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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Door and next door

Evening guys,

I have few questions about doors, and what is around them...

1/ I am looking for seal which goes between the door and the car, with high preference for (original) Navy Blue. I contacted Woolies, but they are not sure which one to take, and I read that the woven ones are for "Jags and Aston" and doesn't match the midget...
Any idea on the spec of the seal for Midget, and if possible to get the woven Navy Blue ? Also tried to measure the "bead" and fund 10mm : does it sound good to you ?

2/ I have to slam the door like a bullock ("boeuf" in french - don't pronounce the "f" !) to get the "2 stages" of lock. The first stage get easy, but i need to push really hard to get the second one. The mecanism looks hard to move by hand too.
What should I start with ? Should I dissasemble everything ? Do I need to remove the door panel to access to the full mecanism...?

3/ This point might be linked to the previous one... My gap between my door and the A pillar appears much bigger than the gap between the door and the B pillar. Gaps are constant, but while i have a big gap at the front of the door, I have almost no gap at the rear of the door... I understood it is not possible to play with the screw on the A pillar (or maybe mill the support ?), but is there oblong holes in the door ? Is it recommend/for this purpose to be able to adjust the gap ?

Thanks ! I try to diversify a bit :)

CH Hamon

Short answers tonight Cedric - did you buy Terry's book - Original Sprite & Midget The Restorer’s Guide by Terry Horler. –

I'm too tired and lazy to look at it now for you but will do later if you don't get your answer as to what seal goes on your car.

Obviously you will have consulted that Porter manual that Grey gave you so would have already lubricated the door hinges, locks and buttons and other stuff as part of a proper full service - so try removing the quarterlight to windscreen seal on that door to see what difference that makes to shutting.

Then, if required, the existing door seal and see what difference that makes to shutting.

Put a photo up of the door gaps (sounds like it might be alright to me) and look for the "John Twist of University Motors" video of simple door adjustment, one of the early numbers I think.

Nigel Atkins

The door can be adjusted on the hinges, where they attach to the door.

I was having trouble getting my MGB doors to close properly, possibly due to lack of use for 19 years. I removed the door latches - much harder on a B than a Midget - cleaned and lubricated everything. The doors closed much easier after that.
Dave O'Neill 2

1. You can adjust the door positioning at the hinges. The 3 screws from the hinge into the A post (dooor frame) will allow fine adjustment of the door up / down and in/ out. But yours may be OK that way. Better not to distrub them if the door is sitting flush and neatly in line with the door pillar at the front when closed.

2. Inside the door (you need to remove the door lining card, winder and handles) the hinges are attached with two screws through each hinge which will allow the door to be moved forwards or backwards in its opening. Yours sounds as if it needs to be moved forwards a bit. But be careful not to make the front gap too narrow and check carefully by watching the gap as you slowly open the door. The gap may look neat when the door is closed but as it opens the edge of the door will get close to the bodywork and can damage the paint or even bend the door frame.

3. There are two thicknesses of the door seal. If they have been renewed in the past it is common for cheap ones to be supplied which are too fat and although they fit the door opening, they do make shutting the door properly very hard. Make sure you get the correct smaller sized ones. One test is to pull the seal off and then try shutting the door. If its much easier, then suspect the seal is the wrong sort.

4. Lock mechanisms do benefit from cleaning but are fiddly to remove to do this. You may manage to improove it without removing, by using something like a brake cleaner in a spray can with a thin straw to get in at the lock. Then relubricate with some spray can grease. Sometimes a very light smear of vasaline on the door latching pins is all it needs, but don't put too much on or it will get on your girlfriend's clothes next time she gets in the car and she will not then be happy in the sunshine!

To make the door easier to shut as a temporary measure you can adjust the fixed part of the latch on the door (B) pillar. Undo the screws a little and you can slide the latch plate in and out and up and down. It will only need a very small adjustment. This might mean the door isn't quite in line with the rest of the body, but would make it easier to close until you can source some better rubber seals.
Mike Howlett


Thanks for the detail feedback, one more time.

