Project up­dates

It’s been a while, but work on Neggy is now pro­gress­ing.

Mini Magazine - - Contents -

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.

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