A Little Long-Term Project
Don’t mention the wet/dry thing! I asked the sellers of the subframe and the arms whether they were dry ones and they both said yes so I really hope I haven’t inadvertently bought hydrolastic versions of both! The subframe can be converted but the arms can’t, really want to drive the 40 miles to check now! The plates could well be to replicate the lump in a converted frame, my mind is playing tricks with me on whether the new frame has them or not. Annoyingly I don’t have any pictures of either parts at the correct angle to see. I can see that the subframe doesn’t have the little tabs pressed into the cone holder that wet ones have so may just have to swap those alloy rings over.
That’s going to bug me all week now!Posted 6 months ago
Tbf 99% of kits dry
It was just a random thought that’s all.
Oh if your going low as in LOW get braided hoses n move the union on the steel pipe as they can crush
Only really a big issue on very low stuffPosted 6 months ago
Won’t be going low so no issue there plus I already have braided hoses fitted all round. Although the rear hoses were so filthy I didn’t think they were until I removed them!Posted 6 months ago
Right, disaster averted. Both the arms and the subframe are ‘Dry’ items so that’s all good.
That meant putting it all together. Which threw up an issue. The shock bushings are completely corroded onto the original arms! Too late now to get new ones so it’s a quick check of the brass bushings and bearing, which are thankfully fine but obviously not new, and the fresh arms are put to one side as spares. Bolt everything together and you end up with this:
Which then meant putting it back under the car. That was a mission and a half. Line up one bolt only for another to be out of whack, repeat for a solid hour! Doesn’t help that each bracket can move on the rubber mounts too so it’s like controlling a toddler on a bouncy castle. Got it in eventually though, thanks to pure luck more than anything. Time to reconnect the exhaust, handbrake, battery main cable, fuel lines, brake lines and bleed everything. A quick run up and down the lane later and it all looks good for the MOT. Which was 4 days ago.
Driving up to it was fine except that about a mile before I got there I had to drive over those yellow bumps you see on dual carriageways. As soon as I crossed them there was a loud banging from the rear on each one! I genuinely thought the rear was about to fall off! Pulled over and had a cursory look underneath but couldn’t find anything loose or obvious so drove gently to the MOT station and awaited the result.
A clean sheet! On a 33 year old Mini that has never been restored. Doesn’t mean she’s perfect but I’m still proud of it. So it’s buy the Tax online in the car park and off for a celebratory drive. First stop was the petrol station which made that bang noise happen again as I went in. While I was fuelling up I realised what it was: I hadn’t checked the ride height with the new subframe! The gap between the rear wheels and the arches is a good 2 inches more than it was previously, as I have short stroke shocks it’s topping out if the rear gets airborne ever so slightly. Easy to solve with the AdjustaRide trumpets I’ve got so no biggie, just means I’ll be taking it easy for the time being. Still, time for a celebratory ice cream at the Usk Reservoir while letting Georgie take in the view and fresh air.
So that’s all ready for another summer of adventures. Well, once I’ve lowered the rear a few inches anyway.Posted 5 months ago
Top result mate
Still no idea what those things where on the old frame!Posted 5 months ago
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My guess is that one of the previous owners tried to make the rear suspension more linear as the metal cones add progression. Don’t know why as you can get a similar result by softening up the adjustable shocks! Probably done at the same time as it was adjusted to be running on the bump stops like it was when I bought it.Posted 5 months ago
Still trying to find that “Like” button!Posted 5 months ago
Not a bad result! Looking forward to further “adventures”.Posted 5 months ago
Managed to find a bit of time to adjust the rear suspension back down to a sensible ride height today, half an inch higher at the rear than the front when measured from the sill seams.
Not the most scenic of shots but then I only went for a 5 mile run just to check things were good. Was more than long enough to put a giant grin on my face though so all is good!
On to the first adventure of the year, hopefully in the next few days.Posted 5 months ago
That looks great!!Posted 5 months ago
Yes it does, like lots.Posted 5 months ago
I’ve had a small unofficial list of little trips I want to do with Georgie before the full bodywork adventure starts, managed to tick two of them off in one go on Sunday! One intentionally, the other completely by accident.
