Author Topic: 1980 Clubman Estate  (Read 25000 times)

Offline MiniDave

1980 Clubman Estate
« on: January 03, 2015, 02:51:07 PM »
I had a '62 Cooper S back in the day and wanted another classic, but prices for good cars are hard to swallow these days and non rusty cars are even harder to find. When I chanced on this Clubman Estate on Mini Mania I emailed the owner and made arrangements to fly in to Baltimore to see it.

I liked it well enough to buy it, and to the owner's surprise decided to drive it back to KC. I hadn't brought any tools, fluids, parts or anything, just me and a well stocked credit card - something I would need when I got home but fortunately not on the trip. On the first days drive I stopped in Columbus Ohio as I had MINI contacts and friends there. The next morning I made a few adjustments to the valves and carb and headed home, making it in one straight drive.

If you ever want to learn about a car you just bought, a cross country drive will sure tell you what you bought - my car came with stacks of paperwork including MOTs and rec't for work done over the years, including an engine overhaul done 5K miles before. However, I realized early on in the drive that things might not be quite up to snuff as the engine just didn't seem to have the power it should, leaked oil like crazy and the entire car rattled, buzzed and carried on unbelievaby. So, I had a lot of time on the drive home to start making plans for improvements. I'd been looking for a car that had a good body, I knew I could do any mechanical work needed....

So: Plans......

1) the paperwork indicated that it did not have unleaded seats, so I put an additive in the tank on the drive home, but I would pull the head and have hardened seats and a valve job done - couple hundred bux, right?

2) fix the oil leaks

3) clean and paint under the hood a bit

4) I also needed to replace the right drive sealed beams with some left drive ones for our roads.

Oh, and fix all the rattles, buzzes squeaks and the miserable driver' s seat that was killing my back on the drive home.

Total budget, maybe $500 right? Riiiiiiggggghhthhttttt.......... ::)

I decided the easiest way to proceed would be to drop the engine and subframe out together, then I could easily clean and paint as well as find the oil leaks and fix them too.

So here's what I started with.....



Doesn't look too bad, does it? Here's what it looked like out of the car.....



The subframe was pretty manky tho.....



And the engine compartment that had been hidden by the engine was pretty rough looking too. Unlike Edd China I cannot abide putting dirty parts back in, so I made plans to get everything shipshape.

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 03:05:41 PM »
The first thing once it was out of the car - off with it's head!

I took it apart, and that's when I got the first clue that what they consider an overhaul in ol Blighty might not be the same as what I do at least. For 5k miles, the cylinder head and valves were really carbonned up, and the "new" valves didn't match each other....

So I took it down to my favorite engine shop and told them to make it like new again.  They took it apart and found that not only did it need new seats, it also had no stem seals, worn out guides and in general needed a LOT of work - about $600 total including the new stellite faced exhaust valves, but it sure looked great when it came back!

Here's the before.....



And the after...



While I was waiting for the headwork to get done I took a look at the rest of the engine, the bores looked terrible, with rust embedded in the bores, like the engine had sat outside for a long time or something. I decided to tear it all down and go thru it. I found a few interesting things, a few good things and a lot of not so good things.....
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 08:56:36 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2015, 03:21:09 PM »
One of the first things I found was a brandy new looking duplex timing chain.....so it was clear someone had been inside it.....

The bores looked awful, and from the carbon buildup on top of the pistons it's clear where a lot of my oil had been going.

The rod bearings, main bearings and thrust washers looked almost new, but the piston markings showed the engine had been bored out 60 over already, there would be no further enlarging of this block, which meant I had a choice to make - sleeve it back to stock 1275 and buy new pistons, be-balance the whole engine, or find another block. I got lucky and found a Sprite block from a friend, and set about converting it to use in a Mini (more on that later) and boring it to 60 over so I could reuse my pistons.

With that in mind everything went down to the machine shop, where the block was boiled, align bored, the cylinders bored and finish honed and the top of the block skimmed. The crank had 10 under bearings indicating that the crank had been machined once already, but when we checked the journals we found they were tapered! We were able to save it at 20 under, so I began making a list of parts to order from Guido the Clown.

As a favor, the machine shop also hot tanked the subframe and it came back clean and ready to paint. I did a bit of straightening of places where the car had been lifted using the subframe and been bent and got it in a coat of primer.

