Jump to content

- - - - -

'90/'94 Mayfair/sidewalk


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Sabre75


    Learner Driver

  • Noobies
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location: South/South-West

Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:25 AM

Hello folks,


This wasn't supposed to be a project (how many times has that been said?!); to start with I was just repairing a thumb-sized hole in the rear floorpan ... and then things got a little out of hand! So I thought I'd share how I've been getting on  :-)



Mini_no-reg by Sabre75, on Flickr


First of all here's what started everything. 'Hamish' is my partner's car and I'd been sorting it so she could take him to be MOT'd. I was pretty-much done when I spotted this under the passenger-side rear seat ...


hole_under_rear_seat by Sabre75, on Flickr


Me being me I could leave it alone so of course I prodded the rust ... and it went through. And given that the back of this panel is flat against the rear subframe's front cross-member there was no way I could repair this properly without dropping the frame ... so that's what I did.


Once the frame was off I could see exactly what'd happened; where the flange folds up the vertical it hadn't been flattened & sealed properly and so water & mud had gathered and rotted through. In the end I had to cut out some of the floor as well as the upright section to get it all repaired.



hole_under_rear_seat_enlarged by Sabre75, on Flickr


hole_under_rear_seat_no-rust by Sabre75, on Flickr


hole_under_rear_seat_patched by Sabre75, on Flickr


hole_under_rear_seat_patched_and_painted by Sabre75, on Flickr


Taking the subframe out gave me the chance to have a proper look at it. In-situ it'd looked ok ... but out in daylight there were a few bits I wasn't happy with. And the more I looked the more I found (I know; I should probably just have stopped looking!  O_O). My other thread here: [http://www.theminifo...er-some-advice/] covers the work on the subframe, but basically I ended up half-rebuilding it! 


At this point it all got too much so I ran away for a month (!) but once I was back I got the subframe all painted & ready to go back in. Here's how it's looking now; rebuilt & repainted.


rear_subbie_painted by Sabre75, on Flickr


While it was out I decided it would be sensible to get a coat of underseal into the rear 'well' where the frame fits. So during the highly unpleasant job of lying under the car scrubbing cr*p off above your head with degreaser solution I spotted the driver-side rear wheelarch had a bit of rust; again I prodded it - you'd have thought I'd have learnt my lesson by now wouldn't you?  :withstupid:  


ds_rear_wheelarch_damge by Sabre75, on Flickr


Anyway this didn't look like too bad a repair, so I cut out the rust, made a template and then made a repair panel up. While preparing the surrounding area to weld in the repair however I realised I wasn't grinding metal anymore ...



ds_rear_corner_filler_in-situ by Sabre75, on Flickr


ds_rear_corner_damage by Sabre75, on Flickr


... because the rear panel at that point was made of a prodigious quantity of filler  :mmkay:



ds_rear_wheelarch_repair_template by Sabre75, on Flickr


ds_rear_wheelarch_repair-testfit by Sabre75, on Flickr


So after getting rid of that, cleaning up & prepping the surrounding area and welding in the original repair panel in I made up another template and cut another panel. Given that this is the rounded corner I wasn't sure I would be able to create the shape properly, but my dad persuaded me to (quite literally) give it a bash (hah!) and it actually came out far better than I'd expected; I was quite chuffed with this  :proud:



ds_rear_corner_repair-testfit by Sabre75, on Flickr


ds_rear_corner_repair-tacked by Sabre75, on Flickr


ds_rear_corner_repaired_dark by Sabre75, on Flickr


Another day, another patch of filler - standard drill: grind-back, cut out, prep, template, panel, weld, grind back.



rear_lower_panel_repair-tacked by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_lower_panel_repaired by Sabre75, on Flickr


I thought I was nearly there at this point; silly boy. I checked the boot floor at the back ... and found it rotten in both corners; it'd even gone through the back of the car under the passenger-side rear light. I started on the passenger-side, where the worst of the rust was, and after removing the fuel-tank retaining strap bracket I cut the rust out ... to find the passenger-side corner had gone through and been filled just like the driver's side! So I cut that out too.



boot_floor_and_upright_ds_corner-rust_damge by Sabre75, on Flickr


boot_floor_ps_corner-rust_damge by Sabre75, on Flickr


boot_floor_ps_corner-rust_cutout by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_scuttle_ps-rust_cutout by Sabre75, on Flickr


... so that's where I was this morning. I've got a cunning plan to stop the rust in these water-traps reoccurring; more on that once I've got a bit further with it tomorrow ... working around the BTCC coverage of course!  


