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Old 01-11-2018, 10:22 AM   #1
Oz
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Default Something got me thinking ...

I know we are all here getting away from the A series but I think largely the issues that people cite for this is more down to the gearbox than the actual engine.

I remember at one of the first big Mini birthday parties they had a "fastest Mini in the world" type race and there was a bit of "foul play" called as I recall the rules stated that the car must be FWD and use an A series engine and gearbox.

One smart cookie decided that an A series gearbox is any gearbox bolted to an A series engine and built a race A series on a Maestro gearbox. The 1.3 Maestros actually used an A series engine on a transverse "normal" type gearbox.



These days the A series has been thoroughly tuned and a lot of strengthened parts made meaning it can reliably put out well over 100bhp, much more when using exotic heads or forced induction - the Achilles heel always being the ability of the in-sump gearbox and the drop gears to cope.

I don't really know about the origins or strength of the Maestro box but it seems to me that if you really like your A-series engine but were looking at a swap for 5 speeds and reliability then this could actually be an intriguing prospect.

It would seem going EFI would do away with the dizzy on the "back" of the block and enabling a TB to be more remotely mounted to do away with the carb sticking out the front of the engine might assist with the obvious clearance issues from having the engine "reversed" in the engine bay or if you want to go nuts, going to a x-flow head would give the usual layout we are using (exhaust on front, induction on back).

Maybe it's just me but I quite like the thought of marrying the Mini engine swap to get the 5 speed box etc with sticking with an A-series
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:27 AM   #2
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Thread of 1.3 A-series turbo Maestro van

http://forum.retro-rides.org/thread/...-wheels?page=8

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Old 01-11-2018, 10:45 AM   #3
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The cost of putting together a decent 100+ bhp A-series is still eye watering though. For price of an exotic cylinder head you can get yourself a B-series and gearbox and laugh at the reliability of the A-series.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Haz View Post
The cost of putting together a decent 100+ bhp A-series is still eye watering though. For price of an exotic cylinder head you can get yourself a B-series and gearbox and laugh at the reliability of the A-series.
I guess I'm coming from it from a different angle, my motivation was not to do the job cheaply, it was to do it exactly as I wanted it and the cost will end up being whatever that is. When viewing it from there I just feel that if you really wanted to keep an A series then the cost of building a decent one would just be what it would be.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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Good find OZ ! I keep hearing about how bad/week , mini gearboxes are !! I can see why it has this reputation!
I was there and feel old now ! It's modern boxes that are week! Including all the B,L range
It's a big pitty they have all been tard with the same brush,
There's a bomb proof box from the mid 1960,s to early 1970,s, it's buitifull C,R and will take everything you throw at it , major problem is ,, it's only got 4 gears!
I don't give a plumbpuding what anyone says, you only need 4 gears in a well sorted mini A,
I am attracted to 5 in a mini, but that's because modern engins come with them,
Even on this club , no one seems to be able to name a perfect plug and play gearbox combo, if they could ,it would make it the only true conversion worth doing ,
I mean for esey fit lol , my last is not black and white as such!!
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ardonfast View Post
Even on this club , no one seems to be able to name a perfect plug and play gearbox combo, if they could ,it would make it the only true conversion worth doing ,
I mean for esey fit lol , my last is not black and white as such!!
I think as far as off the shelf ratios/boxes go, the Diesel Vauxhall boxes seem to be ok.

Also using the R65 box from a Metro with a Rover K-series is also about right.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oz View Post
I guess I'm coming from it from a different angle, my motivation was not to do the job cheaply, it was to do it exactly as I wanted it and the cost will end up being whatever that is. When viewing it from there I just feel that if you really wanted to keep an A series then the cost of building a decent one would just be what it would be.
Aye, I get what you mean. I've considered doing another 1380 build but then I remind myself of all the heartache and woes it caused me. It made 101bhp and lasted 11k miles (of absolute abuse) before it let go. Cost me around 4k to build 10+ years ago and totally grenaded and took my guessworks 'box out with it. Sounded great though and I do miss the ability to purchase aftermarket goodies such as KAD, MED etc. Just not the same on a metro subbie.
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