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1979 Mini 998 Restoration For Fast Road

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#31 Gilles1000

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 02:18 PM

Hello,

 

hmmm, already two months without news... times goes so fast!!

 

Here then some new feed for the followers:

 

I have started to subscribe to the TMF+, as I know I will have to make some orders in the near future. Panels, replacement parts, trimming...

 

Then spotted some adds for replacement panels which I will need (mostly NOS): rear valance, A-panels, front wings. Some Heritage, some italian made, everything new.

 

And today I put my big order at M-Machine for the main and boot floors plus other repair panels I need.

Now I can wait 5-7 weeks due to the production time for my MK4 floor with the right stampings ;)

Hopefully I will not get worried due to shipping costs after this time...

 

And I have a roll-over jig from rolloverjigs.com which I slightly modified to be able to put some castors and painted.

 

Concerning the mechanical part I found four good-looking 998 Cooper pistons with raised D-top which I hope I can build on my engine to get the right compression with the 12g295 head.

 

That's it for now,

I hope I will be able to do another update soon.

 

Cheers

Gilles



#32 Gilles1000

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 02:55 PM

Long time no news, but here is finally a small update!!

I finally got my panels from M-Machine (they did press specific floors for the MK4 Mini) and got 3 nice big boxes of fresh steel ;)

 

3vzV5cdl.jpg

 

But this will not be built in the car yet, I decided after discussing with a garage which restores Citroens to go for acid bath to remove all the paint, stickers and left-overs which are not steel.

As every other paint-stripping method there are loads of pros and contras to acid dip. The thing is I will do kind of an “over-engineered” process to protect the body. I do not want to start again in 5 years.

First is acid dip. Removes everything that is not steel and goes everywhere in the body (inner roof gutters, A-pillars, in the sills…). This will be washed with a mix of 97% water and 3% phosphate acid to protect the steel a little bit. Same for the new panels I bought.

This is where I am now, I brought last weeks the car and all the parts (new and old: tank, steel wheels, pedal box, frames doors and hood and boot lid…) to a company to do this first step.

 

MS1D23Ol.jpg

 

uhjfwtLl.jpg

 

I saw there nice cars (or only the bodies): Datsun 260z, a Mini (probably a British Open), a BMW E30 M3, VW-bus mk1 or 2, a Renault 4 “Plein Air” (Cabrio-version of the Renault 4), and an Opel (Vauxhall) Manta.

Once I will have collected the car and parts back, I will do the body repairs on the body. This will surely take a little bit of time (I will take some days off to accelerate this job), but surface rust will surely appear again.

Then, again with the acid dip to remove this surface rust, and after that the body will be protected with a cathodic dip coating. This should hopefully protect the car for the next 20 years.

 

In parallel, I am looking each other day in the classifieds to get parts I miss on my car, and preparing the big order of new parts to refurbish the ones I keep.

However, time flies much faster away than I thought (and money as well…)



#33 Petrol

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 10:32 PM

I will be interested to see how this goes. Modern cars are acid dipped once the shell has been welded to get rid of the rust. (weld and you have instant rust) Then they are E coated.
The Mini shell, being a 50's design was never built with acid dip or E coat in mind because it wasn't invented at the time. There are some big seams in Mini shells particularly the subframe stiffening points. The problem is, once the acid has penetrated the deep seams, I doubt you will ever get it out. I doubt even an ultrasonic rinse bath would get rid of it . Then there's the problem of drying the water / acid out of the deep seams.....
I went the whole hog on my shell by spitting seams and shot blasting them before forcing zinc primer into every seam because I thought the acid dip / ecoat was not the way to go.
Just my thoughts on the subject but be wary of sales talk. It might not be as good as it seems

 



#34 Gilles1000

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:16 AM

@ Petrol:

I have followed your topic with attention (very nice done by the way). And I appreciate your comments.

The thing is, I have the impression there is a "big" issue with each paint stripping we can do (and every company will say, other techniques are not good)

Sand blasting for having always some sand staying somewhere, it will draw humidity and then rust.

People going for acid dip: acid may go in the seams and work there until there is a rust hole.

Water high pressure: water stays in the seams as well.

dry ice: vey expensive, does not remove rust.

paint stripper applied by end: never ending job, and no chance to get near the seams.

 

In my opinion, there is no perfect process for restoring cars (it would be the only one to stay on the market ;))

 

I have talked with the guy in the garage who told me about the process, and I am not sure if Citroen DS are better designed as a Mini. With the 2CV you will have more chances as there is an underframe and a body screwed on it.

in addition, he is following the cars for general repairs after that, and there is no issue after 5 or even 10 years. This helped in my decision as he has done at least 10 cars by now.

 

As you've said, I kind of take the bet that my car will stay good for a long time, the problem beeing I will have to wait a long time to see the effects of the acid ;). I'll be happy to share my experience in the future.

Same for you as well in fact, only time will tell what is the best solution, even if I think you've taken all chances on your side!!

 

In any case, I like discussions here on TMF as I think there are many people who know what they do or have plenty of experience.

 

Cheers

Gilles



#35 Gilles1000

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 09:39 PM

Hello everybody, 

 

this time a smaller time between two updates ;)

I picked up my car from acid dip in the end of October, and after a 2-hour-drive it was picture time.

The body is from the treatment very clean, I am quite impressed by how all the small edges came out. No rust anymore (main reason why I chosed this way)

I'll let speak the pictures, If you want more detailed pictures just ask!

 

0Qj3K1pl.jpg

 

On the front right wing I saw loads of filler and my expectation has been fullfilled. The small crash I told earlier about seems to have had an end in a post and damaged the edge of the wing and the front end.

More bodywork to go ;)

 

BTwWBWgl.jpg

 

The boot floor appeared a little worse as I thought, but luckily instead of the whole boot floor change, I will be able to change onlw the rusted areas and do only partial changes on mostly flat areas.

 

FdBZM34l.jpg

 

The main floor did not change my plans, I will change it completely with the outer sills and door steps.

 

I gave all the repair panels plus wheels and frames together to be acid dipped, they all came out nicely, here the whole puzzle to go:

 

SyZYrr5l.jpg

 

More to follow, I had two weeks holiday (some days spent in Prag, this ending week on the Mini or in the shed, I could work out my first body repair trainings)

 

Cheers

Gilles



#36 Petrol

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:52 PM

Have to say I'm impressed with the acid dip in terms of getting rid of all the rust, sealants and paint. Thanks for sharing the pics and look forwards to the updates.



#37 Gilles1000

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 10:33 PM



Have to say I'm impressed with the acid dip in terms of getting rid of all the rust, sealants and paint. Thanks for sharing the pics and look forwards to the updates.

 

@ Pete: I'm quite impressed too with the result of the acid dip. The more I look at the car, the more I find good points to it.

 

To all other people, next update:

 

I started this week with the removal of the front lip where the bumper is mounted. This was my first trial to put it straight again. Sadly I do not have pictures of it...

However I have pictures of the front valance where you can see where the acid made its way through.

 

qhgsDtCl.jpg

 

Then I started to dress the front valance where it hit the post.

There was a big fold in the valance and in the wing to be seen in my previous post. This was after some work, the valace went very nice, I still need to improve the wing as the fold is very deep.

 

1XQVYyUl.jpg

 

To achieve this I removed the head light fixing, it was quite knackered and gave its kind of an original shape

Before:

Gh5BpTXl.jpg

 

After:

EE0NqYkl.jpg

 

By the way a nice shot with my dad's car behind ;). Congratulations to the people who can recognize it ;)

 

kOM6Zail.jpg

 

In the middle of the valance there was a strong fold, my father was too motivated to be stopped and gave this part its original shape:

 

raidohil.jpg

 

Then I removed the rear valance to prepare the rear boot floor repair.

Loads of weld points to be drilled!!! (and atually I drilled way too much as I didn't know the closing panels are only welded by three points...

I will have to close them again...

 

qzKmccql.jpg

 

I already improved a big dent in the middle of it following the crash and towing (again no picture :( ...), I could do this in about an hour, happy with the result during this time!!

I will try to repair the rust, will be a good training for the rest to follow ;). If it doesn't work, I have a spare one whixh I can use.

 

This is how the acid came in the closed area of the rear corners. Not perfect, but quite satisfying and pretty clean

I had to drill the big hole before acid dipping to allow it penetrating these closed volumes. As well as small 6mm holes in any cavity where air would be trapped, these will be the scars on the car in the end (roof, front wings and rear wells, some volumes in the boot floor...)

 

duCLlA4l.jpg

 

Finally some pictures of the main floor, happy to have ordered a complete new one plus the door steps ;)

 

mnFdt3fl.jpg

 

NmgTfM2l.jpg

 

G9AKVY0l.jpg

 

That's it for now, I hope I will be able to make a new update soon. My vacation is over... :(((



#38 johnR

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 10:48 PM

Do you plan to get some primer on the body soon or it will rust again?



#39 Gilles1000

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:08 AM

Do you plan to get some primer on the body soon or it will rust again?

 

Good question ;)

 

I will let it as it is now, and try to do the repairs as fast as I can. There will be surface rust for sure.

I would have done it if I choosed another rust protection method.

But once I'm finished with the bodywork the car will go shortly again to acid dip to remove all this rust and then sent to e-coat. There I will have a safe coating on the car, I see it like the car beeing in a protective buble.

 

The guys doing that "forbid" me to put any cold coating, even zinc primer or similar. I think they have another acid pool which is cleaner as the first one in which they remove paint and stonechip etc...

I can only do proper metal repairs (welding) or tin filling or brazed joints. Everything else would be removed again and soil this pool.

 

I do not expect to have big rust problems as the car is stored in a relatively dry shed and it's been protected with a mixture of 97% water and 3% phosphate acid. Better than nothing. They describe it as "transport and storage protection".

There were cars at the plant when I picked up mine which have been under metal surgery longer than one year, they were just orange-colored.

I would say it's comparable to the rear seat base on my car (pictured in this post, it came very nice out)

 

Regards

Gilles



#40 Gilles1000

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:19 AM

By the way, the fixture with casters on which the car was mounted for the acid dip stayed fixed to the car for acid dip (to move the car easier).

So I received it back with the same treatment as the car, maybe made with less attention as it is not the car itself.

 

This one stayed one whole week outside the shed, it rained each day from  the Saturday to the Sunday, and after one week there is now surface rust but mainly on the corners or the horizontal surfaces where water drops could stay. On the vertical surfaces I did not recognize much surface rust.

But this was kind of an extreme treatment, I do not intend to have water on the shell.

 

From now, the fixture is still outside but not (or less) exposed to rain. I will check it to have a comparison.



#41 johnR

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:32 PM

Ah yes I forgot that a second dip is common - the system certainly lets you see what you're dealing with and is gentler than blasting and gets into all the seams. With Ecoat as well the shell should be good for years.



#42 Homersimpson

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:28 PM

Just make sure they get the acid out of the seams entirely as I've seen three cars done using this process where rust was bleeding out of some of the seams making a terrible mess.

One was a frogeye and the other two were minis.

#43 Gilles1000

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:12 AM

@JohnR and Homersimpson,

 

this is my biggest fear doing this treatment to the car. I hope and will make sure the seams are as clean as possible.

The issue beeing that all seams are not easy to reach to rince after acid dip. I think of the seams under the dash or the roof for example.

 

I'm also thinking, if sandblasting the shell, I woudn't be able to reach so deep in the shell instead of doing like Petrol.

The safest way would be to dismantle all the panels, clean them and mount them again, which is a huge load of work for sure. And as for getting everything in line again... ;)

 

Next time I will do a Marcos. No issue with the rust there, and my father is very keen with GFRP ;)



#44 Gilles1000

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:57 AM

Small update of the project ;)

 

I bought an automatic welder helmet and some brass blocks.

Trained to do my first weldings on scrap metal, doing some metal change and closing of drilled holes with the brass. Still loads to learn but this is one of the reasons I started this project ;)

After a couple of holes closed up I went on the front lip on which the front bumper is mounted, managed to weld all the holes, next to do is to surface them and check for pin holes, plus doing the scars of rust.

 

Same for the rear valance, closing all the holes, surfacing them, and rust repairs...

 

I will soon start to work on the bracing of the car in order to prepare the main floor change. If it goes well I may change the main floor panel during Christmas holiday.

 

Oh and ask Santa Claus to bring me warm clothing for welding in the barn in the winter...



#45 Bobbins

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 11:49 AM

Gilles, I currently have no garage and don't intend to build one at the house we're currently in. It's getting quite cold and damp outside now so I've recently bought a garage tent, sold as "garage in a box" if you google it.

If you have the space it might be worth installing one inside your barn, I've been really surprised how warm it gets with just me working in it - I'd initially set up a gas fired heater but haven't needed it. Another plus point is that the inside is almost white so very reflective, with a few suitable lights installed it's become a very pleasant "workshop".

 

Stu.







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