Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rough Journal Entry!

Well folks, it's been a while, but finally after a month or so of waiting, the parts I sent off for balancing were ready for collection. Fantastic I thought, I now can crack on at long last with rebuilding the engine once again. Of course though, being a 'have a go hooligan', nothing ever seems to go smoothly...

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Box of Bits

Since the previous post, not a ton of actual real progress has been made. If you look back, you'll see that I stripped the engine down in order to get the crank, fly wheel and pistons out so they can be balanced and what I'm left with is essentially a sad looking box of bits.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Piston Problems

In the previous post, I'd removed the newly rebuilt engine from the car as there was obviously something very wrong. Now it's time to pull it apart again and if possible find out why it was vibrating so much.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hokey Cokey Engine!

In the previous post, I was worried about the engine vibrating excessively when it was revving up. I looked at the fan and pulley in the vain hope the problem was there. When they were removed however, the problem still persisted. Alas, there was only one thing for it, the engine was going to have to come out again to investigate the problem fully.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Engine Nightmare!!

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
In the previous post I got to finally enjoy driving my Mini around with the new engine fitted. Well I say enjoy, probably 'endure' is closer to the truth as the vibration from the engine at about 1500 rpm is staring to get on my nerves. It's beginning to look like the engine may have to come out again!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

First Drive

It's not everyday that we get to tick off one of our life goals, things that we consider part of our bucket list as it were. For a very long time, long before I'd even heard of the term bucket list, I've always wanted to drive a car motivated by an engine that I have built myself.

After spending what seems like an eternity building and installing a new engine, that day has finally arrived, today I get to realise a lifelong dream.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Brake Limiter Valve

Having spent the last year building and fitting a new engine in the Mini, there's just one last job that stands between me and my first trip out, and that's to bleed the brakes. There is just one snag though, there's almost no fluid coming out at the rear bleed valves!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ditching the Ballast

If you're an avid follow of this blog, and let's face it, who isn't?!  Then you'll remember that back in this post I had a bit of a meltdown issue with the ballast wire. You'll also remember more recently in this post, I fixed everything with a new ignition wire and a new ballast resistor. All should be good under the hood, however I've noticed that the ballast resistor is getting rather hot to the point of concern. So hot in fact that it's too hot to touch.

So I've decided that the ballasted system is too annoying and I'm converting to the simpler non-ballasted system.
Ballasted Setup.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Carb v's The Bulkhead

Back in this post here when I reattached all the engine bits and bobs, I noted that due to installation of the new intake manifold left the carb jet perilously close to the bulkhead. Although it wasn't touching, there was the slight danger that with the choke out and at full throttle, the engine may flex enough to bash the jet into the bulkhead and bend it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Front Brake Hoses

As the new brake hoses have already been attached to the subframe in a previous post, this post would have been all about installing the front brake calipers. However a small snag has presented itself, well more of a twist really as one of the hoses has a kink.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bleeding The Clutch

In the previous post, I enjoyed the monumental moment of starting my first ever engine that I've built. Before I can have the joy of my first trip though, there are one or two little jobs that need sorting and today's little job is to bleed the clutch.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The First Engine Startup

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
Well it’s been a long and (for me at least epic) journey over the last year, slowly building my new engine. Learning as I went, making mistakes, fixing them, making more mistakes, fixing them also, but finally I’ve arrived at the big day; the day it hopefully comes to life!!

I’m as nervous as hell, but before I can turn the key, there are a few last minute jobs to sort and then a final checklist and it’s time…

Thursday, September 17, 2015

To Ballast or Not To Ballast, That is the Ignition!

