An M.G. Locost Build

August 13, 2013

  Rest of the car may look this good
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We couldn't wait any longer. We attached all the body panels. Or not all of them, but you know, a couple. Or actually just one, but it was a big one, covering the whole back of the car. We're attaching the panels with black silicone sealant, and rivets of course, with the express aim of minimizing rattles and squeaks. In cars, rattles and squeaks fall in a special category within the broader spectrum of NVH, a common automotive term that stands for noise, vibration, and something that starts with H.

Bits of rubber for noise reduction  
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We're not really concerned with vibration or anything that starts with H, but having owned many convertibles over the years, we do know what a detriment rattles and squeaks can be to enjoyable motoring. We don't expect to eliminate them entirely from our Locost, but we definitely want to, ergo the sealant. In places where we can't use such tactics, like the nose and hood, we went to McMaster-Carr and got some foam strips and rubber edging to prevent metal-to-metal contact. So far it's working. We haven't heard a peep out of the hood.

  Giant piping for that vintage look
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For the rear fenders, which we attached temporarily and will attach for good in the next day or so, we bought some M.G. fender piping from Moss Motors. The piping looks huge, but apparently works okay on T-type M.G.s, so it should work for us. In addition to reducing squeaks and rattles, the piping serves as a gasket, sealing out road dirt and hiding the unsightly seam between the fender and body. The piping is available in any number of distinctive colors, but we got black without really giving it much thought. Or any thought.

With the rear bodywork attached for the last time, we were able to install the spare tire for the last time, and also the back-up lights and license plate lights. This involved more wiring and more soldering, but so far everything works. In any case these particular circuits are protected by a fuse, so there's a 50/50 chance that when our soldered pieces short out, the fuse will blow before the wires burst into flames. Not great odds, of course, but about the same as any regular M.G., so we're okay with it.

Vintage tire tread not especially wide  
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Less so with our adjustable spare carrier. Like all the other adjustable devices on our Locost, the carrier has a limited range. We built it expecting our tires to be 7-1/2" wide, and the spare, which appears to be original equipment, is 6" wide. So it's a bit loose. We could replace it, but it's so classic looking, and it didn't cost us anything. It's also hard as a rock and unlikely to hold air if pressed into service, but really, it's not as if we're ever going to use it. We get a flat, we do what millions of other Americans do when they get a flat. We call triple-A.

  Grill still allows some air to pass through
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Also this week we finished cutting out all 14 holes in our aluminum grill. Amazingly, we stayed within the lines, and with a lot of careful filing, we ended up with something that not only looks good, but should also serve to cut down on a lot of that annoying onrushing air trying to squeeze through the radiator. So this is going to be our winter grill, and we cut a fresh aluminum blank for a summer grill, which we haven't completely designed yet, but will likely have a reduced number of holes, probably one, and no more than two.

In the next week or so we should have all the panels back on the car, and can start scratching them up with all of the other tasks we have left to do. You might think we'd be more concerned than that, but let's face it, this isn't a new Honda. First of all, it's Rustoleum. Second of all, the car sits a few inches off the ground, and will be pelted with rocks and debris five minutes into the first drive. So it's going to look glossy right after we attach the panels, and not much long after we attach the panels. In between, we'll take pictures.


Our Locost
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