It Friken Lives Again!

Jeez I’m getting sick of working on this car! Anyway got it going (see the Done section below) just in time to take it over to my sons place some 42 km’s away to share pizza with him.

I have not completely finished it, in fact I still haven’t installed the under bonnet firewall sound deadening and also the internal dash cards along with some tidy up required of the wiring.

It drives very well, but the advance curve is not right, and I think it’s running a bit lean… I didn’t have time to adjust the mixture. The car sits better at the rear, the hydrolastic has evened out a bit better since I put a couple of washers in the front.

Very happy it’s back on the road though. Now to start looking at the Peugeot 306’s automatic transmission.

Done

  • Removed blanking plate and installed mechanical fuel pump
  • Removed Rover SPI fuel tank and wiring, installed smaller Morris tank
  • Removed EFI filter from rear sub-frame
  • Installed Davies Craig thermatic fan controller as previously the fan was controlled via the MegaSquirt
  • Replaced a rear exhaust hanger and discovered that the previous company that had installed the exhaust system had done up the system under tension and all of the hangars were damaged (rubber breaking away from the steel). Fixed this after a lot of swearing.
  • Bleed the brakes again
  • Installed the HIF44 SU with new gaskets and connect accelerator and choke cables
  • Installed the Lucas 65dm4 electronic distributor and ignition coil and set distributor to roughly 8 degrees BTDC
  • Installed fuel pipes for fuel tank and carburetor along with a fuel filter
  • Filled radiator
  • Prayed
  • Turned ignition and it started once the fuel primed up
  • Set the timing so that I had no more than 32 degrees BTDC… this distributor’s advance curve is way wrong for this engine… so stay put for future developments on this matter
  • Drove it 42 km’s to my sons house, no problems! Hopefully return leg will be also!

Edit: It made it back!

To Do

  • Find out why both the fuel and temperature gauges are not working… most probably the +12v to the instrument regulator is missing
  • Adjust rear brakes and try to bed in the brakes
  • Put back the sound deadening on both sides of the firewall… it’s deafening without it!
  • Wire up the tachometer again
  • Enjoy car!

Nice to do, but not required!

  • Fit the new heater. (Not doing until I have car on the road and tuned in… it is summer after all!)
  • Get a wheel balance and alignment.

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On it’s wheels and riding high

An update on the progress made today.

Done

  • I let the Hydrolastic down quickly, to expel any air and then I pumped it up to ~ 275 PSI which gave me ~28 cm centre wheel to arch and 33 cm for the rear. Which is close to two of my skinny fingers at the front and four at the rear.
    This is close to the height I wanted at the back but I’m still not happy with it. The Mini has with just the driver around a 63:37 weight distribution. So the majority of the weight is on the front Hydrolastic bags, so when you pump up the back goes up before the front, then the front then starts to come up. So I might pump up the front to around the manufacturers recommended figures of 32 cm and 33.3 cm this will be around 285 -310 PSI, most probably the later figure as the bags are old ( > 45 years!).
    Depending on my finances I might entertain replacing the hydro setup with a coil spring and shock absorbers. Just like these.
  • Cleaned the garage and put away the majority of tools. It really goes without saying that if you have tools scattered everywhere (like I did) It soon becomes a safety hazard as well it is a pain in the arse to find your tools.  Anyway: My Garage, my rules!

    My Garage, my rules!
    My Garage, my rules!

To do

  • Continue to wire new EFI harnesses to relay/fuse blocks and to sensors.
  • Fit MS to bottom of dash rail using nut inserts (more secure).
  • Test and set-up PWM for radiator fan control
  • Need to adjust tappets, as I have re-torqued the cylinder head.
  • Relocate new power brake booster backwards by ~ 2″ to allow for a cold air/filter box to feed the MAF sensor that will be fitted at a later date. Doesn’t sound much 2″ but we are talking about a mini’s engine bay, there is not much room!
  • Bleed all brakes as all 4 corners have been drained.
  • Fit the new heater.
  • Fit the new rear boot brackets (front ones done) and remake a boot board to fit on top of these brackets and also to wrap around the front of the tank.
  • Check timing and adjust the index position using TunerStudio to give the base timing value.
  • Adjust VE table to get it running OK
  • Take it for a drive to dial in VE table using TunerStudio’s VEAL.
  • Check that it runs!
  • Clean it, its filthy!
  • Get a wheel balance and alignment.

