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Old 11-01-2004, 07:45 PM   #1
PaulAmes
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 730
Subframe: Watson
CC: 1600
Make: Honda
ECU: Standard
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Yeh - good idea - this might take a while but lets have a go.

Six months ago I thought I would buy a mini – haven’t had one since my first car when I was 17 and I am now 21. I crashed the last one into a hedge. I have always wanted to do one and was looking at A series engines from Mini Sport etc.

On the day I was going to look at one I bought a mag with a guide on how to put a VTEC in there and that was that I was going to do it. Later that day I got my mate to sit in a 1979 brown mini while I towed it home. Bodywork was good as it had sat in a garage for ten years and only had a mileage of 40000!

The same day I just did it. I cut the front end off and started stripping it and by the end of that week both sub frames were off and it was a shell. I hadn’t done anything like this before so was on a very steep learning curve.

I stripped the underside paint off the car while it was on its side. Got a new rear sub frame, bushes, handbrake cable, brake stuff, cleaned the radius arms, new shocks, cones, and rear valance. Did some welding on near the sub frame holes and on the underside of the seats. Used Ditronel RC800 on and rust I could not get to then painted the underside and put all the rear sub frame back together. Installed a stainless battery box.

The sills amazingly were fine – I whacked them everywhere with a screwdriver! Welded up some holes in the A-panels. Cleaned the front end and treated rust and painted with an etching primer and then the 2 pack red paint. I then bolted on the Watson’s sub frame and put the suspension together which had all been cleaned and painted. The engine was all cleaned up and clutch was replaced, as was the oil filter and the cam belt. New mounts and inner CV joints were bought and assembled. The engine was bolted into place and the rear mount was welded in place with strengthening brackets either side of the footwell. A Honda steering column was used and brackets were made.

The front end was going to be a Watson’s front but was replaced with one from ABS motor sport. This fitted well and a steel frame was made to strengthen it and was fiberglassed to it. Nissan micra bonnet catches were used to fix it and it was now time to start putting engine bits in.

The rad is from a Honda Civic vti, got a girling 0.625 master cylinder for the clutch, metro gti brake master cylinder, custom stainless air intake, stainless cooling hoses, pedal box required a lot of messing about to get to fit (hopefully its correct now!!). The alternator bracket was fixed in place and a new belt found. The exhaust was a Mini Play one and needed extending to fit. The fuel pump was a bosh one from Geoff at Watson’s as was the fuel filter. Dual tanks are fitted with the return. The front fuel filter is the original Honda one. The inside was painted a few weeks ago and so now everything is starting to fit in, like the pedal box tanks, handbrake etc. The wiring is getting sorted slowly and is the last major thing to get sorted.

I have now bought most parts to fit to the car – its just a matter of doing it.

I have to finish the sound insulation, fit the carpet, paint the front and rear roll cages and bolt it, fit the dash from dash of colour, fit the heater, fit the seats which will probably come from MWS. Fit the wheels, lights bumpers all chrome – front sports pack arches. Get the spray job done. OH AND THE ELECTRONICS!!!! (this is being done by someone else and he says it is no problem, he says he has done similar things before!!) I have a Concept 300 alarm to fit as well.

Obviously there is a lot more to do but the hard work is done. Sorry if I babbled on – its very brief but there you go. I hope to have it done in the next couple of months.

Paul
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:41 PM   #2
PaulAmes
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 730
Subframe: Watson
CC: 1600
Make: Honda
ECU: Standard
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Today I have been to the scrappy and picked up a the fuse/realay boxes so I can start the wireing - have also taken a look at my front roll cage and have realised that I have mounted the rear one in the wrong place as it doesnt clear the seatbelt mechanisms! Will correct this at the weekend.

Have also fitted the mini heater with an addition of a heat control from the honda rather than the mini one (looks much better). Roll cage is now fitted correctly. Tested my new MWS seats and they are very high but I think I can fix it - very nice seats by the way.
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Old 26-01-2004, 04:01 PM   #3
PaulAmes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 730
Subframe: Watson
CC: 1600
Make: Honda
ECU: Standard
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Well,

I have recived a concept 300 alarm, carpet, and adjustarides this week.

I was supposed to start the wireing this weekend but failed due to realising that I haven't got sufficient wireing diagrams so that is this weeks challenge! My other job from now on is to prepare the car for painting this meant fitting a bigger arch to the front than the sportspacks that I have. I decided to widen the current arches by 1 inch using fiberglass and filler. Never done anything like this before but they came out fairly well and look much stronger than I imagined. The fiberglass gives great strength - just took ages to sand em down. I bolted these to the front end and then cut them where the front end joins the body. They fit fairly well - just some more filler and sanding required to get the front end up to scratch. The rear adjusta rides were also put on the car and it now takes a much better stance than before. My main concern at the moment is getting the car to start. I dont want to take it to the paint shop untill this is done.

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Old 10-02-2004, 11:29 AM   #4
PaulAmes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 730
Subframe: Watson
CC: 1600
Make: Honda
ECU: Standard
Send a message via MSN to PaulAmes
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Well I have now stripped half of the car down raedy for me to put the Etch primer on - I am only doing this lightly to protect it untill it is taken to teh sprayers - hopefullty in the next couple of weeks. The bloke who is supposed to be doing the wireing has let me down a bit so its up to me and my wealth of electrical knowlege!! I got a wiring look for the inside of the car to connect the ecu and ignition up etc and it all seems to plug into the rest of the loom fine apart from a couple of plugs at the right hand side of teh engine - will find out what this is later! I tried turning the key and got a click of a relay and the solinoid for the starter kicked in but thats that. I will have a better look soon!
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