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A Scotsman With A Kiwi Clubman

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#1 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:48 AM

For anybody bored enough to be interested, here's the long winded, complete rundown on my New Zealand new 1973 Mk3 Clubman. This is the second Mini I've owned in the 9 1/2 years we've been out here :) Now, most of this is copied and pasted from my car club build thread and basically documents everything from November 2013 to present, so bear with me, also excuse my atrocious language, I'll do my best to edit the worst out! ANYHOO...


The story begins Last November, when my much loved R32 was lost to the hands of thieving scum in Christchurch, and for a week, the world ended, until it's miniature, blurple and very tidy replacement popped up on trademe (NZ's EBay), and, a few days later, insurance money in hand I stopped grieving for this:

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And picked up this:

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Just like that, I had taken ownership of my second Mini. Marvin, as I later named him, was running a bit rough when I first got him. 5 minutes of fettling with the SU' s awesomely simple mixture adjustment and further fine tuning thereafter saw a huge improvement. No more spluttering, farting and backfiring :) it wasn't long before I went on the hunt for performance, and, just like I did with Porkpie (my old yellow roundnose, original eh), an electronic ignition kit was ordered first. The kit comprised a new distributor and Lucas gold sport coil...

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Improvements were instantly noticeable over the old points system, both in drivability and performance, money well spent then. Did an oil and filter change, ordered some genuine Lucas 8mm leads, and a Ramflo filter, which turned out to have the wrong backing plate. It's still in a box somewhere, anyway, new leads arrived and I decided to change the plugs and fuel filter at the same time...

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I noticed the temperature was creeping up a fair bit on hot days so I decided to drain all the horrible crusty tap water from the system and replaced it with 50/50 coolant. Much win. Little changed, I enjoyed pottering around the shaky city in my 4 wheel Skittle and decided all was well. Marvin even went on a romantic date with a mates very tidy and original E-AT Si Civic down by the Waimakariri river just out of Christchurch:

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After a while the urge to empty my wallet bit again, so I put in an order to Minispares in the UK for some shinys and some general replacement parts:

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New alloy rocker cover, rad cap (which was wrong, doh), 74 degree thermostat, new thermostat housing studs, urethane engine steady bushes, a Paddy Hopkirk extended accelerator pedal, brand new clutch and brake pedal pads and some alloy hardware for the rocker cover. Why a 74 degree thermostat? Temperatures were creeping up once again, more on that later. Anyway, I fitted my new bling and there was much rejoicing.

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I had just bought a 90% complete 1275 motor at the time too, however this is where things took a turn for the worst for me and my Mini. I was forced to leave home in Christchurch, leave a well paying job, and head to Dunedin to stay with the olds until I got things sorted out. That's where I'm at now, however, on the way down the car started boiling its coolant. Remember the radiator cap? Wrong pressure, 7lbs, instead of 15, I didn't read the description properly. Couple this to a dirty, corrosion filled cooling system and things quickly turned to ****. Every 15 minutes we were stopping to top the radiator up as it boiled coolant straight out the overflow. Longest trip of my life, and the grind up The Kilmog was painful, but we got here. That poor little 998 soldiered on like the trooper it is, and is still running fine. I'll be getting a coolant flush, compression and leakdown test done to see if my suspicions are correct and it IS in fact the head gasket thats gone, or if all is well and it just needs a bloody good clean out. Unfortunately, I had to sell the 1275 before I shifted down here, so I'll either do some mild mods on the 998 and just enjoy it, or, source another big bore motor. All comes down to dollars... Either way, I'm not giving up on him like my last Mini, I'm determined to keep this one going til the bitter end and actually enjoy driving it again.

Big plans, but I'll say no more until I can bring them to fruition :)

November to January 2014 :)

Edited by AGRO_RB, 24 March 2014 - 04:43 AM.


#2 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:21 AM

9th March, 2014:

Into it again, more parts ordered and arriving by the day :)

Minispares!

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Silicone hoses, high capacity water pump, thermostat housing, fuel line, gaskets etc:


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Also got some flares, need a bit of trimming and prep and paint and what not but pleased with them overall:

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Trial fit:

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Not bad at all, will need decent sized wheels to fill them out :D

Alloy radiator on the way as well as an underdriven billet pulley and engine steady rod from RetroSport in the UK, that should finish the cooling system off, tossing up between buying another motor or getting this one checked over and building a 1330 while I putt around with my 998.

#3 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:22 AM

14th March, 2014:

The biggest (figuratively and literally) piece of the puzzle arrived today in the shape of this spiffing alloy radiator. Have seen these fitted to a few NZ Mini's and at just $25 cheaper than a Minispares equivalent from the UK I have no doubts about quality despite being a no-name item off trademe. Bloody light and two nice thick cores, certainly looks a damn sight nicer than my factory one anyway.

