1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

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mini_surfari
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:26 am
Location: South West

1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by mini_surfari »

Well now the Van is finished (or at least as they ever are).

It was time to start on the Cooper we rescued.

The mini was restored by a company (not naming names, but they are now bust) in between 2017- 2019 for a lady, with near £15,000 worth in invoices just for that company.

A young lad had then bought this car from a restoration place in 2019 after it having a 'full restoration'. He snapped the engine steady bolt in the block and made a mess of trying to remove it, eventually giving up on the car. So we took it off his hands a few months ago thinking 'sort the engine steady, and tidy it up' looked pretty solid overall, other than one small patch of rust on the rear panel.

The plan... sort the rusty patch, weld up the holes he had drilled for the bigger arches, 'blow in the paint' and sort the engine. Job done.

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First job... the engine, well with invoices for a full engine rebuild less than 10k miles ago, it was supposed to be a strip down, repair the thread, and put it back together.

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So this is what prompted the strip down, and kindly 1071Bob repaired it brilliantly.

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Now when we stripped the engine, the push rods and springs were red, the oil pump was even painted red! A worrying standard... camshaft removed, invoice said it was an SW5... nope just a sprite cam. Checked the end float on the crank, 12thou. Hmm what is the rest of the car going to be like.....

We then took the engine parts over to Slark for some measuring up... full rebuild pending on the engine.

Over to the shell....
mini_surfari
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:26 am
Location: South West

Re: 1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by mini_surfari »

mini_surfari wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:01 pm Well now the Van is finished (or at least as they ever are).

It was time to start on the Cooper we rescued.

The mini was restored by a company (not naming names, but they are now bust) in between 2017- 2019 for a lady, with near £15,000 worth in invoices just for that company.

A young lad had then bought this car from the restoration place in 2019 after it having the 'full restoration' completed. He snapped the engine steady bolt in the block and made a mess of trying to remove it, eventually giving up on the car. So we took it off his hands a few months ago thinking 'sort the engine steady, and tidy it up' looked pretty solid overall, other than one small patch of rust on the rear panel.

The plan... sort the rusty patch, weld up the holes he had drilled for the bigger arches, 'blow in the paint' and sort the engine. Job done.

Image


First job... the engine, well with invoices for a full engine rebuild less than 10k miles ago, it was supposed to be a strip down, repair the thread, and put it back together.

Image

So this is what prompted the strip down, and kindly 1071Bob repaired it brilliantly.

Image

Now when we stripped the engine, the push rods and springs were red, the oil pump was even painted red! A worrying standard... camshaft removed, invoice said it was an SW5... nope just a sprite cam. Checked the end float on the crank, 12thou. Hmm what is the rest of the car going to be like.....

We then took the engine parts over to Slark for some measuring up... full rebuild pending on the engine.

Over to the shell....
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Peter Laidler
Posts: 4549
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:35 pm
Location: Abingdon Oxfordshire

Re: 1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by Peter Laidler »

That 1071Bob is certainly a master with his machine work.... Mind you, from the quality of your van, that car will soon be the same I'd say!
gs.davies
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:29 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: 1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by gs.davies »

Good to see an early 90's Cooper getting a restoration. I've had a soft spot for these since I owned a 91 SPi between 95 and 2001. These are now often found with tons of questionable mods and dodgy repairs.
mini_surfari
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:26 am
Location: South West

Re: 1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by mini_surfari »

Thanks very much,

The plan is to put this one back to as original as possible. It has quite a few quirks being the restart of cooper, so would be good to get them right.

A decision was made to strip most of the shell once it had been steam cleaned.

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The loom was an absolute birds nest of add ons, repairs etc. So that will be going in the bin.

The centre speedo conversion was held in with wood screws, rather than machine screws. Bolts, washers and nuts were missing from the suspension. So the whole lot is being gone through.

Obviously the shell was 'solid' seeing as it had recently had a full restoration, but they had decided to use over sills cut in half. So we opted to swap them out for proper ones. Easy job technically.

Off with old,

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What's going on here...

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Well they decided not remove the old flanges, nor weld the inner sill to the flitch panel. Just pack it with seam sealer instead.

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Chop it out and start again!

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Can't wait to sort out the back....

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Roadrunner
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2022 9:28 am
Location: Oxfordshire

Re: 1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by Roadrunner »

I like the idea with the big cap head bolt for the insert, very neat. I really don't envy you rebuilding the shell I remember doing mine years ago and I really hate the smell of a grinder now. Still have my mig but really should get rid of it. I stripped my old mini down to the shell and had it on trestles before I started cutting.
mini_surfari
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:26 am
Location: South West

Re: 1991 Cooper Mainstream Project

Post by mini_surfari »

Well... I got annoyed of trying to weld upside down. So we decided it was going on the spit... tried modifying the spit as it doesn't have a hole in the rear bulkhead. But admitted defeat after several attempts.

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Will have to get some more photos at some point, but the inner sill, floor, heel board, jack point and outer sill are back on and the front flitch repaired.

M machines spot welds didn't hold up well though. So plug and seam welded it back on.

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Then on to the passenger side... A stripped subframe captive but, with a nyloc on the back is a new one on us though!

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2 sills ...

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Nyloc

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And even the floor bungs are missing, just had sound deadening put over them...

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Oh and Slarks called, engine needs reboring as its out of tolerance.... 1340 it goes!

More soon.
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