So excited about this one, it’s been a very long time coming. So excited in fact that I managed to not take any photos at all of the important mounting process, only before and after shots, so you’ll have to take my word for how straightforward it was.
I bought my jig in a fit of optimism nearly a year ago, from the good people at rolloverjigs.com, and have basically been tripping over it or moving it out of the way ever since then, so it really is thrilling to finally be putting it to good use.
Starting with my now completely bare shell raised about as high as I could get it on axle stands, I started to assemble the jig around it. The jig is supplied with mounting brackets specific to your model of car, and in the case of the MGB, the brackets bolt directly to the front and rear bumper mounting holes. At the front, I actually took the opportunity to make some quick repairs to the front bumper mounts. The holes had been very crudely enlarged with a drill bit by a previous owner (I suspect to make a slightly bent bumper fit again after some collision damage, as it never seemed to sit properly). I welded and ground them back to get them a bit closer to how they should be, and I have a nice (hopefully) straight replacement bumper to go back on at some point.
The jig arrived fully welded, but in bare steel to keep the cost down, so the first thing I did when I received it was to paint it, which turned out to be a great idea given it sat outside for most of the winter whilst my garage was being replaced! I didn’t have enough paint on the shelf in a single colour, so the fetching black and red combination I ended up with is completely accidental.
If you’re in the market for one of these jigs, make sure you order it with the “self loading/balancing tool”, as this really did make the job of mounting the shell and balancing it just as easy as they claim it would do. I completed the whole job on my own in an afternoon. The instructions provided are fairly comprehensive and easy to follow, the only tricky bit is finding the balance point where the shell will rotate freely without any effort, and without spinning under its own weight. I think there are 8 or so possible levels of adjustment, and the trial and error of going through them all could be time consuming – I made a lucky guess and got there after only a couple of tries.
It’s fantastic to see this in operation, once balanced it can be easily turned one-handed and will stay in position (although you’d probably want to restrain it before working on it!). The access to the underbody it provides is obviously incredible (as one would hope), and there are definitely some dark corners under there I’ve never seen properly before. In fact, the first time I span it over I wanted to spin it straight back and forget everything I had seen. Some exploratory poking at the vast quantities of underseal here immediately uncovered quite a few of the “unexpected surprises” I had been worried about, as well as some more of my dodgy previous repairs that I had conveniently forgotten about. But that’s a story for another post.