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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Cutting centre out of bonnet slam panel

I've just bought a midget - terrific, this will be my third. It is a basket case so I need to assemble it. Now the PO has cut a section out of the centre of the bonnet slam panel, the area containing the bonnet catch. He says this is often done to competition cars to make rapid engine removal easier.
My question is, if any of you have done this, what is the best way to attach the centre piece so that it is firmly enough mounted to support the bonnet and keep it closed under all conditions?

Mike
Mike Howlett

To ease engine change competition cars use a FG front end that simply lifts off. No need for a slam panel except perhaps to mount the rad.
Think someone has mislead.
Bob Turbo Midget England

Whatever the explanation, I understand it is the top piece of the front panel section as in the attached recent photo (courtesy of Graeme Jackson, from a recent BBS thread)

They are available as complete replacement units from Moss etc at around £220. But otherwise the best way would be to get a second hand one and cannibalise and just weld in the bits needed or use complete. Or make one from scratch if you are not too bothered about originality

What currently connects your wings together at the front?

Guy

Guy Oneandahalf Sprites

"What currently connects your wings together at the front?"
That's the point Guy, nothing at the moment. This is a new Heritage shell and obviously the centre of the slam panel needs to be firmly fixed in place. The PO and his Dad are (were - his Dad has died, hence the sale) genuine Midget lovers and I don't believe this is a stupid idea they just dreamed up. I'm sure (well almost) that it is a recognised mod on steel bodied competition cars. So I'm hoping that someone who reads this will know what I'm talking about and be able to advise the best way to arrange the removable section.

Here is a picture of the car.


Mike Howlett

And here is the bit that has been cut out.


Mike Howlett

Sorry Mike,
I wasn't doubting you! You did say it was a basket case so I interpreted your first question as asking what was the bit that was missing shaped like because you wanted to repair the missing piece. I didn't understand that you already had the bit that has been cut out!

Why not weld or bolt it to a couple of cross bars so that the ends can then be bolted to the wing channels at either end.

Guy

PS - that is the most solid basket case I have ever seen! I expected a thing full of rust and holes. ;-)
Guy Oneandahalf Sprites

I would be inclined to add a flange under each side of the section and weld it straight back in again.
If they were serious about making it easy to get the engine out, they could have rearranged a few fasteners so that wings and front panel come off as a unit. Easy and quick if regs prevent you using fibreglass front ends.
Mike Allen

Just noticed eBay item 180565165577

Looks just the ticket if you want to replace the complete panel...
MarkH1

A friend of mine did this on his '71 Midget to ease engine installation. But he set his up very carefully with flanges at either end (as I recall) so that the removable section bolts back in place and still provides the necessary support. It's actually a pretty neat arrangement.

Sorry, although I've taken plenty of photos of his Midget during the resto, they're at home and I'm at work.

-:G:-
Gryf Ketcherside

Gryf, if you can find a picture later on I would be glad if you would post it. Thanks in anticipation.

Guy, it is a new Heritage shell. It is actually a sad story. The father bought the car (a 1966 1098) as a wreck to make himself a competition Midget. He bought the new shell (which will take the later folding hood) and painted it, and then most unfortunately he died aged only 56. The son then took the project over and fitted the shell up with all new suspension, brakes, recon steering rack, recon axle etc. He then bought a 1275 engine and had it bored, ground and balanced and built it up with a Kent fast road cam, timed in with vernier wheels, double valve springs and a reworked head.

And there he stopped, realising that it would never be finished by him as he hadn't the time and had lost interest. It was advertised on the Midget & Sprite club web site, and I bought it for half the price of the bare shell on its own. I'm hoping it will make a very nice little car, although I think I'll change the colour. What looks good on a 1966 Midget?
Mike Howlett

It's sad when something like this happens, but you benefit and someday "his" project dreams may yet be fulfilled. It looks like an excellent acquisition for a project.

To me, I always think of a "basket case" as being rusted and full of holes, like a wickerwork basket. But I know that it is also sometimes used for a car that is in loads of pieces as all the bits come in a series of baskets or boxes.
Guy Oneandahalf Sprites

Gryf said...

A friend of mine did this on his '71 Midget to ease engine installation.

IT AINT MINE, now theres a shocker...Hahaha (Is it bruce?)

Mike,

Im a modification addict, and have been around close to 8 years and scoure the net monthly looking for new midget mods...but ive never came arcoss this mod, obviously it exist.

But a far easier trick to remove/install the engine is to remove the oil pan and engine crank shaft pulley, Its easy, and fast. just wrap some thick card board/heavy blanket around the bottom end in case of crane swinging accidents (besides falling)

Id be afraid of the lack of structral support having that cut out...IMO id think the disadvantages would out weigh the rewards for this mod.

how often do you plan to remove the engine?

Prop
Prop

Unfortunate true but good purchase.

I think I would simply buy a new front panel and be done with it.
Bob Turbo Midget England

If you go thur with this mod, Id bump it up a little, and rework the radiator attachment points so it becomes a part of this mod, that way you can pull the rad at the same time you pull this panal without having to un-bolt the rad... that would make it far more valuable a mod...then get some kind of nascar quick dis-connect couplings for the rad hoses.

In fact to add to that ... at gaydon 50 several years ago they had a "Pull the engine in record speed contest" and they had some kind of modifeid engine mounts where they could be removed and installed in a matter of a few secounds

another thought would be to mod the heater shelf or remove it for better clearance

But I think the biggest mod and the one with the best value would be a "quick release hinge bonnet" esp you guys across the pond that dont have the sissor hinges like here in the USA...granted Im not aware of anything like that but it could be thought up im sure for those that have the will and desire to do so. Other wise the front hinged FG one piece front clip is certianly the way to go.

Prop
Prop

colour for a 66 MK II?
Primrose like my 66 MK II!!!!

Though i am sorry to say that yours has lost all of the charm of a 66 mkII and is more of a 67 mkIII (apart from the vin that is)
The combination of flat rear deck old type top and windup windows realy make the MKII the best of both worlds!

Then again it still is a midget so you will have plenty of fun!

Onno Könemann

Only ones I know of that make it really quick and easy are the ones that go the other way around:

rachmacb

As for colour - my dad had a full black, inside and out - not terribly unlike this one! Although, Onno's Primrose one is gorgeous .......!

You might notice though, I'm a tad biased, as the one car that links both photos is mine, and she's Primerose ;)

rachmacb

Rachmacb, do you have more photos of the bright yellow midget. It seems to be an Agley GT front, and I am looking for the most details I can find to restore mine.
laurent
ld derancourt

Sure - and I can get more - it's only bright yellow on the front and top - the rest is indigo (well, so I'm told, coz I just say blue ...!!!!)

Let me know what pictures you want of it. Here is part of the front down. I'm meant to be driving it at the next autotest, but, I'm getting a few cold feet ...!!!!

rachmacb

Shhh - don't tell anyone - I stole this one from the Lincs website as it was way too wet to take many photos on Sunday!

I think I only took one photo of it from inside my car - and even that wasn't very good as it was on my iPhone!

rachmacb

My goodness Rach that was wet, pleased I was at work rather than at the MGCC autotest.

I am sure MGCC Lincs will not care a hoot about using this image, it is in the public domain after all and I hope we are a really friendly bunch especially to Spridget folk. :)
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

LOL Bob - it was AWFUL weather, and I think you had the better place - especially compared to poor Ian, who was covered so much I didn't recognise him (apart from when he was chasing paper slips across the airfield - and that was just funny!!!!!!) The men made piles of mud in the middle of one of the test areas - so now I'm waiting for a dry day to wash the car again! Was, however, another fantastic fun day - and I had a great time :)

No, I was assuming they wouldn't mind - and I've not got any with the side-closing fitting, so ...! Although, as I said, I can take more - or, if Laurent wants to e-mail me rachel-macbathotmaildotcodotuk - then I can probably get whatever information he needs with photos to him - without taking up a whole thread ... ;)
rachmacb

Sorry,

But thats not what Id call wet, In missouri we call that a "River" HAHAhaha

That would have been alot of fun, if you dont mind the weather and elements some of the best times are had in the rain. But I guess i never had enough scence to get out of the rain.

I bet that was a fun day, with that much water everywhere,,, certianly no need for a top up driving

Prop

Prop

LOL Prop - that was one of the "drier" photos ...! I hate rain on the whole, and, many times throughout the day, I regretted the decision to get up out of the nice warm, comfy, bed - to go to a windswept, cold, wet airfield in the middle of boring Lincs ...:P!!!! Although, it did help with my determination to drive slowly and get more accuracy, without losing too much time to other people ;)

Laurent - I forgot to say, the car also has an Ashley hardtop - would you want photos of that too? Apparently, it adds 4mph to the top speed ......
rachmacb

@Mike -

>>> Gryf, if you can find a picture later on I would be glad if you would post it. Thanks in anticipation. <<<

Happy to, Mike. I just dropped a note to Bruce, and hopefully he'll have a pic lying about, or can take one.

Cheers,

-:G:-
Gryf Ketcherside

Thanks Rach,
In fact I am looking for photos of the front fixing, the side fixing, the airscoop, the inner ducting air section and the fixing of the headlight cover.
In fact, mine is in poor condition and I have no headlight cover, so I have tomake them with perspex.
laurent

ld derancourt

I May have some of that car at home but I'll have to post them tomorrow as I'm out tonight.
Gary lazarus

No worries Laurent - I might be able to get them to you tomorrow (depending on if the camera downloads to this computer or not and they are on it ...!), otherwise, should be easily got over the weekend. Assuming that no-one minds the total hijacking of this thread - but then, wouldn't be the Spridget section if we all kept on track now - would it :)!

The side fixing is a standard one like the frogeye opening up - I think(!)
rachmacb

GRYF,

Thanks for your reply. This thread seems to have been hijacked !!

I will look forward to any pics you can find. If you like you can send them to my email
mrhcmh@yahoo.co.uk

Mike
Mike Howlett

Sorry Mike, but is rare to find this type of front end.

Rach, you can use my e-mail adress for the photos.
laurent
ld derancourt

Always think that this is one of the nicest parts about the Spridget section - that people don't mind when things go off topic and other people are helped out in questions under a thread ...!

However, sure I can Laurent, I'll get them to you as soon as I get them - and, do you think I should drive this car in the next test - or my own???? I'm so undecided, since I do know my own better, but, with all the special stuff on the "newmarket taxi" - well - you know ..........!!!!!
rachmacb

This thread has been High Jacked??? No! Say it isnt so!!!....LOL

Rach Id certianly give that car a drive. Go for it.

Its when there NOT high jacked we should worry

Prop
Prop

You're right Prop - I'd felt a tad guilty about "hi-jacking", but, it was actually done with the best intentions - of showing a picture, and, if Laurent now gets the photos he needs to help him, then, the BBS has done another good job in helping each other out - which is, I always thought, the whole point of it ......!

As for driving it, well, I had a quick whizz on Sunday and was told to mind the holes - yeah right, in a soaking wet airfield, where the holes were full of water and you couldn't SEE them - but, I don't know if I "know" the car well enough! It was very good fun though - and I'd certainly encourage the rebuilding of that front end - makes it really light :)

As for the rest - I blame Bob for wimping out of the rain :P!!!!!!!! :)LOL
rachmacb

Getting back to the photo request, I did some digging through the archives and found the attached image. Sorry, it's about the best I have showing Bruce Morton's removable slam panel section. You can see the fasteners in the photo. Note also that the vertical strut beneath the panel is also designed to come apart, so the section can be lifted out. As mentioned before, he had fitted doublers under the outboard sections of the panel so that the removable bit could be attached with screws/nuts. It's good and sturdy. I don't remember precisely how those were fitted, but it was done well.

Sorry the photo quality's not exactly stellar. This was in 2002, and taken with my 1 megapixel digicam.

By the way, that Midget came out fantastic. He did a splendid job on it. On the day I took these photos, we'd spent the morning refitting the front wings and generally screwing things back together in preparation for paint.

Hope this helps,

-:G:-

Gryf Ketcherside

Thanks Gryf. Using Photoshop to brighten the image allows me to see quite well what has been done. I think I will do something similar and leave it as a bolt-on panel. I appreciate your help.
Mike
Mike Howlett

And we are back to the orginal topic.

Opps!! Here we go agian....

Rach i certianly wasnt being prosecutorial,(yeah I had to searched for that one)... I was laughing about the fact someone commented that the thread had been hi jacked. As if Hi jacking is such a rare occurance here on this forum...LOL,

But I like hi jacked threads, it brings out what people are thinking and inspires creativity

Sorry for any implied accusations on my part.

Prop
Prop

Prop - it wasn't any accusations from your part - many times you, Arie, Alex, Onno and a few honourable others - and, myself, of course! - have led threads into really interesting lines!!!! Never really did understand the lobster though ..... ;)

I think though that it's probably best I e-mail Laurent when I get the photos - which will be at least a day delayed due to my fault, so, apologies ......! UNLESS anyone specifically asks to see them and it will help someone else. :)
rachmacb

It wont help me. But I love looking a midget porn !

Prop
Prop

This thread was discussed between 29/09/2010 and 02/10/2010

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