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Lil' Greenee - 1973 RWA MG Midget

Greenee's Home Engine Interior Trunk Suspension 100's of MG Links
Electrical shelf Exterior Interior2 Carbs Item replaced Spridget specific Links

MG Midget Interior - the Rebuild

  The section presents the re-assembly of the inerds of this little beasty. Yes... I guess I did go a little nuts with the vinyl. But hey... adding you own touches is what it's all about, right?

glove_and_radio_box1.jpg (5532 bytes)

glove_and_radio_box3.jpg (5317 bytes)

       I completely recovered the glovebox door and radio console in the same color Biscuit colored vinyl as the rest of the interior. That glovebox panel took almost as long to do as the radio console. I wasn't sure how I was going to do it so I just 'winged it'. I used Permatex Super Weather-strip Adhesive (affectionately known as 'gorilla snot') to glue most of it together. A little super glue at the edges kept the seams nice and clean.
     On the glovebox door, the front vinyl is actually tucked down behind the normal rubber bumper strip that runs along the bottom front edge, then it was stretched and wrapped around the bottom and up the back.
    The radio console was really tricky. In the end, the seams ended up just about a 1/4" back on the sides from where the original stitching would have been. I left the edges overlapping and when the glue was dried and setup, I cut both edges (overlapping) at once. This left a very tight seam that I simply superglued together and to the surface of the metal box. The seams are barely noticeable (at least not any more noticeable than the original stitching seam was.

 

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radio_fullfront.jpg (11718 bytes)

     I decided to go ahead an put a four channel radio in. But where do you mount four speakers in a Midget? Well I found the fronts could easily be mounted in the box If I could find the right size. Two very nice 3" Fosgate Punch bi-axial speakers (model # FRC1203) fit nicely inside the original radio box. I drilled holes close to the edge of the original speaker opening so the grill would cover the screw heads when installed. You can see on top the box the other two screws holding the bent back ear at the top of the speakers. The small high frequency tweeter just sits to the outside edge of the interior courtesy light so I should be able to hear them quite easily while pumping 15 watts rms (30 peak) into them. I had to use small spacers to stand the speakers off a little because the tweeter sticks out a bit. The metal plate (steel) over the radio I felt was needed to protect the radio (and any cassette tape I left in) from the speaker magnets.       It definitely reduces the field distinguishable at the radio position. It's bolted in at the edges so the fields should be well spread.
      You can see the little courtesy lights I added to to the sides of the box that will light up the footwell areas when the interior light comes on. They are cheapo lights I bought from the local auto parts chain store. The radio ( A Jensen AM/FM Cassette, model KCC6220) is a 140 watt peak unit which should more than crank out enough power to feed the front Fosgates, and rear 6" bi-axial Clarions mounted in the normal rear position in the back panel separating the interior from the trunk. I also encased the rear speakers in 'boom box' cases that should protect them from stuff getting thrown into the trunk.
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dash_newmeter_back.jpg (12482 bytes)

  
    Well, after twenty-five years, (ten+ Midgets ago) I finally figured out a way to add a gauge to the dash. I cut out the back with a Dremel tool, dug out the hardfoam, leaving the softfoam, right up against the front surface vinyl. With a heat gun (there's that heat gun thing again) I heated the vinyl from the front and the back. When it was really hot, I used a preform I had made to press in on the bulge just to the right of the headlight switch. I held it until it had cooled, and viola! A new 'angled' dash area, big enough for a voltmeter to mount. Yes, one terminal is a bit close to the dash metal work but was easy to trim down so it won't short out.

 

dash_comparison.jpg (17456 bytes)

 

     Well I just had to go and do it. Well...actually it helps hide a bit of the vinyl rework needed after installing the voltmeter. I covered the dash fascia with matching vinyl. I only had to cut one seam, and there are only three fold-overs on the entire area that was covered.  The top edge is covered by a Dash Cap which also covers the 2" break in the top of the dash. The center of the dash where the beige ends, is simply trimmed with a small piece of automobile L-shaped 'door edge guard'. Truly, the pictures don't do it justice.

