Archive for April, 2009

susan and jack

“We must keep this a secret, Jack. No one can ever know about us… the lunches, the mini sirloin burgers… my husband is already starting to suspect…”


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The crankshaft is at the machine shop, and should be done in a couple of days. Here is how it looked before. They will clean up all the bearing surfaces to be shiny new and even had the correct undersized bearings we need in stock for a good price. That was crazy. It’s not like some goofball with a broken Mini Cooper walks into this place everyday needing some work done. Or maybe they do.

Not only that, but while I was talking to the guy at the desk, someone else from the shop walked behind him and said: “Oh, Mini Cooper?”

It took him less than two seconds to know what car this part came out of. I’ve been working on this car for a couple of months straight and even I wouldn’t recognize it that quickly. So I am pretty confident they know what they’re doing.

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wheel restoration

We interrupt the Mini blog to update another project, restoring some very difficult to find 17-inch BBS LM wheels:

So far, I’ve got the lips polished and the centers out. Then it will be time to finish stripping the old paint and repainting them in BMW Nogaro Silver. I even made custom centercaps. Stay tuned, collecting and cleaning up BBS wheels is a hobby of mine, and they will pop up on here from time to time in between Mini posts and nonsense posts.

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air con!

This guy has nothing to worry about when summer comes.

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San Framcisco!!

We found this guidebook at the library. It has great trip destinations like the Molden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Scarf.

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Dear John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston,

We took your celebrity hybrid nickname! And we got the license plate to prove it. Take that!! But that’s mean because I think you already broke up. Now you have to go back to Owen Wilson and be Ownifer. Or Jenwen. Neither of which sound very cool.

Now Jalika and Mandrew have to get theirs. Dooo eeet!!

Maybe that’s why Lizzie looks sad. She feels for you.

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the main frame

Now the engine is nearly completely apart. You can see the main bearings and lifters are badly pitted. It probably needs new camshaft bearings as well, but it can all be fixed.

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It was nice and warm outside today, so I unbolted the connecting rods and removed the pistons. The bearings on piston #1 are spun and gone. The other three are just really worn out.

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While driving through Belmont Shore last weekend, we saw this Mini at one of the houses nearby. Maybe one day, it will be our Mini’s neighbor?

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After using my superhuman strength to rotate the engine upside down with one hand while loosening and tightening the set screw on the engine stand with the other hand, I took the transmission off today and was able to expose the bottom end to find the bad connecting rod bearing on #1. It is pretty obvious that the bearing has just packed up and moved on to engine heaven because there is about 3-4 mm of play.

And here’s what the inside of the gearbox looks like. The gears look like they’re in pretty good shape, but whoever assembled the engine last time didn’t put the O-ring between the engine block and gearbox, and that’s why there was so much oil leaking everywhere. It would probably also explain why the bearing digested itself since all the oil that was supposed to keep it lubricated went all over the outside of the engine and the gearbox and under the car and onto the road, etc, etc…

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