Fitting up and finishing

So with the body and chassis reunited the long process of fitting up started. Every thing needs cleaning, blasting and painting, trimming, you name it and it needs doing.

Started with some modern sound deadening to floors and roof.

The had a go at the headlining, not bad but it defo isn’t the best stitched. Some of the support loops are not stitched correctly, and no amount of trimming them allowed the head lining to tighten all of the creases out. Even with the hair drier on local areas and a 3kW fan heater in the car keeping the material soft and pliable could I get rid of them. However with the head lining now in place for a few month I may have a go at re-streching it on the door frames and thry the front and rear 

Need the side trim panels to keep some of the head lining in place.

The loom needed stripping down and all of the old extras removed. The loom was cleaned and stripped back and re-taped with correct loom tape and for a bit of extra detail a wrap of self adhesive loom tape at the ends of the runs to secure the wrapping tape. Also additional relays were added for heated rear screen, main lighting. I also incorporated in the loom wiring for an electric fan, controlled from a stat in the rad hose, additional loom made up to run to this and then an override switch and indicator light under the dash somewhere. All of this is now in the main olm and looks OE rather than a load of individual wires slung in.

Might not be much order to these photos as loads of bits going on at the same time. Dash was cracked and split and unfortunately there had been water damage to the actual wood where the lacquer had cracked so I had no choice but to recover it. Having looked for weeks it was almost that everyone who had recovered a dash had a different view on what the wood was and what looked best. Teak was coming up a lot, Elm was also popular but no amount of veneer samples I ordered came close to the OE finish. I went for a teak in the end, prepped the existing and applied the veneer. It came out ok for a first attempt. Not being a lover of the shiny bling high gloss dash finish I went for a Mipa matt 2k clear finish. It needed a gentle da flat with 400 and reapplication of several more coats of 2k clear. I wasn’t looking for a totally smooth grain free finish and settled with the outcome.

And a bit of trial fitting, cleaned the gauges and reassembled. While the dash was out I looked at the drawings and realised there were no relays for any items other than the horns. So behind the dash I wired in relays for the HRW and for the main lighting, main reason to take the load off the switch contacts and run this thru the relays, the actual dash switch’s only being used for operation of the relay coils. The cigarette lighter I don’t think was std there, however I quite liked the retro look of it and found in my stores a NOS lighter assby form the 70/80s so this went in. It will also be useful for charging phones and all that modern stuff required these days.

Trial fit after clear as some of the apertures needed easing to fit
Every sharp edge and stabby pointy thing behind the dash is going to get you at this stage
Dash top was cracked and split, this was repaired with PU and then the covering piece from the trim kit used .

During some of the short evenings I decided to tidy up the rear lights, nothing actually wrong with the old lenses, just years of washing and dulling. I quick go over with some G3 and the sport repair polishers cleaned the lenses up nicely. Some are going to need a little flat with some 2000 w&d and G3 again but at least the OE ones will fit and look period.

Didn’t like the rear end all blue, just something didn’t look right so hit it with some 2k satin Black. Will wait and see what it looks like when finished and with trims on, can always repaint it back blue at a later date.

The old cardboard tunnel was battered and bruised a bit, and given the amount of old oil on it was actually cheaper and quicker to get a replacement, and found this replacement GRP one on fleabay. Anyway 10 days later it turned up. Had to trim it a bit and drill new fixings holes but the fit was very good.

To seal the new tunnel it was given a coat of epoxy sealer and satin black, which dried semi gloss, whatever, its under the carpet, so this should last the time of the car or even longer.

And fitted with the trial fit of the carpet. Didn’t get any pics of the tunnel fitted, but will do when the final fitting is done. There is enough room under the carpet on the tunnel to apply the sound proofing sheets which will get done next. Also the first shots of the dash almost complete. I’m not into the bling high gloss so the dash had several coats of Mipa Matt 2k lacquer, which actually gives it a nice finish.

I will get the hair drier and steamer out over the weekend and get a bit more shape in the carpets. They are the real expensive moulded set, and I think worth it, they actually fit ok straight out the box.

Bit slow on thew write up as I have been busy with other stuff as well as this. So in keeping with the retro scene I ordered a set of these

Fitted the new glove boxes and recovered the crash pads. I couldn’t work out the correct way around for the lower crash pads to be fitted, searches on the web showed a range of examples, so they got fitted the way they looked best and seemed logical. I also found some nice small LED lights and fitted them to the interior light circuits. The lights were BMW boot lights and added a nice bit of illumination. Just a bit of tidying up to do with wires and washer pipes and that bit will be done

All of the interior bits were stripped and recovered, most were fairly simple, the radio surround was a bit tricky around the feet but use of the hair drier stretched the material to fit. Please excuse the Pocophone bit on the photos, a new phone and not being a teenager I still haven’t worked out how to remove this

Next up were the seats, nothing really unusual, a few bits broken, a coat of paint and then new rubber straps, foams and covers.
Only issues is that the OE foams were so much better quality, I doubt the new ones will last half as long. Also the seat covers didn’t have all of the muslin inserts to how the covers in place on the foams, not badly made just lacking some of the better detail.
However they are fitted and in again for the first time in 16 years

To give the foams a fighting chance I stuck burlap to the bases and backs as per the OE set. This helps to stop the foam breaking up on the wear surfaces and to give a bit of strength.

Given I have added a layer of dynamat and then underfelt under the carpet if I bolted the seats straight to the floor the runners would have bowed and made the seat movement difficult, so dad knocked up some 8mm spacers to let the seat runners bolt tight to the floor just gently trapping the carpets etc

Clean and tidied the boot area for the last time hopefully and gave it all a coat of wax. New boards, bit of satin 2k on them and then fitted with a new carpet, that didn’t fit.
Had to trim the edges and take of the binding, so I melted the edge gently with a large soldering iron to seal the tufts. Got a couple of carpet clips in, just need a couple more to finish.
Seems a pity to cover this lot up given the amount of work that went into it, but there you go.
Can’t quite figure out the correct route and fixings for the loom across the rear lights, as if I look at 5 examples there are 5 different routes and fixings, but it works.

At Last

So more or less finished. A bit of screen sealer to add and then the wipers on and it’s done. My dad started this when my son was 11 and daughter was 9, he did some and then it just got a bit too much for him so it sat under a cover outside until 2 1/2 years ago when I picked this up again, my son is 27 and daughter 25 now. We are not sure about the gearbox or diff, they looked ok and no backlash in the diff. A set of seals and gaskets and we will have to see how they are. Been 200 yards up and down the road, seems to drive ok, the Princess callipers haul it up nice, few klonks and groans but need a few miles on it. SU conversion seems ok, set it fo 4% CO at idle for now, will have to see how needles pan out over rev range. Diff or g/box do seem noisy but I haven’t driven anything with these items this old for agates, even the Tremec HD in the Cobra is modern compared to these, will have to ask a few with experience.

Going to use it as much as possible, and if ok next year to Classic Lemans, and then who knows. Would like the OD but these are so expensive second hand, I like the idea of a Type 9 5 speed but don’t like the idea of the gear lever further back, so guess we will be down to 50-60 mph road trips.

A few pics of the completed item then, I’m not a photographer so this is as good as it gets.

Clear the garage and drag the MGB GT V8 in for its resto now.

The rebuild thread will be on this blog.