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1958 MGA Coupe driver quality restoration thread

Posted by bobs77vet 
bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

here is my 1958 MGA Coupe driver quality restoration thread. I purchased this from a 79 yr old man in Lancaster Va (Northern Neck area) who purchased it from a neighbors yard in 1985. It has been in and out of covered storage over his ownership and has never run in his ownership. He had previously restored an MGA in 1965 and purchased this to restore but never got around to it. He did however buy a complete leather interior kit, carpet kit, new bumpers and overriders, complete rubber gasket kit, headliner kit, new grill and he has good rear glass (all 3 pcs) and a good front windshield. The parts he bought are in good shape with some wear from storage and some fading on the carpet from the sun shining in on an open box. The door panels are a little bowed and I think they can be straightened out. of course this car came with an extra Triumph spitfire motor and trans and spit fire seats, extra MGA trans and an additional Bonnet. This will be a driver quality restoration done in my home garage and aimed at having fun and using the parts that came with the car. The work will be done with my sons and any skills they want to brush up on concerning welding and body work will be practiced on the project. We look at this as a fun family project and don't get to wound up in a production environment or set any sort of time frames for completion....so follow along as we eat the elephant one bite at a time. This is my second MGA and my 5th British sports car between years 1954-1969.



























Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2012 01:32PM by bobs77vet.
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bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

the boys and i put in 2-3 hours and pulled all the wings (fenders) off. its amazing what young agile, strong and flexible kids can do with some adult supervision....all in all its in better shape than i what thought and in better shape then my last one. i will take and post some pictures after dinner
when things quiet down here... the two front fenders only need spot repairing i dont need to replace the entire lower bottom of them . not sure on the rear fenders dog leg i will look at that later....you should have seen the size of the spiders that came out of this thing....one had a leg span bigger that a silver dollar and it spooked me miserably.....it was like tracking the Bismarck through the north sea as it scurried about....but about 1/4 can of wasp killer made it slow enought that my 200lb size 9s took care of the rest....if the kids saw that one they would never have been helping me. it still gives me the willies














bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

picked some low hanging fruit and pulled radiator and gas tank

started cutting out the rust to see what was left











Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2012 01:26PM by bobs77vet.
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bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

we also soaked motor and got it to turn over by hand, the engine oil was clean, the trans oil is really clean, it had new spark plug wires on it, there was green antifreeze left in the radiator when we took it out. the gas tank had also been replaced before but is not useable any more due to interior rust. we also removed the center floor boards and removed the old headliner..if you look at the picture of the engine you can see where the missing id plate is all bent, I think that was from them taking the engine out at some time..that brings us up to date on the last three weeks work, I will keep you posted as I go along. bob



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2012 01:36PM by bobs77vet.
JimNH Avatar
Jim Mail
Nashua, New Hampshire, USA   usa
1957 MG MGA "Camilla (the Other Woman)"

Great stuff...you can leave your ratchet set to "left" for a while, seems like.

The front clip is going to be your biggest challenge, I think - did you get any repair panels as well?

I have two teen-aged daughters, who only ever grudgingly help out their dad - and only when I beg because their hands are small enough to reach in places mine won't (like under the alternator to bolt in the radiator, or under the carbs to tighten the bottom rear manifold nut, or up alongside the transmission - etc.


JIM
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Attachments:
miranda_helping.jpg (11.1 KB) –
miranda_helping.jpg

Steve B Avatar
Steve Brannan
Weeki Wachee, Florida, USA   usa
1956 MG MGA 1500 "Maggie" ~ For Sale ! ~
1958 MG MGA 1500 Coupe
1959 Mini MkI "Moocher"
1968 Jaguar E-Type 2+2 "Jasmine"
1968 MG MGC GT   → more

You are a better man than I am Gunga Din....I have a 58 coupe waiting for me to get to but it looks like no work at all compared to yours. As for the spiders...you should see the size of them in sunnier climes. Great story and pics, I watch and learn....
Steve
bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

Jim, i have not ordered the parts yet, i am going to bulk order my parts so i can get the best pricing on them. the front clip will be the most effort for sure. i am still looking at it contemplating a course of action. the kids are pretty good about helping they actually like doing the work, the 77 vette was a father son projuct with my then 15yr old, the black one in the background in the photos, and the 37 ford in my avatar was the father son project with my then 13 yr old. they are 24 and 18 now. last night i boxed up all the carpeting and seat kit that was siting on the vette and put it in my basement. i still have to make some boxes for the panel kit for storage and then the grinding and welding can begin.

