4/12/12

Spent a fair bit of time on the car today, as the weather was very nice and I had a spare couple of hours after school.

However, hardly any visible progress was made!! The main job today was to find out if the clocks on my dashboard were in fact secured in in the engine bay behind the soundproofing, and thankfully they were! However, on my car the soundproofing was very thick and hard to tear, so that took a fair bit of time to uncover the bolts.

After finally uncovering the bolts, I managed to get 3 of them off as they were easy enough to access with a few scraped knuckles. However, the 4th bolt which is the bottom one on the right hand side proved very hard to get off, and I still haven’t managed to do it yet. I will be trying again soon though. The pictures show the general area where the nuts are, but they are not great pictures as the nuts were so hard to get to!

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2/12/12

After getting the final door off yesterday, the car was beginning to look much more like a shell.

The jobs for today were mainly small ones such as putting all of the small fiddly parts into gripper bags in the garage so that everything is tidier and also so that when I start to re-build the car I know where everything is and I know that I haven’t lost any of it. After doing all of this, it was then time to label all of the loose wires that had been  exposed in the car, so that again I know what they are when putting the car back together. This was easily done by just putting masking tape around the wire and writing on it what the wire did and where it lead to.

I also has a go at taking off the headlining, which is easy enough if you can get to the plastic bars which hold it in place. If you start by the rear window and just pull, then it should start to come off, and you can then get your hand behind the headlining to pull out the plastic bars. Once they have been removed, the headlining is then only held on by the front and back windows, as the rubber seals around them hold the headlining in place.

In order to begin taking the windscreen and rear window out, I removed the plastic seal from between the 2 rubbers around each window, which turned out to be a very painful job, as when sliding the screwdriver along (being careful not to scratch the paint) lots of tiny shards of plastic are fired off the seal as it is very old and brittle.

Once this is done, when the rubbers have been loosened either by just pushing and pulling them or if this doesn’t work, by carefully sliding a knife between the 2 rubbers to loosen them. At some point in the next few days, I will be attempting to remove the front and rear windows with help from my father, as it is a 2 person job.

No more real updates, but removing the sound proofing is the next massive job, and one that I am really not looking forward to.

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1/12/12

After a productive few days before this, the bare shell was really starting to take shape. The main job for today was to take the drivers side door off, which somehow was even harder than taking the other door off!!

This was made harder by that fact that I was pushing toward the car to undo the bolts whereas on the other door I was pulling away from the car, meaning I had much more leverage. However after some better tools with more leverage had been found, the door eventually came crumbling away in basically a pile of rust!

Another big job for today was attempting to take the dashboard off, which I had though would be easy. However, as I have the dashboard with 2 clocks in front of the steering wheel, I really don’t know how to get it out. I have since had word that the bolts that hold it in are behind the engine behind the soundproofing, which won’t be taken off for a while, so the dashboard will have to wait.

Other than that not much else was done today, apart from the terrible discovery off the amount of soundproofing on the floor. This is not good as it is all going to have to be removed before the shell can be painted, and sadly it is rather a major job which is probably going to take a good few solid hours of work.

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29/11/12

Another good afternoon in work resulted in the passenger side door finally coming off as well as the front seat belts getting removed and the rear door cards getting taken out.

The first job was to have my 3rd try at taking the door off, but so I had more space, this time I decided to jack the car up and take the wheel off, which I must say made the whole job much easier. After taking the wheel off and lowering the car almost back down to the ground to make it more stable, I tried to wipe as much of the dirt off the bolts as possible to hopefully allow them to come off more easily. After another dose of CorrosionX, it had done the trick. It was possibly one of the hardest things I have ever done in terms of effort needed, but eventually each bolt slowly came off. I found it easier to crouch by the side of the car with 1 hand pushing onto the bolt and the other hand turning the handle, while I rested my shoulder against the wing to give more force (while being careful not to dent the wing!!).

After doing this to each of the 4 bolts which hold the door on, and about 1 hour or so later, the last one had finally come out. After this, make sure you have space to put the door down as it is pretty heavy (about 20kg) and you don’t want to drop it!

The next job was to remove the front seatbelts which I couldn’t manage to do yesterday, due to not being able to work out how to unbolt them. However after some playing around today, it became clear that the cover just pops off to reveal the bolt. I have attached 2 pictures above to make it less confusing for future reference!!

 

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28/11/12

Managed to get a good 3 hours work done on the car today which was very useful. The first job was to have another go at removing the doors by undoing the bolts under the wheel arches. Sadly they wouldn’t budge, so taking the wheel off to get proper access may be required. However, more work did get done.

The first job was to remove the front seatbelts which proved harder than it looks, because after removing the 2 bolts that hold them in place, I still cannot find a way to get them off the car. If anyone knows how to do this, feel free to let me know!

Removing the rear seats was much easier, and only took about 20 minutes once I had found the bolts which held them in place. Once they have been removed, you get much easier access to both rear seatbelts  much easier than fumbling round under the back seats as I first tried!

With all 4 seats removed from the car, all of the carpet could simply be pulled out, which was made much easier in my case due to the fact I am not keeping it, so much more force could be used. The final job of the day apart from tidying up and taking pictures was to remove the rear windows, which I managed to do by accident. I was planning to remove the window seals, and found that once all 4 screws had been undone, the whole window comes out with only a little persuasion!!

Overall a very productive afternoon, but I think that all of the jobs may start to get more complicated from now on. Below are some pictures of the work done so far:

 

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27/11/12

Only a small update from today, after managing to grab about 20 mins of light after getting home from school.

