Before You Buy…

Hi folks!  Quick update on bowtie6:  All wiring in the engine compartment has been done, the inside of the cab has been completed and now the only remaining thing left is the trunk.  Since my wiring harness is all home-brew and actually quite simple, the trunk area will have three relays and two circuit breakers.  This will control the stop lights, reverse lights and fuel pump.  Confused?  I can understand that – I’ll have a full writeup after all this is put together and the car fully operational.

bowtie6 will be ready to drive very soon.

So what is this “Before You Buy” title on today’s post?

This past week, over at my cousin’s shop somebody brought a classic Mini Cooper.  The owner bought the car and along with it came a rear subframe assembly.  Seems he was told the subframe needed replacing and “here is one along with the purchase price”.

This Mini looks nice and solid!  Cosmetically it is in great shape.  Paint is shiny.  Interior is clean.  Carpet is new.  Seats are comfy as all get-out.  Has cool wheels and Yokohama R008’s.  Chrome fender flares.  Right-hand drive – DAYUM!  How can this get any better?

Take a look:

Nice car huh?  How can anyone want anything better, right?  Another picture?  Sure…

Beauty is only skin deep folks.  Seems the owner got a hard-on for this little beauty and never bothered to put the thing on a lift.  When buying “classic” cars, this is cardinal law number one.  Put the thing on a lift, take a look at the bottom of the car and if there is any rot…  WALK AWAY.  I can’t tell you how many good looking “classics” I have seen on a lift where I just ran away from…

Turns out that after lifting the ass-end of this little gem, we found the following nightmare:

The above is the rear subframe on a classic Mini.  This is where the rubber dampers and rear trailing arms mount onto.  Basically, this is the rear suspension.  Here is another shot of this affair…

Another closeup:

This is only the beginning.  Once we took the subframe out from underneath the car we found a lot of rot along the mounting points for the subframe.  Unfortunately this is what happens when folks don’t really pay attention to the parts that are not “shiny”.  We looked at the front subframe (the one that holds the front suspension and engine) and it looks bad too.  Furthermore, the body has quite a bit of rot behind the front wheels.

Not trying to preach…  It’s your money.  But people… Put a car on a lift and take a look before you buy!!  This owner is now facing quite an ‘spensive bill in repairs.  The rear subframe needs to be replaced – the rust damage is too severe.  The unit body needs to repaired, after all the mounting points for the rear subrame have holes in them where you can see the inside of the cab. And, the front suspension needs attention.


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