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Project Zippy - Mk1 1981 Midas Project - Engine Now In!


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#1 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:51 PM

This has been mainly copied across from my thread on the Midas forum but as it's Mini based it seems like a good idea to post it here. It may be a bit confusing re timescales but eventually I will be uploading at the same time so all should eventually fall into place. It's one of 57 and had been standing for about 10 years... Enjoy!

I have recently been to view a Mk1 Midas and put a deposit down. Will be picking it up on Saturday. I wanted a project that needed a lot of work rather than just a spruce up and I certainly think I've done that!! It's a W-reg Mk1 with an engine out of the car and in bits, nasty brown seats and a dashboard that needs a fair bit of help!! All the glass is there and there are a lot of bits, although whether they all fit together is another thing!! I believe it to have been standing for a few years. There are a full set of 5 Mistral alloys.

I have various plans for it including full engine rebuild, sort the bodywork at the front and come up with a bit of ingenuity for the dashboard. If funds allow I would like to convert it to fuel injection with standalone management such as Canems. We shall see. In the meantime...here's some piccies!

Rear 3/4 view:
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Nasty seats and shabby interior
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Front end that needs looking at
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Empty engine bay
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Rear view (shouldn't this have foglights?)
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Edited by MrBounce, 01 April 2017 - 08:07 PM.


#2 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:53 PM

Well the little beastie is now home and tucked up in its new abode (my garage!!). First couple of jobs will be to give it a good clean and sort through the boxes of stuff into usable, well labelled and easily recognisable boxes (EG engine parts, suspension, interior etc) and get it up on axle stands. But before that, the interior and those hideous seats need stripping out! :thumbsup:

It was a good round trip (350 miles) although I could have done without the rather substantial amount of diesel the tow car (Nissan Navara pick-up) drank - I put 111 worth of diesel in it... Still, massive thanks to Father-in-law Steve who borrowed a trailer with the biggest pair of ramps in the world and also supplied the truck - beer on its way! Also enormous thanks go to Shaun, my friend, who accompanied me on the trip, provided me with jelly babies and shared the driving. He also did a fantastic job of reversing the trailer in the tiny cul-de-sac where we picked it up from. And finally - a massive big thank you to Andy whose car I have bought and will foolishly attempt to rebuild. Sir, you are a true gentleman and one of the good guys! :thumbsup:

I will sort some pictures in due course.

#3 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:55 PM

Well I've managed to get out into the garage for an evening; my first job was to strip the spare engine that came with the Midas. It is believed to be an 1100 (no engine number), which apparently smoked and might have needed a rebuild. The main thing is, this engine is in the way and needs to be gone. My friend Shaun wants the gearbox casing, so I will cannibalise the engine for what I want (Non-verto clutch & flywheel bits), Shaun gets the whole gearbox and the rest will go up on Ebay at 99p start (buyer collects!). :thumbsup:

I began by draining the oil. My mate Matt and I manhandled the lump onto some handy concrete blocks I have (easy as we're both built like rugby prop-forwards :rolleyes: ) and after some persuasion with a 3ft bar and socket the sump plug was removed. What came out was not pretty and was darker and thicker than a molasses vat at night. :shock: My guess is it didn't taste as good.

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Time to remove the flywheel. Off came the cover and it was clear that this would have been undriveable as the oil seal had failed big time - so much oil spray in the cover and also on the pressure plate and backplate. Amazingly the flywheel gave up without too much of a fight - there was an extremely satisfying "crack!" - and then I set about removing the flywheel housing. There was of course, a bolt which wouldn't move and naturally it had a chewed head thanks to my pitiful attempts to remove it. So I got angry :evil: produced my hammer and a 12mm socket and had it off and in the bin within seconds. :twisted: Just now got 6 bolts to remove the box and I will split them.

Cover off...

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Clutch pressure plate...

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... and ugly clutch (note awesome use of a shelf bracket as a flywheel-locking tool. I used to use a table knife but couldn't find it...)

