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MG MGA - Body Removal

Hey folks,

About how much force is required to remove the body once all the bolts are out?

I've removed all the body bolts but can't get the body to budge.

Also, where are the best lifting points if doing this with two folks, the front and rear or the sides?

Thanks,
Christopher
Christopher Wilson

Hi Chris. Once all the bolts are removed, the body should easily lift off the chassis. My guess is that you have probably missed a few bolts. Thats easy to do. Check the factory manual, (body section) for the location of all the body mounting bolts. (Some are pretty well hidden.) I would lift the body at the front and the rear. I would also get several people to help lift, that body is heavy! Before lifting the body, please ensure that the body is properly reinforced, particularly if you have a roadster. Bodies with weak sills have been known to break in half when lifted from the frame. Cheers, Glenn
Glenn Hedrich

Chris, Glenn is right, the body should lift right up. How many bolts have you removed?
G Goeppner

If memory serves me there should be 31 bolts to be removed.

Jim
Jim Ferguson

Remove body to frame bolts starting with 4 in the front corners, 9 on front edge of the heater shelf, 4 bolts down each side outside aft of the front wheel well, 2 inside near the A-posts, 2 underneath just aft of the B-posts, 2 in the boot floor, and 4 in the rear corners. Total 31 (if I didn't miss any). There may also be a few sheet metal screws inside where the body flanges sit on the side frame rails, especially on the up-slope ahead of the door opening.
Barney Gaylord

OK all removed and free in the back and very front. Still doesn't really want to move around the heater shelf.

Any idea how much the body weighs?

Cheers,
Christopher
Christopher Wilson

I had a "stickey" problem with the top of the heater shelf on my body removeal. It is just the various fluids, fuel, etc. that gets there and sticks the surface together. The old cork packing sometimes bond down over time.

Try a little prying under the heater shelf at the frame joint with a putty knife. Start at the right (Passenger) side and work toward the other side. Keep some upward pressure on the body but not too much.

Also be sure that both the sides of the bulkhead are free. If not pry them gently from the bottom up.

It will probably pop loose suddenly and come off without any other problems.

Jim
Jim Ferguson

Weight of bare main body shell is about 200 pounds, 100/100 f/r. Two average size guys in good health can generally pick it up and set it on saw horses. My 19 year old kid an I have done it a few times in the past year (and I ain't no spring chicken). Some women may look at it with shock and awe.
Barney Gaylord

If you make a couple of struts (1" square tube)to bolt across the cockpit you can remove the body single handed with a block & tackle. To my mind it's a more gentle way of lifting it off and you have as well your reinforcement to avoid it bending at the sills as Glenn mentioned. Mike
m.j. moore

see my rig
A Pearse

If you have an engine hoist it's a pretty simple job even for one person. You just need some type of strut across the cockpit where you can attach the hoist, prefereably something you can adjust so you can find the right balance point. They do tend to stick around the cowl/firewall because of the sealer strips, but usually a bit of persuasion with a putty knife as Jim says will do the trick.
If lifting by hand I'd say the front and rear would be the best lifting points, it's a lot easier to balance the weight that way than from the sides and the positions of your hands is smoother and more comfortable, the bottom of the sills is pretty sharp by comparision.

Bill Young

As Bill said it is real easy with a hoist. Her is a pic of my kids and I setting her back on the frame.

WMR Bill

WMR,

Do you have any pictures of how you braced the body?

All,

I have access to an engine hoist, but I do not weld, nor do I have access to anyone that could for bracing that way. So any kind of bracing that needs to be done will have to be something I can make without welding.

The sills & rockers were replaced in March so that area is quite strong. If I had thought ahead I would have had the guy make door braces at the time but I didn't think of it.

So anyone have any plans or pictures of bracing that can be made without the need of any welding?

Thanks,
Christopher
Christopher Wilson

Excellent photo WMR Bill - would do for a caption competition.
Cam Cunningham

Chris if the sills are in good shape then all you need is a piece to fit between the cowl and rear deck. A 2X4 would work fine with a couple of angle brackets on each end that you can fasten to the strips where the dash pad and rear cockpit surround fasten. Add a sling of some type even a chain would do so that you can slide it forward and backwards to find the balance point and you're ready to pull. Eclectic Motor Works uses a simple single bar to lift the bodies in their shop and it's shown in this photo.

Bill Young

Here is how I lifted the current one. It's just a 2x8 plank lag bolted to the undeside of some 2x4s that are bolted through existing body holes. This leaves the door openings free for doing any reconstruction work in that area. I lift with two come-along type hoists dropped from the roof framing, inverted so the mechanism travels with the load. That way you can reach them standing.

John DeWolf

Picture 2

John DeWolf

John,

I like that idea a lot. Something I can make no problem and looks quite sturdy.

I appreciate the pics.

Thanks,
Christopher
Christopher Wilson

Hi Chris, I lifted my coupe body by myself with the help of 2 chain hoists. The front hoist is on a crane rail so it can move back and forward. The back one is just bolted to the ceiling. Attachments are via 1/8" aluminum plates bolted through the fender bolt holes. Easy set up and lifting.

Andy
Andy Preston

Chris here's the picture that shows the above set up.

Andy

Andy Preston

My hoist. The trick is to lift the body at 4 points. Two either side of each "body half". This minimizes or even zeroes out the bending moment and the braces can be minimal.
A Pearse

here it is
A Pearse

What am I doing wrong to upload ? Size is 600 x 450, 40 kB. I select upload, browse for pic, open, then submit.
A Pearse

John, doesn't the plank interfere with the goalpost when putting the body back?
I can't seem to upload a pic of my rig - only 600 x 450 and 40 kB
A Pearse

AP (Ontario) I think you have to press on two 'submit' buttons the first just below the 'browse' window and the second at the bottom which you would normally use when you have no picture to send. I made this mistake! Maybe the first one submits the picture and the second the text? mike
m.j. moore

AP there is about 10" of shelf behind the goalpost. The plank just runs up to the hole for the heater.
John DeWolf

Thanks for all the suggestions fellas!

The body is now free:)

It was stuck fast at the heater shelf with a cork gasket and what can only be described as tar.

A little work with an old chisel as suggested did the trick and it popped right free.

Now to build some centerline bracing and off she'll come.

Thanks again,
Christopher
Christopher Wilson

This thread was discussed between 11/11/2008 and 13/11/2008

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.