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MG MGA - Chassis Plate

I've had a new chassis plate and Smiths heater plate screwed onto my car for ages now but they've never been stamped with the ID numbers. I asked an engraver to do this a while ago and he was not very keen at all - I think he thought I was up to no good. Have owners stamped their own plates? I checked ebay and see you can buy number and letter stamps quite easily and wonder if they are any good and is it possible to replicate the same stamp effect? I notice that the original stamping seems very sharp.
J H Cole


The problem for us amateurs with the single letter stamps is getting the alignment right for each stamp and hitting the dye with a consistant pressure. My efforts have never been satisfactory.

I got one of our black box modification departments (aerospace) to stamp my plates for a bottle of wine. I cannot guarantee that they look like the original stamping but they are very professsional. So you could think about approaching an engineering firm in your area to see if they have ID plate stamping machines.

Steve Gyles

Steve, I raised this issue a year or more ago and the general advice was to 'have a go' but since then I saw another DIY plate and the lettering was a real mess. I'm not sure if the problem was the type of stamp used or the person doing the stamping but the letters were not aligned as you say and not as sharp so this is why I wondered if anyone has succeeded in doing a half decent job.
J H Cole


Just for reference, this is what a professional lettering system can do for you.


Steve Gyles

Maybe you can first get an correct ID PLate witch you can find here

plate can also be graved



Hi John, I bought mine off Serge Vliegen in Belgium after failing to make a neat stamp with a DIY kit. cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

The price Serge has for engraving seems quite reasonable and looks great.

I have used the hand stamps in the past with acceptable results. To get the alignment right, clamp down with a block of wood to get a straight edge. Even better clamp with two blocks spaced to fit the stamps. Put pencil marks on the wood to get the horizontal spacing right. Getting a consistant stamp depth takes a little practice. When stamping, you need a heavy steel or cast iron backing behind the plate to get good results. I used the anvil on my shop vise.
Jeff Schultz

Todd Clarke will stamp your plate "profeesionally" but he does require proof of ownship.
Gordon Harrison

The early MGA's didn't say 'see engine' for the engine number, and you can tell they were stamped by two different people. The serial number of the car and the engine prefix look like they were stamped with a machine - all neat, in line and equal indentation.

The serial number of the engine itself, which didn't meet with the chassis until a certain point on the assembly line, often looks like it was stamped by a hung-over assemby-line worker on a Monday morning - uneven in terms of alignment and indentation.

Presumably anyone doing a concours restoration would avoid stamping the engine number uniformly and would seek to emulate original factory practice - a few bottles the night before and an early morning should do it! :-)
Bill Spohn

Harbor Freight sells a 1/8 inch set of number/letter stamps for less than $10. There was an article on how to best apply these in an issue of MGA! about a year ago. I seem to remember, as Jeff states, that the article also said a little practice was necessary, and that the plate should be backed up with something steel.
G Goeppner

This thread was discussed between 15/06/2008 and 16/06/2008

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