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FROM THE DRIVING SEAT

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..to clear (heated) glass

..to clear (heated) glass

From not clear (split) plastic..

From not clear (split) plastic..

hen I purchased my MG TF the rear (plastic) screen was somewhat cloudy and I thought I will have to replace that before too long. In the autumn of last year, when I folded the hood a bit too vigorously the brittle plastic gave way, leaving a six inch split which made a replacement more urgent.

Searching on-line I found a replacement rear panel section (with a glass, heated rear window) from BAS International that came with full  instructions which implied easy fitting. By the time this arrived the weather had turned colder and I'd put the hard top back on, so the new rear panel remained un-boxed in the garage until the spring.

Come the warmer weather the hard top came off and I opened the box and read the instructions - hmm! This might be trickier than I thought, as it involved drilling out the rivets holding the cloth panel to the frame, visions of me making the rivet holes too big loomed large.

So, what to do? Looking through Safety Fast, the MG Car Club magazine, I came across an ad for Just Right Autos in which they stated they are approved hood fitters for MGF Mania. I dashed off a quick email explaining the situation and asking if they could fit the rear panel I'd purchased and at what cost, and got an affirmative reply quoting £90 + VAT.

Well, that added a bit to the £195 I paid for the new rear hood panel; but I reckoned worth it to avoid me making a hash of fitting it myself, so I got in touch with Ash Harris at Just Right Autos to book the car in and asked if I could watch the fitting and take a few photos for this story.

I turned up at Just Right's Witney premises to be greeted by Ash and owner Martin Hambridge who would be working on my hood. Martin soon set to work unclipping the rear of the hood while I explained that I'd been put off fitting it myself by the thought of drilling the rivets out.

Martin's response was to take out a hammer and chisel with which he started knocking the heads of the rivets: “Much quicker and avoids filling your car up with swarf.” he explained. Sounds reasonable I thought, although I was a bit concerned as the hammer rained down on the hood frame to drift out the now beheaded rivets, but as Martin had fitted hundreds of these I guess he knew what he was doing.

After removing the rivets and detaching the rear of the window panel from the hood stay, Martin moved on to where the top of the panel was attached, by first of all detaching the frame stays and then cutting into the fabric to reveal the bolts that attach the zip to the frame, undoing the bolts and removing the old zip, which involved more hammer and chisel work.

With the old screen removed it was simply a case of getting the rivet gun out and reversing the process, as can be seen in the pictures below.

My thanks to Martin and Ash for a job carried out in a professional and friendly manner. Martin founded Just Right Autos in 2010 after many years working on MG Fs and TFs at an MG Rover main dealership and now specialises in the service and sales of these sports cars. So, if you're an MG F/TF owner in the Oxfordshire area I'd recommend checking out their website HERE.

 

 Cutting the cloth to gain access to bolt heads that fix zip panel to hood frameUndoing the boltsMore hammer and chisel work to behead rivetsRivetting in new zip sectionRiveting lower part of window panel to rear hood frame barNew glass rear screen fitted and ready to be zipped in at topZipping in placeAttaching heated screen cablesThe finished thing<>

 

 

 

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