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Mini Updates
 
Here's all of the changes/fixes that have been done to the mini now it is on the road.
 
10 Miles - Water Leak
 
Water coolant pipe to the EACV valve has a pin hole split, only when at working temp and the engine is running a thin jet of water squirts out of the hole, the water was getting into the car from behind the dash, took a while to figure out were it was coming from.
 
80 miles - Understeer
 
No grip when cornering (understeer), tweaked the suspension settings but think it is the crappy Camac tyres (185/55r13) that were on the wheels when I got them, as the tyres have loads of tread left on them I don't want to change them yet.
Tried some different tyre pressures and found 28psi seems to work best.
 
120 Miles - Speedo
 
The sensor for the bike speedo has come loose and speedo is working intermittently, easy fix to sort it out.
 
200 Miles - Water Leak
 
Mini is leaving a small pool of water under the rad when parked up, turned out to be the rad drain plug 'o' ring semi crushed.
 
400 Miles - Knocking Noise
 
Knockin noise when pulling away, checked all mounting nuts and bolts and found the rear gearbox mount loose.
 
500 Miles - Soundproofing
 
Went to South West Mini Show, quiet a long journey show up how noisy the mini is
Most of the racket seemed to be coming from the rear (exhaust drone) so I have sound proofed under the rear seats and parcel shelf with flashing tape and sound deadning sponge.
Once the back was done this showed up the noise from the front whaich has now also been done.
 
1000 Miles - Weighbridge
 
Went out to get some prices for paving slabs and found the builders merchant had a weighbridge, so the mini went straight on and came in at 780Kg.
 
1200 Miles - LMA's
 
The engine has rattle since it first started (the engine seller Conveniently forgot to mention this), worse when cold but still noticable when hot, did some research and identified the Lost Motion Assembly (LMA's) as the problem.
Eight LMA's (Pt No 14820 P30 010)are needed and they cost £37 + vat each, a grand total of £350 :-(
Searching around the Honda forums I came acros a thread about using H22a engine LMA's (Pt No 14820 PCB 003) as they are only £8 + vat each.
It seems they are 40 thou shorter than B16 LMA's and a washer can be put under them to bring them back up to the correct hight.
Browsing e-bay one day I came across some new in the packet H22a LMA's, I bid and got them for £20 :-)
Used some 1mm washers and they fitted fine, no more rattles :-)
 
LMA's     Cams Off     Head & LMA
 
1250 Miles - Airbox
 
Using a cone air filter the induction noise is very loud, Decided to try a std CRX VTEC airbox to see what difference it makes.
E-bay again and I got an airbox with K&N replacement panal filter for £10, the box had been drilled for performance on both sodes of the filter !!!
I fibre glassed the holes up and cleaned and oiled the K&N.
The airbox definately made things quiter, bit boring when VTEC engages as it is not so pronounced but for general driving it is good.
Most of the Honda people seen to think on a std engine this is a better option (for performance) that using a cone filter.
 
CRX Airbox     CRX Airbox
 
1325 Miles - Exhaust Blow
 
Exhaust blow on the manifold joint were the 4 pipes meet 2 pipes, I have tightened this joint before and it is loose again.
Took the manifold off and the thread on the studs is semi stripped.
Honda rip-off as usual, £30 for parts, 3 x studs (90065 PG6 000), 3 x nuts (90212 SA5 003), 2 x exhaust gasket rings (18212 SB2 961)
Fixed the problem though nice and quiet now :-)
 
1325 Miles - Creaking Front Suspension
 
The front suspension has been creaking on and off since the mini went on the road.
I had a good idea what is was and finally got around to sorting it out.
The front coil spring covers are rubbing on the springs, a bit of hammer work on the covers and some copper grease to ease any rubbing seems to have sorted it.
 
Spring     Spring cover
 
1325 Miles - Fuel Gauge
 
The gauge never seems to read totally full and it seems to drop of very quickly to empty once past the half way mark.
I ran the mini until the gauge was on the empty mark, took out the tank and drain the remaining fuel, 1.5 gallons was still in it.
I bent the sender arm so that the gauge is a bit more realistic, when on empty mark it has about 3/4 gallon left.
 
1450 Miles - Polish Front End
 
My good friend Darron cut and polished the front of the mini with his buffer, it has got rid of some of the dust in the paint and made the finish look much flatter and shiney.
 
1700 Miles - More Soundproofing
 
Decided I wanted to try and make the mini a bit quieter, I have put steel plates over the hole behind the speedo and removed the side air vents and plated over the holes.
Brought a bulk pack of dynamat extreme (did not cover as much of the mini as I expected) and I have some soundproofing material from a previous project which I shall also use.
 
Dynamat fitted     Dynamat fitted     Dynamat fitted     Dynamat fitted
 
1700 Miles - Security & Interior
 
Added central locking, made up some door cards and installed more security features.
 
Central locking fitted     Door Cards
 
3000 Miles - Major Inspection
 
Gave the mini a good inspection/check, only problem discovered was a leaking rear coilover but as I want to replace the Spax coilovers I was not to unhappy with this.
 
