MG MIDGET - Del Mar North

MG MIDGET - Del Mar North

process had stalled out due to the bellhousing bolts being almost completelyimpossible to remove. The damagedfront suspension, which was the reasonI got the car for an extremely low price,had already been removed duringthe second revival of the project, andsuspension kits and replacement partspurchased, but I was concerned that Ididn’t know enough to safely rebuildthem.I needed help, but for a variety ofreasons, the project was going to haveto move forward under my own mentalpower.It was then that I found a remarkablepage. MG MidgetPurchased in 1997, the 1976 MG Midgetwas originally intended to be refittedwith an RX-7 engine for SCCA autocross.Suspension and brake kits werepurchased, and several trips to localautoyards resulted in doors, fenders,and boot lids with less damage than theoriginal panels.Some progress was made, but theproject was delayed and eventuallyabandoned in favor of converting it intoan electric vehicle.Work commenced on this second phasein 2005, but was delayed until 2013.This third revival of the project has seensignficiant progress and substantiallyincreased motivation and commitment.Without the generous support of thehousehold, a project like this couldnot have been stored for the lengthof time involved. The patience andunderstanding of everyone (Ken Eastonand all the kids) is greatly appreciated,especialy since at least one-third ofprecious garage space has been takenup by the MG Midget, with little tonothing to show for it.The first order of business was to digthe car out from underneath a largeamount of stuff. The car has been storedin the far left bay, which has its owngarage door. Since it’s out of the line offire of the two-car section of the garage,it’s very convenient to think of the caras a very large platform for storage. Ianticipated this step taking several days,but the work was accomplished in justGarage cleaned and organizedone, on 26 May 2013. Another projectaccomplished in the same time-framewas the installation of a garage soundsystem. Paul Williamson integrated abluetooth receiver, speaker system, andamplifier to make the garage even morefun.The order of operations wasn’t clear. Iknew I needed to complete the removalof the engine, but this part of theGarage entertainment option A.Every step of the suspension rebuildprocess was documented! A person aftermy own heart, Mike even discussed thereally simple parts. He valued handholdingjust as much as I did. You neverknow when something totally obvious,totally isn’t.With that lack of knowledge partlysolved with a step-by-step at myfingertips, I decided to build up somemomentum doing some simpler things.On 31 May 2013, I removed the fueltank. The Haynes manual procedureseemed easy enough. It took about twohours. The fuel siphoned out of the tankwas well on its way towards the land ofvarnish. It was disposed of evaporatively.The tank dropped almost perfectly,except for the flange hanging up a biton the righthand shackle. With a bit ofbending, it came free.On 10 June 2013, I removed the seatsand dash. The Haynes manual was clearand helpful concerning the seat removalinstructions, but unhelpful with the dashremoval.After searching the internet, I found avery helpful video on YouTube. provided the visuals that allowedme to orient a wrench deep inside thedashboard, loosening the difficult-toaccessnuts across the inside top of thedash.It looked like the steering column wasgoing to have to come out, but that

