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Monday, 6 July 2015

Mini 1275GT Corrosion.

This has been taking up the vast majority of my time lately, which is why I've been a bit quiet!

It all started out last year when the yearly MOT test (road worthiness) failed, with some small rust holes to the body. This isn't uncommon in Mini's, and, afterall, it is 37 years old! I thought there was a few hours work, to cut out the rust and weld in some new metal ... oh how wrong I was.... The hole grew and grew and grew as I cleaned it up... there was only one thing for it, a full body repair job .....

 Hiding in the garage having failed it's MOT
 Bonnet (that's the hood, if you're across the pond) off, engine out
 Floor doesn't look too bad ...
 But the boot floor is rotten. You can't really tell from this photo, but the back edge is shot away. It's been badly repaired in the past.
 The wife saying goodbye, as it goes off to my friend's larger garage for surgery.
 Front sub-frame removed....
Followed by the rear...
 Support added between from sub-frame mounting points. This will support the body and stop it distorting as it's repaired.
 Bar inserted through the support...
 Through the centre of the car....
 ... and to a similar support mounted to the rear suspension mounting points...
 .. and the whole body supported on the bar in between two stands.
As this is a later car, I had to cut a hole in the rear of the car so the bar could pass through. Earlier cars have a cut-out here.
 Rear support retails...
 And the exposing of the poor repairs and corrosion starts to occur. This is the left hand side sill being cut off, to reveal another sill rusting away beneath. This is very bad practise. The replacement sill was also a "wide". They are designed to hid a lot of the corrosion. Always be wary of a car fitted with "wides"! They block the drain holes, and cause further rusting :(


 This hole is the end of the centre cross-member. It should have the inner sill covering the end, but it has long since rusted away. The jacking point bracket is largely missing.

 This is the right hand side. Things are worse here. There are three sill sections in places and two pieces of floor, one over the other! I can't see the purpose for this, though, as both bits appear to be sound...


 Cutting out the rot...




 Parts are ordered ....
 .. from the very helpful people at Bull Motif Spares. They do mail-order, but they're only in the next town, so I popped over.
 Cleaning back to good metal...

 The jig allows the car to be put in any position.

 I decide to lose the air vent holes. These are a known rust-trap. The left hand side isn't too bad.


 Line up the floor...

 And weld in place...










Sizing up the sill and quarter panel repair ....














... and that's where I'm up to. There's a lot more to come ....