11-30 July 2017: on the ground at last!

new front brakes

In the last two weeks of July, we finished the brakes and lowered Mini onto the floor.

On the 15th, Allen and I made progress on bleeding, but ran into an issue.

The weekend of 22-3 was very social, and on the 26, Brad and I made (mostly Brad) progress on the brakes: assembled and bled.

The 26th was local Brits, and we had great cars, for example:

classic British!

Allen and I mounted the wheels, but found the jack’s reservoir was empty.  I filled, and on Sunday 30 July, I pressured the tyres, and lowered the car to the floor, and torqued the wheels.

Next: drive!

New look wheels!

24 May – 10 July 2017: toward Mini Meet East!

Those were the days…

We began the final push to get Mini ready for MME, in Columbus, 29 June – 2 July 2017.

We installed new shoes and drums, front and rear, and a new master cylinder.

The big issue has been an oil leak.  We determined the cause was missing components in the drive shafts, ordered and installed the parts – Thanks Brad!

new minifins
old mamba wheels

One ascetic upgrade was the wheels: I painted them, and master craftsman Ed Mayer reworked the old dust covers – better than new!

We had a problem bleeding the brakes, and took Rhoda to MME.

Rhoda at MME
parking lot at Holiday Inn

I talked with old friends, including Roger Koch and Jack Baumqaurdner.



Jack Baumgardner’s race Mini
many Mini’s
rare Hornet

The panoramic picture was taken at a local airport, with some WWII planes in the background.

lined up
An AT-6
A great woodie!
at the end of the day…


Looking forward to a great summer!

5-23 May: Slow but steady Progress

new parts

We are working on 3 subsystems:

1)  rear brakes – new shoes and drums

2) front brakes – new shoes and drums

3) rear axle – new hubs and bearings

4) identify source of and remediate oil leak

The source of the oil leak appears to have been missing components in the Hardy-Spicer joints.  We have identified them.

new bearings
rear drums
rear hub
new hubs vs old

3 April – 4 May 2017: getting ready, scope creep…

art forms

(N.B.: “Scope creep” describes adding to a project after it starts, e.g., the ‘remodel the kitchen’ project becomes remodel the kitchen and replace the carpet and the drapes, and then redo the bathrooms… )

Having raised Mini onto the quickjacks, we set out to prepare for the 2017 Season, including:

o resolve and remediate pernicious oil leak

o replace front brakes and shoes to remediate out of round condition

o resolve braking issue which occurred on last run of 2016.

The latter was resolved when my son Allen and I found that the brake master cylinder did not displace any fluid when the pedal was moved: resolution is new master cylinder, now in place.

new master cylinder

Disassembling a drive shaft, we have found the cause of the leak: a missing washer and seal.  (Still no clear diagram of same.)  Parts to remediate are on order or in place. Kudos to super star Brad!

We had spacers and stud extenders in place on the rear drums, and when I found that there are drums available with the offset cast in and with long studs and screws, I decided to order them, with new wheel cylinders. (Scope creep.)

I removed rear drums and hubs, and after examining them and the bearings, I decided to get new – more scope creep.

rear hub, etc
drums, hubs, etc

I had purchased two unused Yokohama A008 165R70x10 tyres, and decided to start with new rubber on the car – bought two additional new – scope creep.  Got mounted at local tire store. ($$$$).  (On the way back from the store, the Beatles song “With a little help from my Friends…” came on …)

new tyres, old wheels

To put on road:

o finish rear brakes: fit shoes on LHS, wheel cylinder and shoes on RHS

o new long studs in new rear hubs, seals, bearings, mount hub, washer, new wheel nuts, tighten and torque

o finish LHS and RHS drive shafts

o put clean paper underneath car and fill engine with oil.

o reinstall sump guard

o fit front brake shoes and drums

o prelim adjust front and rear brakes

o check if oil stayed in engine

o bleed clutch

o bleed brakes

o check if oil stayed in engine

o mount wheels and pressure tyres

o brake adjustment

o lower car and torque wheels

o check fluids

o check if oil stayed in engine

o bring up oil pressure on starter motor

o roll car out-side

o place fire department on standby

o start and warm up

o first cruise (around the block: fair enough to verify, but close enough to push home)

o recheck for leaks

o set timing to 26/7 degrees total advance

o second test run

o recheck brake adjustment, leaks, etc

o invite neighbors over, and open Celebratory Fluids…

dreams of summer

and of old prom dates

hottest gal in our graduating class…

May the Fourth be with us!

