998 Automatic Engine Rebuild

Discussion in 'Classic Mini' started by Minidave, May 5, 2020.

  1. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    This one came in from Boston, we're going to bump the power up some by raising the compression ratio, adding a good cam and improved rockers, do a little work on the head and generally update it to a more modern spec. It's currently at 38hp, I expect it to make about 60 when I'm done with it.

    The owner wants it to run smoothly, no lumpy idle so I will have to do some magic with the cam timing and valve clearances to smooth it out and still get it to breath.....the same auto trans was used with the 1275 models so it will easily take the extra power and torque.

    I'll get it torn down next week sometime and get the new parts one the way and the head and block out for machine work.

    Once he gets this one back and installed in the car, he's going to send me his other one - only this time he'll send the whole car, not just the engine!

    IMG_20200505_110432R.jpg
    IMG_20200505_112747R.jpg
     
  2. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2013
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    Your projects are always interesting to follow. Had this engine been running currently before being shipped to you ??
     
  3. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Yes, he complained that it just didn't have any power - and yes I know that could be down to a number of things other than needing an overhaul, but this is what he wants to do. so I'll rebuild it and make sure it's being all that it can be and send it back to him.
     
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  4. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Popped the head off today just to take a quick look......

    IMG_20200507_152549R.jpg IMG_20200507_152538R.jpg
     
  5. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    The engine wasn't in bad shape, standard bearings, cam was not damaged, tho we'll replace it with a more agressive one. I'll put the parts order together this weekend and get it turned in. The MiniSpares offices are running very understaffed so it might take a couple of weeks to get the parts....once they're here I'll send the block and head off for machine work. IMG_20200508_123225R.jpg IMG_20200508_181015R.jpg IMG_20200508_181000R.jpg IMG_20200508_180956R.jpg
     
  6. old81

    old81 Club Coordinator
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    Nice project, did you get the extra room planned out or is it being built as you wait on parts? :). Don
     
  7. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    #7 Minidave, May 9, 2020
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    No, bids came in ridiculously high, looking at other ideas now.....

    Got the engine completely stripped, got everything micc'd so I can order parts tomorrow. Had a heck of a time finding a rear main seal for this engine, apparently the automatics are different - I found ONE, in Connecticut of all places and they claim it is on the way to me now. Price was right too - MiniMania wanted $35 for theirs (out of stock) plus shipping, 7Enterprises only $19, but also out of stock - this place (Sports and Classics.com) it was $4.95 plus the same in shipping.....correct part number and description too.

    All the other parts are fairly available, but the supplier is working on reduced hours and reduced staff, so it may take a while to get the stuff. My local Brit place doesn't stock anything for a 998, let alone an automatic as this engine was never used in anything but a MIni or Mini derivative.
     
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  8. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Well, I found out the car is an earlier version than I thought, so I may have gotten the wrong rear seal, he says it has a two bolt subframe, but the engine number is from a later car - so I'll just have to see when the parts show up. One curious thing, it does not have "Park" - which is the way the early cars were, later cars did have Park. possible someone put a newer motor and trans in it, but that seems unlikely......who knows? He's trying to find the vin off the reg or title and also checking the car for dates on the wiper motor and rear latch.....
     
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  9. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Well, I got the right rear seal - YAY - and all the other parts came in too. the block and head have been sent off to be cleaned, bored, valve job etc.

    So I've been puzzling how to clean up this very nasty gearbox - even tho I have new fluid in the parts washer, it gets dirty pretty quickly, and I didn't want to wash any grit into the transmission - I didn't want to wind up taking it any further apart. There are some seals and o-rings in there that don't come with any of the MiniSpares gasket sets so I didn't want to have to go searching the world for them....especially if it turns out they're NLA. Plus disassembly and re-assembly require some special tools I don't have and would have to make - all of which is unnecessary since we're not going to change the final drive. With an automatic, cleanliness is paramount.

    IMG_20200517_213946R.jpg

    So, after kicking it around a while I came up with a plan - I put the trans in the tank up on a couple of blocks of wood and set it up so most of the liquid run off didn't go inside. I then spent about three to four hours scrubbing the thing down with small wire brushes, scotch pads and small screwdrivers to get into the cracks and crevices.

