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Birdman's Back To Front XE Build

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  • Birdman's Back To Front XE Build

    Thought I had better take the plunge and start a build diary, otherwise It would hard to get advice when needed. In my mind this is going to be a bit of a backwards build. I'll explain - Allready have a 20xe 16v GTE engine and F20 in a homemade frame, basically the whole front end package. I am going to try to install this in my mini, having had enough of "A series" 1380's. I bought a car this summer which had been converted to XE power, but it was really an abandoned project as the shell wasn't really worth continuing with. The car ran fine and used the standard Motronic 2.5 Management, but the front of the car's bodywork was non existant, as was the suspension. My challenge is to sort out various problems and to cram it all in under a standard metal round nose front end.
    Attached Files
    Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
    (use Irish accent)

  • #2
    That's the shell that everything is going into as I'm not that loving bodywork / spray work. The car has only done 11K miles from new and most of that was track days and 1/4 mile runs, but having had an Astra GSI before I know that the XE Engine is the way to go. Luckily I sold most of the parts from my 1380 and raised £1900!! The donor car set me back £1k and I have bought some bargains on Ebay along the way. Some pics of the mechanicals:
    Attached Files
    Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
    (use Irish accent)

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    • #3
      I have no doubt that it is going to be very tricky getting everything to fit in the engine bay, without removing the front of the car. I plan to offer up the engine and frame to the body this weekend and see the problems and issues. I cant really complain about the frame as it is build like a brick mango house and the welding is very good. I do think however that I will need to make changes to it front and back, in order to retain the standard metal front end look. Some more pics:
      Attached Files
      Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
      (use Irish accent)

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      • #4
        I quickly discovered that the car didn't really have suspension - just shock absorbers, so I acquired some Leda adjustable coil overs from a Lotus, that I am going to try to use. I think that I will most probably fabricate some top mounts for these to the frame itself rather than the body. All parts have come from Ebay.KAD Brakes were from a Z cars Hayabusa project (ebay) and various other parts icluding a stainess Scorpion exhaust, Group N Courtenay Sport chip.
        Attached Files
        Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
        (use Irish accent)

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        • #5
          I plan to get everything, at least temporarily installed in December, with a view to taking it out and then fabricating a new bulkhead and sorting out any other issues.Here are some more pics:
          Attached Files
          Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
          (use Irish accent)

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          • #6
            Have had the Astra GTE 16v LCD clocks all working and have fitted them to standard mini Mayfair 3 clock surround. Looked good when installed, but forgot to take pictures - sorry. Also got the most light weight rear beam off of Ebay and will see what can be done with that.
            Attached Files
            Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
            (use Irish accent)

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            • #7
              I'm sticking quite a few photos on now, because depending upon the result of offering the mechanicals to the body this weekend, things may be radically changed. Any observations and advice appreciated... The frame is made from 40mm x 40mm with 4mm wall thickness, I'm thinking this with be stong enough for a C20LET in the future. Fuel tank has been modified for injection with return line etc.
              Attached Files
              Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
              (use Irish accent)

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              • #8
                Wheels on the car are 6 x 13 Revolutions. Modded Pedal box is done along with gear shift. Going to try and run the late servo for braking with a bar to the other side of the bulkhead or failing that a remote servo system. Last piture is of a mock up for proposed coilover top mount. That's all for now folks, this typing is more tiring that working on the car...
                Attached Files
                Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                (use Irish accent)

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                • #9
                  Onwards and upwards. Equipped with a medium sized hangover it was time to offer the engine, gearbox and frame up to the car. I never really thought it would all go in from underneath, but the mini subframe had to come out anyway and it proved to be a good way of seeing how little room there will be. Pictures of mini doing a big wheelie, whilst I discovered that a 20XE makes a very stylish coffee table.. Engine bay has had a good oiling from my 1380 engine, but it's a fairly good rust inhibitor. Rack boot was knackered. I hope that scaffold board holds out. Back end of car is slammed to the ground.
                  Attached Files
                  Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                  (use Irish accent)

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                  • #10
                    I don't know about you, but the monster truck front end look is growing on me. Managed to roll the mechanicals under the body. Measured a lot with tape measure, panicked a bit and then allowed for the silly angle that the car is at. Outcome is that the engine and box needs to be seperated from the frame. Frame in from bottom and any cutting and welding done to allow this. Then Engine and gearbox in from above - hopefully when car is back on the ground again, as I'm going to run out of headroom otherwise.
                    Attached Files
                    Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                    (use Irish accent)

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                    • #11
                      OK , so I wasn't lying about the lack of room up front. Having worked out this I moved the block and tackle and hoisted the engine, gearbox and frame into the air. Subframe is now seperated and so I gave it some more black paint. Was a doddle because the support arms are removable with bolts and the driveshafts can stay in situ with the gearbox. Pictures to follow of the frame, which is very strong, but about the same weight as a standard mini subframe. Going to try to install the subframe to the car next week / grind out any clearance / modify frame if necessary. All in all not a bad days work.
                      Attached Files
                      Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                      (use Irish accent)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nice one Birdman. Keep the pics coming

                        John
                        Originally posted by apbellamy
                        I've got 3 long studs in my hand.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the encouragement John. Have just been wrestling with the subframe to check clearances. I reckon it will all fit in - just, but I will need to get busy with the grinder this coming weekend. Need to work on the front valance area removing the strengthening where standard mini subframes bolt to the body. Also cut about an inch from the excess subframe box section at the front. Even then the angles involved are going to be difficult to squeeze it in. Having said that it is wedged in and hanging in place now, so not too bad and if the frame fits the engine and box will definitely fit. Thinking about adding a 4th engine mount to the rear now, but not sure if necessary. Will post up some more pics soon.
                          Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                          (use Irish accent)

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                          • #14
                            Right planning to do a fair bit this weekend, so it was off to the garage. Getting quite cold though. As the Mini is nearly 20 years old, I thought I had better go around with the camera a bit and see what I need to do. Boot seems good, but I need to swap tanks for the modified injection tank and remove the Facet pump. Inner wheel arches not too bad for a Rover shell.
                            Attached Files
                            Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                            (use Irish accent)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Front original Subframe to Body monuts need some grinder action. Basically they will have to go to squeeze in the front of the frame. Some pics of the Homemade Vauxhall frame, not quite located yet, but hanging on the car. Paint went a bit strange on the subframe and managed to crack the coil insulation when doing some sumo with the frame inside the engine bay. Car is still at a silly angle in the air.
                              Attached Files
                              Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
                              (use Irish accent)

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