Basil the Mini

RESTORATION REPORT#19: Enter the Boot of Shame

Wow…so where to begin here. I will say this….I really wanted to have the boot my own fin project. It was freshly repainted and I wanted to continue on with doing things RIGHT. So went out and purchased all new hardware and refreshed some parts, but order more new parts to get this book perfect. New lock gasket, light gasket, hand painted the hinge screws, cleaned and refreshed the book cables, etc. So when I though I was ready to install….WHOOPS! No boot seal. Surely I ordered it! Clearly not and maybe it was a god send…all you really need to do to know about a bullet I dodged is look at all the complaints out there with the Mk3 boot seals being too hard or big and not allowing the boot to close correctly.

And on top of all that, my lid has 26 small clips that go around the boot and secure the seal ON the boot itself – where younger minis has the seal on the body where the naked book with mate up to. The problem was I had already jumped the gun, got the 26 small clips and new seal from 7 Enterprises and was starting to assemble when I started reading all this nighmarish stories about seals not allowing the boot to fit or people cutting fingers with these clips and really having a hard time getting the purity back into the Mk3 boot it seems.

So I will say this….the 7 Enterprise seal I got was sourced from MiniSpares UK and it turns out that this boot seal is the one that fits that is aftermarket…and after about 45 mins of clipping the seal to the small clips and PUSHING…..really PUSHING them back into the small holes in the boot, they were locked in for good. No turning back now! Hint for all you adventurers who are doing this…do your research on the seal and yes, you can re-use your old clips – even if bent. They can be bent back into shape. And they are EXPENSIVE! Also use a LOT of WD40 on the clips and the seal to get everything in place and work one at a time.

So when it was time to mount, I quick entered into dodging bullet #2 – the boot hinges are left and right specific. Mine were reversed and I clearly could have snapped both by going aggressive on why the boot was lowering down 100%…I thought it was paint or something, but it was not right. After consulting MiniFourm/Mini Mania I quickly saw that I had them reverse and binded when lowering down. So the seal…the boot is tight to lock down….but not bad. Does the top gap look bigger? Slightly yes, but I suspect that over time it will settle down. But seems water tight…or at least passed my light test (dark garage with powerful LED lamp inside book with no light bleed anywhere). What a mess…but happy it is finally on Basil!

Two more small updates for this report – I started to look at Waxoyl and applying it into the nook and crannies starting in the boot and doors. Messy stuff, but more to come here. And I treated myself to a wonderful vintage piece of kit from Smiths circa 1960’s…a twin gauge holder with some nice patina. More to come here soon!

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