Hi folks, long-time lurker! Historically I've owned around 13 minis of various description and condition, starting with a black 1275GT, then a yellow Clubman 1100, a multi-coloured(!) Van with a 1275 metro engine, a blue Van with an MG metro with 1310cc, a black Clubman Estate 1100 with more filler than metal, then a plethora of cheap minis bought for spares until I had a break of about 15 years spent messing with Vauxhalls.
Eventually I bought an Audi S8 4.2 V8, then figured I was missing minis in my life, so I picked up my white Van fitted with a locally built 1340 with something like a stage 3 head, 1 3/4" HIF and lightened flywheel. I've had a lot of fun in both the Audi and the Mini Van, but eventually the Audi went and I kept the Van alongside a new Saab.
I took my van off the road a couple of years back when it was still a weekend runner. It scraped through the MOT but with some advisories for things I knew were going to need a fair amount of work to tackle (corrosion within specified distance of seat belt anchorage, corrosion to subframe mounting points, corrosion to A-panels near hinge mounting points).
I also knew about some other areas, front of wings near headlights, front panel, inner wings, windscreen surround, front toe-board and floors/sills to name a few classic mini rust spots.
So, this will be a simillar project to REVVIT's van, as mine looks quite simillar. I'll be sure to post some pictures soon but just wanted to get the project post up and running.
I've never been able to weld, so I spent many nights reading mig-welding.co.uk and eventually decided to buy a mig welding machine, a CWS Best MIG 160i. I bought some 0.6mm and 0.8mm wire and a bottle of Hobby gas, some panels of plain steel and practiced running some slugs and trying to get good penetration. I'll be practicing a lot more before I let loose on the van, probably with some box section to make a rollover jig and more plug welds and stitching practice. I've already bought a pack of 10 Dormer HSS-E spotweld bits and just researching pillar drills and a home-made panel bender...
I might be rocking the boat a bit with my choice of paint system - I'm going to use the roller/brush method, but with some (probably) unusual modifications. I ordered my paint today, I'm using Rust-Oleum products throughout, working to some specifications for hand-painting hand-prepped steel I found for "protection of structural steel and exterior cladding in a salt-exposed environment" - should be plenty capable of protecting a little mini van from the highway salt. Here's the order I placed:-
Seen Paintwork (roof, bonnet, wings, doors etc)
- Rust-Oleum Thinner 633 to thin primers and topcoats for brushing (around 10% by volume)
- Rust-Oleum 769/780 Damp-Proof Rust Primer RAL7035 Light Grey
- Rust-Oleum 1060/1080 High Build Primer RAL9002 Grey White 5L
- Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane RAL9001 Cream 5L Gloss (depending on testing for finish quality)
- Rust-Oleum CombiColor Original RAL9001 Cream 2.5L Gloss (depending on above test, may use over Alkythane if tested compatible)
Unseen Paintwork (underneath car, floors, wheel arches etc)
Same as seen paintwork but additional coats of Alkythane
Rust-Oleum Noxyde Pegarust RAL9002 Grey White 5L (final under-car protection as flexible and impact resistant)
I'm not a paint professional and would welcome any comment/criticism on the above - basically I really only want to do this job once and get some years of use without the dreaded rust re-appearing!
I just wanted to confirm some paint area calculations if anybody could correct me or comment:-
Mini Van Dimensions 3.26m long 1.41m wide 1.38 high
Bonnet & Roof 4.6m² (9.2m² total inside & outside)
Side Panel & Door 3.2m² (12.8m² total both sides inside & outside)
Wings and Front Panel 4.7m² (total inside & outside)
Rear Doors 2m² (4m² total inside & outside)
Floorpan & Bulkhead 9.2m² (total inside & outside)
Grand total around 40m²
And a bare shell weight of around 200kg?
Thanks for reading this long first post, and I will get some photos up soon so you can see what I'm about to tackle.