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Thread: 1961 Austin Mini: Take Two

  1. #1
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    1961 Austin Mini: Take Two

    At the beginning of May, I spotted a Mini on ebay with a nice patina. I have always wanted a Mk1 Mini with patina, and couldn't pass it up. I put my max bid on it and hoped for the best. The seller had posted over 160+ photos of it on the ad, so I wasn't too worried about the condition of the car. I ended up winning the auction and now have my 2nd 1961 Austin Mini, however, this one is actually streetable.
















    The seller arranged shipping and had great communication, in the sense, that he always responded, but didn't always do what I asked him to do. I.E. send me certain documents, or give me some sort of update. The shipper he went through dropped the ball big time and the car didn't even ship until Memorial Day. I spoke to the driver and he seemed cool. The driver wanted me to pick the car up from him down at the Manheim Auto Auction in Kent off the 212th exit. He had the car already running when I got there, but to my unhappy surprise, the grill had been smashed, sometime between the car sitting waiting to be picked up and the driver picking it up. I had been assured by the seller and the driver, that I would have no issues getting it home other then spongy brakes.







    Upon leaving the auction house, the car was running hot and the engine wasn't too happy, on top of that, the hood didn't want to stay latched. I pulled over into a gas station and double checked the oil and decided to top off the oil. Then, I attempted to get on the freeway. It made it about a mile down the freeway after the exit before it decided to lose power and then sputter to a stop. Called AAA and they said that the soonest a tow truck could get out there was 2-3 hours. Of course, I didn't want to leave it there so I tried to get it going a couple more times, but with no tools, I didn't have a chance. I had a neighbor friend come pick me up and take me back home, and the car was finally picked up at 10:30 pm. The tow truck driver didn't want to pull it up onto his flatbed the way that I requested, so we did a risky move, after a few failed attempts at getting it up onto his bed. The risky move is that we both pushed it up onto the flatbed, and then I pulled the ebrake and stomped hard on the mushy brakes. He then raised the flatbed and put it into position for towing, with me in the car standing on the brakes. Thankfully it didn't roll back, as when we first got it onto the flatbed, it slid back to less then a foot off the end of the deck.

    Once I got it home, I unloaded it and left it for the night and called it a night.

    Today, I had a chance to poke around it and I am glad that only the grill got damaged and not the front body work. The car itself is way more solid then I hoped and I am hoping that the motor is decently healthy, so I can get it tuned up and have it be a runner sooner instead of later. I am super happy with the car, and the seller said that he would work with me to get the grill reimbursed.

    Stay tuned.

  2. #2
    A Somebody Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody's Avatar
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    Are you getting any sort of compensation for the damaged grill?

  3. #3
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Hopefully, the seller said that he will get it sorted out with the shipper.

  4. #4
    Awesome looking car! I love the patina. Are you going to do anything to seal it? Flat or satin clear?
    I make pretty stuff
    www.twelvizm.com


  5. #5
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Thanks! I didn't even think of sealing it. I'll have to talk to my body guy eventually and see what he thinks. Washing it tomorrow and hopefully removing all of the grease hand prints on it from the different drivers. We noticed that the grill support was bent from whatever hit the grill, I bent it back into shape and now the hood closes better.

  6. #6
    everyone probably knows me by now girdwood has a spectacular aura about girdwood has a spectacular aura about girdwood's Avatar
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    Sweet buy!

  7. #7
    Regular Member alxdgr8 will become famous soon enough
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    Was this on the side of 167 Saturday night? I saw one just like it on the side of the road.
    A coworker has a mint one (no clue on year), I need to get a ride in it. I've always loved these!
    -Alex @vexartmedia-
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    '92 Porsche 968 (VW 07k 2.5T swap in the works) --- '86 Audi Coupe GT (2.3L 20v swap) ---'83 Audi UrQuattro (2.2L 20vt swap in progress)

  8. #8
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    That was it on the side of 167N for 4 hours. I haven't used my AAA membership in a long time, but they seem to have gotten pretty bad. Their response time used to be no more than an hour. You should get a ride in one, people don't realize how fun they are till they do.

    The plan for this one:

    Keep the body the way it is for now
    Change the flares out for something more period correct
    Put new comfortable interior in it that still goes with the vintage
    Refresh parts of the suspension
    It is in dire need of tires, as the current ones are cracking, and get new wheels as I hate Revos on Mini's
    Other miscellaneous maintenance items
    Get the motor checked out and see if it needs a rebuild (most likely), in the next year it will most likely get a new motor

    This one is going to be my cruiser, the Clubman is going to be the pretty show car.

  9. #9
    everyone probably knows me by now Iroczgirl has a spectacular aura about Iroczgirl has a spectacular aura about Iroczgirl's Avatar
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    Very cool! Congrats! I hope it will serve you well.

  10. #10
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Gave it a wash yesterday and replaced the battery with a Optima Red Top from the Clubman.

    Today, I checked the voltage at the battery and it peaked at 14.3 with the car running, so I don't need an alternator for now. Adjusted the choke cable and idle, so the car isn't fighting to stay running / dying constantly. It is idling a bit high, but I'll deal with that later.

  11. #11
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Messed with the idle and the fast idle today, seems to be running a bit better, as I drove it around the neighborhood a bit. The brake master definitely seems to be going out as you need to pump it a few times before you get pressure. I made the mistake of not pumping the brakes at my first stop sign, thankfully no one else was there...

    Been checking over the electrics the past couple of days.

    Headlights work (haven't checked high beam)
    All blinkers work, including the speedometer flashing on both sides, however the end of the turn signal stock isn't flashing.
    Turn signal stock is auto cancelling.
    Horn works
    Rear lights work, haven't been able to have someone help me to check the brake lights.
    License plate light works
    Dash lights work.
    Tach has power, but is just bouncing. I don't think it's wired right.
    Speedo appears to be working fine.
    Temp gauge seems to be working, but I would like to have that checked with a laser gauge.
    Fuel gauge is working, but not reporting the correct amount of fuel, I think it has to do with the stabilizer, or lack there of.
    Heater fan works, unsure if it actually puts out heat. I should probably pull it and replace the heater core, though.

  12. #12
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Last night, tested the brake lights and high beams, both work. Tested the heater today, it's pushing warm air out nicely, but I still want to pull it and check it over.

  13. #13
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Borrowed Chuck's compression tester today, and tested the compression. Thanks, Chuck!

    Cylinder 1: 160

    Cylinder 2: 155

    Cylinder 3: 155

    Cylinder 4: 155

    Pretty happy with the numbers, definitely seems to be pretty healthy.

  14. #14
    A Somebody Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody's Avatar
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    That's good, any word about compensation for the grill?

  15. #15
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Yup, he already Paypalled me the money. I don't want to buy a new one as it won't look quite right on it. I have a lead on a few decently used original Austin grills.

  16. #16
    A Somebody Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody's Avatar
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    Sweet!

  17. #17
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Today, I maneuvered the Mini's around so that I could get both of them into the garage, with easy access to each so I can swap parts over the next month. Since the Clubman is destined to get body work within the next couple of years, there is no need for it to sit with all of the new parts that I have put onto it. When it is done with its body work, I'll replace all of the parts that are being donated to the '61.

    Drilled out the rivets for the flares on the '61. Still need to drill them out some more as I only popped the heads off. I have decided that putting the flares back on will be decided by how the next set of wheels fit. The body work under the flares is actually pretty nice, minus the holes for the rivets.


    Before:










    After:








    Last edited by buddylove; 2014.06.09 at 20:34 PM.

  18. #18
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Went on a bit of a hunt today. I am missing one of these:



    I went to McLendon's Hardware as they have a selection of fasteners, but they had nothing close. I then searched online, but came up with nothing. Hopefully one of you might have a clue as to where I can get one. It currently secures one side of the stone guards on my headlamps.

    At the same time, I was also looking for a ball joint tool.

    It seems like everywhere stocks these:



    However, I was looking for one of these:



    No place local stocked them, and I didn't like the look of the Harbor Freight one. I found one on Amazon and will be ordering it shortly.

  19. #19
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Checked the motor mounts. No upward movement when jacking up the car via the sump. On visual inspection, it looks like they were installed when the motor was swapped.

    Cones are definitely shot and the rebound dampeners are non-existent.

  20. #20
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Inspected the rear brakes today. With seeing the spacer sitting on the spare tire, I thought that the car might have regular drums with spacers, instead of spacered drums. I was pleasantly surprised to find spacered drums, but still think I want to get some Superfins.



    Pulled off the drums, and found that the adjusters look new as well as the brakes shoes, however, the shoes are put on wrong and I will have to fix that in the future. Checked the wheel cylinders and they aren't leaking, but do look like they have been there awhile. I will be replacing them with 1/2" Bore Cylinders, as I will be running 7.5" discs up front with 4 pot Calipers.





