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1984 mini mayfair

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sun 7th Oct 2012, 10:49am

Well I have cut enough off the subframe now that I can get the engine to hang in (what I hope is) the right place ie. it sits at the correct angle (ish) and the drive shafts will be in roughly the right place and of nearly the same length.

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I have some bits of steel coming in the week so I can start to remake the frame.

I may be speaking to soon but it all seems to be going fairly to plan :wink:
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby SalC » Sun 7th Oct 2012, 11:30am

good stuff, hope it continues to go to plan
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Fri 12th Oct 2012, 04:16pm

I pretty much spent all day making the front section of my subframe....

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The reason it has taken me so long is that there are a lot of things to take into account, the first being that the front panel must fit to it in exactly the same position as it would if the frame was standard. Secondly a hinge will be attached at a later date to allow the front panel (along with the rest of the front) to fold forward 90deg.

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Thirdly and fourthly it must allow space behind it for both the exhaust/manifold and the oil filter(which wants space to be removed with out the need of removing the engine).

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And lastly I need to bear in mind that I am an amateur welder and I dont know how much to trust my welds so I must give a fair amount of thought to what I am doing. And of coarse wherever I cut steel away I tried to strengthen it again by welding in reinforcing/replacement bits of steel. Oh and this is all while keeping the relative position of the tie bar mounts the same! All in all progress was slow but in the end I am fairly happy that it will be tough enough, its certainly heavy now.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sat 20th Oct 2012, 10:25pm

So I popped down the scrap yard and got some more steel for my frame and have re-built up the sides of it in such a way that the G13BA will fit.

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it's all only tacked up at the moment but once i'm sure it is the right shape I will firm up them joints good!

I had a slight problem in knowing how much space was needed for the tie bar, I am wanting to go for a normalish ride height and will be using coil springs and hi/low's but for the life of me I could not be sure of how much space the tie bars needed (for there up and down travel) so I freed up as much space as I could and resigned myself to the knowledge that the shape of my frame is as near as dam it the same as others who have done this before and they were ok. I really didn't want to compromise my ground clearance by having any of the subframe lower than the engine's sump. Instead I made a little scoop in the steel of the frame, giving a couple more degrees of movement in the lower arm/tie bar before it fouls on the subframe. It will only limit the downward/return movement of the suspension anyway which will be less of a problem than it always bottoming out. Any ho this is what I did (for what its worth)...

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If anyone knows for sure the angles of travel for the bottom arm/tie bar (from horizontal if possible as I dont have many fixed points of reference left for the suspension atm) then I would find them very helpful,
oh and if i'm asking for help here's another one, I need to know the dimensions of a teardrop mount specifically its thickness so I can make some spacers to put in there place when I fit my flip front soon.

Thats all for now :)
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby SalC » Mon 22nd Oct 2012, 11:04am

I wouldnt be brave enough to tackle anything like this, hope someone can give you the numbers you need
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sat 27th Oct 2012, 11:13am

I have got the frame on to the car...

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But I need to cut some space in the buckhead's cross beam to make space for the injectors before I can get the engine in. I guess I need to figure out a way of doing that without weakening the structure of the car. :?
I will find a way, it's been done before.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Fri 2nd Nov 2012, 09:47am

Having looked at what others have done and seen the very standard mod done for fitting metro turbo engines I have drawn the conclusion that the bulkhead crossmember is in fact not as structural as it looks. I am now thinking that its main purpose was to provide a shelf onto which the brake and clutch master cylinders could mount above the pedals, and because the car is built to be easily either left or right hand drive the shelf extends to go the width of the bulkhead giving the appearance of a beam. That's my theory at the moment any how.
None the less when I cut sections out of my crossmember. I couldn't bare how flimsy it then looked, so I welded in a steel bar to take the place of what I had removed. (I cant decide if that was necessary or not but it's done now.)

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Mon 5th Nov 2012, 05:42pm

I have managed to tack on the engine mounts to the subframe, I will finish the welds when I am confident they are correct. Here is a series of photos that will show what I did...

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Having got hold of the right tools it was quite straight forward fitting that part of the mounts, I suspect that the brackets that then fit to the engine will be a little trickier (because of them being the last part to be made fitting between engine and frame means there is no margin for error!)

I have started on the gearbox mount bracket but it is not finished yet.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Thu 8th Nov 2012, 06:33pm

My plan to get the brackets made in a way they would fit involved first making the engine side part of all 3 brackets and attaching them to the engine, then fitting the engine and wedging/propping the engine into the right position,

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Then make a part that will bolt to the engine mount and be welded to the part of the bracket already on the engine (just tacked for now).

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And touch wood it seems to have worked, I still need to finish of the welds on the brackets and mounts, but it is now mounted! :D

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Brumski » Thu 8th Nov 2012, 09:32pm

Blimey matey. You're not hanging about !!

Following this one... be good to see what the whole frame/engine combo looks like soon enough...
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Fri 9th Nov 2012, 05:39pm

Brumski wrote:Blimey matey. You're not hanging about !!

Following this one... be good to see what the whole frame/engine combo looks like soon enough...



Well you dont have to wait long! This is what I did today, to start with I finished the welds cleaned and made good on the brackets...

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then did the same to the bits on the frame and mounted the subframe to the front of the car...

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Then bosh in go's the enging...

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Sweet :wink:

I would post more photos but photo bucket have "upgraded" and now it takes forever to resize pics and I cant be bothered atm
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sat 10th Nov 2012, 10:38pm

So with the engine now in I decided to have a look at how I would fit the alternator, I started by making and fitting a bracket,

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I then started to think about what i would need to do to make it all work ie. run the alternator and the water pump, and as I was looking at it like this...

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and trying to figure out how i could make it all work, I for some reason decided to put the water pump pulley on backwards.

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and blow me if everything didnt just line up perfectly and make the job easy as pie :)
so with a little modding of the bracket I had made and the addition of some of the original alternator mount...

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and then I finished up by making a bracket for the other side onto which I could fit the belt tensioner ...

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And that just about went and did it!

Problem solved, a good days work :)
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Mon 12th Nov 2012, 06:54pm

As I understand from reading various other posts and discussions it is necessary (maybe even an MOT requirement) to use "brace bars" when installing a "flip front", and having fitted the alternator I was worried there would not be space.

After looking at it some more I found a little space and whipped up a bracing bar. I am not sure if what I have used is strong enough? But the bolt welded to the subframe is and I can up-rate the bar to something tougher if needs be. the bar is hard fix bolted at the bottom end to the frame but at the top between the mounting plate and bulkhead I have sandwiched some rubber to (fingers crossed) reduce how much vibration/noise is fed from the engine/frame to the bodywork/my ears.
A brace for the other side can wait for a bit.

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Tue 20th Nov 2012, 05:05pm

Having started on the brace bars I decided to do it properly, I know I want them not to transmit vibrations and noise to the shell so I did a search for a bushing or something that could re-purposed for these bars. What I found were these...

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they are "Renault control arm bushings" but more importantly they had the steel core ring then a good bit of rubber and lastly another steel ring, This was exactly what I had in mind for my brace bar design. I also got a couple of lengths of 21mm diameter 3mm walled steel tube (a lot tougher than the crap I used last time!) and with a few patches cut out of scrap plus some slices of scaffold tube I had all I needed.

I welded a slice of scaffold tube to the end of a length of the steel tube like this...

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So much nicer welding now I have got around to buying a gas refill :)
Then having cut the bushing in half I fitted it into the mount I just made..

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And with the help of a couple of washers this is what it looks like mounted to the bolt that I previously welded into the subframe...

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For the other end I welded a couple more bolts on to the car to accept the plate (with some rubber sandwiched) and bolted it on..

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And that was about that, I need to make up the other side and that will require a kink as that side of the frame doesn't line up the same.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Nozzle » Tue 20th Nov 2012, 05:13pm

I don't really understand why go to the length of all the rubber mounting in such a key structural part - given that if it was solid mounted it wouldn't transmit noise any more than a normal inner wing would do??

