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196  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: How Many Clowns fit in a Mini: The Physics of Clown Cars. on: April 06, 2011, 07:18:15 PM
Well, based on that hypothesis, I went out and took photos of the rear quarter windows of my AutoX car.  It would appear that I've got about 15 clowns currently residing in my car -- in addition to the clown behind the wheel!  8<{)  Those clowns were painted on paper, using acrylic paint, by my then-16-year-old neighbor about 7 years ago -- then sprayed with about 15 coats of clear acrylic sealer on both sides and taped into the rear quarter windows.  They've been there ever since -- even surviving rain on several outings.

Now I have to try to remember how to post those photos into this email.  (I know -- that's something terrible for an Admin to say -- I'm just having a brain fart right now.)  I may just stick them on the "media" tab and let it go with that.


197  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Aaaaarg! on: March 13, 2011, 07:42:03 PM

Here I am less than a week out from the Houston National Tour -- for which I'm the Chief of Safety.  That means that I've GOT to be there.  I've thrashed on the little car until I'm blue in the face.  I've pulled the lump and the whole front suspension so I could swap out the front subframe.  After I did that, I put everything back together with new front suspension to go along with the new front subrame.  This afternoon, I took it out for a test drive around the neighborhood to see if all of the changes I had made would really work.  Much to my chagrin -- as soon as I let out on the clutch -- it pulled violently to the right.  That means that something's wrong in the diff.  Either I've got a broken spider gear or a broken output shaft.  And there's no way on God's green Earth that I'm going to get all of that sorted out before I have to leave for Houston straight from work Thursday afternoon.  Another Aaaaaarg!  I'm trying now to find somebody else who's going the run that event and would welcome a tire-warmer in their car.

If it ain't one damned thing, it's another!!!

198  Classifieds / Parts For Sale/Wanted / Gaskets on: March 09, 2011, 07:53:01 PM
If any of you are running A+ motors and could use a couple of extra timing chain cover gaskets with the little bulge on the side for the tensioner, I found a couple of them this evening while searching through my gasket supply for a new water pump gasket (which I also found!)  If you want them, just send me your mailing address and be willing to cover the postage.

199  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Aaaaarg! on: March 04, 2011, 08:21:25 PM
WOW!  That's a new one on me, Angel.  I've heard of blue, red, and green coils but never white ones.  I'll do some snooping around, myself, and see if I can find anything.

BTW -- my blue coils came in the other day and they're SWEET!  They OUGHT to be -- considering how much they cost!!!  Now I've just got to find the time to install them.

200  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Unique Way to Rotate Tires on: February 28, 2011, 07:10:29 PM
Holy guacamole!  That takes some serious cajones (or a really empty brain!) to even attempt something like that!!!  Hats off to the driver for being able to keep it up on two wheels for as long as he/she did -- especially with all of the weight-shifting that was going on!!!

201  Technical Forums / Projects / Re: Aaaaarg! on: February 27, 2011, 06:48:04 PM
White coils or white-dotted cones?  I have no idea what the rating would be on a white coil but I believe the competition cones that I just put into my car had white splotches on them.  If they're coils, maybe they've been painted for cosmetic purposes.  You could try scraping away a little bit of the white to see what color lies underneath. 

202  Classifieds / Parts For Sale/Wanted / Shock mounts on: February 27, 2011, 05:35:55 PM
Anybody got a spare set of Mk1 or Mk2 upper shock mounts?  I've got the "lowered" shock mounts on my AutoX car and can't find the factory mounts that I removed when I installed them.  Because these new "competition" cones are so tall, my front shocks are at maximum extension.  By going back to the factory mounts, I can relieve some of the stress on the shocks until the new cones have a chance to settle and/or I have the time to remove them and replace them with the blue coils that I've ordered.

203  General Discussions / Our New Board / We're baaack! on: February 27, 2011, 05:03:06 PM
If any of you had trouble accessing this site this morning (Sunday, Feb 27) there's a reason.  Our host went through some server upgrades overnight -- starting about 1 am.  Unfortunately, something went haywire during the process -- as is sometimes the case with server upgrades.  That's why upgrades like this are usually done on Sunday mornings -- to impact the fewest people if something should go wrong.  We're back up and running now.  Sorry for any inconvenience it might have caused.

