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15th March 2015

Well, here it comes, the next update, brace yourselves....

This last few weeks have been very busy and from time to time very frustrating. In brief I have final fitted and fettled the OS front and rear wings and have set the door gap to what looks even and pleasing to the eye, quick to type but a real pain to achieve as you will see below. I then moved on to doing the same with the NS front and rear wings and then the door gaps. This is not quite as good as the OS and will require more cutting and welding to get it 'just so'. In between the NS and OS fettling I sourced an original but surface rusty front valance as well as coming up with a stealth installation for an in car entertainment system. Read on for more thrilling details!

Offside stuff

The off side rear wing was rather worse for wear and needed extensive repair. As to be expected the lower edge below the B post was rather frilly and having already completed the same repair on the NS wing I jumped straight in and the repair went well. The next hurdle was the leading edge of the rear wing was mostly missing having perviously dissolved. I ended up cutting off the whole of the leading edge step that fits behind the closing panel and fabricating a new one from scratch.

Having done this both the OS wings were bolted in place and the door re-fitted to see what the gaps were like. Generally speaking once the door had been adjusted the fit was very good all the way around except for the door to front wing gap. This gap was too big and uneven so with a judicious bead of weld on the trailing edge of the front wing and gentle linishing the gap is good for the whole lot!

Distraction number 1

The next step was to turn the car around and repeat, which I sort of did. Well, I turned the car around anyway. I was distracted by trying to locate a good original front valance as I'd not heard good reports of the reproduction ones. My Mother's neighbour has a 1956 MGA 1500 roadster in pieces in her garage. Her late husband started the stripdown of the car prior to restoration before he died. She's currently trying to sell the car if anyone reading this waffle is interested.... Anyway, she'd said that if any of the bits I'd help her find from around the house, loft and sheds we useful to me I could have them. To cut to the chase I now had a bent and rusty original front valance. This needed some serious de-rusting action to see if it was salvageable and having proved it was sound, just light surface rust, I proceeded to cut out the beyond hope sections at either end, replaced tham and then with gentle persuasion from a 10 ton hydraulic press I was, with James's help, able to recover the correct shape and have subsequently fitted it to the car.


Distraction number 2

The purpose for this car has always been to go touring in a leisurely fashion and some music would be a bonus whilst doing so. I really didn't want a radio visible and would like some good quality music to listen to so I hatched a plan for a 'now you see me, now you don't' stealth mount for a PURE DAB radio/CD/MP3 player. In essence I fabricated an enclosure for the DIN sized unit, fitted some cut down and modified roller bearing drawer runners and a latch and now the radio drops down from behind the dashboard when required and can simply be pressed upwards to stow it behind the dash to keep the look of the car un-cluttered by modern technology. This has been quite fiddly to produce but I'm plesed with the result, it needed doing at this stage jsut in case I needed to weld anything to the bodywork to support the unit. As it happens, the bracketry picked up nicely on the brace bar under the scuttle and on the captive nuts for a left hand drive steering column. I'm currently looking for a 12v servo with adjustable end stops so I can lower and raise the unit by the push of a button, concealed, naturally. I think an air con flap servo will do the trick, I just need to source one and test it to see if it's man enough to move the radio.

Distraction number 3

Trying to make the bonnet fit. To be fair, it wasn't a bad fit, but now it's almost perfect. Tweaking invovled placing a length of 6" x 2" across the bonnet opening, closing the bonnet and leaning gently. It sounds barbaric but it worked!

Nearside stuff

With no more excuses, I repeated all the off side work on the nearside, however at the moment the results are not quite as good so a little more cutting and welding will be required. The gap and fit between the door and front wing is much better this side but the gap between the rear wing and door started out too small, the door overlapped the wing in places. Having altered it slightly, I may have been a little heavy handed as the gap is now too big! So the next step will be to close this gap slightly to give me an even gap all the way around. Last job on the NS will be to final fit the front wing, however the three forward bolt holes don't line up properly with the captive nuts in the side of the shroud so to do the job properly I'm going to weld up the existing holes and cut new ones in the right place.

Hopefully another update will be along in the near future.

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