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Tue 20th Nov 2012, 07:41pm

Normally on an unmodified mini there is only rubber parts between the subframe and the rest of the car, the tear drop mounts, tower mounts and lower mounts. It is possible to get poly and then solid mounts but the solid mounts (apparently) transmit a hell of a lot of noise and vibration, I have gone for poly on the lower and tower mounts, I have not sussed what I will be doing for or in place of teardrop mounts but if I had used solid mounted brace bars then there would be a load of noise traveling along them to the body. The inner wing doesn't fix directly to the subframe (does it?)
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Nozzle » Tue 20th Nov 2012, 10:58pm

You're correct, the inner wing doesn't connect to the subframe - but the left inner and outer wing form a box shape, the right inner and outer wing form a box, and the two boxes are kept together by the front panel and the bulkhead. The subby is slung between them all and would stop it from skewing. Now the subby has been removed and the inner wings removed you have only the two outer wings, front panel and bulkhead forming a box - and nothing to stop it skewing. I believe folk that remove the inner wing then replace the lost strength in a "lighter" way by welding in a brace from top near the bulkhead to bottom near the front panel - also allowing better access. I'd have thought to rubber mount instead of weld in the braces means the lost strength is not adequately replaced??

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Wed 21st Nov 2012, 12:09am

You are right the inner and outer wings combined with the front panel add an amount of strength to the "front of the car"/"front subframe" and that is what the brace bars are there to replace, but the subframe itself has not been removed, it is as strong if not stronger than it was. And although I am new to this it is not the first time it has been done, in fact it is very very hard to do the suzuki conversion without having a "flip front" and if you have a flip front the inner wings become pointless and the outer wings "flip" with the front panel. So all in all I don't see a problem I want them for the strength but would rather not have the noise, I am not the first to have done any of this.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Nozzle » Wed 21st Nov 2012, 09:36am

That's cool mate, just thought I'd put in some feedback 'cause I know I'd like some for my future build. Maybe someone who has flip-fronted can give their ten peneth worth.

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Wed 21st Nov 2012, 09:56am

Well thank you for your input, I am by no means beyond making mistakes and having my work critiqued gives me a chance to rethink some things and correct others. It is all part of the process :wink:
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Tue 27th Nov 2012, 05:23pm

I was down working on the car today and as I finally got my hands on some teardrop mounts I was able to assemble the front panels..

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It was a bit of a game getting my non genuine panels to line up well but I think in the end I did a fair job of it, I am very happy with the clearance the exhaust manifold has as I had worried it might be necessary to make modifications to the front, but there is loads of space. There is still some tweaking to be done and I need to fabricate some hinges so the front can flip but I think all that will be plain sailing now.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Wed 28th Nov 2012, 07:34pm

I continued with my "flip front" today, nothing dramatic but I did sort out some means of keeping it closed...

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there are 3 of these fixing points one in the middle and one at each corner, I will get some proper R clips for them and will have the option of putting a nut on when it doesn't need easy or quick opening. I have also decided to use some old door hinges I found kicking about for the flipper...

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they seem to be suitable for what I have in mind.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Mon 3rd Dec 2012, 08:25pm

I finished the "flip front" and all its fixings today and I am very happy with how it has gone. The first thing I had to do was fix the bits of hinges in place on both the flipper and the subframe, the parts attached to the flipper are reinforced and joined with a strip of steel...

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Then I made some clips to hold the wings and the A panels together by fitting a piece of spring steel to the inside edge of the A panel and a tab to the wing which will be pinched by the sprung steel as the flipper is closed and hold everything in line....

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And although it is obviously not going to withstand a great deal of force it feels nice and firm and tight there and holds the joint closed and in position nicely.

I then went about making some "hand bolts" to fix through the teardrop mounts to the frame...

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In the end I am very happy with how well everything is held, nothing is lose or wobbles and even when given a shove the wings feel as firm as they ever did on a mini (well almost) but it can be flipped open in 2 minutes with no tools.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby SalC » Wed 5th Dec 2012, 06:51pm

this is not for the faint hearted, well done on getting all the front end sorted. we have fun and games with non genuine panels in the past and have always bought genuine since, where available
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Thu 6th Dec 2012, 09:50pm

Thanks Sal,
I have removed the front again now and taken the engine out and the subframe is gone also, all in order to do some more mod's on the bulkhead so I can fit the suzuki's master cylinder and servo. Which will be fitted to the wrong side of the car and operated by a transfer bar (like a Fiesta). In order to achieve this I am replacing the thin steel of the bulkhead crossmember with some rather thicker stuff (to avoid any twisting or bending under force) ready to have all the other bits attached to it. I wont even try to explain how I plan to make it all work but trust there is a plan (sort of!)

