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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - A post rust

How structural is this area? I started looking into this area and lumps of filler + paint just fell out. Afore mentioned filler had respray blue paint on it so it must have passed MOT for the last decade or so.
Quotes for the a post repair are around 400-500 depending on how far the rust goes. Does this sound about right?

BH Harvey

And on the drivers side.

BH Harvey

Well, yes it is definitely structural! It really depends how extensive the damage is - you would need to do a lot more poking and investigating to establish how much further the rot extends. It looks like you could well need new sills, although it might be possible to patch them if the rusting is localised. The problem is though, that if this area is in that state, then other rust-prone areas could also have suffered badly so you need to start with doing a full methodical assessment of the whole car.
Guy

I don't want to be a prophet of doom here but by the looks of the condtion of those A posts I would be amazed if the rot doesn't extend beyond those areas. As Guy says, the sills must be affected and in fact that can be seen in your photos as the base of the A posts. I would suggest getting a magnet out and using it in various areas on your car to see if it sticks. You'll have an idea of how much filler there is then. The Lindsay Porter book on restoring midgets woud be a useful reference for you. The pic shows what could lie underneath.

Neil K

Go on Neil - show him an "after" photo as well.

Anything is repairable, even when they are a good deal worse than in Neil's photo. It just comes down to time, money, inclination and perseverance.
But it is critical to know what you are letting yourself in for before you start!
Guy

Oh, alright then!

Neil K

And this is what it looked like before I started.
Judge for yourself how bad yours will be.

Neil K

Oh, forgot to mention, you might find something like this too behind the wing. See if you can work out what it is!!!

Neil K

That would be the wooden part of the chassis?

A
Anthony Cutler

WOW - now I feel way more positive - I thought mine was the worst ever .....!!!!

The price is about right, and yes, it is structural! However, you are almost certainly going to need the sills sorted out - and probably either a new floor pan, or the 3" strip to go along it.

Sorry to be the prophet of doom - I know exactly how you are probably feeling - but it can be fixed - I would advise cutting out and replacing anything you can over just trying to weld it in though - it is almost certainly going to work out about the same price (especially if you're paying for the welding) and, at least you'll know that, properly done and looked after, it's going to last way way way longer - and be more structually secure.
rachmacb

here is what can lie beneath bondo. Before we started scraping, there was just a little hole at the bottom of the A post where the bondo had cracked away. I thought it would be a small bit of metal work to put right. It turned out otherwise.

Norm Kerr

step two, cut away all of the rotted metal (keeping what little is left in proper alignment)...

Norm Kerr

As I said, ANYTHING is repairable!

Just treat it as an excuse to buy a MIG and learn to weld.

Guy

Guy

step three, put it all back, and it is beautiful!

yes, this is the same body (half way through the body work I stripped it down to the bare tub)

Norm

Norm Kerr

yikes! and I thought my shell was bad! I do agree anything is repairable, however I have yet to put this wisdom into practice!

The only wood I have found as yet was the wooden bushes that had been fashioned in order to hold the steering columin in alignment!

Malcolm
M Le Chevalier

The fact is that on components like the sills, whether there is a relatively small amount of rusting or they have virtually disappeared completely - the only satisfactory solution is to fit a full replacement panel as patching rarely works for long. So a severely rusted out shell may not actually need a great deal more work than one which doesn't look too bad at all with only a few rusted areas, especially as this may be cunningly hidden by large quantities of bondo (or wood, straw, papier mache, concrete ....).

That's what I keep telling myself!
Guy

aye, replacing a panel is replacing a panel. If it is rusted to b*ggery it might even be easier as it tends to fall apart a lot easier! On the other hand tho, you may end up cutting away half the car to find a good panel to weld anything to!

Malcolm
M Le Chevalier

You're in good company Guy - I keep telling myself that too ...... and praying that I'm still going to make it to Midget50 ;)
rachmacb

I wish I hadden't asked now! Not replacing the sills as a whole is probably false economy but its just too expensive. I have two heritage a post repair panels, are these fairly easy to weld in?
How could such a tiny rust hole turn into the cars value in welding?

BH Harvey

Is that the same car? Doesn't look half as bad - Probably even recoverable without tampering with the sill itself with some careful work, although it still depends how far the rusting spreads. But the sill doesn't look too bad at all in that shot.

Welding itself doesn't take that long. You might find that you can keep the cost down by doing all the preparation, cleaning up, cutting out the rot and shaping / positioning the repair panels yourself. Get the welding done and then continue with finishing off, seam sealing and painting it yourself. This could be worthwhile on a localised repair but you would need to agree this process with your garage first.
Guy

I have agreed to do all of the finishing work myself, but decided that as I have no experience with welding it would probably save time and hassle if the preperation was done by a professional. This brings the cost into the 300-400 range.
The sills do have holes at either end but they aren't too serious.
This side is worse, most of it was filler. I wish I had left it alone now.

BH Harvey

No you don't wish you had left it alone. This is the strength of the car. Your safety depends on it. Do it properly.

I had never welded anything, but faced with a rusty MG I bought and learned to use a cheap MIG welder and what-do-you-know, I built the car from the ground up all by myself. It's not difficult. You just need to be methodical and have patience.
Mike Howlett

Looking through the cars history I found that the floors and sills were replaced in the 90's. However why someone would pay hundreds for new sills and then fill the a posts with bondo is beyond me.
How much work is finishing this of? is it just a case of grinding down the welds, smoothing and levelling with filler and painting?
BH Harvey

LOL - if it makes you feel any better, mine had new sills mid-90s as well, and then put those stupid ruddy stainless steel covers on it - so, that killed them off!

Having said that, the way I throw the car around, it's probably safer having done it - so no, it's not something that you could have just left and not touched - just convince yourself it will all be worth it in the end :)

The ones from the MGBhive are pretty cheap and of good quality - and their service is excellent, so worth a look and that might hopefully keep your costs down a bit. If the floors were done - at least you should be able to find something good close by to weld on to.
rachmacb

These cars always had rust-traps. Even from new, if they weren't cared for with waxoyl or similar treatment, they would start to rust after only a few years old - or just months even! In this respect they were fairly typical of most cars of the era.- in the 1970's it was very common to see most cars more than 3 years old with rust showing around wheel arches and lower door panels. Something you just don't see on the roads these days. Reputedly, the quality of the steel used also varied over the years and I certainly remember stacks of pre-rusted steel pressings stacked at the Cowley plant in the mid '60s.

So my point is that for a car fitted with new sills in the 1990's it is not at all surprising that it is showing sign of structural rusting again by now. My 1971 car was completely rusted out and destined as a scrap parts donor when I got it in 1989, so was only 18 years old. I rebuilt it around 1994 - 1998, but it is now well over twice the age that it was when originally condemned, so in some respects it is living on borrowed time these days.
Guy

Here's a picture of my now finished worse side - just to show you can be done :)

rachmacb

Where's the jacking point gone Rach ?
Guy

Lol there is none now ;)

Wait til Midget50 .......!
rachmacb

And don't tell my dad ;)
rachmacb

They are tidier without - and much more streamlined so you have no excuse for the autotest. Unless you think you can blame the extra weight. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend anyone ever to use those jacking points. Much safer and less damaging with a trolley jack, or a scissor or bottle jack under the car.
Guy

I agree completely you need to be safe when it comes to structural areas of the midget. As its rigidity depends on all areas being sound! At least once the work has been done properly if treated with waxoil and look after you will be driving around in your midget for many years still to come.
C Carter

This thread was discussed between 03/04/2011 and 07/04/2011

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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