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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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.

21A1806 Hydrolastic Helper Springs 3

Measuring the Spring Tension (Take 2)

After measuring the NOS springs, I decided to the remove the right hand side spring (as it’s the easiest to get off) and profile it and the NOS spring using a different method.

What I did was to mount a Craftright Quick Action clamp in my vice with the movable clamp reversed so that when you moved the grip it went up the clamp rod so that it extended the spring along with the digital scale. Anyway a pictures worth a thousand words so here is some pictures.

20141128_145316
Bottom of spring. Note black instead of orange… any ideas folks as to why?
20141128_145357
Primitive indicator on top of spring. Don’t knock it, it works!
20141128_145417
Top attached to bottom of spring scale.
20141128_145430
Top of spring scale attached to movable clamp handle.
20141128_145440
Don’t get any ideas about pinching my patented steady method!

I found the new and improved method a lot more repeatable due to the very fine movement offered by the grip handle. If you were wondering what the rope was for at the top, it’s to stop the thing flexing, and giving inaccurate results!

Conclusion

The measured spring rate of the old spring was 29.9lb/in a 5.2% difference. Not a vast difference at all. One thing is the old spring that came of definitely does not look like it is a 47yo spring, so maybe they have been replaced in a former life.

I will be looking at replacing both the front upper suspension arms (yes including the elusive L/H one which I’ve managed to source NOS), as these were repaired after the suspension knuckle wore the holes. The repairer at the time used some sort of epoxy to fill the holes. Unfortunately he didn’t shim the knuckles, with washers, to bring up the ride height. I also suspect the hydro bags have sagged, but other than swapping them for the rears, there is nought I can do.

Finally if anyone wishes to send me an known old spring so I can measure it that would be great.

Here is the Spreadsheet: Hydrolastic Helper Springs