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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, thought I'd start a thread to mainly track progress for my own sake, but also share any experiences along the way.

Last August I was looking for a new car as my previous car of 6 years was going to require too much work that I couldn't justify putting into it to keep on the road, plus wanted something a little faster and more fun. Thus a lot of browsing on auto trader and eBay to find something that fit the budget commenced and ended up with a 2008 Mini Cooper S R56 in Chilli Red(also with white roof as I'm in the minority and prefer that to black) and R98 wheels which have been refurbished at some point and had matching tyres, showing someone had cared for it previously

Yes, I was aware this would probably be the worst financial decision I could make on a car purchase. I was well aware of all the gremlins that crop up with these engines. But I'm pretty mechanically minded and could sort 90% of them myself if they needed covering. I'm not a believer in mileage being a huge factor in engine issues on these, I was noticing a lot having issues at 50k, and some not having any issues at 130k, so pursued the better service record possible within budget.

Well it was on 94k miles, pretty standard lacquer peel for a chilli red, not the cleanest example but ran well and had good history. Albeit a service was due - which I was planning to do anyway to inspect and have piece of mind.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, got it home, grinning like a Cheshire cat as the car was a big difference to the 1.4l 2003 Renault Clio it was replacing.

I was aware of a minor oil leak, the previous owner thought it to be the oil sump gasket - I was already well aware of the oil cooler gaskets leaking and oil return lines so wasn't expecting it to be the oil sump.

Gave it a good once over to get an idea on jobs needing to be done and guess what, it wasn't the oil sump definitely coming from front of the engine, so thought instead of taking it to bits to work out what it was, just ordered everything, new oil cooler gaskets(elring), turbo feed line, return line(mamba)and vacuum pump seals(eBay).

With the Girlfriend away for the weekend, managed to crack this out over 2 days(without taking the bumper off) - originally hoped for 1 day, but quickly realised someone had tried doing this before. The first indicator being only 3 bolts holding on the upper heatshield, next being a missing mount for the downpipe/cat, third bring the bracket that supports the turbo missing, and finally what added to it being a while extra day, a nice amount of silicon on the oil cooler... Just do a job right once instead of bodging it...

Anyway all back together and cleaned up, no leaks, Perfect

Time for a quick oil and oil filter change from the local auto factors, nothing too fancy as i wanted to flush it through first

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The car came with a cheap blow off valve adapter, which I was not keen on in the slightest, so needed to find the length of the original bolts without the adapter and swap that over. Which also gave me a chance to inspect the diverter valve for any issues - of which luckily there was none, else I would have been spending more money on the GFB DV+

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The headlights looked a bit foggy now, I was used to this coming from a Renault Clio which are horrendous for deterioration, and whipped out the wet and dry paper, and polish go get these looking better


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2006 cooper S 225bhp
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Nice looking car

i polished up my headlights last year as they were the same condition as yours, the one thing I didn’t do was treat them properly with some sort of sealant afterward and now 6 months down the line they’ve ended up looking the same again so make sure you seal them somehow

I’ve actually taken them off anyway as I’d joey’d them by painting parts of the insides black and the night time visibility was terrible afterwards
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, the calipers all around were looking very sorry for themselves behind the wheels which aren't in too bad a condition compared to some R98s I've seen, definitely been painted at some point.

So set about 2 months ago, wanting to paint the calipers chilli red to go along with the body colour. Got the car jacked up and wheel bolts off, ready to take a look and work my way around.. could not get the the wheel off for the life of me! rubber mallet, lump hammer and block of wood, and even loosing the bolts and driving forwards and backwards... Could not get these wheels off! Obviously seized to the hub.. took a 1.5m pry bar on each of them to get off once off, you could see the centre bore was swollen, so filed down evenly just to be able to get the wheels back on and off again and all good!

Now onto painting the calipers, turned out well, although I have a spare caliper for the nearside rear which I'm refurbishing due to the current one having a very split seal on the piston.

I do plan on putting the rear JCW carriers and 280mm discs on when I replace the discs on the back


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've always been into detailing my car, and heard about gtechniq C4 and due to the quantity of black trim on the Mini Cooper, and me getting tired of putting on autoglym trim gel every wash, I quickly brought some but needed to wait for the weather to be warm and dry enough to allow it to bond properly. But the pictures speak for themselves and this is now a month on looking exactly the same! Absolutely great stuff!

Just need to work something out for the black grill on the back bumper as it's too fiddly to get in with a cotton pad and make a decent job of it.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice looking car

i polished up my headlights last year as they were the same condition as yours, the one thing I didn’t do was treat them properly with some sort of sealant afterward and now 6 months down the line they’ve ended up looking the same again so make sure you seal them somehow

I’ve actually taken them off anyway as I’d joey’d them by painting parts of the insides black and the night time visibility was terrible afterwards
Thanks,

Yeah they do soon deteriorate again if now sealed properly, I know some people seal them with ceramic coatings or some PPF vinyl you can get but I've never found it too bad just chucking on some decent wax after every wash. I think the best way would be having them re-lacquered
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So after about 3000 miles of fresh oil, I wanted to put some better quality stuff in, just to help the engine out that little bit more.
Liquid Bottle Bottle cap Fluid Cosmetics

I was having a debate on some miller's or Petronas, but Petronas was just a little easier to get a hold of at the time.

