Drop the engine.

How to remove a Mini’s engine and front subframe.

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Step 1: remove everything that’s not the engine. Unbolt the subframe from the body.


Step 2: Realise you need the rear wheels to do this properly. Put the rear subframe and suspension back in, then use an appropriate hoist to lift the body up. If an appropriate hoist is not available, use a piece of string and some pulleys you found. Don’t worry, the shell is extremely lightweight and this photo wasn’t posed at all.


Step 3: the engine will now gracefully exit the engine bay- unless, like everyone else, you forgot to undo the earthing strap or brake lines.

It’s a miracle of packaging! Also, very dirty, heavy, and awkward to manoeuvre.
Once removed from the subframe the engine is heavy and quite unstable, so mount it securely to the engine stand before commencing disassembly. Alternatively, get excited and prop it up on a nail box and block of wood. That works too.
Your stripped Mini shell should now look great, ready for a quick respray and rebuild. This is the easy and fun part. It should only take a month or two, and be very inexpensive. Not.

Now strip!

The strip down begins, and doesn’t take long: it’s a Mini.
First, the interior. Half the carpet was already missing, but I think the floor is salvageable.
Rear subframe is out, and looking surprisingly solid, if a little dirty.
Next comes the engine bay.
 The brake booster bracket is distinctly home made- I’ll have to fix that. (Funny what seems important when you first start a project).
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The previous owner had added an expansion tank (a good idea) and mounted it in the driver’s side wheel arch, where you couldn’t get to it without unbolting it. Bizarre. So I’m fitting it in an equally bizarre but slightly more accessible place.
Our haul of spare parts included a right hand fuel tank, so we fitted it at this stage, just for the hell of it.

Keen eyed viewers will notice that the retaining strap is on the wrong side. I didn’t notice at the time, but I’m sure it’ll come back to haunt me.


Disk brakes were a nice surprise, but they’re going to need a bit of work.