Thanks for reading and wish me luck!

Tom  :thumbsup:



#2 Ben_O


    Mill Road Garage

  • Paint Doctor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,783 posts
  • Location: Isle of Wight

Posted 05 April 2015 - 05:06 AM

Good old Mini's They never cease to surprise!


It's good to see that you are working through the rust problems no whilst it's all small bits. Had you left it, they son would have got out of hand and you would have ended up with MUCH more work on your hands.


Good luck with it



#3 Covert


    Super Mini Mad

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 526 posts
  • Location: Northampton

Posted 05 April 2015 - 06:58 AM

Good luck with it tom !
Me being me , i would have replaced the rear valence , but you have done a good job repairing it !
All the best

#4 bluemini17


    Mini Mad

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Location: Bangor

Posted 13 April 2015 - 04:08 PM

what a great job on those repair panels / templates, well done!


She will be on the road in no time :D

#5 minimissions


    Up Into Fourth

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,427 posts
  • Location: North West
  • Local Club: M.M.O.C

Posted 13 April 2015 - 04:11 PM

Nice to see another sidewalk getting some love :) doesnt look like the worse one i have seen... can i ask a cheeky question what are the end three digits of the number plate looks like it could be my old one i sold over 6 years ago to fund moving house...?

#6 Redjohnno


    Mini Mad

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • Location: Dunblane

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:20 AM

Nice to see another Sidewalk called Hamish! ;D

#7 Sabre75


    Learner Driver

  • Noobies
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location: South/South-West

Posted 22 April 2015 - 01:45 AM

Right, update time:


After finding the boot floor had rotted through in both corners under the rear lights I realised the bodywork above it wasn’t looking too special either (as you can see from the screwdriver stuck through it!). I also found the flange behind the rear bumper seemed to be a bit of a water-trap (effectively 3 horizontal plates spot-welded together; inevitable really).


ps_rear-screwdriver_through_rust by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_quarter_ps-rust_cutout by Sabre75, on Flickr


I don’t think I’d been breathing primer fumes at this point but I decided, if I was going to this much trouble to repair the body and the boot floor, I might as well get rid of the water trap while I was there and so I de-seamed both rear corners. This caused the additional problem that the valence wasn’t actually aligned to the bodywork above it; not a problem when you’ve got a big seam to hide it but a bit more of an issue when everything has to be flush. So some more angle grinding and tack-welding later I had what my friend Jon referred to as a ‘Steampunk Mini’!


rear_quarter_ps-partial_deseam_and_patch by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_quarter_ps-partial_deseam_and_patch_welded by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_quarter_ps-partial_deseam_welded_ground-back by Sabre75, on Flickr


The next step, now I had solid bodywork, was to weld the floor repair patches to it. Some of the welding here (mainly under the boot lip) was a little awkward & ugly but it got the job done.

Now that the bodywork wasn’t being cut up and melted all the time I could get a coat of etch primer onto it, followed by a filler skim to smooth the lines (a bit more than a ‘skim’ was required in places I’ll grant). It was at this point I realised I’d forgotten to make replacement brackets to attach both ends of the bumper too, (the originals having gone with the seam), so I made up a pair of brackets and, using the cardboard template I’d remembered to make before cutting the seam off, welded them into place.


rear_deseam_and_filler by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_deseam_and_filler-sanded2 by Sabre75, on Flickr



I thought I was done at this point, but then another rust sandwich cropped up, this time around the passenger-side rear, rear subframe mount. So I cut some more of the boot floor out (!), cleaned up the rust underneath, and tried out some weld-through primer on it. I then made up some repair plates and spot welded them into place, before seam welding it all up. The weld-through primer worked rather well by the way.

The final picture here is repair all seam welded (but not ground-down yet). I’ve also repositioned the fuel tank strap anchor bracket, again using a template I’d made before cutting out the rust. If you are tackling a job like this make sure you’ve got a decent amount of spare cardboard around to make template; frozen pizza boxes are ideal in my experience! You can also see my ‘cunning’ trick to avoid the corners rusting through again. I’ve basically left the top off the ‘boxes’ that make up each corner, so I can see if there’s any water, mud etc. getting in, and also stopping any water getting in around the lights from pooling on the floor and rotting it out again. It also gives 2 tiny cubby-holes for ... something!


rear_subbie_mount-ps_rear-rust_damage by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_subbie_mount-ps_rear-repair_in_progress by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear_subbie_mount-ps_rear-repair_done by Sabre75, on Flickr


And here’s where I am at the moment; the corners need a bit more smoothing and sanding and then everything needs priming up prior to painting. I’m going to paint the whole of the valance to match the car, since I’ve gone to all this trouble! – more pictures when that’s done and I can finally underseal the rear well and reinstall the subframe!


And Covert – you’re quite right it would have been easier to replace the whole panel, the trouble was I only found the next bit of damage once I’d already repaired the previous bit; such is life I suppose!


[UPDATE] Well it’s been a week or so since I wrote the update above (but didn’t get around to posting it!) and there’s been a bit more progress since then ...

... after taking a trip to Halfords to top-up my paint collection I carried on with the filling & sanding the rear quarters; once I’d got it more-or-less right I used high-build primer to smooth the sanding marks etc. Oh and in case anyone wants to know and since Halfords don’t bother to tell you, their high-build primer is beige/off-white!

Before undersealing the subframe well the final job was to grind back a few areas of surface rust (wheel-arches, etc.) and give them a coat of Hammerite. After that I went over the whole well with underseal, and managed not to entirely coat myself with it in the process!


rear_subbie_well-undersealed by Sabre75, on Flickr


Since then I’ve given the back end a couple of coats of high-build primer (24hr drying time between sanding slows you down a touch), and then tonight I rubbed that down before giving it a few coats of grey primer ... the second one by spotlight!


rear-deseam_and_highbuild_primed by Sabre75, on Flickr


rear-grey_primed-by_spotlight by [url=https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]Sabre75, on Flickr


Tomorrow will be rubbing down again and then *finally*it’ll be a coat or 2 of Kingfisher Blue! And hopefully Thursday night will let me get the lacquer on before it rains on Friday! – fingers crossed and I’ll let you know how I get on.


Oh and thanks for the comments & questions; I'll reply properly tomorrow but it's a bit too late now!


Night folks,


#8 Ben_O


    Mill Road Garage

  • Paint Doctor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,783 posts
  • Location: Isle of Wight

Posted 22 April 2015 - 12:26 PM

Tom, Looking good but i would have a chat with an MOT inspector about the piece you have left out in the boot floor.


It might well be a fail due to how close it is to the subframe/suspension mountings. Well worth getting an expert opinion before painting it just in case.





#9 Sabre75


    Learner Driver

  • Noobies
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location: South/South-West

Posted 24 April 2015 - 11:48 PM

Evening folks  :-)


Well it's Friday night and as per usual the weather's gone to  :xxx: in time for the weekend. Luckily I managed to get the final primer coats on on Tuesday night, 3 coats of Kingfisher blue on on Wednesday night and the lacquer on on Thursday night, and Hamish is looking rather smart. I haven't got a picture of the lacquer coat, but here's the Kingfisher blue - as you can see the colour match is pretty good,and that's from Halfords spray cans  :thumbsup:


rear_repainted by Sabre75, on Flickr


This evening we put the bootlid back on and the rear lights back in in order to weather-proof the boot. This was a little more involved than normal as I had to redrill the holes for the passenger-side hinge as I'd replaced the metal there; it had given me the opportunity to re-align the panel though, and happily to bootlid sits better now. I'll post some photos tomorrow as it was too dark to get any decent ones tonight. I did manage to get this one though, which shows the the rain draining nicely from the de-seamed corners ... which is nice  :thumbsup:


rear_offside-quarter_rain-runoff by Sabre75, on Flickr


Ben_O - thanks for the advice and good point; to be honest I hadn't thought about it from the MOT point of view. I'd looked at it and spoken to an "independent consultant" (eg. my dad!) about the corners - we were happy they were structurally sound and that that part of the floor wasn't bearing any load (explanation to follow later) but it hadn't dawned on me that, of course, I don't get the final say on the matter!

I'll hopefully be putting the car in for an MOT on Monday, but as it's currently out I couldn't legally take it to anyone for a second opinion, so in light of that and the weather being naff over the weekend I thought I'd take the risk and do the paintwork anyway; if nothing else it was good practice and gave me a chance to see what quality of finish I could get using just rattle-cans.


Soooo now the bodywork's finally sorted and the rear well is undersealed it's time to refit the rear subframe. Since it was out anyway and as MiniSport had an offer on we got the performace handling kit - AdjustRides, new shocks and negative camber kits front & rear. After finally managing to get the cones off the trumpets (after finding out the trick was to hit them harder with a rubber mallet!) I decided the metal rings could use a bit of a recon before I refitted them, so I sanded them back and gave them a coat of Rednox primer topped off with a black topcoat.


cones_before-recon by Sabre75, on Flickr


cones_after-recon by Sabre75, on Flickr


So that's progress so far; rear subframe reassembly and reinstallation and overhauling the front suspension tomorrow O_O


minimissions: I've been meaning to write a "do you know the history of this car" thread for a while now so it'd be great if it was your old car - the registration ends "EMJ" - from what I can work out it's '90 Mayfair shell that's had the running gear, interior etc. from a '94 Sidewalk rebuilt into it, but that's a guess really. If you can add any more info that'd be much appreciated  :thumbsup:


Redjohnno: I'll have to do a bit of digging around the forum to find your Hamish now!  :D


Bluemini17: Many thanks - I'm hoping Hamish will be ready for an MOT on Monday but I'll keep you posted  :-)


Night everyone and thanks for reading.

#10 Sabre75


    Learner Driver

  • Noobies
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location: South/South-West

Posted 25 April 2015 - 02:23 PM

Afternoon  :-)

First of all here's a decent daylight picture of the finished paintwork, and I'm quite chuffed with the outcome. There are a few bits & pieces to finish but its pretty-well there paint-wise.


rear_paintwork-finished by Sabre75, on Flickr



This morning was starting on the reassembly. After fiddling around with the alignment of the bootlid for a while I sorted out the broken captive nut inside the subframe by welding in a replacement.


subframe_captive-nut by Sabre75, on Flickr


I then decided to regrease the pivot shafts inside the radius arms. The drivers-side one was fine, but the outside end of the passenger-side shaft is pretty-well shot. Unfortunately that means another delay before Hamish will be back on the road, but at least I've found it and can sort it before it all goes back together. Just waiting for the mini spares order to arrive now ... ho-hum!


radius-arm-shafts by Sabre75, on Flickr

Edited by Sabre75, 25 April 2015 - 02:26 PM.

#11 minimissions


    Up Into Fourth

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,427 posts
  • Location: North West
  • Local Club: M.M.O.C

Posted 25 April 2015 - 06:19 PM

Hiya sabre 75 your work on the sidewalk is looking great not long and she will be solid again... And that's a shame that's not my old one :( it would have been great to see what happened to it. I sold it years back in your neck of the woods.

Anyways watching this build as I still have a sidewalk it's always nice to see some more kingfisher blue sidewalks being done :)

#12 Sabre75


    Learner Driver

  • Noobies
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location: South/South-West

Posted 26 April 2015 - 11:10 PM

Given that I can't do much subframe-wise until the new radius arm arrives I thought I'd sort a few other bits & pieces. I'd replaced the passenger-side door seal and check-strap seal a while back (using the old-style check-strap seals as the new foam ones are crap) so I figured I'd do the drivers-side. Unfortunately when I pulled the door seal off I found this:



ps-door_frame-rust-damage by Sabre75, on Flickr


... so it was out with the angle grinder and the welding gear again to sort it out, and a bit later we had this:


ps-door_frame-repaired by Sabre75, on Flickr


It must be said that if you want regular welding practice then a mini is the ideal car!  :lol:


