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MG MGA - MG TD owner looking at MGA

I'm a TD owner looking at a MGA older restoration tomorrow. What should I look for? Areas of rust, etc? Any advice would be appreciated.
david kirkpatrick


The worst rust seems to be in the chassis side rails, particularly below the doors, in the gap behind the rocker panels,
Also rust in the rear door pillars, especially near the bottom.

M F Anderson

If you like a TD, you will LOVE an MGA.
David Werblow

Rust can appear just about anywhere on the body - but the chassis should be rust free - but look especially on the rails that hold the floorboards in place. And as David says , the sills (rockers) below the doors can rot from the inside as well as the F section behind them.
The main areas on the body that rust are inside the boot (trunk)floor and inner wings. The bonnet ( Hood) shroud can also rust just where it meets the front wings and is expensive to repair. Check the A posts ( part of the F section) are sound by trying to lift the doors when you open them - they should not move at all. The doors, hood and trunk lid are aluminium so look for a reaction at the join to the steel frame. Good luck .
Cam Cunningham


May be worth the investment in one of the restoration books to see the pitfalls before buying. Malcolm Green does a chapter in his 'MGA Restoration Guide' on 'Buying and Restoring an MGA' - Looking for a car to purchase. restoration and general advice. Identifying MGAs.

He has photos of the rust prone areas as described above.


PS. I had an MGTC and converted to the MGA. Never looked back.
Steve Gyles

David, you would do well to look over Barney Gaylord's site, He has an entire section devoted to what to look for when considering an MGA and an entire website on how to restore/repair one.

Just a caution, it's a huge website, so look at it when you can spend a couple of hours or more.

Larry Wheeler

WOW!!! the MGA GURU is quite a site. Thanks to all for the input. Will look at the MGA it in a day or two and will let the group know what I find.

david kirkpatrick

David, if you'll take pictures and post them, the folks here can give you an idea of the pros and cons of the car. Focus especially on the door shut lines, good shots of the front and rear and take lots of shots of the underside and the door sills. Don't forget the interior, trunk and engine compartments.
Larry Wheeler

Stick your fingers up from the bottom between body sill and frame. If you find a solid vertical panel there from front wheel arch to rear wheel arch, and you don't pull back bloody stumps on your hands, the car might be good. About 90% of unrestored MGAs will have empty air space and rusty metal edges in the body sills. Nearly all of then have rusted battery trays (if they have not been previously repaired), but battery trays are easy enough to fix with a little structural welding. Rusted body sills are a lot more work, and rusted frame is more work yet.
Barney Gaylord

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2012 and 27/04/2012

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