1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post your car-related project and restoration stories here!
Post Reply
sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:50 am

I thought I would start a post that shows the steps I have taken to do a rolling refresh of a 69 B-GT that I picked up for $300 on Ebay. It was a father son project that was stalled. The work that had been done was all needing to be redone.

The car was partially disassembled and it was missing quite a few pieces.
Image

It had some creases in the body and was looking pretty forlorn, but I did not notice any rust...not bad for a little over $300.
Image

and the interior was not great either
Image

As you can see they went a little crazy with rattle can primer, without any prep. They also sprayed over much of the brightwork.

They slopped the bondo on pretty thick in a few places, so I ground/chiseled it out and then pounded out the dents before putting a thin skim coat of filler.

sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:52 am

Since I was in the middle of a full blown restoration of another car, this was treated to a slight dis-assembly and some sanding to assess the condition of the car.

Image

I was surprised that the blue paint had actually been in pretty good condition and many places had perfect factory primer.

Image

more images
Image

As I was looking all over the car, the only rust I found was a small section of metal with some tiny bubbles that was about 1 inch tall by 2 inches wide. I attacked it with a tool and found that the correct thing to do was open it up and see how the metal looked underneath.

I carefully cut away the rusted section (I oversized the cut to make sure the damage had not spread. Once I open the panel up, I wire brushed the inside panel to bare metal and put a sealant on the inner panel before cutting forming and welding a patch onto the panel.
Image

I was careful to just use spot welds around the perimeter of the repair to allow the metal to stay cool and to limit any warping.
Image

I kept working at it to get a nice solid repair.
Image

I pulled the front and rear windows and put on some poly primer to continue getting the body to an acceptable level for a driver car.
Image

This was probably my first mistake. I did not pull the side windows since I wanted this to be a quick cheap paintjob to refresh the car. I thought I was minimizing my labor, but the repeated masking, removing, cleaning probably created more work for me in the long run.
Image

sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:03 am

During the body work phase, I managed to get her running, but not super well. She was having some ignition and fuel delivery issues. I spent some time and finally got to where she could rev, but the carbs still functioned at different rates, and she had the wrong carbs for the year. She had HIF's and not the HS carbs she came with. Wow carb prices have skyrocketed.

I spent a little time on the brakes and she was now stopping fairly well. In addition to this, I finally got rid of an air bubble in the clutch hydraulics that made her not like shifting.

At this point I took her to a body shop for a quick respray. She was fairly close, and I was pretty busy, so I sent it out.


Image

I Kept the factory color, and did not bother respraying under the hood (This is meant to be a driver, not a show car). Getting her back to the house was a real pain, since the bodyshop did something to the car, and she will not even make a sound, even with a new battery. I am getting no voltage to the dash, or the ignition switch. I guess I will be redoing the new wiring sooner than I thought.

When I got her running, I found the previous owner did not know much about wiring, and he cut up the harness and spliced on different color and different sized wires throughout the harness. He also capped any wires he was unsure of. After wasting too many hours trying to find all of the old repairs, I called Moss and ordered a new harness.

Image

The MOSS wiring kit for the GT was a decent kit, but it did not match the old system exactly. One thing I can say is I am shocked I drove the old car with no fires. The old harness has 45 years of horrible repairs and shorts and was just a miracle it ran. I found a major short (must have happened when the body shop was cranking it to start it. The ignition circuit was melted into one mass for about 6 inches (this must have smoked like crazy and the shop FORGOT to mention it to me. OOPS! They told me one day it just would not start and they thought it was the battery)

As I moved forward I chased the wiring, which is made interesting because one of the previous owners has been using old mismatched wire to make some of the sub harnesses, so none of the colors are correct, so I cannot just hook up GR to a GR or U to U, I am hooking up a GR to a PB, etc. What a pain. I did replace the turn signal switch and the reverse lights and brake lights are now working. I still cannot get the turn signals to work.....possibly the flasher module? One interesting part was the Turn signal/high beam switch. The lights were going from high to low on there own. This is what I found. Notice the custom wiring repair and just above it you can see where the pot metal has disintegrated due to shorts.
Image

sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:12 am

This is the point where I got to my "adopt Moss Motors" phase of my life. It seemed I talked to them every week, and they wanted me to pay for the experience. Just kidding. Working with Moss on my last few Brit cars has been a great experience. Unlike some suppliers for other car brands I own, the Moss guys really know their stuff and the cars.