What would the car look like postrenovation?What color, what style?Decals? Flames? Circuits? Thevenins?Iridescent silver? British Racing Green?Old school? Star Trek? Old School StarTrek?The possibilities were endless, butpatience was not. A decision aboutstyle had to be made. Otherwise, thevisual impact of the car would be “notquite completely stock.”And, while there is absolutey nothingwrong with the way the MG Midgetlooks, this was going to be a bigrenovation. It deserved to be rebornas something reimagined.It began with the idea of taking theMG badge coloring it blue. A bluelogo or badge is the current stylefor hybrid and electric vehicles. Wecould cut a completely new badgeat MakerPlace, or refinish one of theexisting ones that would be comingoff the car in the repainting process.This somehow lead to the idea ofremaking the car into a steampunkstyle vehicle. I have an interest in thestyle, a collection of books rangingfrom fiction to fabrication, and thecar’s basic lines and retro flair seemedto make sense as a foundation. Justlook at the Moss Motors apparel andpin to the right. If this isn’t steampunk,then I will eat that hat.While “electricity” and “steam” don’timmediately appear to be compatible,there are large swaths of steampunkfiction devoted to interesting electricSteampunkElectrified MG Midget Style!innovations, and several welldocumentedprojects like the TeslaGun that sucessfully explore theinterplay between electricity andsteam and clockwork power.The availability of old electronic gearin and around San Diego meant thatthere would be plenty to experimentwith.A large variety of themes andcompositional elements were now onthe table.Instead of a car horn, it’s now anauditory hallucination generator, or asonic assault canon.Instead of a fuel gauge, it’s now aprobability engine thermometer, or apotential field force indicator.The essential ingredient in steampunkstyle is fun. While functionality hasnever been a necessary component inthe style, in this case functionality is arequirement. All steampunk stylingswill support a real function of thevehicle.Plus, the soul of every British Caralready has the ultimate Steampunkdemon, factory installed. Lucas,the Prince of Darkness providesthe necessary Machine Spirit forsteampunk success.Instead of hiding Lucas away, this carwas going to proudly and gloriouslyfly his banner.turned out to be unnecessary. Which,was a good thing, becuase the allegedlycaptive nut (one of three, with theothers being entirely accessible) simplywouldn’t cooperate. If the columnever has to come out, there might be aproblem.The wiring harness was disconnectedand the dash wiggled out past thesteering column. Spatial relationshipskills test #21352... passed!The seats were in bad shape, but I wasn’tsure how bad they would have to bein order to justify replacing them. Theycould be refurbished, but the amountof rat chewing, rust, age, and wear wassubstantial. The household voted infavor of junking them and buying newseats.New MG Midget seats are available, andwhile expensive, as part of an entireinterior kit, the household felt it wasan understandable expense. Otherpossibilities for seat replacements werementioned by friends following theprojects. Robert Rotzler and severalothers suggested Recaro seats, and asearch of the forums on various sitesturned up the Miata MX5s seats as analmost-drop-in replacement.Because the original seats were closeenough to steampunk to considerreplacing, the entire question of whatand whether to buy was tabled forfurther study.Any excuse for browsing throughendless collections of steampunk art forfurther inspiration!

Fuel Tank RemovalTwo Hours

With the popularity of steampunk, therewas plenty to observe for the project.Gears, guns, goggles, (and top hats) wereInspiration from Friends,Comic-Con, and ArtConcerning Proper AttireLong projects are very difficult to maintainwithout external reinforcement.Whether achieved through deadline, bycompetition, or due to some damn foolidealistic crusade, motivation is worth it’svirtual weight in gold. In fact, gold is thebest motivation, hands down. The threatof loss of salary is responsible for the vastmajority of day-to-day work, especiallyof the scut kind.Concerning the steampunk mindset, notmuch can be coherently said. It’s a stylethat one can recognize without thinkingthrough the theory, or even being forcedto decide on a definition. It’s patternmatching without rigor or repercussion.Hallmarks of steampunk are the aura,whether real or faked, of hand-madesplendor. Things that are worth doingare worth doing fancy, but without sacrificingfunctionality. Unless the sacrificeinvolves a commesurate increase in theamount of times people stop you to tellyou how awsome that brass blunderbussis.That’s why it was so amazingly motivationalto get a gift from a friend earlyin this project. In order to be properlyattired, PH sent me a hat. The rest of thedriving outfit will naturally fall from thispeak of millinerial achievement. Thankyou PH! I now have a goal to be worthyof the fashion faith.I had not been to Comic-Con since 2005,when I went with a beloved friend. Shepassed away the next year, and I had notbeen back since.I returned, and it was the best possibletime to do so. I took my two daughters,and we celebrated a long joyous day ofbeing with our fellow tribe members.thick on the ground.Above are wings made from brass usinga water cutter.The style of Steampunk Scientist Explorerappeals to me the most for thisproject, due to the prevalence of dialsand gauges. Since cars actually dials andgauges for sensing and safety purposes,it’s a reasonable fit.After contemplating all I saw and absorbedduring 2013 Comic-Con, I have tosay that I most enjoy gears and widgetswhen they are actually doing somethingin the steampunk design. When they arestuck together or used simply as decoration,they are still quite cool - but thereis an element missing. It’s the necessary(but not by itself sufficient) element offunctionality.To me, steampunk puts the fun back infunctionality. I certainly have my designer’swork cut out for me on the ElectrifiedMG Midget in terms of executing a designthat makes sense, and is somethingabove and beyond merely decorative.

Since there was a delay from the wheelbearing oopsie-do, I used the resultingopportunity to attempt to put togetherthe parts that go onto the A-frame, andran into another small issue. The cotterpin wouldn’t go past the lower fulcrumarm.


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