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Old 07-04-2014, 09:59 PM   #16
minimutley
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Another point, echoing apbellamy, idiots are building (and charging big money) for a series engines for customers that know no different, with totally the wrong parts. I'm talking std hepolite pistons at 12 to 1 comp, 296 cams, massively ported heads, huge exhausts and the other day one had a webber 45 - barmy.
Get the spec right, with a decent gearbox and it will do 50k and go on for years. If you want a race engine for the road perhaps a mini engine is not the best choice?
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:42 AM   #17
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Got to say, once you realise that the people saying "it'll mess up the handling!" are talking out of their ar$es, it's very hard to consider a tuned A series. Most of us on the forum have had tuned A's before, and that's why we're here.
what he meant to say was " Most of us on the forum has broken a tuned a series before and that's why we are here
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:31 AM   #18
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Well minimutly at least you have plenty of choice these days,
I come from a time were we we're stuck with tuning the (A)
As you say fools overcaming ect never understood anything about long life of the (A)
And it still happens today hear with some 16v ers. But that's ther lookout ain't it, I left the spanners alone I kept my road mk1 and a brand new mk1 and every new bit it needs witch is concreted in my celler
I turned my back on things for 15 years for other reasons,
Then I wake up one day and find this club.
Say no more.
I love gays,
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:34 AM   #19
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I never had an issue with the A series engine - it was the gearbox and clutch that I had most of my "falling out" with.
I think most people overlook the capabilities of what a standard Mini gearbox can cope with.
Build a 100bhp engine and stick it on the standard 'box.
It's not as much of an issue with rwd A series cars.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:14 PM   #20
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I've never blown a box on an A series. I've known two people who have - both in Metros (extra weight perhaps), one the mainshaft snapped and left the pinion lying in the bottom of the box, the other the diff pin exploded. I know the one with the diff pin was driven hard, the other was one that some guys from our Mini Club repaired for someone.

I think the boxes tend to fail more to do with being mistreated than the mere application of power (actually torque, its torque that breaks boxes). Yes the box has its limits but treating it carefully goes someway to keeping them together when things get marginal.

Vizards book suggests around 90 lb/ft for a standard box (hence the boost limiting at lower revs on the Metro Turbo and ERA), 110lb/ft if using S/C drops and 125 lb/ft fully S/C

IMHO of course
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:35 PM   #21
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I've never blown a box on an A series. I've known two people who have - both in Metros (extra weight perhaps), one the mainshaft snapped and left the pinion lying in the bottom of the box, the other the diff pin exploded. I know the one with the diff pin was driven hard, the other was one that some guys from our Mini Club repaired for someone.

I think the boxes tend to fail more to do with being mistreated than the mere application of power (actually torque, its torque that breaks boxes). Yes the box has its limits but treating it carefully goes someway to keeping them together when things get marginal.

Vizards book suggests around 90 lb/ft for a standard box (hence the boost limiting at lower revs on the Metro Turbo and ERA), 110lb/ft if using S/C drops and 125 lb/ft fully S/C

IMHO of course
I broke two gearboxes and all down to torque (was over 100lbs/ft). Oh and snapped a crank - LOL.
The other thing is that the oil is shared, which is not so good an idea. Oil gets a real pounding in the gearbox and then is used in the engine bearings. Something breaks in the gearbox and you can have shrapnel going through the engine bearings as well. You can get good power from an A series engine. Pretty sure we've all done this on here, just it costs a lot of money and it's a bloody old design, so if you are getting lots more power the reliability goes down. If your doing a 16v engine transplant with its nice 5 speed gearbox, this can give super mini power and torque, 5 gears and reliability. Just you don't have to tune the hell out of that engine and reintroduce any unnecessary reliability again.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:56 PM   #22
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I dont know how much power I had, (rolling roads didn't exist in NI during the mid eighties) but I once broke the aluminium casing around the main bearing.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:11 PM   #23
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I know this is not why most are on here but I found my old 1380 (95bhp and lb/ft) was ample for running around I didn't really need more power I just wanted it for the hell of it (that 1380 engine cost me a lot less than my vtec did !!). The A series and box are I think still great for a decent road mini, with a cam change I could have broken 100bhp pretty easily for a little sacrifice lower down but that power would have come from more revs so the torque output would not change much, so even a 100+bhp 1380 should not be an automatic box wrecker. That being said, as well as not abusing the box, all my minis got regular oil changes at 3000mile intervals. That 1380 engine and box was built by Swiftune so it was done properly

The 4 speed box never bothered me, even when I lived in the UK and did motorway miles I was never bothered about the revs at those speeds, that's what driving a mini was all about

I'm not on here cos I hate the A series or am fed up with them breaking, I simply wanted to try something different. Put it this way I'm currently building a Clubman Estate and that's getting a mildly tuned 1275 and I'll be happy with that
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #24
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It's down to a) how well it's put together and b) how well it's maintained.

