Rear brakes and welding

Click on the images to enlarge

mini rear brakes

After removing the rear wheels and dismantling the hub we discovered that the O/S brake shoes had become contaminated with fluid from a leaking cyclinder. So new brake shoes along with cyclinders were needed for the Mini rear brakes.

The original job was to replace the corroded brake pipes. The pipes had become welded to the unions and the O/S pipe snapped when trying to remove it. To stop the blake fluid leaking out after removing the pipes we used old brake pipes and unions with crimped ends.

The hub was cleaned and the new cylinders installed (a bitch of a job) remember to use copper grease on the grease points! Then the new brake shoes were fitted and the hub was reinstalled. New copper pipes and unions were fitted and the brakes were bled. New DOT4 fluid was used to top up the system.

The radius arms were topped up with grease while we had the wheels off. It looks like I'll have to take the subframe off at some point in the future and clean it up and paint it with black hammerite to protect it. I'll wait for the weather to improve first before attempting that job.

mini inner sills

I stripped out the carpet and soundproofing. You can see some work by the previous owner in the O/S footwell.

I paid a professional welder to weld some steel plating in the N/S inner sills. Then I ground them down with an angle grinder. They were then smoothed with filler and painted with primer.

Next the front of the door frames were welded, ground down, filled and primed. The wires you can see along the floor are the previous owners attempt at DIY speaker installation. It looks fairly messy in here but the floor is actually sound now.

mini boot

Finally the outer sills were treated for rust and primed then the underneath was coated in black hammerite. I left it for a week then realised that primer is porous so I have to find the correct red paint and treat the parts that are primed again before painting. It won't look great but it should keep the rust under control until the weather improves.

Its amazing what you can fit in a Mini boot. I mainly store tools in it at present. The petrol tank holds 25 litres. The Mini does about 42mpg around town on average.

After doing a 540 mile round trip (on 26ukp of fuel!) the Mini's O/S wheel bearing started making a lot of noise. It needed replacing asap as I am planning on doing the trip again in a few days. I needed two tools which I do not own yet to do the job so the car had to go to a local garage.

After picking up the car I drove it down the road and found that to go in a straight line I had to turn the steering wheel 15 degrees to the right. It went back to the garage.

It seems that the older Mini's have ball bearing race wheel bearings which retail about 14ukp a side. The newer Mini models including mine have tapered which retail for about 65ukp a side. Ouch.

At least the car can now do 70mph with little noise!

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