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16  Technical Forums / Projects / AutoX Mini upgrades on: January 21, 2018, 09:13:47 PM
Given the current exchange rate between the dollar and the pound, I decided that it was time to make some long-overdue upgrades to "The Turd."  I started by replacing the heavy cast iron 4-pot Metro Turbo front brakes with 4-pot alloy calipers and drilled/slotted rotors from Mini Sport.  Then I replaced the old worn-out Diamond Racing wheels with Ultralite ENKI wheels -- again, from Mini Sport. 
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNp9N6IYHnjVyUp0bmHTWcnhzqUG9E_XRVXEn16  (Hope that link works!)
Now I'm in the process of yanking the motor out so I can rebuild it before our season starts in March.  Of note here -- if you order bearings from Mini Spares, and use the original Vandervell part numbers, that's exactly what you're going to get.  Over the years, Mahle bought Vandervell and they're now producing the exact same bearings under the Mahle name.  So, for a 1275, you would order VP91306-xx for the rods and VP91120-xx for the mains.  The thrust washers are VPW41 for the standard size.
17  Technical Forums / Maintenance Issues / Re: Thank you, thank you, thank you!! on: January 21, 2018, 08:23:46 PM
Saturday afternoon I took Matchbox down to Wylie for a MetroplexMINI meeting. It was a fun afternoon until I was on my way home and the throttle cable signed off. I coasted into a turnoff to ponder my situation. While standing there feeling a bit helpless (I am NOT a mechanic, nor do I play on on TV....) I heard a car pass by, stop quickly and start reversing back to my spot. I turned and saw Bruce K in his pepper white/black classic! I always enjoy seeing and chatting with Bruce but never more than yesterday afternoon. Bruce was on his way to see Mark K and check on Mark's Mini project. He placed a quick call to Mark who grabbed some tools and came right over. They jury rigged a quick fix that got me home with no further drama. Thanks guys!!
A true example, Paul, of what this Mini/MINI fellowship is all about.  We all love our cars but we love, just as much, helping others with theirs.  Glad you were able to make it home OK with their help.
18  General Discussions / Our New Board / Re: New members - introduce yourselves on: November 09, 2017, 08:55:44 PM
Hi, all.

I am Derek Salvage, returning to the fold after a lapse of many years. Now retired in Spring, Texas. Still have my 1964 1071 S which I am slowly getting road worthy again. Now registered and running, but very rough at low revs. Still, better than before !
Have lost rack of who is still around to work on these cars. Graham Davies did a great job on re-building the motor but that was nearly 10 years ago. Any pointers on who is still around would be welcome!


Graham retired several years ago for health reasons and sold off everything in his shop before moving to the northeast to be with his family.  I bought a ton of parts from him when he shut down, including the motor that's in my car right now and the trailer I use to haul it to events.

Since I'm in Louisiana, I'm not sure who in Houston, San Antonio, or Austin still works on Minis.  There's Kip Motors in DFW but I can't help you with anything closer to the Houston area. 
19  General Discussions / Our New Board / Re: New members - introduce yourselves on: November 09, 2017, 08:39:34 PM
Hi, all!  Just letting everybody know that I'm still alive and well in Shreveport and so is the AutoX Mini, 30 years into the mission, although it is in need of a good "freshening" before next season. 

Toward that end, now is still a great time to buy parts directly from England.  Even though the exchange rate isn't quite as good as it was a couple of months ago when I ordered my front alloy brakes and wheels from Mini Sport, it's still much better than it used to be.  One US dollar today equals one GB pound.  As an example of how this can save you money, I just got a shipment today from Mini Spares.  I got Mahle (Vandervell VP2) main and rod bearings, thrust washers, a high-capacity water pump, and a full gasket set for $125.  DHL Express shipping from the UK was $23 and that was the lowest shipping rate offered.

