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MG TD TF 1500 - TD Upholstery Query

This query is addressed specifically to those who have original TD upholstery.

In Chris's gallery on 11272, pic 79/224 shows the short timber piece that the hood is secured to. Can anyone tell me how this piece is upholstered? In this pic it appears that the long 'flap' emerges from under the piece before it then heads down to the arch. If this is so surely it would make securing the screws so that they aren't seen extremely difficult, if not impossible. I'd planned to have that piece of vinyl go under, up on the outside of the tub, (then secure the timber) and then have the vinyl run across the top of the short piece of timber and then go straight down towards the arch. Help from those with an original installation only! Hopefully input from someone with the experience of Rod from Kiwiland is required here.

Second question is how many stitches per inch in the join in the upholstered arch, also shown in this pic? Not interested in what any of the modern suppliers do, only in information from the owners of unmolested cars. Perhaps measure a couple of inches and divide the total by two? Joe and Matthew may be able to help here. TYIA. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Peter, this video is for a TC but the method is the same minus the sewn in curvature.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdSNTQhd2ro

Regards

Tim
Timothy Burchfield

Peter, I just reread your post and now realize you were looking for input from original interior owners. I will say that Doug Pelton is a stickler for originality and I'm sure his method matches the factory. I think what you are seeing in photo #79 is not the material coming out from the bottom of the railing but the line and the original color caused by the interior side panel covering the area for so many years.

Tim
Timothy Burchfield

Tim is correct on all counts. The trick part is getting the fold at the corner. I must confess I am not 100% sure how that was done so you will have to experiment a bit. They may have cut a wedge out of the material near the corner in order to have it lay flat.



Christopher Couper

Chris, at the 12 minute mark in is video Doug explains how to do the corner. It's not curved over on the end like the one above but should be about same.

Regards

Tim
Timothy Burchfield

I can't help with your first question, but in answer to your second question, the bracket in the picture is exactly 3 inches long, and I count 19 stitches in that distance.
Joe

Joe Olson

Thanks guys. I'll check it out. Maybe Bill might have the answer to the number of stitches per inch query? Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Hi Joe. We just cross posted. That gives me the info I need on the stitches. Thanks. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

I would like to see an original one that someone has taken off their car. The folding process would be important to document.
Christopher Couper

I agree Chris as the TC is somewhat different. The treatment of the other end of the short piece needs examination as well. Also the vinyls that are available today are thicker than the original Rexine which may also impact on the method. An original piece would reveal much. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Chris and Peter, Doug's video at the 17:17 minute mark shows the method that looks identical to the finished product in Chris' first picture above.

Tim
Timothy Burchfield

I don't know. The TD picture looks like it does tuck under the wood strip. Doug points out that is impossible so he suggests to fold it there.

Also not sure why there is a seam on his piece. Maybe TC's did it that way.
Christopher Couper

Re the seam. It's because of the curve in the short piece, as he explains in the video. I'm sure the method Doug suggests is correct for the TC but the TD uses a different arrangement with no curved short piece. Still wondering about the folding of the rear of each of the short pieces... Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Chris, on second look I think you are right. Regarding the seam, earlier in the video Doug describes the stitched seam and how to install it properly. The other thing that is different from the TD is that the seat back bracket on the wheel well goes under the fabric. I think I see how to fold the material in your first picture. It looks to me that the faint black line on the top of the wood strip running from the nearest corner is from the material underneath that was cut at a slant. I'll be doing my interior on the 53 TD soon and I'll compare results.

Tim
Timothy Burchfield

I think a lot of what he does can apply (ie the way he cut out the material so it would fold flat with minimum stacking.

It will be interesting to see what you come up with.

I'll bet though that Rod B has a sample 11272 that did not make the pictures.
Christopher Couper

Rod came through with the pictures for TD11272 for these blocks. I have posted them in the gallery. There are four of them and you will have to view each of them and put your thinking hat on. Very valuable pictures.

Attached is one of them to give you an idea.

Christopher Couper

Thanks Chris. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Just applied the felt to the rear wheel arches yesterday and today and thought I'd update this thread.

First thanks again to Joe for his 19 stitches over 3 inches. His pic also answered another of my queries in that it clearly shows the precise location of the line of stitching in relation to the top and vertical sections of the wheel arch upholstery.

