Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#6: More Subframe action and parts!

So lot of activity from the parts world over the past few days for Basil. Stepping back a few weeks ago, by chance again I saw an ad on Mini Mania for a brand new BMH rear subframe for sale. This one had been posted for a few weeks and emailed the chap and interestingly enough, it was still for sale. The great thing was that this thing was a complete rear subframe with all the parts and never installed. He paid over $2600+shipping to the US from UK a few years ago and just sat in his garage. So I swooped in and needless to say, I got it for a steal. So ironically enough, I was heading to Knoxville for a client pitch and he literally was less than 2 miles away from where I was staying in Knoxville. How can this get any better?!

So after the meetings, I headed to his house….down a dirt gravel road and bob’s your uncle. It was pristine and all mine…I even bought some additional parts from him, including lower adjustable tie-bars, etc. So after a quick exchange in cash, I was on my way with the subframe in the back of the Fit and was a happy camper. At least I would not be dealing with repairing the old one and buying all new replacement parts – which added up more than what I paid for this.

I had a chance to get Silent Basil out of the garage on a great spring day (unlike the cold, crappy rainy day that is here now as I type this) to air him out and let him see sun light again. And man, was he light…and the cart I built worked like a charm to roll him around. I also had a chance to get the new rear subby out of the fit and take more pics of the unit. Brilliant stuff really….some very light rust on the hand brake cable casters, but that can all be taken care of quickly.

The following week, I received a nice package from Mike Guido at Mini Sport USA and finally had my arches! Yes….finally….this was the last item I needed (as far as I can tell) before Basil goes to the body shop. I also ordered some poly bushings for the car and they look really purty. Even our cat JoJo get into the action (as you can see below) and wanted to know all about the parts – but was more drawn into the box and the packing that lurks within. Gotta love the tiger mentality. I even had a chance to tape on the arches for a quick sneak peek at the look and I gotta say that this car is going to look fantastic when finished. I cannot wait.

Fast forward to yesterday, and with the help of my little British friend, we dismantled the front subframe parts and noticed that some things will need to be replaced. But the good news is that the front subframe is ready for blasting and painting when Basil goes to the shop. Almost there now.

So one thing I have been struggling with is the underside….whether to strip it and have it painted or not. I mean this is THE time to do it, right? This is the moment that you just cannot skip and decide to do again at some other point, right? Decisions, decisions, decisions….I will need to talk to the body shop about this….the underside just looks bad even though the panels are solid. Big decision ahead….and cost 🙁