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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, first time here so go easy on me!

After wanting a classic since I began driving, I've finally bought myself my first classic car. It's a 1965 Hillman Super Minx, 1.6 Saloon.

Mechanically the car is sound - engine idles nicely and the drive is comfortable. Just needs a bit of work doing on the handbrake and rear service brakes. The bodywork is where the issue is however - although there's no surface rust visible on the body, the rear sills need replacing to pass an MOT as well as the front arches. There is also some rot in the drivers footwell on the floor where a small hole is beginning to form.

I can't do any of the welding so will take it to a local restorer, however I can do the brakes and look at the small oil leak coming from somewhere under the engine. Luckily parts seems fairly easy to get hold of for these so I believe I can do, but I was hoping for a few bits of advice beore I got started.

- Where is the best point to jack the car up?
- How easy is it to remove the fornt wings?
- Any other general bits of advice

Hope somebody could help - I want to see the store back to original condition and although I know it'll take time, I have the help and steady funds
to get me going.

IMG_1400.jpg IMG_1399.JPG IMG_1401.jpg IMG_1403.jpg
 

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Best place to jack any old car up is by the axles or cross members, avoid using any part of the body shell unless you are sure of it. Most old cars had built in jacking points and as sods law dictates these are often the first place to rot (ask me how I know)
I never owned a Minx but a few off my mates had them in the old days and they were good underrated cars (and the bigger engined ones were pretty quick)
 

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If you've got the original jack (it slots into square tubes protruding from the main chassis rails under the front bumper and rear valance) I wouldn't trust it until you know that the metalwork there is sound. Better to use a trolley jack under the front crossmember (and use axle stands once the car is raised) or under one of the main (rot free?) chassis members. Replacement sills are available on the bay (pattern) and lots of greasy bits available from Speedy Spares - The Home of Rootes Group Spares :)

Front wings are welded on and a buggar to get off - best to leave them in place and patch the arches (inner and outer) in situ. If you have the sills replaced most restorers will just remove the lower rear part of the front wing to close off the new sill and then weld it back on after.
 

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Hi
welcome, seems like a good time to learn how to weld, a decent mig which will weld body panels is reasonably cheap and with a bit research ( there are loads of how tos on Youtube) and lots of practice, welding repair panels is something you can do yourself at home on the drive if necessary, it will save hundreds of pounds as I imagine there will be more rot to be found as you poke around. If you take it step by step even massive welding jobs can be done at home, I replaced almost all of the bottom 30cm of my Toyota. Get it modified! It would easy and cheap to drop the suspension 3ins which would change the whole look of the car, some other subtle mods, removing badges, trim etc are easy to do if you are painting the car after the rust repairs. Classics cars are good, modified classic cars are better, heavily modified classic cars are awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there, cheers for the advice. I was lucky enough to be given a decent mig welder and I do have a contact for fairly cheap steel just need to get some practice in as I suspect you're right and there will be a lot more unsuspecting rust/corrosion! :( good to hear you did so much yourself though, gives me confidence..
Thought about modding it but I'm a massive fan of keeping things original as they'll never be seen again. If I were to do anything though, I'd stick a V8 in there straight away lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the advice on the jacking points too:) I do have the original jack and starting handle too, so I'll first look for the tubes underneath - if I see any signs of weakness though I'll use my trolley jack and axle stands.

I have found a supplier of the wings (metal and fibreglass) but they're not cheap!! Hope to just patch up the wings and buy new sills which are only £60 each (complete sill). I'd love to do it all myself but it's going to take time to learn properly.
 

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My advice if you're going to have a go yourself is to pick one rusty area and just focus on that one area with a view to leave the repair completely invisible and finished (butt-weld the joints & grind smooth, seam seal & prime). It is a real moral boost to be able to look at perfectly finished repairs when other areas of the car are getting you down. There's nothing worse than having a bad day on it and looking at badly fitted snot-welded plates that you just know you could have done a better job of.

Practical Classics magazine over the years have done some good restoration projects with good repairs and obviously look through the garage section on here. Always aim for an invisible repair that looks "factory" rather than an obvious repair. Clamping a piece of flat copper behind a butt joint when welding helps prevent it burning through, using perfectly clean metal and getting the welder set up 100% correctly is also important.
 
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