Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

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

Postby MrBounce » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:25 pm

Well it's been a fairly rubbish couple of weeks. Firstly Mr Bounce senior (80 years young-ish) gets knocked off his bike by a careless driver (the police and ambulance crew plus the general public were properly awesome and the driver has been charged with driving without due care and attention). Then my Uncle died (was expected, but still not nice when it happens), and then to cap it all Mrs Bounce senior then decides that she wants in on all the excitement, has a fall and spends 5 days in the care of the not so local hospital. The parents are on the mend, albeit slowly. So it's no surprise I have not been thinking much about the Midas recently.

I ventured in the other night and remembered when fiddling around the front end that I'd not finished the radiator brackets. I'd only made one side. Out came a bit of steel, the Dremel, the drill, hammers, assorted files and the vice. I actually managed to knock it up nice and quickly and did a test fit. All I needed now was to make a small fibreglass "dome" to contain the rivnut to hold it in place. Except I had no resin. Ok then, I'll paint it. Nope, none of that either. Balls.

So I went off to eBay. I didn't buy anything, but I did put a bid in for a big bore exhaust, for not much money. And it was only a short trip away. Now, I do have a few bits and bobs of exhaust - Maniflow LCB, Y-piece and a used Maniflow back box which will need cutting and shutting. What I needed to see was where everything would fit together and whether anything might need extending.

The system I have bought has an LCB (which will be blasted and repainted in VHT Paint) - the Y-piece is scrap and would NOT come out - plus it had been massively butchered to get it off the car. The back box will go again (it's a bit big for my needs) so that will be cleaned up a bit and also given the heave-ho. A good haul for what it cost. When I have more time I will dive under the car and see what fits where, then get a new centre pipe and get modifying...

Bracket ready for fibreglass and paint which are both conspicuous by their absence...

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Centre pipe with knackered Y-piece for measurement purposes only. Both are pretty much scrap.

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LCB which will need the rust removing...

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...and oversized stainless backbox which will be sold on after a clean and fettle.

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

Postby MrBounce » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:46 pm

Ever since I'd started putting this car back together there was something that had bugged me which was all my fault: The steering rack. I had never centred it when I put it on the car. Now, if you're replacing a Mini rack, all you need to do to centre it is to remove the bung in the floor adjacent to the mount on the passenger side, take out the little cover on the rack and stick a 6mm punch in it to lock it in place. Which is excellent, but my Midas does not have that hole in the floor. I could, of course, drop the subframe, remove the rack and make the hole, but that's a whole lot of work I am not interested in. So I thought I would count the turns of the wheel lock to lock, and put a bit of tape on the wheel. That, however, is not too accurate as it's by eye, but then I had a minor brainwave.

I grabbed my 360 degree protractor from when I timed in the camshaft and fixed it centrally to the steering wheel. It was 985 degrees lock to lock, or 2.73 turns in old money. So I wound it back to 492.5, took that as my centre, and mounted up the track rod ends from there. It looks pretty straight now. It will of course be properly tracked at a later date. I also got the chance to use my new impact gun to do the wheel nuts. Me likely!

Tape on wheel, to be upgraded by...

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... 360 degree protractor!

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Wheels now look pretty straight

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

Postby MrBounce » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:24 pm

Am back to a normal (ish) way of life after the past couple of months, and have finally had some time to myself again.

Remember this bracket?

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Yup, that's the one I will be eventually using to secure the radiator on the drivers side. I really didn't like the way the builder had just bolted the old brackets through the nose (Behind the bumper IIRC) which also made the a pain to get to. For those that don't remember, I did the passenger side quite a while ago, before I connected up the whole cooling system. I had made a small fibreglass mound on the engine bay side of the headlamp recess, then drilled it and glued in a rivnut. Rather than take everything out again (P.I.T.A), I have used some tape inside a bottle top to make a mound from chopped strand mat and resin. This will be shaped and then glassed into place on the other side once dry. Then out will come the drill and I will do the honours with the rivnut. One 5mm bolt later and viola - it'll be one secured radiator with easily accessible means of removal.

Looks messy now, but it'll be prettier later... (ish)

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Finally I have started to piece together my handbrake arrangement. The original handbrake lever did not have much in the way of innards, and despite a fairly intense search I have yet to find a replacement as I do not know what it's from. It wasn't a Ford item (I looked at Mk1 Fiestas, Mk2 & 3 Escorts and Mk4 /5 Cortinas) and it didn't look like any BL vehicle's lever I could find from that era (1981). So I have grabbed a Mini item I bought many moons ago and have welded a small L-shaped bracket on to it in order to mount it correctly. My welding is getting better and I didn't set anything on fire today. Which is only a good thing! Sadly I then broke my Dremel so I have not been able to grind any weld back...

