Author Topic: My Mangled MINI  (Read 1429 times)

MEZLAW

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2017, 07:24:49 PM »
Once again, sorry for showing late. What's the word on the Mini?   So sorry it got hit!  :-\

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 07:33:12 PM »
I have a friend whose father was a semi-famous engineer for RCA.  Something to do with the phosphor screen on a color CRT.  My friend is a retired engineer for Honeywell.  He has his dad's '41 Ford coupe and I put a new Carpenter reproduction 100 horse V-8 into it.  The thing was undriveable in weather much above 70 degrees due to vapor lock.  The oxygenated fuel we use here in the Valley of the Sun is hell for vaporlock.  He had the car repainted and re-upholstered and it was still a paperweight as far as he was concerned.  I suggested a 12 volt conversion, but he did not want to have the radio and gauges converted to 12 volts.  We could get an electronic ignition system for 6 volts, but he wanted better lighting as well.  A '41 Ford is 6 volt, positive ground.  We decided to come up with a dual-voltage system.  There are several different voltages in radios and TV's, so why not cars?  How do they know they are not a radio, as far as voltage is concerned.  The secret was to develop a dual voltage power supply, built around two 6-volt Optima batteries.  Those two Optima dry cells would fit in the exact spot the single 6-volt battery would.  I had a place in Kansas convert generators into "genernators", basically a 60-amp alternator that fit inside the case of the original generator.  Undetectable from the real McCoy.  The solid state voltage regulator for the "genernator" was fitted into the box of the orginal voltage regulator that had its guts removed.  We only needed two of the original four wires to the regulator, so we ran the two unused wires well into the harness for appearances then capped the ends.  We used all the original wiring.  We ran only one wire that was not a part of the car originally.  A ground wire for the 6-volt positive ground accessories.  There is basically no fuse box on a '41 Ford.  Any fusing that is done is done inline.  So we ran a ground wire for the six volt accessories, gauges, radio and blower motor.  We used the original wiring for the electronic ignition (Ignitor) and the lights.  We put halogen sealed beams for headlamps and changed every bulb in the car from 6 volt bulbs to the 12 volt equivalent.  We hid a 12 volt electric fuel pump back by the fuel tank to use when hot-soak starting.  The starter was still 6 volt, so it spun the engine faster than idle speed.  We made a fan shroud and used a 6 blade truck fan off a 1952 F-6 truck.  We put in a four row aluminum radiator with the original top tanks and painted it black to look original.  We used a helper fan in front of the radiator, controlled by a toggle switch.  We put a dead man on the ignition to prevent unwanted "borrowing" of a '41 Ford.  Viola!  We had 12 volt starting, electronic ignition. .045 spark plug gaps, real lights that were usable, 60 amp electrical power, but still had the original accessories, unmodified.  There are no boxes or widgets to fail, and only one wire that Henry did not put there when the car was built.  The accessories run off one Optima battery connected 6-volt positive ground and the rest runs on 12 volts negative ground.  Just like a radio.  It really works slick.  I did the Hudson similarly.  Buicks are negative ground, so all I have to do there is to run the accessories on one six volt battery and the whole car on both batteries for 12 volts. 
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2017, 07:34:16 PM »
Nothing until Monday at the earliest.  Thanks for your concern, MEZ. 
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

19and41

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 03:26:22 PM »
That would only figure, with all the trouble you went to, to get the car, and then have this happen.  At least you didn't sustain any damage when the car did.  Hope it works out acceptably.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

MEZLAW

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2017, 03:32:39 PM »
That would only figure, with all the trouble you went to, to get the car, and then have this happen.  At least you didn't sustain any damage when the car did.  Hope it works out acceptably.

Yes......the bright side is you and your wife were not in it!   ;)

