THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.2
  February 2000

Vol.2 Home Page | Index Page

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.


When changing the inner speedometer cable place a zip tie around the outside of the outer cable behind the carburettor. This prevents the ferrule sliding down behind the engine. Tighten the lower ferrule finger tight only. Trying to remove a cable tightened with vice grips or similar with the engine in the car verges on the impossible.

Braze or weld about 6 inches of wire to the head of the four bolts that hold the mounts to the subframe. The bolts can now be guided into the appropriate holes and held by the wire while the washers and nuts are attached. Leave the wire on if you want for undoing next time. Note: Always put the bolt in from the inside of the subframe.

Always ensure that the hose clamp is put on so that the screw driver slot is as close to the rear of the radiator cowling as possible. If this isn’t done, the hose clamp can not be undone with the engine in the car. ( This is often done when the engine and radiator unit is fully assembled before putting into the car). A suggestion when putting a hose on in the car is to bend a piece of stiff welding wire so that one end has a small loop in it. The loop then holds the hose clamp in position while the screw is tightened. The wire loop is held under the clamp with the left hand while the screw is tightened with a long screw driver held in the right hand.

This is especially for alloy parts such as thermostat housing and water pumps. Scrape or wire brush away all signs of corrosion then wipe the area which goes under the hose with ‘Moly grease’ before replacing the hose. This helps prevent corrosion. The same can be done to the face of alloy components where they bolt down onto a gasket.

Always use the genuine type fixing screws with the hexagonal head. Longer screws will puncture the radiator core and slotted or phillip type screw heads can not be undone with the unit in the car. There is insufficient clearance for a screw driver at the back of the radiator. Take special note of this hint when assembling the unit outside the car!

This applies especially on cars subject to ‘aggressive’ use and with standard manifold and exhaust pipe. (Not Cooper type). Remove the engine pipe and cut 3 – 4 inches from the pipe between the top collar and the first mounting point on the gearbox. Replace with a section of flexible exhaust tubing and securely clamp at both ends. This allows some degree of flexing and minimises broken collars on the end of the engine pipe.

This can often be caused by the indicator cancelling T piece on the steering column shorting out on the live section of the switch mechanism. Check and adjust for clearance.