Author Topic: Project Zippy (Midas Mk1 Coupe) Engine In!  (Read 62622 times)

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #20 on: 31 January 2012, 20:49 »
As I walked into the garage today I knew it was time. I could put it off no longer. The master cylinders had to come out. To anyone who doesn't know Minis that well, that means putting your head under the pedals, your feet where the back seats should be and using a pair of needle nose pliers to get to 2 split pins out of the most inaccessible place on the car. Or something like that anyway. So having given the heater panels and washer bottle bracket another spray of hammerite, I set about the horrible task that awaited my feeble skills.

It took about 4 minutes, one of which was contorting myself into position then realising my screwdriver was still on the workbench. The master cylinders were held in with "R" clips. All I had to do was push them out using the flat end of a screwdriver and then move the pins so they came out. I want to buy the man who put them in a beer! The master cylinders themselves need a refurb (no surprise there!) so I will have to put that on the Xmas list. Times is hard!!

I then set about removing the rest of the stuff in the engine bay that I could. This meant all bolts, brackets and heatsheilding. My Dremel went through 9 cutting discs going through all the rusty bolts that wouldn't budge, which was nearly all of them. The bonnet release cable and bracket was a particular pain as although I was able to undo the bulkhead bolts without any issues by jamming a spanner on the nuts inside the car, the bolts holding on the lever beneath the dashboard shelf were so rusty and inaccessible that cutting was the only option. It still took 15 minutes as I couldn't get the Dremel at the right angle due to the windscreen. I did annoy 2 earwigs which were living behind the bracket. They had to find new homes...

The heatshielding appeared to be a piece of carpet-like substance which had been siliconed to the bulkhead. This of course took ages to get off and had a collection of dead leaves and insects underneath. Tasty. The exhaust had obviously had an effect on the bulkhead in the past due to the scorched fibreglass I found. I will sand that out and build it back up before I figure out what sort of heatshield to use.

All the brackets are now off and only the pedal box and shock mounts remain until I can get the subframe off to attend to the brake and fuel lines. Could be a long time...

I love the man that put these in :laugh:

Master cylinders out (and needing a refurb!)

Bracket held on by horrible silicone. What's wrong with a damn gasket?!

Horrible stuff behind the heatshield...

...which was also held on with bloomin' silicone!!

Burnt bulkhead

The collection of brackets and bars that came off. All need a clean-up and repaint.

All the stuff for the bin. There's a lot of bolts which have been cut in half...

The engine bay is almost completely clear!!!

Another spare half an hour and I thought it was time to shift some unwanted stuff from the garage, which just happens to be attached to the Midas. There were a pair of 4-pot callipers on the car (not plumbed in) so these have been unbolted and chucked on the bay of E to free up some cash for more bits. I'm sure the previous owner said they'd been refurbished but this may have been a while before it fell into my hands. They need to be redone.

As for the reason why I am not keeping them? There is no servo on my car; I don't want to have to shell out for a complete servo kit as a) I won't know its condition if secondhand, b) it'll be expensive new and c) the car weighs less than 750kg so 4-pots aren't really needed in my eyes. Standard 8.4" discs have always been fine on my last 3 Minis that had them, none of which used a servo. I've also got a second set of hubs I can recondition along with a pair of callipers and drive flanges. It's a no brainer! Plus standard 8.4" discs are cheap, even for the good ones!

4-pots on the car...

...and dismantled.

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #21 on: 31 January 2012, 20:52 »
The front end (other than the subframe and pedal box is now stripped so I turned my attention to the rear end. This meant the petrol tank. I didn't have an assistant for the day, so I thought first of all I'd stick a jack under the tank and tackle the bolts that were inside the car. I thought that as everything on this car was so rusty I might be lucky and they'd just shear off. Yeah, some hope. Of course they simply turned on themselves. As I was by myself, there was only one thing for it. Dremel cuts!

First of all I removed the screws at the back end. How I coped without a drill driver before I will never know. Two came out with no problems but the third was so crap it practically disintegrated and went through the mounting hole in the tank. Good enough for now  :laugh:

Out came my friend the Dremel along with my favourite bit, the cutting disc (Or 4 of them actually as these bolts were particularly tough). I decided that as they were tough I would cut halfway through the bolts then give them a clout with MC hammer. There were no issue with the first 2, but the third was difficult (typically!). I was able to cut through it practically all the way then snapped it off with a pair of pliers.