And if problems occur, there is always YOGA with Katey!

on stage left…


23 March – 02 April 2017: out of hibernation!

Humility becomes me…

Today Allen came over and we moved Mini out of her cozy spot in a corner and into the general population.  The goals for the day were to move her and get her up on the quickjacks, remove the wheels, remove the sump guard, and investigate two issues: brakes and The Most Pernicious Oil Leak!

When I took Mini out for a drive in October, I felt the brake pedal suddenly ‘going down’ until it had no effect, and I drove back home very slowly, and stopped with the hand brake.

Although there is no indication of fluid leak, we inspected the reservoir, and it was drier than a WCTU convention.  We added fluid, but numerous pumps of the pedal produced no discernible pressure. Removed the hydraulic fitting from the top of the cylinder, but pumping the pedal did not force out any fluid…

Removing the sump guard, we were able to inspect under the car, looking for a source of the leak: from the flange where the drive shafts join the diff…

There is a milky, whites foam/goop around the rim of the flanges -picture of that

leaking here?

The quick jacks not only lift the car up quite high, but they provide a solid platform – thanks to Chuck Linick for the suggestion.

on the jacks…
sump guard off!
Allen skilfully manoeuvring quick jacks.
in the air…


I also did some organization on the shelves.

A bit more organization.

20 Jan – 22 Mar 2017 – winter lull…

A Mini in the streets

Our Mini has quietly waited in the garage while I plan for the summer.

Mini in winter

While waiting, I have obtained tools and parts, including: an impact wrench; a new drill motor; a polishing kit from Eastwood, with which I plan to polish metal bits such as under the bonnet; a new bleeding kit; a bench top drill press; some bits for Mini; and varied supplies.

A scene

In the shop, I have been organizing all of the fasteners, sorting and labelling the drawers.

side by side – garage
before reorg in shop

In addition, I obtained new rubber matting, for use in shop and garage.

new mats (on sale)

I have kept up with yoga:


And weight training:


We are going to redo the front brakes, but not lower the suspension any further…

Not I!

In the meanwhile, our loyal dog Babe is keeping on top of things…


We plan to bring Mini out of hibernation on 1 April- no fooling!

7-19 Jan 2017: On a Winter’s Day…

new Minifins
new Minifins

On a warm winter day in northeast Ohio, making plans for 2017:

Rich folks garage...
Smart folks garage…

(WARNING!: Those who adverse to planning may skip to Random Pictures, below…)


Mini Meet East Columbus, Ohio 29 June – 2 July

Shows at Solon (early May),  Ursuline(early August),  Shaker Square (late August).

(Perhaps Ft. Meigs, early June)

Lorain County British Car Club events, and other smaller, local events, such as Euro cars.

Put-in-Bay 27-29 August.

Preparation – Spring 2017:

Loosen wheels.

Up on quickjack.

Remove sump guard.

Inspect all hoses and lines – replace if necessary.

Remove wheels.

Clean under motor/transaxle.

Find cause of oil leak and repair.

Replace sump guard.

Remove old drums.

Bleed brakes and address issue with pedal  (fluid leak?).

Remove old and install new front brake shoes.

Prep new drums – de glaze, clean, polish, clear coat.

Install new drums.

Pre-adjust front brakes.

Adjust rear brakes and hand brake.

Lower to floor.

Repair turn signal.

Check fluids.

Torque wheels.

Adjust front brakes.

Set type pressures.

Attach battery charger.

Remove plugs, spray oil into cylinders, and turn over – 15-20 seconds – until oil pressure registers.

Clean and replace plugs.

Roll outside, and start up.

Bring up to temp, and test run – use brakes.

Check brake adjustment.

Prep – Pre Mini Meet East:

Collect and organize and pack spares, cleaning supplies, and tools.

Check ignition timing and valve lash, tyres and fluids.

Clean – detail.

Drive to Loco Brits meeting 28 June, if weather permits.

Leave 29 June for Columbus in Mini with support vehicle.

Random Pictures collected from FaceBook:

A gem!
A gem!
You choose!
You choose!

Non-Random Pictures:

The In Crowd
The In Crowd
Engineers and British Car persons...
Engineers and British Car persons…
Sharing our lives...
Sharing our lives…

Above Three Photographs are from LocoBrits holiday party…

2 Nov – 2 Dec 2016 – a lovely surprise!

from Mini World Jan 2017
from Mini World Jan 2017

Today Mini World arrived in the post from Great Britain.

On Page 22 was an article about our family – I had sent information to the editor, who brilliantly titled it “Survivors”.

There are three survivors here: Sharon survived cancer; Babe survived as an abandoned dog; and Mini has survived when many of her siblings have not.

The common thread: love…

(N.B.: Speaking of BMW’s and Minis, it might be noted that we have a BMW MINI – 2015 Cooper S Roadster – in the garage.)

Rhoda after detailing