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Classic Minis - love 'em or hate 'em?
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1050
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friends own a 1979 Van which does not have a detachable grille. Vans never did, I have always wondered why not. Cheaper? Just a handful of screws?
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2923
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bitumen Boy wrote:


I can't imagine removing the diz would have been an easy task if it was down the back of the engine and tight to the bulkhead?


One of the worst jobs on my Range Rover P38... Nothing really changes. Wink
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1193
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

badhuis wrote:
Friends own a 1979 Van which does not have a detachable grille. Vans never did, I have always wondered why not. Cheaper? Just a handful of screws?


I cut the grille out of my van and fitted a saloon one.
I still didn't/don't like them!
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Rusty



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 186
Location: Bunbury, Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother bought 2 of them about 3 months before he got his drivers licence. One was a 1000 deluxe and the other an early 850. The deluxe had been rolled so the body was written off but mechanically both the drive train and the suspension and steering were in good order. The 850 had a very tired engine, flogged out suspension and steering and a collapsed idler gear bearing pumping metal all through the engine assembly. I was a second year apprentice working at our local BMC distributors at the time and when I went home for Easter I showed him how to lift off the damaged body and fit all the bits into the old and tired but still licensed 850s body, by Easter Monday he had a reliable little car that did him well for several years until he could update it. He paid $50 Ausy for them and when he sold it he got $500

I must still like them despite working on them every day for nearly 10 years because at a clearing sale auction about 18 months ago I went and bought a quite tidy but unregistered 1967 deluxe myself (don't quite know why but it seemed like a good idea at the time). Its still in storage up at the farm but one day it may get to come down here.

It's probably the only car I can work on and not get any teasing from the war office because my father in law bought a mini as his own car and then when he got one supplied by his work it became my mother in laws car. They kept it for 23 years and both their kids got there licences in it. Apart from normal maintenance and a few exhausts, universals and cv joints the only repeated problem they used to have was Norene having to call for help almost every time she drove through a puddle and wet the ignition.
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Paul fairall



Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 431
Location: North west Kent

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1979 I had a 1961 mini pick up. Drivers door would fall off if opened so used to get in and out of the passenger door. When British Leyland called it a day I bought a new body shell and doors from them for £295. It was turned over and fully under sealed. All the original running gear went back in from the old shell with a new wiring loom and new rubber cones. I drove it like that for some time until a friend crashed his 1275GT, I bought the engine and front disc brakes and put in my pick up along with minifin rear drums. Before the engine went in it was rebored and crank balanced. Head was worked on an split Webber 40's fitted. 6" X 10" wheels and Goodyear rallye special tyres. I drove it like I stole it, left foot braking it into corners with the power on, like they drove the Audi Quattro. Conversion from engine to box idler gear wore a hole in the casing and needed machining and I broke the crank through one cheek, but enjoyed it very much.
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exbmc



Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 237
Location: Derby East Midlands

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:28 pm    Post subject: Classic Mini Reply with quote

Starting as an apprentice at a BMC Kenning garage in 1962, the mini was a large part of our daily lives. They were about three years in production when I started, and the long straight gear lever had been replaced by the long lever with a bend, much nicer to use. Over the years I worked on and drove about every model. All great fun, particularly the cooper and S types.
A snap on magnetic stubby screwdriver made distributer work easy, although I suppose we were just used to them.
I only ever owned a van and an all steel countryman, I never thought of them as uncomfortable, though maybe we had different ideas of comfort then.
They seem very small when you see one on the road now.
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Farmer John



Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 161
Location: Manawatu NZ

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:43 pm    Post subject: Mini Reply with quote

Now then exbmc, you would have had no problem with the by-pass but exactly how did you change it?
There was some serious skill needed to work on minis, I have a lot of respect for the boys who did.
John
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Rusty



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 186
Location: Bunbury, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:55 am    Post subject: Re: Mini Reply with quote

Farmer John wrote:
Now then exbmc, you would have had no problem with the by-pass but exactly how did you change it?


Now its been 43 years since I was working full time on BMC cars and if I remember correctly there were 2 types of bypass hose. The concertina type that could sometimes be a pain in the backside to change with the head and pump in position but it could be done, but if you could get the straight sided one all you did was smear a little bit of rubber grease on the ends so it would slide on the fittings then fold it in half in the correct way line it up and sit the ends on the pipes and push with your fingers. I used to be able to do them in under 10 minutes and back in the day had plenty of practice. The hardest bit was leaning to do it all with one hand.
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1345
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had 3 Minis but never did get the knack of changing the bypass hose. Eventually I concluded that I might as well remove the rad and water pump, otherwise I could spend just as long faffing around with no result at the end of it...
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exbmc



Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 237
Location: Derby East Midlands

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:58 pm    Post subject: Mini Reply with quote

Yes, it was like Rusty says. You just developed the knack of bending the by-pass hose flat, then pushing it in, so both ends went on together. No clips of course, you had to take the clip apart and feed it round the hose, refit the screw and tighten. Repeat on other end. Jubilee clips were a bit large for that application. There used to be a soft convoluted hose, which went on very nicely. I think they were QH, Quinton hazel manufacture. Iím sure I still have one about. Wink
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welder



Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 263
Location: North Warwickshire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:36 pm    Post subject: Classic Minis Reply with quote

Back in the day when I had a full head of hair two of my pals each owned a 1275 Cooper S. One was an immaculate, low miles, "civilian" car, the other a tidy but well used, high miles, ex-police car.

The Old Bill car was appreciably better at everything. Acceleration, top speed, braking and handling. I imagine that it had been upgraded at source. Never did find out...Ö..

Ian.
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1345
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Mini Reply with quote

exbmc wrote:
Yes, it was like Rusty says. You just developed the knack of bending the by-pass hose flat, then pushing it in, so both ends went on together. No clips of course, you had to take the clip apart and feed it round the hose, refit the screw and tighten. Repeat on other end. Jubilee clips were a bit large for that application. There used to be a soft convoluted hose, which went on very nicely. I think they were QH, Quinton hazel manufacture. Iím sure I still have one about. Wink


Reading that I think the clips were where I went wrong, damn things were always in the way.
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 555
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love them.
One of my first restorations was a Mini 1000 automatic, which was destined to be my son's first car. We converted it to manual, welded up around the front corners and the cills, sprayed it red with a black roof (it was originally mushroom soup colour) and he ran it for several years, before it went to a new home in Leeds.
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