Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Update!


Click here for a 3 minute video of the entire build.

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here so I figure an update is due.  I have been enjoying the mini with the VTEC installed and humming along.  I drove it with a friend half way across the state and over a few mountain passes in September of 2014, other than that I’ve been just buzzing around locally.  I have been getting 35-40 miles per gallon and those are some hard pushed miles too.  I figure if I’m easy on the loud peddle it would be around 45 mpg. 

Every year several hundred classic minis from all over the country will gather and have a week of fun at “Mini Meet West .  I’m looking forward to the autocross as you can imagine and this year the meet is up in Canada.  Fortunately for me, I live near Seattle so the trip will be only a few hours.  I’d rather be lucky than good!  I wonder how many Honda Civic powered minis there will be this year.

As for the car, I have a few things I want to do to it.  The drive belt which powers the alternator is rubbing ever so slightly on a bracket and is wearing out.  I’ll try to clearance the bracket just a touch.  I just pumped up the hydro suspension about half an inch to gain some clearance in the front.  I was rubbing tires a little when turning sharply.  I used the same water in a tube method to pump up the car that I did before.  You can see the pump I made out of pipe on the blog page titled “Hydrolastic Suspension Pump”  (December 2012).  I plan on installing a stereo and maybe take it to a dyno (or rolling road as you English call it).

I took the mini last summer to a 1/8 mile drag strip with some friends in their cars.  We were quite the crew going down the road with an old Chevy Nova on drag slicks, a rat-rod pickup and my Italian Mini.  We had a blast racing, learning the starting lights and watching some 1000 hp V8 powered cars thunder down the track.  The amount of $$ some of these people have stuck under their hood is just staggering.

On a side note, I was able to enjoy a 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo for a day and of course I needed to get a few pictures of that in the garage next to my mini.  The Lambo was crazy quick with a 0-60 mph time of just over 3 seconds.  That is the only car I’ve driven that can out accelerate my VTEC mini.  What a ride!  


  1. ive just took 2 hours to read the whole blog from beginning to the end.
    I F**ing love it! awesome build! Are you a mechanic, or do you just like to build things?
    Myself and I just have hand tools.. so no drill, welding machine or any of that stuff :(
    if I want to do the same thing, im gonna need some help of a garage tho?

    Greetings Jordy Hermes from the Netherlands!!

  2. Thank you for the kind comments of my blog! As you can see the engine swap was a bit more than just pulling one engine out and putting in another. However, if you have a good Mini to start with, most of the swap can be done with basic hand tools. You will need a space for a year or so to house the project and you will have the opportunity to purchase more tools! You will need a drill for sure and a welder is nice and not very expensive for a basic MIG. I will say I use my MIG all the time for all sorts of things. It has paid for itself many times over. I feel the hardest part is lifting the mini to remove and replace the engine. I used the rafters in my garage as the car without engine is quite light. Just go about it smart and get help when needed. Best of luck and I'm happy to help when you get started. Step one: budget and start buying parts...


Fell free to post any questions and I'll do my best to help you out with your project.