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#1 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:24 PM

I was bitten by the mini bug back in 2012 when I bought my first mini a tartan jap import SPI. I had it as my daily and loved driving up and down the country with it even doing IMM2014. It came to a point where I needed something more practical and reliable so sadly sold it but it stayed within the club. The day I sold the mini I was on the look out for my next one but as a second car this time round and when I had a house with a driveway (hopefully with someform of garage in the future).

So last year I spotted a mini up for sale that had done 27 miles in three years in north Wales and with various mods I was looking to do anyway. I wasn’t looking for a project but something that I could enjoy for a couple of years before needing work.So given the mini had an MOT I decided I was driving it near 400 miles home. That’s when the fun began 🙈. Given the car hadn’t gone far in the last few years I said I wasn’t going to push it but the joy I had for the first 20 minutes was amazing. I felt so good to be back in a mini. First breakdown I discovered the reason I was overtaking everyone was the speedo wasn’t calibrated properly so what I thought was 50/60 mph, wasn’t! Car over heating and sludge in the cooling system meant I was flushing the system for a couple of hours before I could set off again. It was getting dark since I wasted a lot of time with the first breakdown and then noticed the headlights were like candlesticks. Now I know mini headlights aren’t great but this was silly. With my mate driving behind me with proper headlights we got 300 odd miles before we needed to stop for a sleep. It had been a long day. Trying to start the car after the rest and it wouldn’t. Tired and just wanting to get home I succumbed and phoned breakdown to finish the journey.

So getting home a list began.

With the access of the flipfront I took a look at why I broke down. Looking at why the car didn’t make it home was a simple slip of the alternator bottom bracket. Had I not been exhausted I could have made the whole journey under its own steam but oh well. So tighted that up. The headlights I discovered were sealed beams and given the age of the car and some of the modifications I’m surprised there weren’t changed to H4s. So new halogen headlights were ordered.

The mini was on 13s when I bought it but they weren’t for me. I ran 12s on my first mini and that handled better but I thought this time round it would have to be 10s so a brake disc conversion was ordered, 10x5 exacton wheels from a friend in the club (powder coated gold) and some yoko tyres was to be my first proper mark on the mini.

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#2 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:30 PM

With some help I got the new disc brakes fitted and striped the rear brakes as new wheel cylinders needed fitted. I discovered one rear brake hadn’t worked in some time and found some bodgery. A busted brake adjuster that someone had welded on a nut which of course snapped 😡! So the whole thing needed striped down to the back plate. Learning fast at this rate of failures. I’m glad I replaced the wheels to have discovered this sooner rather than later. Trial fitted the new wheels and it was clear I would be changing the arches. So group 2 narrow arches were on order as I had them on my first mini and loved the look of them.

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#3 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:42 PM

The next breakdown was on one of the clubs popular chippy runs wheremy fan belt gave up in the pitch black along a country road. Remember that slipped alternator bracket....I had just been tightening it but turns out it was on its way out anyway. Thankfully I was in good mini company and someone had a spare belt and tools. Many hands and people that know what they were doing, the belt was replaced and chips were consumed shortly after.

I got a couple more months without any problems. On the annual Scottish Thistle Run this year the mini developed a substantial oil leak and exuberant driving I went through a cone. That list was starting to grow again. But 500miles with 200minis was great fun and worth the repair list.

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#4 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 02:52 PM

With some investigating the oil leak turned out to be coming from the oil filter housing. Taking it apart I found there were a few bits of gaskets so no wonder there was a seal. So a scrub and some gasket sealant with a new gasket it’s been good since. I’m fairly confident the mini doesn’t leak any oil now but with the 500miles of oil pissing out down the engine and along the centre exit exhaust means everywhere I go now a hot oil smell from the exhaust can be smelt. It’s aomething I’m living with just now. With the busted cone I felt new cones all round and hilos needed fitted. More learning was involved as it’s not something I had done before and man were those knuckle cups a pain to get out. I used a blow torch and a lot of swearing but I did get there. While the rear end was up replacing the rear suspension I discovered the rubber fuel line from the tank was split and must have been like that for quite some time given the type of cut was in it. I had been very lucky it didn’t spark up into flames in the 6 months I had been driving. More parts needing replaced.

#5 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 03:02 PM

So that’s, all new brakes, all new suspension, fan belt, wheels, tyres, oil leak fixed and first fuel leak sorted.

One day after work I thought I had an oil leak again. Drove home with a constant stream left behind me and it turned out I had anouther split fuel line but this time by the mechanical pump which was spraying onto the manifold. Oh me this car has tested my patience. So some braided lines were ordered and installed. I did look into an electric pump but for now I didn’t want to go replacing too many parts, he says 😄. Some more shows taken in and the car was running mostly well.

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Edited by Manicmonkey85, 27 December 2018 - 03:50 PM.


#6 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 03:07 PM

Replaced the steering wheel to a more period looking one and one that’s black to fit in with the rest of the interior better.

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#7 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 03:11 PM

Some small mods to get the mini looking the way in the form of LED headlights and I replaced the rear lights to Mk2/3 along with a colour coded number plate light and LED bulbs to brighten up the rear end. Looking much better in my opinion.

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#8 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 03:18 PM

Future plans consist of a fibre front end to replace the rusty metal one, some welding and a proper paint job. A tidy up of the interior and adjustable bottoms arms, new tie bars, extended track rod ends, rear brackets and getting it set up properly for some camber. Wanting to get it driving and handling the way I want ready for IMM next year.

Tick tock

Edited by Manicmonkey85, 28 December 2018 - 04:24 PM.


#9 72hump

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 09:52 PM

Glad you found another one Scott. She's looking pretty smart now, love the gold exacton's.

#10 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 04:30 PM

Glad you found another one Scott. She's looking pretty smart now, love the gold exacton's.


That’s my favourite part. I had to paint them gold and luckily got them locally and with a spare. Pity you can’t find centre caps for them but I made my own with Halfords brake cleaner spray can lids :P

#11 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 03:19 PM

Some minor cosmetic changes made. Since I replaced the headlights they didn’t look right with the chrome so I got the inner and outer rings powder coated gloss black and I think it looks a lot better.

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Edited by Manicmonkey85, 25 January 2019 - 03:19 PM.


#12 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 03:39 PM

Did some more tweaking over this past week. Removed the front spots so that there is less to go wrong with the mini as the electrics are not great. Also weight saving equals more power 😁.
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I’ve also bought a rear louvre for some more retro styling. Just need to finish off trimming it before bonding it to the window.
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Once that’s done I’ll be looking at removing my rear badge for my powder coated Mini script badge so I’ll need to fill the holes and paint the boot lid. Also plan on plasti dipping the chrome on the rear lights to black.

#13 GreaseMonkey

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:46 AM

Great project, I love the colour combo of the wheels and the car! 



#14 Manicmonkey85

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 12:59 PM

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I finally started to strip the front suspension to replace with adjustable parts. Been wanting to get the handling set up just right as I haven’t been happy with the way it handles since I put 10s on it. So adjustable bottom arms, new tie bars and extended track rod ends. I will be re-adjusting the hilos before getting the suspension and tracking set up properly but not sure what height I should be setting for front and back.

I was thinking for the camber/castor/toe I would go for
Camber 1.5 deg negative
Castor 2.75 to 3 degrees
Zero to 1.5 mm toe out

Thoughts?

At some point I will put on rear adjustable brackets as well.

#15 minimissions

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:46 AM

Nice work, I think I follow you on Instagram  ;D 







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