Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 68 - Finishing the Engine Bay

 

In the last installment I was in the middle of a quick suspension alignment. Since this is the first time I've aligned a car I knew this one wasn't going to end accurately. I decided to use this time to get a feel for the process and the tools. Now I have a list of what worked and what I can do differently the next time to ensure greater accuracy.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

The final part of the alignment was to set the toe and camber of the rear wheels. The TDK abbreviated rear subframe has a horizontally slotted hole inboard to allow for toe adjustment and a vertical slot toward the outside for camber adjustments. This is better than standard with allows for no adjustment at all (although people use shims when minor adjustments are needed) but precise changes are a bit tricky, combined with the fact that changing one parameter tends to alter the other.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

Regardless of the designs merits, I quickly ran out of toe adjustment as the swing arm made contact with the rear subframe. You can see the semi-circular cut I'd previously made to make clearance here. That was back in 2009. Clearly I hadn't removed enough material so it's time to give it another go.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

Before.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

 

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

And now we have more clearance then we'll ever need. Some might ask why I don't just hack off the whole box section underneath the swing arm, since I won't be using the traditional Mini rubber donut suspension. I guess I could but it won't gain me much and if I ever do decide to try cones I can still use these same swingarms (I think).

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

I've had the bonnet in storage for the past two+ years. It felt good to finally re-install it on the car. A quick adjustment of the latching pin and it was 100%. It just needs a thorough dusting off.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

With the bonnet in place I could finally answer a question - would the ITG air filter fit with the bonnet closed. I pulled out the template I had made a few years back and used it to mark out the filter's aluminum baseplate. After lots of measurements I marked out the circles and started cutting.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

I started to drill out the holes using a hole saw but it moved around too much for my liking. I decided to use a step drill instead, get close to the final ID that I needed, then carefully grind the remainder to the final shape. This worked reasonably well.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

Here is the baseplate pressed down over the throttle body's rubber velocity stacks.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

I clamped the filter in place and slowly lowered the bonnet.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

It fits. Down the road I plan to build an airbox to surround the filter. There won't be much room to work with but I think I can make it work.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

One more item to remove permanently from storage and fit to the Mini - the windshield. I laid out some protection for the bodywork then installed the rubber seal on the bodywork. One thing to note here is that Mini's windshield is basically staked in place and 'floats', whereas modern cars have their windshields bonded to the chassis, making them a structural member. I can see the advantages of the latter method but I think it would take one heck of a piece of glass bonded into my car to up the chassis rigidity.

 

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

The windshield is quite lightweight. It easily slipped into the seal but these first two steps are the easy ones.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

The difficult part is slipping a triangular strip of plastic into a narrow slot in the rubber gasket. This forces the gasket to clamp onto the body flange as well as forcing it to clamp the glass in place.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

Here you can see where I've started inserting the "chrome" locking strip at the top of the windshield and I'm working it into the righthand A-pillar.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

As usual the right tool makes all the difference. This one is made exactly for this job. When shoved down into the rubber channel it opens the channel up just wide enough and just long enough the allow the stip to feed in.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

Just a couple of hours into starting the whole process I have the windshield installed and locked into place.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

Too bad I did it incorrectly. The windshield's lower righthand corner is too far recessed inwards. I spotted this early on and had assumed that completing the install would correct it for me. I was wrong. I pulled the locking strip back out and removed the glass from the car. I took a few measurements of the bodywork and the glass, thinking that I may have installed the glass too far off of center. I re-installed the windshield and made sure to center it between the A-pillars. It seemed to do the trick.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 68

After a thorough glass cleaning inside and out I can scratch another item off the 'To-Do' list.

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 69

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