16v Mini Club Forums  

Go Back   16v Mini Club Forums > Builds > Honda Builds

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 21-09-2004, 08:34 PM   #1
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default Chad's Build Diary

OK, now that I've got started, it's time to do one of these build diaries. I wish I'd started this ages ago, as I have actually done quite a bit already - hopefully I'll be able to remember it all!

Whilst on holiday at CenterParcs, a friend of mine bought a copy of MiniWorld. Having had a Mini as my first car, I decided that I wanted to get one and spend some bucks on it. Having then read a copy of Keeping Your Mini Alive, I decided I wanted to do the VTec conversion. KYMA recommended either SAE or P&L as the way to go (unfortunately I'd not heard of Watson's), and so I planned to go with the SAE kit in order to keep the standard Mini hubs.

After getting back from CenterParcs, I looked on eBay and found a 1.6 DOHC VTEC. I had no idea how often these things came up, and so I placed a bid on it straight away. A few days later, I won the engine for 640 + 60 delivery. I had read that it was a much better idea to get a fully working donor car, but I decided not to as I didn't really have the space for it - looking back, I really wish I had done.

The engine was delivered about a week later. It was in a small container type trailer and was not secured. When it finally arrived (from Bradford), it was sitting on its side in a pool of oil - hopefully it didn't get too knackered!! The guys delivering it claimed to be couriers from Ilford, but they didn't really manage to pull it off with their Bradford accents!! To get the engine into the garage, it had to be dragged on a piece of carpet, as they didn't have anything to carry it with. I was told by the 'courier' (who I think was the actual person selling it) that the distributor and other bits would follow shortly. Since then, the eBay user is no longer a registered user on eBay.

Well after much inspecting of the engine, and some assistance from the CRX Workshop manual and Honda Parts Catalogue (both bought off ebay), I discovered that I was missing:

Distributor, ECU, Oil Drain Plug, Alternator, Spool Solenoid, Inlet Manifold, Injectors, Fuel Rail, Throttle Body, 2-1 part of the exhaust manifold, and the Clutch Slave Cylinder (that just about covers it for now, but there will probably be more).
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2004, 09:35 PM   #2
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Well the next step was to source the car. Due to my complete lack of experience with cars, I decided that I didn't want to have to get involved with restoring or spraying a car, so I decided to look for one in pristine condition. Because I didn't want to spray it, I needed to find one in my preferred colour.

Another search on ebay, and I discovered an E-Reg 'Jet Black' in red with a white roof. I never bothered to inspect the car beforehand, and went by the buyers info. A few days later I had won the auction at 1310, and so went to pick it up. Well the car was in very good condition on the outside. It had obviously been looked after, and looked like it had recently been resprayed. There was a dent in the bonnet, and looking back I'm not sure the wings lined up properly (one side looked lower than the other at the front), but I wasn't too fussed about this as I was cutting the front end off anyway. The interior was a bit on the shabby side and the roof lining was mouldy, but the interior is being completely replaced anyway, so I'm not that fussed about that either. I suppose I should have haggled the price a bit, but I wasn't really sure where I stood with regards to that through eBay, so I just paid the price and left.

The car drove back well (about 60 miles) and it seemed like a bit of a shame to take the engine out, but these things have to be done!
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2004, 10:08 PM   #3
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Well, I've got the engine and the car, and it's now time to source the missing parts. At this stage, I wasn't aware of some of the things that I was missing, but I knew I needed a distributor, and so tried to source one. My first port of call was eBay, but I was confused by all the different codes and meanings, so tried a friend who worked at Honda. He came back with a price of 300, so a bit more searching on the web led me to www.distributorking.com, where I ordered (although I still don't know whether it was the right one - it has 12 teeth on the Crank Trigger) a distributor for about 150 including delivery from the US.

The next step was to source all the missing parts for the air/fuel intake. Again, I didn't really know what I needed, and knew very little about Electronic Fuel Injection at the time, so thought to go with Carbs instead. This is what the SAE demo car had, although at the time I didn't know that it was about 35BHP short of what it should have been. Initially, I asked SAE for a price on making me a manifold like theirs, but I got a very unhelpful answer that told me I should search on the web. I spent days looking for manifolds on the internet that would satisfy my requirements, but found nothing. I eventually emailed a few companies asking for advice, and ended up getting a quote from DTA for a complete package including ECU, manifold, throttle bodies, sensors, and everything else I would need. It was pricey, but by this time I was so fed up with searching for a solution that I decided to go for it.
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2004, 10:41 PM   #4
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

The distributor and DTA Kit turned up about a week later. By this time I had learned that I was not going to be able to use my distributor with the DTA System, and discovered that I would also need to source some form of crank trigger. Again, much searching on the web and I found a kit by Electromotive specifically for the Honda B16 Engine. I had immense trouble finding somewhere to buy one from, and ended up having to buy it from the US. I couldn't find a single site that would sell me one online, so ended up calling Clewett Engineering. They took my details over the phone, and I received it a few days later - nice!

That is now installed and looks great. It was an absolutely nightmare to take off the old crank pulley to replace it with the new one. Initially I jammed a chisel in the flywheel to stop the engine turning, but I managed to snap that. Luckily I managed to get the broken bit of metal out, although I pineappleped myself a bit as I though a complete strip down of the engine was going to be necessary. In the end I had to buy a special tool from Snap On that cost me 60 ish, along with a big peachd torque wrench and breaker bar. A lot of money just to remove that one nut, but the torque wrench and breaker bar will come in handy in the future.