     I stripped down all the gauges. It started with fixing the innards of the speedometer and odometer. Even the dual 'oil press/water temp' gauge was disassembled so I could clean out the dust and reseal all the lenses. The light switch is brand new, while every other contact was stripped cleaned and rebuilt. The

     The all black dash in the above photo,.... arrived at my door, the day I finished the covered one. A fellow E-mail List member selling off some parts, was passing through the area and dropped it off right at my door in person. Seems he grew up just a 1 mile from here and was stopping to see his parents anyway on his way through town. Talk about timing! So, ...now I have an entire extra dash with all gauges (including the dual press/temp gauge) working properly and the wiring harness to the gauges still attached ('74 model year dash)as is the pressure pipe and temp. sensor plumbing.

 

interior_nodash_with_radio.jpg (15726 bytes)
Well without the dash, here's what a typical harness looks like
glove_and_radio_box6.jpg (15048 bytes)
The main harness needed a few touch up re-wraps, and a few connectors repaired. Here I was test configuring all the wire routes. I had to test fit the radio box for speaker and power lines to the radio.
interior_fulldash_shot.jpg (13871 bytes)
Well I think it looks Great! check out he gas peddle as well
interior_driverdooropen.jpg (15191 bytes)
 

The finished Product

interior_alldone1.jpg (15206 bytes)
...still needs door check straps
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The custom refinished glovebox door looks great! A real pain to re-install with it's shelf, but I'm glad I decided to cover it and put it back in.
interior_underwheel_radio.jpg (11325 bytes)

interior_volts_radio_glove.jpg (12785 bytes)

     I used a 'T' pull handle for the bonnet...easier to grab. A road wheel metal MG logo center cap  emblem was used to cover up the really screwed up hole the P.O. had made to pass the cable through. You can see one of the extra footwell lights I added on the sides of the radio box. I also added a piece of vinyl to the wall above the air vent hose to fill in a bit.

     The photo above right, shows the voltmeter addition well. The flattened out portion of the dash is angled perfectly for me to see it while driving. I wired it directly into the WHITE circuit wiring right at the ignition switch harness connection.

rollbar_full_int.jpg (13721 bytes)
Here's a shot with the rollbar in place.   Wow! I'm gonna' have fun....
gotta'' make myself a video camera mount for here...   :-)

rollbar_speakers.jpg (101131 bytes)

      This is a trial fit of the rollbar to see how it clears the convertible top frame and effects seating position. The convertible top frame came off, got wire wheeled, primered, and a fresh coat of black paint. While it was drying I cleaned up the crud around the ragtop to rubber seal area, touched up some more paint, and prep'ed the car for the brand new convertible top. Robbins... let's see how well it fits. I have to install all my own fasteners.  That's also a pretty good shot of the Clarion bi-axial speakers in the back. Man... they have some bass with the whole trunk as a boom box!  I get all the treble and mid range from the Fosgates up front, and some mid range, and all the bass from the rear. F/R balance give perfect tone buzzing down the road! It's really amazing just how well this rollbar fits down the little cubby behind the seats. It clears the lower edge of the convertible top frame by about 1/8". Wow... excellent fit. Putting the frame up or down it never touches the rollbar.

roof_tools.jpg (9889 bytes)
   HHhmm... how am I going to punch holes for these Tennax fasteners. Hey!  I've got  it! 

    The convertible top from Robbins requires you to custom locate all your own fasteners. You have to punch 1/4" holes to fit the Tennax fasteners through. The two halves of the fastener screw together through the hole you punch in the material. I found the tips of my circlip pliers held in my finger tips, worked great as the 'special tool' for tightening the Tennax screw on backs.

     The tool I ended using to make the holes with, was a hammer and home made punch. The punch was an old brake bleed tool. I Dremel tooled (filed out) the inside edge of the socket to sharpen the edge to a circular knife edge. A blow with a hammer with a block of wood as the backstop, and it cut perfect holes every time. This roof has the Velcro near the doors. I opted to include the 'fourth' Tennax fastener on both sides at the door edges, even though the car AND the roof both have the Velcro installed. I just like the solid mount right there at the edge of the window.


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last edited 12/06/09

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