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Old 08-09-2016, 12:31 PM   #1
miniaddict92
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Hi There,

New to 16v but not mini's.

I have had a 94 Sprite 1275 and 90 998 Mayfair (converted to 1275 when 998 blew). I sold the mayfair maybe 4 years ago now.

Past car history includes Fiat Punto, Mini Sprite (write off) , Mayfair, Mk4 Golf Gti ,MINI Cooper S R53 shape, and now a 2015 Seat Ibiza FR.

The FR is great by no means and beats the mini as a daily car hands down however although its a good car dare I say its not 'fun' .

Its a well in advance welcome as I don't plan to start a project till after my wedding in April next year. Yes wedding first then once that's out of the way I can put some money aside to start a project.

I was planning a Micra conversion but since reading through the rover part of the forum and build pages I might have been swayed towards the rover swap preferably 1.8 VCC .

Some questions I have are:

Is there a 'best' donor car to use for parts? The engine is in a few cars so wondered if one is better to get than another.

Can the turbo 1.8 in the MGZT be fitted the same as the VVC I presume they are the same size as the normal but with a turbo?

I have never welded or fabricated on any of my previous minis as they were solid when a bought them and bodywork was good on both I mainly tinkered with their engines. I also have never messed on with any wiring Will I be taking on more than I can chew ? I don't plan to have it done in months by no means rather a couple years due to funds and spare time. I would rather do it myself as much as possible even if it takes a bit longer.

My dad has just bought a lotus elise and the 1.8 shifts well in that so I decided I would only get another mini if it had a more modern engine compared to the A series which spent more time on the drive than the road.

Appreciate any help or advise.

Craic seems to be a lot better on here than TMF
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Old 08-09-2016, 02:19 PM   #2
AGoaty
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First of all, welcome to the forum!

Second, I do hope that's the last time the other forum you used is quoted! It's not very popular on here...

Third, good engine choice (although I am biased). I have a 1.8 VVC Rover engined Mini Clubman. I hope you have seen my build diary. It's been "fun" at times but has spent more time on the road than it would of in A series form. Had loads of them and managed to break almost every one of them.

The first question you need to ask yourself is what is the car going to be used for. I built mine as a fast road Mini but after going drag racing or on track days (great fun) realise there are upgrades to help performance that you wouldn't want or need in a road car.

That said, you then have to choose an engine. I have the old VVC engine which has 143bhp as standard. It has been tweeked to around 160bhp and everyone who has driven it comes away with a massive smile on there face. I know there are quicker cars out there but it was built to be reliable and be quicker than most road going cars. In that, it works really well.

It will accelerate 0 - 60 in around 5 seconds.



So, you ask yourself, do I want more???

The later VVC engine, in cars 2000 onwards, has 160bhp and is the same amount of work fitting as the early one. This is what I'd go for if doing it again. An MG ZR 160 is the best car as a donor but an MG TF 160 has same engine. This engine can be remapped to around 175bhp without any other mods. It is possible to get this under a standard, roundnose front although easier with extended one or Clubman.

The turbo is getting popular due to being well over 200bhp, but is quite a lot more involved. The engine has to be placed as far back in the engine bay as possible due to the turbo mounted at the front. This will stick out of even a Clubman front. The engine comes from a MG ZT 1.8T but needs an MPi MG ZR loom and remapped ECU to run it.

Which ever setup you choose, you want to use a PG1 gearbox. These are cheap and plentiful, but choose your ratio's carefully. This area I overlooked myself and learned the hard way about altering it. The best stock box is a C6 ratio and is good upto 140mph. An LSD can be fitted onto that if required, although getting expensive!

There are 2 main companies making off the shelf frames. Others have made their own but won't recommend doing this if you've never welded before! Mine is a Watson's kit. It's a Rover Metro based frame and uses Metro hubs and brakes. It also uses standard MG F driveshafts. You need Metro wheels with this kit.
The other is Allspeed which is a Mini based frame and has Mini hubs and brakes. You keep normal Mini wheels with this setup. It's designed for an R65 box but a custom made mount allows use of the PG1 (much stronger) box. Allspeed are now making driveshafts but they are expensive. Most people are using cut and shut ones.