Next step was to work out what to do about the ignition as I could no longer use my distributor. A bit of research later, and the purchase of a bracket and 'bung' from Watson's, I had the distributor hole covered, and a bracket ready to mount my coil pack. EBay was the source of a 'wasted spark' coil pack from a Ford (couldn't tell you what model); actually it was the source of two coil packs, as I broke the first one trying to get the bracket off with a hammer!

The spark plug leads were the next slight headache. I already had my Honda leads, but needed to adapt them to fit onto a Ford Coil Pack. I bought a cheapy set of Ford HT Leads, and was able to swap/butcher the ends of the leads to have Honda at the spark plug end and Ford at the coil end.
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2004, 10:57 PM   #5
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Well I'd already placed my order for the SAE Kit, and paid a deposit. They needed a few parts from me that they would modify for the VTEC install, so I needed to get those bits over to them. I'd already removed the engine from my mini following the instructions in the Haynes Book Of Lies. Most of it was straight forward, and anything that wasn't was introduced to the Big eFfing Hammer followed by the Angle Grinder if necessary. Once the engine was out, it was a case of removing things like the steering rack, subframe, etc - basically anything else attached to the front end.

For the SAE conversion, I needed to send them:

Honda and Mini Driveshafts so they could do a 'cut and shut'
Lower suspension arms
Steering Column Inner Shaft

I was also going to send them the Gearbox selector shaft, but apparently it is easy enough for me to do it myself. Not quite sure what I need to do with it just yet, but I'm sure I'll work it out - failing that, I'll give SAE a call!
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2004, 11:17 PM   #6
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Whilst waiting on delivery of my SAE kit, I've been doing a bit more research. From what I understand, the engine sits closer to the Bulkhead on the SAE kit than Watson's which might leave space for a turbo. If I use a turbo, I will need a MAP sensor, and if I use one of these, I will need to somehow connect it to the inlet manifold - having independent throttle bodies makes this a little bit difficult.

Also, I'm going to need a vacuum for the Fuel Pressure Regulator - I've decided not to use a Brake Servo, so I don't need to worry about the Vacuum for that. After much research on the internet, I discovered that Jenvey do a kit (if you can call it that) that consists of four 'nipples' that can be tapped into the manifold, a length of vacuum pipe, and a connector that joins the pipe from each inlet together. I have also purchased (although still waiting on) a Vacuum Manifold from Golden Eagle which I'll use instead of the connector from Jenvey just to make things look a bit neater.

None of this has been installed yet, so more to follow later.
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2005, 05:08 PM   #7
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Right! Back on track with this project !

I'm not really sure where I was at with the 'history' of my build, and I've forgotten most of what I would've written, so I'm just going to start where I am now.

Mini currently has the front end stripped with the subframe secured in place. I didn't realise that the steering rack needed to go on first, so I spent a good few hours trying to move the subframe out enough to fit it in.

I ended up having to rip a larger hole in the floor with some grips as I could only move the subframe a couple of centimetres. Eventually the steering rack went in. <Put your favourite fruit here> knows what was holding the subframe on to the car, but it was very well secured even though I had taken every bolt out! (I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it comes to painting)

I loosely fitted the spax coilovers at the front (well top part anyway), the adjustable lower suspension arm, and the bracket that goes between the shocks and the top arm. At this point I discovered I've lost/thrown away my top arms and the tierods. Oh and on the 'exchange' steering rack that I got from SAE, they didn't 'exchange' my track rod ends (is that what you call them?) so I have ordered some more of those.

Once I get these bits replaced, I will stick the hubs and wheels on so that I can move the car. I have a friend's cooper in the garage missing an engine that is inconveniently sitting bang in between my engine and mini. So there's no way of getting the engine in until that's out of the way.

One evening in the garage, and I'm already 100 worse off!!

Pictures will be going in my photo album shortly.
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2005, 10:55 PM   #8
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Another evening in the garage.
I got my track rod ends from ebay but I haven't bothered putting them on yet.
Rose jointed tie rods arrived about a week ago. They're loosely fitted, but I think I may need to shorten them a bit and rethread them as it turns out they may be too long.

Top suspension arms and rebuild kit arrived today from Mini Sport - not bad as I ordered it on Sunday night. These have been put in and hooked up to the spax coilovers. I just need to sort out hubs/brakes/etc. I was considering getting a big brake kit from KAD, but after looking at how manky my original hubs were, I decided to order a set of these from Mini Sport:



I know the VTEC hasn't even touched my mini yet, but I do feel like I'm finally getting somewhere!
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2005, 02:15 AM   #9
ChadH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Arlesey, Beds
Posts: 974
Default

Mmmmm, got those hubs above on the car and they look Sah-weet
Have shortened the tie rods just by cutting about 2cm off the thread at the end. Fortunately there was enough thread so that it doesn't need to have any additional thread put on.

Track rod ends were the wrong type. I needed ones for a K Series steering rack (shopped for '94 Metro track rod ends) which I've now got and are on the car.

Suspension and steering is now all complete on the front of the car and it has all been tightened up. Caster is now about right - it's certainly on the correct side of zero anyway. Camber is well out, but I'm not going to split the ball joints again until the engine is in and the drive shafts are ready to be connected. Toe is about as zero as I could get it just by looking

The back is now in the air, and I am in the process of removing the radius arms to give them an overhaul and to put on the SAE spacers. Unfortunately, I snapped two bolts on the outer bracket so need to get that sorted.
__________________
Given up! Trying to sell it now!!
ChadH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.