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Yes, the pivot bushing is a common wear point on MGA's. It is a small for the job bushing with no provision for lubrication.  A car that spends most of its life in the city suffers the worst. Same for the pins that connect the clutch and brake pedals to the master cylinder push rods.

 

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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As I told Luv2wrench....I have been closely following your restoration and the MGTD restoration. I owned three MGAs and a 1950 MGTD and I really never had the chance to restore them. Thanks for showing your work.

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More slow but steady progress made.  The weather has been holding out fairly well, so able to get more accomplished in the little time I find.  I got my parts for the clutch release pivot, so that's all shored up and placed in the transmission.

 

I got the last missing carb parts I needed at Hershey and put them on, so now the carbs are finally finished (Photo 1).  They will need proper fastener torquing and professional adjustment, but they should work well.  Saved a lot of $ doing everything myself and they turned out very well, for being a first-timer with carbs.  

 

I moved over to the repro floorboards.  I put some holes in them based on the rotted original ones I had as patterns.  I was somehow able to reuse the original seat fasteners and even salvaged, restored, and re-used 13 of the original seat fastener tacks/nails out of the original 24 that were on the car (Photos 2-3).  Still committed to as much originality as possible.  

 

Another update very soon, made more progress, but out of photo space for today.

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Edited by hursst (see edit history)
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Ok, they let me put in 3 more photos, so another update.  Started work on the steel portion of the NOS door.  It had quite a few under-the-primer rust areas that I had to dig out to bare metal and to remove most of the rust.  I ended up using some rust inhibitor spray to condition the metal before I primer/filler any of it to make it smooth again.  58-odd years of storage and moving around did a little damage to the door, but it's still incredibly solid (Photo 1).

 

I'm still working on the pretzelled front license plate bracket (photo 2).  I applied a bunch of bondo to it and sanded it down, but it's still quite sloppy and will need some more hammer and dolly work to get rid of the valley through much of the middle.  IT will never be perfect, but I think I can fool everyone into thinking it is a nice piece with enough effort.  I'll salvage this original piece yet.

 

I had more success with the transmission tunnel.  Hours of scraping off about 1/2" think layer of sand and oil with scrapers and screwdrivers paid off.  I was able to reuse every part here, from the screws in the shifter plate to the original trans filler plug and even the original U-shaped pad-like gizmo that goes on the front of the shifter plate in the middle of the whole thing (Photo 3).  I do have one small section of the mounting area at front left that will need to be cut out and a patch welded in, but it's only about 2" square.  Wanted to get it painted up for protection first and because it will be too cold soon, then repaint the small repair section after the fact.

 

Transmission is finished and ready for the engine to come back from the rebuilder.  I should be able to focus on the doors for the next month or two until the engine is ready.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finished nailing the seat support bolt fasteners into the other floorboard, so that's finished.  Did a lot of work on the NOS door around the steel frame.  Got the surface rust removed, a layer of rust inhibitor, and a layer or self-etching primer.  I still need to touch up the inside of the door, but that just needs a light scuffing of the original black primer, since this surface is on the backside of the aluminum door skin.  I think I'm at the point with the weather that I can't do anymore filler or priming as it's too cold.  I think I'll stop on this work until spring when I can get the body parts stripped and in primer quickly before flash rust occurs.

 

In the meantime, there's plenty of smaller work to do.  I'm still waiting on the engine, probably another 2 months for that.  I will be taking my wire wheels to a specialist this week for a safety inspection and and reconditioning they may need, then it's off to the powder coater to get them into the correct silver color.  I'm still working on the pretzeled front license plate bracket with body filler.  It's turning out okay, but it's a lot of work getting it straight enough to minimize the body filler.

 

I've also started working on the heater parts and some miscellaneous items.  Should be easy bench-type work, for the most part.  I started with the oil pressure hose that goes into engine block.  I will be able to reuse the original, of which I've tested and polished the brass fittings and wire-wheels and clear-coated the steel connector nuts.  It still needs some Armor All to clean up the hose portion (Photo 1).  I then started on the primary heater hose by disassembling it (Photo 2).  The main piece is copper, so I cleaned and polished it up.  Turned out fairly well (Photo 3).  I'm soaking the original clamps and hardware in Evapo-rust and I'll be getting new rubber hoses next month from Moss.  Next up is the heater inlet switch assembly.

