Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Clutch and Flywheel Check

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>

With the crank and new shells sorted, I now need to move on to the clutch. This is an area I didn't really understand until I took one to pieces for the first time and saw for myself what was what. Unfortunately the best clutch I had was the one I had to grind off the crank and as I did such a bad job, I kind of... well... totally wrecked it - (read about that fun here). This leaves me with the one I took from the earlier engine, which while is still intact, does look a bit worn and tired. So in this post I will be assessing what can be salvaged and what is scrap.

Verto Clutch Components

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crank Polish and New Bearing Shells

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>

After one failed attempt at buying and rebuilding a spare engine, I kept on searching ebay and eventually struck lucky with a newly machined partly assembled 998 lump which was something of a bargain. As they say however, 'caveat emptor' as bargains can sometimes come with problems. In the previous post, I detailed how upon close examination, I found small particles which had got in and ruined the bearing shells and scratched the the crank journals.

So that leaves me with the task of fixing the problem...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stripped and Checked New Engine

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>

Back in March this year, I bought a spare engine in the hope of stripping it down over winter and getting it to the point where I could swap it over with the one currently in the car. Once I got it stripped down however, it was obvious it would need a rebore and a set of new pistons which would make the project too expensive for me. As I only paid £50 for the engine though, the purchase wasn't a total loss as I did manage to get an unleaded head and a heap of other spares from the deal. Also as this was my first engine strip, I did gain valuable much needed experience.

Still determined to have a spare engine, I managed to win an auction on eBay and bagged myself a bargain in the shape of a 998cc block with a 40 thou overbore and matching pistons along with a reworked head and a decent gearbox. When I got it home, the first thing I noticed was the crank felt a bit notchy when it was turned, so the first thing was to get it apart and see why...
Looks good, but I'm not so sure!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bought Yet Another Engine

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>

After the recent fiasco with the flywheel, I eventually managed to remove the gearbox and strip down the rest of the engine I was working on. With the pistons and crank out, I could see what was needed to get the engine back up to fully working order, but as I started to price up the cost of everything, it was beginning to get a bit expensive.

The cylinders needed a rebore which would be about £100ish, the top of the block also needed a skim costing another £30. Not too painful in the wallet department, but the real killer would be the cost of a set of new oversized flat top pistons to fit the freshly rebored cylinders, coming in at well over £200 for a budget set and nearer £300 for a decent set. The cost of that along with all the other odds and ends like a crank re-polish and new bearing shells, it was getting up to £500 which is just too much for me. In the meantime though, I had my eye on yet another engine on ebay, but this one had already had all the necessary machine work done and had a new set of pistons.  But what would it sell for?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Spare Engine - Flywheel Fiasco

Seeing as it's winter, well nearly winter! I know it doesn't actually start until the 21st of December, but in my book it's winter already. Anyway, seeing as it's winter, I thought I'd best get cracking with the 'Grand Winter Project' of rebuilding a replacement engine.

Back in March I bought a spare engine on the cheap to see if I could rebuild it with the hope of swapping it over. I have been gradually stripping it down over the year and now I need to get the flywheel off. This is not the easiest task at the best of times, but this time, it was a nightmare...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Boot Lid Cables

Ever since owning the Mini I've known that one of boot lid cables was missing. This leaves just a single cable to support the boot lid when it's left in the open position. As it was not causing an immediate problem, it was not high up on my priority list so I never got around to replacing it. To be honest I probably would have never got around to replacing it, had it not been for the fact that one day when I opened the boot the inevitable happened, the remaining cable finally snapped on me!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Voltage Shortage

Over the last three weeks or so, I have been busy fixing and cleaning the interior of the car. As the seats were out for the duration, I thought it best not to be driving around, so the car has been sat idle. As a result, when I came to turn the key, there was a distinct lack of power available.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Inside Job!

Having spent the last three weeks working on the interior of the car, I have transformed the front seats, cleaned the carpets and painted the floor. So now the paint has dried the only job left is to put all the nice clean parts back in...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tarted The Floor Up

In the previous couple of posts I have been working on the interior. It started with water getting into the footwell and escalated from there to removing the seats and refurbishing them, first passenger then drivers side as they were just too crappy to put back in as they were.

The problem was however, the nice clean seats showed up the state of the carpets which were dirty. So they were taken out and scrubbed, but then the newly repaired floor at the front made the floor in the back look horrible. So while the carpets were out, I put a spare tin of Hammerite Smooth I had in the shed to good use.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Disastrously Saggy Driver's Seat

In the previous post 'Pitifully Sad Passenger Seat', I went into great detail about how I took the covers off the passenger seat, cleaned and refitted them. In this post I will be looking at the driver's seat. Being the driver's seat, you would imagine that it would be used more, and as a consequence be much more knackered. Guess what, it was!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pitifully Sad Passenger Seat

In the previous post, 'Soggy Driver's Footwell', I had to remove the front seats to make space to work on the floor. While they were out and stored in the house, it was pretty obvious that 25 years of use had left them looking tatty, sad and tired.

The passenger side was particularly bad with quite a large stain on the material which I have to confess was my own fault. Driving to work earlier in the year, a pot of double cream tipped over creating the current, less than desirable look. In order to clean them properly I wanted to remove the covers, but as always, I had no idea how to do it and with little help online either it was going to be another 'trial and error' project.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Soggy Driver's Footwell

Back in June last year, I thought I'd nailed the problem of water getting into the car. A problem that can often be the ruin of many a Mini owner's happiness... and carpets! I was suffering pretty badly with it last year until I decided to have a bash at solving the problem which I thought went pretty well. I made three posts on weatherproofing at the time.

So lifting up soggy carpets yet again was very disappointing, it seems Minis just love to let the rain in no matter what you do! The disappointment soon gave way to despair though when I saw the state of the floor beneath with bubbling paint and rusty patches, I was dreading the worst.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rear Brakes - Somewhat Confused Shoes!

Ever since owning the car, the rear brakes have always had a bit of a low level grinding noise when used. As it wasn't that bad and knowing no better, I assumed it was normal. Recently however the noise has become worse, so bad in fact that even a numpty like myself cannot fail to realise something was not right.

So taking the drums off to investigate I found a build up of brake dust sat on top of the adjuster housing. Having rebuilt the brakes recently, I knew something was afoot with these shoes! And thanks to the help from friends on facebook, I was able to work out what it was...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Shot of Lead in the Head!

In the previous post (Replaced the Head) I successfully managed to change the cylinder head on the Mini, and pretty chuffed I was with myself too as it was quite a big job. Anyway, now I have the old head off and in the shed I can start to strip it down and see what's what.

The head that went on was one I'd done quite a lot of work on (here) and is fitted with hardened exhaust valve seats. Because of this and also the fact the car was manufactured in the late 80's, I simply assumed that the head that came off would also be fitted with the same hardened seats. Turns out I was wrong, which is a bit of a shame as I really wanted to keep the head as a spare.

The original cylinder head

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Replaced the Head

Back in March this year I bought a spare engine (well two in fact) and I have been tinkering with them ever since. A lot of my tinkerings have been trying to get the head back to a usable state.

Having spent an age cleaning it, lapping the valves and even having a go at porting it, not to mention the time that went into refurbishing the rocker assembly, it seemed daft just having the thing sat on the shelf gathering rust.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Distributor Cap Clip

Okay, so replacing a distributor cap clip doesn't make for the most exciting reading, but it needed doing as it had snapped off. Although I have had the spare clips for weeks, somehow I just never got around to replacing it, but I thought as I was working in the engine bay at the moment, I would just get it done.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Adjustable Radius Arm Brackets

Ever since I overhauled the rear subframe (here), I was not convinced that the replacement radius arm brackets fitted correctly. The drivers side in particular was an absolute pig to get the holes to line up and I always thought the camber looked a bit off and looking at the tyre wear on that side seems to confirm this.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Replaced the Aerial

Sometimes I suspect that I'm not the brightest spark. One such example that leads to this conclusion happened about a year ago. As I don't have a garage, I generally keep the Mini under a cover, putting it on every night and removing it each morning. The particular morning in question, I removed the cover to find I had not put the aerial down the previous night and snapped it off.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Exhaust Leak Fixed

Driving recently I have caught a whiff of exhaust smells in the car. I wasn't sure if I was making it up as I mostly have the windows down. But once the windows were up, it was more noticeable. With the potential to be slowly gassed in the car, I thought it might be something that I would have a look at quite sharpish.

