A big thanks to L_Jones, Rid's and Dutch mini for their help so far! These builds were part of the reason I decided to do a CG13 conversion rather than the more common Suzuki and Starlet / Glanza conversions (here in Australia). Other reasons include I like NA, I want mini handling and don't want the engine to 'overpower' this so I think the CG13 is more compatible with the mini (my opinion only...)
Anyway here's Spot as she sits at the moment, a bit sad it's true with no front wheels and looking quite rough but generally pretty solid. Spot is a 1967 / 68 Mini Deluxe, for you guys in the UK the Deluxe was an Aussie only spec with a 998 engine, wind up windows, hydrolastic suspension and drum brakes. Oh and our subframes are all solid mounted right up until Australian production ended in 78.
Here's some photos of the early stages of making the subframe, I remember sitting looking at the frame for a couple of days before attacking it with an angle grinder , I tried to stitch the sides in to restore some of the strength to the suspension towers. As you will see strength has been a major goal for making the subframe, I kept thinking if I hit a bump in the road at 100km/hr with the sumpguard (did this in my 78 clubman) or rails what force is the frame going to have to take? then I made it a bit stronger... The other criteria was I wanted to keep as close to standard ride height as possible as a lot of Aussie roads aren't very good and I hate driving along worrying about my sump.
These rails formed the basis for the frame to work from but running them under the sump meant I lost too much ground clearance so I decided to go in between the sump and the gearbox, but that has made the exhaust harder... oh well
A bit more:
by the way don't do you subframe jig like this, I realize it pushed me into designing it a certain way, pick up the front subframe mounts without the bar across the front.
Sorry no pictures of the back one it's much like any other conversions...
Finally we ended up with something like the frame we have now (actually there was a heap of work that went into it after this but none of it looks that impressive)
One of the big problems was we needed more room around the water pump and this required moving the engine forward which pushed the sump into the front bar... so we had to create some room. Sounds dodgy but it ended up quite neat and I have no reservations about it's strength. The Chalk line is where we eventually cut to then boxed it back up.
Actually pretty proud of the finished frame, a big thanks to my little brother who did the welding and my Dad, I peppered them both with questions and queries so I got it near right.
With the engine in the frame the whole package looks very compact and neat, there's no way I'm going to get the engine out without the subframe coming out though!!!
The rear of the subframe has been extensively reinforced with plate steel and is MUCH stronger!
Here's a diagram on how they were strengthened:
The frame has been shown to my engineer (all major modifications in Australia need to be done in consultation with an automotive engineer who then signs off that it passes the relevant ADR Aust. Design Rules). The process isn't quite as painful as it sounds, and keeps the standard of conversions generally high and safe.
Things / specs / intentions to come:
- Cooper S disks
- 10 inch Mambas (not sure what fits group 2 arches 5 x 10s or 6 x 10s I'd prefer 5 x 10's but have some doubts they will fill the arches)
- Grp 2 arches
- Possibly GA15 throttlebody and injectors (later on)
- Apexi piggyback ecu (later on)
- MR2 seats
- Maybe CD17 final drive and crown wheel to bring the revs down a bit. (I have a spreadsheet I could post but I'm not sure how to put it up so others can use it)
- A 5efhe / Micra hybrid inlet manifold (currently being welded up, a bit of a pain and $$)
- Hurricane extractors (designed for a micra for $50 2nd hand!) to be modded because I used some of the space between the sump and gearbox.
- 2 degrees negative camber bottom arms.
- Adjustable tierods / castor bars.
Here's a photoshop of what I hope the finished mini might look like...
Anyway I think that's all for now, I only get to see my mini occasionally so please forgive me if progress is slow.
Ask any questions you like I'll try to be helpful...