Welding is improving. Not perfect by any means, but it's much better!!

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

Postby MrBounce » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:28 pm

It's those tiny little jobs again - you know, the ones that are SO simple on paper yet take absolutely forever to sort. I sprayed the radiator bracket and sanded off all the excess on the fibreglass mound that I'd made before drilling it and gluing in a rivnut. One bolt and one grommet later saw it glued in place. That was straightforward. What was less easy was bolting back the coil, which took far longer than it had any right to - I put this down to the pipework for the oil cooler which wasn't there when I did my first trial fit.

I wasn't happy at all with the feel of the KAD Quickshift I'd fitted. It may have been down to the nostalgia of when I had one on my Mini in the 90s that caused me to fit it, but once it was in and trialed, it just didn't feel "right", and selecting reverse was a big bag of no. My plan was to replace it with a standard selector, but having cut the old one up to get some parts for the Quickshift, I had to go hunting elsewhere. I had no response to my call for help from the local Mini club in locating one, and I really didn't want to pay the exorbitant amounts for one on eBay. Long gone are the days of picking one up for a fiver at a Mini show methinks! Tink, my usual source of Mini-based spares said he "might" have one but it would take a while for him to look as he was on holiday. It was then during a clear up of my very messy garage that I located a "spare" selector that I had completely forgotten about. Result!

So I gave it a good clean up using the wire wheel on the bench grinder and then primed it ready for some satin black paint. I then set about removing the Quickshift. Easier said than done. Although I had no issue removing the locating bolts, the aluminium extension to the housing did NOT want to move. Gentle tapping from underneath did not help. Eventually I got a bit angry and used my 4 lb lump hammer and a pry bar. With a pop, it finally moved and came off nice and simply. I'll clean it up before deciding what to do with it. Hopefully refitting the "old" selector will be easy...

Moneypenny came to supervise - from a distance and with the utter disdain that only a cat can give...

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Radiator bracket and fibreglass mound now in place

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Standard gear selector found in the darkest recesses of the garage now prepped and masked ready for paint

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And KAD Quickshift finally off after a fight. 4 lb lump hammer gave it no choice...

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

Postby Geoff Butcher » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:18 pm

When a cat looks at you in that thoughtful way it's probably wondering if you'd be good to eat... :twisted:
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:55 am

Managed to get another hour or so back on the project and I am delighted to tell you all that the gear selector issues have now (finally) been sorted. I unmasked the gear lever having painted it in satin black and gave everything a good coating of grease. The most difficult thing for me was putting the little pins that hold the stick in place back into the selector housing. When the whole thing is fitted to the car (and with a "remote" change tunnel) there is precious little room. I also did NOT want to take the whole lot off again as it's a massive faff with the LCB in place.

Once these were in I spent 10 mins swearing and getting agitated as I could not twist the collar into place as the spring wouldn't allow any further movement, despite me pushing my considerable body weight down on it. I took a step back, had a swig of Pepsi Max and then realised that all I needed to do was to push the gearstick itself down and all was well with the world again. I added the gearstick gaiter for mock-up purposes before I finally put everything back together.

I have checked selection of all gears and it's fabulous. It seems that when I have had a KAD Quickshift fitted before (NOT a cheap one), the gearboxes they were fitted to were quite worn, whereas this is a refurbished 'box. Therefore, having never really experienced a "good" gearbox before, it was a bit of a revelation. I am a happy boy :)

Pretty looking gearstick

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And all fitted in the car, with excellent feel and a funky new gaiter - gear knob will be replaced.

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

Postby MrBounce » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:40 pm

Apologies for not posting much recently - there are 2 reasons for this: 1) We have a new kitten, and this, as many of you know, takes up a large amount of time and care. 2) is a less fun reason. Mrs Bounce senior (my Mum) has been in hospital again (still there as I type), so the project has not been a priority.

Whilst grabbing a few minutes here and there, I have moved on to planning dashboard Items for a third (fourth?) time. The original speedo/dials triple unit (a 1275 GT item) looked knackered so I sold them on. Idea #1 was a full size Mini Speedo but that was found to be in a pretty poor state, so I moved on to Idea #2. This was to use a cheap Triumph speedo I'd picked up from eBay, and pairing it with some additional dials (oil pressure etc) from an XJ6. This would also require a bit of extra wiring, something I am not competent with in the slightest. Of course I could get my friend to aid me here, but getting him for even an evening's work has proved very tricky - the delights of him having a young family put paid to most of his spare time. There was a brief idea #3, which was splashing out on digital gauges, but I don't have great piles of cash spare, and £200-odd for a Smiths speedo was a bit rich for my wallet. And so I moved on to idea #4. This is a 2-pod Mini cluster (later version, so Mini City of early 90s vintage), which will use the same plug that's already in the car without the need for extensive changes, plus it's a lot easier for me to wire in any additional gauges needed such as for oil pressure and volts. The temp and fuel gauges are of course already in the cluster. I have a standalone rev counter to use too, so that won't be an issue. I picked up a 2-gauge cluster on eBay for a tenner, which is a bit dirty, but perfectly fine for what I need.

My friend was also sorting out his garage, and he found me a couple of quick release battery terminals. Given the low bonnet line of the Midas, it's difficult to find one I can use. These will do fine.

2-gauge cluster - only a tenner - does need a clean!

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Nifty quick release terminals. Perfect for the low bonnet line.

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And here's little Daisy. I fully expect her to be a trained Garage Cat in 6 months' time, which means she'll be nothing of the sort...

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

Postby MrBounce » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:00 pm

Well it's been a while. I've had little inclination to go into the garage recently. My space heater is broken (needs a new thremocoupling apparently) and I have just had a massive case of CBA. Recently though I've had a little bit more mojo, so yesterday saw me back in there, and having cleared up I made a start on new stuff.

The handbrake really needed tarting up, as it was a combination of tarnished handbrake lever and tarnished mild steel, so I gave it a good going over with some 80 grit, then masked it up and gave it a shot of satin black. Looks MUCH nicer now (no pic - sorry!).

Then it was on to the dashboard. I had no intention of using the original shroud which came with the pod, so I pulled off the lens cover and used that as a template to make a big hole. Once I had marked it out, I realised that I couldn't get the Dremel with a cutting tool in there, so instead I used a drill bit to chain drill around the edges. I could then use the cutting disc from the back. I had forgotten how much dust fibreglass makes when you sand/drill/cut it - much use of the garage vacuum cleaner was required.

Eventually it was done and I was able to offer everything up. It was then I realised that the instrument pod had tubes on it which would not allow it to sit flush against the back of the dash - time for Harry Hacksaw (Junior) to earn his keep and modify! The dash still needs a lot of tidying - I need to find some green lenses for the indicator repeaters (the ones on the pod are unusable) and I need to do a lot more minor mods to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing. Plus I also need to do a bit of figuring out which other gauges I need and where to put them. I also have bought some new rocker switches which will need a home.

Handbrake has been masked ready for spraying. "After" shot mysteriously not taken...

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Lens used as a template - I realised it was the wrong way round BEFORE cutting thankfully...

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Lots and lots of holes.

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There's a hole in my dashboard...

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Pod gets some necessary plastic surgery

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And it currently looks like this - lots to do still.

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

Postby MrBounce » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:26 pm

There are very few things that make me REALLY angry in this world. Without getting political, such things as excuses for human beings who steal from old people, drunk drivers and people who take and never say thank you. But the one thing that REALLY grates my plums? Me, and my ability to think far ahead without checking things first.

I have been doing more minor bits of dashboard work. First thing was the top area around the dials. I had managed to cut it slightly different to the lines I'd drawn, which meant too much was cut off. A little bit of work saw me add some back on using cardboard guides coated in tape and some P40. A bit back-street garage, but seeing as this "bit" will be covered anyway, it'll be fine once sanded to shape. After a short search on the interwebs I have also managed to get hold of 4 brand new Mini rocker switches - for headlights, fogs, brake test and hazards. The connections for these are already in the wiring loom so it should be no trouble fitting these.

I then moved on to the set of Jaguar gauges. My plan here was to use the oil pressure gauge, clock and voltmeter. There was no need for the others as they were already part of the speedo cluster. So I set about taking apart the pack, expecting to find 5 separate gauges. No such luck. Had I done my research, I would have realised that they're all integrated into a large plastic cluster. Instead of having what I wanted, I am going to have go back to square one and get some separates. Its all my own fault - I didn't do my research carefully enough. Assumption is the mother of all cock-ups and all that. I therefore stamped my feet, put another couple of quid in the swear box and locked the garage.

Making sure that the bits I accidentally cut off are put back on. Much filing and sanding will follow.

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Ooooh! New switches!

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Jag gauges ready to be taken apart...

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...only to reveal they're not what I thought they were. Nuts.

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

Postby MrBounce » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:58 pm

A different point of view is often a good thing. I went to see my friend to help him with some minor work on his VW Type 2 - removing and replacing the steering track rod (it's very long!) and taking off the exhaust back box, which was blowing, dented and just plain nasty. Easy work once the balljoints had been split.

I picked his brains about what to do with the dashboard and he had a look in his (pretty large) stash of Mini bits. Out came a 3-pod clock (admittedly missing a needle on the rev-counter) and an oil pressure gauge. I will need to source a voltmeter at some point but he also gave me a few different ideas of where to put stuff. More planning is afoot. And more sanding, drilling and filing!!

A bit of a different perspective, but new parts have certainly helped :)

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