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24th August 2015 - Continued...

With the engine built, it was time to finish the work on the chassis. To that end all the floorboards and toe boards were removed, I fabricated speaker pods to fit between the battery bays and the rear toe board. Once fabricated, painted and fitted I refitted al the boards and on the advice of Bill Jeffries (thanks once again Bill) I bedded the boards down on two parallel seams of black gutter sealer and then screwed them all down. Having done this I tanked all the seams with the gutter sealer and let it go off for a few days. Once dried the wholde of the floor had two good coats of chassis black.

Speaker pods visible just forward of the battery bays


The next thing on the list was to fit the fuel delivery system, namely tank, pump, solid and flexible lines. This went ahead with no dramas whatsoever, however, on final fit up it transpires that the copper fuel pipe I bought seems to be too short. I have followed the logical route for the pipe and confirmed it as correct in the excellent book 'Ultimate MGA'. It seems to be about a foot too short but with alternate routing in the engine bay, it works. I'll re-visit it in the future if it really bugs me.

Finally the time had come to fit the engine. I tried this on my own for about an hour or so, then gave up and enlisted No 1 son's assistance, thanks Dom. Dom and I tried to fit the engine to the already in situ gearbox but to no avail. After about an hour of writhing about on the floor I decided to remove the gearbox and assemble engine and box on the floor and fit it as a complete unit as I have always done with my MGB's both 1800's and the V8. In this format the assembly went from the floor to bolted in in about 20 minutes - should have done it like that in the first place!

With the engine bolted in I fitted the exhaust and rigged a temporary 'loom' (four wires, two switches) to be able to start the beast. With all connections tested and timing checked, Oil pressure gauge and tacho fitted I cranked with the coil and fuel pump off for oil pressure. Once I had pressure the fuel pump and coil were switched on, the choke pulled and then the starter pulled and ........ she starts and runs! Idles very sweetly! I did the usual victory dance around the garage, if I can find the video I'll put it on here too.

With that milestone out of the way the next job was to run a tap through all the body mounting holes and fit the chassis to body packing pieces. Nothing more to do now until the body is ready for collection .....

And so on to the body and paintwork. I visited the bodyshop several time and took photos of progress and eventually got to see the car in its final colour. What a choice! Absoloutely STUNNING! The photos below don't really give a good colour rendition, it's more turquoise in the flesh.

We went over to collect the body with the finished chassis on a trailer and re-united the two at the workshop, it went together first time surprisingly. After a nervous trip home on the M25 the car finally made it back to the garage, as we pulled up outside the house there was home made bunting strung all over the front of the house!

Bunting! Thanks Sharon and Mother in Law Enid!!

A few thank you's are appropriate at this point. To Vince at Mini Speed for the fantastic prep and paint, to my brother Ian for providing the tow car on each occasion, to Reece for loan of the trailer and to Dom, Alex and Robbie for the muscle.

Having got all the bits home, the rebuild starts in earnest. First task was to fit all the bolts between the body and chassis, next came the wiring loom & associated hardware such as fuse box, regulator, flasher relays and lights. This was followed closely by the hydraulic systems for brakes and clutch. Next came the dash and the heater with the drop down radio system, wiper motor and cables and the dash vents.


Therin lies a story, I only have one dash vent and cannot find another to buy as they're no longer available. With necessity being the mother if invention I had no choice but to fabricate one, a little daunting as it's rather a complex shape, however, I did it, it fits and doesn't leak and it only took a couple of hours. Not an exact copy, but functional.

All during the restoration process you may have seen in the photo's a really tacky metallic green gear knob on the gear stick. This was there to stop me poking and eye out or something suitably silly. John has taken the pi$$ mercilessly about this but cam up trumps with a present for me that arrived in the post... Thanks John.

I took delivery of the first package from Mirror Trim, they sent me all three carpet sets - front, rear and boot as well as underlay/sound deadening material and two cans of high temperature spray adhesive. These we duly fitted with no major dramas, I just took my time and trimmed each piece exactly to fit and was very careful with the adhesive!


With this done the oly major task remaining was to release the rear wings to fit the wing piping, remove the front wings to fit the four bolts each side into the upright of the goalpost and then refit the wings very carefully and install the front wing piping.

I have trial fitted the cockpit trim rails and the best that can be said is that they currently fit where they touch! All the original pieces need a little fettling whereas the new front and rear pieces fit perfectly.

The door locks and buffers are now fitted and adjusted and the doors close and latch with a pleasing thump.

I'm currently awaiting the return of the windscreen frame from the platers having had a delivery of all the new parts needed to construct a complete screen.

The quest for the correct door seals has led me to the USA, in the form of Todd Clarke. They, along with new rubbers for my weathershield side curtains are being shipped here as we speak. What a nice helpful chap he is, I thoroughly recommend his services. Have a look for and you wont be dissapointed. I emailed him some questions and got very prompt replies despite the time difference and at a weekend too!

I had a birthday last week and the family all clubbed together and bought shed loads of chrome - front and rear bumpers, overriders, all the dome headed bolts & fittings, MGA wing ovals, skeleton boot badge, windscreen grab handles and the very un-blingy but necessary felt type air filter elements for the Vokes air filters. The rear bumper went on fine but the front bumper irons fought every step of the way but in the end the best man won.


I did have a small drama with the refurbished master cylinder leaking and ended up scrapping it and buying a new Lockheed version. With it fitted, I have tried several times using different methods to bleed the brakes and clutch, none have been completely successful although I do have operating brake and clutch pedals albeit with very low biting points. I hope to resolve this sometime this week if it ever stops raining! Don't you just love summer in England?

The next steps should be, not in any particular order, build and fit windscreen, fit interior trim panels, fit seat cover set and new foams, paint hood frame (when it comes back from blasting) fit frame and hood, refurbish side curtains, tighten suspension fittings, tracking, align headlights. And I think thats it .....

If the weather improves I'll try to get some 'whole car' photos and put them here soon.

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