Author Topic: 73 Mini  (Read 43981 times)

Online MiniDave

73 Mini
« on: November 03, 2016, 06:19:39 PM »
My next customer showed up today in his 73? 74? 77? 94? Mini......not sure what year it is - the VIN is made up and I could not find a vin on the scuttle. The rear latch shows a 4173 stamping, but who knows if it's original to the car? The engine tag says it's an 850 but the engine is clearly a pre-A 1275 with either the 11 stud conversion or a true Cooper S head.

Anyways, he just bought the car out of the Pacific Northwest and on cursory inspection it looks pretty good. He did bring a laundry list so I will have quite a bit to do on this one, all of it simple maintenance or repairs.

The list includes:

Adjust ride height and align - car has coilovers like mine.

Check all the wheel bearing (thinks the left rear is noisy)

Flush brake and clutch fluids

Change oil and filter and replace shift rod oil seal

Pull intake and exhaust and wrap header (maniflow like I had on Buzz)

Add header bracket to diff

Tighten fan belt

Install aluminum radiator and new hoses, flush cooling system

New choke cable

Adjust carb to idle properly

Adjust rear brakes and handbrake

Add bumpers for bonnet to slam panel

Adjust headlights

Rotate the tach to read "normally"

Find and fix various rattles and clunks

See if the exhaust can be raised/repositioned higher to not drag

Quite a bit of work, and I'll run the car up to school tomorrow to do all the underneath stuff and alignment while he orders parts.

The car is parked outside for tonight under a cover so I'll get pics tomorrow. I'm trying to talk him into coming to Texas for our Hill Country Run, but I know he won't drive that far.....so unless I can rig him a tow bar setup he probably won't come. He also owns a pristine, museum quality 71 Cooper S and a 2009 Cooper S. 



« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 11:28:01 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline John Gervais

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Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 08:26:52 PM »
Wow, there's a lot of small yet time consuming jobs on the list!  That said, the car should be pretty well sorted when you're finished.  Have fun - in a way, I sort of envy you; you get to drive all sorts of different cars and can use the information gained to build your own.  Neat.
- Pave the Bay -

Offline BruceK

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 09:54:08 AM »
My next customer showed up today in his 73? 74? 77? 94? Mini......not sure what year it is - the VIN is made up and I could not find a vin on the scuttle. The rear latch shows a 4173 stamping, but who knows if it's original to the car? The engine tag says it's an 850 but the engine is clearly a pre-A 1275 with either the 11 stud conversion or a true Cooper S head.

I will be away from a computer for a few days, but it would be a fun game to show some features of the car and have us try to determine what year it might be. 

He also owns a pristine, museum quality 71 Cooper S and a 2009 Cooper S.

I am always a bit skeptical of any car said to be a Mk. III Cooper S.    If I remember correctly, total Mk. III Cooper S production was like only 1,800 cars.  And 45 years later, only about 6,000 remain, if you get my drift.    Since they differed so little in trim from regular Minis, they are said the most counterfeited. 

1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 12:16:16 PM »
I will post up some pics over the next couple of days, for sure.

I know what you mean about the Cooper S, but he did a year's worth of research before he bought his car, and he's very meticulous so I think he may have the genuine article. I've seen the car only briefly and it looks fantastic.

He bought this 73 so he would have something to drive as he's maintaining the 71 in it's museum like condition, it only gets driven on nice days and in clear daylight weather!   ::) ;D
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 12:48:51 PM »
Posted without comments then.....
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline tmsmini

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2016, 04:00:16 PM »
I am sure they will enjoy it, whatever it may be.
I just got James Taylor's Factory-Original Mini Mk I & Mk II, but that won't help with a MK III...
Was anything besides an S badged as a Cooper after 70?

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2016, 05:39:17 PM »
No idea, Bruce is better versed in Mini nomenclature than me by far.......

So, I took the car up today and fixed a bunch of little BS things, changed oil and filter, fixed a couple of rattles (although there seem to be plenty left!  ;D ) installed a missing exhaust bracket, adjusted the handbrake so it will hold and so on.