All I had to do now was to lower it down using the jack which was surprisingly easy, with a little bit of manouevring and jiggling to get the filler neck through the boot floor. Condition isn't fantastic, but it does appear to be mainly surface rust. I will give it a clean up before making a decision on whether it needs replacing. The big flexi pipe definitely does!

Finally I needed to drain the tank so out came the funnel and fuel can. That and 2 fizzy drinks bottles as I ran out of room! 7 1/2 litres of some sort of fuel was left in it. Amazingly it doesn't smell "off" (I'm sure the car hasn't run since about 2001) so it may be usable for a lawn mower or strimmer. Think I've got a mate with one so I may earn myself a pint or similar.  :cool:

Nuts. They just turned with the bolts...

Jack under the tank

Dremel cuts. The bolts didn't stand a chance!

Lowering the tank.

Tank is out. Closer inspection required.

Potential lawn mower food

I've been doing a bit of research over the past few days. It turns out that the previous engine which was in the Midas came from a 60's Cooper S and was fitted along with the 60's twin bolt subframe and the large alloy remote gear selector housing. The holes for the original subframe towers have been filled in and a later subframe fitted by previous owner Andy (thanks for your info) but the original rear mouting bolts are still there, rusted in place through the floor. These will be cut out in due course. Good old Dremel! As a result, the rod-change gear selector I have will need to be lengthened to sit properly in the car, and a chat with a friend revealed he would be happy to do this for me.

A twisted knee meant I couldn't do any crawling around under or around the car so I thought I would clean up and re-grease the gear selector I had before handing it over for modifictaion. So I hauled it out from under the bench and set to with a brush and some degreaser. It cleaned up fairly nicely, but I assumed it had a whole load of nasty going on inside as moving the gear leaver around didn't feel quite "right". So, once it was a bit cleaner (and smellier as my degreaser stinks!) I whipped the bottom cover off. My worst fears were realised: it was scrap. The gearstick sits in a cup which is held in place to the rod with 2 roll pins. One half of this one piece cup had sheared off. So I need a new gear selector before I can get it modified. Now where was I? Oh yeah - yeehaa...

Before its degreaser bath with years' worth of road grim and old oil on it. Yum...

The horrors inside.

And the offending part closer up (and clean!)

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline richw911

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #22 on: 31 January 2012, 20:55 »
Ah the split pins  :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

Ive been told I have to do them again on my mates project  :angry: :angry: :angry: :grin:

MKIV Mod Squad™ a part of the headlight police.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #23 on: 31 January 2012, 20:58 »
Well, having been thwarted by my broken gear selectors, I thought I could at least salvage something by getting a replacement extension yoke for the gear lever so set about cutting the remains of the old one off. Unfortunately I ran out of Dremel Cutting discs halfway through this. It was irrelevent anyway as I discovered that the selector rod was badly bent. I could straighten it, but for less effort I could get another whole rod change assembly. Ho hum...

I then cleaned up the petrol tank. It looked like it was mainly surface rust so out with the wire brush and most of it came off; mainly bits of old paint and a lot of iron oxide. Still, a bit of rust convertor may go on this before I paint it with something heavy duty. I can't see any holes at all, but the piece of pipe I took off was well past its best.

I decided that as I'd painted the heater side panels I ought to take a look at the rest of the heater. The switch panel was a bit bent and the lever to move between "car" and "screen" was completely seized. I took everything to bits and cleaned everything up with the wire brush attachment on the angle grinder. I then was able to get the lever moving with use of the vice and brute force. I lubricated the little spring and dropped a dab of grease on the mechanism. It's now a lot better. The rest of the bits (including the main heater housing) were then ready to paint. I managed to do half the body then ran out of paint. Note to self: Buy more paint...

Bent rods

Rusty tank

Nasty Pipe

Slightly cleaner tank

Heater bits, before cleaning up

Lever now working thatnks to brute force, grease and ignorance

Cleaner bits

Oh b******s - out of paint!!

Still haven't bought any new paint, so left the heater bits for a while and turned my attention to getting the last of the stuff out of the interior. The headling (a one-piece bit of fibreglass) was going to need to come out, especially as I wanted to remove that horrid aerial stub. By the looks of things, all I needed to do was remove the gas struts (knackered) for the rear glass hatch and undo the four screws at the front to remove it. Simple! As the Haynes manual usually says, "Undo the screws/bolts/clips and lift out". What they don't have for their stripdown is a car that's been standing for 10 years in the damp. The nuts for the gas struts were easy; just use a 9/16" spanner to undo and they came away easily. The front screws? Well... One came out with no arguments. The other 3? Well let's just say that what should have been a 10 minute job at most became an hours' worth of struggle.

I really didn't want to get evil with the power tools, but after the first one came out, the other 3 just ended up with chewed heads. No amount of WD40 or shock treatment was going to make them move. I got some new Dremel cutting discs from Ebay last week and put them to use immediately. My plan was to cut off part of the screw and then just snap the rest of it off with a pair of pliers to avoid damaging the headlining too much. It was fiddly (because you're effectively working upside down, which I hate...) but 3 rusty and broken screw heads later the headlining fell on me. Only a few minor scratches around where it was screwed in. I will get the screw stubs out in time. No rush...

Well, the headlining had some strange mouldy bits on it and will get properly cleaned up in due course. For a moment I wasn't really sure where to put a 4ft x 4ft piece of fibreglass then I realised as it was so light the easiest place to put it was to hang it on the wall. 30 seconds with a hammer drill, rawlplug and screw, there it was. The aerial stub was stuck to a piece of aluminium, which was swiftly removed. Headlining out, sunroof and last bits of the internal loom will be next...

Horrible headling in place; sunvisors (one was already off) will need to be remade.

Gas strut undone

It's out! You can just about see the rusty screw stubs...

Nasty aerial stub and bit of ali.

The headlining's new home

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #24 on: 31 January 2012, 21:05 »
It has been a bit of a frustrating time this weekend. I have bought a couple of bits and found a nightmare scenario.

Got some more paint from the bay of "e" and proceeded to give the heater parts another coat. Don't worry - they look significantly better than the photograph - it's the harsh light of the flash that makes them look far worse than they actually are!! The heater bits are going under the dash and won't be seen much anyway so I am not too bothered as I can't see it - as long as the blooming thing doesn't leak...

I also bought a handbrake (the old one in the car appears to be rustier than some of the bolts that are holding it in place and appears to be missing its release button. The one I've got is a Sportpack Mini item which I picked up for less than a tenner including postage and it looks in almost perfect condition. Superb. I have narrowly missed out on a gear selector though (don't you just HATE it when you'e outbid by 50p??).

As I'd received a headlight bracket through the post as well (Thanks Graham), I thought I would prepare that for paint, along with the other headlight bits I have. Unfortunately that was where my nightmare scenario raised its really ugly head. I have (just about) two usable "holding brackets" for the headlights and two trim brackets as well. However, the backplates are more of an issue. I have one very solid one, and... well I'll just let the pics do the talking. If anyone's got a headlight backplate for a Mk1/Mk2 Midas (it's Austin Allegro for those that don't know) in usable condition please let me know asap. Mine are completely fubar'd. B******s. :cry:

Painted stuff - it looks much better in the flesh!

The headlight bits I had to play with.

Some of the bits I didn't use...

And the paper-thin backplates. Ouch!

Aside from the tragedy of the headlight backplates from last weekend, something worse has happened. The stereo in the garage stopped working. I like to listen to the radio or CDs when I am working on the car, as it is something I have always done. The old portable (which used to belong to my Mum after she won it in a competition in about 1994) had finally given up. It refused to play tapes (remember them?!), cds and only wanted to occasionally tune in to the radio. Must have been all the abuse carried out in its vicinity... My wonderful friend Liz came up trumps with "something she had stashed in the spare room". An Aiwa mini hifi that plays CD, tape and Minidisc (Not that I'll use it...) Works perfectly and has remote control. That'll do! So it was pressed into (loud) service and seems to be doing very well. Top job!

As I had come across so many issues with the front lights, I thought I would see if I could find anything equally as poor at the back end of the car. I started with taking off the last piece of fibreglass trim just under where the rear hatch sits. 4 screws would generally take about 2 minutes. However, this is not a "normal" car. I keep forgetting that it has been standing 11 years. 2 screws came out with no bother. The other 2 required a bit more work and eventually were unscrewed using pliers after attempts with screwdrivers and drill drivers failed. I threatened to use the Dremel cutting discs, but was able to get them moving with sheer brutality instead.

The rear lights were next. Of course, just undoing a few bolts is easy... Yup, the old issues of car that has been standing 11 years raised its ugly head once more. Several of the studs snapped in their mountings and 2 of the screws had to be cut off with my old buddy Dremel. Once this was done however, the lights lifted out with a bit of persuasion and I was able to split them on the workbench. One looked horrible, the other looked worse... I am not sure if I will be able to modify the lenses to support new studs somehow or if I will need new lenses. No harm in trying I guess.

I also tried to undo the t-piece that holds in the spare wheel. And of course it had rusted to the glassed in nut which then broke its mounting and just turned. And of course there was no other way to remove it than to cut it out. So out came the Dremel again. I cut the rusted nut off, but I'm not sure I am going to use the t-piece again - I may come up with something different. Watch this space on that one.

The petrol filler pipe needed to come off too. This had 3 screws to remove. 2 were easy. 1 was not. Brutality happened again. Dremel cuts... I am undecided whether to try to find another TR7 cap or not as mine's broken. Any suggestions as to what else might fit and look "right"?

Finally I won an ultimate engine steady on ebay which will help with keeping the engine in the car. It has been modified slightly by someone cutting part of the side panel off, but it's certainly usable and it only cost a fiver. I'll tidy it up and go from there.

Old faithful. Goodbye old friend...

New sounds. Bigger speakers too...  :laugh:

Rear hatch panel out.

Butchered screws

Rear lights out. Looks weird without them.

Light units before splitting.

... and split, looking ugly. This was the good one.

This was the not so good one... What's been growing in there???

"Hump" where the spare wheel t-piece broke off. Neatly cut open with Dremel to retrieve...

...broken and very rusty bolt.

Dremel cuts!

Fuel cap (broken) and pipe

Modified engine steady. Needs new bushes and a tidy up.

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #25 on: 31 January 2012, 21:09 »
It's amazing what you can find on Ebay. I now have a fully usable pair of headlight backplates along with all associated retaining brackets and trim rings. As I have been a bit stuck for time these past few days, all I have had time to do is strip all the paint and rust off and give them a coat of Hammerite.

I now have the rather daunting task of taking off the doors, removing all the glass and taking the rear beam off. Condition is unknown... :shocked: By the way, any tips for where I can store the glass?? Mrs Bounce says no to "in the house"...  :laugh:

The best of the headlight brackets etc before stripping

...and after paint (along with a couple of bits of heater).

Since I got the Midas home there have been loads of 1275 engine bits in boxes and crates which I've ignored. As I was fed up with grinding rusty bolts with the Dremel and cleaning things with the wire brush attachment on the grinder I cleaned up the bench and had a look to see what I had to play with. Andy, the previous owner, said it had come out of a Metro and one of the pistons had seized.

I laid most of it on out the bench and came to the following conclusions:

It is a standard 1275 Metro engine with standard size head and there's absolutely nothing special about it that I can tell (with my limited knowledge of engines in bits..). The bores look in excellent condition; the crank appears to be pretty much good to go again with just a clean up; the cam looks pretty standard and the followers do have a bit of pitting on them. The rods could do with a bit of a clean up but I think I will need to do the following:

Take the block, head, crank and pistons to an Engineering Shop and speak to them about what would need doing for a rebuild. There's no sense in just buying another engine of unknown quality from ebay or the small ads when I can spend that money (plus a fair bit more!!) and know exactly what I am getting. I have no intention of building something stupidly powerful (1380, twin-cam etc) as I don't need anything that pokey. I simply do not have the necessary funds to do that in one hit and I'm not prepared to get into debt over this. I would love to go to Swiftune or MED and give them a couple of grand for a few billet bits but I am the sort of person who wouldn't notice once the engine is running and I would also never recoup the money. No, just a warmed-over 1275/1293 with a decent head and cam should suffice for now and hopefully give me 80-odd bhp. I might get the flywheel and backplate lightened and balanced though.

I'm thinking only rebore if necessary, new pistons, cleaned up and balanced rods, lightened flywheel and backplate, new bearings and a reconditioned head with a bit of porting and bigger valves and a hotter camshaft. I will speak to the engineers and ask their advice on what I have.

The block is now bare apart from the core plugs, the cam followers and the funny brass bungs that you locate the gearbox with. I'm going to spend a while with the degreaser and paintbrush to clean off all the gunk from all the components.

All the dust from a couple of days' wire brushing (watch is there so you can gauge how much there is...)

Engine bits on the bench (seized piston without bag)

The block (before removing pump, studs etc) which desperately needs a clean!

Standard camshaft. This will be replaced with something a bit spicier.

