Mk1 001 FNT349V

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Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby MargoC » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:18 pm

Good afternoon!

It’s been a while since I posted on forum, but now it's time I’ll write a bit about my Midas Mk1, FNT349V. More precisely I have questions I haven’t found answers on my own.
I had the privilege to buy this Midas some years ago and at that moment I wanted exactly this Midas – VIN code with 001 and 1979. At that time, I didn’t know, that there were and luckily still are 000 and prototype car.
Here a couple of pictures, when I saw her for the first time:
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My plan was to give her a good clean yesterday, but weather wasn’t on our side, so new outside pictures will be in future.

As this Midas isn’t my only hobby, or project, restoring have been on hold. Mainly because I got it as ongoing restauration project and as it is 001, I’ve had different plans with it. Starting with full “frame off and all bolts and nuts” restauration. Latest one is to keep the body as original, as possible, to keep the patina and preserve the life she has had – car is original only once.

Why it’s time to write about it right now – I have crazy and over ambitious plan to get her back on the road this season and if I succeed it and still have little funds left, then participate in Midas at 40th Aniversary get together at Greenfield factory site at the end of August. I must try to refurbish and keep as much as possible, but still change everything necessary.

I have to say, I really love this Mk1, as it is a mixture of surprises and mystery and although I already got great information and history from some of previous owners, I always like to know and find out more.

So here are some questions I haven’t find answers on my own, but maybe some of you, who have had longer history with Midas could help me.

1. Original or self-made Interior side panels? My Mk1 has interior fiberglass wheel arch covers as probably most Midasis have, but mines are covering all the side to small window and almost to the door. As my English isn’t good, I better show some pictures. Panels in the car:
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Panels out of the car:
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It seems, they have been made in one peace, not prolonged usual arch covers and are quite thin. So, I’m interested in, does any other Midas have similar panels and does anyone know did those panels came with the car from factory or some of the owners have made them?

I guess other fiberglass panels are usual - front A-pillars, roof lining (unfortunately couldn’t get out yesterday, as some rusted screws need a bit different approach), rear hatch side covers, and rear lights cover with spear wheel place.
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After removing side and rear panels I found very clean and beautifully preserved body:
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2. Original wheels? My Midas came with golden Mistral 12”x5” wheels and I would like to keep them. I’ve found that they aren’t very common nowadays and it seems, that they were used in other Midasis too. As they are currently in rough condition:
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Then there are two options for me. One is to restore them. I already asked quotes for it and it is pricey. It is cheaper to buy set brand new Mini wheels + spare wheel. But they wouldn’t be right wheels. Second option is to thoroughly clean them and if they are straight and don’t wobble, then keep them as they are, to match condition of the body.
But if they need restoring, then I would like to find out, are those golden Mistrals were with Midas from the beginning? Or did some of the owners put them on car? If second option, then I would like to know, what the wheels were before.

I’m asking this, because my first idea was, that if I’m going to restore them, then I would like to paint them white. But if golden is original colour, then I would like to keep it. That rises another question, why they were golden, not white, silver, or some other colour? :)

3. 145/70 or 155/70 R12 tires. My Mk1 came with 145/70 and as I need new tires, I haven’t decided yet, either to buy same size or 155/70R12. My main concern is, wouldn’t bigger tires start to rub against anything. Here is picture with original size tire and there is only some 25-26 mm (1 inch) between tire and rear beam.
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When I added some 110 kg in car, it seems that tire doesn’t get much closer to beam, but it’s much closer to rear side of the arch. Unfortunately, I couldn’t measure those gaps, as I was part of that 110 kg in car :)
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Luckily my donor Metro have 155/70R12 tires and I found a spare one, to try on Midas:
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Now the front gap was less than 20mm:
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Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the weight test, as due to Metro wheel construction tire’s inside part was already touching body when I tightened the wheel nuts. Even with those wide spacers my Midas came with:
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My question is, does anyone else have Mistral 12” wheels on their Midas Mk1, and what tires do you use on Mk1, despite wheel brand? I’m interested in Mk1, because from what I’ve found out, Mk2 have more spacious rear arches and could fit much wider range of wheels and tires.

4. What were original front indicators for early Mk1? I’ve read, also in this forum, that Mk2 uses UK Metro indicators, but Metro came out 1980, so 1979 Midasis couldn’t have them. By look, my Mk1 have two different ones and I would like to find out what originals would have been.
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Yesterday I took them apart and found out, that both have same base – Lucas L867. And with information from this site:
http://tvrna.tvrccna.org/lucas/lucas-lamp-assy.htm
it seems that these could be TVR parts 16279 r.h. and 16280 l.h, because of the indicator body.

