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Midget Update (long)

Subject: Midget Update (long)
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 11:30:59 EDT
It's been a while since I updated you on the progress I'm making on my '77 
Midget.  Well, it's also been winter and not much has happened thru the cold 
season.  I did rebuild the brake calipers in the living room.

I got to work in earnest this weekend.  I started replacing the brake pipes 
with the copper/nickel alloy lines I bought, and also the braided flex hoses 
at the front wheels.  I liked working with the copper/nickel alloy.  It is 
soft enough to bend the large diameter bends by hand and do a nice, neat job. 
 It's awfully oily underneath that engine though!  I'm sorry I didn't rent a 
pressure washer before I pushed the car into the garage last fall.

I had my youngest son, Mike (17 y.o.), helping this weekend, and so I put him 
to work pulling out the interior.  While he did that I installed the newly 
fabricated battery holddown I made out of a piece of aluminum angle and new 
J-bolts.  Painted it with rubberized paint from Plasti-Cote on the battery 
side and gray hammer-finish Rust-Oleum on the outside.  Looks good and works 
well enough to pass the SCCA tech inspection.

Mike got the seats out.  They are in fairly good shape.  The slides are only 
rusty on the bottom, probably from sitting in wet carpet.  I'll wire brush 
them and paint them with Rust-Oleum, then lith-grease the rails and they will 
work fine.  Reclining mech works okay in both seats, so I'll squirt some 
WD-40 into them before replacing.  There is one seam ripped out about 6" on 
the left side of the driver's seat.  I'll just get some slip on seat covers, 
as I am not going for concours quality and cost is an issue.

Removed all the carpet except the rear fender covers and the piece between 
them.  I'll have to un-bolt the roll bar to get that piece out.  Removed all 
the interior panels in the foot wells and under the doors and scrubbed them 
clean.  Tough time getting the sun-baked carpet off the driveshaft tunnel.  
The carpet backing came off, but left the carpet fibers in the tar.  We 
trimmed most of it off with razor blades to get a smooth surface.  I noticed 
that the passenger side seatbelt is bolted close to the floor and the 
driver's seatbelt is bolted up near the wheel well.  Is that normal?

Floorboards!!!  I was actually pleased with the condition of the floorboards! 
 They are solid under the seats, but a bit rusty in the footwells.  We 
wire-brushed and scraped them all, then I applied a coat of Eastwood's 
Corroless paint.  I think I can get another year or two before I'll have to 
get them fixed properly.  There are a few pop-riveted panels in the 
footwells, and evidence of other repairs that aren't too old.  The frame 
rails that cross in front of the seats are very solid.

I pulled out the center console and the "Unisef" am-fm stereo radio (with no 
speakers).  What a rat's nest of wires!  I'd be surprised if that radio ever 
worked.  I'll get something to replace it, but that's not a priority either.  
While I have the console out I should replace the hazard blinker switch which 
is missing the lamp cover.  Also took apart the shift lever boot, cleaned it 
and re-seated it with all four screws!  I'll have to sand and repaint the 
bottom of the ashtray.  Is it supposed to have a British flag sticker on the 

I was pleased with the Eastwood Corroless paint.  It doesn't harden 
completely when dry, so I think it will work to help prevent rust.  I picked 
up the cheapest carpet I could find at Pep Boys, $10 for a 3' X 6' piece, and 
some spray adhesive.  They didn't have Autumn Leaf so I bought beige.  When 
it's all replaced it will look okay.  I got two pieces cut and installed.  
The upright behind the seats and the tunnel cover.  I'll have to have a trans 
cover piece sewn together at an upholstery shop...that's beyond my capacity, 
and too obvious a piece to do a shoddy job.

Stay tuned.  I may have to take some vacation days to work on this thing.  
The weekends are just too busy!

Allen Hefner
Philly Region SCCA Rally Steward
'77 Midget
'92 Mitsubishi Expo LRV Sport

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