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MG MGA - 1500 Coupe Rebuild

Hi Guys

Doing a total body-off rebuild and now starting on the home straight (body painted and back on chassis, engine rebuilt, 5-speed gearbox fitted, floor boards in, etc etc,,)I've come across some strange bits of ash timber which I vaguely remember removing from inside the body prior to shot blasting, and I think they fit on the inside of the roof support panel just in front of where the parcel shelf goes. Any idea what they're for? Mine are pretty ropey, so if anyone has a picture of what they should look like it'll be much appreciated. Also a picture of the exact location would help.
D Jacobs

There are two pieces of ash on the roadster which I'm sure will be on the coupe as well and they are
1. a semicircular piece that fits at the front of the bonnet (together with the same shape of 1/4" woolen felt that goes between the wood and the aluminium) and
2. a rectangular piece, about three inches wide from memory, and about 1 to 2 feet long which goes across the boot lid at the bottom.
They are to support the aluminium where your hand presses on them during closing.

I don't know about any coupe specific pieces.

I think I have some dimensions if you are interested. They could very well be difficult to make as I think they are both curved.....................Mike

m.j. moore

They are two pieces ,slightly wedged in thickness and they are use to complete the joint between the headliner and the rear carpet area. They are usually cover in a matching vynil material, as per the rest of the car.
Gordon Harrison

Dave, the two pieces of wood that Mike mentioned do in fact go where he says, but they are not covered with material themselves...there should be a cardboard piece of vinyl cover that fixes to these pieces eventually as the joint area.
Gary Lock

Dave, not a response to your post, but I'm interested in how you replaced your coupe body on to the frame assembly. I'm about to do the same thing with my '59 coupe, and have found that the body must be placed very precise to get the holes lined up with the frame because it can't be moved once located on the goalpost. How did you lower your body?

Thanks, George
G Goeppner

Thanks Gordon - these are the pieces I'm referring to. Is it critical with regard to their dimensions and position on the body?

Hi George. I first used the chassis as a jig to ensure that all new body parts I fitted, and repair pieces that I had to weld in were as accurately placed as possible, When I was happy that the body structure was strong enough I built a scaffold frame above the car and rigged up a cable puller to lift the body off the chassis. I made up two bars with welded brackets to bolt between the upper hinge tapped plates and the door shut panel tapped plates. The cable puller was attached to these bars with nylon straps. I then dragged the chassis out from under the body and lowered the body onto a framework made from dexion on castors. This frame was made so that the chassis could be pushed back under the frame for storage and removed for access to the inside of the body so that I could complete the welding/repairs. The frame was on castors so that I could push it out of the garage, turn it around and gain access to both sides. The attached picture shows most of this arrangement. When the body was lowered back onto the chassis all locating points lined up. Hope this helps.

D Jacobs

Nice work!
Art Pearse

Thanks Dave, very good idea there. I also did all weld repair with the body on the frame before it was removed. I have the doors attached now with good shut lines to the wings, but the wings are now removed. I'm considering using an engine hoist with a nylon strap to lift the body by the top onto the frame.
It can also be done with 4 good men, but I can't always get that kind of help.

Cheers, George
G Goeppner

They are simply a way of covering the joint where the to different type of materials touch. There demension is pretty standard and if yours are in reasonable shape, you should be able to clean them up, cover them and reuse them. Try to find some pics of the coupe interior for guidance.You can just make out the piece where the parcel shelf ends and the red and white touch.

Gordon Harrison


here's a picture giving an idea of where those pieces fitted on mine. ( It was taken while I temporarily hung the old headlining to get an idea of how the new one should fit ). I took them off when stripping for painting, so I know at least where they where - and I think they were in the correct position. They are definitely shaped and so fit neatly to the body, and are specific to left hand or right hand side. They fit to the body with one or two sheet metal screws ( I forget how many and I'm not able to check at the minute ), before any other trim goes in.

The headlining and the side trim panel meet over the wooden piece, then the vinyl covered cardboard piece described by Gordon goes over the joint. That cover piece is fixed to the wooden piece by trim screws.

The Service Parts List lists the cover piece as Rear Quarter Capping Assembly, with different part numbers for RH/LH, but the ones in the kit I bought are identical. I can't see a mention of the two wooden pieces.

The picture shows a difference from other cars; mine is a 1500 but a PO removed the front support framework for the 'parcel' shelf and reduced the depth of the shelf, making it similar to the later cars.

He ( or his trimmer ) also shaped two neat wooden pieces instead of the card pieces. When fitted ( not yet ! ) they will continue the line of the door cappings neatly ( I hope ! )

In answer to Georges question 4 guys lowered the bare body tub carefully, and yes we needed to be accurate in positioning it the first try was not a success, a separate observer is a big help..
Lower it straight down into position - Front chassis extension not fitted, silencer not fitted, fuel tank not fitted, starter switch not fitted ( there may be other items ).
J N Gibson

Hi JN Gibson
Many thanks for the detailed description, but the photo you referred to was not attached. Any chance you could send it?
D Jacobs

Hi Dave,

I don't know why the picture didn't load, maybe using my iphone as a hotspot was too slow or something; maybe I just didn't know how to load a picture correctly ( or it was too big a file, I've re-sized it now ).

Thinking more about this I did wonder if the two wooden pieces weren't original but made by some PO because I can't find them in a parts list. But if you have the same pieces ...


J N Gibson

Thanks Jim.
D Jacobs

This thread was discussed between 04/10/2013 and 08/10/2013

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