Time for something fun. The Mini has 165/10 tyres which protrude slightly from the bodywork. Despite being that way from the factory (on genuine Cooper models, at least) some WOF inspectors can be a bit touchy about it. To avoid trouble down the line we might as well fit wheel arch flares. Wheel arch flares are cool.

IMG_20121019_193638 IMG_20121019_193740

Most flares are open underneath and can trap dirt and mud, as well as being vulnerable to damage. Australian Coopers had metal closing panels spot welded to the existing wheel arch lip- so that’s what I’m going to do.

IMG_20121020_122924 IMG_20121020_122929

Cardboard and duct tape template…

Transfer to steel…

Spot weld into place.



More roof rail rust. Ugh.

More gross rust on the other side drip rail. This time I took more photos. Lucky you!

IMG_20121019_115123 IMG_20121019_115130

Oh look, someone has “repaired” it before. What’s under that masterful application of filler and paint?

IMG_20121019_120149 IMG_20121019_120809
Not much. Off it comes!

IMG_20121019_121111 IMG_20121019_121116
Surprisingly few holes in the roof flange. A bit of weld will fix those right up…

IMG_20121019_123454 IMG_20121019_123500

The new drip rails are kind of generic and need a bit of shaping before being spot welded into place.

IMG_20121019_131156 IMG_20121019_140130 IMG_20121019_143531 IMG_20121019_143744 IMG_20121019_143757 IMG_20121019_143752


The roof is always a rust spot on a Mini, with condensation rotting the seams from the inside out.

IMG_20121014_174741 IMG_20121014_174748

The drip rails are notorious water traps.

IMG_20121019_143757 IMG_20121014_184752 IMG_20121014_184743 IMG_20121014_184711


The corners of the roof seem to suffer the most, but a bit of welding will have them sorted quickly.




While Brian was destroying the differential, I temporarily installed the new front wings. The drivers side went on just fine, but I struggled with the passenger side. Eventually it fit, and I stood back to admire my handiwork. Here’s what Rupert looked like:


I didn’t even take a picture. Instead, out came the measuring devices. Turns out Rupert has had a bit of an exciting life, and one of the inner wings is buckled. I could, I suppose, chase the dents around for days, or I could just buy a new inner wing. Also, the grille panel is a bit wonky, so that’s coming out as well.

IMG_20121001_133237 IMG_20121001_141948 IMG_20121001_142046

Brian is looking a bit perturbed by now, and rightly so.

IMG_20121001_144746 IMG_20121001_152505

One inner wing repaired, it was time to replace the subframe so we have some mounting points for the new grille panel…

IMG_20121001_154737 IMG_20121001_162254

Bolted on, everything seems square again, now for the new inner wing to bridge the gap.

IMG_20121001_164946 IMG_20121001_174802 IMG_20121007_161234 IMG_20121008_174904

Done. And the bonnet even fits properly. Well, close enough for now, at least.