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  • A Little Long-Term Project
  • reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Time for the job I’ve been dreading: putting the front and rear screens back in. So much scope to crack the glass and so expensive to replace, this is going to be stressful!

    The rear is in good condition, like the rest of it back there, but the front aperture is a different story. The cheap paint job had left a lot of transitions between the original paint and had gone all brittle so a lot of it flaked off while removing the old, perished rubber. There is also the start of rot around the bottom that has spread from underneath the scuttle where the factory paint didn’t reach. I’ve treated both sides but have had to grind down the lip in two places as it was too thick for the new rubber to sit on correctly. I’ve also painted the flaked and poorly painted areas, had the flaked paint matched by a local bodyshop and it’s a BMW colour simply called BMW Black! You can see the areas below: along the top for the poor paint, the rust is between the two screen vents and the driver’s side has flaked paint, all before fixing:

    Cue a solid afternoon with soapy water, various plastic implements and a lot of swearing while recovering with tea and cake (thanks mum!) and the rear screen was in nicely. It was easy to get it all in but getting it to sit correctly so I could insert the sealing bead meant it came back out twice! Eventually it sat nicely for me though, was very relieved when it was finished and it all sat square and flush with the body. The rear is always the easier one so I really wasn’t looking forward to the front! I had figured out a few things though technique-wise and on the tools front, so that would come in handy.

    A few days later and it’s time for the front screen. Completely different experience. Where the rear went in initially easily the front was a proper sod, all down to the curvature making it really difficult to keep one side in the rubber while manipulating the other. It took a few watches of youtube videos and some creative use of some bungees (forgot to take a picture of it, sorry) for it to behave and then suddenly all slide into place with a soapy fart and lots of bubbles! I really didn’t want to do the whole in/out/in routine I had with the rear to get the bead in. Thankfully it went in first time although it was incredibly stiff all the way round, a proper upper body workout that I felt for two days afterwards! Took nearly two hours of wiggling the bead tool, re-lubing it, more wiggling etc, making very slow but steady progress. As in mm’s each time but it got there.

    The glass now in it’s time to get the interior done, which means getting the car outside for the first time in 3 months due to the narrowness of the garage. The poor thing is covered in dust, soap marks and fingerprints despite being under a cover most of the time!

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    So it’s fit the carpets, mats and seatbelt clips to the centre then it’s the job of the seats. After a bit of indecision I eventually went for some classic-style buckets. I was undecided about whether to get ones with headrests or not but decided against them as they always look too big inside a Mini, mainly because my old one and the ones my friends had back then didn’t have them either so I’m just used to it that way.

    I’m reusing the runners off the old seats so had to remove them, which was a proper mission. Whoever had installed them had used the wrong bolts, normal ones instead of Allen Key ones, so I couldn’t get a socket on them. How they got them tight in the first place I don’t know. Cue drilling all 8 out which took an age. Eventually got there and fitted them to the new seats using the correct bolts. I did have to shorten the front mountings though as the new seats are a bit slacker than the old ones that were adjustable. A quick 5 minutes with a hacksaw and file and they’re in. Fitting the new steering wheel took 5 minutes and with all of that I could move on to the final job on the list: cleaning it!

    Two washes, some paint renovator, two coats of polish and some metal polish later and it was time to wait for the 1st April so I can tax it and go for it’s first journey! That’s all the jobs on the list done.

    Which was yesterday and the weather Gods played ball. So off to the local hills I drove!

    Sadly the sun wasn’t very bright so it doesn’t look overly shiny in the pictures but in real life it is so much better than I thought it would be. It may be a cheap paint job but with a decent polish it does look good from 10 feet away! It still needs a respray but it doesn’t look unloved so I’m very happy.

