Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 22 - Primered

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009:

 

One of the unique features of the Mini is its external body panel seams, used to maximize interior space and keep production costs down. It is not uncommon for people to remove the seams to clean up the lines of the car. That's exactly what a previous owner did to this shell but I plan to put them right back on, Some might think this is a waste of time but I think it is an important characteristic of the Mini. Plus I think the car looks strange without them.

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

Recreating the seams will take some time but here's the first step. My friend measured the thickness of the seams on some new panels. We doubled that number and came up with 1/8" thick sheet metal. I used some new seam covers to act as a template.

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

The angle grinder made quick work of the sheetmetal. I then bent the piece to roughly match the curves of the seam cover.

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

I've temporarily marked the location of the seam. This is as far as I've gotten on the seams. More on them later. I had to spend my last day at the ranch that weekend dealing with rust.

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

Even though I had the Mini sandblasted to remove all rust, it wasn't until the box section across the floor was removed that this corroded area was revealed. This had to be dealt with along with the roll cage and a few other bits of exposed metal that had slowly developed some surface corrosion. My friend suggested using phosphoric acid to neutralize the rust.

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

The acid turns the rust black.

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

With the panels free of rust, it was finally time to paint!

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

Four cans of etch primer later:

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 22

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 23

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