However, I found one thing that bothers me......the left inner pot joint wasn't seated, I managed to push it back in all the way, but it didn't feel like it locked - like the ring might not be there. I drove home carefully and I'll check it out later to see if it worked out again.

The car drives really nicely, has good power and pulls easily - it's fun to drive. Still a pretty good list of things to do yet, I'll get it up on the alignment rack tomorrow. I may have an issue trying to adjust the ride height, the wrench I have might not fit the lock ring adjusters on his coilovers like it does mine. We'll see.

Also, driving home today from school on surface streets it got hot - I parked and called the owner to find out where the super secret switch was for the electric fan and once it was on it came down to about 3/4 on the gauge - he has a chinesium radiator like mine on the way to fix that problem, but it was not that hot today....I'm surprised it went up that high but I was stuck at traffic lights for a long time.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 05:46:11 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 08:32:06 PM »
Unusual to see a pot joint work out like that.

They don't take much to seat fully.  I have been able to use a large "pickle fork" style ball joint separator to pry them out without resorting to harsh hammering, but I can usually feel the slight release of the spring clip when doing so.  I have always been able to just shove them back on just fine when replacing them.


Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2016, 07:00:17 PM »
Well, it had worked it's way out about 1/2" when I got up to school today, so I popped it in a little harder this time and I thought I felt the click as it went over the retaining ring. I hope that's it, otherwise I'll be pulling it out and replacing the ring.

Today I did the alignment, I raised the rear end about 1/2" to give it the rake and reset the front end, it wasn't far out, and since there are no adjusters on the rear I couldn't change that end, but I don't think its out far enough to cause tire wear and it drives fine.

Still perplexed as to why it runs this hot, in town traffic it will go straight to "H" even on a 68* day, but turning on the electric fan will drop it back to 3/4 of the gauge and it will stay there. On the highway it drops back down to "N" and stays there. I'm hoping the aluminum rad will fix this, but just in case I ordered a new thermostat and a new fan belt.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline John Gervais

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Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2016, 07:19:54 PM »
I think it sounds pretty weird that the pot joint keeps popping out, and I don't know if it's possible to assemble incorrectly, but are you sure the car has proper left and right side driveshafts and not two short ones?
- Pave the Bay -

Offline MPlayle

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2016, 08:13:23 PM »
I think there is too much difference in the drive shafts to have two short sides.

The outer shell not being fully set will allow the normal drive shaft drift to pull it out like Dave observed.

There is actually enough room in the pot joint boot for the inner to drift clear out (I know from experience).  If the drive shaft has been inserted reversed and is missing the stop ring for the outer CV, the drive shaft has enough spline length to drift all the way out.  If the outer shell were firmly in place, the inner will drift out and start skipping with a serious "clunking" and you will lose drive power from the differential.  I had it happen to me on a 1961 "Franken-Mini" a few years ago.  Installed a second transmission before finding the original problem.

I found a good picture of a set of pot joint shafts on 7Ent and annotated it.  The retaining circlips are visible at the far outer ends of the shafts as well.



Offline John Gervais

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Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2016, 09:28:06 PM »
Interesting, for sure.  A picture is worth a thousand words, thanks.  It's been many years since I've had my driveshafts completely out and disassembled, so this serves as a really good memory jog.
- Pave the Bay -

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2016, 01:16:05 PM »
After getting the suspension raised up a little I can now get the car up on my lift, before it drug the exhaust trying to get it on, my driveway is sloped as is my garage floor and the combo requires a certain amount of height to get over the end.

Fixed a few more things today, I found the reason his headlight was askew was a broken retainer, right where the adjuster attaches, so I'll go up to Victoria British tomorrow and pick one up.

The header wrap came today (good old amazon sunday delivery) so I my go ahead and pull the intake and exhaust and wrap the header pipe. I can pick up an intake gasket at the same time. Speaking of intakes, does anyone run their carb without the phenolic spacer between the carb and manifold? I would think it would develop vapor lock problems in the summer without it......