    As for the first drive? It went without any hiccups. The engine got better and better as the miles rolled by, it’s got a decent amount of poke to it actually. I do need to raise the idle as it’s dropped ever so slightly so as to be lumpy at times, easy to do on the next run. There’s also a very slight knock from the left front suspension on very rough surfaces so will look into that too. I do need to fit the steering column drop link though as the steering wheel is just slightly too high for my liking and does restrict my view of the dials slightly. But then I was never expecting it to be trouble-free immediately so I’ll take those as niggles! I also need to raise the ride height a bit more as it’s low enough to have arch rub at full lock still and on big bumps it’s just touching the bump stops on the front. The important bit is it holds temperature very well, there’s no leaks and I can just jump in it and drive somewhere without worrying it’s going to let me down. Did just under 60 miles with three stops to check things and to have some lunch and yes, I had a massive grin on my face from the second mile onwards! Even saw a few other classics out and about, including one green Mini who’s driver did the usual wave at me but looked a bit confused while doing so (guessing he knows all the local cars and didn’t recognise me or the car!). The combination of good weather, the Easter break and it being April 1st (6 months tax takes you to the end of September, perfect for the time to pack them back away for the winter) presumably meant everyone was out for a run to blow the cobwebs away.

    What I had forgotten though is how physical driving an older car is, especially a little one. The unassisted steering, while light at speed, means you steer more from your shoulders than just moving your arms. The constant jiggling from the suspension gives the old moobs a workout too, like being on a wobble plate! Great fun bouncing along though, especially as the handling is so direct and immediate. Brought back a wealth of memories from my old one, all the good ones and very few of the old ones. Stepping back into my Fabia was very different, even went to pull the choke out…

    I’m going to enjoy this summer with it even if I only get to do lots of local trips with it. It makes even a 20 minute drive an adventure!

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    Absolutely top work fella and what a great Friday update.
    I’m going to look at my ‘long term projects’ this weekend in a whole new light.😉😊👍

    Underhill
    Free Member

    Just reading your last post had brought a smile to my face thinking about my old Minis. Had a Clubman estate bought at 15 to learn in, and an ’84 998, which broke me so many times.

    The Clubman is the only car I really regret not keeping.

    midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    Lovely job. Enjoy.

    If you are thinking of switching to 10″ wheels, I have a set of 4 original Cooper S reverse rims you can have. I think you’d need to change your discs and calipers though.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    I’m going to look at my ‘long term projects’ this weekend in a whole new light.

    This is towards the end of part 1, getting it mechanically good. Part 2 is major bodywork restoration, part 3 is a full respray with refreshed brightwork and part 4 is getting the interior to a similar standard. It could take a decade!

    Underhill, that brings a smile to my face too. Seeing other people’s reactions to it makes me happy, from the older generation reminiscing about their old ones to the younger kids shock at the size of it. Sort of weird getting that kind of attention actually.

    Midlifecrashes, those wheels will be worth a solid chunk of money to the right person, especially if they are the same age as a particular car! I don’t plan to go to 10″ as that would mean new brakes and going away from my choice of wheels but thanks for the kind offer. Mine was born with 12″ wheels so that’s how it will stay I think, even the Mk1 grille annoys me slightly but is growing on me.

    Weather’s going to be good tomorrow and I have to go to see my sister so it’ll get another run out, more than likely via the scenic route. Would be rude not to I suppose!

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    The scuttle panel is thinner post 85ish and such rusts.

    Looking good. I’ve not driven a mini in 8yrs…

    Must sort that out

    midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    Just been out to the garage to check on my wheels. They are LP918 10×4.5J. I think that makes them “reverse rims” made to fit bigger tyres over drums, therefore not “S” since S had disks and took a wheel with different offset. Original “S” would be LP882 (3.5) and LP883 (4.5), those are the rarer expensive ones. Mine are certainly period, but not worth much. I bought mine around 1991 while gathering parts to soup up my R reg Mini 1000. I also had a LCB exhaust, original minifins, big SU carb and the heated MG Metro turbo inlet manifold all ready to fit when the mini got pranged while parked, which brought a couple of structural issues to light as well as the damage and I had to get rid, to be replaced by an MG Metro.

    I like the grille on yours, goes with the mild restomod look with bucket seats and Tickford style handles. I hope you’ve upgraded all your bulbs too, my bike lights in the 90s were brighter than my mini!

    jaylittle
    Free Member

    Looks a great mini. I do follow prices of them in the hopes I’ll see a reasonably priced one to buy. Sold my 81 mini in 2009, Looking at current prices I would have been better off leaving it in the garage to rust and selling it 12 years later…

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Those rims would still be worth £100+ for the older cars, early period-correct mods are the current trend with a lot of people.