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Now it is a matter of figuring out the pedals and transfer bar and servo arrangment, at least I will have something solid to work from now.

P.S. its dam cold working out in the garage now!!!
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Fri 7th Dec 2012, 02:58pm

Took my crossmember bit of steel out again added a bit more to it and then cut/drilled some holes in it so it will accept the servo...

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and cut a bit more away from the bulkhead...

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Next I think I want to tack it back in place and then put the subframe and engine back in again just to double check it will all fit, fingers crossed! Provided that it all does fit and I wont have to change it I think that fitting the brake pedal and transfer bar will then be fairly straight forward.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby SalC » Fri 7th Dec 2012, 06:16pm

hope the front/engine goes back in well, bet you will be glad to move onto the next phase
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Mon 10th Dec 2012, 07:35pm

Today I tacked my bulkhead cross-member bit back in again and then refitted the subframe and engine in order to check that the servo was ok in its fitted position. Thankfully it was the only problem came from the fact that there was not quite enough clearance for the injector unit...

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So once I got some new cutting disks I cut some steel away and then tacked a bit in to fill the hole...

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I am now reassured that it will all fit, there will evidently need to be some tinkering needed when it comes to fitting the radiator hoses but it wont be much more complicated than what I would have had to do anyway.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sat 22nd Dec 2012, 04:06pm

Having finally got all the bits I needed I assembled and tacked together the front brake set up. It all looks good to me, here are some pictures...

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Zippyrude » Sat 22nd Dec 2012, 05:04pm

great stuff despite the damp and cold :lol:
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby SalC » Thu 3rd Jan 2013, 10:52pm

be thankful for a garage, i miss our old one terribly and would swap my huge 4 bed, double cellar house in a heartbeat for a 3 bed with a garage
you need some heating out there in this weather, we used to have oil filled radiators, kept it warm and toasty, even if it was still a bit drafty on the floor

great progress on the car though, i admire your meticulous checking and rechecking for fit. when you mentioned you were moving on to the brakes i though, yes, finally something i will recognise :)
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Fri 4th Jan 2013, 12:16pm

The garage I am using is my dads, But I will be in the market for a house this year and a decent garage will be on the wish list, but if you ask my wife so is a huge SPAM SPAM SPAM, hundreds of bedrooms and a paddock for ponies!!
As for the cold I am dressing right and its not to bad (thermal underwear, a few layers then topped with a boiler suite, just like mum always said lol.).
The checking is time consuming and I am possibly a little compulsive about it but each time I do I spot something, and I know how mad I would be at myself if I found I had to redo loads of stuff because I hadn't checked. It became clear in some recent checks that the mechanism for operating the clutch needs some thought :? space is really getting short and I cant see if things fit until they are assembled, and when they are assembled I can do nothing to or with them so then have to disassemble again :roll:

And on that note it occurred to me that with the brake lines fitted I will no longer be able to remove the servo and therefore unable to remove the engine and therefore unable to do anything :shock:

This is no good I do not want to have to spend the rest of my life bleeding the brakes after every job on the car. To solve this problem I am thinking that maybe I could run some lengths of flexible brake line (like you get by the wheels) from the bulkhead to the servo so the it can be unbolted and moved aside to get the engine out without compromising the hydraulics??!!? Well it may work :?
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Tue 8th Jan 2013, 07:49pm

Over xmas I only really managed the odd few minuets tinkering hear and there But today I was able to get stuck in again. I think I have the brake pedal sorted now, I cant test it yet but I am fairly confident that a.) there is enough travel before the pedal bottoms out. and b.)the position of the pedal will be practical and comfortable to use. I have had a bit of a game trying to sus the correct position for things and I seem to be making things up as I go along (to good effect so far). I also decided to fit the clutch pedal to make sure there was a way for that to work (despite all the brake stuff being in the way!) and after a fair amount of trial and error I got a prototype solution working and it felt like it was engaging and disengaging the clutch (but I cant be sure) there are some cable adjustments so i'm sure it will work, I do plan to fix it up in a more permanent fashion soon but I can see that it will work fine. :)

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Wed 9th Jan 2013, 07:26pm

I spent more time on the clutch pedal today and fabricated a new bracket part to hold the cable, it will join to the bulkhead cross-member so as to reduce the flexing of the bulkhead when using the clutch.