Way back in June this year, I had a 'slight' issue when the car spluttered to a halt and refused to start again. Lifting the bonnet to see what had happened, I was confronted with the horror scenario of smoking, melting wires. Panic set in and I quickly pulled the battery connectors off as I had visions of the thing setting on fire!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

RC40 Exhaust Install

Now that the engine is in the car and all connected up, it seems a good time to hang the new exhaust. Although the standard pea-shooter exhaust I took off is still in very good condition, it wont be going back on as I have splashed out on a new RC40 upgrade which came as part of a Stage 1 kit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Driveshaft Boot Replacement and Install

Following on from the previous post where I reattached most things back on the engine, it now seems appropriate to put the driveshafts back in. Before that can happen though, the 'not so old' inner CV boots need replacing... again.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Re-Connecting the Engine

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
Now that the engine is actually sat in the car, the work has really just begun as now there's the small task of reconnecting everything. Well almost everything as the speedo cable's already been connected when the engine was lowered into place, so that's one thing off the list at least!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Engine Install

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
After almost a year of buying, building and beautifying, both the car and the engine are finally ready to come together and be united as one. It's time once more to crank out the crane!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Carburettor Alterations

While I'm waiting for a decent enough day (weather wise), and some spare time to lift the new engine into the newly refurbished engine bay, I thought I'd sort out the changes needed for the carburettor. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Prepping The New Engine For Install

Before I hoist the new engine into the car, there are a number of parts I want to take from the old engine to put on the new one as it's a lot easier to get them on now while it's sat in the house, rather than when it's installed in the car.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Front Subframe Install

Back in this post here, I decided that the only way to do a proper job of getting the new engine in was to drop the front subframe. After a lot of work, I now have a freshly painted front subframe and a decent looking engine bay, so it's time to put the the two back together.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Brake and Clutch Cylinder Install

Back in this post here, I decided to remove the clutch and brake master cylinders in order to tidy both them and the bulkhead of the car. Well now they are all cleaned up and ready to go back in, the only problem is, it's a very tricky job requiring tiny hands and double jointed wrists!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Front Subframe Tidy

Back in this post here, I decided to remove the front subframe in order to sort out the bulkhead and tidy it all up. It would be a bit of a missed opportunity not to clean it up and give it a lick of paint while I have the chance, so that's exactly what I did.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tidying Up The Bulkhead

In the previous post, I decided that the only way to do a proper job on the bulkhead was to fully remove the front subframe. It was a lot of extra effort that I hadn't really planned on doing, but once it was out and I could see the bulkhead behind, I quickly realised that it was the right choice.

I could see a number of areas where the paint had failed and surface rust has started. which if left untreated would most definitely add extra ventilation that I most certainly could do without. The last thing I need is a new way for rainwater to get in!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Front Subframe Removal

Now, I have to say that when I set about getting the engine bay ready for a nice new engine, at no point did I think that I'd be taking the front subframe out! However, when I looked down at the bulkhead, there were parts that clearly needed work that were just inaccessible with the subframe in place.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Brake Cylinder and Limiter Valve - Demuckification

In the previous post, I declared (tongue in cheek a little) that I was starting 'Operation Tidy the Engine Bay' and started off by removing and overhauling the two clutch cylinders. Now it's the turn for the brake cylinder and the limiter valve as they look like they have seen better days.

Due to the complication of these parts, I decided not to take them to pieces at this time, preferring to just clean them up and make them more presentable. Hence the reason for titling this post as a 'Demuckification' rather than an 'Overhaul'.

Brake Master Cylinder and Limiter Valve

Friday, August 28, 2015

Clutch Cylinders - Overhaul

After successfully removing the engine without injuring myself or damaging the car, which I'm pretty chuffed about, it's left behind a rather scruffy looking engine bay. As I've spent the last 9 months painstakingly rebuilding the new engine, painting and polishing every component to perfection, there's just no way it's going in without a bit of a tidy up first.

For that reason, I'm starting 'Operation Tidy the Engine Bay', not the catchiest of titles I grant you, but it explains things rather well. The first things that need to come out for beauty treatment are the 2 clutch cylinders. The slave cylinder is an easy job to remove, but the master is an absolute nightmare...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Removing The Old Engine

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
In the previous post I got the engine to the point where it was ready to just lift out. The problem is though, it's a heavy lump and no matter how much spinach I eat, there's just no way I'm going to be able to lift it with brute force alone.

