A bit of interior bling arrived from the US today!!
They're Intellitronix digital gauges which black out when the car's off, and are bright white(LED) in use. So, while the exterior of the car will somewhat hold onto the original classic Mini styling, the interior is going to certainly have all the mod-cons! Looking forward to getting the dash fine tuned and ready to take these lil bad boys!
On the painting front, my plans to get the high fill primer done this week might be thwarted by strong winds over the next 3 days. Will be trying my hardest though to get it done that's for sure!!
9hrs later and i'm stuffed! Here are the pictures of the progress. The rainy weather of the past few days slowed things a bit, but not far to go now before paint!
The wheel arches and side skirts now look completely moulded and part of the body, and its all super strong. I was a tad worried they might flex a bit but they are rock solid. Blending the arches was made easier with a home made sanding block. I found a 40-45mm diameter table leg at the local hardware, whacked on a cheap drawer handle, and it worked like a dream! Made all 4 look symmetrical.... which is super important for a perfectionist (verging on OCDish) person like me lol
Something that I didn't anticipate doing, but thrilled with the end result, is installing the seam covers and then blending them into the body. I installed the seam covers on Tuesday, but cringed whenever I looked at them. They just looked really average... The gaps between them and the body was upto 3-4mm and I really was not impressed, to the point of thinking about deseaming the car! So, randomly while bogging another part of the car I decided, for shits and giggles, to run a finger loaded up with filler along the join. My first thought was "That's gunna suck having to dig that out when I realise it was a bad idea!" But, it has turned out brilliantly! The pic doesn't do it justice, but they now look perfect. It'll also stop water seeping into the seam as an added bonus!
I also got stuck into some interior pieces with the rear seat arm rests, the speaker board under the rear seat, and the parcel shelf. Works in progress. Need to work out a colour scheme for all the interior at some point!
So, next week I just have to finish a little work on 1 of the doors, finish shaping the front end (as you can see in the first 2 pics!), and prep the bonnet..... then (if the weather stays fine!) I can get the high fill primer on! Then there'll be another few days of sanding..... uggh. It'll all be worth it in the end!! Anyone wanna come around and sand it for me??? 😛
June 14, 2017
Lots of progress made this week.... but no painting as yet ☹ Unfortunately the rainy weather has prevented me doing as much as i'd hoped. It has given me more time to fine tune the body prior to painting though. Here's a pic of the front driver's side arch blended nicely into the body. Very happy with how all 4 arches are. Cant wait for the paint to go on now! 8hrs of work on it today before a 9hr graveyard shift at work tonight.... who needs sleep! Lol. I'll post up more pics later today/tonight with more details. Happy Thursday!
June 5, 2017
Not a huge amount of exciting photogenic stuff going on at the moment. The car has taken on an drab green colour.... Spent the day skimming filler over the rest of the car and blending in the body kit. I'm loving how the arches will mould into the body.
Tomorrow i'll be sanding off 95% of the filler I put on today.... which almost makes today feel pointless lol. But, if it means the top coat looks alot smoother then it'll all be worthwhile in the end!
Next week I have a 4 day "weekend", so I plan to have all the panels sanded and the high fill primer on. All going well, i'll also have that rubbed back ready for the top coat, and the final colour reveal!
The plan is to have the car completely painted by the end of June! 3 weeks to go.....
May 30, 2017
A busy week or so doing the prep work for painting. I'd hoped to get as far as doing the top coat before going back to work tonight, but there were a few setbacks and things just generally took longer than expected. Overall though, i'm happy with where i'm upto and can feel like the home stretch is getting closer!
The biggest setback I've had is that the "epoxy" that the sandblaster put on 8mths or so ago was a pretty poor effort and I spent days sanding it back so I could hit it properly with a nice consistent layer of epoxy. I feel soooooo much better now with that on there!
I got to skim the roof with filler so its ready for a layer of high fill primer then paint! First though I have to skim all the other panels. They aren't as bad as the roof was though and learning to be sparing with the amount of filler I lay down!
It's really hard to see in the pics, but I got to work on moulding up where the fuel filler will go. It needs some fine tuning but you get the general idea. It'll blend in nicely.
