Oct '01
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1st October, ACTION (at last!!)

Damian & Andy have been very 'helpful' by asking far too many questions! But they have motivated me to get the block to gearbox and block to transfer housing adaptor plates designed. It seems that Andy knows a company that will be able to cut them from aluminium plate (if I get my finger out & invent them first!)

So visited B&Q for some prototyping materials, needing stuff that was cheap & easy to work with I bought some 3mm plywood for the block/box plate and some 20mm MDF for the block/transfer plate.


The V8 fly will definitely not fit, the diameter is too big, and if the block is moved away from the transfer the spigot shaft is too short. We will need to use an adaptor (like a bit of V8 fly) between the V8 crank and the Princess fly. I took some more measurements and I think my first design for the bolt up Princess / V8 flywheel may not work !!! I need to check the drawings again !

Dropped the block onto the top of the box to get a better idea of the block/box adaptor and it seems that WITHOUT any plate the crank centerline is about 1mm above the centerline of the spigot shaft for the transfer gears. Looks like 4mm adaptor plates will fit in ok, so the block needs to have 5mm skimmed from the bottom to line things up. Again only a rough measurement, but a 5mm skim will leave at least 15mm of thread for the sump bolts (used to hold the block to the adaptor).

V8 Question....

Is the distance from the crank centerline to the bottom of the block (sump flange) constant ?????

It does look that Viku's method of replacing 1/2 the thickness of the top part of the existing box/transfer plate is the way to go, there are various slots, oil ways & recesses in the existing plate that would have to be machined, in addition to the actual cutting & drilling.

Worth trying a whole 'test' plate though to see what else doesn't work ;-)

2nd October, Email - Research (Damian)


Well, I tracked down the head of engineering of Midland Gears (Sir Charles something or other), the former rover-group-owned-gearbox section. He clearly remembers the princess box, and after a little reminiscing, he said the box was unique and did not share any parts whatsoever with other BL transmissions

. When he asked "why do you ask?", I explained our eventual goal; he paused, (I could sense a smile on the end of the telephone) and said "yes it (the 'box) was quite well engineered".

So chaps, a dead end there.


3rd October, Email - Research (Andy)


I've spoken to my Engineering Machine shop today. They have made numerous Gears in the past and are sure they can machine the required parts.....with a drawing!!!

Ian, can you ask the finish guys for more detail as Damian recommends and also a drawing for the gear that Jukka had made. It must have been done on a CONC. Machine tool so there has to be a CAD drawing somewhere.


3rd October, Email - TOP TIP (Andy)


Lets keep the motivation up on this project...I've found a new way. Follow steps below:-

1./ Locate straight faced, professional individual (Every Office has one!!)

2./ Explain to him that you are embarking on a little DIY Motoring project

3./ Then the Bombshell....Tell him that you are fitting a 3.5 Liter V8 Engine into a mini!!!!

WOW. check the reaction out. The best I've had so far is:- Are you a Sadist!!!

HaHa Regards Andy

Yes I've had similar replies, the guys at work think I need a therapist.


4th October, Email - ACTION (Damian)


Well, after burning my hand on the 'locking' nut for the final drive (after heating it up to about 1000 degrees), it's all done, the final drive gear and crown wheel are off. That nut was an absolute f**k**g b**t**d and I think they must have overloaded it about 100lbs/ft over the book price of 150lbs/ft. It was lucky I remembered the final drive nut was a left-handed thread...

Ian, in my opinion, there's no reason why the c-shape bearing retainer cannot be milled out to fit a larger final drive gear. It's a cast item and there's a fair few millimeters to play with before it gets too crucial near the bolts. I don't think it's an overly stressed item, and there are about nine bolts (of three different socket sizes) holding the damn thing in. That crown wheel is seriously heavy duty!

I'm knackered, that took me longer than expected!! cheers Damian

11th October, Email - Research (Andy)


Check this out...download it...it might help our cause I think.



13th October, HARDWARE !!

Collected lots of bits today so that the others think I am actually doing something useful for the 'team'!!!

First, collected the diff crown wheel and pinion from Damian

Then called visited Scott for a couple of Mini sub frames and .... a front bulkhead. Admittedly it wasn't quite as easy as we had hoped to extract it from the rest of the car, but it was soon convinced by the angle grinder, sledgehammer and a felling axe !

When this is bolted onto my test bed sub frame & clubby front I will have a full engine bay to practice on.

Then last of all I collected the V8 & Princess flywheels so I can revise the design of the adaptor.

14th October, Research

While looking at the design of the final drive ratio I knocked up a quick Excel sheet to show the road speed in MPH for a few different ratios. diffs_2.xls(28k)

Also found a small shareware program for very basic gear design & DXF export geargen11.zip

19th October, Research

Found a couple of useful sites today...

www.clutchnet.com a US site with a downloadable catalogue of clutch parts, useful for comparisons!

www2.qha.com/catalogue which is an on line catalogue for Quinton Hazel parts. This is a great resource from one of the UK's leading aftermarket parts suppliers.

www.gmradiator.co.uk/ erm a radiator supplier with a useful online catalogue giving the dimensions of the radiator cores.

The QH catalogue, lists each clutch bit individually, and a 3 in 1 kit for the princess, checked a couple of local factors and kit price is about 60-70.

Downloaded the clutch parts catalogue, which interestingly shows that the princess plate (216mm, with 25.4mm shaft & 23 splines = C899AF) is the same part no as for the 3.5l SD1 !!!

Then did a text search on 24.5x23, to see what other plates would fit the shaft and it listed loads of Ford stuff using a 215mm plate, so maybe a 'hot' ford plate will work ? Hmm princess clutch cover (Q10027) also fits Ital, Dolomite, 2l SD1, TR4,5,7, Victor, Volvo 120, xxxx, some 240 Turbos, 740 2l, 2l transit + others. There must be an uprated plate & cover as a direct replacement for one or more of these applications that will bolt straight on!

I wonder how much BHP & Torque you get from a 2l Volvo 240 Turbo ??

21st October, Action!!!

Spent a big chunk of this weekend playing in the garden with adaptor plate design, bits of engine bay and manifolds.

Click here for pics & info

28th October, Action !!!

Measured up the Princess box to find that the height from the top of the box to the centerline of the input shaft is 56.4mm, the V8 measures 58mm from the base of the block to the crank centerline. So.... the block needs to have 1.6mm removed + adapter thickness + gasket thickness.

Finished the 'hand crafted' plywood adapter, but cunningly I had screwed it to 2 extra sheets of plywood, a sheet of 1mm steel and a sheet of 18mm MDF. I now have several spare templates to play with !!

Finished converting the inlet manifold and fitted DCNF carb.

As the V8 is longer than the gearbox a bit of sump will have to be made, I have taken some pics of the gap that needs filling!

Click for pics & stuff

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This page last modified 04/02/2008.