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I then fixed the bracket to the bulkhead and sorted things out ready to fit the crossmember (hopefully for the last time.)

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sun 13th Jan 2013, 04:57pm

A bit more done today. Namely tacking back in and testing the crossmember and clutch parts...

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It all seemed to be fine to me, the flexing is reduced to almost nothing and with it seem welded I am sure there will be none. I now have no doubt that with adjustment the clutch will be operated just fine, I may at a later date change the shape of the pedal arm to make it more comfortable to use, but I dont know about that yet its one for the back burner I think.
I then cracked on with seam welding it in.

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Then I got a headache and called it a day.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Mon 14th Jan 2013, 03:37pm

Finished welding, tidied messy welds, seam sealer and then paint. Bulkhead done (outside at least)

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next job I think is put everything back on the front (subframe, engine, suspension etc.) ready to figure out the drive shafts.
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Phatwiji
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Mon 21st Jan 2013, 07:16pm

The last time I was doing anything on the car I had put the subframe back on and the engine back in. I had forgotten the trick to getting the subframe on and had spent a load of time and effort going nowhere with it before finally remembering how I did it the last 3 or 4 times I put it on, and then it was simple! So getting the engine in as well and then tidying and reorganising the garage I was a bit rhubarbed to noticed several things That I needed to do with the engine out again lol. So today I took it out once more and addressed some of the issues I had spotted. I started with modding the cooling system pipe that exits just above the gearbox, in its original form there was going to be little or no space for the pipes to the radiator to fit.

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It now exits in what will be a far more convenient place. (I think?)

I then did a few slight modds to the subframe and bulk head to improve some clearance issues and then racked my brains to remember how I got the suspension arms on last time. Once I remembered the engine needed to be out and removed it there was a bit of trial and error and then I figured it out (again!). It seems the extra clearance I had made for the tie bar was not needed, I will perhaps attempt to undo that at some point?

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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Sun 27th Jan 2013, 05:37pm

I spent some time today getting things ready for marking up and welding together some mock up drive shafts that I can then give to an engineers and have them either join the parts properly or make up some shafts from scratch using my mock ups as a guide.

The plan is, first to get the springs back out of the front suspension again so as to not have any load on the arms, secondly to cut in half the mini drive shafts and then refit the hub ends back in the hubs and attach the hubs to the car...

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then with the "cup parts"? of the Suzuki driveshafts attached to the gearbox....
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I will put the engine in again and slide in the rest of the Suzuki CV joint/driveshaft.

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I will then be able to mark the suzuki shaft at the point the (half) mini shaft ends at the various extremes of suspension traval, I will then cut between the marks hopefully giving me two halves I can join to make a shaft of the correct length.
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Phatwiji » Wed 30th Jan 2013, 07:36pm

Over the last few days I have implemented the drivshaft plan with some success. The measuring and cutting of the shafts went fairly smoothly as did tacking them together...

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and in fitting them they look good...

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But to be honest it wasn't as easy as all that..... there were one or two issues! Firstly I had a bit of an indecent as I was removing the swifts "tripod joint"
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from the end of the driveshaft, I slipped removing the spring circlip and knocked the ring off of one of the tripods roller bearings, spilling the rollers all over the floor (the very dirty dusty cluttered floor!) where the tiny grease covered rollers covered themselves in dust and hid! After a fair amount of blue language and kicking inanimate objects (and about 45 mins) I managed to find every last roller and put the bearing back together. aside from a little dirt in the bearing there seems to be no harm done.
Then I moved on to putting the CV joint back onto the mini end of the shaft, as I attempted this I managed to snap my tack welds meaning I had to go back to joining the two halfs again. Having made that mistake twice I managed to make a new mistake and made a mess of the thread where the hub nut should go. Bummer!! :evil:
so that bit is off getting fixed (I never have any luck with thread!).
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Re: 1984 mini mayfair

Postby Nozzle » Wed 30th Jan 2013, 08:11pm

How do you get each half running on the same centre and parallel and balanced? This have always confused me! Do you machine them circular again afterwards so they're cylindrical and won't vibrate?

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