Today I glued and bolted on the wheel arches. Will use some filler to blend them into the bodywork. Looking forward to seeing them all ready for paint!!
5 nights of work coming up, and then i'll have 2 or 3 days off to finish the body filler. Then my next weekend will be high fill primer, and top coat! Fingers crossed my painting skills will be good enough!
Once the paint is done lots of goodies will begin to go on and hopefully it'll start taking shape fairly quickly! I have heaps of parts sitting there ready to go on. Not too much left to order!
May 3, 2017
Haven't done much on the car over the past week or so, but the lovely 13" wheels and tyres arrived today from Minisport (UK)! They look awesome!
Ok.... so the car needs to be lowered, but you get the idea!
April 24, 2017
Now that the rear beaver panel/valance is installed, I got to work today to deseam the bum of the Mini. In terms of difficulty and time this wasn't a big job at all really. We'd spent a fair bit of time getting the panel alignment as close as possible prior to welding, so it was really just a matter of cutting off the seam, and grinding it back flush. There are some points where the panels are about 1-2mm out of alignment, but some light bogging will remedy that issue. I've included the before and after shots. I'm really happy with how it looks.... now just need to get some paint on it!
I got the car off the jig this afternoon nd stripped the subframes off the car as well. It was nice having the car up on the jig at a nice working height while I did some more work on it. I built a basic trolley for the car to sit on. Now its time to get the car ready for a lick of paint!
Oh, and I got the front seats fitted in the car the other day (totally forgot to get pics!!), and checked to make sure that the driver's position is ok. I'm just a smidge under 6ft, and i'll be ok driving it. The pedal positions in relation to the CRX seat is good.....however, the CRX steering column fouls on the brake pedal. Need to check with the engineer if its ok to reshape the pedals so the brake pedal loops around the top of the column. Might try and set it all up again soon and get some pics. An hour or so of welding will see a decent solution....providing the engineer says its ok. If not, i'm not sure what the solution will be....
April 18, 2017
Today saw the boot get finished which is another mini-milestone for the build. Was soooooo happy to see that gaping hole filled in with solid metal! At the same time, the C-pillar reinforcement pieces were installed, the rear beaver panel installed, and the rear mounts for the front seats as well.
I decided on a very simply boot floor. It basically mirrors the "hump" that is on either side, and that runs the width of the car. The fuel cell fits in nicely, with about 10-15mm clearance front to back, and with enough fall from the standard filler hole.
The rear mounts of the front seats are going to be bolted through the floor, not welded, and this means that if I decide to change seats later its fairly easy to do. They're a really simple design, and will still give any back seat passengers some foot room.
The rear beaver panel/valance went on, and it finishes off the exterior metal work. Now to deseam the bum!.
April 7, 2017
So today I just HAD to force myself to rewatch the last episode of Project Binky (ep 15).... it was pure agony to have to do that :-P
In this episode they did a segment on some custom fuel and brake line brackets. I watched this some time ago when it came out and I thought at the time it would be great to do something like that on mine. I've been trying to find some similar solid nylon square section for a couple of weeks now, but haven't found anywhere locally to source it from. So, I opted to use aluminium instead. Its readily available and pretty cheap.
I've made them so that they fit between the "ribs" that run length ways under the floor pans. It gives me about 100mm, or there abouts, to run 2 brake lines and 2 fuel lines. I'll be running AN6 braided fuel lines which are around 12.5-13mm OD. The brakes lines are 3/16 or around 5mm.
To make them, I simply cut the aluminium to length and marked them up so there was about 10mm at each end free and another 10mm or so in between the 2 middle lines. I drilled 3mm pilot holes and then slowly worked my way up in drill size until I had the 2 x 5mm holes and 2 x 13mm holes. Once they were done I used the Dremel to smooth out all of the edges.... I do not want any sharp edges for any of the lines to rub on! Not that there should be any movement, but better to be safe when it comes to both types of lines! Once the holes were done for the 4 pipes, I then rotated the brackets 90deg and drilled 3 pilot holes which are for fixings. The central one is to affix the 2 halves together, while the 2 outer holes will be to affix the brackets to the underside of the car. Rivnuts are my new friend when it came to these brackets! They are awesome little fixings! I used 1 Rivnut in the centre of one side of the bracket, and then 2 are placed through the underside of the body for the outers to attach to. They fitted nicely, and only stick down around 15mm more than the existing floor. Still plenty of clearance.
