998, 1275, or vtec?

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998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  bobafet1 on Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:55 pm

So I'm in the middle of restoring my 69 Elf from the ground up. It ran a 998and would grind gears, from what I remember. My brother, who is a Honda fanatic, keeps telling me to go the Vtech route since he has extra motors in his garage. However, when I've spoken to a few people they've advised that going the Vtech route is going to cost me 20-30k to do. I can't justify that much of an expense on a car that won't be worth half that when I'm done. I do plan on handing the Elf down to my daughter when she's ready to drive 9 years from now so something reliable would be nice. When I did have the car running I was too afraid to get on the freeway due to it's size but mostly not being able to keep up with traffic. I was told the 1275 route is a good way to go if I can even get my hands on a solid rebuild core. I did speak to a shop that said my 998 can work just fine but it'll run me no less then 10k to upgrade the cam and head. Sorry for rambling on. I just need some solid advice on what route to go. Any info is appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike


Last edited by bobafet1 on Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  Red Riley on Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:21 pm

If your thinking about doing a VTEC (not Vtech) and want it to be a dependable car, you'll be doing a lot more than just plopping a different motor into it. You'll need to upgrade the brakes, wiring, most likely change the suspension from Hydro to springs, bigger tires to fit bigger brakes, etc. You'll probably want to keep it as simple and sane as possible if you're thinking about giving it to your daughter, which in my opinion means forget the B-series or flip-front conversions and stick with a SOHC D-series in a standard length front end.

Having gone through the process of building and owning a D-series Elf for the past ten years, there have been times when I wished I would have upgraded the existing 998 or gone to a 1275 or other A-series engine. I wouldn't part with Kreacher, but I wouldn't mind having another Elf or Mini with the A-series intact.


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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  cheleker on Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:54 pm

If you are "restoring" the car then you have to stay with the 998, and that's not bad. My daily driver (although not an Elf) runs a 998. With the 3.44 final drive the car will cruise all day long at 65 mph. Regarding 10k to upgrade the 998, I'd suggest you find a better shop!

If you already had a 1275 ready to go, you could use it, but keep the 998 around. In the long run, your "restored" car will be worth more with the 998 installed.

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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  bobafet1 on Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:18 pm

Red Riley wrote:If your thinking about doing a VTEC (not Vtech) and want it to be a dependable car, you'll be doing a lot more than just plopping a different motor into it. You'll need to upgrade the brakes, wiring, most likely change the suspension from Hydro to springs, bigger tires to fit bigger brakes, etc. You'll probably want to keep it as simple and sane as possible if you're thinking about giving it to your daughter, which in my opinion means forget the B-series or flip-front conversions and stick with a SOHC D-series in a standard length front end.

Having gone through the process of building and owning a D-series Elf for the past ten years, there have been times when I wished I would have upgraded the existing 998 or gone to a 1275 or other A-series engine. I wouldn't part with Kreacher, but I wouldn't mind having another Elf or Mini with the A-series intact.

I was hoping you would chime in. Why did it cross your mind to upgrade the 998 instead of going the honda route? I was also told by the guy at the shop that most people he's spoken to that have gone the honda conversion route end up regretting it since it totally changes the way the car drives/handles and lowers the value.

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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  bobafet1 on Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:27 pm

cheleker wrote:If you are "restoring" the car then you have to stay with the 998, and that's not bad. My daily driver (although not an Elf) runs a 998. With the 3.44 final drive the car will cruise all day long at 65 mph. Regarding 10k to upgrade the 998, I'd suggest you find a better shop!

If you already had a 1275 ready to go, you could use it, but keep the 998 around. In the long run, your "restored" car will be worth more with the 998 installed.

I am restoring the car but doing a few mods so it won't be exactly stock. So what does it typically cost to get a 998 pepped up? My bro is a mechanic so I can probably have him help me with some of the work. I've also seen a few rebuilt 1275's on minimania's classified section that are selling for around $3k however I don't know if the mods they did are what I would be looking for.https://www.minimania.com/cars4Sale/14756/Part__Mini_Classic_Mini_1275_1293_En

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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  cheleker on Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:23 pm

If you are rebuilding, not restoring, and the 998 has to be rebuilt then the cost to rebuild the 998 is the same as to rebuild a 1275, so the price difference is the cost of getting the 1275.