Block from the bottom. You can just about see the followers with a bit of pitting on them. Clean bores.

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #26 on: 31 January 2012, 21:13 »
Well it's been a bit of a while since I last went into the garage to actually do some work on the little beastie. I guess doing too many social things along with colder temperatures etc meant I put it to the back of my mind... I had an hour to spare so I thought I would attempt to take at least one of the rear drums off and have a look at the rear brakes. So I got myself some wood, an axle stand and the trolley jack and gently put everything safely up in the air having loosened to the wheelnuts.

What greeted me behind the wheel was a rusty looking drum; I grabbed the impact driver as I was sure the retaining screws would be utterly seized. Erm... no! Nice and easy to undo with a simple screwdriver. I was gobsmacked! Before I took the drum off I had a quick look at the spring & shock and the surrounding area. What looked like star-crazing in the fibreglass at first glance was in fact a spider, but the spring and shock looked like they could do with a fair bit of attention. I reckon they are probably the originals and will definitely need a full overhaul.

Amazingly the adjuster worked fine too. I am absolutely certain that this has been looked at recently. There was evidence of the cylinder leaking and the shoes seemed to be different makes, but everything seemed to be working fine. Even the inside of the drum looked pretty good. I will obviously replace all the consumables (I already have the replacement cylinders) and will clean up the drum before giving it a coat of paint. I will also be paying special attention to the rusty looking backplate! Now all I have to do is make sure the other side is just as easy to remove...

I removed one of the rear mudflaps when the wheel was off the car - I have never seen one of these before - marked "BLMC" so it's likely to be from a late 60's vehicle but what? Are these likely to be worth anything? Not sure if I am going to be keeping them or not. They're not Midas items as far as I'm aware.

Also have a bit of an annoying issue; I only have 3 centre caps for my lovely Mistral wheels. If anyone's got one kicking about in a box somewhere then please let me know! They don't look the easiest thing to replace and I would rather have all 4 than take 3 off as they're quite nice.

Also found the pictures from when I originally picked up the Midas in June so I've included these for your viewing pleasure  :cool:

What lies behind such a pleasant exterior???

Rusty drum...

Got to be the original!

Doesn't look too bad, and everything moves!!

Evidence of fluid in here...

Odd shoes... (they're not the same manufacturer!)

Mudflaps. But from what?

I love these Centre Caps. But I only have 3. Can you help?

Picking up the Midas from deepest darkest Eastleigh (which was wet!!). Road train!!

Andy, the marvellous guy I bought it from. Top bloke! Although he looks upset to see it go...

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #27 on: 31 January 2012, 21:19 »
Apologies to everyone who keeps tabs on this project - I have been a busy boy and haven't had much time for the garage. Shame on me.

There have been bits of engine sitting on the bench for a while now and it is time I did something with them. So I thought to myself: "What will an engineering shop need to see?" I have the block (with big-ends attached), crank, old bearings to determine size, pistons, rods, bare head, and the flywheel and backplate. I loaded these heavy bits of metal into my trusty Bora's boot (big enough to swallow 8, possibly even 10 12" wheels with tyres so no problem with this lot!) and am about to head off to a couple of engineering shops to get some quotes; the bores look good but I am no expert. I'll get some idea of the cost of a new set of pistons (next size up if needed) with a higher compression, full balancing, possibly lighten the flywheel and backplate with all new bearings and a much modified version of my head. Then I will start saving. Eek...  :shocked:

I want to recondition the Mistral alloys (still after a centre cap to replace the missing one as I only have 3...) but to do this I needed to make a frame to move the shell around on (this will probably made in due course) or buy some more axle stands. Or get myself another set of wheels. Thanks to a very helpful user on The Mini Forum (Cheers Matt!) I was able to get hold of a set of 4 steel wheels and tyres for the grand total of nothing. Nada. £0. Christmas has come early! So the alloys were whipped off and replaced with the steelies. I'll get the tyres taken off then have a look at getting all the paint and dirt off the alloys before painting. I am thinking black/polished rim to be a good contrast to the colour I am thinking of painting the car (Orange)... Any other suggestions?

Block on bench

Crank which looks good generally - I am hoping that it will need nothing more than a polish.

The very standard cylinder head. This will not look like this by the time I'm done with it. Expect bigger valves and porting.

Standard size low compression pistons. Not long for this world...

Old bearing shells and cam followers - they were just in the same box - and there are 4 more followers and plenty more bearing shells!