Me and a mate had a metro van running about 220bhp and similar torque through a s/c box & drops. We built it to tight tolerances with new bearings through out and it took all the abuse we could throw at it.

In a previous incarnation we ran about 150bhp on a helical box with s/c drops. The single roller bearing collapsed. Any amount of power with an a series and you need a 4 pin diff.

It's torque that kills them. The all helical boxes get loads of twisting through the drop gears which wears the bearings in the transfer case and the single roller bearing. Eventually third gear shreds it's teeth.

Clutches are no bother these days. Get two verto clutches, strip them and assemble one with the springs from both clutches. Loads of grip for big torque, but no munched thrusts.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:00 PM   #25
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There are reliability issues now that didn't exist years ago. For instance the gearbox main bearings, single and double, used to wear out eventually, but the cages were steel. later on they became plastic - oops. Also the main shaft fatiguing and shearing next to the pinion, rarely happened years ago I suspect someone changed the material or heat treatment. Also the earlier gears rarely stripped, but the A+ ones are finer, and do let go.
Having said that, the modern A+ box, with early 4 sync gears should be a fairly strong piece. The A+ solid main bearing has got to be an improvement, and wedging the crank is a must if you're revving it over 6000.
A customer and old friend of mine rallies a 1380 mini, twice he stripped the teeth off a std 4.1 pinion, wrecking the rest of the box, casing, oil pump etc. I told him to call swiftune and ask them for a semi helical - problem solved.
The engine has been back since - dropped a valve (std), the stem had snapped by the collet groove. The cause? hopelessly worn out cam and followers, its a wonder it ran at all. Every failure he's suffered has been down to poor component choice, from pistons (3 or 4 powermax), diff (2 std), valve train (minisport cam), oh, and the original engine picked up because the builder had bored it too tight. If the thing had been built right he probably would have had a rebuild at the end of each season, with some tweeks to improve torque etc, for less money. Moral is don't buy bananas components, or ones that aren't up to the job...
The problem is we're all power hungry animals, and when you can get manic acceleration coupled with go-kart handling it's difficult to resist.
Let no one tell you it's easy, or cheap.....
Huw
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:47 PM   #26
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I've been over come by this, make no mistake the (a) is the finest thing ever in the day,
It's given so much to us all for the past 40 years of motor sport(clubman)
Meaning working man, I don't mean as its a definition
But in the early days the workmanship and steal qwailaty was real good,
Now don't forget this transverse unit was simply a marvel, almost mirical proportion ,
Drunk I am but shall I compair it to the mobile phone or t,v remote control or evn emails,
I'm hoping you get my point,
Now although it's a marvel it cannot compair to modern ecwivalants,
So without getting dark grab any modern 90 hp engine or obouve and shove it into your beloved mini and have some fun, happy days
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:22 AM   #27
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hHi,

For fairness on Mini boxes, mine has now 12000 Km with a 16v K1100LT A series from specialist components, driven spiritedly but not raced, and I have a few 100000'Kms in A series cars, so that I know more or less how to drive them. My engine is dyno'ed in two separate dinos at 138 Hp and 110 lbf... no issues WHATSOEVER with my box so far...

I agree with what was said, in case you shunt the A series box, you'll blow it, but stick to some rules and it's fine. As for rebuilt, yes, 4 pin difff, good gears and it's fine.

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Old 09-04-2014, 09:47 AM   #28
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Been thinking about this some more (actually noticed my join date, so you can see I have been thinking about it for sometime!) and I have also just got an unjust speeding fine and points, so think either a Micra conversion or a 75/80bhp a series, but get the 5 speed

My thinking with the 5speed is that I can use a longer final drive bit have five shorter gears so making it "feel" faster.

It will more or less depend on my mate who is going to put it together (eventually...)

So much has happened in the last decade since joining this site. Things have got in the way, good and bad. Maybe this time the stars are aligned!?

But then there will be no more putting things off!!!
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:04 PM   #29
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Got to say, once you realise that the people saying "it'll mess up the handling!" are talking out of their ar$es, it's very hard to consider a tuned A series. Most of us on the forum have had tuned A's before, and that's why we're here.



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Old 07-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #30
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I wasn't saying A's cant make power, just that you can get the same power for a lot less cash with a 16v conversion.
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