Rally Mini Build

Started by Mudhen, March 13, 2012, 12:12:22 PM

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I'm going with some fibrerglass doors on the pickup.  Can't wait to see what the weight savings is going to be. 


Had big plans to get a bunch of stuff done on the Mini the past couple weeks, as I'm leaving one job, starting another on Monday.  Argh.  I need to stop planning so much - Mr. Murphy always loves to jump in when I do that.  Sick kid a couple days, blew a valve out of my sandblaster, ran out of gas for the MIG.  Too much running around!!!!

I did manage to get some stuff done, though.

Most of the seam welding is done now...ouch.  That sucked.  To prep for it I scraped all the seam sealer off...and then sandblasted each seam.  Trouble was there was still seam sealer in between that I couldn't remove...and some of the panels had fairly large gaps that wouldn't beat in.  So the welding was frustrating - lots of popping, spatter, etc.  Here's a pic of one - the clean spots are areas I couldn't weld:

I really wanted to get the sills closed up and the wings on - but the more I played with fitting them the more little things I found needed to be done first.  On the left side some of the door step was rotted away...been carting one of those around with me for 25 years...unfortunately, it looks like it doesn't quite match up - the outer lip is a lot narrower than mine - think it will work, though:

On the right side the lower part of the wheel well was open into the sill:

So that got a little patch:

It was rotten behind the jacking point (picture looks strange...that's because you're looking through to the inside of the x-member - which looks absolutely perfect, whew):

The jacking points killed me, too.  PITA!  I should have just bought new ones, I guess.  Fun to fab up something, though - fun, like a kick in the groin kind of fun:

For the wings I figured I should do the inner scuttle closing panels first...of course, it wasn't that easy because there was rot around one of the (fresh air?) openings from the wheel well into the car, which is behind the scuttle panel:

All the little patches just seem to eat time...next time I buy a car site unseen I'm going to look it over better.  :D

Now HOPEFULLY tomorrow I can do what I set out to do at the beginning of the week...sandblast the seam welds to clean them up, sandblast the scuttle areas, and POR those areas and the sills...maybe this weekend get the sills closed up!!

Oh - question - the new sills have a tab that looks like it hooks up into the wheel well...is that right?  Think I'm going to chop it off...doesn't seem like it would be right to have that over the other metal there...



Nice to see you getting back at it.  I'm trying to picture what you have extra on the cill that hooks into the wheel well, any pics?


Quote from: 94touring on December 13, 2012, 05:36:56 PM
Nice to see you getting back at it.  I'm trying to picture what you have extra on the cill that hooks into the wheel well, any pics?

It hooks under the body:

When the shell was originally built, did the sill go on first?  At the back it's also long enough to go all the way to the end, over where the end plate goes over the floor - thinking originally it would have been under that piece?


Oh that's interesting, I've never seen a cill that came like that.  Mine have always been flush on the ends. 


Quote from: 94touring on December 15, 2012, 07:24:27 AM
Oh that's interesting, I've never seen a cill that came like that.  Mine have always been flush on the ends.

Well stop buying those fancy Heritage panels and start shopping in the bargain basement...as Forest Gump said, 'buying aftermarket Mini panels is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you gonna get'.



Finally got the sills buttoned up for the most part...scuttle closing panels are in.  Someone said, 'before putting the wings on, make sure to fit the hood so everything lines up correctly'.

So I went and got my hood out...set it in place.  But there appears to be a rotisserie in the way...  8.gif

How much hood do I need fitted???


Do the best you can with the hood.  You should be able to check width of the rear corners, may have to measure the rest.


Just seen your build history to date; looks very good!  However, I was horrified to see the sills you are fitting.  Here in the UK they are called "cover sills" and only tend to be used by bodgers. They are wider than standard, reaching right round to the flat floor underneath. The problem is that they close off the original vents/drains that allow moisture to escape. The enclosed sills will then start to rust away from the inside very fast, unless you happen to live in Arizona...  We tend to slice the lower couple of inches off of these cheap panels, so that the vents are still open to the atmosphere, and they then look more like the original sills.  It's also easier to spray wax protection into them every year with these still open.  I realise that you're building this as a rally car, and want it to be strong, but I'm sure you also want it to last.  I used to race my 1275GT on the beach at Weston super Mare each year, but as long as I hosed it out thoroughly after the event, it never suffered from the salt water, thanks to the sills being free draining.  Good luck with the rest of the project!


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Just kidding...

Wow, I'd forgotten this thread still existed!   ;D

DEFINITELY want it to last, PDP (no rust until the roll, that's my motto).  Thanks for the tip.  I can't remember right now if they were open at all...argh.  I do think I'd only tacked the right side in place, so I could easily chop some off the inside - but I know I finished up the left hand one.  :-[

When I was looking at buying panels I remembered a sill I've had lying around since the late 80s...when I held it up it was so narrow I just figured that was the difference between the Mk1 I'd bought it for and this later car, so I bought a new one.  Should have save myself the money and used the narrow one!


Looked at this last night - definitely sealed right up.

Maybe I'll try nicking open the lower/inside of each bump out...kind of 'louver' it out.  Definitely won't be cutting them off at this point.  Argh.

