Just like Peggy on Hi-de-Hi always wanted to be a Yellow-coat, I’ve always wanted to be a  Mini Miglia racer.

This blog documents the long road of building a racecar and all the frustrations, blood, sweat and tears that go with it.

A low budget means I do pretty much all the work myself in a series where most cars are run by professional teams driven by drivers who have been at it for years. The cards are stacked against me from the start, but I love a challenge so I’m going to give it my best shot…

5 responses

28 06 2016

An interesting read!
I have a classic mini too and have rebuilt the engine because of dropping oil pressure (reground crank etc.).
Now only 1000 miles later, the oil pressure is dropping again (when hot only 30 psi running and 15 psi at idle)
I notice there are very fine metal particles on the magnetic sump plug and in the oil itself.
I am sick at heart at having to do the entire rebuild again and the same thing will probably happen again if I can’t find the cause.
Please email me if you have any suggestions.

28 06 2016

Hi Alan. It’s not a nice feeling is it. Sadly there is no quick fix. if you have metal in the oil then you will have to strip it down before it does irrepairable damage. Loss of oil pressure and metal particles sounds like big end or main bearing failure to me, but you will need to strip it to be sure. And all those particles will be all through the engine so will need a deep clean of the whole engine and gearbox. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
Where in the world are you? I might know a decent engine reconditioner who could do it for you.


30 06 2016

I am in North America, and I know of engine rebuilders here. The trouble is that I have only just done it myself and saw no signs of abnormal wear. I had the crank reground (did the shop clean it out properly?). I dismantled the gearbox too and replaced worn synchro rings, but saw no wear on bearings etc.
The oil pressure was excellent after this but dropped steadily with use.
I feel like chucking this unit and starting afresh, maybe with a Vtec !

30 06 2016

The last time I saw an engine with those symptoms it had spun a big end bearing. Once you get it apart it will be pretty obvious what the cause is. I can totally understand you wanting to put a modern engine in though after all those problems!

1 07 2016

Thanks for your sympathy and advice, Ian. I am now thinking to dismantle it all in the winter but only rebuild if I can see the obvious cause. If not, it will be a Vtec (though they are getting hard to find)
Cheers and best of luck in your endeavours,


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