Detailing World  

Go Back   Detailing World > Gallery > The Showroom > Projects and Restorations
DW Home Forum Home Merchandise Store Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Projects and Restorations Building a car from scratch, restoring your pride and joy, building a track car, or starting a long term project? This is your place to document it.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-08-2018, 12:03 AM   #111
James_G
PC Perfectionist
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 300
Thanks: 175
Thanked 231 Times in 121 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincolndanny View Post
Can't really fault that, seem to be flying along with this one!

If this and the banana MG ZR were parked side by side, full of optimax on a sunny Sunday morning, which drivers door would you walk towards James?

An excellent question Danny. Right now, it would be the MG.

I know, total heresy, but the MG was just a sweeter driving car and although it is down a bit on power (or more likely, torque) compared to the Mini, it just gave a much more cohesive driving experience. Everything just seemed to work together. The Mini by contrast seems to be hamstrung by the heaviness of the steering, the awkward clutch/gearbox combo and fidgety ride that never settles down.


The engine is better though, and I said to my brother last weekend if I could have the Mini engine in the MG ZR that really would be perfect.
James_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2018, 12:35 AM   #112
James_G
PC Perfectionist
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 300
Thanks: 175
Thanked 231 Times in 121 Posts
Garage
Following the MOT, I decided to book a first full track day in the Mini, as until now, I'd only done two evenings.

With that I continued my efforts to source the noise I am getting from the rear and in particular sort the exhaust hanger mountings for good. Having sheared a bolt on one getting ready for the MOT I wanted to get it all sorted.

So I consulted RealOEM and then sourced some new exhaust mounts from GSF for £5 a piece and some M10 nuts to mount them with.





So once again it back in the garage and this:



I wasn't surprised to see that the existing mounts on each side were a little past their best, this being the passenger side:





And that then leaves that exhaust box sort of floating in mid-air. This side is a lot less corroded that the driver's side for some reason:



The driver's side mount was also damaged but to be fair that was me when I was in then replacing stuff for the MOT.



And ready to be mounted up:




Now in order to get some decent access to all this I had decided to drop this rear plate from the car, which is held on with plastic nuts fastening to studs:



Sadly after 12 years those kind of fittings are inevitably corroded, so despite being plastic, one of them did this to me:



And here's how it looks when removed, sheared stud being nearest on the right:



But once removed I could then get a decent look in at the new mounts and also the stud that I had sheared off for the MOT. Naturally, as is the way of these things, and despite being very careful, this happened on the other side too.



Still, once the new mount was back in there was still enough stud protruding to put on some of those new M10 nuts right?



Wrong! I had misinterpreted RealOEM and what I actually needed was M8 nuts. Still I pressed on and got everything back together:



And having tightened everything up as best I could, I went for a drive. With two out of four bolts missing it was perhaps inevitable that the noise was worse so after 500m I turned around and abandoned the car in the garage.


A few days later some M8 bolts turned up and I got to work in the garage again, although this time I didn't put the car up in the air and for an extra challenge left myself with very little room:






But, surprisingly, after 15 minutes both sides were done:






That was Wednesday evening and then on Friday morning I found myself in the car at 6.15am ready to leave for Castle Combe:



An hour or so later I stopped at Membury Services for petrol and to buy some breakfast and was shocked to see that petrol was 18p more per litre than normal. I know Motorway Services tend to be a bit pricey but that felt a little crazy. Still, nice morning for a photo:



I arrived at Castle Combe with plenty of time though and did the whole sign on, noise test and briefing. Managed to find a friend:




There was a third R53 too, but it was semi-open pit so we were never on the track at the same time. There was also three further Minis, two R56 Cooper S models (one with 270bhp!) and one of the new F56 models so clearly a popular choice. What was also popular was the Ariel Atom. I don't know how many cars they've made, but 5 of them were there at this track day including one being driven by owner of blue 991 GT3 in the previous shot. How the other half live.



Still, we aren't interested in Atoms and Porsches when there's an early Saxo VTS to look at now are we??




The Mini performed faultlessly through the day and the brake upgrade really does mean you can lean on the brakes without any worries of fade or inconsistency. The fan also worked exactly as it should, having fitted that resistor recently and in fact I only once heard it come on full speed, and the rest of the time just half speed.


As the day ended I tried to re-create the same photo that I had done when I was last there just under a year ago in the MG, with some partial success:






And then 12.5 hrs and 310 miles later I was home after another great day on track. The journey back was OK, but for the 2nd time my track wheels seem to have picked up lots of rogue rubber in the barrels during the day which effectively makes them go out of balance. It's not noticeable on track but as soon as you're doing a constant 70-75mph you really feel it. I'll clear them out and it'll be fine but I don't know if it's these temperatures we are having or something else.