April 2007 - Suspension
 
Made 3 changes to the suspension:

1. Finally got around to changing the front bottom balljoints for Rover Metro GTI ones, these have more camber/caster than the std Rover Metro ones that were fitted, definately gives more self centering when cornering.
2. At the same time I sorted out the rear suspension angles, o/s/r wheel has always had slight positive camber and 0 toe so I filed out the radius arm brackets to allow more adjustment and set the angles again, now running: Front 1mm toe out, Rear 3mm toe in and a fraction of negative camber.
3. Set the corner weights, being tight I brought 10 sets of bathroom scales (10 x £2.99 = £29.99) and used them, 2 for each back wheel and 3 for each front wheel, I was not looking for perfection but just to get it roughtly right, lots of faffing around getting it set up but got there in the end.
 
Mini on scales     Close up Mini N/S wheel on scales     Weights on drivers seat to simulate driver
 
May 2007 - New Tyres
 
Up till now have been using the tyres that came with the secondhand wheels, I can say without a doubt that Camac tyres are terrible, hardly any grip in the dry and no grip at all in the wet to the point of being dangerous.
Ended up going for the same size tyres (185/55/13) as I wanted to keep the same rolling diameter without the expense of moving up to 14" wheels, due to the unusual size there was very little choice for tyres but having read about Toyo R810 tyres on the Metro Power forum I went for them, £150 for 4 from mytyres.

Done 400 miles on the new tyres and they are 10x better than the Camac's, very little understeer now even when really pushing it :-)

 
September 2007 - Engine Torque Damper
 
When accelerating hard I sometimes have trouble selecting 2nd gear, not sure if it is the gearbox or the engine/gearbox moving around under full power so I decided that the cheap option was to try an engine torque damper to see if it helps before thinking about replacing the gearbox, the damper cost £59.95.

UPDATE 29/10/07 -
No missed gears when at the strip so it seems to have sorted the missed gear problem :-)
 
engine damper     engine damper
 
September 2007 - Front Dampers
 
Had a strange knocking noise coming from the front N/S, thought it was a CV joint but they appear ok, took a while to find the problem, ended up removing the front dampers so that the front could be given a good bounce to try and find the noise, surprise surprise the noise had gone, holding the damper and sharply trying to move it up and down revealed a metalic knocking noise.
Not very impressed with Spax, the rear coilovers leaked after 3000 miles and now the fronts have also gone U/S, I have been impressed with the rear GAZ coilovers (miles better than the Spax ones, improvement in ride and handling) so I brought GAZ adjustable front dampers, the GAZ ones just give the impression of being more 'chuncky', they appear to be bigger in diameter and just feel more substantial.

UPDATE 29/10/07 -
The GAZ are definately better than the previous Spax, I need to try out a few more different settings but so far they are giving a better ride and the handling is fine.

UPDATE 26/09/08 -
The GAZ front dampers are now also starting to play up, a squeeking noise from the front end prompted investigation and the front dampers found to be the cause, on anything less than 16 clicks out on the adjustment the dampers are nearly solid and the noise occurs, I have purchased some second hand AVO's to replace the front GAZ.
 
September 2007 - ECU Chip
 
When I was building the mini I brought a spare ECU and had it socketed so that different chips could be fitted, finally got around to getting a chip sorted out for it. Clanny on the CRX Forum sorted me out with a chip that has been developed for use with the B16a1 with induction/exhaust mods, the fuel and advance has been tweaked and the VTEC engages at 4800, the power out of VTEC feels much stronger and VTEC engages smoothly rather than with a kick as it did before.
 
ECU Chip installed
 
September 2007 - Cold Air Intake
 
The air box intake has always pointed into the front o/s wheels arch, finally got a round to extending the intake to the front of the mini so that it has nice cold air rammed into it rather than sucking warm air from the wheel well.
 
Cold air intake side view     Cold air intake front view     Cold air intake front view
 
October 2007 - Rear Anti-Roll Bar
 
Minispares road rear anti-roll bar, difficult to fit as the mini does not have a full rear subframe so had to make up mounting brackets, also the bar when fitted was not wide enough (see pictures) so I had to cut and bend the links to make up the gap !

UPDATE 12/10/07 -
the N/S ARB link has been hitting the damper adjuster knob, I've ground the edge of the link and filed the mounting bush to make the link sit further away from the damper knob, will need to keep an eye on this as the adjuster knob is harder to turn now, hope it has not damaged the adjuster internally :-(

UPDATE 29/10/07 -
Definately like the way the mini drives now, can run the rear suspension very soft and still control the body roll, apart from the smooth ride the biggest noticable difference is the way the mini now turns into a corner, it feels much more direct/tight for want of a better word.
 
Rear ARB being fitted     Rear ARB being fitted     Rear ARB fitted     Rear ARB fitted     Rear ARB fitted
 
October 2007 - Exhaust Manifold
 
Brought a 2nd hand B18c4 exhaust manifold as I was under the impression it would fit onto my B16a1 downpipes but it did not, the mounting studs are about 1/2 inch out and this also makes me think the actual pipes will also be mis-aligned so I shelved that idea.

As I had already brought some exhaust heat wrap I decided to wrap the original B16a1 manifold, this was not as easy as it sounded as the manifold is cast iron and it does not have any gaps between the pipes for the wrap to go between, also the mounting points for the original heat shield also get in the way, well an afternoon with the angle grinder sorted this out but made one hell of a mess in the garage !
As I had so much exhaust wrap (100ft) I also wrapped the downpipes, I sprayed the manifold and downpipes with heat resistant paint before and after the wrap was fitted in the hope it helps to keep it looking tidy for longer.
I don't expect any performance benefits but it certainly looks better :-)
 
original exhaust manifold before wrapping     original exhaust manifold heat wrapped