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MG TD TF 1500 - Partial wood replacement on TD tub

Hi all, attached is a picture of the wood I'll be replacing on an early TD tub on both sides.

I imagine replacement of these pieces to be the most common, so I'm hoping someone who has experience with partial replacement to chime in.

Based on how the car came apart and my literature, the A and B pillar are secured to the bottom main rail from the exterior side of the car, meaning that you can only reassemble these pieces as a whole assembly back into the tub and you can't make live adjustments to the size/shape of the door opening once you have the wood assembly reinstalled into the sheet metal.

1) is there anything you recommend doing/testing prior to reassembly in the tub or do I just have to do it blind and hope the doors (original to the tub) will fit nicely?

2) I have seen some literature suggest there are three screws holding the A pillar to the bottom main rail, and other's that depict only one wood screw. I imagine more adjustability with one screw, while giving up structural rigity possible with three screws in the joint. What is everyone's experience with this?

From what I have read, a lot of adjustment for the doors comes from the tub mointing hard points after it's back on the chassis, so I'm wondering if I'm putting to much time/thought into this part of the repair and I don't need to fret.

All thoughts welcome, thank you.

BD Darsch

I've changed one rear pillar on the car.
Patience, chisel to remove the rotten pillar.
Patience, chisel, saw and a file to build the new one
I had to cut the new pillar into three parts. Then I introduced all parts behind the metal bracket and glue them together and to the bottom and top existing wood pieces. Then two screws to assemble definitely the cut pillar.
Today's glue is very solid and it is certainly as rigid as new.
It took me one day. Years ago. No problem since, and the adjustment of the door remains.

But it seems that you already removed everything from the tub. So your problem may be different.


LC Laurent31

I wanted to update this thread on my results thus far in case anyone encounters a similar circumstance. To recap the bottom of my B pillars were rotted on both sides and I realized the bottom rails that were installed were not of factory design.

I ordered the A pillar, B pillar, and two bottom rail pieces for both sides from Moss. Then I assembled each side and made adjustments until they fit well around the door. T Series Resto guide by Green recommends 3/16" clearance around the sides and 1/4" on the bottom of the doors. I got that dialed in and then I test fit the entire side wood assembly as a unit into the tub. The dry fits were tedious because I had to wrap the tub metal around each time, but by using the doors as a template I only had a few further adjustments to make before finally buttoning the tub back together for good.

The one thing I had in my favor was that I had both doors that fit the tub well when the tub was still together in disassembly. Otherwise, I'm sure there would have been more work.

B Darsch

As discussed above, this gap will vary between cars.

If you can achieve up to a 1/16" gap that would be a good guide.

Notoriously, restorers often don't fit back the original thick black felt piece located between the wood piece and scuttle end area upon which the windscreen stanchions fit. Later,when the windscreen stanchion bolts are tightened up,the scuttle panel end area can dent inward. This tends to ruin one's day!

Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

That is an interesting observation Rob. Iím not familiar with the felt piece you mentioned - do you have a photo or drawing of this? Our TF was completely stripped when we bought it, and there were no felt pieces parts collection.
J P Hunter

Thanks Rob. Like JP, I would also like to know where the thick felt should be. I am restoring a TF, not a TD.

My plan is to use 30-pound roofing felt "Tar Paper" where the felt was on top of dash support below the mirror and between the body frame and the inner wheel wells. Maybe double thickness as required. I also use it below the floor boards on top of the chassis and on top of the floor board supports.

What other places should be buffered with felt?

>> BD: Congrats on your progress. Looks really good.

>> Laurent - Your hinge pillar looks like the latch pillars that I removed from my car. I completely disassembled the car so that I wouldn't have to make a scarf joint in the new wood. I started taking the car apart in March 2017. I would have done better doing as you are doing and left the body panels on the car while replacing wood.

We gotta love the little cars to go through this agony!!

Thank goodness for help from forum members.

LM Cook

Back in 1977 before there were off the shelf wood pieces available (or at least that I could find) I had a furniture maker create all the pieces in BD Darsch's first photo using the rotten pieces I removed from the car as patterns. I was able to fit all the newly made pieces, albeit with a lot of trial fittings, into the tub. However, I did have the lower 3 inches of the tub cut away due to corrosion which made it easier. So it can be done and 43 years later the car is solid as a rock.
John Quilter (TD8986)

This thread was discussed between 22/01/2020 and 11/09/2020

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