In the last post I discovered that the real condition of the body was a bondo mirage. Additionally, having had the car up on jack stands to complete jobs like the front suspension refresh and handbrake cable replacement, I knew there was some funny business going on with the floor pans. A previous owner had attempted to do something to cover up/manage the rusty floors.

The biggest sign of a structural issue was when sitting in the car, I got the distinct feeling that the doors were significantly tighter in their openings than when no one was in the car. It was time to no longer live in denial and determine what would be needed to shore things up. Out came the dashboard, windshield, seats, steering columns, door cards and other trim. There was a custom carpeted aluminum cover over the transmission tunnel that was to be removed before all of the carpet could be removed.

What I found beneath that cover was shocking! I could not have anticipated was the degree of butchery that happened to the transmission tunnel when they shoehorned in the Toyota 5 speed. The Toyota transmission isn’t significantly larger than the MG unit but it certainly doesn’t have the same exact shape. To accommodate these differences, a prior owner went pure ham with a sawzall. Cutting it is one thing, but not reinforcing it afterward is criminal. I am counting my blessings that the car didn’t fold in half as I drove it around.

Removal of the carpet showed some interesting repairs to the floor pans. It seems that a prior owner had grafted (glued and screwed) in some thick steel sheet on top of the perforated original pans. This kept one from Flintstoning, but it was nowhere near what needed to be done for a true repair. Continuing disassembly meant removing those panels. This involved a razor knife, hoist, and prybars! After removing said thick sheet metal and looking at the backside, it became apparent what was sacrificed for this abomination — a high voltage panel box.

Under the sheet metal was a baldly rust-perforated floor. The passenger side was the worst with rot all the way through where the floor met the rear bulkhead as well as where the front floorboard met the footrest. The below pics give a sample. Lots of daylight visible!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *