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In A New York Mini - Honda D16 Swap / Resto


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#1 richgilberto

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:42 PM

Hello all,

 

This is a late start to a project thread for my mini restoration.

 

Here's a little bit about the original car:

1984 Mini Mayfair 998cc Automatic

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Here's the interior (during a deep clean) and the front end showing the only changes I made to the appearance in the first 5 years:
194666_10100266838031354_1900959519_o.jpg
290557_10100274308749974_1160579073_o.jpg
 

Purchased in 2011 in Manhattan, NY from the second owner who moved back to the states from London and brought the car with them. It was in great shape - the owner says he bought it off an old lady who didn't drive it much and he kept it covered in a garage. However, I did not; it was my daily driver in the city for about two years until I moved down to New Orleans in mid 2012.

333226_10100422094186774_1783838164_o.jpg

Needless to say, it didn't survive the trip down the interstate; with an absolute top speed around 70 MPH, it had problems overheating (in February!) trying to keep up with traffic. It got me to New Orleans but sat there for nearly my entire time there with a blown head gasket.

 

I got it fixed by a local British car "expert" in time to move back to New York where it blew another head gasket within days and sat on the side of my parents' house (to their delight) for nearly four years. A year ago I finally got up the funds to not only restore the car from scratch but turn it into a reliable daily driver. Since I live in a city apartment where it's impossible to work on a car, I sent it to Xclusv Autosports on Staten Island to strip it down completely for a fresh coat of paint and a rebuild from the ground up.

 

The next couple of posts on this thread will be documenting everything we've done so far until I get up to date, at which point I'll share everything I'm looking to do going forward. Hopefully I won't bore anyone to death with more exposition.

 

Thanks for reading - I'm looking forward to your advice and ideas as I get into the little details to really be able to call the car finished!

 

Cheers,

Rich

Attached Files


Edited by richgilberto, 11 January 2018 - 10:26 PM.


#2 richgilberto

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:25 PM

A couple months ago, they repainted the Mayfair in International Blue metallic. I love this color. The stripes are painted on - I'm pretty sold on bonnet stripes being a requirement. Of course, I had to get the matching roof. The attached photos are before any wet sanding but it still looks pretty darn good.

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More recently the new carpets, cleaned-up door latches, and re-dyed dash rails were installed along with a few new pieces from a Minispares shopping spree. They dynamatted the roof, door panels, floor, and firewall, and sprayed the underside with "tough rubberized German stuff" to keep out the moisture.

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The bumpers, grille, and door hardware are all being replaced with new stainless parts. The original boot latch is on there just to keep it closed for the time being. Not pictured is the new white headliner that's nearly finished.

 

"But this is a Honda swap," you say, "when am I going to see the engine!?" That's a good question. I put in an order for a complete MTD package (including air conditioning) with Mini-Tec on 12/5 and they said it usually takes about 8 weeks, but they're a little backed up at the moment. I've got my fingers crossed for the beginning of February.

 

That should get us almost up to date with what's happened so far. I think I'll have at least two more posts coming up regarding what I've ordered that is in the works and things I have yet to make a decision on.

 

Any and all feedback is appreciated - thanks for reading!

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

 

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Edited by richgilberto, 11 January 2018 - 10:47 PM.


#3 mini-fvr

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:56 PM

Looking fantastic and Looking forward to your completion! Im in New York (Long Island) as well. Be nice to get these two together over the summer!
Im Just about finished with my d16 swap, shes running and driving now but getting ready for a complete tear down to have her body work/paint. Than put her back together one last time! Best of luck with your build!

#4 richgilberto

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:11 AM

Thanks! I wish I could do more of it myself, but unfortunately I don't have the space or the tools. Even though it looks far from finished I still feel like I'm in the home stretch - MiniTec should be sending a mostly pre-built kit from Georgia in a few weeks and I'm hoping to get it back on four wheels shortly thereafter.
 
Things I have yet to sort out in order of importance:
 
New clutch and components (this was an automatic!) - I still need to figure out everything I need for this. Master and slave cylinders, clutch pedal (can I get just the pedal?) and I'm sure a lot of other parts...
 
Shift assembly - I'm pretty sure I need to source everything that goes between my hand and the gearbox. Has anyone gone with original Honda parts to avoid cutting something to fit? And if I'm making something custom anyway, is it possible to relocate the shifter and situate it like the new Fiat 500 has it? I'm considering buying that whole bezel with the window switches (did I mention power windows and locks in this build?) I think I could make it look pretty nice.
Gallery_16_fiat_500_1957_edition_05200.j

 

Headlights - I'm going with LED projector lights with white halo daytime running lights from RaluLED. It blew my mind when I found out Jeep headlights fit in a Mini.

jeep-headlights-7-inch-round-chrome-colo

Speedometer - Smiths' electronic version of the original magnolia 130MPH center speedo, but behind the steering wheel.

MINI-Classic-Remastered2.jpg
 
Tach, Oil Pressure, Water Temp - Looking for Smiths magnolia type gauges to match the speedo but they need to be electronic. Also exploring options for sending OBD data to display on the auxiliary input of the head unit. Maybe.
 
Seats, door cards - I'm having the toughest time trying to figure out what kind of seats will work in the car. For budget purposes, I don't want to have to re-cover the seats but I also don't want everything to just be black inside. My dash is going to be the body color, but the rails and carpets are black which seems to leave me few options in picking out seats and door cards that aren't a ridiculous color. I'd appreciate input from anyone with a design eye to help me avoid just making everything black.
 
Head unit, speakers - I'm going to go with the Alpine ilx-107. It's the only unit that has wireless CarPlay and its bezel is the thinnest I've seen on almost any receiver. Plus, the buttons on double-din units in the states tend to be on the left side, which doesn't work for me - the few buttons this one has are on the bottom. I'm also going to buy those door pockets with built in speaker pods or fabricate something myself out of the stock plastic pockets. Two more speakers in the back, and I'm sure at least one tiny subwoofer under the rear seat. I'd like to see if any of the other bits can go under there or inside the dash since I'm all for keeping the space in the boot.

g500iLX107-F-589x383.jpg
Dash - I had a burl walnut 3-clock dash from Huddersfield Spares that I installed a few years ago that will be painted the body color. A double-din will be cut out in the center for the head unit and the hole behind the steering wheel will be filled in for the speedo hole to go directly in the main piece. An inspiration straight out of the David Brown Mini Remastered cars.
 
Switch Panel - I'm still figuring out where all the switches are going to go. I think I'll use the main switch panel (will be stainless steel) to control the AC and heat (oh yeah, it's gonna have AC) and the auxiliary lights.

 

Wheels - Almost forgot - she needs new shoes! I'm thinking about getting these from Huddersfield Spares. However, I'm nervous about 7" being WAY too wide. Is it better to find split rims like these and have them painted white (I cannot find white/polished rims anywhere else in any other configuration...) or will steering difficulty not be much different between 5.5" and 7"?

whiteextremes_exp__20851.1415292051.1280

I'm sure there are other things that I'm forgetting, but that's it for now.
 
Thanks,
Rich


Edited by richgilberto, 14 January 2018 - 08:01 PM.


#5 meetthespeakers

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 05:45 PM

Wish you would have contacted me before you bought your Minitec kit, especially since your going D-series. I built the frame for Brian up in Long Island in his Yellow Mini. Good luck with your build, also I hope you did not buy the Big Brake kit. 



#6 ckneller321

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:54 PM

With the wheel width I guess it depends on what your intended use for the car is. If you're wanting to do some track days or something similar in the future then obviously go for the wider wheel to lay down a bit more grip. If that doesn't factor into it then just go for whichever you think looks the best and suits your style best!



#7 richgilberto

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:46 PM

With the wheel width I guess it depends on what your intended use for the car is. If you're wanting to do some track days or something similar in the future then obviously go for the wider wheel to lay down a bit more grip. If that doesn't factor into it then just go for whichever you think looks the best and suits your style best!

Thanks - definitely not looking to play on the track, just trying to get a solid reliable car. I'm imagining that thinner wheels would also be lighter and would therefore cause less wear and tear. And I've heard from people that they have steering concerns with 13" wheels - should I assume that's also due to greater weight?



#8 meetthespeakers

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:50 PM

Minitec is gonna recommend you run 13x7 with -7mm offset for full clearance/turning radius. With that comes more torque steer, and heavier steering. With that said, it's not horrendous, you can just do better, but there will be compromises. I usually run the yoko 32's or 48s but not in rain. They give you all the grip you need, with less offset you'll have to limit your steering rack, and will more than likely have to do a 3 point u turn. 



#9 ckneller321

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:52 PM

 

With the wheel width I guess it depends on what your intended use for the car is. If you're wanting to do some track days or something similar in the future then obviously go for the wider wheel to lay down a bit more grip. If that doesn't factor into it then just go for whichever you think looks the best and suits your style best!

Thanks - definitely not looking to play on the track, just trying to get a solid reliable car. I'm imagining that thinner wheels would also be lighter and would therefore cause less wear and tear. And I've heard from people that they have steering concerns with 13" wheels - should I assume that's also due to greater weight?

 

 

If you're going 13x7 then you'll need to trim the front wings back a bit as the tyres will rub on them when steering otherwise. You can get templates for this showing you what needs cutting off. You also need to fold the lip back onto the wing where you've cut it so that you don't lose any strength in them.

 

Not sure on the wear and tear comment. You could maybe argue narrower wheels would be worse for this as you'll be supporting the same vehicle mass on smaller contact patches meaning greater pressures on these contact patches.

 

13x7 is a little more work because of the trimming required but in terms of your requirements I think either wheel will be fine. Just weigh up what you prefer aesthetically and the work involved and go from there!



#10 richgilberto

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:31 AM

Minitec is gonna recommend you run 13x7 with -7mm offset for full clearance/turning radius. With that comes more torque steer, and heavier steering. With that said, it's not horrendous, you can just do better, but there will be compromises. I usually run the yoko 32's or 48s but not in rain. They give you all the grip you need, with less offset you'll have to limit your steering rack, and will more than likely have to do a 3 point u turn. 

What would you recommend then? I've got to replace the 12" steel wheels that I have (although I'll powdercoat one white as a spare) and I have sportspack arches on there so I was thinking 5.5 or 6in wide 13's. Would that be ideal?

 

 

 

 

With the wheel width I guess it depends on what your intended use for the car is. If you're wanting to do some track days or something similar in the future then obviously go for the wider wheel to lay down a bit more grip. If that doesn't factor into it then just go for whichever you think looks the best and suits your style best!

Thanks - definitely not looking to play on the track, just trying to get a solid reliable car. I'm imagining that thinner wheels would also be lighter and would therefore cause less wear and tear. And I've heard from people that they have steering concerns with 13" wheels - should I assume that's also due to greater weight?

 

 

If you're going 13x7 then you'll need to trim the front wings back a bit as the tyres will rub on them when steering otherwise. You can get templates for this showing you what needs cutting off. You also need to fold the lip back onto the wing where you've cut it so that you don't lose any strength in them.

 

Not sure on the wear and tear comment. You could maybe argue narrower wheels would be worse for this as you'll be supporting the same vehicle mass on smaller contact patches meaning greater pressures on these contact patches.

 

13x7 is a little more work because of the trimming required but in terms of your requirements I think either wheel will be fine. Just weigh up what you prefer aesthetically and the work involved and go from there!

 

When my bodyshop cut per the template (from minispares) for the sportspack arches they didn't bend a lip over. When I asked them about it they said "that's the template you gave us." How worried should I be about stability? Keep in mind the bodywork had been done to prep the car for a 1275 auto engine since the original plan was to upgrade to that from my 998 auto. Seeing all the engine parts that needed replacing I had realized that a Honda swap wasn't much more expensive.

 

Would I need them to trim any further than the sportspack template? If so, that's a dealbreaker on 13x7's. I'm not married to the width - literally the only reason why I asked is because the only white split-rim I was able to find was 7" wide. It seems like it may make more sense to paint a 5.5" wide split-rim.



#11 ckneller321

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 01:30 PM

I'm not too sure on the finer details of it all. It won't affect stability though; just the strength of the panel. I've done exactly the same as what you have now when I was much younger and didn't realise that I should add the lip back on and I didn't have any problems that I was aware of. Just make sure it's not a sharp edge just in case you do catch the tyres if using 13's. Maybe put a piece of trim on the edge to soften it similar to those used on the lip on the early minis with no arches.

 

Personally I wouldn't go out of my way to add it if I was in your position.



#12 richgilberto

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:25 PM

Update: bought these 2010 Mini seats on eBay. Might not use the back seat but the two front seats were worth the price. Fingers crossed that they fit.

seats.jpg


#13 richgilberto

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:12 AM

Wish you would have contacted me before you bought your Minitec kit, especially since your going D-series. I built the frame for Brian up in Long Island in his Yellow Mini. Good luck with your build, also I hope you did not buy the Big Brake kit. 


The price in labor of building a minitec kit from the frame up is why I went with just buying the full kit from the source. In fact, the reason why I went Honda instead of my original plan to pop in a 1275 automatic was that so many parts were going to change and it was going to cost more in labor anyway. With everything already together the cost of labor is reduced in half

#14 meetthespeakers

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:05 PM

 

Wish you would have contacted me before you bought your Minitec kit, especially since your going D-series. I built the frame for Brian up in Long Island in his Yellow Mini. Good luck with your build, also I hope you did not buy the Big Brake kit. 


The price in labor of building a minitec kit from the frame up is why I went with just buying the full kit from the source. In fact, the reason why I went Honda instead of my original plan to pop in a 1275 automatic was that so many parts were going to change and it was going to cost more in labor anyway. With everything already together the cost of labor is reduced in half

 

 

I hear what your saying, I've built lots of Minitec kits, have one here right now. Also have 7 of my kits I'm building at the moment. The cool thing is I can have the D built to whatever spec with 3.25 or 3.7 gears, M-Factory LSD, etc. Plus you don't have to use the wilwood pedal kit with my clutch adapter, etc. Regardless, I'm happy to see another D project being built, I look forward to seeing the install and what tweaks you do to the car. Cheers.






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