Well, got a bunch of parts today.
Since David is here, and I have an extra set of free hands... (okay, he doesn't turn down home-cooked meals; can't blame him!)
Set him to work on the Mini.
He installed the cat-delete pipe, only half of the hardware I bought worked, so, ANOTHER trip to Lowe's for longer bolts. No problem, we have a complete exhaust again. I had him install the old gas tank again. The fuel pump is NOT connected, he can't remember for sure if it was connected or not when he removed it a couple months ago. There is a manual fuel pump (to go with the carb) on the engine, soooo... I got the special spark plug socket from england, and we pulled the plugs to check them out. They were brand new 250 miles ago, now, they are still good gap-wise, but #'s 1 and 4 were wet. Indicating what I suspected, the wires were making crap connections. #'s 2 and 3 were dry. Gee, I wonder why it felt like I was running on 2 cylinders???? Funny how that works. I'll charge up the battery tomorrow, say a prayer, and try to fire her up...
(I say Eureka!, because I bought all the stuff to replace the entire fuel system but I wasn't ENTIRELY sure that I had troubleshot correctly. So I stalled. I didn't want to go through all that effort and be wrong. Plus, I couldn't check the plugs, and I really thought that I would find an indication for the crap running. I have a lot more confidence in just the plugs being the faulty part. I will still install the other fuel tank (no fuel pump, carb setup) later. Maybe I'll even spring for the Cooper right hand tank and double our fuel capacity. (15 gallons, woohoo!)
You should have felt this thing when it was running right. It was SO AWESOME. 70 mph in a go kart with a windshield, mixing it up in traffic... Heaven.)
I went to work taking the front of the engine apart on the E30. I got everything off but the water pump. Sure makes it hard to reach stuff when you can't get that stupid fan and clutch off. I made things easier by removing the radiator. Now I only have the 3 bolts on the water pump left to remove, then that badboy is getting thrown in the vise. I still need the fan and pulley, so it's going to HAVE to come apart.
I should be able to finish pulling it tomorrow. We'll see.
Maybe we'll be too busy and excited about another car being up and running... ;)