Project Mini Cooper: Sportpack Arches Install

Proeject Mini out on our Route 66 Trip before installing Sportpack Arches.
Our Classic Mini has been a blast, one of the best projects we have had by far. However, after being hit a few times in L.A. area traffic the plastic fender arches have been cracked and look pretty bad. We decided to install a set of Sportpack Arches to give the car that wider more aggressive look. We ordered of Arches from Mini Mania and they arrived in just a few days. Mini Mania also offers a great selection of Austin Sprite parts that we will be using for our Project Healey.

You can see our factory arches don't even cover our 13 inch wheels and if you look closely you can see the crack from being hit by a Toyota Camry that got the whole side of it's shiny new paint redecorated by the edge of the Mini Wheel.

We started by drilling out the rivets and cleaning the area we would be installing the new arches.

Blue Painters tape will offer some protection from wandering drill bits. Now these kits do not come with any templates, so we also used the painters tape to mark where we would be drilling our holes.

Take some time in figuring out where to drill the holes, measure twice, drill once. We measured about 10 times. Just to make sure that they would line up correctly. Remember to remove the interior upholstery panels, and to unbolt and slide your gas tank away from the side when you are drilling for the rear arches. The front arches have no obstructions that need to be moved.

There is no need to remove the wheels and tires, we just jacked the car up to give us the clearance we needed.

After test fitting the new arches we made some slight adjustments (i.e. slightly enlarging a hole or two) so that the arches fit just right.

Start installing washers and nuts. Oddly washers and nuts are not included and a trip to the local Home Depot was required, as with any project you are not doing it right unless you have to make at least one trip to a hardware or auto parts store.

You can see the hole from the original arch below the new one, when we have the body work done we will have the body shop cut the additional metal out of the fenders, but since this is a street car it is not necessary for additional clearance.

Installed and the car looks much more aggressive, we will paint them to match when the car goes in for other bodywork down the road, but the black mimics the factory arches.