Once the are on the car, they'll have a 100mm x 2mm piece of aluminum over the top which will be a stone guard because, again, I don't want any chance of these lines being severed!
Also done today was a repaint of the grille and headlight surrounds. They're finished in a matt black. Some may not like the idea of a black grill, but when you see the end result you'll understand why I chose it...
Finally, the last thing I did today was do a test fit of the dash! It sits fairly well around the windscreen, and is the right height and shape. Its not 100% right in fitment though with a few gaps here and there, but they'll be fixable. I've decided over the past few weeks that as much as I might have originally liked to do a painted solid dash, i'm now leaning towards getting it upholstered and tie it in with the seats and door cards, etc. Still a fair way off getting the upholstery done though, so my mind will likely change several times between now and then!
April 6, 2017
With plans to use 13x7 wheels on the Mini, I needed some wheel arches to suit. There are heaps of different options out there, but i've always been drawn to the Sportspack arches found on the later Rover Minis. For me personally, these ones just seem to look right for the look I want. The added bonus is they are easy to come by, and also have nice matching side skirts. I've never installed anything like this before, but like so many other parts of this build, I just did a lot of Googling and Youtube watching and it turned out to be quite easy. The biggest tip I can give to anyone doing them is to go slowly. I must have dry fitted the arches 10-20 times or more for each arch to make sure that i shaved off the right amount to get the right fit.
I found some templates on Minispares (UK) website, and these were invaluable. They weren't 100% accurate with every bolt hole, but I made sure to triple check everything prior to drilling any holes. The most important thing about the templates is to ensure they are printed off to the exact size you'll need. The template for each arch needs 3-4 pieces of paper, and once joined you'll notice there's a ruler printed across the arch. Make sure that the measurements on the printed ruler match up to a proper ruler....if that makes sense! If they aren't the same size, you'll need to adjust your printer sizes until you get it spot on.
Each arch is trimmed differently out of the mould, but a big tip is to look at the gel coat on the outside and you'll possibly see a fine line running along the arch. Different manufacturers may or may not have this appear in the gel coat, but if it does, then I found that i needed to trim them back to this line as a starting point. But the biggest thing is to go slowly with any adjustments.
The templates can be found here.
Anyway, for my arch install it all went quite smoothly. It took me about 3-4hrs all up from start to finish until I had them basically ready to install. Mine will eventually be glued and moulded into the rest of the body to give it a "seamless look", but that won't be done for a few months yet.
The end result...... I LOVE THEM!! The view from the rear is great! Can't wait to see it all once the rear is deseamed!
April 5, 2017
Over the past few days i've installed the Allspeed subframe and got the front end built up ready for the 2nd engineer's test that happened today. Before I go on to talk about the test, I wanted to make mention of the installation of the Allspeed frame. For those that watched the recent series by Mighty Car Mods on their install of a Honda B16 VTEC in their Mini, you might have noticed the issues they had when it came to the Minitec frame from the USA. I actually went up to the Sunny Coast and met Marty & Moog whilst they were doing it, and it was the morning that I was there that the reality of the complexities of their choice were becoming apparent. It took quite a bit of fabrication and effort to get the frame installed, the steering rack changed location, and I believe that the pedal box had to be changed to accommodate the new position of the steering rack. If you're in the US, I believe that the kit is much easier to install, but for those in RHD cars, it look like a major pain in the ass to say the least. The install of that subframe for MCM was also managed by mechanics with a lifetime of experience in Mini mods. With this in mind, I was expecting days of frustration and anger, cuts and bruises..... but with the use of an engine crane (no hoist here!), hammer (persuasion tool!), grinder, and a bloody huge socket (for the tower bolts) it only took about 2-3hrs in total to get it installed. Some of the body fouled slightly on the frame as it was going in, so it took a few attempts to get it right. I was a little surprised, after seeing the issues that the MCM guys had, at how easy the Allspeed frame slotted in. The rest of the front end built up in an hour or so once the subframe was in, so in half a day it had gone from a Mini to a VTEC Mini.... well, kind of!
Repositioning the car on the jig was very simple as well, and the track lined up within 1-3mm (wider) of original which is perfect, as we are only allowed to have up to 25mm of variance from the original track.
Now on to the 2nd test! With gauges in place to take the readings, the engineer ran the 2nd stress test by loading up the weights again. The chassis twist was less than the 1st test, so it was a PASS! The car can now be registered legally..... providing it passed the other 6 or 7 other modifications (steering, suspension, seats, etc etc etc). All the other mods are obviously significant in terms of safety, but in the scheme of the build they are less technical and are more easily rectified if at first they don't pass. When it came to the beam and torsion test, it was more critical to get it passed without the need to modify anything more. To say i'm happy is an understatement!!! Now I need to get the some things completed on the body, so i can then prep it for painting! I have some holidays coming up soon, and hoping to make the most of this time to get some colour on it!
March 23, 2017
Andrew was awesome and came back for another day of fun, and we were able to make up the all important "jig" that would allow the engineer to do the beam and torsion test on the chassis. We got it all completed with about 5mins to spare. He literally walked in as I was cracking open a cold bevvie, as a celebration of reaching this milestone!
In this first test, he's getting a baseline reading based on the standard Mini front subframe. He then repeats this same test once the Allspeed frame is installed and ensures that the new frame is as strong or stronger than the Mini subframe. The outcome of the 2nd test will dictate whether the Honda B16 powered Mini can be road registered or not....
For those interested, there's an image below shows the general theory behind a beam and torsion test. The rear axle is fixed in place to the ground, and the front axle has a beam attached to it that pivots on the centreline of the chassis. The beam also hangs well out past one side of the car and this is where weights are placed to create the required chassis twist. In the case of the Mini it was about 100-120cm out from the bodyline. To be able to measure the amount of twist along the chassis, the engineer places some gauges at intervals along the length and as the car is loaded up with weight, and the chassis twists, these gauges show the deflection. Weights are added until the required degree of twist is achieved.
Lots of nodding, and words like "Excellent" were said, so i'm happy with that! This test though is only the baseline.... the 2nd test will be where i'm looking for him to be saying the same!
March 22, 2017
Today, Andrew came over to help finish off all the bigger floor and chassis repairs that had to be completed. All the holes in the cabin are filled with solid metal)! So tonight it was time to take the Mini off the rotisserie, and get it ready to go onto the test jig for the engineer's first stress test tomorrow. I thought I might be able to easily salvage the rotisserie, and maybe recoup some $ by selling it on to someone else to use with their Mini restoration. It was only tonight that I was reminded of how well it was all put together.... It just would not come apart. Oh well.... the timber will get re-purposed into something else around the house quite easily. It took quite a bit of back and forth with the engine crane to get the car off the rotisserie, and then lowered down to the height of where the jig will go tomorrow.....once its built. Was a late night, but had to get it done so we could finish the jig before the engineer arrives! Its going to be a rush to get done in time, but we'll get there!
March 10, 2017
You may be wondering why, if i'm doing a Honda VTEC conversion, why am I rebuilding the stock Mini front subframe again....? Well, I have to do a beam and torsion test on both the old subframe and the Allspeed Engineering frame to ensure that the new frame is stronger. The rules for these types of conversions here in Australia is quite tough in comparison to a lot of other countries. That means it has to go through these stress tests.
Today involved a solid day of building up both subframes. Everything went together well, as I guess should be the case. Now to get them back in the car and ready for the tests!
March 9, 2017
The past couple of days have been all about getting the brakes built and painted up. The car has a date with the engineer soon, and i need the brakes all built up so i can get running gear all set up. Having never done this before, it was a bit daunting to begin with, but with the help of some Youtube videos and just being methodical I was able to build all the brakes up and they look and function as they should. Very very impressed wtih them and how they look. At the same time, I painted up the front disc calipers. While I was at it, I thought the rear Superfin drums looked too plain in the aluminium finish, so they copped a few layers of the same VHT red caliper paint. They all came up a treat!