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2017, 04:19:29 PM »
Enough time has passed that I can see the bright side.  Nobody was hurt.  The mailman had just come so there were people on the street and on that sidewalk.  This could have been a lot worse.  There was a junky old pickup about 20 feet from where the Mini ended up.  The guy who owned it said he would be thrilled if a garbage truck ran over it!  He needs to be careful what he wishes for.  I've been looking at the pictures I took and it sure looks repairable to me.  The body shop will know more when they get a little deeper into it.  It looks to me like the garbage truck hit it a glancing blow, not head on.  The Mini was so little and light it just tossed it onto the sidewalk.  The neighbor who witnessed it happening says the car went airborne for a bit.  The skid marks bear that out.  Newer cars are built to absorb energy in a crash.  My only question is what took the hit?  I hope the car was so light that it got tossed like a toy to the curb and only surface damage occurred.  All we can do is keep a good thought and hope for the best.  Thank you guys for your concern.   :)
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2017, 04:50:47 PM »
I went to the big city this afternoon to visit my mangled Mini.  It is in good hands.  It has its own assigned parking spot so it does not get "lost".  (The facility is HUGE!)  It covers almost an entire city block.  They have over 100 cars there in various stages of restoration.  I was assigned an "advisor" who is a MINI repair expert and who works with State Farm claims.  My car has white interior, so it gets covered at all times while it is there.  A body technician named David will be doing the work.  I got to meet him and we discussed what will likely go on, pending final inspection.  At this point, the damage appears to be "cosmetic" or "non-structural", totally fixable.  It is scheduled to be fed to the "Mini computer" which will find out if anything major is tweaked.  No more bolting a car to a frame jig and using an alignment machine to see if the frame is bent.  Lasers and a computer do it now.  If it passed this inspection, and there is no reason at this point to believe it won't, they will start painting and putting the car back together.  No final price estimate yet, but there is almost two pages of parts listed as part of the job.  The emissions and VIN stickers under the hood will come from BMW in Germany.  The plastic "bra" on the front valance, bumper, hood and mirrors will be replaced by the same company who did it when the dealer installed them new.  The service adviser promised me that, when my Mini was done, that I could take it to the pickiest individual I could think of to have it inspected.  If they could tell the car had been damaged, the body shop would do the job over.  I feel more confident in the repair, and I'm glad I took the time to visit the facility.


I have to offer this shameless plug.  I fought long and hard against buying a German car.  I was a diehard GM man.  I had never owned a non-GM car in my life until I bought the MINI.  I had heard all the scare stories about how BMW tried to avoid their warranty obligations and how big a pain in the tush owning a German car that needed service could be.  German cars do not have dipsticks in engine or trans, you have to have a computer to fix almost anything on them, they do not have gauges to monitor engine functions, and an oil change can cost $400.  Nothing could be further from the truth according to my experience.  Mini of Tempe (a Penske organization) has been stellar in how they have treated me.  My car is at Penske's body facility in another city.  They treated me like I was royalty.  BMW may have their issues with warranty, but the Penske organizations ease the pain.  I could not recommend them more highly if you get a chance to deal with one of their "sales centers." 


I;m driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla rent car.  Compared to my Mini, which is not an expensive German car, the Toyota is a tin can on wheels.  It drives like standing up in a bathtub on a pond.  It wanders and wallows. It rattles, squeaks, moans.  The engine is weak and coarse.  It has the same transmission as the Mini, but is programmed differently.  When you shut the door on the Mini, is sounds like the doors on a '50's big GM car.  The doors on the Toyota sound like hitting a tin can with a fork.  The interior is busy and cheap-looking.  It is good on gas and the seats are not bad.  I kinda like the backup camera.  The radio sounds tinny and the blower is noisy.  It is white with plastic hubcaps.  The styling is somethig you would expect with a vacuum cleaner.  I would rather own a mangled Mini than a running Toyota Corolla.  Certainly Toyota makes better cars than this.   
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

19and41

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2017, 05:06:36 PM »
Sounds like it was almost worth the smash up to get the treatment.   :D   Good to see things are going allright.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2017, 06:10:17 PM »
I just learned something I did not know.  (This is a first, right?)   ;)


If you car gets keyed in a parking lot, gets hit by a shopping cart, gets hit by a kid on a bicycle, has a tree limb fall on it (or the whole tree!), this is considered comprehensive damage.  If it gets damaged by another vehicle or if you run into something with the insured vehicle, this is considered collision damage.  I still have to pay my deductible ( reimbursed by the guilty party or their insurance) and I still have a chargeable accident on my insurance.  If my insurance company does not get reimbursed fully by the guilty party or their insurance company, my insurance rates can go up just like if I caused the damage myself.  If you get the windshield broken by a rock while driving, that is comprehensive.  If you hit a rock while driving, that is collision.  If you hit a deer while driving, that's comprehensive.  So, even thought there are three witnesses all saying the garbage truck was 100% at fault, and the garbage company admits that, this accident is still on me until State Farm gets reimbursed 100% plus costs.  I did not know that.  I don't believe there will be any problem. 
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

19and41

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2017, 06:26:14 PM »
So, If the costs are recoverable from the guilty party, that's collision.  If no one can be assigned the costs, that is comprehensive.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 07:22:08 PM »
The way I understand it, if the damage is caused by a motor vehicle, it is collision, regardless who the guilty party is.  If the damage is not caused by a motor vehicle, it is comprehensive, regardless who the guilty party is.  The part I was not aware of is that my insurance rates can rise, due to a chargeable accident, even if I did not cause the damage myself.  In this case, my car was legally parked and I was nowhere around it.  I will still be charged with the accident unless and until the insurance company is reimbursed for the damage, plus administration costs.  If someone uninsured had hit my car, my insurance rates could rise.  That seems bogus to me.  Insurance is one instance where one is guilty until proven innocent.  In this state, at least, you agree to an "implied risk" when registering a motor vehicle.  That implied risk is that you agree to stand responsible for any damage caused by, or to, your, or another motor vehicle, whether you are in control of said vehicle or not.   ???
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

TC Chris

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 08:04:37 PM »
Electra225 said: "The service adviser promised me that, when my Mini was done, that I could take it to the pickiest individual I could think of to have it inspected.  If they could tell the car had been damaged, the body shop would do the job over. "

After my Mustang was hit by a drunk driver, a local body shop run by an Oldsmobile restorer did the work.  His young service tech did a great job of putting the car back in order.  A few years later, I discovered during a flood that the air intake was at ankle level.  The guy who ran the shop where the rebuilt engine was installed told me I was wrong to assert that my car's body had been repaired--he had worked, he assured me, at a body shop, and he could tell that the body was all original.

Well, I knew where there were two tell-tales--a tiny bit of overspray, and a plastic plug that had been painted over.  But you had to know where to look.  I hope your shop does an even better job. 

Michigan has "no fault" insurance, a system intended to end all the litigation over who was at fault.  If you want collision, you buy it, and if you don't have it and get hit, you're outta luck.  It works pretty well.  You can sue in small claims to recover your deductible, up to $500.

Chris Campbell

Bill

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2017, 08:04:50 PM »
Greg,

First I'm so sorry!  I know for past conversations how long you waited and how much you enjoyed that car.

Where did you friend sell his 38.  There is an identical one that a X Buick dealership has. The have several vintage cars that they rotate in their showroom.  The 38 in in their storage building now or I would take a picture of it. 

Also in Michigan No-fault insurance if your car is legally parked and it gets hit by another car your are not responsible.  It comes under comp.  If you were in the car that's another story.  No fault is good in some ways but it's expensive.  We that pay our insurance premiums must also pay a lot of money into a fund to help cover those that do not have insurance.  Not sure how they get away with it since you can't by a plate without insurance.  If you get insurance just to get a plate and then cancel the insurance the company you purchased your insurance from is supposed to notify the state of Michigan.  In turn the state of Michigan will cancel your plate.  So you are now driving with an illegal plate and no insurance.  For some reason that does not stop anyone and it happens all the time.

If you need a keen eye when you get the car back let me know.  I have worked at dealerships most of my life in pretty much all departments.  And of course you know where I'll be soon! ;D

Take Care,

Bill


electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2017, 08:28:14 PM »
The '38 Buick was sold to a man in Tucson.  I know he bought it for resale and had it advertised.  I'm sure it sold, but I don't know to whom or where.  I'd be interested in a picture of the one you referred to just to be nosy.  It very well could be the same car.


Thanks for the encouragement, Chris.  I have heard and see good things about the Penske facility.  The Mini dealer does not have its own body or glass shop.  This is done by shops that service all the Penske dealerships.  If this job is like all they have done so far, it will be undetectable from new.  I'm going to take the advisor up on his offer.  I have JUST the guy in mind.   ;)
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

electra225

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Re: My Mangled MINI
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2017, 01:51:15 PM »
I just received notification of the progress on my poor little mangled MINI.  My "service counselor" has advised me that David the certified mangled Mini body banger has determined what repairs are needed.  He is currently closely inspecting the various sub-systems for hidden damage.  They are checking the tires for flat-spotting.  They are checking weird things like seat mounting assemblies, power window regulators, motor mounts, driveshafts and the various hinges for hidden damage.  These guys do not miss a mark.  The Mini has apparently passed its laser inspection, and all the damage that can be seen is "sheet metal" or other "non-substantial" damage.  Parts and pieces are on their way from across the pond.  "These things just take a little time" was the remark.  They take their old sweet time, it seems.  The best guess is the damage will come in somewhere just north of $8,000.  That is a pretty big boo-boo for a trash truck driver.  The trash truck ( actually the recycling truck) is still not working.  The old Mack substitute truck is currently on the route.  So the Peterbilt trash truck may have put down my Mini, but the Mini also put down a Peterbilt!  It takes karma for a 2500 pound car to kill a semi........ ;)
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....