On the Teal Blue, I have new door seals put by the PO, and the "O" part of the tube looks big diameter (hard to measure, I would say it might be the 16mm). Doors close "OK" (not so much comparaison still...)

On the Bronze one, it might be the original ones : woven on one side, and a small diameter "O" seal, I would say 10mm approx. And it is one this one that the door are hard to close... So I need to take care of not "upgrating" the size of the "O" seal which might make my problem bigger...

Do you have some feedback/opinion about the Furflex seals ? I want to keep the car close to the origin and would be happy with a woven fabric, but don't want it to look....posh :)
I am thinking of item 59 in blue

Here they propose "black rubber" and "Furflex"


CH Hamon

I requested a sample to Woolies for the 138-BL

Woven, blue, 10mm, and price acceptable :) But still, I want to be sure it fits OK and the blue would fit with my "aged blue" interior :P And also wonder why the rubber part which support the "O" is an "L" shape, and not straight...

I didn't really got the idea of the "clip" needed to fix the seal...Does someone has a video which explain ? And also, how much clips are needed ?

Thanks !
CH Hamon

Scroll down the page you linked to, click on 'Video' tab -
"Needs 314 spring clips for tight grip. (see video for fitting instructions)"

Ask Woolies how many clips you need.

I've never noticed that the later cars had such tarty seals, but all seals are black to me but I'm not really into cosmetics.
Nigel Atkins

I fund the FAQ, but not the video... I will call my ophthalmologist :) Thanks Nigel for opening my eyes :)

In term of color, I see what you mean... Cosmetic always start to different point depending on people. Trying to not hurt anyone, for me it starts at the Sprite picture on the "steering wheel" thread : looks to new and fresh to me for a classic car... Looks lovely and great work, but not my taste.
Now, I want to keep the spirit of the car : nowdays you have 2 layers of seal to decrease noise and improve thermal efficiency, and they are all black because it is cheap and mass production. On the Midget, they used woven because I guess it was like this back then, and try to match the interior color because it looks nicer ! So I try to keep this spirit without putting mass production black steal on a pretty old classic car :)

Still, I guess your point : it is far better to have a good mechanic serviced on regular basis than a pretty car not greased and bleeded. I will try to have both :P To my standards :P

CH Hamon

To be fair as my screen is landscape I sometimes forget to scroll down - all handheld devices are for shoving under the rear wheel as an emergency handbrake as far as I'm concern, bloody annoying and intermittent machines worse than a badly put together classic car!

The standard available black and black door seals are fine for me and don't need those clips, well not on my car car anyway.
Nigel Atkins

The correct seal could be sourced from Moss
Item 30; however the navy blue is not currently available - ask them when it will be available?
Sussex are using the same part numbers as Moss but if Moss don't have stock of the woven sort, what are Sussex supplying, something that's similar but may not fit properly?
David Smith

From the link David has put up
"DOOR SEAL, plastic, navy
From (c) G-AN5-74886, (c) G-AN6, from (c) H-AN10-85287, (c) A-AN10, 1275-1500cc - KGN817M"

Plastic not woven.
Nigel Atkins

Yes, and I am quiet surprised it is not the same reference for the Sprite :

Does someone know why ?
CH Hamon

Yes because you are comparing a Mk1 AH ("Frogeye") Sprite with a Mk4 AH (A) Sprite (Spridget - Sprite and Midget same in all but name and badges), a model from the late 50's/early 60s to a model from late 60s/early 70s with all the production and part changes in between.

There are many hundreds (or more?) of differences in the models from just 1958 to 1974 let alone with the 1500 that is why if you want to be as accurate as you can with originality you need Terry's book, factory parts catalogue, period brochures and knowledgeable owners, those that were there "back in the day" (if they can remember and correctly).

