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 The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present

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Posts : 109
Join date : 2008-04-14

PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Tue May 21, 2013 7:42 am

Had a few more hours to sort out some more things on The Mistress.. so I decided it was time to trial fit the new alloys...

Before... 10x5 look and depth

After... 10x6 look and depth

Hmmm... slight difference lol Very Happy

I also started on re-doing the front wiring loom to accomodate an alternator plug and re-route the temp sender wire as per a normal loom.
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Age : 56
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Wed May 29, 2013 4:03 am

as they say meaty big and bouncy ....... looks realy good...
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Fri May 31, 2013 6:36 am

Had to wait for the rain to die off, but at least I got on with her again today...

I have refitted the internal heater and fit the coolant hoses to it.
Reconnected the wiring harness from the column.
Managed to finally get the wiper motor connected to the worm gear tubes, as this wouldn't reach since i've replaced the motor body with the chrome one.
Refit the carpets after the inner sill repair.
Fitted the speaker board under the rear seats (purely to stop the carpets from being lifted at MOT time (habit rather than necessity)).
Fitted wing mirror mounts and mirrors.
Cleaned rear quarter glass on drivers side of residual glue.
Wired up the number plate lamp and run the cable for it through the inside of the bootlid (still to connect to loom)

Oh, and fitted the arches...

She's certainly looking near to completion..

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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:39 am

Had another full day on her again.

Connected the number plate lamp to the car's harness. Fit the alternator.
Fit the front seats and dash liners again, and then started on the electric testing.

It all started badly when I couldn't get the battery voltage to be constant from the get-go.
Traced this to the earth point from the battery to bodyshell, AND the isolator inside the engine compartment.

Then I found the fusebox contacts, where they hold the fuses were not cleaned when I had cleaned all the spade contacts.
This caused a problem when testing the indicators.

Then I found the wiper motor wouldn't run. This meant a full re-stripdown of the motor to free off the rotor inside.
This then developed a problem with the wiring. When the wipers were switched on in the past, they wouldn't park. Found the cause of this to be the fact that two pairs of wires weren't even connected together!!
Re-made the entire wiper motor wiring harness and tried again. Then found that the car has a wiring loom for a Mk3, a switch for a Mk2, and a wiper motor for a Mk4.... after another hour, i had it all working, only to find out that the wipers went from park position and then down towards the bonnet, not up the screen.
I had to then remove the lot again and swap the gearboxes under the scuttle, refit and try again. All ok now - after most of the day lol

Then re-made the coil/tacho harness to run down the inner wing like the rest of the wiring.

Tested lighting - found the nearside front sidelight not working - this has a new lamp in it so needs further investigation..

Then wired up the pre-engaged starter and cranked the engine (no fluids yet so just made sure it turned ok).
I also had some spark plug indicators on and proved I'm getting a good spark on all four cylinders.

The only electric work that now needs doing is the sidelamp and the interior lamps (these require the wires soldering so that both work)

I also painted the ultimate steady ready to re-fit tomorrow. After a trip to ASK to get some fuel hose... (and some fuel on the way back teehee!)
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:13 am

Got up this morning and went to ASK. Got my fuel hose and 5 gallons of fuel on the way back home.

Pulled the Mistress out of the garage and set to...

I lifted the back of the car and rechecked the adjustment of the rear brakes, and adjusted the hi-lo's down 10 flats. Then I went underneath and fitted an in-line fuel filter in the flexible hose between the tank and the copper pipe running the length of the shell and dropped her back down. Then I replaced the flexible pipes on the fuel pipe from the mechanical pump to the carb.

Then I lifted the front end and welded the front panel tabs to the inner wings, and cleaned and painted the areas. Adjusted the hi-lo's 10 flats up, replaced the split pins holding the brake pads in, and re-bled the brakes again - at last I have managed to get them to work properly.

Then I put the wheels back on, dropped her back onto all fours, put her in 4th gear and setup the tappets. Fit the ultimate engine steady back on to the thermostat housing and setup.

Time to fill with oil... did a litre and checked for leaks - none found so did another litre and checked again, and then two more times too - still all ok. Will probably have to put in more oil once I've got it all run round the engine and filter has been filled...

Disconnected the coil and ht leads, removed the plugs and turned her over to try to get oil pressure - no such luck. Removed the fitting where the oil pipe to the filter fits the block, and using an oil can squirted some oil into the hole - this goes straight to the oil pump as I was trying to prime it. Re-fitted pipe and tried again - no go either. Removed the oil pressure switch and squirted oil in to this hole - this feeds a gallery which runs the length of the block and feeds the main bearings. Refitted switch and tried again - SUCCESS!! - Oil system pressure all now good!

Time for fuel - poured a gallon into the tank and checked for leaks - none found so filled her with another gallon - then 2 more, then the last gallon...

Cranked her over a few times. checked through spark plug holes for smell of fuel vapour but couldn't tell either way lol. Decided to fit spark plugs and hope for the best...

Turned her over again, and due to compression now being there, the battery I had been turning her over with has decided it's had enough for the time being and needs charging again... decided to boost her from the diesel battery I have spare in the garage... only to find this was flat too lol.

Whilst standing in the garage doorway thinking it's time to pack up for the day, put the battery on charge and try again tomorrow, I saw a drip from the rear??? Opened the bootlid to find the spare wheel well full of fuel !!!

The hose on the bottom of the tank hasn't sealed and the 5 gallons has started to leak. I had to slide underneath the car and remove the pipe from the filter and drain the tank a gallon at a time into the only can which would fit underneath, and then decant this back into the the other two 2gallon cans until I had drained all the fuel back out..(mind you, I probably lost a few litres in the boot floor and all over my arms and driveway...)

Tomorrow I have the awkward job of replacing the pipe from the tank to the filter - awkward due to the fact that I cant remove the tank. This is due to the type of filler caps I have require the brass thread fitting to the neck through heating them up and shrinking them on as they cool. Not something you want to be warming back up with a flame whilst the vapors are still coming out of the neck!!

All in all, an interesting day - lets see what tomorrow holds...
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:12 am

Some more work done again - god how I love having a week off work which times if perfect with the sun lol

Photo of adjusted ride height - looks much better now - no rubbing or mods needed to arches now either..

After replacing the fuel hose from the tank to the filter (as this is where it seemed to be leaking from) with a length of hose which reached out past the back of the car so I could re-collect the fuel once leak testing was complete, I filled the tank slowly and when I reached 3 gallons the leak re-appeared - from the sender!
This turned out to be the fact that I put the seal on the wrong side of the sender (Big thanks to Dav & Ian for the help - greatly appreciated Very Happy). After the tank had been re-drained, I swapped this hiccup, refit the original pipe back to the filter and refilled again, checking for leaks on the way.
Had a few problems purging the pipe from the back to the front of air, and with a little help from the lad over the road (blowing into the tank neck of all things..), I had fuel reaching the carb.

After a few attempts at firing the engine, I realised the dizzy might not be setup up perfectly, so slackened the clamp and tried a few positions - it was trying to fire but not consistently. (Please note that the Haynes manual says to get the engine up to running temp and check with strobe to get the timing correct - haha fat chance lol)
I even made a push button starter direct to solenoid so i could stand round the front of the engine and try it...

Only after about half an hour did I remember that there is something I hadnt tried - THE CHOKE!!!!


She only went and fired straight up lol...

Adjusted the dizzy to get her running somewhere close and switched back off.

Then filled the coolant and checked for leaks - ooh, none this time lol

Started her again and got her to temp - then found a leak from the thermostat housing studs.
This wouldn't seal so stoppped the engine and left to cool for a bit and then removed the brackets and bolts. I need some proper studs and some sealant to do the job properly so left that till tomorrow..

Re-fitted the bootlid after removing it for better access with the fuel leak yesterday, and fit the sumpguard too..

Only a handful of parts to fit now..


Refit thermostat/ultimate steady/rad bracket
Interior lamps
N/S sidelamp
Fit bonnet
Carpet to cut around gearlever boot
Tracking to get somewhere close
Number plate to stick to bonnet

and lastly... bonnet badge to fit

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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:42 am

Took a vid of the engine running - only just figured how to upload it to YouTube tho...
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:43 am

This morning I had a lie in because I'm on night shifts this week, so didn't get started too early. First things first, took a trip to Minispares (again) and got a new thermostat gasket and some studs to replace the bolts where the leak was.

These were loctite'd into the head and the gasket had sealant applied and then fitted along with the thermostat housing. This was nipped down and left to cure.

After, I went onto the interior lighting. The car has been modified in the past so it has an interior light on both sides of the cabin.
The wiring for these previously had the lights on when the doors were opened, or disabled by the switches. You couldn't switch the lights on for the passenger to use whilst the car was in motion, unless you opened a door lol.
I have changed the wiring now so that they are more like the conventional type - either switch, or the doors will bring both lights on.
(I will be modifying the supply at a later date so that the doors will bring both lights on, but each switch will only bring it's own light on and not both.)

I fitted the locking wheel nuts and one of the check strap seals (only to check how well the bonding takes..)

I then went on to fit the bonnet. I replaced the spring for the catch on the slam panel as this was damaged years ago, and I just never got round to sorting it properly. Then cleaned the threads for the bonnet hinges and replaced the original nut/washers with stainless steel. I placed the bonnet on the hinges and then went to fit the bonnet stay, but couldn't find the clip for securing it to the bonnet. After an hour of 'sorting' my spare nuts/bolts/washers/misc, I still haven't found it and will have to bring the one I have in 'storage at work' home with me tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:51 am

Alreeet then... (Hope your ready for this..)

Over the last week, it has been an absolute nightmare...

Having fired up the Mistress and run her to temp, she developed a leak from the thermostat housing studs..

On monday, as previously mentioned, I tried to re-seal the leak. This, when tried on wednesday afternoon, hadn't worked and she still leaked.
I removed everything again and cleaned it all, then re-applied another new gasket and some different sealant and tried again. This sealant would apparently 'seal anything' but, 'is a bloody nightmare to have to remove later'.
Still no good - The leak was changing which stud it would leak from but it would still leak nontheless...

I decided that the ultimate engine steady must not be sitting down properly therefore stopping the back stud from tightening up on the gasket before the correct torque was reached.
I removed about 5mm metal from around the exhaust stud, and tried its fit again - much better. Right, another new gasket and sealant...
This time a stud sheared!! Considering the torque wrench was set to 10nm, this should never have happened.

This then needed all removing again and drilling the sheared stud remains and extracting. Then pack it all away as it was time to go to the A-series Magpies mini meet.

A few helpful people at the club told me of the use of gaskets from Moss in Shipley which were uprated beyond Minispares 'useless' ones..

On thursday morning, a trip to Moss was on the cards, and a purchase of 3 more gaskets (only 67p each I might add..) and 3 more studs, and I was heading to work to pick up my spare thermostat housings. Then it was back home.

Once home, I decided to check the 'levelness' of the housings using the engineers surface table I have squirelled away. After rubbing the 4 housings on the flat surface with 600grit paper for nearly 2 hours, my right arm was knackered and all the housings showed perfect/near perfect surfaces.
Then I tried again. And what do you know... it STILL leaked lol

By this time the lad over the road had been helping again, and my dad arrived home so it was his turn to get into it...

We checked that i had checked the level of the housings correctly, and once he was happy with that, we started with basics - no ultimate steady, just three studs, gasket, housing, and rad bracket (purely to support the rad...)


We tried this 3 times and each time it leaked at a different stud (sometimes it leaked between the nut and the thread!!)
I was convinced that i was gonna have to get the head skimmed or welded or something by this point lol

Then i tried something I hadn't tried before.. I torqued the three studs down before fitting the bracket on top of the radiator, to make sure that it was down fully on the gasket alone - this is when it became apparent that the backet for supporting the rad was not high enough to fit over the top of the rad housing - therefore it was holding the nuts above their required point to seal the gasket.
I bent the bracket a little more to allow this after measuring the height difference to be around 10-11mm, and the slight kink in the bracket being about 3-4mm.

One more try and IT SEALED! YAY!!!!!

Right, now to get the engine up to proper running temp at last...

After half an hour of re-checking for leaks we were happy that is was sealed but I daren't remove it all to fit the ultimate steady just yet lol

Ok last engine checks require testing the gears. I put the handbrake on nice and tight just in case and depressed the clutch. I slowly tried to get it in 1st - no crunch... 2nd, 3rd, 4th, reverse no crunching, so clutch definately working.
Time to lift the clutch in gear and make sure I have attempted movement at the biting point ... all ok in all gears! (This also was a great test of how well the handbrake was setup.)

Then i put it back into neutral and let go of the clutch

That's when the rattling noise started...