    IMG_20200521_213834R.jpg

    Then once it was done I took it back out of the parts washer and cleaned the tank thoroughly, even to the point of wiping it out with clean shop towels to make sure I got all the grit out. Once that was done I put it back in the tank, sitting up on the studs on one end. I then poured out about half a gallon of clean solvent that I got from TSC into a bucket and using a basting squirter I rinsed it all down inside and out till everything looked as clean as possible.

    IMG_20200522_125325R.jpg

    It was a ton of work, but I think it came good in the end. Now I can go ahead and put it back together while I wait for the engine machine work to be done. The head work is going to be held up a while as NO one had valve guides except Somerford - I also wanted to put the good forged 1.13 rockers in it and they also were the only ones who had any. So, I managed to get an order for about $150 worth of parts and shipping together in the end.

    IMG_20200522_125338R.jpg IMG_20200522_123005R.jpg IMG_20200522_125330R.jpg
     
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  10. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Nice job Minidave !! The transmission really cleaned up nicely.
     
  11. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    BTW, a Top Tip.....never use red rags to work on your automatic transmission......they leave an unbelievable amount of red fuzz behind which will quickly clog the filter. I learned this in the 60's, working on - you guessed it - a Mini automatic - of course they weren't "classic" Minis then! :)
     
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  12. Dave.0

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    #12 Dave.0, May 23, 2020
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    Another great build thread Dave. I 100% agree with those lint leaving read shop towels. Almost all Cotten towels leave some type or amount of lint behind.

    If you want great Cotten based Lint free towels check on eBay or Amazon for medical surgery towels. They are lint free and are awesome for final wipe downs of parts and even glass. They will last a long time as long as you only wash them separately with other medical surgery towels.

    I use these.

    https://uswiping.com/new-wholesale-surgical-huck-towels.aspx
     
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  13. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I have a stack of surgical towels, and I do wash them separately with no fabric softener. However, Harbor Freight sells the "white" towels along with the red ones, and I find the white ones are made out of something different and they don't leave fuzz either. The red ones seem to be treated with something too, something that feels almost waxy - doesn't matter if you're using them to clean up grease and oil but it makes them almost waterproof. White ones don't have this film or whatever it is on them.
     
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  14. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Parts have been showing at last......

    I got the first bunch of stuff back from the powdercoaters, and the forged rocker arms and guides made it from England, so I ran those down to the machine shop. The block has been bored but now I'm waiting for it to come back from being surfaced and boiled out.

    IMG_20200603_101807R.jpg

    IMG_20200603_134006R.jpg

    Also got all the hardware cleaned up and organized...

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    IMG_20200529_195407R.jpg
     
  15. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Pretty shinny parts!
     
  16. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    and some shiny ones too! :)

    Can't wait till I can start bolting some of them back together!
     
  17. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Your rebuilds are always good reading.
     
  18. Dave.0

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    Someone is going to have an assembly party soon.
     
  19. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I have been hung up on one problem on re-assembling the transmission - I took the forward clutch out so I could see about the final drive, then found out we couldn't get a better final drive ratio for it and try as I might I could NOT get it back together. There are a series of clutches inside the drum that all have to line up for it to fit down over the drive gears, and even tho I had it in and out of there a thousand times I could not get it into place. One of my non-gearhead buddies was over today and asked if he could try it - I was only too happy to let someone else have a go at it - it took him half an hour but by george somehow he got it to drop into place! Result!

    So now I can go ahead and reassemble and reseal the trans and get a coat of primer on it.....there are some challenges still ahead as according to the book there is a special fixture required to line up some parts to reassemble the other end - and I don't have said fixture, so I'm just gonna hafta wing it! Could be "interesting".... IMG_20200523_142136R.jpg
    IMG_20200523_142159R.jpg
     
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  20. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    The owner wants a specific color for this engine/transmission, Resida Green rather than the dark Morris Green that most of them were painted, so I ordered it up from the local automotive paints store and OMG is paint getting expensive! 2 cans of color and 2 cans of epoxy primer - $123!
     
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