    Prices have definitely jumped the last few years, even more since the pandemic hit! I was lucky to find this one badly listed and poorly presented. I regretted selling my old Mini shortly after it went back then, looking back now with hindsight I really should have kept it somewhere safe waiting for the right time.

    FB-ATB
    Full Member

    with hindsight I really should have kept it

    Perfect science is hindsight! My Dad was offered an XK150 in the early 70s when fuel prices shot up. It was something like £250, about 2 or 3 months pay and he’d just started the mortgage. He turned it down as it wasn’t practical with a family of 4!

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Plenty of stories of cars going cheap to most people that are now worth a ridiculous amount now!

    Came back from my sister’s place via the scenic route, stopped of at Hay Bluff as the ice cream van was still there. I’ve really missed the views in the countryside!!

    Saw plenty of other cars out too, everything from a McLaren to an Austin 7.

    P20
    Full Member

    Love this. Thank you so much for sharing. My dad had a mini when i was a kid, so my first car was a G reg 1989 mini 30. Great cars, they genuinely make me smile when I see them.

    Tinc
    Free Member

    What a fabulous write up. I’ve only just found this, sat & read the lot with avid interest. I’ve a similar project hiding in the garage under some sheets for years now.
    Had to move her out recently to have a garage door fitted & found some enthusiasm – your tales have increased that, so thank you.
    Your mini helped your head & your write up just helped mine…. top job.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Good to hear people are enjoying me enjoying it! If it helps people get back into their projects or even to find a new one then even better. Feel free to post up pictures, this thread can be about everyone’s projects, not just mine.

    Found out what the slight knock on the left front is: the wheel bearing has a tiny amount of play in it at one point of rotation. Move it left or right and it goes away though so presumably it has one spot that is looser than the rest. Changing it isn’t hard but does require some properly beefy tools due to the torque for the driveshaft bearing, 250+Nm! That’s out of my league for tooling and safety so will find a local garage to do that job. It’s not in desperate need of doing but best to get it done now ready for the summer and before it gets any worse.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    I’d double check that, I’ve never known a bearing have play at 1 point

    If plays with hands at 3 and 9 its track rod and 12 n 6 ball joints.

    Grease the front joints up n see if it goes away

    Tinc
    Free Member

    What a great piece of info, so simply explained.

    +1 for double checking, a bearing can’t wear in 1 place. It can fail in one place, but you know about that!

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Looks fantastic, well done. A huge difference from when you started.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Lovely.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    The position of the play moves when I rotate the wheel, roughly at half the wheel speed. The ball joints are fine as is the track rod, I suspected a ball joint at first. If the movement is at 12-6 with the tyre valve at 12 and I then move the valve round to 6 then the play moves to 9-3. Move the valve to 3 and the play is halfway between 1-7 and 2-8. It’s consistently like that and with the wheel off you can see the disc moving about 1mm while the hub and everything else is solid. It occasionally goes away for a few rotations too, almost like one of the balls in one of the bearings has a chip in it and it only allows play when everything lines up in a certain way. I’ll get the garage to diagnose it too and see if they tally up but I’m assuming the excessive lowering the car had when I bought it has stressed the bearing out. There’s no grumbling noise from it though, even under cornering, so a second opinion will be handy.

    It’s all part of the fun anyway, if I wanted constant reliability I’d have leased something!

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    OP Did you use waterless coolant in the rebuilt engine? IT would help the replacement bits live a good bit longer.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    I’ve seen the bearings spin in the hub.

    I’d check drive flanges too see if its spun.

    Have you pulled the split pin out n give it a try with a bar see if you get anymore on it?

    Bearings wise it might be on ballls instead of taper as well.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    No to the waterless coolant, prefer to just change it annually and keep the concentration level correct. I know of three people who did use it and two of them had issues with there being no warning that the engine was overheating due to no expansion of the coolant triggering relief valves. Seeing as I have no expansion tank and it’s all essentially 50’s cooling technology I’ll stick to regular coolant. My old Mini was taken off the road due to constant overheating and the tell-tale was always steam from the vent before the warning light came on so I’m very careful on that front. At least this one has a temperature gauge that I glance at every minute or so!

