Little bits.

There are so many small parts that need to be cleaned up that building a blasting cabinet was the only sensible solution. Honest.

IMG_20120901_173501 IMG_20120901_173509

With a quick and easy way to clean up parts and ensure paint would stick to them, we made lots of progress.

IMG_20120904_180521 IMG_20120904_180531 IMG_20120904_180445 IMG_20120905_213800

Even the brake callipers had the treatment. Since we’re fitting new stainless pistons and seals, the old ones can stay in place to protect the machined surfaced from garnet.  A coat of 3M brake caliper paint and a bake in the oven should keep them looking good.

IMG_20120903_183726 IMG_20120903_183704 IMG_20120904_152916

Zinc plating- easier than you might think.

With so many old fasteners and mechanical components, buying new or having them refurbished was going to be expensive. A bit of research and I decided to give electroplating a go- it turns out to be really very easy. First I had a test run:

IMG_20120830_125444 IMG_20120830_125427 IMG_20120830_125752

Wire brush all the corrosion off and make the items shiny- the electroplating won’t hide anything, it’ll just protect it.

IMG_20120830_130115

Zinc blocks from the marine supply store are wired to the positive lead…

IMG_20120830_130613

…items to be plated to the negative.

IMG_20120830_133024

For the test run I used a 12 volt battery charger as a power supply. The voltage is too high, ideally you want as low a voltage as possible to reduce the amount of hydrogen produced.

IMG_20120830_141619

I was pleased with the results.

IMG_20120830_181808

The test run completed, I went and bought a vegetable steamer to convert into a more permanent plating bath.

IMG_20120830_181813

The electrolyte is white vinegar, epsom salts, and white sugar. The vinegar and epsom salts act as electrolyte, the sugar makes the plating more even. (Sugar is attracted to areas with higher conductivity, inhibiting the plating process in those areas.)

IMG_20120830_183135IMG_20120831_173401

Alligator clips to hold the nuts and bolts.

IMG_20120830_183117

I’m now using a computer power supply, providing 5 volts. There’s much less fizzing, the plating is quicker and more even.

IMG_20120831_173401 IMG_20120831_173410

Plated items come out with a porous grey surface, but buffing them with a soft brass brush reveals the shiny zinc beneath.

IMG_20120831_173621

This is the clutch cover (AKA the wok) and linkages, all bright and shiny.

IMG_20120831_182516 IMG_20120831_182810

Scuttle!

The corners of the windscreen scuttle were typically rusty, so we ordered a couple of non-genuine repair panels. The quality of the repair panels was… disappointing. Here’s a picture that’s worth 1000 words (most of them curses).

IMG_20120824_121546

I ended up using the bare minimum of the repair panel, but even that needed modification.
IMG_20120823_194616 IMG_20120823_200746

Early Minis had a panel that protected the hinge mounts from road spray. It seems like a sensible idea, so I made my own version.

IMG_20120824_203540 IMG_20120824_203550

Seat back repair

More poorly- disguised horror lurking in the rear seat back. The brushed-on underseal is a clue that this was a less than conscientious repair.
IMG_3141 IMG_20120810_162702 IMG_20120810_162652
This area contributes to the lateral stiffness of a Mini’s shell, so needs to be strong. More welding!

IMG_20120813_190954

IMG_20120819_165613

IMG_20120819_165605

In hindsight, I really should have just replaced the entire boot floor/seat pan. This is why you have the shell stripped before commencing repairs.