'81 Mini Clubman Estate
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Author:  ehb [ Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Due to recent demands, I present one of my rides that's in desperate need for an EFI system.

It's a Mini Clubman Estate with 1300cc A+ Series engine, fitted with a HIF44 carb.

The pictures are from when I bought it over eBay, without having looked at it. It was just *the* car I was wishing for back in 2004. Fortunately the car was in the shape the pictures were promising.
I don't have any recent pictures, because I kind of abandoned it almost four years ago. It used to run like shit lately, and in 2008 I got myself a '88 Honda CRX as winter ride (really cheap). Turns out it runs well all year through, so there was no need (and no time really) to fiddle with the Mini. I'm just not the carb guy, and I don't know any.

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Author:  ehb [ Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Some more pictures... It wasn't my fault, the other guys insurance paid all damage.

Edit: Oh! Now, looking at the post.. No, it wasn't the chevy that squished the mini :) In fact it was a Honda Civic.
I just liked the picture so I posted it too ;)

I'll post technical data later, bed time for now.

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Author:  Fred [ Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Cool, in a few more months there should be enough code to do this :-)

Author:  Spudmn [ Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Nice Estate !!

Now you just need to EFI it. :D

Author:  ehb [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Spudmn wrote:
Nice Estate !!

Now you just need to EFI it. :D

Thanks! :) And so true...
These are the main specs of the car:
  • Adjustable suspension (everything there is to adjust)
  • 4 piston brake calipers in the front, steel braided brake lines all around. I love hard braking in a light car :)
  • Standard A+ 1275cc engine with modest tuning: 276° camshaft, Janspeed cylinder head (not sure about the valve sizes, haven't had it open yet, possibly 34/29mm) and exhaust/manifold.
  • Funny stuff the pre-owner put in: electric windows, remote door locks (need work), Recaro leather seats with butt heating (not yet hooked up) and even decent speakers. All things I personally wouldn't need, but they're good for a laugh with passengers.

  • A little rust here and there, nothing too major, but needs work
  • Squeaking noises from the back suspension need to be found
  • Engine doesn't run well, possibly a mixture of a) wrong needle, b) distributor vacuum adjustment, c) bad carb settings, d) dirty carb

Now I could go ahead and clean the carb, see if it runs better. Change the distributor, see if it runs better. Talk to a Mini specialist, buy a new needle, replace the needle, see if it runs better. And STILL have the engine run below its potential.
Honestly, the thought of it, even though it's my lovely Mini, turns me off ;) For three years now I've been waiting for FreeEMS, because of what I read here about MS. Thanks Fred, I owe not driving my Mini to you :P (yeah no, and to time constraints and last but not least to my lazy ass).

So the rough plan is:
  • Get the car back in good condition (fight the rust, check and adjust the suspension)
  • Replace the stupid sideways-radiator-belt-driven-fan-stuff with a front mounted radiator and electric fan.

  • Replace the distributor with a CAS disc.
    @Spudmn: What exactly did you use? I recall a thread about your setup, but I really can't find the correct posts.
    I'm thinking of machining up whatever is needed (and fits), so that it can directly replace the distributor.
  • Mount (wideband) O2 sensor
  • As this was a former SPI engine, it should already have a place to mount a crankshaft sensor (if it's not still there, humm), so I need to find that ;)
  • The head has two intake ports and I'm thinking about giving each of those a throttle body, still unsure. It's more work, also with the MAP sensor(s?). I have a MAP sensor from a Honda ED9 lying around, would be nice if I could use it.
  • Make a fuel rail accordingly, find the proper injector(s).
  • Thinking about COP, but wasted spark would be fine too. Any suggestions for parts?
  • Get the right FreeEMS hardware ;) I would love to solder my own, but just won't fit in, timewise. I'm thinking RavAGE would work fine?

Any updates will be posted, but won't be neither soon nor frequent :(
Feedback is certainly requested! I like to plan my things far ahead. :)


Author:  Fred [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Make LOTS of noise if you start working on EFI for it. As you likely know, these are hard to EFI, and that code doesn't exist yet. It's planned, but you will need it completed before you try to run this.

Drop by forum and ask what he'd recommend for injection and throttle hardware. I'm not familiar enough to give you a solid recommendation. It's up to you if you mention using FreeEMS or not, but I probably would not.

Spudmn has an 8-1 crank wheel for his setup.

COP/wasted depends on A which trigger setup you go with and B which injector config you go with. If you take long enough it will only depend on A :-)


Author:  Spudmn [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

I just updated my post to show you how I did my trigger wheel.

I recommend that you use the existing trigger wheel as the SPI should have one and just run wasted spark.

Author:  ehb [ Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Well well, back from the dead, sort of. :)

So, life's been full of work with shit pay the past four years. Wouldn't recommend that.
This meant the Clubman sat there in the garage, making me weep a little every now and then. :(
However, yesterday I drained the old gas, oiled the cylinders a tad, put in a new battery aaaaand: VROOMMM. So that's something at least.

Because the exhaust manifold has always been blowing off at the center two cylinders and messing up the K&N filter, I started working on that. Removed the intake manifold, cleaned it and started milling away some stuff that made it not fit right. Now that's done.
Next up: Remove exhaust (incl. manifold) and add a flex piece. I figure the current long rigid exhaust puts some strain on the studs at the cylinder head which hurts the gasket.

Then it's going to be cosmetics (recondition the grille) and then... TÜV and new number plates, woohoo! Hopefully, at least.
Then we can start talking EFI again, woohoo²! :)

Spudmn's hint about using the existing trigger wheel [of an SPI engine] was great, but unfortunately my gearbox/clutch housing doesn't have the expected hole for a crank sensor. Probably the engine is a mix of SPI/non-SPI A+-series parts.
I'm thinking of getting a scrap distributor to build a cam sensor. Is this a plan?

Good to be at it again! :)

Author:  Fred [ Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

I would not recommend using a distributor drive for this. Better to fabricate something like factory, or find the correct casing if possible. At a pinch, it'll work, but it'll always be mediocre compared to a properly engineered crank trigger.

Author:  ehb [ Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '81 Mini Clubman Estate

Alright, thanks for the heads up. I'll fabricate something then. :)

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