79 Canadian Mini

Started by skmini, December 30, 2015, 12:07:37 PM

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skmini

Quote from: 94touring on January 03, 2021, 07:24:44 PM
That is an impressive amount of metal replacement  17.gif

I'm getting much more confident with the welder.   ;D

skmini

And then, all the various floor clips (I know, the battery cable one is backwards, fix later), rear valence, etc.  I got a solid mount kit for the front subframe and aligned it with the rear subframe to make sure everything in between was aligned.

skmini

Then, turned it over, removed the bracing and finished up all the welding that I didn't complete while it was upside down.  I'm getting better at welding over my head, but it's not comfortable.

skmini

Before and after on the front left floor.  The before and after pictures help with my motivation.

skmini

Which brings me up to this afternoon's project: a bracket. 

The Canadian Minis had goofy bumpers, and part of that required a bunch of extra brackets in the rear corners of the boot to support the ends of the bumper.  This ended up being one monster set of origami'd sheet metal that incorporated bumper support, gas tank strap bracket and the wheel well to boot floor bracket.  I'm not putting the Canadian bumpers back on, so I don't need all that bracketry.  I do want to mount the gas tank the same way, though.  Also, the gas tank is Canadian Mini specific.  Believe it or not, the late Canadian Minis were recalled to replace the gas tank with one that incorporates a completely different filler:

IN THE EVENT OF A REAR END IMPACT THE FUEL TANK MAY RUPTURE CAUSING FUEL LEAKAGE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF FIRE.

The gas cap is threaded on, which means I can't use any of the fancy Mini aftermarket gas caps.  I'm not sure what other changes were made to the tank to reduce the (inevitable) possibility that the tank would be damaged in a rear end impact.

On the left is my new bracket, on the right part of the original that I used as a template.

MiniDave

Why do you suppose the recall notice says the manufacturer is Jaguar?
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

skmini

Quote from: MiniDave on January 03, 2021, 08:19:33 PM
Why do you suppose the recall notice says the manufacturer is Jaguar?

I'm not sure.  The recall was issued after they stopped selling Minis (and a bunch of other British cars) in Canada.  I wonder if Jaguar dealers were doing warranty work and recalls on Minis?

Jimini II

If you want to use an aftermarket gas cap and keep your tank you could weld a UK spec neck onto it.

skmini

Quote from: Jimini II on January 04, 2021, 07:59:52 AM
If you want to use an aftermarket gas cap and keep your tank you could weld a UK spec neck onto it.

This is true, although I would have to find a used UK spec tank.  Something I could do after everything is done.  I think it will be the last bit of Canadian Mininess on the outside, for those who know what to look for.  I'm not planning to do anything with the engine, so it still has its smog head, with the ports plugged.  I'm currently planning on reinstalling the Canadian-spec heater with the blower just behind the grill, although I'm not planning on driving it in the winter again.

skmini

Started fitting the rear panel.  The braces are there to keep the rear window opening from going out of shape.  At first I started clamping from the bottom but couldn't get the rest to fit nicely.  I started again from the rear window opening and then going to the top of where it meets the quarter panel and then the bottom just seemed to fall into place.  Spot welded most of the window opening and then ran out of time.  I'll still bolt up the boot lid before welding the bottom; apparently a little bit of a tweak on the position of the hinges can make a big difference on how the boot lid fits.


94touring

What are you using for a spot welder?

skmini

Quote from: 94touring on January 06, 2021, 11:28:44 PM
What are you using for a spot welder?

I'm using one of these:

240V Spot Welder

I've tried pulling apart a few welds, and the metal tears before they come apart.  The only really tricky thing is there's no timer, so it keeps the power applied as long as you engage the switch.  The amount of time between "it's a solid weld" and "it's a hole" is short.  Some people have added timers and foot switches, which would be handy.  It's heavy, so you often have to think through how you're going to support the thing, engage the tongs and hit the on switch.  The wood handle provided for supporting it is almost useless, so I usually end up holding it by the main body/transformer.

I'm still doing plug welds with the mig where there were only a few spots from the factory, like the sills, or where the tongs can't reach.  I'm using the spot welder mainly on joints that were originally done with a roller welder like the seams on the rear quarters and front fenders.

94touring

The welds look nice.  The 240v is the way to go.  I've had a few cars in the shop where they used the 110 version and I could just about pull the panels apart by hand.

skmini

The other thing is there's almost the same amount of prep required. Just like with plug welds, if the parts aren't clean and together tightly, you can end up with something that looks good but is not.

MiniDave

That car is really coming along, spot welds look terrific....the other thing about spot welds is you don't have to dress them like you might a plug weld.

A guy in England has one of those that works with only one tong too. I'd like to see how that works but I don't think he's posted a pic of it....

The 120V one HF sells just isn't powerful enough, especially when you're trying to weld three layers like that on the back lip.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

skmini

Quote from: MiniDave on January 07, 2021, 07:44:17 AM
The 120V one HF sells just isn't powerful enough, especially when you're trying to weld three layers like that on the back lip.

I'm not sure I trust the spot welder to properly weld those three layers.  I already spot welded the valence to the floor, but I prepped the rear panel with holes for plug welding that to the other two.

skmini

Rear panel welded in.  The bootlid is slightly off-center.  Rear lip plug and spot welded.  It all feels a lot more solid than it was before.

Hercplt

This is going to be an amazing car... very nice work...  :-\
1980 Mini 1000 (Canadian Spec).
998cc +60.  12G295 Head (ported, skimmed etc), VP7 Cam, Twin HS2.... sweet sweet 7.5" Cooper brakes!

94touring

I'm sure you know this, but loosen the boot lid hinges to shift it to center.

skmini

Quote from: Hercplt on January 08, 2021, 06:59:33 PM
This is going to be an amazing car... very nice work...  :-\

Thanks.  I don't know about amazing, the main goal is better structural integrity.   ;D

Quote from: 94touring on January 08, 2021, 07:15:54 PM
I'm sure you know this, but loosen the boot lid hinges to shift it to center.

Yeah, I figured there will be enough play there to move things side-to-side.  If not, holes can be shifted.  :-)  I mainly wanted to make sure the bottom followed the curvature of the boot lid and it wasn't completely cock-eyed.  Luckily, Minis aren't designed with tight panel gaps.

skmini

Started work on the left side today with the little panels in the bin area.  Cut a hole in the quarter panel (which I'm replacing) to get at them.  Another Canadian Mini-ism is the floor stiffener panel: they didn't come with them.  Instead, there was a much larger panel that closed off the entire bin an inch or two above the closing panel.  I spot welded the closing panel to the wheel well.  Another nice thing with the spot welds is you get the same dimple as with a factory spot weld.

skmini

Then, the other big job on the side: the door step/surround, A-post and front inner fender.  I've removed it all, fitted the new panels a couple of times and welded in the A-post stiffener plate.  A few welds had failed (a long time ago) where the parcel shelf meets the stiffener plate and the dash rail.  I straightened that all out, re-welded it and got the stiffener panel welded in before I had to call it quits for the day.  The lower threaded plate for the shock mount fell off as I pulled the inner fender reinforcement plate off; once again the welds there were not the best from the factory.  Luckily, the bulkhead crosspanel where the subframe tower mounts are still looks really good.

skmini

Left inner fender welded in.  I couldn't resist laying the fender, door step and door skin in place to remind me what it's supposed to look like.

skmini

Door step/frame welded in.  Pretty happy with the way it all came together, although I haven't fit the door yet.   ;D  The door needs to be completely rebuilt and re-skinned, so hopefully I can tweak things enough as part of that process.  The door skin fits in the opening, so it can't be too far out.

94touring

Looks great.  Might have to hire you to work in my shop lol.  I'd usually recommend fitting the door when doing that frame, but if the skin fits you're probably good.

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