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Mk1 Cooper Build From A Mk4 (Inc Mk1 Doors)

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#1 Ytrewq

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:43 PM

Hello everyone,


As you will have read in the title mine and my Dad’s aim is to create an interpretation of a Mini Mk1 Cooper, we are giving ourselves the goal and I appreciate its quite a big one for us at least to create a 60’s Mk1 in the closest format that we can on the humble budget that we have.

So we want to remove all existing rust to have a completely solid shell and this is where we have started after the lengthy strip down, I say that because we bought the car on the 5th of October 2015 and it’s taken since then to get to where we are right now. There was a couple of years where the car sat in the garage while I was moving house, changing jobs, setting up my humble gardening business and Dad been busy in may ways too.

In the last 3-4 months we’ve made a considerable amount of progress in comparison to the previous 4 years, we started by building our own sturdy rotisserie jig to work on the shell as shown in these couple of videos (https://youtu.be/HZ90rLU2omY) (https://youtu.be/EW4E2KasWFQ) this has made working on the shell a pleasure, it’s always great being able to position the shell in a position that is always comfortable to work in especially when welding.

Fitting of the Mk1 doors to a Mk4 shell with the external hinges is going to be the biggest challenge I would imagine, to show the challenges involved in fitting them and to introduce the build I’ve done a little video as follows.

I’d really appreciate the opportunity to share the project with you and I’d be really interested in your comments on the project.

Thanks
Mark and Dad.



#2 bpirie1000

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 07:14 PM

good luck with that....

Edited by bpirie1000, 22 September 2019 - 07:14 PM.


#3 Cooperman

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 08:23 PM

I once had a Mk.2 which was very rusty. I did think about using a Mk.3 shell and investigated what would be needed to rebuild a Mk.3 into a Mk.1/2.

 

In the end I decided that it was an almost impossible task.

 

To fit Mk.1 doors would require new complete side panels, plus a strip down and re-build of the A-panels into Mk.1 type, which are very different from the Mk.3 onwards. This is almost impossible to do properly.

 

The Mk.1 rear window is smaller than a Mk.2 onwards. The Mk.1 has different rear lights and a different boot lid. The bonnet hinges are in a different place and the Mk.1 front sub-frame is mounted completely differently which involves a lot of modification and welding. 

 

The floors are different where the gear linkage is mounted as the Mk.1 Cooper has the remote gear change, not the later rod-type.

 

In the end it depends on how much of a Mk.1 replica you are trying to build, but beware as you could spend a small fortune and still not have anything like a replica Mk.1 Cooper. You will end up with a car which looks a bit like a Mk.1, but it will still only have the value of a 'nicely restored later car.

 

The only way to do this is really to buy a new Mk.1 Heritage body-shell, plus the MK.1 specific parts like front sub-frame, 10" wheels/brakes, rear screen, etc and go from there. Again, a labour of love and a big money-pit. 

 

You would be better off selling your car and buying a Mk.1 850 requiring a rebuild, then rebuilding it as a Cooper, which is much easier as all Mk.1 shells are basically identical.



#4 Ytrewq

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 09:55 PM

Hi Cooperman

Thanks for your comments.

You’re right, there’s quite a few differences with the Mk1 shell, as you say new Heritage Mk1 shell is available however at the £12,000 price tag I think I’ll give that a miss. I’m up for the challenge, all I can say is watch this space ;-)

Thanks
Mark.

#5 Cooperman

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 11:13 PM

At the moment I am restoring a 1990 Cooper 1275 which I have bought back in a condition where restoration is needed. I originally built this as an Endurance Rally Car in 2003 - 4, but sold it early in 2005.

 

I have decided to put it on 10" wheels, with a Mk 1 grille and grille surround and have removed the wheel arch extensions. That is about as far as I will be going, although the engine will be further improved to give around 90 bhp with twin HS4 carbs, MG Metro cam, big-valve head, LCB, etc.

 

I also have a 1985 Mayfair to restore for my Grandson as a 998 Cooper replica. Again, this was recently bought back from the person to whom it was old in 2010. However, although it will have 10" wheels, Mk.1 grille, Mk.1 rear-lights, a twin carb 998 engine with a 12G295 Cooper head and no wheel arch extensions, I don't intend on even thinking about putting Mk.1 A-panel structure and doors on it. That is just a huge job as the complete side panel would need changing. When I look at my 1964 Cooper 'S' I then see just how much is involved in a full conversion. In fact, it would cost a small fortune, even if, like me, you do all the work yourself.



