1 2 3
Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/12/18 9:54 p.m.

*First i really apologize for the photo quality. I don't know whats up. Time for a new phone I guess.*


 I really love them. Always have. From the time I was old enough to know what they were I wanted one. I have had to work on a few. At work I brought a 67 Cooper S 1275 back to life after a 15 year span, We restored a Riley Elf and I have had the pleasure of driving the 63 Cooper S that Maria Graça Moura Relvas won the 1965 Grande Rally Benfica in Portugal.

Honestly when I started working in restoration I thought I would be inundated with offers to buy cool cars cheap. It never happened. I mean there was the dude that offered me his 27k miles Dino 308tg4 for a discount but that wasn't exactly impulse buy pricing. 

So when a car pulled up last Wednesday and an acquaintance offered me his car I made an appointment to see it. And then I bought it. 

It was raining buckets. At least an inch an hour. Ransom had to buy new shoes afterward.  The old F100 defroster was simply not up to the task and we drove those 5 miles of windy mountain roads at like 12 mph.

So what did I buy? a Canadian market 76 mini with a 1098. It has had new floors and a mk1 front end installed in the last decade. The seller is a skilled fabricator, machinist and CNC operator so I don't fear the quality of work as much as I usually would.

It has been off the road for just under two years. It went down on power so he had a second cylinder head rebuilt with a valve job and surface and went to install it and saw a score in one of the bores so he planned a rebuild which never happened. It has sat under a HF temporary carport out in the woods since.  So for a a non running mouse piss filled mini I handed over 2000 of my hard earned American Simoleans.  Inspection shows cooper S front discs and 12" minilites. Suspension is on Hi-lo's. 

The seller is tall. At least 6'7" so he swapped seats. Sadly this meant cutting out the back seat cubbies.


What was in boxes inside was the bulk of the disassembled engine.

Seems to be short the carburettor. 


There are some questionable things done to the car. The rear deck cut for a huge subwoofer

The twin evils of atomically crappy ebay headlights AND hood pins!

Brake bias valve, broken seat support and a big mouse nest

Vacuumed out the bulk of the mess.  Carpet will be pulled soon. It stinks

Looks like he installed a column drop to go with the seating position.


But I also bought another bunch of stuff from him


Cripes, I am so sorry about the image quality

Anyhow. Remember that he is a fabricator? I also met him years ago because he loved what I had done to my Fiat and wanted to reproduce it with his mini.

So we have a stainless turbo manifold, aluminum intake manifold with a ? throttle body, Custom carbon fiber intake bits, Modded DSM intercooler, TD03 Turbo, innovate LC1 New in box, a new Wasted spark coil

Still sealed MS2V3 from DIYAutotune, relay board, stimulator, relay cable AND a main harness in case the relay board didn't suit him, trigger wheel, downpipe, 

one of those fancypants injector boss drill bits

Can you imagine how much time he had in modeling this valve cover, creating a tool path and the actual machining, let alone the cost of the material!

So I ended up giving him a few more bills for this unfinished turbo kit because, I agree that some positive manifold pressure on this motor would be pretty sweet

First thing. Make it smell less bad. I do have to work next to it afterall. Carpet out should do the trick. Then pull motor and get it to the machine shop so they can tell me which pistons and bearings to order.

A coworker is a mini guy and has a bunch of parts for me to go through including a set of seats.

Anyhow end of the first 24 hours has little done other than sorting.

Ransom PowerDork
4/12/18 11:10 p.m.

Yep: even in pictures, it still puts a grin on my face!

So freakin'cool...

dherr Reader
4/13/18 8:27 a.m.

Awesome project, can't wait to see where you go with this

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/13/18 8:42 a.m.

Since you've worked on them, you probably know this - but a quick release bonnet will save your back in a big way. The drop bracket for the wheel is pretty typical and welcome.

You say they're Cooper S discs, which implies 7.5" rotor diameter. That means you can fit 10" wheels, which you should do immediately. Those look like the standard Rover Mini wheels, so I suspect they're actually the later 8.4" discs which require a 12" wheel. I really recommend converting to smaller rotors so  you can run the smaller wheels, it made a massive difference on mine. I went all the way to vented rotors in a 7.9" size, but it's a lot less expensive to backdate to Cooper S sizes. Mini Sport has your back.

You may find that retrofitting EFI is a challenge thanks to that shared center port. If you want to go nuts, there's a BMW four-valve crossflow head that's awfully close to a bolt-on.


Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/13/18 8:52 a.m.

I am actually helping out with the machining of the bmw k100 head for the gentleman who has the extra parts.

From what I understand there is now Siamese port code for a series motors on MS.

smokindav Reader
4/13/18 10:17 a.m.

Didn't you already start another thread for this project?

T.J. MegaDork
4/13/18 11:14 a.m.

I'd love to megasquirt my mini, but when I looked into a few years back, the best solution was either a 7 or 8 port head or do the BMW k100 head conversion. All of those choices were a bit spendy and I really didn't want to spend that much on my particular mini. If the siamese port code has developed to the point of being useful, I am going to have to re-visit the whole idea.

