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Café Racer Parts - Custom Made


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#1 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:15 PM

Allright guys, 

 

So as discussed in my introduction post, after about 10 years keeping the mini as it is, I am now doing a little restauration / Light modification to it. I am now working on my own version of lightweight doors so I bought a set of rusty-crispy banged up mk3 doors from a local for a extravagant 50€, striped the sheet metal and I'm remaking the frame first. the plan is not to use the 2-tons window winder anymore but keep the original sliding window system. I'll replace the winder by leather strap, similar as what can be found on vintage racing 911 for instance. I think there is a guy in a petrolicious video who rides a Lotus Esprit with a similar system. 

 

Anyway, while this is in the process, I though I would also give a custom look to those poor handles that came with extra crusty doors: the handles have been fully dismantled, passed through ultrasonic bath. I drilled those on my bench drill and I chamfered those in and out.

 

here is the result of the first prototypes:

 

Attached File  IMG_20190630_185128-W1500.jpg   29.29K   8 downloads

 

 

Attached File  IMG_20190630_185138-W1500-W600.jpg   29.42K   5 downloads

 

they have been sent to the chrome chop to get the right finish and level of protection and I'm expecting those back in september.

 

economically, let's face it: it does not make any sense: the new ones are so cheap that rechroming seems a-priori a terrible wast of money. Except two things:

- as we all know, new chrome remanufactured parts are just garbage. the chrome does not last. it's just plan crap.

- and they don't come drilled anyway. so if I want those like that, I have to buy some, drill and rechrome anyway.

 

thought I would share with you what i am doing. Let me know what you think, I might manufacture more of those if I get those durable enough. it won't be mass production however.

 

 

also, bit of information, good to know if you plan to have those chrome. I read somewhere that those handled are cast iron. well, they are not. it contains a bit of iron, so magnet will stick to it, but it does not react right to iron chroming. So it must follow the same steps as Zamak. I'm still not certain 100% if it is zamak: I used to have zamak parts from other cars, and they seem much less dense. So if someone know what it is for sure, I'm interested !

 

next on my list to share with you is a custom engraved rear licence plate. :)



#2 nicklouse

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:59 PM

I would contact the site about being a trader.

Edited by nicklouse, 06 August 2019 - 05:59 PM.


#3 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 06:34 PM

Oh to be fair, i'm not a trader. It's just an idea. I never sold any parts i made. I make those for myself in the first place. It's really not a business. The Idea to make a batch or because it's highly unefficient to chrome one by one. :)

#4 Richie83

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:13 PM

Look good dude

#5 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:28 PM

Thank you Richie! I try my best

#6 cooperd70

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 05:11 AM

They look really good. I think that this car is going to have some very special and quality parts fitted to it.

#7 DeadSquare

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 05:53 AM

Allright guys, 

 

So as discussed in my introduction post, after about 10 years keeping the mini as it is, I am now doing a little restauration / Light modification to it. I am now working on my own version of lightweight doors so I bought a set of rusty-crispy banged up mk3 doors from a local for a extravagant 50€, striped the sheet metal and I'm remaking the frame first. the plan is not to use the 2-tons window winder anymore but keep the original sliding window system. I'll replace the winder by leather strap, similar as what can be found on vintage racing 911 for instance. I think there is a guy in a petrolicious video who rides a Lotus Esprit with a similar system. 

 

Anyway, while this is in the process, I though I would also give a custom look to those poor handles that came with extra crusty doors: the handles have been fully dismantled, passed through ultrasonic bath. I drilled those on my bench drill and I chamfered those in and out.

 

here is the result of the first prototypes:

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20190630_185128-W1500.jpg

 

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20190630_185138-W1500-W600.jpg

 

they have been sent to the chrome chop to get the right finish and level of protection and I'm expecting those back in september.

 

economically, let's face it: it does not make any sense: the new ones are so cheap that rechroming seems a-priori a terrible wast of money. Except two things:

- as we all know, new chrome remanufactured parts are just garbage. the chrome does not last. it's just plan crap.

- and they don't come drilled anyway. so if I want those like that, I have to buy some, drill and rechrome anyway.

 

thought I would share with you what i am doing. Let me know what you think, I might manufacture more of those if I get those durable enough. it won't be mass production however.

