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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 29-11-2011, 09:43 PM   #7
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Good write up, some useful info there
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Old 30-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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It has been a lot of work to get this far so it is good to get it running!

The altenator had siezed. This meant the engine would not turn over even though the wiring was correct but I only found this out after jump starting it and all hell being let loose under bonnet! Smoke and screaming from the burning belt (which was brand new).

It was a little scarey driving it for the first time, but it was all ok. The accelerator pedal and cable weren't fitted so could only run it on tickover. It is now moddified and fitted. Brakes also worked fine but do seem to have a lot of travel. Hope this will improve when bedded in.

The wiring nightmare continues. I have pulled it all out now to shorten every wire as it's all about 4 feet too long!
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Old 20-01-2012, 12:13 AM   #9
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19/12/2011

Wiring is back in the car and engine runs again. Still got all the lights, etc, etc to wire up but the switches and fuse boxes are in with wires running to each component. Just needs the ends sorting. I've quit today as it's too cold in the garage!

Here's the before and after photo's of the main loom. Third one is what I've cut out of the main loom. There's also more component wiring eg ABS and electric windows, sunroof, which has also been removed.





Disused wires.


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Old 20-01-2012, 12:17 AM   #10
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13/1/2012

Had a nice quiet Christmas and didn't do any Mini stuff at all. Now it's new year I can continue with Phoenix.

Since fitting the engine and gearbox I have had a serious oil leak from one of the drive shaft seals. I have had to order one from Rimmer brothers as no-one had one locally. This has now been fitted and means that I can drive the Mini.

I've got the wiring in the rear of the car. The washer bottle has had to be put in here like a later injection model would have. Fuel pump and sender wired up properly. The rear Mk2 lights have new rubbers and now work as they should. Boot refitted with number plate light.

Next was the wipers. Had a lot of drama with this, but turned out to be a simple fix.
On a Mini the wipers are fed by 2 power wires through the switch and earthed at the motor. On the Rover the motor is fed with power and the switches go to earth. I thought well it's only a motor, it can run backwards no problem! It did, but would not park at the end of each stroke. So I thought I'd wired it up wrong but after changing it around various ways I found that it was right in the first place and the park switch was faulty. So a new switch has been ordered. I now have wipers that work and have intermittent wipers too!

The next thing is the headlight bowls. Basically the engine / radiator protrude into the area of the bowl. These need to be "adjusted" to fit.
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Old 29-01-2012, 09:45 PM   #11
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Looking good keep up the good work
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #12
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Blooming cold working at this time of year so bobbing in and out to try to keep this moving along.

Got my plastic headlight bowls from the Stafford Mini show last weekend. They have been heated up using the hot air gun and them reformed using a plank of wood to clear the radiator and engine timing cover. I've fitted and wired them up today with a new halogen lamp kit as the sealed beam ones are poor.

Cleaned up the grill and side lights I got from Classic Mini Bits and trial fitted these which seems all good.





Just those silly corners to do next.....

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Old 21-04-2012, 07:27 PM   #13
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It's been a while since last update so here goes to whats been happening.

A local Mini based shop had an open day to try sell off some of there used Mini stuff. I got most of the parts I needed to finish Phoenix from there for £20!

I got a 2" RC40 back box
Top dash rail with vents and ashtray
Battery clamp
Various bolts and rubber mounts
An alloy wheel for a spare as it's the same as mine.

I hated the loudness of the exhaust which Lee had fitted to my car. It only used the middle box from the Rover as a back box and was very loud. So I've cut the long pipe and welded it back so the box is now in the middle and then fitted the RC40 to the end. It has a nice chrome side exit pipe and is no louder than a normal Mini but has a nice deep note to it.

I've been trying to get this ready for the road so needed to finish the front panel. This has been a pain and still not happy about it but don't know how to improve it. Basically it was rotten so decided to cut the bottom off and just weld sheet along it to create a front apron. Then I had to make some spacer pieces to bolt it to the front subframe. It works ok but not the most attractive front apron.



Also took this which is my other Mini and my mates in background!



I'm trying to get the inside finished now. I have trial fitted the dash rails and have to mount the speedo onto a bracket from an 1980's Mini. I got some carpet from Stafford Mini show and have fitted them.

Hopefully not long now....

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Old 22-04-2012, 09:02 AM   #14
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Looks good this. The vvc always makes a nice exhaust note but hard to keep them quiet. Its a shame how the frame doesn't fit under the clubman front. Did you think about making the sub frame shorter?
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Old 22-04-2012, 04:10 PM   #15
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I have been disappointed in Watsons who never even mentioned it when I talked about fitting it. I did consider cutting the frame but when you spend £800 buying a kit to fit it, I didn't want to ruin it! I wish I'd just made my own now....
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