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MG MGA - BUILDING A BODY FIXTURE

Hello All!

After 45 years of ownership I plan to do a frame off restoration of my 1959 MGA. I plan on building a Fixture to hold the body once it is removed from the frame. Does anyone have accurate Dimensions of the body to frame attachement points so I can build the fixture prior to taking the body off the car?

Thanks!

Bill
WRJ JAMES

Hey Bill, where in NC are you located?

-Christopher
Christopher Wilson

Your frame is the dimensions you need to know. If your body is going back onto your frame then all that matters are that they match. As long as your car is not a trapezoidal wreck that is.
First remove the doors and the shut plate covers. Make 1/4" plates that attach to the hinge points and the latch point. Then connect the points with square tubing. Remove the dash and rear cockpit surround. Make plates and bolt them to the front and rear of the cockpit. join those plates with square tubing.
I assume that there is still enough in your sills to stay connected while you pull the body and that the 4 frame mounting points are still solid. Remove body from frame. Bolt 2 pieces of square tubing between the pairs of frame mounts. Join those with square tubing.
You now have the body secured and can replace the inner sills one side at a time.
In the picture below I used threaded rod accross the top. Better than nothing but not a good idea. join solidly accross this area with a solid welded fixture like I described. I used nothing in the door opening. Again a real bad idea. A V shaped fixture accross the opening will protect The MOST IMPORTANT dimension of the body.
R J Brown

I'm in Southport, just South of Wilmington
WRJ JAMES

I clicked the wrong button. Submit instead of upload.
Here is the picture of my first attempt at a frame off. The fixture joining the 4 frame point can be seen. This worked but securing the top and door openings before pulling the body would have made it better.

R J Brown

Bill, I'm not sure what you have in mind, but a wooden dolly can be readily built to support the MGA body. I built one for my coupe with doubled-up 2x4's and good heavy duty casters. I supported the body under the firewall shelf area and under the trunk floor. I did not remove the body from the frame until most of the weld repairs were completed, thereby using the frame as a jig. This is the recommended approach, along with bracing of the roadster body, when ready to remove, as described by RJ.
G Goeppner

Bill,
Here's what I built from large diameter electrical conduit along with various pieces of angle iron. The stanchions are borrowed from our local club. Two engine stands might be modified. I used the front radiator mount flange as the front mount. The goal post holes an the middle front mount. The rear cockpit rail mounts as the middle rear mount and the rearmost frame mounting holes as the rear most mount. By going through the grille hole, through the spare tire cutout and out the trunk, the weight is evenly distributed allowing easy rotation.
Doug

D Sjostrom

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think the car is in pretty good shape. It came off the road in 1966 and became a race car for 10 years. It was never in a wreck. It then lived in unheated garages till now.
WRJ JAMES

Bill, if you do the sill repairs before you remove the body from the frame then all you need is some bracing across the door openings and it should keep its shape nicely. A good strong jig that would keep the body in alignment while you do sill repair work would be pretty involved to build but certainly can be done. I don't have dimensions but you can get a good idea from the photos on the Eclectic Motorworks web site of their body and frame jigs. http://www.eclecticmotorworks.com/
There are lots of rotisserie designs around, and that's so much more useful than a simple dolly that if you have to make a choice I'd go with a rotisserie that is mounted on casters so you basically cover both needs with one tool.
Bill Young

Bill, below is a link to a great forum that deals with automotive finishes. I would post your question there as well!
http://autobodystore.com/forum/index.php
WMR Bill

Woops! posted to wrong question
WMR Bill

Bill,
I built a body dolly out of 2 x 4's, and put 4 castors on it. I have a drg with dimensions, so if you email me directly I can scan the drg and email it to you. I'll also take a photo of the finished dolly so you can see what it looks like.
Worked well for me as I was able to roll the body around the garage while I worked on the chassis.
Peter.
P. Tilbury

This thread was discussed between 02/03/2009 and 03/03/2009

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