    Next I started checking into the fuel system in the back and found an old cracked rubber fuel line, that I will be replacing.



    Pulled that line out as, I needed to remove it for the fuel tank swap anyways. Also, on speaking with Chuck about removal tips for the MK1 tanks as well as fuel line setup. It appears that since the OEM fuel pump is a pull style, instead of a push, its not a good idea to run a fuel filter between the tank and fuel pump as this car was setup. The OEM fuel pumps have screens in them to help with the debris. I'll be adding a fuel filter in the engine bay in the future, before the carb.

    Here is the old tank in all its glory, sending unit seems to be working as well. Just not reading right as the previous owner put in later gauges. I am sure some MK1 fanatic would love to have it.



    After fighting with the tank for a good long while, I was finally able to remove the drain from it. Thankfully the later tanks don't have these things, they are a pain in the ass to work with.

    Here is the tank gone, I will be doing some cleaning tomorrow.



    Replaced the fuel tank neck seal with one I had.



    Tomorrow, replacement of the fuel line, and installation of the 9 gallon tank. It will be a nice boost from the 5.5 gallon tank.
    Last edited by buddylove; 2014.06.11 at 20:59 PM.

  21. #21
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Started out the day by cleaning the boot with POR15 Marine Clean. I'll have to get in there and use some rust converter to get some of the bad areas between the boot floor and the rear fire wall.

    Before:



    After:





    Installed the 9 gallon tank:



    Replaced the cracked fuel hose and filter:



    Thought about giving it a fresh coat of paint, but the beat up look fits with the car.

    Next to tackle was removing the center exit exhaust.



    Removed



    Turns out it was a center exit RC40 system:



    As much as I like RC40 systems, I don't like center exit ones. It will be replaced by a side exit RC40 exhaust.

    Now work is on hold till I buy 4 more jack stands to get the other Mini up in the air, as well as wait for the ball joint tool to arrive. I also need to get a smaller drill bit, as all of mine are broken, so I can finish removing the rivets in the body from the flares.

  22. #22
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Ordered 2 pairs of jack stands last night along with some hex drill bits off of Amazon. My ball joint splitter came today, but I can't really do anything until the jack stands show up.

    Nothing too exciting for today. Worked on my $20 4 pot caliper setup that I got a couple of years ago. The discs are 8.4" vented discs that have been turned down to work with a 7.5" setup. There is a bit of a lip on them, so I am thinking that it might be wise to get them turned down, but I don't know of any local places that do it anymore. Sanded the cotter pins for holding the pads, but I am thinking that the setup is missing the retaining springs, and there is no spacer for the calipers. When I was looking at Chuck's setup, he had a spacer for his bolts, but maybe these are setup differently due to the vented discs?





    The calipers look fine, but I have all 3 bleed nipples on each caliper soaking with PB Blaster. I figured it would be good to soak them in that stuff for a few days, to try to avoid breaking the nipples.




    The spacer kit that I am talking about:

    http://minispares.com/product/Classi...%20to%20search

    And the retainer clips and pins that I am talking about:

    http://minispares.com/product/Classi...%20to%20search

  23. #23
    looks sweet.

    AAA quality depends on when you need them. They work with specific towing companies, and I'd they're all busy it takes a while to get one to you. I've had them give me numbers of non-AAA companies to call myself, and then send me a form for reimbursement if I used them.. can't get much better, IMO
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  24. #24
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Quote: Originally Posted by joel View Post
    looks sweet.

    AAA quality depends on when you need them. They work with specific towing companies, and I'd they're all busy it takes a while to get one to you. I've had them give me numbers of non-AAA companies to call myself, and then send me a form for reimbursement if I used them.. can't get much better, IMO

    Yes, but I have heard that more and more tow companies are refusing to work with AAA. Also, I have never had to wait such a long time for service before, and I used to use their tow service all the time. They did offer the reimbursement option, but I was wary of doing it.

  25. #25
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Today, I set out to just remove the carb and exhaust manifold, but I didn't realize that the "Ultimate" Engine steady was in the way as well. It was something I was planning on taking off in the future, as it will get in the way of future plans that I have for the car. As I mentioned before, the car has good engine mounts and it already has a steady on the right side of the motor. I will be adding two steadys to the bottom side of the car from the transmission to the subframe, which will help to reinforce everything. I also would like to remove the red hoses, as to me they are big eye sores in the engine bay. It could also use a good overall clean. I will be swapping out the radiator for a Super Two Core to help with further cooling.

    As I left it for today:


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