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New Owner Of 1995 Cooper Spi

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#1 PRMiniCooperSPi

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  • Location: Wiltshire

Posted 21 July 2020 - 10:40 PM

Hello - I’m the new owner of M161 CWK, a 1995 Red and White Rover Cooper SPi. Purchased unseen from eBay a few weeks back it’s now stripped ready for welding and an engine and gearbox rebuild. I’m planning to do as much as I can with my kids helping, or at least making the odd cup of tea and painting brackets.

My intent is to keep the flame red but switch to a black roof, with a 10” wheel conversion for some Minilite style wheels and possibly grp 2 arches.

Interior will stay standard but the dash needs some attention - I’m not a huge fan of the walnut so may look at other options vs cost of refurbished walnut. I’ve got to repair the ‘leather’ side of the drivers seat base, hopefully I can trim some spare pu from the rear seat back.

Powertrain plans are to keep the gearbox standard except for centre oil pickup and maybe uprated diff pin. I’ve found the head is ported on standard valve sizes, the block is 1275 but a few scores in the bores, the crank has some main journal grooves, the followers are pitted and the cam looks a little worn but not too bad. Hence for the engine I’d like to go to 1293 with a injection specific uprated cam plus new followers, bigger inlet valve and reground crank (if it can be saved). High lift rockers can wait I think if I go for a hotter cam - get it back on the road and past the MOT emissions test first. Induction will be K&N in the original case and maniflow lcb plus exhaust either side of a cat.

If anyone knows any history of the car it would be great to hear. From the stickers in the windows it was on the London to Brighton runs from 2003 to 2005 and one of the many owners was a member of the London & Surrey Mini Owners Club. Another sticker shows it was supplied by Croydon Minis at some point but no history has been provided from them.

Any advice from other SPi owners on cam choice or other tuning tips - keeping the standard ECU happy for both MOT and engine health but providing some extra omph is the aim.

Next job is getting it onto a rollover jig - good welding practice first in putting it together.

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