Rust Repair

Rust Repair for British Sports Cars

British cars hold a reputation of being very prone to rust. Here in Denver, however, we’re blessed with drier climate which gives British vintage cars a full, rich life before rust can really start to set in. We specialize in repairing any type of rust damage on any British Sports Car as it is a common thing to come by. Check out our total restoration projects.

TR6 Frame Repair
Looking to restore your TR6, but worried that rust and other structural damage has rendered the frame unusable? Never fear! We deal with extensive rust damage on a daily basis, and are fully equipped to repair and reinforce any areas of concern. There are four main areas where TR6s are most susceptible to damage, and we’ve showcased them here to show you exact how we fix the damage and protect the most vulnerable areas.

1.Differential Mounts

2.Rear Trailing Arm Mounts

3.T-shirt (cruciform) panel

4.Front suspension Lower Control Arm Mounts

(Conveniently enough, these fixes also apply to TR4As and TR250s.)

Differential Mounts

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The original differential mounts on a TR6 aren’t up to 40 years of rigorous driving. The constant stress the differential places on the front mounting studs causes these brackets to crack — creating a well-known, but dreaded, clunking sound at the rear of the car. The most common fix is to “box in” the mounting bracket, reinforcing and stabilizing the bracket and stud, while spreading the load of constant pulling across a wider area, rather than a single small connection. This photo shows the "boxing in" technique used to reinforce the front differential mounts. The steel plate which creates the box stabilizes the mount by attaching it to the cross member in multiple planes, rather than a few flimsy welds to the front and rear lips of the cross member alone. This is a job that can be done relatively easily with the body in place.

MGA Sill Repair
British cars hold a reputation of being little more than fancy looking rust buckets on wheels. Admittedly, this characterization is not entirely unfair, especially in wetter climes. Here in Denver, however, we’re blessed with drier climate which gives British vintage cars a full, rich life before old age sets in. Our cars are known nationwide for their pristine and solid bodies, which are often spared from the ravages of time. (Paint choices such as “Golden Harvest” “Blaze” and “Limeflower”, on the other hand, betray their ancient heritage.) Unfortunately rust will eventually work its way into the panels of a car, no matter how dry the region. If rust is caught early, it’s usually confined to a few places and repairable. Rust repairs are a common job for us— whether as a stand-alone job or as part of a larger project. MGB dog legs, TR6 frame rails, and MGA sills are a few common problem areas where we regularly perform repairs. For MGA sill repairs, we’ve deemed the replacement sills available on the market inadequate. The time it takes to wrestle reproduction parts into a useable part isn’t worth the time or the change we feed into the swear box. Instead, we create each piece from scratch, which gives us total control over the part from start to finish. The resulting part is a perfect fit without endless modification.

MGA Sill Repair

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Behind the wheel well is one of the most common places for rust to fester and spread. When water and dirt are kicked back by the wheel, the resulting mud works its way behind the protective panel and brings rust to the inner sills of the car.

MGA Trunk Floor Repair
The MGA, while an innovative and beautiful car, still has inherent weak spots in its design. The trunk floor is a good example. The lip of the trunk, shaped as a channel to fit the trunk lid, also acts as a funnel for water, sending it straight into the trunk. The trunk itself is perfectly shaped to collect and store water as well as it stores picnic baskets. (If every house in Colorado had an MGA rainwater collection system, we’d no longer need drought restrictions.) If the car has carpet in the trunk, it absorbs water like a sponge, slowly releasing it to ensure maximum rust coverage. As a result, nearly every MGA restoration includes the replacement of the trunk floor. There are reproduction floors available, but we find these options to be inadequate in a number of ways.

MGA Trunk Floor Repair

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Reproductions trunk floors have two interrelated areas of weakness: their production method and their resulting shape. Original trunk floors were die-formed—stamped out with the characteristic ribs from one large piece of metal all at once. This method of production also allow for the ribs to have a groove on either end, which helps to funnel water to a small hole on either side of the trunk (another reason why carpet in the trunk is a bad idea—water can’t escape through those holes). Along the top and bottom edges of the floor, it is gently sloped up to where it meets the sides of the trunk. Creating such a complex die, however, is a relatively expensive undertaking. While cost effective when producing thousands of cars, it is prohibitively costly when producing only a few hundred trunk floors. Instead, repro floors are machine folded into shape.

1971 Bedouin MGB
Rust damage is a common problem on British cars, but generally is not too difficult to repair. The damaged area is replaced with new steel, often hand-built parts, and is then smoothed and repainted for a seamless finish. This MGB came to us with extensive rust damage, and left with a new paint job and interior, but no sign of the previous damage.

1971 Bedouin MGB

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The rusty dogleg foretells deeper repairs that will be needed.

1967 BGT Typical Rust Repair
Rust damage is a common problem on British cars, but generally is not too difficult to repair. The damaged area is replaced with new steel, often hand-built parts, and is then smoothed and ready to be repainted for a permanent finish. Sunny Colorado is wonderful place to own and care for a vintage British car. Unlike other rainy or humid states, Colorado cars generally have only small amounts of rust. The repair to the fenders and underlying panels is a common one and we take great care to correctly repair all rust damage.

1967 BGT Typical Rust Repair 1

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