So after a little pondering, I decided to have a go (like a hooligan) with some rope and a plank of wood. As the Mini is parked near a wall, I thought it might be possible to rest one end of the plank on the wall, strap the engine to the plank, then lift the engine up and swing it round. Guess how it went...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Unplugging The Old Engine

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
Now that the new engine is finally ready to go in the car, today's job is to get the old engine to the point where it's ready to be lifted out. In the recent post 'Stripping the Current, Soon To Be Old Engine', I've already removed the Heater Valve, Carburettor, Radiator, Alternator, Distributor, Coil and Earth Strap. Also the Temperature Sender and Oil Pressure Warning Sender were removed. Surely there can't be much more! Well it appears there is more, lots in fact...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cam Lift v's Valve Lift - A Descent Into Madness!

Well after a nice relaxing break in Scotland with virtually no internet connection, I'm back and keen to get on and finish off the engine. Before I went away, I was getting bogged down worrying about the camshaft and how accurate the lobes were. One of the great things about getting away from a project is that it changes your perspective and while I was away I realised that I was going into too much detail and it was holding back the progress. Yep, even for me there's a limit as to how 'into' camshafts one can go and I was going too far!! That's not to say that I haven't learnt a stack of useful stuff in the process though...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stripping the Current, Soon To Be Old Engine

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
With the new engine almost built up and ready to go, I thought it was time to start pilfering parts from the current (soon to be old) engine, that I will be needing in order to move the project along.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Piston Pressure

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Everyone should have a mate called Dave. If you haven't got a mate called Dave, you are missing out and really should consider seeking one . I have a mate called Dave and he has kindly loaned me his piston compression gauge.

Best put it to good use...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fitting an Oil Pressure Gauge

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Now that the engine is all sealed up (or so I thought, read on and see my monumental stupidity!!), it's time to drop some oil in and see if I can get some pressure!! To see how much pressure, I bought myself a second hand oil pressure gauge for about a fiver and the necessary gubbins to plumb it in.

It's been a long trek to get to this post so, let's get started...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tappet Covers

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Still pressing on with trying to seal the engine ready for oil, the last step is to get the tappet covers in place.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fuel Pump

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Things are really starting to come together now with the new engine as a major milestone was reached in the previous post. The next big thing I want to be able to do is to pour in the engine oil and get oil pressure. Before that can happen though, all the holes round the back of the engine need covering over so the oil doesn't just pour back out again, Two of those holes belong to the tapper covers which I'll get to in the next post, the other is where the fuel pump lives.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Head On The Block

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Now that I have the head sorted and also a fully restored rocker set, it's time to mount it all on top of the block and finally make something that resembles a working engine.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Rebuilding The Rockers

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
In the previous post I got the head checked over and painted up ready to go onto the block, but what use is a head without the rockers? None I hear you shout, and you'd be right, well maybe apart from using it as a door stopper for a very large door, say a barn door for example or even a paper weight for use in stormy weather! Anyway, back to the rockers, time to sort them out...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Head Check!

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
When I first bought the engine, in what seems like a lifetime ago now, it came with a fairly decent head that looked like it had been recently re-machined. Before I committed to using though, I wanted to make sure that everything was as it should be, so I decided to take the valves out and check it over before I painted it.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Dizzy-In-'ly Simple!!

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
In the past, before I had taken any of my engines apart, I thought that if I took the distributor out, that it would be nearly impossible to get it back in again the same way and the engine would be ruined! I'm not kidding either, I actually thought that and I was so concerned about this that I thought that putting the distributor in the new engine would be difficult and need a ton of setting up and tinkering to get it right.

Well turns out it was really easy...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oil Filter and Water Pump

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
As I only have bits of time here and there to concentrate on the engine, I find that I need to make lots of little steps at the moment. This works out well as now the Clutch cover is on, a lot of the next work is in nice bite sized lumps. The first of today's bite sized lumps, is to attach the oil filter and its associated pipe.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Wok's Going On!