Doug's video in relation to the location of the 3 rear pieces of timber hood trim vis a vis the tub shouldn't be followed for the TD. The finished and trimmed pieces must be lined up with the exterior of the tub, NOT the interior!

The pics on 11272 in Chris's gallery are helpful in showing the location of the felt and the vinyl (129-133), (171-175), and also (227-230) for the folding of the small timber trim pieces.

I first glued the top piece using the same method I'd successfully followed for the interior of the side curtain box. Rough sanded both the top and vertical faces of the wheel arches to remove any obvious irregularities then brushed on neat PVA glue to the top of the arch, as the piece that covers the top of the wheel arch was being fitted first. This was cut oversize using a cardboard template and a very sharp pair of scissors as felt can be really difficult to cut. (This cardboard template will also prove useful when stitching the two pieces of vinyl together.)

The felt was rinsed in a diluted solution of PVA, excess squeezed out by hand and applied before the neat PVA had dried. The excess felt along the top edge of the vertical panel, about 1", was turned down and also glued. Any wrinkles were removed using a 6" steel plastering tool. This was then allowed 24 hours to completely dry.

The cardboard template was again used to mark both the line of the curve on the top piece and also to cut out the vertical piece. This ensures that the join in both pieces along the curve was seamless. The dried top piece was then cut along this pencil line and the excess removed. The vertical piece was then butted up to it using the method already described. This was again cut oversize on the other two sides. Once dry the final extent of the felt can be decided on and the excess removed by cutting with a Stanley knife. The excess is then easily peeled off and discarded.

Each wheel arch has just two pieces of felt. As stated elsewhere it is likely that any joins in the felt could be seen through the vinyl, which is why multiple pieces should not be used. Again care should be taken to ensure that the join is seamless. The felt can be maneuvered and massaged to achieve this while it is still wet.

I was really happy with the result and I'm confident that the join will be invisible beneath the vinyl. (Having just again viewed the pics, if I was being really anal, I'd probably have the join in the felt sit under the line of stitching, rather than near the top of the vertical panel. But, as my join is invisible, it matters not.)

A couple of questions remain however. I can see from 11272 that the vinyl is glued to the metal tub 1/4 panel and not to the felt but not sure about how it's secured at the bottom? Are there a line of tacks or staples into the rear timber floor, which are then covered with the oilcloth strip?

Although I'm not ready to fit it yet, how is the rear 1/4 panel secured? Obviously it's fixed at the top at the timber rail through the hidem binding/banding, but where else is it fixed? I guess it butts up against the the captive nuts that secure the rear mudguard (fender), but that isn't a fixing, it just stops the bottom of the panel from moving towards the outside of the tub. Feel free to offer proven, preferably original solutions. Cheers
Peter TD 5801


P Hehir

Here's a pic showing the felt. The colour is immaterial as it's never seen. The excess will be trimmed later. A fair amount of work was needed to make the 3 timber pieces fit perfectly. Comparing the original and the replacement long strip showed substantial differences. Both planing and considerable filling required. Also needed to add a timber strip at the forward edge of the long piece to enable that to align in the same plane as the timber top rail. Because the front and rear splay angles are well off, the front edge had to then be planed to match the slope of the rear timber tub rail, so it doesn't look like crap when covered with the vinyl. There wasn't much I could do about the rear splay so I'll just have live with it. These pieces came from Moss. Caveat emptor. Cheers
Peter TD 5801


P Hehir

Pic 2. This shows the extent of the filling. Cheers
Peter TD 5801

P Hehir

Peter: While your question is very well articulated my brain cannot figure it out. Perhaps a picture of the area you are questioning would help me.

I am going to take a guess and attempt an answer. This picture from 1172 will attempt to illustrate what I am going to attempt to articulate.

The wheel well arch is fastened to both the deck for above the rear end as well as a special plywood tack strip at the top of the metal panel. This entire area is then covered by a folded piece of black Rexine that is tacked in place with black tacks.

In the picture you can see the small piece that is covering the tack strip but it actually gets folded over and then proceeds to the back covering the wheel arch tacks. The tack strip was like 3/16" thick x 3/4" wide IIRC. It was held in place but some split rivets. You should be able to see the (3) holds in your wheel wells.


