Oct 6, 2015 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Pumping Up the Suspension

We used a simple grease gun held straight up to pump, so the fluid would not leak out.

With our Mini Cooper S project nearly complete, it was time to put fluid into our Hydrolastic suspension system.

Originally, Mini dealers had machines that would evacuate all the air out of the system and then fill the system with fluid. We know of two of these Hydrolastic tools. One is at Heritage Garage in southern California and one is at Kip Motors near Dallas.

Neither location was near us, so we had to find an alternative. Some enthusiasts have converted A/C equipment to evacuate the system and then a modified grease gun is used to pump fluid into the system.

We borrowed our friend Mike Guido’s modified grease gun and took his advice of just using glycol antifreeze in the system—there are varying reports on what this fluid originally was, with most reporting that the system was filled with a 50/50 mixture of glycol antifreeze and water. First, we modified a cheap A/C evacuation system by putting the right nozzle on in. Once evacuated, we slowly pumped the system full of antifreeze through the two inlets at the rear of the chassis.

Voila, our Mini slowly rose. We then measured the top of the wheel well to the center of the axle and as the owner’s manual specified, accomplished the required clearance.

The next morning, the car was still pumped and has stayed that way since. Our lines are obviously holding and our hydrolastic units are not leaking either.

Get all the latest Classic Motorsports project car news in your mailbox six times a year. Subscribe now.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
View comments on the CMS forums
Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
10/8/15 7:12 p.m.

Why does the picture remind me of my last medical exam?

Sponsored by


Mini Mania

Advanced Performance Technology

Performance Racing Oils/Millers Oils

Our Preferred Partners