THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.4
  April 2000

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Helpful Hints.
with Jim Haydon.
The following articles are sourced from personal experience, experiences of others, plus publications by B.M.C., Leyland, Rover, Scientific Publications, Australian Classic Car, U.K. Practical Classics, Sports and Classic Cars Aust., Paul Hamlyn, Gregory’s Publications and others.

SHORT CUTS TO SOME MINI PROBLEMS.

POOR CLUTCH OPERATION:
Assuming all adjustments are correct as per the workshop manual, this can be caused by the bending of the clutch operating lever. Later models have a stronger lever. One fix is to extend the push rod in the slave cylinder, or make up an adjustable rod.

If the arm has been bent the slave cylinder piston travels to the end of the bore before the clutch is fully disengaged. The use of too much heat in attempting to straighten the clutch operating arm can destroy the temper in the steel and result in it bending again almost immediately.

Sometimes poor operation is caused by wear on the ball end of the lever, and / or the mating socket of the clutch operating thrust shaft. Because of leverage any deviation from original dimensions can be multiplied 3 to 4 times in extra travel at the slave cylinder end of the arm. This can be remedied by removing, cleaning and welding the worn ball end, (hard facing), then grinding down to a tight fit in the socket. Readjust the clutch arm travel as per the manual.

Check the clevis pin below the clutch master cylinder for wear. Many are very worn and need replacing to restore a full stroke of the master cylinder and reduce free play in the primary mechanical linkage. Remember to replace the spring split pin!

Sometimes a clutch plate needs replacing because of slippage, but the clutch plate shows virtually no signs of wear. Why? This is often because the flywheel and / or pressure plate have been machined without compensating for the different clearance this results in between the two friction surfaces. The effective distance has increased where the clutch plate sits. To remedy this problem, carefully and evenly, file a sliver of metal from the face of each of the three raised and threaded posts on the clutch pressure plate. Take off too much and the clutch will not release.

DOOR HINGES:
Repair kits are available. Quite often the hinges are beyond re-kitting because the pins have been bent or the holes have enlarged through movement of the pin or amateurish repairs. If the hinge is past re-kitting, drive the pins out from the bottom edge, assuming they have been put in correctly in the first place. Very carefully enlarge all three pin holes out with a very slightly larger drill. Select a hardened high tensile bolt of the exact diameter and cut a non threaded section of the shank to length. Ensure it can rotate in the longer section of the hinge.

Burr by hammering one end of the shortened piece of bolt on a hard steel surface, such as an iron vice, for approximately inch. Smooth out and close up any gap in the jaw of the hinge by filing and clamping closed preferably. The jaw often becomes wider with wear and sagged doors.

Place the hinge in hot water and the pin in a refrigerator freezer compartment. The holes will enlarge and the pins will contract temporally allowing you to press the pins into place. Insert non burred section of the pin first. The hinge pin could be brazed in but usually this isn’t necessary. Always fit door hinges using a gasket between the hinge and body, and the angled spacers on the inside, between the door and the washer.

LEAKING DOOR OR BOOT RUBBERS:
These seals are often torn or perished and can be replaced cheaply if you aren’t a purist.

Boot: Remove the original rubber, including the metal retaining clips, attached to the boot lid. From a wrecking yard, obtain a boot rubber from a Holden Camira or Gemini and fit to the flange surrounding the Mini’s boot opening. Make sure the flange is well painted before fitting.

Doors: Replace the originals with used ones from a Suzuki Hatch. Note; The Suzuki seals are too big for use on the rear side windows.