Stan's 78 mini restoration

Started by stan360, September 25, 2015, 08:58:48 AM

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stan360


Hello,  I have  a 78 mini that I am looking to do some restoration work on.  I posted an inquiry over on Mini Mania looking for professional help on paint / body work  and  was steered in the direction of the forum here.  I am glad to have received this advice and now to know about this restoration forum. 

So here is what I have....A pretty solid 78 mini automatic that belonged to a lady in England until 2006 and had sat in storage here  after being imported until I aquired this year.  It has been partially resprayed and I think the door skins may have been addressed  at some time.   But otherwise original  looking car.  It  looks good under boot and bonnet and around the scuttle. Floor pans look good with one hole on driver side  but both sides seem to be dented upward , I am guessing from jacking the car up?   Door skins are  lousy and there are  some rusty bubbles creeping around an A panel and seam and a headlamp area. 

Overall I feel like its a good candidate to work on.   I want to strip this thing and have it painted  bracken orange  BLVC 93 w/ white top.  It has brown / orange striped original interior that is excellent and I feel would look great with that color.

Its a 998 and still runs on lead fuel with an auto trans, It actually runs nice at  23,000km and the transmission shifts pretty good, but  I am thinking I will want to swap the engine for another 998 or maybe a larger option  with a manual trans. since the auto trans is really beyond my ability to mess with.   

While I can tear things down and put them back together and generally handy  , I am not a paint / body man , and I am looking for someone who can do this work .  I hope it doesnt seem crazy  to want to invest in a 78 mini from a value stand point.  But it is a fun car.  So while I am not looking for a nut and bolt concourse restore , I would like to have the car shell painted  inside and out and repaired properly with panels replaced as needed  to get me a solid starting platform for  my mini project. 

Its good to meet you, any help and advice is much appreciated.

Stan


stan360

#1
some more pics of the hot rod.

MiniDave

#2
Welcome to the forum!

It's great to see another Mini being rescued from the tin worms.....I don't have a good suggestion for paint and body work, but I have some resources in your area so I'll put out the word and get back to you. You must be aware that rust repair this deep is not going to be cheap to fix properly? Once you find a body shop I'd recommend you remove the engine and entire interior first and just deliver them a bare rolling shell.

The Lawrence British Car club has several Mini owners in it.....you need to join them.

I'm in Overland Park, so if you need something let me know - I hold Mini shop days in my shop periodically.

Dave 913-948-3652  (Edit for phone number change.)
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

stan360

#3
Thanks Dave....I can strip the car to a rolling shell and yes, I do want it fixed right .  Good to meet you.  I will have to catch you on a Mini shop day .  I haven't had the car long and I think I just missed the most recent local show from the British car club here, but I will get in touch with the group soon. 

Stan


94touring

Welcome to the forum  4.gif. Check your personal messages in a few.

MiniDave

I expect 94 Touring is going to offer you a good deal on some new panels and I would definitely take advantage of that and get them - new panels are the right way to fix this rather than trying to patch the old ones.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MtyMous

Welcome welcome. Glad you made it over here. Dan will not steer you in the wrong direction. I looked at a lot of local body shops that were highly recommended for classic cars, and they all wanted LOT of money, and none had done a mini before. I didn't want to be their science project. There are weird panels and ways of bonding these cars which takes a veteran to understand and get right. Even if Dan won't do the work, his advice is invaluable. He did my car for a bargain compared to the other shops, and it is better than I could have expected it.

And no, you aren't crazy. It's never crazy to save a classic. 

Spitz

Not sure how far you've gotten since the last post on here.

Your idea of going to a manual shift set-up is the same that I made with my 998 auto.  The autos can be fun to drive, but do need regular and frequent oil changes....and when/if they break, can be hard to fix.

To swap to a manual, you will of course need to find an engine/gearbox.
Clutch pedal
Shifter ( if a rod shif,t it uses the same mount holes as the auto shifter.
As the subframe is slightly wider, you'll need a 3/8" spacer to go between the engine mount and engine on each side.
Connect the ignition inhibiter wires at the shifter ( or whatever they are called....)
You may also need to change the speedo drive pinion so your speedo isn't too far off.

stan360

#8
Well, I have been hot rodding around town in it for a few  months  ( and changing the oil up a couple times has much improved the shifting in the auto box and kept it pretty smooth. )   Now I am   taking as much of it apart as I can figure out how to do so that Dan (94touring) can do the paint and bodywork. 

