MorrisMiniCooper.com

The following pictures are from the partial restoration of

Registration 456 BBL, April 1962 997cc Morris Mini Cooper

The mini was bare metal restored in about 1997 before i bought it in 2000 in practically concours condition. it was used as transport everyday for 12 months before being stored under a cover outside for 7 years. Driven occasionally over this time an annoying gearbox noise became worse and worse until 12 months ago i decided to sort the gearbox and restore the engine bay.

NOTE TO ALL ORIGINALITY BUFF's - The work i am carrying out is to get this beautiful car back on the road and reliable, in order to do this i will have to replace parts. I am keeping every nut, bolt, consumable, everything! I will never modify or try and fix an original part - preferring to replace with new so i can keep historical parts in as an original condition as possible.

1. Engine bay stripped cleaned and painted in GN37 Almond green base layer. The master cylinders were replaced with new items from Minispares as the old brake cylinder had badly corroded due to fluid leaks. The correct piston size for the 997 cooper is no longer available and so the standard brake cylinder was fitted. If a more forward brake bias is reqiured then this will have to be done with a variable bias valve.

The picture shows new steel brake pipes which were replaced soon after with copper ones, this was done because the modern unions are too soft to mould the end form before distortion of the union takes place. The steel pipes were kept for when some hardenned steel unions can be sourced.

2. The Engine. The original 997cc engine failed in the 70's, this was replaced with a factory reconditioned 998cc Cooper engine for which i still have the reciept (see history section).

The engine / gearbox rebuild resulted in new gearbox bearings and modifed bulk rings (the noise was found to be coming from the fact that the nut holding the primary drive had broken through the lock tab and was very loose). A new cam was required due to badly pitted  lobes, seeing as the stock item is no longer available i opted for a Kent Megadyne 266 fast road cam which is excellent for small bore engines. New Iskey followers and a lightened timing gear were also added. A new clutch plate was fitted to the original style spring type clutch diaphram as i did'nt want to change the flywheel.

The cylinder head is the standard 12G295 casting, the early type with the square shaped intake ports, i left this alone although think it will probably need a replacment at some point soon (the exhaust valve seats look 50 years old)! The rockers are the standard forged Cooper type with double valve springs. 

3. Wiring Loom. Unfortunately the wiring loom for the 62 cooper is not available off the shelf, to keep costs down (which is difficult) i sourced a 1964 cooper loom, this means i have loose wires - 2 dash panel warning lights (oil filter and oil pressure lights). i need to make a small harness for my heater (potentiometer controlled) which was not included and some wires for the main beam dip switch on the floor.

4. Carbs. The standard Twin HS2's were rebuilt with an SU rebuild kit. The right hand piston and chamber was also replaced as there was some binding which could not be cleaned away. The standard fit steel ribbon pancake filters were stripped, etched and painted with hammerite smoothrite light silver.

5. Ancillaries. New coil, leads (screw in), side entry dizzy cap, rotor arm, condensor, dynamo, radiator, kevlar bottom hose, silicone bypass hose, kevlar heater hoses, accelerator cable, clutch cable, oil pressure pipe, solenoid, regulator, fuse box. I've also fitted an Aldon Yellow distributor, which is a good choice for the cam. I wasnt planning on this but the advance mechanism has so much freeplay in the original 25d distibutor that i had to do something in order to get it running nicely.

6. Dates - Still get amazed when i wipe the dirt away to find so many date stamps that appear to be good. Picture above shows the wiper motor body date stamp (Feb 1962).

7. Brake Calipers. The Original 997 calipers have not been modified to take the newer 998 pads, the correct pads are hard to find but i've been building up a stock from ebay. The calipers were in a bad way -  the pistons had completely seized. I decided that a complete rebuild was required and sent them off to Big Red in Worcester to be stripped, blasted, new pistons, seals and fixings and enamel coated in black to keep them looking new.

8.0 Front Hubs. New Discs pads, clips, boots, grease seals and track rod ends fitted,  (longer type used due to 1.5 deg negartive camber tie rods being fitted, by the last owner i hasten to add). The original brake sheilds are being painted at the time of this photograph, even the tabs that fit onto the steering arm have survvied so a few coats of hammerite black have been applied to make sure they last a few more years yet. BBL almost failed her last MOT for brake disc scoring, the discs available today appear to be slightly different than the orignials so i replaced with new discs in order to preserve the old. 

9.0 Some brightwork going on at last - I'm unsure which brightwork is original. I think the grill could well be, but the bumpers and over-riders are suspect. All is a little battered here and there but a few scars just make it more interesting.

10. Rear Corners. Another good date stamp (9th March 1962) and testament to fact that the brakes are pretty awful on these cars, the drums are in very good condition, no lip around around the edge, they have obviously had an easy life.