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1951 MG TD Rebuild

The first few pictures show the car as it arrived here in 2011. Work eventually started on the rebuild in autumn 2012. Despite the superficially good appearance, the body was not in good condition, as we shall see, and was totally dismantled.

A test drive proved the engine good.

Dismantling the body tub starts.

Sides removed due to heavy rust pitting to inner surfaces behind timbers.

The sides were removed whole, up to the top of the rear section, rather than splitting the side at the joint in the cill section to the rear of the door, (visible where the paint has been cleaned off). This was purposefully done because the remaining side piece over the wheel arch is good, and all the rotted area is now removed, plus a whole side can now be made the same as this section.

The car didn't have the correct shape pedals, as it is a lhd conversion, so here, my assistant is boring out some bosses for a pair of new ones! The bores are being reamed to fit the pedal bushes.

Some fabrication and welding resulted in this nice pair of new pedals, the right shape.

Dismantling almost done. The side rails are to be disconnected from the "heel board" or cross brace. Rear arches are not good!

Making up new inner arches after separating the outer tub side which is good enough to re-use.

This is the section of tub which is re-useable, separated from the old inner wheel arch and ready to take a new one.

Trial fitting of new arch construction to car. Original steel side is now sand blasted.

Chassis and undercarriage repainted with proper commercial poly synthetic chassis paint, and rear board refitted.

Cross brace in position as a trial fit. Sand blasted and cold galv sprayed.

An interlude to build the engine up.

While various body bits were being painted etc. the engine was being built up.

The production line! Engine bits foreground, then body parts, and the vehicle behind. The Land Rover bulkhead hanging p is not part of the build!

Serviced oil pump, fitted with new pressure relief balls and springs.

Bores and pistons are in good condition.

Front end awaiting new water pump,

Engine almost fitted up, awaiting oil filter conversion from Peter Edney.

Back to the body build.

Meanwhile, while the engine was being built, the bulkhead was sprayed with several coats of two pack high build filler primer, followed by several coats of cellulose primer.

The bulkhead was then sprayed in RD6, Autumn Red, as a finish coat, and then fitted to the car before being used to ensure correct registration with the new ash frame.

Fitting the inner steel cladding to the door openings.

Refurbished original bracketry, painted both sides with chassis paint. All fixings made with brass traditional style proper wood screws, not posidrives, which hadn't been invented until much later and just look so out of place on an old car!

Inside faces of all panelwork painted with two coats of chassis black, poly synthetic paint for protection and authentic finish.

Inside faces of the bulkhead also finished in black and oversprayed with satin finish.

All woodwork has been treated with clear wood preservative.

That is sawdust on the support hoop, from the drillings in the top frame for bulkhead fixing.

Panel ready to fit. Holes drilled for fixings to frame.

The inner cladding of the door opening has been plug welded to the outer skin here, as per the original vehicle, and the front edge has been fixed to the bulkhead timber.

Panel to wood frame fixings are all brass woodscrews, countersunk flush to the panel. This is an upgrade from the standard pin fixings.

The overlap by the scuttle panel has been delinieated, and this will be painted before the scuttle is fitted.

Inscription for posterity on the under door rail on the driver's side before panelling over!

Fully fitted up to the rear tub section. The joint is where it is because that section behind the door post needed replacing and so I decided to make the main joint here and delete the normal joint in the cill section just in front of the rear door pillars.

And so to the off side.

Bonnet placed in position to ensure alignment of panels, especially with regard to the height of the scuttle, yet to be fitted.

Fitting up the off side side panel.

Joint butt seam welded together.

Scuttle fitted and all other panels fitted for trial fit, prior to finishing.

At last, in the first few coats of levelled two pack primer.

And after a very large amount of work, finally in guide coat awaiting wet flatting prior to colour coats.

The changing face of the hanging gardens of Cardiff. Everything in guide coat awaiting final wet flatting before colour coats.

And so to final colour. Autumn Red, RD6

The reader may be alarmed at the state of the workshop while painting, It is a fact that there is dust and dirt everywhere, but it is also a fact that none of it gets onto my sprayed panels, and the finish is superb, Under layers are of several coats of heavily worked primer, professionally surfaced and levelled to a very high degree, and undertaken in two pack primers, as these give the best protection. Final priming is in cellulose or 1k acrylic, sprayed on, guide coated and wet flatted. Colour is applied in cellulose as these cars should be painted in. Two pack is for undercoats only. You don't need a spray booth for spraying cellulose. It is air dried at room temperature, and dries quickly enough so as not to attract dust. The few specks that do settle will be flatted out in the successive wet flatting and polishing stage with is always necessary with cellulose.

Lower bonnet sides being coloured. First, the inside surfaces are done, then afterwards, the outside surfaces. In an ideal world, both could be done together, but alas theres only so much space to hang up all the bits!

Starting to get the tub into colour. Spraying around all the detail areas and inside flanges etc first, before the main panels are attempted.

A bit artistic this one, but here is yours truly inspecting the finish straight from the gun, on a panel. Looks a good mirror like reflection to me!

Lining up the top bonnet sections for fit and adjustment.

Front wing sprayed with two pack primer on the underside, ready for colour coats.

Rear wings and running boards being fitted, using the appropriately coloured piping.