Christopher Couper

This picture shows the "Rexine tape" going to the rear. Sorry I don't have a picture of the fold.

Christopher Couper

Thanks Chris. I'd seen both pics in your gallery so I knew about the thin riveted tacking strip, which is still there, I just wasn't sure if the vinyl was tacked to the rear ply floor. I'm OK now. This suggests once the 3 pieces of rear floor are fitted and the wheel arch upholstery is tacked down, only the centre floor panel is ever removed. On the TC Doug recommends gluing the wheel arch vinyl to the felt substrate, however this wasn't the way that the TD was done. Your gallery shows adhesive on the tub skin above the wheel arch, which I'll also do. I can also use the pair of door stops as well as the short tacking strip to help anchor the vinyl in position, while the glue to the skin goes off.

I assume that the ply rear and all other visible parts of the metal skin that can be seen when the side curtain door is opened were also originally covered with black felt, just like the metal side curtain compartment itself? Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

"I assume that the ply rear and all other visible parts of the metal skin that can be seen when the side curtain door is opened were also originally covered with black felt, just like the metal side curtain compartment itself?"

Yep. Cover it all. :-)

Don't forget the inside door is special.



Christopher Couper

Got that finished and ready to go. The only disappointment is that the original oilcloth is unavailable and the modern version is too shiny. I've glued the single strip in place using the FTFU corner treatment in one of Doug's videos. Unsure whether the early TD originally used blued tacks or staples and how far apart they were? I've seen staples on TF's and tacks on TC's. They look like tacks in your pic? Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

This pic shows the template that I've made to take to the upholsterer. It's a stiff and accurate cardboard replica of the TD rear wheel arch on the driver's side. It shows the line of stitching, the number of stitches per inch, 19 over 3 inches - (thanks Joe), the material overhangs all round to enable gluing to the skin, the 4 vinyl pieces cut oversize, the polyester thread and a couple of pics of original installations - (thanks Chris). I'll sit beside the upholsterer to ensure that his work is accurate. As he's already made a great job of a door card for me he knows what to expect. Just one line of stitching so this should prove to be relatively painless. Once installed I'll post a couple of pics. Cheers
Peter TD 5801


P Hehir

Great work. What thickness of felt are you using? I think that I overpadded mine as they have now gone slack - not a good look.
Dave H
Dave Hill

I used 2 mm felt Dave. I bought roll remnants to save money. The black stuff I've saved for the visible areas of the tub behind the side curtain door. I've used two methods so far. One described above and the other just by applying the dry felt to the PVA'd surface while it was still really wet and able to be moved around. Once dry the difference is noticeable. The rinsed method produces a firmer feel. But both are acceptable. I'm not gluing the vinyl to the felt though as it wasn't glued originally.

I intend to cut out neat squares in the vinyl to slip tightly over all of the captive nuts as I think this will help ensure that the vinyl doesn't move over time. Obviously these captives are behind the rear quarter panel and are never seen. The tacking strip at the bottom, the glue on the skin at the top and around the captive nuts, the ply strip at the front and the door stop at the rear should mean that the wheel arch trim stays firmly in place. I hate the saggy look I've seen on too many restored cars. I'll also cut back the felt below the trim where the side curtain top sits on top of the wheel arch so that it's a closer/neater fit. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

In Pic 2 above you'll note that the small side piece hasn't been screwed in place. This is because I was unsure of the gap required to accommodate the required thicknesses of vinyl. Having now determined the original method of folding both pieces of the trim I know I need to allow sufficient space for 5 pieces of vinyl. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Just back from the upholsterer with the rear wheel arch covers and I'm yet to fit them to the car, but they sit perfectly over the template. I'm very happy with the job. See attached pic of the stitching detail. Took a bit of fiddling setting up the machine to achieve the 19 stitches per 3". The work was done by Peter Taylor of J & A Auto Upholstery in Five Dock here in Sydney and took Peter just over 1/2 hour for the pair. I was glad to pay him for an hour of his time. I supplied the thread and the vinyl. I'd have no hesitation in recommending him. Cheers
Peter TD 5801


P Hehir

"Unsure whether the early TD originally used blued tacks or staples"

Sorry. Did not see this until now. TD's used the tacks and TF's the staples.

About 6" apart.
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 09/09/2018 and 09/04/2019

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