204  General Discussions / Events / Re: Autocrossing on: February 26, 2011, 01:34:59 PM
If all goes according to Hoyle, I'll be down your way for an SCCA Divisional AutoX at Retama Park in, I believe, July.  And, for a change, I won't have to be Chief of Safety!  Andrew McMillan is coming up from Corpus to wear the hat at that event.  I've been autocrossing with the SCCA for 25 years and, you're right!  It's a hoot -- especially in a Mini/MINI

205  Technical Forums / Projects / Aaaaarg! on: February 25, 2011, 10:06:34 PM
So... I busted my front subframe last year.  Can't imagine why the little ear that holds the right-hand tie-rod broke away from the rest of the subframe.  It was only 45 years old and I'd only AutoXed the crap out of it for the past 20+ years!!!

At any rate, I picked up another one from Jim in McKinney just before Thanksgiving.  Over the winter, I stripped down the whole front end of the car and installed the new front subframe.  While it was all apart, I decided that it was about time to go ahead and upgrade my front suspension, too.  So I got new, upgraded, Ripspeed HiLos and new "competition" rubber comes.  That latter choice was a HUGE mistake.

After I got the whole front end back together -- the motor back in -- and dropped the car down off the jackstands, the snout stood up in the air several inches higher than the rear -- even with the HiLos collapsed all the way.  And the GAZ shocks were extended as far as they would go.  Not a good arrangement -- especially with our AutoX season starting March 5/6 and a National Tour event in Houston (Baytown) March 19/20.  I'm the Chief of Safety for that event, so I've got to be there -- car or not.

SO...  I placed an emergency order last night with MM for a set of blue COIL springs with express delivery.  I decided that, if I'm going to get the front end right, I might as well go all the way and upgrade to the latest technology.  I opted for the blues instead of the stiffer reds or flat-out greens in the hope that I wouldn't have any more installation problems.  We'll see what happens once they get here and I thrash around to install them before next Saturday.  Sure hope the weather holds, like it's supposed to.

206  General Discussions / Our New Board / Re: The day of reckoning has arrived on: February 25, 2011, 09:01:11 PM
Well -- we did it!  As of about 9 o'clock last (Thursday) night, the old dot-org website and its associated e-mail list are no more.  Steve pulled the plug on the dot-org website and put up a re-direct to this dot-com website.  At the same time, he also killed the email list and sent one final message to everybody on the list urging them to register on this new site if they hadn't already done so and explaining how to do it.  Now all MOT communication will be handled via this forum or through direct contact with other MOT members. 

YOU voted for a change from the old Wiki and email-based site to a new forum-based site.  Now you've got it.  PLEASE make use of it!!!  If you've got ideas about how we could make it even better, please notify one of the admins and we'll do our best to implement the change.

More importantly, though, is an urgent plea from me to GET INVOLVED.  When we started this merry little band back in 1998, we had a two-fold goal.  We wanted to give our members a central point where they could communicate with each other electronically but we also wanted to provide a vehicle for all Mini (and, later, MINI) enthusiasts to get together with each other -- face-to-face, person-to-person -- so we could kick a few tires; admire each others' cars; pick each others' brains; and enjoy our wee little British car obsession along with each others' company.  But, over the past few years, we've really dropped the ball in regard to that second goal.  So let's get focused again and think about how we can get together whenever and wherever possible.

If you know of an upcoming event that might be of interest to some or all of our members, post it!  Then, after you post it, waive the banner and get others to participate.  If you've got an idea for a Mini/MINI-related activity that you'd like to host, yourself, throw it up on the MOT wall and let's see if it sticks!!!  BUT, if it does stick, be willing to follow through on your end to make it happen.

This club is only as strong as its members and that, my friends, means YOU.

One other note -- it's OK to disagree with somebody.  Just don't be disagreeable when you do it!!!  If you have a major disagreement with something that somebody has said on this forum, send them a private message -- don't bombard the whole forum with something that could be better-handled person-to-person.  A little bit of tact goes a long way on a social network like this.  Clutch brain before engaging typing fingers!!!!!

Happy Mini/MINI-ing.  Hope to see you soon.

207  General Discussions / The Lounge / Re: Mini Rocketman on: February 25, 2011, 06:37:46 PM
I'll bet that a lot of those tail lights get broken if it ever goes into production like that!

One thing those videos don't show is that the doors are double-hinged -- they swing out and away from the body.  The rear hatch is two-piece.  The top glass part is hinged in the middle and opens upward.  The bottom is actually a drawer that slides out and can be locked in the out position -- much like the Classic Mini with the swing-down license plate bracket on the boot lid.

A friend of mine sent me an Autoweek article on it last night.  Here's the link:


208  General Discussions / Our New Board / Re: The day of reckoning has arrived on: February 10, 2011, 06:24:09 PM
As I mentioned in my previous post, the cutover date will be Wednesday, February 23rd.  That's the day that the .org site AND its related email list will go away.

209  General Discussions / Our New Board / Re: The day of reckoning has arrived on: February 04, 2011, 09:55:23 PM
OK, gang

I posted the following email message today to the MOT email list:

OK, guys and gals.  The day of reckoning has arrived.

I sent all of you the results of your voting almost a month ago.  Your overwhelming opinion at that time was to go with the "New" forum-based website.  I told you then that the change would not take place overnight -- it would take a little bit of time to work out all of the bugs.  Now, I think that all of those bugs are worked out to the point that we can legitimately make the switch.  So, ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD, Steve will pull the plug on the "Old" .org website -- the admins will remove the re-direct from the homepage of the "New" .com website -- and THIS EMAIL LIST WILL CEASE TO EXIST!

Initially, the new website will only be forum-based.  There may be a way, somewhere down the road, that I can add email to the new site.  And, believe me, I'm working on it!  I could do it right now, but I'm looking for a way to link email to the forum and vice versa.  I don't want to do anything that will further splinter our little band of Mini/MINI-acs.  I want all of us to be able to communicate with each other on the same page on a day-to-day basis.  If some of you are on the forum and others are on a disconnected email list, there's no way that we're going to get that kind of continuity.

If you haven't already done so, please go to the new website:  and register for the forum.  This is an approval-based process.  You can't just automatically sign up.  Your request must first be approved by one of our admins.  If we can't, automatically, identify who you are from your email address and the information you provide, we may send you a follow-up message asking for more information before approving your request.  Please be honest with us.  This is not done to harass you -- it's done to cut down on the number of spammers who are trying to infiltrate our group.

Once you've been approved, you can can go to your "preferences" and select whether you want to be notified by email any time there's any activity on a particular topic.  Ideally, if you do that, you will never have to go specifically to the forum to learn of activity unless a new topic is posted.  You'll be notified by email.  If you go to the forum, in response to an email notification -- and find a new topic -- you can opt to get email messages when that topic is discussed, too.

I know that this sounds complicated, but it's really not.  It just takes a few minutes on your part to go through the initial setup process.  From there on, it should be automatic.  And the new website is NOT Wiki-based, which seemed to be one of the major complaints about the old website!

Please remember that you can always contact any one of the admins if you should have a problem with -- or question about -- the new website.

Thanks a bunch

Happy Mini/MINI-ing


I just wanted to keep all of you "in the loop" about the changes that are about to take place.  Hopefully, we can get this merry little band of Mini/MINI-acs back on the same page and headed down the road to a coherent organization again

210  General Discussions / Our New Board / Re: The day of reckoning has arrived on: January 09, 2011, 06:51:31 PM
I just posted the following message to the MOT email list:

Well -- I know you're all waiting with bated (fishy?) breath to learn the outcome of the website voting.  It officially ended at midnight last (Saturday) night and, as promised, I'm releasing the results today.

Before I do, however, I want to take just a minute to thank all of you who actually took the time to vote.  At one time, our list numbered well over 100 people.  However, on this important issue, only 29 people took the time to vote.  And that's really sad.  So, to those 29, I say, "Thank you very much!"  I asked for your direction and you gave it.

Now, on to the results.  Of the 29 people who voted, 21 said they preferred the new experimental website.  However, three of those did qualify their votes by saying that they would also like to have email on the new site.  (That IS a possibility)  Three of those who voted were in favor of keeping the existing website.  The remaining five said they were good with either one.

So, what happens now?

Initially, nothing!  This is going to be a slow and deliberate process to make sure that nobody gets left out.  I'll be working with Steve and the Administrators of the new experimental website to affect an orderly transition.  All of you will be kept "in the loop" as things move along.

Please remember, though -- voting for a change in websites will not, automatically, change the direction of our group.  And, I'm sad to say, that direction has been steadily going downhill.  It's going to take events and activities to keep the group together and the enthusiasm up.  That's where each and every one of you come into the equation.  "Behold, the turtle!  He makes no progress until he sticks his head out."  So stick your head out and make things happen -- even if it's nothing more than just getting a few nearby Mini/MINI-acs together for a couple of cool brews and some fish and chips at your neighborhood pub on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  The "spirit" is what got this group started and the "spirit" is what's going to see it continue to grow and prosper.

Again, my thanks to those who took time to vote.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any thoughts or ideas or, for that matter, any complaints.  This is YOUR club and we need YOUR input to make things happen.

Happy Mini/MINI-ing!!!

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