Full skirt front

27 comments

  1. imported post

    I bought the Mini Machine corner inserts and fitted/welded them in myself on my 850. Result wasgood and much cheaper than getting them to do it for you 😉

    I don't think Minorparts was too impressed with the Heritage front panel – it might pay youto PM him for details 🙂

  2. imported post

    I bought a m.machine full skirt f/panel for my project. It uses a later type panel modified to suit a early mini. This includes welding in the fill in panels and all the other holes not required are welded over and ground back.

    I've also got my original panel which I'm trying to restore because when you compare the two panels the old onehas much neater pressing radius's, and has none of the all too obvious grinding marks of the m.m panel. Maybe I'm being a bit too fussy here.:)The radius of the fill in panel also seems different to the original :?[see photo's]

    If I have to use the m.m. panel Iwould certainly cut out and weld in the bonnet slam panel from the original. hope this helps. Bob

    picture of original

  3. imported post

    Is the pressing for the sidelight of a smaller diameter on the original panel. I have a friend with a restored '64 850using a pattern panel (don't know which manufacturer) and the side light pressing is definitely of a larger diameter.Worth checking.

  4. imported post

    [b]cymro wrote: [/b] “Is the pressing for the sidelight of a smaller diameter on the original panel?”

    Well spotted! Just checked that and the repro panel is approx. 8mm bigger in diameter.

    ps to my earlier post. Another thing I've noticed is that my expensively:( rechromed moustache and grill fit the old panel far better than the repro version.

    Why is it than with todays machinery we can make inferior products to those of the sixties? I guess its all down to costs of patterns etc. and the limited market of old mini bits, but surely its just as easy to make it correct as incorrect? I understand that f/panel reproduction is not cheap but even the small item reproductions are miles away from the originals.

    ok 'rant' over!:) I'll go and have my medication:D

    there goes my m.m. discount!:(

  5. imported post

    [b]1071bob wrote: [/b] “[b]cymro wrote: [/b] “Is the pressing for the sidelight of a smaller diameter on the original panel?”

    Well spotted! Just checked that and the repro panel is approx. 8mm bigger in diameter.

    ps to my earlier post. Another thing I've noticed is that my expensively:( rechromed moustache and grill fit the old panel far better than the repro version.

    Why is it than with todays machinery we can make inferior products to those of the sixties? I guess its all down to costs of patterns etc. and the limited market of old mini bits, but surely its just as easy to make it correct as incorrect? I understand that f/panel reproduction is not cheap but even the small item reproductions are miles away from the originals.

    ok 'rant' over!:) I'll go and have my medication:D

    there goes my m.m. discount!:(

    Minorparts commented to me last year that the Heritage front panel that was 'correct for a Mk1' had the larger indicator mounts for the later type indicators (amongst other problems). So do Mini Machine use Heritage panels in their conversions?

    It does seem ridiculousthat repro stuff cannot be made to the same dimensions as the OE parts. Only possible answer springing to mind is measurements are generally metric now as opposed to imperial 😕

  6. For my 64 mini I am looking to fit a full skirt front. M-Machine does inserts and a full skirt front ends.
    Friends of mine have advised to fit a heritage front end and fill up the gaps. But I am having doubts. If the M-Machine panels are as good as people say I would prefer the ready made one.
    Anybody have any experience with these front ends?

  7. imported post

    [b]1963S wrote: [/b] “'It does seem ridiculous that repro stuff cannot be made to the same dimensions as the OE parts. Only possible answer springing to mind is measurements are generally metric now as opposed to imperial'

    Don't be too tough. Back then major manufacturers paid buckets for machine tools to press out a squillion copies of a specific panel. Today MM has to make 20 (or maybe a few more) copies of dozens of different versions of the same basic bit.

    Pressed metal is not fibreglass.

    Cheers, Ian”
    As I've said previously MiniMachine floor/sill panels are a superb fit, even when fitting them individuallyrather than an assembly.

    I remember buying some genuine Austin/Rover rear floor pans back on the late 80's which were total rubbishas the flutes were not continuous. Needless to say they went back and I used pattern ones, which although required adjustment to fit, at least they had correct fluting.

  8. imported post

    'It does seem ridiculous that repro stuff cannot be made to the same dimensions as the OE parts. Only possible answer springing to mind is measurements are generally metric now as opposed to imperial'

    Don't be too tough. Back then major manufacturers paid buckets for machine tools to press out a squillion copies of a specific panel. Today MM has to make 20 (or maybe a few more) copies of dozens of different versions of the same basic bit.

    Pressed metal is not fibreglass.

    Cheers, Ian

  9. imported post

    A pattern panel will NEVER perfectly match an OEM panel, the best that you can hope for is that they get fairly close. Press tool making is an art not a science, one person will make a tool one way, someone else will make the same tool a different way. This has always and always will be the case. In general M-machine panels are all very good indeed, particularly the panels they make themselves, floors sills etc. However as most M-machine panels are based on other units made by 3rd party suppliers there will always be minor (sometimes irritating) differences.

    One soloution to the front panel thing is to buy a heritage front panel and get it modified by M-machine, it's work they are happy to do if you want to go this way. I have actually done this in the past. Even doing this though you will notice minor differences between one panel and another made 50 odd years ago.

    As has already been said, BMC spent millions of pounds on the original Mini press tools in the 1950's these have been worn out re made, modified and generally buggered about with since, to expect a panal pressed on an 'original' tool to be something like the original is beyond belief.

    We all like to get 'every detail' perfect, but if we wait until all parts are re made to OEM specifications and will fit without any buggering about then we will all be waiting for ever.

