It's only been a few weeks since my last post on the B, but a lot of great progress has happened since then!
I worked a few evenings through the weeks, but most of the big progress happened this weekend in which I put 2 solid days of work in.
With the car rolled outside in the beautiful hot sunshine, great music, food and drinks at hand - it was absolutely glorious!
The biggest - and slightly tricky next step forward was getting the car off of the rolling cart that the body shop made for it.
While the cart has been a very convenient tool for work height, and ease of rolling around etc. I have assembled as much as I can before getting the car back on her own wheels.
With the help of a neighbour, we jacked the car high enough to remove the cart, and then lowered it onto some axle stands where I installed the rear axle & suspension.
I also installed the front suspension cross member, but still without the coil springs.
As I don't have the correct type of spring compressor, I'll need the weight of the engine installed first to be able to install the coil springs with a jack.
Until then, I made a rolling cart out of wood to support the front end while the back end can now roll on her own wheels.
I made sure to use Anti- seize on all of the hardware threads to protect them from corrosion etc.
I've also been using a product called Fluid Film that is an oily rust inhibitor containing wool wax. It can be sprayed and wiped onto virtually everything except rubber & upholstery. It finds it's way into all the nooks and cranny's and prevents any moisture or corrosion from getting in. It's even recommended as an undercoating for vehicles that will stop rust and prevent anymore for forming. It even gives everything a nice shine when it's applied, water just beads off of it.
In the interior I installed all the original 1/4" jute underlay on the floors and then the original rubber floor mats and seat tracks.
I also finished the rear cockpit area by installing the battery box lid with it's new rubber seal, and then installing all the original carpets, snap hardware, rear 1/4 panels, back board, and the rear cockpit rail.
Interestingly my interior panels were all fit with black screws and washers rather than chrome.
The carpets I spruced up by actually cutting and splicing in small worn areas with bits of matching carpet I salvaged from my second original tunnel carpet. It was crazy tedious to hide the small repairs, but I'm quite pleased with the results:
I installed the door handles, and much of the inner door mechanisms for the latch/lock and wind up window assemblies, including the 1/4 vents. I replaced the fuzzy window guide strips too.
With a battery hooked up, I proved out all of the electrical auxillary functions like lights, horns and I even got the old AM radio working!
The MGB is starting to come to life! I have been absolutely loving the satisfying process of restoration too. Next week I hope to be installing the engine and drive train, so stay tuned.
Until next time -
Another busy week has come and gone with a bit more progress on the B,
This week I finished the dash top by adding the padded crash rail along the top edge.
If I ever do this again, I would install the dash top and crash roll Before I install the dash!
- reaching the nuts and washers under the dash and wiring was a tedious job!
I also installed the rubber sill covers and all the original front foot well carpets with their jute backings.
The sill covers were new ones from Moss (the only rubber mats available still are the sills) They only come in black, so I had to dye them with SEM colour.
Unfortunately I learned the hard way that they need to be thoroughly cleaned with brake cleaner to remove any residue or release agent before they're sprayed with colour. My first attempt didn't stick very well so I had to clean them off and try again.
I also glued in the original rear wheel arch carpets. All of the carpets on this car are original pieces that I carefully cleaned and re-dyed with SEM colour spray dye.
It will be one of the few cars out there with all original carpet - a fine, unbacked, loop pile type of carpet that is no longer produced or available.
I also got into installing some of the outer bright work like the stainless trim strips along the sides of the body, and the original Lucas fender mirrors.
I had purchased a new set of stainless fender strips from MOSS with new clips and rivets, but unfortunately I found that 2 of the strips had fine manufacturing marks/blemishes in the steel. I'll have to return those ones and find a few better ones to finish the set.
It's crucial that the rivets used to hold the mounting clips are installed nice and tight - any play or slop will result in gaps between the strips and the body.
In keeping with the bright work, I also fit the original AMCO luggage rack that came with the car - likely installed sometime back in the 60's, it's an original one. I made new rubber buffer strips to protect the chrome and paintwork.
The next big steps will be getting the car off of it's rolling cart and back onto it's own wheels/suspension.
I've got everything about ready to go but I'm stuck trying to install the coil springs in the front suspension unit. I'll need to borrow a proper style spring compressor to do it safely.
In the meantime I did install the rear shocks and bump stops today -
Until next time -
I've continued plugging away on reassembling the MGB. I put a few hrs in most evenings this week and then one full day on the weekend.
Needless to say I've made a lot of great progress!
I installed the grill, which I had previously cleaned up and re-chromed the surround. This is the original early style grill that has the riveted stainless steel teeth.
I fit the MG logo's on the boot lid, and fit a new boot lid seal too.
I still need to adjust the hinges to get a better fit of the boot lid now that the seal is in place.
I also installed the heater which I had previously rebuilt with new seals and fresh paint. I made sure to get a good seal around all the gaskets and remembered to thread the brass oil pressure line through the firewall with it's grommet before installing the heater.
I still need to make the new screen printed lettering on the heater box face - these earlier cars had screen printed lettering instead of the stickers that are readily available. I'm thinking I may try making dry transfers.
With the heater installed I could hook up the air duct hoses, control cable and heat vents in the cockpit,
With the under dash area coming together I proceeded to install the windshield wiper motor and mechanisms. I made sure to first re-grease the gear mechanisms and line first, and then hooked up the wiring correctly with the flasher unit,
Today I put in a full day and installed the dash with all the gauges, switches, wiring and control cables.
It was a tedious job installing some parts like the heater vent control cables and the radio, but a headlamp for light and a couple of pillows to save my back helped a lot,
I made sure to double check every electrical connection and referenced my wiring diagrams and pics to make sure I hooked everything up again correctly.
I then glued in the vinyl dash top cover and installed the demister vents and chrome finishers on the corners for finishing the door seal ends. These chrome finishers need to go on before the padded dash edge crash rail can be installed,
On the opposite side of the firewall, you can see the black grommets and cables coming through for the oil & temperature gauges.
The choke and heater cables for some reason, originally had brownish/red coloured grommets! I've noticed this detail on just about every original car I've found pics of - for some reason just those 2 grommets were redish/brown, but all the other grommets were black. Curious...
There's lots more to come,
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.