My Minors Part 2

Anything goes - chassis, V6's, V8's etc.

My Minors Part 2

Postby plastic orange » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:37 pm

I bought this minor about 4 years ago through an ad in the NSRA mag. It was down in Leeds, so I managed to get someone to have a quick look at it to let me know it was basically ok.
When I got the word back that it seemed fine, I agreed over the phone to buy it. The only problem was – it had a knackered auto box, but as I had a spare one, it wasn’t really a concern. I duly borrowed a trailer and tow car (thanks Ian) and went to collect it. On first sight it seemed a bit rough, but on closer inspection appeared really sound.
When I got it home, I started off by cleaning it out – several binfuls later, the interior was pretty tidy, and then cleaned off the outside to make it a bit more shiny (it was matt).
The auto box was totally U/S despite a £600 bill for reconditioning not that many miles ago, but it was a GM 180 box, and my spare was a BW 65 – hopefully not a problem.
I duly set to and started removing the engine and box – a full day spent getting the headers off, but eventually it was out and sitting in my garage. I separated the engine and box, and realised quickly that there were numerous differences between the boxes – flywheel, crank spacer, torque converter, mountings, gear linkage – but I had all the bits, so it was quite straightforward to change. I then completely cleaned everything then sprayed engine and box fiat rosso red.
I then spend a considerable time re welding the headers as they were leaking at about every join (they were custom made to fit car). I then tidied up the entire engine bay, relocating wires/pipes etc to make it look better, made a new exhaust system, fitted new springs to the front and rear shocks, bled the brakes, rewired the instruments, secured trim in the interior etc etc.
The car came with weller steel wheels with pudding basins for hub caps, so I fitted the old cobra slots from the rear of my other Minor (BTS 81) to the front. Although they are 8 x 13’s, they fitted without much protrusion from the wheelarch (Chevette front clip fitted). I then set about finding a set of slots for the rear, and quite soon got a set of 8 ½ x 15 American Racing items. The only snag was that the previous owner’s of the car had redrilled the jag IRS to fit Ford 4 stud, so I had to get new hubs. This done, they fitted a treat under the 4 inch over rear arches. I used the car once MOT’d for the rest of that year, then took off the front wings and replaced them and the front panel with the ones from my MM series Minor (BTS). The wings needed a bit of work due to wheel/arch contact over the years, but were soon fettled, sprayed and mounted – I had another full set for BTS anyway.
The only other thing I’ve done to the car over the intervening years is to drive it – and fit a stainless steel bulkhead cover to it. I was full of good intentions to give it a full respray, but although I have bought the paint, and have a pair of refurbished doors to go on, I have not done so yet. I also considered re doing the interior as it is very 70’s, but it has grown on me, and is a bit of a time warp. It was well done at the time, so I have just redone the dash and will leave the rest. The car is still a full 4 seater which may surprise some, and it is certainly quite a useful feature.
I also reconditioned a set of Vitesse heads to go on it (bigger valves) and fitted them just before Christmas, but had some bad luck as a foreign object got sucked in and destroyed the engine. I fitted a 3.9 one to replace it in 2006.
In general, the car is very useable, and is very sound structurally. It was originally modified by a company called Autofantasia down in Derby around 1990, and their work has certainly stood the test of time. They built the car using an integral chassis rather than a separate one. This was probably a more difficult option, but it bestows the car with more rigidity than standard, and retains the basic Minor floorpan.
It is not the fastest car in the world, but has beaten my friends V8 manual Minor on the drag strip, and quite a few modern cars. It’s best time was a 14.9 at 92 mph, which equates to a 0 to 60 of around 6.5 seconds. Top end is around 130 mph, so it’s not bad – midrange is particularly good. Handling is actually pretty good (in the dry), and having a chevette front end, the steering is very light, with an amazingly tight steering lock.
I plan to continue using it, and will get round to the bodywork etc when I can be bothered.

Summary:

Car 1955 Minor Series 2 MUJ 927
Engine 3.9 Rover V8 with Edelbrock Carb, and headers
Gearbox BW 65
Front End Chevette
Rear End Jaguar S type
Brakes Servo assisted Jag and Chevette
Wheels F 8 x13 Cobra Slots
Wheels R 81/2 x 15 American Racing
Body work Lowlight front panel and wings, rear wings 4 inch wider
Interior Very 70’s velour – still a  4 seater
Colour Rover Kingfisher Blue


Some pics:


Tidying it up


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fitting wings

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with son's Minor

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3.5 engine

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pictured after wings fitted

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Rear View


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Drag racing at Edzell (win)

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Drag Racing at Crail (win)

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With mate's V8 Minor

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Driving Vid

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Dismantling blown engine

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Ready for out

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Out

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Vacant

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3.9 before cleaning

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3.9 ready

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In and running

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Good size boot - tank is 12gallons+

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Very 70's

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Postby plastic orange » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:41 pm

Old dash removed - and heater installed

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A bit of rewiring

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New dash in

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A magazine Picture courtesy of Ade Brennan

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Drag Race vid (win)

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Postby plastic orange » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:16 pm

I thought I'd update you all on what I've been up to in the last couple of months:

Here's some pics of what I've been up to with my Minor :roll:

I intially started off with just a quick tidy up - sort the rust out on the boot, and replace the bonnet with a spare I had to hand. The boot rust turned out to be pretty minor - just a bit of welding at the bottom, but the guy who smoothed it over many moons ago, make a real arse of it. It took me ages to get it properly smoothed over again due to the ton of filler he'd applied. The bonnet I thought was ok was actualy dinged about everywhere, plus the primer that was on it was hiding loads of rust. It had also been sprayed about a dozen times. It's taken me ages to get it to paint, but I'm not really happy with it. The doors on the car had the handles removed for the smooth look, but the guy had just filled them over without continuing the swage line. I thought this was a bit naff, so i tried to put handles back in it. Wrong - the coont had butchered the handles to get them out, so I decided to cut a swage line section out of an old door to weld them in. I have a pair of reconditioned doors, but the ones on the car fit perfectly, and I've been there before getting secondhand doors to fit (they usually don't).
So I'm as far as rubbing down the bodywork - very little rust really for a 54 year old :wink: - but I had to remove side windows to treat the rust under the rubbers. Now that my eyes are playing up, I'll just complete the bodywork and speak to Roadrat.
Funny that the primer doesn't seem to bother me, but as soon as I apply lacquer, my eyes flare up - time for professionals :wink:

Pics:

Handle area

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The cut out part and replacement - note the butchering

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1 side done

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Boot
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Underside of bonnet sprayed

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Top side

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Rubbing down

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Well, that's Muj up at Bob's for it's respray. If I'd known how much work was required I'd never have started. It now has new doors, wings, original bonnet repaired (after spending several days on a spare one to try and get it straight), boot repaired, hidden locking system removed etc etc.
I also found that the rear O/S paint had not been sticking properly (came off it sheets when I started rubbing down), so this had to be stripped back - don't have any fingerprints now.
Will be doing a new interior when it returns.

PO

Some pics:
Original bonnet
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doors blasted by Mick - cheers
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Layers of underseal needing stripped
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Lock cut out
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Fitting up panels

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Priming

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Fitting panels back on for trip to Bob's

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Ready to leave - a bit breezy with no side windows
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Went to Bob's today to pick up car, and Bob suggested polishing it with Machine Polisher. It's looking so much better than before, and can't wait to pick it up tomorrow - lovely job that man - cheers

pics:

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Back home now - a few days to build it up now.
Many thanks to Bob and his painter Graham.

PO

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New seats

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Nearly there - fitted up the new chrome work including the window surrounds and centre piller (gobsmacked I got them to fit - had 4 different surrounds to choose from - car didn't have them when I got it). I replaced the existing interior for now, and polished the paint with some fancy polish. I'm still waiting on a new drivers door handle, and can't build the door up until I get it - promised it tomorrow. I also cleaned up the engine bay, and polished the wheels.
Starting to bond with it :wink:

PO

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I fitted the TT seats today. The rears needed the mechanism taken out the backs as they were just a bit tight with brackets on. The base needed about 3 inches taken out the foam at the rear, but fit fine now. Fronts were pretty tight due to the trans tunnel, but I eventually got a reasonable compromise. I fitted them so that the passenger seat can go right back, and the drivers seat go forward so that I can let a thin person into the rear ( I can get in - must be thin - ish :-D), but still give adequate front legroom.
I also dropped the steering column 2 inches (at wheel) as I'm now sitting lower.
Received another left side door handle today :-( to add to my collection - hopefully the right one :-D will arrive tomorrow and I can build the door.
Muj is possibly looking the best it ever has. When I had the seats out, I checked the floor area - no rot whatsoever - and totally dry. I'm really pleased with the car - only 2 more to do now.

Pete


Column not dropped in pic

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Old and new

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Postby MickEssex » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:39 pm

Its looking good PO 8)  Some great pics.  :)
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Postby Jonathon » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:00 pm

Weldone Pete, a lot of hard work and thought and well finished. Seats look great, were they expensive ?, door mods and engine work well too. Loving those lowlights :D  :wink:  and fitting problems ?.
Don't think Crail is on this year so see you up there in 2010. :D
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Postby plastic orange » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:08 pm

Seats were the result of a wanted ad in the Scottish Vag forum - £200 - bargain.
Rears were surprisingly easy to fit - I stripped all the brackets and the integral belts off them (couldn't see any way of safely mounting seats firmly enough to allow their use), then joined the 2 halfs of the backs together by fabbed brackets. They were then able to be pushed into place, and I restrained them by a bracket at each top corner. The base required the rearmost corners re profiled (cut out excess foam), some cutting of metalwork and it fitted ok. The seats were really easy to dismantle - very well made. Front seats were a bit more fiddly (surprised at this) as the floor of the car has an integral chassis welded in to it, and therefore isn't flat. I secured the passenger seat with 4 long bolts through the floor, and positioned this seat to give maximum rearward travel. The drivers seat was fitted to the original brackets that were on the car at the front (a bit of bending required) and I welded a piece of plate (1/4 inch) across the chassis sections, and bolted the runners to this. I positioned the runners to give maximum forward travel ( after testing for driving position) to let someone in the rear. I was constrained by the trans tunnel, and the seats just fit width wise. A standard minor would be a doddle.
Another problem I had is the handbrake - it was fitted to the right of the drivers seat. I now don't have one, but it will be replaced in the trans tunnel before it's next mot (never use it anyway).
The front wings from Jonathon fitted better than I expected for fibreglass - not quite as good as original, but pretty good  :D . I didn't require the wheel arch extensions as the wheels don't stick out very much ( will use for something else).
I'm going to fit a bulkhead in the boot, as I'm not too happy with the integrity of the seat backs if an unrestrained object decides to fly forward. I'm also going to fit a set of harnesses to the front seats - not room for inertias.
Project has kept me amused for a couple of months - but it needed doing, and I'd put it off for so long.

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Postby Guest » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:55 pm

Not sure how I Missed this thread in the past. Stunning car, well thought out project.
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Postby Judge » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:48 am

Very, very, very nice. If ever you get bored, my convertible needs a 'tidy up'  :wink:  :lol:
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Postby plastic orange » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:45 am

It took me a while to get motivated to get the car done, so while I'm on a roll, I'll get on with my son's minor.

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Postby Judge » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:09 am

Shame  :(  :wink:
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Postby plastic orange » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:53 pm

The door handle arrived today, so I got the door built up. I then covered the door cards and the rear cards with black leathercloth, and made a bulkhead out of ply for the boot, and covered that too. The door is pretty tight to shut now as I have fitted new door seals - not too happy about this, so we'll see if they ease off.
It now just needs a clean out and a polish to get all the grubby fingermarks off it.

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Postby tickman » Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:32 am

Looks lovely Pete, liking the door handles back on.
Never mind your sons minor what about the other lowlight with the LS1?

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Postby plastic orange » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:38 pm

:oops:  :oops:  :oops:

I'll get there :lol:

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Postby plastic orange » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:26 am

Went up to the Alford Motorvation last Sunday - a reasonably dry run up, but about midday the heavens opened. Left around 3 to visit daughter in Aberdeen. Wasn't as busy an event as i remember, but a fine break nonetheless.

Pics:

Posing in the sun

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Handbrake is now positioned in the trans tunnel - not exactly easy as it was very close to the prop - I actually had to drop the gearbox by 1/2 an inch to clear the cable. I also greased up the many grease points on the Jag back end. I've now got a water loss problem (car not me  ) - I fitted a new rad cap to the expansion bottle and after a blast, water was coming out the overflow -- either a head gasket (despite good compression readings) or the dreaded dropped liner (engine will be scrapped if it is).
I also made up a centre console to cover the handbrake and covered this in leathercloth too - not the best job as I rushed it a bit (hate woodworking).
Due an MOT on Tuesday, so will deal with heads off after this. It still runs as normal, but loses water out the filler cap when it is driving.

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Postby plastic orange » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:10 pm

I got my MOT today :D

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