View Full Version : New mini drive.

03-17-2008, 12:33 PM
I got a few details on the "new" 72 NZ mini sorted out on Saturday :hammer: , then took it for a short spin. It has the almighty 850cc engine, so we had to compare it to the 998 Elf and the 1275 Elf. This was also my first real drive in a car with dry suspension. Performance of the 850 is pretty underwhelming. I do think that acceleration is better than my Morris Minor Traveller that had a 948 in it. It handles nice. The ride is firm, but not uncomfortable. It will make a nice ride for in town. After the drive, I decided the valves were a little noisy, so I popped the valve cover off to adjust them. I don't know how long it has been since this car had an oil change, but the sludge build up is AWFUL :pukeface: . There will be several oil changes in the next few months, with the most powerful detergent oil I can find. Transmission seems good, but I think cleaning it up inside will help too.
I think there are many adventures to be had in this fun little buggy :banana:

03-17-2008, 04:13 PM
I have had good success using a product like Gunk Engine Flush for removing sludge and build up. I have heard from some not to use it but my experiences have been positive.

03-17-2008, 04:23 PM
My Mini has the 850 as well. Most would recommend a transplant for better performance. My car has retained it's original components for this long so I am wanting to keep it that way. I am interested in performance improvements for the 850 though. Anybody have any input? :smile:

03-18-2008, 12:13 AM
Tinkerbell will be strictly an off-the-interstate car, mostly around town. The super-duper Elf with the 998 is the highway cruiser. And Peter, if you think your 850 is anemic where you are, you should drive one at 5000+ feet of altitude! I'm not sure we will ever get her up Trail Ridge Road (12183 feet), but I may try! After I de-gunk the engine.

03-18-2008, 07:18 AM
I have used Gunk also. I've also been warned about flushing stuff that might break loose and float through the lubrication system. Maybe I'm naive but I use the stuff periodically anyway to break down and remove the deposits. I change oil frequently enough that as long as the deposits aren't so large that they plug oil feed holes they will be removed during filter changes.

I drove an 850 once but only for about 1/2 mile. The one I drove needed a tune-up. I told the would-be buyer (who wanted it for a daily driver) that this may not be the best choice for him as he was a highway commuter. My 1275 is powerful enough but I don't like how loud it is on the highway (4k RPM at 65 MPH). My Mini remains my weekend errand car much like it sounds like Tinkerbell will be.

I'm glad it's all pulling together so quickly Bruce. Enjoy!

03-18-2008, 09:54 AM
I'm not sure we will ever get her up Trail Ridge Road (12183 feet), but I may try! After I de-gunk the engine.

Cliff, Your welcome to try when the BMCNC makes our annual pilgrimage over the top on opening weekend. Plenty of support that way. Also gives you a couple of months to get it all sorted out.

Also... Feel like testing it out in our 'Economy Tour' on the 29th of this month?

03-18-2008, 11:31 AM
I am proud of my car, it holds it's own on the expressways around here......as long as I leave yesterday to get there tomorrow!! LOL

I did a driving event last spring with the MINI club and a couple of their members were kind enough to stay back with me to make sure I didn't get lost along the way.

I drive my car everywhere season permitting. I had some engine woes last fall so it is sidelined for the moment. Since it will be apart, now is the time to make improvements. I found a reference to an article "back in the day" about 850 improvements but that was all I could find. If anyone has anything or can direct me, that would be appreciated.

Hmmm.....maybe I can become the 850 Guru here...... :smile:

03-21-2008, 09:35 PM
My 1275 is powerful enough but I don't like how loud it is on the highway (4k RPM at 65 MPH).

My 1275 Elf has the same noise issue. I suppose the cracked exhaust and 10"s don't help very much. I would like to find an overdrive transmission in the future, but for now I can stick with the MGB for highway driving.

03-22-2008, 09:29 AM
An old acquaintance of mine called his Midget his "200 mile car" and his MGB his "500 mile car". This was a reference to how far he could stand to drive them. While I like the MGB (first LBC I ever worked on) I'm not sure I'd even enjoy that car for 500 miles at a time.

Regarding the OD transmission, there really isn't a direct way of doing this on the Mini. There are two workarounds I know of. Back in the day you could order aftermarket drop gear sets to go between the crank and the gearbox. These effectively created an overdrive, but it affected all the gears. The good thing about these drop gears was/is that you did not have to worry about changing the speedometer calibration.

The other method of changing the engine speed on the highway was to fit a different final drive to the gearbox. People still do this but finding the shorter final drives is not easy and when they become available they are not cheap. (I suspect your Elf has a 3.44 final drive like my Mini. You'd want something closer to a 3.1 final drive). Fitting a different final drive also requires either different speedometer drive gears, a ratio box, or a different speedometer as the calibration of the speedometer is affected.

03-22-2008, 03:41 PM
Having driven Kensai's MGB, I'm not sure it would be my first choice for a 500 mile car. It has a very "free flowing" exhaust system. A glass pack and no resonater. It does sing though. With that said, I did do a one way, 650 mile trip in a stock 1965 Spitfire as well as a 2500 mile trip in a 71 MGB. His 1275 elf seems to have more high speed vibration in the engine than my 998 elf. Maybe something to do with the shorter stroke. My elf is very smooth at highway speeds. When we dig in to the 1275, possibly later this year, I think the engine should get balanced.
The immediate project will be to get the mighty Mini 850 on the road. I got the paperwork today, so I don't think it is too far off.

03-22-2008, 05:32 PM
Ok you guys! All this talk about driving is making me itch and I don't think penicilin or an ointment will cure it!! LOL We had 3-6 inches of snow here yesterday!!! Combine that with the sick engine in my Mini - either heaq gasket or head - and I am going nowhere soon!! :frown:

03-27-2008, 11:01 AM
I had a 12G295 head, headers and double carbs on my 850. I drove OK, but I kept it to city driving only. The mods probably raised the HP from 34 to 40 ie: break-neck speeds!