OH THE SHAME OF IT ! :

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OH THE SHAME OF IT ! :

Post  David2010 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:20 pm


Took my 50 year old Mk.1 Elf out of hibernation this afternoon for a bit of a gallop on our nearby motorway.
Beautiful sunny day here in Dublin - so the wearing of shades required. After about 20 miles, I decided to drop in to see one of our top Mini
specialists as I was annoyed that my steering wheel was not centred & I hate that ! ( reason for wheel being off centre - read on )
I borrowed a 33mm socket spanner so as to remove/centre/refit my steering wheel & this done I then started out on my way home.
The small village where this Mini guru lives has recently added speed ramps to deter speeding boy racers !
Unfortunately, I failed to notice the last of these bumps and came in contact with it at about 30mph. There was a loud click from the rear
of my Elf as we landed ! I pulled over and discovered that the rear subframe had partially collapsed on the offside and as a result the rear
wheel on that side was now almost but not quite touching its wheel arch. I drove home very gingerly using back roads and made it.

Obviously a new rear subframe is needed - I presume the Mk1 type is available. The worry though is the condition of the heel plates.
There is a fair amount of decay around this area of the body. Again I presume that a replacement end piece incoporating new subframe
mounting points for both sides is availale. Can anyone possibly give me an estimate of the total cost for this repair job ?
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Re: OH THE SHAME OF IT ! :

Post  humph on Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:34 am

Parts wise Somerford want £62.00 for a full heel board or £30 each for the halves if that's all you need. M-Machine are slightly cheaper at £52 for the full, but only £15.60 for the end repairs. I breathed a large sigh of relief when I exposed all mine and it was solid last week.

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OH THE SHAME OF IT :

Post  David2010 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:55 pm


Now that it has finally stopped raining here in Ireland, I took advantage of the weather yesterday and had a good look at my broken rear sub
frame. Just to re-cap - its on a 1963 Mk.I Elf and the damage was done when I struck an unexpected speed-ramp & had a heavy landing !
The offside North/South "girder" bent in the middle and it also partially broken away from the front East/West "girder".
Although I was aware that there was some rust on this subframe-it came as a surprise when the thing actually snapped (like a rifle shot)
You see, this car has endured far greater challenges to its structure as it has been seriously rallied since 1990 by its previous owner & by me
to a lesser extent between 2003 & its retirement from motor sport in 2010. ( Now that I think on it - a subframe failure was probably
inevitable seeing as this car has competed, while in my ownership, in 25 different events - Rallies , Hill-climbs & Sprints .)
Mini Sport have rear subframe repair sections listed in their catalogue. Has any forum member any experience of these ? If these not suitable
I suppose I will probably have to bite the bullet - so to speak - and go for a replacement second-hand Mk.I rear subframe.
Some prophets of doom have been quick to tell me that I could be looking at a lot more replacement parts that just a subframe - the
condition - they predict - of the heel board - probably on both sides where the subframe bolts on - will almost certainly warrant replacement
What other nasty surprises lie in wait for me - I wonder ?
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Re: OH THE SHAME OF IT ! :

Post  asahartz on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:25 am

I'd expect that if the subframe is that bad, the heelboard is likely to need work. And also, in my experience, the boot floor above the subframe (the nearside is under the tank and can't normally be seen).

How solid are your sills? because if they're less than perfect it's worth doing them at the same time as the heelboard. If they have been replaced fairly recently the heelboard my have been done at the same time.
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OH THE SHAME OF IT :

Post  David2010 on Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:32 pm

I fear the worst Asahartz !
Both sills carry a heavy fibreglass layer presumably doing a cover-up job on the rust that lies deep beneath.
This fibreglass was in place when I bought the car back in 2003 & is still more or less in place.
The only good news is the boot floor - I removed the petrol tank back in '03 and discovered that the underlying shock absorber mount was
75% rotten. A good friend removed the rusted section and welded in an official near-side turret top repair panel - so job done.
Friends on a club road run last year advised that my Elf was ever so slightly running off centre on the road they called it " crabbing".
On further examination when the distances between the wheel centres were accurately measured it revealed that the near-side wheel
distance was a quarter of an inch longer than the off-side one. The rear subframe starting to separate from the near-side heelboard ?
Probably. It goes without saying that this car is very much " off the road ". I started up its 1275 A-Plus engine yesterday morning and ran it
for 15 minutes - just to remind it that although the under body may be in bad shape - mechanically she is still very much alive.
Back to reality - the cost here in Dublin of getting this Elf back on the road is simply staggering. " Best answer " they all say is " You need a
re-shell " . The value inherent in the existing shell is its Motor Sport history including Overall Winner of the 1990 Circuit of Ireland Rally with
its original owner at the wheel. This was only one of its many wins between 1990 & 2000. I've had one or two also.
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Re: OH THE SHAME OF IT ! :

Post  asahartz on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:52 pm

Well clearly a reshell isn't viable - you can't get new ones and as you say you'll lose some of its value.

However (almost) anything can be fixed given enough time and the skills to weld in new panels (you only have to look at my Clubman estate restoration, and I know someone who has restored one that started out worse than mine!)

It's a matter of what someone deems worthwhile, and I'm firmly of the opinion that any rare Mini derivative is worth saving these days, almost regardless of cost. Which is why my restoration queue includes my Elf, a 1275GT and a rear-ended Clubman Estate (that's a real challenge because you can't get the rear pillars!)
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