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Home > 998cc > EFI 1098 Turbo Project


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EFI 1098 Turbo Mini Project

Welcome to my build log for my 1098 Turbo Mini!

About Me

I'm a 30 year old Application Engineer from Shropshire. (I do computer programming.. but the fun kind where I occasionally make games)

Like many of you I've been messing about with cars since I was a teenager, but like with my career, I found I preferred 'making' stuff to playing with it.

My first years of automotive education were limited to a vast array of boring, yet insurance friendly, Fords. Most of which contained stupid stereo systems of my own design. After university I went all 'euro' and had a fantastic time hooning around in a Diesel A3, and a brilliant Golf V5! At the same time, I was working with my Dad one day, and stumbled upon a Mk1 MR2. This was to be my first real project.

I've documented the entire thing here for anyone who want's a long read!
Project Phoenix - A barn find story

I learnt one hell of a lot, really cut my teeth on what a project car should be. My god was it fast when I finished!
Just as I got it on the road, my Uncle decided to become a rally driver! So for the last 3 years I've spent a lot of time in and under his Historic Rally car!

Then last year, My other half and I, started Wedding planning, and thinking about buying a house... So the MR2 had to go! The deal being most of the cash went into savings, but I got to keep some back to get a new daily driver (I was commuting in it!) and buy a new project.

After all that time working on a mini, I knew there was only 1 choice for a project car.

The Brief

I wanted another crazy car for a daily driver, but it needed to be reliable enough to jump in, scream down the A49, and get me to work without needing constant maintenance every weekend.

It needed to look striking, have a modern ECU and modern electronics, it needed to have an exhaust that could be loud and shout when I wanted to press on, but dignified and sporty when I wasn't in a rush.

It needs to cope with modern traffic, and to that end.. modern traffic jams. It can't overheat waiting on the lights! I also want it to drive like a modern car, with low end torque.

It needs to be different! I like a car that stands out, cars to me have always been an outward expression of art.

The Plan

To meet my goals, my design plans are as follows

- Completely restored mini shell
- Added structure and reinforcement to key areas
- Modern steering and instruments
- Simplistic interior, cafe racer inspired
- Modern lights and electronics
- Conservative bluetooth sound system
- Sound deadening, but only in key areas

- Refreshed components, replaced when required
- Lightly lowered
- Possible coilover conversion, as I have the ability to strengthen the mounting locations
- Electronic Steering
- 12" wheels
- Modern brakes, probably not vac assisted

- 1098 Engine
- Synchro gearbox and drop gears
- Turbo Cam
- 1098 Pistons & rods
- Extremely modified cylinder head (stage 3++)
- ARP studs and bolts
- AN fittings and hoses. No silicone!
- Front mount radiator and intercooler
- all aluminium pipework
- Clean *euro spec engine bay
- tucked wiring
- modern ECU with modern sensors
- custom inlet plenum, and single DBW throttle body
- Garret turbo from a fiat 595
- Fiat 595 back box, with modified internals
- valved exhaust

Edited by Lawrenceselly on 10th May, 2022.



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The Shell

I found a de-seamed mini locally, it looked cheap and came with a complete rear subframe. Something which I already knew was getting expensive. I bid on it, won it, and grabbed my father-in-laws flatbed to pick it up.

Now some of you might be like... oh god! Deseamed! EW!

And yeah... I get it... So don't worry! I've got a roof cut to go on it, but I'm keeping the sides de-seamed as I kinda like it. That whole 'different' thing I was on about.

So I got it home, had a load of fun unloading it into the garage.

And there it stayed for a few weeks whilst I sorted my life out.

Then I got to work stripping it down. Removed the subframe and stored it. Removed the seat belts and a few errant brackets. Fuel tank, etc.

I went out one weekend, and tore in at the front right wings... I just couldn't stand the rust 'looking at me' ordered some new panels from minisport and started fitting things. Looking back now I should have gone in with more of a plan.

The welds aren't my best but I was getting used to a new machine. Also it became quite obvious that I needed a roll over jig.

I measured the garage, and not one of the plethora available online would fit. So I decided to make my own. It became quite a project! But I'm pleased with the result.

fits really well in the garage, and you can roll it over 90 degrees both sides, and lock it in place. It wheels around for easy access, and I have 4 inches of room at each end when the door is closed!

I was also able to get some well needed practice in with the MIG which paid dividends when I was ready to start attacking the shell again.

I started on the drivers side, as it was the worst. I've welded in a new inner sill, front floor, door step, and then my reinforcement.