So, another $800 of machine work including all the block work, crank work, hot tank, and a complete re-balance and I was ready to put it back together.....

« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:34:19 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 03:36:38 PM »
The Sprite block and Mini block are exactly the same with only a few differences that don't keep it from working in a Mini - however going the other way is not nearly so easy. The one big difference is of course that the Sprite is rear drive and has an oil pan instead of a gearbox under it, so the oil pickup is handled differently. The Sprite block is threaded for the oil pickup to mount to the block, where the Mini is simply flat with a hole bored in it. Here's are the two blocks side by side, the large hole on the top flange is where the oil pickup goes, the Sprite is on the left......



You don't have to do anything about it, but I decided to fill it in with some metal epoxy and drill it back straight to match the Mini bock. I also found the oil passage from the oil pump to the block was smaller on the Sprite block, so I drilled that out too.

I teach automotive courses at a local college, so I used the school's big ol drill press....


Here you can see the difference in the size of the oil port too, and the extra holes drilled in the back of the block for the seal mount - the Sprite block is on the left here and the large round indentation is where the oil pump goes. The oil galleys had been drilled and threaded on the Sprite block too, so all I had to do was locktite some plugs in there.



Once that was done I took a tap to all the threaded holes in the block and cleaned it thoroughly to get ready for a coat of paint. The later Minis are painted red rather than Morris green, so I went with red. The rear main seal is done differently on the Sprite too, but you simply remove that part to use it in a Mini, and I filled the holes with SS allen screws lock tighted in for security.

while I was in there.....I'd been convinced I needed a center mount oil pickup, and in order to install one of those you have to remove the layshaft in the transmission. Well, I'd already decided to change the diff ratio, so I'd have it out anyway...that was next.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:39:56 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 04:10:38 PM »
The trans synchros were in good shape, so I only ordered new gaskets and seals, new diff gears (2:76 instead of 3:44) and the shifter seal kit, as well as new speedo drive gears so the speedo would be correct. However, there is a tiny little lip seal in the speedo drive (where the speedo cable attaches) and that doesn't seem to come in any of the gaskets kits or even be available as a separate part. Here's where having spent a lot of years working on British cars comes in handy - also we have a pretty good British parts store locally - Victoria British - and they've been really helpful with the odd bits and bobs. That seal - like may parts used on British cars - are used thruout the different lines, and sure enough it was used on the Sprite trans also, $5 later I'm in bidness.

So first I needed to remove the layshaft so I could get the old oil pickup out.....the oil pickup is the tube going across the top of the gears in this pic, the layshaft is directly below that, and below the layshaft is another set of bolts holding the wire mesh screen at the end of the pickup tube.

Next I pulled the diff cover off so I could remove the diff carrier to change the driven gear - or the crowngear as the Brits call it.

The seals in those side covers are know to leak prodigiously, so new seals went in, but fortunately all the bearings were in good shape.....and everything got thoroughly cleaned in the solvent tank before re-assembly.

The new pinion gear is quite a bit bigger than the old one, and in order to make it fit (this ratio wasn't offered OEM in this year) You have to modify the bearing retainer that surrounds the gear. I marked out the clearance needed and went after it with a carbide burr in a die grinder. It took a while but fit perfectly when done.

Here's the new pinion gear compared to the old one....



And the marked up retainer ready for modification....



and here it is fitted over the gear....



And the new crownwheel installed n the carrier.



After that it was just a matter of cleaning, re-installing parts, torquing all the fastners correctly and it was ready to go......

The goldish colored tube is the new oil pickup, instead of collecting oil from the right side of the gearbox (potentially starving the engine of oil in hard right hand turns) it now goes into the middle of the gearbox and lies at the very bottom, ensuring oil delivery in either turn.

The large hole in the lower engine mating flange is where the oil transfers to the engine, there's an o-ring that seals this and that's where the hole I epoxy filled and drilled out in the block meets up.




« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:59:26 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 04:31:46 PM »
With all that done I re-assembled the engine and mated it back to the transmission - along the way cleaning and repainting/refurbishing all the other parts that go on the engine. I rebuilt the starter with new brushes and bushings, it had a new water pump already, and heat wrapped the header. I did not rebuild the carb at this time as it had run just fine on the 1100 mile drive from Baltimore, and I also re-used the clutch as it also felt fine on the drive home. Both decisions would com back to bite me in the ass before it was over.

