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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Bonnet Trouble - PLEASE help!!

Hi everyone,

When I removed the rusty, holely, horrible bonnet from my 1967 MK3 midget, I acquired a much nicer one, filed it, painted it, finished it and stored it inside until now.
Coming to fit it, though, it does not fit. Uh oh.

So either end (front and back) both line up more or less, but the sides are around an inch too high (above the wings). My plan is to bring it inside and put it on the floor before pressing firmly all the way up and down either side...this scares me! I'm at a loss what else to do, so I think split/broken paint or kinks are horrors I'm going to have to risk - my question is:

What (else) can I do? ANY advice? Please, anything?!

Thanks to anyone!
Josh 'Midget Mad' Spooner

I have had an experience like this. I think you would be unwise to try bending the bonnet. If the bonnet is too high in the middle the reason is - wait for this - the edge of the wing is too low. A lot of leaning on the wing can cause the inner wing edge (despite the rain gutter) to bend downwards where it is unsupported. It is not obvious this has happened until you fit the bonnet. I just grabbed hold of the the inner edge/gutter and pulled it upwards with my hands. The ends of the wing are fixed so the the middle can be pulled back into shape. I know this sounds crude but it worked for me!
Chris H (1970 Midget 1275)

At least you learns one valuable lesson.

Never assueme body panels fit!!!!
They always need some sort of bash grind or fettle
Onno Könemann

Josh, a photo would help. A good friend who is a professional body man showed me how to shape a bonnet to fit on my MGA. You'll probably need a friend or two to assist you. Remove the bonnet and place it on the floor. If the high spot is along the side then useing some wood blocks tall enough to support the bonnet side at the front and rear then press down at the highest point. Go slowly, you'll feel the bonnet move as the inner structure bends slightly, test on the car, and repeat as necessary. If the high spot is at the ends and the center is low then block the center and press down on the ends. The one area this won't work on is the front, as that rolled nose panel is just too stiff to move, but along the sides and across the rear you can get it to match the wing and cowl lines pretty closely with a bit of careful work. If you're careful you shouldn't crack or chip the paint at all.
B Young

I did mine as Chris describes - by shaping the wing gutter.

I cut a length of 2" X 2" to act as a vertical strut wedged between the ground and under the wing rain gutter about mid way along. Then careful pressure downwards on the front of the wing induced the required slight re-shaping to match the curve of the bonnet.


I completely forgot to mention that, luckily, we had the old bonnet that was previously on the car, and - having fitted it - it fits perfectly. Therefore I'm guessing that it's only the bonnet and not the wings (although I reckon your guess was good given the pitiful amount of information i gave you last night in my desperately depressed state!)...

I think I'm going to have to bend it?! Not much other choice really...I'm only 17, and a pretty skint one at that, so buying a whole new bonnet isn't really an option at this point.

Any further help would be much appreciated, although my guess would be that the advice you've given me basically covers it; not much else to try!

I'll post a picture when I get a chance - homework and coursework and revision and essays have a habit of encroaching on midget time!

Thanks to everyone :)

Josh 'Midget Mad' Spooner


This thread prompted me to try and improve the fit of my own bonnet

After 5 minutes tugging on the wings, removing the bump blocks, and putting a couple of washers under the hinges (ref an earlier thread) it now fits like a glove on all for sides( I'm still trying to get clear in my head why the washers under the hinge lower the bonnet relative to the curve of the scuttle(?) but it definitely works).

Thanks to all !!
S G Macfarlane

This thread was discussed between 20/03/2011 and 21/03/2011

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