Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:27 pm

After an Easter Egg hunt and far too much food with the in-laws over the weekend, I had some time this afternoon and did some more fibreglassing on the dashtop. Having tidied the edges up with the Dremel, I set about joining the top and front sections together. Having folding some chopped strand mat over and put a heavy weight on it to retain more of a right-angled shape rather than a flat sheet - makes it much easier to work with. Out came the brushes and resin and under the blazing sun I connected the two bits together. I also laid some big sheets of fibreglass over the top, to make everything a little more uniform and stronger. It needs a bit of sanding and filling to make it less "bumpy" but as it will be covered I won't be spending a huge amount of time on it. I now need to figure out how I shall mount it - I have some ideas but I'll consult a couple of friends as three or four brainstorming is better than one.

When I first installed the wiper linkage and wheelboxes, someone advised me that it was wrong and wouldn't work as they were poking out too far. After looking at some of the early pictures before I stripped the car I could see that I was indeed wrong. Trouble was, I needed a spacer with a hole large enough to accommodate the wheelboxes, and unless from getting one from a specialist, I would need to be creative with what was in the Manroom. I settled on a pair of tie-bar bushes. Trouble with bushes (poly or rubber) is that they compress, so holding them steady whilst drilling would be difficult. The solution was a Jubilee cilp surrounding the bush, giving enough inflexibility that I could pop it into the drill vice. I used a 16mm flat wood bit to drill the hole and they fitted beautifully. A little bit of ingenuity with the plastic "washers" the nut sits on and all looks great. Job done!

Front now joined to top

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Additional fibreglass on the top too.

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Wiper wheelboxes fitted way too high

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Doctored tie bar bushes made ideal spacers and all fits together perfectly. Much more clearance below, too.

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Dash top bunged in place to dry properly whilst I establish how to fit it...

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:28 pm

Apologies for not posting much recently - I have had a lot on my plate and have simply not had the time to get into the Manroom to do more. I took the week off and spent 2 days cleaning the place up (and boy did it need it), before deciding upon 3 things: Find the bonnet catch and fit it, continue sorting the dash top and also finish off the gearchange assembly.

Having been through various boxes, trays and tins, I found the bonnet catch. Which was broken. Something large and heavy had fallen on to it and had snapped one of the tangs that holds one of the springs. Under tension, this piece had gone "sproing" and disappeared off the end of said spring, which was still miraculously attached to the rest of the apparatus. I did think about replacing the whole the thing, but I am nothing if not resourceful, so I shaped a small (and much thicker) bit of metal and welded it to the remains. It certainly won't win any competitions as my welding is barely passable at best (it took a couple of attempts before I got the settings to work!), but it's nice and strong and nobody's going to look at it that closely... I will get round to cleaning and fitting the catch next time I am in the garage.

Next up was the dash top. Having skewered my hand on some of the very sharp and hard fibreglass, I figured that the dash top I had created would be better off as a mould. As it stood it would never be good enough as it was a bit lumpy despite the fact it's likely to be covered. I then spent about 20 minutes being as careful as possible using all my interior trim panel tools to split the fibreglass from the original buck. Eventually, after much persuasion it came free undamaged. I checked for fit then carefully taped the underside up. I got some more fibreglass resin plus borrowed Tink's bog box of csm offcuts and once again set to work. So far I am about halfway through.

Finally I did get round to fitting the gearshift mechanism properly, including the gear lever itself. I wasn't happy with where the mechanism was siting so I decided to pull it all out. Which all went nice and swimmingly (including the roll-pin!) until I got to the bolt which fits to the gearbox casing. As I have fitted an LCB exhaust manifold, there is not quite enough room to remove it. Much swearing occurred. I loosened off the entire inlet/exhaust manifold assemblies and *just* managed to get the bolt out. When on the bench I tapped the housing to take the KAD Quickshift extension and greased everything up. Fitting really was the reversal of removal this time! Gearstick looks good in place, but typically I had fitted my "old" pair of mounting bobbins as the new ones were of such poor quality they'd split. The ones on there are currently too worn to work properly, so new ones are on the list of things to get.

Finally, I changed the plastic wiper plinths for metal ones once I'd painted them. More soon!

Broken bonnet catch repaired with some ugly welding. I shall do some grinding with the Dremel to clean it up.

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Splitting the fibreglass from the first mould. This took a LOT of patience.

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Checking for fit - it was too lumpy to use so it became the new mould.

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Taped up ready for more fibreglass

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First lot drying out

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The refreshed (bo) selecter ready for fitment...

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...and in place. Nice!

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And metal plinths replaced the plastic ones on the wiper mechanism.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:47 pm

Back in the Manroom again today saw me doing some very minor things but it's all progress. I fitted the pin to the bonnet and followed this up with the bonnet catch and release lever under the passenger side dash shelf. I am certain that it will need some fettling when I come to fit the bonnet properly, but as it's not actually done up properly at the moment, that bit can wait. One thing I do know is that it's going to be all very tight under there!!

Pin fitted to bonnet.

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Bonnet catch fitted loosely in engine bay

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...and cable attached. Seems to work, so I greased up the catch and cable. (Apologies for crap photo)

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby goldeneye » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:04 am

Did you reduce the length of the gear shifter?
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:09 pm

goldeneye wrote:Did you reduce the length of the gear shifter?


No. It's a KAD Quickshift kit similar to the one I had on my Classic Mini about 20 years ago. I'm not entirely convinced that I will keep it as I recall they're a proper pain to get into reverse. That said, I will need a new standard gear stick if I change my mind as it's different.

Not much to report this weekend. I've replaced the gear selector bobbins with brand new poly items and I've done a load more fibreglassing on the dash top. You've seen that before so here's a nice picture of the nice new bobbins:

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:07 pm

I finally managed to finish off the fibreglassing, trimmed everything to suit using the Dremel and split the end product from the mould. It actually looks better than in the photos (for some reason the lighting has picked out some of the fibreglass matting that was marked), and although there's a minor depression in the centre, it's certainly usable. I secured the bottom part of the dashboard with some rivnuts and chucked the top on. It'll fit quite nicely with a bit of jiggery pokery and some appropriate fixings. Not sure what to use yet, but I won't be fibreglassing the two bits together for fear of getting angles wrong etc. Plus I would like it to be easily removable in case of need to get at wiring etc. I shall have a think and brainstorm with some friends.

In other news, remember the gear selector? The one where I had to remove the LCB to get a bolt out before refitting everything? It's got to come out again. Because I forgot to buy therefore forgot to fit the dust cover for the selector shaft. I, therefore, am stupid. I do love this car though. Honest.

Dash top fits rather nicely although will need some minor fettling.

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And it's a lot less lumpy.

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The current bane of my life. Because I am stoopid.

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Edit - just checked and I can fit it without having to undo all the exhaust gubbins so I am therefore only mildly stoopid...
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:00 pm

Not much to report this week, although I am have rectified the stoopid bit and fitted the rod change gaiter (it was relatively straightforward to do this, if a little fiddly). I also took the time whilst I was under there to fit the revised mounting bracket. I knocked it up using an unused mounting that came with an oil cooler. Looking at it I do not think it's heavy duty enough, so I shall amend the design to include some thicker steel. I have looked at the "out of stock" bracket that Mini Spares sell to mount a rod change selector to a remote tunnel, and it looks really easy to replicate. However they should be ashamed of themselves for charging £30 for it!!

Gaiter now on and looking good. I am getting good at this roll pin removal malarkey...

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New bracket. Still not happy with it. It will become a template.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby johnnyfixit » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:26 pm

Do you have a link for the bobbins please ...
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:44 pm

johnnyfixit wrote:Do you have a link for the bobbins please ...


Sorry jonny - was on holiday. Try these :) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Classic-Mini ... 2749.l2649
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. "Mr Fawlty! Is Fire!"

Postby MrBounce » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:42 pm

I have discovered that the art of making brackets can be a dangerous pastime. Let me explain... I left you a few weeks ago distinctly unhappy with the 2nd attempt at making my gear selector bracket. I had looked at Mini Spares' own design and thought it would be pretty easy to replicate. So I got out the spares box and found myself a rod-change bracket. I then went to the metal offcuts and spares and found a bracket for a Mini splash guard which was almost exactly the right length and width, once I'd cut the end off.

I did a little bit of measuring and bending and then proceeded to lock everything together in the vice. I covered the car with a couple of old leather coats (VERY useful for catching and nullifying sparks) and moved everything flammable well out of the way. I tacked the new bit on to the top at each end, then proceeded to run a bead of weld down the rest. Unusually for me, I made beautiful fizzy-sounding welds, so although most with a welder would say it wasn't too great, it wasn't a bad effort for me. There was plenty of penetration and I would tidy up the edges with the Dremel anyway.

It was as I finished the last bit of welding that I could smell something burning. At first I thought to myself it was just melted metal, but then came the unmistakable smell of a fire (I couldn't see properly as I still had the helmet on). I have a bag of rags in the garage for all uses, and had put it what I thought was a safe distance away (about 10 feet). It was clearly not enough as an errant spark had flown casually into it and was intent on starting the towering inferno. Using my welding gauntlets, I picked up the lot complete with melting plastic bag and managed to put it out using the power of DM Boots and water. I hold my hands up to this - it was my fault being a bit complacent. Accidents DO happen, so take precautions. I don't do a huge amount of welding, so naturally I was surprised at how far said spark went. I shall now be investing in a Fire Extinguisher for the garage.

Right - back to the bracket! Once cooled, I set about cutting the old flat bit off using a hacksaw as power tools would not fit. I could have ground it all flat, but I do not have a Powerfile and as it it'll be under the car not many people will see it. Plus it kid of has ribs for extra strength (at least that's what I tell myself). I then ground off the excess weld and cleaned up the excess metal ready for paint. I have given it a coat of the same blue as the engine and suspension as I have half a can left. Fitting will follow.

New bracket once cleaned up (and after the fire...)

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And with a lick of paint.

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