    Have checked the nut as good as I can (breaker bar with extension and me fully on the end of it) and it didn’t move at all, split pin was fine too so I doubt it’s loosened off. I’m thinking the same on the bearing, a cheap one has been used or poor installation. If it is definitely the bearing then I’ll get them to fit either the Timken one or the Mini Spares one that is well liked in the clubs and forums.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Well Georgie’s back from the garage and the bearing was indeed faulty.

    One of the rollers was cracked in half and not rotating, probably not for very long though as the surface of the race was still smooth but it needed doing. The grease was also pretty manky so the person who installed it either didn’t do a very good job or used a cheap one, most likely both. The top ball joint also was replaced as it didn’t take very kindly to being removed from the suspension arm, deciding to destroy the threads on the nut as it came off! All done for the gigantic sum of £113 so not a big deal at all. I would have got the lower ball joint replaced at the same time but neither I or the garage could source one in time so it’ll have to wait until I do another order, I can fit that myself anyway. Took her for a quick spin and the nasty rattle has completely gone so the bearing was the culprit.

    So seeing as she’s back and the weather was good yesterday, plus I’d had a really tough few days for a few reasons, I took her out up to the Elan Valley for her first proper day out. Spent a good few hours driving through Mid Wales, enjoying the twisty bits and generally having a good dose of much-needed fun. I wasn’t the only one out either, plenty of motorbikes with a few older cars in the mix too. Thankfully it wasn’t busy so lots of space to just enjoy the views and have a proper reset of the old grey matter.

    That’s one of the few times I managed to take a photo of her without someone checking her out, the other people with their classics were all having the same problem! Hopefully that will get less as more cars come out over the summer, it’s getting to be a bit of a pain at fuel stops and cafe’s. Not complaining, more than happy for people to have a nose around. The main comment is about how small it is compared to modern stuff but then there was a Mk4 Cortina beside a new Discovery at one car park and even that looked small.

    Did have another, different knocking sound appear on the drive back home though, need to investigate that before the next adventure. Had a quick look at a cafe but it’s nothing obvious and all the bits replaced are still tight, if it’s not one thing it’s another with projects!

    Already hoping to have another adventure before the end of the month, got two I want to do this summer so will see if the weather and restrictions play ball so I can tick them off the list.

    verses
    Full Member

    Enjoying the updates 🙂

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Nice. I’ve never done one & have not got the space or tools to do it, but I’d love to buy an old car (not necessarily a Mini) & refurb it.

    Are they Yokohama tyres on it? A mate at uni had an Astra with a few mods & he always insisted on Yokohama tyres. They look familiar.

    doom_mountain
    Full Member

    Great story to read. I’ve always loved Mini’s, ever since my parents (i was five or six)  hired one for a holiday to the north of Scotland. Two adults and two kids in a mini, with everything for a two week holiday,  driving from the Midlands 😂 we still talk about it fondly.

    I would love an old mini but don’t have the time or knowledge. They have so much character.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Yep, they’re Yokohama’s. The A539 is pretty much the only tyre you can get in 12″ for them these days, they’re a good tyre but definitely aimed at handling with a very stiff sidewall. They were the tuner’s tyre of choice back in the late 90’s, had them on my Nova. You can occasionally get a Nankang that’s much more comfort-orientated and is actually very good (and would be my preference) but stock is sporadic so pretty much every Mini on 12 or 13’s is running Yokohama’s.

    doom_mountain – 4-up from the Midlands to Scotland, bet that was intimate!

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Yeah, this was the late 90s. I remember him being pretty miffed because Yokohama used to do a more aggressive tyre that was his preferred option. This was the replacement when they discontinued it.

    Have you looked on camskill.co.uk for the Nangkangs? Dunno what profile your 12s are, but they have a few 12″ tyres on there and generally have a decent selection of tyres in general.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    He may be on about the old A520, was directional and very sticky for the time.

    Camskill do indeed have stock of the Nankangs, pity that I don’t need tyres though! The ones I have are 7 years old but still have plenty of tread and have scrubbed back in nicely with a bit of use. Will remember though as if she passes her MOT for next year I may put new rubber on as I don’t like using tyres over 7-8 years old.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    I had dunlop Sp on my cooper…

    Touch hard really

    Aoo8s on the 10inch rims

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Had a bit of time available so decided to look into a few jobs that are pending on my ‘Snags List’.

