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Fern The Clubman


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#1 zebigfatman


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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:28 AM

Hi all, thought I would share what has accidentally become another project.

Bought my 72 clubman almost a year ago due to the fact the shell had been restored a year prior. The shell is indeed pretty much immaculate but the same cant be said for the mechanical stuff. It has tried to kill me 3 times now because it was put together rather badly. The engine has also gone bang but the fact the engine was not good was clear when I bought it.


So haven't got many pics of the car standard but when I bought it, it looked like this









After I almost ran into the back of my own car while driving back from buying the thing I decided the brakes needed an upgrade so I put on a set of vented 7.5" 4 pots along with all the nice alloy hubs and drive flanges for my other project mini.












Unfortunately the 10" steels wouldn't fit with the new brakes so I had to fit a set of revolutions and some modified group 5 euro arches.






However when going for a test drive to check the brakes were good (doing about 30mph) this caused the tie bar (which was cross threaded on the subframe end to be ripped out, causing the car to end up sideways in the middle of a lane.

replaced the tie bars for an old set, Checked every but and bolt on the suspension and brakes and took it for a proper drive along the twisty A5. Immediately I knew something wasn't right because turning round left handers the rear kept trying to overtake the front. Took it relatively easy afterwards and then down the road the steering column slipped 2 or 3 splines halfway round a tight corner.



So the pinch bolt at the bottom of the column was not there and the oversteer issue I have only recently found out is the driver side rear radius arm has positive camber and is toeing in.

I have been doing leisurely drives on nice days because the oversteer is downright dangerous.


I have also been working on the old 1275 spi engine from my other mini so the first thing I did was get it running on a carb







Sounds SOOO good, will upload a vid of it running later.




After getting it running I decided I may as well do a full re build while it was out of the car and squeeze some more power out of it at the same time.



So the head came off (and to my surprise the block had been re bored to 1310) , I ported it according to the Vizard bible, it is currently at the machinists having oversized inlet valve seats cut, throats enlarged, new guides fitted and sodablasted ready for some new paint.






The block moved into my bedroom for dissasembly......






This is where it has started to get expensive :( the crank had been re ground as much as it could and needed more, so new crank.

I want to convert the clutch to pre verto and have a slight obsession with kad stuff. All new bearings, Kent 286 camshaft.

and I also want one of the minispares LSD's...


At the minute the block is also at the shop because it is having the new cam bearings fitted and a 4 bolt centre main machined to suit the block.


I also bought a set of twin carbs which were in bad shape so those have been re built as well







Last week the 998 in the clubman went bang so the urgency for this engine has moved up.

Anyhow that is where I am up to so far.

Edited by zebigfatman, 18 April 2017 - 11:33 AM.

#2 zebigfatman


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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:40 PM

For those of you that enjoy a good engine noise plug in a set of speakers with decent bass


<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube....bed/Ut3lVI3v0mU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Edited by zebigfatman, 18 April 2017 - 11:41 PM.

#3 skoughi


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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:18 PM

Nice looking clubman there, shame the mechanicals aren't up to the same standard! Makes you wonder why is the suspension, steering and engine so bad when the rest is very nice looking? Good on you for spending the cash on getting things sorted though, will keep and eye out for future updates.

#4 zebigfatman


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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:37 PM

Cheers! I thought when I bought it that the only thing I would possibly have to do was the engine.


Seems (in my experience) you can either buy a mini which is good mechanically or body wise but not both. So now I have 2 out of action minis.


The idea was to drive this one round to give me my mini fix while re building the other one but now neither works :( . Suppose this is still nearer to being done than the other one but its crippling me! Will be worth it though :)

#5 skoughi


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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:33 PM

It will be, any project that is seen through to the end is worth it. Good luck!

#6 zebigfatman


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Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:24 PM

So the last few months have been very slow because I cant afford the parts I need all at once but here is how the engine has gone so far.





re built these bad boys and discovered they are on a midget manifold.











head ported, re sprayed, oversized inlets fitted, valve guides done, and heater take off and temp sender holes drilled and tapped (was an spi engine)











block cleaned, new crank, center main strap fitted, kent 286 cam, duplex chain.






Central oil pickup fitted and an LSD is coming in the next couple of days.








And 1:5 roller rockers AND the precious :)


Hoping this is going to rev like hell  :D

#7 Vinay-RS


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Posted 25 August 2017 - 08:13 AM

The engine rebuild looks really good. Lots of lovely shiny components going into it. 

#8 gadget555


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Posted 25 August 2017 - 08:33 PM

Looking good keep up the good work.

#9 zebigfatman


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Posted 06 June 2018 - 08:12 PM

So it's been ages since I last posted an update. Was kind of put off by the whole photobucket thing. At any rate the car is largely finished. So here is an overview.




Lovely LSD






gearbox and flywheel housing on :)









My mad electric oil pump (pressurises the engine before the key is turned)






engine finished!




testing out of the car













The car is at the point where I can drive it, I covered 100 miles, changed the oil. Currently on about 150ish miles so starting to open it out a little bit now. feels pretty fast.


There have been a LOT of issues getting it to this point. Broke down in 3 different ways on one drive but I feel like the worst is behind me now. 


Things that still need doing are, replace top arm bearings, replace the radius arms one is bent, either that or the subframe. I have pointed the wheel in the right direction with a adjustable bracket but it is still 20mm inboard relative to the other..


fix wipers properly (currently have 1 speed wired to a switch not the stalk)


This week I have solid mounted the subframe and changed the steering rack (the old one looked new but really didn't feel right)


A side project is fitting a front mount radiator. plan is to use 2 (possibly 3) corsa heater matrixes behind the grill with thermostatically controlled fans.






This will probably allow me to get rid of the side mount radiator and therefore the fan. In future this space will be filled with an electric water pump.


I will be welding up cages to mount the matrixes tomorrow.

Edited by zebigfatman, 06 June 2018 - 08:18 PM.

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