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Is welding the only way?

Posted by poppy 
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Willie Headon
USA   usa
Ok, I'm fighting back the tears!
I love my new midget. Today I went out to touch up some paint and came in with a lot more on my mind!

After poking around I discovered the bottom 1 to 2 inches of one on the A posts is rusted away. The paint was hiding it.
There is a weak area of around 2 inches at the rear of one of the sills, again the underseal didn't show it
There is a 3 inches by 3/4 inch gash around one of the rear bumper mounts. I filed all the loose rust way and this is what was left.

Of course if I hadn't gone poking around I would have never noticed and driven around happily!

Anyway now I know most of the bad stuff and want to put it right. What are my options considering I can't weld and don't really have time to learn!

1. For the A post and sill could I cut out a piece of metal and use some kind of metal bonding agent.

2. Could I just isopon or similar on the bumper mount repair.

I know the really right way to do it is to get someone to weld the repairs but it's more money and a lot of guys don't want to bother with this type of work.

Thanks for any advise and please be gentle!!

Sebring222 Avatar
Jim Dougherty
New Orleans, USA   usa
If you are planning on keeping and enjoying your Midget there's really only one answer. Do it the right way. A pillar repair panels and outside rocker panels are very inexpensive and readily available from the usual mail order sources. Use this as an opportunity to learn more about your car and to correct problems that are only going to get worse if you ignore them or "cover them up". Here's an idea that I think will work with regard to getting the mig welding done.....go to one of your local high schools or vocational schools. They are always looking for projects and yours is a good one for their welding class. It will be an integral part of their automotive repair classes. I'm sure that they will do the work for a nominal fee and perhaps at no charge to you at all.
You'll end up with a better Midget and know that the right repairs have been completed.

Best regards,

Jim D

Robert Kirk
Davenport, Iowa, USA   usa
It would help to know what year. Welding is really the only reasonable solution to a unibody car as most panals are somewhat if not important struturally. My bod shop buds tell me you only "see" about 10% of the damage from the exterior with rust. There are some incredibly strong and popular two part epoxys, designed for the auto biz...expensive but will hold an air scoop to the hood of a bonafide dragster. Bondo which most over use and normally falls apart with time. Pop rivet but the car's vibration rattles the snap off portion unless you completely remove it.

Then you should consider the quality of your chosen "patch" and how espensive the respray will be. Do you really want to color over a poor patch?

Body shops make there living repairing rust etc. You might go on the cheap and find a vocational type school teaching auto body who would take it on.

I think you have more of a problem than you are seeing. I also think your pokeing only showed what was once somewhat hidden. Paint is not a very good bonding agent between rust outs or over was going to "go away" any time soon...

Robert Kirk
563 323 1017
Moss distributor UK importer
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jim begor
brushton ny, USA   usa
do your self a favor have some one help you that has some what of a handle on what you want to do
you may wind up with doors that dont close among other things

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jim begor
brushton ny, USA   usa
it did not look that bad when i bought it

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Robert Kirk
Davenport, Iowa, USA   usa
Jim B...they seldom do.

Jim D...was not ignoring nor parroting just got to your send key faster than me!:beer:

Robert Kirk
563 323 1017
Moss distributor UK importer
Beat or match any retail/delivered quote

Member Services:
Parts for your classic British and Italian car. 30 years in business.
oldag98 Avatar
Jeff and Brittany Brackenridge
Choctaw, Choctaw, Oklahoma, USA   usa
1975 MG Midget Conversion
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Yellow One"
1977 MG Midget 1500 "Dunkirk"
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Parts Car"
Welding is not difficult, nor with today's welders, very expensive. If you buy a welder, you will soon find many many other uses for it, other than strictly for your car. It should soon pay for itself. If the damage warrants much welding, I'd suggest you get one and begin using it on areas least visible and/or least structurally important. Then progress as your welding prowess and confidence progresses to areas of higher visibility or greater structural importance. I began by welding covers over the front horizontal turn signal holes in the fenders and installing pre-rubber bumper turn signals. I then moved on to welding frame covers, floor pans, rust holes, etc. The amount of welding I have already done has paid for the welder, reinforced and strengthened weak areas of the car, and paid for the welder in saving what it would have cost me to have a welding shop do the work. Learn online, get a book or two, and do some practice welds and you are set. Jim's car looks much worse than mine did/does, sorry Jim, but the welding I had to do was worth buying a MIG and doing it myself. I prefer solid wire and CO2 to flux core. I think it welds cleaner. Just my two cents...

