Starting Our Mini's Rebuild

October 1, 2012

1967 Cooper

Jere Dotten studies the original engine that

came with our Mini Cooper S

1967 Cooper

Correct head (below) and

wrong head (above)

1967 Cooper

Don Racine of Mini Mania confirmed that

this was the proper transmission case 

When restoring a car, normally we leave the engine and transmission together while we start on the bodywork. Then, later in the process, we’ll come back to the drivetrain. This time, things would be different.

When we bought our 1967 Mini Cooper S, the engine and transmission had been completely disassembled for a rebuild 30 years ago. And that rebuild did not happen.

We figured that rather than disassemble the rest of the car, we’d be better off by assembling what had already been taken apart. Later, we can continue with the disassembly.

When we went through all the bags and boxes of parts, we found most of what we needed, including the correct numbers-matching block and head as well as the correct gearbox and differential for a 1967 Cooper S. Don Racine of Mini Mania checked out all these pieces and confirmed their correctness.

We also found the block was standard bore, but was worn about 0.006 inch over. We could have just bored it 0.010 or 0.020, but for some reason the project came with four new 0.040-over Hepolite pistons.

We discussed this dilemma with BMC A-series engine guru Dave Anton. Since the block needed to be bored, he suggested that we order a 0.040-inch overbore and use the $400 worth of pistons that came with the project. This would give it a bit more torque, too. Additionally, we’d be leaving some room to grow, too, as Anton says that these blocks can be overbored up to 0.060 inch.