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Edited by hursst (see edit history)
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I suggest you get a zinc undercoat put on your wire wheels before you put the colour powder coat on. Wire wheels "work" and wear at the connections. You will get rust marks around them. Undercoated zinc will stop that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had my wire wheels examined and not good results.  One wheel was good, one wheel had bad hub splines, one wheel was out of round, and one wheel was shifted from side to side.  Finding a new one to replace the one with bad splines, repairing the other 3, then blasting and painting them will cost more than buying new repros.  I also want the car to drive well, not have potential vibration or wear issues.  I will use the good one as the spare tire in the trunk, then sit on the other 3 for now.  I'll have to compare my current wheels to the repros to see how good they are.  Going to try Moss in a couple weeks and see how theirs are.

 

In the meantime, I am almost finished with my pretzeled front license plate bracket, have in it primer.  Just needs a little final sanding on the edges, then paint.  Also finished redoing a ton of clamps, nuts, and bolts for the heater hoses and hardware.  Here are a few of them (Photo 1).  Also rebuilt the original heater control valve.  Before and after (Photos 2 & 3).  All the parts in both photos are the same, minus the heater hose.  Turned out really well.

 

Took apart the parking brake handle assembly so I can get the handle and button rechromed.  I redid all the other hardware in the meantime. 

 

Small and slow progress, but getting there.  Seems like a lot a small items that I still need to do before I can really get moving with the bodywork.  Will probably shift a little and do some of the welding on the front fenders and on the torn up front valence panel while I wait for spring and the warmer weather so I can apply some primer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More minor progress to post.  Caught up with my engine builder.  The engine is at the machine shop getting line-bored.  I am told I have to wait in line and that the machine shop that this was farmed out to is a little slow, but does excellent work.  I'm in no hurry, so no big deal for now.  Was thinking to have the engine back by mid-Jan, but now looks like mid-Feb at the earliest.  No worries, plenty of other work to do in the meantime.

 

I sent out the front valance panel and the two door posts to the sandblaster to get the lead paint removed and down to bare metal so I can begin some welding to fix tears in the valance.   I'll also use them as a test to see if they will keep with heated inside storage without getting too much flash rust before I can put the good primer on it in the Spring when it's warm enough.  If it looks okay after a month or so, I'll do some of the other panels, too.  Should be able to do the flatter panels with chemical stripping, then sand the residue to bare metal.

 

Finally finished the pretzeled front license plate bracket.  Here's the before photo, its the first thing I took off the car in 2016 (Photo 1) and the finished product (Photo 2).  There are still some fine scratches in it, but I think I'll call it good enough.  Was even able to reuse the original nuts from the back, after drilling out the broken-off original screws.  Very happy with the results, and also it was a good learning tool to get some practice with body shaping with hammers and filler, since I'm an amateur with body work.

 

Restored the original front driver's side footwell piece with original accelerator pedal stop (Photo 3).  Piece has slight warping at lower left from water damage, but it's still solid and the warping is minor, so reusing the piece.  Will be able to reuse the driver's side one as well.

 

Also got back some chrome pieces (the rear deck "MG" badge and one of the knurled lock nuts for the side curtain hold-down).  Farming out 3-4 pieces of chrome every 3 months to try to minimize the damage to my credit card to space it out.

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The license plate bracket looks amazing!!   Being able to correct that amount of damage and get such good results means you'll have no problems with the rest of the panels. 

 

I'm curious about the prices you're getting for the re-chrome work.  Moss seems to have some pretty reasonable prices on new chrome pieces and I'm wondering about the price and quality difference of a re-chrome vs. going new.  Any thoughts on that?

 

 

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Thanks Jeff.

 

I'm a stickler for originality, so I will generally choose to rechrome pieces rather than replace, because 1) Original pieces always fit 2) It's wasteful to toss out reusable original pieces 3) Repro pieces are quite often "wrong."  Attention to detail matters greatly to me.  For example, the repro "MGA" vent trim on top of the front body is incorrect, as it has later-style grille bars.  However, I try to be somewhat sane when fixing/reusing originals is way too cost prohibitive.  I bought repro "1600" emblems, as my originals were either broken, or I would lose the textured appearance on the background of the emblems.  Repros are about $12, while rechrome would probably be around $60.  Yes, I'm spending much more money on chrome than buying repros, but it's as original as possible and the rechrome shop probably has thicker chrome and better warranties.  I also don't want my car to be like George Washington's hatchet, where I just replace everything, then it becomes just a kit car.  I save and reuse any part than can be saved.

 

 

 

 

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Spent more time in the garage today, so this will be the last post before Christmas.  Back to work, then some needed family time off. Here's a few more photos. 

