Change of Plans

Change of Plans

Oh man, time for an update! –I know I said I was going to rebuild the A-series engine, but after taking nearly everything out of the engine bay in preparation for cleaning, I got to thinking. Basically, I didn’t want to end up regretting not pursuing my dream of building a car, so what did I do? –I ended up placing an order for a B16 Honda motor package >:)

The VTEC Project

Given that the new Honda engine is a few weeks out before shipping, this would be a good time to take care of other issues about the car that have been bothering me. In particular, here is a list of things I am aiming to take care of in preparation for the new engine:

  • Sunroof delete
  • Replace damaged lower fender
  • Find rust issues and repair
  • Convert from Right-hand Drive to Left-hand Drive
  • Change from Red to Tahiti Blue
  • Install Sportspack fender flares

With this scope in mind, I figured there would be additional problems would be uncovered so I kept my Trello board updated with any changes.

Let’s Get to Work

In order to ensure the new VTEC subframe fits in the Mini, I obviously had to take out the A-series front subframe. Out with the old, in with the new I suppose!

austin mini project cooper classic vtec b16 MK3 red blue part out empty chassis

Next, I cut the inner fenders and the inner lip of the front bumper. Additionally, the metal (in front of the right-hand subframe tower bolt) had to be cut in a 90 degree angle to allow for the new alternator to clear.

Rust Repair

With the engine bay prepped for the new custom subframe, I started to take notice of all the rust damage towards the ear of the inner fenders and the engine bay. I went ahead and made the decision to start grinding away at the paint with a polycarbonate wheel and spraying some rust converter (black) on areas that had rust damage.

I soon realized that grinding off the paint is not the most efficient use of my time. I decided to call around for a sandblasting service so I can quickly get the chassis ready for the new paint job. However, in the mean time, I called in a welder to help with the sunroof delete and replacing any random areas that needed repair.

Unfortunately, I was not happy with the results of the welding service. He claimed it could be fixed at a body shop, but I just didn’t see it. I figured I would have to get this re-done by a professional restoration shop.

Anyways, a few days later, I found a sandblasting company that was willing to take in the Mini for a sandblasting service. However, they requested that the Mini be brought in rather soon so I had to get the car prepped for the sandblasting. I removed all the glass, rear subframe, and built a custom dollie to support the car.

And to close out July 2018, my father-in-law and I loaded up the Mini on a U-Haul trailer and headed for the sandblasting.

By the next update, the car should be fully sandblasted. With the chassis down to bare metal, I will be able to touch up any rust problems that I could not see from beneath the paint. Additionally,  the new Honda engine package should be in my possession, so get hyped!

Until next time!

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