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I hear you on liking the Mini. I owned a MBZ dealership many years ago and had the opportunity to own some very nice and desirable cars. Problem was I never could "fall in love" with any of them like I did in my much earlier years owning Porsche 356's. My biggest disappointment was buying a 66 911. Compared to the 356 it was faster but just wasn't, "part of you" like the 356. Fast forward many decades and after I had sold my dealership I had the opportunity to sit in one of the first Minis that showed up in our town. I loved the look of the car and I loved the interior as well. I purchased a 05 R50 and then bought my present car almost 10 years ago. Purchased a couple of R53, one all black and traded it for a blue 06 Cabrio with just about every race goodie. Sold the 06 and kept the 02 and we are finishing building it out. 10 years ago when I bought the 02 I had a TPR2 Head . water-meth, NS1 Cam, 17% pulley, ARP studs, 450 injectors, Mynes V2 Header, Bytetronik FA. CAE shifter and Miltek exhaust installed. Today we are finishing the build out with Ported Intake, 650 injectors, TVS900 Supercharger, ATI 2% Pulley, LSD and Valeo Clutch. I may add NOZ and CO2 injection after I see how I like the TVS. I absolutely love this car and at 118,000 miles I hope to be able to keep it the rest of my days. Like I said, I've owned some very desirable and fast cars over my 75 years but only the old 356 comes close in comparison to my R53. The car becomes "part of you" and you create a sense of teamwork when driving it to get all of its performance. Faster than the 356 and I think better looking. I will keep and cherish this little car the rest of my days.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
A few updates to the MINI. The paintwork needed some attention - being red, it had faded in places and had lacqueer peel in areas. After a bit of TLC, it's starting to look a lot better - still needs a flat and polish, but here's the "off the gun" finish:













It should all be back together and finished by this evening. Then the car is off to Minitopia who are doing a supercharger service and new water pump for me!

Tom
 

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Grill looks nice. Better than all black or all red.

I have some manky metal work under on of my rear lights that needs attention before winter. I seem to have got all the other jobs done first!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks for the comments guys! I am super happy with the car at the moment. The lower grill isn't fitted correctly - only because I didnt trim it to fit - purposely, as an aero front bumper is on the cards soon...

A couple of updates - a JCW carbon handbrake to compliment the JCW carbon gear knob:



And finally making some progress on stripping the strut brace down ready for repaint. I was originally planning on either keeping it red, or going black, but I think I'm going to go silver for an OEM+ look...

 

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Looks lovely. Im on the hunt for one at the moment. BRG is my favourite colour then probably red or grey. Its been difficult finding something decent as 90% are approaching 'shed' territory. Ive seen a couple fo red cars but as you said, they've nearly all got lacquer peel. Not having anywhere to respray myself is a downer so ive passed on a few cars.
My only concern about your car is your choice of where to put the fire extinguisher. it looks like its in the boot(?) This is not a good idea because in the event of an actual fire you will almost certainly not be able to get to it. The fire extinguisher should be within arms length of the driver, ideally bolted in the passenger footwell. The extinguisher must be fastened to the structure of the car ie: the shell, not a flimsy parcel shelf that will become detached in an accident. the extinguisher will become a missile.
Ive owned many Subaru Imprezas and been in a competition car that caught fire at Curborough. You may not have time to get out of the car, the boot may not open, the extinguisher may not even be where you left it.
The other issue is if the car is hit from behind and it damages the extinguisher. It could go off, or worse, explode.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks for the comments guys! I agree, the fire extinguisher isn't in the best place but it's mainly for aesthetics (silly I know) until I get a proper bracket to mount in the passenger foot well.

Meanwhile, a few things have happened with the MINI. Minitopia serviced the supercharger, I split the rear lights and dechromed them:


Then dechromed the belt line:


and had a special delivery yesterday (not the dog!):


Exhaust is due to be fitted this weekend, hopefully the weather holds out!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Few more updates on the MINI...

Scorpion exhaust fitted - it sounds incredible - lots of pops and crackles on overrun, I love it!


Then I fitted a rear seat delete (ready for the half cage... at some point!). This has made a big difference inside the car noise-wise - exhaust sounds even better whilst driving!


And I also powdercoated my OMP strut brace in silver - due to get some R52 Cabrio braces soon and will powdercoat them to match:


:)
 

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Just read your old thread from 2012-2014. Car looked great!! I can’t believe how many negative comments were dished out. I joined this forum a few years back. We all own Minis on here and that’s the passion we share. Everyone has their own taste. Just because someone isn’t into the style you’re going for, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Keep up the good work mate, car is looking on point
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Another delivery yesterday! This time some GP lower rear bumper trims. They make a subtle difference, but I'm a big fan! Makes me want a G-Wing now...

 

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Discussion Starter #37
Haven't updated here in a while. Cosmetically, not much change. Mechanically, lots of change (and issues!).

Firstly, I bought and fitted a 15% Reduced Kavs pulley from Orranje. I opted for the BKR7EQUP NGK Spark Plugs and Gates Pulley belt. I did a lot of research beforehand and decided on the 15% as no other supporting mods were required - after all, it's my daily driver and I wanted it to be semi-reliable.

98331


Turns out it was the start of something expensive... the car had developed a noticeable "flat spot" between 2,000-3,000rpm which progressively got worse. Maybe it was always there, but it was definitely a hell of a lot more noticeable now. All topics I read pointed to the BPV, so I bought an uprated bypass valve from a seller on the R53OC facebook group. Fitted it, no difference. The car was still struggling with power delivery between 2,000-3,000rpm. I was stumped.

98332


I spoke to a few other people who suggested it may be the crank pulley, or the car may just need a map. After reading more threads and other user experiences, I thought I would try by replacing the HT leads. I opted to go for some Mr Retro Leads Chilli Red 8.0mm HT Ignition Leads from Mod A Mini. Fairly easy to replace, I replaced them, to find I was still having the same issue.

My next step I decided to replace the Ignition Coil with an OEM replacement. FINALLY this fixed the flat spot issue, I was so happy! So happy, I decided to treat the car to some new top mounts (the old ones had started creaking). Again, with OEM replacements, I set to replace the top mounts. Strut out, old mounts off, new mounts on and fitted back up. Start the car up... ABS light, Traction light and tyre sensor light were on.

Long story short, they didn't go off. Everything was pointing to the offside front ABS sensor (inc error codes)... so I replaced the ABS Sensor. You guessed it - the lights stayed on (even after clearing them with a code reader)! More research indicated that it was the speed sensor that needed replacing, which is part of the wheel bearing. Great, another expense, however... I went ahead and had the wheel bearing replaced and the lights went - hooray!

Couldn't be happier, until I popped to Greggs for lunch. Went in, got some food and came out to a flat battery. Had to call recovery as I had no jump leads - turns out the battery is completely dead and the car is running off the alternator. So I ended up changing that too for an Exide EA640 battery - what's the cost of a battery after all the other issues, right?

98333


Long story short. The MINI threw a huge wobbly and I was on the verge of just getting rid of it - it's really tested my patience over the past couple of months but I'm hoping that's it now. Who knows, my next update may be a picture of my MINI as a coke can. We'll see...
 
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