Steve, i haven't seen any king kong spiders for a couple of days so thats good news.....did i ever mention i hate spiders
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jclars Avatar
John Larsen
Lynden, WA, USA   usa

Bob, look at the grille pic. Spiderman is protecting you!
Neil MG Avatar
Neil McGurk
Cumbria, United Kingdom   gbr
1956 Morris Minor
1958 MG MGA
1960 MG MGA
1961 MG MGA
1966 Jaguar Mark 2   → more

That looks like a superb project. The bigger the challenge the greater the reward.
wyatt Avatar
Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ata

In reply to # 2086360 by Neil MG That looks like a superb project. The bigger the challenge the greater the reward.

......she wants to be your friend and ride in YOUR car.......

Attachments:
fat chick.jpeg (11 KB) –
fat chick.jpeg

bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

well my son Joe and I worked on the boot floor replacement tonight for a couple of hours

we cut out the rest of the floor to give a nice unified look



made a template out of carboard





cut it out and made template for bead roller






rolled the beads in the floor



bent the sides



and heres the mock up fit


wyatt Avatar
Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ata

...you guys are good....but what ya really need is a friend who ain't quite right in the head to send ya a whole original one in the US mail....smoking smiley

Attachments:
mga 1600 green (Small).jpg (35.1 KB) –
mga 1600 green (Small).jpg

bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

Wyatt thats amazing....and yes you are right we all need friends like that
jclars Avatar
John Larsen
Lynden, WA, USA   usa

All we need now is for the fat lady to sing and Wyatt to ship that floor before those boys weld in the new one.
bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

update: pulled the carbs off to clean them and put them to the side and found a broken intake manifold, cracked heat shield on what turns out to be an MGB set up soaked one carb last night and the other one is getting soaked tonight. overall they were pretty clean inside. i bet that cracked manifold created a big vacuum leak and made the car run pretty poorly. look closely at the frame and you can see how they wrapped the throttle return spring around it.













Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2012 08:58PM by bobs77vet.
wyatt Avatar
Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ata

...that appears to be an 18G or GA carb set up...semi valuable. does the tag say AUD 52 or 135?
bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

just verified and it said AUD135r, ....what makes these desireable above others? thks bob



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2012 09:07AM by bobs77vet.
wyatt Avatar
Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ata

...pre emmission and with fixed needles and an "improvement" on the MGA set up. Also harder to find than the MGA sets for some reason...
bills Avatar
Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, BC, Canada   can

I must say that I admire your energy - that car is one I probably would have considered when I was way, way younger, but it tires me out just looking at it now.

Nice that you are saving something from the crusher.

I suggest that you try and locate some MGA 1600 front brakes for it as the discs are much better, and if you don't want to redo that engine, consider a now rare 18GA 3 main MGB - a bolt in proposition with what you have there. Plus you already have the carbs...grinning smiley



Bill Spohn www.rhodo.citymax.com/carstuff.html
1958 MGA Twincam (race car (170 bhp)),1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe (98 bhp)
1969 MGC roadster (175 bhp), 1957 Jamaican MGA (200 bhp)
1965 Jensen CV8 (375 bhp), 1971 Jensen Interceptor (350 bhp)
1969 Lamborghini Islero S (350 bhp), 1988 Fiero GT turbo (300 bhp)
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe (350 bhp)
West Vancouver BC

bobs77vet Avatar
bob k
arlington, va, USA   usa

Bill you say bolt in propostion is that because the starter motors are in the same location? i seem to recall on my 15 main bearing 1800 in my first MGA i had to cut a hole in the floor board or something like that ( it was 20yrs ago).

luckily i make up for now in experience and tools what i have lost in energy and flexibility, i also have a realistic completion time frame...that is i have no time frame, i just nibble away at it as i feel the mood hit me. delayed gratification does not bother me and wait until you see me get motivated, right now i am just nibbling around the edges....usally in the winter time frame when it gets dark early i really get going...the house gets quiet at 9pm and i slip out to the gargage for 2 hours or so and after several weeks of this alot has gotten accomplished.
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