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Dave's '63 Midget project...

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Chas 906 Avatar
Chas 906 Chuck Peterson
Iron Mountain, MI, USA   USA
1961 MG Midget MkI "Little Red Rider"
Well done!!

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Daveboyardee Avatar
Daveboyardee David Evans
Sooke, BC, Canada   CAN
Not many tires available in 155/85 but you can maintani a similar profile by going 175/70 or 185/60.
Car is looking great!
I would still like to drive up and have a look at the gauges you have from the parts car. And the bolt that holds down the spare, if you have one...

owdlvr Dave Hord
Squamish, Canada   CAN
^^ I haven't even pulled them out to figure out what gauges I need to save for my MGB project. Not sure how many will be left. Combination gauge already left for L.A. and my buddies Midget.

Alright, now that I've sorted out all the electrical on the car enough that everything works (but still uses housing marettes in various places)...under what conditions might a person want the headlights on, but the dash lights to be off? I'm quite curious as to why there is a factory installed switch for this purpose. I mean, I suppose on a dark road I might not want the dash lights blaring in my face, but I've never found the MG's I've driven to be distractingly bright...by any definition of the word.

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refisk Avatar
refisk Rick Fisk
Frankenmuth, MI, USA   USA
There used to be a law in Great Britain that required the parking lights to be turned on when the car was parked on the side of the road. You turned of the dash lights to save battery voltage.

In reply to # 3885804 by owdlvr ^^ I haven't even pulled them out to figure out what gauges I need to save for my MGB project. Not sure how many will be left. Combination gauge already left for L.A. and my buddies Midget.

Alright, now that I've sorted out all the electrical on the car enough that everything works (but still uses housing marettes in various places)...under what conditions might a person want the headlights on, but the dash lights to be off? I'm quite curious as to why there is a factory installed switch for this purpose. I mean, I suppose on a dark road I might not want the dash lights blaring in my face, but I've never found the MG's I've driven to be distractingly bright...by any definition of the word.

owdlvr Dave Hord
Squamish, Canada   CAN
Ahh, see I figured it would make sense. Also explains why none of my Beetles have ever had that feature.

owdlvr Dave Hord
Squamish, Canada   CAN
Well, the car is finally on the ground! The front left caliper locked up, which was odd, and when I pressed the pads back to see if I could repeat the issue I found fluid on the rotor. Ordered in a rebuilt caliper (last rebuilt caliper available in Canada!) only to open the box and find a right-hand caliper in the box. Sigh. I did manage to get some rebuild kits, and figured I'd see what I could do. One of the piston's in the left side caliper made it clear as to why I got fluid on the rotor, this is after cleaning it up as best I could:


But I have three calipers (technically), and thus six pistons...and I only need four! So I decided to use the new rebuilt caliper on the front right, and tear that one down to gain a good piston for the front left. With the left rebuilt, I mounted both calipers, started to bleed the brakes, and had to tighten the front right banjo bolt. Can you guess what happened?

*snap*. #@&$!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I forgot to check the depth of the banjo bolt before installing it, and as my brain was thinking "hey, I wonder if this bottoms out in the new caliper" it snapped. E-Z out couldn't pull it, and I considered using the mill to bump the fitting up to an M10, but realized I'd probably have to go up to an M12 banjo fitting to have enough meat for the threads. Well, crap. I had already split the OLD RF caliper to pull the piston the easy way, and the rebuild kits I had (AP) didn't come with the seal between caliper halves. Ugh. Well, I'm hooped anyways...so I split the new caliper, and measured that seal to see if I would have something that matched. Managed to find something in my random-VW seals box, probably a seal used in a type-4 motor...but it's the exact size I needed, so I tossed it all together and onto the car. "But Dave," I can hear you saying, "that seal may not be brake fluid safe?" True, but I had two of them...so one is sitting in a cup of brake fluid on my work bench, and the other is (currently) holding fluid at pressure in the brake system. 24 hours later and the seal in a cup appears to be the same dimension and brake fluid safe...

Swapped out the rear limit straps, including cutting out the bolts and sleeves on the upper mounts as they had all become one-unit together. This required making up some new sleeves on the lathe, and swapping the upper mounts over to metric hardware. Hey, I'm a VW guy and my shop has basically zero in the SAE department! I've got my Fastenal guy putting together an SAE kit for me.


Finally, I got under the car and sprayed texturized rubber undercoat over both floorpans and all of my welding repairs. Future me is going to hate myself for doing that, as it sucks to remove at a later date, but should anyone of authority look under the car, it looks safe and well repaired, vs patchworked. The exception to this is the passenger side where I did tack and seal a flat panel over all our patch work, but I simply have to remove the front seat cushion to show the quality repairs from the topside. Thought I almost lost an eye in the process. I was under the car spraying at arms length with just safety glasses on, vs. a full face sheild. I had shifted slightly to get a far off spot, and as my brain was thinking "I should tuck my chin in", a drop of undercoating splashed back and beelined for my eyeball, UNDER the glasses between glasses and cheek. I'm not sure if it hit me right in the eye, or I closed my eye fast enough, but it doesn't matter. BURNED LIKE YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE. I got out from under the car and into the house for an eye ball washing session relatively quickly, but it was a scary 30min. Thankfully the black eyeliner I gave myself has only lasted a few days, and my eye seems perfectly fine. Wear your safety gear kiddies.

Now that the car is on the ground, I've realized two things. First, I think I need to rebuild the spare front shocks I have an prep them for install. The front feels awfully soft, but more importantly the right side feels softer than the left. Both sides pass the "bounce test" in what I would consider appropriate for a 60's car with oil-shocks. Second, my gut reaction was correct and I've chosen the wrong wheel colour. If I ever return the car to a stock looking midget with windsheild and hub caps, they'll look quite classy. But with the look I'm going with...they're completely out of place. My buddy Warwick called it, even before the wheels were powdercoated, and I should have switched the colour. Black with the caps (currently phototshopped) fits the look really well.





I think I'm going to end up pulling the wheels and plastidipping them for a black look. Gotta sit on it for a little bit. Tonneau cover has arrived in Vancouver, but it will be a few weeks before I have it in the shop to do the install. And now, we wait for spring weather to show up...

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