VTEC Mini Episode 8 - ARCHES

Creating the look of the car is a fun part of every build. The wide wheels and arches on this mini are defining and eye-catching features, so it's important that they sit right. After they're installed we bring you into a part of our creative process as we play with vinyl and paint to come up with the livery.

Looking for MORE info on VTEC conversions? Check out the Mini Mania VTEC shop HERE

This video was created by our YouTube partner, Steveston Motor Company .

This video series on Building a VTEC Mini was a “fun” project Steveston Motor Co. undertook for their own pleasure. They do not want to convey that this is their usual high standard for quality work nor that was in intended to be a “How To” video. It was merely a series intended to entertain and bring a smile.

VTEC Mini Episode 1 - The Plan

VTEC Mini Episode 2 - Teardown

VTEC Mini Episode 3 - We will rebuild

VTEC Mini Episode 4 - The Test Fit

VTEC Mini Episode 5 - Help from K2 Motorworks

VTEC Mini Episode 6 - We Have B18

VTEC Mini Episode 7 - Skunk2 issues and a new dash


VTEC Mini Episode 9 - The REVEAL


Phil: It's been a wild couple of days getting the aesthetic of the car right. This is one of the favorite parts of the build because after sorting all the mechanical bits, this is the point where the visual transformation takes place and that's always super exciting.

Niko: Hey, Phil, you're pretty hot.

Phil: How hot? 25 degrees, ... Adam came by to pick up some parts and ended up working at the shop with us, which is awesome because he's a master fabricator and a wizard with the death wheel, so we got him to do a little bit of work. He was also pretty entertained by my fiberglass trimming techniques.

Adam: ... It sounds like my bed on a good day.


Phil: You need to do with bed.


Phil: Fabricator... I'm going to have to think about ... but look at this beautiful cut that you've got.

Niko: It better be worth it.

Phil: This is how the Japanese would do this. Did you-- yes, you were here, the file that Tein gives you.

Adam: Yes.

Phil: When you get a Tein basic coilover kit, they give you a file so that you can file the bolt down. It's like the shock--

Adam: ...The bolt to the top half.

Phil: Yes, the hole to the top half for the shock body to go through. For some reason, they don't make it the same. It's like a half-moon and the bolt or the shock body is a circle, so they give you this half-moon file it.

Niko: You file the shit down.


Phil: It takes a lot longer than this. I was filing each one for like 10 minutes...

Speaker 4: Seven minutes have...

Phil: Come on. Come on.

Niko: It's beautiful.

Phil: We've spent a long time figuring out where the flares are going to go and how we're going to mount them and we think we've finally got it figured out, at least, on this side here. We're going to have to copy it on the other side which will be difficult. First, let's look at the back one because we started with the rear because you can't cut the arch of the rear, we set the ride height. I did an alignment on the car already.

Then we figured out where we want the flare. We figured out that the flare is going to go pretty much right here. This blue line represents where we're going to cut the flare,. We're actually going to cut it and have a nice little arc that comes up just to smooth it out. Right now, this bit here comes into the tire and aesthetically, it doesn't look as nice. This way, it'll follow the line of the Mini and cut down here.

I don't know if you've seen, but we have diffusers that we've made on the back now out of stainless steel and they're riveted to the body. Once we had the rear set, figured out our rear ride height, made sure nothing was going to hit, and then from there, we could set the front. You've got the front, this is the flare here, so it is going to sit like that right there just like that. Again, we're going to be cutting the flare right here to contour it just for looks.

Our idea afterward is there's going to be a vinyl piece on the side which is going to start on this line and this line will black vinyl and it'll go all the way back and end in a point at the back of the car, representing airflow going over to the back. We spent a long time to figure it out. I made one little notch right here for the seams so that we can fit it and then what we're going to do is we marked it all out, and we're going to cut the flare here at the bottom of this blue tape and then leaving some tabs.

I'm going to leave a tab here, a tab here, and so on, and then we're going to bend these tabs up, and that will be where we will bolt on the flares. These flares don't come with any holes drilled or any way of mounting them, so you bend this tab out and then we're going to put a riv-nut in here and then there will be a screw that will go into the riv-nut and everything else where the X's are is going to be cut out for clearance so it'll have a lot of travel.

You can see it will have this much more wheel travel, so it'll be a total of probably four inches of travel before it hits anything, so it should be totally fine. That's more than even a factory Mini has, so pretty much now, we're ready to start cutting.


Phil: The thing is we have to leave a little bit of the seam here because when the flair's on it, it sits at an angle and therefore, you're going to see it, so I can't take the zip disc and cut all the way across because then you're going to have a gap there. The closest I can get the disc to is about here before it's going to start hitting this, but Adam was saying, "Just cut it from behind behind blind," so I'm letting him do that.

Niko: No pressure.

Adam: No, definitely not.



Adam: Pliers.

Niko: You've done that before?

Phil: Yes.


Niko: Wow, there's the...

Phil: It's like watching Michelangelo paint.

Adam: Well, you can see when you're doing it from behind, you can see where the paint bubbles up so you know where the disc is.

Phil: Oh, okay.

Niko: Nice cuts. You just watch the paint bubble or where it starts to change color?

Adam: Yes, that's where the disc is because it bubbles right on the opposite end.

Niko: Yes.

Adam: You just knock those off or flatten them out.

Phil: Thank God I'm wearing my gloves.

Niko: What.

Phil: Well, my gloves that are impenetrable, people are always hating on my gloves in the comments. What else are you supposed to do when... comes out?

Niko: Nobody does thumbs up as cool as you.


Phil: I guess it was... in my face.

Niko: Well, it's looking great. I guess we can--

Phil: Bend the tabs.

Niko: Yes. How are you going to bend? I guess the biggest set of pliers that we've got.

Speaker 5: 12 seconds later.

Phil: We found this old pair of vise-grips at an old job site we were working at, so I just welded some flat stock to them, so now we should be able to grab them and bend it and it's the same width as these.

Niko: Nice.

Phil: Just getting a cool off or they're going to burn my hands.

Niko: Nice.

Phil: That's flush right there from holding it...good. Next.

Adam: This... is pretty decent.

Phil: I like it on this application to fills up the gaps.

Adam: Yes.

Phil: Is it hitting on that bottom edge?

Adam: No, it's here. It's from there to there.

Phil: Yes.

Adam: Smells like the dentist's.

Niko: It's five hours later and we've got one flare fit.

Phil: One flare, but it's a beautiful flare. In all the excitement of getting the flares installed, we all failed to realize that now we can actually drive the car. Before, we couldn't turn the wheels, and now, we've got the flares on, we can turn the wheels and we can take the car on its maiden voyage.

Niko: That moves. Also, that's a nice mix of gasoline and rubber roasting on the fenders I think.

Adam: No, he did a burnout down there.

Niko: That's it.

Phil: Just my luck, after having the car running perfectly for many days, on its maiden voyage, a part decides to fail. [silence]

Phil: Yes, it ran great and then I went to pull around in here and I just came to a stop and it just died. Then now it cranks, but nothing more than that.

Adam: Try again...there's some spark. No spark.

Niko: No spark.

Phil: No spark. Why no spark?

Niko: Things you didn't expect to do on a Friday night. [laughs]

Adam: This is normal. This is...as well.



Phil: Why are you pushing ...

Niko: Nice indicator.

Adam: All right.

Phil: Yes, buddy. It ended up being that we lost power to our main relay. It was an easy fix, ran a new power wire and got that dealt with, but now, we can move on to doing the livery with the help of Marco and figure out the exterior of the car. We spent all morning and polished the car. We did three different polishing compounds and then washed it with dish soap to get all of the residue off, so now we're ready to lay on the vinyl and to figure out the livery.

We have a rough idea of what we're going to do, but beforehand, what we're going to do is wheel the car out, take some pictures and then Marco is going to draw on the computer so that we can figure out exactly the shape of everything and then we'll lay it onto the car with masking tape and go from there, so exciting.

Speaker 4:...

[background conversation]

Niko: ...1552 Boxx workstation you got here.

Marco: I think it's too thick.

Phil: No, no. I want it swooped here. Where's the eraser, it's too swooped.

Marco I was thinking like the--

Phil: What about more angular?

Marco: I was thinking like this.

Phil: Flames?

Marco: No, like the red and white Porsche that just came out.

Phil: For the 918?

Speaker 4: 917.

Phil: 917? It's pretty cool.

Peter: What are you doing with it? Are you guys doing vinyl?

Phil: Yes.

Peter: I thought you were doing the rising sun.

Phil: No.

Niko: A variation of that.

Marco That's too Asian, his variation.

Niko: There's a line between cheesy and something...

Peter: It's very fine. It a very fine line.

Marco: I like how clean it is now, it just needs a big letter.

Peter: If you had nothing, and just had one big panel with like whatever number and like a couple of sponsors.

Phil: We only have black, right?

Marco: Yes.

Phil: Black is looking like...

Peter: No, you just buy the-- We have white vinyl, whatever. We just cut it and then put the-- we'll cut the black under this.

Marco: This might look too gimmicky. It looks so nice, the car...

Peter: Right now, it looks like a fucking upside down Nike or Puma.

Niko:...a product and your ability to polish apparently.

Phil: Yes.

Peter: Yes, I'm really surprised how nice it came out.

Marco: Yes.

Niko: ...

Phil: It's not waxed either, it will be better when it's waxed, yes. It needs something though, more than the flares.

Peter: ...panel on the door, but the square ones all round.

Phil: Yes.

Niko: Could you drop in the square flare again.

Phil: You can just make a new square the one that's actually. Kind of cool. It needs a number on there though.

Peter: Sponsors, make it like-- Look like the rally cars, see what I mean?

Marco: Yes.

Phil: My god, you're nerdy. You just googled the code of the--

Marco: Well, it's famous.

Phil: This doesn't look-- It's not a classic rally car look. I mean, the whole front end is hanging out, the... is exposed.

Marco: Wait, you want Kanjo racers right?

Phil: Yes, like the Kanjo racers square.

Marco: Like that.


Phil: They always have that with like the block.

Marco: Yes.

Peter:...same size car. [laughs]

Phil:...in the front.

Peter: Yes, less is more.

Phil: Yes.

Marco: This is very more.... Black screen with the white letter could be cool.

Phil: Yes, it's like badass looking and we have black vinyl.

Peter:Oh, you want to do it today?

Phil: Yes, we're going to do it right now. That's the thing.

Marco: Like the film is rolling. We don't have any more film.

Phil: We're running out of digital film.

Marco: Yes, black is cool.

Peter: It's a little more...that square a little more rectangular like the other ones are? How would you put the white on it?

Phil: You would cut them out from white.

Peter: Today? I got to be at the airport...

Phil: We can't do this because...

Peter: If...here, he could.

Phil: We can always do the numbers later too.

Marco: Yes, we could paint the letters.

Phil: Yes, hand-paint them.

Peter: I think I have a roll of white vinyl, I can just give it to you.

Phil: Yes, we just cut it out with scissors, yes.

Speaker 4: Hand-paint's is not a bad idea. Like big thick...

Phil: The hand paint would look...

Speaker 4: With dollar store brushes, you see every single fiber.

Niko: Get the good paint that works on painting gloss.

Marco: Just house paint.

Phil: Well, that looks good with the whites, yes.

Niko: It's clean.

Phil: Yes, it's clean and it looks like--

Peter: That will look badass.

Phil: Yes, it will look sick.

Peter:...that needs to be there.

Phil: Yes, I wanted to do...on the banner, but we don't have one of those banners anymore so that would be perfect.

Peter: We'd add that later.

Phil: Yes, but if it's on the side, it's.

Speaker 4: Can you get something like squatty blocky letter for the SMCO? I just like how the Civic was, it matches that idea of the Japanese logo.

Phil: We could find a good logo, print it out and then just cut it with the X-ACTO knife to get a sense of.

Marco: I'm thinking of like a...like SMCO, like super stylized.

Phil: Okay, good yes.

Marco: If you do it, do it right there at that line.

Niko: That line is lined up from the factory so that's 17 and an eighth, 17 and an eighth. You know what? We should bring this down just a hair so that the start of the flare is on the same line.

Marco: Take one and a half.

Niko: Yes.


Niko: White.


Niko: Takes care of business. How is that?

Speaker 4: Perfect.

Niko: Nice.

Phil: Here, the...stencil making stuff, it's made of plastic...the stuff.

Marco: I think we should...


Phil: Actually... just messaged me, and she's like, "Philip," all caps, "Stop putting crazy thoughts in Alex's head, no engine swaps."


Phil: Sorry...

Marco: ...wrapping here? It's not--

Phil: Yes, it's not Walgreens'.

Marco: The W looks like Walgreens'.

Phil: It does... I think it's fine.

Marco: Yes, I'll do this.


Phil: Well, with our friend's help, it's almost done. One more episode to go.


?Niko: Is it Peter or is it the other guy?

Phil: No, it's Peter. It's one of those flashback things. It was like the time that you were the DJ host on NPR and the whole time he just spends eating cookies and sipping tea. "That was Beethoven's 5th." [hums]...We should actually film this. [chuckles] Sorry, I'm done.

[00:20:40] [END OF AUDIO]