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Old 27-11-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
AGoaty
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Default Wolf in sheeps clothing.

Hi everyone.

As a few people know I have been doing my Mini with 1.8 VVC engine conversion for a while. I have done a build diary on my club website so shall transfer the info over to here.

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Started 06/02/2011

After visiting various events last year and seeing quite a few Mini's with the K series engine fitted this seemed a brilliant idea.

Advantages of the conversion, more power, better fuel economy, 5 speed gearbox, a lighter Mini (20kg less than standard), better brakes and all the parts used are off the shelf items.

Disadvantages are mainly the difficulty of the conversion, wiring (although I have tried this before so quite hopefull in this area), having to use 13" wheels.

So I've done my research. I've talked the talk to the guys at Watson Rally who will supply the conversion kit. They make it sound easy so I'll report any drama that takes place during the fitting.

I needed to find an engine and gearbox from a Rover or MG. It could be any of their range but I have bought this.



It's a Rover 200 Vi with the 1.8 VVC engine fitted. It has got a receipt with it to show the cylinder head has had valves, guides and uprated head gasket fitted. Once this lot has been removed the rest will be sold to try to recover some of the money back! I bought the car for 250 with MOT and tax until April! I drove it home and it's quick!

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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13/02/2011

The engine is almost ready to be remove now. All ancilleries have been removed drive shafts out wiring plugs off. I've borrowed an engine lifter for this job.

There's always a nut that won't come off causing time and effort. This one was the exhaust manifold to front pipe nut. Someone has rounded the nut before we got there so will have to drill it out when out of the car.

Kyle has removed the dash and we can now hopefully get the entire wiring loom out. This does look interesting as there's tons of it! Not like a Mini.....
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Old 27-11-2011, 11:38 PM   #3
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05/03/2011

The engine is out.





All wiring is out too but needs excess wires removing.

I said that I would report any drama in doing this job and I've had some already. I dropped the engine onto my finger. When I stopped crying I took a photo. It has got a lovely shade of black since this was taken, and the photo of the engine has my blood all over it!



I had a few parts on ebay that the rest of the car had left on but not had a lot of interest. Only thing that has sold is the headlights which I got 30 for. I also sent back the tax so hopefully will get 2 months back from that. The alloys are the same as Sammy's MG so she can have them. The rest will go to scrap this week.

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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07/03/2011

The finger isn't looking too good if truth be told but it hasn't done any long term damage so it will get better about October I reckon.



Anyway I have now scrapped the Rover. I got 100 for it.

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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21/03/2011

I have found a shell from a round nose Mini which has had an accident at the front. Ideal to cut it off and fit a Clubman one onto. I have bought this as a full car.


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Old 27-11-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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06/04/2011

The Mini is taking shape.

I have stripped out the front and rear subframes. The front one dispite the crash, was in decent condition. I got the 850 engine running and then sold the lot on ebay.

The speedo was the old type with the two gauges on the edges. I sold them too!

The Mini has got black vinyl seats. I have sold them to Lee along with the rear subframe which I thought was poor. He's doing the welding work for me.

Basically the car now is very cheap.

I now have to start putting new panels onto it. I have got new front floor pans, both outer sills, both door steps, A panels, boot repair panel, rear valence, battery box and boot hinge repair panel. These have cost 108. I still need to decide about steel or fiberglass front.

As anyone knows when starting these things, when you get back to a shell you find more work to do, Hence the long list of panels.

Lee has offered to do the welding for a price. He's highly qualified and very good. He's looking for work at the moment so if anyone want s anything doing let me know. :cheers: (EDIT SEE OTHER POSTS)












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Old 27-11-2011, 11:46 PM   #7
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16/04/2011

I have been and collected the subframe kit from Watsons. It comprises the adapted subframe from a Rover Metro to fit the K series engine and PG1 gearbox which my VVC engine has. It has turrets welded to it to hold the coil springs with adjustable ride height. Gaz adjustable shocks. 65mm wide spacers for the rear wheels to allow the track of the Mini to be the same front and rear. All these parts are new.

Also supplied are the top and bottom arms and driveshafts with 9.25" discs and calipers from the Metro. The steering rack from a Metro is used as it fits to the subframe rather than fixing to the bulkhead like a Mini. These parts are used items.

It also comes with a DVD of how to fit it.

I am looking into the possibility of fitting the Rover Vi brake setup onto here as it has 10" vented discs. I'm struggling to fit the brake servo, so have decided to try it without but fit big brakes instead. The rear brakes are a simple upgrade, by fitting the wider shoes from a front drum braked Mini, into the back. These are 1/4" wider and give better stopping power.

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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I have been and bought a steel front end off a Clubman from Classic Mini bits at Bradford. Very Happy

This will need fabricating onto my Mini once the rest of the welding is finished. (ongoing)

I need a Clubman bonnet if anyone has one for sale....

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:48 PM   #9
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05/05/2011

Most of the welding is now done. The front is photographed butted up to the Mini and will need welding.

I have had the front subframe trial fitted onto the car. This wasn't easy as the bolts didn't seem to line up. Anyway after a few adjustments, it fits now. Plates have to be welded onto the floor as the new subframe has solid mounts here. (photo)

The rear subframe has had to be welded as it wasn't in too good shape after a grinding up to remove the paint.








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Old 27-11-2011, 11:49 PM   #10
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More drama.

This time I'm not impressed with Watsons for not fully explaining what is needed to fit this kit. Basically it is suposed to fit under a Clubman front but it doesn't until you cut the front panel. This would leave a 2" steel bar from the subframe stuck out under the panel and look horrible.







So today it have sliced the ends and bent the front panel around the subframe. This looks better than I thought it might but is still not good.




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Old 27-11-2011, 11:51 PM   #11
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18/06/2011

More frustration!

Watsons told me to get engine mounts from a Metro/Rover 100. So after ringing about 8 scrapyards, I found one in Bradford. Went, took them off myself and came home only to find one fit, the other one didn't. So I rang him. He said "Oh you have got the 1.8. You'll need MG F mounts on the gearbox"! So I had to ring round again and found some at a different scrapyard, in Bradford. Came home and fit that.

The kit comes with a set of driveshafts from a Metro, but the CV joint is different. I changed the CV from my Rover's shaft to suit. Came to fit it and the driveshaft is too long. I need MG F driveshafts.

So it looks as though I'll have to go back to the scrapyard again.....
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Old 27-11-2011, 11:52 PM   #12
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Photo's speak for themselves.

Rollin' rollin' rollin'

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:54 PM   #13
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Slow progress I'm afraid. Too many other commitments and holidays!

The front end is on now. Various patches have had to be welded up as it turns out that it was rotten in a few places. New A panels fitted. The doors in the photo are rotten but I have obtained a pair of better ones but will need the hinges changing to fit them. The corner of the wings at the bottom will need something fabricating to fill the gaps where it has been pulled out to cover the subframe.



The clutch has been a nightmare to sort out. Various options have been tried. Most people opt for the hydralic clutch and fabricate a bracket to hold the slave cylinder, but A, I didn't have one, B, it takes up more room in the engine bay, C, I had the cable from the Rover. This has been a very interesting trial and error session which I do think is now sorted.

I have also adapted the steering column from the Rover, to fit into the Mini. This involved cutting down the shaft in length and removing one of the two universal joints. Many advantages of using this Rover the Mini one. A, I can use the nice steering wheel from the Rover, B, the switches are better, C, all the wiring connectors will fit from the Rover wiring loom.

The altenator has had to have a new bracket made as it didn't fit under the front panel and had a new shorter belt fitted.


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Old 27-11-2011, 11:57 PM   #14
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05/09/2011

Quite a bit done since last update.

The seats from a Honda Prelude are in after fabricating suitable brackets to the floor.

The pedal box which has been a right pain is finally finished and in.



Brakes and clutch now work as they should. All brake lines renewed. Cheers Peter for lending me the flaring tool.



The steering column has been shortened and fitted too after fabricating new mounting brackets. This is now height adjustable like the Rover was!



Rear suspension is finished with new knuckle joints and Spax adjustable shock absorbers. Rear spacers fitted along with correct wheels.





Front Gaz shock absorbers fitted.

Plenty more to do like fitting the wiring....



MPi fuel tank with pump in, and lines yet to be fitted.

Fabricating a bracket to hold the radiator and piping it up.

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Old 27-11-2011, 11:58 PM   #15
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12/11/2011

After another month of work it's coming along slowly.

Mini radiator is fitted backwards and at an angle, as pipes won't fit near gearbox the right way round.

Brackets for ECU, engine fuse box and expansion tank have been made. Cooling system is now all finished and filled with water. No fan as yet due to lack of space! I'll have to think about this at a later date.

Fuel tank is fitted and piped up along with new fuel lines.

A plate fitted to the bulkhead where the speedo was has been made to hold the Rover wiring which has been fitted and connected in the engine bay. The passenger fuse box has lots of wires which can be fitted into the same sockets and has been a week of "fun". Anyway I do think this is now sorted, but I appear to have lost the alarm module from the original car so it still doesn't work! Need to get it reprogrammed.

All the lights etc will need to have wires changed and lots of wiring to remove as the Mini won't have half the gadgets that the Rover had.

Hopfully my next post will included a video of it running! :lol!:
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