1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

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1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:29 pm

Latest addition to the fleet!

My partner Dan in Tulsa found this car about 5 miles from his house where it had languished in a garage for over 11 years. Prior to that it was exported to England where the steering and controls were moved to the right. Dan brought the car up to me to get it running, brakes and suspension sorted etc. The car is in even better shape than expected, straight as can be, original paint, no replaced panels etc. It's very dirty of course, but it seems to be all there.

The 1300 Export were the Italian versions of the Cooper S, with the S engine, S brakes, oil cooler and of course all the Innocenti features like the full dash of instruments and an uprated interior. This one was exported to England in 1980, that's when the steering and controls were moved over to the right side of the car.

This car has a couple of period accessories like the Abarth steering wheel and Cromadora wheels with Abarth caps.

I'm excited to see it today, the first thing we did was put a battery in it to see if the engine was stuck. It cranked over, so I pulled the plugs and cranked up oil pressure - it came up easily and held 50 lbs pressure just on the starter.

Tomorrow I'll clean up the carbs and see if it will start - can't wait to see if it will go!

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Hi! My name's Dave!

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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby ragtopday Johnna » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:48 am

So excited to watch the progress of this Mini!
Johnna--BMPR CR '05 Chili Red JustaCVT, JCW Sound Kit #D344, JCW BBK, aFe cai, M7 Under Strut System, strut tower plates, Sparkly wheel arches, a little chrome. Garage-sharing w/ '12 Goodwood MCS #372, '06 MCS "Jack" and MiniX4's classic, Moxie.

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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:56 pm

Where'd my pics go?

Edit: and they're back, must be on my end....
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:30 pm

Well, I got the front subframe out and removed the engine and set it in my engine stand. Got it all plumbed and wired up but haven't gotten it to run yet...no fire, still have to chase that down. However I ran compression and it's pretty good - 150, 150, 140, 145 and that's before doing anything to it, including valve adjustment.

More as it happens.....
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby MiniManiac » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:00 pm

This is awesome :D
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby ragtopday Johnna » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:41 pm

How's this project going, Minidave??? Enquiring minds...
Johnna--BMPR CR '05 Chili Red JustaCVT, JCW Sound Kit #D344, JCW BBK, aFe cai, M7 Under Strut System, strut tower plates, Sparkly wheel arches, a little chrome. Garage-sharing w/ '12 Goodwood MCS #372, '06 MCS "Jack" and MiniX4's classic, Moxie.

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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:07 pm

In a word...………...slllllooooowwwwww.

I have all the suspension done, both subframes powdercoated, all suspensions and brakes rebuilt. I'm working on the interior now, swapping the steering column and pedals over to the left, along the way I'm completely rebuilding the heater and replumbing all the brake and clutch masters. Removed the 80's stereo, huge speakers and required in England immobilizer, and repairing the bodged up wiring. Carbs are rebuilt, fuel tanks have been cleaned and sealed, the fuel sending unit refurbished.

Making progress.....it's almost ready to go back to Dan's shop in Tulsa for him to pretty up the paint and install the interior. In the meantime I'll go thru the motor and transmission. It's always a lot of work to bring a car back from sitting for as many years as this one has - it's pretty much a recommissioning of the entire car.

Hoping to have it ready for Aspen this June, may not make it tho……

I've also been rebuilding a Moke that also sat for 20-30 years. I got that engine to run, redid all the brakes, subframes and suspension in it too . When the body gets finished I'll put it all together and make it run.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby ragtopday Johnna » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:34 am

Minidave wrote:In a word...………...slllllooooowwwwww.

I have all the suspension done, both subframes powdercoated, all suspensions and brakes rebuilt. I'm working on the interior now, swapping the steering column and pedals over to the left

I've also been rebuilding a Moke that also sat for 20-30 years. I got that engine to run, redid all the brakes, subframes and suspension in it too . When the body gets finished I'll put it all together and make it run.


Excited to see the Moke. Would sure love to have one at Coopers and Coffee one of these years. It's the missing link!

About the RHD/LHD: I should probably read up on Mini history, but thought the Innocenti was built in Italy for Italian customers, didn't realize any were exported to RHD nations. I've only seen two that I know of and both were LHD, including one that a Baron tech owned. So they were made both ways like all Minis then?
Johnna--BMPR CR '05 Chili Red JustaCVT, JCW Sound Kit #D344, JCW BBK, aFe cai, M7 Under Strut System, strut tower plates, Sparkly wheel arches, a little chrome. Garage-sharing w/ '12 Goodwood MCS #372, '06 MCS "Jack" and MiniX4's classic, Moxie.

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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:00 am

No, all Inno's were LHD, this one was exported to England in 1980 and converted to RHD - I'm putting it back to the way it was originally. It's been a challenge as there was a lot of electrical bodge work done - they installed some bangin tunes, and the required British Immobilizer - I removed all of it and have been repairing the wiring mess they made. Part of the problem is that with no manual, it's been a real puzzle trying to figure out how all this stuff works, what the switches do etc, as they're just different enough from English minis!

Little things, for example you can't buy this brake master cylinder anymore, so you have to use one out of a later mode Mini, which has metric threaded brake pipe ends, while the rest of the car has English threads!

I also had to have both gas tanks cleaned and red coated, I sent the fuel tank sending unit to a place in New York and had it rebuilt, because Innos use different gauges (Jaeger instead of Smiths) and they're completely different!

Next weekend (the 16th) it goes to Tulsa to have the body and interior prettied up while I rebuild the motor and transmission, then it will come back to me and I'll get it back on the road.

I've already rebuilt the carbs, after sitting for 10+ years, they were completely gummed up and unusable. I cleaned them all up and rebuilt them and now they're ready to go.

It's been a process, leaving a car sit for a long time is NOT good for it! Drive those classics!

The Moke is at the powder coaters - this is going to be a pit car for the races, not a street driven car so he's having the entire body powder coated, when it's done I'll mount the engine and subframes and get it going too.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby MiniManiac » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:18 pm

Wow. That looks awesome!
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:38 pm

Off to Tulsa to get the body prettied up, in the meantime I'll rebuild the engine and transmission.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:52 pm

After one day's work, the extra holes for the wipers and radio antennas have been welded up. There were no rust holes, but the paint was faded and flaky in a few spots....he'll repaint it with modern 2 pack.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:43 pm

All the Inno needed was some spot refinishing - no rust at all, just some flaking off paint....I had him fill in the extra wiper holes and antenna hole too.
Should be nice and shiny when he's done! Nice to know there was no rust to deal with - rare on any classic Mini!
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Shell is done, still have to sand and buff after the paint hardens. Still have to do the doors, bonnet and boot lid.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:38 pm

IT'S....A.....LIVE!

This engine hasn't been started in 10-15 years, so I was pleasantly surprised when it popped right off and ran smoothly! Good oil pressure, nothing's leaking, and it sounds very good....no smoking, knocking or other nasty noises either. I haven't run this carb on anything before so it may not have the right needle for this engine. I also haven't set the timing, that's why it tries to run on on shutdown.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT3cSCdlx-s&t=16s
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby MiniManiac » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:09 am

AWESOME
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:23 pm

I wound up tearing the engine down - I pulled the head as I wanted to install hardened seats so it would run on unleaded fuel. Once the head was off I didn't see anything too bad, but one cylinder was very carboned up compared to the others - an indication of a possible stuck ring or a loose valve guide so, I went ahead and tore it all the way down. What I found was pretty discouraging as the bearings were worn badly, the timing chain was loose (although the cam had been timed properly using an offset woodruff key) and the lifters were absolutely knackered - a clear indication that the engine had been run with out using oil with ZDDP......an absolute requirement for any engine built before about 1990 and all classic Minis.

So, in for penny...…

The head went to Nolands Cylinder Head service, the crank went to Claycomo Engine builders - more on that in a minute and the block to QCP in Lenexa.

The good news - the block was in great shape and only required a good light hone to the cylinders and a thorough cleaning. I've gotten it back an already and given it a finish coat of paint. It was a weird green - not the Mini olive green but a much different shade - not original to Innocenti - so it's been painted black as it should be.

The crank was another matter. I thought I found crack, so I took up my spare crankshaft - turns out my spare was cracked but the original wasn't! However it needed a LOT of machine work, so I had another old spare engine under the workbench and decided to tear it down - turned out to be a good move, the crank and rods in it were in perfect shape.

So, come Monday I'll take that crank, rods, original Innocenti pistons, flywheel etc up to Claycomo and have it all balanced, then once all that's done and the new parts have arrived I can start to put it back together. That should dovetail nicely with the body work which should be finished about the same time.

The engine will be a pretty well built 1380 (instead of 1275) so it should make some pretty good HP and torque once it's done.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:00 am

Head and block are back from the machine shop, still waiting on the crankshaft. All the paintwork is done so the car is ready to come back to me for reassembly.....I also ordered a new interior from Newton Commercial in England, wait time on that is estimated to be 4-6 weeks so this car won't be going to Aspen in June.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby MiniX4 John » Mon May 13, 2019 2:01 pm

This has been a great build to follow! Thanks for sharing! Also, would find it interesting to see the interior...how it comes shipped, and the install. Let me know when you think you might be getting it and I would be glad to help if I’m available (and if you need an extra hand).
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Mon May 13, 2019 10:25 pm

I'm going to take the front seats up to my local interior specialist and let him do them, the Inno seats are different than Mini seats, having more ties and different foam and so on. The rears are simple and I'll do them.....along with the door cards and carpet.

It was fairly spendy as I ordered Innocenti specific interior from Newton Commercial, I don't expect the stuff to come in till mid June.

Thanks for the offer of help, I'll give you a heads up when it comes in.

I have a LOT of wiring repairs to do before I get into the interior stuff, plus I'll be gone for a week at the end of June at the mini meet in Aspen.
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Mon May 13, 2019 10:33 pm

Engine update.....

When I put the crank and pistons in I noticed that the pistons were well short of being flush with the deck of the block, so I did some more investigating, and found that the original crank was stroked - by 1/8", so instead of a 1380, the stroke makes the engine a 1413!

So I took it all back apart and ordered different bearings and primary gear so I could reinstall the original crank again, and took the crank back to the crankshaft machinist, and the block and head went back to the machine shop also to have both surfaces cut very slightly to make sure they were dead flat and true.

While I'm waiting on parts from England, Dan will be bringing the shell back on Wed, so I can get started putting some things back together.

Once all the engine parts come back I can start putting the engine back together...
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby MiniManiac » Tue May 14, 2019 6:50 pm

Awesome! Pencil me in for an engine rebuild this winter :)
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Tue May 14, 2019 7:21 pm

You pull it and bring me just the power unit, I don't need the whole car, OK?
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby MiniManiac » Tue May 14, 2019 11:05 pm

Minidave wrote:You pull it and bring me just the power unit, I don't need the whole car, OK?


OK :)
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Re: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 Export

Postby Minidave » Wed May 15, 2019 9:54 am

The Innocenti left Tulsa this morning for my shop, looks fantastic!
On another positive note, DHL finally admits they've picked up my parts from MiniSpares and claim it should be here by Fri "end of the day", but given their track record of late I'll expect it on Monday. :roll:
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