Sunday, 9 April 2017

Welded On Like A Tank

Started looking at smartening up the fuel tank. I've been storing this in the loft waiting to get the chance to repaint it. It definitely needs a bit of surface rust removal first.


Aaaarrrgh! Scrubbed around the filler neck with the wire wheel and found it had rusted through. Not good.


Didn't want to scrap it as it seems to be OK everywhere else and new fuel tanks seem to be eye-wateringly expensive. Thought I'd attempt a repair. First thing, cut out the offending area.


Cut a piece out to fill the hole, and then chopped out the hole in the middle where the neck will go.


So far so good.


The end piece (nozzle?) was actually OK, so I cut this off the old one and welded it on top of my homemade version.

Then welded my little creation back onto the fuel tank. Now I can rub the rest of the tank down and paint it. Hopefully thats a few quid saved.

Meanwhile, I have had this clubman grille knocking around the garage since the very beginning of the project. Picked it up from an autojumble, and it was a bit tatty to say the least.


The top rail was well crusty, so I made up a new one.

And then after much sanding, polishing, masking and painting, I ended up with a slightly more presentable grille.


It would definitely have been much easier to just spray the whole thing black as I have seen a few people do, but I really wanted to keep the original look, so I think the extra effort was worth it. The black on the central leyland badge is quite faded and can't very easily be painted, so I've left that alone, but hey - patina!

So this is where I am now. Hi-Los are on, and the back is much lower. The front is turned right down, but still quite high - almost like it needs and engine to weigh it down a bit :)


Bumpers and lights are also on now, but everything needs tweaking a bit to get the correct alignment and close up some gaps. Quite happy with the progress on the front end though!


Saturday, 11 March 2017

Classic Mini Boot Seal Fitting

Also got some bits fitted on the boot - including bargain chrome handle with key from bingley autojumble for 2 quid!

I struggled to find any info online about fitting the seal. Eventually worked it out, so if anyone is about to do this job, it goes on like this:

Also glued a thin layer of foam around the back bar of the seat subframes so that the metal doesn't damage the paint on the floor. 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Ebay: I Love You

Finally finished fitting up the doors. Phew! Taped up the extra holes on the door chassis. Also fitted the check straps and new rubbers.



Had a super lucky bargain find on ebay this week - a pair of nearly new cobra classic buckets with double locking subframes. I had put the money aside to buy this exact set up new, so I'm really happy to have a couple of nice seats for cheap, and some left over cash to help towards the engine. 


The seats are not fitted yet as I need to order some longer brackets, and maybe chop a bit off the front legs of the subframes. I'm 6' 4", so longer brackets are a must. Will set the steering column angle at the same time to get a nice driving position.


Current status: edging closer although still loads to do. After fitting the seats, the next job will be the boot lid seal and handle, then on to renovating the grille and putting in some lights.

The car is still sitting offensively high!


Windows Done

All of the glass is in! Also got new weather strips and wing mirrors on. :)


I also had a go at recolouring the brown door cards to black. Left is before, right is after. Quite pleased with the result after one coat. 


Sunday, 1 January 2017

OK windscreen, I don't like you and you don't like me, but lets do this!

This has to been one of the toughest jobs I have done on the car (except for getting the doors to fit).

Tried many times to fit the windscreen glass but no joy. The aperture was just too small to get the glass in the seal. Finally bit the bullet and used a carbide burr to enlarge the aperture to a consistent height of 414mm along the screen. Then after repainting the bare metal, I had another go...

First off, soaked the rubber in hot water for half an hour.

Seal mounted in frame quite easily.

Much pain later, (but easier than before) the glass is finally in the seal. Used lots of lightly diluted fairy liquid!

Here it is with the trim strip installed.

The flimsy tool I bought from minispares wasn't up to the job at all, and broke pretty quickly. Here is my home-bodged rebuilt version, welded back together and attached to an old screwdriver handle.

The back window was a doddle by comparison!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Drop Glass Lights

Started adding the door fittings. We now have a door that opens from both handles closes and locks from the key and the interior lever :) 

I've applied one sheet of 187mm x 265mm silent coat to the door skin. Not sure if this is enough to be effective as its smaller than the original stuff that was on there before. May look into this further.

Also got my autojumbled chrome handles on...

I've been working on preparing the glass to go back in. Sourced a razor blade scraper tool which worked really well to clean the glass. The glass isn't in amazing condition anyway, but its much improved without a fine cloud of paint covering it. I also removed and rust-repaired one of the runners which has suffered from water ingress. Then I painted all of them (not including the surfaces in contact withe the regulator) to try to give them a bit more protection for the future.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Down To Earth

The car is finally down on its wheels! Its sitting really high at the moment on the new rubber cones.


I haven't fitted the rubber bump stops yet, and the suspension is holding the car up so high I can't attach the dampers. Will wait until the engine is in to compress the cones a little.


I'll be looking at the drive shafts next, but I need to buy new washers as I cut the old ones off when they were removed.


The screw threads on the track rods were corroded where they had been exposed (see pic below), so I ran a die through them to clean them up. This allowed the track rod ends to be screwed further in to straighten up the front wheels.

Current job is to work out how all of these door bits and pieces go back together. I've also been preparing the glass to go back in, and realised one front window is has got some fine paint spray all over it, so may have to source another.


Also, here are some 'before and after' pics I put together for fun to compare with the state it was in before. The top ones are from when I first got the car in 2010. 

Subframe mounts:

Drivers side floor and sills:

Rear quarter:


Thanks for looking!