MGB V8 Roadster restoration project Report 67

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1 19th August This report jumps a bit from one subject to another. If I need to put some thought into a certain aspect of the rebuild I tend to get on with another job and sleep on the problem until I think of a solution. Let s put the hinges on the bonnet. Oh dear! Cutting away the parts that are stopping the wing line up with the bonnet. Left hand front wing to bonnet gap. Oh dear, Oh dear! Something needs to be done here. That s starting to look a bit better. Still not perfect. We better have a look at the other side and see what we can do there to help the situation. I was happy with the gap of the bonnet to the bulkhead. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 1

2 As I am going to remake the metal parts that surround the grille on the sides I need to get rid of this bit. While I waited for a bonnet catch to arrive I got on with the job of remaking the area where the indicators will fit. I had been waiting for the compressor to come back from repair so I could blast the paint off the bits of repair metal. The bonnet and wings are fitting. Still not happy with the gap in the centre between the bonnet and the grille. Let s find the bonnet catch and fit that. After much searching, I looked at the old photos and found that there was not one with car! I decided to hide the seams on the panel between the boot lid and the hood. To check that they were not sticking up proud I ran a sander over the area and cleaned out the gap. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 2

3 The reversing lights on the MGBs look to me like an afterthought. I decided to do away with them on this car. Reverse lamp hole welded up and ready to fill. After making a cardboard template, cutting the sheet metal out and pinning it in place, I welded the plates over the holes. The boot lid had been fitted with a chrome luggage rack. You can see it hanging on the wall in the background of the photo. This luggage rack had left eight holes in the boot lid that needed welding up. Do I also get rid of the MG badge on the boot lid and move it to the rear panel on the opposite side to the filler cap? I ll have to have a think about that and leave that decision until later on. The large self tapping screws they had used for the rack had pulled the metal on the boot lid up so I had to carefully panel beat it back in place before welding them up. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 3

4 Reverse light hole and rear panel seam filled in with bodyfiller. After making my nice panel for the front join between the bodyshell and the front glass fibre valance I had to cut it off as it sat too high for the new front grille. Instead I made three brackets to mount both the front valance and the front grille. The seam at the back of the hood is no more! Hidden from view with bodyfiller. When filling an area with a hole, like this one for the hood, or tonneau cover, after each application of bodyfiller, put a drill through to clear the hole as you will loose the original hole if you keep putting filler over the top of it. When it comes to final assembly, you drill a hole where you think it should be and it is in the wrong place. At last I am starting to get somewhere with the front end of the car. The next job is to make some brackets to hold the front grille in position at the top. The proper ones that were supplied were the wrong shape. I decided to make some new ones out of 20mm x 3mm flat bar and cut threads in each end. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 4

5 Tapping the thread in the top centre bracket for the front grille mounting. I need to make a place to put the bonnet prop in. At present I am using the hole where the bracket for the radiator brace bolts on. More thought needed! The new centre bracket. Ready to mark the position of the second threaded hole. The /65 91V Avon ZV7 tyres I had fitted to the Minilite replica wheels that came with the car. Will they fit the rear arches? I had better put the axle together. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 5

6 I cleaned up the bearings on the halfshafts with cleaning thinners. Checked that they spun nicely with no noise and put a little oil on them. Using long bolts to pull the bearing and halfshaft into the bearing housing. The bearings were then packed with grease before being put back in the rear axle casing. When the bearing cap was near enough to fit the original bolts I changed the temporary long bolts for the original bolts. But don t forget to fit the brake backing plate, because you can t fit it after you have put the wheel hub on. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 6

7 Ooop s I better put a bit of sealer between the two faces. As I just wanted to find the width of the axle, with the wheels and tyres on, I did not bother, at this stage to fit the brake shoes etc. I put some copper slip grease on the splines before fitting the hub. I made a wooden gauge by screwing two bits of board to a length of 4 x 2 timber and made sure the vertical plank touched the tyre at the top and bottom. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 7

8 Making sure the flat bat was at right angles to the 4 x 2 timber. With the gauge I made up, I checked if the wheels would fit the wheel arches. As you can see from the photo above and the photo below, of the left hand side and the right hand side, the answer is NO. It is better to find out now, than when the bodyshell is painted. Still no clearance on the right hand side. I decided I had better modify my gauge so that it would fit inside the wheel arches, with the lump of 4 x 2 resting on the rear chassis rails. To this end, I made up two pieces of 25mm x 3mm bar and attached them to them to the 4 x 2 timber with wood screws. They sat inside the wheel arches and would be a good guide for when I jacked out the wheel arches to try and give enough clearance for the /65 tyres. Still no clearance on the left hand side. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 8

9 Using a hydraulic jack to increase the width between the wheel arches. Note, that I have large lump of wood at the bottom of the jack to spread the load. A smaller piece of wood is at the top of the jack. I have marked the arch with a felt pen and ticked of each section as jacked it. Checking the measurement before I start the jacking process. By jacking it in stages it worked fine. Should be enough clearance now. V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 9

10 When trying to move metal with a jack or a hydraulic porta power, once you hear a noise from the metal, you know something has moved, hopefully it is the metal you wanted to move! A couple of 1/8 diameter holes were drilled for the temporary fixing pins and five 5mm holes drilled to weld through to the bracing plate below. With the rear wheel arches sorted it was back to some more welding. This area by the door mirror had been welded previously, and cracked again. It needed some strengthening behind the outer door skin. A plate was made and beaten into shape to weld behind the outer door skin. The whole repair area was taken down to bare metal and the old repair welding cut out of the door skin. I left one of the original mirror mounting holes as a guide, as it seemed to be in the correct place. Time will tell if I am correct in my assumption to leave the mirror screw hole where it was. Writing this now after the event I am having second thoughts! All welded up and the excess welds ground off. It s now ready for etch primer and filling with body filer. Let s hope I was right about leaving the one mirror hole! In the next thrilling report, you can look forward to revisiting the front of the MGB bodyshell, hopefully sorting out the problems for the last time. Well, you have to hope. It s looking now that it should not be any trouble getting the shell ready for paint on the 12 th September. As the photo above was taken on the 11 th August, my reports are at least a week behind the date below! If you have any comments, suggestions, or useful tips I can pass on, you can me at: 21th August V8 Register MG Car Club V8-restoration-Mike-Macartney-Rebuild-Report-67 10

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