Future: Engine swap logistics

'90 Classic Mini
I’m going to be pulling my engine to do a full rebuild in the coming months. If I pull it at DMS, I can’t store the car for an extended period while I rebuild it as I understand the rules for storage and parking. I don’t know how long the rebuild might take since I could encounter a part that may require shipping from the UK. Does anyone have recommendations for transporting an engine-less Mini to/from DMS, as well as the engine to be either rebuilt by me off-site or stored on a pallet/stand in between rebuild sessions at DMS?

Haven’t done a job this big in Automotive yet, so trying to plan in advance while I’m pricing parts to rebuild. Worst comes to worst, I’ll pull it at my apartment and rebuild it in my living room :upside_down_face: the engine removal/install being the difficult bit without a hoist at home.


I’m not familiar with how they come apart. if you could keep it rolling you could rent a truck and trailer from Uhaul to store it elsewhere after you pull the engine, then bring it back the same way. Alternately getting a 2nd engine to rebuild could make it a one night thing if that’s feasible.

I’ve got a leaky engine(rear main and front crank seals) I’d like to refresh and I’ve been considering grabbing another to refresh and swap in but in my case they are cheap and available.


Engine comes right out. Disconnect axles, various lines, mounts, etc. The gearbox is technically the sump under the engine instead of to the side like normal, and just sits in the front subframe. The car would still be rolling with brakes.

Unfortunately engines for old Minis aren’t plentiful and cost almost as much as the car. Uhaul trailer might be my best bet. I’m still curious about what pallet storage is like, costs, etc at DMS @Team_Automotive


Pallet storage is free if available, part of your membership. :hugs: @PearceDunlap is the person to get in touch with.

Cool project! Good luck!


To be fair, you could almost fit two of these little 4 bangers on a single pallet lol. Only 998cc. Thanks for that info!

U-Haul rents auto transport trailers for about $60 a day. Several members have trailers too.


Some smaller pallets in the space next door. If you see one that works, maybe snap a pic and use it for reference when contacting logistics. If @richmeyer is around when ur in, he could point ya in the right direction. :+1:t3:

Can I store an engine on a stand in the pallet area? That would be mighty convenient.

In any case, I’m considering pulling the engine at DMS and then bringing everything home to work on it here since my means of reliable transportation to/from DMS would be limited… Bringing parts in to work on should I need access to special tools.

I have a portable engine hoist and an engine stand that you can borrow. It is identical to those at DMS. This way you can do all the work at your place and no need to tow your car.


I don’t have the tools needed at home to do the work there, so DMS is my best bet. That and my apartment complex doesn’t allow work in our parking garage, but I might be able to get it done quick enough and out of sight if it’s done on the roof level.

I do greatly appreciate your generosity though :slightly_smiling_face:

I got an enclosed car hauler parked not that far away from DMS. Depending on when you are doing this we might be able to figure something out. I also got an IKEA bag you can carry the engine around in. :wink:


Is it the left hand drive orange one in the photo above or ?

Removing the engine and temporary storage of the engine at the Makerspace shouldn’t be much of an issue. Your project will generate quite a bit of interest just by the age of the car and the drivetrain alone.

The BIG problem for you the car owner & (for any future car project owner at the Space) will be moving and storing the engine-less car to and from the Makerpsace. That will be your logistics problem to sort out & probably the one that will cause the most headaches unless you own a vehicle capable of towing a trailer and have a place to store the car whilst you are overhauling/ rebuilding the engine.

There is (should be) a rolling engine stand at the Space that you may use to bolt your removed engine to when you are working on it and it isn’t in storage.

Here are a few Classic Mini / Leyland parts places (Others may be interested as well)




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Yes the orange LHD Mini is mine :slightly_smiling_face: I bring it by DMS whenever I’m there, but it’s out of commission and needs a rebuild.

I’ve got an engine stand and an adapter for my engine already. The plan is to use a tow dolly to get the Mini to DMS, pull the engine, and bring the rolling shell back home for storage. The engine will be stored short term (no more than a couple days hopefully) at DMS, hopefully on my stand, and then picked up shortly after to be brought home for disassembly.

Once it’s torn down and I have a handle on what needs replacing, I’ll order everything I need to get the job done. Thankfully I’ve got contacts at MiniSport and 7 Mini and an already in touch regarding what I’ll need to start.

I also plan on making use of the parts washer and Vapor Hone machine to clean up bits that need it, replacing the entire wiring harness, and some other small jobs while I’ve got better access under the empty bonnet.

I’ll bring bits to DMS to work on chunks at a time, and again for final reassembly on my stand before it is reunited with the shell. Obviously I’ll need someone to show me how the engine hoist works since I’ve only ever seen it parked by the bay door, but everything for the project is within my skillset.

Help is always appreciated. I’m bringing the engine home for teardown instead of at DMS because my wife has our other car for work, so my transportation will be quite limited to make frequent trips. My work on the engine parts at DMS will likely be confined to weekends.


Good plan.

The "engine hoist"to use is the faded red one by the grey shelves in automotive Not the blue gantry crane.


Ahh, I’m familiar with engine hoists, noted. What is the gantry crane used for then? It seems to be a great tool that I’ve never seen used…

Do you have a date in mind to get started? I believe you could put it in the calendar to make sure you have the space when you want it, I could be wrong.

You would not be correct. You can’t reserve space or tools except for classes and events which are not personal use.

First come, first serve - except for classes, then events.

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I stand corrected. Mini engine removal class then!

I mean, I’d also be fine pulling the engine outside in the parking lot if that’s permitted, in case the bays are full when I need them. If that’s permissible, I’ll use whichever spaces are best suited or preferred by automotive. I’m aware of the first come first served rule and figured on working around that however possible. Simple enough to roll the hoist sans-engine down and back up the ramp. Just, hopefully no one else is planning to use the hoist that day…

What are it’s interior dimensions? A mini is roughly 5’w x 10’l x 4.5’h, plus engine stand with engine. Does it have tie downs to secure the vehicle and the engine stand inside? I won’t have the means to lift the engine to stand height once home, safely at least.

My only other option at this point is to rent a truck and trailer from uhaul to get the car to, and the car + engine from, DMS.

This really is turning into quite a bothersome logistics effort :unamused: