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I've been putting the door back on the car for 3 days now. :(   I had a devil of a time with the door latch mechanism.  It would work correctly out of the door and mostly work in the door, but when everything was buttoned up and the handle attached... it failed to open the door.   It took me nearly 4 hours to find that part of the release mechanism the the handle used was adjustable and the bolt had wiggle its way loose so it was moving a little back and forth (in the adjustment range) instead of opening the door.  It seemed the slight additional pressure in the door caused it to slide to one limit of its adjustment.  At that limit it was too far away to have enough travel to open the door.  Each time I was taking the mechanism back out (and that procedure isn't that quick) it was sliding back to the other extreme and the would function fine. 

Once though that hurdle I thought it would be pretty much all downhill from there.  In a way... it was.  Downhill to disaster.  The window lift mechanism broke.  This mechanism broke about 2 months ago and I replaced it so it is brand new and a Mercedes replacement part.  Unfortunately one of the arms has bent so it doesn't raise evenly.  The arm is stamped out of sketchy thin sheet metal.  The old mechanism was a much heavier gauge.  I pretty steamed at this point.  I've taken the mechanism on and off 4 times and it goes on with 6 rivets so each time it means using a cold chisel to shear them off, remove, tweak, replace and new rivets.  I'm headed to the junkyard tomorrow to see if I can find an older mechanism that a POS.   The second day was spent painting the door handle because OF COURSE it had a big scratch on it that didn't show up in the pictures so I didn't know I needed it when painting the door (the car lives 30 miles away so it wasn't available for inspection before I started).  

One final note of misery, Mercedes no longer carries the pinstripe for the car.  I might find one to match but I probably will have to take the pinstripes off and then put new ones on.   Might as well buff the whole car at that time right??  Oh yeah, there's a rust spot on the right side fender so maybe I should take that off and paint it.  There's a lot of paint chips as well so maybe I'll just strip the whole car down and paint it.  The check engine light it on as well so I probably should rebuild the engine. :(  I guess since it is a 1998 it is an antique because IT SURE IS BEHAVING LIKE ONE.!!!!  Touch one thing and next thing you know it is a frame off restoration. ;) 

 

 

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At least old cars were built by humans not robots!

Modern cars are becoming like white goods, instead of repairing them they are thrown away and you buy a new one.

No thought is given in the design to the poor bloke who try's to repair modern cars.

Even small accident damage to modern cars seems to make them an insurance right off.

I started Jaymic in 1973 as an 'accident repair centre', since I retired, the guys that took over now only do bodywork restoration work on classic BMW's.

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Well with all the issues you've been having with the door.  I would get the window and handle to work well, get some pin stripe from the local auto parts store and put it on call it good.  Besides you have a MG that needs restoring. No sense having two restorations going on at the same time. ;)

The upside is the door came out great and gave you some paint experience.  

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Better progress today.  When I got the replacement door from the junkyard the window was down and it was taped over with clear plastic.  I assumed that the window mechanism was probably broken.  As it turns out only the motor was broken and I was able to swap the 20 year old mechanism for the brand new one and it worked great.   Very obvious difference in the gauge of the material as well as the depth of the stamp.  With the window working I was able to get the rest of the door (and there is fair amount of stuff in there) done and buttoned up. I happy with how it turned out and with a new pinstripe it should look perfect.  While it did take me forever to get the door painted, I'm very happy that the finish is flawless.  I'm also impressed that the color matches as well as it does.   I'll probably buff the whole car this weekend and I'll need to figure out something to do with the right front fender but that'll be another day.   This detour, finally, is coming to an end!

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Awesome project and love to see it done together by family!

 

i just helped a friend of mine purchase TWO 1951 TD’s from the same woman that I purchased my ‘27 Buick from.  Both the TD’s and my Buick had been sitting in her garage untouched since December 2004 when her husband who owned the cars passed away. 

 

All tbe cars cars needed the typical fluids changed, thorough inspection of everything, and fuel system overhaul!

 

i don’t have many good pictures of the TD’s but thought you might like to see them., these are as we found them when they were being loaded on the rollback to take them to my friend’s house.

 

 

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They were fully restored inside and out prior to the prev owner passing.   Both had an a lot of spare parts including side curtains and an extra interior kit one the red one w black interior.

 

i love the cream colored one.....nearly bought it myself and I honestly should have at the price he purchased them at!

 

Here is a preview shot of how clean they actually were once he washed them and hit the chrome with some “Quick Glo”..... amazing stuff!

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10 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

They look in 'good nick'.

 

Jeff, I have been missing your posts recently. I hope you will be posting some more reports soon.

 

Mike

 

Yesterday afternoon I moved the MG back into the shop.  My daughter's car has been in there all this time!  I ended up fixing the other various dings (blending paint is so much easier than I thought!!) and the car had a fairly long list of mechanical issues that needed sorting so it has taken a lot of time.  Those are done for now so I should be back on the MG by this weekend!   In addition... the MG was parked in the garage attached to the house where my daily driver is normally parked... thus all this time I've had to brave the elements and go <gasp> outside <gasp> to get in my cold car to drive to work!   It was nice to get into a warm car this morning. :)

 

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I know I'm older than you are Jeff and I've never had a garage to park a car in... on the worst day this winter when the temperature was about zero, I had to pour boiling water over the driver's door to get it open.

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8 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I know I'm older than you are Jeff and I've never had a garage to park a car in... on the worst day this winter when the temperature was about zero, I had to pour boiling water over the driver's door to get it open.

 

Yep, never even thought about it when I didn't have a garage.  For the last 10 or so I've had one and once you start parking in one, you get spoiled and I am very spoiled. :)

 

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10 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

And I thought garages were for storing your 'bog boy's toys' in and for working on projects!

Out here a lot of people just use them as an overflow of personal belongings and leave their cars out in the heat all day.

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It has been so long since I worked on the MG, I forgot what I was doing and started taking it apart... ;)

 

I've taken all the chrome off and will sort out what needs to be plated.  Costs in my area seems pretty high and turn around time seems a little long.  I'll probably buy some repro parts and see how they compare.  If the quality is good I'll keep them, otherwise I'll send them back and get what I have plated.  I now realize I should have done this a couple of months ago.  You live and you learn!   After I get the chrome in process I will start bodywork.  One door needs some attention, the scuttle has some issues and the passenger's lower quarter has some problems.  There are a couple of dents I'll pop out next and then take everything apart, 80 grit scratches and epoxy primer.  From there it will be final bodywork and then paint.

 

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Thanks Chris. I've always liked green on an MG.  I believe they call it Woodland Green.    I'll be looking for something between the two attached pictures.  Something not as "bright green" as the first picture but maybe not quite as dark as the second.Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 8.47.06 PM.png928145669_ScreenShot2019-03-25at8_51_35PM.thumb.png.16c5ba602733a9c2c8c2c877ec67fc28.png

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Charles Jarrott tells how green came to be the Britsh racing color. Jarrott wrote one of the best early books on motor racing - Ten Years of Motors and Motor Racing, 1896-1906. Supposedly, he was to drive a British car in one of the early races. (It may have been the Irish Gordon Bennet Cup race in 1903 - his car is still extant). The car drew number 13 - which horrified the superstitious so, in order to counteract their fears, they painted it green - supposedly a lucky color. Jarrott retired from racing in 1906 because he thought it was becoming too commercial and was no longer a sport for gentlemen.

 

I intend to paint the Mitchell a very dark green.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Took the windshield apart and added the pieces the the pile that "must be plated".  Found out that both the wiper motors I have are non-functional so that'll be something else to look at. 

Started working on the door.  It had some rot in the wood along the bottom and I figured that probably needed to be replaced.  After peeling things back to take a closer look it was obvious that the whole thing needed replacing.  In addition I'll need to remove the entire panel from the wood frame and treat the panel for rust and prime it before putting it back around the frame.   The construction of the panel seems to be three parts.  First a wood frame, second there is a steel frame of sorts that is nailed/screwed to the wood frame.  The third piece is the door skin which is folded over the wood frame at the top and the steel frame along the sides and bottom.  Makes for a nice strong structure and not a fun task of taking apart.   Hopefully I can get it all done without deforming the panel.