Best to get this information before you buy the model (or models), good books are good investments, they can save you time, hassle and money as well as being a good read sometimes. :)

Nigel Atkins

- missed edit, should have been -

...knowledgeable owners including those that were there "back in the day" (if they can remember and correctly).
Nigel Atkins

Some updaes if you are interested, or for the archives...

So I asked woolies for samples, and they arrived within 24h : nice service

Enclose is the picture of what I received :
- The woven one looks really similar to the one I have on the car (no idea if it is the original one in fact). The color is ! I mean not light blue or dark blue, just blue. So no match with the Navy interior, would be to flashy
- The "furr" one looks closer to the Navy color, I would say it is somehow dark blue. But I was keen on the woven idea...

I have to see with Madam what is the best: woven flashy blue (not probable), woven dark or furr dark blue...

You can see the reference of woolies on the picture, if any interest...


I also tried to clean the locker from outside, as Guy suggested : a lot of s***t get out. I guess the grease was there since a while, and became more glue for dust and...s***t than anything else, so became more harmfull than ease movment... The clean did improve, good short term solution, but think I will have to allow time to disassemble and clean+lubricate everything...
Concerning the attach on the car itself, I though of it, but the screw's head looks like they've been tried and damaged in the past... Don't want to risk to strip them...

For the gap, you might be right : the door is close to front when opening...

CH Hamon

The technical interface is the same as on mine, except that I have a "lip" / "flat straight seal of few milimeter" between the O seal and the door on the previous one, but don't see what is the advantage of it (more think that it is due to the process back then...)

CH Hamon

Obviously your car so you decide but navy or black plastic would be most practical (easy to clean and maintain).

As regards the door locks and hinges, using the car which involves opening and closing the doors with help ease their operation and work in any lubrication you have applied. As often the solution at least starts with cleaning and lubricating, no high tech required.

A car that's stored and not used can pick up a lot of grit, dust and muck from storage and this compounds with time and the lack of use.

IIRC the screws are(?) No. 3 Pozidriv not many people bother to buy the correct size screwdriver. From former work you no doubt know the difference between Phillips and Pozidriv which get more noticeable at size 3 and 4 (I can't remember ever using my No. 4 Pozidriv or No. 4 Phillips that I bought as "bottom drawer" items in the late 70s).

At the size the screws should be able to be removed successfully using one of the various methods and/or tools.
Nigel Atkins

If it's the screws for the hinges we are talking about here, in my car the 3 that fix the hinge to the A post are a large Posidrive screw. But the two that fasten the hinge arm inside the door are 7/16 hex headed screws and these are the ones that allow the door to be adjusted to reduce or increase the vertical gap between door and the A post. These need to be done with a socket.

Mine may not be original. That is on my '71 car though I think my 79 car was the same. In the 1960 Sprite all 5 screws are Posidrive.

I might have misunderstood but I thought Cedric was referring to the screws to the door lock and lock plate.
Nigel Atkins

I think you are right Nigel. Blame my confusion on Brexit. I used to be quite good at understanding these Europeans but it's all changing now.

TechniK is international language !
Use to work few weeks in Turkey, "talking" with the maintenance manager in the International Hand and Drawings language : was really efficient (mainly because the guy was a great Mechanic)

(PS : You can Brexit now that I am in :D Too many French down there... ;))
CH Hamon

Europeans Guy, do you mean the Scottish, Welsh or Irish.
Nigel Atkins

I really meant those south of Derby.

It's those south of Derby but north of Watford you need to watch out for!
Nigel Atkins

I did buy the 235-BL, 3 meters, 20 clips, and installed them today.
I am happy because the 3 meters I received look darker than the sample I got previously, which match better my Navy interior.

3meters was the perfect length : few inches left at the end :) Just regretting I took 20 clips, which mean 10 per door : I think 30 or 40 would have been better to hold the seal in (really) good position, especially that they are cheap....

CH Hamon

Before :(

CH Hamon

After :)
( I didn't use the knife to eat saucisson while working on the car, it is just handy to cut the seal ;) )

CH Hamon

This thread was discussed between 21/05/2019 and 22/06/2019

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.