January'04
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3rd - 4th January. Action - Rear Bulkhead. 

December ended up a bit thin on the V8Mini front, so the first weekend of the new year heralded some serious cutting, welding and filling to create a revised rear bulkhead to cover separate the beerkeg from the passenger compartment.

I must admit that over Christmas I had started to cut out a few bits as preparation, but not enough to justify a proper diary entry ;-)

20mm box section was used to create a basic frame between the parcel shelf, seat base and rear side pockets. Then some 1.5mm sheet steel was cut (about 400mm wide) to fit the curve of the rear 1/4 panel, avoid the roll cage and meet up with the new frame. A 50mm strip of sheet was cut and welded in as a filler strip from the parcel shelf to the top of the frame, then lastly an 80mm strip was used to fill from the bottom of the frame to the (former) seat base front edge. 

This leaves a suitable sized rectangular hole to re fit the beerkeg, which will have a removable cover for access to the keg, pump etc.

Pics of the bulkhead stuff.

9th - 11th January, Action - Plumbing & MOT bits.

Quite a busy long weekend spent  finishing the installation of the beer keg fuel tank and rear radiator plus some other sundry bits and pieces.

The plumbing to the radiator has at last been finished, keeping the pipes as far from the beer keg as possible while leaving sufficient slack in the flexi stuff so that the boot lid still opens normally to show off all the stuff. The plumbing through the cabin is now hidden by some inverted Marley guttering (hope it doesn't melt !)

On the fuel front, the keg is securely bolted down, fully plumbed in, and new pipes have been fitted. Initial results seem good with the tank staying nice and cool even after 2 hours running. Admittedly it was on the drive, but there was very little airflow to take away the heat from the exhaust - maybe, just maybe it will work ;-)

With the important plumbing stuff in the boot sorted, the final bulkhead panel was cut and fitted in place. With any luck it will only need to come off if we have to remove the tank, hopefully not too soon !

The rest of the time was spent on sorting some dull stuff for the upcoming MOT, these included :- Run brake pipes from master to new rear subframe, fit handbrake & cables, fit less cloudy rear light clusters, cut sharp (lethal) protruding corners from the boot floor, fit rear shocks, finish bolting rear subframe to shell (oops), add rear box to exhaust and top up the oil a bit.

As the seats were still in the loft, a temporary 'comfy cushion' was installed (thrown) on the floor so that Elaine and I could go for our first V8Mini drive of the new year.... OK, so we couldn't go onto the road without seatbelts, which was probably not a bad thing seeing as the cushion did seem to slide scarily in a very Newtonian way when I used the clutch or brake, but the shunting back & forth on the drive was fun :-)

Pics of finished(?) plumbing & things

17th - 18th January - Action. General Mot prep etc.

It's official - Doris has too much cooling :-)

Even with a new 82' stat fitted the temperature sits 1/2 way between C & N ! So for the winter I will run with a bit of Sparco mud flap over the front radiator as a rad cosy. Took a nice fun drive on 25 miles of Kent's finest wiggly A roads, and the fans only came on a couple of times when the car was stopped at junctions.

Fitted fuel taps into the main and reserve pickup pipes from the keg, but shortly afterwards found that there was a miss fire / fuel pressure problem. Removing the taps didn't help, so it seems that  I have just mounted the fuel pump a bit high, so she runs a bit rough with only 1/4 a tank of fuel. But as there is no gauge fitted yet it's handy to have a few miles of rough running instead of a dead stop. Also the angle from the filler cap to the top of the keg is a bit shallow, fine for filling from a jerry can, but can blow back a bit on a fast petrol pump.

On the gauge front, the nice people at rally designs (www.raldes.co.uk) lightened my wallet by a few quid when I bought a full set of dash instruments, warning lights & fuse boxes, including a universal fuel sender that should be pretty easy to bodge into the keg. Look out for the forthcoming 'spagdash & rewire' saga.

Also picked up a nice extinguisher from them, a Lifeline 2000, 2.25l foam extinguisher with plumbing, cables & bracket for only 84 +VAT. 

Lastly I fitted a remote servo into the front brake circuit, which improved the feel quite a bit, but things were still not right. Popped the callipers off and pushed the pistons most of the way out to check they were not sticking, then copperslipped (copperslup?) them bunged them back on and cleaned the disks.

The disk cleaning could be considered a bit hazardous... 
Jack the car up onto axle stands with the wheels off, then let it idle in 4th gear. Meanwhile liberally spray the disks & pads with Mr Muscle, you can use a screwdriver to gently press each pad against the disk in turn to ensure the supermagicfoamystuff has even coverage. 

Then after about 5 mins jump into the car, set the MPH to about 40 and try to hold it there while you apply the brakes for 30 secs or so, this will warm up the pads nicely, scrape the surface clean and create a peculiar hot smell of brake pad & Mr Muscle. Switch off engine and allow at 15 mins for the disks to cool off before hosing the remaining grubby foam from the callipers !

Result = very grabby brakes with nice modulation.

Last task of the weekend was to take Doris and leave her with a friendly Mini mechanic for the dreaded MOT.

Sorry, but no pictures from this weekends fun :-(

24th - 25th January - Action. PIEVAN !!!

With no Doris to play with due to the MOT thing, I had to console myself with tinkering on the pievan. 

So...  I bought a supercharger click for the blower, and set to work making the rear subframe - see the subframe pics.

26th January - Stuff & Vids

Doris passed the MOT, needing wipers and a tweak to a front wheel bearing :-)

Took some video of Edward & Doris at 50mph to compare cabin noise when cruising

Also found that Doris spins quite easily in the snow!

Jan Vids this way ...

 

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NOTE AVI files compressed with the DivX codec, free from www.divx.com

Diy fuel injection by MEGASQUIRT www.msefi.com

For General V8 info try http://www.v-8.org.uk/forum/

For sensible Spag stuff visit www.spagweb.com or for madtech mayhem try www.magicspanner.co.uk

Looking for more Mini info ? Then try the Internet Mini Encyclopaedia www.ime.org.uk

 

Norfolk n Goode Pies, Your Favourite Farmyard Faces In Tasty Pastry Cases.  http://www.norfolk-n-goode.co.uk

 

 

 

This page last modified 04/02/2008.