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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had a total of now 8 MINIs in my 11 years of driving. This is now my 5th 1st gen Cooper S (4 R53s and 1 R52 S).
Couldn't decide what to go for, then a Black Eyed Purple came up for sale, a colour I love so it was pretty much a done deal. The car has 128,000 miles on it and is in need of some TLC. The garage that sold it have just fitted a new radiator and a new clutch. The interior has seen better days and is showing its age, but I'm not bothered as most of it will be coming out anyway... 🤷‍♂️

So the plan is to get it in some fit state for track days. I'm going to have the engine rebuilt, with some upgraded parts that I can afford within my budget. I can already see my budget won't go too far once you factor in the engine, then brakes, coilovers, and all the other suspension bits, roll cage!

So the plan is focusing on the needs first, and then the wants later.

So...

Needs doing to make track ready,
  • Engine Rebuilt courtesy of Sean's expertise!
  • Manifold and Sports or Decat.
  • Engine mount.
  • Oil temp sensor.
  • Check all underbody components for corrosion, and repair or replace as necessary.
  • BRAKES! Dear god, I forgot how awful standard R53 brakes are. I know the R56 S kit is enough, but I want a big brake kit. Unfortunately this may have killed my dreams of the Rota Grid-Vs in Neo Chrome as they won't fit over most BBK.
  • Intercooler (thinking Pro Alloy) plus a Leap Scoop.
  • Intake, my go to would have been an Orranje Stealth as it's what I've always used, and before that the Dave F. But the Airtech looks decent. Struggling to find any reviews on the Airtech though, so any input much appreciated.
  • Wheels and Tyres, as yet undecided.
  • Suspension bushes.


Things I want to do, but could wait,
  • Roll cage, simply for safety and obviously improves rigidity.
  • Coilovers, Top Mounts, ARBs, Drop Links, RCAs.
  • Seats, yet to decide which.
  • Cat back
  • GP skirts
  • Aero front bumper
  • GP rear trims
  • Diffuser
  • Orranje spoiler
  • Scuttle vents
  • Vented A-panels

I'm there's things I've missed so I'll update accordingly. And if there's anything obvious I've missed, please let me know. Along with that I'll sort out any niggly bits that need doing.

Here it is anyway. Can't wait to get the ball rolling with it!
image0 by Alan Humphreys,
image1 by Alan Humphreys,
 

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Looks good and plans sound great! I would have got a BEP if I hadn't found my BRG.

With regards to airbox you could make your own Dave.f style and for considerably less than buying anything similar, leaves more money for the other needs/wants.

For what it's worth mine was great fun on track with just 4pots, uprated brake fluid and Yoko AD08RS tyres.

Also gives a good base for when you add new parts as you can then 'feel' the benefit of them.

I'd add an oil temp gauge to the list, with peak warning if possible (will save you having to keep checking it). Managed to get my oil quite hot and would have likely done a few more laps rather than letting it cool down if I didn't have the gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looks good and plans sound great! I would have got a BEP if I hadn't found my BRG.

With regards to airbox you could make your own Dave.f style and for considerably less than buying anything similar, leaves more money for the other needs/wants.

For what it's worth mine was great fun on track with just 4pots, uprated brake fluid and Yoko AD08RS tyres.

Also gives a good base for when you add new parts as you can then 'feel' the benefit of them.

I'd add an oil temp gauge to the list, with peak warning if possible (will save you having to keep checking it). Managed to get my oil quite hot and would have likely done a few more laps rather than letting it cool down if I didn't have the gauge.
I do like BRG too. Not too many in that colour about either really, are there?

I have made my own previously, so may consider doing that again.

Which 4 pots do you have? I've been looking on Orranje and there are so many different options I'm lost!

That's a good shout actually, where do these usually install? I'll add it to the list.
 

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Purple is a fantastic colour.
Personally Id refresh the suspension bushes, R56s brakes, rear antiroll bar, cam to keep sean happy :p decent tyres and keep the engine rebuild money in the bank until the engine is f*cked.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Purple is a fantastic colour.
Personally Id refresh the suspension bushes, R56s brakes, rear antiroll bar, cam to keep sean happy :p decent tyres and keep the engine rebuild money in the bank until the engine is f*cked.
Thanks, that's one I missed off. Adding now. I planned on renewing all the bushes.

