Viku has owned this car for ages. The car has been modified several times, rebuilt after a serious crash and had all kind of engines. The latest incarnation project includes an engine/gearbox transplant. The previous engine now resides in his roadster so new engine was needed. A practical joke (trial fit of his Rover V8 speedboat engine into a Mini) revealed that the Rover engine fits under the Clubman bonnet. Viku is also partly responsible for the fact that my Minor is now fitted with Rover engine. Anyway, his incredible idea of really fitting the Rover engine into a Mini is something else !! Surely there have been ambitious 16 valve projects but this must be one of the most extreme.
Plan included fitting the engine transversely like the original Mini layout, finding a suitable gearbox/diff and mating everything together. Gearbox is originally from an Austin Princess. It is of Mini design, located underneath the engine. Surprisingly the Rover block and Princess gearbox fitted pretty easily (?) together with only a few adapter plates. Flywheel is a combination of Range Rover and Princess parts. The clutch is a combination of late model Rover clutch plate and Saab turbo diaphragm. A new final drive was specially designed and machined for this engine, ratio is around 2,7:1. The engine is tilted backwards about 10 degrees.
Carb is a 390 cfm Holley which also needed modifications to gain bonnet clearance. Engine is rebuilt and fitted with a hotter camshaft. Viku fabricated one-off exhaust manifolds with stainless steel and mild steel tubing. His mini has "only" a single exhaust because the dual would not fit and he wanted some stealth effect… Well, the exhaust note is hard to miss !!! Cooling is taken care of with a Mini 2-row super cool radiator and a specially made auxiliary radiator.
Surprisingly enough suspension components and suspension pickup points are all ORIGINAL. Furthermore, bulkhead is also original, no cutting was required !!! Like you see in the photos, the package is pretty tight but everything fits. What is even more surprising is that this car does not feel over engined. It runs just about the same way an original Mini does. Only difference being the extra torque…
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