Author Topic: Lone Star Mini Restoration  (Read 36075 times)

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #300 on: January 02, 2018, 02:37:42 PM »
If you have gas forced air furnace, I'd consider getting a Hot Dawg or the like, much cheaper to run, but then if you don't need it a lot the electric will be cheaper to buy and install.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #301 on: January 02, 2018, 02:44:42 PM »
I run mine off the fuse for my AC. Once summer rolls around I flip out the wires.  Definetly buy the bigger unit.  Granted my place is insulated but bigger is better in this case.

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #302 on: January 02, 2018, 02:48:07 PM »
I run mine off the fuse for my AC. Once summer rolls around I flip out the wires.  Definetly buy the bigger unit.  Granted my place is insulated but bigger is better in this case.

I don't remember what gauge wire I used for the a/c (18 years ago)..although I don't think I would have run 8 gauge..
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #303 on: January 02, 2018, 02:51:48 PM »
well heck.. the 8/2 wire will run just as much as the unit....(or more depending on where I want to place the heater).
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #304 on: January 02, 2018, 03:23:12 PM »
8/2 will work as long as it has a ground wire in it.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #305 on: March 08, 2018, 05:05:13 PM »
No progress on the restoration as I’ve been too busy working home projects through the winter.  However I’m on the road right now (wife driving) after picking up the ‘64 Austin Cooper
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline 94touring

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #306 on: March 08, 2018, 05:23:43 PM »
You're going to be busy with restorations!

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #307 on: March 08, 2018, 05:31:17 PM »
Jumping in with both feet. Will save the MK1 for last so that I can learn on the others
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Online BruceK

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #308 on: March 08, 2018, 06:23:19 PM »
Cool!  I'm glad you got the Mk. I.  What part of the country did it come from?
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #309 on: March 08, 2018, 06:27:00 PM »
Hey Bruce,   Georgia.  Only 4 hours left of our drive home. I will document how we found it and post a few pics
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #310 on: July 03, 2018, 07:06:59 AM »
Saved up for a little bit to place a fairly large order for various items from floor board panels to gaskets.  I also ordered a 50mm radiator suggested from another thread along with new water pump, thermostat, hoses, etc..  Most of the items are for the Mini that I'm driving to begin to bring it up to a level that I'm familiar with the work done on the car.  Currently I have zero history of any/all work done on the Mini I'm driving.  Among the items are gaskets and correct plates for fixing my oil leak.  When I have the radiator out, I figure it is the best time to access the drive shaft and oil seals.
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Online BruceK

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #311 on: July 06, 2018, 12:22:07 PM »
 It's always like opening Christmas presents when a big order arrives.   4.gif 4.gif
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #312 on: August 13, 2018, 05:16:48 PM »
This past week was a learning curve and having a friend in from the UK, he taught me a few tricks that will certainly come in use.  I have now begun cutting up the shell.  The rotisserie has already saved my back and knees and I'm thankful to have it. 

The first cut to the shell was to remove the "over-sill" in which I found exactly what I expected..  rotted panel all the way through as the over-sill simply covered up old rust to begin with.  New outer sills and portions of the floor panels are definitely needed.  Removing the over-sill scratched the surface of my intimidation factor, but wasn't really that bad.

Then I moved on to the idea of removing both wings and front panel as an assembly.  I could have easily cut them out individually, but I wanted to save the assembly for "wall art".  I plan to make wall art of the front end of the mini which will give me a little welding and metal working experience as a bonus.

My biggest challenge having never done this before is knowing how each panel attaches to the adjacent panels and/or stiffeners.  With a little inside help from my friend, it didn't take long at all to remove the front end of the mini.  More than half the battle was knowing where and how all panels attached.  This task alone took an arsenal of tools of various sizes in order to reach the spot welds.  I picked up a few disposable tools from Harbor Freight including nylon brush wheels and spot weld drill bits.
- I first removed paint and filler (bondo) to better locate the spot welds
- Then either the spot weld drill bit and/or coned shape drill bit was used to drill out the spot welds.
    - Spot welds held the wing to the inner wing and the front panel brackets to the inner wing.
- A screw driver and/or chisel was used to separate spot welded panels.
- Where the A-panel skin wraps around the A-pillar (fwd of door seam), I sanded this edge down which easily separated the three layers of panel (this was a fabulous tip given to me from my friend).

There was loads of filler in places that should not have had it and all kinds of modifications made that were apparent poor workmanship that hid problems... 

I'm on my way with a little satisfaction of learning something new and making progress.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 05:21:56 PM by Lone Star Mini »
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Online BruceK

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #313 on: August 13, 2018, 06:14:47 PM »
You are really jumping in the deep end and learning how to swim!  Way to go! 

