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MG TD TF 1500 - TF Rear Apron

The rear apron that fits under the fuel tank on my TF had rusted through at the spot welded brackets. I believe this is a common problem. I welded in patches but because it is a large flat sheet there was some twist and I had to use bondo to finish the thing off. Despite scuffing the metal prior to applying the bondo it has cracked when I bolted the apton down, after painting!!!! I tried to buy a new apron from Hutsons who very fairly explained the one they had in stock was poor quality with the sunken well spot welded in. This would mean exposed seam sealer or the use of bondo or extensive lead loading. I thus visited a firm that make TF metal parts. Their apron also had a flanged/spot welded spare wheel well that would have needed more bondo than my original. I know a metal worker who would have no problems making a "solid" apron but am wondering if anyone has a source for high quality "allready made " ones.


Jan T
J Targosz

I bought a nice one years back from Abingdon Spares over here. The only thing it required was to have a body shop use his English wheel to put in a slight curvature which seems to be overlooked by aftermarket fabricators.
bob
R Brown

A well known T Type restorer here in NSW had nothing good to say about the one he imported from Moss. It was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as he was concerned! Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Jan, Check with Hugh Pite, he may have one. PJ
Paul S Jennings

Jan T
I have exactly the same issue. I made new brackets and welded mine up, then had to cover it with bondo to try and get it flat, but it has cracked in one area after painting. As a replacement I thought of the same supplier that I think you have looked at (West of London?) but assume the same issue would apply. I think he makes them for almost all the usual suppliers. I could make the flat part of it and the brackets, then weld in the old wheel well I suppose. I'm not against using some bondo, but want to avoid skimming the entire thing. One advantage of making one is that you can get a perfect fit - not easy with an off the shelf part,
Dave H
Dave Hill

Jan I bought a new one from Moss in the UK because mine had rusted in the same place. I was so disappointed with it I sent it back. The fit was awful and the well in the centre was roughly welded in. In the end I just got mine repaired.
Good luck Darryl
D Lamb

I must confess this is the worst part on the T cars to restore. No matter what you end up having to use filler on it.

When you mean scuffing did you really give it tooth with a grinder versus 60 grit paper? The filler really should not have pulled up or did it just stress crack, which is different?

I would also do your rough finish work and then install it temporarily. Let it settle in and maybe even put the filler on while it is installed if you can. Then pull it, plane it and put any additional coats of filler on prior to final finishing.

This might help the stress etc you experienced.
Christopher Couper

I think B&G has them, 199.86, at least their in their catalog. I have no idea if their any better than the other suppliers are selling. PJ
Paul S Jennings

I made a new rear valance for my car. I drew up the profile on CAD and then had a 10mm steel plate laser cut to the correct shape. I also had some sheet metal blanks cut the same way. ( I have a friend who had a laser cutter)

I then clamped the sheet metal to the steel using a plywood sheet and clamps and then hammered the edges over.

I salvaged the old wheel well and welded it into the valance. I have ended up with very good rear valance with no rust and no filler.

I have three spare valances minus the wheel well but the cost to send them overseas would be prohibitive.
Max Irvine

I am pretty certain the supplier I visited is the same one Dave is referring to. Advertised on line for 140 but told assertively that web page had not been updated and cost was 165. Also informed me he made parts for major suppliers.


Jan T
J Targosz

Now I think harder about it, the big issue is distortion from welding on the brackets and wheel well, then the inherent flexibility in the flat steel part. The steel flexes and the bondo separates. A couple of ways to improve this - use slightly thicker steel for the flat part or bond in place a stiffener underneath (avoiding spot welds). I don't have access to a laser cutter, but would use a guillotine and cutting disc, then hammer the edges over a plywood sheet as Max has said.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Dave: If you decide to stiffen it why not use door panel adhesive instead of welding?
Christopher Couper

That's what I had in mind, or epoxy.
Dave H
Dave Hill

I have had issues with epoxy. That door panel stuff is the way to go but bring your money.
Christopher Couper

Took the car back to the spray shop and we have decided to refinish the apron in situ with it bolted down. Hopefully this will prevent any cracks - until I have to remove it in the future! or until the chassis twists!

Jan T
J Targosz

Jan: If you can just get the rough work done in situ so it does not bend or spring back when being removed, you can still do the finishing part off of the car.

This is the way I generally do all my body work. I like to get all the shaping done in situ, or taking the parts off and on repeatedly, unless I get the resting state where I need it. This also means getting all the parts to flow seamlessly and smoothly together.

Then I can pull the car apart, or parts off the car, and do the finish work which could include the filler. Its that bending or forcing that probably caused your issues.

If you get the shape right while on the car it should not be under stress/strain but just be held in place.
Christopher Couper

Have you tried this?
http://www.sportscarmetalworks.com/t-type-price-list/
A R Jones

No comment

Jan T
J Targosz

I bought one from England around 1978. It cost to ship but was of fine quality, as I just re-restored my 1954 mgtf and it won first at the GOF 50th mk 95 last year, and then did the impossible at Greenwich CT concours this year by winning Peoples Choice over 124 foreign cars, many costing more than my house! Also won the Concours judged "Best English sports car 1954-1960 beating some beg bucks Jags and Astons. So I guess it was good enough for that. If I get more time will try to see where I got it, but it was 35 years ago and be be a moot issue.
Keith
K E MURPHY

Can you post some pics on a new thread Mr Murphy? I'm very keen to see what sounds like a wonder TF. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

There is a decent rear apron on ebay now. Item
121726634809

I don't know the seller.

Tom
'54 TF
T Norby

This thread was discussed between 21/06/2015 and 17/08/2015

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