Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#16: Starts with The Plumbing

Once again, I am slightly behind the ball on getting updates out the door for Basil, but in this report, he is officially up on jacks for the final stretch. With this kind of fresh canvas, you really have to think through where you want to start….and what needs to go first, second, third, etc. Clearly it all comes down to the plumbing and the subframes. In this case, I am planning on installing the engine in the front subframe and then lowering the body down vs coming in from the top and possibly damaging the freshly painted body.

One of the things I wanted to correct with some 3M under sealant that did not cover some areas in the fenders, etc. Clearly I made the right choice by going with standard black underseal as I was able to touch up those areas that were missed. The pic below you can see the fan shroud area with all those longated cut outs…clearly a PITA to cover, but with a quick spritz here and there, I was able to fond those spots and correct.

Then I moved on to the plumbing – with some proper UK help from Philip Middleton, my teacher and mechanic for Basil. It’s no secret that I wanted to get the correct help here to do things right the first time and with Phil at the controls, things just go so much smoother on those hard areas. One is the brake/fuel plumbing. He did a cracker of a job with the new lines and bending them the way I wanted up front. It was also at this point that I rolled the dice and put Basil back to RHD. Why? Because that is the way he was made in the UK and while I know it is going to be hard to see around cars on the road at times and struggle to get my BIG gulp from Taco Bell, it was the right thing to do. And I love it.

Thankfully Phil had a Mk1 accelerator pedal and quickly replaced those items needed for the RHD conversion (new rack, etc)…in fact, I started replacing a LOT of items with new ones to be safe…including brake/clutch master, the brake PDC/balancer (freaking expensive), etc. Also replaced a LOT of old hardware with fresh Grade8 bolts, etc…especially for the read subframe. Which was installed with no issues and looked the treat when on! Also treated myself to some finned brake discs as well as entire Cooper S front brakes/hubs, etc.

There was so much done at this stage that it simply will look like a business audit (this is supposed to be fun, right?!) I finally had the vintage roof rack resprayed in Olde English White and re-installed all the oak wood slabs and my lord – looks amazing!

Stay tuned for the next installment!

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