Feb '02
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2nd Feb, Hardware + Action with Doris & Damian.

Having collected some EFI bits to sent to Jukka in Finland, it seemed only fair to grope & photograph them for future reference, just in case Doris fancies injecting in future.

Click here for Carb vs EFi comparison

A bit later on Saturday Damian arrived to experience 'Dorisses  last 1380 drive'. After an entertaining zoom around the local roads, we returned to the Spagley Propulsion Labs for some serious surgery.

First the V8 & subframe was offered up beside the Imp to see how much work will be required for Damians conversion, then Doris was wheeled in and the operation began.

The old subframe & 1380 were detatched and wheeled out, then the V8 & subframe were wheeled in. The angle grinder was needed for the only body modification - to cut out  a 6 inch section from the bulkhead box section, not exactly serious cutting for a conversion of this kind !!

When the subframe was bolted in place and lunch had been suitably eaten, it was time to fire the engine up. Sadly the cranking speed was a bit 'lame', but Damian offered his starter to help with the testing.  His starter was reluctant to start with, but after some WD40 it was soon cranking well.  The engine fired quite noisly but then abruptly stopped. 

Oops - big time !! The crank seems to be locked solid, no movement even with a 3 foot bar on the crank pulley - bugger.

3rd Feb, Action.

Up early on Sunday morning to pop the engine back out again. Admittedly it is loads easier to get it out of the subframe now its bolted onto a car !

Pulled the transfer housing off, then the clutch and flywheel, to reveal the offending item.... Turns out that the new steel crank adapter was rubbing on a bit of aluminium casing, causing nasty galling and some unhelpfull welding !

Luckily the problem was not too severe and the adapter loosened of with a light tap, then a quick whiz with the wire brush in the drill cleaned all the nasty alu off. Another hour saw the engine rebuilt and back in the car - (I am getting good at this now !)

After a bit of tinkering & fighting with the timing, the engine roared into some semblance of life. I don't know why I was concerned about the exhaust noise, the induction noise with no filters was verging on the apocalyptic !!!

Click for pics &  AVI's of the V8 Mini


8th Feb, Hardware

RS order arrived containing bits destined for the exhaust system, and a shed load of spade connectors for the rewire.

Exhaust bits comprise of 2x 6 foot bits of 2 inch I/D mild steel pipe and a nice shiny 90 degree 2.5 inch O/D stainless steel dairy pipe bend - should make nice tail pipes :-)

Also called into Damian to collect a 6 foot length of 2 inch stainless flexi pipe - some is for the Imp, the other is to make a quick pair of wiggles do get past the diff.

9th Feb, Action

First job was to decide on the final exhaust configuration from the short listed two choices. (1) Silencers under rear bumper for side exit. (2) Silencers under boot floor, rear exit.

Still not sure, so decided to cut the stainless elbow into 2 bits to see if having shiny tail pipes would help me decide.. It did, silencers to go under boot floor, with tailpipes coming out through valance (better fit one). Rear subframe rear rail needed a bit of chopping to keep the boxes as high up as possible to help ground clearance.

Pipework from the rear was not too difficult, just fiddly to hold everything in place. Heading towards the front from the silencers the pipes need to drop an inch and move together about 2 inches each until they almost touch, then they line up nicely into the straight 2 inch bore all the way along the tunnel to the front of the floor pan. The gearshift linkage needs to be raised about an inch and a half (about the height of the cotton reel things) so it al fits. At the front a couple of flexi wiggles dodge the diff and curl under to meet the down pipes just under the transfer housing.

10th Feb, Action

With the exhaust design sorted and the pipes temporarily fixed to the car some more running was (obviously) needed. Then when all was nice and warm, it was time to remove the smelly Solex carbs and try again with the Weber set up.

While I was playing engines Elaine (was) volunteered to paint the red steel front & bonnet a colour that would go better with yellow.. Hmm due to limited choice it's black.

Well, the engine now starts with the Weber, but it's a bit reluctant to do anything with the choke in and runs quite rough. The idle mixture and idle air screw seem to have little effect. Looks like I will need to try the spare carb next weekend to see if the symptoms change.

On with the rewire, the existing cables to the engine bay had been run through 'Spag-o-matic' flexi conduit (ok, yellow garden hose pipe) which has worked very well, so is to be revised for the V8.  All the existing cables were pulled back to the bulkhead, cleaned and labeled, then the hose was cleaned and trimmed to fit it's new routing. New cables were pulled through and connected to the  engine and main loom, leaving 4 or 5 feet spare on each at the bulkhead ready for the internal rewire. 

