Apr 4, 2014 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Welding The Front End

Tom test-fits the the grille surround and is not happy. Notice how we have used paint sticks to shim the hood to fender and cowl gaps to make sure we get them even.
The hood itself needed some work, as did the inner fender wells. Notice we have marked plenty of spots. Everything needs to stay even or our Mini will look stupid driving down the road.
We got it now. Everything is straight! It's time to weld it up with our trusty HTP MIG 160 before we knock it out of adjustment again.

Getting everything to line up at the front end of a car takes patience and experience. We brought Tom Prescott in from The Body Werks, as he offers a wealth of both.

As we mentioned earlier, we installed the Mini’s subframe to make sure everything lined up correctly. From there, we shimmed the fenders and hood (which first had to be straightened) to get a proper gap. Through repeated tweaking and adjusting with a hammer and dolly and some good old-fashioned muscle, we got the hood gap perfect. Then we welded the grille surround and fenders in place to the inner fender well and cowl.

We were starting to make some real progress on our metal work. We went from wondering if our poor Mini would ever be straight again to getting everything dead on.

Tom test fits the the grille surround and initially doesn’t like the way it fits. Notice how we have used paint sticks to shim the hood to fender and cowl gaps to make sure we get ether even.

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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