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My Gts Build


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#1 miniGTS

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 02:17 PM

I bought my 1979 Mini GTS in 2001 as a project, with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. Back then I was able to bring the car back to life, piece by piece but it never really ran well and not for long. 

 

I got into biking and from then, around 2003, the mini project got parked for 20 years!

 

Now, in 2023, the time has finally come to finish what I started. 

 

 

This is what it looked like when I brought it home back 2001:

 

 

Attached File  IMG-20160512-WA0002.jpg   163.13K   4 downloads

 

Then after I'd rebuilt it and just before it got parked:

Attached File  IMG-20160512-WA0003.jpg   63.93K   1 downloads

 

And after years of being parked:

Attached File  2011-07-03 12.29.50 - Copy.jpg   57.77K   1 downloads

 

But finally getting it to my house and away from my parents backyard at the beginning of 2023:

Attached File  going-home1.jpg   42.3K   0 downloads

Attached File  going-home2.jpg   55.12K   0 downloads

 

Lots has happened since but I'll add that to future posts...

 

 



#2 DeadSquare

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 02:34 PM

Is it 1100 or 1300 ?



#3 miniGTS

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 05:45 PM

It's a 1275 GTS that was only ever built in South Africa. There were around 4000 made by Leyland South Africa. I'll add some info about the model in my next post.

#4 Spider

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 06:23 PM

Wow !  That's a bit of a Wholly Grail as far as Minis go - at least in my view.

 

 

Is it 1100 or 1300 ?

 

These were 1275's and had the South African engines, uniquely made there only. I know the early 1275 GTS at least to 1974 were made - mechanically - to same as MKIII Cooper S Specs. I think that continued with them to the end of production but I'm sure miniGTS will fill us in some more.



#5 RichMPiBlue

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 06:58 PM

Cool project. Now if you lived in England and had it parked to the elements outside for 20 odd years, it'll be a whole different story! lol



#6 miniGTS

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Posted 24 April 2023 - 10:35 AM

Cool project. Now if you lived in England and had it parked to the elements outside for 20 odd years, it'll be a whole different story! lol

It was under a carport so that helped a bit but the rust is pretty bad. The guy who is doing the bodywork will be cutting our bad sections and replacing with sections off donor, rust free panels.



#7 miniGTS

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Posted 24 April 2023 - 10:46 AM



Wow !  That's a bit of a Wholly Grail as far as Minis go - at least in my view.

 

 



Is it 1100 or 1300 ?

 

These were 1275's and had the South African engines, uniquely made there only. I know the early 1275 GTS at least to 1974 were made - mechanically - to same as MKIII Cooper S Specs. I think that continued with them to the end of production but I'm sure miniGTS will fill us in some more.

 

There's some info about the GTS but I'm told some of that info is not accurate. I'll post some info that I have but in the meantime, below is some info that was published in the 70's

 

This was an advert:

Attached File  Leyland Mini GTS 1275 South Africa original advertisement (1).jpg   45.76K   18 downloads

 

This was a write up in car magazine back in 1974:

Attached File  Leyland Mini GTS magazine articles south africa (1).jpg   60.29K   17 downloads

 

I'll summarise some other info and post it up here when I have a chance.

 



#8 Vinay-RS

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Posted 26 April 2023 - 06:38 AM

Glad to see the build thread up, dude. Looking forward to the updates as you go. 



#9 miniGTS

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Posted 26 April 2023 - 12:05 PM

Rather than spending too much time summarising the info I have, I thought it would be quicker to post up this link to an online resource with information. 

https://classicregis...eyland-mini-gts

 

I'm not sure of the level of accuracy of this info but it gives a fair amount of details, most of which I believe to be correct.



#10 DeadSquare

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Posted 26 April 2023 - 12:34 PM

Rather than spending too much time summarising the info I have, I thought it would be quicker to post up this link to an online resource with information. 

https://classicregis...eyland-mini-gts

 

I'm not sure of the level of accuracy of this info but it gives a fair amount of details, most of which I believe to be correct.

 

 

Interesting.  Thank you for posting that.



