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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.

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Old 14-07-2017, 01:36 PM   #101
Wardo_S17WRD
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Top work so far mate, looking forward to the next update
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Old 14-07-2017, 02:22 PM   #102
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Don't know how i missed this, but some job on the mini lad, love a good barn find type thread!

I want to do one again so badly!
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Old 14-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #103
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Likewise, just found it and read the lot! Better than "Eastenders"!

Subscribed and looking forward to the next episode.
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Old 14-07-2017, 05:35 PM   #104
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Part 5 - DA Time

Hi all,


As I said in a previous post, progress has been slowed recently by some obligations which had to take priority.

On the plus side - I will be doing a bit of temporary work now that I've got some free time again, which should refill the coffers for the time being.

Also, I've just heard from the previous owner that she has found the original remote key for the car! So, soon I will have a working remote key and the non-remote key I bought as a spare.


This update comes from around a week ago where I took an afternoon out with the DA to crack on with the rest of the paintwork.

I can't remember whether I had already mentioned - but I have gradually clayed the rest of the car with Bilt Hamber regular clay building up to this. There was a lot of sap on the paintwork, presumably from the trees it had sat under. Apart from the sap, there wasn't actually that much in the way of tar or general fallout.

The paintwork really is in surprisingly good condition with very few scratches etc. I think the black plastic around the arches etc helps fend off most things.

I think it has been repainted on the offside rear quarter, as you'll notice - the reflections aren't quite as sharp, although the actual paint job is better than many I have seen on much more valuable cars! The paint depth was much higher (around 250) compared to 125 on most areas of the car. But let's be clear - I'm not complaining!



Here are a few 'before' shots - I need to warn you, I had the DSLR out again and my skills haven't improved much...










As you can see - the state of the paint was nothing to write home about, the usual swirls but nothing dreadful really.

Anyway, that doesn't mean we can't still get excited over the inevitable shine that's on the way!

I moved between green and yellow Shinemate Black Diamond pads which i'm a big fan of - they seem to stand up to the abuse pretty well, I think they cool themselves quite well - as I get a bit excited and on a couple of occasions I have had pads separate from their own velcro back and go flying over next door's fence.

The polish I used was Sonus SFX-2 which I used chiefly because I had it lying around. I don't think it's really 'coarse' enough for the hard paint on the MINI as it took quite a lot of work.

After I had polished all the panels, I applied a layer of FK1000P for longevity and later washed the car off, as there was quite a lot of dust around from the polishing process.

I need to dress the plastics again, as there seem to be water drip marks on a lot of the trim now.


Anyhow, here are the 'afters'

























I think you'll agree - it's quite a looker, particularly given the state in which we found it!

My 'car fixing man' is aware of it, and said "I hear the scrap price is good at the moment" Which (I think) means he'll come and have a look at it in the near future!!

It's hard not to start buying cosmetic bits for it, but i'm fighting temptation as I want to be sure the mechanical side can be sorted before I start frittering money on it. Although we'll see how long I manage...
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Old 14-07-2017, 06:44 PM   #105
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Cracking read this and looking forward to more updates.

Great work so far
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Old 16-07-2017, 01:28 AM   #106
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Well that was a satisfying update!! Such a good looking car now it's clean! Hard to believe it's the same car we saw at the start of this thread. Well done.
I love the wheels personally, so much so that if you ever fancy getting rid please give me first refusal. They'd look perfect on my electric blue r53. Just wish mine had half the shine of yours!
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Old 19-07-2017, 10:26 PM   #107
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Looking so much better! New registration plates and it will look a completely different car, I'm super jealous I've really fancied one of these for a while now.
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Old 19-07-2017, 10:42 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pp172 View Post
Well that was a satisfying update!! Such a good looking car now it's clean! Hard to believe it's the same car we saw at the start of this thread. Well done.
I love the wheels personally, so much so that if you ever fancy getting rid please give me first refusal. They'd look perfect on my electric blue r53. Just wish mine had half the shine of yours!
Thank you. I'm a big fan of the wheels too, they set it apart from most others. If for any reason I decide to get rid of them - you most certainly have first dibs!

I've just been out to charge up the battery and it's looking decidedly less shiny than it previously was - a lot of dust and general garage detritus


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben. View Post
Looking so much better! New registration plates and it will look a completely different car, I'm super jealous I've really fancied one of these for a while now.
Agreed. I actually have a private plate on retainer which was previously on my BMW which I will be transferring once I'm sure the car is definitely going back on the road (don't want to tempt fate!). I still have the plates with the BMW/MINI dealer name on them which is ideal.

