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Mini Fibreglass Fronts


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#1 Lizmini

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:55 AM

I am a newly to the mini restoration , restored numerous cars over the years just bought a 1989 model

Just reading some posts with regards to fibreglass fronts , I am starting a 1989 30th anniversary model
Totally rebuilding the car new panels sills body , the usual areas that need attention which is everywhere.

My question is what is the criteria if you use a fibreglass complete front does this require a DVLA test

Some say if the inner wing is retained no need for a test , does the strengthening bars you can buy for mini to that fix to the subframe become structural to replace the internal wing and the outer wing that is normally welded.
I realise that you retain the inner section of the wing for the suspension strut.

I would ideally like to fabricate a support bracket weld this to the subframe to form the support bracket that is fixed to the inner wing.

maybe fabricate a tubular space frame style strengthening frame to replace in the inner wing which supports the suspension strut.

Any comments regarding the above would be heldfull before I commit to buying a front body

#2 Ethel

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:13 PM

Nobody really knows. We did have a somebody from the DVSA answer some questions on the forum a few years back. Unsurprisingly they didn't commit to anything saying every car would be judged on a case by case basis.

 

As a not model specific point they did say wings wouldn't normally be judged as structural, but I suppose if you can't pass an MoT without adding brace bars you must have altered the "chassis" or the equivalent on the Mini's monocoque structure???

 

I'm sure you'll get enough opinions to decide how desirable a flip front is if nothing else  :whistling:



#3 wreckitralph

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:05 PM

i think ts one of those ask a 100 people you will get a 100 different answers ime doing the same but with asteel front end flip or removeable



#4 Lizmini

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:27 PM

Thanks for the replies , no doubt I may have to some more answers later
I will post some pictures as I go on in the restoration
I have notice loads of minis having this front conversions some having a Honda engine transplant basically a sleeper car so to speak with a complete new frame which cost more than 2 k excluding the engine transplant.

So legally I would guess what I am proposing should be ok, I know that what I am proposing to do will be considerably stronger than the car is or was should there be a collision.

I am collecting the front fibreglass body next week from mini spares York i will have a look at the quality 1st to see if it's upto stratch Before my purchase I may choose to go down the steel panel route making it tilt.

#5 nicklouse

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:35 PM

If restoring a Mini I would not fit a fiberglass front.

 

if fitting a fiberglass front I would fit a two piece one with separate bonnet.

 

one piece front make everything simple difficult. Just ask the Binky guys 

 

https://youtu.be/0C1z1MtHAU4

I have fitted 2 one piece fronts and now have a two piece. So much simpler.



#6 haz

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:52 AM

^ not sure how a 1 piece front makes anything difficult at all? Mines Honda swapped so makes things easier space wise but I don’t miss having a bonnet. Might take 30 seconds longer to open.

Working on the engine is a pleasure with a flip front though, I can tell you that much! So much more room to manoeuvre and get the right tools in.

#7 nicklouse

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:47 AM

^ not sure how a 1 piece front makes anything difficult at all? Mines Honda swapped so makes things easier space wise but I don’t miss having a bonnet. Might take 30 seconds longer to open.

Working on the engine is a pleasure with a flip front though, I can tell you that much! So much more room to manoeuvre and get the right tools in.

Ok issues I have had with a one piece front.

 

if a flip.

 

checking oil. 
checking rocker clearances

checking point gap.

in other words most service things.

 

 

if a removable one. 

damage to front.

high winds blowing across the forecourt of the petrol station while I check and add oil.

 

on the race car with the removable front.

 

less issues but I still had to take the whole front off for any small issue.  And that was just 4 fasteners. No I just pop the bonnet still 4 fasteners but so much easier .

 

living with a Mini as a daily as I did back in the 80/90s with a flip front was a pain in the butt compared to a standard Mini.



#8 haz

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:57 AM

I suppose that’s where the Honda engine has it’s benefits then. Valve clearances once in a blue moon and dizzy is regulated by the ECU. I’ve never been in the engine bay for anything other than planned maintenance and/or modifications.

#9 Lizmini

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 01:36 PM

With regards to the question on the fibreglass option , i have already purchased one needs some adjustment to fit the front scuttles etc but overall the quality is good. Thanks Mini spares York .

 

I will be using gas struts for the front so that it flips forward and has the support, this option will allow be to unclip lift off the front and remove if required. for access in the garage.

 

I will not be into the bonnet a a petrol station the car will be running ok before i travel ? 



#10 Ethel

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 02:21 PM

"I will not be into the bonnet a a petrol station the car will be running ok before i travel" -  :unsure: Is it defo a Mini u got?

 

I can't sat my flipper, also front hinged, was that much of an embuggerance - I just put my foot through the hole for the grille I never got round to refitting.

 

I also didn't get round to fitting a check strap, so when I forgot to do the fasteners up the resulting trip to the scrappers to liberate some more Golf headlights was a bit of a PITA . >_< 

 

 

 

I will not be into the bonnet a a petrol station the car will be running ok before i travel ? 



#11 mab01uk

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:39 PM

 I know that what I am proposing to do will be considerably stronger than the car is or was should there be a collision.

 

Strong and rigid is not necessarily a good thing in a collision as more force is transferred to the driver/passengers bodies and their internal organs......however crushable energy absorbing zones are also hard to build into a such compact bodyshell designed in the late 1950's.....






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