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Mini Clubman Estate 1979

1100cc, Manual Gearbox

Link to 'Ginger' - 1977 Mini Clubman Estate

outside_humt.jpg (13370 bytes) Much maligned but probably the most versatile mini produced. 

The Clubman Estate can:

Carry 4 people with their luggage
Hold more than a Mini Van
More secure than a Mini Pickup or Moke
Roomy underbonnet for those DIY moments

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I bought the blue Estate in November 2000. 

This page records my ownership of the vehicle, still current.

I have recently re-jigged this page so that new jobs now start at the top.  I do most jobs myself but when time is short or the task too difficult for me, I farm these out to my preferred garage.


The car is standard  - still running on drums

  • 1990 Mayfair front seats

Exceptions are:

  • MG Metro rocker cover
  • Odd washer bottle

Exceptional Load Carrying

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With 2 subframes, 2 people and a load of tools - almost got the doors to shut too

Bodywork Dec 2006
Three years since the last entry, the estate needs a bit of bodywork:
Rear wheel arches
Rear subframe mounts
Scuttle corner panels
Front door pillars

Not sure whether to shotblast the shell (300 + VAT) then have it professionally welded, or strip off a bit at a time and repair each section myself. 

Clock - 17/May/2003
Minis don't have a clock as standard.  I needed something to drain my battery so I used one from a Vauxhall Astra.  2 connections, the 12 volt feed came from the Right 1st connector on the fuse box -  So that it is permanently live.  The earth wire connects to the dash bracket.  I need to connect the internal bulb into the headlight circuit so that it illuminates when the lights come on.
Electronic Ignition March/2003
Although points are fairly easy to set up in dry daylight, they can be really awkward in the dark, or rain, or both.  The points in my distributor had an annoying tendancy to close up.   Usually leading to adjustment at the start of a journey but occasionally the engine would misfire then cut out and this would be the cause.

I have now fitted a Luminition Magnetronic kit.  This is surprisingly easy to assemble.  You have to fit the rotor using a socket to press it into place though otherwise you'll be swearing all day as it is a tight fit.  With the right tools it is faster to fit than conventional points.  You must check the timing after though.  I fitted mine during a full service, so there wasn't any extra activity.

The engine does seem a bit smoother.  I haven't yet tested the economy  but I did replace a weeping length of flexible fuel line during the same service, so it should be more frugal anyhow.

Heater - 5/Jan/2003
The heater motor stopped working as soon as the nights started drawing in.  I had been coping but when the windows started frosting up on the inside I new it was time to sort it out.  The first  major job of the year.  I swapped the heater with the one from 'Neighbour' (My brother's old 1983 Mayfair; called Neighbour because the registration was 665, ie the neighbour of the beast...err).

Thankfully I can now demist my windows.  This was a fairly easy swap.  The hardest part is removing the hoses without spilling antifreeze everywhere.  Remove the carpets first though.

Starter Motor
Starter motor: I have a starting problem which is getting worse each time I start the car.
The solenoid clicks as normal but the starter fails to spin the engine unless I get angry

Is this likely to be the starter or the ring gear?  Or just dirty contacts.

I have tried 3 second hand starters in the last 6 months, each appears to fix the problem
at first but then it reappears again. Frustrated isn't the word - AAAARRGGH!


Looks like it was dirty and loose contacts.  The battery feed cable dropped out of its crimped connector when I disturbed it. 

I swapped the solenoid in any case for one I had in stock, now we're approaching winter.

CV Boots

CV boots: The varmints just won't stay on.  I put them on, they come loose. 'Experts' fit them, they come loose.

I've just bought a 'Band-it' and some metal cable ties.  So far..

Water Pump

Philip drove to London in the Estate and on the way back the water pump started to leak. 

A fairly straightforward job, 12.50 for the waterpump and gasket, 2.00 for the bypass hose and I took the opportunity to replace the fanbelt, 2.50 while everything was in bits.

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I had been told this job would take 1 hour but I was extra careful fitting everything, cleaning and lubricating as I went.  I took 3 hours in all and it was dark by the time I finished, so imagine my surprise when I found that the thermostat had given up also.

Fortunately the hardest part was removing the thermostat housing. 

Another inexpensive part, thermostat 2.50, gasket 50p


I filled the radiator with neat antifreeze because I'd bought a huge bottle and the walk to the tap seemed too far at the time.   Should dissuade the rust, a bit.