That issue aside car continues to be excellent at this kind of use, taking everything in its stride and never failing to be anything other than great fun on the track. My indifference toward it as a road car isn't helped by the rattle from the back, which continues to irritate and I'm running out of ideas for what to check next, given I've done dampers, damper mounts, droplinks, ARB bushes and now exhaust mounts.


Anyway, hopefully I'll get that sorted soon, but in the meantime I'll be booking the final track day of the year for late September. Thanks for reading.
James_G is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to James_G For This Useful Post:
oneflewover (29-08-2018), wrxmania (28-08-2018)
Old 29-08-2018, 09:56 AM   #113
lincolndanny
PC Perfectionist
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 317
Thanks: 76
Thanked 347 Times in 145 Posts
Untraceable rattles, most likely the most annoying thing for any petrolhead, along with a slightly off centre steering wheel!

Make the effort for Cadwell Park James, make it happen
lincolndanny is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to lincolndanny For This Useful Post:
oneflewover (29-08-2018)
Old 29-08-2018, 07:26 PM   #114
bluechimp
Washmitt Meister
 
bluechimp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 270
Thanks: 148
Thanked 87 Times in 82 Posts
Great update James! I bet it was great on track.
bluechimp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-08-2018, 09:52 AM   #115
James_G
PC Perfectionist
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 300
Thanks: 175
Thanked 231 Times in 121 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincolndanny View Post
Untraceable rattles, most likely the most annoying thing for any petrolhead, along with a slightly off centre steering wheel!

Make the effort for Cadwell Park James, make it happen
Definitely with the rattles and the steering wheel, of which I have both! Research last night suggests that it could be the gearbox mounting, or the exhaust mounts in the middle of the car, which I haven't checked to be fair.

Re Cadwell, you never know as the date I had in mind for Thruxton has been cancelled by the track day operator due to lack of take up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluechimp View Post
Great update James! I bet it was great on track.

Thanks. Yes, it's great fun on track and I seemed to do a lot of overtaking of cars that should be much faster, RX8s, S2000s and a 991 Turbo S or all things. But I suspect they were track day novices as much as anything. Later that day I nearly collected that same 991 as the driver decided to stand on his carbon ceramic brakes in to the last bend having missed his turning point. Probably the closest to an accident I've ever been.





Quite why he tapped up his numberplate isn't clear as I doubt the car even broke a sweat during the day.

That issue aside, it was thankfully a drama free day!
James_G is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to James_G For This Useful Post:
bluechimp (30-08-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 11:25 PM   #116
James_G
PC Perfectionist
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 300
Thanks: 175
Thanked 231 Times in 121 Posts
Garage
Track Day Preparation

Since the last track day I have been on a family holiday and just doing the commute so the Mini hadn't seen much action. One of the few days I did have it out it rained and I managed to capture some beading to prove that I am keeping it reasonably clean and tidy. This is Dodo Juice Rainforest I think.




I had also booked my final track day for 2018 and in preparation for it I started investigating the issue with vibration I was getting. Turns out two of the track wheels had thrown their wheel weights (high temperatures melting the glue presumably) and so I cleaned them up and headed off to get them balanced. £10 later and now balanced up again. (No photos, sadly)

Now my car has an oil leak (which I will fix) so I also checked the oil only to discover it was very low.




I didn't have any at home so I went online and ordered some for collection from the ECP nearest to work for £6.17. Rumour has it this is £17 from Shell forecourts.




I used the Shell tool to determine the best type, this being the 2nd option as the first was out of stock. Oil has got very complicated it seems because not only now do you have the different types (synthetic, semi-synthetic) and weights (5w40) but also within that there are grades, this being HX ECT. Who knows what that means?

Anyway, since I was at work and it was sunny at lunchtime I thought I'd do some impromptu office carpark mechanics.



Later that evening, while swapping over to the track wheels I thought I'd further investigate my ongoing rattles. Although I'd done the rear exhaust mounts, I hadn't checked the central one. However that seemed fine and nothing was touching so it's not that.




I also thought I'd investigate the issue with the driver's seat, that being that it rocks under hard braking. I recalled somebody in the USA saying that it required the seat to be removed to sort it, so that's what I did.




And sure enough the bolts between the fixed rail and the catch mechanism on the sliding rail were loose. Access is tight and they are torx/star heads but they were soon done. Note 1/4 ratchet just fits.



