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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Dashboard restoration


As I suspect many before me, I have a somewhat marked, chipped and tired looking crackle finish on the dashboard. One or two schools of thought

1 Mask it all off properly and respray. PlastiKote and others do some nice finishes in a can - even a crackle finish if I remember right....Not sure how effective masking off would be, but cannot see anything too difficult. Need wheel removed - 10 minute job.

2 As above, but remove dash and re-spray. The issue here of course is the tremendous hassle invoved in removing the dash. Don't know about midget, but other cars have proved to be an utter nightmare.

3 Wooden finish - veneer of some description. I have seen the ones for the toggle switch mk1 and 2 midgets and they appear relatively easy to affix. Do they require the dash out? Any opinions here for a mk3 anyone?

I'm tending towards option 1 if respraying. If it is masked off and prepared well, I cannot see how removing the dash would improve matters as regards the finish obtained.

Mark O

Option 2 is obviously the best way. Then you can clean it up and start again. Not such a bad job as long as you label everything carefully.
If you go for crackle finish you need a warm place for it to dry. I did mine in the greenhouse on a hot day with excellent results.
Cheers John

buy a good secondhand dash, redo it properly at your leisure, swap over. Why risk a cock-up and end up worse than you started?
David Smith

Yes - agreed...I guess it depends on how difficult it is to remove the dash - and the associated risk of disturbing delicate, old and BL wired gauges/switches and thus wrecking what currently works.

Mark O

Generally where the finish starts to deteriorate is at the edges as the paint lifts and chips away and rust starts. So unless you remove the dials and switches when you paint it you won't be tackling the bits where rusting starts. Your quick respray job will also be a quick re-rusting job.

Label, photograph and write notes as you dismantle and it will be an easy job to re-assemble. Best idea is to have a second refurbished dash as David says, and just swap each item over one at a time.
Guy W

Guy - Indeed so, but I do tend to get twitchy about fiddling with old electrics, possibly modified wiring and dodgy switches...
Mark O

If it were me....

Id get a 2nd hand dassh and take it to a spray on truck bed linner shop like rihno linner... Then have it sprayed and change out with you old dash...the truck bed stuff is super tough and will look factiry orgianl and no be all that expensive to have them do it when they are doing other projects
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

I did mine. I took the dashboard out. I just marked up all the wires ready for reconection. I sprayed mine with the crackle paint. The finish was good, loads better than the tired looking dash that it was. I also sprayed the inside for added protection.
I also got new Bezels from - good service. Looks like new
Nigel Axtell


I might be able to help with a second hand dash , have one from a 72 car with no extra holes from what i remember , have been clearing garage and was about to put it on e bay let me know if your interested
Andy Chaffey

Gah! Rhino liner! I spent a whole day in Napa once scraping rhino liner off the floor pan of a VW Thing, when I should have been drinking wine by the pool.

Consequently, Rhino liner is pretty low on my list of "things I'd like to look at every day while driving".

Do they even have Rhino liner shops in the UK?

Hey growler

I think it depends on how and eho did the work...i love the stuff i did a DIY kit in the engine bay and had the bottom side of my bonnet and my radio consel done in the stuff, and im in love with the stuff, eventually ill do the rocker panals below the lower chrome strip and the roll bar

I also love powder coat... I did my engine in it and will do my suspension system in it and ive got my mgb brake calipers in red powder coat... Looks great... I eant to do the springs in yellow along with leaf springs in yellow powder coat and the rear calipers in red also and the rest in black powder coat
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

And if i ever have to rip out the interior.. ill denitaly coat the entire inside in rhinno...eventually im going to do the boot
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

OK, OK - Slowly being persuaded to remove dash!
Mark O

This is one the first jobs i did. It was dead easy to remove the dash - just make sure you label all the wires - its easier than referring to the wiring diagram.

Very Very trivial weekend job. The wrinkle paint from the MGOC works great (although apparently it wrinkles best in the heat) I had it drying over a convection radiator.
C L Carter

I took mine out, stripped it and resprayed it the colour of the car. It's still needing to be wet sanded and buffed but here's a pic a mate did superimposig the magnolia faced dials I'll be fitting...

graeme jackson


That looks super fast just sitting there, that looks awsome, what a great job
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Just done this on mine.
Original crackle was ok but bit faded and marked.
So cleaned with panel wipe and gave it 2 coats of smoothrite satin black. Now looks great.
( done with dash out )
T Dafforn

Mark I have a spare dash if you would like something to practice on. The only problem is we are opposite ends of the country, are you ever down this way?

If anyone you know is coming down to Goodwood I could hand it over then.

Jeremy Cogman

I found the crackle stayed soft for a long time - recommend the approach to get a 2nd dash and prepare that in advance. I'd also stick it in the aring cupboard for a week to try and harden.

Oh and add more guages ;-)
Dean Smith ('73 RWA)

I like the site Dean!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

This thread was discussed between 27/08/2012 and 01/09/2012

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