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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 11-07-2018, 12:48 AM   #11
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Another update on the Mini for you, although progress has been slow. But first, some driving.

A good friend and ex colleague of mine is a member of the Goodwood Road and Racing Club (GRRC) and he asked if I'd like to join him in one of their regional drives. Thinking I'd be passengering I said yes to ride shot gun in his E46 M3 but it turns out he meant driving so in early June we lined up at RHS Wisley for the off in our similarly blue cars:

There was a great atmosphere and about 100 or so cars from all parts of the motoring spectrum, some of which I caught in this shot:

Highlight of the day was following a Ferrari 599 GTB through down Box Hill hearing the glorious V12, followed by a chance to pilot the M3 for 25 miles or so. Compared to my previous Z4 M (same engine), it felt much easier to drive quicker and I really really liked it. More on that later.

As we approached Goodwood, after a very circuitous route of about 100 miles we stopped for a photo and a chance to swap back in to our own cars to head for the finish. The Mini was declared to be "excellent" and certainly looked good as I pedalled harder than you might imagine in the M3 to keep up.

Then, on arrival at Goodwood we were ushered on to the track for a photo on the start/finish straight surrounded by our fellow enthusiasts.

All in all, a thoroughly splendid day!

In preparation for that day I'd taken my children's car seats out of the Mini (which I sometimes use for the nursery run) and took the opportunity to have a first attempt at sorting out the seats. So the front passenger seat looked like this:

And after a few hits with some Chemical Guys Fabric Clean (about 10 years old!) it looked like this:

Similar story with the rear seat, albeit still much to be done:

And after:

Then it was time for a service. Well, the OBC said I had another 8k miles, but it had been 1 year to the day since the last oil change and given it will be heading out on track again I felt it was probably wise. First job though was to fit the last remaining wheel centre that I had forgotten to do previously:

Bonnet up:

As I have done before, I sourced parts from BMW and oil from ECP. Parts I could get from ECP too of course, but these days BMW do a "Value Line" service kit for the Mini and it's much easier on the wallet than you might imagine. Plus free biscuits and coffee when you pick up....

As is becoming a theme with this car, it was not all plain sailing. The sump bolt wouldn't budge and inevitably it rounded off. So I hammered on a size smaller spanner and by pushing on it with my leg it let go with a crack. In fact I have a set of basic Draper spanners that are "sacrificial" for these kind of jobs although no damage was done.

Luckily, the oil filter came with a new sump plug as I wouldn't want to have used the old one given how it looked after that.

Oil then drained out nicely and like other Mini owners have mentioned on here it was fun and games time to get to the oil filter, which is at the back of engine.

New filter ready to go in to its housing, although this caused some head scratching when it wouldn't go fully in. A proper push, helped by some oil lubrication was what was needed.

I did the cabin/pollen filter too, which is up behind the glovebox. The old one didn't look that bad and the paperwork I have shows it to be only 1 year old, but surprisingly it's dated 2006. Old stock perhaps, or maybe that code isn't a date but anyway, it's gone now and the new one went in easily enough.

Then 4.5l of Shell's finest and it's done. As always there seems to be some uncertainty about what oil to put in these but this is what is currently recommended by Shell and it meets all the LL-04 requirements so I was happy.

The next day I took it to work and nipped out at lunchtime to the tip to get rid of the old oil and some other things and also because all my project cars must serve as a tip car at least once. Fun fact, this "recycling centre" is about 500m from the entrance of McLaren HQ.

With the weather then warming up it was time to get the non functioning aricon investigated. I knew it didn't work and the seller avoided using the "just needs a re-gas" line in their advert so it was a case of fingers crossed that it wasn't anything major.

The engineer quickly identified that my low speed fan wasn't working (which has previously been raised in this thread by somebody but which I hadn't checked myself) and this was causing issues with over-pressurising. But when running at normal pressure it holds gas so for now, I have working aircon as long as I only run it while doing a decent speed. Plans are underway to sort the fan and I have all the parts so it's just a case of getting some time.

Anyway, more to come soon including final removal of the graphics, some paint correction, a massive drama with the R56 brakes and following my drive in the M3, thoughts about a new project.

Last edited by James_G; 28-07-2018 at 02:29 AM.
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