Author Topic: Blue 1983 "Window" Van  (Read 669 times)

Offline MPlayle

Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« on: March 26, 2022, 06:39:44 PM »
I figured it was past due moving the updates on the Van to its own thread in the "Maint & Mods" grouping.

I've been making progress on the "to-do" list for it.

Got the several parts orders in this week and last, so got busy with tasks.  I replaced the seat belts with new retractable ones and upgraded the horn to dual horns on a relay.  In the process of upgrading the horns, I also converted the front to a MK-1 style removable grill.

I replaced the old black door cards and fillet panels with new ones in Dove Grey.  I also redid the dash with matching pieces.  Before installing the new dash cover pieces, I replaced the old dash switches and made coroplast dash tray liners for better support over the painted cut/torn cardboard that it came with.  I also added a tachometer in front of the driver. 

I also have the supplies to make some custom side panels for the rear area that will match the door cards and dash.

I have the supplies to refurbish the seats - both need new foam on the seat bottoms, the driver's seat (LHD) bottom cover is torn at the rear seem where it meets the seat back.  I have new base foam and covers to put on.

There is also a new "dual function" accessory added - subtle clues in a couple of the dash pictures below.


Offline MiniDave

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2022, 06:58:10 PM »
I mounted a similar 12V socket/USB charger in my green Mini, the only thing I might have done differently is that by being horizontal like that the plugs sometimes vibrate out especially on bumpy roads.

It's coming along nicely! I like the tach - did you do that or did it come with?
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline 94touring

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2022, 07:57:04 PM »
I have my tach in the same spot.  Handy feature!

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2022, 09:31:04 PM »
The power port is kind of a necessity.  The speedometer is in kph, so I use my Garmin GPS as a mph speedometer and the power port lets me run it on constant power versus the internal battery that is now about 12 years old.

BTW, the power port is not the "subtle" accessory.  Clues are on the lower dash rail.


Offline MiniDave

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2022, 10:03:07 PM »
I saw the buttons on the ends of the dash rails, some kind of switch?

Like I said, I have power ports in my cars for the same reason, I'm just saying the cord comes loose and loses the connection on bumps, so next time I'll put it at an angle somehow - or vertical.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2022, 11:19:17 PM »
I saw the buttons on the ends of the dash rails, some kind of switch?

Yep.  Dual level seat warmers!  The wiring is all set and tucked away waiting on my redoing the seats.  Since I have to recover the seats anyway, I thought I would give it a try adding them on both sides.

I have used the same model power port on several Minis now and not had any issues with the power adapter coming out nor a USB connector coming loose.


Offline cstudep

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2022, 11:24:56 PM »
I was just typing up seat warmers? and it warned me I wasn't  posting to the latest message so I backed out to see what was posted since I started typing.

I didn't figure there was much need for such a feature in Texas but couldn't think of much else it could be while mentioning also working on the seats. Power seats or power windows seemed even less likely than seat warmers so that was going to be my guess
« Last Edit: March 26, 2022, 11:27:40 PM by cstudep »

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2022, 11:39:33 PM »
True, there is not a lot of need for seat warmers in South Texas, but they do add some extra comfort to the usual "barely adequate" factory heater.  Plus it is not something often found added to a classic Mini.

The kit was about $50 through Amazon. 


Offline Tim

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2022, 06:13:55 PM »
Which kit do you get for the seat warmers?  I was looking into them yesterday for my Ausi Moke Seats.  I have new covers on the way and wanted the heaters for those chilly mornings and evenings.  Not much a heater can do in an open air Moke!

Tim

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2022, 07:54:22 PM »

Offline Tim

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2022, 07:14:34 AM »
Great.  Thanks for the link.

Tim.

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2022, 12:55:57 PM »
If you get the kit and want a few installation tips, let me know.

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2022, 05:04:04 PM »
Some more progress - finished the rear cargo area.  Custom made the side panels, painted some plastic wall corner guards for using as finishing strips to cover the 'c' channel structural supports under the rear windows, and custom made a matching cover over the fuel filler neck.

Next up is reupholstering the seats with the heaters added (new base foams and covers for both seats).


Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2022, 09:55:30 PM »
Got the driver's seat finished and reinstalled in the car.  Here is a picture of the seat finished before putting it back into the car.  I am going to pause a few days before doing the passenger seat.  I needed to order a few more of the clips that hold the fabric around the base of the frame.

I ordered the clips from 7Ent as that was the only item I needed.  They were $12.50 (plus shipping - total $20.97) for 20 clips at 7Ent versus $26.50 (plus shipping) for the same 20 clips from Mini Mania.  Ordering from Mini Spares would have been about $6.50, but the shipping would have made it about the same as from 7Ent.



« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 01:55:09 PM by MPlayle »

Offline BruceK

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2022, 04:00:10 PM »
You do good upholstery work!   Looks factory.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (stock with very low miles)

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2022, 03:04:51 PM »
Finished redoing the passenger seat today.  I just have to put it back into the car.

