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2000 Mini Cooper Sport Resto (Project Shug)

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
I thought I would copy over my project thread from another forum. While this isn't a French hot-hatch I thought it might be of interest to a few, but more importantly I don't want to lose the project and associated pictures as facebook seems to be killing another previously active car forum (long may avoid this fate).

First post (10/02/2014):

Hello everyone.
I few of you will recognise this car. I bought it last October and ran it for a year as my daily driver. It had only 24k miles on the clock. I put 10k on using as my daily. He done really well, only breaking down once (at the end of the thistle run).
I have done the usual maintained and upgraded the cylinder head to a stage 3 slark racing item. Has 76 and a half bhp (don't forget the half).

Tonight I cleared the garage and put Shug in ready for the trip down.

Here is Hollie having a go before the car gets taking apart


And here is the slight rust issue I have to deal with for the show season this year.






I have all the panels apart from the front panel and passenger side wing. Plan is to strip the car down over the next few weeks. I then have a week off work the first week in March. Should get all the welding done in my week off and then away to paint.
Oh... And I have to get the gearbox off the be rebuilt. Crunches in 2nd like most late models.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
first few weeks of progress:

Good progress tonight. The pics can do the talking.


More garage time this morning. Main revelation. Top dash rail looks finished.

Scuttle off. Dash rail almost off.

Rest of the dash rail is out. New heritage panel prepd and ready to fit tomorrow.
Got one of the scuttle closing panels welded in today.

Hopefully have the dash rail and other closing panel in tomorrow.

March 2014:

The postie came this morning and I was straight out to the garage.


Made light work of this.

Ground down some of the plug welds as well. Really impressed. More control than the grinder and flap discs. And a bit cleaner. Not so many sparks.

Another day in the garage. Drivers side wing off.

There was a crack in front of the shock mount.

Welded up and inner wing rust treat and weld through primer ready for the new wing.

Cut off the passenger side wing as well.

Just the front panel to come off the. I ca. Start putting the new panels back on.

Managed 20 minutes in the garage tonight. Got the front panel cut off.

Just got the inner wings to dress back then can refit the panels.
Looking forward to the weekend.

Over the weekend and tonight I got to grips with the rest of the inner wings.
When I removed the spot welds from the front panel the metal was so thin this happened.


I cut the thin metal out and made up repair panels.

Note the correct use of inter grips.
Now tacked in place.

I had a wee tap with the hammer while I was in the inner wing. Will need to make up a repair for this.

Onwards and upwards.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
April 2014:

So got some time. In the garage the last few days.
Tried the front panel and wings in place.

Front panel now welded in place.

Drivers wing next. Looks like it will fit well. The passenger will need a bit of work.
Really need to get this moving faster if I'm going to make the TR.

Finaly got some decent time in this tonight. My drivers wing now welded in place.


Happy with how it turned out. The passenger side isn't fitting as well. Just take my time before I get the welding torch out.

That's both wings done. Relatively happy with the fit now. Bonnet line was a pain in the arse to get right.


A panels tomorrow. After Liverpool have gone 5 points clear at the top of the league that is. Priorities...

So Liverpool won. I didn't.
A panels removed.


Found more rust in the floors this time.


So sills are coming off tomorrow and getting the order in for a couple more panels.
A bit of a set back but think I can still do it in 5 weeks. Just need to keep going one job at a time.

Cut the drivers side sill off and got one patch to the floor pan done. Here are the pics to prove it happened.



Buffed down the welds. That's one of 5 done.

Front of the floor cut out.

Repair panel made up and clamped in place

Tacked in place

More to come soon. Long way to go.

**** New Content ****

At this point life got in the way of working on the car or my enthusiasm dropped (it was 4 years ago!) so I bought another mini to do the Thistle Run, then sold it later that summer. It was a decent wee car (but was a different colour of red front and back!!!!).

No chance. So I bought another one.

Going for it's MOT tomorrow. Shouldn't be too much to get it to the thistle run.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
July 2014 (no idea what I was doing for 2 months):

Wee update for the first time in a while. Finished patching the drivers side floor.

Sill and door step to go on in the near future.
Had a poke around the back. ;)
And found this.

Battery box on the shopping list.

Put the new door step on this weekend.

Also tried lining up the sill, fitch and A panel. Maybe get somewhere with this if the wife would give me peace.

*********** at this point progress stopped completely. We moved house and I had to find somewhere to work on the Mini (1.5 integrated garage in a new build not the place to be cutting and welding) **********

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
May 2015 (new location):

About time I updated this. I moved house in December and now have a new home for the mini. Been getting plenty of time at it.
Here are the A panels on.


