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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 -  Part 1
Exploritory surgery, cleanup, and carpeting

   As you travel down the page, you are are looking at the history of it's upgrade. Each photo has a small blurb describing the logistics of the photo.

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       The P.O.(or his P.O.) had started to install the interior but never got very far. They really did a poor job of what stuff they did do. They installed the door panels, but never bothered to fix the window mechanisms so you could at least roll the windows up or down. You'll also notice, no interior door pull handle and the amount of pitting and tarnish on the inside door release handle. There's no door weather seals, window seals, or check straps.

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     Lucky I'm an electronics engineer by profession. The electrics under the dash are a mess. The passenger seat was never re-upholstered or installed. That ice tea bottle has been sitting there since a clutch bleed attempt from nearly a year ago. All the spots on the carpets are mouse droppings from this last winters visitations. When they put in the trim screws to hold the panels they must have used a drill and just jammed them through the panels. Every trim panel mount screw has a bunched up wad of paneling cushion gathered around the screws. Some are so tight they cut right into the surface of the vinyl with the trim screw washer. The panel behind the center console isn't even tucked in behind the foot well side panels at all, and they cut a 2" diameter star pattern hole though it to clear the rusted, frozen solid, bonnet release lever through. It looks like there is three sets of splices in the ignition switch wiring to the main harness. I'll just rip it all out and start fresh.

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    The drivers side foot well looks bad, but it is only surface rust. A few small pin holes telling me the metal is a bit on the thin side. The passenger side foot well was in bad shape. There is a panel welded on the floor completely covering the normal foot well depression. The side wall was rusted through from all the leaves and dirt packed down between the side walls and the outer fenders.

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    The passenger and driver under seat areas weren't really that bad. I did wear out a 5" wire wheel cleaning up all the surface rust. Everything got a coat of Extend, ( a rust buster) which turns all the rust black as it converts it back to bonded metal. I didn't want to remove any more metal than was necessary. After two  coats of rust primer, a final 3 coats of green to match the exterior and that was it.

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     The passenger side fender had to be removed just to clean out all the dirt and leaves and gain access to the metal work needing repair. A small section was totally cut-out. The area was de-rusted, Extended, primered, epoxy coated, Waxoyled then ...well, I'm not proud of it, but .... fiberglassed to seal it all back up.

    While everything was apart, every nook and cranny I could get a 1/8" extension tube into, got an injection spray of Waxoyl. That stuff is really messy, but does a great job of protecting the metal work from future rust problems. I even drilled a few access holes so I could get down inside the boxed sections of the lower front and side chassis areas, including the a-post bottoms which are infamous for trapping water and rusting. My a-posts now have drain holes drilled up from underneath the side rails to let any moisture accumulation drain as needed.

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     Man what a difference. All the interior floor and wall areas were repainted to match the outer body work. Only the small area directly behind the dash was not painted...yet! I'll do that when I pull the dash to fix the wiring, and clean up and repair the vinyl.

    I added speaker wires and a few extra 14 gauge wires (just in case for what ever future use I may find)   to the harness that runs down the passenger side of the car. I completely re-wrapped the whole harness with the extra wires inside the bundle just to keep it all neat and tidy.

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     I really like this Biscuit interior. It'll probably be a pain to keep clean, but it really is beautiful with the dark jade green metallic exterior. sure it's not a 'stock' green, but it's very close to BRG except in very bright sunlight. Before the carpeting went back in, I installed a layer of  1/4" thick sound deadening and insulation material (metal foil on one side) to the floors and back shelf areas to quite down the road and engine noise.
     The soldering iron (black thing with the black and gray wires) was used to melt holes through the vinyl paneling for the trim screws. This kept the padding inside the panels from bunching up on the screws as they were mounted.
     In these photos it's easy to see the new windshield frame to door quarter window seals that were installed. They haven't been trimmed here yet and can be seen sticking up above the tops of the windshield frame side rails. In was a bit chilly so the rubber was stiff. They were so tight the doors wouldn't close without slamming them. It was simply these new seals, too tight(thick) I had to use a heat gun to soften the rubber along its entire length, then close the door to 'pre-shape' the seal. After a week or so now with the door closed, the weather strips have taken on the shape of the quarter windows very well, and the doors close easily and seal cleanly.
     Even the seat belts were totally stripped down, cleaned and rebuilt. The rubber casings on the belt retractors were a pain to remove, until I realized how handy my heat gun was. It softened them up enough to easily slip them off so I could work on the mechanisms. I just had to work with them HOT so I could work the rubber casing back on. Heating them up also had the added benefit of shinning them up quite a bit. The buckle ends of the belt assemblies were heated up and straightened as well.

     I used a 'T' pull handle for the bonnet...easier to grab. A road wheel center cap metal MG logo 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.

The rest of the interior work really got hairy from here on in. You need to check out the two-tone dash, and the covered radio box and rollbar.

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last edited 12/06/09

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