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Bumblebee C20Xe Build Thread


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#1 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:34 AM

Hey guys,

 

I've had an '87 Mayfair sat in my grandma's garage for a good 18 months (thanks, grandma!) The original plan was to bring it back to a good enough standard to drive daily. However, much bigger plans are about to commence!

 

Obviously the first job is to sort out the shell and to strip everything out ready for a respray, so I'll start there.

Whilst I'm not down at the mini, I'll probably be busy looking for advice on the best parts to either fabricate or buy for this kind of setup.

 

All I know at the moment is that it's going to be black and yellow, hence bumblebee, and that I'll use an allspeed front subframe to save myself the trouble of fabricating something so important.

 

 

Pictures to follow soon!



#2 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:10 PM

So here's how she looked on the way home from the farm (left with bare metal open to the elements for 6 months):

 

WP_000211_zpsb1260e76.jpg

 

The last owner told me that he'd had a mini as his first car and was looking to fix this one to use as a daily driver. All he'd done thus far was tack weld (worse than my welding!) part of a floor pan into the driver's footwell.

 

 

We got her home and into the garage, got the engine running and drove her up and down the drive a few times - I love how minis feel to drive! So much better than Corsas and 106s. :P

 

This is how she stood for the next year or so as I neglected her and fantasised about one day fixing her up. I'm glad that I had the sense to put her in a garage otherwise by now there'd be nothing left!

 

WP_000222_zps1df36d0f.jpg

 

Then about 2 months ago, I really started to gain interest again - mainly down to my friend Tom (tom1 on here, I believe), who suggested that I put a redtop or vtec engine in her. I love the whole 'sleeper' idea, so set off straight away reading build threads and watching videos on YouTube, trying to figure out which path to go down...

 

So here we are, really! I've dabbled with welding over the last month and I've come to the conclusion that welding two sheets of steel together is boring when it's not a real car - so I'm learning as I go and hopefully not blowing through too many panels! Feel free to give me pointers when you look at my welds - I need all the help I can get!


Edited by aelx.hopwood, 30 August 2014 - 08:13 PM.


#3 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:54 PM

Whoever had my mini before the previous owner was the person who started this restoration - They seem to have finished nearly the entirety of the nearside of the car. I suppose that's a good thing seeing as the only thing attaching the front and rear of the car on the offside at the moment is the door step... What they hadn't done, however, was check the door gaps (the door skin was rubbing against the A-panel), or start on the front of the car. So I took that off to reveal...

 

WP_000680_zpsc8688bb3.jpg

 

...more rust! What a surprise!  >_<

 

 

Anyway, I started working on the shell properly today! First job for me was to brace the offside door frame so that the shell wouldn't become warped once i had the new panels in.

I know it's not warped at the moment because both sides of the car are equal lengths (from front hub to rear hub), and it's not rhomboidal because the hubs are equal diagonally too. Lucky me!

 

Anyway, here is some 3mm 3/4" x 3/4" box section I welded into the shell. I figured that I'd put the connections where I did because a) they seemed like solid points metal-wise and b) they are what I imagine to be the crumpliest crumple zones (does that make sense?) I know what I mean, anyway...

 

WP_000786_zps4f64e639.jpg

 

A-post all primer'd up!

 

WP_000795_zps59cb769e.jpg

 

WP_000796_zps021774a7.jpg

 

And box-section ready to weld in...

 

WP_000797_zps8371e02c.jpg

 

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http://s1371.photobu...html?sort=3&o=1

 

WP_000801_zps0a7c93bf.jpg

 

Like snotty ****!

I'm using a gasless setup at the moment, if that'll help anyone to give me tips?

 

I actually blew through the B-post a little bit on the last one... I tried to put more heat into the box section than the panel, but obviously on this weld I didn't quite make it work:

 

WP_000803_zps272724f9.jpg

 

Anyway, other than primering up everything I worked on, I haven't really done much else today. Welding takes ages!

 

Hopefully I'll be at Mini Fest tomorrow to get a couple of panels  :D  :D



#4 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 04:53 PM

Back from Mini Fest!

 

I found a VTEC roundnose and an 8V Vauxhall engine in a clubby. Both the owners explained a lot to me and I think I've got a lot better grasp on understanding exactly how much work I'm going to have to do to get my mini up and running...

 

I also found a double-skinned fibreglass boot lid (£65!!) and after chatting to the store owners, they've told me that they could do me a custom fibreglass front end with a bonnet bulge if I want to end with a roundnose. Sorted!



#5 Broomer

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 04:55 PM

Bit of advice on the welding, chuck the gasless away and get a proper one.

#6 Minidarren83

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 08:27 PM

Also you may want to put the bracing inside the car as when it comes time fit the doors to check your gaps they won't go on

#7 Jw77

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 08:34 AM

If you need any engine bits we are currently stripping a C20XE.... Bits available will be.... Engine wiring loom and ECU, Sump, Injectors and a few other bits and bobs

#8 69k1100

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 10:00 AM

I have recently manned up and rented a gas bottle, the problem I found (from a few sources on the net) is the gasless wire needs a hotter arc with less stick out to allow the flux to float (so you don't get porosity).

Fine on thicker stuff but on thin panels you have to use more stick out or lower aperage. Neither are good (porosity vs lack of penetration)

Gas allows you to avoid that nastiness and run higher amps and get the penetration without blowing through or the porosity (or splatter).

#9 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 11:12 AM

Bit of advice on the welding, chuck the gasless away and get a proper one.

 

Went down yesterday with all my gas stuff, and you're totally right - the difference between gas and gasless (at least on my welder) is shocking! Thanks for the tip.

 

 

Also you may want to put the bracing inside the car as when it comes time fit the doors to check your gaps they won't go on

 

Where would I put bracing inside? Is there a guide anywhere, or could you give me a couple of pointers? Don't want to get almost to the end of the build to find out it's all twisted! :(

 

 

If you need any engine bits we are currently stripping a C20XE.... Bits available will be.... Engine wiring loom and ECU, Sump, Injectors and a few other bits and bobs

 

That'd be great if I had the room... I seem to be tidying up every time I go down there, and even then there's nowhere to really stand. :(

 

I have recently manned up and rented a gas bottle, the problem I found (from a few sources on the net) is the gasless wire needs a hotter arc with less stick out to allow the flux to float (so you don't get porosity).

Fine on thicker stuff but on thin panels you have to use more stick out or lower aperage. Neither are good (porosity vs lack of penetration)

Gas allows you to avoid that nastiness and run higher amps and get the penetration without blowing through or the porosity (or splatter).

 

That's exactly what I've found now that I'm running gas. Thanks for your help!



#10 Minidarren83

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 11:17 AM


Bit of advice on the welding, chuck the gasless away and get a proper one.

 
Went down yesterday with all my gas stuff, and you're totally right - the difference between gas and gasless (at least on my welder) is shocking! Thanks for the tip.
 
 

Also you may want to put the bracing inside the car as when it comes time fit the doors to check your gaps they won't go on

 
Where would I put bracing inside? Is there a guide anywhere, or could you give me a couple of pointers? Don't want to get almost to the end of the build to find out it's all twisted! :(
 
 

If you need any engine bits we are currently stripping a C20XE.... Bits available will be.... Engine wiring loom and ECU, Sump, Injectors and a few other bits and bobs

 
That'd be great if I had the room... I seem to be tidying up every time I go down there, and even then there's nowhere to really stand. :(
 

I have recently manned up and rented a gas bottle, the problem I found (from a few sources on the net) is the gasless wire needs a hotter arc with less stick out to allow the flux to float (so you don't get porosity).

Fine on thicker stuff but on thin panels you have to use more stick out or lower aperage. Neither are good (porosity vs lack of penetration)

Gas allows you to avoid that nastiness and run higher amps and get the penetration without blowing through or the porosity (or splatter).

 
That's exactly what I've found now that I'm running gas. Thanks for your help!

With the bracing just weld it inside the door lips to the b post and a posts I'll find a pic for you I made the same mistake

#11 Minidarren83

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 11:22 AM

SAM_1151.jpg

See how it's welded to inside the door lip slowing the doors to fit

#12 Minidarren83

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 11:26 AM

SAM_1262.jpg

#13 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 03:33 PM

See how it's welded to inside the door lip slowing the doors to fit

 

Ah, I see what you mean! Would you also then put a bar over to the transmission tunnel to make it even more rigid, or will the A to B post braces be enough?



#14 Minidarren83

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 01:00 AM


See how it's welded to inside the door lip slowing the doors to fit

 
Ah, I see what you mean! Would you also then put a bar over to the transmission tunnel to make it even more rigid, or will the A to B post braces be enough?

I would make a square going a to b then a to a and b to b I also put one going down to the tunnel itself as I was replacing most of the floor and didn't want the tunnel to sag

#15 aelx.hopwood

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 08:06 PM

I've done more stuff, guys - don't worry!
I'll upload pictures tomorrow!






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