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Sanity check - starting project on MGA


Freshman Member
I am doing a body off restoration on my 1960 MGA 1600. I don't have any experience (but I'm stubborn) and will rely on shops to do the engine rebuild and body work. This is ludicrous, but my tools consist of srewdrivers and sockets...and that's it.:-( Oh yeah, I have a hammer too.
I'm starting by removing anything attached to the body like trim, seats, bumpers, etc. Taking lots of pics, labeling everything. I'd really like to pull the engine and get it off to a garage, so today I'm focusing in the engine bay. Am I on the right track? Anyone interested in being a guide/mentor so I don't ruin this project?


Darth Vader
Country flag
Melly- can't help you but wonder if you might get a better response in the MG section...even tho this is supposed to be where you would get resto help. With no response in 24 hrs. makes me think not many MGA'rs been reading here.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
you're on the right track taking pictures and labeling everything. That's called "Documenting the job".
I use sandwich zippered bags, a magic marker, a notepad,
masking tape, boxes, everything neatly organized.

Well done.

Video would be nice too, but pics will do, just make sure you make written notes of everything and where each wire goes in reference to any electrical part. A Secretary would be nice, writing what you say as you disassemble parts.

I'm like you, (except I have tons of tools). I disassemble everything but let experts do the specific jobs I can't do. There's few people who can do everything. It's called "Subcontracting". You are the Contractor, and you sub-contract certain jobs.

An MG-A is not a very complicated car to disassemble, that's the beauty of it, so do it right and take your time.
The Re-Assembly is harder than the Dis-Assembly. So you need to anticipate what questions will come up as you re-assemble, that's why you need to write down every detail as you dis-assemble.

good luck!


Jedi Hopeful
The main thing is to record everything and take lots of pictures. If you get irritated with things, just walk away for a while (get some coffee). If you don't, things just get worse.

One more important thing: don't rush. Tell yourself it's going to be a few years to get it all done. This way you can actually enjoy your restoration.


Darth Vader
This is a big job. I rely on memory for parts placement during reassembly, but that's because I've been working on cars a long time. Pictures help. I am doing that with the Bugeye. It will work for you too, but it still requires a bit of memory, and good notes.

Divide the project up into separate jobs, and keep all parts and bolts for each job together.

Reassembly may require some specifications or special knowledge. You will need a book for that, or ask someone here.

Most of all, have fun. It takes a long time. Don't try to do it on a limited time schedule. Enjoy it insted.


Country flag
While the doors and fenders are STILL ON and lined up, build some bracing for the door openings. Preferrably front to back and at least one diagonal, better two. to keep the body aligned when it comes off. Otherwise you'll be fighting it forever to make the doors fit again.
ALso, any metal work, I.E. rockers or lower panals that need to be replaced should be done before removing the body or any of the mounting bolts for the body. And keep test fitting doors and fenders.
It's tedious, I know, but you'll thank yourself for doing it later.
I know of a couple MGA projects that came to a stop about the time the body was attempted to be set back on the frame.
It's very discouraging to make it that far, and get hopelessly stuck.

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
/bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/iagree.gif ABSOLUTELY!!
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