    The first one was to raise the suspension up a bit, partly to stop the front right wheel rubbing the arch on compression but also to add a bit of compliance to the ride! Easy enough to do so that was quickly fixed, she now is just half an inch lower on the front from standard and a quarter lower on the rear. The ride is still firm at this point so it’s on to step 2: softening the adjustable shocks.

    Except the adjusters don’t move on three of them. They have obviously never been turned after being installed judging by the crap on them, this is the cleanest one!

    A quick phone call to Mini Spares and I find out how the adjusters work and that a liberal soaking in some penetrating oil with gentle wiggling should free them up. A few solid soaks over the next few hours frees them up nicely enough to find out they were all set on the hardest setting. I’ve wound them all to 2 clicks off the softest and the suspension now actually moves! The ride is much, much better now so that’s another job sorted.

    Next job is to reset the ignition timing as the distributor is at an odd angle to what it should be. The rotor arm should be pointing at roughly 10 past 2 when at TDC but it’s more like 20 past. Not a major issue but it does mean I can’t advance the timing past 10 degrees without the vacuum hose hitting the oil feed pipe to the filter. I whip it off and find this:

    For those of you who don’t know this is how it’s pictured in the Haynes manual, with the slots pointing towards the hole on the right (it’s the bolt hole for the distributor clamp). If you read the manual properly though it should be in this orientation before you insert it and as the drive gear mates with the crank it turns a quarter turn anti-clockwise to end up pointing towards the bottom of the core plug. It doesn’t affect the running of the engine but does make timing hard to do! Easy to solve as all you do is thread a bolt into the centre of it, pull it out then insert it correctly. Retimed the engine so it now has 12 degrees of advance at idle and it now pulls better above 4k than it did before plus it’s running smoother on full-throttle.

    Ran out of time for any more spannering so had to pack her away at this point.

    Then an opportunity arose to do a trip I’ve wanted to do with her: The Isle Of Wight. A window of 3 days of good weather presented itself this weekend and I found some relatively cheap self-contained accommodation available. I ummed and ahhed about it for a few hours but my mum told me to just go as the whole of the last few months have been horrid on the whole and there was no telling when I would next get a chance to have a break.

    So 24 hours later and Georgie is on a ferry heading into Cowes!

    The next 2 ½ days were spent driving all around the island, somewhere I’ve visited a few times now in various ways so know it well. I’ve even done a day’s riding where I parked up in Portsmouth, caught the ferry to Fishbourne, rode round the whole island and then back to the car in one! As every tourist attraction is closed still I spent the time going to lots of the coves and walks I’ve not done, stuff that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

    Didn’t take many pictures of her apart from these two:

    Georgie taking in the view near Freshwater Bay

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    And her on Ryde pier trying out one of the Large Vehicle bays for size

    Had loads of fun blasting along the island’s smooth, twisty roads. The locals obviously noticed me though as while I was filling up with fuel at Asda a guy came over and asked if I was local. When I said I was on holiday he looked relieved! He then went on to explain that there were only a few known Mini’s on the island, he owned one, and they had been messaging each other trying to find out who’s this one was. He did offer that if I had any mechanicals to just let them know in the kiosk and they’d help if they could, which was nice! I’ve always had a great welcome on the island and it’s somewhere I’d love to live if I could afford to and still get onto the mainland regularly.

    On the subject of issues, I only had one the whole trip: the steering wheel cowling, which is famous for being brittle, decided to fall off on the last day! I was turning around in a junction when there was a clunk and the left portion of it flew into the passenger seat. Upon checking it over it looks like one of the screws in the steering wheel boss decided to work loose (the other 3 are still tight) and basically lever it off once it had got bored of making a few grooves in it.

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    I removed the rest of it, checked the steering wheel wasn’t about to fall off (always carry a toolkit!) and put all the bits in a bag to be fixed at a later time. The rest of the journey back home went without incident thankfully, although there are plenty of new rattles and noises to investigate now!

    So that’s the first big multi-day adventure with her under my ownership done. 480 miles, two ferry crossings and a lot of memories. I wish I could have had a few more days away as it was really helping to clear my head and recharge the old energy levels but I couldn’t afford any longer and the weather was forecast to turn the next day. I thought I’d got away with missing rain completely but I got caught out by a small rain shower near Winchester on the drive home. Not an issue, except there hasn’t been any rain for weeks so the salt from March hasn’t washed away. The rain just pulled it up and her backside is now a bit crusty from the spray. It’s not bad, nothing a good wash won’t sort when I go down Thursday, but still slightly annoying.

    As an aside, I had to park my daily driver in my parent’s garage where Georgie normally lives due to lack of parking. It only just fitted but I had to get out of the boot! Normally I can park the Mini in there, get out of it and easily put the cover on her all the way round!

    Felt really odd driving it home after a few days in the Mini. All the controls felt over-assisted, the steering was much less direct, the ride was wallowy and I was the same size as the rest of the traffic! Very weird…

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Sounds like a great little trip & good to hear that you had no real issues while over there – it must help to build confidence in the cars overall reliability.
    Although from the sound of it, you can sort out most issues yourself anyway, or when on the Isle of Wight have a task-force of like minded people ready to give you a hand!

    I’ve only been to the Isle of Wight once but would like to go back at some point.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    I can do most jobs in a workshop with the correct tools but I only take a basic socket set, some screwdrivers, a pair of pliers and spare fuses. Enough to fix a leaky hose, a loose bolt or something similar but any more than that will end in me calling the breakdown truck! I don’t even have a spare tyre as the spare wheel I have for her is a different size with different wheel nuts required and a perished tyre, plus if I do get a flat that can’t be repaired no-one will have a new tyre in stock anyway. All I’ve done is get her all caught up on regular maintenance and fixed lots of niggles so far, more will show themselves every time I take her out. At some point something will strand me somewhere, but then that’s all part of the fun!

    The IOW is great for a getaway from mainland life, you can feel the change of pace the second you get off the ferry. Everyone says hello to each other, chats to strangers and generally just want to help each other out. If you can get a few days there, no point rushing round on a short day trip.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    After the IOW trip I had a small list of things to do and as the weather has been so crap for a while I’ve had time to do them!

    First on the list was to finally fit the heater matrix, not for heating the cabin but so that I have a working demister for the windscreen! Pulled the old one out and it looked decidedly worse for wear.

    Leaks in a few places and definitely dead. The new one looks so good in comparison it almost seems a shame to hide it inside the heater/blower casing!

    Plumb it back in and top up the coolant and it all works again without any leaks.

    Second on the lost is to investigate a slight rumbling from the left rear wheel, presumably the bearing. I removed the drum to find a nice surprise: new brake shoes, backing plate and wheel cylinder! I also found the cause of the rumbling, whoever had put it back together hadn’t fitted the bearing seal correctly. It had worked loose and let all the grease weep out and the brake dust in. Cue one cleaning session hoping to find the bearing surfaces in good condition.

    Looks like I got away with it! Reassembling it correctly and repacking it with grease has made it much smoother to spin so will find out over the course of the next journey or two.

    Then it was on to the seemingly never-ending chase of rattles from the front suspension. I’ve chased down most of it now but there’s still the odd new one making their appearance known still. So it was the now regular routine of taking the wheels off and checking everything over.
    I did spot one thing immediately though. The lashing eye that blots the subframe to the front panel has been touching, causing a small amount of paint to chip off.

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    A quick turn of it to gain clearance and that’s one potential noise source removed.

    The tie bar bushings at the front are the next thing as I’d noticed the car weaved slightly under braking, a classic sign they’re worn out. I’ve gone for the uprated ones with a harder outer bush, that’s the one that takes the braking loads. It’s a very noticeable shade of purple!

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    The final stage now was to check all the nuts for tightness, where I found that the shock mount on the front left wasn’t holding torque and able to move in the hole it went through the hub. Took it off and found the thread had given up.

    So that’s been replaced with an uprated version too that has the spacer built-in and can be torqued on each side separately. This should help as the torque figures for the hub side and the shock side are different, it’s also stainless so shouldn’t rust like the old one did!

