Nov 22, 2013 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Rebuilding Our Ancillaries

Rebuilding our ancillaries was hard work, but we prefer it over our bad luck with new and rebuilt parts.
The brushes (at right) get replaced in the generator, as do the bearings.The rest gets cleaned up.
We rebuilt the original brake booster by scavenging parts from various master and slave cylinder kits and. Our car also came with an extra new air bladder. (A new unit costs more than $500 and does not look original.)

Next up was the generator and starter motor. While these items are available either rebuilt or new, we prefer rebuilding things ourselves, as we’ve had a lot of trouble with new and rebuilt components. The pressure to keep prices competitive has taken its toll on parts quality.

Rebuilding a generator is pretty straight forward. You have brushes that wear and bearings that go bad. The windings themselves last a good long time. Mini Mania has rebuild components, so we ordered them, cleaned up everything, and reassembled the generator.

The procedure is roughly the same for the starter. You disassemble it, figure out what’s worn, order new parts, and put it back together.

The books on Mini restoration call for the generator and starter to be Engine Green. Our original pieces were clearly black, so we painted them with Eastwood Chassis Black. Restoration books are valuable tools, but if you’re restoring a very original car, sometimes you have to go with your head and heart and look at what you actually have on your car, not blindly follow a book.

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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