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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Trim panels

I am making the trim panels for the Frog. I have cut out all the pieces from oil-tempered hardboard and trial fitted them to make sure they fit neatly at the corners and up against the back of the door seals. I have several yards of vinyl cloth and am all ready to go with the can of spray adhesive.

But a little doubt has wormed it's way into my thoughts. Should I back the vinyl with a thin layer of foam to bulk it out a little? I don't think this was originally done on Sprites though I have seen it on later 1970's UK cars.

Any opinions, or has anyone tried this, and if so were you pleased with the results?

There was no foam behind the vinyl on the Frogeye. Personally I prefer it that way as the frogeye is more 'spartan' than the later midgets.
Bob Beaumont

I suppose it would "feel" better though, as an upgrade. But how tight would you pull the vinyl against the foam?
Bill Bretherton

If you use standard patterns any foam will need to be cut at the edge and not carried around the corner. You may find that over time the vinyl has a tendency to pull back from the corners. This will be especially true if it's pulled or stretched as it's wrapped around the edges. I get best results from gluing the A side untensioned, then flipping it and carefully cutting the corner mitres with a scalpel, before gluing and stapling the wrapped edge. A staple gun from Dunelm will work OK, but use short staples and tap them flush with a hammer if they stand proud.
f pollock

Still undecided. If I did use foam, it would be very thin. I think one can get it in about 2mm thickness which may just give the panels a slight profile. I am still not sure though.
The interior is rather more flash than original anyway as I have carpets for it since the rubber matting was long gone.

I did convert the loom cable into a flat ribbon along the inner sill, as discussed some months ago. In the end I just unwrapped the bundle and refixed the wires side by side along the sticky side of a length of 22mm wide gaffer tape. Easy to do and very effective!.

Good to see you are using the better grade of hardboard, for the doors i would still give each side an additional coat of varnish to assist weather sealing - did you ever see the old instruction films of the sixties for laying hardboard over dodgy floors and the wetting the backs and laying two together overnight etc to stop them curling when laid ?

When we relined the boats ply headling panels with foambacked vinyl we laid the vinyl on a carpeted floor, applied glue to the backing boards and laid them onto the vinyl + weights piles of books) to keep them down until adhesive had gone off - avoids local depressions/finger marks in the foam.
The last set we did the supplier of the foam vinyl supplied waterproof pva adhesive for the main panels (contact for the edge turn overs) and it was much easier but not tried in on a car as yet.

richard b

Good suggestion about the varnish treatment, Richard. Especially as I had a tin on the shelf just waiting to be used up!
So varnish applied and vinyl shapes cut, for one side anyway.

I decided against adding any foam backing to the vinyl. I tried some on an inner footwell panel. It looked ok-ish, but when fixed with cup screws and washers I don't think I will like the quilted effect.

Next quest will be to work out the screw positions, so I will need to look through some books for interior photo graphs.

This thread was discussed between 25/11/2019 and 27/11/2019

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