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MG MGB Technical - Body repairs - correct order

Hi all,
It's been a while since I last posted on here. I have finally the time and space to complete the work to get my mgb roadster back on the road.

From what I can see I need to repair / replace the following panels.

Front wings (replace)
Front inner wing top, where wings mount (repair)
Trumpet (replace)
Splash panels and flange (repair)
Side panel?? the one that makes the outer edge of foot well (repair)
Membrane, inner and outer sill (replace)
Lower rear wing, below chrome strip (replace/repair)
front valance (replace)
Floor pan (replace)

I think I know which order to do these but your views would be much appreciated. I know it sounds a lot but most repairs are small ones. Any tips on the rear wing would be helpfull i.e. how do you weld the inner rear wing to the outer rear wing with a MIG (no spot welder)

Your help is much appreciated.

Matthew Crabb


Get a copy of Mark Evans DVD "An MG is Born".

Very informative and a good laugh in places as well.

Jay Smith

Matt, A 15 pass van took the Ft/Rt Fender/(Wing in your world) off of my 66-B. I spent the extra money and purchased an original from Moss. If anyone ever found the 2X4 stretcher, I need a Fender/Wing stretcher. It's about 1/2in short at the door, and if I try to adjust it back, it is to short to reach the aprin holes. I know there has been lots written about this and I am looking them up in the archives. But could someone help Matt in where to purchase his parts, and tell me what to do with this midget fender. My car seems very straight after doing some measuring. Do I send this one back, or make it work?
Steve C.
Steve C.

The front valance (if you mean the panel below the bumper) can be done independantly of anything else.

The sill outer and membrane needs the lower halves of both wings to be cut away, and most of the rest is easiest done with the front wing off. So that comes off first and goes back on last, along with the rear half-wing going back on. The floor is easiest replaced once the inner sill has been removed and before it is replaced, as it is sandwiched between that and the castle section. Leave the doors in place until you have the outer sill tacked in place at the very least or you will probably loose the alignment to it. The footwell and splash-panel flange can be patched to the new floor and sills.

The most important thing is to brace the shell while you have sills and floor out. That's one of the things the Mark Evans series rather glossed over. He showed a fancy brace that he could bolt in to hinges and striker plate mountings and adjust to get the correct alignment, but when removed it was simply a welded bar, what happened to his fancy adjustable system he didn't say.

I'd also top-coat the front wing and the panel at the base of the windscreen with the wing off the car (or just short of the final coat at least), then use clear sealant to assemble them. If you paint with the wing fitted the join will crack and let moisture in to surfaces that won't be fully painted. Hopefully the sealant will flex and not let moisture in, and the fully painted surfaces will be better protected even if it does.
Paul Hunt 2

Paul, do you have any recommendations as to what clear sealant to use?
David Witham

Not from experience, but I'd try silicone i.e. something thats sets but remains flexible.
Paul Hunt 2

Don't use silicone. If 3M products are available in the UK use their Flexaclear sealant.
John H

Being a little bit sad I do spend some of my time at car shows looking at the wing to scutle joint on MGBs

What I have noticed is that dirt tends to stick to the non setting sealants.

From my own use I have found that silicone sealant sometimes pulls paint off with it when parting the joint. Although that may be a paint adheasion problem. I had put black silicone sealant under the windscean frame to car seal and when I later removed the frame some paint came away.
David Witham

Matt, when I painted my car two years ago I painted the mating area of both the wing and the scuttle panel before assembly. When I bolted the wings on I used the flexaclear to seal the joint, removed all the excess selant, and then painted the car. So far, so good. between how tight the wings were installed coupled with the flexable sealant and the fact that urathane paint is quite flexable I do not expect to have a problem.
Todays car makers are using wide thick applications of sealant between the roof panels and side panels of SUV's and then painting over it with minimal problems. There are two thinks you never want in the same place and that is silicone and paint.
David, If you can get it use 3M's bedding and glazing compound between the windscreen rubber and the car, it is black and sticky but never hardens. Excess can be removed with mineral spirits or naptha.
John H

Cheers guys for the info so far. I have been watching the an MG is born series on DVD. Just wondered what everyones views / experiences are with his use of a two part acrylic glue to join the B post to the rear wing and the top of the rear wing to rest of body, seems like a bit of a bodge to me. Would like you views.


