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DIY Classic Mini Body Articles

Aligning The Front End (Restoration)
Our suspension and drivetrain were done, so it was time to return to the arduous task of welding the body. We arbitrarily decided to work from front to rear. After fixing the cowl, we began to align and weld the front end back together. We temporarily installed the front subframe to ensure we’d done the alignment properly. We then measured the rear of the car to make sure our body wasn’t tweaked.        The order of alignment went from inner panels to grille surround and fenders. We realized our right fender would need some repair before permanently welding it into place. A big thanks goes out to our friend, Steve Ekerich, who was unlucky enough to drop by in the middle of our work. He helped us get everything in place, so we could p...
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Assessing the Remains (Restoration)
Assessing the Remains May 8, 2013  The left front fender is junk, as is the front valence/grill surround.   The corners were essentially gone from our cowl.  We have already removed the ill-fitting right front fender. Wow, with the car completely stripped we were pretty depressed. We knew we had some rust and restoration issues when we bought th...
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Blasted Media! (Restoration)
Blasted Media! April 24, 2013   We knew we needed to get the old paint, rust and fiberglass repairs out of our Mini tub. We just had to decide the best way to do it. Dipping a car has some advantages, but its biggest disadvantage is you can’t get all the solution back out, and if anything leaks out when painting, it can make a real mess. Also, dipping removes everything, so fac...
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Body Welding (Restoration)
Body Welding May 29, 2013  It's hard to imagine how must rust was hiding underneath this car.  Exhibit A The Rusty Cow! We thankfully already had a patch panel for  this from Mini Mania We thankfully already had a patch panel for  this from Mini Mania Eastwood's Weld-Thru primer works great for these kinds of repairs. Here's...
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Factory trim molding installation - GFZ107 & GZF105 (Technical Information)
  The dreaded job of installing the plastic trim! Here are the steps we used during our latest install on a 1969 S to achieve great results:   Tools: Two people, Heat gun, drill & bit (  1/8th  size), rivet gun & aluminum rivets    (1/8th short-reach size), trim cutters or utility knife, touch-up paint & small paint brush, 2” wide masking tap...
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Finishing the Flooring (Restoration)
The floor on the driver’s side was in bad shape, so we ended up using the entire Mini Mania-sourced front floor patch panel. We still had to roll the inside slightly to match the transmission tunnel. Plus, we removed what looks like a body jig from the inner rocker panel to reuse it on our new floor pan/inner rocker assembly. Fortunately, the original piece was still in good condit...
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Flooring It (Restoration)
We moved rearward to tackle the floors after getting our front end was largely under control. Mini Mania sells full floor pans, so we ordered floor pan repair sections from them. We only had rust in the front half of ours, though, so we replaced the front driver’s floor pan and just used a small patch on the passenger’s side.      We decided to sea...
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GS130273 Bonnet Release fitting instructions (Installation Instructions)
FITTING INSTRUCTIONSThe cable bracket is made to fit universally and will replace the original bracket as tacked in on the latest Minis. The funny looking tag, which points to the heater, is used on later cars to hold a relay and the single bolthole faces the front. This bracket should be fitted about 3" back from the lower padded rail of the parcel shelf and 5-6" from the R/H door seal. Ensure th...
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How to: Mk1 Aluminum Door Skins (Technical Information)
Mk1 Aluminum Door Skin Right Side Mk1 Aluminum Door Skin Left Side Mini doors are known to rust, mostly at the bottom.  No surprise.  This is so common that in the U.K. there are shops that specialize in repairing Mini doors.  Only Mini doors!  If you prefer new, Heritage doors for a Mk. 1 can exceed $1000 each, plus shipping of course.  Luckily, there are options. ...
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Installing Inner Wheel Arch Liner Kit (Installation Instructions)
 Supplies needed: Wheel Arch Liner Kit Razor Knife Drill and drill bits Pozi-drive screwdriver PZ3 Touch-up paint Stiff brush, wire brush Floor Jack or bottle jack Axle Stands Lug Nut wrench and security nut adapter Waxoyl (optional) Rust treatment (optional) Pop Rivet Gun (optional) Replacement Arch studs (optional) Wheel arch liner kit CAML01 is designed to fit all classic...
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Metalwork Resumes in Earnest (Restoration)
Our next step was to get back to the metalwork. The left front fender had been crumpled and badly repaired. The grille/headlight surround panel had actually been ripped in half and also poorly repaired. The right front fender, while seemingly original to the car, had been removed and brazed back onto the car in the wrong position. The cowl where the fenders attach also had some rust issues o...
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On To The Rear Suspension (Restoration)
The rear suspension was even simpler than the front, as there are no half shafts to deal with. There are a couple of bump stops that need to be replaced, which we can get from Mini Mania. We decided to keep the Min-Fin alloy brake drums that came with the car. They’re lighter than stock, theoretically aid in brake cooling, and look pretty neat. Plus, they can’t be seen behind sto...
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One way to determine the year of your Mini (Technical Information)
There has been much written about all the Minis in the USA with confusing heritage.  Knowing what year your car is may not be that important until it comes to trying to be sure you get the parts you are looking for.  The Mini was first produced in 1959 and continues thru the year 2000. While all the years may look very similar to the newcomer, there are indeed a number of model changes t...
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Overider and rail kit for Mini bumpers, MSSK025 (Technical Information)
? STAINLESS STEEL This budget kit is for use when purchasers are capable of drilling their existing stainless steel bumper. The overiders and corner bars are the exact original shape of early MK1 Minis and Coopers and should not be confused with inferior designs. If you are not capable of drilling the holes in the bumper correctly please DO NOT PROCEED, we cannot be held liable. Stainless steel bu...
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Pressure Washing the Tub (Restoration)
Pressure Washing the Tub March 8, 2013 We tipped the shell on its side & cleaned the whole underside  After using common home pressure washer Remember to use eye protection We cleaned the subframes while we were  cleaning the body With our body shell stripped bare, our next step was to clean off all the oil, grease, dirt and as much as the factor...
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Priming the Whole Car (Restoration)
Priming the Whole Car May 21, 2013  Instead of a rusty, dirty mess, we had an essentially new-looking unibody. We just had to cut out and replace some rusty pieces. With the car stripped, media blasted and coated with a solution that would neutralize the baking soda, it was time to get our little Mini shell primed before any of the rust returns. We went directly t...
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Project Introduction: 1967 Mini Cooper S (Restoration)
Project Introduction: 1967 Mini Cooper S September 14, 2012 This car has not been driven since 1978 Sitting on rollers, the hydrolastic  suspension collapsed The gutters aren't terrible but will need minor repair The doors will also need fixing,  they are rusty It wasn’t much to look at, however; it had had its original...
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Quick release bonnet hinge kit, MK3, C-CZH530/1 (Technical Information)
? Mark position of existing hinges on bonnet then remove bonnet by undoing the retaining nuts. Remove the hinges from the bulkhead fittings. Install the keepers on the bulkhead fittings with the AN4-7A bolts, washers and self locking nuts as indicated in the accompanying figure. Note that the keeper is on the outside of the fitting and that the bow of the keeper is also outboard. Tighten n...
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Quick release bonnet hinges MK I&II, C-14A7246/7 (Technical Information)
Read all instructions thoroughly and check kit contents for completeness before proceeding. Carefully mark the position of existing hinges on bonnet, then remove the bonnet by removing the retaining nuts. Remove the hinges from the bulkhead fittings. Install the keepers on the bulkhead fittings with the AN4-7A bolts, washers and self locking nuts as indicated in the accompanying figure.Note that t...
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Snarkey - Chapter Five (General Articles)
Snarkey Chapter 5   How much would you pay for a Mk1 Cooper S shell?  That is the question. What if it was arrow straight, had zero rust and beautiful fresh paint in your color choice?  And it came with a legitimate VIN, clear title and a Heritage Certificate – in other words, not a fake?  If your price went up as things improved, you know your Minis.  However, yo...
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Stripping Down the Little Body (Restoration)
Stripping Down the Little Body February 22, 2013 We started by taking off the doors, hood and decklid  Our buddy Rennie Bryant removed the subframes Here is our mini eight hours later.  Next, pressure wash & media blast the shell We made a conscious decision to not take any more of the car apart until we had the engine and gearbox back together....
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