Chapter 4


:: On the road again! ::

In my last list of To Do’s I had:

  • Still have to replace oil pressure guage feed line and tacho wiring
  • Still have to replace any other wiring crucial to run (and fix the fuse box).
  • That should see it being able to key start and take it for its first drive!

Feb '05 RunningWell, its been a while, and after having to sort out the wiring enough to get a key start (with the help of Mini Forums, thanks guys, specially Steve for talking me through the last few homeless wires)… Feb '05ITS GOING!!!
That moment was huge! To turn it over and then it Fired up! I was shocked, relieved.. absolutely overjoyed.

The Mini lives again :)
I had replaced the oil feed line to the oil guage, it idles on 70lb. Thats great. The tacho I didn’t have much success with so the auto sparky can sort that when he has it next. The joy was shortlived, well no I’m still very happy, but there were a few issues that need to be sorted before I could drive it any distance.

I drove it to the Auto Electricians to get what appeared to be a short sorted out. He went right through everything and now the indicators and brake lights work. The headlights work, but don’t go off, so I had to buy a new indicator stalk, find a headlight switch, and get the alternator serviced. After doing those things I’ll take it back to the Electrician to finalise any loose wires or issues it may have, but with refitting of the alternator and indicator stalk, it should be “all good” Electrically anyway :)

But…. On its short journey to the Electricians, it overheated. Not dangerously (about a 2km drive) but there was obviously a problem. After closer examination of the radiator I found brown sludge coating the inner pipes, and on its removal there was black water from the bottom outlet. So, after a proper professional clean its now a fully serviced and ready to go radiator. The cap was a very poor fit, so the radiator guys replaced the top cap housing and cap completely. So now I get to refit the radiator, and at the same time will give it a new bottom radiator hose and fan belt, that unfortunately werent included with the engine rebuild. It took pulling the radiator out to find that, but at least they’ll be replaced now.

The last major issue is the brakes. They didnt work :(
They work yes, but the pedal goes to the floor, and no effective braking is achieved even after standing on them. They did pull the car up eventually.. but sadly these brakes can hardly be called “working”. So, I’ve booked it in to a local brake specialist and they will give them a thorough bleeding. Hopefully that sorts the brakes.
Fingers crossed that these problems can be sorted quickly.


Gear selectors
The issue of the terrible gear change/selectors isn’t sorted, but it appears that the tightness of the change is probably due to the new longer bush that goes through the gearbox casing. This is used to give the casing a better chance of survival, but it is a metal to metal bush and because its new it will be tight. This explains the tightness and what I call crunchiness, but Im still not convinced that thats the only problem here. Ive been told to drive it for a while and see how it goes… I can do that :)
I will try and get some sewing machine oil into the bush though, it wont fix it but it may help. So, stay tuned for some pics of the Mini on the road! I didnt get around to a pic on route to the Auto Sparky, but I will get one in here soon.
Licensing will be next, after I get all the parts back on it (radiator, alternator, indicator stalk, headlight switch) and find and fit a windscreen washer bottle. I think then, it will be due for paint before I try for licensing.

Red begins Bonnet Engine bay Door Sill
7.3.05 Finally got the paint out this weekend after many more hours of sanding, filling, priming, sanding, and priming. I started with the bonnet underside and engine bay surrounds, the drivers door sill as that also had some rust removal, and the rear door sills as they were looking a little dodgy. But they all look frigging fantastic now, just LOVE the red paint, its so… Red :)

Pictures above: Jill painting the engine bay surrounds, the bonnet underside, the engine bay and the drivers door sill after one coat. More coats to follow, but one coat looks bloody marvelous :)

Hopefully this week will see more red paint, but finding the time is proving difficult. Ive found more things that need repairing after removing for paint, like taillight assemblies need new fixing bolts and the rear number plate holder is too bent to try and repair, so I’ll get one made up at the local metal fabricators.
But the paint is so nice I dont really care!

'92 Lancer rear spoiler Cut down Positioned Back in one piece
Ok, I’d been tossing around the idea of a rear roof spoiler, and just happened to be at a local wreckers that just happened to have a rear spoiler that I thought I could make fit.
So now the bodywork will take a little longer than planned. The spoiler came off a ’92 Lancer, but after removing about 200mm from its total width, and a reasonable amount from its base, it’s now looking like it will do the trick.
The good news is though, that the bonnet is back on after finally fitting the 2nd engine mount complete with custom built bracket to attach to the block, and the overflow tank is finally mounted on the original washer tank bracket, repositioned near the radiator, just behind the grill.
The wipers are finally reinstalled and after testing I can confirm I now have 2 speed wipers wooo hooo!
The temp guage is also fitted after having to fit a bigger flange housing bolt, so that the temp guage sender probe doesnt hit the block internally.


So, after getting the bonnet back on I was able to start it up and see if the overheating problem was sorted…. :) Seems so. I can’t take it for a drive as all the lights are out ready for painting, but I did run it in the garage for a good 15-20 mins and there wasnt a sign of overheating or leakage from either the new temp guage or the new engine mount (bracket sits under the thermostat housing, possibility of not seating perfectly).

I do believe ALL the mechanicals are now sorted, hopefully painting will be complete within 2 weeks.

The only other thing I would like to do before taking it to licensing is install a set of HiLos. Adjustable ride height will mean I can lower it, and that will help bring the front wheels in a tad at the top. At present the wheels stick outside the flairs about 25mm on the fronts and 18mm on the rears. Licensing won’t like that, so HiLos should help. A set of adjustable Konis might go in at the same time, depending on availability.
25.3.05 – Well, now I’m officially out of primer surfacer (hence patchy finish to roof spoiler) and still have to fit the spoiler to the roof. Looks like one more litre is on the shopping list.
The roof spoiler has been rejoined and all smooth ready for paint after a (hopefully) final sanding. After attaching it to the roof, I’ll prime it properly before FINALLY paint all over, hopefully this Easter long weekend.
On and grey28.03.05 – Roof spoiler fibreglassed on, sanded and primed. Another sanding then some body filler to finish off and it should be just about there.
March '05 paint rear30.3.05 – The last batch of body filler for the roof spoiler was the dregs of the tin, and unfortunately didn’t go “off”. But rather than wait until I could remove that unset application and then reapply a final body filler to finish off … I decided to paint the rest of the car. Pic right, after the 2nd coat, subsequent coats will be wetter and hopefully more glossy, but it doesnt matter.. as long as theres plenty of paint on it I can polish it until it has the gloss finish I’m after.

Ordered the HiLos today (adjustable height so I can lower it and get some bonus negative camber), and adjustable Konis (shockies) are next. A couple more coats to the body, then finish the spoiler and paint the roof… :)

HiLos Konis Lowered at last Spoiler closer
The HiLos, hopefully will be installed next weekend, or as soon as the adjustable Konis get here :) These extension bars were 246mm long in this pic. I later trimmed 9mm from each of them. The Konis arrived, finally got the rears in a week or so ago, but with the Hilos wound right in there didnt appear to be any lowering to the ride height…


So…. I shortened the extension bars by 9mm which effectively lowered the ride height 37mm. :) Its now lowered at the rear, will hopefully get the fronts done within the week, as well as finish painting the roof! The roof spoiler is getting closer. Hope to finish the roof completely next weekend. There was another application of body filler and more sanding since this pic. After deciding to paint the flairs and mirrors red, I got into prepping them today along with finishing touches to the roof spoiler. Tommorow will be red paint to the entire car.

April '05 paintedWooo hooo!
Yes red paint finally to the whole car :) I painted the flairs, mirrors, roof and rear spoiler as well as a light coat to some parts of the already painted body with the two pots of paint left of the 2L paint. I’ll be down to get another 2L in the morning to finish off the painting, hopefully tomorrow. April '05 roofIts all looking really good, and with another 2L its going to be just beautiful :) oh and the thing hanging off the back of the car (rear view pic) is the LED brake light lens suspending from the garage door so I could paint around it. I had only made a small hole in the roof to get the wiring through and I didnt want to risk not being able to get the wires back through it so left the wiring attached.


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