Basil the Mini

REPORT#22: Do Mini Owners Dream of Wiring?

….yes, yes they do – especially if you are an anal wiring guy like me where everything has to be new and in the proper place. I love new wire…just something about it and I went to the nines on Basil to make sure the botch job from the previous owner was eradicated, removed and burned behind the shed. New wire is good.

So we start update #22 with some more of the bumper project – this time the front, where the trickiest job was the front whiskers/mustache chrome parts that just hug the front wings ever so gently. Once again, I went overboard with hefty hardware to do the job right and to be removed if needed down the road. The original way to mount this hardware was to use pop rivets that 1) rust and 2) does not give you the flexibility to adjust the mounting line or to be removed down the road if needed. I also wrestled with the new Mk1/2 chrome grille where I had to accommodate the quick release grill knobs – was a bit feddly but managed to get it lined up correctly (still could use some further push back, but I am happy with the hardware I secured for a proper install).

Next up was looking at the inside of Basil to install the new Tach…now this project was a long one. Originally was looking to invest in a very expensive Tach mount from Turtle Trading Japan, but could not justify the price for milled steel that was power-coated to something I could make here…so even had some help from my buddy CAD up for me some plans to have one made here locally, but when you deal with low volume (meaning 1), the cost was too much. So off to Moss UK I go and there was one for just a few quid and with some robust hardware and thinking, I got the exact looking mount that Turtle was selling for over $60 shipped for under half that. Job done! I also started to look at mounting options for my original Alpine head unit…now again, Turtle makes this great mount (much like the tach mount) that allows 1DIN units to be mounted, but again, the cost! So again, I got my old thinking cap on and came up with a great solution that looks the part. Job done for parts I had around the shed.

No less than a day goes by when I discovered that the menacing rear window that I rebuilt in update #21, just did not seal 100% against the new window gaskets…so I had again a nightmarish job of re-drilling and mounting the latch bracket to the body of the Mini in order to become tighter – hence closing tighter to prevent any water entry. It feels good and is solid….but will not know if that helps with the rain. We will see soon….I hope not!

So some new toys for this update – I beautiful center CNC milled/polished switch plate from Retrosport UK (DNC) to accent the interior…the new wiring harness from Autosparks UK as well as a sporty cam/springs and solid state distributor from Swiftune UK for the engine.

More to come in #23!

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