Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Am I crazy? This is not the first time I've been asked that question. Guess I can't blame people really. I had a nice, quick car to commute in, lots of free time, and a little money in the bank. Why would I want to change all that just so I could own a 46-year old car the size of a large dog house?

 

I've never restored a car before and this seemed a reasonably easy job. Parts are readily available. It isn't a technologically sophisticated car (by modern standards) and doesn't have all that many pieces. Even judged on total surface area it seems a good choice. Plus the rewards seem fairly certain - a light weight, great-handling car that is fun to drive. Hanging around a diehard Mini aficionado for 10 years didn't help either. Maybe this project was inevitable.

 

So I educated myself a fair bit on Mini's and located what I wanted: a Mk1 Mini bodyshell with very little rust (that I can detect at the moment!). It included some parts as well, only some of which I'll end up using.

 

So follow along for the next 6 ( 8? 10?) months as I make a running car out of this:

 

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-Step 1 (June 2008) Planning

-Step 2 (June 23, 2008) Buying the car

-Step 3 (July 3, 2008) Tools

-Step 4 (July 6, 2008) Subframe removal

-Step 5 (July 8, 2008) The engine arrives

-Step 6 (July 12 & 13, 2008) Inventory

-Step 7 (July 15, 2008) Engine inspection

-Step 8 (July 16, 2008) Off to the sandblasters

-Step 9 (July 19, 2008) Motor work

-Step 10 (August 5, 2008) Bare chassis

-Step 11 (August 9, 2008) Engine baffle

-Step 12 (August 13, 2008) Wheels and seats

-Step 13 (August 14, 2008) More engine work

-Step 14 (September 16, 2008) Parts order

-Step 15 (September 25, 2008) KAD suspension and brakes arrive

-Step 16 (September 28, 2008) More parts arrive

-Step 17 (October 5, 2008) Tires mounted

-Step 18 (October 21, 2008) Rollcage

-Step 19 (November 19, 2008) Pro-shift kit arrives

-Step 20 (December 13, 2008) Minor update

-Step 21 (January 9, 2009) Big parts order arrives

-Step 22 (January 21, 2009) Rust removal

-Step 23 (January 25, 2009) Seat and dash mounting, front subframe assembled

-Step 24 (February 16, 2009) Upper dash removed

-Step 25 (February 22, 2009) New upper dash and instrument binnacle installed

-Step 26 (February 23, 2009) Spot welding

-Step 27 (March 16, 2009) Machining steering column parts

-Step 28 (March 24, 2009) Rear subframe installed, back on 4 wheels

-Step 29 (April 7, 2009) Pedal mounting

-Step 30 (April 28, 2009) Custom steering column

-Step 31 (May 30, 2009) Parking brake system

-Step 32 (May 31, 2009) Re-skinning the doors

-Step 33 (June 1, 2009) Floor plates

-Step 34 (June 1, 2009) Front end

-Step 35 (June 22, 2009) Rear end

-Step 36 (June 23, 2009) 1 Year Progress Report

-Step 37 (July 31, 2009) Slam panel and R1 instrument mounting

-Step 38 (September 16, 2009) Steering column fabrication

-Step 39 (December 7, 2009) MINIeXvo kit arrives

-Step 40 (February 7, 2010) Throttle pedal and fuel lines

-Step 41 (March 31, 2010) Parts

-Step 42 (April 10, 2010) Radiator and Transfer Box

-Step 43 (May 4, 2010) Cooling system and Exhaust

-Step 44 (May 24, 2010) Plumbing, brakes, and driveshafts

-Step 45 (June 3, 2010) Final plumbing, radiator mounts, and fuel tank.

-Step 46 (June 6, 2010) Engine startup

-Step 47 (June 27, 2010) Second year anniversary

-Step 48 (July 27, 2010) Almost driveable

-Step 49 (July 27, 2010) She drives!

-Step 50 (October 11, 2010) Wiring harness design and jacking point fabrication

-Step 51 (November 12, 2010) Finishing the jacking system

-Step 52 (December 19, 2010) Lower dash and ECU tray

-Step 53 (January 27, 2011) Airbox, central switch panel, heater, and horns

-Step 54 (October 28, 2012) Back from the bodyshop

-Step 55 (December 9, 2012) Re-assembly begins

-Step 56 (December 31, 2012) Re-assembly continues

-Step 57 (February 10, 2013) Engine re-installed

-Step 58 (March 27, 2013) Final fabrication

-Step 59 (April 9, 2013) Parts back from powder coating

-Step 60 (April 29, 2013) Engine re-installed

-Step 61 (May 13, 2013) Front suspension

-Step 62 (October 27, 2013) Wiring harness

-Step 63 (March 18, 2014) More wiring

-Step 64 (March 29, 2014) Fuse/relay boxes

-Step 65 (April 15, 2014) R1 ECU Re-Pin

-Step 66 (June 3, 2014) Wiring almost complete

-Step 67 (June 24, 2014) She runs and drives! (again)

-Step 68 (July 1, 2014) Finishing the engine bay

-Step 69 (July 18, 2014) Side mirror, kill switch, and proprod

-Step 70 (June 13, 2015) Stator Replacement

-Step 71 (September 25, 2016) A change of plans

-Step 72 (October 1, 2016) Test fitting the new engine

-Step 73 (October 2, 2016) Lowering the engine

-Step 74 (October 23, 2016) Fitting a new exhaust

-Step 75 (November 12, 2016) Engine back in

 

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