Author Topic: 79 Canadian Mini  (Read 1254 times)

Offline skmini

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    • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
79 Canadian Mini
« on: December 30, 2015, 01:07:37 PM »
My wife has had this Mini for 20 years - it was a daily driver for a few years, but the rust holes have been slowly getting bigger and bigger.  The front right rear subframe mount is really not attached to anything.  The rockers are more hole than metal.

Time to get started on making it safe to drive.

This is a Canadian Mini, so it had the large, heavy bumpers mounted higher to meet North American requirements.  This meant no lip for the front bumper:


The lip at the back is a bit narrower and the bumper was attached to the boot lid:


Front left floor is a bit rusty:


Front right isn't quite as bad:


Boot isn't too bad:


Offline MiniDave

Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 01:30:03 PM »
We can sympathize, our Minis get attacked by the tin worm too, and fed copious amounts of salt during the winter!

Will this be a total strip down, rotisserie restoration or a "rolling" resto?

Tell us more about your plans? Same color or time for a change?

Two sets of repeaters on the fenders? Was that also a Canadian rule?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 01:31:40 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline skmini

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Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 03:50:53 PM »
Strip down, because that seems to be the easiest way to see what all needs to be done.  A bunch of the wiring is questionable and needs to be redone as well.  Some of it has been modified over the years, and the insulation is cracking all over the place.  The wiring harness is also Canadian-specific.  I'll see about the rotisserie.  I might be able to fit it in the garage on a rotisserie without the front panels.

The wife insists on the same colour.

The side marker lamps and reflectors (front and rear) are Canadian as well:


I added the additional ones on the front a few years ago because the originals were corroded away - the socket was no longer attached.  I also removed the blanking plates that were spot welded on the front fenders so I could move the signal lights from the grill to the fenders.  One of the signal lights on the grill was broken by someone backing into the car, and they are NLA Canadian-specific.

Offline MiniDave

Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 04:46:55 PM »
So, are you going to try and make it back to Canadian spec or just make it a nice drivable car?

Please don't tell me you're going to put those ugly black overriders back on the front!
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline skmini

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Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 08:37:16 PM »
Nice drivable car.  The Canadian spec bumpers are long gone.  We've been driving it for years with no bumpers at all, and I plan to put on the standard ornamental bumpers. I won't be replacing the Canadian spec side marker lights.  I will likely keep the Canadian spec heater and gas tank.   I will probably end up replacing the wiring harness.

Offline Spitz

Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2016, 03:24:59 PM »
I think the only diff with the gas tank is the outer lip neck.  Still a 5.5gal.

When buying a wiring harness...which one will you buy?  Not sure if one specific for CA is still available.
Shouldn't be a problem fitting a UK specific one though and just extend the wiring for the centre reverse light ( or fit UK style MkIV ones )
I have a similar looking 78 shell.
I moved my signal lights from the bumper to the body on my 77 also ( only 78,79,80 had them in the grille )

Those bumpers were heavy weren't they!?  They did their job though.  I was rear ended once and the bumper and the added strength to the rear floor of a Canadian MINI save my ass...literally

Offline skmini

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Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2016, 09:59:02 PM »
I think you're right with the gas tank. 
I think the Canadian wiring harness is still available - everyone still seems to list one anyway.  I think I'll probably use MkIV taillights with the reverse lights built in.  Although the bracket for the centre reverse light is still there, the light itself is long gone.  My current plan with the wiring harness is to make a custom one.  I'm not interested in replacing the side marker lights, and I've had enough of unreliable spade connectors and having the fuses and a large portion of the wiring harness on the firewall.  There are quite a few custom wiring harness kits available now that look a lot better.  Weatherpack connectors.  Fuses/relays/flashers in the boot or under the dash.

The heavy rear bumper really did a number on the boot lid.  Between the weight bending it out of shape and the rust, it's in rough shape.  Luckily, we've never been in an accident with the Mini.

Offline skmini

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Re: 79 Canadian Mini
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 10:16:42 PM »
I finished off stripping the shell today and put everything away again.  I removed the front wings and front panel.  They're all going to be replaced anyway and it made it easier to fit everything into the corner of the garage.

The great thing with a Mini is that you can fit two cars and a Mini in pieces into a two car garage if you put the Mini in a corner:


I knew the right front rear subframe mounting area was more hole than metal:


And I found out early on in the process that the right scuttle closing panel was mostly missing:


But I thought that the right scuttle was in better shape than it is:


Not sure what happened there, but I suspect it was a combination of dirt piled up on top of the ventilation hose and the radio antenna installed in the right side A-pillar.

The plan over the next few months is to take pieces off the shelf and clean/refurbish them one by one in the house.  I had the days off between Christmas and New Year's with no major commitments so I was able to get a bunch of stuff done at once.  I won't have as much free time for the rest of the winter and heating the garage with electricity isn't inexpensive.  It's been below 0F for the past few weeks here.