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some questions

  #1  
Old 08-23-2013, 05:12 PM
2007 ion2
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some questions

I have been looking around, and been dreaming of what I can do when I some day get my mini.

is there a safe way to get rid of the external body seams? besides looks, this would also significantly improve aerodynamics.

are there any modern style headlights for the classic minis?

has anyone successfully come up with a procedure to move the radiator to the front of the car?

how safe are the fiberglass doors I see on mini mania? are they more or less meant for race use only?
 
  #2  
Old 08-24-2013, 04:59 AM
Capt_bj
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is there a safe way to get rid of the external body seams? besides looks, this would also significantly improve aerodynamics.


anything you can dream up 'can be done' ... simply a matter of how much work and/or $$. Many Mini's get 'de seamed' - the body sections get welded together. Or, you can find certain Mini variants made outside of the UK which had no seams to begin with. I think it was the Chilean one that's an all fiberglass shell? Someplace south . . . a guy near me has one.

are there any modern style headlights for the classic minis?

short answer - yes - halogen replacements are easy to find and fit. What you see on mine below are halogen with the rim 'angel eye'

has anyone successfully come up with a procedure to move the radiator to the front of the car?

again, if you can dream it up it can be done but moving the rad' in an otherwise 'stock' engine compartment on a 60's thru 80's is tuff cuz there isn't much space front of the block. But folks who re-engine like a VTEC conversion .. different story. That said, the stock cooling system IS adequate IF it is 'properly sorted'. I have a tweeked 1275 with a stock rad' and fan, live in Florida, and have no cooling issues.

how safe are the fiberglass doors I see on mini mania? are they more or less meant for race use only?

As I read the description these will have either fixed windows or no windows so not what I would call road items (but back to that anything is possible thing). My front panels and bonnet are all fiberglass - not one piece tho, my bonnet comes off,
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or the entire front end
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if about 3 minutes - yes you save some weight but you loose some strength too. And these f'glass pieces tend to need quite a bit of work to get them to fit right so if the reason for buying them is 'less body work' you are just trading f'glass work for metal work and sometimes metal is more forgiving!

start reading MiniWorld and over the course of a year or so you'll see just about everything you've asked about either on a featured car or discussed in their technical articles.
http://www.miniworld.co.uk/
 

Last edited by Capt_bj; 08-24-2013 at 05:07 AM.
  #3  
Old 08-24-2013, 08:37 AM
2007 ion2
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thank you capt bj, for the response!

what I was thinking of doing was getting the extended vtec fiberglass front and using that extra room to 1: move the radiator and 2: it's fiberglass.

I can work with fiberglass, I can't weld, so anything I want to do, like change the angle of attack of the front grille/bumper, I can do myself, instead of paying someone else to do it. I was even thinking of possibly tilting it back far enough, and putting modern bmw mini headlights on it...

I'm not against doing searches, but so far I'm not convinced I'm searching right, I'm not coming up with anything, and I was hoping someone might be able to point me to what member may have done it, or give me more of an idea what to search for.
 

Last edited by 2007 ion2; 08-24-2013 at 12:46 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-24-2013, 02:36 PM
Capt_bj
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I'm not against doing searches, but so far I'm not convinced I'm searching right, I'm not coming up with anything, and I was hoping someone might be able to point me to what member may have done it, or give me more of an idea what to search for.

I'm not sure what IT is that you want to search for - my best recommendation remains: get a subscription to MiniWorld. But even there you are not going to find how to instructions ... when you customize you're wingin' it.

what I was thinking of doing was getting the extended vtec fiberglass front and using that extra room to 1: move the radiator and 2: it's fiberglass.

Why move the radiator? What's your reason? . . . of course you don't even have a project car yet but it seems this is a basic want of yours and I wonder why. A hot 1275 can live with the standard set up and if you DO need more, there are ways to get it without moving the original rad' (and dealing with all the associated plumbing issues) like rerouting the heater lines to an aux' radiator (A/C condensor coil works) or as simple as an aux' electric fan . . .

And you want to put new MINI headlights on a classic . . .

well to each their own and I HAVE seen this in MiniWorld . . . read it long enuf and you'll see just about everything that CAN be done to a Mini that's ALREADY been done to a Mini.

But you don't see too many hard core customizers here on NAM - or on any of the sites I frequent because I'm a believer in maintaining the classic look and feel. To Wit my 79 has MK1 grill, tail lamps, boot lid ... to give it a more classic look rather than going your way of modernizing . . but you are 110% entitled to do your own thing.

