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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Bodywork

Extreme bodywork


Guy W

And after, or at least part way through. Need to finish off the welding of this panel tomorrow

Guy W

That looks top shelf professional

great job

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Nice indeed.

How did you make all those spot welds? I can't see how you could get your tool to both sides.

What are those copper rods protruding at intervals? Are they just for locating whilst you spotted?
Lawrence Slater

I think what you are seeing as spot welds are the holes prepared for plug welding with the MIG. My spot welder wouldn't reach to those positions, even with the long arms that I made for it(see photo of my spot welder on other thread). That particular panel will be plug welded first, and then I will run along the edges to seam weld and keep the moisture from penetrating between the overlaps.

The "copper rods" are temporary fasteners. Called Cleco or Aircraft panel fasteners - they are very useful. They fasten and release from one side only needing a 3mm hole which is then filled with weld later.

Following my low-cost restoration theme, the sloping panel with the three flutes down it is a DIY shaped one made from a free piece out of a scrap steel skip.

And the boot floor panel is a 20 e-bay purchase because it was bent but that was easy to correct. It is actually slightly wrong for a Frog but not different enough to worry about. The Frog shouldn't have the spare wheel hold down. I may remove it to give a flat floor, or may leave it as it adds some stiffening.
Guy W

Looks excellent Guy!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Guy, even nicer indeed then. I'll have a look for those panel fastners, they look very useful.

As for that diy panel, you'd never know. How did you make the flutes? They look factory made.

Very pucker job that. Award yourself a CDM. :)
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, the flutes on that panel were shaped around a length of steel bar. Straight folds done between two lengths of angle iron held in a vice and G-clamps. Curved flanges started in a vice and then dressed around a variety of dollies. I also made a leather bag filled with sand for curving panels. It is surprising what shapes one can actually achieve just using hand tools.

I quite like making the small repair patches. Start with a piece of cardboard which is easy to snip and shape to make a template. Here's one that might be of interest to you:

Guy W


That is a homemade panal???

Now your just showing off...sure, rub it In how great you really are....hahaha

seriously...I am impressed, I would have never known you made that panal yourself...its really a good job, I wish you had made a youtube video, because id like to have seen that

Prop and the Blackhole Midget


That looks neat and IIRC is the door hinge area reinforcement. I can remember making all my own back in about 1985 and it is satisfying if a bit fiddly and then no one sees all the work after you've skinned the A post. I bought my frog for 50 back in 1984 and later realised just how good many bit were for the price. For instance all I had to do in the boot area was the back edge and vertical corners.

I did put a new boot floor in a mates 1500, it was a frogeye floor as Moss in Bristol said they didn't have any 1500 floors but the guy thought the frogeye one would fit and it did fine. It was plug welded and the front edge just seam welded right the way across.
David Billington

Yup, could you pop it in the post to me Guy?. I'll be starting my a-post bottom hinge plate repairs quite soon, and that would be very handy. lol. But very useful picture anyway. Ta very much.

I agree, sand is very useful, but I've never managed to get such a perfect looking result. Congrat's.

I'll be making use of carboard soon too. Rather than buying new bits, I'm going to make the things I need. Bottom of front wings for example -- below side lights. I've spoken to several repair panel people recently, and they all say that if I send them a pattern they'll give me a price to make them in quantity. So I thought I should repair mine and see if I can make a repair patch good enough to send off for duplication. Might be able to supply those that want them.

Likewise bottom of doors. I know you can buy repair panels for those, but I've decided to fabricate/repair rather than replace with shop bought items. I almost bought a very very good rust free door and bootlid recently. Even the same colour as the midget (damask). I wasn't happy about the price of the postage though, or the method of payment, so I'm quite glad the bloke sold them to someone else, as it forces me to use my brain instead of someone elses.

Pity you're not closer, I'd like to see your frog take shape. Instead, as Prop says, post a vid or three, and a series of pics.
Lawrence Slater


careful on the bottom of door skins

thats a tricky area....on my drivers door I had it reskinned by a pro when I got the car due to a.huge dent and hole dead center middle of the door

because of the shape of the door structure the skin wants to pull agianst and it dosnt want to shut well... but the bad part is the bottom of the door sort of "wings" out, ive messed with it over the years and its not noticeable to others except just to me...some day I will get another door and be done with it, but its a low priority issue that I can easily live with

im just saying...ive been there and sort have done that...and jusg saying, it could become an issue if you dont think it thur

I can loan you my tee-shirt if needed

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

The Frog is an EXTREMELY slow project! I have sessions on it interspersed between periods of many months when it just gets ignored! I did a lot of building renovation work on my daughters (2) houses (2) over the last couple of years so progress on Rusty was even slower than usual.
That hinge repair bit was just for Lawrence as I knew he has a similar repair needed. And as I said, I like making little pieces like that. Photo here now is of it in position but not at that time welded (which is where the messy bit comes in!)

