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Beast Build Diary


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Hi All,

This post is going to be used as a build diary to show the work that the ToyotGT guys are going to be doing with my little beast :)

Well after a couple of weeks away and a little think i have decided to go ahead with the 4EFTE conversion into the Buggy :shifty:

ToyotaGT will be doing all the work that i can't handle myself, or just cant be bothered to do myself :tomato: So most of it!

and is going to be done in stages so that the dent on my wallet is gradual rather than all in one hit!

Stage 1: get Starlet stripped down and engine rebuilt.

Stage 2: get engine into chassis

Stage 3: get everything conected (engine/brakes/wiring etc)

Stage 4: Cosmetic work

Stage 5: IVA work and road registration

Stage 6: Post IVA work and fine tunning


Car was bought by me and a friend last February (2008) off of ebay for £1158. It was originally owned by Essex council and was part of a project to keep convicted chavs off the streets and give them something constructive to do. Needless to say it was a mess!

The car came with loads of bits, most of which we didn't need and everything had to be stripped down and started again as nothing was done properly. It has been given new brakes all round, new brake lines, rebuilt 998cc engine (now getting changed for 4EFTE) and so on.

About a month ago my friend decided that he doesn't want to do this project any more and i have bought him out and now own the car myself.

Its currently being built up for the new IVA inspection and will hopefully be on the road sometime later in the year, hopefully late summer!


Complete mess with all the extra bits that we got with the car!


It really is this small, i like this picture as you can see the tiny size of it compared to my mate!


With the old 998cc mini engine, very soon to be gone :harhar:


Uprated camber/toe adjusters with poly bush's all round.

Then this weekend i went and picked up my new Toy!!! :whistling:

Sunday.... Drove all the way to Oxford to pick up my new little beast, this will be providing all the main parts i need. Engine, gearbox, turbo, ECU, wiring etc.... Got this little beast from Flrecebay for £600, still runs, just has a bent radiator and it looks like exhaust manifold may also be cracked but now i have all the main parts i need to get this mostly there!

will be breaking off bits i don't need soon!





Dropped this off with ToyotaGT and have collected my buggy to work on while things get put into motion, have to strip it all down and get the old mini engine out of it! Every time i see it again i just can't believe how small it is :)


fits in my garage with plenty of room all round, plus the trailer!!!


Now i can do little bits in the evening, or whenever i get free time!

Stage 1,2 and 3 should hopefully be done with Stage 4 underway by JAE :whistling: and may possibly make a guest apperance :winky:

Can't wait for this to get underway and just want to say a big thankyou to James and the team at ToyotaGT who have done so much for me already, i wouldn't be doing this conversion if it wasn't for them! :D

Jason :P

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The GT was a bargain! Looks like a decent set of wheels on it too.

Probably worth a few hundred themselves.

Cool project.

Wheels are damaged unfortuanetly! I don't know how 2 of them are still inflated??? the other two are ok though, will be keeping them so i can have a rolling chassis on the buggy as i will be using the GT hubs :P

Has a Trust exhaust on it that will fetch me some money back though :whistling:

Jason :P

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Sounds interesting!!

Who painted the GT interior OMG they want shooting.

But don't pull the lads away from that lovely IS200 they have in for a3SGTE conversion ;) ;)

Good lick with it.

LOL saw your car there on the weekend mate, looks soooooo nice! that intercooler is FAT! your project will be done and on the road before mine even gets a look at, i think they are currently working their asses off with all the work they have!

I don't think they really care what the paint looks like, although i have never looked that closely :P

Jason :P

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looking good

if you need a standard manifold give us a call

actually might even have a s/s one if i can find it

May be intersted Bazza :)

Although im not in any rush to get bits yet! Its going to sit there a few months before the work starts as funds are quite low at the moment! :crybaby:

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*** Little Update ***

Weather held out slightly this morning so got the buggy wheeled out of the garage and started stripping bits that are no longer needed. Pictures don't show much but i have added a few anyway.

Got the old pedal box removed and have ripped out all the old break lines and clutch line as i was not happy with how these where done.

Removed the exhaust system as this needs to be completely remade for the new engine, have kept the crabon fibre bike can thogh as it should sound great with the starlet engine. :P

Started looking at relocating the Battery to make way for the front mounted radiator.

Ripped the rest of the stuff out that i could from the passenger compartment and gave the car a well deserved clean up.......before the rain started.

Next weekend the old mini engne will be out and i will begin modifying the rear light units and sorting out dash panels and some of the wiring.

Exhaust and engine pieces removed......


Back to start on the inside of the buggy.


Hopefully Stage 1 will be underway officially at the end of April, although im waiting to hear from James to confirm exact days :unsure:

Thats ya lot for now!

Jason :P

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*** Update Time ***

Yesterday i ordered up the Aluminium composite sheet thats going to make up the main panels of the car (sides, rear firewall, front panels, engine cover parts etc). Got 1500x3000mm sheet in Matt black, stealth :lol:

Today i got confirmation from James @ ToyotaGT that the stalet is now booked in for end of April to be dissmantled, seems like ages away but im broke until then so no choice really :crybaby: Can't wait for this to start now!!! :shutit:

Also managed to get the buggy out of the garage and got the old mini engine out of her so now have a blank canvas.

Only five bolts to remove and the whole back of the car comes off :whistling:



The car is so light that my brother can pick it up with one hand, obviously it has no engine in it, or rear sub frame but you get the idea of how light this thing is going to be, still unsure of exact weight???


Blank canvas......not for long :D :D :D



Here is a few of me sat in the car, gives an idea of how small this thing is. Thats right its TINY!!!! :D



Got the old engine packaged up, now waiting to go to its new owner :whistling:


Hopefully will be getting on with removing front bumper and getting templates made up for panels tomorrow :P

What you guys think so far?

Jason :P

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Only just read about this further development, looks like it's going to be awesome fun mate in the summertime :) is that engine going to be to much for it though? Will be like a rocket lol

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Only just read about this further development, looks like it's going to be awesome fun mate in the summertime :) is that engine going to be to much for it though? Will be like a rocket lol

Going to be, interesting :blink: Will see what its like, going to be lots of development me thinks :whistling:

Jason :P

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Got a little more done today, Sarah is working the next 3 weekends in a row so have plenty of time to get few bits done here and there! :)

Firstly i got the front bumper bar removed as this is now getting sold as i will be making a new custom front piece.


Test fitted the Chequer plate front piece i have, really like the look of it but i have already sold it as will be having the radiator up front and this will be useless as it will stop the air getting to it.


Got the Mini pedal box dismantled as this will need some parts keeping for the new pendulum pedal box im making up :)


Had some trouble with the universal joints on the steering so spent a while sorting this out but got there in the end!

Then spent the remander of the day getting all the old mini parts together and they are now ready to go to there new owner :)

Also had a little look to see what two seats look like in the car using the two racings seats i just happen to have lying about :)


Hopefully during the week i will get the new side panels made up and rear firewall made. Then test fitting and dash board work will be next weekend. :)

Jason :P

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*** Update ***

Been one of those weekends, managed to snap the only M4 tap i had yesterday so had to go and buy a new tap and die set! Then kept snapping drill bits which kept anoying me, got there in the end though. Would have liked to get more done this weekend but at least i managed to get some things done i guess!

Im now working easter weekend, well im on call if anything goes wrong. My boss says i can work on the buggy at work and then just fix things if anything goes wrong but spend most of the day working on the car! They have mig welding gear at work so im going to start looking at welding up the pedal box and a few other bits that need doing soon!

Monday this turned up at work, Matt black Composite panel that im using to make most of the body panels from, nice and light but i may change the panels at a later date to carbon.


During the week i made up the rear firewall and side panels during my lunch breaks.

Got the rear firewall fitted first.


Then the right side.


Gromitted the hole for the wires to stop it rubbing on them, plus looks nicer...........


and left side fitted, along with tax disc holder............although thats a long way off, also added a small ToyotaGT sticker i had lying about :)



and here is a picture of the buggy next to her big sister, my Lexus :)


Spent a bit of time getting alot of the nuts and bolts covered with rubber covers as well to make the IVA go a bit smoother.

Im still unsure where i will be moving the Battery to as im not certain where is the best place for it yet???

What do people think so far???

Jason :)

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**** Little Update ****

Not really worth doing an update really as i haven't done much but want to keep them regular so i can see how it all came together and keeps me motivated in continuing to build the buggy. Did get a few stickers on the car though :)


Also got the front calipers removed from the car as im going to clean them up, replace the bolts/bleed screws and paint them.

Weather was pretty gloomy saturday so didn't get the buggy out of the garage all weekend. The funds are really tight at the moment so can't really do much till i get paid and im also running out of stuff i can do while its here.

Easter weekend the buggy is getting moved to my work's workshop where i have LOOOOOOOOAAAAAAADDDDDDSSSSSSS of indoor room to work on the car as i please. This also means i can get on with welding and test fitting the front mount radiator.

I have limited myself to spend only £100 on parts during April and then the starlet work will start at the end of April.

Items i have on the list to buy next month are:

* Fiat Cinquenciento Rad £35

* Aluminium for rad pipes £20

* Steel for mounting Rad £5

* Master cylinders/brake components £25

* Powder coating powder £10

* Misc Parts £5

TOTAL: £100

Luckily my work recently invested in a powder coating machine so im going to be using that alot to coat alot of the parts so they don't corrode, what with the car sat under cover for about 5-6 months of the year!

Jobs for the following months before the car goes to ToyotaGT are:

* Weld up pedalbox

* sort out Battery mounting

* Test fit/fit front mount Rad

* Make new side mirror mounts

* Rebuild front calipers

* Powdercoat/paint front end parts

Im really looking forward to getting this car up to ToyotaGT but need to do as much as i can myself as im trying to limit the spending on this car, what with saving for a house!

Jason :)

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*** Small Update ***

Haven't done anything this weekend as weather was so good and thought i would have a break from it all. Luckily becasue i don't have a date set for IVA i don't have to rush anything so everything can be done properly and i can take my time over it :)

Have been working on it during the week though, before and after work and during my lunch break. Aprils budget has been completely spent on the day i got paid and although i originally posted up a list of items i would be buying, this has since completely changed.

The front calipers where looking a bit tired so decided that this month i would be concentrating on these and working on the front end and getting everthing powdercoated/painted/rebuilt.

I toyed with the idea of buying alloy 4 pot front calipers but decided against it for several reasons, 1: they will provide too much power and will lock up way to easily 2: They are alot lighter, and although this seems like a good thing it will lighten the front even more and i need more weight at this end.

So i decided to rebuild the front mini calipers :) They started off like this.....


Got a wirewheel kit and cleaned them up some what



Then Tuesday these arrived :) New stainless steel caliper pistons, new seals all round, new bleed screws and new brake clevis's (£54 delivered, god i love mini prices :) )


While i have them off the car now is the time to give them about 5 coats of Hammerite to stop them rusting up again, these are not finished but starting to get there!


I also ordered a new clutch master cylinder with built in reserviour bottle (£13 delivered) and got this test fitted to the pedal box



Also ordered the fiat reserviour bottle for the brake master cylinder, black hammerite paint, black powder coat and brake master cylinder seal kit.

Im welding up the pedal box during the week ahead and will be sorting out pedals etc next weekend.

Im working next weekend but have cut a deal with my boss, he is happy for me to work on the buggy the whole weekend and keep an eye on things to make sure they are working fine. If anything is broken then get it fixed and then back to the buggy :)

Will update again at end of next weekend :)

Jason :P

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Seems like it coming aling mate,]

Ready for JAE?

It WILL be at JAE, even if im not there, not too sure if i will be there this year but i believe it will be on the ToyotaGT stand and they are sorting out taking it up there so i can bring the lex if i do come along.

Not sure what stage it will be in but it will be there none the less, hopefully it will be in a driveable state :shifty::shifty::shifty:

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The disc brakes were originally designed for the 1275 gt model and cooper S and basicly the same system was used on the MG metro turbo for a while IIRC, which i had on a few of my mini's, they do work well but glaze over pretty quick and fade under high speed braking, So might be wise to source a set of drilled disc's :)

Nice work matey and look forward to seeing the finished animal :)

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The disc brakes were originally designed for the 1275 gt model and cooper S and basicly the same system was used on the MG metro turbo for a while IIRC, which i had on a few of my mini's, they do work well but glaze over pretty quick and fade under high speed braking, So might be wise to source a set of drilled disc's :)

Nice work matey and look forward to seeing the finished animal :)

Thats correct chris :) These are the same ones that are fitted to the early cooper models, planning on running fast road pads and drilled discs but got to be so carefull. The brakes on this lock up so quickly so can't go over the top and have to get the brake bias just right.

This car is a complete mish mash of parts as nothing is straight forward as a conversion like this has never been done before in one of these!

It has Fiat radiator and other parts, Mini subframe and hubs, Toyota engine, gearbox and ECU, landrover master cylinder, and an array of other makes of cars :huh:

Getting there though!

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