It is not necessary to hop up the 998, but if you want to spend the money, the starting place would be with what's usually called a Stage One kit. The kits usually contain a new exhaust system but remember they are made for standard saloons. Your Elf is the same wheel base as the standard saloon, but the body extends out the back a bit longer so a simple addition will need to be added to the exhaust. Also, the Stage One kits (or any serious upgrade) will mean that someone who knows Minis well will have to help you get the carb and timing set up to match the changes.

After the Stage One "bolt on" type upgrade one would consider higher compression, a modified head and a different cam -- all a waste of money for a daily driver car, in my opinion. Use the money to make sure everything is working as it should, and upgrade the brakes.


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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  Red Riley on Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:33 pm

Doing any kind of engine swap definitely changes the car. You'll be at the mercy of whoever engineers the swap components as to whether they get the whole thing to work. It's hard to go wrong with the stock setup as Issigonis designed it when it's had the benefit of 50 plus years of fine tuning to get things right.
I will never be able to autocross my car, since the turning radius is negatively affected by the larger tires and changed steering geometry. But that's not what I built it for, and it goes down the road just fine.
All I can tell you is to find one that is the way you envision it, and drive it to see if it's really what you want.
There are certainly a few VTEC engined Minis on the west coast that you could probably contact the owners and check out. You need to put in the research before pulling the trigger, as once you start cutting, it's hard to go back.

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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  cheleker on Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:14 pm

Red's comment about "It's hard to go wrong with the stock set up..." could also be used if you decide that you have to have the extra torque and horsepower of the 1275 engine. If the cost of buying a 1275 is not holding you back, rather than building up the 998, buy the 1275 and build it stock. You'll get as much, or more, than hopping up a 998 and you'll have an engine easier to live with because it hasn't been messed with. Don't forget that with the 1275 you will also need and/or want different parts besides the engine itself; radiator, clutch set up and exhaust, for instance.
I'd still vote for staying with the 998!

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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  bobafet1 on Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:30 pm

cheleker wrote:  Red's comment about "It's hard to go wrong with the stock set up..." could also be used if you decide that you have to have the extra torque and horsepower of the 1275 engine. If the cost of buying a 1275 is not holding you back, rather than building up the 998, buy the 1275 and build it stock. You'll get as much, or more, than hopping up a 998 and you'll have an engine easier to live with because it hasn't been messed with. Don't forget that with the 1275 you will also need and/or want different parts besides the engine itself; radiator, clutch set up and exhaust, for instance.
 I'd still vote for staying with the 998!

So you guys are saying that the 998 will do 65mph just fine ? Is it just a matter of getting better gearing so the RPM's aren't terribly high on the road?

I'm not opposed to spending some money on a 1275. Problem is that I just don't know what to get. I see minimania sells complete engine and trans kits but they seem a bit overpriced. I could be wrong though, just not sure what market price is for most of this stuff.

My dream is to be able to comfortably take my family of 4 up a mountain road or jump on the freeway and head to a car show somewhere, aside from getting groceries and stuff like that.


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Re: 998, 1275, or vtec?

Post  asahartz on Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:14 pm

bobafet1 wrote:
cheleker wrote:  Red's comment about "It's hard to go wrong with the stock set up..." could also be used if you decide that you have to have the extra torque and horsepower of the 1275 engine. If the cost of buying a 1275 is not holding you back, rather than building up the 998, buy the 1275 and build it stock. You'll get as much, or more, than hopping up a 998 and you'll have an engine easier to live with because it hasn't been messed with. Don't forget that with the 1275 you will also need and/or want different parts besides the engine itself; radiator, clutch set up and exhaust, for instance.
 I'd still vote for staying with the 998!

So you guys are saying that the 998 will do 65mph just fine ? Is it just a matter of getting better gearing so the RPM's aren't terribly high on the road?


Put it this way, some years back, my daughter got a speeding ticket doing 78 in my 998 Mini! This engine had a 12G940 head, with a pocketed block and a Kent 266 cam. I think it was also running a HIF44 carb as well.

I don't break speed limits these days, but I was kinda proud of my little car then!
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