 

Here's some of the chrome I got back; MG emblems and knurled nut and bracket for the side curtains.  Paul's Chrome in Evans City, Pa does excellent work. (Photo 1).  Started work on the final floorboards.  Was able to reuse both original toe boards and 1 of the two front floorboards (Photos 2 & 3).  The one on the left is a repro.  I drilled the holes for the mounting hardware and I coated it with 3 coats of special wood sealer/primer.  After 2 days of curing, it will be painted black, as factory.  On the right is the passenger side original toe board.  I'll sand it down to a reasonable level, clean it up, and repaint the original black.  

 

Also bought some caster wheels.  I'm going to make a body stand so I can roll the body out, get it onto a trailer, and get it to the sandblasting shop in a few months.  Should also be convenient for priming and painting.  My friends want me to try to paint this thing at home.  I'm not so sure, having never painted a car before, especially one needing so much body work.  We'll see.

 

Also, thanks to all the visitors to my project and the other posters in this forum, I've been able to keep very motivated and inspired by everyone else's extraordinary work.

 

Merry Christmas!

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I'll jump in for Chris as he's enjoying the holidays...  The progress of the car has been outstanding!  Look above in the posts and you see a completely restored chassis.  Engine is out for a rebuild and body work is getting started.   My guess is he gets done well before his 5 year goal. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a nice Christmas, hope everyone else did, too.  Picked up my wire wheels in PA over the holiday; only one was usable without a large cost/effort to make them right.  So, the one good one is at the strippers now and will be used as a spare.  Also dropped off more stuff to be chromed; the front bumper guards and the parking brake handle and button.

 

Got my front valance panel and door posts back from the stripper.  Hammered out imperfections on the door posts, then primed and painted the back side with etching primer and chassis black.  The factory left the back side in black primer, so I'm roughly reproducing what they did.  Leaving the front in bare steel until I can get a streak of warm weather to apply the good primer with a spray gun.  Here's the door posts (Photo 1)  and rear bumper mounts, which I stripped myself.  Posts now have primer and paint on the back portion and so do the bumper mounts.

 

The valance panel is a disaster, but since it's tucked under the car, it will be a good piece for me to learn/practice body hammering and welding.  A previous owner dented the heck out of it, then caught it on something and tore it.  It was actually much worse than this, this is round 1 of getting it back into shape (Photo 2).  I have a good set of body hammers (Thanks for the advice, Jeff), so making some progress.

 

I also pulled out the battery cradle cover, which is an interior sheet metal piece.  I chemically stripped it first (lead paint), then blasted it to bare metal.  I did the same thing I did with the door posts, I primed and painted the back side to replicate the factory black primer (Photo 3).  The top side will be painted body color.  Still have a few minor dings and dents to hammer out, but wanted to get the spray bomb primer/paint on the back since it was above 50 degrees today.

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Looking good!!   Looks like you've moved from the garage into the house, that's a great idea now that it is cold outside.   Don't forget the kitchen is great for parts cleaning (dishwasher) and the closets are wonderful places for hanging parts. ;)

 

I saw a video where a body guy was tackling a job that looked impossible... huge impact on one side of the piece.  He put the dang thing in a press and pushed 90% of the damage out.  He basically pushed opposite of where the damage came from.  Multiple "dents" and "creases" released themselves as the major damage was pushed back out.   I tried that on the MG TD rear fender and it worked fantastic.   I think the trick  when you have a big distortion is to not hit it with a hammer but to be able to impact it in the opposite way the damage was caused and with a constant push force rather than small localized impacts (hammer).   You can clean up what is left with a hammer.

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Didn't have much time today, but kept working on the valance panel.  Made an "anvil" out of bricks and wood blocks in order to have something to get behind the panel in order to keep working it (Photo 1).  Was able to get the rough contours back of the upper crease above where the bumper goes using this method.  Using various wood blocks and body hammers, was able to get the whole thing into general shape, minimized the twisting that was in it, hammered out most of the big dents and problem areas, and got the tears lined up fairly well, then put a clamp on to hold it for now.  Probably ready for a few tack welds to keep it in place, then keep working the rest of the torn areas, then tack those up, then keep working the general contours and make sure things are even before I complete the weld.

 

Bought some of the good Rage body filler, so I will start filling in any problem areas on my doors, hood, and trunk, maybe New Years Day, since it's supposed to be quite warm here.

