The latest from our Mini fleet, this time featuring James, Stephen and Tim.
To get his Mini back on the road by spring, James picks up the pace.
We’ve been making good progress over the past couple of months. The welding is finally finished and Neggy, my 1995 Mini Sprite, is thankfully a solid and rust-free car now. My aim is to have Neggy back on the road for the spring 2019 show season and Mini 60 at the International Mini Meet in Bristol. However, there is still much to be done!
The body has been rubbed down and newly-welded panels and joints are now seam-sealed. Unfortunately, where we had to make repairs to both rear quarters and from a previous replacement of the sills several years ago, the panels are a bit distorted at the bottom. They needed a skim of body filler to make good. This has been pretty challenging and I hope it doesn’t look too bad when finished in (hopefully) shiny red paint.
The front wings, bonnet and front panel were changed before I owned the car and were painted badly using red oxide as a primer and cellulose Flame Red. As I was worried about any potential paint reaction, these areas have been taken back to bare metal. Until now, I never appreciated the sheer amount of time and effort required at this paint preparation stage.
We also needed to trim the frontwheel arches to make room for the new 6x12-inch Rose Petal wheels. The offset is quite pronounced so wider Wood & Pickett-style arches will have to replace the standard Rover items. I was a little concerned that the wheels would look a little ‘Carlos Fandango’ in style initially, but now that I have offered the wider arches up it looks pretty decent. I believe the youngsters call this good ‘stance’! Anyway, it looks pretty good to me.
I just hope it doesn’t tramline like a Sport Pack, time will tell. Something interesting to note is that
it’s not so much the overall diameter of the road wheel that causes fouling, but the width and offset. Unsurprisingly, the wheel fouled far more on the off-side, but given that Minis were never exactly precision-engineered in the first place, I wasn’t too worried.
The actual trimming of the front wings wasn’t too difficult, just a case of; trial fit wheel, check and measure, remove the wheel and trim gradually, then repeat until the clearance is correct. As you will see from the photographs, we have made a new lip to keep the strength of the panel.
The bonnet, boot lid and doors will be painted off the car, and are now in primer, ready for their Flame Red. They won’t be painted ahead of time as we want to make sure the colour is consistent all over. The next stage will be to paint the underside and inside of the boot and the rear-wheel arches, which have already been protected with stone chip paint.
“I just hope it doesn’t tramline like a Sport Pack, time will tell”
Still a long way to go, but progress is happening!
The body has been rubbed down and panels and joints seam-welded.
Arches being trimmed to make way for the wheels. New lip to keep panel strength. Prepped and paint-ready... ...for the coat of Flame Red. Boot lid is also ready for paint. Back to bare metal in prep.