No one has commented - or perhaps not noticed - where the raggedy end of the boot is showing up in that second photo! Somehow I am going to have to relocate it I think! That bit of this rebuild is rather daunting at the moment.

Guy W

what ??? there was a ragged rusted edge....are you sure ....hahah

I saw it, I just assumed you had it in the que to be replaced and it was.waiting its turn

im certianly not worried... with the work you have done...there is no doulbt it will be done top shelf quality

im looking forward to it being a youtube video

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Guy. The first picture you posted was daunting. If they find Spitfires in watery crates in that shape, they'll give up and go home.

I was looking at the ragged edge, I can't quite visualise the whole thing and where is joins.

Thanks for the a-post pic, I've saved it in my library.
Lawrence Slater

Guy. There's the tail end of a ghost 60's cafe racer motorbike in your frog. Looks like it drove right into your new door hinge plate. :)

Lawrence Slater

OOOOh! That must be good stuff you're smoking Lawrence. LOL.
b higginson

I think it was the red wine!
Dave O'Neill2

What? You mean you don't see it?

Rorschach test.

What do you see here then? Can't you see that Chevvy Camaro? lol

Lawrence Slater

featherbed frame no engine

he he

Guy as ever you have made a great job of that

I'd rather make a panel repair if I can which was why I made (and remade ten years later) the lower rear back panel on Lara

Would have cost a bomb to buy the whole shooting match

Wouldnt have been as much fun either, I like to beat aginst a tyre that is off the rim, gives me a similar "bounce" as to leather sand bag

Bill - are you on the right site?
Gavin Rowles

You must be an old biker Bill. :)

Beat on rubber huh? Sounds like a good suggestion, I'll try it.

I never thought to employ that technique to 'car' body panels as well lol.
Lawrence Slater

Gav can you honestly say you DONT see it?

Must NOT be an old biker

I take it we both see the same bike Lawrence :)

I also use a triple layer of old carpet down on the floor, gently banging the steel against that allows a gentle curve to be laid into a sheet of steel that will curve around and was what I used to form most of this.

Tacked and spotted before closing in.

Not as tidy as the first iteration but this was about to be Holts Metalliced to finish the fairing in. I only use Alumimium based fillers.

Sorry Lawrence - no bikes :)


Yes I could see the bike. Or at least the back wheel and rear of the cafe racer seat.
But not till Lawrence pointed it out!

Must admit I struggled a bit with the featherbed frame though . . . . at least until I realised it was fitted with those Triton engine brackets !

Nice welding job that Bill. I also need to fettle up the rear valance, once I manage to reunite the rear deck and wings to their rightful place.
Guy W

"until I realised it was fitted with those Triton engine brackets"

You're an old biker then Guy?

To my brothers (and his mates ) disgust, when Tritons were king, I was riding an SX200 and had spikey hair. lol. My firt ton was on the back of one of my brothers mates Triton. London to Brighton and back.

Well I've got some nice carpet and an old tyre, so I'll experiment.

You sould leave the bike there Guy. Varnish it to preserve it. lol.

Lawrence Slater

I made a new base for the battery tray some months ago. But the problem with working slowly in a cold damp climate is that untreated panels go rusty. So I left it in a bucket of a phosphoric acid solution for a while. Half done:

Guy W

And then submerged again for the other half:

Guy W

What else will that stuff strip Guy?
Lawrence Slater

Don't know. It eats rust. That one bucket full has cleaned loads of pieces. It leaves a surface almost as if it has been galvanised.
Guy W

Christian was suggesting cola as a carbon stripper too, this must be why.

1. Phosphoric acid is a clear, colorless, odorless liquid with a syrupy consistency.
2. Phosphoric acid is used as an acidifying agent to give colas their tangy flavor.
3. Due to the use of phosphoric acid, cola is a actually more acid than lemon juice or vinegar. The vast amount of sugar acts to mask and balance the acidity.
4. Phosphoric acid also goes by E338, orthophosphoric acid, and phosphoric(V) acid.
5. Food-grade phosphoric acid is a mass-produced chemical, available cheaply and in large quantities.
6. Phosphoric acid is commonly used for rust removal.
7. Phosphorus-containing substances occur naturally (0.1%-0.5%) in foods such as milk, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, and egg yolks.
8. Phosphoric acid has been linked to lower bone density in some epidemiological studies, including a discussion in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
9. Opposing studies showed the opposite that *low* intake of phosphorus leads to lower bone density. Guess who funded the studies? PepsiCo.
10. Aside from the risk of osteoporosis, Cola consumption has also been linked to chronic kidney disease and kidney stones.
11. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer watchdog group not affiliated with the food industry, only a small fraction of the phosphate in the American diet comes from additives in soft drinks. Most comes from meat and dairy products. So your reason for not drinking Coke should be its sugar content and artificial food colorings, not the phosphoric acid.

