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    I think the title says it all. Well, almost.

    I have recently returned from a motorsport camp which was a whole lotta fun. They had a couple of buggys all with 1275cc Mini engines in. Well, this sparked a huge interest. Its not that i want to make a buggy, more that i want to learn how an engine works. During the week, i watched the mechanics maintain the engines, and i really want to do it myself.

    I was thinking of buying a non runner, and making it work again. Does anyone have any good cars to look out for? A good car with plenty of spares would be good. Needs to be small so it can fit in the garage.

    I'd appreciate thoughts on this, on whether its a good/bad idea or anything else.

    Thanks,

    Chris
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    As old as you possibly can find. You need to get the sort of car where you can see the entire engine in front of you - a few hoses and that's it. Any wires or plastic covers and you won't have a chance. Cars built before the 90s are your best bet.

    Perhaps an old rusty Mini? The engine should be small enough to deal with easily, and it'll be a very simple affair.

    *reads more carefully* ah, you've mentioned Mini engines already :p:

    A four-stroke motorbike might also be good! You can have one of those running on your bench, I'd have thought.
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    Probably a Mini, though I'm not really sure. I got offered a Subaru MV for similar tricks, but time won't allow.
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    You might want to look at a Fiesta MK3 with the 1.1 litre engine on it, the engine bay is big but the engine is tiny this makes the car very very easy to work on.

    For this purpose you may want to look at a carb engine rather than fuel injected as it gives more potential for tuning and also fault finding is easier.

    You might be better of at least getting one that you can the engine run though otherwise the job may just be too big.
    Actually not sure if the platform on this car is suitable for turning into a buggy so a mini may be better but even rotten minis now cost a lot.

    A Metro with a A Plus engine may be a good alternative.
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    I learnt on a VW Beetle Engine. Very, very simple things. Air cooled and everything about it seems to almost teach you without you really trying. Fantastic little things. Highly recommend one.
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    Just to add, I learnt my (sparse) knowledge on tractors, where there isn't really a space issue (especially on the old mechanical ones!) so if your desperate, get a tractor
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    I echo the idea of a Mini as they're easy to work on. But it's probably not the cheapest option to buy as restoration projects are desirable.

    Do you actually want to drive the car when you get it working, or do you just want to get something to play around with, then sell it on? Do you plan on learning how to weld? If not, a rot free example is essential (so, there goes the Mini idea).

    If you want to drive it at the end, then go for something like a Mini/Beetle, as it's iconic and will be rewarding to restore and there's plenty of info out there if you get stuck. If you just want to play around to learn, then any old car will do.

    Personally, I'd get an old Series III Land Rover (as long as you can weld!). Hundreds available, spares are dead cheap, plenty of room to work on them, and it's possibly the simplest design ever. Oh, and you can rag it off-road when you're done!
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    First thing I ever really worked on was a 1975 Daimler XJ6 VDP soverign.
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    Metro and do a 1.8 VVC transplant
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    Anything old is a lot easier to work on.

    Think minis, beetles and other assorted 1960s/70s stuff. Before the 50s many cars were a bit slow to keep up with modern traffic. After the 80s everything becomes very high tech.

    Have a look on ebay for such things as fords and vauxhalls (vauxhalls are probably cheaper) as well as rovers from the 70s and 60s.

    If you pick something with an owners club etc then getting parts will be easier, especially on more popular cars like minis and beetles.

    It is a great sense of achievement when you can drive around in something you have welded up and repaired yourself rather than a modern car
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    a trabant would be easy to do, although they are 2 stroke.
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    Something that you can get at the engine easily.
    Perhapse a triumph Herald? The bonnet and front wings hinge up and out the way. You can sit on the front tyre and work on the engine then. lol!
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    Thanks alot for the ideas I was thinking about a Mini/A Series Metro, but was told that if i was after a 1275cc, it'd be hard to come by.

    I'm open to trying new things, so i reckon i could do welding. I have a family friend who could help with that, and a big workshop to do it in.

    My original aim was just to take an engine to pieces, clean it up/replace parts and put it back together, with a working engine being the main aim. I can't afford to insure it, so i don't expect I'll be driving it when it's done. I may take the engine out, and start with the second project of making a buggy. Or even build it up further and go into racing; My mind is going crazy with ideas :p:

    I do quite the look of the Fiesta and Metro. It seems small enough, and many people have recommended it to me. I'm sure i could pick both up at a local scrapyard.

    All i really want to do is play about and see what happens.
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    Old VWs are apparently extremely easy to work on and a good place to start.
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    They are if you don't mind crawling inside a cupboard to work on the engine!
    Sod that.

    A Triumph Herald, Vitesse, GT6 or Spitfire would be perfect.
    Theres only 4 fuses on all of these cars and the hinged bonnets and wings are amazing for engine access.
 
 
 
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