 

Happy New Year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got in some time here and there to do some work.  I got my one good wire wheel, blasted, primed and painted it.  Turned out well (Photo 1).  This will be used as the spare.  I went down to Moss and got 4 new wire wheels, as it's too much cost and effort to try to piece together a full set of originals that are any good.  I also picked up a sand bag so I can work on some larger areas with lots of curves (Photo 3).  I got my valance panel and welded up most of the torn area (Photo 2).  My welding is below average, but seems to be adequate so far.  Ran out of wire, so still have more to do at the bottom, plus more grinding and shaping.  The whole area is a little convex and not quite lining up at the bottom where there are multiple tears and a piece that just fell off which I need to weld back on.  Should be an easy fix, just need some time to work it.  I still have to grind the back side of it, as there are a lot of stalagmites that I produced back there.

 

Any welding tips are appreciated.  I'm using flux core with an Eastwood welder.  I have the heat setting between A and B and the wire speed at 5.  As you can see, I'm getting a lot of splatter.  I also got a some burn through, of which I've been able to mostly repair as I go.  The more I did the better it went.  I have maybe 3 hours of welding experience thus far.  

 

Also got a bunch of new heater hoses, so I pieced together a lot of the plumbing for the heater, so it should be an easy installation later.  Also got to fill in most of my NOS door with body filler.  A few dings, but not too bad.  Put a layer of guide cost primer on, so I'll find out what's what with the rest of the door soon.  

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Looking good!  I'm pretty envious of you being able to drive down to Moss and get parts.  :)

 

Is that Eastwood AC or DC?  If it is AC then you might be getting fairly good results as the switching plays havoc with your ability to keep a constant arc.   Spatter is usually low volts or high amps.  You mentioned burn through so maybe less amps would be better.  If you don't have control of that then it might be difficult to work through.   If I remember correctly... increasing wire speed increases amps, so maybe try a lower wire speed. 

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13 hours ago, hursst said:

I went down to Moss and got 4 new wire wheels, as it's too much cost and effort to try to piece together a full set of originals that are any good. 

 

Any welding tips are appreciated.  I'm using flux core with an Eastwood welder. 

hursst, be sure to post some pics of those new wire wheels when you get them unpacked. We like pictures of car jewelry.  :) 

 

As far as welding tips........if your welder can be used for either flux core or solid wire with gas, switch to the solid wire welding. It works much better on sheet metal in my opinion. The downside is that the surfaces must be clean, but usually that's not too much more work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have a 3 day weekend, so plan to make the most of it with the MGA.  Today I attempted to get the hood, both doors, and trunk finished with a preliminary application of body filler where needed and sanded at an 80 grit level.  Almost got there, but there were a few additional low spots to fill.  Here's a door and the hood, finished with 80 grit (Photos 1&2).  Next will be moving on to a higher grit, probably 220 with the long board, to try to get these prepped for primer in the spring.  NOS door was a mess with dings everywhere from poor storage, but not a spec of corrosion.  Front of door needed a lot of filler due to it being a little lower than the edge of the door, where the skin is crimped.  Really tough to get to this area, because of inner door framing.  It's quite shallow, but big.  I will probably rethink it and try a little more withe the slapper and see if I an get it closer before the next round of sanding.  Hood was really good, too, only two spots that needed filler.  I would have hammered them out, but they are behind bracing and I couldn't get a good angle. 

 

While waiting for filler to cure, I blew apart my rear bumper assembly (Photo 3).  It was a mess, but is starting to clean up okay, and I will be able to reuse most of he parts.  I will probably need a new bumper and definitely new bumper bolts, as most of them spun in place and I had to more or less pull them thru the bumper to free everything.  One of the bumper guards was hit, but I was able to get it mostly back into shape.  The bumper has been hit, twisted, and buckled, so it will be difficult to repair.  I will probably look for a replacement, but keep this in case I can't find a good one.  Took a break from welding the torn valance panel, so it will sit for a couple days (Also in Photo 3).

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Did more this morning, but took the afternoon off to do other things.  I finished sanding the doors/hood/trunk and added a little glazing putty to some spots, but those pieces are effectively done for that phase.

 

I moved on to the passenger side rear fender.  It had a big whamo in it at the top.  It looked like someone dropped something big and heavy on top of it (Photo 1).  Kind of hard to see, but that shinny part is light from above it.  It's dented in quite a bit.  Was able to easily hammer it out with a sand bag, rubber mallet, and some fine tuning with the body hammers (Photo 2).  Turned out quite straight, overall.  It will still need some final work, but it's about 95% done.  The rest of the car body is mostly dent free.

