A labour of love

Front inner wing replacement

Front inner wing replacement

Here we go again. As previously mentioned, I had decided to sacrifice my previously repaired inner wing after all during the course of replacing the footwell, so now I needed to replace it properly. Frustrating, but at least I got a lot of good welding practice out of those previous attempts at repairing it!

Here’s where we are – not a lot still holding the old panel on, some spot welds where it meets the bulkhead, a line along the chassis rail (including another lovely repair section I’d made not so long ago!), and a few more spots attaching it to the bonnet slam panel.

Here’s a detail of those spot welds at the front. I very carefully measured their position, and that of the flange on the slam panel they are attached to, and marked them up on the new panel to ensure it goes back in the right place.

With all those spot welds drilled out and the old panel gone, I wire brushed the whole area and treated a few bits of surface rust ready for the new panel to go straight on.

I had pre-punched the holes for plug welding in the panel, and I have to say this was an absolute breeze to weld into place, compared to some of the tricky panels I’ve had to deal with on this car. Even with Heritage panels, the fit is not always perfect, but with this one the fit was absolutely spot on, barely even needed any clamps to pull it tight for welding. I spot welded the joint with the slam panel, and getting the electrodes behind it was probably the only tricky bit of the whole job.

From the inside I have to concede it looks a lot better than my old repaired panel ever would, and has saved me many hours more prep work, so was well worth doing. Another bonus is that I bought the later version of this panel, which has the radiator mounting bracket already attached in the further forward position required for the V8 radiator, which saves me another job, and the guesswork of trying to find the right position for it myself (just need to match it when I weld the corresponding bracket onto the other side).

All ground back and with a dusting of etch primer it’s looking pretty tidy.

Next job was fitting a new Heritage “trumpet” section. This one was also a surprisingly good fit, considering I had remade a considerable amount of the footwell side by hand.

Finally, another splash panel top bracket welded into place. All ground back and the welded areas etch primed, this job is done. So I’m basically back to where I thought I was 3 months ago, but at least I know it’s done properly now and there shouldn’t be any more surprises.

Whilst I’m still in this area there were a couple more little jobs to do. MGB GT V8s use a remote oil filter arrangement, and have this bracket welded to the inner wing behind the radiator bracket, so now seemed a convenient time to fit that too.

The VIN plate for my car’s model year is also riveted to the inner wing in this area, so I wanted to drill the holes for that. Curiously, on the factory V8s the plate is in exactly the same place as non-V8s, but this means it partially sits on top of the flange for the oil filter bracket. Well if it’s good enough for the factory, it’s good enough for me, but I’m not sure my sorry looking original VIN plate will quite be up to it 🙂

Bracket spot welded into place, and VIN plate holes drilled.

Leave a Reply