Author Topic: Racing Green 89 Mini  (Read 25106 times)

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #525 on: November 25, 2021, 11:48:48 AM »
So, I've made a patch and started welding it in.....just a few tacks to hold it in place. The metal is pretty thin even tho I cut back to good metal, I'm having to use pretty low power to keep from burning thru. still, even with just these tacks in place the floor feels really strong again. I'll go ahead and finish welding it in then grind down the welds, paint, seal and undercoat the side that faces the road.

Once that's done I can put the rest of the interior together again. I've also fixed the rattling door on the heater - I was surprised to find that the core has been replaced already, I fully expected to be buying a new one. All it took to fix the door was some new foam glued in place, now it's nice and quiet again......that rattle was driving me nuts - tho not badly enough to fix it I guess, as it's been doing that for over 5 years now!  ::)

Putting the interior back is a lot of work too as I took out all of the sound deadening, removed the back seat and have cleaned everything thoroughly. It wasn't bad, just dusty. I also removed the wires that ran to the speakers on the rear parcel shelf - I don't have a radio in this car and the wires were just in the way.

I'm half debating on taking the rear seat belts out too - I doubt they're any good at 32 years old - the webbing can't be safe anymore. I'll box them up and save them for the next owner.

I've also done a little work on the seat mounts....

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #526 on: November 25, 2021, 12:11:56 PM »
A while back I bought a pair of Subaru WRX seats, the Mini seats just aren't comfortable for the long drives that I frequently do in this car, and I'm planning to drive it rather than tow it to the upcoming Mini drive events like the CMU event in April in Virginia.....that's a 2K round trip plus the miles we drive while there.

I had to compromise on the seat mounts because the companion bins in the rear limit how far the seat can move back - I like to stretch my legs out on a long drive and couldn't get comfortable - so I decided to do what had to be done to make these work. I had been looking for some Miata seats as they fit in without having to modify the interior but couldn't find any in good condition for a decent price, so when these showed up on CL I bought them. They are pretty comfy and have great side bolsters, but they are a little large for this small of a car....

The left seat also has a height adjustment as well as fore-aft and backrest angle, so I figured I could just mount it directly to the floor and use the adjusters. To do that the companion bin had to come out, and that was further complicated by the fact that the seatbelt reel mounts inside the companion bin too. On top of that, the reel mounts perpendicular to the door, to make this work I would need to mount it parallel, so I would need to make a bracket, and it would have to be right against the quarter panel in order to make enough clearance for the seat to slide back where I wanted it. Plus too and also, the seat mounting brackets for a Subaru would not work in a Mini - so I had to cut those off and make my own.

One thing I did that made this easier was to buy a SWAG table for my hand held Milwaukee band saw....this makes it a bench mount and a whole lot easier way to cut out small bits to weld up into the mounts.

I didn't take a lot of pics of the process, but it did take 3 tries to make a bracket for the belt that actually worked....just like on Binky, they don't show all the ones they made that didn't work!  ;D

I saved the piece I cut out, so in theory it could get welded back in if I sell this car someday and the buyer wants to put it back to original.

The seat belt reels have to be straight up vertical too, if you angle them more than a few degrees they just lock up.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 12:21:07 PM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #527 on: November 25, 2021, 12:31:50 PM »
I've owned this car for 5 years and all along I thought it was a German export model - left hand drive, the lic plate surround had the name of a German repair shop (wish I had kept that), the arches are not found anywhere that I can find except that I saw the exact same ones on a car owned by a guy in Germany and so on, and I never even noticed this sticker till just now!

What it says is basically read the owner's manual (which I didn't get with the car) before adding or using any accessories.....whatever that means!

« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 12:43:40 PM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline LarryLebel

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #528 on: November 26, 2021, 12:49:56 PM »
Maybe the "Achtung" has something to do with Germany not allowing very many modifications, if any, to a production car.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #529 on: November 26, 2021, 01:24:36 PM »
There is that......

But I was only pointing out that there was a label written in German, which leads me to think it was a German export car.....
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline Jimini II

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #530 on: November 26, 2021, 04:58:55 PM »
It says do not cut out the rear bins as this will seriously compromise the rigidity of the car 😂

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #531 on: November 26, 2021, 05:02:30 PM »
Ha! Well, I only cut out one so I'm only half compromised....   ;D
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #532 on: December 21, 2021, 11:44:38 AM »
I haven't exactly stalled out on this project, I've been busy with other things - like I've completely remodeled a bathroom, and boy howdy is that a lot of work! It's still not completely done, I have some hardware still coming - towel bars and such, but at least it's functional again......