#6 bpirie1000

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 03:33 PM

Would it not be easier trying external hinges on mk3 doors.
Strengthen the a-panel and door frames allowing for the weight and make perspex sliding windows..

The rear lights is easy enough to convert.

Just my tuppence worth..

Either way your making your mark on it and keep g a mini shaped car alive. Their all unique... that's the best thing..

#7 johnv

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 03:43 PM

The 3 Italian job replicas that just sold at Brooklands historics had the door conversions done.. Looked pretty good from the outside and must have been a complex job. The insides of the doors were still all wrong though
One of them is already on ebay.

#8 whistler

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 03:47 PM

Why not start from a Mk1 or 2 shell? They are often in better condition than later cars.

Having just started on a Mk1 restoration, as Cooperman says, the floor pan is different in that the Mk1/2 has a round tunnel and a different hole location for the remote gearchange. The boot panel is different. Think you're going to be starting with a pair of wings and a front panel then changing everything else to the rear.



#9 johnv

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 03:57 PM

the real killer will be converting it to a twin bolt front subframe I'd have thought .. and the back bulkhead is completely different

 

it took 3 years longer than they'd planned before BMH got one looking presentable


Edited by johnv, 23 September 2019 - 04:02 PM.


#10 johnR

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:18 PM

If you're not looking for it to be a totally perfect copy of a Mk1 then using a van bonnet, Mk1 grille and moustache, Mk 1 bootlid and the outside hinge conversion will fool most people. I didn't convert my hinges but am pleased with the look. 

UZw5tb0.jpg

Deleting headrests and side repeaters also helps age it. I also converted the heater controls, changed to a Mk1 steering column and as you can see had the seats upholstered in period colours. Toggle switches complete the look on the interior.


Edited by johnR, 26 September 2019 - 07:22 PM.


#11 whistler

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 10:57 AM

If you're not looking for it to be a totally perfect copy of a Mk1 then using a van bonnet, Mk1 grille and moustache, Mk 1 bootlid and the outside hinge conversion will fool most people. I didn't convert my hinges but am pleased with the look. 

UZw5tb0.jpg

Deleting headrests and side repeaters also helps age it. I also converted the heater controls, changed to a Mk1 steering column and as you can see had the seats upholstered in period colours. Toggle switches complete the look on the interior.

I think you've done a good job there. You've not disguised what the shell is but just changed the overall appearance.



#12 johnR

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 06:17 PM

If you're not looking for it to be a totally perfect copy of a Mk1 then using a van bonnet, Mk1 grille and moustache, Mk 1 bootlid and the outside hinge conversion will fool most people. I didn't convert my hinges but am pleased with the look. 
UZw5tb0.jpg
Deleting headrests and side repeaters also helps age it. I also converted the heater controls, changed to a Mk1 steering column and as you can see had the seats upholstered in period colours. Toggle switches complete the look on the interior.

I think you've done a good job there. You've not disguised what the shell is but just changed the overall appearance.
Thanks. It helps that MOT inspectors also like it enough to overlook the numberplates!



#13 Ytrewq

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 04:25 PM

Hi everyone

Thanks again for the interest in our project, it’s always interesting to get other people’s positive opinions and to draw on everyone’s well earned knowledge and experience when taking on a project like this.

That’s a fantastic looking mini JohnR I followed through your thread and was really motivated by it, a lot of hard work you’ve put into getting it looking that good you must be really pleased with it.

Our aim is to create the best Mk1 conversion that we can on the budget and time that we have, there is no doubt that we’re going to fit Mk1 doors with the external hinges, that’s a must for us but I really appreciate that is a lot of work and we’ve spent quite a bit of time studying/planning how we’re going to do it and I’m looking forward to sharing the process with you all. At the moment we’re cleaning/repairing the shell and getting rid of the rust in the floors at the moment.

Here’s a little update on that, also there’s a bit better look at the mechanism on the front of the jig we made at the end of the video.

Thanks


#14 johnR

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 09:29 PM

Hi everyone


That’s a fantastic looking mini JohnR I followed through your thread and was really motivated by it, a lot of hard work you’ve put into getting it looking that good you must be really pleased with it.

Thanks, I will be pleased with it when I can get the bloody thing to go more than 60mph without cutting out!



#15 Ytrewq

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:06 PM

Evening all

A little update on the project for anyone interested. This week is cutting out the floor, door step and sills and replacing with new panels.


Thanks.







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