As for the engine, really? It's high mileage though. I wouldn't want to thrash it on track day for something to go on me. 😬
 

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I do like BRG too. Not too many in that colour about either really, are there?

I have made my own previously, so may consider doing that again.

Which 4 pots do you have? I've been looking on Orranje and there are so many different options I'm lost!

That's a good shout actually, where do these usually install? I'll add it to the list.
No, not too many around but there are a handful on here which is good to see.

I’ve got the Budweg version of the R56 JCW Brembos. Which run a 316x22 disc. Managed to get them second hand but nearly new so saved a packet. Some people have noted issues with seals on the Brembos/Budwegs when given track abuse, I’ve only done one day so far but they were good as gold and took the abuse all day with no ill effects/fade etc. The caliper design is mini-sequel which is a nice touch.

But I don’t doubt there are better kits out there which can run bigger/thicker discs to aid cooling for not much more than buying them new.

Megane Brembo calipers also fit with adaptors, check Pobseys build thread as he is in the process of doing this upgrade as well as upgrading the rear to 280mm R56 brakes which I’ll also be doing next year. Not strictly required initially though and some would argue the rears don’t do much but everyone that has done the larger rears has noticed a difference.

Can see why you would think about rebuilding due to the mileage but if it seems to be running ok without serious oil consumption/knocking/smoke etc then maybe just get a compression/health check done and if all looks ok then keep on top of maintenance between track days, fix leaks that they usually have etc then rebuild when it starts showing signs of issues.

Although I’m sure Sean would advocate replacing the big end shells as well as fitting a cam of course haha

Bushes are definitely a good shout.
 

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I see what youre saying. If you are a track regular though, something is going to break.
I dont know the condition of the engine but if its running good, yeah I think Id still be tempted to bank the money until its on its last legs?.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Soooo... thought I’d take it out for a spin this evening. I hadn’t pushed it at all on my way home. Everything was up to temp so had a little blast onto the M53. What’s that behind me, is that spray from the road or white smoke? Looked down at the temp gauge to see it rapidly rising from the middle position. Fuck...

I’ve opened the bonnet and the (new) radiator isn’t even warm! It’s stone cold. Something’s not right.
 

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this is unfortunate, we'll sort it.
 

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Soooo... thought I’d take it out for a spin this evening. I hadn’t pushed it at all on my way home. Everything was up to temp so had a little blast onto the M53. What’s that behind me, is that spray from the road or white smoke? Looked down at the temp gauge to see it rapidly rising from the middle position. Fuck...

I’ve opened the bonnet and the (new) radiator isn’t even warm! It’s stone cold. Something’s not right.
Guessing an air lock? Hopefully easily fixed 🤞
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guessing an air lock? Hopefully easily fixed 🤞
Sean kindly came to have a look today. He explained there’s a core plug in the back of the engine block which would pop out in the event of the anti-freeze being just water and freezing. This would hopefully stop the block from becoming damaged if/when water freezes and expands, instead forcing the core plug out. So basically my MINI dumped pretty much all the coolant in one go, hence the massive white cloud behind me.

Also resulted in a ride in Sean’s R53 which is a monster! So excited to get mine sorted now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I’m off until the week of January 4th, but there’s nothing to do with most things being closed. Spending most of my time looking at either white goods :LOL: for my first home which I should be moving into in a month or two. Or MINI parts. Came up with a list of wheels to pick from. Thinking of having 2 sets, one with dry and one with wet track tyres.

All the following would be in 17”. Appreciate pics if anyone has any of these.

Konig Freeform Bronze
Konig Lockout Bronze
Speedline Turnini Gold
Sparco Trofeo 4 Bronze
Sparco Assetto Gara Bronze
OZ Ultraleggera Matt Bronze
OZ Alleggerita HLT Gold
OZ Leggenda Black
Rota Titan Gun Metal
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Took the speedo, rev meter, climate panel, switches and CD player out today to change the LED colours and change the faces. Look what greeted me behind the speedo. :sick:

Mouse R53 Dash by Alan Humphreys, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fortunately, all the wires and things seem untouched.
 
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