The interior repairs are all done on the RG, my floor patch is welded and sealed up, painted and a few coats of undercoat have been sprayed on. I also painted the parts that I cut on and welded on, and painted the bare metal bits that I built to mount the seats with Edd's favorite - satin black.

I've decided to remove the rear seatbelts as I've never had anyone back there and probably never will and they just get in the way. Usually I leave them down in the companion bins, but as I've removed one of those to get clearance for the seat there's no place for them. While I've been in there I also have cleaned everything - it wasn't exactly dirty, just very dusty.

I've also fixed the rattle in the heater with new foam, and it's ready to go back in.

We'll have a few warmish days this week so I'll be trying to get everything cleaned and painted while the weather is good, by Xmas day it will be getting cold again and stay that way till spring. You can't really paint when it's 30 degrees out and winter will be here in force by the New Year.

So a few pics and maybe this week I can get it mostly back together - the engine and trans are done and ready to go back in. I need to reinstall all the interior bits I took out including all the sound deadening and carpet bits. I also need to clean the rest of the engine compartment from all the oil residue the old engine threw out and change the torn tie rod boots.

Then I'll clean the subframe all up (also coated in oil residue) and rebuild the front calipers and replace the rotors. THEN I can mount the engine in it and put it back in the car again. I have ordered a new exhaust system for it, this one is not exactly past it but I figured now is a good time. The Play Mini muffler must have burned out some of its packing as it's gotten pretty noisy so I'm going with a standard RC40 system with both mufflers - since I've been doing all this work to make the car a better highway cruiser I think a quieter exhaust will be a worthy investment in my sanity for the drive to Wytheville in April.

I'll give it a good test run first by driving the 4 hours to Dan's shop so he can fix the damage to the fender that happened this past summer on our trip to Blackhawk Farms....that should be a good shakedown run.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #533 on: December 24, 2021, 05:53:54 PM »
Work continues.....

I took advantage of the almost 70* temps to tear down and clean the front calipers - I knew they needed rebuilding but have managed to put it off.....

When I got them split and the pistons out it was clear just how bad they were! The chrome was peeling off the pistons and they were stuck but good. It surprised me that the pads weren't worn worse - at least on one side - but they were pretty even.

I have all new stainless-steel pistons, new seal kits, hoses and all the washers and assorted hardware to completely make them like new again. I also have a new set of rotors to go on.

Today I got as far as cleaning them thoroughly, wire brushing them and a couple coats of paint.....

Once the brakes are all done all I have left to do to the subframe is clean it and maybe touch up some paint here and there, then it's ready to have to motor put in and installed in the car.

I also need to go ahead and put the interior all back together - I only have one more part I need to find - and I know I have one - and that's a drop bracket for the steering column. I don't usually use these but being able to move the seats back means it might be more comfortable with one - who knows? I'll probably wind up taking it back off again.....
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 06:05:09 PM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline LarryLebel

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #534 on: December 24, 2021, 06:06:01 PM »
You'll need a 13" or less steering wheel for the drop bracket to do any good.

Offline Jimini II

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #535 on: December 26, 2021, 12:41:27 AM »
I use a drop bracket but set it at the highest setting.
When I was a teenager I always dropped them to the lowest point and used seat extenders with an Astrali 10" wheel (which my Dad gave back to me 20 years ago after it sitting in his garage for 20 plus years) but I have got smarter since then now its wall art lol.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #536 on: December 26, 2021, 09:56:32 AM »
Wow, 10" is a tiny wheel!

Mine is smaller than OEM but not by much - I have the original wheel for comparison, if I get down to the shop today I'll take a pic since you now have my curiosity up...I need to find that drop bracket anyway....

I'll also get the calipers assembled and ready to go on the subby.