The intentional one was to take her to a car show and as there was a small one happening at Chepstow Racecourse and the weather was good I went to it. It was just a general meet with a small autojumble and a few catering vans, nothing pretentious or large. Got close to there and ended up following another Mini to the entrance where we were greeted by a sign saying Cars straight ahead and Classics in through a gate, which we went through and were directed to behind the main building. It was at this point that we realised we were in the main show area so asked for directions to get out to the main car park as we thought we were just going to a separate car park for non-showing classics like a lot of shows do. The guy said it was fine and sent us into the main show where we were lined up with all the main cars!
The row in front was full of people with big displays of their restoration work or the history of the car, we were just there with fly splatters all over the front and in my case a bit of dust all over for good measure. Didn’t matter though as we were quickly greeted by the other car owners and stories were shared readily. A really good atmosphere and ticked off another thing off the unofficial list: Get her in a show. I might revisit this though as a little display of her story so far with me would be fun and would save me telling it to everyone who asked over and over again 🤣
Had a good look round the other cars in the show too. Saw an original Jensen CV8, a car that I’ve never knowingly seen until Retropower started building one so it was good to see what their starting point was.
There was also plenty of the usual MGB’s, Austin 7’s etc but there was a very tidy MK1 Golf GTi that had been owned by the same family all its life and only down 37k miles. Lovely thing.
There was also this:
a Mustang Mach 1. It’s one of the few American cars that I would love to own, the other being a Corvette Stingray and maybe an original Challenger. Was in great condition and sounded properly epic when it started up! Never going to own one but still great to see one out and about.
The only hiccup all day was that the indicator relay stopped working after hitting a big bump on the way there, this will be the third one to fail so far! A little bit annoying but not the end of the world. I did solve a little concern I’ve had though, the temperature gauge works but once up to temp it seems to just stay at just under halfway regardless of how hard I drive etc. Well as it was a properly hot day on Sunday I managed to get the needle to move up to the halfway mark! Just proves to me it does actually work, which I was a little worried about! Always good to learn something new each trip. Oh and a small black car that’s been in the sun all day is hotter than the surface of the moon when you go to leave!
Right, on to the next trip soon.Posted 4 months ago
Be glad its not black vinyl trim.
As a kid our mk3 used to burn the back of my legs.
Can still smell the burning fleshPosted 4 months ago
good to see you’re having fun with the new toy
Quick question, as I’m not that familiar with minis and restoration projects (I never got much further than home spannering and swapping around the suspension bits on my fiesta, although I did have an RS2K for a few months before stupidly, very stupidly, selling it).
Is it possible to buy every part these days? Like, right up to a new shell?Posted 4 months ago
A fortnight ago I did a bit of exploring, driving round the newly rebuilt Forest Drive at Cwmcarn. It was way too hot to go riding for a second day in a row so by car it was! Felt really weird going past very familiar bits of trail without a bike!
Although judging by the amount of sweat on the riders I saw it was the correct choice 🤣
They’ve actually done a good job of the rebuild, plenty for families to do in addition to riding bikes. Even found some of the new Enduro trails that have popped up since the first lockdown, some look doable for me so a bike explore will be done soon.
Completely forgot that some of the views up above the treeline are spectacular, not bad for a pretty crappy bit of Wales:
More adventures planned for this bank holiday if the weather holds!Posted 3 months ago
@mrmonkfinger – completely forgot to reply to this, sorry!:
Is it possible to buy every part these days? Like, right up to a new shell?
Yes, every part including a shell is available. Some are reconditioned like engines and gearboxes but the likes of Mini Spares and MiniSport have found the old tooling for the most random bits and even made improved tooling for some parts, the steering column shroud is one example. Helps that there are so many Minis still around and that a lot of the parts were used on other BMC/Austin/Rover products too.
Oh and I have a little update to do at some point this week, been out and about on the Bank Holiday.Posted 2 months ago
Oh and I have a little update to do at some point this week, been out and about on the Bank Holiday.
🙂Posted 1 month ago
Crap, forgot I hadn’t updated this!