I did not take a picture as it looks just like the other one.

I did discover over the weekend that I need to replace the driver's side outer door handle.  The key I have does go in and turn the tumbler, but the handle does not lock.  Also, if I turn the tumbler only half way and tug (even gently) on it the whole tumbler unit comes out of the handle.

Ordered a replacement from Mini Spares.  I should be here by the end of the week.

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2022, 01:01:14 PM »
I have been enjoying the Van now for a bit (alternating between it and the green Mini 35).

I have confirmed it has the pre-1984 transmission grearing with a 3.64 final drive.  It does about 62mph at 4K RPM.  That tends to make things a bit harsh when having to do highway driving or much distance driving where 65mph (or more) becomes necessary.

I have been waffling between:
a) Moving along one of the two Minis I have and chasing down another Moke.
(If the green Mini 35 should sell, I may chase a Moke and upgrade the Van.  If the Van should sell, then keep the Mini 35 and chase a Moke.)
b) Keeping both and just spending more than I could ever get back to customize the Van into a more highway and hot weather friendly car (engine upgrades to the existing 998 or replacing with a tuned 1275, adding "custom" A/C).

I can't go for 3 Minis (as much as I would like to consider it) as I live in an apartment.  I have 2 detached 1-car garages added to my lease for my current Minis.  They don't have room in either one to "double up".  The rises in the local housing market have basically priced me out of buying a house as well.

I am open to thoughts and opinions for discussion.

Offline Brit_in_TX

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2022, 09:18:14 AM »
Could you not rent an off site storage for one of the three minis and rotate them between there and your home garage(s)? 

Or is there an option to rent a larger space and have all 3 minis away from your apartment, you would then save the money on the garages you lease in your apartment complex?

Offline jeff10049

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2022, 02:00:59 AM »
Nice work, I like the idea of upgrading the van or having a van and moke just my thoughts.

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2022, 08:51:14 AM »
jeff10049,

That is the way I seem to be leaning at the moment.  My green Mini Saloon (Mini Cooper 35 with backdated MK-I exterior appearance) is likely the easier to sell over the Van.

I bought a borescope at Habor Freight to peek inside the 998 and try to glimps the condition of the cylinders.  I need to do that and a compression test to help decide what engine upgrade path to take.

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2022, 07:00:11 PM »
Okay, so I got out to the garage this afternoon (after a cool front and some rain storms blew through to reduce the heat) and took a look into the 998 in the Van.

Decoding the engine number (along with measuring speed/RPM with the new tach and GPS) indicates:
- Engine size is 998
- Version is A+
- Head is already "unleaded"
- Standard ratio gearbox
- 3.647 final drive for Vans
- Dished pistons with press fit wrist pins

Compression test results:
#1 = 157
#2 = 155
#3 = 155
#4 = 155

My guess from this information is it is likely the regular "8.3:1" compression engine and not the higher "10.3:1".

I was not able to get any pictures of the screen on the borescope as I looked into each cylinder.
All 4 cylinders looked much the same: original honing cross-hatch still visible, mild carbon present but not fully covering the piston tops, some marking notable on the piston surfaces, but not really readable, good burn color on all spark plugs - no differences between any of the plugs.


Offline MiniDave

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2022, 07:14:53 PM »
So, it's a nice 998 A+?

I think the only thing to do is either just run it, or replace it with a 1275. And if you're going to build a 1275  engine, might as well build a good one with ported head, 10.3-1 pistons and a good cam and rockers.

I think I really like the 3:1 diff ratio I put in the Inno, but the 2:76 in the green car is really nice on the highway - 3400 @75 mph! So as long as you have the torque, either one of these is a good way to go with the bigger motor.

I think you could run a 3:44 in the 998 gearbox and it would still pull nicely, since the Vans were lighter than the sedans and wagons? (I have an extra I would make you a good deal on if you decide to go this way.)
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline BruceK

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2022, 09:28:34 PM »
That is one of the most consistent compression tests I have ever seen across all four cylinders.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (stock with very low miles)

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2022, 09:46:00 PM »
Dave,

Actually I was considering "hopping up" the existing 998.  I have been starting to compare pricing between getting a 1275 and working up the existing 998.

Getting a built up 1275 will run me about $10K+, whereas building up the existing 998 will likely run about $3K to $4K doing the work myself.

The existing 998 already has an alloy intake and LCB exhaust.  I was considering keeping the bottom end "as-is" and replacing the cam (either Kent 266 or Mini Spares EVO-1), changing to a "stage-3" head with 1.4:1 rockers, and going to a 3.1 final drive.

I would be able to reuse most of the ancillaries on the current engine if I upgrade it versus having to replace them if going to a 1275 (distributor, intake, exhaust, flywheel & clutch assembly, carb, etc.).

Offline MPlayle

Re: Blue 1983 "Window" Van
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2022, 09:07:22 AM »
Still doing a bunch of research on how to achieve what I would like, but it is looking like I can accomplish it with a decent "Stage-2" kit (or equivalent).


 

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