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Almost ready to split

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Would have done it all but have a wedding to go to tomorrow so need to be ready for that!! :thumbsup:

Edited by MrBounce, 03 August 2011 - 09:56 PM.


#4 Mini-Mad-Craig

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:55 PM

This is AWESOME mate!! I'd love one of these of another Mini derivative one day!

#5 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:58 PM

Well the gearbox is now off the block and has been put to one side for Shaun to take away. It was a bit reluctant to come apart at first. I thought this was a bit strange as the last 3 times I'd split an engine and box it had been easy. It was then I realised this was because I'd had an engine hoist to help... So rather than drive 15 miles to my friend's house I laid the engine on its side and beat the hell out of the join with a rubber mallet until it started to come apart. Gravity then took control and helped the box off :thumbsup:

The crank and pistons turned nicely in their bores so at least it's not seized. It's now on Ebay if anyone on here fancies rebuilding it ? :?: http://cgi.ebay.co.u...all-Bore-Classi ... 45fb77363d

So here it is, upturned on the sackbarrow ready to be taken to its new owner once the auction's over.

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Close-up of the crank :rolleyes:

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Gearbox showing a rather alarming amount of sludge in the bottom...

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Once the engine and box go I'll have a bit more room in the garage so may be able to get started properly! :thumbsup:

#6 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:02 PM

Well the gearbox is still here but pushing it under the rear of the car gave me a bit of room to wander round. Thought I had better clear out all the stuff that was in the boot (bags of spares such as a complete set of new brake pipes ready for bending, poly bushes for the tie-bars and engine steady, a top arm, two front hubs, a couple of lights, springs, an LCB, a gear selector and some small fibreglass panels). These have all been carefully stored away so Mr Clumsy here doesn't break them.

Someone had put an aerial on the roof at some point. I will need to replace it as the whole thing is a rotten mess. Lovely.

I then turned my attention to the interior. Oh dear. It is not pretty. The boot area appears to have lots of paint peelings in it but from what I am not sure. The front carpets are hideously damp and one of the mats in the car has what appears to be a new species of plant growing on it. All the seals are perished and need replacing - the sunroof being a case in point!! The dashboard is something I am really unsure about: as it's an early Midas I kind of want to keep it, but I don't really like it that much. Am tempted to modify it or make my own. The steering wheel is truly hideous and will have to go. As for those seats, they do tilt forward. I've never seen ones like them before and I do not know what they're out of - possibly an unusual 2+2 late 70's coupe. Mazda RX3? 260Z? Maybe even something like a Renault 17? Whatever, they're hideous and need to die.

Underbonnet is not so bad. The radiator is supposedly from an Allegro according to the previous owner but I'm not so sure. It looks like it's had a leak at some point so it'll come out and I'll hopefully get something newer from the scrappy which is about the same size but more efficient. Fusebox looks relatively new but I'm looking to move this inside the car so will probably replace it with one that'll take blade fuses. For some reason the choke cable exits right next to the battery area. That is going to be completely re-done as it's likely to get crushed where it is. My favourite though is the washer bottle and pump. Looks like it came from an early 80's Mitsubishi - I've never seen one before but it looks like a well designed bit of kit and one of the few parts I will definitely keep!

Boot area now clear:

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It's nasty under those hideous seats :shock:

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New species of plant!

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Ruined sunroof seal

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What to do with that dashboard??? :?

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Rad of unknown origin

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Aerial Stub :thumbsup:

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Funky washer bottle! :rolleyes:

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The job list is getting longer... :thumbsup:

#7 Midas Mk1

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:03 PM

Love Early Mk1's, saw your thread on the Midas Forum! :thumbsup:

What Build Number is yours? :thumbsup:

#8 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:05 PM

Ok, Mrs B has allowed me some more time to go and play in the Man Room :rolleyes:

It was time to get the horrible carpets, underlay and soundproofing off the floor and see what's under there. Once I got my hands on it I reminded myself why I'd bought something made of fibreglass. That's right: if this had been metal it wouldn't have had a floor left!! On one side the seat bracket had disintegrated into the carpet. Very nasty. There's - still a bolt through the floor - I will grind it off in due course - I gently cut around the carpet rather than the bolt itself so I could lift off the carpet.

It was clear from one of the first things I found that it had not been used for a while: The tax disc...

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I also found one of these; a punch for the rollpin on the gear selector. It's a bit rusty but I have always wanted one of these and used a succession of cheap watchmaker's screwdrivers over the years instead! :thumbsup:

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There was also a fire extinguisher fitted to the driver's side. Not sure how stable it might be I carefully pulled it off the bracket. Health and safety is paramount in the Manroom: this was the result so I think it had been wet a while... :)

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The main carpet is now out and all the crap on it has been removed and binned. Is there anywhere I can get replacements? I'm not hopeful so am more than happy to try my hand at using the old as a template. I thought I might be able to start with a Mini front carpet and go from there.

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The steering wheel was covered in black insulation tape so I took it all off and had a look underneath: it's an Astrali wheel with a wood rim (which has split). Wonder if it's worth anything to anyone?

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There was so much horrible nasty damp underlay & soundproofing, some of which simply turned to dust. This a small percentage of it...

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Still it means the interior now looks like this after being attacked with the Manroom hoover:

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Will now leave things as I'm off to watch Mr Haye vs Mr Klitschko. With Chinese food.

Oh yeah I've still got the seats. Apparently they're genuine Midas items. They'll need a complete rebuild and retrim. If anyone can use them PM me as they'll be free. If I haven't heard by next week they'll be binned. :thumbsup:

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#9 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:08 PM

I thought I'd have a look at getting the dashboard out as there was bound to be more than a few horrors behind it. Amazingly, the fibreglass shell (with the middle bit which looks like a failed Star Wars character's helmet) came off really easily leaving behind another piece of fibreglass. However, this bit is bolted on at the ends so I won't be taking this off until the doors come off. It's also riveted to the main metal crossbrace so I have drilled out the rivets to make extraction easier. I'm still not sure about the what/how of the dash I'm going to use but hey, I've got time :thumbsup:

I turned my attention to the rest of the interior: the sill carpets needed to come out. Got as far as the driver's side seatbelt mounting and as I removed this I was a bit shocked to find that once the bolt was out water poured into the car! :shock: I thought this was down to the drainage channels being blocked but further investigation revealed something else. There were two speakers in rear three-quarters so I removed them. The driver's side was nasty: it was stuffed full of underlay and old newspaper which was soaking wet, probably from the damaged seal on the small window. It dates from May 1981, about 3 months after the car was registered. A quick delve in with my hand revealed a couple of inches of water in the bottom. Still not sure how I'm going to get this out without a Vax-style hoover. We shall see. I can't get a spanner in to undo the seatbelts which attach to the rear heelboard - I need to have a closer look to see how I can do this without destroying the belt housing. I'm not going to use them again anyway, as I don't really trust a 30-year old seatbelt that's been sat in a damp car for 10 years, but I'd prefer to get 'em out the proper way without damaging too much!

The boot area was quite easy to get all the trim out of. The fibreglass side panels came out easily without a fight and even the big flexi pipe for the fuel tank was a doddle. I even removed the rear numberplate; Underneath is the cleanest part of the car. The seatbelt clips that bolt through the floor won't come out until I've got the Midas up on axle stands. I may be losing weight at the mo but I do not fit under there to get a spanner on the nuts. :thumbsup: There's a random small hole in the boot floor, and I have no clue why. Any ideas?

I also removed the front bumper (2 screws!) and had a quick look under the bonnet again. I am definitely thinking of a new wiring loom - possibly taking a Mini one and bridging / removing where necessary as the front loom does not look that healthy. More later.

Dashboard under the fibreglass cover

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Horrid 1981 Sharp speakers which went straight in the bin

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Clean boot area

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Random hole in the boot floor

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Sodden underlay. This stank.

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May 1981 Croydon Borough News (Wonder if they caught the thief?)

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Clean interior but with seatbelts still attached

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The cleanest bit of the whole car!

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Bumper gone in about 2 minutes and still in one piece!

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#10 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:11 PM

After 2 weeks enjoying the ridiculous amounts of pains au chocolat, Grimbergen Belgian beer and rain that Brittany had to offer, I realised it was time to head back into the garage and continue stripping!

First up was removing the rear bumper. One screw was easy, the other of course had rusted solid. After 30 seconds with my trusty Dremel, it was off. I was mildly amused by the large amount of moss growing under it. I then turned my attention to the front lights. Headlight surrounds were not properly fixed so these came off easily. The headlights themselves were also easy, with just a couple of screws holding them both in. The surround on one is utterly shot to bits having rusted away. Finding a replacement may be tricky... I have discovered that they are different types; one has a sidelight whereas the other doesn't. Not too much of an issue as the car has sidelights and indicators below the bumper but these will need a freshen up too, given that the gaskets just fell apart.

I also removed all the clips holding the wiring loom to the bodywork in the engine bay so it "should" be nice and easy to take out. This of course will depend on how I get the dashboard out. It is more stubborn than Alan Sugar. I keep finding loads of hidden bolts (all seized of course) in really inaccessible places. Once I redesign this thing I'm gonna make it so it can be removed after undoing about 6 bolts. Poxy thing... I also decided to remove the heater which took the best part of an hour. Yup, you guessed it: seized and inaccesible bolts. It is in quite nasty condition so most of it will need replacing. I intend to replace the pathetic Mini blower with a Ford item (something I found on a GTM rebuild website) by removing the Ford fans and replacing them with the Mini items. The motor itself is much the same size so with a bit of persuasion (Hammer) I should be able to make it work :thumbsup:

Bumper off

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Front lights off

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State of front lights...

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Rather knackered indicators and sidelights

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Loom ready to be removed once bl00dy dash is sorted

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Dead (ish) heater

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#11 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:13 PM

I have turned my attention back to the dashboard area. The bolts that hold the door on also appeared to go through the dashboard. The dashboard also seemed to be attached to the large piece of square steel tubing with heater ducting attached that ran the entire width of the car. I thought I would start here. As the dash had been riveted to this I thought it was simply the ravages of time that was keeping them together. WRONG!!! Having prised the dash front away from the steel tubing, it was this and not the dash that fell away. It wasn't structural at all and it appears that it wasn't used as any sort of eathing point. It was just where the heater ducting was channelled; 2 large pipes attach from the heater and holes in the top of the tube allowed warm air to attempt to reach the screen. It looked rubbish, and I shall endeavour to improve monumentally on this when I make my own dashboard.

I looked closer and there was a reason why the dash could not be easily removed. It wasn't just bolts holding it in place. It was fibreglassed into the car. I don't know if it was the original or not, but there was certainly some amount of modification over the years (badly!). There was also only one way it was coming out. Power tools. I immediately thought of my jigsaw but it was too big and bulky and the manouevrability would have been restricted. Dremel plus cutting disc (well, 4 actually) meant that after 15 minutes of steady cutting, the nightmare dash was out! Woo-hoo! :thumbsup: The horrible extended switch section in the middle will need further work but it had got to past 9pm and I needed a beer! :thumbsup:

The dreaded dash, before things got ugly.

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Weird way of ducting air.

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It's gone! (Well most of it anyway...)

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#12 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:15 PM

Before today, I was fed up with the inside of the car as I seem to have been making very slow progress. However, with a bit of elbow grease, my trusty Dremel and a lot of poking and prodding, I have achieved a fair bit this evening.

I cut off the stupid switch panel in the middle of the dash. This of course was much thicker than the other fibreglass and I went through 6 Dremel cutting discs. Lucky I've got a pot of 30+. I then gave the dash area a hoover as it was gradually starting to look like a Colombian Drug Lord's "special" factory. :thumbsup:

I gave myself a challenge - to get the front wiring loom out and in a box without cutting any of it. First of all I pulled out all the underlay and soundproofing from the dash area. There was a shedload of it, and its condition was terrible - just like dead leaves as it fell apart in your hands. :) I pushed out the heater pipes. These will be thrown away eventually but I will take measurements first - don't want to buy too little of it when I replace it! I then started to poke the wires through having unclipped the rear loom. I started pushing it back into the car rather than trying to pull it out as it was clear that was NOT going to happen given the amount of twists and tangles in it. The underbonnet wiring was surprisingly neat by comparison. I have decided that it doesn't need renewing - it actually looks alot better than I thought on closer inspection; it was just dirty and badly laid out before.

Of course the Alternator plug wouldn't fit through the crudely hacked rectangular hole in the bulkhead so once again out came my friend Mr Dremel and a small "extension" was made. I intend to cover all the bulkhead holes and start again so I can actually furnish them with grommetts. I don't know who wired this car but they know less than I do. And my knowledge of electrics is "Red to red, green to green and blue to bits" :thumbsup: Close inspection shows there was a hole in the middle of the bulkhead originally - this had been filled in and a couple of rectangular holes butchered on either side of the bonnet catch.

I finally have a clear dash and engine bay. I've now got Master cylinders, Wiper Assembly, Bonnet Catch and Radiator to remove in the engine bay. I've also got to finish stripping the interior of old glue and the remains of the underlay - yum what a nice job!! :) as well as take the rear lights out. Then it's glass and seals before starting on body prep. It's gonna be a long summer. I'm going down to Southern Mini Days soon so will scour the autojumbles for dashboard bits amongst other things. My wallet is wincing already :)

Front Loom now out. Yay!

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Clear dashboard area :rolleyes:

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Modified hole (new bit to the right). Lousy hacking job by the person who did it before!

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Cleaner engine bay

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#13 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:17 PM

Managed to find half an hour this evening to take a look at the heater and establish whether it could be saved. I hoped that there was just a bit of surface rust and that the matrix was usable. Some hope...

I undid the screws on the outlet side of the heater. I say undo - I had to drill off two which had seized solid and already had chewed heads which I then made worse. I carefully prised off the side panel with a flat blade screwdriver and bingo! The matrix was proper knackered. Oh well... Guess I can get myself a secondhand heater in better nick from Southern Mini Days next weekend. I was able to remove the motor and fans though, which will enable me to experiment building my "Turbofan" Mini heater using a Ford Motor with the Mini fans and casing. The blower outlet was weird though - someone had made up a pipe reducer out of rubber and cardboard. It was fit only for the bin.

Side panel with weird pipe reducer.

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Heater with knackered matrix :thumbsup:

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Rustier than an old Clubman that's just crawled out of the sewer after 20 years in there

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The starting point for "Turbofan" :thumbsup:

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#14 MrBounce

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:19 PM

Not much done this weekend but have manged to strip down and destroy the horrible seats. Naturally this gave me a great deal of pleasure. Some parts of the seats looked ok (some of the foam). The rest did not. Horrible, nasty and utterly rotten. Had to strip them down as the local dump (sorry - "Recycling Centre") won't take obvious car parts or seats for that matter. Plus I'd look like a right numpty trying to take just a pair of knackered seats to a breaker's...

So out came my friend Stanley and the "F" screwdriver. 10 minutes later there was a lots of crap and two metal seat frames which can go in the metal bin at the local tip.

Just foam and backrest left to go...

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First one done

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That's a big pile of crap... :thumbsup:

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Stripped frames (being guarded by Moneypenny the cat) :thumbsup:

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Edited by MrBounce, 03 August 2011 - 10:47 PM.


#15 Midas Mk1

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:23 PM

Random hole in the boot floor

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Bet thats for access for the fuel tank retaining bracket/bolts :D




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