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1972 Mini Van Restoration

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#1 The B team

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:42 PM

Hi everyone! 

 

First post on here! thought I'd share the rebuild of my Mini Van, I'll warn you in advance it's going to be a slow project...i'm just terrible at getting things done!

 

The Van was originally my granddads and was getting into a bit of a sorry state after being used by him as a daily driver for some 40 odd years and always being kept outside, Somerset county council originally bought it new and He drove it for the school meals service, a few years later when they were selling it he bought it from them so effectively he knew the car from new, in 2015 I decided I was going to have it restored for him but sadly he passed away during the bodywork side of things, as much as I wanted to do as much as I could my self bodywork isn't my thing so I left it to a local mini enthusiast after it initially got butchered by a garage claiming they would do a good job...amazingly when metal work was initially cut away it had 7 layers of over sills on it!  O_O all nicely rusting away!

 

Anyway enough talking here's some photos of when it came back from the crap garage, only the floor had been touched at this point:

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The work that the trusted guy did...couldn't have asked for better!

 

The pile of scrap he cut out...

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And a bit of a change to what it is now:

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Bit of photo spam but speaks louder than words!

 

Feel free to comment, hope you all enjoy!

 

 



#2 Northernpower

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:46 PM

Welcome to the forum, great looking project. Given the hosting problems we now have with photobucket I'd suggest you use imgur from now on.

#3 The B team

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:03 PM

Thanks, and thanks for the heads up on pb I noticed recently all the photos seem to be loading ok from there and didn't think it was an issue  :huh:



#4 Northernpower

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:10 PM

Thanks, and thanks for the heads up on pb I noticed recently all the photos seem to be loading ok from there and didn't think it was an issue  :huh:

They're ok at the moment but photobucket is not a long term solution.

#5 Northernpower

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:14 PM

I'd also suggest you subscribe to the forum and become a TMF+member. It only costs £5 and it entitles you to various discounts from suppliers including 7.5% off MiniSpares and more importantly it supports the forum as well.

#6 g111mds

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:21 PM

That looks great!!!

#7 Marc_mcq

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 10:36 PM

That colour is amazing! :o

#8 minimissions

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 05:39 AM

Welcome,

 

Wow that is a awesome looking van and a nice bit of history he would be very proud to see it now. Nice work. I will check in to see the build process.

 

Good Luck



#9 jamesquintin

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:50 AM

Looks great, but why did you stone chip the load bay floor..?



#10 The B team

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 01:03 PM

thanks for the comments, the load bay is coated with a sprayed on polyurethane liner, as is the underside of the car, it was initially used as a truck bed liner but it seemed quite a good idea for the car as its completely water proof and you can physically hit it with a hammer and it just bounces off, remains flexible too, I intend on getting the car as original as possible but still to be used all year round so this seemed like a good way to protect it and if you chuck tools in the back it doesn't damage the floor



#11 blueovalcraig

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 05:51 PM

Fantastic story and the van looks really good. Definitely a keeper!

#12 The B team

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:53 PM

Well got round to some work recently....told you it would be slow going! 

 

Decided to work on the rear subframe, its all ready been sand blasted and powder coated...annoyingly the person who sent them off didn't take the mounting brackets off, don't ask I have no idea why either  :mmkay:

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Anyway I started taking off the rear support brackets one side came off quite nicely the otherside...well  >_<

 

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I thought about the various ways of fixing the problem, thought about using weld, grinding it down and cutting a new thread with a die, welding in a new part that would have needed to be made up and would have damaged the paint, turns out its much easier to cut it off and drill a hole tap it and screw in a bolt then cut the head off... here's what I got done tonight before the light disappeared! hopefully the hole will be drilled and tapped this weekend when I have more time and then I can continue with the subframe rebuild! 

 

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If the same happens to anyone else, I'm sure i'm not the only one! its a 7/16 x 20 UNF thread needs a 9.9mm hole for tapping 

 

And here's the final product, barely even notice it!

 

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Edited by The B team, 16 March 2018 - 01:08 PM.


#13 The B team

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 01:26 PM

I overhauled the Steering rack over the winter, only just dug it out again for some finished photos!

 

Having read about newer ones not being built as well as the originals I thought I'd give it a go at restoring it as there wasn't really any play in it, Stripped the whole rack apart removed the old nylon bush in the passenger side end that didn't look worn but crumbled as soon as I touched it!

 

Gave it a thorough clean and de-greasing checked all the bearings and the rack gearing, no real sign of wear anywhere which was good! 

 

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wire brushed the whole lot back to bare metal and painted it up with POR-15 rust preventative paint, its fantastic stuff, holds like nothing i've seen before, it's not recommended for sunlight so i'm only using it for under body parts unless it's sanded and a different paint added on top, but when it looks this good why would you!  :D

 

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Even the original 'U' bolts cleaned up really well (probably from being covered in oil leaks) and had a lick of paint with some new nuts, interestingly it was more rusty on the parts inside the car than out  O_O

 

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filled it up with Castrol Classic gear oil...and to my relief not a dribble from anywhere after being sat for 4 months! that counts as a success for me  :D



#14 GraemeC

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 06:03 AM

Fantastic little van, with nice family history! And what a great transformation.
I love the Elastoplast steering wheel ‘wrap’ - tell me you’re keeping it - it’d be a great talking point and a nod to the history





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