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1970 MG MGB

Frame off restoration - Step 2: Clean and Inventory

The second part of any restoration is going through the project and cleaning it up. While we do this we also collect any spare parts (of which there always are), inventory them, and then store them away. In this article we'll be doing the clean and inventory of my daughter's 1970 MG MGB project.

Watch the video! ------------->

Not the Clean and Inventory step is where you first get to spend some serious quality time in, around, under and near your project. Take your time doing this, so that you can observer all the nuances and needs for this restoration. On our 1970 MG MGB restoration we started in the trunk area. For starters, it was full of spares. All of these parts needed to be removed and added to the inventory pile. Once it was all out, we noticed a fair bit of scale rust and dirt in the trunk. Armed with a wire brush and a shop vac the trunk, or boot, was cleaned out and down to the solid metal. Here you can see Tanith getting it all cleaned out:


There's a lot of flakey surface rust in the boot. Here Tanith is starting to scrub it with a wire brush to knock it loose.


Here you can see the stash of parts removed from the car before starting the cleaning. Some of these parts aren't even for this car!


Elbow grease is cheap. Keep scrubbing away with the wire brush to get that loose rust!


The convertible top would not release from the rear deck lid. We're going to have to do it the hard way: remove the convertible top retaining clips.


Once removed we were amazed at the amount of dirt that had collected underneath.


Here are the two fasteners that hold the clips to the body. Make sure to bag and label them.


We worked the clips free. Then we removed the metal bar from the convertible top. Sometimes new tops don't have that part, so you want to make sure you have an extra on hand.


This photo is a bit washed out. We're looking at one of the bolts that holds the seats in the car.


Here's a slightly better angle. Viewing tip, we're looking at the back end of the seat.


There is an easy way and a hard way to get things done. Have we learned the easy way yet?


Apparently not, we're still working at it the hard way.


The trick to removing the seats in an MGB is to remove the front bolts first. Then you can pivot the seat which will allow you to slide it forward enough to easily access the rear bolts. Here you can see the floor minus the seat. Note that there's still wood in MGBs up through 1970. The spacer piece in the photos is made of wood.


With the seats removed the remains of the carpet comes up easily. Here you can see a floorboard without carpet. Note we haven't tried to remove the stuck padding. The goal here is to get clean, not be ready for full restoration.


Here's another floorboard shot.


We finaly found some serious rust. This is on the driver's side floorboard just ahead of where the seat would be.


Here's another shot documenting the rust holes.


With the tub cleared out, it's time to focus on the engine compartment. Here you can see the collection of dust, old grease, oil, etc. Cover/plug/protect anything that could be damaged with water.


Like many girls of her age, Tanith has a pesty little brother. Jensen has snuck into the work area and is attempting to drive off in her MGB. Luckily for us, his feet are a LONG way from reaching the pedals.


Make sure you've got the engine compartment sealed up.


Us a power washer filled with cleaner/degreaser. Get the years of accumulated gunk out of the engine compartment. It will make working with the engine and accessories much easier.

In the next article we'll be going over the external lights. Each light/lamp/assembly will be removed, cleaned, restored and packed away for reassembly.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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