The Phoenix - The GP Roadster Project

Discussion in 'Car Builds, Projects, Idea's Experiments' started by BlimeyCabrio, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #21 BlimeyCabrio, Jun 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
    Soft top is staying. :cornut:

    But I think it will all blend like a BlendTec when it's done. May have to try a couple of prototypes before I settle on the best approach. We have a good place here in Raleigh that does canvas work, tonneau covers, convertible tops, interiors, etc. I'm betting we'll figure it out.

    I'm thinking the color is going to match the existing soft top.

    Also going to do a removable partition between the boot area and the back seat area, same material.

    And am having the OEM roll bar refabricated to make a straight-across crossbar for attaching all this stuff. And to restore the pivots for the rear shelf, etc.

    May be a few more weeks before I have all that worked out.
     
  2. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #22 BlimeyCabrio, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
    Step 7 - Moar Safety.

    [​IMG]

    Custom Schroth Hybrid-II 6pt for driver (with added ASM shoulder strap for 4pt use on the street, street-legal FE buckle on the way), and Schroth Profi-II ASM FE for the passenger, with added 6pt anti-submarine straps. Both wrapped to harness bar, with pull-up lap adjusters.

    With the ASM shoulder straps, these are safe to run on the street. The FE pushbutton cam lock buckle is required for street-legal setups (so EMT's can push the orange "PUSH" button to release). The ASM straps have now been tested and approved by Schroth for use with HANS-type devices, but I have a non-ASM shoulder strap and the standard cam lock buckle shown that I'll use on the track. 2 minutes to change from the street config (4pt ASM FE) to the track config (6pt, non ASM driver, standard cam lock driver). Both harnesses are FIA homologated for track use (even with the ASM shoulders). Will just stow the anti-sub straps when not at the track.

    Kudos to Joe Marko and team at HMS Motorsports for setting me up with a custom config. They are VERY accommodating and can sell individual pieces as needed.
     
  3. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Now that is a comprehensive set-up......
     
  4. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    And THESE are NOT for the street... because that would just be silly. :D

    But required at the track and on the hill climbs for top-down action.

    Gotta get another pair for any instructor who is brave enough to ride with me top-down.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. abuzavi

    abuzavi New Member

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    Yeah, this is working for me, Paul.
     
  6. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #26 BlimeyCabrio, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
    Step 8 - Gah! A porcupine!

    [​IMG]

    Fitting BSCI high-density low-profile 3/4" SFI 45.1 roll bar padding. I'll replace the prickly white zip ties with the proper number of nice black heavy duty ones after it's had a while to "mold" to the right shape.
     
  7. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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  8. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    What.....no more "roller coaster arms in the air" fun ! ! !?
     
  9. Ujin

    Ujin Member

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    Looks really great! Should be good fun.
     
  10. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #30 BlimeyCabrio, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
    Step 9 - Finishing the Rear Seat Delete

    I thought about lots of different approaches to the RSD. Originally I was going to box it in, making a little storage under a flat platform/lid. Then I looked at some old pics of how k-huevo just carpeted his, and liked it. The primary use for this area will be a place to carry my donut spare (when on the street far from home, etc.). I figured I could do a little variation of Keith's approach and accomplish that, and look good, and provide a little more space for stowage when needed.

    I found some dark blue Ozite automotive carpet at yourautotrim.com. This stuff is very similar to the texture of the carpet in the MINI, and stretches to "mold" to contours as needed. Their "dark blue" was a bit brighter than the OEM dark blue carpet, but it's close enough and the hue coordinates with other things in the car, as long as you don't have a visible break from one carpet to the other.

    [​IMG]

    The carpet isn't dirty in this pic... it's just the way the flash makes it look in the areas where it's a bit more compressed.

    [​IMG]

    Easiest to do all this with the front seats and all the rear interior trim removed. I'm good at that by now. :wink:

    First I cut out the two center LATCH loops with a cut-off wheel. I also cut down the protruding studs for the fuel pump access panels. I'll still be able to get into them when needed, it will just be a bit more of a pain to get the nuts back on. I left the outside latch loops, and the front loops that the seat snapped onto, for use as tie-down points. I removed all the seat and seat belt attachment bolts, and taped over the holes.

    Starting at the end of the OEM carpet under what was the back seat, I cut and installed a continuous run of carpet padding I had in the attic. I added an extra layer underneath in the seat pans to fill them in a bit. Taped this down at the front and rear, then carefully ran and cut the Ozite. Started at the bottom of the vertical wall of the rear footwell, cutting around the exhaust hump but fitting under all the trim. So there's a clean break here between the old and new carpet, but you don't see it because it's behind the seats.

    This eliminated the OEM trim piece across the "beam" between the rear wheels, now it's just wrapped with the carpet. Rear edge goes under the boot panel and rubber liner. All other edges go under the side panel trim. Nice and clean.

    I carefully slit the Ozite and carpet pad around the tie-down points. Looks good and works well.

    [​IMG]

    I have a better OEM MINI cargo net coming to use here, but here's a cheap one in place for now. No, I'm not relying on the cargo net to hold the spare. There's another steel loop welded under the seat, centered in front of the center seat belt buckle assembly. This happens to be in the perfect place to use for a spare wheel tie-down point. While I was cutting with my cut-off wheel, I removed the small vertical "plate" blocking the front side of this loop. I slit the carpet for this and am using a standard spin-on spare tire rod to hold it (will be hidden inside the spare tire bag). Still need to thread the rod a bit further down and cut to length.

    [​IMG]

    Got it threaded and cut - here it is installed, without the cover on the tire. I'm washing the cover now, when it's done I'll strategically place a hole on the bottom side for the rod. Bonus: the jack bag fits within the underside of the spare. So both will be clamped down and stowed inside the spare bag.

    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and no more porcupine zip ties on the roll bar padding. :D
     
  11. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Step 10 - Details, details.

    Finishing up a bunch of odds and ends today.

    Rennline tow hooks (yes Dave, I know my car is filthy)
    2EA5CF89_zpsf3f86390.jpg E878F2FC_zps290ba25a.jpg

    Overflow catch bottle for my RMW coolant tank
    635FBE9F_zpsd7929318.jpg

    Dye the spare tire cover, and install new cargo net. The wheel is clamped down using the hold-down rod... it's just hidden inside the cover. :biggrin5:
    AB3EC88A_zps201b8675.jpg

    Thomas & Betts metal locking all-weather zip ties for the roll bar padding (thanks Dave.O for the tip)
    AE9027FD_zpsd4aea903.jpg

    Bundle up the excess harness straps so they don't flap in the wind.
    B97CB82E_zps3926a156.jpg
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #32 BlimeyCabrio, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
    Step 11 - Complete the harness install

    Finally got the right brackets for the lap belts (Schroth 01324) and bent/twisted them (it's OK, they're made to do this) to mount with the rear bolts for the seats. The lap belts just snap onto these brackets. The bottom of the bracket fits under the Corbeau seat bracket, and is held by the OEM seat bolt (with a hardened washer added since the holes in the Corbeau brackets are almost as big as the heads of the OEM torx seat bolts). Cotter pins are used to make sure the snap on brackets don't come off at the wrong time (not shown in photo, added later).
    C41468EE_zps4b23d2b9.jpg

    Then I dove into the part I was dreading the most... the anti-sub strap install. I really didn't know how this was going to work. I ordered some brackets from VAC Motorsports to try, but those were made to work with their floor adapters, so no-go.

    The big problem was, that the spot where the passenger side eyebolts should go is occupied by the HK amplifier.
    B7843436_zpscb4f99d1.jpg

    In almost 8 years, I've never had a reason to take this out and really look at it. When I did, it was apparent that the actual amp was inside this box. I open up the box and - SURPRISE - the amp is much smaller than the box that fills this space. That's good news.
    00CB2B4C_zps6827a628.jpg

    With the amp box out of the way, you can see where we need to mount sub strap eyebolts. This is the actual floorpan of the car - just a single layer of sheet metal. Perfect.
    79DE5AA1_zps028431e7.jpg

    These eyebolts should be positioned to put the sub straps at about a 20 degree angle behind the harness buckle and seat slot, and they need to be about 4" apart. Right about here:
    47AE6B16_zps531bed20.jpg
    I don't think I'm going to be able to return the car, at this point.

    After removing the amp from the box and playing around with positioning, I figured out how to fit everything in the space where the amp box used to fit. I'm leaving the OEM seat belt receptacles attached for now, instead of wiring up eliminator circuits for the seat belt latch and the pretensioner. These fit in here nicely. Some padding under the amp, some gaffer's tape, and voila! Eyebolts are installed with appropriate Schroth backing plates, wavy washers, Loctite, and silicone sealant between the backing plates and the bottom of the car. This is hideously ugly... but completely functional, and completely hidden under the seat. So don't sweat it.
    4044C1CF_zps7fa4df13.jpg

    On the driver's side, the area where the amp is on the passenger side is carpeted, and there's a molded block of styrofoam filling in the space under the carpet. Cut the carpet and remove that styro block.
    EA6F9997_zps514a04b9.jpg

    Drill and install the eyebolts the same way. Break off part of the foam block to fill the space under the carpet by the door sill. Stow the OEM seat belt receptacle and cabling. Good to go.
    10D6F6AC_zps168b496f.jpg

    Reinstall the seats, using hardened washers, Loctite, and the Schroth lap belt brackets. Check that the anti-sub straps can be adjusted properly without needing to pull the seats and lengthen or shorten them at the snap-in bracket end. All good. This looks the same as before... but now the harnesses are actually installed. Ready for the track!
    5680E398_zpsd8098138.jpg
     
  13. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Step 12 - So long, rollbar!!!

    Not the new one... the old one.

    The factory roll hoop assembly includes some trim that covers some otherwise exposed sheet metal. It also includes the low position pivots for the boot shelf, which holds the rear window and top when folded. The structural roll hoop has the high position pivots for the shelf, which can be used to increase boot volume at the cost of not being able to put the top down while using this.

    My goal was to retain the cosmetic and functional value of this assembly, and also use it to hold a horizontal crossbar for attachment of planned canvas stuff.

    So I pulled the interior trim out of the boot (again!), reinstalled the roll hoop assembly, and decided how to cut the trim to blend with the car.

    Here goes...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now re-install back on the car and figure out how to cut the aluminum.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For now I'm just going to cut them pretty much flush with the trim that I just cut. I may cut them some more later, or grind them down to fit the crossbar I ordered (T6 alloy 1.5"x.25" tubing, 36" long).

    Getting ready to destroy a fairly expensive part.
    [​IMG]

    Destroid!!!
    [​IMG]

    This is a pretty healthy extrusion. And the toughest aluminum part I've ever cut.
    [​IMG]

    And the result:
    [​IMG]

    And now I have a place to hang my shelf again... no more paracord!. :Thumbsup:
    [​IMG]

    For now, I just taped over the top and holes to help visualize it. Eventually these will be filled, sanded and painted... nice and pretty. For now you have to use your imagination.

    More to come on this step soon...
     
  14. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Another detail...
    Because sometimes you just have to say What The Hell...

    290CAE7A_zpsa943441e.jpg

    JCW Carbon/Alcantara brake handle to replace my old polished one with the faded Union Jack. A better match for the JCW steering wheel and the new seats.
     
  15. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Oh my, a Union Jack was removed. :confused5:
     
  16. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Yeah, heresy.

    There are still a few... But way fewer than there have been...
     
  17. Mr. Jim

    Mr. Jim Mudshark
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    I really like your safety shoes!!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. TheModFather

    TheModFather Well-Known Member

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    That looks like one tough piece of aluminum!
    You did good with the Sawsmost though... :D
     
  19. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Went for a short run and gassed up today... looked at the computer and it said I've averaged 16.3mpg since the last time I reset it. I can't imagine why. :devil:

    Economy car my azz.
     
  20. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Another important detail...

    Brey-Krause R-9522 FE mount finally arrived. I couldn't stand to have anything green in my car (other than dollar$) so I plasti-dipped the clamp blocks.

    I already owned the Safecraft Halon extinguisher and QR mount, they were mounted under the seat in my old setup. This seems more appropriate now.

    F229AB06_zpsd517436d.jpg
     

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