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Well I know it's the clutch housing, but it really does look like a wok! Granted it's got a big hole in the middle and a wok hasn't, and it has no handles where a wok would and I wouldn't want to cook with it, but still it kinda vaguely resembles... a... wok... Okay, it's nothing like a wok, but it made a really catchy title so I went with it!! Anyway, it's time to put it on.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oil Pressure Relief Valve

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
In the interests of being thorough with the engine build, I thought it best to make sure the oil pressure relief valve was checked over to make sure it was okay. Plus I haven't a clue what lives behind that large nut, so this is an ideal opportunity to find out!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Camshaft Endfloat and Timing Cover

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
You would have thought that setting the camshaft endfloat would be a fairly straight forward affair. All other parts of the engine I have encountered so far where endfloat is critical, could simply be shimmed up to eliminate the slack and get things into tolerance. For some reason though when it comes to the camshaft endfloat, I couldn't find any shims at all to help me out. So how exactly do you make sure the endfloat is correct??

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Electrical Gremlins and Melty Cables

Driving home from work recently, I got that sinking feeling that accompanies a lack of power as I was tootling along. Initially, I thought that I may have just stalled the engine, but as the car ground to a halt and stubbornly refused to go any further, I realised I was going to have to get my hands dirty!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Battery Bother

Over the last week or so, I've had a few issues with a dead battery first thing in the morning, generally as I have been running late for work. Annoying as this is, it wasn't too much of a pain as I simply hooked up my 'Jump Starter' and the car would start and I could be on my way.

Driving the 10 miles to work, I assumed that the battery would be charging up, however the same dead battery gremlins would plague the car again for the journey home. As useful as the Jump Starter pack is, it's only good for a few starts before it needs recharging so I was running the risk of getting stranded if I didn't get the battery sorted out soon.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bedroom's No Place For An Engine!

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Way, way back in the dim and distant past when I first started this engine build project, it was the dead of winter and absolutely freezing in my shed. As a result, my enthusiasm to go out and do a bit of tinkering was tempered by the thought of frozen fingers and general shivering.

So in my infinite wisdom a plan was hatched to overcome this problem, a plan that would afford me warmth, comfort and a nice sit down while I build the engine. An excellent plan with only one small problem, it was the spare bedroom!!!

Spare bedrooms are great!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015


I'm guessing that if you follow this blog, you're probably more of a fan of the Classic Mini than the avarage Joe, I would also guess that at some point. you've picked up and read MiniWorld. This is a magazine that I have read and subscribed to since I was 'into' Mini's, so when the chance to actually appear in came up, I was all over it.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Wheels

I, like many others that read this blog I'm sure, spend a lot of my spare time keeping my eye on ebay and various 'selling groups' for parts that I think will be useful at some point. Generally, if you are lucky and quick enough, a good bargain can be found without travelling to the other end of the UK to pick it up.

One such piece of good luck happened to me recently when I saw a set of wheels, identical to the ones I currently own, going for a good price and not too far away. They were in very good condition and had decent tyres. Well I couldn't resist and jumped on the chance.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rusty, Crusty Parts - Purged, Painted and Polished

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>
This post is really just a set of before and after shots to document the painstakingly slow transformation of each of the peripheral items that were chosen to go back on the engine. Each item was stripped back to bare metal with a selection of different wire bushes and a drill, then cleaned with meths and a cloth ready for paint. The first coat was a light mist of acid etch followed by several coats of undercoat and finished off with 3-4 coats of gloss black.

Decisions, decisions!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Setting The Valve Timing

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>
I must admit that I was a little worried about this part of the project as valve timing always seemed to be a bit complicated, but like any other subject after a bit (actually a lot) of research and learning, it's nowhere near as tricky as I first thought. In fact, I'd even go as far as saying, it's a bit of a doddle when you know how. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Done In Distributor, Done Up

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>
Back in December last year, I bought a knackered distributor off ebay for the princely sum of £7.50. For that price, you don't get much, but what you do get is a project. Add that to the other semi-knackered distributor that came with one of the engines I bought and you have a recipe for '2 into 1' success'. Well that's the plan at least...

Not looking too tidy.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Front Plate and Timing Decisions

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>
In the post Putting The Gearbox On , I loosely attached the front plate to stop the half moon seal bulging out when the gearbox squashed it into place. Now that all the RTV on the gearbox and seals has properly cured, it's time to attach the front plate permanently and also decide once and for all, what type of timing drive I'm going to use.

Front Plate