The MGA With An Attitude
SEQUENCE OF ASSEMBLY For MGA Chassis - RT-115
At 06:04 PM 6/29/2011 -0700, Ed Johnson wrote:
"Body is suspended above chassis. Is there a good sequence in your website that suggests a good way to install/attach items on chassis before installing body"?
- If frame was repainted, then clean out all female threaded holes with a tap before attempting to install any screws. Threads are mostly 5/16-24-UNF. If you are careful you can use the tap in a reversible power drill to make quick work of cleaning the threads.
- Install two triangular closure plates on side of frame with gaskets or caulking.
- Install the front closure plate on the frame, just below the goalpost with gaskets or caulking.
- Floorboards and tunnel may be installed early on or after suspension and service lines (just as well early on). Rear upright board has to go in first with gaskets or caulking where it meets the frame.
- Then the tunnel gets installed sitting on the frame with rear flange against the rear board and front flange against the frame closure plate. There are two thin rubber seals where the tunnel arches over the central frame cross member. Install gaskets or caulking where tunnel meets rear board and front closure plate and at the tunnel center overlap joint.
- See tunnel modification if you think you might like to install the tunnel on top of the floorboards.
- Once the tunnel is in place you can install the hand brake lever and cable to rear axle. Cable gets a P-clip on bottom of the right side battery carrier, and another P-clip on the rear axle. There are two bracing brackets to fit inside the tunnel where the hand brake attaches.
- Clean out female threads (#10-32-UNF) in floating cage nuts on top of tunnel (and be sure the cage nuts will float).
- Clean out female threads (5/16-24-UNF) in captive nuts on tunnel bottom flanges.
- Tunnel top cover is to be installed with gasket and rubber shifter boot after gearbox is in place.
- Rubber closure plug on right side of tunnel is installed after gearbox is filled with oil.
- Six pieces of floorboards go on top of the frame and tunnel flanges (as original). See floorboard information in the Frame section.
- Floorboard on right side is notched where it fits around the hand brake bracket and bolts. Use gaskets or caulking where boards sit on the frame and tunnel flanges.
- I like to also caulk around all edges of the boards to exclude any water intrusion when the carpet gets soaked from rain with the top open (it will happen).
- Accelerator pedal with brackets can be installed after floor is in place.
- Accelerator pedal adjustable bottom travel stop gets attached to the driver's toeboard with two T-nuts and 1/4-inch bolts.
- Exhaust heat shield goes on underside of left side floor below the passenger's knees. This can wait until installation of the exhaust system to position the heat shield directly above the exhaust pipe.
- Install front suspension, including all brake parts and hoses. The only trick there is compressing the coil springs to install the last trunnion bolt. Normal procedure is to place a floor jack under the outer end of the lower arm and raise it to compress the spring while a friend sits on the front of the frame. Much easier if the engine is in place.
- Do not tighten the nuts on lower A-arm inner pivot points until the car is completely assembled with full weight on the suspension.
- Once suspension is assembled, install the steering rack, at which point you have a rolling chassis.
- Install the front frame extension with four bolts.
- Install the front anti-sway bar (if you have one). The factory type sway bar goes on top of the front frame extension and is easiest to install before the body goes on. An aftermarket swaybar may mount on bottom of the front frame. Do not tighten the nuts on sway bar link lower ends until the car is completely assembled with full weight on the suspension.
- Install leaf springs, with front and rear bolts loose.
- Install rear axle with rubber pads and U-bolts.
- Install rear brakes and drums and brake lines, including hose that jumps over to a bracket on the battery carrier.
- Install rear shock absorbers and rebound straps last. Original leaf springs will usually allow connection of the rebound straps with only moderate compression of the springs, like have a friend sit or stand on the back end of the frame while you install the straps.
- If you have new leaf springs that are too tall, all bets are off for ever getting the rebound straps installed, even after the entire car is assembled and sitting on the suspension.
- Do not tighten the bolts in the leaf spring front bushings or shock absorber link top ends until the full weight of the car is on the suspension.
- If the gearbox is ready to go you can install that either before or after installing floor and tunnel, but it is not very important, as it goes in easy enough later. If you install the gearbox before tunnel, be sure you put the long bolt in the right way around for the gearbox mount. Factory drawings have it wrong. Wrong way around and you can't remove the bolt after the tunnel is installed. Then you get to cut the head off and buy a new bolt.
- Propshaft is installed after rear axle and gearbox are in place. (Gearbox can R&R without disconnecting propshaft from rear axle).
- Before the next step it is convenient if the gearbox with clutch slave cylinder and hose is installed, or at least attach the clutch hose to bracket on frame as reference for connecting the steel hydraulic pipe.
- Install brake hydraulic pipes. Start with the brake pipe from 5-way hydraulic connector block running under right side of frame to RS battery carrier. Do not run it below the leaf spring mount (a common jacking point). This pipe is attached to frame with bend-down metal tabs.
- Run two brake pipes from the 5-way block to the front wheels. These pipes are also secured to frame with bend-down metal tabs.
- Temporarily mount the master cylinder on metal brackets.
- Run brake pipe from master cylinder to 5-way block.
- Brake switch goes on top of 5-way block.
- Run clutch pipe from master cylinder to clutch slave hose.
- Brake and clutch pipes from master cylinder run along the front side of the frame goal post, secured with P-clips.
- You may want to install the fuel pipes at this time. For this you need to install the fuel pump and temporarily hang the fuel tank.
- Rear fuel pipe runs from tank to pump, following the outboard underside of frame curving up over the rear axle where it is secured with a P-clip.
- Front fuel pipe runs from pump forward under the frame where it is secured with bend-down tabs. Do not run it below the leaf spring mount (a common jacking point).
- Near front the fuel pipe runs upward near the goalpost upright, in front of the goalpost, then curves rearward a bit to run right to left across top of the goalpost. Just left of center the pipe turns upward about 30 degrees and terminates with a male threaded fitting that is silver soldered onto the pipe.
- The fuel pipe is secured on top of the goalpost with P-clips.
- Later on the fuel tank, master cylinder and three pipes in front need to be moved (or removed) during installation of the body.
- The front to back section of the wiring harness and the primary battery cable can be installed under right side of frame before body is installed (even before floor is installed). These cables are secured to frame with double P-clips and #10 screws, the clips standing upright with cables as high as possible.
- Body installation is detailed in the Restoration section under Body Sill Replacement.