Looking like a racecar

2 03 2014

Been a while since the last blog, but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy working on the car!

Fitting a front mounted radiator is not really a straightforward job. Minis never had them fitted as standard and there isn’t much room. My miglia isn’t running a distributor so that makes things a little easier, but you have to make sure there are no clearance issues for the starter, alternator, hoses, oil cooler, crank sensor etc; it’s a fun job… So bearing all that in mind I positioned it in the right place on some alloy platform brackets that I made to sit on the front of the subframe. Then I made all the silicon hoses running from the alloy swirl pot, through the rad and electric pump and head and water pump blank.

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Next up was mounting the alternator which took a few goes to get right eventually settling for a big bolt and spacer top mount and a rose jointed turnbuckle on the bottom easily adjustable with left and right handed threads.

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Then the oil cooler needed a home. The obvious spot is low down in front of the gearbox, but I heard the master Peter Baldwin has the view that it’s a very exposed place to put them and i’m inclined to agree with him, so I put it on the left hand side of the car using more bespoke bracketry and the longer braided hoses from a mini clubman.

Then it was time to offer the fibreglass front end up and see where it touched the radiator. After carefully marking the lower front panel with a sharpie I used the dremel to make the cuts and then finish it with the emery attachment.

Next came the lights, dummy indicators and grille. The wheel arches then went on and took a while to get right, as did the doors and their mechanisms. Mini7 club rules state that we need to have some protection inside the doors and this comes in the form of shaped foam between the inner (alloy) and outer door skins.

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Right now I’m about to collect the polycarbonate windows that have been made by ACW Plastics, but the main issue on my mind is the wiring. At first I was going to convert the existing loom which was designed for a mini7 running a distributor, rather than the MBE ecu that I’m running on the Miglia, but maybe the best plan would be to start again from scratch. I hate electrics at the best of times so this may cause me a bit of trouble…