I did put a really heavy coat of POR up in there before mounting the sill - might buy me a little extra time.


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Well that's a fine how do you do...

While it's too early to tell if this is the start of any real momentum, we've started to put a little time in on this again - plus with 7 days/wk of kids sports winding down hopefully I can make some sort of regular progress on it for a bit so I'll dredge this thread out of the basement and brush off the cobwebs.

The only major progress has been that I got the wings on.  For better or worse.  Sucked.

I ended up putting the shell on blocks on the front so I could remove the rotisserie pipe and fit the hood to get the wings lined up 'properly'.  Or try, anyway.  Maybe if I was good I could properly finesse the used pieces I got with the car...otherwise I probably should have purchased new panels...just not in the budget so will press on, regardless.

The hood is a perfect example of this...I spent some time working it over but this is what I was starting with:

Will probably end up replacing it before this is over.

I spent hours and hours trying to get the wings to line up right - it didn't help that the right side was the used one with the hood channel on it, etc (needed because of the prior damage to the inner panel).  This is what I was working with on the right side:

The left side was nice with the new wing and regular inner wing.  I used a trick someone here said and lined up the back and put a screw in the hood channel area to hold it while I attempted to then match the front - of course, on the left side I had no where to put a screw...or anything else for that matter.  Still not sure what the perfect alignment of the scuttle-to-wing should have been...pretty sure I have too big of a gap...but will have to do.  Not a show car.

Here's how the right side lines up:

And the left (I think this was actually a test fit and the gap isn't quite that big - but it was 4 months ago and my memory sucks):

Graft complete:

Another thing I did was chop out the rear boxes.  I searched endlessly for rollcage pictures showing where the main hoop attaches to the car to see where they should go - almost impossible to find.  But it needs to be as far out and as close to the 'B' pillar as possible, so there really was no other choice.  I'll weld them back in after the cage gets inspected.

Last week my kids were buying into the, 'help me on the Mini' thing so I put them to work with the DA on the floor - pretty sure the last time they helped me was the day I brought it home  :D:

Yesterday I pushed it outside and started to smooth out the welds on my bodger panels:

Also started to sand down the roof...(I try to alternate jobs to give the compressor a break when using the DA or sandblaster - can't afford to break it!) and think I will try priming that before cleaning up the inside anymore.  Too much to do in there first - I just picked up a step bit and hole saw to make patches for the holes in the floor...and added a battery box and door repair panels to my 'restorationmini' wish list...

I have to do as much as possible before I lose interest again.


Whoa, working on this thing again  4.gif.  The welds on the outer sill look good.   


So does this need to be completely shiny before I can put some primer on it?

Man I think it must have been parked next to whichever car you were working on that lived with a fat cat...huge dents all over the roof - sucks.  And it won't have a headliner so can't even hide them on the underside.   ::)


Yeah remove all that rust and push the dents out best you can.


Quote from: 94touring on November 04, 2013, 06:48:57 PM
Yeah remove all that rust and push the dents out best you can.

That's actually just little spots of primer...no rust.


Birthday #2 has come and gone...should have kept my mouth shut.   11.gif

Went and dropped the race mota off this morning, though!  1100 cc's of whoop ass - will be putting up some BIG numbers.  What..60hp?

Basically just looking for direction from the place...would anyone in their right mind put money into a 1098 to race with when there are no rules on engine size?  I think if it would be cheap enough to get me out there I'd do it.  I really just want to put my foot to the floor and hear noise - if that sends me down the road at 40mph instead of 60mph it's probably a good thing (other than the issue of being time barred...but will cross that bridge if/when I ever come to it).

Upgrading from a Dialarc 250 to Syncrowave 250 this weekend, too - hopefully will make my TIG welds look good enough to pass inspection - and since I finally got the die for the pipe bender I bought in 2012, I could actually/possibly/at some point start making the cage.

Too bad spring sports are starting.  Guess we'll wait for summer to get back into the garage now... ::)


Did someone say pipe bender?

Good little workout...need a longer bar or less time at the bar.  Won't ever need 180deg probably, though - just did it to show off my mad skills.   ::)

Syncrowave has turned into money pit - needed a new water cooled TIG torch for it and the water cooler I bought a few years ago on ebay needs a new pump.  Ordered that this morning...getting there slowly.  Can't wait to try it out, though - and not having to stop every 5-10 minutes and let the air cooled torch cool down will be awesome.   4.gif


You making giant candy canes?


Quote from: 94touring on April 18, 2014, 12:11:14 PM
You making giant candy canes?


That's one expensive candy cane!


I was really hoping to use the bender to tweak the LCB exhaust headers so they would clear the drive flange.  SUCK!  No deals...too many little bends I can't get it into the bender properly.

I'd also picked up a 3-into-1 header on ebay that needed some welding.  No deals on that either, although I might be able to cut off the bottom and get that to fit.

Guess the '65 gets pushed back into the corner again until I decide to buy a real Maniflow header for early cars.

Double suck.


New battery box...check.

But why doesn't it have holes in it like the old one?


Because, as I learned some posts ago, it is a bodger box, not a proper battery box.   ;D
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson


You got an extra budget box. ..shoulda bought that one from me  22.gif