Phosphoric acid may be used as a "rust converter", by direct application to rusted iron, steel tools, or surfaces. The phosphoric acid converts reddish-brown iron(III) oxide, Fe2O3 (rust) to black ferric phosphate, FePO4.
Lawrence Slater

Yes its well known that Coke will clean metals, specifically derusting iron and brightening "copper" coins. Molasses does the same.

Now, has anyone considered getting a body shell galvanised? What would be the issues, pros and cons of that?

Guy W

On the cons side, I'm told(I've read) that welding becomes hazardous, but that's disputed by others.

This is an interesting piece on the subject.

Of course, if you've galvanised the whole car, then future rust won't be a problem and thus there will be no need to weld anyway. This would be the balance on the Pros side.

Lawrence Slater

I know there are problems with welding fumes from Zinc.

I was meaning getting a full bodyshell galvanised.
Guy W

Yup I know Guy, and that was my point. I can't see any, other than the cost and practicality of how you get it done.

According to that pdf, welding galvanised isn't really the no no that it's often portrayed as being.

So have you been quoted?
Lawrence Slater


I think that if you're talking hot dip galvanising then there may be a significant risk of distortion of panels due to the heat. You also have to provide holes in enclosed members to allow for the inflow and draining of the zinc. You could enquire with a galvaniser and see what they think.
David Billington

Here you go.

In 2007, a Range Rover chassis being dipped. Cost 5-600 quid. How much today? Must be more.
Lawrence Slater

Its not the practicalities of getting it done. I have contact with a firm who send a batch of stuff off every 2 to 3 weeks for galvanising, so I could enquire about getting a body shell done at the same time. Sizes of what they are doing is similar to a Sprite so I would just need to ask about the cost that's all.

David: I could find out if the process is hot dipping, and what temperatures are used.

I was wondering if there were other significant issues. Weight? Finish - is it scaly? Do scales flake off? Compatibility with paints? Electrical earthing of components?

It just seems a bit odd that I don't think I have ever seen or heard of a Spridget shell being galvanised.
Guy W

Lawrence, Where did you get that price from? I don't see it on the video. Surprised to see that no one working that plant was even wearing a face mask
Guy W

He quotes it at the end.

You won't have any trouble with earting either, Zinc is a better conductor than Steel.

This is an interesting discusion too.
Lawrence Slater

Doh! Didn't realise there was a soundtrack!
Guy W

I said, "You won't have any trouble with earting either, -- " But you do have to be aware that copper and zinc react when damp/wet.
Lawrence Slater

Just watched again with sound on. 450 deg C. So yes that is quite hot. Would be OK for chassis thickness steel but thin body panels maybe not so good!

Maybe revert to plan A.

Guy W

What's plan A?

Hot zinc spray?
Lawrence Slater

Hot zinc spray as an alternative to hot dip.
Lawrence Slater

Plan A is what I have been doing for the past few years. Patching replacing panels with pieces dipped in my little bucket of phosphoric metal prep, stripping gunge with scrapers solvents, wire brushes, flap wheels, files paint stripper. Then spraying over with a light dust coat to keep further rust at bay. This to be followed when all of the repairs are done with blasting, acid etching and then a polyurethane primer.
Guy W

Or this.

Guy W

Yeah looks really good, but is it worth 1500 quid to do it?

I think maybe on a frog it is.
Lawrence Slater

Can someone with a Frog have a quick look down behind the seats and let me know about how the L shaped spring hanger reinforcing piece is finished off.

When I fitted mine it had pre-drilled bolt holes, 4 that secure to the plate under the floor and 4 on the vertical heelboard panel.
There weren't corresponding fixings on the triangular spring box piece so I measured it all up and added some captive nuts. This was so that when it was all assembled, everything lined up properly before I then welded the whole thing up as a single solid unit. - L shaped reinforcing, Heelboard, spring box, outer panel and the triangular floor/ shock mounting bracket.

The question is whether the original arrangement has bolt heads showing in these positions?

B bolts to Spring Plate - to remain
A bolts to Spring Box - remain or weld

I could remove the bolts at A and plug weld the holes to finish it off.

Guy W

And, if someone is looking for me, can you check if your car has this odd bracket circled in red at the bottom of this photo please.

I am not sure what the bracket is there for. Maybe it isn't original but relates to some aftermarket device fitted to my car at some stage? But if it is supposed to be there, then I need to make a new one (or two ??)

A measurement of the the position would be very helpful. How far from the floor is the top face of the bracket, and how far in from the inside of the B post panel.

Guy W

The bracket I think you refer to is a box shape held on by two screws. The box has the hole in the top.
Original fitment it recieves the hood frame when disassembled. The top screw would have had a rubber washer shielding it as a buffer.
Alan Anstead

Thanks Alan. That will be it then.

So one each side and positioned equidistant from the 2 B posts and determined by the width between the two ends of my hood frame tubes.

