It’s been a while, but work on Neggy is now progressing.
Unfortunately, we did find some more rot. One of the captive nuts for the subframe mounting panel was too far gone to be reused, so a cheap repair panel was bought. However, when we removed the old section, more rust was revealed inside the box section. So this has been fabricated and a rear quarter repair made. My father always used to say “buy cheap, buy twice” – wise words indeed!
Unfortunately, as funds have been a little tight, I bought a pattern version of both the subframe mounting panel and the rear valance. First up was a trial fit of the valance with the original rear panel and new boot floor in place. With mole grips in hand, it took three of us pushing and pulling to try to line it up with the holes for the bumper fittings and rear wheel arches. But not a chance, not even close!
Before welding in the nearside subframe mount repair, we had a trial fit with the rear subframe to make sure all the mounting points lined up, as we knew the other imputing points were usable and correctly placed. This made me happy as it felt like we were making progress and I had a chance to use my trick red anodised trunnions. We were lucky that we had an extra pair of hands that day (thank you to my fellow As of Herts member, Duncan, who was there to help).
The subframe mounting repair panel was also useless, as after several attempts of trying to get the bottom trunnion bolt to thread, it just wouldn’t take. When we removed the subframe and inspected the panel, the captive rivnut was bent and threaded as a result. Really frustrating, simply because the panels were not fit for purpose.
I have subsequently purchased genuine replacement panels which fit perfectly — the difference is
astounding! The lesson here is to spend a bit more to get a betterquality part, thus saving on the total cost and a lot of swearing. A couple of weeks later it was time to cut out the old rear panel and fit the replacement.
We made the call to cut through the rear light apertures as we didn’t fancy our chances unpicking the rear window and parcel shelf. Alec and I carefully measured the distance of the light apertures and boot opening, marked them on masking tape, and took photos that can be referred to later. We have now removed the old panel and Alec will weld the replacement in soon (we ran out of welding wire!).
As I mentioned earlier, my budget for Neggy’s restoration is now smaller than I would have liked, so I need to save costs where I can. I have made a big decision; Alec and I are going to paint the car ourselves. I will be a novice painter, but Alec has painted other Minis over the years and has the kit required, so will take the lead. I have brought the paint now, so there’s no going back! Worst case scenario is that if I’m not happy with the finish, I can always save up and get a professional job done later.
“The lesson here is to spend a bit more to get a better-quality part”
Rear panel having been cut off. Yet more rust found where the boot floor meets wheel arch.
Attempting to trial fit the rubbish rear valance! Repair section fabricated. Trick red anodised trunnions. Subframe trial fit. Measuring the rear light location.