More power to ya and good luck with it . . .

final suggestion - you will NOT be able to do much to a classic Mini with only fiberglass skills. Unless you plan to patch the rust with fiberglass which is OK in some limited circumstances (I've done it) but in the LONG RUN is just WRONG, you'll NEED things welded like floor pans and rocker sills. Use the time now to learn how to weld - MIG welding is very easy to learn - and learning how to replace a panel and/or fabricate a patch and properly stitch it in will be VERY handy.

I spent around $1000 learning and buying equipment (I bought $$ you don't have too) and have probably saved twice that EASY in jobs I did myself rather than paying out the nose for 10 minutes of welding. I went this way after paying once ... ditto for painting ... I can spray in my garage now. It is NOT the best idea (you CAN blow your house up) but for small jobs I save an average of $300 per . .
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Last edited by Capt_bj; 08-24-2013 at 02:41 PM.
  #5  
Old 08-24-2013, 03:24 PM
2007 ion2
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I wasn't planning on fiberglassing any rust spots, just stating the front clip being fiberglass would make altering it easier for me.

I wanted to move the radiator for the same reason I'm sure they did it in 1996, it will cool better and more efficiently. I don't want to completely change the car, but my attitude is, if it's easy enough for me to do, and it improves the car, why not?

as far as "it" goes, I was talking generally, no specific thing.

I can fortunately paint, I just don't have the equipment, yet. I probably will take the time/money to learn to weld before too long, as I have been meaning to, anyways, it just comes down to once again buying the welder. you're right, though, the welder and classes would probably pay for themselves just with initial rust repair and my de-seaming project.

there seems to be very little in the way of "extreme" modding done on these cars in general, short of race track only cars, which is part of my thought behind modern mini headlights, I'm wanting to bring a touch of modernization to the car with simple things.

where are some good places for headlights besides mini mania? not to seem too cliche, but anything out there incorporating low, high, blinker, ect... into one piece? projectors would be nice, and bring a lot of visibility to the table.
 
  #6  
Old 08-25-2013, 07:03 AM
Capt_bj
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there seems to be very little in the way of "extreme" modding done on these cars in general, short of race track only cars, which is part of my thought behind modern mini headlights, I'm wanting to bring a touch of modernization to the car with simple things.

I'll repeat, find MiniWorld or one of the other Mini mag's from the UK. You'll see plenty of extreme customs (if that's your thing). A guy I know wrapped a very modified Mini shell around a custom frame holding a Nissan V-6.

http://www.classicminis.org/minissan.htm
And MiniWorld routinely has cars re-engined with motorcycle engine. Heavy mod'ing is just much more common in the UK where the car is much more common.
http://www.miniworld.co.uk/features/mini-features

where are some good places for headlights besides mini mania? not to seem too cliche, but anything out there incorporating low, high, blinker, ect... into one piece? projectors would be nice, and bring a lot of visibility to the table.

MiniMania and Mini parts sites I would point yo to are featuring replacement parts that retain the original look and feel. You want to fit something different - if you want headlights that look like MINI (vs Mini) headlights you want to look at places that either sell MINI parts (which includes MiniMania but they are really in the OE replacement and less custom business) or pure aftermarket headlight places which can mean E-Bay. But I've no experience cuz this is not the direction I take with my car. Check the GEN-1 threads here (NAM) where folks have replaced their headlights, esp early GEN-1s who wanted the later lights which have a different look - they usually mention their source.
 

Last edited by Capt_bj; 08-25-2013 at 08:24 AM.
  #7  
Old 08-25-2013, 03:17 PM
2007 ion2
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wow, that's a pretty cool looking racer, but I'm at least looking to keep this project as much mini as possible. at least a combination of mini and MINI. the only possibly non mini or MINI part I'm looking into is the seats.

btw, thinking back, I did have a problem with one of the drivers I drove, it did have a habit of overheating.

I'm definitely not a fan of how low the ones I drove were on power, with 4 people in the car, they were pretty unusable (keep in mind, my DD can get to 60 in a pretty quick hurry of ~7 seconds, so I would like it to be pretty quick), so I'm thinking of putting a 1380 engine from mini mania into it, and I would like it to be a 5 speed car instead of 4 speed, so maybe a 5 speed trans from mini mania.

all mini parts, a lot of them will probably tweaked a bit, but I've decided to at least stay in the family with way more than originally planned.

basically, I'm going to be looking for an in tact rolling chassis with no/blown engine/trans.
 
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