Replacing the Thermostat housing on my Mini One

Everything is so tiny and there is virtually no room or access to anything.

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Today we fixed the Mini and a few other odd jobs.

As shown in an earlier post I had received the new Thermostat housing for the Mini. I have been doing a bit of research on YouTube. There are dozens of video’s out there on this particular job.

Mini is all ready for its Thermostat housing replacement!

The first thing is to drain the coolant. I jacked up the left side a bit.

There is no drain anywhere in the system. But there is a plastic connector piece towards the front. All YT-video’s pointed to it as draining the coolant. It won’t drain everything, but as long as the level gets lower than the thermostat housing we are good to go. So a large old plastic bin underneath and removing one of the clamps was all it took.

We had to remove most of the air inlet stuff, various pipes, filters, baffles/sound damper, and so on. We also moved the coolant reservoir out of the way as well.

At this point, I suddenly realised we had not disconnected the battery. As we will be disconnecting a lot of electrical connectors and there will be coolant spilling, this is quite important.

Both Peter and myself have had original Mini in the past. They were always a royal PITA to work on. Everything is so tiny and there is virtually no room or access to anything. The new Mini, although bigger than the original, is even more filled with stuff.

We had to disconnect some 7-8 different connectors, various vacuum lines, all sorts of clips holding wiring and lines in place, etc. The thermostat housing itself is held in place with only 3 bolts. And it presses against the so-called cross-over pipe which sits between the thermostat housing and the coolant pump. I had ordered a new cross-over pipe as well.

With the thermostat housing removed, we spent about an hour and a half trying to get the cross-over pipe out of the coolant pump. In the end, we gave up and just left it. Fingers crossed.

It was all very fiddly and tight work. Almost impossible to take good images. Most are 80% feel and only 20% view if there is a view at all!

Before installing the new thermostat housing we cleaned all mating surfaces and put a little dab of white Vaseline on all the seals and the pipes that will need to be pushed back into all the various hoses.

There was still quite a bit of spillage of coolant all over the engine. So we used my vacuum brake purge to hoover up all the spillage. Works a treat!

Halfway into re-installing everything we suddenly realised we had forgotten to install this special clip. It secures the outlet pipe of the thermostat housing to the cross-over pipe. So we had to undo quite a bit of work. Getting that clip back in was the worst job ever! Finally managed to get it in and secured.

I put a little piece of wire on it, so I could fish it out of the depths of the engine bay if I accidently let go of it. That was a very good idea as it turned out. You don’t want to spend time looking for that clip somewhere behind the engine.

Eventually, we bolted the last bits back on. The air filter looked brand new! So back in it goes.

We filled the coolant in the coolant reservoir and took some time until the levels stayed put. The thermostat housing has a special vent on top of it. After making sure the system was filled to the max, I started the engine, heating on full! Always make sure you put the heating on if you have worked on the coolant system.

We checked for leaks, and everything looked fine, so we took it for a quick test drive. It all looks well, no leaks, and the coolant level sits just below max!

Quite a tricky job. Not so much a technically challenging job, but purely a difficult spannering job due to very poor access and visibility on various parts.

Peter had also brought his TomTom. It needed a new battery. I have replaced a battery on several TomTom before. But they are all different. We did manage to open it up, but the screen did crack. Luckily it still works and it is a small crack only, so Peter can live with it.

We both like this particular model as it has a built-in in SIM-card. TomTom does not sell these products anymore. But for now, they are better than any other navigation solution out there!

Finally a very small job on the Jaguar. The front window spray nozzle is attached to the (one) wiper. There is a rubber hose that runs from the back of the nozzle down to the bottom of the wiper, where it protrudes and connects to a little nozzle just underneath the front window. Eventually, it will crack.

I just cut the hose, right there on the crack and re-attached it.

Used my fancy heat gun to heat the hose, so I could slip it over the nozzle easily.

The problem though, the wiper rotates almost 180 degrees. The little hose is very tight in that position.

I have already phoned around, I might have found somebody who can supply me with a piece of the correct diameter hose.

So another day of fiddling done!!


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