I have one of the brackets, saved as a pattern for making replacements. The originals were fixed with small round headed phillips screws.
Guy W

This is what I have to use as a pattern.
As can be seen, the lower part of it sort of disappears in a sort of frilly edge. (right hand side of photo). I doubt if the frilly edge is OEM but I am not sure if the lower face of the bracket is closed off with a flange, or should it just be open at the base. I've looked through the books and its a very strange thing but no one ever seems to photograph this sort of detail! Actually, TH does, except its hidden under the carpet so still cannot be seen.

Guy W


What should my 1960 Frog have by way of rear bump stop blocks? My later cars (1971 and 1978) both had square box pieces welded under the arch above the rear axle, with rubber buffers fixed to them. But the quarter elliptic axle has the rubber buffers fitted to the axle on the top of the turret pieces. I guess that the floor needs some reinforcing boxes or pads for these to nudge against. But my shell was so rusted there was nothing where one would expect to find these, so nothing to copy.

Guy W

The bottom edge is closed off. The frilly bit should return to the backplate. The idea is that the ends of hood frame sit in the bracket. The bracket is spaced as you suggest with the top of the hood frame just touching the underside of the rear shroud.In the case of the later spring loaded frame the frame should be in its retracted position. Its then retained with a leather strap.

On my previously unrestored Frog the rubber grommet Alan mentioned is screwed in about 1" above the bracket. Its aim is to stop rattles.

In your previous photo the bolts in B remain.there are no bolts in A
Bob Beaumont

Thanks Bob. That's progress then!

As you will have gathered, at least from the photos, this really is a resurrection from well beyond the grave on this bodyshell! Totally crazy but I actually enjoy this sort of thing at least as much as driving the end result! Most of the main structural elements are all done, sound and back together so I am beginning to look at these smaller details now.

Although I am procrastinating. I have the bonnet parts and the rear clip to both reassemble. Those are both a bit daunting! I wonder if I will ever get them to fit properly!
Guy W

All power to your elbow! I restored my Frog 3 years ago after 30 years of ownership. I was astounded by the level of rot in all the box sections/floor/wings/A and B posts and scuttle after the sand blaster had been to work! It was almost as bad as yours!

BTW there is a 1/8" thick plate welded to the floor just above the axle rebound pads at the top of the back axle arch. Its rectanular in shape just a little larger than the rubber pad on the axle
Bob Beaumont

Guy, your later cars should also have the rubber bump stops fitted to the axle!

That looks like a massive job you've taken on there. I'll no doubt be asking you for some advice when I start on my quarter elliptic car. I'm hoping it's not as bad though!
John Payne

"As you will have gathered, at least from the photos, this really is a resurrection from well beyond the grave "

Looking at the pictures Guy, I accuse you of typical British understatement.

My hat's off to you. You da man, as some on the other side of the water say. :)
Lawrence Slater

John, You are of course absolutely right. I did have to pop outside to check though. I was muddling it up with the fixing of the bump stops on the front. And to think the hours - probably weeks - I have spent looking at a Spridget rear suspension for one reason or another!

Thanks for the info Bob. If you mean the plates that go on the top, inside the car, then I measured up and made replacements when I cut the remains of the floor out.I have them in my indexed and cross referenced storage system ( NOT!) and had forgotten what they were for! I was thinking maybe there was something missing from the underside of the axle hump?

Having done major bodywork repairs on a number of cars I have come to the conclusion that there is a certain stage that they get to after which repairs must involve complete panel replacements. At this point it matters little how bad the rusting is, if the whole panel needs to be cut out. So there is not such a lot of difference between a car that may superficially look pretty good, and one as bad as this Frog. And the one that looks good, but actually still needs the same amount of work, probably costs a great deal more! The only extra problem of a severely rusted one is keeping everything properly jigged and measured when the bits you need to measure from aren't there any more!
Guy W


We could be confusing inside and outside! I meant the plates were on the underside at the top of the axle 'hump' ie the rubber bump stop hits them. I don't recall any on the inside. But can't confirm this.

Bob Beaumont

The plates I have made up, copied from the rusted remains I had, were definitely on the upper surface. But not 1/8" thick plate. They are 20, maybe 18gauge steel rectangles with two edges just upturned slightly to stiffen them. Maybe it should have thicker plates on the underside as well. I guess it wouldn't do any harm!
Guy W

Bob, You didn't use to work for Holemasters did you?
Guy W

That sounds like them!! I may have gone a bit overboard on the thickness but I don't think its too much of a problem given the location!
Bob Beaumont


I recall those plate that the bump stop hits and I think they were about 18swg and as you say the front and back edges are bent up. Above them inside the box member that goes over the hump I recall an 1/8" thick channel section strengthener.
David Billington

""""Bob, You didn't use to work for Holemasters did you?"""

please for the love if god...tell me there Is an actual company called ""HOLE MASTER ""

if there done as a house painter

I want to work there...I dont know nor care what they do...but I want a uniform that says HOLE MASTER...Not to mention, id tell everyone.... im a professional Hole master

oh god...that is just to funny, im finding it hard to stop laughing....what a great business name

Hole master jeff, at your may I be of service to you Mrs. chokesondick???