Also got a new battery box and rear valance


Also got the engine and gearbox out. Needs the gearbox rebuilt and will get a better paint job.

More updates next week.

Quick tidy and sweep at the front.

Removed the rear subframe.

Rear subframe isn't too bad. Will see how the radius arms come off. Might use it again.
Need to start making a shopping lists... A long one.

Few hours this morning. Got the rear suspension off the subframe. Further inspection and the mess on the floor shows I need a new frame.

Top is in much better condition.

By the time a repair the crumbling bottom sections, drill out 3 snapped bolts and get it blasted and powder coated I think I will be very close to the cost of a new powder coated one.

End of June:

I have been down a few times in the last week to the mini. Here is the progress.

Engine bay now clear.

Boot clear.
All the wiring collected in the middle of the cabin.

Almost time to get painting. A few wee bits to weld yet.

Got a half day from work and went straight to the garage without telling the misses.
I got the floor and inner sill cleaned up and painted with epoxy mastic 121.

Also welded the sill on
Hopefully going back up tonight so will take a pick then.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
July 2015:

Proof in pictures as you guys say.

Also looks some time to strip the bonnet stripes off. Thanks to her in doors for the hairdryer again.

Any recommendations on getting the mini wing badge off?
Also started cleaning the rear wheel arches and boot floor. Under seal seams to have kept it decent.


Garage nights continue. The wife is behaving very weird. Normally she puts up more resistance to this kind of behaviour.
Here's the picks.



Busy weekend so will be next week before any more updates.

On the other side now.
I redone the welds to the floor on this sill. When I don't it with the car on the deck and still together I wasn't getting good penetration. Also finished the Fitch panel.


Found hopefully the last surprise.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
August 2015:

So I went to bigger at the weekend in the rsp. Was a decent show. Shame they are so fussy with pre 80s cars.

Hollie getting ready some toy trains and ice cream.
When I got back I got a few hours in the garage on shug.
Cut out the rust at the boot floor and wheel arch joining panel.

Made up some templates. Onto steel and tacked one in.

Said a few times now, but hopefully this really is the last bit of welding!!!

Finished seem welding tonight.


Dress the welds back and it's time to paint the floor and inner arches.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
September 2015:

So while the car is in getting painted. I have been cleaning and repairing some other parts.
I am going to have a go at repairing the rear subframe. Spot the difference.


First of all a disclaimer. The following work is not my own. Any impression I give otherwise is totally accidental!!!
Car went to David logue at icon restorations in Glasgow.
In like this.

Now like this.

Ready to collect from this weekend. Dave still to put the saltire on the roof.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
November 2015:

Front windscreen in tonight. Top half almost finished ?

Dec 2015

It has a face of sorts.

Also got the fuel lines and a brake line on.
Make a stupid mistake putting the headlight in. Still had my overalls on and one of the buttons scuffed the top of the wing. Not the best photo. Not too deep. Hopefully polish out.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
December 2015:

Got a phone call from the powder coaters this afternoon. Wasn't expecting these back until next week. Looking good.



Get putting it together at the weekend fingers crossed.

Jan 2016 (Happy new year):

Lots of progress today.
Rear subframe is now in.

Also got on of the brake back plates built up.

Hoping to get the other back plate built up after dinner.

Another hour. Some more parts painted.

The top arms are in great nic. I can't remember if I replaced the bearings and pins when I replaced the cones a few years ago.
Also cleaned up the drums. They were pretty clean already so just a light wire wheel to knock some surface rust off.
Not sure if I should paint these. They look good just cleaned up.

They will need to visit an engineering shop

Any recommendations in West Lothian area?

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
March 2016:

Good progress this weekend.
Door furniture on.

Temporarily fitted the steering column to tightened the steering rack to the toe board.
Then on with the front subframe.

Nice shiny towing eyes fitted.

Just a case of building up a corner at a time for the next while.

Radius arms are off having the new bushes installed. So I started the front this weekend.
Cleaned up the swivel hub.

Bit of satin black. Blue peter shot.

Also get the bottom arms and tie bars fitted both sides.

I managed to clean up the other hub and paint it before packing up. New bearings and ballpoints next on the list.

New ball joints and wheel bearings done.

I was a right dafty and put the windscreen on before the top dash rail. So out it came.

And now it sits like this.

Picking my radius arms up tomorrow. On 4 wheels before Monday is out I say.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
Still March 2016:

Lots more progress tonight. I got the radius arms back but needed to give them another coat of paint. While they were drying I started on the engine and gearbox. Had the usual 2nd gear crunch so it's off to Mcdonald Mini's to get rebuilt this week.