There were also some areas that were in need of a bit of Hammerite, including the straight section of the rear seam underneath the boot. I had some help to sort this today, as here we see Hamish's rightful owner doing a bit of paintwork  :thumbsup:



painting-rear-seam by Sabre75, on Flickr


That's it for this weekend; I'll let you know once the radius arm arrives and there's some more progress to report.


minimissions: Thanks mate - with any luck, and courier-permitting (!), we'll have an MOT'd mini by the end of the week. I've had a look through you sidewalk thread too (have a look here if anyone hasn't seen it); that's some nice work, and here's hoping you get the chance to get her sorted soon.

And if you sold your sidewalk around here somewhere I'll have to keep an eye out! This one actually came from Canvey Island; 600 miles in 2 days after work - first to take a look and then to go back and collect it the next day!

#13 minimissions


    Up Into Fourth

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,427 posts
  • Location: North West
  • Local Club: M.M.O.C

Posted 27 April 2015 - 05:30 AM

Nice work with the above hope you manage to get an mot on it soon :)


Cheers for taking a look at mine, that is my second sidewalk and bought her from a chap on here just after i moved up north... Work has stopped as where she is kept and where i meant to be able to ("work on her") isnt being to fair as she is bloked in by loads of cars and just cant get to her... so bloody annoying :(

That is some trip that you have made for her but top man for doing the drive :)


We need to get as load of use that have sidewalks together at a show one year :)

#14 Sabre75


    Learner Driver

  • Noobies
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location: South/South-West

Posted 14 May 2015 - 09:51 PM

Evening folks; update time  :-)


It's been a bit of a busy one, hence the silence, but I'm pleased to say that Hamish is now MOT'd and back on the road.  :D  :thumbsup:  


While I waited for the parts to arrive I got some paint onto the door lip repair and then put a coat of Hammerite over the repairs in the boot, including down into the 'wells' I'd left open in the corners; I figured that as well as protecting them it'd let me see the rust more easilly!



door-lip-repair_painted by Sabre75, on Flickr



boot-repairs_hammerite by Sabre75, on Flickr


And then when the parts turned up I realised I might have made a *teensy* mistake; I was not best pleased with myself ...  :xxx:



radius-arm-mistake by Sabre75, on Flickr


Soooooooo Saturday morning was spent driving up to mini spares to swap the arm; that was all fine and I even managed to meet up with a friend who was in the area, so it was OK in the end. I'm still a bit of a muppet though.


After that it was onto rear subframe reassembly; as ever it took much longer than expected but I got there in the end. Not a great picture as it was dark and raining but here we are:



rear-suspension_rebuilt by Sabre75, on Flickr


With the Hammerite on the boot floor it was looking a bit tatty, so I gave it a sand down ...



boot-floor_prepped by Sabre75, on Flickr


... a coat of primer ...



boot-floor_primed by Sabre75, on Flickr


... and finally colour & laquer



boot-floor_painted by Sabre75, on Flickr


Not only should it protect the floor, but it looks a lot neater now!  :proud:


During painting at the weekend the weather looked a little iffy, so when I had to duck out to collect another one of my toys from being MOT'd, here's my high-tech weatherproofing!



rear-tarped by Sabre75, on Flickr


There's still some tidying up to do; the carpets need to go back in (I left them out to check the effectiveness of the new seals!), the rear screen seal needs replacing, my custom dash & glovebox need to go back in (more on those when I reinstall them; nothing hugely special but I like them), and all the new front suspension needs to go back in, but at least Hamish is roadworthy again! there have been a few late nights of late (which became early mornings a few times) but we got there in the end!  :thumbsup:


Thanks for reading  :-)





#15 Ben_O


    Mill Road Garage

  • Paint Doctor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,783 posts
  • Location: Isle of Wight

Posted 15 May 2015 - 05:42 AM

Good to see it passed it's MOT after all and that the boot floor open bits were ok.


bet you must be pleased.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: roundnose

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Mini Spares