Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 73 - Lowering the Engine

 

Enough theory. Time to set the new, lower engine height and tack-weld the plates back onto the front subframe.

 

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

I started by bolting the plates back onto the engine. It seemed easier to do this while the engine was out of the car.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

Same thing for the clutch side of the engine. Only problem is that the bolts and nuts stick out even wider than the cuts I made in the subframe. That means that when I went to lower the engine in, it couldn't drop even to its normal height. I unbolted the plates from the motor mounts, lowered the engine beneath the normal mounting height, then bolted the plates back on from underneath the car.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

As I dropped the engine into the car, I slid the exhaust headers into place. It would have been pointless to position the engine to clear the bonnet only to later find that the exhaust would not fit. It is already a tight fit now.

 
I lowered the engine onto some blocks of wood, pulled the engine hoist of out the way, then used a floor jack on the lefthand and another on the righthand side of the engine. I adjusted the height of the engine on both sides until I could install the bonnet, reach into the engine bay and just slide my finger between the forward cam belt and the underside of the bonnet. That gave me just under 1/2" of clearance. If I rocked the engine forward a couple inches, the cam belt would touch the bonnet. That means I will have to really restrict the engine's ability to move fore and aft once installed.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

Once I had the necessary clearance above, I confirmed that the engine was still aligned in its normal posion. I only wanted to change the height. I measured the gap between the top of the motor mount plate and the subframe. It appears I dropped the engine 1/2" on both sides.

 

Now I needed a way to resecure the plates to the subframe. There was about a 12mm gap between the subframe surface and the plate surface.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

I used some 1/8"-thick L-shaped steel plate. I cut three pieces to length and drilled out some plug weld holes.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

With a few quick tack welds, everything was locked in place.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

Same thing on the driver's side.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

Out came the engine. Up went the car.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

I removed the exhaust system and prepared to lower the front subframe.

 

Mini Rebuild Step 73

With the front subframe out, I can now fully weld up the plates, remedy a few other issues with the subframe, have it re-powdercoated (or maybe paint it), then continue with the rest of the project.

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 74

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