I figured it's about time I posted a topic for my own Mini, especially since it's recently become more of a project. I bought this car at the end of December last year, on my birthday in fact, after seeing it offered on TradeMe (New Zealand equivalent of eBay) for a very good price - without even inspecting the car first or even phoning the guy, I hit the buy button, and then drove 2 hours to pick it up the next day! I was expecting it to be a bit worse than the pictures let on, especially since there were none of the engine bay, but the entire car was very tidy indeed and in remarkably good condition. It even came with a bunch of spares which weren't even advertised; a spare set of Mk1 doors, glass, three grilles, a petrol tank and boxes full of various random bits and pieces.
Sure, the interior isn't right and it does have a tendency to leak a fair bit in the rain, but it's a totally rust-free Mk1 mini and I was bloody happy to have got such a good deal.
Since then I've been driving it regularly, having put around 18,000km on the clock. During that time I've had Cooper S 7.5" disk brakes fitted, which are a MASSIVE improvement over the old drums which were quite scary to use. In addition to that, I've added some mirrors, the very cool retro roof rack (as seen in the picture above), and a number of other small additions and changes. Most recently, I fitted a later style two-speed wiper motor and a bunch of new wiper parts to accompany it, since my old wipers had stopped functioning entirely. For a while I've had to drive around with a spare wiper arm in my door pocket, so that I can manually wipe the windscreen in the case of unexpected rain!
When I bought the car, it was already badged up as a Morris Cooper S, and clearly the previous owners' intention was to create an S replica since it already has a hole cut to accept the remote-change gear shift (as well as the Cooper-style white roof of course). As such it's also been my plan for a while to fit a larger engine - it's just a bog-standard 850 at the moment, complete with magic wand gearstick, but that is about to change very soon!
Enter my second Mini purchase - the rather unsightly '73 Clubman.
She isn't exactly a looker, but packed under that bonnet is (or rather, was) a fully rebuilt 1293cc engine. This thing drives amazingly and was so quick, even climbing up the hill to my house where the 850 would normally be struggling to keep above 50kph! And what's more, is that I got this car for less than the cost of an engine rebuild; my plan for a while was to rebuild an Austin 1300 engine which I got given for free, but it needs a lot of work and was a pretty expensive prospect.
After hooning around in the Clubby until the registration ran out, I set about taking out the engine and smartening it up so it would look nice in the Mk1's tidy engine bay. I managed this a few weeks ago, but since then progress has unfortunately been slower than I'd have liked, mainly because of exams and work commitments. However, now that the exam period is over, the time for more power has arrived
Over the past couple of days, I've been cleaning, painting, refurbing and replacing stuff so that the engine will soon be ready to transplant into the Mk1. The reason that I put the word "replica" in quotation marks in the title is because this car won't end up as a factory Cooper S clone - the engine specs aren't going to be exactly Cooper, nor are many other aspects of the car. As such, I've decided on painting the engine in a lovely bright red, with some black and silver ancillaries to compliment it. I figure that doing something different from factory-standard Cooper will make the car a bit more personal and "cool" in a way :) Here's some before and after pictures of the engine so far:
Obviously there are still a few more things to do, particularly in terms of fitting stuff back onto the engine. But a lot of this is relying on parts currently fitted to the 850 engine, which is still in the car; the radiator is one such example. When I was driving around in the clubman, I noticed that it was running a little bit hot, and it would appear to be partly because the radiator is absolutely pants. So I figure it would make sense to fit my shiny alloy radiator on to it instead :)
That's basically all for now, but I expect to be kept busy over the next couple of days so I'll try to post some updates. The next step is to get the 850 out of the Mk1, but I need to make sure my dad's MGB is in good working order first, so I have a car to drive around in while mine has no engine
Edited by W1NG3D, 16 August 2020 - 06:55 PM.