[NTLK] Oil in Newton.. LOL

Andrei Chichak andrei at chichak.ca
Tue Jan 15 00:58:08 EST 2013

On 2013-January-12, at 3:15 PM, Larry Zasitko wrote:

> Ed,
> You would like my neighbour and myself and my son. Neighbour has a restored TR6 and a Midget and he has a Spitfire he is currently restoring. My son has 3 Midgets which he thinks he can make two good one out of. He also just bought a Opel GT. I have a 64 Mini that started off as an 850 Automatic, when that transmission failed and could not get parts I got another mini and took the transmission from it (the Magic Want style) then I did a bunch of work for a fellow and for pay I got a Cooper S shell and engine, all were in bits. Took almost a year to take the Cooper all apart, shell was garbage so I used the shell from my 850, everything Cooper S got reused. Engine I build using Vizard's book and once done I had it on a dyno, 110hp at the wheels. Goes really well until a couple years ago, my son borrowed it and had problems with the transmission (needle bearings fell apart) we just found another Tranny and in the spring we will take it all apart, a good friend of my sons is going to redo the A panels and redo the floor in the trunk and fix up all the other little rust spots then it will get repainted and put back together.
> Needless to say our driveways have lot of oil spots....

Larry, you'd like my car. It's a '62 Mini woody wagon. It started out as a magic wand 850, but the guy who I got it from had a big dope problem and weird plans. He removed the headliner (and threw it away) replacing it with bent hockey sticks to form a bit of a cathedral ceiling. The dash material was cut away and replaced with some 2x2s and plywood to make a dashboard. The gauges, now in the wrong place were rewired in yellow, every single wire was yellow. The rear bumper was a 2x6 with "Woody" burnt into it. I took the car apart and threw away a lot of crap.

Many years later, after a 998 with a 12G202 head that dropped a wrist pin circlip, then burnt a valve, I managed to get an ex-racing 1275 Cooper 'S engine and a pile of stuff in a garage sale. Now the beast is, for the second time, under rustoration for the last decade, but it does have the 'S disks, custom made 3 piece wheels, and all of the rest of the goodies (I even had a conversation with Vizard about my distributor one day, nice man). My latest project is to build a fuel injection and engine management system for it based on a Motorola/Freescale 68332, but my brother just picked up a Megasquirt that can handle the Mini's siamesed head and weird injection patterns. If life settles down we should be able to get it back on the dyno this winter.

My second car was an '83 Rabbit GTI. Badly built POS, but really fun to drive. It got hit way too many times and died on the front bumper of an old lady in a Tempo. My replacement '98/99 Golf stripper I call the zombie because it is completely soulless, but it won't die. Apparently the next model, 6 months later was a great car. DOH!

For highway work, our Volvo 850 wagon is … wonderful. Edmonton to Vancouver is just a long trip with one fuel stop, but quiet, comfortable, and no worries about having enough power to pass things. 5 speed manual and no turbos. We use it to pull our Trillium trailer (like a Boler or Surfside/ Casita) everywhere, it could probably have used a turbo for that.

A while back I was invited, by BMW, down to Race City in Calgary to try out some MINIs along with a Golf GTI, Audi 3, and Mazda 3 (and again with the Clubman, Golf, Volvo C30). Out of all of them, the Mazda was, by far, the worst. It felt and drove bigger than any of the others, even the larger Audi. It handled so badly that my co-driver managed to plow over some cones, whereas the other cars just danced around them. The auto was very fragile and we were asked not to use the manual shift flappy-paddle mode or we would damage it. The interior was cheap and gimmicky. Granted, this was before the happy face version came out, but I was really unimpressed. Then I found out that you could open the electric locks with a well placed door kick. Under engineered.

More later,
Andrei Chichak

'62 Morris Mini Traveller w/ 1275 'S engine
'97 Volvo 850 355,000 km
'99 VW Golf 123,000 km

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