    All of that work has lead to a lot of parts on the front suspension being replaced chasing noises! The front left is the most with new upper ball joint, bearing tie bar bushings and bolts, shock hardware and track rod end. Annoyingly the shiny bolts make it all look rather grubby!

    So that was all done last week but due to the crap weather I couldn’t take her out for a run until Wednesday. The noise from the left rear is gone so looks like it was just a dry bearing. There’s definitely far fewer rattles and she brakes straight now but the brake pedal is a bit soft so that’s the next thing on the list. It’s seemingly never-ending but I am making her better every time so it’s all good.

    Now all we need is a run of decent weather so I can get out on a day trip or two.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Adjust the rears up 1st…

    Back handbrake off make sure quads and links move

    Wind adjusters on till it binds then back a flat.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    That’s the plan. I already readjusted the rears after doing the bearing but I’m going to do it all again just to make sure it’s correct. Before that though I’ll do an inspection for leaks and a quick bleed too, make sure there’s nothing obvious.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Well I had a chance to take a look at what the brake issue was over the last few days. Thankfully I didn’t have too long to spend on diagnosis as there was a pretty good clue staring at me when I pulled the cover back:

    Definitely brake fluid and looking directly above the puddles I saw this:

    Trace that back and the wet trail leads to the distribution block for the front calipers:

    A quick press on the brake pedal shows a small leak from around the lower copper crush washer. At least it’s an easy fix! I take it apart and spot something odd about the lower washer: it’s only crushed on one side. A quick check on the Mini Spares website’s schematics shows that the lower one should be smaller in inner and outer diameter than the top one, mine are both the same size. A quick trip into the local motor factors doesn’t get me anywhere as they’re imperial size but they point me towards a garage on the same industrial estate that specialise in old Land Rovers and I manage to get a pair the correct size there. You can see the difference in size and where the bottom right one has been too big to seal properly if you look closely:

    Getting it back together though was a nightmare. The clutch slave cylinder mechanism and clutch cover are directly above the nut so it’s really hard to get a decent amount of torque onto it without risking slippage. Took a solid hour to get it done correctly! Re-bleeding the brakes and even nipping back out for more brake fluid took less time!

    It all seems leak-free now but I haven’t driven anywhere to fully test it, all I’ve done is start the engine and stood on the pedal a few times to pressurise it. No sign of any leaks so I’ve left it with a drip tray underneath and with the fluid reservoir topped up to the max mark for a few days. Hopefully it’s all fine now as it looks like the weather is going to be great for a week or so, should get some local trips in before I resume my work search.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    I am making her better every time so it’s all good.

    A rare picture of ReluctantJumper…

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    So it finally happened, something broke. Serves me right for going for a quick run while the weather was good I suppose!

    The engine died and I coasted to a halt after only going a mile! It would fire up again but die after a few seconds, thought I’d run out of fuel but no. Looks like a fuel leak as every time I crank the engine over some drips out from the driver’s side. Strangely all the fuel system is on the passenger side of the car so there must be a random path it’s taking. Not taking any risks with fuel though so a call to the breakdown people was in order. Annoyingly while waiting loads of other people drove past in their classics, modified cars or motorbikes so it felt like everyone was rubbing salt in the wound 😅

    I got lucky with the RAC guy though, he knew older cars and quickly figured out what was wrong: the carb was pissing all the fuel out of the float chamber through the overflow. I’d completely forgot that it routed over that side of the car! Luckily I fitted a new one when the engine was out as there wasn’t one fitted previously so it would have dumped fuel all over the exhaust 😲

    A quick inspection of the float chamber found it full of crap from the tank, which is surprising as I flushed the tank out when replacing the body gasket.

    The mechanic gave it a good clean out for me and it fired up after a few seconds cranking. Runs fine again now but I’m not taking the risk so will do a flush and filter before taking her out again. Probably my fault for running the tank pretty low last time out and then not using her for 3 weeks, won’t do that again!

    Still, not bad having only one breakdown in 1300 miles on a 31 year old classic after having the engine out.

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    Good that it was an easy fix.
    Is there no inline fuel filter between the tank/carb on the old Minis then?

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