Edit, the first pic makes the OEM wheel look much bigger, but I think it's only about an inch....
« Last Edit: December 26, 2021, 10:04:31 AM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline Jimini II

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #537 on: December 26, 2021, 11:54:41 AM »
Yes 10 inch was too small I used it on Minis and Ford Escorts in the day.
I use a 13" nowadays a leather Moto Lita in saloons and a cheaper vinyl all weather Moutney on the Moke.
I actually like the feel of the leather wrapped factory wheel, a thicker wheel just feels better to me although I like the look of the skinny Les Leston wheels they don't feel right to me.

Those calipers look great Dave.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #538 on: December 26, 2021, 12:54:01 PM »
It sure took a lot to get them clean, that's for sure! Not only did I have to wire brush the whole caliper, but inside the bores too. plus chase a tap thru the 7/16 UNF bolt holes so I could put sone Locktite on the threads. I also took the pads down to my belt sander and lightly cleaned off the glaze.

Once all the paint hardens off they'll be ready to go back on the subframe.

But first I have to reinstall the engine in the sub, then bolt up all the suspension, then the brakes and on and on.

Undecided whether to order a new exhaust or try to reuse this one.....



Still looking for my drop bracket - I think I have a chrome one and a black powdercoated one too
« Last Edit: December 26, 2021, 09:07:37 PM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline Jimini II

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #539 on: December 26, 2021, 08:14:13 PM »
Yes if you had to add up the hours we spend on these projects and repairs we would find out we work for far less than minimum wage but the "mostly" enjoyment factor is great.
I have seen a few nice drop brackets offered for sale but they are a bit pricey and they are all fixed and non adjustable.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #540 on: December 27, 2021, 03:13:29 PM »
Finished the calipers, ready to go on the subby...




« Last Edit: December 27, 2021, 03:34:50 PM by 94touring »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline cstudep

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #541 on: December 27, 2021, 04:12:07 PM »
what kind of paint do you use on the calipers? Just regular ol' rattle can stuff or do you use the stuff supposedly specifically for calipers? I have never painted calipers but I know brake fluid is not kind to paint and I do not seem capable of bleeding brakes without somehow spilling brake fluid somewhere it should not be. Supposedly the "caliper paint" is more resistant to such mishaps but I don't know that I buy it.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #542 on: December 27, 2021, 07:19:26 PM »
This time I used Rustoleum VHT paint - not sure how well it's going to hold up either since you're supposed to heat it up to cure it and I haven't done that.

It seems pretty soft to me right now, we'll see how it is in a few more days when I go to put them on the car.

In the past I've just used plain ol rattle cans, but they have some new ceramic paints out now that I may give a shake if this doesn't hold up.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #543 on: December 28, 2021, 09:59:11 PM »
Why does it seem to take so lunch longer to put things back together than it did to take them apart?

Interior going back in.....

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline tsumini

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #544 on: December 29, 2021, 12:41:33 AM »
Why does it seem to take so lunch longer to put things back together than it did to take them apart?

Interior going back in.....
I always have to do everything twice. Put it in once, take it out and put it back in right.
Plus lunch breaks seem to take up a lot of time. ;D

Offline LarryLebel

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #545 on: December 29, 2021, 11:54:44 AM »
You never have enough time to do it right the first time but you always have enough time to do it twice.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #546 on: December 30, 2021, 04:16:45 PM »
OK, got the interior finished up and ready to go, except the seats. I'll leave those out till last in case I need to get back under the dash again..,..but for now it's all ready, heater's in, accelerator and all the wires.

I had to reseal a side cover on the transmission that had a very slight drip, but it's ready to go in the subframe now. I just have a little cleanup to do on the subframe from the leaks this motor had before I rebuilt it and then it will be ready. I might actually get it back in the car today - at least bolted up if not finished.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2021, 04:22:03 PM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #547 on: December 31, 2021, 09:48:06 AM »
Got a little more done....a little undecided about installing starter, alternator and some other bits before putting it in the car, I know the factory put them in with the carb, radiator and everything already bolted on, but I like having some extra room to maneuver it around as it goes in. I will do all the suspension and brakes of course.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline Willie_B

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Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #548 on: December 31, 2021, 10:25:44 AM »
Speedo cable on before too.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Racing Green 89 Mini
« Reply #549 on: December 31, 2021, 10:50:31 AM »
Unfortunately I can't do that, the cable on the other end is difficult to unclip....but with the radiator not in place it's not too hard to reach down and hook it up once it's in the car.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad