90's Sportpack, Japanese spec automatic

Discussion in 'Classic Mini' started by Minidave, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    My next project arrived last night right while the trick or treaters were coming thru the neighborhood. It came in what has to be the nicest enclosed transport I've ever seen - as it was dark I didn't get any pics, but when he comes to retrieve it I'll get some pics then.

    This car is in for a full suspension rebuild as the cones have collapsed and it's practically sitting on the bumpstops - the owner says he can't drive over a quarter in the road without it crashing. ;)

    IMG_20201101_112115R.jpg

    He also wants me to remove all the A/C components and if you look at this pic I'm sure you can see why!

    IMG_20201101_112200R.jpg

    I won't be getting too far into this one for a bit, I need to button up the red Innocenti on the lift so I can swap it out for this one.

    We're thinking of going with Mouton "Smooth a Ride" cones as they improve over the original standard cones, and he's not interested in having it slammed to the pavement like a lot of guys like these days.

    More as it happens.....
     
  2. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    This car will be coming into the shop this weekend, but other than ordering parts I doubt much will happen till early springtime.

    It hadn't been started or moved since it was delivered, but today it fired right up and ran nicely. EFI for the win!
     
  3. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    After swapping all these cars around, I got the white Jap spec car on the lift and have ordered parts for it.....I don't expect them for about 2 weeks, so in the meantime I'll continue work on the 1275 motor for my friend in Atlanta.

    IMG_20201122_131335R.jpg
     
  4. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    In between other projects I got a start on this car - I took the bonnet off so I could work without hitting my head, got it up on the lift and the wheels off.

    The brief on this one is to replace all the suspension bits so it will ride better, and remove all the A/C bits under the hood - he said he'll take care of the dash end of it. Getting the A/C out will make it a whole lot easier to do the suspension bits too as some are really hard to reach with the A/C stuff in the way.

    I got a decent start on it - like many new cars you just have to keep removing stuff till you can get to the stuff you're after. In this case - first off was the alternator, but to get to that the hood, grill, the oil filter cannister and one fog light had to come off. Then it was the A/C compressor's turn - that was a bear as the bolts were damn near impossible to reach, but in the end I won that battle too. When I remount the alternator it will go back in the standard position and use a regular belt, much easier to service in the future.

    I took off a couple of the refrigerant lines, and the receiver drier, now I'm working on figuring out how to get the condenser and it's fan off....but the ECU is in the way, amongst other bits and bobs.....once those are out I'll remove the radiator as we have a nice shiny aluminum one to go back in. The pile of bits on the floor is getting bigger!

    IMG_20201209_094245R.jpg

    Lots of work to do yet, as I'll have to remove the fuel tank to get the left rear shock off as it's hidden behind the tank. Some guys say they just move the tank aside - I've never been lucky enough to do that, I always have to remove it completely.

    Then it will be a total stripdown of the front end - I have most of the suspension parts but I'm waiting on some slick one piece ball joints from Japan - where this car was sold originally. The Japanese Mini enthusiasts have done some really nice engineering to use modern parts on these old cars - the ball joints on these normally require shims and they are tedious to get set right, plus they have to be greased regularly and reshimmed about every 10K miles. The new joints are expensive, but never need attention again.

    IMG_20201209_180956R.jpg

    In the pic the ECU is to the left of my black and yellow light, then the condenser is to the left of that, against the inner fender. I haven't figured out how to remove either one just yet, but like I said, if you take off enough stuff, sooner or later you get to the things you're trying to remove!

    If you compare it to the pic at the top, you can see how much is already gone!
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Cool little mini!
     
  6. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I finally got enough stuff removed that I could get out the rest of the A/C stuff, the receiver dryer, a few more lines, the condenser and it's fan out of the fender opening and a few other bits.

    IMG_20201210_115604R.jpg
    IMG_20201210_115613R.jpg

    Next up I'll drain the oil and coolant and pull the radiator and the shield under the engine so I can try and spot where the oil leaks are. There aren't a lot of places these automatics leak, and this one was overhauled about 3K miles ago so I'm really not anxious to drop this motor out - it's al LOT of work on these late model A/C cars but since I already have all the A/C stuff out it will be a little easier. The parts I'd be dreading are the exhaust - no telling how long or how rusted together it is - and the drive axles and brakes. Some of these cars can be tough to get the brakes bled out again.

    I also have a new starter and alternator coming, along with a water pump, all new hoses, thermostat and the new aluminum radiator I showed before.

