Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 43 - Cooling System and Exhaust

 

Sometimes it makes more sense to have professionals fabricate certain items. For this project, the cooling system plumbing and the exhaust certainly qualify. I had dealt with the people at Turbo Hoses a few years back while doing some work on the Evo. When I called them to make me some custom coolant hoses and pipes for the Mini, they recommended I bring the car in to their shop in Livermore. I did just that.

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I'm glad I did. Not only did they do a great job with the cooling system, they also took care of the exhaust. They were great to work with and I'm convinced there is nothing they couldn't fabricate. Have a look at the results:

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The green sections were the stock Magnaflow main pipe and muffler. TH installed a muffler bypass using a QTP valve, whose degree of opening is controllable within the car

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Here's how it looks installed.

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And here is the cooling system. Notice the two pipes taking coolant directly from the top of the head, past a modified R1 thermostat housing, and straight into the radiator.

 

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The thermostat is a cast piece and was not at all easy to modify by welding. The braided line brings coolant from the R1 engine's built-in oil/coolant heat exchanger to the radiator inlet. You can also see the radiator outlet hose and pipes.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 43

 

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Here is the Wilwood hydraulic clutch being test fitted to the engine.

 

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It seemed the best mounting solution was to weld a bracket directly onto the engine cradle. More on this later.

 

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The Mini doesn't look like much but it sure get attention. A neighbor riding past a few weeks ago stopped to strike up a conversation. Today he returned in his Saab Sonnet. It was great to get to see one close-up. Lots of interesting details and not something you see every day.

 

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And here is the oil take-off plate for the remote oil filter system. Notice anything? I was warned that the plate would have to be machined slightly to fit the R1's engine block. While test fitting everything I made the mistake of tightening the plate cap on. Bad idea. The plate had not been trimmed quite enough and it was at an angle to the block. The two aluminum parts decided to stick together and nothing was going to break them free without more galling. A few minutes with an impact wrench and it was off. Destroyed, but off. The engine was unharmed and I was still able to modify the plate further and determine exactly how to modify it to fit the engine. Now I know how to do it right on the next one I have on order.

 

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These are some steel pieces that I'm fabricating to act as custom front subframe mounting plates. More on that later.

 

Will the car be running by my self-imposed June 5th deadline? It isn't looking good but I'm still going to give it my best shot. Stay tuned....

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 44

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