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Mike's 1986 City E


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#1 M J W J

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 10:05 PM

First a little history.
 
I've been on this forum since 2009 and have never really posted anything about my original mini. Those of you who have been around long enough and were eagle eyed might have noticed it in the background of some of the photos that were once part of my now long forgotten and neglected build threads. I actually joined the forum about 3 years after buying the car and only a couple of months before I had to take it off the road.
 
My mini was my first car and I daily drove it for almost 3 years. I took it to university with me and has been all over the country before finally tin work got the better of it.
 
Despite having other cars in various stages of build and modification I have decided to finally restore it and put it back on the road. There are a number of reasons for this including my mum wanting me to fix it (she taught me to drive with it), wanting a second car, nostalgia, being stored in a (very) elderly relative's garage which I will not have the use of forever and finally there is a competition/trip I want to take part in next year that requires a 1 litre car.
 
Here is a picture I found of it when she was on the road.
ZV5wcNA.jpg?1
 
First step is the tear down. The engine and front sub frame had been removed years ago for when I did my dissertation at university. Unfortunately I didn't realise how much battery my phone would use in making the time lapse and the battery went flat before I finished that day. I have actually stripped it down far more that the last picture shows.
 

 
If anyone knows of a good media blaster around Stafford who can also prime the car drop me a PM.

Edited by M J W J, 04 November 2018 - 09:46 PM.


#2 Retro_10s

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:01 AM

One of the best and worst times of mini ownership, this,.... The strip down is good as progress is often fast and satisfying,.. then you realise how much work needs doing, and that it is always a bigger job than you expected hehehe! Nice idea with the time lapse

#3 M J W J

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 10:31 PM

One of the best and worst times of mini ownership, this,.... The strip down is good as progress is often fast and satisfying,.. then you realise how much work needs doing, and that it is always a bigger job than you expected hehehe! Nice idea with the time lapse


What's worse is when you find repairs that your younger self did and you are like, "17 year old me. What the f*** were you thinking!"
Still at least some of my repairs were not as bad as a previous owners. I had at least tried to weld metal back in place and not just resort to fiberglass, filler, cardboard and tinfoil. Think I might need a new rear valance.

#4 M J W J

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 11:09 PM

Today's progress:





I was talking to my sister earlier and she sent me this afterwards.

2k3yzk.jpg

Edited by M J W J, 04 November 2018 - 09:26 PM.


#5 M J W J

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 09:39 PM

Things have not gone to plan.

I found my old shot blasting guy. YAY!!! He did my other mini about 10 years ago and did a pretty decent job. Did not charge the earth and didn't use any particularly special processes in order to do it. He even gave the car a coat of red oxide in order to prevent it from rusting while I welded it up.
I thought great. Lets use him again so he came out to look at the car, took a scrapper to some of my paint and then his expression changed. He said that they paint seamed unusually hard and that he wasn't sure if the processes he use would get it off. he suggested taking the bonnet and doing a test then he could quote me for the job.
Well, Monday he phoned me to say he was going to turn the job down as he wouldn't be able to do it (he did return my bonnet free of charge). The paint just didn't want to come off.

Now annoying as this is, at least I didn't go renting a trailer to take the shell to him only for him not to be able to do it. Id much rather someone say they can't do it then waste my time or end up handing me a bill much larger than expected. I get this at work all the time and it doesn't lead to a good working relationship. I will be taking some other bits and pieces to him at another time in order to blast for me and if anyone is looking for someone to blast stuff around Shropshire drop us a PM and I will send you his details.

This does however leave me with the problem with not being able to get the car stripped. I did contact a few other companies and their prices ranged anywhere from £1300 to £2500 to have it done. Eek!

I have therefore decided to not to bother having the body stripped. If the paint is that hard wearing and stuck on then its probably a good idea to leave it on. It might explain why for a 32 year old car it is in pretty decent nick. The shell is only rusty from the sill downwards. I have therefore decided to strip it mechanically and by myself. A complete ball ache but considerably cheaper than the quotes I have been given.

Enjoy the video



#6 M J W J

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 10:59 PM

A bit more progress this weekend. After placing a fairly large order at minispares (cheers Simon) I have started the tedious process of fitting said order to the car.

I said in a previous post I wonder what 17 year old me was thinking at times. I take it back. 17 year old was a master craftsman compared to the previous person who fitted, sorry "fitted", the repair panels into the boot floor previously. It took my entire Saturday and some of Sunday morning to remove all of fibreglass, repair panels that looked like they had been trimmed with garden shears and what seamed like about 4 tubes worth of seam sealant. I cut a chunk of seam sealant that was over an 1" thick and this was all that was holding one of the multitude of repair panels that had been places over the top of others, in place.

That didn't leave a lot of time to weld new metal back in and is always the way its the little bits that take time before you can fit a large panel that have to be done.

Anyway I managed to repair the back edge of the N/S quarter, a small section of the rear panel on the near side and replace part of the rear lip ready to weld to the new boot floor section and rear valance.

