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MG MGA - Fender washers

Now that I have removed all four wings for a repaint of the car, what is the correct color for the fender washers? Should these match the body color, and are the bolt heads typically painted to match?

Also, Is there a standard location for the two round front fender mirrors? I have seen these mounted in a variety of places on MGA's, from closer to the headlights, center of wheel wells and nearer the windscreen. I guess the location could be subjective, based the the driver's personal preference and aesthetics.

F Valenzano

Fender washers and bolt heads are, I believe, painted body colour.
Fender mirrors are usually positioned directly above front wheel centres. However, if you fit them there, you will struggle to adjust them - they get knocked very easily, and you need a second person to adjust them.
P. Tilbury

Wing mirrors are an aftermarket accessory, originally installed by the dealer or by the car owner, so you put them wherever you like. Over the wheels is cute for appearance but makes for tunnel vision which is not so useful. I have a different preference, see here:
Barney Gaylord

Fender washers and bolts painted?...don't, just get them cad/zinc plated by a reliable plater.
Gary Lock


Assumption: Fender (US) = Wing (UK)

The washers and boolts were originally body colour, as I believe, the inner wing was sprayed when the car was assembled, so they would get a coat of paint. I agree with Gary, and definitely get some good zinc plated ones, but a lick of paint won't hurt. I've strayed from the originality path and stone-chipped the inner wings then gave them lashings of black paint to protect them from stones.

I have chosen to fit period clip-on mirrors. They clip onto the windscreen frame, thus requiring no holes to be driled in to the wing and can be easily removed. I'm not sure if they interfere with the "windows", but I'm only planning to run with a tonneau cover.

Good luck,

Grant :-)
G Hudson

Fran, this is the kind of mirror I have fitted it requires no drilling of holes, works very well, very rarely gets knocked and can be adjusted from the driver's seat. I have seen several other cars with the same mirrors.
Lindsay Sampford

"Washers" painted or not probably depends on whether the cars were painted after assembly or the painted panels were attached to the body shell. I have left mine zinc plated. The main thing to bear in mind , however, is NOT TO DO THE BOLTS UP TOO TIGHT as this distorts the (thin) material that the mudguards were made of! I made this mistake with my coupe (and therefore have creases corresponding to the mounting bolts) but I avoided this with my (later) roadster restoration by not doing up the bolts too tight!

Barry Bahnisch


Thank you for the lead on those Desmo type 263 oval mirrors. They look like they were made for MGA. I found them on the Vintage Car Parts web site, about $175 USD for the pair.
After reviewing your installation process, it sounds like your mirrors are held in place by only one screw, is that correct?
F Valenzano

Fran, the credit goes to Phil Parmenter for "discovering" the mirrors and devising the method of fitting them, but yes, they are fitted by one of the existing frame screws, although you may have to get hold of a slightly longer screw to accomodate the mirror. I can't remember the size or thread pattern but they were easy to find from a fastening supplier and the raised countersunk heads look exactly the same as the rest of the frame screws (I can have a dig and find the exact screw type if you would like me to). As the note on Barney's site says, I stuck a screw head in the other mirror fixing hole to make it look right, I also put some epoxy glue (Araldite) under the fixing bracket to make it even more secure.
Lindsay Sampford

Fran, the screw I used to fix the mirror was a 10 UNF Raised countersunk POZIDRIVE x 1" - Chrome Machine Screw. The windscreen screws should be 2BA, but I was unable to obtain a 2BA raised countersunk with a posidrive, only slotted was available, so I used a #10 UNF which is very close to the 2BA.
Lindsay Sampford

Thank you Lindsay. I am certain I will be able to find the 10 UNF raised countersunk screws. My car is in the paint shop now, but I will putting her back together in about 3 weeks.
F Valenzano

I have used the modern position for the mirrors - the one used on every car sold today. Put them on the front edge of the door. They don't get knocked, no tunnel vision, no getting in the way of the engine bay or spoiling the line of the car. Does entail dismantling the door panelling to get at the bolt, and a hole in the door.

See the picture on my page

I swivel the mirrors so that they are close into the body and almost resting on the rubber, that keeps them free from knocks and reduces vibration in the reflected image.
dominic clancy


Thank you for the suggestion. The doors surely look like a viable place for the mirrors. I would agree that they do not encumber the lines of the car in that location.

On another subject, I couldn't help but notice that you have installed a mesh grille insert on your 1500. Have you noticed a cooling improvement as a result?

F Valenzano

The Desmo Overtaking mirrors are available from the MGOC here in UK @ 39.95 each
P D Camp

This thread was discussed between 22/07/2010 and 27/07/2010

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