Basil the Mini

REPORT#28: The Light of Day (finally!)

Wow – what a journey this has been….seriously, what a journey from that day where I crossed Peace Bridge to pick up Basil and then drove it back to Atlanta. And the decision to start all over again on a fairly “rust-free” Mini…I just sit here sometimes and just cannot say a word at times.  Its been an amazing journey.

Last update, you saw the results of the engine starting for the first time – only to have an issue with the fuel pressure (will come back to haunt again) and finally got the 1293 started on the stands. It was now time to get Basil on his feet for once and roll him out with the engine started and just check everything over. At this update, I was only comfortable with driving him out in the driveway to turn him around and then back into the garage. But that was exciting enough!

The engine was basic tune for now – running off a simple road map within the distributor, so not optimal. And had some wiring to hide still as well as properly vent the engine and crank. Still using break-in oil, we let him run for about 30 mins in the driveway – all was fine until he pissed coolant after reaching a high temp. Turned out to be the makeshift plug in the bypass union we capped off. Not the best capping per se, but in the next report we quickly took that plug out and fitted a strong fuel line plug built for years to come.

Temp wise, he holds at a decent level….creeping slightly pass 190 while sitting for about 20-30 mins, but when moving – nice and cool.

The pictures and videos below tell the entire story in all its beauty.

One thought on “REPORT#28: The Light of Day (finally!)

  1. I’m always afraid of coolant caps/ plugs leaking. The Miata had some in difficult to reach location that required replacement every time you did a timing belt and water pump. But replacement every 5 years or so sure beats springing a leak there and being stranded on the side of the road. When we did the ITBs we deleted all the small coolant hoses that warm the OEM throttle body (so it doesn’t freeze up) and we did a coolant reroute. At that time I blocked a small coolant passageway at the back of the head with a set screw and lots of JB Weld and covered it with the stock rubber coolant cap and a hose clamp. I hope it holds!

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