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MG TD TF 1500 - Front wings

I am stripping my body parts at a decent clip and hope to finish all but the tub and front wings within two weeks. I need a little welding done to each front wing and then I would like to check them for symmetry before I complete the paint removal. Do you think it is possible to build a jig out of wood to mount them on and take decent measurments? I could have the Hot Rod shop that will do the welding do the work but it will cost lots of money I would rather spend on the paint.

Rob Welborne


I worked for a while in an antique restoration shop that specialized in Auburn's and 55 - 57 TBirds. Since so many handmade panels needed restoring on the Auburns, one fabricator made wooden bucks for every fender, door, and various sections of the body shell.

He started with a 3/4 inch plywood base that the fender/panel would sit upright on (in its correct orientation on the car), and slightly larger.

From there he made temporary stands at several places along and underneath the fender/panel, in order to support it in its proper placement. These were made from the same plywood, and fastened to the base with drywall screws (they make a small hole, don't need predrilling, and can quickly be removed to reposition pieces).

Then, just like those wooden framed airplane models we all made out of balsawood kits as kids, he added plywood cross sections down the length and width of the fender/panel, using cardboard templates transferred to plywood and cut out on a jigsaw. When finished, the bucks were massive, but will last for years of panel beating.

Now, you won't require anything as elaborate as that, but you should consider having a template for every 6 to 10 inches of length and width. Maybe you'll want to stretch those numbers a bit if you figure that is too much work. Good Luck whichever way you go!

P Burgess

Thanks Gene, thats a big help.

Rob Welborne

All you need is a flat floor.
You already have a fixture.
You will need the headlamp brackets and rad shell (best), or make a dummy (must locate solidly/accurately to frame).
Bolt them to the frame as they mount on the car, level it on the floor, measure away. Drop plumb lines to the floor and measure just like the book shows for frame checks.

Home brew telescoping rods are better than tape measures for checking dimensions in places like floor to fender. Mark measure points at both ends - angle changes really screw you up!
Pieces of threaded rod in various length sections of tubing work for this and are strong enough to give useful support. I have dozens of these in varied sizes and lengths.
A big plywood 3-4-5 triangle (or two, with feet to hold it square to floor) makes lateral measurements easier; line it up with floor marks.
Styrofoam or foam core board is good for cutting templates for curvature; use a RotoZip tool.

This also gives a secure mounting to tweak from, and they will fit the car when you finish. It is quite amazing how welding or panel beating can change the shape 3 feet away, where they mount!

No clue why you want to wait to strip them; any damage concealed by the paint needs to be found. Check before and after any welding or other work.

FR Millmore

Thanks Fletch,

I just didn't want to get it back all scratched up from the sheet metal guys after they weld the cracks for me. I will stip it before I make sure it is symmetric.

Rob Welborne

This thread was discussed between 22/04/2012 and 24/04/2012

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