February 23, 2017
Need I say more....??
February 11, 2017
So its still pretty hot around here at the moment, so i'm doing little projects where I can. Today I decided to pull the rocker cover off the Honda B16a so it can be stripped back to bare metal and repainted a more appropriate colour. It ended up being a fairly easy project, and I think the end result looks great!
1. Remove the rocker cover from the engine, making sure to note the position of each plug lead to ensure the right lead goes back to the right plug once its put back together.
2. Separate all parts of the rocker cover.
3. Use paint stripper to remove the existing paint of the rocker cover. The plastic lead cover is made of a plastic or composite plastic material, so i'd suggest not using paint stripper on this as it may deform the plastic.
4. Make sure you wash off all of the paint stripper completely. I used a high-pressure cleaner to do this. You do not want any of the paint stripper to be left on the rocker cover otherwise as soon as you go to paint the fresh paint, it'll react with the stripper and you'll have to start again. You may need to do 2 or 3 coats of paint stripper before you get all of it off, and use some steel wool to assist in getting the stubborn paint off.
5. The plastic lead cover was much simpler to do. I just roughed up the existing paint with 300+ sandpaper just to remove slight gloss. If your paint is flaking or in poor condition then you'll need to keep sanding until its all gone, or at least back to a solid base.
6. Wash it down thoroughly once you think you have it completely stripped back to bare metal. Wipe it over with a wax and grease remover to ensure its completely clean of impurities.
7. Cover up any bolt holes, oil filler hole, and plug holes with masking tape. You dont want any paint going onto the underside of the rocker cover.
8. What happens next depends on what paint you plan on using. I used a VHT engine paint in "Wrinkle red" that's a self-priming paint. It requires several light coats before a heavier final coat. The paint will then wrinkle up as it dries, giving the appearance we see on lots of B16a rocker covers. As for the plastic lead cover i painted this in VHT aluminium (non-wrinkle). Again, it required several light coats and then a final thicker coat.
9. Pull off the masking tape, being careful not to pull the paint off the finished product. Most of these engine paints require you to actually "bake" the item in an oven to cure the paint fully. Until then, the paint may not appear to be 100% set. Luckily for me, it feels like its 100deg (celcius) outside so I just left mine on the hot bitumen driveway for a few hours and its all sorted!
January 11, 2017
Where possible i've been doing some more of the bodywork. Patching and bogging and sanding and patching and bogging and sanding... Thrilling stuff! But the heat continues, and I only manage an hour or so here and there on the bodywork.
The dash has come up quite well. Its a fairly basic shape overall, but it gives me the extra 5-10cm i need behind it for the AC unit etc. The intended layout, that'll no doubt change numerous times before completion, is to have AC vents at either side, a 2-3 gauge pod centrally at the top. This will jut out about 50mm to create a shade over the iPad/tablet located below. There should be enough room in front of the steering wheel for 2 larger gauges, and 3 smaller gauges below. A row of switches will be below the tablet and in front of the gear stick. Any extra lower-priority gauges can be placed below the tablet also if required. I'm happy with it. Its not going to have a professional finish, but it'll serve the purposes I need it for.
There was 1 layer of standard fibreglass laid down first, and then 1 layer of carbon fibre laid over the top. There's no chance of having an exposed weave dash....my level of glassing skills are just no where near good enough.
January 10, 2017
Well, last night and today have been quite surreal to say the least. It began last night.... One minute I was thinking about heading to bed, and then the next i'm on a 2hr round trip to the Sunshine Coast to deliver a random Honda part to Marty from Mighty Car Mods!! Apparently they got a delivery of a wrong part, and needed this 1 urgently because it was holding up filming. Hopefully the part worked out, and might show up in one of their next episodes! Spent a little bit of time chatting about my Mini project too which was pretty cool!
This morning I woke up and hoped to be doing some bodywork on the car. Instead, I got a message from Marty asking if I had another Honda part, which I did, so off I went to the Sunny Coast again! This time I actually got to go and speand an hour or so with both Marty and Moog and see their next car build. Marty and Moog are a couple of great down to earth guys, with arguably THE best job in the world! Was a fantastic, and totally unexpected experience!