Prop and the Blackhole Midget


Just for you !

Not sure if there recruiting just now but give them a try !

richard boobier

Ha ha! Not caught up on the whole thread here, but instead of hole master, Prop, why not work for a company I have heard about recently... ball grab!

They have unfortunately had a re-brand to 1st subsea, but still retain the ball grab product/name.

Malcolm Le Chevalier

oh that is just to rich...truly hump day

I like holemasters intro....some of there staff is qualified for deep confined spaces

hahaha...OMG, does anyone ever read this stuff before publishing

ball grabbers are a good name.also

reminds me of a joke....

I was. doing this chick, and a noise at.the front door, the lady says, its my husband, quick! use the back hind sight, I should have left when I had the chance, but how often do you ever get such an offer like that

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

I just sent holemasters an email asking if they sell T shirts with name and logo printed

im hoping they do, ill let you know, when I hear back from them

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

!!!! Prop!
The question to Bob was a serious one. Well as serious as it is possible to be with you around! In certain specialist services, Holemasters is a well known and quality company. Slightly obscure work perhaps but not along the lines that you immediately thought about! And there was a Bob Beaumont who worked for them, although he didn't live in London when I knew him. And no, Prop, I am not going to tell you what I employed Holemasters to do for me!

Now, where was I. Oh yes, bending little bits of metal into intricate shapes. I think I will make these hood storage brackets from a bit of stainless. Paint will just chip off them anyway and then they will rust and look shabby otherwise.
Guy W


Sorry not the same Bob, Great idea to make the brackets out of stainless. They do take a bit of bashing.
Bob Beaumont

Depending on whether you are into originality or practicality but later Spridgets are different to Frogs at the rear spring hanger / floor. Later cars have open boxes to the inside of the spring hanger and a hole to the outside box alongside the spring hanger. These later mods are incorporated in the floor of my Brian Wheeler Sebring Sprite tub (see and are good in that you can monitor corrosion and waxoyl and see where the waxoyl goes. I have restored cars using rear spring towers thaat were supplied with captivated nuts as per you are doing.
It might help. John Clark & I restored his bonnet using a mix of poorly shaped remanufactered panels and homemade and then some lead loading (our first attempt). Our twin Club Amicale Spridget www, featured the build on their webside (captioned in English). To view you have to scroll down and hit suite (continue) to view.
I cant help with your request because my Frog that I have owned for 44yrs has had work done that I cannot guarantee is 'original'.
Alan Anstead

Bump stop reinforcing plate - I have now unravelled how it is supposed to be. I had relied on my memory - never a good start! But I do have a lot of photos and zooming in on some I find that the remains of the rectangular reinforcing plate was indeed on the underside surface of the floor hump. Just as Bob said. Sorry Bob, you were quite right. My only excuse is that I have been working with a rotisserie for so long and as it kept getting rotated it was easy to forget which way up I was (let alone the car!).

Alan, no I am not especially into originality other than as much as I want this car to retain the feel and behaviour of a standard car so that it is different to drive than my other Sprite. Bought as an abandoned project, it came with the later type floor panels part fitted, which I removed, adapted and refitted with the quarter elliptic spring hangers.

So the result is that the cavity that the spring inserts into is sealed from the car interior and from the rear bulkhead box section. The only opening is where the spring goes in. I believe that at one time large rubber sealing "grommets" were available to keep road dirt out but I suspect that they don't exist any more. Having used the later style floor I now have the large and small access holes that open into the bottom of the heelboard box section to allow air to circulate and waxoyl to be applied.

Thanks for the help, links and advice.
Guy W

Still finishing off the little bits. So here's the latest little job. A 10 minute job made out of a recycled bit of panel so it was free. Better than buying the Moss part!

Guy W

What bit is that Guy? I'm not too familiar with frog bits.
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, LOL! there are two such pieces on each of you cars, you need to look under the bonnet more often! Maybe a scale is needed as it does look larger in the close up photo than it is? The straight edge is about 3 1/2".

Not very exciting, but a lot of individual bits on these cars is pretty basic.

Guy W

Having nearly finished the welding of the main tub I have now decided that after all, the scuttle and firewall is in too poor a state. The scuttle top had several holes that I had started to weld over. But looking up from underneath the backside of the joint to the firewall was all eaten away and really beyond the sort of patch welding I had started on. Anyway, decision made and I am going to replace the whole unit with new. And this one I am not going to attempt to make. Its going to be hard enough to align it all properly as it is!

Photo shows the underside that I am chickening out of patching. Just hope that the new panels are well enough made and doesn't need too much "fine tuning"

Guy W

And as I was uploading that last photo, the post arrived with the new delivery from Moss! That was quick for a free delivery item, I only ordered it yesterday afternoon! Looks OK-ish, but then I haven't checked any measurements yet!

