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Hello everyone :)

I haven't been on MT for quite some time. Work and play have been very much inbalanced.
I recently read Andrea's thread and was appalled at what I read. I doubt very much that my thread would be much better!

The top and bottom of it was simple - I couldn't get all of the parts working together in harmony on the budget I set. There was a lot of learning involved and in my opinion, the DIY route that I was trying to achieve even with the support of various companies in the UK meant that small issues that developed turned into something very expensive to resolve.

Throughout my journey, I always wanted a car that looked and drove very well on the road. I also wanted a competition car. In my opinion - without having a new M5 or a GTR on the driveway, you're not going to tick every box with a Time Attack competition car with an interior. No compromise is what Lee and Nigel are doing - and that is where I would have ended up had I continued with the project.
Towards the end of the little red Mini - I was seriously contemplating going Turbo. I was tired of the Rotrex charger. I was tired of the noise of it - trying to muffle it to suit UK law and track limits.

The kit in it's original form (TMIC, standard fuel system) wouldn't have worked for long I don't feel. We did lots of testing and without a fuel pump/fuel system, you couldn't maintain the fuelling you needed with the car. 1000cc injectors wide open is never a good thing! Similar to Andrea, I felt I was on my own a lot from RMW. On the few occasions that Jan logged onto my laptop to modify the map, he did do a good job. However, at the sign of any failure it was the "tune" or something else I had done.

The MINI specific companies I used were as follows:

RMW - Jan could sell sand to the Arabs. At the time of me wanting big power, he took a lot of time out of his day to speak with me on the phone. We ran through various options and I admit, I was overwhelmed with big power figures. I assumed (with zero mechanical experience) that bits were easy to bolt on and that finding a mapper would be easy...when shit hit the fan, I always personally felt that Jan turned his back on me. Both on the forum and on facebook he would get pretty personal with the attacks of the tune, with monkeys putting the car together etc. Likewise, the RMW forum he ran was a hostile place. His employee (Colin) would also be the first to mock/abuse you online if anything was slightly wrong. I have to say - Andrea made the installation easy with his well documented pictures and reports. This is the sort of stuff I expected from Jan..! Credit where credit is due - he always had parts on the shelf. If I couldn't get a new Rotrex, or needed some oil, or a head gasket - he had them on the shelf. No waiting at all. FedEx would deliver them within 2 days which was quicker than any UK company could. You paid for the privilege though!

Mad4Mini - my local independent Mini specialist. I couldn't thank them enough in the early days. They kept and stored the car for me during it's initial build. They showed me how to get to grips with the mechanics of a car. When I first turned up there for a reduced pulley and belt they never knew we would build a great friendship and nor did I know that I would learn so much about cars as I do now. From how an engine actually works, to how to assemble/dissemble a Mini. I learnt how to change discs and pads, callipers, exhausts to removing an engine, how to torque a cylinder head etc. It was a massive learning experience for me and one that sticks with me to this day! Yes some things went wrong and as the car developed and my relationship with Will Pedley Racing deepened, it became apparent that the level of detail they were working to wouldn't suffice for essentially a custom built race car. They still maintained the car to the end with oil services, clutch changes etc. and they still service my other cars now.
For everything that 99% of the users on here would do, I would highly recommend them.

1320 Mini - I never used 1320 Mini for anything mechanical but the offer from Paul was always there. Speaking with Paul and the lads from 1320, they oozed passion for the Mini and the cars they built and were always happy to give good advice. Whenever I needed parts (from tensioners, to belts, to plugs, to gaskets) they had them and had them shipped on a next day service. If I had gone Turbo - they would have been my regular hideout I feel.

MiniCraft - as above, when the car was in its first year and when Trevor was supporting MT at Brands, he was always helpful. On the one occasion I needed something that no-one else had, he had them. He also shipped it on a next day service. I can't comment on anything else to do with them as I haven't personally been involved.

Vecchio Engineering - a company that should get more business IMO. Leon at Vecchio was always very knowledgeable on anything engineering based. He was able to make me adapters up on the fly for sensors on the car, he always had a good stock of the more desirable bits (ARP bolts/lube/headgaskets - more specialist bits) and his pricing was good. We had good chats on the phone and he was genuinely interested in the car and the journey. I believe he also spoke with Jan as he knew about the new head bolts being developed by him etc.

Will Pedley Racing - serious OCD man! Will is frustratingly attentive to detail. What "would do" for you and I wouldn't do for Will. Probably explains why I was so skint towards the end of the Mini as everything was done properly! He opened my eyes to wiring like never before. Proper cables. Proper connectors. Proper shrink wrap. Proper cable management. Where soldering would be brittle he used proper connectors. We had many a long day/night working on the car together and what he didn't know about standalone mapping wasn't worth knowing. Will comes primarily from a turbo car application background so he had some learning too. Information that wasn't shared by Jan soon caught us out - i.e. hitting the rev limiter and breaking a rotrex. Fuelling numbers we were guessing at initially. I felt we did a good job with the car - Will developed the fuel system which worked perfectly. He also sourced my brakes, exhaust and we were in talks about next steps prior to me deciding to break the car. Again, I learnt so much from him that I never thought I would.

On a recent trip, my aeroplane had issues. I had no hesitation in taking the cowling off and finding a collapsed inlet manifold hose. If I hadn't gone through what I had, I wouldn't have had the confidence to source and find/replace this. And it works in everyday life too - wheel replacement, brakes replacement, self servicing the truck etc.

In short - I enjoyed my experience but don't think I could stomach this full-on type of project again. Credit to those who are still pushing the boundaries! Reliability is difficult to harness and without endless amounts of money, these projects are a serious strain on income! I loved my time on MT, I loved the hoons and the trackdays we all attended. The bitching really made it quite sad but I tried to stay as immune to it as possible. I have nothing left from the Mini now other than the hood scoop and the key. I do have hundreds of pictures (some on my office wall) and endless videos that make me smile.

At the end of the day - when you start modifying your car, you expose its weaknesses. These cars are thrown together and in my experience, you get a good car and a bad car. The main thing is you enjoy your journey, you learn something from it and you make some good friends off the back of it too.

Peace out.
 

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Registered
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8,800 Posts
Thanks for popping in Lee, it's good to hear from you.

When you coming back?!

Paul - Sorry to hear you're parting out, you've gone from hobo to hoarder :lol:
 

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Registered
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207 Posts
Hi Lee, we have never spoke but I have lurked and erad your build, in fairness you have had the same experiance as most of the people
I know who have attempted big builds and the pitfalls. Audi TT 1.8T up to 500Bhp V6's over that, nothing comes cheap and it is all trial
and error. I applaud your response fair and honest, I have built a few cars and have met people who I wouldn't piss on if they were on
fire others who I still share a pint with. You have gained a wealth of knowledge so something good has come out of the car. Best of luck
in the future.

Again great looking car, I want all that GP stuff ;-)))
 

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Registered
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24 Posts
I'll sort it out after I've had my dinner and put Pobsey Jr to sleep
I vote to leave the drivel in so others can see what a paranoid delusional tool Jan actually is . This one thread alone has saved new potential customers a ton of money and grief . Just looking at his sig for all those " records " that apparently only he knows about should give you a hint as to just how insecure he truly is . Try to find proof on the net for 10% of them much less acknowledgment by any pro team that they even know him . Some things never change .
 

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Werthers
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6,596 Posts
Somebody get SPORTSMAN a cauldron and a handbag - bitch be stirring up all knids of shit.
It can't be one rule for some and another for others. Jan seems to get special treatment as he can stir as much crap as he wants and nothing is done. I respect his knowledge and services but his special treatment on this forum is pretty shocking and just annoys others.
 

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MT's Naughty Boy
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6,852 Posts
Less Trash talking in this thread - Thumper and RMW (+ cronies) be pros and post shit in your own threads, otherwise, you'll get a week off.

Final Warning.

Andrea can post what he wants in his project thread.

If anyone here has an issue with another member on here I suggest you all man the fuck up and PM, phone or fight each other. Otherwise shut the fuck up.
That's two now.

Anyone else?
 
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