Flywheel was on there good. But a good puller, long bar and an old main bearing done the job.

Then off with the gearbox.

I have a few upgrades planned while this is apart. Watch this space.

On to the brakes:

So last week I got these out of storage.

To be honest I just can't put them on the car like they are. And I had my eye on some 4 pot callipers. So I ordered these and they arrived today.

Some more living room fettling and its done.

Really pleased with them and the good ridge classic hoses. The only slight issue is I was expecting to fit the disc shields I had powder coated. But they hit the larger callipers.

Some beauty shots.


David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
April 2016:

Spent tonight cleaning the block face and Pistons


Decent bit done today.
Changed 2 wheel bearings. Fitted to the radius arms.
Cones shocks and hilos all done both sides.
Still have the handbrake cable to fit and 1 brake pipe to make up, then the back end can be put on its wheels.
Thanks to Ian King for the rubber cones.

Got the car on 4 wheels for the first time in a few years.
Some beauty shots of the front wheel arches first.


Fitted the fuel tank.
Pushed the car out and gave it a wash.


And took these out the dining room finally (she says!)

Just an engine build and put in now. Gearbox back this week hopefully!!!

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
April 2016 cont.

Interior now fitted and looking good!


Just the engine and gearbox to go in now. Then it's the home straight.

Camshaft arrived today. New SW5 cam and followers.

I thought they sent the wrong one when I opened it. Has the dizzy drive and cam sensor lobes for some reason???

Fitted the followers and cam to the block after cleaning off some old gearbox and old pump gasket. As exciting as that looks I don't have a pic of that.
I'm off to London with work for a few days. Will fit the front plate and time the cam when I get back.

I hate Britians Got Talent with a passion. So I went out to the nice comfy integrated garage to continue building up the engine for this car.
Got the front plate on. Timing sprockets cleaned up and fitted with new IWIS big pin simplex chain and tensioner.

Will check how close the cam timing is tomorrow.

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
May 2016:

Went a run through to wallyford today to pick up my refurbished gearbox.
For a car that's done 34k miles it needed quite a lot. 2nd and 3rd gear syncro. 1st motion shaft and new main bearings. The casings were soda blasted so looking fresh. A few wee upgrades too. Slightly short FD at 2.95 and a central oil pickup.

Also got my offset cam key. So fitted that tonight and check the timing is ok now. Which it is.
Cylinder head has also had a refresh with the valves cleaned, lapped and a lick of black paint for the casting.

Ian came by today and gave the car a really good polish and wax. Looks excellent. I didn't take any photos but they wouldn't do the job justice anyway.
When I got home I went out to the garage and put the engine and gearbox together.

Flying together now.

Had a good crack at putting the rest of the engine and gearbox back together tonight.
Put the transfer gear casing on. These realised I didn't have a primary gear oil seal in the gasket set I bought.
So switched sides and put the timing cover on. Then the cylinder head and rockers.

Clutch, cover, crank damper, engine mounts and water pump then I can out it in the car. Canny wait!!!

Engine ready to fit.

Next pic it will be in the car!!!

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
Went to Disneyland at the weekend with the wee princess.

The recovered by spending a few hours in the garage tonight.

That's the inlet and exhaust manifolds on. Pot joints in and driveshafts painted.
Put the brake master and servo on as well. Reservoir cleaner up well. Not far from being able to start it!!!

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
July cont.

Tonight's task was putting a face on the car.

So that's spot lamps. Grill and bumper on.
I should be collected my refurbed wheels tomorrow.
MOT on Thursday.

Refurbished wheels collected at lunch time.

Not quite ready for the mot tomorrow. Promised my dad I would service his car tonight.
Got the wheels on and some other bits done. Even took it a wee drive.


Wee car passed it MoT this morning with no advisories. So that concludes project shug. Really enjoyed doing this and the car is looking and driving fantastic.
I'm going to enjoy the next few months before winter sets in. I'll let the pictures do the talking.



Brilliant project, and great work on keeping it moving along! I have been lucky that I bought mine when it was new enough to not need panels and have kept everything well coated, but it is always scary to see how much an “easy wing and a-panel job” can balloon once you start chopping.

I love a mini - I bought mine in 1993, and started tidying it up ready for when I started driving... it finally hit the road in March 2017 - I was quite slow! Need to get some more miles on it before summer is over!

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
CRacking read, well done!
Cheers. I get the feeling I’ll be adding to this in a month or so.

I always set out to restore the car to standard looking but with more get up and go.

With 81 bhp and 84 ft lb torque it’s around 30% up on standard but tuning NA is such small gains it’s quite frustrating and still feels a bit slow.

