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Initial Mods For Historic Road Rallying


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#1 Minigman

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 02:31 PM

I’ve decided to put my early 1975 mini to some proper use with the blessing of my navigator (the wife).

Initially looking at the novice regularities and tests.

As my mini was built in Feb 1975 I just fall into catagory 3 so I belive I need to comply with homologation 5405 from October ‘70 as I can’t find any beyond that date.

My mini is no longer a standard 1000cc. It runs a 1330, twin hs4, 276 cam, stage 3 head, 7.5” S brake set up (with braided lines) and adjustable tie rods which I think will need to come off in favour of standard fixed ones. Not sure about the brake hoses though.

So how far should I go with modifying the mini body prep wise for these novice / intermediate events. I’m not stage rallying and my co-pilot may decide it’s not for her so I’m reluctant to go too far initially.

Edited by Minigman, 20 November 2020 - 02:32 PM.


#2 GraemeC

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 03:05 PM

I'd....

Put a sump guard on

Get first aid kit, warning triangle, fire extinguisher, OK/SOS board, spill kit, belt cutter, waterproof tarpaulin 

Fit accurate clock/stopwatch and trip meter

Mark either end of battery negative lead with yellow tape

Make sure everything in the car is secured down

Off you go!

 

Look for some of the HERO beginner courses if you've not done regularity before.

https://heroevents.e...-classic-rally/



#3 Minigman

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for the advice. I’ve looked at the HERO events and they look great. Provided my wife can hold on to her stomach lining I do fancy one of their foreign rallies. London to Lisbon look great.

All the above seems good and I’d intended fitting the Brantz Int Pro 2 trips and some timers.

Regarding the sump guard, would you also look at an oil cooler too? My engine runs very cool already with a new 2 core rad amd 74 degree stat. I would run the car around outside of events so don’t want to over do it. So would also fit a thermostat on the oil cooler.

Would you stick with standard seats and belts at this stage then GraemeC? And what would you use to fix the existing seats down to prevent them tipping forward as they are pre latching type ones?

No need to run lines or power inside the car either at this stage?

If we get on ok I may look to develop my 1960 mk1 for something more intense so as I said I’m reluctant to go OTT at this stage.

Edited by Minigman, 20 November 2020 - 04:00 PM.


#4 GraemeC

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 04:18 PM

I’d intended fitting the Brantz Int Pro 2 trips and some timers.

Just one of each - not 'some'!  These are obviously easily transferred from car to car (depending on how you choose to drive the trip).

Regarding the sump guard, would you also look at an oil cooler too?

Initially I wouldn;t worry too much - do some events first and see how hard you drive the car.  But regularities are generally quite sedate and the tests are short and sharp.

Would you stick with standard seats and belts at this stage then GraemeC? And what would you use to fix the existing seats down to prevent them tipping forward as they are pre latching type ones?

For now - yes.  As you get quicker you may need something more supportive.  I'd look to weld a strip of metal or angle between the rear legs of the seat and bolt this to the floor.

No need to run lines or power inside the car either at this stage?

​Not really.  Again will be useful later, but to get you going I wouldn't bother.
 

 

The important thing is to get out and have a go - see if you (and your mrs) like it and can make a reasonable fist of it.  You will not be quick to begin with and so do not need a fully prepped car.  Just enjoy!



#5 Minigman

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 04:32 PM

Thanks again Graeme. I did mean 1 trip and 1 timer with stop watch, the Brantz V2 type.

#6 Minigman

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 05:33 PM

Is sealing of the bulkhead and boot space applicable too at the level I’m looking at? And the double throttle return spring etc?

#7 GraemeC

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 07:52 PM

Double throttle return spring....... can of worms! No one has ever managed to show me where in the Blue Book it asks for that.

Bulkhead - I’m not actually sure if it’s a requirement for a non-stage car, but it is certainly advisable. Never known a scrutineer look for it.  It’s not difficult to do though with a fibreglassing kit.



#8 Minigman

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 11:25 AM

Yeah the double spring requirement is a bit confusing. I think you need two springs for twin carbs in case linkage breaks?

#9 Cooperman

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 03:09 PM

Don't worry about the adjustable front tie-bars, they are considered a 'period modification' as they were used as far back as the 1960's.

With a sump guard I do like to have an oil cooler. A 10-row will be fine.

It would be wise to fit better brake pads to avoid fade on longer tests. Mintex 1144 will be fine for the sort of events you will be doing. Mini Spares keep these on-the-shelf. 

Make sure the car has sufficient ground clearance as it needs at least standard ride-height, or even a cm or two more.

If your navigator suffers from motion sickness you will be interested to learn that around 75% of navigators have this problem. Even championship-winning navigators have to take some anti-sickness medication. The normal proprietry ones form ordinary chemists are usually OK, but they never worked too well for me and I used one called 'Avomine' which is very good, although it can cause drowsiness. Try a normal one first before the first event and go out at night in the lanes and have your navigator rear the road to you whilst you drive briskly. What you don't want to do is get part way through a rally and have to stop and retire due to 'mal-de-navigator'.



#10 Minigman

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 05:23 PM

Thanks for the advice Peter.

Can I ask your thoughts on the double throttle spring issue too?

I think I recall you run twin carbs on your rally car.

#11 Cooperman

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 10:50 PM

I have two rally Minis, a 1964 Cooper 'S' which is a full-on historic G'p 2 FIA spec and a 1990 Cooper 1275 which is a road rally car originally built for the up-to-1400 cc Endurance Rally class back in 2003.

The 'S' runs twin H4's and I have 3 throttle springs, whilst the 1990 car has a single HIF44 (at the moment, I'm going for twin HS4's when I have the time to do it} with two throttle springs.

Having suffered from the failure of a single spring on a well-modified 850 (it was a very long time ago!) whilst on a competitive section, I always want a 'fail-safe' set-up. 

On the subject of sump guards and oil coolers, on the first 998 Cooper which I bought new in 1964, I fitted a really good full-length sump guard and then I drove it up the M1 at a constant 80+ mph (no 70-limit in those days) and after about 15 miles at just over 5000 rpm in top, the oil pressure dropped to about 35 psi. I fitted a 10-row cooler and the oil pressure was then fine.

Don't forget to fit a flexible map light and a 12 volt power socket for a map magnifier.

If you get more serious you might want to do some more reliability mods. Typically competitors run the brake, fuel and battery lines inside the car, fit twin electric petrol pumps wired in parallel using separate circuits/switches and do a bit of weight reduction.

However, the main thing in rallying is reliability. make sure everything is in good order. You can do little tweaks like having a spare coil already mounted, twin distributor condensers if you have to run points ignition, as you do for historics. I don't have the condenser mounted inside the dizzy cap, I have a pair of them mounted on the RH front bulkhead triangular reinforcing next to the brake and clutch master cylinders. Waterproof the distributor, plug leads and dizzy cap with a liberal coating of Vaseline or non-conductive grease.

The tests are a bit hard on the transmission and the engine will rock about when going into reverse and then forward again. Have good engine mounts and ideally fit an 'Ultimate Engine Steady'.

Just do what you need as you get more into it.

If you wish I can send you a build sheet for my 1990 car and the 1964 car, but I'll need you to PM me with your email address.



#12 nicklouse

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 12:43 AM

Yeah the double spring requirement is a bit confusing. I think you need two springs for twin carbs in case linkage breaks?

The twin springs is something that is not mentioned. But I would as you don’t want problems. On a twin carb set up I would run Three. One on each carb and one on the linkage. If you did not you can have problems with the butterfly’s not closing correctly.

 

you also need to consider the twisting forces on the spindles.



#13 minisi35

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 12:11 AM

5.4.2. Be equipped with a positive method of throttle closing by means of external spring/springs so that in the event of failure of any part of the throttle linkage the throttle(s) are sprung closed.
Is the official blue book requirement
So if your carb has only one spring then you need another incase one breaks
I have had a scruntineer check for double springs so it is something they look out for

And Cooperman knows his stuff on this subject and has helped me greatly with his knowledge on historic rallying
Peter is correct in saying a reliable car is key !! Old saying in rallying/racing , “to finish first, then first you have to finish!”
I’ve always kept mine in a fairly standard modification wise but even like that you can be competitive and keep the bigger cars honest.

Spend your time getting the car reliable and work on learning about all the specifics on navigation
I cannot stress how a good navigator can make a difference and time spent getting confident on maps cannot be overlooked

If you need any more advice then I would be happy to share our experiences

#14 nicklouse

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 12:36 AM

 But reading that it can read that you need one per carb.

 

single carb one spring?

 

saying that I run two external springs and the carb has one of its own. So three on a single carb.



#15 GraemeC

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:47 AM

Like I said - can of worms. Not nicknamed the Blur Book for nothing!

5.4.2 does not say you need to have two springs. The spring is not necessarily part of the linkage.

 

A scrutineer looking for something isn’t gospel either - many have their own little interpretations and there is often a lack of consistency. Ive had them tell me that a barrel spring on a HIF44 isn’t in accordance with the Blue Book.


Edited by GraemeC, 24 November 2020 - 06:47 AM.





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