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Rusty The Minus (aka Mr Hoskins)


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#46 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 09:29 AM

So Tuesday came, MOT at 2pm, BH2N at 7am the next morning. If I didn't make the MOT I wouldn't be driving to Germini!

I had the following list of jobs to do:
  • Fit door
  • Fit dash
  • Fix hazards/indicators
  • Sort out front tracking
  • Then sort out camber/castor
  • Fix brake lines then bleed
  • Adjust handbrake
  • Fit seats and harnesses
  • Fit arches (after making brackets)
  • Fit mirrors
  • Fit grille and surround
  • Wire up headlights
  • Fit fog light
  • Fit bootlid light
  • Fit bonnet pins and buckles
  • Fit bonnet
  • Fit KAD engine steady
Out of that list I had to buy two new brake lines (I had come out that morning to discover the front brake line leaking underneath the radiator), buy the bootlid light, buy the KAD engine steady and the brake lines and the fog light. The fog light I could get from Halfrauds, but KAD is 45 minutes away, and Manne Hutte 40 minutes away from KAD and 40 minutes away from me, not taking into account any traffic! It was easily a 3 hour round trip, I'd got up at 6am and fitted the harnesses and began to fit the seat, but I was left with about 5 hours. I was going to sent my Dad on a trip of Kent to collect the parts but he was reluctant to go if/as he felt the car wasn't going to be ready on time anyway!

I decided to go and work on the hazards/indicators, since if I couldn't get them to work, everything else was inconsequential, since I couldn't pass an MOT with no hazards, even if I had everything else on that list done. Just to give me a bit more time I managed to phone around a few garages and get a later MOT at 3.30pm ish.

My immediate suspicion for the cause of the hazards problem was earthing, since I was working on a fibreglass body after all, it wouldn't surprise me if I'd missed an earth somewhere! My new multimeter said I was getting power to the relevant places, but only with the ignition on position II. So now I thought I may have the wires going to the fusebox wrong - nope.

Again, to cut a long story short, the inline fuse behind the carb had an intermittent connection. I had checked this a number of times, but most of the time I was getting power through it, but on the one time I didn't I put it down to a poor connection with the multimeter terminal - since I was getting power at the flasher unit. Anyway, I chopped out the inline fuse and put in a spare fusebox, utilising one of the slots with a 15A fuse. Problem solved, the hazards and indicators worked perfectly! Unfortunately it was 9pm! I'd missed the MOT, and my deadline by which to get the mini done so I could drive it to the 'Ring! To say I was dissappointed was a bit of an understatement, I really don't give up on things, at all really. Hence why I worked on it regardless all through the day, even when it was too late.

#47 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 09:37 AM

Never mind, I made arrangements to go to Germini with The Stig in his supercharged mini. This then involved bleeding his clutch at Maidstone services (25 miles from Brands Hatch), then re-arranging his breather system about a dozen times through France, Belguim and Germany - the engine was breathing heavy, pressurising the oil system and chucking oil ALL OVER the engine bay. At one point we seemed to have fixed it when we go stuck in traffic going by Liege, causing the clutch to go again. We bunny-hopped across the lanes, and by now we were working well as a team to get the clutch bled very quickly! The next day at the campsite saw The Stig change the headgasket, and then find cylinder 3 fill up with water very quickly, which was terminal for the engine really. Roll on the ADAC recovery truck, and the Mercedes A180 rental car!

The rest of the week was spent seeing The Stig thrash the A180 around the Ring, getting 10-11 minutes laps, and leaving vast chunks of the tyres at various scenic places around the track. We also went and threw sticks at wolves at the local castle, got rained on, span in a VW Golf, met Jenson Button, came second in go-karting (dam Purple Tom getting the quickest lap on the last lap!!), got some sort of food poisoning, spent a day in a airport trying to get an early flight and then home! I also got a great colour scheme for Rusty from a Porsche that turned up at the 'Ring. Purple Tom knows which Porsche I mean, but everyone else will have to wait til next year when I finally get round to paint the car!

#48 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 09:45 AM

Ok, so now we're down to the last four days, and the work I've done since returning from the 'Ring.

Actually I lie. I've robbed yet another part from the Clubby - the bootlid. I really liked the black FG one I had on there, but it was too much effort to try and put the bootlid lock on (I'll eventually get some locking DZUS'). So I nabbed the Mk3 bootlid from the Clubby, complete with lock. Easy solution. However the light had disappeared at some point, so I still needed one of these.

Now the hazards were fixed I moved on to my other problem - the Mk1 steering rack and extreme toe out of the front wheels. Minidave had advised me that I just needed the longer track rod ends and that I should also remove the bush I'd put on with my rose-jointed tie-rods, [email protected] had said you HAVE to run Mk1 steering arms with a Mk1 rack. A ring around my usual sources and I was unable to get any Mk1 steering arms, so I'd got some longer track rod ends (Triumpg Spitfire ends) from my local factors. I've now taken the bush off the tie-rods and fitted the longer track rod ends. This appears to have fixed the problem, but I've yet to set the ride height, measure the tracking and set up the castor/camber.

#49 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 09:54 AM

Before I went off to Germini I'd ordered the KAD engine steady and it had arrived in the post ready for my return. Now usually I wouldn't have bothered with a engine steady like this, however this seems to be something rather peculiar about the relationship between my engine and bulkhead crossmember. I first noticed it when i bolted the engine steady to the crossmember, and found the other end to be pointing up towards the cylinder head! Now I know from experience that the bolt that goes into the block likes to snap, so I knew if I tried to force the steady into place it would last all of 5 seconds! I tried bending the engine steady to make it fit, but that didn't work either. never mind I thought, I'll just run with the ultimate steady on the other side!