Matthew Crabb

The trouble is Matt that the car was never built the way Mark Evans did it. In the factory, the top of the rear wing seam was assembled off the car, and the wing was then fixed to the car complete with the panel to the side of the boot lid already attached. There are seams on the deck where the hood attaches and below the boot lid in the region of the reverse lights.

The average do-it-yourselfer doesn't want to do this, so he splits the wing at the beading. Trouble is you can't get a welding torch in to remake this joint. Hence the adhesive, which should be fine. This is not a stressed joint.

On my GT rebuild, I have bolted it all along this top joint. I found a nice explanation of how to do this on the web. I drilled through from the inside of the car and bolted the wing with 12 socket headed bolts into a threaded steel strip which nicely holds the whole lot together. The GT's interior trim will hide the holes I drilled. I'm not sure if this a viable option on the roadster.

Mike Howlett

Also, let me stress what Paul said about bracing across the door opening. I welded a 1" square section tube across each door to keep it's shape. If you don't the car will sag in the middle, especially a roadster. It isn't very easy working on the sills with the doors in place, so before you do anything, very carefully mark round the door hinges so you can put the doors back exactly where they were. Then do the sills first and line them up with the bottom of the door. Tack them in place, take off the door and weld up properly. I fitted the floors after I'd done the sills, and it was OK. It's not much fun welding down in the footwells!

Then do the rear wing and line that up with the door too. Front wings are last. These must be lined up not only with the doors but also with the bonnet lid. It's a lot of work, but satisfying when you have got it right - I'm almost there!

Mike Howlett

Cheers guys that's a great help. I have been looking at the car in more detail I only need to replace the rear wing from the top beading down. All repair panels that are for the beading down that I can find end midway round the point below the rear light cluster. The problem is that this car has had a bit of a knock right on this point and the panels are dented on both the inner and the outer side of the light. Anyone know of anywhere that sells a repair panel for this area. I can't afford to pay for a full rear wing just to get this part of the body work.

Cheers in advance

Matthew Crabb

I've seen those described as 'hulls', from their similarity to the front or rear of a boat (Q: "What's the difference between a ship and a boat?" A: "A boat is what you get into when the ship sinks"). I don't think I've ever seen those sections separately, I made my own where the originals were rotted through. I decided to go for the simple approach i.e. no vertical seam, but if I were doing it again would probably include the seam.
Paul Hunt 2

You can buy the "hull" as a piece on its own - I got one from MGB Hive. It has a dummy seam down it formed in the pressing. It is normally used when converting from rubber to chrome bumpers. I used one on my car because they couldn't get a chrome rear wing at the time, so sold me a rubber bumper wing and the "hull" piece to make it all work on a '69 car. Looks fine once fitted and the seam disguised.

Mike Howlett

Matt, you mention glueing the top of the rear wing. While this may be seen as a bodge it is potentially a better solution then the original welding.

You tend to find small gaps under the T shaped beading that is in that joint. These gaps tend to be the starting point for rust. Many of the automotive panel adheasives have gap filling properties. As a result your glued top seam should provide a more rust resistant result, always provided it is clear of rust when glued together.

The following website has some information about some of the automotive glue available.
David Witham

Thanks Mike. I looked at a the pictures of repair panels from couple of suppliers but couldn't see them. I presume this is item 49, 'Rear Wing Below Light Repair', which doesn't seem to be pictured.
Paul Hunt 2

This thread was discussed between 23/06/2007 and 02/07/2007

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