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Picked up my Midget, question for aeronca65t

JordanB

Senior Member
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I picked up a '78 Midget that I'm going to convert to chome bumpers. I saw your page describing the process, thanks.
I was just wondering if the '74 fenders are required for the conversion, or just to eliminate the side marker lights?
I do have to replace one of the fenders anyways.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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I'm not 'aero', of course, but you'll find that there are modifications that have to be done to the fender down behind the rubber bumper to affix the front parking light/turn signal as well as the front bumper....also, depends on whether or not you want the original chrome bumper look - if so, you'll have to change out the fenders; if not & you're willing to have a slightly different front appearance, the rubber fenders can be modified
 

Bugeye58

Yoda
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Tony, those "rubber fenders" you mention sound like exactly what I need for the race car! Where can I get some??!!!

Jeff
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[ 03-31-2004: Message edited by: Bugeye58 ]</p>
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Matthew E. Herd

Jedi Warrior
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I actually found that using large washers and appropriate nuts allowed that the rubber bumper lights be fitted into the openings. Its not a perfect fit (the edges hang over the opening a little bit), but it does make the car legal to drive (according to lighting req's, at least, if not in any other way). Also for a jury rigged job, it's better than the fit on some Ford headlights I've seen that came straight from factory and went into undamaged fenders ... (not that I have anything against Ford ... wait, I really do ...)
 

aeronca65t

Great Pumpkin
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As the fellows above have stated, you can reuse the original rubber-bumper fenders, but the parking lights will have to be rigged since the newer fenders don't have the correct openings and they are in a differnt spot (and there is no normal parking lights that will fit these openings since they were not intended to hold parking lights).
On my car, I intended to put the parking lights in the grill and use the openings as brake-cooling ducts, but by chance, I was given a perfect pair of '62 box-Sprite fenders, so that's what I used. Last year at Watkins Glen, I crashed heavily and wrecked the left front fender, so now my car is sporting one new and one old fender! It looks goofy, but it's mostly a racer, so I really don't mind....I'm actually working out something to make it look better this week.
One thing to watch: there are *two* styles of "older" fenders. One has the parking lights mounted higher than the other (everything else is the same...headlights, mounting bolts, etc.). The actual parking light will fit either one. They look pretty close off the car, but will look funny if you mix-and-match.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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One thing you could do is find an old Midget & cut the area below the headlight off a set of bad fenders & graft it onto your 'rubber' fenders...
 
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Tony, The only place to easily seam the fenders would be directly at the top of the wheel arch. Seaming it below the headlight(for example) will get you into the factory seam and all sorts of compound curves that you will never get quite right. I have a front fender seamed at the top of the wheel arch, and it fits very well and the seam is not noticeable(except for the underside). But if I had to do it again I would just keep looking for a fender in decent shape.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Trevor...though I've never done it on a Midget, I've done it on MGB fenders several times - no big deal actually....just cut the desired panel from the good fender, line it up against the fender to be repaired, mark, cut, & butt weld...a little filler & you'll never know it was done. Heck, you can even do it without removing the fender from the car!
 
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Ah, I see, I thought you were talking about seaming the fender together (roll edge and spot weld). If you want to patch them together and aren't a fiberglass snob then sure you can patch them together. But on a midget the fender is stamped from a single sheet of metal and it is seamed from the inner lower headlight opening to the grill mouth. (avoid this area if patching) The seam there is lead filled (obviously) so care needs to be taken not to overheat when welding your patch panel. I would still prefer to do a seam than try and match contours, but every one has their own preferences. And maybe I wouldn't feel that way if I was decent at controlling my welds with hammering.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Don't think Jordan is thinking 'concours'...he's converting from rubber bumpers to chrome bumpers - my way is the easiest way!
 
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True, it is easy. And obviously he is not thinking concourse, but since he is wanting to switch to chrome bumpers for appearance (I think, but it could be performance) I would expect that he'll want it to look nice. And I agree that patching can be done and never be noticed. However, my personality wouldn't allow me to leave them in a "good enough" state. It is always my intention to get the body straight enough that no one will notice slight imperfections, but for what ever reason I keep working it fearing that someone will notice those imperfections. It is difficult to explain because I am NOT a perfectionist, but rather paranoid(of sorts). Bottom line he needs to do what he feels comfortable with in terms of cost, ability, and desired outcome. Now... about that rear fender. That is a little more challenging isn't it?
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
Trevor - on an MGB its not a problem as parts are available to weld onto the rubber body to match the chrom body lines....again, I've not done it to a rubber Midget but I have taken the butt off a chrome Midget & put on a rubber midget - again, real simple welding job...

...oh, a good welder can mate 2 panels & you'd never be able to find it after the bodywork is finished....you should see ehat the body shop is doing to my '79 V8 car...here's just 1 example:

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[ 04-01-2004: Message edited by: tony barnhill ]</p>
 
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Interesting look. Looks like a good job. The part below the taillights is not available for a RB midget AFAIK. My dad builds street rods and now that he is retired I'm picking up the hobby as well. Before I went to college I spent many hours in the Garage restoring a 69 Falcon and repairing an old Toyota Celica after it was totalled. Anyway, my Midget is my learning project. I call it the Mongrel. It is a 1970 with a 1972 rear clip. My welding skills are crude enough that I've had my father weld any panels that required an excellent fit. Anyway...
A rubber bumper to chrome bumper conversion on a midget is more involved than the conversion on a MGB, but seems still very doable.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Trevor - probably true...but, I'd just go out to my MG Graveyard & cut the butt off a chrome Midget & weld it to the butt of the rubber bumper Midget

graveyard001.jpg
 
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I bought the Mongel from a fellow that has a similar graveyard. (over 35 MG's in various states of disrepair and assort other British cars)
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Trevor - that's just one view..other views would show Magnettes, MG1100's, MGB's & GT's, Rover, Corvairs, Morris's....probably on the average 50 or so cars!
 
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