Having a look under the bonnet with the engine running, I investigated where the exhaust pipe attaches to the manifold. Straight away I could hear a blowing noise and putting my hand near confirmed the leak as I could feel the gas escaping.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Front Passenger Wheel Studs

About a month ago during the Drivetrain Overhaul Project (the very last job in fact) I was attaching the road wheel and managed to snap one of the studs. It was a bit annoying at the time but looking back just over a year ago when I last snapped a stud it was pretty easy to replace.

But as I tried to remove the old stud, it quickly became obvious that the newly fitted brake discs were not going to co-operate and would need to come out again in order to replace the stud. This was something of a bitter blow and I couldn't face doing the job at the time so I put it off until after I'd been on holiday.

Well now I'm back, refreshed and ready to get cracking...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Replaced The Handbrake Gaiters... Again!

For some reason, not sure why, I was having a nosey around under the back of the car recently and noticed that the handbrake gaiters were looking a bit shabby. This is a bit annoying as they were only just replaced in January this year when the rear subframe was re-installed.

A hole in it already!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Steering Rack Gaiters

When I got the last MOT certificate back, although it passed there was an advisory that both steering rack gaiters were in poor condition. So while the car was up on stands anyway with all the drivetain overhaul work, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to replace the gaiters and tick this job off the 'to-do' list.

Looking at them, I have to agree they had seen better days.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Calamitous Caliper Capers

Having spent some time recently overhauling the front brake calipers, I can safely say that they are one of my least favourite parts of the car to work on. I'm not sure if this is down to the disastrous results I managed to achieve or just the fact it's such fiddly and infuriatingly difficult work..

The reason I started to look at the brakes was partly down to curiosity, but there was a real problem with them also. The passenger caliper was rubbing on the disc causing the car to drag to the left. So I decided to go the whole hog and go for a complete strip and rebuild.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Drivetrain Overhaul

For a while now there's been a slight crunching, grinding noise coming from the offside area when driving along, nothing too bad just one of those noises that leads you to think there's something not quite right that will need fixing someday. However when the car started pulling to the left while driving and then pulling sharply to the right when braking recently, I concluded that 'someday' had finally arrived.

Apart from the pot joints, I decided to take the whole drivetrain out along with the brake calipers to see what was going on and hopefully learn a few things along the way.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spare Engine - Gearbox Removal

If you have read any of the previous posts, you will have seen that I am in the process of stripping a broken engine in the hope that I can gain some valuable experience that will enable me to rebuild a decent engine. So far I have stripped the head, removed the timing gear and the flywheel and clutch. Now I am at a point where I can remove the gearbox.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Spare Engine - Oil Pump Inspection

As I had the clutch housing off already, I thought it would be quite interesting to have a look at the oil pump and see how it worked and also if it was still usable.

The oil pump is located behind the clutch housing cover and it held in place with three small bolts which were easily removed. However to get at the oil pump while the engine is still in the car would be very tricky as the clutch and it's housing are in the way and getting them out with the engine in situ would be a nightmare. If anyone has managed it, I take my hat off to you as this is how difficult I found it even with the engine on the bench.

Oil pump location.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spare Engine - Flywheel Fun!

In an attempt to gain some experience of how the A-Series engine works, I bought a knackered engine for the princely sum of £10. Although the block is cracked and some parts were missing, it was ideal for taking to bits and learning what's what.

In the previous post I had taken the timing gear apart, but now my attention is focused on getting the flywheel and its housing off. This time I decided to do some research beforehand and found 'how to' guides on the internet and also some helpful videos on YouTube. So I went into this one armed with a bit of info, that's not to say that I didn't have my fair share of disasters and frustration.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spare Engine - Timing Gear Removed

Having spent quite a lot of time recently working towards restoring the head, I now need something decent to sit it on. This is the part I have been looking forward to, the engine!!! This will be a mountain of work and will take me ages to complete.

My first obstacle is that I am not too familiar with the A-Series engine. To be honest, I'm not actually familiar with any engine at all. This problem is not insurmountable though as I have acquired a knackered engine for £10 and plan to use this as my learning engine. Although the block is cracked, it is complete and perfect for taking to bits.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spare Engine - Reassembling the Head

Now that the head is all painted and looking fantastic in its not so original red coat, it's now time to put the whole thing back together and store it away.

The red looks fantastic.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spare Engine - Painting the Head

Progress has been oh so slow recently, hampered by all the building work and all the general busyness a full time job and two kids bring. But now the building work is complete, it is set to get even slower as I embark on the mammoth task of redecorating the whole house! So blog entries may not be so think and fast for the next few months as I will only be able to steal a few hours on the Mini here and there.

But that hasn't stopped me from plodding on with restoring all the other parts of the head. Along with those restored parts and a few new bits, it's finally time to put it all back together again. But before any rebuilding can be done, the head itself needs new coat. As the head I'm working on is a 998cc, it should really be painted yellow, but I'm not purist when it comes to these things so I'm painting it red. Why, because I want to!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Testing The New Thermostat

Slowly but surely I am getting around to rebuilding a spare head. So far I've cleaned off all the grime, lapped the valves into their seats, done a little porting (badly) and refurbished the rockers. Still on the 'to do' list is the job of reassembly. But to do that, I needed some new parts.

After some careful internet window shopping and price comparisons, I bought all the parts I needed online from Mini Sport. This is my first purchase with Mini Sport as in the past I've generally used Mini Spares, but for the parts I needed this time, Mini Sports was the cheapest so I thought I would give it a shot. 
Shiny New Things!!!

Among the various purchase items was a new thermostat. You would have thought that buying a new thermostat would be easy, just search and add to the shopping cart and away you go. But unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that. A quick search on the website brings back not one, but a whole range of items to choose from. To the untrained eye, (i.e. mine) they all look identical, but a closer inspection reveals that the difference is down to the operating temperature. The main choices I could see were 74°C, 82°C and 88°C, however the website descriptions for the differing items offered little to no clues as to which was the best one to use with a standard 998 carb fed engine. I assume that if you get the wrong one it could be bad, probably very bad. So after a quick phone call to Mini Sport Customer Services, I was directed to the 82°C item.

As there was a selection of different thermostats with different temperature thresholds, I thought it would be fun to see just how closely to the stated 82°C it would spring into action. So I devised a little experiment...

Moving to my laboratory (the kitchen), I gathered together the necessary equipment to conduct the experiment. The specialist apparatus used include a kettle, a cup, a thermometer and a draining board.

Very Technical equipment.

After boiling the kettle, the hot water was added to the cup and the thermometer confirmed it was pretty hot, too hot in fact, so adding a little cold, brought it down to about 80° C. Leaving the thermometer sat in the water I could see the temperature dropping from 80, to 79, 78 and so on quite quickly, so I kept topping the cup up from the kettle allowing it to overflow to try to keep the temperature stable.

Plopping the thermostat into the water at 80° C, I expected nothing to happen as this is below the opening temperature. And a few minutes in the water soon confirmed that the thermostat did indeed stay closed.

Adding a little water to the cup, raised the temperature of the water up to 83° C, and now things started to happen.

Slowly the thermostat came to life and started to open. First a little...

Then more...

until it was gaping...

All the time, I tried to keep the temperature at about 83° C.

This seemed to be very close indeed to the operating temperature, these things obviously work and work very well. As a final test, I let the water cool and as the mercury dropped, the thermostat predictably closed back up again.

So there you have it, a very good result confirming that the 82° C thermostat does indeed open at (or very close to) the stated temperature.

With all that sciencing complete, I now just need to tidy up now and allow the kettle to fulfil it's proper role and make a well earned cup of tea.

<Next Post> - 'Spare Engine - Painting the Head'
<This Post> - 'Testing The New Thermostat'
<Previous Post> - 'Oil Change Number 2'

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Oil Change Number 2

Changing the oil and the oil filter is a bit of a chore really, but as the Mini is currently my daily drive, it's a fairly important one that I can't ignore. Looking back over my blog, it appears that I last changed the oil back in May 2013. That's a whole year ago, where did that go?! So the time has come once more.

Apart from a few minor changes, this year was much the same a last year: take the old oil out, change the filter and put the new oil in. There's not that much to it really.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gunk Engine Degreaser v's Red Diesel

Like many people who have their hands in old car parts, I get through quite a lot of engine degreaser. The brand I have found to be the most effective (and the best smelling) is Gunk. I find Gunk so useful I buy it in 2.5 litre cans which are currently selling in Halfords for £10.99. Making it £4.40ish per litre.
A lot like this one.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spare Engine - Rocker Refurb

Spares Are Great
Having spare parts kicking about the shed is brilliant! It means I can mess about experimenting with things, learning how they work without the fear of breaking something I am currently using. This's exactly the case with the rocker assembly. Actually, I have two spare sets, which is even better!

So having all these spare parts available, it seems a shame, almost a crime in fact, not to take one to pieces just for the sake it! To be honest, the rockers just looked dirty really and I suspect that refurbishing them is probably unnecessary as it will not make them work any better, but so what! Where's the fun in that?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spare Engine - Porting the Head

As porting the head is simply a means of getting more gas through the ports, it should be fairly straight forward to make improvements. Just make the holes bigger! If only it were so simple. Porting seems to be an art-form that requires the skills of a sculptor and the experience and knowledge of an engineer. Neither of which I have at my disposal. Also I really need a flow bench to check how the modifications effect the Cubic Feet per Minute (so that's what CFM stands for!). I had a look around, and I don't seem to have one to hand. What I do have though is a scrap head to use for practice, some sub standard tools, a book and lots of determination.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spare Engine - Lapping the valves

In the previous post, I was experimenting with various methods of lapping the valves into their respective seats. I found that lapping by hand worked very well if the seats were in good condition to begin with. The problem is though, the head I am working on has some bad pitting around the valve seats and lapping by hand was just not going to work

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spare Engine - Valve Lapping Techniques

In the last post I was investigating how to strip the head down and then said I was going to look into porting to get better flow. But after a little further investigation of the head, I have decided to delay the porting in favour of making sure that the valve seats are lapped properly. Once I know that they are air tight, then I will move onto porting.

I currently have two heads that I am working with, however I soon noticed that one had a rather nasty crack across one of the valve seats. A closer inspection confirmed that the crack extended into the valve port and across the gasket face. So that's one head declared dead, destined to be nothing more than scrap or maybe a door stopper. Before that though, I will use it to practice and hopefully perfect my porting techniques.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spare Engine - Head Inspection

As the strip down of the engines continues, my attention now turns to inspecting the heads. The better engine came with complete head and rocker assembly, whereas the 'not so good' engine's head came minus the rockers. Looking at the casting numbers, both the heads are of identical spec and designed for a 99H engine.

Two heads really are better than one. Having a 'spare', 'spare' head is exceptionally useful, even though it's not in the best condition. As I have no experience what so ever in this area, working on the 'spare', 'spare' first, allows me to get away with mistakes while gaining valuable knowledge that I can use when working on the 'good' head.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Valve Spring Compressor

Having collected two spare engines recently, I've been slowly taking them to bits in order to assess what needs to be done in the hope of making a good one from the two. Having already looked at the block, now I turn my attention to the head. Anyone who has ever taken a head to pieces will know that to get the valves out, you need a valve spring compressor.

How to get those tricky valve springs off!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spare Engine - Block Inspection

Having acquired not one, but two spare engines recently which you can read about here and here. I needed to have a look at them and assess what kind of state they were in to plan what I was going to do with them.

One of the engines I bought on the cheap, having a cracked block is no good for a rebuild, but I will be useful as a learning engine and also for spare parts. This post however will focus on the 'good' engine that I hope to dismantle and rebuild.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Collected 'Spare' Engine(s)

After many months of lurking in the background on Ebay, watching and waiting, finally last Sunday I bid for and won an engine that was in my price range and in the condition I wanted. Problem was though, I wasn't free to pick it up until Friday. That's nearly a week of childish excitement to deal with which peaked on Thursday night, resulting in a lack of sleep!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bought a 'spare' engine

Having tinkered with most of the car, the main thing that has gone untouched is the engine. This is for 2 main reasons. The first is that I know nothing about engines, and the second is that I want to use the car as a daily run-about and if I removed the engine, presumably the only way to use the car would be to fit it with peddles.

So how do I play at being a mechanic and keep the car on the road (without peddling)... Buy a spare engine of course. This way I get to do both. Having spent the last couple of months watching engines on Ebay, I got an idea of the price and condition I was interested in.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Central Locking and Keyless Entry (Part 2)

I found some time on Sunday morning to get out and finish off the fitting of the central locking kit. In the previous post, I managed to do the passenger door, but it took ages as there was much guesswork involved. Hopefully the experience I gained doing that should speed up the fitting of the drivers door.

The tasks before me today are:
  • Fit the drivers side locking mechanism.
  • Find a neat solution for the wires from the door to the car.
  • Find a suitable place to mount the control box.
  • Find a 'permanent live' and a 'common earth' to power the thing.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Central Locking and Keyless Entry (Part 1)

I know! I know! For some, modernising a classic car with fancy new gadgets is just plain wrong. "You bought an old car and you should accept it's limitations" would be the argument. I can see that and it seems a fair argument, but when you are fumbling for your keys, stood in the road and it's raining and dark and you are at risk of being squashed by a passing truck, the argument seems less persuasive. Also, I love a gadget, so I'm modernising.

I went for a kit from a company called A-Series Spares as it was specifically designed to fit the Mini. There are generic kits on the market that would probably do the job, but the fact that this kit was Mini specific was quite tempting.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Knuckle Joint Dust Covers Knackered

Yesterday, I had been working on the front subframe mounts and while I had the front wheels off, I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to give the front suspension a bit of a spit and polish. But to my shock and horror, I noticed that the knuckle joint dust covers I fitted last April were looking pretty knackered.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Front subframe mounts

The front 'tear drop' subframe mounts are fine as they were replaced last year as work needed for the first MOT. So I am concentrating on the rear ones that attach the front subframe to the car floor.

These ones.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bleeding the rear brakes and MOT

With the weather picking up, it was time to get the Mini out from hiding and back on the road. But before that could happen, there were a few things that needed attending to.

The main thing was the MOT. I knew that after all the work that had been completed recently there couldn't be that much to worry about. But there were 2 small jobs that needed taking care of to ensure a pass. The first was simply to attach the metal battery strap back over the battery. That was easy enough, even in the dark and cold!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mini Re-homed!

No, I haven't sold it!

With all the building work going on at the moment, I needed to get the Mini out of the way as it was at risk of being damaged. Also the builders needed the space it was occupying to store sand and bricks. So as soon as the car was back on it's wheels, it was bundled off into storage for a few weeks.

Thankfully, a friend and previous Mini owner, kindly loaned me his garage for the duration. Thanks again John. In the previous post, I had a marathon session getting the car drivable to be able to make the journey to it's temporary accommodation.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rear Subframe Installation

Well the day has finally arrived. The day when I get to put the rear subframe back onto the car. It seems like an age since it was removed, but I was taking my time. However, there is now a bit of a rush to get the car roadworthy again. As mentioned in a previous post, we are having building work done and the Mini is really in the way and at risk of being damaged. So I need to get it back on it's wheels asap so it can driven to the garage of a kind friend for a while. (Thanks John)

To get the car to a driveable state, there are several (well actually loads) of things that need to happen:
  • Underseal the rear of the car 
  • Cut a hole in the subframe for the rear exhaust mount
  • Tidy inside the boot when the subframe bolts go
  • Attach the subframe to the car
  • Attach the handbrake
  • Bleed and set the brakes
  • Install the petrol tank
  • Attach the exhaust

I know! A mammoth task for one day, but that is all I have as I've taken a day off work to get all these jobs done.  Working alone, I wasn't sure if it was possible, but it is amazing what you can get done if you are pushed.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rear Subframe Rebuild

Now that all the parts for the rear subframe are restored (or replaced) and ready to go back together, it was simply a task of finding the time and space to assemble everything. We are currently having some building work done, so my usual little workshop is being temporary used as storage. Actually, the building work is the real reason I have gone from taking it easy to really needing to get the car back on it's wheels and out of the way.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rear Subframe Recon Complete!!

I took the decision (possibly a rubbish one, time will tell) to get rid of all the holes in the rear subframe by filling them with foam filler. You can read about the messy exploits here: 'Rear Subframe Strip Down - Part 3 (Ish) - Foam Filler!'

Well as you may have read, I certainly filled all the cavities with foam filler, but there were loads of other smaller nooks and crannies here and there that could harbor debris and start corroding. So once the main cavities were filled and finished, I used a small amount of filler to pack out any other small holes I could find.

It is worth stating that all these holes are part and parcel of the production process and not due to corrision. The subframe was in excellent condition. The subframe is fabricated from an intricate combination of many sheets of pressed metal cleverly welded together. As a consequence of this manufacturing process, there are these small cavities. This is probably the reason why rear subframes are notorious for rusting.

Places where muck can hide!