    And I haven't even started on the suspension - the real reason he sent it to me! :)
     
  7. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I did a little refresh on the engine, cleaned the heck out of it and painted it up with some red Rusty Oleum - pay no attention to the green valve cover - that's my paint valve cover. I have a shiny new polished aluminum cover coming for it.

    IMG_20201216_155545R.jpg

    The rest of the parts I had ordered have come in too, including these very expensive but really cool ball joints.

    IMG_20201216_171316R.jpg

    The originals have to be lapped in and shimmed, then shimmed again every 10K or so and are a PITA. These are modern sealed joints that never need adjusting or lubing.

    I have a new starter, a new alternator, aluminum radiator and all new hoses for it too' Lastly, here is one of the old rubber cone springs compared to the new ones that will be going in!

    IMG_20201216_200615R.jpg
     
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  8. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Quite the improvement. Having never worked on a rubber cone suspension that would appear to be a very large difference.
     
  9. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I've been chipping away at the White car, today I got radiator out so I could get the first smooth a ride cone installed, got the second coat of paint on the engine and got a bunch of parts cleaned up. Also got all the radiator hoses off and water pump out. I think that's the last bit of stuff I have to remove in the engine compartment. While it was so accessible I adjusted the valves too.

    IMG_20201218_133845R.jpg
    IMG_20201218_135307R.jpg

    Tomorrow I'll get the other front cone installed, then start on ball joints and lower control arms. Once the front end is done I can start reinstalling all the crap I had to take off to get stuff out of the way - the radiator hoses alone were crazy hard to get off - no idea how I'm going to get it all in again!

    IMG_20201218_213039R.jpg
    IMG_20201218_213056R.jpg

    BTW, in case anyone needs to know - the tall cones go in front, short ones in back. Jeremy at Jet Motors says it's a good idea to shorten the trumpets about 2mm or the front end sits too high. I decided not to do that, I know they'll settle down after a few hundred miles......
     
  10. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Well, I was hoping not to have to take the front end completely apart, but events conspired against me....first the inner CV came out of it's socket and would not go back in, which meant I was going to have to at least remove the boot - but then I found the boot was torn too, which means I'll be not only removing the hub but also stripping the axle down so I can replace the inner boot. I also noticed the brake hoses to the front calipers look very tired, so I'll be replacing them too, which means flushing the brake system.

    IMG_20201220_172819R.jpg
    IMG_20201220_172826R.jpg

    It seems like you can never just do a single job...... [​IMG]
     
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  11. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Like Roseannadanna says, “It’s always something.”
     
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  12. old81

    old81 Club Coordinator
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    You never really know until you lift the skirt or pull back the curtain. Good luck with this one, looks like a challenge.

    Take care, have a great Christmas and New Year, get well fast after the knee surgery.

    Don
     
  13. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Thanks guys.....good news is - I have a full set of boot kits in stock so I won't be held up waiting for those.

    BTW, my surgery date got pushed back from the 5th to the 19th. Starting pre-surgery tests next week tho.
     
  14. MCS02

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    I hope all goes well Dave
     
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  15. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    As it turns out, I did have to use the press to get the axle out of the hub, but it really didn't take any pressure and it came right out - I just hate beating on them and messing up the end of the axle and threads. I do have a die to fix the axle threads tho, just in case.

    Once apart I could not see how to remove the inner CV, it seems like it had some sort of metal cap over the end of the axle and it did not want to pry off. So I popped the outer CV off, took off the outer boot and slid the inner all the way down the axle again. Sounds easier than it was!

    IMG_20201223_123547R.jpg
    IMG_20201223_123851R.jpg
    IMG_20201223_130553R.jpg

    Once it was all cleaned and lubed it went back together exactly as it should.

    The left side is now all done, although I haven't decided whether to do the brake hoses. They don't look bad, but they may be original....and while I have it accessible......the problem is the what ifs - what if the bleed nipple breaks off in the caliper, what if the brake line is rusted together and the end rounds off and so on......

    I'll probably go ahead and change out the hose, now is the time with the radiator out of the way....I also got plenty of new clamps - it takes 5 for the heater hoses, and 4 more for the main radiator hoses.

    Edit: Left side is now all done, including brake hose. I was concerned about the brake line not coming apart but it did with no drama, so I changed out the hose too.