I have hood pins and I would not want to deal with a hinged bonnet. Although, there was someone who designed and sold some hinges that allowed the bonnet to open enough that it also solved the problem. Hitting the back of your head on the catch a few times of a standard hinged bonnet will make you a believer in a removable bonnet.


Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/13/18 11:18 a.m.

In reply to T.J. :

Problem here is that it has hood pins in the front AND hinges in the back so the ugly pins without the benefit of a quick release bonnet.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/13/18 11:23 a.m.

That just means you're halfway there!

Ransom PowerDork
4/13/18 11:55 a.m.

Inspiration for some new hood hinges?

Professor_Brap Reader
4/13/18 12:11 p.m.

I really like this thread all ready! 

Stealthtercel Dork
4/13/18 1:06 p.m.

Well, I'm learning something here.  Wikipedia says the Mini was sold in Canada until 1979; I have no recollection of that whatsoever.  Cool!  Can you really find official stickers in English and French in the usual places?

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
4/13/18 1:45 p.m.

This will be fun. I love your threads. Always interesting and educational. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/13/18 2:08 p.m.

Wow... $2000 for that car is a steal these days.  

Some day I may have another classic Mini, but it'll be awhile.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/16/18 9:30 p.m.

On the lift I spy another seemingly interesting modification

Aftermarket adjustable lower control arms.

Sadly I don't think these wheel spacers will be staying surprise

Not sure if there is a wheel clearance issue or what. I will cross that bridge later. Deffo the small brakes though.

Lump emancipated

Ready to be torn down and run through the parts washer before going to the machine shop


I have a great deal of tidying to do. I cannot fathom that there is that many hoses and wires required to run this motor.


Once again. I sincerely apologize for the picture quality. I swear this phone used to take much better pictures until the last android update. 

First order of interior tidy up bits is on its way from minispares in the UK.  

I was about to send the radiator down to my guy and then I noticed that new aluminum versions are available for the same price as a cleaning. I have had good luck with cheap ebay radiators in the past. I might just pull the trigger


What else?.... Uh the carpet and padding are out and stinking up the dumpster instead of the car. The floors look great. No bad workmanship issues there, I didn't expect there to be. I felt silly swapping headlights on a car that needs an engine but I feel it looks much better without the blue bulb crystal clears.

If all goes well the big bits should be at the machine shop by Thursday.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/17/18 9:10 a.m.

I've got those same control arms. Or ones that look like them. The bushings at the front end of the forward one are important for stability.

As for the wiring and hoses, I don't think Mini use a wiring loom. You just run a wire straight from where it comes from to where it goes.

Looks like you already have the Group 2 arches, you just need the chrome strip along the edges. Good news there.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/18/18 10:08 p.m.

Tim brought his mini into work today.  He has group 2 arches as well and his simply have some autozone sourced chrome edging on them. Looks good enough for the likes of me!

Also, 4 active mini builds in the build threads sub forum?!? That is pretty awesome. 

Recon1342 Reader
4/19/18 2:26 p.m.

I’m 6’6” y’all, and I still need one of these.


not sure why...

Stefan MegaDork
4/19/18 3:01 p.m.
Recon1342 said:

I’m 6’6” y’all, and I still need one of these.


not sure why...

I know a local BMW mechanic that has one and he's 6'5" and he fits just fine.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/19/18 3:20 p.m.

Looking at this picture - I'd measure that rotor diameter. You might be able to put 10" over that if they're legit Cooper S brakes instead of the later "big" brakes that match the wheels. Seems to be some extra space available.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/20/18 1:13 p.m.

Dropped the engine bits off at the machine shop just now. No markings on the bearings indicating the crank has ever been turned which is a good sign. He will get back to me with what size pistons and bearings I need so I can get them ordered.

The transaxle in the oil pan thing is a real marvel of space saving engineering. I am probably just going to give it some new gaskets and seals as the PO says it was working fine and the synchros all worked well.

The engine itself is an absolute tank compared to a Fiat motor. The block, while slightly smaller externally weighs twice what a Fiat 850 block does. I was a bit shocked when I lifted it off the table. 



Also, turning on the phones flash seems to help it under the LED shop lighting, which seems to be the issue with the atomically crappy pics I have been posting.

wheelsmithy Dork
4/20/18 7:10 p.m.


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/20/18 8:04 p.m.

About the trans - check the play on the idler. Just for fun. The failure mode is undesirable.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/23/18 7:54 p.m.

I started pulling the extra wires this thing has all over. Stereo and sub wiring, Aux lighting and whatever else. This was just the first batch

I also found a bunch of cans of A series MOWOG green on the shelf for the engine

I expect the green to clash with the red exterior wonderfully. 

All the fasteners are in the tumbler for a few days. I haven't decided on blackening or zinc plating yet.  Various other filthy bits going through the parts washer as I find them


Small progress.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/25/18 10:06 p.m.

I got a present today

Actually a bunch of them. A set of 5 mismatched 10" Cooper S steelies

two OE 4.5" reverse wheels, two banded to 6.5" and one banded out all the way to 7.5". All in need of work in one way or another. If it isn't too much work the plan is to make a set of four 6.5" 

Fitment is on the cheeky side but with the right tires it could work. Besides minis look great with a bit of tire poking out.

I still want a set of 10X6 revolutions but these will fill the gap until then.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners