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Featured Classic Mini DIY Articles

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned for Better Fuel Economy (Technical Information)
Keep Your Mini Cooper Engine Properly Tuned Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.  Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.   Fuel Economy Benefit: 4% Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.13/gallon     Check & Replace Air Filters Regularly Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine...
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BRAKES - Rear brake bias adjustment (Calver's Corner)
Brakes - Rear brake bias adjustment When altering the front brake set-up away from the standard installation, it invariably alters the amount of rear brake bias needed to re-balance the cars brake balance.  The problems start occurring when folk graft alternative brake set-ups onto the front of their Minis. Be this 7.5" discs onto a previously drum-braked model, or going from current standa...
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Carburetors: Conversion from Injection to Carburetors (Technical Information)
Carburetors: Conversion from Injection to Carburetors Single Point Injection to Carb Conversion IMPORTANT NOTE: This change should be considered a significant deviation from stock and thus should only be undertaken by a competent mechanic.In the history of the Mini the drive to keep the product alive and marketable meant the factory decided to modernize the fuel system of the Mini from Carb to Fu...
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Choosing a Sway Bar for your Mini Cooper or S (Technical Information)
This is a subject I should never get started on; I will try to give you the short story!   For any of you that don’t know I have been racing Mini Coopers for over 30 years. And on this subject of I have some very definite experience. Before my later years in Road Racing I was national Autocross champion in a 1966 Hydrolastic Mini Cooper “S”. And while I have not road ...
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Clutch - Drive Strap Alignment (Calver's Corner)
  If the pressure plate clutch plate friction face needs re-surfacing, get it machined to clean it up. Make sure the engineering company doing the job records the amount taken off, as the recorded amount needs removing from the tops of the 'horns' that stick up to ensure proper clamping force is achieved. If this is not done, clutch slip is inevitable. If using a pressure plate of unkno...
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Clutch Checking (Pre Verto) (Technical Information)
Maybe your Mini clutch is working fine. Maybe you’re starting to notice that the master cylinder fluid is going down slowly. Maybe the action just doesn’t seem the same. Maybe you are hearing some noises you don’t remember hearing before. The following are some quick checks even a beginner can do to make sure a clutch keeps operating correctly or to point one towards areas that m...
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GEARBOX - How they work (Technical Information)
SHOP GEARBOXES and GEARBOX PARTS   GEARBOX - How they work       click on links for related images      Having decided on or even implemented a course of action to bolster the performance of your Mini’s engine, maximising it’s potential should encompass a good look at the gearbox. It rarely does, as most folk take one look at those seemingl...
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Gearbox Rebuild (Technical Information)
Gear Box Rebuild  Written By GuessWorks Gearboxes may seem complicated but they are very simple in their construction, and surprisingly easy to put together. The main issues are having the right tools to do the job. So here's a list of what you will need. SEE VIDEO HERE Torque Wrench with a maximum range in excess of 150lbft 1 1/2" deep socket ( a ball joint socket is ideal ...
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Improving Your Mini Cooper Gas Mileage (Technical Information)
Most engines (and all Minis) use an electric spark to start the burning of the fuel/air mixture which in turn powers the car.  If the engine is to run properly this ‘electric spark’ must happen at the exact right time. Setting your timing means you adjusting the time the plug fires relative to the position of the piston.  Piston position is defined as follows: at the very top...
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Kent Camshaft Fitting Rules (Technical Information)
Basic fitting rules: The installation and first few moments of running are critical factors in the life of the camshaft and the following instructions have been devised in order to obtain maximum performance from the engine and to ensure a long and trouble free life from both the camshaft and associated components. These points are designed to be used in conjunction with the origi...
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Kent Camshaft Timing (Technical Information)
Kent Cam Timing: There are a number of different methods of cam timing. We at Kent Cams use either the 'Lift at Top Dead Centre' method, or the 'Full Lift Position method' Full Lift Position method: For many years the most commonly used method has involved establishing top dead center (TDC) as a datum (zero degrees) and positioning your camshaft with its inlet valve at maximum l...
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Mini & Cooper Wiring Diagrams On-Line (Technical Information)
Wiring Diagrams for Various and AssortedMini & Mini Cooper These diagrams are high-resolution PDF documents. You will be able to zoom in to view detail, and print legible copies on your printer. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the documents; click here to download and install a free copy. Click here for a Wiring Harness Overview Each document below consists of a one-page ...
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Mini Brake Data (Technical Information)
mini brake data When working on your brakes, ensure that the brake pads, shoes and hydraulic cylinders used match the specifications given below. Over the years, many changes were made to Mini brake configurations. The manufacturers tinkered with the master cylinders and rear brake balance valve, and rear shoes and cylinders on many occassions, and did not necessarily write these ch...
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Mini Harmonic Damper (Technical Information)
Are you familiar with the term ‘torsional vibration’? Well, torsional vibration is simply a periodic vibration which would result from the twisting of an object around its axis. In your Mini engine, this vibration would be expected to originate from the crankshaft as the engine tries to turn it. Excessive torsional vibration, however, is unwanted because it may cause various damages no...
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Mini suspension, steering and handling data (Technical Information)
The data on this page relates to all Minis unless specified. Major changes to suspension and steering are limited to the introduction of a new steering rack and steering arms for Mk2-on models. Mk2 steering arms have two `ears' to aid in the use of ball joint splitters; this is how they may be differentiated from Mk1 steering arms. Very early Mk1 Minis (to around 1960) were made with ...
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Mini Torque Wrench Settings (Technical Information)
Do those nuts and bolts up properly, or a wheel might fall off... if you've been trying to find correct torque wrench settings for your Mini here they are for just about everything that matters. Suspension and Steering, Mk1/2 Fastener Torque (lbft) Torque (kgm) Drive shaft coupling U bolts (rubber cross inner joints) 8 to 12 1.11 to 1.66 Drive shaft nut (front hub...
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The Paint Codes (Technical Information)
HELP OUT! We would like to continue to fill in the details and the important "examples".  If you know a color code, have color chip, If your car is a certain color;  Please send us a picture or a link to a picture of the color. You can forward any additional information to: Info@MiniMania.com   Thanks to Hugh Cannon for putting together this great list of paint codes...
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Troubleshooting Lucas Points (Technical Information)
Troubleshooting Lucas Points Ignition Systems Rev.02 Doug Lawson ( dklawson@mindspring.com ) July, 2006 What is Covered:   The following document discusses the operation of the basic “points type” ignition system. Included are steps to troubleshoot the ignition system. This document presents a negative ground system only. Please read the Theory of Opera...
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Upgrades for the Mini Cooper MPI/TBI models (Technical Information)
This is the 3rd installment in a series of articles that are intended to provide some insight and direction to new owners of the late model range of Classic Mini Cooper. (Part One and Two can be found here.) The term MPI and/or TBI is often used to identify the range of cars produced by the Rover factory in 1996 and continued unto the end of the production of the Mini Cooper. The best way to ident...
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Upgrading Mini Brakes (Technical Information)
Upgrading Mini Brakes Over 5 million Minis have been made, most of them before 1985 when front disc brakes were standardised. Previously, standard Minis were fitted with drum brakes all round, adequate in light traffic but prone to fall out of adjustment, not very progressive unless recently overhauled, and not up to the quick responses needed to avoid accidents in modern high-density traffic. M...
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