Flywheel and backplate. Time to lighten???

Free steelies!!

Alloys now off the car awaiting removal of the tyres.

Looking like a proper project now with dirty steels...

Went to Clacton and popped into a small, family-run engineering shop I have used before. They did an excellent job making my old Mayfair head Unleaded-ready about 12 years ago, they've been going for 43 years plus I went to the same junior school as the guy who now does most of the work (his father who started the business appears to have taken a back seat). They have taken the block and crank to have a decent measure up and will give me a quote next week. They said the block may just need a hone but there were rust marks that might not come out. For the sake of a few quid I think I'll go for a rebore anyway as the pistons will be replaced as a matter of course; the ones I have are of unknown quality and are low-compression. Will keep you posted.

Ok, so now the Christmas holidays and the delights of all that came with it (a full set of braided brake & clutch hoses plus a fuse box for the Midas, 108 Jaffa Cakes and the Novovirus) are now over it was time to get back into the garage.

I am going to be using the older, non-verto style of clutch but with A+ drop gears; this will enable me to not have to faff about changing the first motion gearwheel to suit the A-series drops. I have both the A-series and the A+ flywheel housings; and yes of course there was a problem. It looked like the A+ housing had been repaired with chemical metal or similar around where the starter motor sits. A light tap with MC Hammer and my fears were realised. It fell to bits and is therefore useless. I have another A+ housing (for scrap), which has also broken in the same area. Is this a common problem?

So I have two options open to me. 1) Change the gearbox first motion gearwheel (not tempting I must be honest) or 2) Get another A+ housing. My good friend Shaun seems to think he has one in his garage. I will wait and see... :)

Once I had spent about 3 hours tidying and moving stuff around the garage (it was long overdue believe me!) I had a quick look at the nearside rear drum; I wasn't able to get round there before cleaning up so I was hoping that it wasn't going to be too bad. The adjuster was seized solid and the amount of rust on the drum and surrounding area did not fill me with confidence. However, some WD40 and a bit of wiggling with the brake spanner soon had it freed off and the screws once again came out easily. There was evidence of copious quantities of Copperslip grease in there so someone had been there before me! No obvious leakage and also the shoes looked pretty new. I wonder if previous owner Andy had done one side before calling it a day on the project? The rear brakes will be completely rebuilt anyway, so provided everything else comes apart easily enough (ha ha!  :grin: ) I do not envisage further rear brake issues.

Broken flywheel housing with chemical metal bodge.

...which now resides with its mate outside.

Loads of rust!

Seized adjuster, amongst other things...

Shoes out, lots of meat on them. Had they even been used in anger?

Christmas Prezzies!

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #28 on: 31 January 2012, 21:25 »
I have to admit that I am starting to get annoyed with this project. Seemingly simple things can really get on your nerves and make you question why you're doing it. Enjoyment? It doesn't really seem so at the moment...  :lipsrsealed:

I managed to get down to the tyre place (X-Spurt tyres in Ipswich - fantastic guys and reasonable too) who took the tyres off my 5 Mistrals. I am glad I wasn't planning on using these tyres: 3 had very visible cracks and according to the dates on them the youngest was 14 years old. The spare (an ancient Michelin which also had an inner tube) was 22 years old!  :shocked: They all fitted easily into my trusty Bora's boot. Unfortunately it's a VW, and not a Maserati...  :grin:

I received a nice parcel from Bilt-Hamber which contained some of their De-ox-C rust remover and also some of their De-ox Gel for those things too big to go into a bucket. It was this I was going to use for the petrol tank. So out came the wire brush and I did the final once over before wipedown and wash which you need to do before application. The tank leaks. Tipping it on to its side showed it dribbled out by the seam. I am not one to do a bodge on a petrol tank, so it will need to be replaced. Mini Van/Pick-up/Estate tanks aren't cheap new (£110 +) so I will be on the lookout for a secondhand one once funds allow. B****cks!

To try to calm me down I mixed up 10 litres of Deox-C and threw in a load of stuff that has rust on it to see what happens. This included my cylinder head, which is in a bit of a poor state with loads of rust in the thermostat area. This head is either going to be highly modified (it's a standard Metro 12G940) or not used if I find a half decent head at a very decent price so I don't mind experimenting with it.