Since driving it on track this has completely sorted things and I felt much more secure in the seat.

I also took the chance to do a clean up too, removing all this gunk that you can't normally access and the carpets as well:






Factory build date sticker:




That done I wondered if my rattles were coming from the rear seats. I'd never removed them and thought there might be something under there. Turns out I was right, it was £1 in change, a cheap earring and a fake gemstone!




However, whilst that means the car cost £1,999 it hasn't cured the blasted rattle.

Thruxton Track Day

So the track day rolls around and this time it's Thruxton. Obligatory re-fueling photo on the way there (points if you can tell where it is).






I was delighted to see this in front of me at noise testing, given that most supercars these days seem to exclusively crawl around London's Zone 1. Sadly it didn't pass the test, but the Mini was fine at a low 85db.




After an hour or so it became apparent that all was not well with the wheels however, and I was still getting vibration, especially between 80 - 100mph. So I borrowed a trolley jack from an Ariel Atom owner and swapped the wheels so the newly balanced ones were both on the front.




You might also see the Mini I was parked next to has its bonnet up. Lesson of the day, if your cam chain tensioner isn't working, don't drive your car on the track. Sadly then, his day was over by 11am.

Thankfully for me the wheel swap helped cure the vibration and by lunch I'd reached this milestone:




As always there lots of nice cars on track and I was really pleased to see two MG ZR 160s running as well. Stand out car for me though was this Z3 M Coupe that had a full cage and was running slicks. Bought and converted years ago back when they were cheap it was apparently run in one of the 750 Motor Club race series and then the current owner bought it 5 years ago to run as a dedicated track car. At it's last MOT it had 136k miles and it was quite battle scarred, but all the better for it




My brother, who joined me for the day, had a great time too and declared that the Mini was better than my previous car, the yellow MG ZR 160 that he also drove at Thruxton last year.

Commitments meant that he left at 3pm and by 4.30pm I was back on the A303 heading home. Weirdly, throughout the day there had been loads of wasps about so by the time the day was over the front of the car was absolutely covered in them:




What's Next

So that's it for trackdays in 2018 and also with the Mini. The plan now is to return it to standard by removing the R56 brakes currently fitted and putting the originals back on along with some new pads. Then I'll give the car a proper deep clean (engine bay, door shuts, wet vac the seats and so on) and get it looking really tidy. Ideally I'll run it through winter and then sell in early Feb to stick to original plan of keeping it for one year.

However, and a bit annoyingly, a perfect replacement has turned up on Autotrader, right colour, right mileage, right price and just 2 miles away. The money is there, but if I keep the Mini too the ability to store any new purchase is challenging and the insurance gets complicated. But there were only 300 sold so they aren't exactly common. What to do?
James_G is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to James_G For This Useful Post:
oneflewover (05-10-2018)
Old 05-10-2018, 10:23 AM   #117
jbenekeorr
PC Perfectionist
 
jbenekeorr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Leicestershire
Posts: 312
Thanks: 166
Thanked 663 Times in 140 Posts
Great updates. You do some cool stuff with this car!

Where is your oil leak coming from? Some of them do like to burn oil as you probably know - which could also contribute to your low oil level. Mine has nearly 150k and a very sketchy history but doesn’t burn oil, yet my mum’s 60k cherished example with full history has always needed top ups - no logic there.

I’m starting a rumour - that gem stone is from a mega vajazzle. Just sayin’...
jbenekeorr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2018, 11:30 AM   #118
James_G
PC Perfectionist
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 300
Thanks: 175
Thanked 231 Times in 121 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbenekeorr View Post
Great updates. You do some cool stuff with this car!

Where is your oil leak coming from? Some of them do like to burn oil as you probably know - which could also contribute to your low oil level. Mine has nearly 150k and a very sketchy history but doesn’t burn oil, yet my mum’s 60k cherished example with full history has always needed top ups - no logic there.

I’m starting a rumour - that gem stone is from a mega vajazzle. Just sayin’...
Thanks! Although having erased vajazzles from my mind years ago, I now can't see to unsee them again!


Anyway, oil leak is coming from the either the hear exchanger or the oil filter housing. I've had the new seals for a few months now but have postponed the work as I didn't want to break something and not make it to one of the track days:




I haven't changed the cam tensioner yet, so I'll do all three jobs at the same time which will make it longer but easier, since everything is in the same area, as you probably know.
James_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
DTO Garage vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

vB.Sponsors
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
DTO Garage vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

vB.Sponsors