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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Cherry's Ditchside Sill

Recalling how boastful I was about the Tumpside sill, with its neat row of little 3/16" sinkings (are they plug welds, or similar description?), I've turned to the ditchside.

The weld positions are there, but they are raised blobs. Does this suggest a new sill? (bad picture, but you get the idea). I've chipped some of the paint off the sill face, and there seems to be an even coat of white filler, with rust behind it. See next post.

Nick and Cherry Scoop

The paint coverage was good, by the look of it. Not a particularly vulnerable face, I would have thought.

Apologies to Bill and Guy, who would regard this as a VERY minor matter.

Nick and Cherry Scoop

The depressions are spot welds. Raised blobs would suggest plug welds.

It will be interesting to see what it's like under the filler.
Dave O'Neill 2

Yeah, they look like plug welds to me.

They are going to be a bugger to split if you are planning on replacing the panel!
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Nick, l think you are right, the outer face of a sill shouldn't be particularly vulnerable to rusting. But the problem is they rust from the inside due to inadequate paint on the hidden surfaces.

But with plug welds top and bottom might suggest a new sill has been fitted and also rust behind filler, rather suggests repairs on at least two separate occasions.

Or maybe the plug welds were for patches on the sill rather than a full replacement and the rust and then filler were the parts not replaced but blended in with a skim of filler
GuyW

Yes, I haven't got to the bottom of it yet, but as I chip away the paint and filler it's clear that the rusty patch is local and superficial (so far).

What I am finding is that the filler gets fatter as I go down the sill, as if a new modern flat sill was fitted, and an attempt made to get the original curve on it, which is a belly of less than 1/8".

Bad picture again, but can you see the layers? Paint, primer, paint, primer, filler, bare metal is how it goes. What an inveterate aerosol painter he was!

Nick and Cherry Scoop

Sorry to be obsessive, but (i) I like archaeology, and (ii) I'd have to lie on my back and scrape if I wasn't doing this.

From the metal, it's:-
black coating
primer
paint
filler
primer
paint
primer
paint

Nick and Cherry Scoop

You mean Carchaeology? :-)
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Nick, it looks to me as if the previous owner has filled some rusty (corroded?) areas then primed and painted over that and the original black (initial manufacturer's protection presumably), primer and paint and, at a later date, the rust has returned, as it does, so he's rubbed down then primed and painted again.

Maybe where it's more corroded but basically sound (hopefully) you could put some "Vactan" on (rust stabiliser, better than Kurust) and prime and paint, maybe putting a skim of filler on first to get it flat. I've never fitted a sill by the way but have just been battling with the lower rear trying to match up a repair panel.
Bill

W Bretherton

What an intriguing picture, Bill. Is that a slot in the upper part? Did you cut it? What are you planning to do about the mismatch in the number plate sinkings? Is that a fairly new Workmate, and is it any good compared with the first ones? Was it difficult coping with the missing hour in bed?

Thanks very much for the Vactan name. I will try it - not too expensive, either.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Nick, so many questions! The slot was already there when we got the car many years ago - I don't know why. The mismatch will be addressed with filler I think as I'm not much of a sheet metal worker but can use filler quite well.

The Workmate is fairly old, maybe 25 years or so. It's quite good but I never had the previous one so I can't compare. It's not really big enough to balance the shroud on but I manage. I have it and the shell positioned so that it's fairly easy to flip the shroud over and test fit it to the shell. I've done that many times......

The hour wasn't a problem! The drive to London I'm about to do (son #2) is more daunting........

Bill
W Bretherton

My workmate was a wedding using wedding cars sevenoaks present in 1977, and I'm still using it unaltered and unrepaired. Ten or so years ago I built a 1275 engine on it, and I still have the perfectly sized beam of wood that I clamp in the middle for heavy loads. I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and was amazed to learn that the inventor also designed the Lotus Elan and Europa. The 50p royalty for each of the 30,000,000 Workmates sold must have made him and his family quite happy.

Ooooh - London. We've got three children there, and we go a few times a year.

I've just done a two-hour scraping shift, and come in for coffee and to rest the biceps. Along the floor just inside the sill there's a lot of bright lumps. That will be weld. Hey ho.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Congratulations Nick, I see you that by obsessive scraping, you've managed to get down to the wood!
G Lazarus

Ho ho. Good one, Gary. How's things with you? Are you keeping Gaps as well as your new Sprite? Does Lois like it? Will you be au Mans? We don't hear enough from you.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Good, no, yes, yes and sorry!
G Lazarus

How you do ramble on, Gary. Just think now: while you toil away at work, it's more backstroke for me - just about to get suited up and re-enter the water.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

I spent Saturday playing with the dynamo as the groove in the front pulley was too large.
This allowed the woodruff key to move around on the dynamo's shaft, so it now has a much bigger groove, where the woodruff key should fit tightly it's now too loose. I'll be fitting a replacement dynamo tomorrow evening.
G Lazarus

That's the groove on the inside not the groove that the belt fits into.
G Lazarus

Gary,
I don't know if you know about this guy but he does original parts and modern updated versions to look the part and parts and repairs. Note he's busy at the moment and probably going to the NEC at the end of this week. Worth contacting though.

http://www.dynamoregulatorconversions.com/
Nigel Atkins

Many thanks for the link Nigel. However Dr John Davies has been kind enough to donate a totally refurbished and tested dynamo, gearbox for the back of the dynamo and lent me a regulator box while he refurbished and tested my original one.
Always useful to know though.
G Lazarus

No problem Gary, I like the modern, fused control boxes he does that look like original, and you can put your old lid on for a bit of patina.

Dr John Davies is unknown to me, as no doubt I am to him.
Nigel Atkins

Just in passing, I've been scraping around the back end of the tunnel, and I wondered whether that is a normal route for the fuel and brake pipes: I mean, the way they loop down in what looks like a vulnerable position. They are lower than the central flange on the back end of the tunnel.

BTW Guy - in the background you can just make out the offside spring being reassembled. I've got a capful of oil and a brush, and I'm making a lovely mess.

Nick and Cherry Scoop

Yep Nick, that is the correct route for the lines. The later cars moved the brake line inside the transmission tunnel, but not the Frog.
Bob Beaumont

Correct route, but l think the lines should remain closer to the floor pan untill just before the rear flange, then curve down and immediately up again with a tighter radius curve to give sufficient clearance without being so vulnerable. Does your previous owner's log mention the pipes being replaced before?
GuyW

No, only references to checking them. These are lovely pipes - the surface looks like nickel. Is that possible? Or I suppose the originals would be steel. Forward with a magnet!
Nick and Cherry Scoop

The pipes do seem to dip rather low and may be vulnerable to being scraped.
W Bretherton

the pipes are low for a reason! you can nudge these and do no harm. If they are close or touching the flange then the first heavy contact will crush them causing a fuel leak and/or brake failure.
davidsmith

Yes of course, they need "sufficient clearance" and it is important that means there is a good clearance PLUS space for the pipes to be deflected without getting crushed against the flange. But the ones I have looked at were not as low as those appear to be, and not so vulnerable to catching on long grass and debris on the grassy middle of the road tumps in the local lanes.
GuyW

How about bending the pipes a little closer to the under body and protecting them with petrol hose or similar?
It looks like your brakes are already fully plumbed in so maybe be an idea to slit the petrol hose and hold in place with cable ties/jubilee clips?
Won't stop them being crushed but will offer a little more protection.

Jeremy T2

This thread was discussed between 25/03/2017 and 31/03/2017

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