Have just declared her SORN for the winter so will do a proper update ASAP, when I have the time to upload pictures etc.Posted 1 month ago
Nice write up. My first car back in the 80s was built up from a non runner by me and my dad. Could only lock it from the passenger side and when it rained you got a wet arm from trying to keep the wipers moving
Daughter must have it in her blood as she has just finished restoring a 92 Eunos
Not content with that she bought a 98 Evo 5 at auction in Japan and had it shipped here for her next project. Keeping my dad happy in his 80s
Posted 1 month ago
Nice, good to see younger people getting the bug for mechanical mucking about. Guessing your dad played with stuff to from the old grilles on the wall? Although it does remind me that, despite being into photography for ages (mostly landscapes) that I very rarely took photos of any of my old cars and projects! It just never occurred to me to take pictures as I went along for some obscure reason and the ones I did take got lost when an old computer died.
Time for an end of Summer update then.
Haven’t done many trips with Georgie since the Bank Holiday for various reasons but the ones I did do were full days out. The first one was a car meet that had been advertised at the Chepstow one and as that weekend was gloriously sunny I decided on a whim to go along as the roads nearby are great for a bit of ‘spirited driving’ if you can avoid the traffic! It went very similarly to the Chepstow one actually, arrived behind another classic car and got invited to park in the main show, this time for free entry! So somehow I ended up slap in the middle of the show surrounded by lots of vastly superior cars feeling like I was a proper interloper, again.
A nice little venue, at a cricket club near Trelleck. Which was bugging me all day for some reason. Star of the show though was this:
A genuine racecar car that had been made road legal, An Alta. It was looking at this car that I realised what had been bugging me all morning: @marko has offered me a special socket and he lives nearby! Sod’s law I had no data signal so couldn’t send him a message. Oh well, kicking myself slightly on that one.
Left the show and went home via the Wye Valley, chasing a few other cars that were out too. Perfect weather for a bit of fun and the odd ice cream.
The next outing was a trip to a car show at a place called M4 Karting north of Chippenham where I did the same trick as the last two shows, this time ending up sort of gate-crashing the local Mini club’s stand! They were absolutely fine about it though and I saw a ‘Mini’ that I never knew existed, a fibreglass Estate called a Phoenix.
This one has had the Rat look treatment by a previous owner but also has an engine fitted from a Suzuki Swift Sport. Never knew such a thing existed and that’s down to there being so few ever made, roughly 70 of which only a few survive.
My ‘show’ luck did come to an end though when I went to the Frome County Show, had to pay to get in to that one and park in the regular car park. That was more a general show though and I only went along to peruse the autojumble and to see the RC car show that was attached to it in a barn. Still took the long route home though via Caen Hill locks near Devises, somewhere I’ve wanted to look around since the first lockdown and someone on here recommended the Paul and Rebecca Whitewick YouTube channel. I drive past the locks pretty regularly with work but sadly an 18t truck doesn’t fit in the car park so I’ve never timed a lunch break to explore.
The final trip of the summer was up to Aberystwyth. I had bought a second-hand RC car via eBay and the weather was decent so I took Georgie for a blast instead of the daily driver. I completely forgot that it was the weekend that all the uni students were arriving so when I parked up on the seafront I got a bit of attention, especially from the girls who thought it was incredibly cute. It did look tiny though, parked between an Audi Q7 and a BMW 4×4 (one of the really ugly ones), forgot to take a picture of that!
On the way back I took all the scenic roads with a final run along Llangattock and Laangynidr Mountains just above my parent’s house. It’s regularly used by TV shows and YouTubers for filming (it’s the South Wales equivalent of the EVO Triangle up north) so there’s usually a load of interesting metal blasting around but that day there was hardly anyone, saw one Porsche and a VW camper in the two hours I was up there (half of that taken up by eating another ice cream…). It includes one corner where a certain Chris Harris got into a little spot of trouble with Harry Metcalfe quite a few years ago, something even I didn’t know until a friend pointed it out to me on facebook! Internet points for anyone who can recognise the corner and know what Harris did on it:
So that was the last trip out for Georgie this year, she’s now tucked away back in her garage and has been put on SORN. Despite the delay to the beginning of the year due to having to replace the rear subframe to get an MOT and no big trip this year I’ve done a lot of miles in her, just over 1400 miles! Amazingly the only thing to go wrong in all of that was the indicator relay blowing on the way to the show at Chepstow, really pleased with that. Considering all the little issues I had last year when I did just over 1600 miles I’m very happy that mechanically I’m well on the way to getting her to a standard where it’s just wear-and-tear items to take care of.
