1:1 1973 M.G. Midget model restoration

Discussion in 'Off Topic - Card Modeler Lounge' started by zathros, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    The engine has 8,000 miles since I blue printed it. Forged racing pistons, shot peened connecting rods, all bearings replaced and measured with ("plasti-gauge"), which mean assembly of the motor, then disassemble, twice over. 10 degree Kent Cam, and a 40mm Side draft Weber Carburetor with modified intake manifold and header exhaust system. The engine block was line honed and machined to factory spec. She purrs like a kitten!

    The body, well, I have stripped it down and cut out virtually every offending piece. This means "Bondo" work done to it years ago, about 30 years ago, not by me. I am doing an all steel restoration. Card modeling really helps because I can make all the templates out of cardstock and then welding becomes much easier. These pictures represent the passenger car. Tis car was given to me. A tree 8 inches in diameter, about 35 feet high was growing out of it. The guy said it I could get it out I could have it. I removed the tree and drove the car away,(it sat there for many years needless to say, and the guy became hesitant at giving it to me, but kept true to his word. :)

    It looks rough, but I own a lot of metal working equipment, including Mig/Tig welders, so rust does not intimidate me. All metal used has been recycled from washing machines, which use exceptionally high quality steel, and other similar appliances. I just wanted to post these pictures to have something to compare them with when completed. I was offered $6000 dollars for the engine by a guy who races these! I said no, but he gave me a brand new set of Honda CRX seats, which I will use, I would have preferred the Recaro seats he had just purchased! . This will be a restoration, but not a "purists' type restoration.

    Looks daunting, doesn't it? :)

    Attached Files:

  2. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

    It does look daunting, yes. But, if you've got the tools, skills, materials, time and the will, no problem! This will be intersting to see, thanks for showing us.

    Scott K.
  3. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

    Using washing machine metal, Now that is something I would not thought off. Just like card modeling, thinking outside the box.
  4. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    Nice thing about washing machines is you leave the procelein on the inside, paint with zinc weld through primer, and it keeps any rust at bay. Those companies use really high quality steel on those machines.

    It will be a project, but the car owes me nothing, I put 48,000 miles on it before I rebuilt the engine. It deserves a go over. I have decided that the car is going inside my workshop, this outside working is ridiculous. You are always subject to the weather. :)
  5. ennder

    ennder Member

    I had a Orange '72 Midget back in collage. It was a hand me down car I got from an older brother. It didn't run long. He had gotten it hot and popped the bottom water hose. I didn't know, and got stranded on the way to school. I ended up rebuilding the motor and doing some body work on it. I knew nothing about Bondo, but my dad tough me how to Lead the panels and hammer out the dents. My sister has the car now. She loves it :)

    I did find a good site for Parts www.victoriabritish.com
    They have just about everything for British cars.

  6. micahrogers

    micahrogers Active Member

    Good luck with the rebuild, it definatly deserves a redo. It should look as good as it runs when you are done. keep us posted.
  7. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    Leading is a great thing. It would have been nice to have been mentored through that. I use Moss Motors, and Victoria British, but to be honest, I make virtually everything I need.

    1275 motors cannot be run with retarded timing or they seriously overheat. The stock carbs are junk. The DCOE 40nn or 45 (if racing) is the way to go. The wire to the heater blower motor is too small of a gauge. Increasing the gauge of the wire will actually make air come through the vents!! All the connectors are Brass. I cut and replace ever connector as I come across it with modern connectors, and put a dab of di-electric grease in there. For the big connectors, I take them apart, polish the connectors and pins, the put them back together with di-electric grease. The fuel pump is for all intents and purposes a bomb. I replaced that with a universal 0 to 5 lb. fuel pump that works great and has no points.

    The nose piece for the engine hood is no longer available, so I will have to form it. I may use a product from a company called http://www.alumalloy.com/, They make the same thing for steel, and it allows you to fill holes and sand it back down. Great stuff. It is a structural repair. It is machinable. I have used it to make new bosses on broken cylinder heads.

    There are simple things you can do to these cars which make them run for a very long time.

    Mine was that hideous lacquer Blue. I am really leaning towards painting it white. They really look good in white. I may make a complete fiberglass nose for it, but that won't be this year. It would be nice to be able to pop off the whole nose section to tune it up.

    I hope it looks as good as it runs. It does an easy 100 mp.h.. If I can get it in my shop, I can spend more time on it.

    I thank you all for the comments, and if you ever know any tidbits, please let me know. I accidentally broke the capillary tube from the water temperature gauge. I know how to fix it, but keep forgetting what chemical they used in there? :)
  8. Rogerio Silva

    Rogerio Silva Active Member


    It sure looks like you have a long time and lots of work ahead of you... Then again, if I know you, I think you'll do a GREAT job, and it'll pay off.
    I know you won't rush things up, and mechanics is not my thing at all, but I do like restorations, and I'm following this!
    Thanks for sharing,

  9. trt

    trt Member

    Ah Zathros another project. When are you going to find the time?

    If you ever come to the uk, bring you welder with you. I've got a 76 Jaguar in the garage that needs some work.
  10. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    You know, the British used high quality steel on these things. Probably all the stuff dropped on them from the wars. In any event, Butt welding is a pain in the "Butt". I also have a 1973 450 SL Mercedes Benz that needs attention, that's next. These "real" projects is why I have such a horrible track record on finishing models. I hope trying to moderate this place offers something to the hobby. I have used many pieces of paper to help in fabricating panels. I have been thinking about using the Tig Welder from some of the finer stiff, but the Mig is so much easier to use. :)

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