Breath­ing easy

An im­pend­ing dead­line gets the project back up to speed again.

Mini Magazine - - Our Minis -

With­out any spe­cific dead­lines to meet on the grey Mini and a se­lec­tion of halffin­ished awk­ward jobs star­ing back at me, I’d run out of en­thu­si­asm. At which point both my house­mates handed in their no­tices, I was faced with be­ing turfed-out with an in­com­plete car in the garage and boom, that’s a dead­line if ever I needed one! So it’s been all hands to the deck once again.

The jobs have been quite bitty, start­ing off by con­nect­ing up the fuel line from the mod­i­fied Fil­ter King pres­sure reg­u­la­tor to the new carbs. The neat­est way I could see to do that was to buy a 12G292 fuel pipe from Mini Spares, an orig­i­nal fit­ment part to ‘60s Coop­ers, which splits the fuel line to feed both float cham­bers. Torques UK came to the res­cue again with a length of stain­less braided 6mm rub­ber hose, as I’d tried Te­flon-lined hose and found it doesn’t clamp down suf­fi­ciently with hose clips. That was topped-off with a set of alu­minium hose fin­ish­ers and the fuel sys­tem ticked-off the list.

Next up was to fin­ish the en­gine bay wiring, so the horn is now hid­den dis­creetly be­low the catch tank on the in­ner wing, keep­ing it min­i­mal­ist to match the ‘tucked’ loom. Then came a new charge lead from the MED starter to the light­weight race al­ter­na­tor, as the first at­tempt was about 2mm too short, frus­trat­ingly. It’s all look­ing pretty tidy now, with barely any wiring vis­i­ble, and any­thing that can’t prac­ti­cally be hid­den has been shrink-wrapped in black. I think you need to strike a bal­ance be­tween mak­ing an en­gine bay look neat and keep­ing it fea­si­ble to work on by the road­side, which is in­evitable part of Mini own­er­ship, surely.

It was also about time to fin­ish off the oil catch tank in­stall, which had been aban­doned so long ago I’d for­got­ten the prob­lems! Hav­ing fixed the tank in place, I’d since done a fair amount of read­ing up on breather sys­tems and realised it could re­ally do with a breather on top to work ef­fec­tively. So in­stead of two in­puts on top, one should be an out­put of sorts. OK, no prob­lem, un­til I went to fit a small K&N fil­ter on top and found the bon­net wouldn’t shut. Chi­nese eBay was the last re­sort, but led me to a flush-mounted brass gauze fil­ter in­tended for in­dus­trial com­pres­sors. For £1.50 posted it fits the bill per­fectly, not to men­tion the weird 3/8 BSP thread. Time will tell if it works.

Now I’ve just got to fin­ish the breather sys­tem with a mod­i­fied rocker cover, fin­ish off the ECU wiring, a few in­te­rior bits and get it run­ning again. Best get on with it then…

This com­pact K&N breather fil­ter looked ideal for the oil catch tank in­stal­la­tion...­ever, un­less mounted side­ways, it fouled the bon­net.

...and a small of­f­cut of car­bon­fi­bre holds it se­curely in place.

The K&N would sill come in handy for the tim­ing case vent, how­ever...

A flush-mounted brass fil­ter seems to do the job much bet­ter.

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