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Chappers Reader
6/14/18 8:45 a.m.

Wow you have been busy! 

So is the plan to run the 1275 head on the 998 block? 

The exhaust valves will hit the top of the block if you don’t add some relief cuts.

I had to do this when I ran a 1275 head (12g940) on a 998 A+ series block. 

Here’s what is looks like 





Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
6/14/18 8:58 a.m.

This block is already cut for the big valve head. I noticed that when I tore it down.  It had caused some concern as to which gasket I needed to use


californiamilleghia New Reader
6/14/18 9:08 a.m.

on your first pictures you show a "Brake bias valve,"

it really is a hydraulic E-Brake often used on old trucks......

you can also use it as a cheap anti-theft hidden brake.......


Love your build !

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
6/14/18 9:55 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

Really? That would explain why it is randomly harder to push around the shop as I have been cleaning and painting the interior and doubtlessly moving that lever with little regard to its original position.

Thank you sir.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/14/18 10:11 a.m.

Somewhere, the ghost of a PO is laughing at your random pushing problems.

DrBoost MegaDork
6/14/18 9:59 p.m.

This thread makes me REALLY regret selling my old 998. 

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
6/27/18 6:17 p.m.

Good news everyone!

I can start building a motor!

Dirtydog GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/27/18 6:25 p.m.

That sure looks purty.   Here's to an uneventful assembly, and install.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
7/4/18 10:05 a.m.

In the shop at 7 am on a bank holiday. Let's see if I can get a short block out of the deal 

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
7/4/18 4:05 p.m.

Didn't go as well as I had hoped. The ring filer was no where to be found so I wasn't able to get the pistons installed.  I moved on to the timing chain and could not get the camshaft end float down to what it should be. The end float is set by a raised ring on the cam gear and by comparing the old single row gear to the new double row I found the new one was over 60 thousandths longer. 

So off with the excess and the end float is within spec. 

Then onto installing the gears and chain

And it doesn't fit either. 

Those two bolt heads that hold the cover plate to the front main cap foul the chain.  So out they come and I counter sunk the holes for some flat socket head screws. The fastener store is closed so I called it a day until I can get 2 1/4-28X1/2 screws.

I'm not even sure why I am installing the double row chain set. It just seemed like a good idea and was pretty much the same price. 


wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/4/18 4:32 p.m.

Some days it goes like that. Looking forward to updates, but yeah, not until it is right.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
7/5/18 4:39 p.m.

Look what turned up!

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
7/30/18 4:56 p.m.

These images of a 1952 Siata Daina gran sport being loaded in the trailer represent the end of 70 hour work weeks and the beginning of enough free time to start on the mini again.

I have had the pleasure of driving a few nice examples which has increased my excitement level. I have gathered more parts, gone deeper into parts I had no intention of touching and today I got an exhaust system for it in the form of a few derelict stainless e type jag exhausts

I also got a new phone that seems to not default to "sasquatch sighting" quality photos

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
7/31/18 6:04 p.m.

At no point in this project did I think "golly, I hope I get to replace the headlining!"


But here I am

There are some foul smells in this world but the smell of mouse piss is up at the top of things I would rather not inhale. After pressure washing the interior, painting the floors and removing everything the odor came back stronger than ever and the back glass was out so I pried the headliner down and that Hanta scented hell hole made itself known. At that point berk it. I don't know why anyone would want a black headlining anyway. Two five gallon buckets of nest were removed and the odor finally abated.

So being the cheapskate I am I found a bolt of cheap upholstery vinyl and busted out my middle school circa 1985 home ec class skills and stitched one up. I took 6 hours and installed it and wound up totally unimpressed with my tailoring skills afterword.  Every stitch that was less than arrow straight came out as a dimple when stretched. To add insult to injury a week later the stitches started failing. Turns out the spool of thread I used was also from the Reagan era and had become quite brittle. Hand me down machines come with hand me down thread. 

A lesson in false economy learned.

So I purchased a Newton Commercial headlining kit  and that is where we are today. 

Initial stretch will rest for 24 hours and then it will get the final stretch and glue down.



Ransom GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/31/18 7:26 p.m.

I get so excited every time I see this thread, and especially when I lay eyes on that car. Damn.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
8/18/18 8:42 p.m.

I have actually been putting in some hours on this. Today the engine is 4 studs short of complete.

The cam timing was verified and everything was torqued to spec. What we have here is a 998 bored 0.060" over to a whopper of a 1048cc. The cam I am told was a late metro cam which has a bit more lift and duration than all the rest. Double row timing chain, Windsor 1.5 ratio roller rockers, "True spark" 45d4 electronic distributor (because I wanted a vacuum advance unit), 9.9:1 compression, Big valve 1275 cooper S head with the block notched for valve clearance. I ponied up for the cast aluminum valve cover because I too like shiny things. The remote oil filter bits were on the car when I got it and the work of the PO's CNC machine.

