The Fortek is one of the nicest, but also one of the most difficult Mini kits to fit. Over the years I have done quite a number, but I suspect that a great number of the kits sold never get fitted because customers simply do not know where to start.

I hope that this page gives a few hints and tips, and outlines a procedure I have learnt in 20 years fitting these kits.

We often get customer prepared cars in for the specialised work that customers cannot do themselves, as with the car below. Like many this was to be painted elsewhere. This may sound strange to some but in reality we prefer it that way - you can get a car painted in any town in the country - try finding someone to fit a kit like this in any town?

Above you can see the base car as it arrived in primer.

Although the customer had spent a great deal of time priming the car, our first job was to grind it off in those areas where the kit was to be fitted. Its still better that it was primed as it rust proofs the car, although I do like to see them with a thin coat of gloss, as primer is hygroscopic and should never be left for more than a few hours without being painted (especially in UK)

Next job is to remove the paint from the areas we are going to bond the kit onto. We do not want to be relying upon other peoples paintwork for the strength of the bond.

Next we weld a metal strip onto the side seam. We do this on all Mini kits to give us something bigger and stronger to bond the skirts onto.

The kit comes oversize - particularly the rear arches which you can see clearly on the photo below - on the right as the kits arrive and on the left when cut down for fitting.

To bond the kit we laminate fibreglass matt onto the bare metal. Then once it has cured the fibreglass is sanded and nuts and bolts put in all along the bond line to double-secure the laminate onto the car. In this way it is both chemically and physically bonded.

The kit is then dry fitted - everything is screwed into place - including brackets to make everything line up. Generous cut-out for seam.

Kit must be sanded inside as well so that bonding adheres properly.

Incidently the photo above led to the launch of our Classic Mini Animal rear spoiler (and then kit), when it was seen on the website and we had dozens of people aksing to buy the spoiler.

Smear the bonding paste on the car, on the inside or the arch and then squirt expanding foam into the arch.

I do these on my own these days, but it is very much easier with an assistant if you have never done them before since there is a time limit before the paste starts to go off.

Do one component at a time. We start with the rear bumper and arches, then the front bumper and arches. Finally the skirts which can be adjusted to account for differences from car to car.

Remove the screws once bonding has cured.

Once all the foam and paste has cured - ideally after a few days sand all the extra away in preparation for the filler work.

Since the bonding shrinks slightly as it cures it is best to leave the bonding for a few days or a week to shrink before we start filling.

The same is true of the filler - it shrinks slightly as it cures. We like to apply all the filler in one go, and then leave it until the next day to cure before we sand it. The filler is slightly harder but you only end up sanding it once.

Leave it again before priming the car.

The car takes on a whole different look with a little primer. Normally we would wet flat the entire shell using a block for flatness. We might possibly re-prime it to make it really good before the top coat is applied.

In this case that was it. We were only doing the technical work that the customer could not easily get done elsewhere.