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On it’s wheels again!

An update on the progress made in the last day or so.

Done

  • Fitted new wheel bearings
  • Fitted new disc rotors and new correct length calliper to hub bolts
  • Fitted wheels with new ROH Contessa Mag wheel nuts as old ones were partly stripped by over eager tyre  fitters with an itchy rattle gun finger
  • Made some new boot hinge gaskets
  • Fitted petrol tank
  • Pop riveted boot bracket taken out to fit the tank
  • Fitted boot lid
  • Replaced Schrader valve in left Hydrolastic valve
  • Pumped up both sides of the Hydrolastic suspension

To do

  • Let the Hydrolastic down a bit quickly, to expel any air and then re-pump to my desired ride height i.e. two fingers between the top of the front wheel and bottom of arch, three fingers hopefully for the rear if I’ve got the correct number of spacers in the front.
  • Continue to wire new EFI harnesses to relay/fuse blocks and to sensors.
  • Fit MS to bottom of dash rail using nut inserts (more secure).
  • Test and set-up PWM for radiator fan control
  • Need to adjust tappets, as I have re-torqued the cylinder head.
  • Relocate power brake booster backwards by ~ 2″ to allow for a cold air/filter box to feed the MAF sensor that will be fitted at a later date.
  • Bleed all brakes as all 4 corners have been drained.
  • Fit the new heater.
  • Fit the new rear boot brackets (front ones done) and remake a boot board to fit on top of these brackets and also to wrap around the front of the tank.
  • Check timing and adjust the index position using TunerStudio to give the base timing value.
  • Adjust VE table to get it running OK
  • Take it for a drive to dial in VE table using TunerStudio’s VEAL.
  • Check that it runs!
  • Clean it, its filthy!
  • Get a wheel balance and alignment.
Mini on its wheels finally!
Mini on its wheels finally!

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Nearly there (I think)

An update on the progress made in the last month or so. I apologise for the lack of progress, I got disenchanted with the project for a while, I found that it was ruling me and with other personal issue’s started to causing me anxiety. Obviously this is not what you want in a hobby classic car!

Oh, I nearly forgot, I also got slightly side tracked by a car a work colleague gave me. Now before you get to excited it’s not worth a hell of a lot, but it interests me as I’ve been wanting a smaller automatic car as my everyday driver, and I also like French cars… my current car is an 2004 Renault Clio Privileged manual with 93K’s (my son calls it a ‘Gay’ car).
Any way the freebie is a a 2001 Peugeot 2.0L 306 XT Automatic Rallye Edition (last of the line model) with 166K’s on the clock. Very straight and clean car, engine runs well. Bottom line is it stopped going in Drive. One minute it was working then nada, so it sat at friends place for around 7 months until he had to get rid of it quickly, that’s where I cam into the picture!. It’s got an electronically controlled tranny (AL4). I might add the ongoing saga with this car into my Blog…

2001 Peugeot 306 XT Rallye
2001 Peugeot 306 XT Rallye

Part of the reason for getting the Mini back on the road was to go on a Father/Son road trip to Adelaide. Well I did go, but not in the Mini, but in my Son’s 2005 Lexus RX330. It was kind of him to lend it for the trip, even though it was not the ideal car for the chosen course (lots of windy roads), it performed flawlessly and we had a great time.

This multi-day effort is marked as  ‘Day 12‘ for conformity.