    IMG_20201224_131127R.jpg

    Now to move over to the right side and do the same process, then I'll head to the rears. The back ones are very easy to install except for one thing - the top shock mount on the left side is behind the gas tank. In the past I've always just removed the tank but on this fuel injected car there are lots of other components attached to the tank having to do with emissions and venting and such, so I'm going to try and see if I can just move it out far enough to get the nuts loose - could be a trick as there's a lock nut on top of the regular nut and I'll be doing it blind.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Radiator is in and all buttoned up, I need to split the 998 transmission off the engine and get it crated so it can ship next week.....

    Then back on the suspension job - starting on the right side front, then right rear, and leaving the gas tank conundrum in the left rear for last. Anyone successfully just move the tank enough to reach behind and get the top shock nuts off without having to drain and remove the tank?

    Before and after so far. ECU will go against the inner fender where the condenser was.

    IMG_20201101_112200R.jpg
    P1000038R.jpg
     
  17. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Today I got the other side upper arm, ball joint and and new cone installed - it's a bitch kitty on an automatic due to the size and placement of the motor mount on that side, and the size of the cover for the torque converter. The bearings on that side were done too, so it was time to replace them before the front end started squeaking and getting all wonky. The hard part was aligning the shaft to go into the upper arm, especially working alone. Took a while but I got 'er done!

    IMG_20201226_151928R.jpg
    IMG_20201226_153612R.jpg

    Later I'll replace the tie bar, lower control arm and bushings and the brake hose on that side. With that done I can reinstall the ECU and it's bracket and it will be that much closer to running. I'm still waiting for the new correct oil filter, gasket, o-ring and the new valve cover.

    IMG_20201226_165829R.jpg
     
  18. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Making progress....the front end is all done on both sides, and I have the alignment set close enough to drive it to the alignment shop BUT - we got 6" of snow with a 1/2 inch of ice underneath, so it's not going out on the roads till they at least dry up. I also need to bleed the brakes yet. There is quite a bit of difference compared to the first pics I took, It's still more crowded than a carburetted car because of the extra stuff needed for the EFI, ECU, relays and extra wiring and such.

    IMG_20210102_114514R.jpg

    IMG_20210102_114624R.jpg

    I got the rears installed, the cones weren't as badly compressed, but they were still about 50% of the new ones - the ride quality improvement will be impressive.

    IMG_20210101_151419R.jpg

    The left rear was/is a challenge. I managed to get the tank moved enough out of the way without unhooking any lines or draining it BUT - after I got the suspension in I still haven't managed to get the tank back where it belongs. I'm probably going to have to take the deck lid off so I can get at it better.

    I also pulled both rear drums, the shoes and all were in good shape so nothing to do back there.

    Once the tank is back in place, and the brakes bled all I have to do is add coolant and it's ready to start and run.
     

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  19. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Gas tank is back in - I had to remove the deck lid to get where I could maneuver it back into place, I got it close but just could not get it that last little bit.

    IMG_20210102_145635R.jpg
    Once the deck lid was off I could get in place and shift it around, then it slid right in. Of course all the studs came out of the deck lid hinges so I had to clean them all up on the wire wheel before I could put them back. PITA.

    IMG_20210102_150102R.jpg

    But it's in, the brakes are bled, wheels are back on and it's ready to drive over to the alignment shop next week sometime. It's still sitting high because it hasn't rolled at all...it should drop a bit more when it does but these always sit really high at first. within a few miles they settle in some then it takes a few hundred before they drop much more and you have to adjust them.

    IMG_20210102_164748R.jpg

    I know it looks funny to us sitting up that high, but if you look at pics of the cars as they came off the assembly line, that's how they all looked. The sump guard is still off till I get it running and see if it's leaking oil from anywhere. I think the culprit last time was the oil filter cannister o-ring. People think it's too hard to change them or they don't know how or they double it up,....anyway you cut it if you don't do it right they leak.
     
  20. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Yay! It runs! I had to do a small modification to the alternator adjustment bracket as it was hitting the alternator fan very slightly. I ground a little clearance on the bench grinder and that took care of it.

    Fired it up and ran it for a bit, I'm going to have to flush the cooling system as it's full of nasty rusty crap so I'll drain it down and refill a few times till I start getting clear water back. It's still too cold out or I would put it in the driveway and just run it with the garden hose in the top of the radiator - that would sure be a lot quicker and less of a mess. Fortunately these new aluminum radiators have a drain cock, the OEM radiators did not, the only way to get water out of them was to pull the lower hose off - which makes such huge a mess! - and is a PITA to get to, especially when every thing is hot.

    Had to pull the grill back off to get to the alt adj bracket, and that's also the only way to reach the drain cock.....
     

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