I also thought I needed to start stripping the final part of the interior, namely the door cards. Off came the window winder and the broken door pull. I really don't like these so may look into a different way of pulling the door shut when it gets rebuilt. The door pocket came off with no issues at all. Wow! That left the 5 screws on the door card itself. The first 4 were no trouble at all with a little persuasion. But of course, there's always one. The bottom front screw would not move and started to chew up. I first thought I would try drilling it, but then remembered just how tough this had been before. Out came the Dremel and I ground a fresh slot in the screw for a flat-bladed screwdriver. Thankfully this worked and I carefully wound the screw out.

What I found underneath was pretty much as I expected. A little bit corroded here and there, with some sort of nasty moss growing in the window channels; a legacy of the car standing in the damp for 11 years. I will drill out the rivets on the rusty plate and see if it is salvageable. If not, I'll simply make another, probably out of aluminium. Will write more when I feel less annoyed...

Wheels in boot

Leaking tank. Whoop-di-doo.

Tub of De-ox-C with brackets and a head de-rusting overnight.

Mr Door Panel, it is time for you to be removed!

Broken Door Strap with enormous screws

Not-too-shabby door pocket

Poxy screw, which came out after "modification"

Plastic covering, held on with very powdery gaffa tape.

...and the rusty stuff underneath. Yay...

Everyone has good days, and everyone has bad days. Guess which one I have had? I have spent an afternoon in the Manroom and it has been one of frustration. Thought I would tidy up some of the last little bits in the interior before getting set to take the doors off and glass out. The Deox-C rust remover bath had worked very well on the small items I had immersed in it. The Y-piece from my LCB was somewhat brown, and after a soak and a scrub it really did remove most of it. More severe scrubbing would have probably removed it all. Impressive stuff.

There were other issues to contend with in the interior however. The front subframe was originally the older, solidly mounted twin-bolt item (which had a Cooper S engine attached to it), but this had been removed and after some minor surgery, a newer single bolt item had been mounted in its place. The original floor bolts had been left in place as they are in a different place, a couple of inches further back on the floorpan. And because they'd been left in place, they had got damp over the 11 years of standing around. Damp = rust. Yup, no longer recognisable as bolts and washers, they had become a small mound of rust-covered metal. No problem, I thought, and brought in the Dremel. This time however, I was thwarted. The cutting discs are very thin and were no match for the seemingly huge amounts of crud that had accumulated over the decade or so rusting away. After I had broken my fourth cutting disc, I thought I would try the angle grinder. I only had a grinding disc though, and quickly realised that this would do no more than set the car on fire with the extended use I would need to grind the bolts down. I left them alone and will come back to them with an alternative plan of action, by cutting them off from the bottom up once I get the car in the air.

After a generous soaking in WD-40, I managed to remove the rather knackered handbrake lever and the rear cable that attaches to it, which also shed a vast amount of rusty nastiness all over the interior. It doesn't look like a Mini cable - I will have to check in the build manual to find out what it is from. There were also the bolts attaching the seatbelt stalks, which looked like they had captive nuts on plates underneath. I managed to get them halfway out then of course said "captive" nuts were no longer captive. Without an assistant to hand, getting uder the car and in the car simultaneously is impossible so once again I will wait until I can get underneath easily. I do have a plan for this which will be revealed in due course.  :smiley:

I did have a quick look underneath whilst looking to see how to remove the actual seatbelts themselves, which looks nigh on impossible unless you've got a very strange shaped spanner. I got Mr Screwdriver out and had a good poke at the rear beam. It seems to be in fairly good nick, which probably means it'll fall to bits when I get it off the car... :rolleyes:

One day this car will have no rusty bolts or screws on it and will be being rebuilt instead of stripped down... I think I will leave it for now and ignore it for a week. It is annoying me for silly reasons. Maybe I should have set it on fire...

Rusty bits now not so rusty...

Rust lumps on the floor back from the "new" subframe bolts. Poly mounts showing through!

Not much better, and you can just about see the remains of all the broken cutting discs.

Finally got the handbrake cable off, which shed rust everywhere.

...and the lever finally came off, after two of the toughest, rustiest nuts on the car (which still resemble nuts...)

Keeping schtum. Mostly.

Offline MrBounce

  • I live here
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Re: My New Long-Term Non Dub Project
« Reply #29 on: 31 January 2012, 21:30 »
After the delights of last weekend, I needed to have a good day. I feel like I have achieved a lot today and I feel all the better for it :smiley: I had been putting off a horrid job for ages, and as I was concentrating on the interior anyway, I thought it best to get on with it.

