AMT 16V Conversion. Still Evolving

After years of hard use it was finally apparent that my original engine was getting increasingly tired, so it was time for a change. A crash damaged Cavalier Gsi was bought and the engine removed, it was owned by a mechanic and had just had the head gasket done. It started well and ran without burning any oil etc. The engine was removed and cleaned up, ready for fitting into the mini. The old engine was removed and the 'new' one fitted with no problems. Seen as the car was in bits i took the chance to beef up the brackets holding the oil catch tank and header tank in place. New brackets were made up and welded to the frame

Engine going in

Header Bracket

Catch Tank bracket

Lightened though..

The car was put back together and fired up... it ran for about five minutes and then sounded like a bag of nails....

I stuck the compression tester on it and the figures told the tale, it was fcuked! Whatever was wrong there was NO compression, so it was off with the head! The pictures below show the story

All together again

Doesn't look good

Bloody wasn't !!

The process of taking the head off told the story, the head bolts weren't tight at all. At a guess the stress of just lifting the engine out of the cav and into the mini was enough to separate the head and block. After previous experience I decided to put the 'old' head on, i knew it was skimmed, so therefore not warped plus it had the bonus of a bit of porting :)

Mild porting around valves

View down inlet

The next project was to see if anything could be done about the air filter problem. Basically using the weber inlets means that the throttle bodies sit flat and very close to the bulkhead, this means you can't get a filter backing plate on without it fouling the bulkhead. One option was to buy direct to head throttle bodies but i couldn't afford that. My idea was to turn the existing manifold upside down to incline the bodies, giving space for a conventional filter arrangement. It almost worked faultlessly, the spacing wasn't quite what I thought but if you turned the bodies around and cut the manifold into separates it worked!! A blanking plate was made up to seal the water outlet in the head and it was all fitted to the car.

Unmolested manifold


Trial Assembly

On the car

Side View

Itg Backplate

Domed Filter fitted

Final Engine bay

Changing the manifold freed up space on the bulkhead, I was able to reinstall the standard pedal box and single line master cylinder, greatly improving the pedal feel, at the same time the brake pipes were tidied up and the bias valve moved. Inside new seats were fitted, Corbeau Carrera's on modified brackets bolted through the floor. At the same time I fitted some stereo for the first time in years, mounting the front speakers in the dash air vents. Running all the stereo, head unit, amps, processor, dvd player etc I wanted some method of controlling what was switched on at any given time, the result was the switch panel shown in the pics below.


Bias Valve

Moved Switches and Speedo

Switch Panel Trial Fit

No excess weight ;)

Switches and Fuses

Front View


This was the final evolution of the road going Red Hot, the next step is a big one!

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