So, in the end, very little work got done on the Mini today, but that's ok considering what happened! The heat today didn't help either though. Can't wait for the cooler months!
January 3, 2017
Its looking like the summer here in Brisbane is going to be extremely hot and humid! Most days, it feels like its about 40deg by 10am in the garage. I had a think about what I CAN do while its this hot, and its going to be like this for at least the next month or two... I'd seen lots of custom dashboards online in the UK, but the cost of freighting them to Oz due to shape and size just made it too cost-ineffective. Over the years i've done some fibreglassing and thought I may as well see what I could make myself. Another reason for me wanting to make a custom dash is that I plan on having air conditioning in the car to combat the current summer conditions. There is such limited space behind the original dash that there just simply isn't enough room to put in all the AC workings, plus all the other gadgets I plan to have. So, i've taken the plunge and going to try and do it myself. With the car still on the rotisserie though it meant i had to find a way to make it around the central pole running the length of the car. As you can see in the pics, i did this by building the dash in smaller sections, and built it around the pole. It all went ok. Only time will tell as to if it works out, and whether I like the end result or not!
November 6, 2016
The new cabin floor went in today! Had a few little dramas with lining it all up, so its not perfect, but its certainly a lot better than what was there before! Not sure if its because of the variances between the UK and Australian Mini's. Worked with what we had, and got a new floor installed which is what I wanted. The boot floor isn't done yet though. There are a few things I need to sort out first before i can replace it.
October 26, 2017
So over the past week or so i've been doing some rust repairs, and removing the boot and cabin floors. Its now a Flintstones car!! I've left the crossmember in to keep the rigidity across the car, and i'll replace it once the floor is in. Can't wait for the new floors to go in so its "complete" again!
October 17, 2016
Today was the day the missus was waiting for! lol The CRX was sent off for a date with the crusher! It was here for just over a month and served its purpose perfectly. Most of the parts are gone or are on hold for people, and if all sells as planned i'll actually profit from the car even though i'm keeping the engine, ECU, Greddy eManage piggyback ECU, steering column, and pedal box! Might have to look at parting out more cars down the track if I can profit from them! Mini first though!
October 11, 2016
I pulled the Honda B16a out of the CRX today. I've sold off a lot of the parts from the car. Parting the car out has turned into a nice little profitable exercise. There's still quite a bit more to sell, and at this rate I might actually pay off the cost of the car AND get to keep the engine! I've decided to keep the steering column off the CRX as well as its collapsible. I recently watched an episode of Project Binky where they were talking about how dangerous the original Mini columns are if you have a front end accident. They said its like a spear aimed at your head.... I don't want that! So, the Honda column is here and its collapsible, so it makes sense to keep it for now and see if its usable down the track. As for the engine, it all seems ok. Will look to give it a full overhaul prior to putting into the Mini, but that's step number 39653, and i'm only up to step 23.... lol. One thing I do know is that the rocker cover HAS to be fixed! There is NO WAY that a black and green rocker cover is going to make its way into the Mini! A repaint of it will happen soon.
September 19, 2016
She returned today and looks great! Well....apart from the fact that the floor is full of previously unseen holes. So, the cabin floor has to be replaced now. There's just too many holes and the metal has thinned too much to keep it. The crossmember already needs to be replaced, so may as well do it all at the same time. I'm off to www.minispares.com to order the parts!!
I took the car out so I could take more pics. I wanted to stir the missus by saying I was going to use the green CRX wheels on the Mini, them against the car and took some pics. No chance in reality though!
September 13, 2016
The Mini made its way down to the sandblasters today. The rotisserie worked perfectly, and showed no signs of failing (thankfully!!). The sandblaster commented that he's seen a few timber rotisseries in the past and has had to send some people away with their cars because they weren't safe. He was impressed by mine, and had no qualms about it :)
September 12, 2016
Well, the missus certainly doesn't like the Honda CRX lol. But that's ok, it'll only be here for a little while. The car is booked in to go to the sandblaster tomorrow, so while its their i'll be stripping the CRX and trying to recoup some of the costs of the car. The CRX has quite a lot of potentially profitable items on it that I won't be needing, so i'm confident I can get a lot of the purchase price back while keeping all the items I need.