Guy W

I'm going out to look under my bonnet now Guy. I still haven't got a clue. lol
Lawrence Slater

OK, I will save you going out in the wet!
There are two quadrant reinforcing pieces that go between the front corners of the footwells, and the inner wheel arch. The one on the o/s will have an additional bracket welded to it to support the coil on your car.
Guy W

I replaced this on my frog and had to do quite a bit of fettling to get it all to work. I nothing unexpected with repro parts I guess. As a start the holes and captive nuts for the interior mirror were not correctly spaced.
Bob Beaumont

Did that new scuttle not come with the usual black coating, Guy?

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Yes Malcolm, but I was so pleased to receive it when the UPS van arrived today that I licked it all off in my excitement!

Er, no, just bare steel but with a slightly oily feel so I think it has been lightly sprayed with WD40 or similar.
Guy W

How odd. I can never decide if the black coating is useful or not. It probably pays dividends in service, but whilst trying to weld bits together its a pain!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Sunny here today Guy, so I took a look whilst putting the Midget up on Axle stands.

Yup I recognise them now. Not something I've ever thought of rusting. Mine are both(both cars) fine. Funny how some cars have rust in places others don't, even though they probably had similar lives.
Lawrence Slater

The drivers side one does sometimes rust if there has been brake fluid spillage that has run down there.

In this case, the inner wheel arches were completely shot and I had cut them off, together with much of the forward facing face of the footwell boxes. So these bits though probably salvageable, got cut off too. It was just easier to scrap them and make new ones.
Guy W

Amazing what a mess one can make of a bodyshell in 20minutes with an angle grinder! Now I am just hoping that I can get this thing back together again!

Guy W

Two angle grinders! oft! I am well jel! ha ha. Much easier to find than the stupid little peg spanner that I always lose when I need to change discs.

Do the drain channels on a frog just wee down the gap between the wing and rot the A post out? Never noticed that before, but I suppose you don't have the seperate wing drain channels.

Have a free weekend this weekend (apart from the 6 nations watching). Really excited to make a heap more progress on my car.

Keep up the fabulous work Guy.

Malcolm Le Chevalier

When my last angle grinder died I decided that for the sort of misuse I give them I would buy a real cheapo variety. And when I then discovered that meant about 12, I bought 2! Individually they don't get any more use so together should last twice as long. But as you picked up on, the real advantage is one is fitted with a flap wheel and the other with a slitting disc which saves a lot of time swapping over parts.

As you will have discovered I am sure, these jobs can just go on and on forever. I have sessions of enthusiasm with mine when I do make reasonable progress. But then that is just as likely to be followed by weeks or even months when I barely look at it! My target though, is to get the body tub welding finished so that I can get the thing blasted or dipped, and then primed sometime this spring. It would be nice to think I could get the body painted this summer and then spend next winter reassembling it. But we shall see!

Mentally, its like a knife edge between enjoying the work and then suddenly getting cold feet and thinking that the whole thing is just too far gone and just a load of scrap.

Looks better with the new scuttle assembly in position but it is going to need some more fettling work before I get the MIG going again!

Guy W

I agree with all of the above!

Yes there is no happy medium of just plodding on happily. It's either massive entusiasm or utter depression! My current job, as you may know, is the rear spring hangers. What an almighty PITA they are!

I think my time frame is similar to yours (although I have been saying I will get it finished this year for two years!). I am theoretically getting married next (2014) spring. That is the final final deadline.

Also want to finish it as I want something new to drive. Wifey-to-be keeps saying no to the possibility of a new car as we have a wedding using wedding cars sevenoaks to save up for! Boo!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

As Malcolm asked.
"Do the drain channels on a frog just wee down the gap between the wing and rot the A post out?"

I've been trying to work out if the a posts rot from the inside out, from the outside in, or from a combination of both.

Frogs and mk2's don't have the same screen mounts as later models. Is there a water path to the insides of the a posts, via the screen mounts on a frogeye/mk2?

On the later models the screen mount penetrates the shell, but doesn't sit inside the a post. So how does water get into the a posts. Is it only from the outside in? Mostly from behind the wings?
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, those channel things just discharge behind the wing on a Frogeye. But as you open the bonnet regularly the area behind the wing shouldn't accumulate all the crud like on the fixed wing cars.

I think one factor in A post decay is down to the way that they are constructed. The outer skin is fitted so that it is close against an inner web, but not actually attached to it. So from the factory, you have two sheets of unpainted steel pretty much in contact yet able to move fractionally against each other. And being in close contact the damp and any developing crud between them just won't ever dry out.
Guy W

Yup maybe that's it Guy.

When I've repaired the Midget A posts I'm going to make sure the entire insides are coated in paint. I'm going to make a removable inspection hatch, that will the insides to be fully coated in paint.
Lawrence Slater


"I am theoretically getting married next (2014) spring"
do a I detect a less than 100% commitment to this process or are you just hedging your bets in case she gets fed up with you always being in the garage. lol

And in case I'm accused of digressing and highjacking the thread... Like Guy, I too went for two angle grinders. I managed with one for years but when working on my first Midget I crumbled just like the bodywork ;0)

Now get back in the garage....

