hursst

1960 MGA Restoration

Recommended Posts

Had a VERY productive week, fighting time and the weather and made it work!

 

Finished with the rear brake drums.  Got them painted (Photo 1), got new brake shoe adjustment access hole plugs, new french locks for the lug nuts, cleaned up and plated the lug nuts and threw it all on the car (Photo 4).  Please ignore the crusty wheels and tires, they will be replaced towards the end of the resto.  No reason to have new tires sit for 3 more years.  

 

I also refinished the original rearmost vertical floorboard.  It was in very good condition, so I gave it a light sanding, repainted it, and installed it using the original washers and screws (Photo 4).

 

I was also able to finish a ton of hardware (Photos 2, 3; refinishing in progress)).  These are from the rearmost floorboard and the fuel tank straps, respectively.  I was able to salvage a few of the original washers and screws for the floorboards, so I cleaned them up and reused them.  Most were from for the rearmost vertical floor board.  All the others were rusted beyond salvage, and most had to be cut off and removed with vice grips.

 

One item that's been holding me up for the week has been the parking brake cable assembly.  I restored the assembly, but upon installation, discovered that the cable had seized within the conduit, so I could not install the assembly after all.  I soaked each side in penetrating fluid for 5 days, but still no luck.  It seemed to be fused to the conduit.  I guess 45 years of sitting in 45 year old grease will just petrify everything.  So, I had to get creative.  Using my favorite tree (you may remember this tree from me using it to help remove my octagonal hub nut from my rear axle).  I don't know what kind of tree it is, but I consider it a tool in its on right.  I'd high;y recommend on for use where leverage is needed. So, I took the parking brake assembly, then took a washer and cut a slit in it and placed it around the cable, so the washer would butt up against the conduit, so it would hold in place as I tugged the cable itself.  I wedged the assembly into a tree bough, then put a bolt and nut at the end of the cable attachment, then hooked this up to a chain.  I yanked on it by hand the best I could, but no luck.  I then upped my game and brought in my Swiss army knife of vehicles, my Jeep Wrangler (Photo 5).  I attached the chain to a pull strap, then to my Jeep's winch to get some real tugging power.  Yes, I could have bought a new parking brake assembly, but these new parts are not the same and I want everything as original as possible, so saving this piece was important to me.  The rest of it is in excellent condition. The first try bent the washer up and it came through the tree.  The second attempt bent up the bolt attached to the cable, so the chain slipped off.  The third attempt, I adjusted washer in the tree bough, wrapped the chain around the cable, the secured it to the badly belt bolt at the end of the cable, then tried again.  Third time's the charm, and this time, the cable broke free from within the conduit (Photo 6).  With some more penetrating fluid and moving the able back and forth, I was able to get it moving fairly well.  I'm going to soak it a little more to free it up the best I can, then it will go on the car very soon.  This will be the last piece for the rear axle assembly; all that's left is to torque everything down.

 

In addition, I broke out my clogmaster 2000 sand blaster and got the two fuel tank straps cleaned up to bare metal (Photo 7).  I'll be able to metal prep it on Sunday.  The fuel tank with sending unit is done, so I should have the whole assembly installed within a week, after I finish painting the straps and finish refurbishing the rest of the hardware.

 

Overall, the most progress I've made in a long time.  Hope to have the whole rear of the chassis finished within a week, then continuing with the front end.  Still much to do there, but making some progress.

100_4528.JPG

100_4530.JPG

100_4531.JPG

100_4538.JPG

100_4543.JPG

100_4544.JPG

100_4545.JPG

Edited by hursst (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It (the tree/tool) looks like a Crape Myrtle. Love your work and project.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Dave39MD said:

It (the tree/tool) looks like a Crape Myrtle. Love your work and project.

 

Dave

I was guessing a Madrone.

Madrone.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I think Crape Myrtle; thanks for the ID.  Not a Madrone, doesn't look like it in any of the other photos I googled.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continuing to be productive, dodging the bad weather when I can.  Lots of nice days popping up here and there.  Finished with the fuel tank I bought at Hershey.  Had to respray some of the paint on it to make it look right, but no big deal.  Was able to apply the rubber noise seals and original fuel tank straps after I repainted them (Photos 1 & 2).  Finished tank (Photo 4).  Can't install it until the body is on, as it looks like the filler neck won't clear if the body is dropped if the tank is installed.

 

Finished the rear axle area, pretty much completely (Photo 3).  Torqued everything down and filled the rear with the proper gear oil.  No leaks yet!  Everything turned out really well.  Will still need to do some touch ups on some paint chips and on the nuts on the axle pumpkin.  I added a "before" photo from Dec 2016 (Photo 6) for perspective.  It's come a long way in the last year, but wish I had more time to get it further.  Starting to imagine what it's like to drive it...

 

Got my front suspension pieces back from Apple Hydraulics (Photo 4).  I asked them not to paint the shocks.  There is still work to do in painting the shock arms black and I will probably clear coat the shock bodies as a protectant.  I kept all the original parts, so I may swap back on some of the the original nuts and bolts for some of the hardware store stuff that may have been put on by the rebuilder.  The axle trunions and spindle will need all the rest of the shafts, seals, and hardware installed so that I can hook everything up, but that appears to be an easy job.  I'll also be painting most of it black, as original.

 

Once all this stuff is completed and installed, I'll work on the front hubs, seals and bearings, then I'll be starting on the front chassis extension and the steering rack.  The steering rack is filthy, but everything looks to be in great operating condition.  I may just be able to clean it all up as is, repaint it, and put it on the car.  We'll see.

100_4549.JPG

100_4550.JPG

100_4551.JPG

100_4552.JPG

100_4553.JPG

100_3258.JPG

Edited by hursst (see edit history)
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've inspired me... just found myself a 1952 MG TD.   Hopefully picking it up first weekend in March.   It is a basket case, of course, but that saves me the trouble of taking it apart. :)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff, Wow, great find!  I hope you post the restoration on this site while you do it.  I think I used about 7 months in taking mine apart, so that is some time savings, as long as everything is labeled correctly.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris,

 

Yes, I will start a thread.  I still l haven't finished the Metz Roadster but the MG TD was something I couldn't pass up.  My daughter really wants to work on a car with me and the MG is a much better car to work on.  Parts can be ordered, books and videos are available, etc, etc.   I'll still finish the Metz but it will have to wait on the MG.  I don't know if anything is labeled.  The project looks like a restoration that wound down for whatever reason.  The sheet metal is in primer... but that was done over 30 years ago.  There are boxes and boxes of parts that I didn't look through so I'm sure there will be surprises.   I blame you and thank you for the inspiring job you've done... you gave me MG envy to the point I just couldn't stand it!!! ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More progress made, purely in spite of the terrible weather and all the problems it caused. Luckily, had many bad trees cut down 2 weeks ago, so no damage from windmagedon, but still had plenty of cleanup.

 

Thanks to a member who was viewing these posts, I was able to pick up 2 more nice wheels, since 4 of my 5 originals are trashed, due to 45 years storage in, what I'm guessing, was a dirt-floor barn.  The rims of the wheels where they were closest to the ground are rusted beyond repair.

 

Anyway, I got back my front suspension parts from Apple Hydraulics (Photo 1).  They appear to have done an excellent job.  I painted them correctly and began to throw them on the car, starting with the shocks (Photo 2).  I then painted the spindle assemblies (Photo 3).  While I was in between prime and paint, I broke out the original King Dick jack and restored that (Photo 4).  Was in excellent condition, just needed to be stripped and repainted.  Have it all greased up and fully functional.

 

Next, I got out the steering rack.  Surprisingly, it's in outstanding condition overall.  The tie rod ball joints have some wear, so I will have to replace those, but the rest of the mechanism is very solid and tight, so I'm going to reuse it as is.  Here it is after a little effort, still quite filthy (Photo 5).  After lots of de-greasing, taping, then hit it with a fine wire wheel to bare metal, here it is using the crepe myrtle again, all cleaned up and ready for primer (Photo 6). 

 

In the meantime, I put on the spindle assemblies, loosely (Photo 7).  Needs some paint touch up and some minor adjustment, but is otherwise ready to go.  I'll have to pause as I figure out how to compress the coil springs, before I attach everything together. Coil springs are small, so probably have to find a small internal coil spring compressor of some sort.  I was able to reuse the original upper hardware on the spindle, but the lower hardware had too much wear, so I'm going with new parts.  

 

Last, here's a photo of the steering rack in primer (Photo 8).  Ran out of warm enough weather, so called it a day.  I'll need some new steering rack components from Moss, such as the rubber grease seals and new tie rods, among other misc parts, so will probably make a trek down to Petersburg soon, since it's cheaper than shipping costs.

 

-Chris

 

 

 

 

 

100_4552.JPG

100_4554.JPG

100_4556.JPG

100_4557.JPG

100_4559.JPG

100_4561.JPG

100_4562.JPG

100_4563.JPG

Edited by hursst (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing project , defines the phrase , nut and bolt restoration. 

Looking forward to seeing it finished .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading up on coil spring compression.  My "small" coil spring compressor is external, and my internal one is way too big.  Thanks to the MGA Guru site and Barney, I was able to see some alternatives.  I came up with wrapping a lot of rope around a jack and the upper shock (Photo 1).  The "guru" folks used a chain, which I didn't have.  Was able to compress the whole works with this method fairly easily and now I have the springs in (Photos 2 & 3).  I have a lot of touch up to do, some of the bolt heads aren't quite nice enough, there are a few small paint chips from this effort, and I didn't get enough paint on the spindle assembly, so I need to do some detailing and then torque up all the small bolts, except the main ones (they will be done when all the weight is back on the car).  

 

As a bonus, I redid the tire pump handle.  It was embedded with grease and age, so I sanded it the best I could and used linseed oil.  It will be a little patina'd, but I think it looks okay overall.

 

I also got the steering rack painted, but need to do some minor redos to some of it.

 

Now, time for a trip to Moss to get new front brake rotors, bearings, and seals, as the originals are worn out.  Also need tie rods.  I'll probably work more on some of the original tools while I wait to buy more parts.

100_4564.JPG

100_4565.JPG

100_4566.JPG

100_4567.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great!  Also super timing... I've been trying to figure out what the heck goes where on the front suspension and your's looks very, very similar to my TD.  BTW... a fair amount of MGA parts tagged along with my haul, are you needing anything?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff, let me know if you need any detailed photos of anything, if that helps.  The suspensions are very similar, if not the same in many ways.  I'll PM you about the MGA parts.  I bought a lot of parts already, so don't need too much else, but I'll see what else I may need.  Thanks!

 

-Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work you're doing. I too had one of these way back when.

 

As enthusiastic and helpful as that Crape Myrtle has been in the restoration, it may be fitting to craft something of a bit of it as a memento. Maybe a gearshift knob. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small update for today.  Got a few things done over the weekend and during a few minutes after work, but overall light progress.  Would have had more photos, but camera batteries died.  Was able to complete and install the steering rack (Photo 1).  I have the steering  shaft in steel gray, but the restoration book says black.  I've seen others in "natural" finish as well, but will do some more research and figure out what is correct.  I'm guessing it should be black, like the book says.  Since this photo, I put on the restored clamps for the rubber dust shields on each end, and I have cleaned up the locking nuts and attached the new tie rods to the ends and then to the steering links attached to the spindle.  I found an original grease gun for the tool kit in England, and it's being shipped now, so I'll pump up the steering rack with the proper grease using the proper grease gun.  I'll then restore the grease gun and add it to the tool kit I'm trying to put together.

 

It will be too cold to paint for a while, so now working on the front hubs.  Will be taking out the old bearings and replacing them, then replacing the front brake rotors with new.  Restored brake calipers are ready to go on next, so hope to have this thing on two front wheels by Sunday evening, but we'll see.

 

100_4577.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we got about 2" of snow here in the northern VA area, which can only mean one thing...TOTAL PANIC AND COWARDICE.  Which means I didn't have to work today.  Headed off to the garage to catch up on the MGA.  I got a whole lot accomplished today, and did some this last weekend as well, but nothing is ever as easy as it seems, so everything took me extra time with a few mistakes throughout.

 

Started with the front hubs by knocking out the wheel bearings (Photo 1).  These were the original bearings and were in excellent condition, but I wouldn't feel comfortable reusing them, not having known what they've been through.  I will save them as backups just in case.  Here are the new bearings I got from Moss (Photo 2).  Here's one of the new rotors with one old one and old old hub unit (Photo 3).  The original rotors were heavily pitted and beyond saving.  I cleared up the hubs and they turned out fairly clean (Photo 4).  Here are the new bearings, all lined up and ready to go in (Photo 5).  Also cleaned up all the hardware for the hub assemblies, on the right (Photo 6).  I will usually zinc plate hardware that is in good condition with no pitting, but I will prime and paint hardware that has a little pitting, as the zinc won't stick to the pits and they start rusting with just a little humidity.  Once I install them, I usually touch them up, as torquing them down usually chips the paint.

 

Back to the crepe myrtle for painting part of the hubs (Photo 7).  I rust encapsulated them, primed, and painted, to keep them relatively clean and protected, rather than leaving them bare steel.  Of course, left the threads natural.  Here's a finished hub, ready to be bolted back together (Photo 8).  I threw the finished assemblies back on the car (Photo 9), but of course there many more steps, putting in the washer and castle nut, torquing to spec, then feeding a cotter pin through a small hole in the hub, then through the castle nut, securing the cotter pin, then putting in the grease seal that covers up the hole from the inside (Photo 10, hardware).  I had some challenges in that the passenger side hub was about 1 mm short of where it should have been in terms of being pressed onto the spindle assembly, so I had to take the cotter pin out again, which took my about 50 minutes.  Leaving it where it was resulted in the brake calipers and pad rubbing against the outside of the rotor, locking up the rotor from spinning.  Getting these out is almost impossible.  I did get it out, re-torqued the hub, replaced the cotter pin, and everything was fine.  I continued on and put the front Lockheed brake calipers on as well (Photo 11 & 12).

 

On Sunday, I was also able to loosely install the front and rear fuel lines as well as the front to rear brake line.  Next, I have to buy new brake hoses for the front, probably before I put the wheels on.  The chassis is really starting to come together, but I still have much more to do before the chassis is complete.

 

-Chris

100_4582.JPG

100_4583.JPG

100_4584.JPG

100_4585.JPG

100_4586.JPG

100_4587.JPG

100_4589.JPG

100_4598.JPG

100_4600.JPG

100_4601.JPG

100_4603.JPG

100_4604.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that really looks sharp!!  I'm getting ready to place a big order with Moss that should cover the engine and gearbox rebuild along with a bunch of suspension stuff.  I can't wait to get where you are!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick update for today.  Basic rolling chassis is complete.  Next phase is to complete the full chassis, which means frame extension, the rest of the fuel and brake pipes, wiring harness, floorboards, horn, and other misc items.  Will probably shuffle things around in the garage and start on the body, then maybe get the engine out for review and rebuilding about 1/2 way through the body work.  Hard to get any painting done, as weather is still freezing with highs only around 50 at best each day.  Global warming is taking 2018 off, evidently.

 

-Chris

100_4607.JPG

100_4608.JPG

100_4609.JPG

100_4610.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worst winter ever.  Spring should be starting here tomorrow, but hasn't stopped my from working on the MGA in the mean time.  Started working on the ancillary chassis parts such as the wiring harness, rest of the brake pipes, the battery wire, the chassis extensions, and all the clips and hardware.  Here's the brake pipe switch and proportioner before restoring the pieces (Photo 3).  Nice to work on the brass brake fittings.  Here's most of the finished product, going on the car (Photo 5).

 

I found an original oil pump on English ebay, bought it, then restored it (Photo 4).  It's not quite the original color, but as close as I could get.  I then used it to oil my steering rack, which was its original intent.

 

I'm going to replace all the wiring, as the originals are quite torn up.  Lining up the old with the new to ensure everything is right and that I can line up the clips (Photo 6).

 

I blasted the front extension pieces, so here's before and after (Photos 1 & 2).  Took a long time with the clogmaster 2000 sandblaster.  I did buy some new media and that helped it quite a bit.  Too much moisture I guess in the older, recycled stuff I sweep up later.  Still beats paying someone else to do it.

 

Refinished the spare tire hold down (Photo 7). 

 

Here's the front frame extension more or less on the car (Photo 8).

 

Also installed new front brake hoses.  Was able to salvage the original hardware, but had to replace the hoses.  Was also able to clip off the original yellow tags and put them on the new hoses to make them look more original (Photo 9).

 

I still have a lot of hardware to finish, like the front bumper mounting hardware, plus some more of the battery cable/wiring harness clips.  I've started  to search out engine and transmission shops, as that will be next, before I do the body.  I think both need professional attention, although I've been restoring the outside engine attachments as I go.  Should have the engine and/or trans to a shop in about 2 months, I think.

100_4624.thumb.JPG.fb9d5375d414cd6f57d0b1355070721a.JPG100_4625.thumb.JPG.8db2e267eb6ecde0efe3918ab54b39af.JPG

100_4615 (1).JPG

100_4617.JPG

100_4618.JPG

100_4623.JPG

100_4626.JPG

100_4630.JPG

100_4631.JPG

Edited by hursst (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, hursst said:

Too much moisture I guess in the older, recycled stuff I sweep up later.

The sweepings probably contain particles that are coarser (bigger) than the clogmaster is designed for. If you sieved it to the size it requires, it might work better, as it does with new media.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now