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Thread: Austin America conversion

  1. #1

    Austin America conversion

    A Mini "variant" I'm working on and have posted elsewhere
    But this is my new spot and hope to be rolling with some of the SoCal crew soon

  2. #2
    AA_driver
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    Austin America conversion

    A Mini "variant" I'm working on and have posted elsewhere
    But this is my new spot and hope to be rolling with some of the SoCal crew soon

  3. #3
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    Re: Austin America conversion

    Must be the straightest AA in the country!

  4. #4
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    Re: Austin America conversion

    Every time I see your car, I'm blown away! Love the color, stance, wheels, grill. And I don't even like AA's! I guess this isn't your dad's AA... or was it?
    -Todd

  5. #5

    Re: Austin America conversion

    No got it for free out of a backyard in LA
    steve
    got a text from George, he's working on my harness
    won't be long

  6. #6
    AA_driver
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    Re: Austin America conversion

    No got it for free out of a backyard in LA
    steve
    got a text from George, he's working on my harness
    won't be long

  7. #7
    Wiring is done(for now) and it's on the road so watch out
    stop if you see me broke down
    ;-)

  8. #8
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    congratrulations, hope to see it on some of the club outings. The Turkey run should be coming up real soon.....Santa Monica mountains.

  9. #9
    Steve
    not sure if it's quite ready for a long run yet,still working out some "issues".
    I really could use your help though.Sometime when you have some time I'd like you to look at some nagging suspension
    problems and get some input/ideas for improvements.I'm off work and home through the holiday

  10. #10
    also I'm in desperate need of rebuild kits for the front calipers.You think Graham would stock these?

  11. #11
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    Pretty busy week coming up, I need to find time to pick up a bunch of sub frames in San diego too....Graham should have the brake kits.

  12. #12
    Got a couple of things to work out
    The car is popping out of 5th gear
    I hope it's just a small linkage problem
    any ideas
    I was thinking the linkage might be just a tad long
    and not allowing it to pull all the way into 5th

    Steve
    got a suspension question I'd like to ask you

  13. #13
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    the rod length only determines the angle of the shift lever, unless the rod is so long that the shift lever is hitting the edge of the floor hole before making a complete gear shift. More likely the rod is hitting something under the car, preventing full engagement, especially if there is engine/frame movement, relative to the car body. last option would be tranny internal problems, like synchro hub wear or bent shift forks.
    What is your suspension question?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    the rod length only determines the angle of the shift lever, unless the rod is so long that the shift lever is hitting the edge of the floor hole before making a complete gear shift. More likely the rod is hitting something under the car, preventing full engagement, especially if there is engine/frame movement, relative to the car body. last option would be tranny internal problems, like synchro hub wear or bent shift forks.
    I fear that is bad news for me.I have the car on stands I can see no issues with the linkage,as far as contact in concerned.the way the engine is mounted I don't feel that there's the amount the movement that would be necessary to be an issue. I had the 5th gear changed to the taller 5th before i put things together

    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    What is your suspension question?
    you can answer me on PM if this is getting much into your intellectual property(your secrets are safe with me)
    your kits lower support arms attach at their stock location using poly bushings.why?
    you didn't need adjustable control arms for camber?
    is it maybe your kit is designed around needing that?
    Are the heims connection to ridged at that point?
    you used heim joints at the tie rod ends
    was this for convenience or is the rigidity not as much of a problem at that connection?

    i know that a lot of questions but I'm contemplating trashing the adjustable lower support arms I made and doing something similar to what you have
    but if thats not going to remove some of the harshness out of the car I don't want to waste the time and effort it will take

  15. #15
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    What about the hollow bolt at the bottom of the tranny? If it isn't modified correctly, the spring and ball won't keep the linkage in place correctly. Not sure if you had to mod yours or not, I did mine but later found out it wasn't gonna hit anyway!

  16. #16
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    Good point Todd, the detent-bolt we modify, is a mod specific to our kit; and addresses a clearance problem, concerning the stock location of the track rods, plus I think the bolt in question is not for 5th gear, if I recall.
    AA, I'm not sure I am understanding your questions, but here is an overview; I designed the kit to be compatible with the stock Mini suspension geometry, which I believe is very good and extremely difficult to improve on. As such, it will take all Mini components and bushings, except for the front end of the track rods, which, in our kit, are mounted in double shear, using Heim joints; this is an improvment over the stock rubber pad and Axial-hole bracket system which tends to bind-up near travel limits and has too much compliance for the additional weight and power being added. The pivot points are still in the stock loication though, but with the added benefit of the Heims, in adjustability. Our kit can be bought with a choice of either using your stock rods that are modified to take the Heims, or with an optional stronger 17-4 stainless steel rod of equal size & design.
    On the lower arms, I recommend using the poly bushes as a minimum, on the stock arm, again to reduce compliance, which improves handeling, over the soft stock rubber bushes. I do use 1/2" Heims here, on my personal car, with custom lower arms, to further compliance reduction, as well as to provide for Camber/caster adjustability; after-market Mini arms will do the same thing. The rubber bushings in the stock Mini suspension are just adequate for the stock,(lighter) weight car and lower power/torque of the standard "A" series engines; The rubber is not the best choice for maintaining Toe, camber, and caster in heavier performance useage, so, as with most hi performance applications, the soft rubber components in the suspension are sacrificed for stiffer and more adjustable components, This does increase chassis noise transmission or "harshness", but is of lesser importance in our performance-first concept, and I feel necessary with the big increase in power and weight. Just a little suspension "squishiness, in a short wheel base, high powered car, translates to big scaryness when driving.
    Hope that answers your questions.
    Last edited by steve; 11-27-2012 at 01:47 PM.

  17. #17
    thanks for the feed back
    I have not modified the detent bolt.I never heard of one until I saw it being posted here.
    I did have the 5th gear changed in the tranny,which I had hoped was not where the problem was
    sounds bad for me ie time to pull the motor

    steve
    regarding the suspension,your in site is appreciated
    I'm going to mod the stock track rods and ditch the adjustable ones I made
    I feel this will an improvement,strength wise,that I will feel more comfortable with
    I will hold off on the lower arms for now,I would like to meet up when I get the 5th gear issue soreted
    for a longer more spirited test drive with you(as your schedule allows) with you behind the wheel for your
    thoughts and input

    Keep in mind some of the componants I made were really mock ups that I ended up using to expidite the build
    I'm not surprised modifications are necessary

  18. #18
    I've done a little reading (on the Internet) there is a very slight possibility that I'm low on tranny fluid.
    It would be pretty dumb not to try a fluid change before doing anything drastic
    Anybody done it?
    what's the best fluid?

  19. #19
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    Speaking of, I have a B series engine/tranny, the tranny is freshly rebuilt and I wonder how much oil to put in it. Can't access the over flow bolt hole. So I looked on line and found anywhere from 2qts to 2.4. Anyone know for sure? I put in two for now...

  20. #20
    I read 2.3 on the honda-tech forum
    but not sure.I can access mine
    going to try to change it out Friday I'll post up how much I used
    stock B18C-5
    Last edited by AA_driver; 11-28-2012 at 09:10 PM.

  21. #21
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    B-series takes about 2.5 qt; I use 10-30 motor oil as recommended by Honda, but others use friction modified oils, like GM synchromesh and Penzoil equivilent..there are others; check archives on Hondatech forums. Access for oil fill, in our frame, is the reverse light sender hole; same level but toward the front of the trans. I don't have reverse lights, so I cut the top off the switch and welded it solid, to make it into a filler plug. I stick a piece of 1/2 inch OD clear hose in the hole and fill it from above with a funnel.
    Last edited by steve; 11-29-2012 at 04:51 PM.

  22. #22
    May have dodged a bullet.Pulled the plug and it was pretty much empty.took 2.5 qt's
    Took it for a ride and seems fine now

  23. #23
    any thing else I should check before I grenade something taking it back out on the road?

  24. #24
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    Oil/coolant level in the engine and brake fluid would be good ones? Then get it alligned properly, before you wear out the tires. It will also make a big difference in handeling; ask Z. He still hasn't done the rear of his car. No hurry I guess.....

