Author Topic: Engine Bay Restoration  (Read 1792 times)

Offline DS1980

Engine Bay Restoration
« on: November 29, 2016, 06:11:59 PM »
I wasn't sure if this is considered maintenance or a restoration, but staying in the spirit of restorationmini.com, we will call it a restore.
I have a bone stock 1972 Mini with the original 850. I purchased the car in August 08 while stationed in England. I owned 5 minis while over there, including an automatic and a  pick up. As it became closer to the end of my tour, I wanted to find the best mini I could to bring back with me. This was it. The car ran great and had FULL service history, all the way back to the build sheet from the dealer. (seatbelts, wing mirrors and heater were options!) So on a boat it went with me to Vegas, where it ran great.
Fast forward a few years and I'm back in my home state of CO. It ran great for a while then I noticed it began to run worse and worse. I did EVERYTHING to get it back up to running like a top, but to no avail. Eventually I came to the conclusion that after 45 years, the engine needs surgery. Since "the other place" has lost appeal, I found this site and a fellow named Dave in Kansas who has rebuilt a few....thousand of these. So off to him it will go. And come back with maybe a few more HPs.

This will turn into a "well since the engine's out, I should go ahead and work on _________" (everything firewall forward). It does have some rust issues that I want to address as well as some wear issues. One thing I will mention is I was an aircraft mechanic, so british engineering will be new to me. I will have questions. Dumb questions, stupid questions and stupidly dumb questions. Be patient. So here we go!!

The first photo is the starting point. If you want to know what a 1972 850 looks like, there it is, minus an aftermarket air filter. It was ugly, but it used to run great.
The other photos are after about 10 hours of work. Steep learning curve. I don't drink so that didn't help AT ALL.
As Dave is cussing at me from afar for giving him such an old, dirty piece of steel, I will be dropping the front subframe and stripping everything down to metal. I am going to try to keep it as original as possible, as I want a mini when I'm done!

This will be a long thread. Hoping to have it done by the time the snow (and therefore road salt) is gone.

Offline John Gervais

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Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 06:16:43 PM »
I like it!   4.gif

This'll be a fun one to follow! 
- Pave the Bay -

Offline DS1980

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 06:52:21 PM »
And John, notice the relay in the upper left? Remember that fiasco on MM?

Offline MiniDave

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 07:13:22 PM »
What is the relay for? I always point them down, less chance for water ingress.....

BTW, keep the radiator, fan and shroud, I've acquired enough bits and bobs that I don't need it now. Let me know when it's on the way and what carrier etc. Once I have it torn down we can figure out our next moves.....which gear(s) were crunching? Upshifts or downshifts? Or both....

How many miles has it done now?

BTW, what year did the base engine go from the 850 to the 998?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 07:18:54 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline DS1980

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2016, 07:33:59 PM »
Hi Dave,
The relay is for running a heat exchanger that acts as an air conditioner in the summer. It draws a lot of current so I didn't want to run it though my existing harness. I asked "the others" about it and that's when I got a crash course in relays. It works well!!

I will take the rad, fan and shroud off.

The car has 34,000 original miles. I think father time took it's toll more than miles, and it was off the road for a while. I think sitting hurt it.

As far as the transmission, they would all crunch. Not a lot, and if I was careful and didn't have any load on the engine it would be smooth but.....when I took the bottom cover off the diff to disconnect the shifter, I read about a little pin that wasn't fun to punch out. I reached up in there and the pin was just hanging out in a bunch of grease. So it may not have been connected correctly or something may be broken. I really don't know what it's supposed to look like. Oh, it has the magic wand shifter. That may be useful to know. I know it was one of the last years the wand was offered, and I may have been a special order.

I don't know when the 998 was standard. I can say that when the 850 runs good, it's smooooooth.

I'm not sure when I will get it shipped. May be a while, but I won't drag it out. I will put it in a full crate made out of pallets. Does anybody reading this have a favorite engine shipper? Also, can I ship it as a motorcycle engine?

Offline John Gervais

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Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2016, 07:36:43 PM »
I can't remember the relay, though it looks familiar somehow.  Do tell -

I also orient the relays downwards, for the same reason as Dave.  The bases are generally just popped into place, sometimes held with small tabs, but allowing water to fill the case.


edit - ah, yes - the heat exchanger - I'd recently finished figuring out my own relay project and if I recall correctly, there was also a bit o'discussion regarding fuse blocks and starter solenoids.  Good times -
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 07:41:17 PM by John Gervais »
- Pave the Bay -

Offline stan360

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2016, 10:36:08 PM »
Is that a Pontiac Fiero I see in the background  4.gif

Offline MPlayle

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2016, 10:38:47 PM »
Could be that you've experienced significant valve recession unless the head was modified at some point for running unleaded fuel.

The buildup from leaded fuel use early in its life would have slowed the process, but after sufficient time running unleaded, the buildup on the valve seats wears off and valve recession begins.


Offline DS1980

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2016, 11:24:24 PM »
That is a 1986 Fiero GT that just turned over 44,000 miles. Drives like new. And outside is a military surplus 1987 Humvee.

Offline DS1980

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2016, 11:27:25 PM »
Could be that you've experienced significant valve recession unless the head was modified at some point for running unleaded fuel.

The head is still a leaded head. One of the modifications Dave will have to do. So maybe that's a part of it. We will see! Hopefully Dave will make a photo log of what he does. He might find the cause, or he might find a really good engine. It's more or less for my peace of mind. I want to keep it original, and the internal condition of the engine is unknown.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 07:56:16 PM »
How're you coming on this resto?
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline DS1980

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 10:28:40 AM »
It's going slower than expected. I did something strange to my back and still recovering a bit. But I'm making progress. How is your schedule looking?

Offline MiniDave

Re: Engine Bay Restoration
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 11:06:51 AM »
Ready when you are.....the only time I'll be out of the shop is when I'm in Texas for our fun run in March.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT