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 Posted: Aug 27, 2021 11:02AM
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That all gets a big thumbs up from me! Looks really good.

(FWIW, I've used oversills on a car before after removing the old sill just to make sure I had solid metal to attach to. Plus, the oversills I've encountered are actually sometimes thicker metal than the stock rover replacement sills. So Oversills are not an "instant fail" in my book. And having a car with rust in So Cal.... well, it's not going to progress very quickly. I've had a super-cheap, very rusty Mini since 1999-ish and it hasn't really gotten any worse.)

 Posted: Aug 27, 2021 10:04AM
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The seller sent me pictures of the floorboards at each corner (left, right, both front and rear) and the pockets mentioned above.  Looks clean.  Any thoughts from the community on what else I need to have him show me as far as trouble spots?

Right front:





Left front:



Rear left:




Rear right:






Rear seat pocket right:






Rear seat pocket left:









 Posted: Aug 26, 2021 01:37PM
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Got it, thank you!  Sent the image to the seller.

The plan was to register it in Vermont.

 Posted: Aug 26, 2021 09:17AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VadGTI
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spank
If you're going to ignore the concerns about the year of the vehicle...


Having the owner take a picture with full lighting down inside of the rear seat bin pockets with the cardboard liner removed can often reveal rust problems with the heelboard attachment location and sills. However, at some point Rover started putting in a metal shelf in there that covers up / conceals that area. On earlier cars, you can actually see the captive nuts of the heelboard and the subframe bolts that extend into and through them.
Is there any way you can show me photos of this specific location?  Given the language barrier, a picture would be worth much more than 1,000 words.

Also, which concerns about the year of the vehicle do you mean?
Picture: Down inside the metal pockets right next to back seat on either side.

Year of registration: You cannot title and register a 1994 in California. go back and re-read my previous post.

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 04:04PM
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The only reason you fit overfills is to cover up the existing decaying sills that are too bad to be patched.

A lot of the structural integrity of a Mini derives from the sill structure. Plus, each one of those little surface bubbles will have a rusted section at least the size of a quarter with the centre rusted totally through the steel ..which will continue to spread.  

Unless you are prepared for (and the price allows) a lot of remedial work I suggest you run away....

Cheers, Ian

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 12:39PM
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US
I agree with 6464s.    I have an 87 that I am doing rust repair on.    When I got it I thought it was clean.     It of course has the over sized outer sills and I have not even taken them off yet.   I bet it is rough under those.    I am still working on the trunk floor and rear bumper mount area.    That sandwich there is scary.    That bumper mount is made up of the rear valance, the trunk floor and the outer lip under the trunk lid sandwiched together.    It is TOUGH to repair.    I had to cut soooo much back just to fix this correctly.    I would avoid the car just because of the rust showing on that rear lip.

Unless of course the price is low enough.    Then be prepared for a LOT of work.    Mine completely got out of hand repairing this.    I had to remove the rear subframe.     Then found rusted subframe bolts,  the panel under where it mounted needed replacing,  etc... Just to fix the rust by the rear bumper!

Then discovered rust in the wheel wells, and it kept going from there.   Battery box, etc.....

Like I said that rust by the bumper looks scary!

Haven't made it to the sills yet, but had to cut some of them away just to get to the area where the subframe mounts.    When I took a peek inside, it wasn't pleasant.


Michael

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 12:03PM
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The late Rover minis had plenty of body holes in the floor pan but they were all sealed. In reality the mini rusts from the outside bottom in; those  outside corners rust because of the 4 brackets. Rover sprayed an undercoating that holds the water. The exhaust  shields attachment points rusts out. The upper mounts for the shocks are held to the side of the inner wing. You have to unbolt the four bolts to discover the inner wing wall has rotted.

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 11:12AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spank
If you're going to ignore the concerns about the year of the vehicle...


Having the owner take a picture with full lighting down inside of the rear seat bin pockets with the cardboard liner removed can often reveal rust problems with the heelboard attachment location and sills. However, at some point Rover started putting in a metal shelf in there that covers up / conceals that area. On earlier cars, you can actually see the captive nuts of the heelboard and the subframe bolts that extend into and through them.
Is there any way you can show me photos of this specific location?  Given the language barrier, a picture would be worth much more than 1,000 words.

Also, which concerns about the year of the vehicle do you mean?

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 11:00AM
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If you're going to ignore the concerns about the year of the vehicle...


Having the owner take a picture with full lighting down inside of the rear seat bin pockets with the cardboard liner removed can often reveal rust problems with the heelboard attachment location and sills. However, at some point Rover started putting in a metal shelf in there that covers up / conceals that area. On earlier cars, you can actually see the captive nuts of the heelboard and the subframe bolts that extend into and through them.

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 09:16AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6464s
BAD BAD BAD 

A 1994 loves to rust.

Oversills creates rust. Anytime you overlap two pieces; that's where it rusts. Inner sill and outer sill are gone as well as the bottom of the front foot well and the rear corner under the rear seat. Rover put these stupid "U" bracket at the four corners of the floor pan that just creat rot thru.
The rear lip have 3 pieces of sheet metal sandwiched together.
The windshield corner means the A panel, wing, inner cowl and windshield corner rusted. 
Rust Under the front shock mounts. 
Rust in the rear wheel wells.


I could spend an hour telling you but I would be wasting my time. 

So the one thing I didn't do was have him pull back carpets front and rear.  I think what you're saying is that pulling them back may reveal that the floor corners (front and rear) are going, which would indicate problems within the area covered by the oversill?

Also, do you have an image of where the shock towers rust?  Is it something easily visible/accessible?  

When the car was on the lift, the rear wheel wells seemed like they had no issues.

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 09:13AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6464s
BAD BAD BAD 

A 1994 loves to rust.

Oversills creates rust. Anytime you overlap two pieces; that's where it rusts. Inner sill and outer sill are gone as well as the bottom of the front foot well and the rear corner under the rear seat. Rover put these stupid "U" bracket at the four corners of the floor pan that just creat rot thru.
The rear lip have 3 pieces of sheet metal sandwiched together.
The windshield corner means the A panel, wing, inner cowl and windshield corner rusted. 
Rust Under the front shock mounts. 
Rust in the rear wheel wells.


I could spend an hour telling you but I would be wasting my time. 
The plan was to register the car in Vermont.

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 06:44AM
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You're just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Rust will progress no matter where the car is, unless it is underwater.

 Posted: Aug 25, 2021 03:43AM
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BAD BAD BAD 

A 1994 loves to rust.

Oversills creates rust. Anytime you overlap two pieces; that's where it rusts. Inner sill and outer sill are gone as well as the bottom of the front foot well and the rear corner under the rear seat. Rover put these stupid "U" bracket at the four corners of the floor pan that just creat rot thru.
The rear lip have 3 pieces of sheet metal sandwiched together.
The windshield corner means the A panel, wing, inner cowl and windshield corner rusted. 
Rust Under the front shock mounts. 
Rust in the rear wheel wells.


I could spend an hour telling you but I would be wasting my time. 

 Posted: Aug 24, 2021 09:19PM
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You won't be able to register a car that is 1968 or newer in California if California is the first state you are going to attempt to obtain a US title in. If you first register it in some other state and THEN bring it to CA with a title from that other state, you have a better chance of getting a 1968-1975 smog-exempt car titled and registered in California.

A 1994 will NOT be a straight-forward California registration. Not sure if it is even possible because of CARB regulations. You had best do your research with DMV and CARB before you send your $ to Japan. I HAVE seen where someone on this board has claimed he was able to get his 1990s mini though CA smog inspection, but nobody ever offered details how this was possible and what the expense was. So I remain suspect that it was 100% legit or at least repeatable.

There was a 1968 wagon that was brought in to CA from Japan and that the owner had to get registered in another state because it got flagged by DMV and referred to California Air Resources Board.

 Posted: Aug 24, 2021 08:48PM
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The trunk/boot had no liner in it, all bare metal and no rust there.  Come to think of it, I can't even recall if the interior had carpets.  I may have exaggerated the underside, but it just looked much cleaner that expected.  Not spotless, as if it had been put together recently, but very, very clean.  We went around carefully looking at all the bushings and suspension mounting points as well as the floor pan and everything looked great.  

The seller is indeed just some random guy, but I found him on social media after seeing his ad online and he seems to be a legit guy who is in the middle of restoring a 70s air-cooled 911.  Since I have one of those as well, we bonded, I guess.  He's selling the Mini to complete the 911 restoration.  

Unfortunately, my friend in Japan who has been helping me out with this search is 300 miles away, so seeing it in person is basically impossible.  A one hour long Zoom inspection is all I was able to get.


This is a '94, and we've essentially agreed on $9,500.

 Posted: Aug 24, 2021 08:33PM
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Hard for anyone to really say how bad it is. It would be a whole judging-a-book-by-its-cover thing. Like a Cracker Jack box. Crack it open and get a surprise. Either a good one or bad one. Mini's are bad for that. If you can already see surface rust and bubbly rust through the paint, it may not  look any better under the paint, IMO. It could be just mild surface crap, but the bubbly bits aren't happy. I had the same on my Jap-Mini. Not to say that yours will be the exact same. Ya never know. 

I'd be curious as to why there wouldn't be any visible rust under the car. The front floor pans, side sills, front toe board and lower wheel well areas are the worse. For the rest of the car (above the floor) to have surface and bubbly rust but have the bottom of the car totally rust free, means that something could be covered up. Or someone else has already replaced or repaired those areas. Mine was covered up using a bondo and wire mesh and tin mix. Then painted silver. Then painted black on top of that. So when it scuffed up, we saw silver under the black paint. Looked fine, until it wasn't. Great cover up artist. Japan's damp-saltwater-air climate isn't kind to cars. Did it look like there was a fresh coat of undercoating spray applied? Did you ask the seller to pull back the carpet on the floor and boot to see the floor pans? Maybe pull off some trim to see what's underneath? 

Not sure how much you know or trust the seller, but if it's just some random person that you've been talking to just in regards to the Mini, they could easily be misleading you. Or they could be telling the truth. Still a gamble, IMO. I would say it's mildly better to actually be talking to the current owner vs just buying it at an auction. Unless their words are backed by some proof such as receipts, and/or media. 

But it's going to be hard to find a Mini that doesn't have rust, unless someone else has done the work previously. So it's constantly a gamble with these.

My Mini is an '89. Not sure what that one is that you're interested in. Only going back 10 years on a Mini's life may not be far enough. Using mine as an example, that would leave 20 years unspoken for. Anything could've happened within that time. 
 
I'd say whatever rust that's there wouldn't get much worse in the proper climate if it's not too humid and out of the elements, until you get to working on it.

Not trying to discourage you. If you have the ability and/or funds to take it to a higher level, with the possibility of some heavy issues,... then it seems like a great enough start. Depending on the price point. 
 

 Posted: Aug 24, 2021 05:52PM
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Looking into buying a Mini from Japan.  This isn't an auction car, so I've had direct contact with the owner, which is a plus.  I also know exactly what's been done to the car in the last 10 years, including a full engine rebuild, etc.  After several weeks of discussion, we have agreed on a price.  Higher than what auctions would usually bring, but, at the same time, not an auction gamble.

The only thing is the rust.  The seller had the car up on the lift for me and we did a Zoom video inspection.  Underneath, totally clean.  Not a spot of rust anywhere.  In fact, it looks nearly new.

There are areas of concern.  First, there are oversills on the car, which the UK Mini guys apparently fear.

Second, there are small signs of corrosion on various areas as shown below.  Mainly at the seams below the headlights, a bubble near the windshield, where the fender attaches to the cowl area, the rear, near the trunk hinges.

I'm in Southern CA and this car would never see winter and would be parked inside.  The only water it would ever see is from a car wash.  Given this, how likely is it that this rust will get progressively worse.  I've owned East Coast cars before and they had rust that essentially froze in place in our climate and never progressed, but I know Minis love to rot.

Just how bad is this?

The car:





Sign of corrosion along the leading edge of the hood, but when he popped it on video, there was no rust actually present.  It was almost like the paint was discolored.  



Oversills, but the UK guys fear the rust they may be hiding:



Discoloration where the fender meets the cowl:



Corrosion at the seams below the headlight (this one is worse than the other headlight):



Bubble at the corner of the windshield:



Rear panel rust:





Doors are clean: