It's stories like yours that make the Mini what it is today, almost everyone that had one or drove one remembers the joy of a small little car that was cheap to run and repair.thecaretaker wrote: ↑Wed, 7th Apr 2021, 4:27pm I had a Leyland mini 850cc (Pageant Blue). I needed to replace the lower radiator hose. It was near impossible to get a spanner down between the side facing radiator and the body to the bottom hose bolt. Many folk cut a hole in the side (air fins behind the wheel) to get better access. But I did persevere and finally managed it somehow. They weren't the easiest car to work on, but parts were off the shelf at most dealers and very cheap in comparison to other cars. I loved my mini.
You'd only spend that kind of money to electrify one if the chassis and bodywork were in tip tip condition. The Leyland Mini's were prone to rust and used thinner metal than the original. The older models with external door hinges were much more solid. When I had mine in the early 80's, you only saw older versions or younger Leyland models on the road. There was a gap between the old version and the Leyland ones as the newer only lasted 8 years or so. The original mini's went on for years.
My favourite was the Mini Hornet with a boot. Lovely walnut dash. I bought a kit and added the Walnut dash and door trims to my 850cc Mini. Looking back now, I spent far too much money on that Mini. I fully carpeted it, added radios and clocks etc. A misguided youth as when you sold it, you never really got your money back despite it looking like a miniature Rolls Royce. But it was my first car and I loved it (and remember it to this day).
For those who didn't know what the Mini Elf or Hornet looked like (note external door hinges and no, the radiator wasn't behind that imposing front grill as far as I recall - it was on the right hand side of the transverse engine same as other mini's)
That bottom hose is one of many jobs on a mini that was far easier to do once the engine unit was out. Once practiced it would take less than an hour to remove the engine and the same to put it back.
I had an Autograss mini with a simplified wiring loom and I could remove that in 15mins with two pairs of hands and a block and chain.
In terms of rust issues you are correct the cars built in the 1970's don't do so well there was a period after that where it improved but by the rover years in the 1990's the poor quality metal and poor painting of none shiny bits of the car make those a bit of a nightmare to repair.
You are correct the Wolsely Hornet had the standard mini engine configuration with the radiator mounted on the right side with the fan mounted to the water pump blowing through into the nearside wing area.