Right side indicator seems to have original lens, it has L867 printed as on body, so on plastic.
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Left side indicator has other lens and by look and by codes it is from Mini Clubman:
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Interesting is, that to fit on Lucas L867 body, both side parts have been cut off of the Clubman lens and it nearly fits inside of L867 lens:
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By wiring it seems, that Lucas L867 could be original indicators and if so, then after cleaning I’ll see, can I save them and need to buy just new lenses and seals, or I have to search for new whole units.

5. From what car is outer weather strip? Weather strips on my Midas are cracked and hard and would need replacing:
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I’ve talked with Alistair and if I’m lucky, I can buy all body seals I need from him, but I would still like to know, if this weather strip is coming from certain car.
Second question about weather strip is, does any Midas have inner one too?

6. From what car are those seats?
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Once again, if these are original seats and I could find headrests for them, then I would like to keep them and one day restore. Maybe from time and set materials they aren’t too comfortable, but I’ve sat in worse. Firstly, I need to clean them and when Midas is running give them a chance to prove themselves.

7. From what car are window mechanism? As my Midas came without doorcards, then inside of the door was clearly visible and to roll up and down the window, there were those interesting “winders” that weren’t fixed to mechanism:
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As handle isn’t fixed, under it comes out this rectangular base:
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I’ve read and been told, that door locks, handles, window mechanisms with winder handles and hood cable should be from Ford Fiesta Mk1, but after some research in internet I found only one Fiesta Mk1 window winder handle, and it’s fixing is “star”, not rectangular:
https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anz ... 5-223-5213
Could this add have wrong picture? Or in UK Fiesta window mechanisms were different? Or my Midas doesn’t have Fiesta mechanism? Last one of course rises lots of other ones, starting with from what it could be then?

I would really like to find out more about my Midas history and answers to questions I raised today. Most likely I’ll have lots of newbie questions when I progress with restauration, but I think for today it’s more than enough :)
MargoC
 
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby Stuart » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:49 pm

Most of my experience is with the MK2 and MK3 so I'll be making some educated guesses here.

1 I'd say the mouldings are original, certainly as you say they were simplified for the MK2 and perhaps even for later MK1's ?

2 I'd say there wasn't really a standard wheel and cars were built with a variety of wheels.

3 155/70x12 was the recommended size on a MK2. Nowadays I'd go for the 165/60x12 which fits well on the 5" rims, this size wasn't available when the Midas was new. I don't think there is any size difference in rear arches between MK1 and MK2. Only later MK2's had wider front wheel arches.

3.5 By the look of it your car has a non-standard rear dural beam.

4 Triumph range lights fit with the TR7 rear lights, perhaps the fronts were also shared with the TR7 ?

5 Not off a production car as far as I'm aware. An inner one is a good idea too, not fitted to any models as standard.

6 Cheap aftermarket seats I'd say, in my opinion not worth the effort of renovating.

7 Those TR7 filler cap style winders where to my knowledge an early idea that didn't work at all well in practice, I understand changed to a normal winding handle, I guess that's when the change to Fiesta parts occured, certainly yours are not Fiesta ones as you've already surmised.

I'll see if I can get a photo of the Fiesta winder.
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby MrBounce » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:19 pm

1. As Stuart says, the mouldings are likely to be done by the factory and were modified to the smaller versions in later Midases. My Mk1 (#40) has the small versions.

2. My Midas also came with Mistrals. I had mine blasted locally, then set about cleaning them up and painting them myself. You might amaze yourself with what you can achieve. Not expensive and the results were great:

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3. I agree with Stuart's suggestion of the 165/60/12 tyre - although you may find that clearance under the front arches may be a bit tight on full lock.

4. I am not 100% but I believe the front lenses to be later Triumph Dolomite from the same era as the early Midases.

5. No idea on the seals - Stuart seems to have that covered.

6. I believe that most seats as fitted to the Midas were Huntmasters with flat runners to suit the low-slung driving position. Mine were utterly knackered when I looked at them including the frames. You *could* restore yours but it's likely it'd be quite expensive and you could probably buy some newer seats for less money.

