Most days, I talk to people ordering parts that seem mismatched for a particular Mini. Our expertise with these cars enables us to notice when something like that jumps out at us, and often we are able to make a correction that can save the customer a great deal of time and money.
Today I had a gentleman ordering parts for his brother’s Mini in South America.  I noticed it was a rod-change 998 from the engine bearings and shift stub-shaft seal kit. So when the order included the larger Hardy-Spicer axle seals, and the very expensive Pin-drive Cooper S oil pump, I contacted the customer to get the real scoop. I was able to correct the order BEFORE it got shipped to Peru, saving the customer hundreds of dollars, and weeks of delay that would have resulted from getting a few wrong parts!
So many mistakes can be avoided by doing a little homework to properly identify your car, and thus be able to specify the right parts. Our own Chuck Heleker has written one of the most definitive articles for identifying a classic Mini…. Don’t let the level of detail intimidate you, simply scroll through to the sections that make sense to you! This information should enable you to identify just about ANY Classic Mini, and certainly enough to be able to order the RIGHT parts:


I have written a much simpler article that lets you identify which transmission and shift-linkage style you Mini has, which in turn, tells us the era your Mini, or at least it’s running gear came from. This lets us identify the major mechanical parts you need to be able to take care of most maintenance and repairs:


I know so much has been written over the years about this topic…. just look at the previous posts here! Still, not a week goes by that I don’t help a new owner figure out what they have, to give them the best chance of ordering the right parts! We want you to feel good about your Mini, and trust us to help you take care of it.

Well, we have not updated this blog in a few years, so I thought I would jump in and see if I can make it useful by talking about a variety of relevant and current topics… Perhaps more detail about a hot topic from our forum, or it may turn into a conversation, a way to ask me specific technical questions that I can go into detail about, and make the answers ‘findable’ so if you don’t need ’em now, you can search for the answers when you do!

Speaking of searching for answers, we have a vast collection of technical articles that are easy to search…. You’ll notice a drop arrow to the left of the “search box” at the top of virtually all pages on our website…. simply click that arrow and select “Articles”, then type a few words in the search box to describe what you’re looking for… you might say something like “Brake upgrade” or “coil spring conversion”. when you click “Go” or just hit ‘Enter’ on your keyboard, any articles relevant to your search should be displayed. You can also go right above the search box and ‘hover’ over “Articles” and select from the drop menu what you want to see! Here is what the main “Articles” page looks like:


So try it!  Feel free to comment or ask me a question.  What would you like to see?

Dealing with Rust.  


Rust and Minis have a great affinity for each other. Sooner or later all owners of non-restored old Minis will have to tackle this problem. This article covers rust detection, prevention and repair.  When checking a Mini over before purchasing it is important to check carefully for rust.  The diagram below shows the typical areas that rust on a Mini. (Continue Reading…)

For one week only, we’ve put all panels on sale!

Hurry, sale ends Friday, January 25th, 2013.  If you happen to run across this article after the sale date then don’t fret!  Use promo code RUST10 and get 10% off Classic Mini Panels.  This discount does not apply to special order items or items already on sale.


Featured IN STOCK Items





Minis in the House

Contributor: Alan Rigby

The walk downstairs at the Rigby household steadily reveals the effect Alec Issigonis has had on our family.  The toy cars and posters adorning the upper level could be mistaken for poor attempts at quirky decoration, but then the steps reveal the oil-slicked iceberg hiding beneath that innocuous tip.  As you cross the threshold into the basement proper, you see the first parts, interior trim taken from less fortunate minis than those that fill the garage.  There’s the Tweety-Bird monogrammed seats that sit slightly crookedly on the concrete floor, testament to the amazing survival of a couple involved in a high speed head-on crash in a fiberglass Domino Mini-based kit. Laid against the wall behind them are the outer skins of a pair of van rear doors, the last remaining metal of another mini sacrificed to the all-devouring god Oxidus.  Engines sit idly awaiting rebuilds, each one a planned engineering masterpiece, just paused while free time and money are slowly accumulated.  Mechanical mementos of misfortune abound, but all are good fortune here, with the promise of renewed life in a future project.  A short distance away resides the garage, home to three slightly healthier minis.

Kabluey, the 1966 Traveller from New Zealand, that has lived up to his title (and unfortunately his name as well), taking us   on trips from mountain to river valley, from Kentucky’s blue grass to Florida’s sandy highways.  He always starts on these journeys, and sometimes even finishes them without the aid of a tow truck.  K even took us from single to married, backing down the aisle to deliver us to a united life.

TB, the 1984 Mini 1000, with his boy-racer faux carbon trim and coffee-can exhaust tip shows the less mature side of the mini game.  Officially her car, he remains oddly free of the power windows, air-conditioning and automatic gearbox she thought she couldn’t live without in the days before minis.

The newest resident of any place usually winds up giving some things up to fit in, and this is definitely true of Lil’ Neck, the New Zealand ute conversion of a 1974 sedan.  Hopefully his giving nature will be fixed soon, before all his working parts wind up shared between K and TB.

Beyond the boundaries of civilized garage life, in the unredeemed wasteland known colloquially as “the backyard,” rest two more potential supercars; Shelley, the 60’s bodyshell not quite solid enough to be made in to a Grassroots Motorsports 2009 challenge car, and her newest partner, Sheldon, another early shell with less metal remaining than he had when he starting along Longbridge’s assembly line.

Mini Cooper Forum

Here in our house is a place where minis are far more than simply conveyances, as in their cheeky external seams lie the past, present, and many of the future hopes and plans of our family.  Don’t call them funny little cars, those are our kids you’re talking about!

ClassicMini.wordpress.com is supported by Mini Mania Inc., the leading retailer of Mini aftermarket parts and accessories in the United States.  Check out our Mini Cooper badges online.