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Also bought a heater tap from an English classic specialist (it seems originals are either out of stock for the mk1-4 head mounted type or horrendously expensive), a NOS and therefore period correct heater cable and some stainless studs to compliment the thermostat housing ones, the whole lot will be replaced with stainless soon enough :)

I.also discovered some pillock has replaced the heater unit with one from a.mk1, so I'll either find a tidy mk3 one and recore it or buy a Minispares universal one as well as all the ducting which has been removed. My RetroSport order of sexy red billet alloy should hopefully land next week and will be the first of many RetroSport parts to call my car home. As soon as they arrive it's off to the doctors for some fettling and offensive part removal, as well as a health check on the engine... That's the one thing I'm not looking forward to.

#4 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:23 AM

17th March, 2014

My new Griproyal wheel arrived! Ordered Xmas day, finally here :D Exceptional quality and finish and about the same price as your average Momo wheel, plenty thick and it's heavy too, can't wait to fit this, probably the only one in this colour in the country :)

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#5 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:25 AM

21st March 2014:

Sweet, sweet billet arrived from the UK today :)

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Time to get tore into the old beast at last :D

#6 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:26 AM

Yesterday, 23 March 2014:

Shamelessly copied and pasted from Bwarp :lol: :

Got ripped into my buggered cooling system today. Started by removing the old, seized heater tap and fitted a new shiny, PROPER one, god knows what the old one was.

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Easy enough. Next up was a full flush. I've had 5 Finish dishwasher tablets sitting in the system under the advice of forum members from TMF for the last 5 days. Ran some Holts coolant flush through it today, drained the system, removed the radiator and thermostat, and flushed all the **** through:

Old crumbling thermostat housing, making way for a nice new one:

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Beginning the removal process:

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Handily, the heater hose has a steel fitting a garden hose fits onto!:

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Backflushing:

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Next the waterpump was removed. Easy enough, unbolt the alternator and remove 4 bolts.Here's the new one, with the larger, deeper impeller compared to the old one, which is clearly smaller:

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Genuine English Superseal gasket:

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New waterpump in place:

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The new pulley, bit larger than the old one, alongside the high capacity pump this should completely negate any cavitation in the cooling system:

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This is where the fun began, my brand new belt doesn't fit as I need a Cooper S belt, this is as far as I got:

Fitted the fan the CORRECT way:

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#7 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:28 AM

Yesterday continued:

Part deux:

Whoever done the work last time put the fan on back to front. Drongo, its clearly marked:

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So, with that massive anticlimax, I chucked my new steady brace on, complete with bushes:

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The old one, much ugliness:


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Thats as far as I got, painted the top rad support a fresh coat of black and I'll do the upper shroud tomorrow. I'll give BNT a call on Tuesday (Otago anniversary, long weekend, w00t) and hopefully get the radiator in nek weekend. Glad the hardest parts are done, and having brand new hardware for the pump certainly helped, old ones were fair rusty. Was talking to an old English joker who was walking by and he said the best thing to do is simply bin the thermostat and fit a blanking sleeve, and unless you have a catastrophic failure the cooling system should never give problems again (y) With that in mind I'll fit one next spring, no point having an engine that doesn't warm up in freezing Dunedin winters :lol: Productive 4 hours to be honest! :)

#8 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:34 AM

And that's it for now, my new belt is in the post from Lee at Minibitz in Auckland and should hopefully show on Thursday :D

Having been around Japanese cars, particularly old Toyotas and Datsuns since we came out here, I've had an obsession with both the cars and Jap domestic market parts, for their quality and sheet robustness. Wheels in particular, so when it came to finding shoes for the mini, it was straight on to Yahoo Japan Auctions, where I found these superb SSR (SpeedStar Racing) Formula Mesh in VERY rare mini stud pattern :) For the princely sum of 300 quid, imported with all taxes paid, I snapped them up there and then:

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12x6 for anyone wondering :)

#9 the beasts

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:13 AM

watching from Christchurch mate , keep up the build!!  its starting to look awesome. :D 



#10 NZMini1275

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:20 AM

Looking good

I love when the minispares packages arrive

Keep up the good work!



#11 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:21 AM

Cheers lads! Hopefully lots more progress over the winter!

#12 78 CLUBBY

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:12 AM

Good to see another clubman in Dunedin. I have a 76 estate that should be on the road in a few weeks and the mrs has a 78 clubman in blue with a white roof.

I'm liking the shiny bits. On a side note are you selling the pancake filter on trademe?



#13 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:40 AM

Cheers, look forward to seeing it :)

Sure am.

#14 Artful Dodger

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:26 AM

Those wheels are mega!!!! Well played that man

#15 AGRO_RB

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:50 AM

Cheers bud, I thought the smallest they made formula mesh was 13" with a 4x114 stud pattern, my jaw hit the floor when I found those!





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