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  • Remove existing MegaSquirt relay board, and existing wiring for EFI sensors.
    Day 1  – done.
  • Fit EFI fuel filter under the car and connect hoses.
    Day 1done.
    Day 2 – removed and painted the filter housing as it was crappy.
    Day 4 – refitted all done.
    Day 10 – Connect up return line (5/16″) and outlet (1/4″) Done.
  • Remove standard engine driven fuel pump and fit blanking plate.
    Day 10 – Found that I had a possible oil leak from here. Looks like I never used a gasket but used sealant of some kind that the oil has attacked. I’ve made a proper gasket and used sealant, so hopefully fixed. Done.
  • Fit new 30PSI fuel pressure sensor (for PWM control of fuel pressure).
    Day 3 – sort of done.
    Day 6 – fitted barbs and 30PSI sensor using Loctite 567 Thread Sealant.
    Day 10 – removed sensor and fitted it to the original Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator. This was done because I’m not going with the PWM Returnless  fuel regulation as outlined in this post.
  • Fit new injector to throttle body. Day 1done.
    Day 2 – removed it to make sure bottom ‘O’ ring was sealing, had problems with this in the past causing erratic fuelling as it was dribbling all the time. I’ll perform a leak test when I get fuel pressure up.
  • Fit new solid state relays (SSR) for PWM control of injection fuel pump and radiator electric fan.
    Day 8 – found location above fuel sensor ‘T’ piece, haven’t fixed them yet.
  • Clean and paint corner of bulkhead where brake fluid has removed paint and caused surface rust.
    Day 2 – have obtained correct ‘Indigo’ blue paint in a can.
    Day 5 – removed Brake master cylinder so as to gain access to damaged paint. Wire wheeled and sanded area and treated it to rust converter.
    Day 6 – seam sealed, primed, sanded and top coated with Indigo blue acrylic paint. Done.
  • Finish fitting new Bluetooth radio.
    Day 1done.
    Day 2 – played many tunes on it today!
  • Fit new relay and fuse block,
    Day 6 – will locate fuse/relay block over the black plate in above picture using alloy spacers so as to allow access for wiring loom. I will also be getting rid of the original 2 fuse (35A each!) block and using individual circuit fuses along with relays for some of the high current items e.g. lights etc.
    Wiring loom will come through firewall near black  plate using 1 or 2 cable glands. I’m not sure yet on number, my thoughts being to separate high current/noisy wires from the low current and analogue signals. Will it make any difference?
    Day 9 – Fitted the combined fuse relay box to bulkhead, used two 8mm cap head screws and made some spacers out of aluminium round stock to space it sufficiently for underneath cable access.
    Day 10 – Decided to use a new Lucas two fuse block for the cars main fuses, except for the EFI side of things, which I will use a 6 fuse common rail fuse holder and 2 standard speed SSR’s, 1 for the Main relay, the other for the Petrol pump. One high speed (max 3500Hz) Croydom relay is spare at this stage, but hopefully will be pressed into use as the petrol pump PWM relay. The other high speed one is for PWM of the radiator pump controlled by the Generic PWM A setting.
    I’ve mounted the panel to the car now, ready for wiring. Done
  • Wire new EFI harnesses to relay/fuse blocks and to sensors
    Day 7 Created new wiring harness for the two D-Sub 37 pin ECU connectors. I used two pre-made cables that I obtained from DIYAutoTune previously. I removed all of the wires from the MS3 connector not relevant to my installation using an extractor tool, but for some reason the tool would not remove the pins from the MS3X connector. So I cut the unneeded wires on this connector a few inches  away, so that if I need them in the future I can join them up easily.
    I used the following self-closing braided wire wrap as I believe it offers superior protection and functionality to the loom tubing as originally supplied by DIYAutoTune. It comes in various sizes as well as fully enclosed and split versions
    All of the wires I will feed through a bulkhead cable gland and then to the end destination.
    Day 10 – Fitted the cable gland to very bottom corner of bulkhead, Used a step drill and then a Dremel with a carbide bit to take the hole out to 28mm. Was a tight fit, but everything fitted!
    Quarter done on looming the existing and EFI wiring, hopefully will finish tomorrow. Said that before haven’t I. LOL
    Day 11 – Continued wiring, did the 10 earth returns and the knock sensor. I’ve loomed it so that all analogue and low voltage signals are as far away from high current wires to minimise noise.
  • Sort and clean existing cars wiring loom. Combine EFI wires to this loom and re-loom using better quality loom tubing.
    Day 9 – Removed insulation tape from existing car loom and identified wires that need re-terminating. What a mess I found!
    A tip for anyone else tidying their loom, you can use acetone on a rag to wipe each cable clean, just keep it well away from your cars duco! Done
  • Fit MS to bottom of dash rail using nut inserts (more secure).
    Day 6 – have looked into this,  and will use 3 4mm allen cap head screws into 3 4mm nut inserts into dash panel tray on right side of car. Can only fit 3 fastners, as there is a great big hole where the right one would go, plus the screw head is partly obscured by the DB37 connectors.
  • Test and set-up PWM for radiator fan control
  • Need to adjust tappets, as I have re-torqued the cylinder head.
  • Fit new windscreen washer bag to hang under the R/H fender and connect it up.
    Day 8 – Used two bolts and wing nuts to hold it on to the inside of the engine bay. There seems to be enough room to fit it and the forthcoming MAF sensor and its air filter etc. Done.
  • Relocate power brake booster backwards by ~ 2″ to allow for a cold air/filter box to feed the MAF sensor that will be fitted at a later date.
    Day 2 – removed, waiting for me to make new 3/16″ pipes and new brackets.
    Day 5 – not happy with the VH44 brake booster, so have ordered a MK3 Cooper ‘S’ booster, should be here by the end of the week.
    Day 6 – booster has arrived along with new brake master cylinder.
  • Replace the Cooper ‘S’ discs and pads.
    Day 4 – removed discs and ultrasonic cleaned callipers.
    Day 12 – Fitted new L/H brake rotor and Mintex pads. Done 
  • Fit 1 Bosch knock sensor to the engine steady bracket bolt near cylinder number 4. Anecdotal evidence is that number 4 cylinder runs the hottest and leanest in the ‘A’ series engine, so this location is the closest I can get the sensor to the cylinder without drilling and tapping a hole in the block. Bonus also is it’s the furthest away from the timing chain, water pump etc.
    Day 8done.
  • Install a common earthing bar for the MegaSquirt ECU analogue earths. This is required to be connected on the engine as closes as possible (electrically) so as to minimise earth loops and voltage offsets.
    I used a brass earthing bar which I have connected to two unused bolt holes on the aluminium clutch bellhousing. I used some copper grease on the holes/bolts for corrosion resistance. I connected a ring terminal to a nearby bolt and the other end I terminated using a blue crimp ferrule. I always if I can solder my crimps. Done
  • Replace with new and paint both L/H & R/H top suspension arms.
    Day 1 – 1 done.
    Day 2done.
  • Replace rear competition bump stops with standard bump stops.
    Day 1done.
  • Check rear wheel brake cylinders for leaks and also that they are 5/8″ bore.
    Day 1 – found one cylinder seized, replaced both sides, as well as brake shoe springs and adjusters.
    Day 10 – Both rear brake slave cylinder had seized pistons from sitting unused so have replaced along with new return springs, brake adjusters and new braided hoses. The shoes were in good condition along with the drums, so were just given a sand to help them bed back in. Along with the new hoses and overhauled front callipers and new booster, the whole braking system is new.
    Note: If you want to avoid a mental breakdown, do yourself a favour, and get the special tool to help you install the slave cylinder’s retaining C clip to the back.I also masked of the drum  and painted it with black calliper paint. Done.
  • Fit new front brake hoses.
    Day 1 – 1/2 done.
    Day 5 – removed R/H/F hose… what a PITA that was… Hamish swore at me and said I should get an American car as they are easier to work on!
    Day 12 – Fitted new L/H metal braided hose. Done
  • Fit the new heater.
    Day 2 – bench tested to make sure it works… it does
  • Fit the new boot brackets and make a boot board to fit on top of these brackets.
    Day 2 – bought marine ply and carpet to make it. Also trial fitted brackets.
    Day 4 – brackets painted car colour (indigo) and made cardboard pattern of required boot board size and transferred this to 12mm ply and cut-out with jigsaw. Fits like a finger up a b**.
  • Get wheel balance and alignment
  • Day 2 – fitted new roof mount aerial… what a PITA! Done.
  • Day 2 – continued to feed my ultrasonic cleaner various greasy/dirty bits… ongoing Done
  • Day 4 – fitted new black accelerator cable, so as to get rid of crappy yellow one Done
  • Day 4 – I couldn’t sell the NGK spark plug leads so I obtained some genuine NGK 90 degree plug ends and fitted them  to the shortened NGK leads. Looks a lot better as leads are closer to engine. Done.
    Day 5 – obtained new BPR6ES NGK plugs and fitted them. Done.
  • Day 5 – discovered that brake master cylinder was a little weepy, they cost so little, so I ordered a new one instead of fitting a kit.
    Day 6 – fitted new brake master cylinder. Need to do the pivot pin and its split pin though!
    Day 10 –  Now fitted including the pesky clevis pin! Done.
  • Day 6 – painted one of the front disk callipers a nice bright red… I used old pistons, top seals, inlet pipe and a set bolt to fill/cover all important openings from the paint.
  • Day 10 – Have decide I don’t like the colour of the red, and it’s to out there for my liking, so I’ll either remove the paint using paint stripper or I’ll just paint over it with black calliper paint.
    Day 11 – Removed the paint on the callipers, using paint stripper. Next step is to wire brush to remove any remnants and paint three or more light coats of black calliper paint.
    Day 12 – Finished painting both callipers, and fitted new pistons and seals. Done
Lockheed Cooper 'S' Disk Calliper
Lockheed Cooper ‘S’ Disk Calliper


  • Day 11 – Had a thought at the back of my mind about the ROH Contessa magnesium wheel nuts. Had a issue where they were found loose, but inspections of the wheel studs showed wisps of thread on them. Long story short is the tyre fitters had used their brute force rattle guns to tighten the nuts, and in the process have started to strip the threads.
    So I ordered 16 new ones from Mini Kingdom Online… hopefully I’ll have no more issues.
    Day 12 – Fitted wheels with new wheel nuts. Done
  • Day 11 – Degreased all 4 wheels and blasted them with my high pressure water cleaner… they look good now. Done
  • Fit both L/H and R/H upper suspension arms.
    Day 12 – Fitted L/H arm.
  • Discovered R/H inner hub seal was displaced, so have decided to err on the side of caution and clean the Timken tapered wheel bearings on both sides of the car and also replace the inner and outer seals. The steering arm locking straps have to be replaced as they have been used to many times, so I’ve ordered them along with new top and bottom ball joint kits as these also were in a suspect state, i.e. some are binding, others are very sloppy/loose.
  • Day 12  – Cleaned all deposits of grease and dirt from both front suspension areas. Done
  • Day 12 – Greased rear suspension arms, both were very thirsty. Done

 

21A1806 Hydrolastic Helper Springs 4

Measuring Spring Tension (Take 3)

Ok, finally got around to removing the petrol tank in preparation for putting in the later Rover SPI tank for the fuel injection. I changed over the L/H spring and had time to measure the old one. Here is a picture of the spreadsheet showing there is very little difference between the previously measured R/H one .

Helper Spring L/H, R/H & NOS Spring Rates
Helper Spring L/H, R/H & NOS Spring Rates

Here is the updated Hydrolastic Helper Springs spreadsheet.

Summary

As previously mentioned, I feel that my old springs are not that old at all as the difference is roughly 5%. It would be good to get  to measure a known ‘old’ spring to finally put this subject to bed.