  25. #25
    thanks steve
    those are good I was more wondering about gear oil or is does the tranny fluid cover the rest of the internals on the transmission side of things
    an even bigger problem I have
    can you cut a 1/2x20 Left hand thread on the track rods?
    long story and I got the problem

  26. #26
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    Left hand thread would be no help on the modified stock track rods that we do, since the hub end is a welded connjection (can't turn the rod to adjust it), but on our optional 17-4 steel rods with both ends threaded, it would make things a little easier for adjustments to have opposite threads on each end. I just never considered removing the back end, for making adjustments, to be enough of a problem, to warant buying the left hand thread cutter. We use an automatic Threading-head for those, with replaceable/adjustable teeth, and it is very expensive.....over 500$ now, used, if you can find them. A left hand threading die will work on softer steels, but even a cobalt die, (100$+), does not last long cutting 17-4 steel. If we had a CNC lathe, it would be simple, and if/when we get one for our shop, we will start cutting left-threads on the track rod front ends, for using left hand Heim joints.
    Hondas use motor oil in the transmission, which lubes the diff as well. There are Friction modified oils (expensive), like 10-12$ a Quart, which improve gear shifting, because they are less "slippery", helping the synchros to stop the gear rotation quicker. A lot of guys with worn out trannys like/need to use it. Unlike Minis, Tranny oil is separate from the oil in the engine block, so you need to fill both. I recommend that anyone with a VTEC swap, download a shop manual off the Honda Tech forums or elsewhere. It will be very helpfull if you are doing your own work.
    Last edited by steve; 12-07-2012 at 02:28 PM.

  27. #27
    thanks again steve
    I think I have everything sorted out
    maybe a test drive tomorrow

  28. #28
    took a quick shake down spin tonight and all seems well.
    tomorrow a few miles on the freeway
    trans shifts nice now, running royal purple :synrco something with a friction modifier

  29. #29

  30. #30

  31. #31
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    Yes, assuming you have a OBD2-B harness in the car now. on the ECUs, those are correct, but about $180 is the going rate. The chip they give you will be close but not optimum. You should go to a dyno-tuner to dial in the best tuning, esp for fuel econmy. I found another 8MPG on the dyno.

  32. #32
    How do you tell what ECU one has? Is there a # somewhere?

  33. #33
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    yes, there are numbers on the ECU, but basically, what year/model car it came out of, is all you should need. I also have a hard copy diagram some where of differences in
    the distributor wire connectors. There may be other differences. Check the Honda forums, or call the jumper harness manufacturer.
    Last edited by steve; 05-06-2013 at 02:34 PM.

  34. #34
    big thanks again Steve.These are the things on the short list.Got my parts to change the fuel delivery, i have some work a head of me

  35. #35
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    Do you think you might be going to mini meet west in june. you might wind up the only AA there, but there are usually one or two. Z and I are planning to go; you could caravan up with us.

  36. #36
    Unfortunately no. I don't think that there is anyway I will be ready for that long a trip by June.I'd really like to but with what I have left to finish and some commitments others project I don't see it happening.June 30 would be a stretch
    put a for sale sign in it

  37. #37
    So steve
    should I just call a local tuner shop or should I buy a chipped ecu from Rywire and harness adapter and then go to a tuner and get it tuned?
    If one wanted to do it quick and dirty
    know a good one local here in SoCal

  38. #38
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    I would just have the dyno shop get you the ECU, put in the chip and tune it at the same time. David, at Import Auto Pros does my work....they are in Garden Grove or Westminster, not far from you.
    Last edited by steve; 06-24-2013 at 11:05 AM.

  39. #39
    thanks I will give them a call

  40. #40
    Car is for sale. Need something for my 16 year old and this isn't it
    I'll post up some pics and an ad in the classified soon

  41. #41

  42. #42
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    AA, I am strongly considering buying you car myself for the price you mentioned, esp if it is a pre-smog year. I have the cash on hand. (714) 244 907six

  43. #43
    Definitely pre-smog, I've re-registered 3or 4 times. Meet me in the middle and its a done deal
    The car needs a tinkerer like your self. I'd love to see it with what you can do with it

  44. #44
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    I will PM you

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