I'm pretty impressed so far, the engine has actually burnt a lot less oil with this, than previously - although I'm certain the main cause of this is the pcv valve(got a hiss from the pcv area when turning the car off) and do have a valve cover replacement planned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, had a month of nothing to update on, just using the car daily and enjoying it. Until going to the office at the start of June and half way to the train station, the exhaust sounds like it's genuinely fallen off! 😱 Turns out the rear of the Flexi had sheared off from the rest of the exhaust! Not what I needed. Only part of the exhaust actually doing anything was the Cat/downpipe. So once back home managed to get out the weld we to take the exhaust back together to save it until the weekend, where I had a better go at welding it back together, managing to stop the blow about 90% so chucked some metal epoxy around it just to hold it up for now. I do plan to have some exhaust work done at some point whether it's a mid silencer removal or back box removal, I'm undecided. Couple of images below of where it had gone.
Automotive tire Wood Trunk Tints and shades Automotive wheel system
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Then, a couple of weekends ago I decided to take a look at the fan, I tested it a while ago as I didn't think it was working - I know the r53s have a common issue for this but hadn't heard it much in the r56s. It hasn't caused me any issues yet as I think the thermostat is stuck slightly open anyway as the car only gets to about 80°C unless stood still where it slowly increases and drops again once moving, but wanted to ensure the fan worked before I replace the thermostat and then potentially have an overheating issue on my hands.
So out with the test light and multimeter, I had no continuity going through the fan, but the relays were fine.
The fan on these is surprisingly easy to take off which I wasn't expecting, as the fan comes off separately from the housing, a couple of screws and it's essentially off with a little jiggery it slides out from underneath.
To which I was presented with the following:
Tire Plant Luggage and bags Motor vehicle Vehicle

That wire should surely be connected to something 🤣
Plant Automotive tire Green Motor vehicle Line

Ah there it is!
So after cutting the wire back due to it just turning to dust near the end from corrosion, I soldered in some new wire to extend it back and after trying a few spade terminals to try and get it to sit snug on that little copper block, decided it needed soldering on there as well for it to be decently secure.
Couple of hours later and I had a working fan!
Which to my surprise even runs with the car only getting to 80°C on a decent run when turning off - I assume to aid with the auxiliary water pump. Which was a nice surprise! If it stops again I will get a new fan, now knowing that's the issue, but didn't want to purchase one, if it was going to be an issue elsewhere!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fast forward again a couple of weekends (I'm not doing very good at keeping this updated 🤣)
I knew since it's MOT last year that it would need a new rear subframe. So I purchased a decent condition second hand one in February/March which I stripped back where needed, etch primered, painted and undersealed to ensure it would have some decent life in it. I'd been holding off doing the job as looking at the state of the subframe, and knowing the brake pipes are steel, I was worried an easy 2-3 hour job would turn into 5-6 hours with a brake pipe snapping.
So I got stuck in this weekend, the drivers side being worse for rust, expecting this brake pipe to snap when taken off. Somehow it didn't - absolute win! Off to a great start! Went around to the other side, got very close to the pipe coming off and..
Road surface Automotive tire Asphalt Wood Grey

I celebrated too early...
Still managed to get the old subframe off on Saturday and left it until Sunday morning to continue with the brake pipe and new subframe.
Quick comparison to show why it needed replacing, bear in mind the holes I made after taking it off giving it a poke 🤣
Plant Tool Wood Bumper Grass

All back together, new anti roll bar bushes but still kept the standard anti roll bar for now.
Next jobs are an alignment, just to ensure its set up 100% right after doing the rear subframe and thermostat, crossover pipe, maybe water pump and friction pulley as well to make sure the cars operating at the right temperature..
Slowly ticking items off the list
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
New parts have finally arrived! A combination of genuine BMW supplied and Neobrothers genuine items.

  • OEM thermostat housing from Neobrothers
  • Genuine crossover pipe
  • Genuine manual water pump tensioner - FYI the genuine item is a DAYCO Item which you can find cheaper than from BMW elsewhere
  • Dayco water pump pulley
  • Water pump
  • OEM valve/cam cover from Neobrothers

Shipping box Package delivery Rectangle Material property Carton
Rectangle Font Parallel Paper Paper product
White Gas Circle Auto part Machine


Hopefully that will give the coolant system a nice refresh and prevent any major issues down the line - Will be getting stuck in, in a couple of weeks with this!

Replacing the valve cover as there seems to be a lot of vacuum in the head as you can't open the oil cap whilst the engine is running and the PCV Diaphragm seems like it is failing, so worth the replacement as it does look like the original valve cover(Still has the mini badge on and only history saying it had the seal replaced at 75k I believe)
 
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