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'81 Mini Clubman Estate 
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Good work with heat. Fail for not washing first. Lye eats carbon a lot better than oil. n00b :-D I always wash with petrol or degreaser and water first. Gets rid of all the loose/liquid stuff much more quickly.

Bugger re contraction, I'd say n00b again, but I've been burned badly by that a few times myself! Even when you're aware of it and thinking about it, it's not always that easy to judge correctly.

Re your playstatios, if the Germans had built the mini... it would've weighed 2 tonne! Oh wait, they did! OK, only ~1300kg, not quite two tonnes, but :-D

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:07 am
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

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Fred wrote:
Fail for not washing first. Lye eats carbon a lot better than oil. n00b :-D I always wash with petrol or degreaser and water first.

Not a fail, a "learning". :lol2: I've used petrol or degreaser (thinner or something) in the past, but lately (3-4 years) went to petroleum. That was after I cleaned some stuff with diesel, which stinks but cleans well. Pure petroleum, like for lamps or so, has relatively little and a more pleasant odor and is colorless, which makes it great for cleaning. I have also flushed gearboxes of fabrication machinery and crank cases of lawn mower engines with it. Works great for removing that black oil residue.
Depending on the part of course, sometimes degreaser is necessary for further steps like painting or so.

To be honest, this time I was just lazy and thought the lye could eat everything. It almost did, eventually, so there wasn't soo much manual cleaning involved this time. Which was pleasant for a change. But yeah, a quick wash with petroleum first will even more speed things up...

Fred wrote:
Even when you're aware of it and thinking about it, it's not always that easy to judge correctly.

True! I knew it would happen, but I didn't know how to prevent it. Tacking at the center of the flat bars did the trick. I expected the bar to rise up then, but it didn't. Anyways, all is under control. :)

Now a few days worth of updates, before I go on holiday for a week:
- Painted and re-installed the panel for the large hole in the engine compartment. If anyone wants the DXF or SVG or PDF file of this panel, send me a message.
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- Cleaned, fixed and oiled the K&N filter. The part that mounts the air filter to the carb had a rough backside, that didn't get the filter housing to seal properly. I put it on the lathe to make it flat at the back and, while at it, polished the air entry. Forgot to take an after-picture and now it's already in... The part itself might be too thin or too bad of material that it bends instead of putting pressure on the stainless plate.
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- Finished the crank case breather, painted and installed.
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- Flattened the floor in the foot space area a bit more. Came to the conclusion that in a couple of years, I'll have to replace the floor panels anyways. That made it easier to be satisfied with what I've fixed so far. ;)

- Filled a rusty seam with linseed oil. Then saw the oil seeping through to the other side a day later. Poked a little and found holes exactly where I put the car on stands, haha. That verified where I'll put the lift points though...
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- Cleaned and sanded the radiator grille. I've gotten this grille used and it had been painted several colors before. Also, someone tried to clean it with a steel wire brush, which left scratches in the aluminium. It was also bend out of shape a lot, so all in all that grille cost me plenty of hours. It's not available in new, but I'm now happy with what I have. Forgot to take pics, need 3 mm rivets to finish.

- Finished welding up the seat rails. Drilled the corresponding holes in the body and finished the backing plates. Now I need to vacuum the car again, but I'm confident it all fits.

- I was looking at the gear gaiter (odd translation? I'd say "shift sack" :D) the other day. Noticed the mounting plate is all out of shape. Hammered the tunnel back into shape and flattened the mounting plate with the press. Decided I would not use the leather gear gaiter but instead cut away some stuff of the inner rubber. I think that will look pretty cool, except for the anodized blue. May paint it black or make a cover (that would also fixate the rubber).
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- Filled all the tiny holes in the firewall (mostly from sheet metal screws) with black silicone. Hopefully that will let less fumes inside.

- Measured and taped the positions where to cut my front number plate holder. When the front was crashed, insurance paid for a new stainless steel one, but it's for standard 52 cm wide number plates, which looks ridiculous on that car. By making it 42 cm wide, I get the permission to smaller plates.

- Received notifications that the steering tie rods should come next week, finally.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:05 pm
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

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Last post was in august, really?! So sorry!
I wish you all a happy and successful 2017!

Well, to make the good news short: The Mini is roadworthy again and earned its inspection sticker. :)
However in the meantime, I sold the Hotel I used to run (a real one, made from bricks, not Hyundai) which means I no longer have a huge garage with carpet. About the only thing I miss...

So now that I've moved, my tools are a bit spread out between the new home and my new workplace, but the car is still in the old garage. I'm glad the new owners haven't complained yet, but it's an unpleasant situation I have to solve by getting insurance and a license plate. Not a problem, but quite useless at -15°C.

Anyways, I just wanted to give a short update. I've done a ton of other stuff on the car but didn't have the time nor energy to post it. I apologize and will return with some news once the weather warms up.


Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:06 pm
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ehb wrote:
I sold the Hotel I used to run (a real one, made from bricks, not Hyundai)

ROFL :-D Best quote ever. Glad you're getting along okay. :-)

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Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:49 pm
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

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Soo, it's june by now and the weather's starting to be Mini-compatible. So the good news is, it's got a number plate now and has done a few km in the past few weeks.

As mentioned in the first post (from 2012), it's been 9 years since the car last really saw the road (except for rare and short drives without plates).

One of the many reasons it's taken so long was that the car wasn't running quite well after it's gotten its front repaired. Back then I even handed it over to my brother (trained mechanic) to have a look what's wrong with it. Back then I didn't feel confident enough to fix what others couldn't. Stupid mistake.

After turning the distributor a tad clockwise, without timing light or anything... Guess what, the car is running much better. Now I know where to look and I bet it's all going to be alright. :roll:

In the meantime, I've received a 36-1 wheel for the crankshaft dampener and a sensor along with it (thanks to forum member KLAS!):
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Looking at Freds Starlet timing wheel, I'm pretty sure I can make those teeth thinner? The wheel I received has a few scratches and dents that need to be cleaned up on the lathe anyways.
When these parts have found their way onto the engine, we can start talking electronic ignition. :)

I also cleaned the sliding mechanism of the carb piston.
Now I know I've got a "BDL" needle in the carb, which should be a close but not perfect fit. To find out, I'm going to buy a wideband setup from toalan with a gauge for now.
(this needle comparison chart is awesome: http://www.mintylamb.co.uk/suneedle/ )

I hope the Spartan 2 with LSU 4.9 will be the correct choice, also for future FreeEMS endeavors?

On another note: I knew before that the crankshaft seal on the clutch side was leaking, which I hoped to remedy by cleaning the crankcase ventilation. It didn't and voilà, the clutch slips at WOT in 4th. This will only get worse, so yeah, next on the list is a new clutch.
What also maybe didn't help the leak was this LiquiMoly engine flush stuff I ran through before changing the oil. It did clean the inside of the engine a lot though!


Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:50 pm
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So I disassembled the main brake cylinder and ordered a repair kit (among other things). Unfortunately, there is very slight rust pitting in the bore and I should replace the cylinder, but I won't for now. I'll take my chances.
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Brake fluid had been leaking into the servo. So I'll have to clean and paint this thing.
With what kind of liquid should I wash out the servo? Having the old brake fluid stay in there doesn't feel right...


Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:29 am
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Given brake fluid is miscible with water, rinse with hot water, then blow dry with hot air, and store in hot water cupboard for a few weeks? Follow the water with alcohol if you're paranoid about moisture remaining?

As for the pitting, can you get it sleeved? s/s and brass both work well, never wear out, and are fittable to steel cylinders for much longer life in the face of lack of maintenance.

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FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
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Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:25 am
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

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Fred wrote:
store in hot water cupboard for a few weeks?

Wow that took me long to understand. I've always had central heating (and hot water piping), but yeah, that's probably a good place to put it. :)

Fred wrote:
Follow the water with alcohol if you're paranoid about moisture remaining?

Alcohol seems like a good idea, but I'm concerned about rust in the future when it's all degreased, now that the paint on the inside has been eaten up as well. I suppose a short spray of petroleum wouldn't hurt the membrane?

Fred wrote:
As for the pitting, can you get it sleeved? s/s and brass both work well, never wear out, and are fittable to steel cylinders for much longer life in the face of lack of maintenance.

True, steel/brass couple would be nice, but I wouldn't have a tool to hone the brass bore. Hmm. Also, I don't have any more Saturdays to spare for such diversions. :( I'll keep it in mind though, for when the next leak shows. (not if) ;)

On other news:
- I'll receive a Spartan 2 with LSU 4.9 and AFR display soon.
- Unfortunately, the crank shaft dampener with fitted 36-1 wheel has a swollen and disintegrating rubber dampening part, so it doesn't run true. Meh. I can still remove my existing one from the car, modify it and use that, but I hoped to avoid the downtime. Oh well...
- I've also ordered a new clutch. That's going to be fun...
- And new back door gaskets, to breathe less carbon monoxide while driving. :)


Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:22 pm
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Re sleeving, I meant to just get it done, but I know the euro car market, how disposable it is, and how fickle specialist services are to find. There is only one or two places in Auckland that do that these days.

Not sure whether alcohol or oil will harm the diaphragm, hence suggesting with a question mark. You'll sort something out, no doubt. Good luck! :-)

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DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:26 am
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