So, after another call to Moss motors and ..... we had a whole box of parts including a new switch.
Image

and other goodies
Image

I am starting to feel I am making progress. The Carbs are fighting me every step of the way, so I have been thinking of sending them out to a pro like Joe Curto. Since I cannot drive her with it flowing gas everywhere, I am going to continue to do the detail work on the wiring.

I have heard great things about this book so I checked it out/ It is MGB Electrical Systems by Rick Astley. He is a bit dry, but it is an electrical manual. HE does a great job of describing the most common problems and the best way to modify the circuits to improve the stability of the system. I strongly suggest this to anyone with a MG. PERIOD.
Image

I resistance tested each wire from the sub harnesses and I have been replacing anything that needs to be replaced. I do need the brake failure switch plug. I will post a detailed photo later.
Image

It seems like this took quite a while, as I was finding many of the things that did not work had multiple issues.
Image

Another call to Moss and carpet appeared via UPS
Image

Have I ever said how much I hate putting carpet in. This has been a do one part, work on something else type project. One of these days the car might actually have a full set of carpet (Like over the wheel wells)

The glare is terrible in this next photo, but you can see that she actually started to resemble something that goes on the street. I just need to get the front and rear windows installed, rebuild the carbs, and do an ignition tuneup and she will be ready to do a driveway test drive. I already replaced all the rubber fuel lines and had to soak the metal lines to get the old varnish out. Using air and nasty cleaners I was able to get all the gunk out of the hard lines.

Image

User avatar
Steve Simmons
Site Admin
Posts: 3895
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:45 pm
Vehicles Owned: .
1925 Ford Model T
1939 Ford V8 Pickup
1946 John Deere AN
1949 MG TC
1958 MGA Roadster
1965 MGB
1967 MGB GT (UK-Spec)
1969 MGC GTS
Location: Co-Nay-Ho Valley
Contact:

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by Steve Simmons » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:30 am

Nice progress! Looks like a perfect project, nice and straight, mostly complete and no serious rust. I hate electrical work so I feel your pain on the DPO wiring repairs.

User avatar
Larry Kluss
Veteran Member
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:28 pm
Vehicles Owned: -
1967 MGB (Works tribute)
1968 E-type Jaguar FHC
1974 Chevy Nova SS (faux)
2000 Ford Ranger XLT
2008 Jaguar XJ L
Location: Conejo Valley

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by Larry Kluss » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:54 am

Well done. Nice find. We recently went through similar wiring issues with my son's Midget, where the previous owner installed a wood dash and toggle switches for everything. We managed to save it and put it back to stock including the dash. It's not perfect, but it is functionally correct.

sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:54 pm

I chased down more wiring issues. I very carefully pulled apart some of the gauges, and gently cleaned the faces, and got the crud off the glass, and touched up the bezel's. I then very carefully reassembled them. I also tested some of the senders, and cleaned some of the grounds. I have to tell you, one of my favorite tools is the good old fashioned circuit tester. So simple, but it really helps locate a problem ASAP. I also have been really using the Astley book. Great details on how to test the senders and voltage regulators, etc.

Image

So after doing some chasing, I let the car idle in the driveway until she was reading N(ormal) on the Temp gauge and then decided to take her for a spin. With no windshield, no rear window, no passenger or rear seat. no carpet, no dash, etc. I drove her around the neighborhood and she drove like a champ. She seemed happy to be back on the road after 8 to 10 years.

Image

Front and rear windows are in. That was an ordeal. One step closer. I finally found a glass shop willing to work on an old MGB. sixth company I called. And it was not pretty. 2 guys fighting the car, and the car fighting back. The car gained a few tiny scratches, and the trim looks good, but definitely not something show quality. The shiny stuff did not really fit the window seals, but some razor blades, finesse and brute force finally worked.

Image

I am liking how she is turning out. I think she could be a fun driver.

Image

Next up is new tires, getting a dashboard, assessing the ignition and see if the carbs are still in good condition or if I need to have the throttle shaft bushings machined.

Car still needs to get new brake lines (soft) on the car. It needs the carpet kit installed (what a pain). All in all, I would say the list is growing. I drover her around the neighborhood for a bit today and she has a nasty vibration. Possibly a broken tranny mount? I need to get under her and see what is loose. It is possible it is just a broken exhaust hanger I missed.

sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:02 am

With the windows in, she was taken for a run through the neighborhood, and allowed to get up to full temp to see how she behaved. She drove in first, second and third perfectly. Still have not had her in fourth yet. She also gets a soft pedal, so I must have missed a few air bubbles. I will try bleeding her again (time number 3).

Since the tires were hard as a rock and cracking like crazy (even though they held air perfectly) I thought it was time to refresh. I had to fight the knockoffs (the previous owner felt they had to be beat on with a sledge hammer is my guess. It took a fair amount of persuasion and the grease and rust was enough to slow down the removal. I was able to slowly wiggle the wheels off using "breakfree".

Image

Needless to say, when I found a dealer that had the right tires in stock and they swore they could deal with wire wheels, I was not expecting that it would be over a week, and I would still not have my wheels back. Seems that no one at America's Tire knows how to mount tires on a wire wheel. They used the wrong size bias ply tubes with no rim strips and NONE of the tires held air. I was scheduled to work so I could not pick them up for 3 days. When I went to get them, they told me of the problem. Seems they also do not know how to dial a phone.

A quick call to Coker tire, and the right stuff was on its way from Tennessee. Now I just need to get them professionally mounted. Too bad there are no good tire shops in the Coachella Valley.

Image

I used the down time to clean the hubs and get the rust and rock hard grease off the splines. Nothing like good old fashioned elbow grease.

Image

Image

I also started to clean the floors to start installing the carpet in the car. This is tedious and a pain, but it makes a huge difference in the looks and feel of the car. The passenger sill looks pretty.

Image

UH OH........RUST! As I removed the carpet on the drivers side, I noticed the seat rails were very rusty and they had to be levered off the carpet. Once the carpet was out, I found some rust from the top down. The floor underneath looked great.

A little poking with a screw driver opened up these small holes. I will address these in the next week or two.

Image

Image

The front bumper was cleaned and installed. She is starting to look like a great car. I really cannot wait to have her ready for the Sunday coffee runs with the family. I am sure most of you will notice that a week later and still no wheels on the car, because I do not have them back yet.

Image

sobastrace
Active Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:07 am
Vehicles Owned: 1948 Dodge Pilot House
1955 Ford Fairlane
1960 Austin Healey Frog Eye
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 MG B-GT
1973 MG Midget
1984 Porsche 911
And a commuter car and a SUV

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by sobastrace » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:06 am

Things are slowly moving forward. I got my rim liners and got the last tube for my radials from Coker Tire and took them to get my new tires CORRECTLY mounted on my wire rims. I figured this was a great time to teach the little one the correct way to install knock off wheels (which is becoming a lost art).

Image

Image

Image

Fixing the little bit of rust I found on the floor.

Image

And putting some stronger steel in.
Image

Tack, tack, tack to not warp the flat metal
Image

And some grinding
Image

alannmoris
Active Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:46 am
Contact:

Re: 1969 MGB-GT Refresh

Post by alannmoris » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:30 am

Cute girl. And she learned how to install knock off wheels?
We use the same sanding, priming, and painting techniques used by Auto Body Repair Orange County shops. We remove unsightly dings, dents, and creases with a popular Dent Repair Orange County process called paintless dent removal.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest