Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#18: Going Big and Doing it Right

So big step in this update – I took the plunge with replacing the ENTIRE wiring harness – front to back, you name it. Including new 12v cable and earth straps, etc. Now let me say this, when you remove an existing harness, and one that the previous owner (or whomever did this) decided to patch together wires, jump wires, adding in wires, cutting wires….you are most likely going to save you some serious headaches and start fresh.

Enter AutoSparks ( in Nottingham, UK to get things done and quickly….went to them direct with my specific needs and not deal with some of the bigger vendors that needed 4-6 weeks as well as a 3rd man in-between what I needed. So I upgraded to a MK4/City E harness with a small mod to the starter line as well as including a rear fog line in the rear harness to a front switch. Also included a modification for front fogs should I use later. All of this was wrapped in black to maintain a clean look and my lord, it was a work of art. Beefy, tight, strong, and will last for years. Great stuff that.

So the harness went in with some small head-scratching, but nothing that hard. Had a couple wires we needed help on, and at the center speedo, we were missing one blub connector, but looking back we have them all, but just a different connector for the aux gauges. Again, this is all because it is to factory spec and anything that I added would deviate a bit….but thankfully I had basil back to factor spec for the most part.

Again, all new parts going in here….new headlamp bodies, hardware, etc….and happily I am re-using my Cibie UK 7″ lamps with the Vintage rally bulb covers I sourced by luck many moons ago. Really love these things…a lot. More hardware with upgraded to stainless or brass (for small accents inside), including coating the air vents with rust proof paint and 3M undercoating. The more I look at these installed, I may need to put a small seal of silicone or Waxoyl around the part that recesses into the fender…just concerned about water seeping into the cabin if not super tight. We will see.

Next the doors got a LOT of love and were aligned to the best we could…clearly these were reskinned and it great shape, but simply is not 100% perfect to the body lines. And I get that. Since I posted this, I am noticing that more and more with daily minis (not concourse), so dont feel that bad. With the door love, a TON of new parts/hardware was purchased and installed including new door seals, etc. The windows roll up much easier now, but the driver side still a tad tight….with some more grease and Waxoyl inside the doors, it should be moisture free for years. Door locks and mechs installed and some sound deadening as well inside the doors and we not have a solid thunk when closing. I am going to replace all the door cranks/handles/door locks you see from inside with some NDS Classic jewelry someday and I cringe looking at the cheap aluminum stuff you can get an every Mini shop…just looks cheap and rattles a bit for me.

Also, I am on fence now with my drop bracket from the UK as it is just not (or has) fit correctly…and that is a dangerous spot to be in if it creates wear on the spline. I want it less binding and it is just not giving that to me. Will stick with OE bracket for now until I can conduct better research and intel.

So we have plumbing done, rear sub, wiring harness in and still in process, doors aligned and all hardware refreshed…I guess up next is a fresh new headliners and window seals. But first it is off to the boot to finish….

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