Minis, with their A series integrated tranny / oil pan arrangement, are sometimes difficult to bolt to a common engine stand. Some of the best Mini engine builders use engine stand plates of their own making. It’s not a common part and these can’t be found easily. There is one guy in the U.K. on ebay selling them and his are nice, BTW.
But with a welder buddy, an online source for material or a local steel yard you can make your own for about $25. It’s not completely fair to assume ‘welder buddies’ are falling out of trees. But you must persevere. If you are crazy enough to undertake mechanical work on an obsolete British engine then you must know other crazy people. Crazy-land is the arena of good welders. All that is requires is a verbal challenge, like “This bracket I’m working on is apparently hard to weld together straight”. That usually sets the hook with a welder buddy.
Here’s your short shopping list:
- A short 7” length of 2 3/8 o.d. schedule 40 pipe
- A plate of steel 3/8” thick, measuring 3 1/2” x 6”
- Another plate of same, measuring 1 1/2” x 6”
- Access to a drill press and some bits
The block castings we can access are plenty strong and easy to get to. They are; the oil filter mounting plate surface and the generator / alternator mounting bracket eyes. Since this area is not on the ports side of the motor, there is less stuff you can’t get to. Here’s the trick; these two mounts are not in the same plane. The oil filter mount surface is a few degrees out from the generator mount otherwise you would be done with the project much sooner.
That’s why I cut, drilled and fit my backing plates in two pieces. Bolt them up and if you did a good job the edges basically touch. Then tack weld them. Take great care here since you are introducing fire to an area with gas, oil, solvents; all things good… hopefully without combustion. Remove the tacked parts, weld them up and re-fit. When you’re happy with your plate, it’s time to weld on the round pipe, which can be notched with a hacksaw to better fit the two uneven surfaces.
The last part is to drill a hole in the round pipe to locate your engine by dropping a dowel or bolt through the hole. Over-rotate the engine just a bit, since it’s weighted more on one end and you want it to end up square. Other holes can be added so it can be located upside down, etc.
Last detail, order up some Mini Mania Mowog green engine paint for your stand for the super pro look, maybe even a Speedwell or Downton sticker too.