Bolt the ultimate on, and the bar that goes to the crossmember was about an inch too high for the bracket! I was hoping that I could make it fit, using the 'squish' in the bushes to angle the bar down, however this turned out to be fruitless too!

So, a rose jointed KAD engine steady it was! The rose joints allowing me to put the steady at the angle I needed, however I'm still a bit worried about how the bolts will hold up under solid mounting. I'll upload a pic of the steady later, but needless to say it doesn't look fantastically robust the way I've mounted it. Saying that, I can't fault the design or build quality of the steady, another fantastic product by KAD!

So the engine steadies have been put on the following list 'Things I'll put up with for now, to get it through the MOT, but I should REALLY look at asap'. Ideally I'd like another steady going to the thermostat housing, change the mounting brackets for the KAD steady, and possibly/probably add a steady to the gearbox.

#50 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 10:01 AM

During the weekend I was able to get a few misc. jobs done. I got a 2nd hand bootlid light for a fiver thats been stuck on the boot and works great, also added the fog light too! I was hoping to mount the fog light in front of the rear valance in the middle (there a notch been cut in the valance previously, probably for a centre exit exhaust). However after measuring I realised this would be too low for the MOT (requires fog light to be mounted 250mm from the ground) by a good 5-10 cm, which shows you just how low the car is! So I've mounted it on my rear parcel shelf, which is between the 25-100cm limits.

Next job was to add the side repeaters (bought from Southern Mini Days) and wire up the headlights. As I've said before the wiring for the headlights was a bit of a mess, one black wire and three blue/red wires from each light meant I didn't have a clue which wire was for what! I managed to change the loom for the drivers side with a spare I had, but I had to use the multimeter to work out the other side. Anyway, side repeaters, indicators and headlights all wired up and working!

Posted Image ~~~ Posted Image


As most of you will see the side repeaters aren't standard mini, I think they are Metro or something, but I like to give my cars a touch of something a little different.

#51 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 10:14 AM

Now for the door! I was quietly confident this would all go quite swimmingly, but as with everything it seems on this car there is always something that causes problems! Anyway, I put the hinges back on, then trial fitted the door to see how much I had to cut off the bottom of the skin. Marked it all up, cut off about 9.5cm, fitted it back on, marked up the radius on the left corner and again, cut off. This then needed a bit of filing as it was catching, but generally it all fitted well!

The nuts for the hinges were a absolute ball ache to get on! Unlike a normal mini the hinges don't bolt through into underneath the front wings, they come through into little compartments accessed from cut outs inside the car! Not only is it hard to get fingers into them, its even harder to gets the nuts on, then takes a blooming ice age to tighten them up with a spanner.

The next problem was that the skin was catching with what would be the A-panel. However this must have been a problem sometime in the past, as i found the last 3-5mm of that panel to be filler! So I just knocked that off and the problem was solved! As you can see from the pictures below the fit is not exactly perfect! Actually its not even close to perfect. If you took Jessica Alba as the standard for perfection, this door would be some kind of mutant offspring from Vanessa Feltz and mouldy kebab. The skin is actually about 3mm further out than the rest of the body, the top bows out because of the poor shape of the fibreglass skin, and the bottom bows out a great deal because of the channel I poorly welded onto the doorframe to replace the virtually non-existant rusted door bottom! Therefore this door has been placed on the 'Things I'll put up with for now, to get it through the MOT, but I should REALLY look at asap' list!

Posted Image ~~~ Posted Image


As you can see from the last picture I also managed to fit my brand new Mk1 wavy grille and surround. Again the ugly head of poor fitting fibreglass crops up! The front 'panel' of the body isn't vertically straight, the top 'slam panel' is a lot further forward than the bottom near where the bumper would be. The front panel also doesn't curve round much, meaning the grille doesn't exactly fit snuggly against the body!! Its currently held on with string, but I'll fit some proper screws when I get them later today.

#52 GraemeC

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 01:38 PM

The Specialist Components 'Touring' steady bar is an ideal compromise - rose joint one end and rubber at the other. See:
http://www.specialis...ine Steady Bars

I have one on both ends of my engine, but at the rad end I use the brackets that come as part of the kit from Avonbar which is much more user friendly when working on the car:
https://www.speedgen...s/steadyweb.jpg

#53 Pie

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:16 PM

Looking good jammy. Am watching this project very closely.

Well, I have a colour scheme that I thought of whilst I was out in Germini, I mentioned it to Tom (Purple Tom), but for now it will remain a secret! :xxx:


Jammy if you pull that paint job off it would be awesome, i remember talking to you about it with Tom. Would be a one off.

#54 *Raz*

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:36 PM

when you said about speshul doors Jammy, i was thinking more like this!! :xxx:

:w00t:

Raz xXx

#55 Sam

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:44 PM

Nice write up, shame you ran out of time before bh2n after all that work !

Could you see the minus becoming a vtec instead of the clubman? :xxx:

#56 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:46 PM

GreameC - what does that Avonbar steady bolt to, the thermostat bolts still?

Raz - I thought about lambo doors, but then thought Rusty is way cooler than a Lamboghini. Word.

Sam - Rusty will NEVER become a Vtec instead of the Clubby!!

Might become a Vtec as well as the Clubby though! :xxx:

#57 GraemeC

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:26 PM

No, top two water pump bolts. Hard to photo but....

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by GraemeC, 11 September 2007 - 03:26 PM.


#58 howson02

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 06:17 PM

This is an awesome thread! shall be following this one closely aswell!

#59 Jammy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:45 PM

Brakes bled and handbrake adjusted! Nice solid pedal.

#60 Purple Tom

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:58 PM

Looking good dude and I hope the engine steady holds together! Fingers crossed for whenever you get it booked in for the MOT!!! And yeah the colour scheme would really suit it!!




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