The sides, sills and footwells were covered in the remains of some horrid sort of foam cloth, which had obviously deteriorated over the 11 or so years of standing idle. Did I have a suitable power tool to remove it? No. So out with the wallpaper scraper it was. It took 2 hours. Still, a pint of Dr Pepper, several Jaffa Cakes and a lot of scraping and swearing later, it was all off. And in the footwells. So I emptied the Manroom vacuum and sucked up everything I possibly could from the floor. All except that large piece of underlay which had been stuck to the bottom of the dash shelf with what appeared to be underseal. It was disgusting...

I also took the time to properly remove that horrible old aerial which ran through the sill into the wiring loom. I cut the old stub off so it would pull through more easily and threw it all away, along with the doubtless useless by now speaker wires.

I then dug out the "new" Mini handbrake I'd bought from Ebay. The plan was to simply swap over the connection on the back but when I put them side-by-side, I realised that the brackets and the holes drilled to mount them were totally different. I really didn't want to go back to using the nasty old handbrake as it had no usable internal release mechanism - the missing button was a good indicator of this! I also don't know what the handbrake lever was from - I am guessing something like an Allegro so I am not planning to try tracking a direct replacement down.

After a bit of lateral thinking and measuring, I realised I could use one of the mounting bolts by making a bracket and mount the rear end by drilling one hole and using a 1 1/4" spacer. I cut the end off the bottom mounting bracket I had for an old A-series weather shield and smacked it about a bit in the vice until it was the right shape. What to use for a spacer? I had an old chrome steering column drop-bracket in my "bits" box which was looking a bit pitted but was otherwise fine. A bit of cutting and shaping with Harry Hacksaw and my trusty Dremel had it exactly how I wanted it. I cleaned up the connection and all seems to fit together nicely. I will drill the hole properly once the subframe and beam are off and the car's in the air.

I now feel like I am getting somewhere  :smiley:

Horrible nasty foam cloth

All scraped off and on the floor

Hoovered out (again...)

Aerial finally removed!

Aerial stub. I reckon that can be used again...  :grin:

Handbrakes together, with very different mounting brackets...

Modified Mini handbrake with spacer and scratchbuilt bracket. Bolt is not the one I will be using!

An interesting day today. I picked up the block and crank from the Engineering Shop after waiting 3 weeks for a phone call that never came. He had the quotes ready for me but hadn't had the time to call, so he said. I know I said that there was no rush but 5 weeks in total just to get a quote is rather poor. When it comes to general engineering he is pretty good, but show him anything specialist and I think he struggles. He does think the crank will only need a polish though.

It was always my intention to get more than one quote and I chucked everything into the boot (except the camshaft) and headed off to see my preferred engineer. I spent a while chatting to him about my needs - he remembered me from when a friend and I had popped in for a couple of valves 10 years ago! He made some interesting discoveries when he looked at what was in the boot. The engine block itself is in pretty good nick; the cam bearings will need to be replaced and a rebore would be best as there are some rust marks (which I already knew about). He agreed with the other shop about the camshaft possibly needing just a polish.

The interesting details were the cylinder head and the flywheel. The head has definitely seen porting work - he thought it was a pretty good job - although the valves were still standard size. He thinks it had been set up for turbocharging (not my intention) as the chambers themselves were quite large. I had thought it was a standard low-compression Metro engine, but because the head has seen work it's likely it wasn't the original one. The flywheel was the non-verto item I had taken off the spare engine that came with the car. He took one look at it and told me it had been lightened. It's not superlight by any means, but is certainly not a standard weight. :cool:

I have explained what I am looking for and he'll give me quote later in the week. This means: rebore, new higher-compression pistons, polish crank (regrind if necessary), new bearings, thrusts and cam bearings and a bottom end balance. As an aside I am also looking to have the head changed to match with larger inlets (possibly bigger exhaust valves too), hardened inserts and having the inlet manifold matched to the ports. I think it's going to be expensive!!!

I have however discovered that my A+ Primary Gear has deep scoring on the inside and will need replacing. Why didn't I know this on Sunday when I was at Bingley??? As far as Bingley goes I picked up a few small items, including a roll of soundproofing, an A+ flywheel housing, a fuel gauge and a cheap steering wheel so I can sell the Astrali to someone who can mend it...

Dodgy A+ Primary Gear with deep scoring. I need a new one. :rolleyes:

Keeping schtum. Mostly.