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Austin Mini Rebuild

Checking the Extent of the Rust

With the Rotating Jig working, it was a lot easier to see what work would be needed under the mini. Large areas of the floor at first looked pretty solid, but its not really a good assumption to make whilst they are hidden under a layer of underseal. Also the notorious cover sills are no doubt hiding a nightmare of rot and rust.

Under the wheel arches the inner wing/bulkhead was rotten below the windscreen scuttle and the door hinge post had also got signs of a previous botched repair.

Austin Mini City first look at the floor. Austin Mini City corrosion on inner wing/bulkhead around the windscreen scuttle.

The wing needed to be replaced so that came off to see how much was needed on the inner wing/bulkhead area. It came off a lot easier than expected because the A-panel had previously been replaced and was only held on to the body with a tack-weld at the top and bottom. The front panel had also been replaced at some point and that only had three tacks on teh flange between it and the wing and only one of the tacks on the bracket to the inner wing was holding. The front panel will be coming off at some point soon. The only places holding with any strength was the original spot-welds along the bonnet rebate.

It did expose the extent of the rot below the windscreen scuttle and door pillar. Luckily there are repair panels available for most of what needs replacing.

Austin Mini City first look at the floor. Austin Mini City corrosion on inner wing/bulkhead around the windscreen scuttle. Austin Mini City corrosion on inner wing/bulkhead around the windscreen scuttle.

Before the cover sill came off, I added some bracing to the door opening and floor cross member. With the cover sill removed it revealed the enormous amount of rust underneath.

From the front of the sill to the jacking point there was almost no original steel, I don't think it was removed when the cover sill was fitted because I removed a quarter of a bucket of rust flakes.

Austin Mini City Cover Sill Removed. Austin Mini City Cover Sill Removed.

At the back of the sill the Rear subframe mount had been previously "repaired" with the lower mounting nut being replaced by a new nut held with the smallest of tacks. Luckily the top bolt was holding firm, to the point it snapped off whilst I was removing it.

The next process was to remove the underseal.

Austin Mini City Cover Sill Removed. Austin Mini City Cover Sill Removed.

Besides the major corrosion in the front foot-well and on the sills the floors also had some corrosion around the rear drain holes and subframe mounts and on the near side the centre of the floor below the floors cross member was also corroded through. I decided I would first concentrate on getting the bottom of the car sound so the first part of this would be the just the floors and sills.

The boot floor and bulkhead also need a lot of attention before I start to look at the visible outer bodywork. All these will be sorted after the floors and sills are finished.

I had a shop around on the internet and decided to buy the panels from M-Machine, partly because they were competitively priced and also because on a few Youtube videos of sill and floor replacements they had indicated they hadn't had problems fitting them.

I purchased left and right floor panels with the outer sills already fitted as these were cheaper than buying both the extended sill assembly past the floor first grove and the front foot-well repair panel. I also got new door steps, the heel board subframe mount repair panels, the door hinge panels including the inner wing repair section and the windscreen scuttle corner repair panels.

It would be a couple of weeks before the panels arrived as some of them are made to order. I continue with fitting the floors on page 4.

Page 4 The floor and sills >>>