The most important part of this car is the engine. The CRX itself had previously received a power implant out of an early 90's Integra. The B16a is a huge leap in power for the Mini. This particular B16a is an early model and had around 158hp from the factory. My Mini originally had about 40hp lol.
September 11, 2016
I headed over to Carina today to the annual Mini Muster. There were well over 50 Mini's on display. Such a diverse range of them too. There were a couple of conversions, but no VTEC conversions like mine unfortunately. There was a Toyota 4EFTE conversion and a Nissan RWD. Its amazing what people can do if they put their minds to it! I picked up some inspiration from the day which is one of the reasons I went along.
September 8, 2016
To save on some costs, and also reduce the risk of panel deformation from the heat of sandblasting, I decided to slowly strip the paint off the larger and easier to reach panels. So, today I stripped the paint off the fenders, rear panels, and roof. It was a slow process, but being a small car it wasn't too bad. I found some hidden rust which I expected, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. The missus thinks its ALL rust.... but that's just her eyes :-P I think the fact that the car is an orangey brown makes it look "rusty", but the solid metal is there which is the main thing. I left all the fiddly bits for the sandblasters to do. Much easier for them rather than me trying to use the grinder to get into the tight corners etc. I'm happy with the state of it so far.
August 27, 2106
After researching rotisseries I decided to build one. My DIY knowledge is all about timber. Ask me to build something in timber, and I have no problems doing it. So, luckily for me, I saw a few people that had already built them in timber. Some of them were pretty basic as well. So, I made sure that mine was strong. I reinforced it as much as possible because I know that it'll be heading to the sandblasters on it, so it needs to withstand the trailer ride there and back. It operates perfectly. I can flip it 90deg either way, and I can do it literally with 1 finger! The joy of having such a light and small car! I wouldn't want to use a timber rotisserie for a Mustang restoration or anything like that, but for this size car it works brilliantly!
August 10, 2016
WD40 was definitely my friend today! Alot of the nuts and bolts were fused together, and there's still some that I need to remove over the coming days, while others i'll likely need to get the grinder out for. Luckily for me the engine was already out of the car, so the engine bay was just a whole pile of ancillaries to remove. There were hundreds of cockroaches throughout the car, and I was on constant pest control duty because they'd drop down onto the floor and run looking for a new home. I did not want a cocky problem in the house, so I went through about 3 cans of bug killer! The cleaning out of the interior of the car also required a face mask and goggles....it was THAT bad! There was about 5-10cm of rubbish and leaves in the bottom of it, and the smell was pretty funky to say the least. And that's when I found out why..... mice and rat carcasses were everywhere. Because the car had been in a barn out in the country for so long, it had become a home to bush rats and mice. Someone had thrown in a huge container of rat killer which had done the trick and killed off the rats. The only problem is that a cat had found the hole in the floor where the shifter came through. The cat must have come in, eaten some of the dead rats and it too died in there.... I unfortunately had to find the carcass of that too! It's a HUGE relief to get rid of allllll the crap, and to have it back to just solely being a car (kind of!) again. Now I have a bit more of an idea of the condition of the floor too.... and it's a bit of a sieve. I may or may not replace the floor. Will leave that decision until after it comes back from the sandblasters. I know I have to replace the boot floor, but I plan on installing a fuel cell and getting rid of the spare tyre, so that's not a biggy. A bit more stripping to do over the coming days, and then i'll get it ready to send it off to be sandblasted.
August 6, 2016
After years of dreaming about restoring a Mini, today was the day that this journey begins! I found the car on EBay and was able to pick it up quite cheaply. The overall condition of the car wasn't too bad. I knew there was going to be some rust..... a 40+yr old car is going to have some! The car is FULL of crap! Aside from all the extra car parts inside it, there's a thick layer of leaves, rubbish, and who knows what else! It looks like its been there so long its now compost! Time to get cleaning!!