#11 miniGTS

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Posted 28 April 2023 - 07:46 PM

The first time I rebuilt the car, I used the engine that I got from the guy I bought it from. It was his unfinished project and it came with loads of spares an engine, that I later learned is SA big bore 1100.

The mods as far as I can remember, lightened and balanced flywheel, and balanced conrods and crank assembly,a stiffened clutch spring, ported and gas flowed twin spring head. I'm not sure if it's oversized valves, I never checked. And a fast road cam, I'm not really sure what it is exactly. I had the car running with this engine for the short time it was on the road in the early 2000's but I always had fueling issues. I also had this need to do everything myself which is partly what led to the car never really running well.

Fast forward 20 years, after a long search, I bought a gts engine, thanks Vinay, from a scrapyard over 1000km away. I have no idea how it works in UK but here, with an engine change it needed to go through police clearance to get the new engine registered to the body/vin for licensing. I've heard some horror stories about this process so I paid a guy who offers the service of taking it through clearance on the owner's behalf... That cost almost as much as the engine but it was worth it to not have that stress.

The with all the paperwork in order and updated on the national database I started stripping the car to get the body to the guy who is highly recommended for bodywork. He only does minis and has been for over 30 years.

I had it towed to his workshop end of March:

Attached File  IMG_20230406_174425.jpg   40.61K   3 downloads

With the bodywork where it should be, in someone else's capable hands, I can focus on getting the other bits done.

#12 miniGTS

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 09:48 AM

The original plan was to use a downdraft 36dcd weber because I had one and compared to the HS4 and HS6 that I also have, the Weber seemed the better option.
 
But since the GTS engine I bought came with the original standard twin HS2 inlet manifold, I decided it keep it standard and found most of the remaining parts needed for the twins. It needed some linkages and a rebuild kit so I assembled it as far as I could with what I had and then sent to the guys who know best when it comes to mini engines, carbs and everything else mechanical. They rebuilt it with a new jets, butterflies, shafts and gaskets, ready to bolt on for final tuning.
 
This is what I managed to dig out my spares buckets:
 
Pile of carbs:

pile-of-su.jpg

 

This was how far I was able to assemble it:

twin-su-before.jpg

 

And this is what I got back:

twin-su.jpeg

 

I haven't quite decided on what air filter to use but I do have the standard twin SU airbox. I'd be keen to hear what others have gone with.



#13 miniGTS

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 12:06 PM

This being a later model GTS, it came standard with the 12inch wheels and 8.4inch disk brake setup in front and the spacered drums in the rear. I did a refurb of the calipers, had the disks and rear drums skimmed and cleaned it all up.

Brake calipers before:

 

calipers-before.jpg

 

Brake Calipers after:

I mixed this colour using black and silver hammerite

 

calipers-1.jpg

 

 

calipers-complete.jpg

 

 

And the drums:

rear-drums.jpg

 

 

After all this work, I decided that I'll rather get 10inch wheels because the tyres are easier to find than 12inch and I really like the look of 10s. So I ordered the minispares brake conversion kit and a set of Cosmic 10 inch wheels with some yoko A008 tyres.

 

I really like these rims:

cosmic-10s.jpeg

 

10inch-cosmics.jpg


Edited by miniGTS, 01 May 2023 - 12:09 PM.


#14 miniGTS

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 12:33 PM

I did some spraying over the weekend. I plan on rebuilding the front suspension soon so I cleaned it up and sprayed it with black hammerite:

 

Front subframe before:

front-subframe-before.jpg

 

After:

 

front-subframe-after2.jpg

 

 

I'll rebuild this with new poly bushes in the steady bars, evo rubber cones, HiLos and new rubber bushes for the lower arms, the adjustable tie bar rods heavy duty kit, new bumpstops and knuckle joints.



#15 DeadSquare

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 03:46 PM

In the 60s, the competition department at Abingdon had some Nylon bushes made for the "steady bars".

 

Although the works and other drivers tried them, to the best of my knowledge, none of them ever used hard nylon bushes in competitions.






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