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Austin Montego 1.3 Estate - Occasional Fleet Action


Tommyboy12

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A bit more about it then! Essay incoming!

As mentioned I've had the car 12 years. It was my first classic and was my dream car and still is today. It helped me learn everything I know about working on cars and really got me into modifying cars too. It's been through a few iterations, paint jobs and engines to get to where it is today but honestly its never mattered what setup it is I just love it. I'll keep it forever and hopefully drive it until I can no longer drive myself.

The car itself:

 Its pretty heavily modified incase it wasn't entirely obvious! It's not for the purists... Which is actually the reason I keep my other one as I do. It's nice to have a period/standard Mini and this one looking ratty. Two ends of the spectrum.

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Aside from running a turbo lump which I will get to its on coilovers all round, has a beam rear subframe and has had the boot floor partially flattened. The rear arches are fully tubbed too. Minis are low but this is really low. It's a good 2-3" lower than a Mini at normal ride height and about as low as you can get without serious work to the front subframe. Tubbed arches below. For those that don't know it basically involves cutting out the lip which is gets in the way on lowered minis and replacing it with flat steel. Best demonstrated from the inside.

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Before tubbing. Note the big crevis which can rub on the tyre.

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After.

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Front end is fibreglass and fully removable. Was like that when I bought it and I've never felt inclined to return it to original. Makes doing engine work a doddle too.

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I suppose the killer bit is the engine itself! It's a 1293cc overbore from a Metro Turbo. Forged pistons, standard rods and crank but running a modified centre bearing cap. Lightweight steel flywheel with a twin spring clutch to take the torque. Gearbox is a straight cut gear set but with helical drop gears. In simple terms it has classic straight cut whine in 1st, 2nd and 3rd but 4th gear is direct drive from the drop gears and therefore entirely helical and quiet. It's a compromise considering the power it runs but I do drive to a lot of shows and am already pretty deaf without making it worse.

It runs a Garrett T3 from the Metro, Montego/Maestro turbo plenum, turbo carburettor, and a Megajolt mappable ignition which uses a custom ECU to feed into a Ford EDIS ignition module and coil pack. The cylinder head came with the engine and is a work of art but it's a ticking time bomb. There is basically zero meat between the valves which is an absolute no-no in reality. The photos below should help you understand why! It runs at 7.5:1 compression ratio and 26lb of boost. I have pushed it to 30lb before but in all honesty it's too much. The compression tester readings are 85psi across the board 😂

I mostly built it myself.

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The Dyno spat out 170hp at the crank when I tested it. It's quick! Dusting cars is easy when you weigh 600kg and I have had it bouncing off the limiter in 4th which is about 120mph (race track). It could pull more but I like to try not to eject the crank from the block!

So yeah! That's my turbo Mini!

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Delighted to meet this rancid old heap earlier as I delivered the Montego workshop guide. I bought it 5 years ago from a fete knowing that it’d be useful for someone one day - never thought it’d be such a perfect new home for it though.

Good luck with the future, Tom - and look forward to meeting you soon!

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3 hours ago, BorniteIdentity said:

Delighted to meet this rancid old heap earlier as I delivered the Montego workshop guide. I bought it 5 years ago from a fete knowing that it’d be useful for someone one day - never thought it’d be such a perfect new home for it though.

Good luck with the future, Tom - and look forward to meeting you soon!

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It looks like even more of a heap than normal 😂

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Out with the old and broken

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In with the new old and working

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Out with the old and broken

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In with the... Wait a minute... That's not right... Why are the washers on constantly...

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Bugger. Got to love eBay listings. Basically I've ended up melding the two together using the base plate from the old stalk cleaned up with a light sanding, rubbing alcohol and conductive grease and then used the new stalk with the old base plate. The eagle eyed may notice the new stalk is without a downward position on the stalk. I bought a stalk that was advertised as Metro/Maestro/Montego and did spot it was a non-intermittent stalk. As this car doesn't have intermittent wipers anyway I didn't see it being a problem. The down position on the original stalk was actually the same speed as the slow speed up on the stalk.

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  • Tommyboy12 changed the title to Austin Montego Estate - Normal service resumed

This morning I set to getting the hubs fitted again. I also changed the track rod ends as I had some and they were a bit loose. Treated it to some new discs too.

 

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Obviously the best way to do the hub nuts is to use a pry bar jammed against the ground...

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I also changed the selector shaft seal on the gear box. Was really surprised to get the new seal in a tiny little cardboard box!

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Finally I risked the manifold studs and took the down pipe off. It came off quite easily but I did preheat the studs with a blow torch before I even tried them. It's definitely showing a few battle scars from our trip!