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Hot Tip!
These little beauties are hard disc magnets magnets.jpg (2684 bytes)

1 or sometimes 2 are found inside a hard disc, to keep the heads apart.

They are incredibly strong and so have many uses, I use them as:

Oil filter swarf collection - attach to side of oil filter
Welding clamps, to secure metal or the earth cable
If you would like some for yourself then contact me and I will bring them with me to the next show.                                                 1 each magnet or 50p for a complete hard disc (they are tricky to remove)
Jobs Done
Full Service Renew all brakes
Unipart 10w40 oil, filter, air filter, plugs, grease all round, etc Ok this was after the front drum seized and went pink.
New Clutch New CV Joints
Slave cylinder, clutch arm, fitted - I can now change gear without brute force. Finally sorted!  After another garage trip I have a click-free motor.
Replace Float Valve in Carb Halogen Headlights
Stopped the petrol bypassing the carb and pouring onto the road.  MPG down as well Makes such a difference and really easy to fit.   Be sure to get Wipac as these are the only ones that fit properly.
New (2nd Hand) Wiper Switch Arm New (2nd hand) Complete Steering Column, Wheel and Switches
The original fell off and insulation tape wasn't strong enough to hold it on. 17 from the autojumble at Stoneleigh.  Cheaper though than a new ignition switch unit (30) when mine started playing up.
Adjust Fuel Mixture
Currently set a bit rich.  I am very inexperienced with carb adjustment.  I am also testing the car for fuel  consumption with different fuels.  I started with Leaded (1.03 per litre in Elland!) and I am measuring the mileage between the top of the red on the gauge and half way.  Of course it depends on how consistent the fuel gauge is - I may resort to dipping a length of wire in the tank, just to be sure.

I am currently using Unleaded (73p per litre), adding a dose of Miller's VSP at each refill. 

Currently averaging 31 mpg.  Unable to get this any higher.  Leaning off the carb' results in uneven running.  Air filter appears to get dirty very quickly.  Last swapped - 22nd July 2002. New carb float needle 29th August 2002.

New Lights
I didn't want to drill any new holes in the body, so I created brackets attached to the bumper mountings

The reversing light switch is combined with a mounting screw which fits to the drivers's side of the remote gear lever housing.  Use a 9mm drill to enlarge the existing hole.  The reversing light feed is taken from the Right, 2nd down connector on the fuse box.  So that it only works at ignition II position

The fog light feed is taken from the headlight switch to light wire (purple/white on a conventional Mini, though I found mine to be red).   This way the fog light can only come on with the lights.  I put a fuse on the to light wire, after the fog light switch, this is in case the light is left on for too long.

I have yet to figure out how to illuminate the fog light switch bulb, so it is more noticable when on.

Finally fitted a fog and reversing light

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Luggage Cover
I've been struggling with this one for a while.

The first attempt was to cut a piece of hardboard to fit on the window sill and back of seat.  To my complete amazement this worked - well for about 2 weeks.  Then the hardboard warped and it dipped in the middle.  Plus it looked really crap.

2nd attempt - bought a load of cup hooks, fastened these to the sides of the boot, measured and cut a piece of material, hand sewed a hem all round, fitted eyelets to the material and.... It dipped in the middle and the cup hooks fell off - Boo!

3rd attempt - bought a roller luggage cover from an autojumble for 1.  I think this is from an Escort Estate.  I need to cut it to size and fashion some brackets to fit to the back of the seat.  Then make a catch for the back of the doors.  One day I'll get round to it.

My car sits 3" off the ground and drops even further when laden.  I have gouged my new floors already.

I have had hi - lo's and new rear cones fitted by JC Bates and the height jacked up to maximum.  Now I can drive over coins, pebbles, stamps, without fear of grounding.

August 2001
Footwells - small holes developed into bigger holes

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I cut out the rusty metal, making sure that the surround was solid. I shaped a piece of repair panel and welded it in.

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I then sprayed with zinc paint, seam sealed, brush painted with zinc rich primer. The final coat was brush painted with Smoothrite Blue, a pretty close colour match with the main body colour, Electric Blue.

You can see from the picture above that the original colour was yellow.

The hardest part is welding from underneath.  You need to raise the vehicle as high as possible, to get a good welding angle.

Both sides have now been repaired

More Estates

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Andy and his yellow peril.  Andy's car has 3 different shades of yellow on it.  We think it has Inca and Snapdragon but are puzzled by the third.  Can you help?

Even More Estates at:     

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