Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 24 - Lower Dashboard

 

Monday, February 16, 2009:

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

As I mentioned in previous installments, the last owner chopped out a number of sections of the car, most likely as part of converting the car into a dedicated racer. Part of the challenge I created for myself is putting certain areas of the car back to stock. Above is another example. The upper dash has been partially cut away. Fortunately new ones are available.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

The first step is removing what's left of the old dash. I circled all the spot welds I can see and then used a punch to place a small indentation in the center of each weld.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

I then used this handy spot weld drill bit (from Eastwood) to cut through the top layer of metal.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

I then used this neat little tool (available from Eastwood for $20 or Harbor Freight for $4!) to bust the seams apart.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

Surprise, surprise. More rust lurking about. I'm building my next car out of aluminum or something.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

Here's all the old metal I removed. With the specialized tools I had purchased, this turned out to be a very quick and easy job.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

I removed the remnats of the lower dash as well and then just had to run the angle grinder over the spot welds to get rid of them along with the surrounding rust.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

Now it's time to re-attach the original lower dash panel to the car. With no flange left on the dash panel to spot weld back to the body, I had to improvise. I started by determining the angle of the firewall at the attachment point.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

I then bent some steel brackets to the appropriate angle, test fit them, and marked and drilled mounting holes.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

Done. The lower dash is now securely reattached in its original location.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

On to the next item. The final suspension components arrived, so I installed them. I also mounted the KAD front anti-roll bar. Opinion seems very divided on the benefits of front and rear anti-roll bars for the Mini. I will just have to do some experimentation on my own.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

My gosh. It's starting to look like a real car!

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

Here you can see the Tilton brake and clutch pedal assembly I purchased. Once the steering column is securely mounted, I'll work on fabricating a mounting solution for that.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

The brake reservoir canisters will be located in the engine bay with tubes running through the firewall. You'll also notice the new upper dash (in black e-coat) sitting on the car. That might get installed this weekend if all goes according to plan.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 24

And yet another small project - getting my later steering column fitted with the early Mini turn signal switch and covers.

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 25

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