I have chucked the idea of EFI onto the back burner for now. This is taking so much longer than I anticipated that I don't need any more distractions. So I bought a Maniflow LCB header

And a Minisport intake manifold

I think the HS4 will be plenty of carb for now. I have picked up a set of HIF4 carbs to make one for the mini.

I came up short on the 4 5/16 studs for the rocker towers so those bolts are just placeholders.

Gearbox is the stock rod change unit. 3.44 final drive. It has been cleaned out, blown completely apart and reassembled after checking all the thrust and whatnot. Also a miniature gear reduction starter was ordered because I loathe british "pre-engaged" starters. 

The two WILL be joined this week and be dropped in place by next weekend.

Fortuitously a friend of the shop picked up a new to him mini and wanted some changes made.

His RC40 exhaust was headed for the bin so I re-routed that to my car. It is solid and saves me having to fabricate something

In other news. The new Newton Commercial headliner is in. The glass is back in, new carpet is in, seats are back in. Hidden audio system is going in.

8" sub in a .75 cu/ft box and 2 6" speakers. 


Hidden under a thin carpet panel

And a bluetooth only amplifier is going under the back seat.


I did buy a new rear bumper from 7ent.com.

But of course there is another issue. The bumper mounts to three holes in tabs on the rear lip like this

But of course someone cut those off my car and then bent the lip down.

So I've got that going for me, which is nice.


Hopefully a big update soon.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/18 9:21 p.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

When you say “late metro cam”, as in Geo Metro?

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
8/18/18 9:38 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

the MG Metro was supposed to be the mini replacement but just ended up being sold along side it. It also used the A series engine sometimes turbocharged.

Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/18 9:50 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Mini Metro

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/19/18 6:15 a.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

Ah, that makes way more sense. I completely forgot about the MG Metro. 

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
8/25/18 12:32 p.m.

In an attempt at "future proofing" and a sudden flash of something I deemed at the time to be pretty clever  I got the idea to include a 36-1 crank trigger wheel now before the motor went in. I procured a harmonic balancer style crank pulley and machined it to also be the trigger wheel.  I have an old MS1 on a 2.2 board laying around that I could easily use a a megajolt style install.


The pulley went into the index head and with the assistance of a new 1/4" roughing mill I cut the slots.

It went well. With a coolant mist, some higher spindle speeds and the new rougher I was done in 20 minutes.

And then it hit me that I probably should not have the trigger mounted on the outside of the rubber core. Any oscillation between the inside and outside would show up as a timing change. I don't know how much there will actually be and even if it would be any better or worse than the bounce and scatter of a distributor.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I abandon it? Carry on?

Anyway. It was mounted up.

In a moment of "chapman-itis"  I machined a fair bit of weight out of the seemingly massively overbuilt clutch release arm with a slot ball milled out of each side.  Then a quick zinc plate before installation.

The car came with a Denso mini-alternator that had been installed and working when the car was running. For the life of me I cannot figure out how the bracket worked. I think it was mounted up high and doubled as the upper radiator support, but any way I try to align it with existing holes it doesn't fit. So the last thing that has to happen is to fabricate a new bracket and mount it. I am thinking as near the factory location as I can get it.

But anyway. Here it is.  Almost ready to spin it up and check for oil pressure.


Indy-Guy UltraDork
8/25/18 1:24 p.m.

Looking good yes

barefootskater HalfDork
8/25/18 2:02 p.m.

I love how the oil pan/gearbox looks like a supercharger. The engineering on these is pretty impressive. Owning one is on my bucket list.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
9/8/18 6:03 p.m.

Todays update.

I am three weeks into a high maintenance house guest. Progress is limited to thirty minute sessions before and after work.


I did get to work on a sweet little mini for a customer.

I upgraded the exhaust, intake and carb and fuel system on this little 91. It got a new LCB header, Maniflow exhaust, minisport intake and a HIF44 carb. It was a riot to drive.

Anyway, I wound up receiving the wrong flywheel some months back. It had a 126 tooth ring gear instead of the 107 tooth I need. The starter wouldn't engage. So I  ordered another ring gear from a local supplier.

So I could finally spin it over enough to realize I had no oil pressure.  A series are kind of notorious for losing prime when sitting. I had to open up a port on the pressure side of the pump and pour oil in with a funnel while turning the motor backwards to fill the pump and prime it.


It is in!

And boy is it tight. I have a lot of respect for what the Bad Obsession boys have managed to do with Binky.

It also looks like I need to modify the fan shroud to hold the radiator lower.

Tomorrow I am going to Portland to hang out with Burrito and Ransom at the All British field meet and peruse the swap meet.  Next week hang exhaust, install fuel pump somewhere in the back, sort the engine bay wiring and see how it runs.

Dammit Reader
9/9/18 3:31 p.m.

The chap who is porting my heads and specifying the cam profiles and so forth has a hill climb mini which he built  

IIRC 1,380cc, 14,000 rpm rev cut and 138bhp/litre were the headline figures. 

Also, it weighs 560kg. With a skinny driver it would be quite a handful I suspect. 

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