7. I can't help re the specifics of your winders, but my Fiesta Mk1 winding mechanisms did have modifications made to the metal "arm" to allow it to fit in the door. It may be that you could drill the rivets out and fit a different winder stub?
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby MargoC » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:16 pm

Thank you, Stuart and MrBounce, for your answers, they are very helpful.
1. That would be great if interior mouldings should be original. Kind a prototype version. Although they make interior very dark, I’ll keep them as they are.

2. Wheels. This is the joy of component or kit car - each one is unique. At the same time, it’s good to hear, that your Midas, MrBounce, also came with Mistrals. From your topic I read about your restauration of wheels and result is good. I’ve thought about doing it myself too, but my wheels have some nasty dents and deep scratches, what I probably can’t hide wit just blasting and painting them. They don’t show off on the first topic pictures. They would need some welding and filling.

On Friday I took old tires off the Mistrals to first check how straight they are. First one was very wobbling on wheel balancing machine. Other three were more or less straight, but not ideal. There is hope, that they will be put on straightening machine this week. If they all survive that, especially wobbling one, then I think on what to do with them. Pictures of wheels without tires, wobbling one is second from left:
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We also noticed, that one wheel has lots of small marks. My only guess is, that someone has been straightening this wheel before, using maybe a hammer:
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3. Thank you on tire suggestions. I know, that 165/60R12 is most talked about tire for Mk2 and Mk3 and I have considered 165/60R12 too but having experience with 175/50R13 on my Mini and 155/65R14 on my daily driver, I’ve started to like narrow ones more. But I see if I can borrow for testing 165/60R12 tires on wheel from someone in our Mini club.
Is there any Midas Mk1 or Mk2, that uses 145/70R12 tires nowadays?

Stuart, most likely you are correct about non-standard rear dural beam. I remember that before I bought this Mk1 someone had started restoring it with changing rear beam. That was written in sales adds too, that car has new rear beam. With that beam I can’t use beam’s side covers too, if I would have them. I’ll see, if I can make some better pictures of beam.

4. Front indicators. Thank you, Stuart, for the advice. I did some research and found out, that Triumph TR7 and Morris Marina used Lucas L865 type of indicators. Metal base is like L867, but plastic lens is much thinner than L867. I think L867 thick lens suits better in Midas body.
My thoughts are going same direction as you, MrBounce. I need to do some more search, but I think Triumph Dolomite could be right donor. Even if not, I’ll keep my eye on market for Lucas L867 parts, especially lenses and seals.

5. Thank you Stuart. I’ll talk about weather strip with Alistair. He also said, that he hasn’t heard that inner one was used on Midas.

6. Thank you for the advice on seats. If they are cheap aftermarket ones, I would be happy to change them to something more comfortable, especially for longer journeys. I did quick search with Huntmaster but didn’t find similar one. Although, my seats sit also very low and have flat runners too. I plan to spend 1st of May in garage and one job is to take seats out, then I’ll see in what condition runners are. I’ve tried driver’s one and at least it works.

7. Thank you for explanation and picture of Fiesta winder. I see, that even mechanism on my Mk1 is different than Fiesta’s, not only winding handle. Stuart, this is interesting info, that those TR7 filler cap style winders could actually be try and error from factory. If so, I could try to live with them. They are huge and junky and quirky, but different :) When doorcards and those handles are in, I’ll see if I need to make normal ones too.
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby benofbrum » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:34 pm

Hi Marco, I presently own the one before yours, vin number ending in all the zeros. it was registered on 1st October 1979.
It has no inner rear side mouldings, the sides and shock absorber turrets are carpeted, though there is a short side panel from behind the B post to about level with the rear of the side quarter light which houses a speaker each side. It also has opening rear quarter lights.
The front side/indicator lights appear unmodified, and are I think mini clubman.
Like yourself, I have Mistral wheels shod with 145/70 x 12 tyres. These seemed to give plenty of grip when I took part in the Prescott Classic hill climb in 2017.
The seats are Corbeau GT
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby DavidL » Fri May 03, 2019 12:50 am

From what I remember, I think your bonnet may not be original. My recollection is that the original Midas bonnet did not have the bulge for the oil filler cap, but that it was added later in production. However, it's not something I would omit for the sake of originality as the additional clearance it provides to the filler cap is probably a good thing.
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby benofbrum » Fri May 03, 2019 7:17 pm

I bought a Leyland Special Tuning chromed rocker cover which has a longer filler neck. That fouled the standard bonnet.
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby MargoC » Mon May 06, 2019 3:15 pm

Thank you benofbrum. Your Mk1 looks in very good condition. From your information it seems that they experimented with first cars, trying different things and parts. It would be interesting to compare those first cars side by side. Glad to hear another Midas Mk1 with Mistrals and narrow tires. Although after I washed my Mk1 on Wednesday and in one sight with my low and fat Mini, those narrow tires with high rear end seemed a bit too narrow. But just a bit.
Did you mean your car have Corbeau GT seats? Or you suggested mines were Corbeaus? I did a search in web but didn’t find Corbeau GT like my Mk1-s ones.

DavidL, you are correct, my Mk1 doesn’t have original bonnet. I don’t remember if I read it on forum from previous owner’s posts, or in my messages, that original bonnet flew away on ride and it was replaced with Mk2 one, with that bulge. But with current inlet manifold, even Mk2 bonnet is still too low, as carb is hitting it. As for this season I hope to use Metro A+ engine and later replace current engine’s inlet manifold, I hope it will have better clearance. As much I know, idea behind Mk2 bulge was to make usage of A+ engine easier, as filler neck wasn’t in centre of rocker cover.

I spent 1st of May in garage. Firstly, I wanted to see, how much electrical parts I could get working. I have cleaned most of connections under the bonnet, but not all and haven’t got to other parts of the car.
As I had spare eyes to check for sparks or smoke only for short time, I didn’t get to spend on that task as much time as I wanted to. Result was less than I expected but could have been worse. Starter didn’t make any noise, so no idea about rest of engine electrics. From everything else, I manage to get working front lights, both low and high beam, one front and both rear parking lights and horn. That’s it. I’m optimistic and hopefully thing is in bad earth connection somewhere. If not, I’ll have to find someone to help me with checking everything not working.

Second job was to get seats out of the car. I have to say, that went better than I was expecting. With no idea when seats were installed and in what conditions car has been, I was prepared to fail in this task with rusted bolts. Luckily, I managed to brake only two bolts from eight and all the rest came off very well.
Most likely seats were off, when carpet was removed. I found couple pieces left under seatbelt bolts. So that could explain such an easy removal. Under the seats weren’t much surprises - empty package of sweets, a coin and some bolts and pieces.
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Seats themselves revealed a surprise. I knew that driver’s seat had low adjuster, as I had moved the seat front and back. I know I have searched the handle on passenger seat too, but as I haven’t reached for it, I thought seat was too much front. When the seat came out, I found that I wouldn’t manage to do it – passenger seat was bolted on without adjuster, on wood blocks :)
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Seats out, next job was to clean the car. Couple pictures of before:
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interior after some vacuuming:
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and rushing ahead, in the evening, after washing it:
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I really love Midas and its fiberglass body. I would never wash my Mini interior, or doors, but with Midas I know, that water doesn’t ruin it. At least if dried out properly.
Actually, inside of doors cleaned up very well. As car have been without doorcards for a while, there was all kind of patina in there. After thorough scrubbing with sponge I started rinse with water and found, that water didn’t want to get out. After searching I found that front holes were clogged with all kind of dirt. After freeing them, and some more rinse, result was pretty good.
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Here are pictures of before and after washing of bumpers and bonnet:
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On bonnet there is clearly visible, where carburettor have been knocking on bonnet.

Last but not the least, comparing pictures from outside:
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I was most pleased with result of under the bonnet. I didn’t expect to clean it so well:
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When I take subframe with engine out, I probably get it even cleaner.

When washing got car cleaner it also brought out, that most of the gel coat isn’t nearly as shiny as under the bumper parts. I need in future to try to clean the body with something else beside car shampoo. I must do some research in forum, there have been several topics about it. Probably roof needs most of attention:
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With that ended my great 1st of May.

My Mistrals got to straightening company at the end of last week, so I expect news in couple of days.

When there is two of each on the car, then sometimes you need to put them together side by side and give closer look to see, if they are the same. Like front indicators and seat runners I found out that headlights are also different :)
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I knew that one was more rusted than other, but I didn’t notice before, that they are most likely from different manufacturers.
I’ll see if I can find original Allegro lights. If not, I’ll buy something else, as same size lights were used on several cars. Hopefully I could find lights with same connections.
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Re: Mk1 001 FNT349V

Postby benofbrum » Tue May 07, 2019 9:35 am

MargoC wrote:Did you mean your car have Corbeau GT seats? Or you suggested mines were Corbeaus? I did a search in web but didn’t find Corbeau GT like my Mk1-s ones.

I meant that mine has Corbeau GT seats
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