While reassembling the head, one of the worn parts I found was the rocker assembly -I had already ordered new Cooper S forged rockers but when I disassembled the rocker arm assembly to change out the rockers I found the shaft was worn badly, so before I could do that I had to source a new shaft. Vicky Brits didn't have one, and the usual suppliers were really expensive. Thanks to the web I found a British car dealer in Minnesota who had a lot of NOS parts and she had one for $15 brand new. Sold!

New Cooper S forged rocker arms



Compared to the stamped steel rockers originally fitted to this engine....



And the worn rocker shaft. Although I've seen worse, I just couldn't re-use this old shaft.



Once the new one came in I realized I had to make another trip downtown to the engine builder as the new rocker bushings have to be reamed to fit the new shaft - it took him all of 20 min to do them, and he didn't even charge me - Yay!

Once I had them all put together then it was on to the assembly of the block - and the next problem reared it's head!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 04:34:43 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 04:49:55 PM »
The reason  bought a new block was so that I could reuse the 60 over pistons (no replacement for displacement, right? ), but these were pistons used a long time ago, and no one could come up with the correct rings - so it looked like I might wind up buying new pistons after all! However, my Google Fu seems strong and after about a week I found one of those tiny little obscure British suppliers in the Midlands that not only knew what I needed, they had them in stock in the right 60 over size too. their price was pretty reasonable at $80, but with shipping, customs etc it was more like $120 delivered. Still, at this point I was committed, so I ordered them, and when they got here I got one hell of a shock! This is the box they came in....

For those who don't know, Hastings is a well known and old line US engine parts company! So, just for fun and because I had some conflicting info on the correct ring gap I went to their website, where I discovered they stock rings for all manner of obscure Brit cars dating back to the 1900's! So after chasing all over the globe for rings for my car, turns out I could have gotten them "locally"!

I also spoke to a very knowledgeable young lady and got the ring gap info sorted out, so it was on with the build. A ring spreader sure makes it easier to load rings onto pistons....it's one of those $10 tools you don't need often in your home shop, but sure makes life easier when you do.



I also had to buy a new ring compressor, the one I'd used for 100 years to build American v-8's was just a bit too big for the Mini pistons!





I tapped the cam bearings in place and installed the lifters, then slid the cam in and buttoned up the lower end.




« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 04:01:50 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 05:04:39 PM »
Here's another handy dandy little tool. How many of you have ever had your torque wrench recalibrated over the years you used it? How many forget to unwind the spring after you used it before you put it back in the box? Dollars to donuts it's not accurate. Before I do any major jobs I always recalibrate the torque wrench first, it's the only way you know you've got it right, otherwise you may as well use the ratchet and "elbow" calibration.......these testers were on sale at Harbor Freight for less than $30!





Coming together now.....



Head back on and most ancillaries installed..

Just checking the fit here, once the header was wrapped it was thicker and the heat shield under the carb hit it, so I had to pull it back apart and bend the heat shield a bit for clearance.

In the meantime I'd put a coat of black Rustoleum on the subframe and give it a week to harden off, before I started reinstalling the suspension bits. since I was working in my garage, I brush painted the subframe rather than spray, I felt I got a better coat of paint on that way and show car perfection wasn't the goal.....durability was. Suspension was next up....and more surprises were in store.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 04:06:01 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 05:28:19 PM »
Even tho I had been told the rubber donuts in the suspension were new, it rode like a rock and I dreaded every pothole, bridge approach or bump in the road, the worst ones really cracked my back on the drive home from Baltimore, so I decided to go with springs.



The car already had hi-los on it, but the donut ones are different than the spring ones, so if anyone needs a set of like new hi-los for their rubber suspension, hit me up. I've been really happy with the ride on the springs so far, it's much more pliable without being soft and squishy.

I had already spent a ton of time cleaning and painting all the suspension bits, and I'd ordered al new rubbers along with new motor mounts and new subframe mounts. The ball joints were in fine shape, and when I checked the movement of the upper control arms they felt fine -moving smoothly and no slop in them, so I only ordered replacment seals and no bearings - ha!

