An M.G. Locost Build

February 22, 2013

  M.G. steering racks didn't actually have stickers
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Not much action on the Locost front this week, with the frame drying and all. Actually, the frame is pretty much dry already. The 2K urethane we used is really tough stuff, in fact much tougher than we imagined. We've started using the chassis as a spare table, and we even installed a few parts on the frame just to see how they'd look. And also because we're really, really anxious to start installing parts on the frame, like our freshly-painted M.G. steering rack with its fake M.G. sticker.

Potentially ruining perfectly good Locost bodywork  
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We added defroster vents to the scuttle. This was a little bit scary because drilling or cutting sheet metal is likely to ruin it, and even more likely if the sheet metal is already welded in place. But we were very careful, and with our brand new stock MGB vent covers installed, you can't really see where we messed up. We might go in later and clean up a few rough edges, but probably not. One major benefit of defroster vents that we hadn't anticipated is the way they totally reinforce the scuttle sheeting. It doesn't flex at all anymore.

  Defroster vents approximately in the right place
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We hope the vents are in the right place. We wanted them far enough forward so they wouldn't interfere with the gauges and wiring under the dash, but far enough back so they're behind the windshield, because we don't think they'd be as effective in front of the windshield. We ended up locating them 2-1/2" back from the dash, because in our PowerPoint sketches the windshield is 3" back from the dash, and our PowerPoint sketches haven't failed us yet. It also looks like the gauges will fit easily, and wiring as you know can go anywhere.

So our only remaining issue is figuring out a way to get hot air to the vents. The air can't come from the engine compartment, because as we've noted in the past, engine compartment air is deadly dangerous. It's okay to get air from outside the car, either that or from the passenger compartment, which of course in a Locost is essentially the same thing.

We're thinking we could mount a metal box on top of the transmission tunnel behind the dash. There's a lot of empty space there, possibly the only empty space in the whole car. The box would have a small fan inside, an open vent on one end, and a couple of tubes on the other end that run to the defroster vents. The only issue then would be heating the air, but the transmission would help, and in any case hot air isn't essential for a defroster, although it's certainly an advantage. Maybe somebody makes a small 12-volt fan/heater unit.

Transmission looks like new, at least in pictures  
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In the meantimeŚand lately there seems to be a lot of meantimeŚwe're keeping busy refurbishing donor parts, because we didn't do nearly enough of that last summer when we had the chance. So we've cleaned the transmission inside and out, and we're also painting the last of our 50-odd metal pieces, like the headlight bar, the brake backing plates, the engine mounts, the differential, the exhaust pipes, and many more items too numerous to mention. Or recall. But there's a lot of them. We'll try to finish them up this week.

  Paint ready to be scraped up during installation
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We're somewhat undecided now about what to do with the chassis. Actually we're not that undecided, we know we want to brush on the final coat, but we're not sure what paint to use. The clear winner in price, availability, and popularity is Rustoleum. It turns out that more Locost chassis are painted with Rustoleum than probably any other type of paint, at least in our informal surveys. But the good folks at Rustoleum don't make British Racing Green. They make something called Dark Hunter Green, which may be close. We'll order up a can and let you know.


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