Classic Mini: A Problem

Crazyjeeper

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Nah, I'm looking for something that won't break as I drive it :p. Are there any MGs that are reliable? I'll be looking to keep the car, and store it. If not, what about a Volkswagen Beetle? Same concept as the mini, just a wrong-engined German version. And if I'm not mistaken, more popular and reliable= cheaper to run.

Thoughts?

Anything old is going to be a boatload of problems and is going to require a lot of maintenance. Every time you store it and come back, something else will be wrong with it.
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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Beetles are desperately cheap to buy and run, but they do tend to burst into flames at distressing intervals, are slow and may overheat and die in Texas summer city traffic (think "North Africa" and you've got the idea.) Much of these problems can be corrected, but that takes time. You can also forget about AC or heat in a Bug. This can be a problem in the hot summer sun here.

Late mark MGBs are somewhat cheap to run and parts are strangely plentiful, but you will need to perform many reliability upgrades to them to correct the self-destructive tendencies they have. However, I would not recommend one be stored undriven for any length of time as it will get angry at you and decay while you are not looking.

You might get lucky and find a Honda CRX that's been unmolested. Other options might include the Corolla FX16. I'm assuming you're looking at the smallest car class on the theory that you would be more nimble in traffic, yes?

Well, I have been in Texas (Houston N, and San Antonio at least) and I can deal w/no AC. yes, really. :p

That's what I thought about MGs- love them, they just don't last very long. :(

Yes, I want something reliable, small and fun (which pretty much dictates nimbleness in a small car) and gas mileage is a given.

I am leaning towards a pre-90s, preferably Euro car, though I would consider both Japanese ones you mentioned was the car good enough and the price low enough.

The beetle being reliable and cheap to run was a big relief. One qualm with the beetle- what exactly is the overheating problem, in more detail? While I'm not planning on tracking it (already knew about 0-60=16s :lol:), I might drive the hell out of it going from houston to san antonio (one has friends, the other scrapyards and a relative) and would like to know some direct problems/fixes at hopefully low cost. And if I have some cash left over, any recs for performance, a/c or stereo?

Also, thanks for the help Spectre.
 

Spectre

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Forget about AC - adding it to a Bug is a recipe for a disaster, AFAIK. Stereo? Well, you don't want to put a good one in a Bug as they're easy to break into and steal. Fires - the fuel fitting on the side of the carb can vibrate out of the carb and spray fuel all over the engine bay... which, if it bursts into flame, may in turn ignite the magnesium (not mag alloy, but actual magnesium in the older Bugs, the same stuff we use for flares) engine casings at which point all you can do is watch it melt into the pavement while glowing like the sun.

Overheating can take the form of the air-cooled engine locking up due to the inability to shed enough heat, the carb getting so hot that the fuel in it instantly vaporizes, and so on.
 

Der Stig

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You could always get and E30 BMW; 318 and 320is's are hard to come by, but I'm sure you could easily get your hands on a 3er sedan for dirt cheap. Granted, they aren't cheap to service/fix, but that's what eBay and one of those Chilton manuals are for. And if you want real fun, you could get a mid-80's Toyota 4x4 with a solid front axle and never service it :cool:
 

airmenair

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What I've found in Texas is that any pre 90s Euro car that is the slightest bit interesting, save for a few are incredibly rare in Texas. From my experience the east coast tends to have more of these types of cars, but rust is an issue. California also has better selection and I think the west coast in general. If you're able to, you might have better luck shopping in those areas and then transport it to Texas either by driving it, or by other means.

That said, how about an Alfa Spider? :p

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars....c0.m245&_trkparms=72:317|65:12|39:1|240:1318

They're fairly plentiful in the states, as far as Alfas go.

Here's a GTV6. I saw the bid price and thought it looked good but at second glance the reserve price hasn't been met yet.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars....c0.m245&_trkparms=72:317|65:12|39:1|240:1318
 

The_Finn

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Alfa spider is a great idea... International Auto Parts* makes getting parts insanely easy and suprisingly not eye bleedingly expensive provided you can do all your own work. I mean people fron Italy use IAP for parts...

* IAP is also good for Lancias and Fiats that were sold in the states
 
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freeferrarisdonotexist

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Forget about AC - adding it to a Bug is a recipe for a disaster, AFAIK. Stereo? Well, you don't want to put a good one in a Bug as they're easy to break into and steal. Fires - the fuel fitting on the side of the carb can vibrate out of the carb and spray fuel all over the engine bay... which, if it bursts into flame, may in turn ignite the magnesium (not mag alloy, but actual magnesium in the older Bugs, the same stuff we use for flares) engine casings at which point all you can do is watch it melt into the pavement while glowing like the sun.

Overheating can take the form of the air-cooled engine locking up due to the inability to shed enough heat, the carb getting so hot that the fuel in it instantly vaporizes, and so on.

Actual magnesium!??! :blink:

Is it possible to secure the fitting?

I understand the overheating, but it must not be extremely common as I see plenty of Beetles here and in the states. I'm assuming some sort of external cooler might help...??

And finally, since the engine bay is so roomy in the beetle, is, say, fitting another engine (such as a honda VTEC or something) possible?
 
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freeferrarisdonotexist

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You could always get and E30 BMW; 318 and 320is's are hard to come by, but I'm sure you could easily get your hands on a 3er sedan for dirt cheap. Granted, they aren't cheap to service/fix, but that's what eBay and one of those Chilton manuals are for. And if you want real fun, you could get a mid-80's Toyota 4x4 with a solid front axle and never service it :cool:

A Hilux and a beach sounds fun.

I'll keep my eye out for that one.
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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What I've found in Texas is that any pre 90s Euro car that is the slightest bit interesting, save for a few are incredibly rare in Texas. From my experience the east coast tends to have more of these types of cars, but rust is an issue. California also has better selection and I think the west coast in general. If you're able to, you might have better luck shopping in those areas and then transport it to Texas either by driving it, or by other means.

That said, how about an Alfa Spider? :p

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars....c0.m245&_trkparms=72:317|65:12|39:1|240:1318

They're fairly plentiful in the states, as far as Alfas go.

Here's a GTV6. I saw the bid price and thought it looked good but at second glance the reserve price hasn't been met yet.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars....c0.m245&_trkparms=72:317|65:12|39:1|240:1318

Damn, what amounts to ?1500 for a decent Alfa and I might have taken it right there. I like GTVs.
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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Spectre

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Actual magnesium!??! :blink:

Is it possible to secure the fitting?

I understand the overheating, but it must not be extremely common as I see plenty of Beetles here and in the states. I'm assuming some sort of external cooler might help...??

And finally, since the engine bay is so roomy in the beetle, is, say, fitting another engine (such as a honda VTEC or something) possible?

It is possible to peen the fitting in place, but most people resolve the problem by fitting another carburetor design to the engine. There are quite a few designed specifically for Bugs. Late-mark Bugs in the US even had fuel injection and bypass the problem that way.

External coolers don't help, but putting a special kit on the engine cover allows the top edge to pop up and become a sort of air scoop. You can also fit larger or more fans to the engine and bay to try and blow more air through.

Remember, the Bug is air-cooled, so installing another kind of engine is exceedingly involved... you can put a Porsche 911 engine in with few modifications and there are kits to put a Chevy 350 in it, but the V8 is actually a bad idea for any car driven on the street.


A Hilux and a beach sounds fun.

I'll keep my eye out for that one.

Yeah, the Toyota or Nissan small pickup truck is a perennially popular choice and will keep running until the sun goes cold - and they don't mind sitting up.

Damn, what amounts to ?1500 for a decent Alfa and I might have taken it right there. I like GTVs.

I thought you said you didn't want something that would disintegrate around you while driving? :lmao:
 
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Eunos_Cosmo

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1pacer.jpg
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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It is possible to peen the fitting in place, but most people resolve the problem by fitting another carburetor design to the engine. There are quite a few designed specifically for Bugs. Late-mark Bugs in the US even had fuel injection and bypass the problem that way.

External coolers don't help, but putting a special kit on the engine cover allows the top edge to pop up and become a sort of air scoop. You can also fit larger or more fans to the engine and bay to try and blow more air through.

Remember, the Bug is air-cooled, so installing another kind of engine is exceedingly involved... you can put a Porsche 911 engine in with few modifications and there are kits to put a Chevy 350 in it, but the V8 is actually a bad idea for any car driven on the street.




Yeah, the Toyota or Nissan small pickup truck is a perennially popular choice and will keep running until the sun goes cold - and they don't mind sitting up.



I thought you said you didn't want something that would disintegrate around you while driving? :lmao:

I know... but I have a bit of a soft spot for GTVs. (sighs deeply).

:lol:

Do you know of anywhere that sells the airscoop kit? It appears to be the easiest to do. I think, considering how I'll be driving it, an "airscoop" kit and a larger fan might be the answer.
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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Eunos_Cosmo

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A 12a rotary is a relatively straight-forward swap for the VW's. Just need to take into consideration room for a radiator. Even a stock 12a is more than twice the power, with roughly the same weight and weight distribution of the original flat four.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE8uyyn4DQY[/YOUTUBE]

Then there are the 13Bt beetles...(insane)
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woqiFrnZqvE&feature=related[/YOUTUBE]
 

syncview

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A 12a rotary is a relatively straight-forward swap for the VW's. Just need to take into consideration room for a radiator. Even a stock 12a is more than twice the power, with roughly the same weight and weight distribution of the original flat four.

Do you even submit a post without the word 'rotary' ? :p :lol:
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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A 12a rotary is a relatively straight-forward swap for the VW's. Just need to take into consideration room for a radiator. Even a stock 12a is more than twice the power, with roughly the same weight and weight distribution of the original flat four.


Sounds nice, but will it be pitching apex seals out the tailpipe?;)
 

The_Finn

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Rotary + Turbo + not enough cooling = 13B-REW = trouble

Rotary + no turbo + adaquate cooling = 12A = run for-fucking-ever
 

argatoga

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Rotary + Turbo + not enough cooling = 13B-REW = trouble

Rotary + no turbo + adaquate cooling = 12A = run for-fucking-ever

Yep. I have a 25+ year old 12A to back that up.
 
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