Before I reinstalled the upper control arms I decided to remove the shafts and repack the needle bearings, that's when I found this....



Both shafts were worn and galled something awful! So, more parts on the way - I didn't want to wait for another shipment from England and found the kits on sale at 7 Enterprises, so out came the credit card yet again and about a eek later I had them. I had to make a tool to drive the bearings and races out of the arms, but it's not that terrible a job and putting the new ones in is fairly easy. Once that was done it was just remembering where everything went and what went in first till it was all done.



Under the "in for a penny" theory, I'd also ordered new inner and outer CV boots for the axles, so that was next. And of course, I can't put new parts on old nasty axles so everything got torn down cleaned and repainted  before re-assembly. On teardown I'd found that I had roller bearings in one wheel hub and ball bearings on the other side, so I also ordered new rollers for both sides, and rebuilt the hubs too.....more cleaning and painting of course.

You install the inner boots inside out, install the tie strap and clip off the excess, then pull them right side out again.



Then the new bearing races get tapped into the hubs....notice I'm using a brass drift. Brass is softer than the steel race so I won't damage the race if it slips off as I hit it.



Bearings packed and installed into the hub, then the outer CV joint goes in, and gets packed with grease too...



Then you drive the rest of the shaft into the outer CV joint, till the snap ring on the end of the shaft locates in the groove in the joint. Usually one good hit with a dead blow hammer is all it takes.





« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 05:31:50 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Tim

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 05:40:07 PM »
Looking awesome.

I also teach in a tech department at a High School.  It really helps having all the heavy equipment there at your disposal.

I noticed the E-type in one of the pics.  That's on my list of cars to have one day.

Keep up the great work!!

Tim.

Offline 94touring

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 05:53:13 PM »
Awesome write up!

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 05:59:39 PM »
So, with the engine back together, the subframe back together and all the associated bits and bobs cleaned and painted, it was time to take a look at where it was all going to go......and it was not a pretty sight!



There was no way I could put my nicely rebuilt and painted engine and my nicely rebuilt and painted subframe in there.....and not only that, I could see a  lot more work and more parts that needed to be ordered.....like steering boots for the rack, new brake master and clutch master cylinder kits, slave cylinder kit and hose.

The wiring was also a mess and I'd noticed on the drive home that the wipers would just barely move.

I also needed to decide what to do about the engine compartment color. It took another week of sleuthing to find out what the original color code was as it wasn't visible on the id plate but I'd decided it was champagne beige. I went to the local auto paint shop to have them mix me up a spray can, but they couldn't do it saying the formula called for color and hardener and of course you couldn't put both in an aerosol can. The best they could do was match it with regular enamel and put that in a pint, then use that to make a spray can up. I took the can home first and daubed a little on and it was horrible - not even close! So I brought the hood up for him to use to match and he went to work.....it took him three tries and the final result was close enough, but not perfect. Still I decided it was as good as it was going to get so I went ahead with the clean up to get ready for paint.

I stripped everything off the firewall and cleaned up with a wire wheel in my angle grinder, then went back over it with lacquer thinner and laid on a coat of self etch primer. In the meantime I'd found that someone had installed a clutch with the engine in the car - it's possible but extremely hard, and requires either a hole be drilled to allow you to get an impact on the nut on the end of the crankshaft, or to do what these bodgers did, slice the inner fender and bend it out of the way, then once the job was done bend it back and put a sheet metal screw in the bottom to hold it together. Grrr, that sort of bodgery really torques my shorts, but there was nothing to do but get out the welder and weld up the slash and refinish it again.

Here's where they cut and bent the right inner fender....



All welded up and ready to refinish, you can also see where the artful bodgers had been at it with their welder too



Here's what the first attempt at the paint match looked like....that's when I decided to strip it all down and redo the whole engine compartment, up till this point I was just going to paint the worst parts and call it good.



And here's how it turned out in the end, I thought it came out pretty good actually.



I pulled the steering rack out and went thru it but other than needing a good clean up and paint and new boots it was in good shape. One more thing ticked off the list!



Steering rack reinstalled in the car....




« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 07:48:12 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 06:16:17 PM »
Looking awesome.

I also teach in a tech department at a High School.  It really helps having all the heavy equipment there at your disposal.

