Bye Bye 2018

Bye Bye 2018

As expected, the holiday season was very busy and all, but it was a much needed break from work and such. I was able to get some work done on the Mini, and took some pictures for this month’s update.

Engine Fitment

So it turns out that the custom subframe wasn’t fully plug and play. I needed to cut/modify the Mini frame for the exhaust manifold and clutch slave cylinder to fully fit.

With those necessary cuts, the engine was starting to seat well. Since I don’t have a lift  in my garage, the last piece was to get the rear floor support of the subframe installed. However, the subframe was just a little too long. I had to grind down some of the floor support area / drill new holes so the subframe can sit properly. I also resprayed some undercoating once the floor support was fully seated.

austin-cooper-mini-fresh-paint-bodywork-honda-vtec-b16-lapis-blue

Fuel Tank

In order to accommodate the fuel injection setup, I ended up purchasing an aftermarket Austin Mini MPI fuel tank from MiniSportUSA. I cold have purchased a fuel cell, but I wanted to retain an OEM look and save some boot space.

Alternator

Since the stock Honda alternator would clearly not fit in the front of the engine, I purchased the Minitec alternator bracket for the rear of the engine. My engine did not come with a bottom bracket, so I had to weld two small pieces of steel together and form an “L” shaped bracket. (I think there is an OEM bracket available from Honda, but since I had immediate resources available, I just went with that option).

Unfortunately, even with the bracket, the Honda pulley hits the side of the fender near the top shock mount. At this point, I want to refrain from cutting any more of the body so I started researching alternative options. I rear that someone used a Toyota Yaris alternator since it was fairly smaller compared to the Honda alternator.

With this in mind, I looked up Toyota Yaris cars in my area with the Pick-A-Part website, and found that my local junkyard had a Toyota Yaris in stock. For about $35, I pulled a relatively low-mile alternator from the Yaris. I had to take a picture of the donor 🙂

Yaris Alternator Modifications

Though the Yaris alternator seems to fit better, there were a couple of modifications required in order to properly seat the alternator. Firstly, I had to cut/grind off one of the bottom pegs since it was hitting the bracket. Next, I grinded down one of the exposed screw holes so it was sit flush against the bracket when mounted. Finally, I cut out a section of the alternator cage since the fuel rail was JUST BARELY hitting it. I painted the cage black once I was finished with it.

Since the Toyota Yaris uses OBDII connections, I also took the original connector since these were expensive online. I will wire this up accordingly once I get to the wiring stage.

Intake Manifold

After properly fitting the engine, I am now running into the common problem of finding space for the intake manifold to sit. Originally, I was able to get some 90 degree silicone elbows to make it fit, but now, cylinders 1 and 2 are not clearing the bulkhead.

I have reached out to some local welding shops to see if I can just go ahead and get this TIG welded for proper performance and to clear the bulkhead. Hopefully we get this taken care of by the next update.

Front Brakes and Suspension

With some extra time available, I installed the front brakes and suspension. The suspension setup is a QA1 CircleTrack 75 series adjustable shocks. Front brakes are a 4-pot MiniSportUSA (color = titanium) calipers with 7.5″ drilled rotors to accommodate the 10″ wheels.

Heat Insulation (Work in Progress)

The last thing I had time to get to was the heat insulation. Though it is still a work in progress until I figure some other things out, I was able to get the roof and rear floor insulated. Hopefully this helps with the sun and exhaust heat.

Festive Mini Fun

Though not directly related to this project, my awesome wife bought me a LEGO Austin Mini creator set. I spent a few hours working on it while we watched movies 🙂

Next Time

To ring in 2019, my goal is to get the Mini running. For the next update, I am hoping to get the fuel lines and brake lines run and get the intake manifold problem situated. If there is time, I am also hoping to get the new shifter linkage properly seated as well.

Until next time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *