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.
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.
Cardboard and duct tape template…
Transfer to steel…
Spot weld into place.
The wheels have been powder coated, and new tyres fitted. Oil trapped in the seam between the hub and wheel rim gave the powder coater some grief, he had 3 tries before he was happy with the finish.
The roof is always a rust spot on a Mini, with condensation rotting the seams from the inside out.
The drip rails are notorious water traps.
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.
Brian is looking a bit perturbed by now, and rightly so.
One inner wing repaired, it was time to replace the subframe so we have some mounting points for the new grille panel…
Bolted on, everything seems square again, now for the new inner wing to bridge the gap.
Done. And the bonnet even fits properly. Well, close enough for now, at least.