Lots of bits and pieces done this weekend. First on the list the
infill panels, they are not too bad a job to fit except that I had
to unscrew the front flexible hoses and re-connect, they are now
fixed to the in-fill panel. Re-bleed the brakes and all is fine
The in-fill panels are not too bad to fit except that it is nigh
on impossible not to scratch the paintwork on the wishbones. A little
trimming is needed to ensure the nose cone clears the panels.
Next job was to move the rear wheels to within the rear arch. I
had noticed, since fitting the alloys, the wheel just poked outside
of the GRP arch and this has been picked up as an SVA failure. Rather
than try to pull out the GRP I decided, (just for now), to remove
the wheel spacers I fitted to compensate for the 'negative camber'
effect. This had the effect of moving the wheels in slightly and
'tipping' the top of the wheel in by about 1".
Time to fit the rear lights, I used the measurements as per SVA.
No problems and I used one of those tapered drill things to make
nice rounds holes for the grommets. As well as the rear clusters
supplied with the kit, I have also fitted a fog light and reversing
Now to re-visit the rear end. I had noticed that now everything
had settled, the back had lot a little of its ride height, (down
to about 5"). So I moved up the rollover bar another inch from
the coil-over shocks each side. Both the front and rear floor levels
are just under 7" clearance from the floor.
It now seemed a good time to fit the Air Horns purchased at last
week's Exeter show. The electrics should be simple enough as the
existing horns already use a powerful enough relay, I just need
to mount the compressor and horns. Easier said than done, I had
a job finding enough room to fit the compressor, in the end just
inside the offside in-fill panel served the purpose. I just had
to make a simple bracket to mount the compressor. The horns themselves
are mounted in front of the radiator.
The worst part was the horn push. I had fitted the Mountney Steering
wheel, and it seem sthe copper slip ring for the horn contacts is
not central to the column. This means that when turning the wheel
at one point the contacts come off the slip rings. In the end I
had to break the fixing legs off the slips ring and araldite the
assembly central in the boss. Using one of the original supplies
to the horn, (there were two on the donor), connected everything
up and pressed the horn, nothing
. Ahh forgot the earth, tried
again and presto nice loud horn.
Next I decided to start connecting the lights, starting with the
rear. As I had kept the donor light clusters it was easy to identify
which colour wire went to which lights. Connected up the indicators,
reversing light, side light and brake lights. All worked except
the brake lights, bugger it would take a while to trace the fault
so I gave up for the day.
More bits' and pieces this weekend. First off I traced the brake
light problem to
. a fuse !. Next, finished off all the wiring
for the lights and tidied up the cables.
I now have working Main Beam, Dip, Reversing light, Fog light,
Brake lights, Side lights, Indicators , hazard lights and dashboard
lights. The indicator side repeaters have been fitted on the outside
extreme of the swept wings. The front Indicators themselves are
not fitted as I am waiting for the motorcycle type from RHE.
I have used corrugated plastic tubing to shield all the cables
front and back. The cables at the back are routed from the inside
of the rear wheel arches, through the side panel then up around
the inside of the side panel return. All my joins are soldered and
covered with heat shrink protectors.
Now that I had been running the 2B up and down the drive, I noticed
an oil leak had developed from somewhere around the gearbox area.
Further investigation revealed a leaky 'tail end' gearbox oil seal.
It seems the new propshaft U.V does not fit the oid oil seal very
well, (I had neglected to replace the oil seal). A quick trip down
to Fords , £7.0 later, and I had a new oil seal. It was quite
simple to get the propshaft out by removing the driver's side tunnel
panel. The 2B was jacked up at the back to stop the gearbox oil
Fitted the new seal and while the tunnel panel was off, I made
up the inside seatbelt mountings. I used a 3mm plate with a seat
belt nut,(7/16 UNF), welded onto the back, then bolted the plate
to the tunnel with four M6 bolts.
Although I had fitted the Mini Heater it was not yet plumbed in,
so I drained the water and fitted the flow to the bottom entry,
return to the top exit on the heater. Now a problem with SVA is
that the heater controls protrude more than 9mm from the dashboard.
So my idea is to position the heater right back behind the dashboard
with the controls set to screen. This way no controls, except for
the fan switch, will stick though the dashboard, (until after SVA
Topped up the water and fired up the engine, once up to temperature,
I checked the heater, yep nice and hot and blowing well. Next job
is to make up the hose connections and vents.
Also fitted the nose cone grill, (araldited the pin's in place)
I now have a chassis no from my local VRO, I sent off the build
up inspection report and four days later had the 17 digit chassis
no. As requested on the form I have stamped the no on the offside
of the chassis and on a separate plate also fixed to the offside.
I borrowed a set of stamps from the nice chaps at work.
My local SVA centre is Taunton, so I rang to find out about waiting
times, they told me about 6 weeks, so I popped down and picked up
the SVA forms.
Filled in the forms and put them in the post.
Now on with the build, today I decided to build up the boot area.
It seemed to take ages making up the panels to form the inside of
the boot, (I used 12mm plywood). Then took them all out again and
treated with preservative. I have lost a little depth in the boot
because the handbrake is mechanism needs enough clearance for adjustment.
The floor is removable so I can get at the fuel pump.
While the preservative was drying I fitted an air filter purchased
from Demon Tweaks, it is a piper cone filter with an adaptor for
the airflow meter.
I then went down to the scrap yard to source a windscreen washer
bottle. While there I also picked up a pair of Gas struts for the
bonnet, and Mini Window wiper arms. The washer bottle is just the
right size to fit on the back of the battery panel.
Fitted and connected the washer bottle, works fine. I am not sure
what model of car it is from, there was just a bundle of them in
a shed !. Next I re-fitted the boot interior. I had decided not
to purchase the RHE boot top covers but make my own.
I used 6mm ply and make cardboard templates first. Then cut out
the top covers and fitted. Now they need removing and covering with
foam and leather cloth.
That's it for this weekend.
Had a letter from the SVA people just asking for confirmation that
I built the 2B. Looks like the application is going through okay,
should get a date soon.
The motorcycle style indicators arrived from RHE, and very nice
they are too, IMO, fitted no problem at all, I ran the supply up
the middle of the bonnet, then across the nose cone to each indicator,
fixed with sticky back tie wraps.
Next job, install the mini wiper motor. This is a bit tricky as
the spacer between to the two spindles has to be shortened to suit
the holes in the 2B bonnet. To do this you need to undo the 'fishing
rod' arm from the motor and pull it off complete with the 'turning
wire'. Next shorten the centre spacer tube , fix the spindles in
the bonnet and the spacer tube. Now try to access the best place
for the motor, in my case I decided to fit the motor in a bracket
hanging down from the centre of the bonnet. This meant the motor
would fit in the space above the heater unit when the bonnet was
To check the fit I removed the dashboard, enabling me to look through
and check clearances. After making up the bracket I had to form
the remaining first section of the tube, this required a sharp bend
, just on the limits of being able to feed the wire through. You
also have to form small 'flares' at the cut ends of the tube. This
configuration means the wiper arms travel from left to right.
The wire was then fed through and the motor clamped into position.
My mini motor is the old 2 speed, 5 pin type so it was easy enough
to work out the wiring from the sierra loom to the mini connections
from the ROHCAR website, under build tips.
Turned the ignition on and hey presto working, two speed wipers!.
Now I need to sort out wiper blades and some better condition mini
It seemed to take ages yesterday fitting the wiper motor, so today
I just decided to have a go at the bonnet catch.
I do not want to use the 'over-centre' type catches on the side
of the bonnet as safety catches, so decided to fit the sierra catch
complete with safety release.
After a good look around the engine area, (and a cup of tea!),
I decided to make up a framework to fix on the front cross member,
then I could mount the catch on this. A bit of bending and welding
later and the frame was bolted to the cross member complete with
catch. I now used the original release wire and catch to connect
the lot up.
I just have to fit a clip,( an exhaust clamp U bolt), to the bonnet
and work out how to operate the safety release.
First things first, I have a date for my SVA, May 30th, 8.00 a.m.
at Taunton. It seems the test centre is now getting very busy.
I was not all that happy with the wipers, the sweep is as on the
Mini, ie from left to right as you are sitting in the car. This
leaves a bit of unclean glass to one side of the drivers view. Now
I am not sure if this will fail SVA, so I decided to somehow reverse
the wiper sweep direction.
After talking to another 2B builder, the very helpful Dave Tomlinson,
I decided to reverse the spindles by turning them through 180 degrees.
Sounds easy in practice but a pain to re-shape the wire tube and
re-fit the whole lot back under the bonnet. Otherwise it worked
out fine and the sweep is now from right to left, this gives a much
better clearance of the drivers view.
Of course now the wiper arms were no good as I had bent them for
left hand parking!. I was also not happy with the wiper blade, so
I managed to find a set if adjustable wiper arms and 8" blades
from an MG specialist. Much better now.
At the same time I plumbed in the washer bottle jets, (£1.50
from Halfords). The new steering shaft from RHE arrived, it now
has a U.V joint at each end, the top joint is a copy of the Sierra
triangular clamp, so no Sierra steering shaft needed now and no
square clamping block to worry about.
I will wait and see how much time I have left before I decide if
to fit yet or not. Also in the post was the thermostat control I
ordered for the radiator fan. It just fits into the radiator fins
near as possible to the outlet hose, then supply a live feed. It
comes on at 82 degrees. The stat was £25 from Merlin Motorsport.
Now to finish off the bonnet catch, as I am using the sierra original
setup I also need to fix up a release for the safety catch. Off
to the local bicycle shop and picked up a length of bike brake cable
and a couple of adjusters. Then I made up two brackets, one for
the actuating arm on the release mechanism and another for underneath
the front tube where I will mount a release arm.
I made a little lever from 3mm flat and mounted it under the front
nearside chassis tube, this connects to the end of the release cable,
you just have to reach under the nearside of the nose cone to release
After having a think about the top locating clip I decided to use
an exhaust clamp, this would also allow for some height adjustment.
The clamp had to be mounted on an arm fixed to the centre fixing
bots of the bonnet.
Once everything was lined up it works very well, jobs a good'un.
Time to re-visit the heater now and fix the ducting under the bonnet.
I used the same method as most 2B builders and bought some 22mm
Marly pipe from B&Q. I cut two lengths of pipe joined with a
tee piece, then cut a slot the same size as the slots in the bonnet.
I cut the air direction vents from the material supplied in the
kit, then screwed the whole lot up together. Once fixed I spread
silicon sealer around the pipes to ensure a airtight fit to the
Grey waste pipe for a dishwater turned out to be exactly the right
size for the ducting required to join my Marly pipe to the Mini
Looking around the car I suddenly realised there was no rear number
plate mounting or light!. Found the one supplied with the kit, sorted
out a live feed and mounted the lot on the rear wheel mounting chassis
The only mechanical jobs left are to fit a radiator expansion tank
and radiator fan.