If the clutch is pressed the noise goes away, and comes back when the clutch is fully raised. A quick text to the few engine building techies I have the honour of knowing (Dav, and Nige from Magpies) and Dav text straight back, then Nige rang. After eliminating a few possibilities, I think I have it sussed..(MANY THANKS ONCE AGAIN FOR THE INVALUABLE KNOWLEDGE BOTH OF YOU)
I was under the impression it may be the clutch release bearing, but this would be noisy when it was spinning, i.e. when the clutch is depressed and the bearing is pushed up to the spinning flywheel, and my problem was the other way round.
This then highlighted what may be the problem - the idler gear in the drops might not be shimmed correctly. Thinking back, I dont remember doing anything with this as it worked before the stripdown, but apparently, non-genuine gaskets all change in thickness, especially when compressed.
This must mean i have play sideways in the idler gear and this means the engine has to come back out to stripdown...

although... this play will not be there except for at idle, because when under load and driving, the gear will be 'thrown' sideways by the helical gearing and then it will be quiet... (maybe lol)

So to sum up.. I have a noisy idler. Oh a small leak from the timing chain cover (not too bad).

It was at this point I decide to say sod it,and still aim for the MOT, and then concentrate on getting a spare engine built up soon as..

So on friday some more niggly jobs needed doing..

I removed the bonnet hinges, and fit some quick release hinges - these had been fitted to ALR655Y years ago and I thought I might as well re-use them..

This required the removal of the wiper motor once again (I think this should have been the last piece to be fitted it's been on and off that many times lol)

Once fitted, the alignment of the bonnet was next - this took some fettling of the brackets and once completed it was time for the grill to go back on..

Then, wiper motor back on, washer bottle fitted and washer jets tested and re-aligned, wiper arms fitted, interior mirror fitted, and then n/s sidelamp checked out - this wasn't the new bulb I had fitted, but the wiring which had melted the connector previously and i had forgot to replace it when doing the headlamp (oops)

Then last piece, bonnet badge on - And She's Built!! WOO HOO!

I then rang string round the centre line of the wheels to check how far the tracking was out and this seemed fine (for now..)

OK - so at this point, it is now 4pm on friday. I have just the rest of today, and up to lunchtime on saturday to book her in for an MOT, before I have NO time to get her on the road for Normanby Hall. This is due to working 6am-6pm Mon to Sat..
So, I gave them a ring -

"Hi, just wondering if you have any chance of fitting me in tomorrow for an MOT at all"
"Oh, yes, Mr martin? With the Mini's right? Yeah, no problems, hows 9am sound?...." Feck! wasn't expecting that lol...

So mad rush time now double checking everything is set...

Bloody mainbeam's now not working - found another old crimp in a dodgy condition - I knew I should have just done a new wiring loom..

Also decided to remove the sumpguard and clean the oil/coolant off it so it's dry(er) for the test. Only, now i've found another small oil leak from one of the diff output covers.. (this new 'red hermatite' replacement is crap..)
Ok, all done.. just know i'm not gonna sleep tonight lol

At least The Mistress is all tucked up...

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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:05 pm

I set off at 8:30 this morning and went nice and steady. Made sure the brakes were ok and that the gears were fine. Got to the first roundabout and the left indicator didn't work - found it worked ok if you held the stalk up.. Everything else seemed ok for the rest of the 4 mile trip..

When I got there, I lifted the bonnet to make sure there was no obvious problems, then handed the keys over to the guys. I mentioned the indicators not playing ball and the small oil leaks.
To be honest, I couldn't sit there for the hour and watch in fear, so I walked off into Leeds and spent the hour drinking coffee and looking round the new Leeds Trinity.. all the while keeping my mind off the test.

I set off back and got back to the test station around 10:00, and whilst walking into the courtyard my thoughts were along the lines of :
Left indicator didn't work...
Headlamps not setup...
Brakes might not be good...
Fuel may have leaked... ooh crap..

Came round the corner to see her sat outside all shiny lol

The MOT guys then came over and congratulated me on such a nice car, and that she had low efficiency on the handbrake (16% is the minimum and she just made that) and the left indicator problem.

They decided that these were ok as advisories, so...

The Mistress is back!!

cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Mistress rebuild - March 2009 >>> Present   Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:02 pm

well that kept me going this morning will she wont she .... well done i can read heart and soul ..has gone into this build a big pat on the back ....
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