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My T4 Mini....my First Ever Build!


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#1 benmoffat

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:15 PM

Hi all and welcome to my very first project,

Well I thought this day would never arrive, but my orders in, money down and Ill soon be the proud new owner of a ZCars Mini!

Ive been wanting to build a kit car for years, and Ive always loved Minis with this one being my 2nd. Working out a kit car build it seemed to come to as much as a ZCar build, and then it would only be of any use in the summer and I would have to run another car. So my mind turned to ZCars.

Ive always wanted a fast Mini, a saw some of the VTEC front engined Mini kits years ago which seemed interesting but even though I know lots have been built Ive never been too keen putting all that power through the front of the little car.

I first saw ZCars a few years ago when they started doing bike engine kits, and bought every mag and all the Extreme Mini dvds to watch over and over again!

Fast forward a couple of years and since my last Mini Ive gone through a Supra, MR2 and GTV until deciding to come back to the good old days and bought my current Mini last November. Had quite a few problems with it and took it off the road about 4 months ago to repair or do a restoration. ZCars had always been in the back of my mind while considering all the other options so I decided to go up and see Chris and after being taken out for the best/scariest drive in my life came away with no doubts at all this is what I wanted to do.

I knew I didnt want a bike engine kit as I planned this to be my only car and wanted a good mix between performance and driveability/practicality. And for various reasons I decided that I would prefer to go for the Volvo engine over the VTEC so placed my order about 3 weeks ago.

So where am I now. Well the kit is being built as I write this, due to be finished in the next week or so. I have bought the engine and it is being fitted to the frame up at ZCars at the moment. As for the body, Im in the process of stripping that down any spare moment I can get.


Check out the links if you like:

Front frame parts

Rear frame and engine

And this is what it used to look like:

My Mini


Im going to be using my flickr page to post all photos as Im not sure how to place photos in the actual topic and I understand there is a limit to amounts or file sizes?

I will try and keep the updates coming as regularly as possible, but with not getting back from work until dark and having a tiny garage I cant fit the whole car in, I can only get bits done in shorts spaces of time. But with the Christmas break coming up hopefully I will get some more daylight hours to work on it.


So I hope you enjoy reading about my progess and I look forward to hearing any comments along the way. I will try to include as much detail as I can as I dont see many other Volvo boys around here, so hopefully we will be able to help each other.

Thanks for reading and Ill be back for updates soon.

Ben

Edited by benmoffat, 14 December 2010 - 10:35 PM.


#2 Timify

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:50 PM

Best of luck with the build O_O

The volvo kit looks like a brilliant option. Just out of interest which car did they take you out in? Was it a Volvo kit or bike powered?

#3 RED HOT

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:19 PM

Best of luck with the build O_O

The volvo kit looks like a brilliant option. Just out of interest which car did they take you out in? Was it a Volvo kit or bike powered?


Blimey, with all these Volvo builds going I really need to pull my finger out and get mine finished.....

Pretty sure Z-Cars don't have a Volvo test car, don't even think Chris has driven one! or at least that was the impression I got recently when mine was mapped.

Nice choice of frame colour, have the Met Red myself. Good luck with the build and drop me a PM or email if you need any info.

I have that test panel too, its s bit larger than I thought, but I’ll sort out postage next week; if you could PM me your address it would be excellent. Painter is currently in Austria too, he's get back to me upon his return.

Anyway, mines calling so got to go, but look forward to the progress updates

Kev

#4 benmoffat

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:32 PM

Hi,

I dont think he has a Volvo kit either. The one I had the demo in was a white VTEC demo car. The Volvo engine should by about the same bhp but will have more torque.

Thanks Redhot will send you a pm soon. Really excited its all happening, the finishing touches are just being made to the frame now so should be here very soon, its going to be a busy holiday!

#5 RED HOT

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:42 PM

its going to be a busy holiday!


With you on that one!

#6 Spinksta

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 11:17 PM

I'm looking forwards to reading both your build threads. Hopefully some time next year I'll be embarking on my own Volvo Z-Car mission and really want to read some project threads. I've trauled the projects section to find they're all vtecs or bike engines! I know the Volvo engine kits are relatively new so it's understandable really.

Anyway I wish you guys the best of luck, well done for doing something new. I'll be following your progress with a keen eye!

#7 benmoffat

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 07:35 PM

Woohoo!!
Kit arrived this morning. What a long day at work that was, waiting to get home to unwrap it. The build starts tomorrow!

#8 sonikk4

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 07:47 PM

Nice project. Try using photobucket as this is what 90% of TMF user's post their photo's by.

#9 benmoffat

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 08:34 PM

Hello peeps,

Although I dont have much to show for my last month or so's work just thought I would write a quick update to where I am now.

Well the kit arrived the day before Christmas eve, what a great day that was! I spent quite a while over the holidays building up the front subframe which is nearly ready to fit to the car.

I have been busy stripping the Mini down to a bare shell, at the moment it is completely empty and I have started to cut out the back end. Hopefully borrowing a plasma cutter tomorrow to get the bulk out which should be a lot quicker.

The car is booked in to be picked up on the 12th of March for the repairs and respray (thanks to Rob at Blakehill for all your help)

So before then Ive got to:

Get the front frame fitted and on its wheels
Finish cutting the back end
Fit the rear frame
Find a pedal box and fit that and trial fit the seats
Work out any special bodywork additions I am going to need before its painted.

Not many weekends now to sort all that out!

Ive kind of resigned myself to the fact now that Im going to have to IVA the car which has meant a lot of my plans for the car have had to be rubbished so now trying to sort out bits that will pass.

Sorry I havent got any photos to add, hopefully will get some this weekend, and by April should have some pics of my nice new shiny shell!

Thanks for reading will be back for an update soon.

Ben

#10 benmoffat

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 04:46 PM

Hi,

Got most of the back end cut out now, so much easier with a plasma cutter!

Just a quick question, probably a stupid one I now as so many of you have done this on your own already. But when I go to fit the frame, I have got the cutout at 26" from the crossmember. Does this edge line up with the inside edge of the frame?

I know its a rough measurement but Im conscious the door bars and roof bars connect to the rear frame and then need to bolt into the front and that needs to be exactly right doesnt it?

How did you guys go about the first fit of the frame? It looks easy on the dvd but Im sure it wont be when I come to it.

Thanks

Edited by benmoffat, 18 February 2011 - 04:47 PM.


#11 benmoffat

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:17 PM

Well the kit is in (kind of)
Had some trouble with the front 2 bolts lining up for the subframe. It looks a lot easier in the dvd!
But its all in and just gone off to Zcars for the 4 wheel alignment. More updates when I get it back.

See link for pics:

LINK

#12 RED HOT

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:36 PM

Well the kit is in (kind of)
Had some trouble with the front 2 bolts lining up for the subframe. It looks a lot easier in the dvd!
But its all in and just gone off to Zcars for the 4 wheel alignment. More updates when I get it back.

See link for pics:

LINK


Was just wondering today how you were getting on :(, fitted mine the weekend before last, and it was a B***h to say the least! had to make a purchase (ratchet straps) and pulled the thing together this weekend, but no way it would have gone without these.

Need to source a trailer and then mines going to the local 4 wheel alignment shop too so its looks like the build race is on :(

Looking good though and can't wait to see it once it really gets moving.

When's the bodyshop taking it off your hands?

Edited by RED HOT, 15 March 2011 - 04:36 PM.


#13 benmoffat

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:45 PM

Well thats still TBC Kev.

Tried the ratchet strap thing, but couldnt pull it into line. Had a turbo bulkead box welded in so Im guessing thats what screwed it up.

Got to pay the bill for 4 wheel align until I can get the painting done, so Im thinking youre going to overtake me there :(

Plus Ive now started to think about other colours! Maybe my original idea is a bit boring and I need something thats going to be a bit more special, still trying to think that one through though.

Hows yours going anyway? All your bodywork done now? Will it be ready for spraying after the alignment is done?

Cheers

#14 RED HOT

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:02 PM

Well thats still TBC Kev.

Tried the ratchet strap thing, but couldnt pull it into line. Had a turbo bulkead box welded in so Im guessing thats what screwed it up.

Got to pay the bill for 4 wheel align until I can get the painting done, so Im thinking youre going to overtake me there :(

Plus Ive now started to think about other colours! Maybe my original idea is a bit boring and I need something thats going to be a bit more special, still trying to think that one through though.

Hows yours going anyway? All your bodywork done now? Will it be ready for spraying after the alignment is done?

Cheers


Colour selection is probably the most difficult choice to make, but as long as it’s not white I’m cool lol

Quite a way off paint yet, bodywork wise I've done everything up to the waste line thus far; so 70% done? Bonnet mech sorted, boot changing directions though and its not an easy change, but well worth the time and effort :(

Currently working on Dash, centre console, seat rails , radiator brackets (had to modify the standard ones this weekend to get the charge cooler rad to fit), fan mounting and the body kit!

Keep the updates coming, can't have the Honda boys taking over can we

#15 benmoffat

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:10 PM

Havent really sorted anything out on the interior yet.
Tried to put the seat in on the weekend but doesnt fit, back of the seat hits the frame and I havent even got the bulkhead in yet! Going to have to cut the mounts I think.

Dont worry, its not going to be white. But got many other colours going through my head at the moment.

By the way did you have to cut your rear valance off? Ive seen some zcars with it and some without. I really dont want to get rid of mine but its damn close to the rear wheel and Im not wure if it will clear it once the suspensions set up. Guess I could put a diffuser in place, but I really wanted to keep it as it is.




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