I also got the gas pedal lowered, it was very awkward to drive with it up so high, and very easy to hit it along with the brake pedal - I did it more than once.

Making progress.

There is a terrible rattle in the suspension all around the car, after checking everything over carefully and not finding any issues, I'm wondering if it's not the shocks themselves.....I have no idea how old they are or how long they've been on the car.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 09:36:38 PM »
OK, I think I may have solved the terrible suspension noise issue....

I removed one of the front shocks to find the upper shock bushing pushed almost halfway out of the eye....this allowed the spring to shift over and hit the upper shock bracket.

I took the shock apart and pressed the bushing back in, then reassembled everything and now the spring is centered in the bracket and not hitting anymore.

It also had noise in the rear, and I could see that the upper offset bushings were turned, allowing the rear springs to contact the body too. All it took to fix the right side was to loosen the nuts, rotate the offset mount and retighten the nuts. Unfortunately to do the right side I'll have to move the tank out of the way, which means removing the boot lid too. I'll tackle that tomorrow and if it works I (and the owner) will be happy campers!

Pics are of the left shock showing how it's hitting the body and the right shock turned and centered.....
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 09:38:09 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 09:41:47 PM »
Yeah that would cause some noise alright.

Offline Vikram

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2016, 10:29:37 PM »
Out of interest, what are the differences in handling characteristics of coilovers vs cones?

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2016, 11:25:22 PM »
So far, coilovers feel like old hard cones to me.....
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2016, 11:40:04 PM »
Is their not an adjustment to soften them up for more comfort?

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2016, 09:23:22 AM »
Yes and no, you have to wind the springs up enough to get the clearance Clarance, which makes them a little stiffer. You can adjust the shocks of course, I'm still playing with those right now....

I think these Spax ones on this 73 ride better than the ones I bought, but I have no idea how many miles are on them.....could be a lot, so they've softened off a bit.

Too early to say....once I get my new tires on this week I'll be driving it a lot more and playing with the settings.....
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 09:25:47 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2016, 12:56:15 PM »
More work on the 73, I was able to buy just the adjuster ring from Vicky Brits so - $14 rather than $40. While I was there I bought some bits and built a battery hold down too. Then he emailed me and said he already had one! Oh well.....he also needs to replace that ground cable and do something with those loose wires on the hot cable.

 I pulled the gas tank just far enough to get my arm behind it and turn the upper shock mount, so the next thing to do I guess is take it down off the rack and see if I fixed that terrible noise once and for all.

I also got the tachometer re-oriented per his wishes.

Left to do: Flush brakes and clutch, swap the radiator, remove intake and header and wrap the exhaust, then put it all back together again.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 12:57:55 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2016, 02:49:56 PM »
Damn, no joy in mudville......I just drove it around the block and those rattles are still there, exactly as before. About the only other thing I can think is that it's in the shocks themselves.

Maybe I'll get the dashcam in there and see if I can get a recording of the noise.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2016, 07:36:22 PM »
I had a shock go bad on my blue mini.  Made all sorts of clunking noises.  I used one of Stans old shocks to make a temporary fix.

Offline John Gervais

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Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2016, 07:48:46 PM »
What about giving the entire suspension a thorough pass with the grease gun to make sure everything is tight?
- Pave the Bay -

Online MiniDave

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2016, 08:32:32 PM »
It's been done John, while I had the shocks out I could freely move the suspension around, nothing was loose or sticky, and everything was well greased.

The owner is considering ordering a new set of coilovers, thinking that if that's not it he could sell them on again.

Considering he's not an aggressive driver, I'm trying to talk him into putting Smooth a Rides and hi-los in instead for almost the same money. But the same situation is there...what if that isn't it?

Dan I have also seen shocks fail and get clunky, but usually when I take them off the car I can make them make the noise or I can feel the looseness....these feel fine.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: 73 Mini Cooper
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2016, 09:21:50 PM »
Is there by chance looseness in the bushing where the shocks mount to the rear swing arm and front upper arms?

(See the annotated area in the photo - borrowed your own photo to show where.)