While he has  the car,  I can then make some decisions about the drivetrain during that time.   I think the engine runs good  so one possibility is   clean up and some refurb  on the current engine/autobox and put it back into the newly painted car.   But if I could find  a 1275 with 4 speed to transplant into it while the paint work is going on then I  will  go that direction.  If I dont find  a 1275 /4sp. during that time  , then I can deal with it down road.

Good to hear pointers from someone who has made this conversion, and I will ultimately convert this car.   

Drop me a line if anyone has a lead on a engine / manual  tran .

stan360

#9
    I have the interior out  with the exception of the speedo and some door mechanisms , and most of the exterior trim and lights off.   Since this is the first time I have taken apart a car to this degree, I have been labeling and bagging the all parts and taking photos so I don't forget how all this goes back together later.

    So far many things I thought looked good as a whole,  I  realized when removing bit by bit are dry rotted , discolored  or rusted.  All the rubber is toast and  I found 3 mummified micro mice carcasses inside the heater blower fan. I wondered what all that rattling was when I turned it on.

     I am moving on to engine removal this coming weekend. 

stan360

#10
Dan, Can you paint this fuel tank up too ?   Looks new on the otherside,  looks sorta shitty on this side.

stan360

#11
And I am wondering about this ashtray situation.  The rear box is riveted in here.  I don't want it in there and would like to remove that, but I am not sure if the new carpet sets ( nice ones like Newton ) are slit cut in this area for the ash box standard.   

I also am not liking  this ashtray hole in the dash .....can this be patched in  and smoothed out easy ?  I don't see where the ashtray  box is really needed as a stopper or support for those  paper dash inserts. 

94touring

Gas tank no problem.  Dash ashtray can be removed if you desire.  Newton carpet I believe has slits but we will confirm. 

stan360

Alright !    If those carpets are slit I may be able to stitch and tape it there  ?? or just keep it in there .  I think the kids will kick the hell out of  an  ashtray box.  I will have to upgrade and add rear seat belts back there  so that they can smoke safely while we cruise.

94touring

Seat belts just get in the way for when they hold your beer. 

MiniDave

Stan you're making great progress, keep taking pics - lots of pics from all different angles - they will be invaluable when you go to reassemble it months from now.....
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

94touring

The carpet does not have the slit/cutout for the ashtray.  So I'll yank it. 

SoCalMiniFan

If the ashtray box needs a new home please let me know. I would LOVE the ashtray box if it's just being trashed, put aside, re-purposed, or even for a nominal fee!
"If it's not fun, why do it?"

stan360

#18
Quote from: 94touring on January 19, 2016, 12:22:05 PM
The carpet does not have the slit/cutout for the ashtray.  So I'll yank it.
That is great....problem solved.

Quote from: MiniDave on January 19, 2016, 09:24:39 AM
Stan you're making great progress, keep taking pics - lots of pics from all different angles - they will be invaluable when you go to reassemble it months from now.....

It  has  been a learning experience Dave. I have tried to be  meticulous with the photos , especially the wiring. Tagging and bagging small parts as my memory isn't what it used to be.  Hell I can't remember where I set tools down half the time.


Quote from: SoCalMiniFan on January 19, 2016, 08:36:12 PM
If the ashtray box needs a new home please let me know. I would LOVE the ashtray box if it's just being trashed, put aside, re-purposed, or even for a nominal fee!

Send me your info....if you cover shipping you can have the ashtrays .

Shrimps

Quote from: 94touring on January 19, 2016, 12:22:05 PM
The carpet does not have the slit/cutout for the ashtray.  So I'll yank it.

That's what she said!

94touring

Quote from: Shrimps on January 19, 2016, 10:40:08 PM
Quote from: 94touring on January 19, 2016, 12:22:05 PM
The carpet does not have the slit/cutout for the ashtray.  So I'll yank it.

That's what she said!

Heyyo!

stan360

#21
I didn't get the engine out yet, but I tore it down a bit today .  I think I need to order a ball joint seperator tool tomorrow , and maybe  a CV joint splitter to make things easy for me....  Is there any other specialty tool I may need ?

94touring

Will you do me a favor while I'm thinking about it and send the front subby and tower bolts with the car so I can mount it when I align the front end.  I have zero single bolt subbies handy at the moment.  You can probably leave it mounted as is after you pull the motor.

stan360

Yes.  I will leave it in there for you....I would like you to paint the subframes for me  also. 

94touring


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