The MGA With An Attitude

At 07:27 PM 11/4/05 +0100, John Barrett wrote:
>"Looking at several photographs of De-luxes, it would appear that the Lift-The-Dot pegs fitted on top of the scuttle for fixing the tonneau are all of the two screws type. The same seems to be true for Twin Cams, whereas contemporary standard pushrods have the simple peg, fastened with one nut under the scuttle. Do I hear agreement?"

Uh, no. Most MGA roadsters I have ever seen use the two screw flanged studs on the front scuttle. I believe that is a concession for ease of assembly at the factory, not having to reach up behind the dash to install the washers and nuts. These would be installed with grommet head sheet metal screws. If you see single thread studs in front, I suspect they would be aftermarket installation (or maybe dealer installed).

For early 1500's the studs on top of the doors (3 on each door) would be single thread with nuts underneath. Later cars didn't have studs on the doors, and many restorations have them intentionally removed (because they are a pain in the arm). The official point of deletion was (c)60637 for LHD, or (c)64332 for RHD, in December 1958.

For later style tonneau covers where there is a narrow tab extending forward outboard of the grab handle, the single stud there on each side Might bee a 2-screw flanged stud for factory issue, or could be a machine screw stud with nut on the bottom for dealer or aftermarket installation. The location of this stud is quite tricky. If you get it wrong it can interfere with the front corner of the side curtain when closing the door. When that happens the side curtain gets an unsightly divot, and the LTD stud often gets dislodged from the body. If you have a car without this stud, and you are contemplating adding it, it would be wise to test fit the side curtains first to assure that they don't hot these studs.

Later issue tonneau covers also had one less stud on each side in front, that is four across the scuttle rather then six (not counting the ones outboard from the grab handles). A diagram to follow will show the original locations for all tonneau cover studs.

For the rear LTD studs, early cars has six wood screw studs located on the rear cockpit rail, and two turn buttons on the rear corner rails (same buttons used for the convertible top). This is commonly referred to as the "short" tonneau cover. For aesthetic and strength reasons, later production has six machine screw studs located on the rear body tonneau about 3/4-inch aft of the rear cockpit rail. This the "long" tonneau cover (for most people the "normal" tonneau cover). The machine screw studs are attached with flat washer, lock washer, and hex nut underneath. Original issue had 2BA threads and 5/16-inch hex nuts. Modern replacement parts will most likely have #10-32-UNF threads and 3/8-inch hex nuts. A thin plastic paint protection washer on top is a good idea (and commonly available), but there is no mention of this part in the factory parts list. This will be a fairly hard nylon washer. The ID clears the #10 screw by a few thou (0.094). OD is 3/8" (0.375) and thickness is 1/32" (0.031).

On very rare occasion I have seen double screw flange studs on the rear wood rail or the steel body tonneau, but those would be aftermarket installation. Personally I hate the short cover attached to the rear cockpit rail, as it never seems very secure.

There is also an aftermarket type extra long tonneau cover which attaches to the rear hooks for the rag top. This style cover usually has two short steel bars sewn into the rear edge for attachment to the body hooks. A long steel bar here, same as in the convertible top, would be a rare aftermarket setup. This type tonneau cover does not use LTD studs on the rear body tonneau, which could be a nice concession for the Homecoming Queen who may sit there during a parade. This extra long tonneau cover would use a few extra fasteners on each side to attach to same studs as the rag top.

For the rag top there are three LTD studs in an arc on each side of the rear body tonneau, always in the same location as provided by the factory. These have the machine screw base and are attached with flat washer, lockwasher and hex nut underneath (and optionally the thin plastic protection washer on top). There is also a quarter turn fastener which is located on the cockpit trim rail at each side just aft of the door opening. This is attached with two grommet head screws. For very early 1500 cars when the cockpit rails were all wood, these would be wood screws. For later cars (almost all Roadsters), these would be machine screws with threads tapped into the cast aluminum cockpit corner rails.

For the 1500 and 1600 style side curtain stowage bags (to car number 78249, Oct 1959), there are two LTD studs on each inside wall just aft of the door opening. For later cars the stowage bag was changed to accommodate passage of a shoulder harness strap. These cars (from car number 78250) use three LTD studs on each side, with the top two studs positioned on either side of the slot in the fabric. These studs will be the two-screw flange type attached with sheet metal screws. This change coincides with change of design of the folding top frame and wider canopy.

There is one more LTD fastener located in the center of the side curtain stowage bag to secure the cover flap. For bags purchased as complete assembly, this center hardware will probably be installed before delivery. The stud here is rather special, having a base flange which secures to the fabric without screws.

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