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maniac mechanic
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well my dad had bought this 1978 Midget about 6 years back and started collecting parts and doing some work. Then he found a stupid cheap austin healey sprite that was already restored so he gave up on this and drove that and I just convinced him hand the MG over to me. It needs one small patch on the passenger cowl fixed, the driverside floor, rocker, and cowl and then paint. I got 4 fenders, a few doors, tons of trim, all new interior, 4 new bbs style wheels and tires, and the engine has a few upgrades already.

Interior will be what is on the passenger seat since that is done already. Outside I am going to paint British racing green like most the car already is. I'm going to get it all together and the body work and paint complete, then start upgrading to the parts used by the SCCA vintage racers so I can run some races up at Limerock Park.











 

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Re: New project

That's a nice little over winter project
 

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an old neighbor of mine has one he drives around all the time, same green color, sweet little car.
 

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maniac mechanic
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Discussion Starter #6
Here's some other pictures of the cowl damage before I did some stud pulling and cut out the worst section of it. As well as the inner rocker which I was going to save but they are $25 so since the footwell and front of the rocker support are rotted to hell I'm just going to do it all.







 

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When I was in high school one of the cheerleaders had a Midget.
Some guys on the football team would mess with her, pick it up and hide it behind the athletic building or somewhere.

A girl I grew up with had a late-70s MGB her father gave her for HS graduation.
She was left stranded on the road about 20 times.
Finally she wouldn't even take it out of her garage. But she wouldn't let it go.

One summer I ran into her as I was returning to town after being away for a couple years. She asked me how she could get it running reliably and I told her the only way I knew was to cut out all the wiring and build a custom electrical system.
It was spring and I needed a break, so she invited me to stay at her place in the country for the summer and build it for her.
And that's what I did.

Changed it to a GM alternator (a common mod for those cars) and bought some industrial fuse-blocks, relays, etc and built it up for her.
I gave it a modern audio system, anti-theft, auto wipers and headlamps, and some other stuff.

You gotta keep in mind, this was in 1990, before you could easily buy aftermarket automotive fuse-blocks, generic wiring kits, and before the current standard automotive relays.
So I used all heavy-duty industrial electrical hardware. Sat down and drew schematics, then laid out a simple wood jig on her garage floor the same outline as the car to layout and route the wires, and made the harness from "scratch".

She was very nice to me that summer..

When I finished with that car she could drive it anywhere... and she did.
She drove it from South Carolina to Kansas and back.... hauling back some illegal plants in a large garbage bag in the trunk from a friend she knew with a farm there.

Those cars were tough as nails, mechanically. The engine was originally a small tractor engine.
They had one of the most unreliable electrical systems in automotive history though.
 

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maniac mechanic
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Discussion Starter #8
got a delivery today that will keep me busy for a while. Should be everything I need. Just have to finish cutting and then put it all together. Luckily the cars are just like a big spotwelded jigsaw puzzle so it's not too difficult to work with.

 

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maniac mechanic
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Started taking apart the passenger side more and looks like I will be replacing the rocker and most likely patching the footwell, depending on how bad it is when I get the rocker off. It sucks because most the rocker is solid, but it will be easier swapping it out then buttwelding patches in.











 

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maniac mechanic
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Discussion Starter #10
Made the patch for the cowl today, just have to trim up the edges, burn it in and hammer out any warping afterwards. I'm going to do all spot welds until I fill the gap, it's too thin for me to run beads and not burn it.

 

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maniac mechanic
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Discussion Starter #12
Just like this but no trim or lettering, I may put the mirrors on the fenders as well. Once I talk to some SCCA guys I will have to figure out the chassis bracing and roll bar so I can race it. Basically these or miatas are the easiest things to race SCCA and have plenty of followers that the turnouts are always good. The engine will be the stock 1500cc triumph engine but I will be drastically changing the compression ratio, probably going to twin SU carbs, and a suitable cam to match the powerband I need.



The openings you see in the fender here I will shave with some filler panels.
 
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