    The folks like M-machine, Minispares, Summerford etc all get a hell of a lot of stick because the parts they are reproducing are not 'exactly the same' or are not of the 'same' quality as the originals. At least companies like this are putting their money where their mouth is and are trying to supply parts to keep our cars on the road which is more than a lot of other comanies and enthusiasts are doing. I have made some repro parts in the past and have always gone to a great length to try and make the parts 'the same' as the originals, this is indeed much harder than you could ever imagine. Ask the Russians who stole the plans of Concorde in the 70's and tried to build their own!

    Mark F.

  10. imported post

    I spent most of the 70's making a living from welding up various minis, 1100's and dare I say old fords:shock:so I know all too well about the quality of the panelsavailable at that time. Original panels were still available then but most of the sad cases I had to get through the MOT were beyond that. Due to the low value of the cars repro. oversills and big repair panels of appalling quality were the only option. So if you have a old mini with oversills and live in the stroud area I could be to blame!:DThis was before mig welders so gas welding and braziing were used along withloads of underseal:)Minis in those days were just another cheap car, not the cherished things of today

    30 years on with the mini now reaching iconic status with a flourishing remanufacturing industry behind it with modern day technology I expected the quality to have improved drastically. The door skins, wings and sills I boughtall look very good but I was dissapionted with the front panel. I have to admit that I never noticed the side light size issue until pointed out by cymro. I'm a fussy old bugger and get annoyed by poor quality, but if thats the best there is then so be it!

    I do appreciate how hard it is to get repro. items as near as possible to the originals. I had to scrap the first two batches of my mk1 binnicles before I was happy with the product [and even now I think I could do better!] The jigging to cut the dial holes also took a few goes to get right with a load more scrap plastic!

    This forum is the ideal place to debate all these issues and I for one have learned loads by reading all the 'posts' on here, there seems to be a infinite amount of knowledge out there. regards Bob

    ps maybe I should get the russians to make me a front panel:P

  11. imported post

    [b]1071bob wrote: [/b] “So if you have a old mini with oversills and live in the stroud area I could be to blame!:D
    ” So you could of been the originator of my Bridget Jones sills :DGray

  12. imported post

    As Andrew has said, I bought a Heritage front panel for my 1966 car because I wanted the best fit/quality available, and when I visited their factory I was assured that they produced the correct part for my car. I was disappointed therefore when it arrived and had the wrong indicator lamp mountings, several extra holes inthe landing panel area, and an unwanted air intake cut out behind the grille. The fit of the bumper flange is also not as neat as the original, the flange itself has extra holes and the number plate mounts are the later, larger ones. It is basically just a late Rover panel with the earlier subframe mounts fitted and to modify it has been a fair bit of extra work.

    A few years ago I fitted a new front end to my Godson's Mini using Heritage wings and a pattern front panel. It all fitted together well enough but now rust is showing on the seams between the two. On closer examination all the rust is the front panel side of the join and not on the wings so I do think that the quality of steel and primer are better on the Heritage panels.

    I have no experience of the Mini Machine panels but this would seem a worthwhile route to explore. It also depends on what welding/metalworking skills you have yourself.

    I do agree with Mark F that it is unreasonable to expect perfect reproductions from small companies producing small runs for low prices but Heritage do claim to produce the 'correct' panel for a Mk1 and don't. If I hadn't spotted the incorrect light mountings in time the finished car would look quite wrong to me but, as we'll all probably agree, it depends on what you're trying to achieve!

  13. imported post

    [b]Gray wrote: [/b] ”
    So you could of been the originator of my Bridget Jones sills :DGray” I did do a few coopers all those years ago,:) but look at it this way, If I didn't 'bodge' those big sills on, your car might not have been around later for you to buy and restore! I reckon you owe me a beer for that:D:D:D:D:D

  14. imported post

    Fitted my front end last night, pattern inner A's, heritage outer A's, Heritage wings, M-Machine full skirt 'S' front panel. A lot of buggering about & head scratching but ended the day with 1/8 panels gaps on bonnet and both doors and panels look great. The indicator mounting plinths may be 8mm too wide, but iftheyare I couldn't give a fig.

    M.

  15. imported post

    have a Mini Machine full front panel on my car, all Ok except that the early stainless trim idoes not fit so well, extra strong rivetts hold it in place!!

  16. imported post

    [img]http://mk1-performance-conversions.co.uk/sprint_8.jpg[/img]

    M-Machine front panel, heritage wings, heritage A's, pattern inners all as welded last week.

    M.

  17. imported post

    It's coming on well! Mine is in a similar state but I also had to use a Heritage door on the R/H side of mine too due to some accident damage and not being able to find a good enough secondhand one at the time. (Fit is quite good now with a little work).

    What year/model car is yours Mark? I assume earlyish if you went for the full skirt panel.

  18. imported post

    After having read about the differences between the two I did briefly toy with the idea of swappinmg that bit from my original front panel.

    Then I thought BUGGER IT!

    M. 🙂

  19. imported post

    It is hard to know when to stop isn't it. It would have annoyed me if I hadn't alteredmine but you do have to draw a line somewhere otherwise no car would ever get finished. I'm far from being a perfectionist and there will be other things not right about my own car but we are all individuals and our cars reflect this – just as it should be. Also, we are all restricted to some extent by time, knowledge and budget.

    As I've said before it would be very dull if we attended Mini events to see rows and rows of identical 'factory spec' cars.

  20. imported post

    [b]masnarda wrote: [/b] “How are the brackets that hold on the number plate. Are they the narrow kind or are they wide like the later models?”

    They look like this. Is this the correct type of brackets? and are they the right distance apart? I would like to know before I make my own for my panel:)

    regards Bob

    ps this panel is now for sale:D

  21. imported post

    am loving this thread 🙂

    I does look like the m machine panels are a good option, but how are the brackets that hold on the number plate. Are they the narrow kind or are they wide like the later models?

Leave a comment