It’s that odd feeling you get owning a classic car.. seeing plumes of smoke pouring out the end of the tailpipe, checking the oil level indicators watching it burn off quarts of oil, oil pressure not so good, well, yeah, something definitely gone wrong here.
I took Henley into John Koo of Sracer product, well, he was in town again and was the closest shop to where I was in downtown Berkeley, it was either him or Jon Becker at Mini-Part in Concord, and, well, get thee to the closest shop was my goal!
John said keep the engine running when I drove her in, looking at the telltale signs and smoke, he said that the lower piston rings are gone, gone, gone.. Not really anything you can do at this point but get a new engine. Either buy a remanufactured one like from Seven Enterprises (not sure if Mini Mania still makes them for the classic anymore), or get ahold of a donor 998 to swap out with what I have and save all the fiddly bits.
So that’s what I will do, short of some classic Mini garage coming forward to donate a new 1275 lump to Miniology (which at around $5000+ a piece, this probably ain’t gonna happen!)
Now we turn to Bonnie, the 62 project Mini – which is suffering the same fate – we need to source a new engine and tranny for her. Any takers? LOL.. Maybe we can get a 998 for her too! Let’s see who is reading this post and who is going to come forward to offer help. Yeah, that was a formal plea, we exchange gratuitous footage of your shop and the process in exchange for parts on our classics!