Best of.....

M McAndrew

bet hedging Mike! ;-) forget the garage, I need to get to bed ha ha!


P.S. Thanks Guy for clarifying drainage bits.
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Hmph! Seems I now have a problem with this scuttle.

Before cutting the old one out I made a template from it of the curved shape of the leading edge of the scuttle. Just as a precaution in case things went out of shape when I cut it out. I have now cut out the old bulkhead and scuttle top and cleaned it all up ready to weld the new one in. But before doing so I thought I would offer up my bonnet to check that all was well. It isn't!

The replacement scuttle matches the curves of the template that I had made, but when I place the bonnet against it, the curved back edge of the bonnet is flatter (in a vertical plane). With the outer corners lined up, the centre of the bonnet is a good 1/2" lower than the scuttle in the middle. Either the bonnet needs to be arched more across the back edge, or the scuttle needs to be flatter. Either adjustment is going to be tricky to achieve.

Last bit of info; the bonnet came with the car and whether it is the original one I don't know. But it had already been dismantled, with the two wings cut off and discarded as rotted beyond repair. I have two new wings ready to weld back on. Perhaps having been dismembered and then the centre piece stored like that has caused it to distort? I don't know.
Guy W

Here's a photo. :-(

Guy W

Is the bonnet hinge bracket (on the underside of the bonnet) intact as that determines the curvature of the bonnet at this point. I also found when I removed the wings the bonnet tended to 'flatten'. It all came together better when the lower front section, radiator cowl and the wings were on. It took a great deal of fettling and was the hardest part of the resto particularly getting the gaps to work down the A post. my bonnet also 'curled' slightly in the longditudal plane which meant it fouled the top of the radiator when closed.In the end I ended up spacing the radiator back slightly.

Bob Beaumont

Thanks Bob,
By "Bonnet hinge bracket" - do you mean the strengthening web that runs across the rear edge of the bonnet, that the hinges then bolt to? If so, then yes, that is still in place.

I wasn't sure whether to adjust the scuttle top to a slightly flatter profile before fitting it. Or whether to go ahead at this stage and assume I can make the necessary alterations to the bonnet itself at a later date. I am away from home for a week or so, so I have time to think about it all before proceeding. Currently I am thinking that as the new scuttle matches my templates that I cut, then it is correct and as the original. And it is the bonnet that needs attention, not the scuttle.

I can see that there may be some change to the bonnet shape when I get the wings and the "chin" piece welded back on. In theory if adding these pieces were to pull downwards and inwards on the front corners of the bonnet central section, this would induce more of an arch to the rear edge. But I can see that caressing the thing back into the correct shape is going to be a real challenge!

Anyway, I have time to mull it over for a bit before I get back to work on it again.
Guy W

I'm sure I read somewhere but can't remember where (Mascot?) that the cure for a low bonnet was to stick a magazine twist scuttle and trailing edge of bonnet and give it a good slam. I'm willing to bet your bonnet has sagged and the scuttle is "probably" more likely to be right!

Does it have to be a Mascot or will any magazine work?
Trevor Jessie

Great to see another rotten early car being resurrected.

Mine hasn't progressed in a while, but I unfortunately also have to deal with the rust issues you have.


and the tunnel to suit the type9


N ow you are showing me up, Peter! That's how a professional does it!

I have seen those shots before. Great workmanship. This car is going to get a standard A series and box. I have my other Sprite which has been modified so the intention is to keep this more or less standard. At least I think it is. I admit I do keep looking at the K series cars and thinking, well maybe just a little 1.4 wouldn't be so bad!

Still, either way I need to sort out the current body panel fit problems first!
Guy W

Once you have all the steelwork sorted, that's when you can decide on engine and box dude.

Once you have it all right, you can then modify to suit, but being an early car I personally would tend to keep it standard.

Fortunately I have two early shells, one for the concourse build and the other for the motorsport build.

As for "professional", not really, it's all getting cut out again as I have a bead roller en route, so its time to add more strength to the panels instead of welding in strengtheners in behind

unless it is a powered bead roller, then I suggest finding a helper. The manual ones are not really a one man operation.
Trevor Jessie

Trevor, I have an able bodied assistant who is more than keen on joining me in the garage - definitely glad I married her ;)

Any up dates on making bits and putting the body together would be great to see. I havn't got to the 'final frontier' yet but will be probably in the summer at my fettle rate on this one. I like making panel bits. (I strangely get a satisfaction from metal bashing - you can take the boy out of the black country but you can't take the black country out of the boy methinks).

Your examples of how you are making shapes and how they fit is great so any updates on your progress with the bodywork would be appreciated by me at least.

My next one is having bits collected for it and the how I am going to proceed is forming in my head. An 1800 K series is on a pallet in my yard under a tarp awaiting a car.

So more more if you have the time.
Dave Squire

Thanks Dave.
I am away in Scotland for the week, so unless the cat has taken up car restoration, progress at home seams unlikely! But I will get back to it next week.

If you need inspiration look at this link:

And check out Will Corry's thread "Finally beginning the build" on the K-series board. Now that is very special work!!
Guy W

Enjoy the break Guy and thanks for the pointer. Cheers.
Dave Squire

Wow, I wish you did record and place the shaping of those panels on you tube... I wouldnt even know how to handle starting to shape those panels you made.. Where did you get your experience? I grabbed bugeye thats in the same shape yours is in for a welding project. If I had an Idea of how you did some of yours I would give it a shot. I was thinking I would just buy the panels. If I mess up Im no worse off. the car is rough. I have a oouple of friends that weld for a living near by but there not fabricators.
Anyway nice work. The stuff you did looks great!

Steven Devine

Guy, Just because I ask you a question on the forum doesnt mean you need to run and hide.... Youll have to do something besides wiping props nose and changing his diaper.

Ha ha ha

Stop! And think before you post. Ive been waiting to hear from you on this a week already! I was hoping to hear from you here as I want to get in to some serious cutting welding on this project..

Any advice will be appreciated.
Steven Devine

Sorry Steven. I saw your message but didn't reply as I thought the questions were rhetorical, and just took them as a general "well done" message! Difficult to give replies to non-specific questions! Where did I learn? Well I didn't, I just have a go at something and if it doesn't work out I reject it and do it again. So just self taught. But I do believe that the biggest hurdle is self belief. Anybody can do this sort of stuff, its just that many THINK that they cannot!

One of my regrets of the British educational system of 50 years ago (the bit relevant to me!) is that if you passed the exams you went to Grammar school, and you got to do Latin and Greek. But missed out on metalwork and woodwork and other useful practical subjects. I have always felt that I was disadvantaged and missed learning on what should have been my favourite and best subjects. So woodwork, building and messing with car restoration is how I spend my spare time now and I am just self taught. And BTW, I wouldn't have a clue how to make and upload a U-tube video!

That Bugeye of yours looks to be in pretty good condition - its still got most of the paint on it so it cannot be that bad! Looks like a nice project to have a go at. If you can rebuild am MGA with its separate chassis and difficult body panel alignment problems, then you can most certainly do a Bugeye!
Guy Weller

As an ex Teach I couldn't possibly comment about UK Edn. (I'm from a comprehensive school as a kid, the written off lot).

However like Guy I am learning by having a go from time to time. In the end I bought two 8 x 4 sheets of plate (can't remember the thicknesses as I had to look it all up and it was a couple of years ago) one sheet was Midget panel thickness and the other a bit thicker (so my repair patches could be thicker if I wanted) have used most of the thin sheet making and throwing away from time to time mainly flat components with flanges for the drivers side floor and footwell panels that were rotten from about half way down. Oh and my welding is nowhere as good as it should be but an angle grinder and lots of time applied to plug and seam welds helps.

Keep it coming Guy, I am making a list of ideas for the 'final frontier' if I get this one working as well as I would like and can get on the other one.
Dave Squire

Thanks for the post Guy! It looks like your an inspiration for dave too!

Its nice to see some one getting that deep in to the cars body work!

The MGA had a full frame so I still had a guideline
To keep the body jigged up! Plus it seems that there enjoying a little popularity over here right now!

This car seems a bit tougher to me, remove panel body loses its lines Maybe Im wrong.

Do you think its best to make a jig to hold the structure first?

This car is rougher than it looks. It needs the spring boxes fixed.

I just dont want to get in real deep and start welding spring mounts crooked and have the car Crab down the road.

Anyway Im really impressed with what youve done..

I just hope I dont hack mine down so far it becomes
a pile of useless tattered sheet metal.

Keep up the good work!
Steven Devine

hello guy,

can I make one modified suggestion...on the 2 holes for the windshild washer jets... weld those 2 holes up and move the jets to the bonnet lid, it looks better, removes a potential rust area and you will have dry knees after washing the windshild

I.can post if you want to see what it will look like

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

I was going to have the nose flip forward. Im not even sure if it has washer jets. Does it? On this car its probably the only part that isnt rusted.
Steven Devine

Nice idea Prop, although l have never had any problems with the washer jets leaking on my other cars. And anyway, l may decide to go for a front hinged bonnet like Steven.
Guy Weller

If you do happen to change the location of the washer jets, might I recommend Honda Jazz washer jets.

They spray a nice mist with good coverage as opposed to the usual dribble from the stock jets

Just put in an electric washer pump Peter and make sure the front of your hood seals properly.
Dave Squire

I have this titled as music to cut out your rusted panels out by!

Sorry Nigel, Theme from a summer place.

Its an instrumental!
Steven Devine

This thread was discussed between 11/01/2013 and 18/02/2013

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