So after owning my mini for close to a year figured it was time to stick something on here so people know what car I'm referring to in any inevitable future posts.
Bought the car in November 2016 for £1500 which for a car that was running, driving and fully mot'd for a year was a bargain in my eyes. Saw it on eBay located in Brighton. Just so happened that I was going down to Brighton with a friend to look at the university, at that point it was fait if you ask me. Saw the car a few days later, found out it was 1 of 3 cars a guy had bought to do an Italian job trio, but didn't have the time so decided to get rid of this one. It had sat for a year and only been started every other week to keep the engine good. Was able to take it for a quick test drive in the freezing rain which wasn't great given the old mike brewer law of never buying a car in the rain. However after lokking it over as best I could and talking to the guy about the car it sounded alright.
Looked like this the day I saw it:
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By no means perfect, but for the money it wasn't badly priced compared the market average at the time (minimum 2k for a runner)
Anyway, bought it on the spot, paid and picked it up the next day, having returned home after seeing the car I should add, as I was the one who drove down for the uni visit and no way was my friend getting the first proper drive (she's too short to reach the pedals in my mg so she couldn't drive that back home either so it couldn't be done that day)
Returned the next day and picked up the car with my dad. As soon as the bugger saw it he decreed it wouldn't make the 90 mile drive home, oh yea of little faith. Made it home and never missed a beat even thought it was running way too rich and chowed near enough a whole tank. Although one of the front cones did collapse as I pulled into my drive. A minor hiccup in the grand scheme of what could've gone wrong.
Now it was home I pretty much had to leave it to sit for 9 months. I was at uni at the time and managed to organise everything over a weekend to return back to uni on the Monday.
naturally being a uni student I was constantly broke after buying a car 1 month into my course starting, following the trend of smart financial moves as you do as a uni student. So I was only able to do some grinding back of small rust spots and tightened up the fan belt.
May of 2017 rolled around. My dad and I had amassed a small collection of cars over the winter (The mini, a mk2 Y reg Mazda MX5 and a 53 Xpower grey MG TF 135) Now these 3 sat on our drive exposed, so we decided this had to change. We needed somewhere we could work on them under cover and keep them dry over the following winter. we where in a rental so nothing could be indefinitely built so A 10 x 6 x 6 meter marquee was purchased and erected. It has since had lighting, power and a work bench put in so all car related parts can remain out of the house by the decree of mother.
Small note: After sitting untouched for the 9 months after fiddling a bit and pre heating the engine, it was able to start on full choke with some encouragement from the throttle pedal. Ran like clock work and still does to this day proof to me that its got a decent engine in it. All be it still running a bit rich on no choke.
June of 2017 is where the work really began. The primer in the photos above was taken back to bare metal and re-sprayed . The large majority of visible rust was repaired. It needed a little bit pretty much everywhere. Over 3 days a friend of mine, also a Mini owner coincidently worked from 9am till late hours of the night, grinding, treating, filling, spraying and trouble shooting anything we noticed that wasn't right. Over the course of those 3 days pounds in quadruple figures where spent.
Looked like this after the 3 days:
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It had a few electrical problems after the spraying:
- Indicators suddenly stopped working after we put all the lights back on.
- Front lights had very messy wiring so sometimes they worked sometimes they didn't.
- Heated screen didn't work
- Horn worked intermittently
The biggest pain in the arse was all the time put into trying to fix the indicators. Over 2 weeks in the end. Finally found the problem courtesy of a video hidden in the depths of the YouTube archives filmed on a flip phone of a 13yr old pointing out the problem with the whole indicator stalk unit - a small metal pin being dislodged causing all the indicators to stop working. Dismantled the part and found I had the same problem. Thank god, was close to giving up at that point. Rebuilt the unit and hurray, the indicators started working again.
Few days later the wipers started to come on when you switched the main beams on. Put it down to a bad earth which is yet to be fixed. That was the end of June
Since then its had a few things done:
- The new paint has been clear coated, buffed so it all looks one colour.
- Engine and bay have been steam cleaned and gunked and are awaiting paint
- Oil and filter has been changed
- Coolant system has been flushed and coolant replaced replaced
- Original radio has been fixed and now works properly although the car still has the factory parcel shelf speakers which sound like rice paper being scrunched up.
Holidays and the rolling around of 2nd year of uni meant that progress has ground to halt. But really happy with the progress over summer.
Last time it was worked on was end of august. Since then once again under a cover relatively untouched. MOT runs out on the 4th of November so unfortunately it wont be hitting the roads this year. Don't want to risk rust courtesy of salt
But going to mini spares tomorrow to buy some parts which will include a new indicator stalk unit, New grille, coach lines then up to Abingdon to pick up a set of wheels as the minilites in the photos are my mates (its got 4 matching now) was just so the car looked good from what you can see of it under the cover (sad I know but yeah)
After tomorrow I will need to wait till more funds are available to some more one it need a few things:
- New front cones and adjustable hilos all round
- A new set of doors as mine aren't great. Passengers side has a sizable hole in it.
- Passengers side A panel needs replacing
- Wire up spot lights
- Adjust the Choke & Tune the carb
- Install a Full exhaust and air filter (both are fully stock at the moment and its far too quiet for me) although ill keep the old bits in case it gets too much
Then little stuff like new badges, new guttering, little bits of paint could do with redoing
- A full polish and wax
- And maybe some wider wheels in the future as the ones I'm buying are only 12x5's
Learning you have a love - hate relationship with minis, somethings are quick and easy, most are not. Just looking forward to the day its finally on the road and I can experience some of the famed handling and go kart like performance