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Jeff, look at the bright side, your wood is good enough for patterns and wood is always available. Try and remove in the largest pieces you can and often there is a sequence to how the wood was assembled. The joints add a lot of strength so try to duplicate what was done. Today we have excellent glues so gluing and screwing will make a rock solid frame that won’t come apart in your or the next guys lifetime.

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Yeah, you guys are on the right track.  While the top of that piece was rotted out the rest of it was fine, well.. at least fine enough that it will serve as a good pattern.  It does have a compound curve but I don't think I'll have much issue cutting it.   The joinery is just half laps so no complications there.  I'm sure I'll make a couple before I'm really pleased with one but I don't see that taking much time at all.  Now to find some Ash...

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6 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

Jeff, It looks as is you can buy the separate sections of wood for the framing already machined!?! see https://www.angloparts.com/en/catalogues/group/796/mgtd-tf-mg-td-ash-frame

 

 

 

Yep, Moss sells each piece by itself as well.  I think they want $55 for the lower door frame.  That seems a little high to me right now... we shall see how I feel after I try to duplicate the part. :)

 

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What you guys won't know, unless you've seen photos of his Metz restoration, is that Jeff is an accomplished woodworker. I suspect that, while a headache, those repairs are well within his skills.

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I didn't have much luck getting a suitable piece of ash to make the replacement.  I did have a nice piece of hard maple left over from a project 15 years ago.  To get the required thickness (the piece isn't that thick but it is curved) I needed to laminate three boards.  I glued that up a couple of days ago and shot the door skin with some epoxy primer.  The curve in the lower frame member is compound but as long as you cut the outside curve first you're ok.  I made the cuts on the bandsaw and then test fit in the frame.  I used polyurethane glue this time because it is good for soaking into the older wood and dries water proof.  As a rule I don't like or use the polyurethane glue but it is certainly the correct glue for this application.  It is ridiculously strong but super messy and stains your skin. The frame finished very solid and I slid it back in the door skin, folded the edges over and nailed it down.  While I think the other door is fine, after taking this one apart and seeing the surface rust behind the wood, I'll be doing the same thing to the other door. 

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

Now you can see why, when I get to building a body for the Mitchell, I'm going to be leaning heavily on Jeff for advice!

 

Don't worry Joe, you have so much credit here at my shop, you'll never get a bill. :)

 

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As experience with the first door suggested... the other door had hidden issues.  While not as bad it does require some attention.  The plan is to cut out the bottom section on the vertical piece and replace about half of the bottom of the horizontal piece.   I glued up a little extra hard maple expecting to need more than one attempt to get the other one fixed so I have some of that on hand.   Door skin did need some attention and will benefit from getting epoxy... that will need to wait though as we've had a burst of cooler weather.  I should be able to get this done sometime next week and be ready to move on to bigger tasks by next weekend.  Didn't really do that much this weekend but it was productive.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow... a month has gone by!  I'm close to getting the house ready for summer and will be back on the MG pretty soon.   I need to replace all our shutters (we've got the real shutters that swing out from the house on hinges) and once that's done then I'll be back in the shop.

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29 minutes ago, Luv2Wrench said:

Wow... a month has gone by!  I'm close to getting the house ready for summer

I feel your pain. Still have things to get done before the real heat starts and the monsoon season.  I've come up with an idea so I can work on the car without feeling like an ant under a magnifying glass.  We may be back on our projects around the same time. ;)

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I have never thought about it before, until I read the last two posts. With our changeable weather in North Norfolk in the UK, we don't get many extremes of weather. I can work, or should that be 'play', in my garage 365 days a year.  Jeff, I hope you are back on the MG soon as I have missed reading your interesting posts.

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So another "no" update... the house work is mostly done and while I'm clear to get back on the MG... I'm now out of town for most of June.   That's the bad news, the good news is that I'm with my son as he plays in his last few big junior golf tournament before heading off to college next year.  We're having a great time and, as he the last one out of the nest, I fully realize that there will never be another time like this so I'm throughly enjoying it.   I miss the MG and I miss you guys but I'll be back in 3 weeks. :)

 

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