My MG TF has been immobile for the last few months, firstly due to my stay in intensive care after having a gangrenous gall bladder removed, and then we all went into lockdown shortly after as the Coronavirus struck the UK.
A few weeks ago I needed to move the car out of the garage and discovered that it wouldn't start due to a flat battery. No worries I thought, I'll just get my old battery charger out and get some life back into the battery.
Problem #1 – crocodile clips missing from ends of cables! A search through the 'box of bits' revealed nothing that I could replace them with. What to do? No suitable shops open where I could get some new clips, and thinking about it the charger was over 30 years old so maybe time for a replacement anyway.
An internet search revealed a bargain from Argos for just £18.00, and I could get it delivered the same day! Charger arrived, unpacked, connected to car battery, switched on and left for a day. Battery reconnected, one turn of the key and the engine burst into life. So that problem solved.
Problem #2 – when I discovered the flat battery I also noticed that the passenger window would not go down. I put this down to a consequence of the battery state; but after charging the battery the problem remained, pressing the window switch just resulted in a quick jerk down but no greater movement. Also i could not open the door with the roof up as the glass was trapped behind the weather strip. Something else wrong there I thought, so better investigate!
Another internet search revealed how to remove the door card – there's three screws, two inside the door pull, and one cunningly hidden behind the handle to open the door that I would have struggled to find without that guidance.
Having removed the door card, and unscrewed the speaker, I could gain access to the window raising and lowering mechanism. The first thing I saw was a large metal moulding lying in the base of the door. Don't think that should be there, I thought. But what was it, and where did it belong?
Yet another internet search offered up an exploded technical drawing of the window lift mechanism which revealed that this was a part of the 'glass retention assembly', consisting of three parts – so where were the two other parts?
Pushing my iPhone through the speaker hole and taking a picture revealed the answer – there they are, the blue and silver components sitting towards the rear of the door, underneath the guide rail (which the diagram quaintly refers to as the 'sash') on which the glass retention assembly runs.
The inner door panel has a plastic covering which meant I could not reach these components through the access opening close to them, so I fashioned a long hook and managed to drag them forward and retrieve them through the speaker opening.
So, I'd got three components that had come apart; but where was the bolt (#10 on the diagram) that should have held them together? It was nowhere to be seen inside the door so I can only assume that it had fallen through one of the drain holes in the bottom of the door – unlikely, but possible I suppose. Rummaging through my bolt collection (largely left over from when I built my Westfield) I found one of the right length and thread, so I should be able to put the assembly back together.
However the glass was still stuck in the up position. I noticed that the rear of the glass was sitting on top of the metal of the door and assumed that this was stopping the glass descending; but I had no luck in persuading the glass over the metal. At this point I decided I couldn't fix this and would have to take the car to a specialist to sort it out, so packed the bits away in the car and put it back in the garage.
The following morning I got up thinking: "I'm not going to let this beat me!" Back to the internet and another search revealed that there is plastic bush fitted through the bottom of the glass that strikes a metal 'stop' when the glass is up.
Back to the car and I could see that the plastic bush had 'jumped' the stop and was now sitting on top preventing the glass from descending. After a bit of a struggle in the confined space I managed to remove the metal bracket stop and, with a press of the switch, the glass slid down – success!
I noticed that the plastic sleeve on the stop bracket was damaged, presumably by the window stop forcing its way past, so thought I should replace that and ordered a new bracket from Brown & Gammons.
Now I had all the components, so just a question of refitting them? Well, not quite that easy. To get the glass retention assembly back on the sash I would have to get access through the plastic water shedder sheet. I tried peeling this back; but MG Rover obviously specified extra strong glue for this, so I decided to cut through the plastic and use some 'racer tape' to reseal it afterwards.
I took me a while to work out just how the glass retention assembly fitted, especially as the bracket bolted to it had been bent out of shape.
When straightened it was clear that this fitted around the L-shaped sash, with the plastic or nylon pad running against the back of the metal guide rail.
I discovered a hole towards the bottom of the glass through which the glass retention assembly is bolted, with the blue plastic component protecting the glass surface. With the assembly fitted to the glass and the attached bracket straightened the window glided smoothly up and down.
All to do now was to fit the new stop bracket above the glass-mounted stop bush, which was very fiddly in the confined space between the glass and the inner door panel, refit the speaker and door card and we were done, yes?
Actually not quite. The next day I decided to wash the car and found there was a gap between the top of the glass and the hood that was allowing water in. The metal stop bracket was obviously set too low and not allowing the glass to meet the hood weather sealing. So, off with the door card again, adjust the stop bracket, refit door card and then we were finally done.
One side effect of this is that Mrs. O no longer feels that she has to hang on to the window as we drive along because it does not rattle and shake so much. And that dreadful clanging noise when you hit a pothole, which sometimes made we think the suspension was coming apart, has also gone – must have been those loose metal bits bashing about inside the door!