The task today was to take both of the front seats out, which was much easier than it sounds. Each seat is only held on by four bolts which hold the seat bracket onto the car floor. They are usually not too tight, so not much force is needed. The picture on the left shows a bar which 1 side of the seat is hooked on to. There is only 1 bar per seat and it is always on the side of the seat closest to the centre of the car. The other 2 pictures just show what the brackets look like on the bottom of the seats, and how simple they are!

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25/11/12

Finally got the Mini back home in the garage, which saves a 1 hour round trip to get the car, even without doing any work. It helps having gripper bags to put screws and items in from each stage of the strip-down.

The first thing that got done today was to take the battery out of the boot. This was mainly so we didn’t have anything to worry about. When taking the battery out, always do the black “side” first so that you are earthed if you touch the metal with the screwdriver. After taking the battery out, we removed the boot lid to give ourselves more access into the boot in future. Removing the boot is quite easy, as is removing the aerial from the boot.

Next, we continued by taking all of the handles and other accessories the door card on both sides, and then taking the door cards out. This is what the door should look like after you have taken the door cards off:

Removing the wheel arches is also easy, just undo the visible screws and it should come straight off with a little force. The same can be done with the front and rear lights, just on the from lights make sure that you remove the screws and not adjust the other headlight features, as they look almost the same as the screws.

With all of the screws on the car, depending on how well looked after the car is, many of them may be corroded. With this problem, make sure that you do not round off the edges as you will then have to drill the screws out (not a fun job at all!!) The product that I used to help remove the corrosion of the screws is called CorrosionX and is simply brilliant at removing corrosion and making screws many times easier to undo.

However, not everything today was as simple as removing screws! When looking into how to remove the doors, we found that the bolts were very difficult to access from the inside, as it was very hard to get the angle. You can access the other side of the bolt from under the front wheel arches, however these were incredibly badly corroded due to all of the grit and salt, but again, after putting CorrosionX on, I am hoping that when I go back to it again this week, they will be almost good as new.

There will be some pictures going up soon from today, but overall it was a great start for the project!

The only UK official distributor sells the product from: http://www.corrosion-x.co.uk/

 

 

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18/11/12

Progress!

After about 1 month of nothing being done on the car, much to my and everyone else’s frustration, a trip to the classic car show today has kick-started the project. As the car needs imperial AF tools and I didn’t have any, progress stopped. Today however, a large set of basic tools needed were finally purchased!

The next step for the project is going to be moving the car to the garage at home, so that every trip to the car doesn’t take 25 minutes. Once the car has been moved and all the tools are unpacked, the finally proper work will begin.

The first thing that is going to be happening is that all of the interior is going to be stripped out, so that we can start getting the car ready for the re-spray.

So glad that work is finally back going though!!

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27/10/12

Sadly a very quiet time this week in terms of work done on the car, despite having the week off school. I didn’t have much time to spend with the car due to not having access to it, which is a shame.

I did go over to the car yesterday but due to that uncertainty of where the project is going to take place and the lack of tools that I have, no work apart from some reading up on how to strip the interior went on.

Hopefully over the coming week, progress will be made in relation to where the car will be kept and worked on for the next few months, which will enable progress to continue full speed ahead.

Hopefully some more updates during the week depending on time, space and acquisition of tools!

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21/10/12

 

Had my first drive of the car today around the car park where the car is being kept as it was very quite on a Sunday, what a great car! A video will be up at some point in the near future.

In other news, I was also back to the car today for a quick look under the front wheel arches and at the brakes. A very good discovery in that the brake discs are barely worn at all, and the car is running AP’s.

However, due to the amount of rust on the steering arms and on the lower part of the radiator, there is a good possibility that the radiator is leaking, which is a shame. The car also leaks oil, but hopefully that shouldn’t be to hard to fix when the engine is out.

Overall not long spent on the car today, but at least it gave me an idea of some of the potential problems that the car could have that weren’t noticed before.

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19/10/12

With school finished for half term, the chance to spend the whole day with the car was just too good to turn down. After arriving at the unit where it is being stored, it was time to take the wheels off and give both the inside and outside a good clean, which judging by the state of them hadn’t been done for a few years!

However, after spending about 45 mins on each wheel, the difference was massive, and definitely worth doing.

After cleaning the rest of the wheels and the car, it was time to see if polishing the car would make any difference to how the paintwork looked and felt. On the left is how the drivers side rear quarter panel looked before a polish, and on the right is how it looked afterwards.

 

 

The layer of oxidisation on the rear quarter had meant that it looked a funny blue colour, but after a quick polish, it was back to the original jet black colour! It was a great day being able to spend so long on the car, especially seeing what a difference a quick clean can do.

 

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16/10/12

Pick-up day for the car was certainly very long, setting off at midday and arriving home again at 10:30 that night was not the best thing to do halfway through a school week, but was 100% worth it.

After picking up the trailer and trekking down to Paignton with dad, I could barely sit still arriving outside a little house on the side of a hill. A look under the carpets, in the boot and under the car confirmed that the car was what we wanted, so after a quick test ride and a very emotional chat with the owners, my first car was finally mine!

A very exciting, tiring, fun and draining day, but one of my life dreams was finally complete.

 

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14/10/12

After spending about 3 weeks searching all over the internet for that “perfect” car, I finally found one. A 1988 Austin Mini “Mary Quant Designer” Limited Edition in Devon, so only about 2oo miles away!!

A few tense hours on Ebay later, I had finally bought my first car, something which didn’t sink in for at least a few days.

After ringing everyone I could possibly think of who might care, I had finally calmed down enough to look properly at what I had bought, which wasn’t too bad thankfully!

Bad paint and a fair bit of surface rust could all be fixed quite easily, couldn’t it?

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