I like your idea of Mini wall art! 
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #314 on: August 13, 2018, 06:25:42 PM »
Good start on the body!
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #315 on: August 13, 2018, 07:01:40 PM »
Thanks guys.  I must get better at documenting the restoration with proper pics and videos.  I'm definitely jumping in and I have the fear of not completing the project.. I must set goals and do something daily/weekly.
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #316 on: August 18, 2018, 10:34:47 AM »
Since I have no working knowledge/history of working with and cleaning autobody parts, today's Task is simply a test day to find out which methods/tools/techniques will help me properly clean the 2-3 mm thick oil & grime.  Since I don't have a media blaster set up, I'm starting off the restoration with cleaning the shell by hand.   There is something intriguing with the idea of touching every square inch of the Mini as if I'm taking full ownership of the restoration.  I'm starting off with an arsenal of tools as each may prove best for various situations.  A visit to Harbor Freight for some expendable tools will help me get going.  I'm all ears to tricks and tips that have helps others and I do appreciate any/all input.  I'm also open to informative and in-structural criticism to mistakes I'm bound to make.  This record is mainly for my own memory of the restoration, but I hope that it helps others in some small way.

- Heat gun to attempt to heat up the oil/grime to see if that helps with the removal.
- Flat head screw driver of varying lengths to chisel away the grime buildup
- Heavy duty scraper set
- Flat thin scraper
- Wire abrasive wheels to remove grime & rust pits
- Nylon abrasive wheels to remove final coat of paint & clean up
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #317 on: August 18, 2018, 11:01:51 AM »
If you don't already have one, an angle grinder is a great tool to use for this....don't buy the $20 one at HF, but get at least the next step up in price, it will last a whole lot longer. Then a couple of wire brush attachments and go to town. Makes a hell of a mess but it will get everything shiny again....and fast! Use the scraper to get the thickest stuff off first

Plus you can use it as a grinder with a grinding wheel to take down welds, a cutting disc to cut sheet metal and a flap disc to linish back the metal before priming.

The heat gun is effective at removing body filler from the sheet metal and stiff, hardened undercoating.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 11:05:43 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline jeff10049

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #318 on: August 18, 2018, 01:38:31 PM »
use safety goggles and a face shield when running the wire wheels they throw wires and will stick in any exposed skin or eyes.

Offline jeff10049

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #319 on: August 18, 2018, 01:43:18 PM »
Starting with a good degreasing something like Castrol super clean and pressure wash helps to get a lot of the thick grease before starting with the power tools.

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #320 on: August 18, 2018, 02:10:48 PM »
@Dave,  you are slightly ahead of me and I do agree with all that you've mentioned.  The water filter on my air compressor exploded so I had to turn it off.  Rather than hooking up directly to the air compression, I got out the electric drill..  but found that the venting on it was bloody hot.

@Jeff...Yes sir and I don't care to learn that lesson the hard way.  I do wear safety goggles when doing any/all metal work.    In addition to this, I wear contacts and have learned to always wear goggles because the crap always gets into my eyes and under my contacts.  The evidence is washing my face after I remove the goggles..  my face is typically covered with small particles of crap which proves that much would also hit my eyes...    While our climate is much better for pressure washing (than England), I'm trying to avoid using water when I can help it.  Thus I found a semi-effective method for degreasing... 

So here's my lessons for the day on removing oily grime..

First:  A little interesting and fun learned fact over the last two weeks...  Our friend from England came for a visit and was surprised when he put his hands on the mini (in the garage/shade).  When he placed his hand on my Mini shell, he was amazed at how warm the metal was (in the shade), as opposed to the cold environment he deals with.  Touching the engine block to him was as if the engine had been running while in fact, it had sat for days in the shade.  Then I burned my shoulder on the concrete crawling on the ground under the mini whereas my friend uses a foam leather pad to help keep his back from getting cold.  The small things we/I take for granted here in Texas and it was interesting to note just how different our climates truly are… 

Lessons Learned on removing Oily Grime:
-   The $9 Heat Gun has already paid for itself as that bad boy did a great job in softening up years of oil and dirt
-   After heating, I found that using a degreaser (Oven Cleaner) helped release the oily film.  I took my brother-n-laws advice from his restoration and it has served me well.  I buy Oven Cleaner and cat liter at our local Dollar because its cheap and effective.  The Oven Cleaner does a fabulous job for removing oily grime, but mind you, DO NOT use Oven Clean on aluminum parts that you want to have a clean shiny finish because Oven Cleaner will dull the finish.  In this case, I did not care.  Cheap cat liter picks up my oil messes rather well.

At this point via the pictures, I was only about 10 minutes in – very fast & efficient work flow removing 70% of the oily build-up.

-   The thin wide scraper was perfect because it was flexible and able to bend around the contour of the shell.  The oily grime literally scraped off in sheets.  I spent an hour on this test and walked away quite clean.
-   The small and long thin scraper were needed to get those hard to reach areas
-   I then used a degreaser and wiped off as much of the oily film as possible with a cloth.  Otherwise, both the wire and nylon abrasive wheels simply spread the oily grime everywhere.  I prefer not to clean things twice if I don't have to
-   I then used the Wire abrasive wheel to get most of the large sections of hardened dirt off
-   Finished with the Nylon abrasive wheel which cleaned up the metal panel nicely.

The electric drill that I was using put out a lot of heat.  In fact it was hard to hold at times because the vents are right on the side where I like to hold the drill.

I plan to continue cleaning up the oily grime before I learn to tackle the rust areas.  I guess this is where I have to figure out what protective measures I need to treat the cleaned metal… 

I'm currently planning on repairing the inner wing as opposed to replacing the entire wing.  I would not know where to begin on how to align a new inner wing so that front panel, engine, wing and whatever else lines up perfectly.
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #321 on: August 18, 2018, 02:17:21 PM »
You need to pull that shock mount off, you may find nothing left under there, or a lot of rust - it's very common for them to rust badly under those mounts. if so you'll need to weld in a patch panel.....

An angle grinder will strip paint and rust off in a hurry, but it is best to scrape off the grime and grease first like you're doing.  since the angle grinder vents differently and is designed to run for longer periods it won't get as hot as quickly as the drill motor.......the panel to the right of the clean one will take 5 min to look like that with an angle grinder.

It's hot here too, mid 90's and HIGH humididity…….miserable to work outside or even in a shaded garage with a fan blowing on you.

My wife buys me bound carpet samples - about 2ft X 3ft - from the local carpet store, they only run about $1 each for discontinued brands and styles, they not only provide comfort against temps but the padding really saves my knees. When they get too oily or dirty they go into the trash.....
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 02:22:48 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #322 on: August 18, 2018, 03:03:06 PM »
Dave.. your knowledge and input is greatly appreciated, I thank you.  I like your scrap carpet idea.

When you mention angle grinders, what disc media are you referring to exactly?  I have used a variety of discs for different applications and I may not know their correct terminology
- The flapper disk laying on the ground is FABULOUS for removing metal and sanding down with a clean finish.  It does however remove metal quickly.
- the thin cut off disk I have used to cut metal and cut through small mig/tig welds
- there is a thick "grinder" disk on the Milwaukee tool that I've used sparingly
- then there are wire abrasive wheels and a foam looking clean up tool that works well.

When removing the oily grime, are you referring to the 'flapper' style disk?
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #323 on: August 18, 2018, 03:18:07 PM »
OK, well it looks like you're well equipped!

You can buy both the cup style wire wheels and the flat style at HF for your angle grinder. The extra power of the angle grinder plus the extra control you have with the side handle makes short work of anything you need to clean or strip.

The cut off wheels (really thin discs) are great for cutting out patches, both on the car and in new sheet metal sheets (ala Project Binky) the thicker grinding wheels are for taking down large clumps of weld, the flap disc is for finish work - making everything smooth again.

Air tools are great for this kind of work as long as you have enough air to supply them, my little compressor runs down pretty quickly using a die or angle grinder like those - one good thing about air tools, they never get hot!  77.gif
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Lone Star Mini

Re: Lone Star Mini Restoration
« Reply #324 on: August 19, 2018, 03:05:25 PM »
Looking for a little guidance / suggestions.  I'm cleaning up the inner wing and have certainly found bits of rust.  My first inclination is to want to replace the entire inner wing, but I've been convinced to only repair the bad bits.  So I'm trying to do a little research to determine exactly which route is best for me - To replace entire inner wing or only the bad bits?  I found a couple threads by both MiniDave and 94Touring that offer insight and I will be reading their threads start to finish.  meanwhile, what considerations need to be made when replacing the entire inner wing?  I believe the inner wing needs to be installed correctly to line up with suspension, bonnet, scuttle, front panel and door hinges.  I do not believe I have to brace the mini shell at this point, but what must I consider and how exactly do I line up the inner wing correctly?  Perhaps there is a video or post out there that I've not found yet..    Thanks in advance...
Lone Star Mini
1982 Morris Mini 1000HL (heck of a lot of work ahead of me)
1992(?) Mini Cooper
1964 Austin Cooper