Dec 19, 2012 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Putting Our Mini’s Transmission Back Together

Our Mini needed some transmission love.
Mini Mania owner, Don Racine, inspected our Mini’s gearbox internals to determine what needed to be replaced. All in all, he deemed it to be in very good condition.
Our gearbox came out perfectly.

When we bought our car, the engine and transmission were pretty much completely disassembled. While there isn’t much on an old British car that scares us, we had never messed with a Mini transmission.

Armed with an original shop manual, it wasn’t long before we had things pretty much figured out. We then called Mini Mania and started to order parts. About five minutes into the call, when we obviously couldn’t answer questions as to what shims and other parts we needed, Mini Mania owner Don Racine asked, “Why don’t you just ship us the transmission and let us rebuild it. We do these things every day and if we build it, we know it will be right.” We countered with the very real concern that if they built it, we wouldn’t get the story; and after all, in this business we are in it for the story as much as we are to end up with another cool car.

We were on our way to Monterey in a few weeks, and since Mini Mania is located about three hours from Monterey in the mountains northeast of San Francisco, a compromise was agreed upon. We would come to Mini Mania the day after the Monterey Motorsport Reunion and learn how to build Mini transmissions.

What a good move, as we learned a lot and realized that while we could have muddled our way through it, we were better off going this route.

We’ll have the full details in an upcoming issue of Classic Motorsports magazine. Subscribe now, so you don’t miss a single installment.

It was an itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny rally-winning project Mini. Subscribe to Classic Motorsports and get them in your mailbox.
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