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And once it was all back together I treated it to having a load of crap thrown in the cavernous boot and a trip to the local tip! Ran really nicely and it's nice to not hear the exhaust or any ticking from the Speedo!

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I love the way the scruffy low-spec underdog has outlived 99.999% of its cooler, sportier counterparts by a country mile. 

That, and the fact it almost completed a drive of the entire length of the country after a decade sleeping. This thing is bloody fantastic. You definitely need to be awarded that virtual beige trophy. 

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1 hour ago, danthecapriman said:

Great work with this old beast! I love reading and seeing stuff about cars like this, surviving against the odds when they really shouldn’t still be here!

That down pipe though🤣 someone certainly got their money’s worth out of that.

The downpipe was my doing after it blew on our trip up the country. It just kept blowing and blowing the further up the country we went 😂

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  • Tommyboy12 changed the title to Austin Montego 1.3 Estate - LeJog Part 2 Incoming!
13 hours ago, Eyersey1234 said:

Must admit I quite fancy doing LEJOG myself. I'm seriously thinking about doing it for my 40th in 2027, would be more fun to do it in a car that cost less than the train fare though. 

Honestly I enjoyed the overall experience, especially as we took costal roads through Cornwall/Devon/NC500, but I would say that it is A LOT of driving if you do it in one person per car. Obviously actual LeJog can be considerably shorter if you stick to the motorways and a direct route but its not particularly interesting if you do that. The blast up the M6 to Glasgow was a quite tedious day. The advantage with this go is that @sharley17194 and I will share the driving which obviously halves the load!

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17 hours ago, Tommyboy12 said:

So @sharley17194 and I are in conversation about finishing our LeJog trip properly. However we are both short on holiday so.... JohnO and back in one weekend including getting to the point I broke down? Seems reasonable...

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Im not sure it does seem reasonable....more a necessity 

13 hours ago, Eyersey1234 said:

Must admit I quite fancy doing LEJOG myself. I'm seriously thinking about doing it for my 40th in 2027, would be more fun to do it in a car that cost less than the train fare though. 

From a man that's done it....don't try and do it in 5 days, also buy something comfy that m5/m6 run is a beast!

Who thinks Tom should keep monty and take it on next years road trip?

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13 hours ago, Eyersey1234 said:

Must admit I quite fancy doing LEJOG myself. I'm seriously thinking about doing it for my 40th in 2027, would be more fun to do it in a car that cost less than the train fare though. 

Honestly I enjoyed the overall experience, especially as we took costal roads through Cornwall/Devon/NC500, but I would say that it is A LOT of driving if you do it in one person per car. Obviously actual LeJog can be considerably shorter if you stick to the motorways and a direct route but its not particularly interesting if you do that. The blast up the M6 to Glasgow was a quite tedious day and its hard work in a car that can barely sustain 70mph. The advantage with this go is that @sharley17194 and I will share the driving which obviously halves the load!

 

2 minutes ago, sharley17194 said:

and as Tom says share the driving....and don't let @Tommyboy12 book your accommodation! 

a shed with no heating in Scotland....what were you thinking!

Yeah the shed wasnt great...

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1 hour ago, Tommyboy12 said:
1 hour ago, Tommyboy12 said:

Honestly I enjoyed the overall experience, especially as we took costal roads through Cornwall/Devon/NC500, but I would say that it is A LOT of driving if you do it in one person per car. Obviously actual LeJog can be considerably shorter if you stick to the motorways and a direct route but its not particularly interesting if you do that. The blast up the M6 to Glasgow was a quite tedious day and its hard work in a car that can barely sustain 70mph. The advantage with this go is that @sharley17194 and I will not be taking the shitroen this time which obviously eases the load!

FIFY 🤣

 

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Despite all the work I've done to the car I never did a compression test. Thought I'd check the compression and plugs before we do lejog part two. Needless to say it's pretty good! 190-200psi across the board. Plugs are quite sooty, although 3 and 4 have a slightly browning to them, it clearly runs rich so I've dialled a little bit more fuel out.

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4 minutes ago, carburettor said:

I was not aware you could buy any 1.3 A+ engined Austin Morris ve-hikle with a 5 speed gearbox, I remember the Metro hell (HLE) with a 3 plus E gearbox gr9 on the jewel carriageway 

Indeed you could get a 3 or 4+E for the 1.3- I think all Ledbury and Apple2000 ones were 5-speed ones

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  • Tommyboy12 changed the title to Austin Montego 1.3 Estate - Occasional Fleet Action

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