Project MGA: Part 3 – Engine Out, Chassis Stripped
Time to strip the chassis and remove the engine, Ben and his colleagues, Josh and Brooke, start the next stage of the restoration.
Having assessed the condition of the bodywork, which is in amazing condition, it came as no surprise to find the strip down of the chassis went well with all the suspension parts coming apart with ease.
The chassis itself was virtually rust-free, the only issue being the battery holders. It had been decided to convert the car to a single 12 volt battery, doing away with the troublesome 6 volts.
So one of the battery frame holders was removed and cannibalised to repair the other. The frame was also slightly widened to accommodate the replacement battery. Most of the screws holding the wooden floor in place had to be drilled out, though, but having removed the floor boards it was found that the floor locating rails were in excellent condition when normally they can be very corroded.
Obviously, coming from the dry American state of California was again contributing to its overall good condition. The engine was left in place whilst the front suspension was stripped, as Ben has found the weight of the engine helps when removing the front springs.
Next came the removal of the engine. A hoist was set up to do this and lift hooks and chain were bolted to the top of the engine. Next Josh and Brooke removed the ancillaries from the engine, being carbs, exhaust manifold, dynamo, etc, while Ben removed the prop shaft, exhaust, rear springs and axle. Ben felt that the rear springs and shock absorbers could be renovated and reused on the rebuild as, like the front items, they were in very good condition.
The axle will be checked, refurbed if necessary, and powder coated. The splined hubs were also in amazingly good condition and could easily be reused. Brooke also removed the remote control on the gearbox to ease the removal process.
The hoist was attached to the engine lifting chain and once the mounting bolts were removed the engine/gearbox was literally pulled away from the chassis. This engine, which was a replacement and not the original engine, will not be reused as a ‘B’ series engine with a Mazda 5-speed gearbox conversion will be fitted. This will enhance its drivability, particularly as once completed it will participate in charity events up and down the country and be exhibited here at the Club and other locations.
The next stage will be to get the chassis and ancillary items shot blasted and then powder coated together with the painting of the bodywork. As RPS does not undertake this type of work two local firms have been commissioned to do this.
Mike is being kept up-to-date with the car’s progress and we asked him why he chose RPS to carry out the restoration work on his car. “I have used RPS before to carry out work for me and have found their professional approach linked with a ‘no problem too great’ attitude is confidence-inspiring. This, backed up by their experienced mechanics, means they turn out top-quality work”.