Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 35 - Bonnet and Rear Bodywork

 

Time to finish the front end...

Mini Rebuild Step 35

I didn't take many photos while fitting the bonnet, probably because it was so frustrating. The bonnet you see here is one of several that came with the car and it took lots of 'adjusting' before it even came close to fitting the car. I wouldn't have thought standing on the bonnet and bending it upwards in a few key locations could make such a significant improvement but it did. Sometimes tricks you read about on the internet are actually true!

Mini Rebuild Step 35

And once the bonnet was about as good as I was going to get it, I fitted up the front grill with the Mk1 'mustache'.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

 

Mini Rebuild Step 35

Bullet mirrors are now in place.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

As are the door straps.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

 

Mini Rebuild Step 35

The work I did on the front end helped give me the confidence to take on the final and most difficult body work my car needed. The boot had been smashed in at the very back, crumpling the rear boot floor. Someone had done a poor job of reversing this with a hammer. I might have let this go but the rear bumper-mounting flange was gone and test fitting of the rear boot lid revealed some warpage of the boot opening's lower surround. Time to fix all of this at once.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

Step one was marking out a cut line that would eliminate all the damage yet still leave as much of the original good metal as possible while also avoiding existing structural areas. No need to make any more work for myself.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

And this is how it ended up. More than once I questioned if I had bitten off more than I could chew.

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Besides the fact that the back of the car is missing, notice how the fender flares blend into the rear lower valence. This added to the difficulty a bit.

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I tried repeatedly to replace the rear boot floor first but without any surrounding reference points, this proved quite difficult. Thankfully I rethought things and replaced the lower boot surround and bumper mount first.

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Lots of careful trimming left me with a near-perfect fit. Time to start welding things up.

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Tacks, tacks, and more tacks....

Mini Rebuild Step 35

...and then ground flush.

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A final test-fit of the boot lid revealed that things fit well enough to proceed.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

The bumper-mounting flange attached to the lower boot surround was exactly what I needed to align the boot floor. Here you can see the 1/2" bolt run through both flanges. Now I knew exactly where the floor needed to be. I slid it into place and scribed an outline of where the existing floor terminated.

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Many test fits and trims later, the two are aligned and ready for butt-welding.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

 

Mini Rebuild Step 35

Here you can see the boot floor welded in and the two bumper-mounting flanges spot welded together.

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Here I've temporarily bolted the lower valence onto the car to test fitment. Notice how the valence's curves don't blend into the fender flare's countours? That will have to be corrected.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

 

Mini Rebuild Step 35

Before final welding.

Mini Rebuild Step 35

And after. The back of the Mini is mostly complete. I have some details to clean up but the bulk of the work is done here.

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 36

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