I noticed the E-type in one of the pics.  That's on my list of cars to have one day.

Keep up the great work!!

Tim.


I could have drilled the ports out by hand, but the drill press makes it so much more accurate and straight. I have use of the entire school's shop but usually prefer to work at home. The exception is when I need to put the car on a two post to work underneath, or use the alignment rack or tire machines.

Yes, I rebuilt the E-Type too, I'm a glutton for British punishment! Go here if you want to read about the Jag..... thanks for the encouraging words!

 http://www.cardomain.com/ride/505677/1969-jaguar-xke/
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 07:49:31 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 06:37:42 PM »
Next up, the wipers....

First of all, I was really perplexed why someone would cut and splice the wires like this, when there's an easily removed plug only 2 inches further up the harness?





But that was only one of the wiring details I had to fix, there were many others......

The problem with the wipers tho wasn't wiring, it was the grease in the wheelboxes that had turned to rock and wouldn't let the arms move. I took it all apart and cleaned everything out, bead blasted and repainted the rusty bits and put it all back together -worked a treat when it was done!





Once that was done I decided to replace the firewall insulation, looking for any and every possible way to cut down on the din coming from up front. They only offer a generic kit now, you have to cut it to fit, and of course it goes in before anything else can be bolted back on the firewall.



Next up was to rebuild all the master cylinders, and add an extra fuse box to carry the load for the electric fuel pump, aux lights and the new Hella 55/100 halogens I bought. I didn't want to burn up the high beam or headlight switch with the extra load, so I also wired in relays.



I had replaced both fuse panels with new ones and had a serious problem with a current backfeed that I spent a week trying to figure out - with the key off all the dash lights were on and many things didn't work anymore. I finally found the problem, the new fuse panels are bridged between two of the terminals, the original ones aren't. all it took was a few seconds with a dremel tool and everything worked normally again.

New fuse panels look like this.....



Originals look like this.....

« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 06:41:29 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 07:14:01 PM »
My goal all along had been to have the car ready to drive to Milwaukee over the 4th of July for the Mini Meet East meets West event, as you can tell by the dates on the pics, time was getting short and I still didn't even have the engine installed yet.

As it turned out, I went to the event, but Buzz didn't make it, but not for want of trying. In the end I was waylaid by "expert" advice......but I'm getting ahead of myself.

When I drove Buzz home from Baltimore, I had two instances where I lost power. In both cases it was really cold out and I was in the mountains of western Pennsylvania, going uphill. It came back again but since I didn't know what was going on for sure, I simply pressed on and it seemed to get better again on the other side of the mountains. I thought maybe it was carb icing as there was no preheat hose on the air cleaner. It always started and ran tho....and when it lost power I backed off on the throttle and it seemed to regain itself in a short while...but I was down to about 35-40mph going up parts of those hills.

I noticed the temp gauge barely got above the "C", I had been told it had fresh coolant in it and it was topped off so I figured maybe it just had too cold a thermostat in it, later I found out that the "coolant" looked more like mud and there was absolutely no antifreeze in it. It's a wonder it didn't freeze up in those mountains! Since I live in Kansas, and it gets HOT here in the summer, I wanted to make sure it would run cool enough for our climate so I paid particular attention to the radiator, I flushed it out thoroughly and got a ton of muddy nasty brown yuck out of it, same with the heater core. I wasn't worried that it was clogged as the heater had worked fine on the drive home - no fan, but plenty of heat - more wiring issues.
And the rattles! OMG this thing had rattles that were hard to believe, the worst of which was in the heater core - I knew that's where it was cause I could put my foot under it while I drove and it stopped or at least changed it.

So I still had a mountain of work to do before the event in Milwaukee.

Going back for a moment, in March about 2 weeks after I got home from Baltimore, we had another of our annual Classic Mini Fun Runs, this time starting around Steelville on the south eastern side of Mo. I took Buzz and I had a lot of trouble with the engine just cutting out - not missing, just running out of power like someone had shut off the key - similar to what happened  in the mountains on the drive from Baltimore only worse, as it did not recover, as the temps were now in the mid 60's I ruled out carb icing. Finally it died completely and I diagnosed a dead electric fuel pump. I went and bought a new one at the O'Reily's in Cuba, Mo and picked up a fuel filter too just in case. I also found I'd lost all my lights - headlights dash lights, everything but that turned out to be an easy fix, when I pulled out on the heater knob, the panel it went thru was loose (another rattle source) and pulled the wire connector off the back of the headight switch. Easy peasy..