There are people on here who will make you a frame.

Hope all this information isn't too much to take in! Keep reading the Rover section and you'll see that these cars are often a toy rather than a build and leave alone. They are regularly in bits to do improvements.

Keep us posted and if you see us about or at a show, give us a wave!

It will help others if you fill in the "about you" section of the details. You can edit them if needed. With no information given you could be anywhere in the world!

Just as an example of the different engines, This is me at Castle Combe last year. You see Charly in his Turbo Mini go past at 2.35. The car is much quicker than most A series but the turbo is quicker again!

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Last edited by AGoaty; 08-09-2016 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:35 AM   #3
miniaddict92
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Oh dear many apologies! Advice received.

Yes i have seen it and subscribed too. Yes thats the same here i do love the handling and all the things that can be done to them but after my last mini i decided a series never again.....sorry purists!

It will be a road car for weekends only and do the odd track day a year. I want it to be relatively comfortable not an all out race car.

Very impressive 5 seconds. I love the sound in the cabin the engine sounds brilliant. Must leave most modern hot hatches for dust.

Thats ideally what i would like good reliable power which when i want to take it out and turn the key it starts and can do the odd long distance trip to shows.

I only plan to make do this once so i will be aiming to go for the 160 engine when the time comes. Would like to keep the turbo as an option further down the line if i feel like pushing it further.

Are the Pg1 gearboxes standard to the MG ZR 160 or a particular engine/ car ? or will i have to mate this to the 1.8 block seperately?

Think i will need to do some research into ratio's etc not an area im familiar with? I think 140mph in a mini is insane though. be touching cloth I think.

I take it with the watsons kit the width of the car will increase due to the MG F driveshafts being standard length?

I would prefer to use the mini hubs and brakes to keep it looking relatively standard.

Yes i did check their website and was thinking it will take even longer due to their prices.

How reliable are the cut and shut ones ? Or is this dependant on how good the person is who is making them?

I like information i plan on making a build list of everything i will need and what will be sourced from where.

I did see the castle combe show was on however its over 5 hours from me and just to far to go for the one day with everything else at the moment.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:51 PM   #4
AGoaty
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Best keep your eyes out for a donor car then!

The standard MG ZR 160 has the PG1 box with a G4. The ratio's in it are meant for 17" wheels. if you just bolted it to the 13" wheels it's really low geared. Max speed is about 115mph but it revs at 4200rpm at 70, which is what I did wrong when I built mine.

Just get a C6 box from a 1.8 non VVC engine and the final drive gives a much better selection of gears.

You say you want to do research of ratios. Use this.

http://www.cargister.com/calculator-gear-ratio

Add in the details and you'll see what I mean.

The diesel ratios will fit inside the petrol box but it means building a custom one. This is what I currently have and think it's slowed the car down. That's why I think the C6 is the best stock box.

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Old 13-09-2016, 12:25 PM   #5
miniaddict92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGoaty View Post
Best keep your eyes out for a donor car then!

The standard MG ZR 160 has the PG1 box with a G4. The ratio's in it are meant for 17" wheels. if you just bolted it to the 13" wheels it's really low geared. Max speed is about 115mph but it revs at 4200rpm at 70, which is what I did wrong when I built mine.

Just get a C6 box from a 1.8 non VVC engine and the final drive gives a much better selection of gears.

You say you want to do research of ratios. Use this.

http://www.cargister.com/calculator-gear-ratio

Add in the details and you'll see what I mean.

The diesel ratios will fit inside the petrol box but it means building a custom one. This is what I currently have and think it's slowed the car down. That's why I think the C6 is the best stock box.

Yes I will , been looking already.

Will need to find a good mini to put it in too.

Ah I see what you mean now with the ratios , the link is very helpful.

Thanks for all the help.
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