Ha ha, the V8 now starts from inside the car and the throttle works too. Bit noisy..... BRILLIANT !!!!!! 

The throttle action is very light so an extra return spring will be fitted to the carb for a bit of safety.

Finished up the day by refitting the blackish (needs another 2 coats) front and running the engine up for a few minutes. Game ended quite soon as the gallon of petrol I started with on Saturday seemed to have mysteriously disappeared !!!!

Click for weekend pics and WAVs

15th Feb, Insurance !!!!!!

Just got written confirmation that there will be no trouble with cover for the V8 in the Mini !

I love the line "We have pleasure in offering an annual premium of 425.85 based on the Mini with a 3.5 Rover V8 engine"

The premium is not too scary compared to the 265 for the relatively 'normal' 1380cc.

16th Feb, Action

Swapped the DCNF carb for the spare to see if the set up problems were due to the specific carb, or the carb type. Seems this one is as reluctant to run as the other without full choke. I need to look at the Weber diagrams again to see if there are any other calibration parts in the idle circuit that can be drilled out or tweaked to richen things up a bit. Or maybe I will cut the divider in the manifold, so both barrels flow into the same plenum. 

Checked the idle on the gastester to make sure it was not 'scary lean'  not too hard to get it to idle at 3.5% so should be safe.

Added an extra coat of black Hammerite to the bonnet and front panels which looks nice and lumpy, but should sand down to a reasonable (and cheap) finish!

17th Feb, Action

Started stripping the  brace bars and suspension bits off of the 1380 subframe and decided to write a quick 'how to' for making the bars up.

The suspension bits came off unfeasibly easily, ball joints split first time, nuts undid without rounding off and shafts slipped easily out of holes and bushes. Isn't copperslip a magic invention, don't build anything without it !

Getting the bits off the 'test' subframe was 'slightly' harder but after the suitable application of fire, the reluctant bits gave in. 

Doris seems much happier now  that she is back on her own wheels with the suspension mostly set up.

Click for pics 

19th Feb, Hardware (optional extra)

Forgive me readers for I have sinned, I have spent more money on optional goodies. Just received a very nice EFI controller kit from the USA courtesy of http://www.bgsoflex.com/megasquirt.html

Well, it's got to be worth looking at it as an alternative to carbs, for easy PC based tweaking :-)

23rd Feb, Action

Got up early and started to annoy the neighbours by drilling out the idle jets on the DCNF carb, opened them up from 0.55 to 1.0mm to hopefully cure the extra lean idle.

Damian turned up at 7:30am loaded with enough steel to build a 1/2 scale model of the Forth bridge - I think the Imp will need a V8 to move all that extra weight :-) 

Anyhow, the adjusted jets seem to give a more reasonable idle mixture with CO tweakable from 3.0 to 8%. This should be safe enough to drive to a rolling road for a proper set up. So with the carb set to a useable condition I promptly took it back off again.

Then we got going on the assembly of Damian's V8 for the imp and when the fun two handed 'fit the piston' bit  was done I went back to the Mini induction system.

The Rover/Lucas flapper injection system sort of almost fits, the plenum chamber has to stick through the bonnet a bit (or maybe more) and the air flow meter just about  goes where the washer bottle should sit.  The EFi system has it's own loom with colour coded plugs so it's quite quick to wire in, as long as you can find space for the enormous clockwork ECU - it's almost as big as my laptop!

Sadly we didn't quite get finished as the cold sideways snow stuff was a bit of putting, and there was 1 connection to check.

24th Feb, Action EFi style

Finished connecting everything up, made up some links to go in place of the relays, cranked the engine over and... It started :-) Blimey, far too simple for a Lucasy thing with that many wires !

OK, having checked that all the bits work the ECU was removed and the EFi loom had all the surplus bits removed ready for the Megasquirt. As the MS works on manifold pressure the honking great airflow meter can be lost which will simplify the system a bit more.

Didn't quite get the loom mods finished so starting up on the Megasquirt will have to wait until next weekend.

Click for pics of the EFi stuff


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NOTE AVI files compressed with the DivX codec, free from www.divx.com

Diy fuel injection by MEGASQUIRT www.msefi.com

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Looking for more Mini info ? Then try the Internet Mini Encyclopaedia www.ime.org.uk


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This page last modified 04/02/2008.