Enjoy the video. I will work on my lighting and camera angle next time.



7xva5WC.jpg
(at this stage the previous owner would have probably thought "now where did I put that can of filler")

Zm8bw5G.jpg
boot lip repair

#7 M J W J

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:09 PM

Still working on this and progress is slow. Much slower than I would like to be honest. Had a mate help with the rust repairs for a day (not shown in the video) and by the end of it all we had done between us was removed the entire driver's sill, a bad repair a previous owner did and cut a section of the boot floor out that needed repairing. Still it needed to be done.

Here is today's progress.



I'll be back at it tomorrow. Screw going out tonight and being hungover tomorrow. My time and money is better spent building Minis.

#8 M J W J

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:06 PM

More progress



#9 M J W J

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:43 PM

Right. Time to come clean with you all.

The competition I wish to take part in is the Mongol Rally. Some of you may be aware of it (there are others on the forum who have done it before). For those of you who are not let me explain. The Mongol Rally is a transcontinental trip that requires you to drive (in the words of the rally organisers) a 1 liter s***box to Ulan-Ude in Eastern Russia. Even taking the easier northern route that I will be (limited to how much time I can take off work and how much insulin I can carry) this is still a journey of near enough 5500 miles and will take over two weeks to complete.

Now my friend Whit and I have toyed around with the idea for a while. It then occurred to me why go and buy another car when I already own a 1 litre car? She might need some work but what better excuse than to fix my mini up and raise a load of money for charity at the same time. Instead of waiting to build the perfect Mini why not fix her as the 1 litre economy model she is and have an epic adventure in the process.

Our trip will take us across Europe, through Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia and then south to the port city of Tiajin in China. I have friends out there who work exporting goods all over the world so will ship my mini home. I also want to be the first person to ever drive a mini into Yixian, roll up to the vallet at the hotel and confuse the f*** out of them when I pass them the keys to a 33 years old right hand drive British car. My friends out there find this idea funny too. They think I am mad (and are probably right) but said they are looking forward to having a beer with me when I arrive.

The mini needs a lot of work and I will be trying my hardest, pulling every favour I can, asking everyone I know for help to get her done. If I don't get her done in time we will be taking another 1 liter s***box but I will try my damnedest to get the mini done in time.

If you would like to support us please click the link below

 

https://www.sponsorm...t-peddlers.aspx

I will be posting an update on the car tomorrow.


Edited by M J W J, 05 February 2019 - 11:48 PM.


#10 johnR

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:11 PM

Wow! what an amazing project - but you haven't left yourself much time until the off in July have you? Are you going to strengthen the shell for the rigours of the trip?



#11 M J W J

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 06:43 AM

What hasn't been shown in any of he videos yet is that my rear sub frame is already stripped cleaned and hopefully if my mini spares order turns up today, I will be re assembling this week next week. I've been stopping a work and extra hour or two every night using their well let workshop to sort parts out so hopefully once the shell is done everything will be ready to fit back on straight away. Also the last video is about three weekends behind where I actually am and there is a difference between car working and being finished. I don't expect her to exactly look pretty when we set of,just working.

As for reinforcing the shell. Hadn't really planned on it. We are taking the Northern route due to time constraints so it should be a little easier on her.

#12 johnR

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:31 PM

Probably worth reinforcing the rear supports for the front subframe if nothing else - will you be fitting a cage for safety?



#13 M J W J

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 07:39 PM

Probably worth reinforcing the rear supports for the front subframe if nothing else - will you be fitting a cage for safety?


Why would I need to reinforce the sub frame mounts?

And no. I have no intention of fitting a cage. She is simply being put back together as she was when I had her on the road back in 2007. That includes the cracked walnut gear knob, nodding cat on the parcel shelf and the Phillips cassette radio she had.

#14 M J W J

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 11:25 PM

I've been kind of lazy the last few weeks. I've been taking time lapse videos but not uploading them. Here is another couple of days work. I cut the rust out of the O/s inner wing and N/s inner wing, then welded in patches into the N/S inner wing and a piece into the door step I made a while ago.

 

 

More still to come



#15 johnR

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:12 PM

 

Probably worth reinforcing the rear supports for the front subframe if nothing else - will you be fitting a cage for safety?


Why would I need to reinforce the sub frame mounts?

And no. I have no intention of fitting a cage. She is simply being put back together as she was when I had her on the road back in 2007. That includes the cracked walnut gear knob, nodding cat on the parcel shelf and the Phillips cassette radio she had.

 

If you're going to be on good roads all the way no need, but Minis weren't really designed for off road and do crack around the subframe mounts (and other places)under prolonged heavy use. I presume you'll be heavily loaded (spare wheels, spare parts etc) or will you have support vehicles for that? With regard to a cage I was thinking more about the standard of driving as you get further east - might give you some protection if you come into contact with the locals.  






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