On the tire mounting issue, I recently took a couple of fresh Hoosier slicks (20.5x7-13) to a local independent tire shop where I had recently bought new tires for my pick-em-up truck and asked if they could mount them on my 13x6 Diamond Racing rims.  "Sure!  We can do that."  Right!  Apparently, this guy had never mounted slicks before.  They've got a bead that's even more rigid than the Yokos.  The old ones came off the rims with no problem at all and the new ones went on just as easily.  But, he had a bee-itch of a time trying to get the bead to seat on the new ones.  He cussed the tires up one side and down the other.  Then he cussed me up and down, too.  But, eventually, he got them mounted and then told me to never bring him any more!!!  He only charged me $10 per wheel to mount the new slicks and dispose of the old ones.
20  General Discussions / The Lounge / Buying parts from England on: September 03, 2017, 10:54:41 PM
If any of you have ever thought about buying parts from across the pond, now is the time to do it.  The exchange rate between the US and the UK is ridiculously low -- $1 = about 0.75!  Used to be that 1 was about $2!!! 
To give you an example of how much you can save, I just bought four 7X13 Ultralite ENKI wheels with matching lugnuts and two 175/50-13 Yokohama A539 tires to use as rear rains on my AutoX Mini for the whopping total of $527 and that includes almost $100 shipping!
In addition to the ridiculously low exchange rate, there also appears to be an international shipping price war going on right now between UPS and FedEx so you can ship for much less than it used to cost if you just shop around.
I ordered from Mini Sport USA and they were offering a 10% discount on shipping.  Don't know if that discount is still in effect but it would certainly be worth checking out
JL
 
21  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Checking on the Houston Area MOT'ers on: September 03, 2017, 10:15:15 PM
Just checking to see how you are doing, and if anyone needs any help.

Thanks,

Jim Gambony
McKinney
'63 Austin Coopoer

Sure hope all of our Houston area folks came through this disaster without any major damage.  Please let us know how you've fared

JL
22  Classifieds / Parts For Sale/Wanted / Re: Early Mk1 gas cap? on: July 27, 2017, 12:11:50 PM
Found it!  It looks to be in great shape but it needs a new rubber gasket.  I'll email you some pics
23  Classifieds / Parts For Sale/Wanted / Re: Early Mk1 gas cap? on: July 24, 2017, 10:17:20 PM
Thanks, Chris.  That's what this group is all about -- helping each other.  I haven't had a chance to rummage through all of my parts bins yet but I'll let you know if I can find that cap.
24  Classifieds / Parts For Sale/Wanted / Re: Early Mk1 gas cap? on: July 23, 2017, 08:44:05 PM
I think I still have the original gas cap from my '65.  I'll look around and see if I can find it
25  Classifieds / Parts For Sale/Wanted / Re: Wanted: 998 CRANKSHAFT on: July 03, 2017, 04:04:03 PM
How 'bout a whole 998?  Crankshaft condition unknown because I've never torn it down!
26  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: I'm Baaaack! John Lee on: July 03, 2017, 04:00:55 PM
Welcome back, stranger!
27  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Project Binky on: May 07, 2017, 07:27:04 PM
I haven't.  But, now that you've brought it up, I think I'll watch all 15 episodes.  That sounds like a really neat project.
28  General Discussions / Events / Re: DFW ABCD 2017 on: April 22, 2017, 11:02:00 PM
$40K?!?!?  I don't think I've ever seen one get that high on eBay although I have seen some get well up into the 5-digit range.
29  Technical Forums / Maintenance Issues / Re: Steering Rack on: April 19, 2017, 08:19:51 PM
Yeah.  The quick-ratio rack was an aftermarket part but one that's become quite popular with those of us who drive competition Minis.  I made the conversion on my car about 25 years ago and it's really served me well until it finally gave up the ghost.  You can seen in my YouTube video from our last event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Gzf3DroVw how hard I had to fight the steering wheel just to stay on course and hear the obvious clunking from the front end.  Even with all of that wheel fighting, I still managed to lay down a :66 when most of the fastest drivers in the newer computerized multi-valve cars were only running in the low :60s.  I think this new rack is really going to make a significant difference.
30  Technical Forums / Maintenance Issues / Re: Steering Rack on: April 19, 2017, 06:47:30 PM
Thanks, Jim.  I should have mentioned, this is a quick-ratio steering rack -- 2.2 turns lock-to-lock instead of the standard 2.7.  I've got a couple of standard racks but I wanted another quick-ratio one.

Here's the clincher.  My parts left Gatwick, UK, around six last evening -- our time.  From there they went to East Midlands, UK, and then overnight to the DHL hub in Cincinnati.  After that, they passed through DFW around seven this morning and arrived at my house at 2:30 this afternoon!  That's less than 24 hours to get all the way from Mini Spares to my front door!

Yes, it cost me $40 to have the parts shipped DHL Express.  But that was the only shipping option that Mini Spares offered.  Had it been smaller parts, they would have probably shipped them by Post.  However, even with the shipping cost figured in, it was still much less to get all of the parts from Mini Spares than to just buy the rack, itself, from MM. 

The exchange rate is working in our favor right now, even though it varies from day-to-day.  On the day I ordered my parts, the rack was 65 in the UK and that worked out to $81 here.
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