The first order of business was to bond with the Mini by taking inventory. Broken window? Check. Dented door? Check. MCS engine in the engine bay, held in by rope and some chain? Check. However, the basic car wasn’t in too bad condition. The interior smelled funky, but was all there. (It was later determined the torrential rains during the transport made it through the broken window and into the carpet.) The door dent wasn’t so bad. The Union Jack on the roof, although faded, was pretty cool. If things went poorly, the car could probably be parted out for a small profit, or so your author told his wife. The goal of repairing the Mini for budget transportation seemed obvious. The real goal was to sell off all the unused stuff and recover as much of the investment as possible.
The Cooper motor, sure enough, had a crankshaft ready for the dumpster. The #1 connecting rod and piston were also suspect and couldn’t be saved. The head and block however, were in good condition. Most of the parts looked to be there. Also, the original Cooper 5 speed transmission was included and looked quite nice, since the car only had 36,000 miles on the odometer when things went south. The next order of business was to tear down the MCS ‘junkyard’ engine and transmission, which both displayed the distinct signs of having been rallied off into the red clay woods of someplace like Alabama or Georgia.
The Getrag injuries included a broken stub of a CV axle still in the carrier, a hole in the aluminum case near the broken stub from the flailing shaft, a broken clutch slave cylinder mount and a damaged case bolt hole. Other than that, nothing serious…
With some judicious searching online for used parts, a John Cooper Works LSD was located and installed, since the tranny was apart anyway.
Since buying a salvage motor would be entirely too easy, your author calculated the most difficult and obscure route would be to assemble an engine from the available parts. After signing up on the prominent Mini freak forums, the question asked was: Is it possible to use a Cooper S crankshaft and rods in a Cooper engine?
The answers came back quick. “Bad idea because of…” but one professional Mini nut not only said it was do-able but that he’d done several and it worked pretty well. He was immediately chosen to do business with. Nice, patient guy too. Custom CP pistons were ordered, the MCS head and Cooper block was sent to the machine shop and a month later, the engine parts were all back in the shop. In only two evenings, it went back together without a hitch. Sort of.
Cooper crank pulleys don’t fit on Cooper S cranks. They’re .5mm too big. A new Ati pulley was ordered so as not to slow progress.
The engine went back in the car with little drama. The 6 speed transmission was more of a tricky fit but it too went in without major injury. Once the engine and transmission were back in, things went relatively quickly, especially considering the author had no clue how things came apart. The Germans are smart like that, as most parts could only fit one way. Plus, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! Pictures from the manual were indispensable.