Fitting a Rear Wing on the MG TA

Single Handed Wing Fitting

Translations for our readers in the US – Wing = Fender Fuel tank = Gas Tank

The Fuel tank must be fitted in the correct location.

Prop up the running board and leave an overlap to support the front of the rear wing.

Bolt the wing to the Fuel tank and then swing up to the correct position and balance on the wooden support.

Line it up laterally by eye; there are no published dimensions on to how far it should stick out from the tub. I did check the wing front was near vertical with a long spirit level.

I have limited space and my daughter bought a bicycle. I was not pleased. It was raining last night so I could not put it outside.

This is considered a large garage by the builders who sold me the house!!

Using tech tips from Doug Pelton, mark the hole spacing on top of the wing!

The tub frame is between 1¼ and 1½ inches thick, so mark a point 5/8 inches in from the inner edge of the marker line and drill the holes to clear the screws. Deburr the holes. I bought a tool from Screwfix, but it wore down fairly quickly.

Put the wing back in position and bolt to Fuel tank, set in correct position on the lateral line and drill and screw into place with as few screws as possible in case you change your mind! When you are happy then fit the rest of the screws.

Loosen the screws and fit the piping (yet to be made!).

Took around an hour, some people talk of taking days!

Episode 2

I lied as to how easy the wing was to fit! Working in a small garage with access to one side of the car only seems madness, but that is what I am stuck with. Having got the first wing on, the second has to match. I could not find many instructions on this subject. This is not a definitive set of instructions but a shared experience!

All did not go well at the initial fit of the second wing as I found a few issues.

  1. The hole for the tank bolt was in a different position on the offside wing compared to the nearside. (Filed oblong until the wing lined up.)
  2. The tank was not level with the rear of the body.
  3. I had not checked that the wings were the same circumference front to back.
  4. I had not measured the wing fit on the nearside, before I turned the car around and put it back in the garage and jamming it up against the wall.
  5. I marked it up before I measured the other wing. Worth having a set of coloured felt tips as the second set of marks were done in Blue instead of Black. (99p from the 99p shop).

The tank was sitting on 4 layers of 1/8 rubber sheet and removing one of these from the offside brought it back level. This dropped it around 3mm on the right hand side. Picky yes, but it needs to match the back of the body tub. I need to add that the dimensions of my car as found had strayed from the original as the body had dropped by 1.5 inches at the back since 1938. My thanks to Mick Pay for supplying a better set of measurements from his car. There is a debate on how far forward the wheels come in the rear wheel arches and does the front of the wheel just foul the wing when you remove it. I looked at a multitude of pictures on line to get the right fit. Micks fouls on one side and not on the other! Advice from Doug Pelton was line the wings up by eye!

There are three dimensions that are critical:

  1. Back tip of wing to top of body. Around 30 Inches. You can rotate the wing in the wheel arch around three or four inches. I was an inch out on the first attempt.
  2. Edge of wing to Sidescreen slot. Around 8 Inches. This controls how far the wing protrudes.
  3. Front bottom edge of wing to body tub (left). Should the base of the wing line up with the body – No idea! Black was first attempt with the wing too far in, blue was second. Mark the inside as well as the outside.

Finally, this shot shows how the wheel appears within the wing, with an oversize gap to the running board.

Occasionally it gets outside to see the sunlight…..but there is still a lot to do!

Tim Parrott Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Ed’s note: Tim has sent me a few pics of his re-wiring project, which I hope to feature in the next issue.

4 thoughts on “Fitting a Rear Wing on the MG TA

  1. Peter Jones says:

    I have always thought that fitting wings was something of a ‘black art’–now I am convinced ! Good to know that others have the same difficulties, well done.

  2. JohnLatus says:

    I’ve had similar problems with my TC, it took me days to sort out what had been done during a previous restoration. Talking of which I now find the front wings are not identical, I have been told that early TC front wings differ from later ones, the difference being the shape of the cut out forward of the headlamps, seems they are deeper on the later ones!! Does anyone have any knowledge or advice on this subject, I would be most grateful, what little hair I have left is in danger of being pulled out after hearing this news. My initial thoughts were that the car had an earlier model TA or TB wing fitted to save cost. I can be contacted by email, and would look forward to any help/advice.

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