Which brings me on to the List for the winter.
Three things I need to do before next spring:
* Investigate a clicking sound from the front left when pulling away or feathering the throttle. It doesn’t happen every time but is enough to check out. I suspect a wearing CV joint as the suspension is all tight and it’s also the side I had to clean out and fit a new CV boot due to it being basically perished. It may also be the cause of the noise I get from that side when going over really rough ground which I’ve never found!
* Actually get round to doing a full carburettor rebuild! The idle is erratic, varying between 800 and 1100 rpm plus there is the odd time where she stutters under partial throttle for a split second. Having had the carb full of crap from the tank last summer and having to change the fuel filter once so far I’m presuming some dirt got in there and had either got stuck or a seal is in need of replacement.
* The heater has started to make a really annoying rattle at anything over 30 mph, the selector lever is also stiff. Most likely I put it back together wrong when I fitted the new heater matrix last year, easy enough to take it back apart and can be done when I change the coolant as it’s due anyway.
So that’s everything fully up to date. I probably won’t do any of the work for a while though, maybe around Christmas time and the New Year. I am trying to get a trip organised for next year that I was meant to do with my original Mini but it decided to no longer stay cool 3 weeks before I was due to go and was when it got parked up for over 5 years before I sold it. It’s the last thing I have on my ‘Must Do’ list that I want to do while she’s still road legal, hopefully to do it again when I’ve rebuilt the shell and she’s as I want her. Time to start saving up the pennies again!Posted 4 weeks ago
I don’t know what happened there but I thought I recognised the corner, I’ve got a similar photo of my own.
(Car now sadly sold to fund more sensible needs)Posted 3 weeks ago
I’ve never stopped on the corner, been too busy leaving my own lines around it in the rwd stuff we’ve had 😂.Posted 3 weeks ago
On the way back down its getting ready for no brakes until the last corner before the junction 😈
Reluctant,thanks for a great end of summer post,sounds like you and Georgie had a lot of fun.Posted 3 weeks ago
Went to a few car shows myself over the summer and had some excellent ‘old blokes reminiscing ‘ moments 😆
Happy hibernation 😆
That’s the corner @appltn, has become a favourite for pictures with a lot of visitors.
@timber – a girl I went to school with used to live in the house by that corner at the bottom, many cars have ended up in her driveway when they misjudged it! Another lived in the house on the outside of the first left-hander on your way down, plenty of cars would smear themselves along the garden wall too. The likes of you leaving marks around it is one of the reasons it’ll never be resurfaces properly, give it a few days and it’s covered in black lines before the council cover it in tar and chippings to stop it happening.
Went to a few car shows myself over the summer and had some excellent ‘old blokes reminiscing ‘ moments 😆
Been plenty of those, at shows and at petrol stations! Usually over the most mundane cars too, who would have thought an ex-BSM Metro at a show would get more interest than the Camaro that was parked nest to it 😂Posted 3 weeks ago
I must be bottling it, not had any close moments, certainly not by those places but can see why.
You’re right, don’t think that corner has been resurfaced since we got rid of the Porsche, so about 6 years? There’s plenty more like it about.
The motorbike magazines use the corners near the Llangattock turn on that road for knee down shots.
Edit to add some show appreciation for Three Cocks Vintage Show.Posted 3 weeks ago
Far better to be sensible and smiling than sending it and smearing it! It was mainly the boy racers that smashed it, they didn’t understand the not braking all the way down wasn’t the same as burying the throttle all the way down. Especially on a Friday and Saturday night.Posted 3 weeks ago
The answer to the Harris/Metcalfe/Corner question:
What Harris did:
Why he got into trouble: (at 36.30)
Ironically someone binned it on that very corner last night trying to do the same thing, one bent M3 was taken away this morning apparently!Posted 3 weeks ago
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