jim begor
brushton ny, USA   usa
I agree 100 percent about the welder I do a lot of welding i have a linclon 255 power mig with a spool gun
for aluminum I sugested that he get some one to help that nows a little bit about what there doing
this where I am at by myself now im getting help from some one who knows how to finish

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dlrhine Avatar
Dave Rhine
South, Carolina, USA   usa

That looks great!

What engine is it?

If it ain't broke, I'll fix it 'til it is! winking smiley

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jim begor
brushton ny, USA   usa
its a fwd 3.1 with an s10 2.2 t5 satchell 4 link with coil overs 4 wheel disc brakes it gets along quite well

O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

Don't panic. You are just about to start a new season of top down driving and if the car is running well, just relax and enjoy. A bit of time will give you perspective. You have a few options.

Fact is you are at the point in the life of your car where you either decide to just enjoy what is left of the car and dispose of the carcass at some point or you are going to commit to a "Rustoration"!!!!

If this is a fair weather car, chances are you are five years from having to make a major decision. Even if you decide to restore it that far into the future, chances are the work will be almost exactly the same as if you did it today; a partially rusted rocker is exactly the same job as a severely rusted rocker.

Your cost to fix and re-paint what you have is going to be about the same as sourcing another driver that will last you five more years. So, if you can drive this one into the sunset, it might be the way to go?

jim begor
brushton ny, USA   usa
peter is right if its not sagging just in joy it you can buy a better one for less than you can fix one
unless you want to say this what I restored I know a fellow who has a GTO clone took him twenty
years the only thing he did on it was in stall the interior he hired everthing out cant begin to think how much $ he spent to say I had this built

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2010-04-17 07:56 PM by begorj.

Glen Phillips
DFW, TX, USA   usa
1972 MG Midget "Annabelle"
1976 MG MGB "Guinness"
1977 MG Midget "Widget"
I'm sorry to hear about your car. I'm wondering if one A-post and rear sill (near the spring mount, maybe?) is showing rot, then what might be the condition of the same areas on the other side?

The way I see it, you have three basic options:

1. Drive it till it's no longer safe to drive, then dispose of it through one means or another.

2. Pay someone to take the relevant sections out, weld new ones in, then get a proper body and paint job.

3. Buy a welder, learn to weld, do your own repairs, then get the proper body and paint job (or learn to do it yourself).

Number 1 is instant gratification, but only for the short term. Numbers 2 and 3 require an investment of capital and time (which you may not have), but in the long term can mean having a car that will provide many years of enjoyment.


(crossing my fingers you'll pick 2 or 3)

Willie Headon
USA   usa
Thanks to everyone for your replies. I decided today that I would rather know what I'm up against so I went around the car tapping everywhere with a flat head screwdriver. I looked everywhere I could for rot and I'm happy to say I found nothing else. The rest of the sills seemed very strong and I was able to jack up the car under the sills with no worries what so ever so hopefully it's not too bad in there. The weak point on one of the sills is to the front of the rear wheel arch which itself seems solid. This particular area has a drain hole and the area around the hole is weak.
So hopefully there's no emergency case here and maybe just a bit of replacement metal in this area would do the trick.
I think I'll drive the car for the summer and maybe deal with what ever nasties are there during the winter.

jim begor
brushton ny, USA   usa
good for you will enjoy your summer

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