 

I then went back to the front valance panel and finished the welding.  It was really tough working with the thin metal trying to butt weld it all, but it came out well for my skill level (Photo 3).  I ground it down to a reasonable level to get general contours before I start fine tuning it.  Glad I was able to save this piece.  It still has some thin metal and minor rust outs at the bottom lip, so may have to weld in a few small patch panels.

 

Also finished restoring the nuts and bolts for my back number plate brackets and assembly on the side.

 

Overall, quite happy with the progress I've made on the body work, didn't know if I could do it, having very little experience.  I think I'm going to move on to the 4 steel fenders and start chemically stripping the lead paint and get it ready for sandblasting.  The rear fenders look quite good, rust wise, but the fronts will need a little work at the lower front.  One has some rust holes and will need replacement patches,  while the other is just rusty at the extreme lower part and will need some very small patches.

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Thanks Jeff.  It's nice to be able to do things yourself and learn new skills, especially when the going labor rate in my area for just about any car work is $120/hr.   Thanks for the tips about the body hammers and dollies, I can really feel the difference when I'm using the "real" tools.  Now back to the garage...

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Today, I stripped a large part of the pass rear fender (Photo 1).  Needs a little more work, but the goal is to get rid of the white paint at least, so I can safely have it blasted, due to lead in the paint.  Found a few more dents now that the fenders are a little more clean, but no big deal.  Also decided to start stripping the body, too (Photo 2).  Will probably try to do most of the accessible areas on top, but I'll have a professional blast the car clean.  Not sure if I'll make a dolly for the body or what at this point.  Will also be removing the rocker panels soon, as they are shot.  Want to give plenty of access for the blasting later this year.

 

Fairly productive 3 day weekend, but very cold.  Didn't work as much as I could have, but decided to take it easy later in the afternoons.  Can't wait for spring.

 

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I bought a lead test kit from the hardware store.  The car has the original paint on it in between the rust, plus someone repainted parts of it later on..  I did a test of the paint on the rear bulkhead, which I know had been repainted prior to 1970, and it came up as positive for lead in the paint.  Not sure if the original paint has lead in it, but I was pretty sure that the"new" paint has lead in it, so trying to be very careful with removing it and not creating and dust, wearing a full respirator.  You may be right about original paint not having lead it in, however.

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This weekend I broke out the clogmaster 2000 to clean up some parts.  I started with the rear number plate assembly and two bumper brackets (Photo 1).  They came out quite nicely, but do have some pitting.  I think a good coat or two of build primer should get the job done.  I also decided to try a fender (Photo 2). With paint remover,  I took off what I thought was probably lead paint and left it with mostly primer, then finished up with the blaster outside.  Ran out of media before I could finish everything.  Unfortunately, there are a large amount of pinholes at the lower front of the fender, so it will need a patch.  Will probably need to do a quick blast of it again, as I used "used" blast media, which I learned can force bad material back onto the bare metal. Thinking about trying out a mobile sandblast guy I just find out about through the forum.  I figure that to do the body correctly, I'm going to need to use only fresh media only, which will add up in cost quite quickly.  It may be cheaper or as expensive to hire this guy to blast it all at one time, plus he'll have a better and faster blaster.

 

Still working on one of the doors (Photo 3).  Didn't quite get enough filler in two spots, so had to add some more. 

 

No space for more photos today, but also cleaned up the original rear deck trim/side curtain bag as a side project.  Overall, looks good and it's original to the car, but has a slight amount of discoloring and two small tears in the vinyl near two of the lift-the-dot fasteners.  I think it's good enough to reuse.

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Found a small indoor project to do this week, since it's so cold outside.  Got the side curtain storage bag/trim from the parts pile and inspected and cleaned it up.  Here's before and after (Photos 1 & 2).  Being original, I want to save it if I can.  Turns out, it's in quite good condition.  I vacuumed out the inside and put on some 303 Protectant to clean the vinyl.  Put a little chrome polish on the Lift-The-Dot fasteners as well.  The piece has a few areas with some fading and there are two small tears, maybe 1/2" or so, on either end of the upper Lift-The-Dots, but otherwise, it looks good.  I will reuse it.

 

In the meantime, I bought two new buckets of garnet sand for the blaster, so I can properly start blasting the rest of the fenders, without using the recycled stuff.  I think I can get away with using the recycled stuff on the inside of the fenders, or other places where they can't be seen.  Media is not that cheap.

 

I also think I'm going to remove the rocker panels this weekend.  The both have large rust holes in them, so they are shot.  I dug around in there and found some rust holes on the inner rockers as well, although it looked fairly minor so far, but it will need some surgery.  Time to get in there and get it down.  Have new outer rockers ready to go.

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