Need help! Want to get her running

 Created by: mostdef
Orig. Posting Date User Name Edit Date
Feb 1, 2019 05:24AM 6464 Edited: Feb 2, 2019 05:13AM 
Feb 1, 2019 05:10AM hotelcalif  
Jan 31, 2019 11:06PM Spank Edited: Feb 1, 2019 07:57AM 
Jan 31, 2019 09:15PM mostdef  
Jan 31, 2019 11:16AM Spank Edited: Jan 31, 2019 11:18AM 
Jan 31, 2019 10:00AM 6464 Edited: Jan 31, 2019 11:27AM 
Jan 30, 2019 09:43PM mostdef  
Jan 30, 2019 09:06PM mostdef  
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 Posted: Feb 1, 2019 05:24AM
 Edited:  Feb 2, 2019 05:13AM
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Welding is practice, practice and more practice. What is interesting with welding is every weld is a another brand new start and can muck up.

Spank's advice is all correct. Only, I try to grind/sand the panel to where it would be hard to tell that it's been welded only to muck it up and have start over. So, listen to Spank's sage advice.

Recommended machine settings is great advice.

I would add, leave as much of the original metal as possible but don't leave any rusted metal.

It's all very time consuming. People spend years restoring. Others have a big check book. Then up selling their car because it wasn't done right.

The way you describe the condition of your mini, it sounds like a candidate for a rotisserie set up. Leaving it outside for 9 years to rot is never a good thing. Minis started rusting at the factory.

 Posted: Feb 1, 2019 05:10AM
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Check out Friday Night Garage Night on youtube. Its two guys replacing about every panel you can get for a mini pup.


 Posted: Jan 31, 2019 11:06PM
 Edited:  Feb 1, 2019 07:57AM
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Welding is one of those things that people who are good get paid REAL money to do.  And there are a million degrees of separation between what's acceptable to one person and what's not acceptable to another.  It's also a huge can-o-worms, especially floor pans.

David Haight, a member of MOALA, loaned me his cheap flux core Harbor Freight welder shortly after I got my first minis and told me "It's not how well you weld, it's how well you grind AFTER you weld."  I can't say that's entirely true, but it's not entirely wrong either (oh, and flap discs are your friend and don't ever try to grind a body weld completely smooth/flush again-- you'll take all the weld off1). I started with welding on my own body panels in my garage back in '99 or '00 and now I can do my own roll cages. Body patch panels, especially floor pans and sills, are mostly just little zaps and plug welds and it's all about practicing on scraps of similarly sized metal. Trust the recommended settings that each welder comes with watch youtube videos.

I say go for it. Think of a mig welder as an electric hot glue gun for metal. Get a welder and teach yourself. Zap cool, zap cool, zap cool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoTFcYw_qwc It'll be far cheaper and more rewarding and less frustrating than trying to find someone to do it for a price within any sort of sane budget. and never cut out metal that's good enough. Soooooo many people want to cut out an entire floor pan in order to fit a replacement panel only to find that they only needed to cut out a small section of the outer pan and a corresponding section of the replacement panel.

 Posted: Jan 31, 2019 09:15PM
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Thank you for responding, guess I should have been more specific. I’m capable of getting the car together motor, transmission and most mechanical parts. I have some experience welding but with no welder or experience at something this big wasn’t sure if I should attempt this hurdle. If I’m able to find someone that can weld in new floor pans and front end and my pockets allow it I’d do that. Time is always against us and it seems like there’s never enough time for everything. I wish I could do everything myself as I’d highly enjoy it but with work and life things get blurry.

If you kno of anyone capable of welding body panels, that would be great help. I’m going to try and get the subframe and motor bolted in, as well as start a build thread of some sort. Thanks again for all the help

 Posted: Jan 31, 2019 11:16AM
 Edited:  Jan 31, 2019 11:18AM
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Welcome back to the forum

When you say you "want help", what sort of "help" are you expecting?

Welding on sheet metal?

Bolting a subframe back into the car?

Installing a motor and getting it running?

There is MOALA (Mini Owners of America, Los Angeles) where you may find someone willing to "help".

MinComp and Heritage Garage in Costa Mesa are all about "helping" people get their cars back on the road. It just takes money. cecat here on the forum has connections to some other mechanics in the area.

What I've found, though, is that people are willing to help with specific tasks, but a nebulous "help" scares people. Maybe that's what prompted your buddy to not touch your car because it became too much of a project before he even started?

Personally, I like to help people who are helping themselves. Maybe start a thread and just dive in to your project and post specific questions to specific problems. Some people will be able to help from afar while others who are more local to you may be able to come over and help you overcome a specific hurdle.


Pictured is board member DC and someone from a neighboring pit "helping" the owner of the car in the photo get his car back on track... Guess which one is the car owner.

 Posted: Jan 31, 2019 10:00AM
 Edited:  Jan 31, 2019 11:27AM
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Time to invest in a mig or tig welder and a paddle trigger angle grinder. And eye, ear and hands protection. Join in the fun the rest of us are having.

 Posted: Jan 30, 2019 09:43PM
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I can’t seem to figure out how to post pics from my phone.

 Posted: Jan 30, 2019 09:06PM
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Here’s a little over view, I purchased my mini about 9 years ago, I drove it as much as I could until the motor blew some seals, and I could never get it to run right. I had worked on cars and raced my 87 mustang 5.0 so I had some experience wrenching, the car made 490ish hp behind a 5 speed with a motor I put together but that’s another story for another forum. Any ways I was always in love with mini and had to have one eventually. The time came and I got a great deal, but after finding out it was registered under the wrong year I was discouraged especially after the motor not running well after the seals went. So rather than do my research decided I’d take it to a buddy’s shop and have him make a custom cage for a Honda motor. Fast forward 8 years later, he never touched the car and it rotted outside. I finally picked it back up last week as I could never get a hold of him. Now I’m Edgar to get it going, I have a decent 998 I want to put back in so I can cruise town until I figure out what to do. But first the car needs some front end work as it was cut off for the Honda cage. Wondering if anyone near Los Angeles area can do this?