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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Knackerd frame/

I've got the fenders and valance off my '72 midget post crash.
Both the frame rail appear to have kinked. Should I consider straitening them, or cutting them off and replacing?
Is it critical that the sway bar attachments wind up in EXACTLY the same place as new? How wold I locate them?
So many questions

Phil Burke

Left side

Phil Burke

The sway bar location points need to be close, but not spot-on perfect. I would cut those damaged extensions off flush to the cross member and replace with new parts. The section is available as a repair units so it is a simple job to do.

I would leave the sway bar attached at either end and bolt it up to the new chassis rail extensions to aid alignment when welding. Also check with a straight edge that when you position the replacement extension pieces, they follow the alignment of the underside of the chassis rails behind. - i.e. following the slight 3 degree upward slope.

Do check the chassis rails behind those kinked pieces for any further damage, but if that is all there is then you have an easy repair job!

I agree with Guy. If there's no damage to the rails behind the crossmember, then you may have gotten off lightly.

Looks like your fan may have hit the radiator, so a new one might be in order to avoid balance problems later.

Best of luck,

Gryf Ketcherside

I suspect that the front frame rails absorbed the bulk of the energy, but I'd certainly look closely at the rails behind the front cross member. If they are buckled, it will require the services of a frame rack. Otherwise, an angle grinder, careful measurements, replacement horns, and a welder will have you ready to start bolting things back.
Trevor Jessie

Agree with Guy, mostly.
Sway bar is not very critical, and will get in your way while working. More important is the positioning of the rad supports, as they determine alignment of all the sheet metal.
Get detailed measurements off your parts car. Rad supports to defined points on the crossmember and firewall; back edge of crossmember to swaybar bolt holes; crossmember to front end of rails - I would not trust repros to be accurate. Sideways spacing of extensions.
Assuming there are no kinks in the rails behind the crossmember, your most important tool will be one or two pieces of heavy angle or channel about three feet long to clamp the new pieces in line with the rails behind the crossmember. And lots of C clamps!
Since sway bar mounts are a known weak point, take the opportunity to reinforce them now. 1/8" plate along the bottom face will do this nicely, and act as a reinforcement gusset for your surgery.

FR Millmore

I'd fix those as follows.

I would cut them both off, approximately as shown in my modified pic.

I'd straighten the remainder that protrudes from the chassis. To strengthen, I'd get a bit of box section steel, of an "external diameter" large enough to be a tight interference fit, INTO the exposed chassis leg.

Insert, and tack weld in place, leaving a bit sticking out to slide the front sections over.

Then either fit, the two NEW cut off sections, or reuse the straightened originals, if the anti roll bar mounts are completely rust free.

I reckon you have been pretty lucky there, assuming not much or no damage further back.

Lawrence Slater

dont forget to allow the front rail uplift that sets the caster angle

I had a picture somewhere once, all gone in a hard drive "incident"


Phil, when I wrecked my Midget I had the same type of damage to the front frame rails. They are available as a replacment part and you just cut them off flush with the crossmember and weld the new ones back on. Then you get the radiator support pieces and weld them on and you're done. Since the front frame members are at the same tilt as the crossmember I just clamped a piece of angle to the crossmember and clamped the frame member to that to hold for welding. It's a butt weld but not that hard to do. Take some measurements of the placement of the radiator supports to help reposition those. Setting up their spacing is easy, you can even use the new radiator and bolt it to them to act as a jig until you tack them in place.
B Young

This thread was discussed between 02/01/2012 and 03/01/2012

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