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Old 18-07-2018, 04:19 AM   #1
vtecfour
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Subframe: Brian Cambel
CC: 1600
Make: Honda
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Default Mini VTEC w/Campbell subframe finally on the road - a 15 year project

Been a member for a couple of years and finally have something worthy to post.

My Mini VTEC project began fifteen years ago with a visit to Craig's Automotive (Mission, Canada) for Mini parts. While perusing the counter, I viewed his computer monitor that happened to have a page describing Brian Campbell's custom-made subframe to accept a Honda B16A2 motor/gearbox to fit in the stock engine compartment. Well, that was just astonishing to me at the time, so I contacted Brian and made arrangements to purchase one in his first batch along with new driveshafts.



A Honda B16A2 motor with a Y21 transmission was soon purchased from Evo Garage, a local JDM parts importer.

There was quite a lull after these initial purchases so construction's really been in earnest the last while spurred on by the availability of Jackson Autosport, my trusted local shop in Winnipeg, Canada. They built and still care for my VW Caddy 16V pick up, 23 years on. Thanks to John and Marshall for their mechanical aptitude, fabrication skills and "let's do it right" attitude.

Specs:
- modified Brian Campbell subframe and driveshafts
- JDM Honda B16A2 motor
- Y21 five-speed transmission with Steve Alexander group buy 3.6 final drive gears
- modified Honda gear selector
- modified Honda intake manifold to clear bulkhead
- Honda Civic radiator
- stock ECU
- custom engine management wiring harness by Marshall
- stock Honda exhaust manifold and custom 2" SS exhaust with Magnaflow muffler by John
- Bosch 044 universal inline fuel pump
- stock 7 gallon fuel tank
- 12" Ultralite rims with Yokohama 539 tires
- Minispares 4 pot calipers for 8.4 solid discs
- Mini Spares adjustable tie rods and lower arms
- Spax Krypton adjustable shocks, front and rear
- S Racer red coil springs, front and rear
- Hi Lo adjustable struts, front and rear
- Wilwood brake and clutch master/pedal assembly
- Speed Hut GPS speedometer

I know of only two owners of completed Mini VTECs with the Campbell subframe, one in the USA and the other in the UK. That was over a decade ago so I wonder if they still own them. I'd love to let Brian know but his old contact info doesn't work anymore.

My aims were to have a stock looking car externally and a clean engine/gearbox installation worthy of the factory. I believe we've achieved that and the performance is everything I read online and heard about.







Thanks also to Steve Alexander for the group buy final drive gears, David at Evo Garage for the Honda motor/trans and Mike Smith (Victoria Mini Club) for advice and encouragement.

Back to more fun and sorting out.

Dan in Winnipeg, Canada

Last edited by vtecfour; 21-07-2018 at 07:39 PM. Reason: more detail
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:57 AM   #2
Mini Vlatko
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Oh WOW! I thought only Vtec Steve here have a Brian Campbell subframe!
That looks like a nice build! Why not put it in build thread with some more pics?
15 years as a project is quite a lot but still shorter than mine 16 and still not finished...not even engine started
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Old 18-07-2018, 07:54 AM   #3
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I can move this thread to the Honda Builds section if you like and you can add photos of the build ? We all like build threads and photos
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New subframe fitting has begun - slowly

Build Thread - Standard Round Nose with K series subframe build begun
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Old 18-07-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
vtecfour
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I don't really have very many progress pics so I didn't post in "builds".

If it'll be more informative to move there, please do so and I'll post pics.

Dan
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Old 19-07-2018, 09:47 AM   #5
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No worries, all done for you
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New subframe fitting has begun - slowly

Build Thread - Standard Round Nose with K series subframe build begun
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Old 20-07-2018, 05:50 AM   #6
vtecfour
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Here are some images to give a better idea of the guts and a view of the car.

Underside - Subframe, motor/gearbox, exhaust










Underside - fuel pump


Underside - gear shift selector


Notched engine oil pan to clear tie rod


Alternator located in left front fender well behind headlamp


Dash - brace for Wilwood pedal/master cylinder assembly


External - quarter rear view_left side


Working now on cosmetics - dash infill around the instrument binnacle, sound proofing and carpeting in front footing areas, adding chrome trim to door's window frames.

Dan in Canada

Last edited by vtecfour; 21-07-2018 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 20-07-2018, 01:11 PM   #7
Dopeshow
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Looks great.
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Old 20-07-2018, 01:45 PM   #8
Harley
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Whats holding the engine in? Looks like the main engine mount has been removed for space to mount the alternator.
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Old 21-07-2018, 03:47 AM   #9
vtecfour
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The motor mounts were changed from the subframe's original positions. There's a front one now and the rear is in a different position.

Front


Rear


The original transmission location was kept.



It's all solidly mounted with no rubber insulating vibrations. A bit noisy and buzzy in the interior but acceptable.

Dan
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Old 21-07-2018, 07:09 AM   #10
Harley
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Thats okay - but I were you I would check that front mount for bolt tightness and weld cracks every 500 miles or so. It has a lot of weight to cope with!
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