I've taken some 3mm thick galvanized U channel, that I've bent slightly to follow the curve of the sill, and welded that inside the sill channel. It also curves heavily after the door step, to accommodate and reinforce the rear subframe mounting location. It doubles up as the seatbelt anchor, and a side impact protection brace. Whilst the weight may be a factor to speed later in the build, I'm sure it will help corner nicely!

I've since ground all the welds back, and last bit of work on the shell before I started this blog, was to put the sill outer on.

From this last picture you can see the area I need to tackle next

Rear wheel arches and boot floor!



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The Engine

Before I sold the MR2, I was already set on doing something with a mini. I knew I had to sell it, so I bought something to tinker with to stop me... finding a supercharger on eBay or something.

I got hold of a more or less complete 998 engine in it's subframe. The starter was missing, and it had no radiator, but most of the building blocks were there. I knew the engine was going to need work, but for £80 it wasn't bad. This was mid-lockdown too so I needed something in the shed to do. [I]this is also pre house move, so I only had a shed, no garage]

I stripped it down to examine what I needed, and during that time a 1098 crank came up on eBay. So I snatched that.

Sent both the crank and the block to get machined, and they've come back looking stunning. The block is 060" over, so I ordered some 1098+060 pistons and everything is on a shelf in the garage waiting for more parts to arrive.

The most pressing is the clutch, as I need that to balance everything, then it can all be assembled. I had read about an RTS clutch on this very forum, so I followed the accompanying guide and I've set about making one. My colleague, who has a beautiful Myford ML7, is currently machining the required spacers for me. These are his photos of the current progress

Once it's back it's all going to AC Dodd to get lightened and balanced, then I can measure everything and start assembling the bottom end.



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What's Next

I've entered the MiniCooper and Minisport competition to provide a' boost' to the project... I'll get my coat

The plan, is to finish the shell this year, or at least remove as much rust as possible from it.
Ideally I would like to end the year with a rolling shell, as we're thinking of moving house in the next 12 months, and a rolling shell is much easier to move around and transport.

As for the Engine: I've got my RTS clutch almost complete, and then it's going to AC Dodd to get lightened and balanced with the flywheel. Once that's done it will be off to the machine shop once more to get the entire rotating assembly balanced.

Then I would like to end the year for the engine with the bottom end complete.

So stay tuned for more updates!

Constructive criticism is welcomed, I'm aware a few of my ideas are likely to cause a discussion.



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Member #: 831
Post Whore

Montreal, Canada

You don't say much about the EFI setup so I don't know if you're aware that this is not trivial and can't really use a completely off-the-shelf setup. Having said that, it's mainly a question of understanding why this is the case, planning for it and then a lot of tuning. There are many different ways to go about it and there are tons of posts on the forum showing some examples.

For some basic overview of the issues, you might want to have a look at this: It's a bit dated but still valid on theory of the issue and the solutions. But mostly go through the many builds described in the forum posts and ask questions.



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Oh the drawbacks of the Siamese port havenít been ignored. Iíve looked into scatter cams, modifying the cylinder head to add a separation channel between the inlet ports, and sleepless nights wondering if Specialist Components managed to get direct injection working.

But Iím very much on the fence about using a 5 port head, and whilst the k1100 head is an option. Iíd look at a Fiat 1.1 8v head and get the block machined to accept it.

Iíve plenty of time to figure it out though, as this is a long term project. My MR2 took the fat end of 4 years, and I started with a whole car!

Currently Iíve been working on the shell for 3 months, and Iíll be lucky to get the floor finished by the end of summer.

Might order a fiat 1.1 head gasket anyway, just to look at it.



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Please open the vents on the oversill panels, or your hard work will be be for nothing when the moisture can't escape and it's rots from the inside out.

Good luck with the project


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Will do, I did wonder why they didn't come pre-drilled or stamped, or something.

I've since ran a line of drain holes at the bottom of the sill, and it will be filled with Cavity wax post paint.


Turbo Phil

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4598 Posts
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My sister is so fit I won't show anyone her picture

Lake District

Itís nice to see a fresh project on the forum. Keep the updates coming.




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Small amount of progress this week. The spacers my friend was making for me are finished. So I can order the bolts for my clutch and send it out to AC Dodd to get lightened and balanced!

I'm busy working on two other projects currently, that I want to get finished before the summer. So updates will be sporadic.

The two other projects are:
- 2.2 HDI Engine swap in my extremely slow 1.9d Berlingo.
- Restoration and repainting Jaguar XK8

They should be done by end of June, so I plan to be fully on the mini by then.


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