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MG MGA - Body/Chassis dimension sought

Hi guys am starting a restoration of an old MGA 1600 body shell I have had sitting around for years in my shed. The problem is the front lower half of the front of the body is rusted severely/missing and when placed on the spare chassis I have no way of identifying the front body's correct elevation (it is bolted down at the mounts next to the door apature as this part of the body is OK but as there is no front point to mount it to the nose just droops down till is sits on the chassis extension). As the guards are still in firmly in place I figure a good starting point would be establishing the height of the headlight rim from the level road point. So can someone tell me what the height from a level road surface to the top front most point of the actual guard is)? Alternately the height from the chassis front shockie mount surface to the bonnet lip upper inner edge (directly above the shockie mount) or any other way to establish the correct height
Mark Mathiesen

Mark. I suspect that if you ask 20 of us for a specific dimension based on the road level, you will get 20 different dimensions. I would be glad to do that for you but......

I assume you have a complete and straight chassis to work from. Is your duct panel missing or being replaced? If the inner fender is intact and not rusted away, then all you should have to do is to add the duct panel and go from there. I must be missing something here.
C Schaefer

I currently have the front suspension off my 1600. I was able to measure the height from the rear side of the shock mount to the top of the inner hood lip using a carpenter's square and tracing the hood lip outline onto the square. I then transfered the line to a scrap piece of hardwood flooring as shown on the attached photo. I got 17" on both left and right sides. The dimension decreases as you move forward due to the slope of the body.

Hope that this is what you were looking for. Good luck with the restoration.

Don Carlberg
(hope that the photo uploaded!)
Don Carlberg

Let's try that photo again. Looks like it took this time. The dimension to the underside of the lip is 16 5/8". You can clearly see the slope of the body as you get closer to the front of the car.

Don Carlberg

The distance from the top of the shock mount surface to the upper edge of the inside bonnet lip, ie, the top inside lip of the channel that has the rubber buffers mounted in it, is 16.5 inches.
I have MGB shocks fitted, back to front compared to MGA shocks, and was able to measure vertically through the centre line of the shock.
This seems to be the same on both my cars - a 56 roadster and a 58 coupe (under construction). Headlight height will be different for everyone. Good luck with your reconstruction.
P. Tilbury

The blade width of my carpenter's square is 2". I remeasured and got the original 17" taken at the back side of the shock mount (my front shocks are currently off the car). The shorter measurement is 16 5/8" (taken 2" forward). I believe the shock mount is 3 3/4" wide (tough mesurement to get with the engine in and the car on jack stands.) Rough sketch attached.

That would give the body a 3/16" slope per 1" going foward at the point directly above the shock mount.

Don't forget to account for the crush thickness of the body packing if you do not already have that in place in your current configuration.

Peter and I differ by about 1/8" on our measurements, so you may wish to collect some more data before proceeding.

Good luck!
Don Carlberg

Don Carlberg

Guys thanks for the help! That was exactly what I was after and yes I suppose all will vary slightly but 2 responses so close to each other (and so well defined) makes me a happy chappy!!
thanks again
Mark Mathiesen

This thread was discussed between 17/02/2009 and 18/02/2009

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