as well as a backing plate and some brake parts today.  Now it's starting to like like it may be a car one day.

 

First, I cleaned out the breather tube on the axle (Photo 1).  It was clogged up with years of sludge, which probably helped create some of the leaky seals.  That and 45 years of storage in a barn.  Was able to get the chunks out, then detail it out with Gunk spray, then a test with compressed air.

 

Next was to replace the temporary nuts and bolts I had in place for when I sprayed the leaf springs with the correct ones.  Had a few mis-steps as I tried at first to do the assembly from memory.  That didn't work too well, so went and consulted my photos and shop manual, so was able to get it together after a couple hours (Photo 2-3).  I continued on and added the backing plate for the brakes (Photo 4), then the wheel cylinder (Photo 5).  I also placed the hub assembly on there "finger tight" until I figure out how to get it on properly.  Hoping I don't have to take the whole axle out again and have them pressed in at a shop.  Didn't think that one through, but we'll see.  Will probably research and monkey with it more tomorrow.  Lastly, I was able to throw on the brake shoe pivot at the other end of the backing plate (Photo 6).  Also finished up the brass wheel cylinder brake line fitting, but didn't install it yet.  Needs new bleeder valves.  The old ones are clogged with dirt and cannot be cleaned.  Easier and safer to replace. 

 

I was unable to clean up the other backing plate last month with my clogmaster 2000 sandblaster, so the driver's side has to wait for a while.  There's 1/2" of snow on the ground, so no blasting until at least next weekend.  For now, I'll keep trying to build the passenger side, which will make the driver's side a snap after I learn the easy ways to assemble everything.

 

Got my water pump back from the rebuilder for both my '30 Plymouth and the MGA, but they are both in bare metal, and it's too cold to paint them.  Still continuing to work on ancillary engine parts on the side.  Also got a nice $150 Moss gift certificate for Xmas, so small parts won't be a problem for a while.  Happy New Year!

 

-Chris

 

 

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Edited by hursst (see edit history)
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Thanks John, although I think it's going to take a lot longer than I thought.  Everything seems to be working out in the end, but each step is painfully slow.  Many things I don't know and have to research or ask, then many small problems that come up, then a small job becomes hours of work.  Had a small amount of damage to the axle threads when I tried to install my hub bearing assembly today.  Should have been 5-minutes, but took 2.5 hours before I was able to get the nut properly threaded.  None the less, still making some progress, no matter how small. almost every day.

 

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