So I’m putting my bonus and some shares to get a supercharger kit. Works with my existing throttle body and ecu. Capable of around 160 bhp.

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David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
Let’s bring this up to date with work since September.

As I said in my last post the plan for this winter was to spend some money to supercharge the mini and hopefully end up with the mini I always wanted.

After a few conversations with specialist components who do a nice supercharger kit, it was making more sense to also refresh the bottom end to make sure it copes well with the extra power.

So to save having the mini in bits for months on end I bought a spare MPI engine and gearbox. At £300 it was a reasonable deal. Especially when once all the bits were sold it owed me nothing.

Unfortunately once I stripped it down I found it was a factory linered block. This basically means the factory cocked the original bore up so they use thin wall liners to recover the situation. The bad news is you can’t overbore them without risk of the liners moving. Shame because it was clear rly low milage. As least the crank was mint.


Cue buying another block. This time £200 just for a bare block crank and pistons but at least I could be sure this wasn’t linered. And I should the rods and pistons.

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David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
Now the exciting bit. A few weeks ago I got my stuff back from the machine shop. I used Jim Cuthill engineering in Stirling and would recommend him if any of the Scottish contingent need any machine work in future.

Here is the block as it came back. Overbore +20 thou. Decked and 11 head stud conversion. And the crank was polished. Everything checked over ready for assembly.


I’ve spent today cleaning the internal oil ways and cleaning and painting the block. Ended up with this.


And now mounted on the engine stand to start building.


And here is a sneaky peak at the charger.


Last edited:

David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
So it’s almost time to start taking the car apart.

First of all the crank was fitted. Bearings and thrust checked for clearance and then all bolted down.

I’m using ARP washers with standard bolts. The standard bolts are really good already so don’t really ever get upgraded. Quite often mini folk install what’s called a centre main strap but recent trends are that these aren’t really necessary. So I’ve opted for the ARP washers instead (also a recent trend). Time will tell how they do.



And then it’s on to installing the pistons. Here they are dished +20 thou omega cast items. I was going to go for forged pistons as most folks do. Classic minis with forced induction tend to struggle with pre detonation but it’s often through poor ignition timing or fueling. Forded pistons are supposed to give some insurance. Discussion with the folk supplying the parts was what changed my mind. They said recent forged omega pistons have a lot less material than the cast items for lightness. They use cast in all forced induction engines now as they believe them to be more reliable.


I did go for fancy forged rods. These are 20% lighter but also stronger than cast standard ones. The minimum with standard ones is to go for ARP stud and nut. So the extra spend for these wasn’t that much.


Now just a case of fitting these 4. I’m half way there.



Let the fun continue. Hoping to have the mini in bits next weekend.

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David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
Now finished building the fresh bottom end. Here it is looking all shiny.




Now I’m away with work for 3 days then off work Friday and all of next week.

So fridays job is to take the engine and gearbox out the mini then start swapping it all over.

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David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
Lots of progress today.

Started like this.


A few hours later this.


12 years I’ve had minis. Still smile when you see what a great package the engine and gearbox is.



Next it’s a case of splitting the engine and gearbox done. Ordered an ATB diff to put in the gearbox at the same time. Original plan was to go with an updated open diff but going this far I think it’s sensible to go for something to aid traction at the same time. I don’t think there are any downsides but happy to be corrected. Diffs are a bit less common on the mini scene than Renault sport guys.

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ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
Great work! Have you seen MED’s you tube channel ?

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ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
I’ve seen the odd video on Facebook. Bought a load of stuff over the year including a few things for this build like the lightenend steel flywheel and ATB diff.

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The vids are worth a watch. I not sure what there reputation is like these day but they always were considered one of the best specialists. Their cranks were supposed to be the best - I believe Peter Baldwin always ran them in his Miglia race engines

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David Stuart

ClioSport Club Member
The vids are worth a watch. I not sure what there reputation is like these day but they always were considered one of the best specialists. Their cranks were supposed to be the best - I believe Peter Baldwin always ran them in his Miglia race engines

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Yeah they still have a really good reputation. Although the standard A series cranks and rods are very capable of taking extra power. Best to spend your money on a camshaft and cylinder head.

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ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
Yeah they still have a really good reputation. Although the standard A series cranks and rods are very capable of taking extra power. Best to spend your money on a camshaft and cylinder head.

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Yeah, I think their modified cranks are supposed to be good as well. Back in the day David Vizard books were my bedtime reading. I got as far as getting a block pocketed to build a 998 with 12g940 head but then life took over and I never got any further. Been in a few high power minis over the years, probably my favourite was a 1380 with a Jack knight 5 speed box ( it’s still on the go and currently having a turbo engine fitted)

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