I've put a chaser in with my car chap, so I hope to see him soon to decide what the next step is. I really want it on the road when the weather is like this
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Old 25-07-2017, 09:27 PM   #109
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Part 6 - Under the bonnet

Hi all,

I've finally started to make progress under the bonnet!

Having read about the low speed fan issue which plagues so many R53's (as mentioned by a user a few pages back) I found some forum posts and a video on how to check it. The issue is usually that the resistor on the low speed part of the fan will burn out, meaning that only the high speed fan will run - so the engine is routinely getting quite hot before the fan kicks in. This may well be coupled with another issue, such as the expansion tank cap not keeping pressure (as also mentioned a few pages ago) which causes the coolant to gradually boil away, meaning you have a recipe for head gasket failure.

I got the multi-meter out and found the fan connector. There are 3 wires:

Ground (brown)
High speed (fat red)
Low speed (less fat red)




I selected the resistance setting on the multimeter and poked away at the pins. Sure enough, there was a figure showing on the high speed wire, but it was showing infinite on the low speed - meaning the resistor has burnt out.


High speed:



Low speed:



I also tried the other method which is to get a piece of wire directly on the positive terminal of the battery and one going to ground, then touch them on the pins. The high speed fired straight up but the low speed did nothing.




The fix is relatively simple - a big 100w 330ohm resistor, thermal pasted to the inside of the engine bay, wired between the low and high speed side which will replicate the usual operation of the radiator fan. This also should last a lot longer than the original! I will be ordering those bits in the near future.



A question for any MINI bods: This is the inside of my airbox with the filter removed. The JCW box seems to have an actuator with a vacuum line attached to it. In addition to this, it seems to have this cylinder inside it with two vacuum lines - neither of mine are connected to anything. Should they be?!





Later on, I got a text from the mechanic chap who I wanted to cast his eye over the car and advise me on what I should do.

He said to strip down the engine and remove the head myself if I wanted to keep costs down, and to give him a ring once it's off so that we can see what the situation is. His point of view was that if the car was still running (the previous owner drove it home) then any other damage mustn't be that severe.


So once he'd gone - I got straight on with it, trying to be as methodical as possible - taking pictures at every stage, labeling bolts and keeping parts from each 'area' in the same box.





I had already removed some of the air box parts and intake tubes, which improve access. Next was the intercooler which sits right on top at the front. This was removed by undoing bolts on 4 clamps (2 each side). I think I might clean the intercooler out with some petrol when I get round to it, as there was some oily residue in there.





After this, I removed the fuel rail and injectors which were all fairly simple - although quite a lot of petrol was spilt!

The intercooler brackets next have to be removed (seen in the above picture) which turned into a massive pain in my backside and took most of the afternoon!
There are 3 8mm bolts on each bracket - 5 of which were easily removed (save for some scuffed knuckles and not having the correct socket extensions) but the final bolt on the near-side bracket was already rounded off. I tried every trick in the book - hammering on a smaller socket, mole grips, pliers, heat, spanners etc but it was hopeless.

Once the smell of petrol had died down, i got the angle grinder out - though I couldn't grind the whole head off as the shape of the bracket doesn't allow it (you'll see what I mean in the picture).
After a lot of head scratching, swearing, throwing tools and contemplating how best to set the car alight and move to Marbella because I hate cars, hate bolts, hate spanners etc. I decided to say f*** it and order a new bracket off eBay for £15 and just angle grind the hell out of it.
This made me feel much more positive and got immediate results!





Now I was able to remove the valve cover - this is held on by (I think) 8x8mm bolts and 4x weird studs. Typically - one of said weird studs was already totally rounded off, however I was able to undo it with mole grips. I then removed the exhaust heat shield and sprayed both the intake and exhaust manifold nuts with WD40 and went inside.






There is no evidence of the usual HGF mayo around the rocker arms, although there is a little in the top of the valve cover gasket though. I would imagine it has separated as it's been sat so long.

I'm going to buy some tipp-ex today so that I can mark the timing chain and sprocket. I'm hoping to manage without the specialised timing tool, as it's really only used for getting the nut off the sprocket and supporting the engine while the engine mount is removed - I think I'll just stick some wood under there!
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Old 25-07-2017, 09:31 PM   #110
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Great reading matey, keep it up and good luck
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