 

 

also, bit of information, good to know if you plan to have those chrome. I read somewhere that those handled are cast iron. well, they are not. it contains a bit of iron, so magnet will stick to it, but it does not react right to iron chroming. So it must follow the same steps as Zamak. I'm still not certain 100% if it is zamak: I used to have zamak parts from other cars, and they seem much less dense. So if someone know what it is for sure, I'm interested !

 

next on my list to share with you is a custom engraved rear licence plate. :)

 

 

I do hope that a custom engraved rear licence plate  can be read by speed cameras      :whistling:



#8 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 06:40 AM

Whoops my Bad. It's a licence plate light not the plate itself. It would be terribly illegal. :)

Will post pictures today.

#9 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 06:42 AM

They look really good. I think that this car is going to have some very special and quality parts fitted to it.


And thank you!

#10 dyshipfakta

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:39 AM

I like the door handles very nice.

#11 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:21 AM

I like the door handles very nice.


Thanks ! Much appreciated!

#12 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 06:55 PM

Allright, so, since my mini is still mechanically *******, let's share with you another bit I have been working on in my garage: it's a custom Café Racer licence plate lamp housing.

 

Again, just to be sure, no commercial intention here, I just want  to share a bit of humble craftsmanship.

 

So the story is the following: while I was working on those light weight doors, I needed some actual windows to test my window pull strap idea. so I went to a local guy who has tons of scrap parts and here was a cheap mk3 licence plate lamp housing. I got it for free with the windows so I could work on it with not much risk to mess this up.

 

so, my idea was to engrave a Cafe Racer logo in it. The lamp housing are cast aluminium, so it's quite easy to engrave with a dremel. I started by grinding the part to see what I was working with. no cracks, decent surface. and then I stenciled a logo with a marker:

 

Attached File  IMG_20190707_165410-W600.jpg   50.53K   2 downloads

 

then I used a very thin engraving Dremel tool to contour the outline. if you want to do it, I would suggest to start with that: it will create a safety wall while you switch to a bit larger tool to engrave the "fat" parts of the letter. it's a bit like tatooing, i guess, you have to start with an outline.

 

here it is after some time: 

 

Attached File  IMG_20190707_194302-W600.jpg   34.38K   2 downloads

 

you have to engrave it with some depth for the following stage. again, see it as a safety wall. Then I painted black and engraved again the letters. If you have skills, you probably could do it the otherway around: paint it first and engrave it directly. But if you are like me and have more perceverance than skills, I guess, the way I made it is safer. while engraving the letter again to remove the black paint, your rotating tool will bounce again the walls and thus will less likely mess up the piece.

 

once the was engraved, I added a layer of satin varnish. Why satin ? it gives a more mate look, closer to the original tint actually, sort off.

 

and voilà ! Here is the finished part.

 

Attached File  IMG_20190708_184743-W600.jpg   39.07K   1 downloads

 

By the way, you can also see that it also got drilled on the bench drill and chamfered. No technical reason. I think it looks good like that. If you do it, watch out to drill right on the edge and not on the top: if you drill too much on the top,rain will poor in and short circuit the thing.

 

Good thing to know: cast aluminium does not shine like billet (Not sure exactly why). so when it ages it gets a more Iron/Nickel look, more mate. More raw so to say. the varnish will protect it of course, but it will not a "bling" shiny, which would definitely not be Café Racer. 

 

So, how long did it take ? Well, it took me 2 days in the workshop. Is it economical to do so, damn sure it is not. But that's the way I like to do things.  :D

 

hope you like it ! Next time, I'll share with you the adventure of trying to fit an electrical oil gauge without using the stupid "T" connector. took me weeks to sort it out.  :D

 

cheers guys !


Edited by Benoit_Dupont, 07 August 2019 - 07:03 PM.


#13 cooperd70

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 05:11 AM

again, some very nice workmanship has gone into that lamp housing. wish I was as competent at such things. great work!

#14 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:04 AM

again, some very nice workmanship has gone into that lamp housing. wish I was as competent at such things. great work!

 

thanks! Well, it's more patience than actual competence really. it took me litteraly months to figure out the exact parts for my dashboard. :)



#15 cooperd70

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:02 AM

your car will be something to check out at a show when you've finished fiddling😁

I'm just looking for another excuse to take my mini back to mainland Europe 😁




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