I put the new fuel pump and filter in and bam it started right up and seemed to run with way more power. However, the next evening as we we headed back to the hotel it died again on the highway, but I was able to get to to limp back to the motel again. I decided to cut my losses and head back home a day early and in the morning it seemed to run perfectly again...about halfway home to KC it died again on the west side of Sedalia and I pulled over. I couldn't hear the fuel pump running so I tapped it with a screwdriver and it immediately came on..... the car started and ran perfectly again. Aha - another bad fuel pump, what were the chances?

So back to the overhaul.....

By now the engine compartment was done, and I was ready to start putting it back together at last. Even working by myself, the engine went in pretty easily, and I didn't even scratch the paint!



On the drive home from Baltimore the alternator light had been flashing intermittently, but I was determined to get home so I just ignored it. when I started hooking up wires again I found out why - the wires were burned and broken on the connector on the back of the alternator - it's a wonder I made it home!

« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 07:54:31 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2015, 08:25:00 PM »
The driver's seat had really hurt my back on the drive home so I decided to see if I could help it any, and pulled the cover off the seat. Fortunately the frame wasn't broken and all of the springs and diaphragms looked OK, but the headrest  on this car is on the end of a long tube that slides down inside the seat backrest.  The end of the tube had worn its way thru the foam padding and was hitting me in the back - no wonder it hurt over the bumps!

I pulled the covers off and installed a thick heavy piece of cardboard under the foam, then put new foam in the centers and edges of the seats......



It all went back together nicely and turned out well.....



Since then I've decided it's still miserably uncomfortable. A friend has a set of Miata seats in hi P'up and they're really comfy so I went looking for a set of those too. I found one set, but before I could buy them the owner sold the right side seat - which is the one I needed the most since my car is right drive. They also didn't have the sliders so I went to the local import breakers yard to see about a set of sliders he had. When I got there they were still attached to the seats - I made him an offer and bought the whole things. The left one was pretty tired but the right looked good and they were in a tan leather - not exactly a match but not bad.

I built some brackets and adjusters for height at the rear and I'm pretty happy with it. Next I need to make an armrest for the door.....but that can wait.



 I also pulled the wood dash out and added some felts around the edges, that stopped some more rattles. I pulled the left door panel off and found loose screws, screws missing entirely and things rubbing, which fixed a whole bunch more rattles but it's still amazing how many rattles are still there!

Next step, get it back on the road in time for Milwaukee!
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2015, 08:54:51 PM »
Here's how it looked about mid June, two weeks or so before the trip to Milwaukee on the 4th of July.



Now it was time to get it on the road and get some miles on it.....

My buddy Don and I headed out of town for a 40 mile run to Lawrence on a nice 90* day figuring that would be a good test, we got no more than 5 miles out of town and the temp gauge was all the way up to "H"....not a good beginning. I was running a 165* thermostat but that clearly wasn't getting it.....so we let it cool down and drove back home to the shop. I checked everything I could and could not find anything wrong. Over the next week or so I drove it all over town and it never got over the "N" , unless I hit the highway, then it slowly and surely climbed towards the "H".

Finally I just ran out of time to do anything more, the day we were supposed to leave for Milwaukee the weather was cool, barely 60* - unheard of in Kansas and was forecast to be like that all weekend, I decided to just go and see what it did. I told the other guys that I would know in the first 50 miles if it was going to make it - it actually made 65 before it was almost to the "H" again. I was disappointed but sent the guys on and I went back home to get my 2009 MINI and drove it instead.

Probably a good thing too, as it was well into the 90's on the trip home especially across Missouri.

Once home and with the pressure off I started working thru everything I'd done. I pulled the water pump off to see if it had the deep impeller - it did.



I checked the size of the pulley - I was told I needed the "big" pulley and that's what was on it, but I questioned that. Supposedly they had problems with the small pulley causing cavitation, hence the large pulley which is what was fitted on all the warm market cars.

I took the radiator down to a radiator shop and they pulled the lower cap off, they thought we'd find it full of crap blocking the tubes. it wasn't. Because it had a crimp-on tank they couldn't put it back together again so I bought a 3 core radiator. It was a little better now, I made the drive to Lawrence on another 90* day and it didn't get hot till almost there, and curiously - like always - once I got into town it cooled off again down to Normal.

What the heck was going on?

After thinking about it long and hard for a couple more weeks the light bulb finally went on - I had changed the diff ratio. The big pulley was for engines that turned a lot of RPM, my engine was only turning between 3 and 3500 on the highway. It wasn't cavitating, it simply wasn't turning fast enough to move the water under hot loads on the highway. I got a small pulley from the guy who sold me the Sprite block off of - you guessed it - a1275 Sprite and put it on.

The first event I did was in Sept, no overheating but then I didn't go too far on the highway. Don and I took another run, this time north to St. Joseph, Mo - about 100 miles roundtrip....and now I have the opposite problem!



As you can see, I decided to install a real temp gauge with numbers on it instead of relying on the L-N-H of the standard gauge so I could see what it was really doing - the numbers either side of the needle are 160 and 190 and the dash gauge is disconnected. As always the car runs normally in town, but now on the highway it only runs about 165, even with a 180* thermostat. Admittedly it was only 70* that day, but I've never had an engine that runs cooler than the thermostat setting. I've decided to leave it alone for now and see what it does later this summer when it gets hot again.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 08:58:00 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2015, 09:14:25 PM »
Of course, I wasn't done with Buzz....in fact, I still have projects to do even now.

But first I needed to do some more suspension work. The left rear trailing arm was toed out about 3* and the front end was close to spec, but I wanted it better, so I bought some more bits - adjustable lower control arms and tie rods. Now I could set not just the toe but also the caster and camber. I also got some rear camber/toe plates too.



Everything if front really came in exactly where I wanted it, the thrust angle was almost perfectly straight too. The rear end came close, I will still have to do a little modifying of the left side camber plate but it's way better than it was.

Here are the front ones installed.....




And here's how the rear ones bolt in for those that don't know.....the bracket has a slotted hole and the washer has ribs that match up with those on the bracket. This allows you to move it vertically for camber adjustment, an horizontally for toe adjustment. They're really simple to install, but you do need some one who knows how they work to do the alignment after the install.



and here they are installed...



Still to do, I'm going to drop the rear subframe and clean and paint it like I did the front. I also want to take the fuel tank and have it sealed.

I have a new in box cruise control to install - I used to do these all the time back in the 70's - I even had one in my Porsche 914 and it worked beautifully. It will take some engineering to make it work on this carb, but I can do it.

I'm still chasing rattles - hard to believe given how many I've fixed, but there it is......

I have an electronic ignition to install too.

I've done about 2000 miles on the engine and it's just now starting to loosen up, fuel mileage has gone way up too tho I don't have any real, hard numbers yet.

I'm sure there's more, but my fingers are tired from typing!

Hope I haven't bored you all to sleep with my tale.......

« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 09:18:47 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MtyMous

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2015, 09:31:04 PM »
Great build thread. I'm living vicariously through others right now because my funding has been diverted temporarily. Keep it up. This is motivating.

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2015, 09:48:59 PM »
I actually glossed over a lot at the end here....like the carb overhaul, the electronic ignition snafu, and having to pull the engine back out to replace the clutch that slipped under the extra new found HP from the overhaul!  ::)
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline Willie_B

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Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2015, 04:49:22 AM »
I have enjoyed following along. Lots of great photos and story. Going to be a sweat driver. Others on your classic mini runs may have a hard time keeping up.

Offline Merlin

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2015, 12:38:32 PM »
There was some good info on using RWD engine blocks on a mini in here! I would love to see you split that off and go into a little more detail as getting 1275cc engines here are easy, as long as you aren't looking for a mini block!

Engineering the Impossible

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2015, 12:40:59 PM »
OK, I'll start another thread on just that......
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2015, 01:06:27 PM »
I guess no one noticed the speedometer..... ;D

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MtyMous

Re: 1980 Clubman Estate
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2015, 09:11:58 AM »
First thing I noticed. Haha. But the car is so cold! Temp gauge not working? Or did you just move it over to the one on the right of the cluster?