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One issue I had when sorting my belt issues, was one of my aircon compressor mounts had broken - not easy to spot unless in front end service mode. It was still holding pretty solid, but I removed it for a blanking pulley in case that was the cause of my belt failure.
 

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was that before or after the bolt/debris got stuck in the belt system? Just curious if this perhaps suffered as a result?

pretty sure I've read somewhere about these delete pulleys failing anyway, read recently someone saying they'd rather run a disconnected a/c compressor than one, due to potential for problems, on a track car of some description iirc
 
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Not related to the work DRP has had done so far, just something I noticed on mine when I was servicing my supercharger earlier this year. I'd had a belt failure a while before the work and wondered if that had contributed to it failing. I'm pretty sure the aircon bracket fracture had happened long before judging by the amount of grime that was around the broken area, so I don't think it happened as a result of my belt going.
 

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One step forward, and two steps back. Ever it was thus.

Put the jump pack on it this morning, and fired it up ready to take to Steve in Tonbridge. It started first time, and sounded relatively good. So, I set off, got to the end of my street, and the f**king belt gave up and did its best Houdini impression.

View attachment 104673

I'm starting to despair with this car a little, but I've resolved to get it properly sorted to give myself the best chance to fall back in love with it again. Hard to feel like I'm not throwing good money after bad, unfortunately. Frustratingly, the problem can only be one of so many things, so hopefully it's easy to diagnose for someone who can give it the time and attention it needs.

As soon as Steve has fixed whatever underlying issue is causing this, it's going to get properly valeted (not detailed!), including wet-vac on the seats and carpets, and I'm going to get the MG Straights refurbed.

If that doesn't do the trick, or if it lets me down in Scotland, it's probably curtains for Mini ownership for me.

This episode has reminded me of one thing - you can't expect to run an older, modified car like this and just pick it up and use it whenever you want.
Or if that is what you’re expecting from ownership then the bills in terms of cash or time are going to be exhorbitant.


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Discussion Starter · #265 ·
Or if that is what you’re expecting from ownership then the bills in terms of cash or time are going to be exhorbitant.


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Indeed. This wasn't even intended to be a big project, but I'm now into the car for five figures (including original purchase), so the desire to write more than half off and sell at a big loss isn't huge!
 

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Discussion Starter · #266 ·
One issue I had when sorting my belt issues, was one of my aircon compressor mounts had broken - not easy to spot unless in front end service mode. It was still holding pretty solid, but I removed it for a blanking pulley in case that was the cause of my belt failure.
Anything is possible.

As mentioned, Scott at Autotech really didn't have the time to look into this properly unfortunately, and thus I suspect may have missed more than just the tensioner and crank pulley being damaged. It's disappointing, but it happens.

Given that the car needs to run faultlessly for around 1500 miles (many of which will be 'hard') in a few weeks, I'm keen that someone who knows the R53 well takes their time and goes through everything in detail. Cost isn't really the issue at this stage, because the alternative is me burning cash by renting or temporarily buying something fun to do the NC500 in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #267 ·
was that before or after the bolt/debris got stuck in the belt system? Just curious if this perhaps suffered as a result?

pretty sure I've read somewhere about these delete pulleys failing anyway, read recently someone saying they'd rather run a disconnected a/c compressor than one, due to potential for problems, on a track car of some description iirc
Having met me, hopefully you'd remember what an absolute softie I am. I can't live without aircon!

I didn't think I could live without cruise either (the adaptive system in the Volvo is bloody excellent), but it looks like I'm going to be doing the 850 miles to/from Glasgow without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #268 ·
Further to one of my less recent posts, I'm chatting with the chap behind the excellent Roadie Designs about whether he'd be able to make up a cup holder (like this one) for those of us with Coolerworx shifters installed.

As mentioned above, I like creature comforts, so having somewhere to store a bottle of water is infinitely preferable to having it rolling around on the passenger bucket!

I've sent him some photos of my install (very clean, thanks @CarsOrBikes), and will be sharing some measurements so that he can get a prototype sent for me to test. How exciting.

104693
 

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Discussion Starter · #269 ·
Well, hopefully today is two steps forward.

AnyVan came and collected the Mini this morning - an excellent service, that I can't recommend enough.
I could book a timeslot, got a call 15min out, and could track the driver on their website to my door. It was subcontracted out to a company called Britalia, and the chap had the car loaded and away in less than 5min!

104736


As mentioned above, I decided to start and drive the car onto the flatbed (running for appx. 30s), and in spite of having no belt, I had PAS... How confusing! Anyway, Steve is going to strip it down when it gets to him, and hopefully I'll have a diagnosis tomorrow! How exciting.

In other news, insurance renewal time is back again. Greenlight are bloody excellent, and I would thoroughly recommend anyone running a modified/track car to give them a call. They shaved 10% off last year's figure, and are still covering all modifications and my trackdays.
Being an old git is great, sometimes...

Finally, Mark from Roadie Designs has shared some initial designs for the cupholder, which have excited me disproportionately!
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
PAS will work as long as there is enough juice in the battery to drive the pump. So probably not for very long after the belt goes. Hope you get that sorted now.
That's really interesting. Thanks for the tip!

It must have been pretty marginal, because the battery was dead again as soon as I turned it off on the back of the truck. Either way, I'll take any small victories I can get at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #272 ·
Just realised how silly my posts above were. Of course the car will have PAS without a belt - that's the point of an electric PAS pump, so that it's not driven off the bloody belt. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #273 ·
Well, Steve has started pulling the car apart, and found two issues which might have contributed:

1. Apparently the supercharger pulley appeared to be 1-2mm out of alignment. Once removed, it was found that the bolts were not very tight, and the pulley appeared to have some sort of adhesive 'gunk' underneath it. I'll lay the blame for this one firmly at the the feet of the so-called 'specialists' in Shoreham who fitted it. (waiting for a @CarsOrBikes "I told you to fit the GTT pulley" :D )

2. The idler pulley locator screw had unwound itself, and was allowing the pulley to move by +/-5mm, which is the likely root cause of the belt failing.

In addition to this, the OEM gearbox mount I replaced a couple of years back has crapped itself after 6k hard miles. Time to bite the bullet and go for a poly dogbone, I think.

He also spotted a balljoint that had been leaking a little grease, so that's getting swapped out too. He's going to remove, clean up and refit the wheel studs with Loctite, and swap out my XP8s for DS2500s. He's also going to bypass my pad wear sensors, as the XP8s appear to have melted one of them.

Steve really seems to know his sh*t, which feels really encouraging. However, given that I've got 1500+ miles to do in 5 days, I've asked him to hang onto the car while I take a short holiday, drive it for a few days, and absolutely thrash the pants off it to see what breaks. He seemed more than happy to oblige. :D
 

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Keep the XP8s. They are streets ahead of the DS2500. Ditch the wear sensors (short circuit them and tie them up out of the way). Inspect the brakes visually on a regular basis.


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Discussion Starter · #275 ·
Keep the XP8s. They are streets ahead of the DS2500. Ditch the wear sensors (short circuit them and tie them up out of the way). Inspect the brakes visually on a regular basis.


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I honestly can't run the XP8s on the road. They drive me nuts.

I'm not out on track again this year, I doubt. The XP8s will go back in before the next track outing, and I'll live a squeal-free life for the limited road miles I do in the meantime.

While the DS2500s are obviously road-biased, I ran them at Bedford and they managed 5 laps of moderate pace (i.e. no standing on the pedal at the end of the long straights) on a very hot day before they started feeling wooden. I was quite impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
So, I'm back from a short break in sunnier climes, and the final reckoning is in.

There's something quite fun/terrifying about getting sent photos of your car in many pieces while you're taking a holiday. I won't mention this to MrsP.
104790


It appears that age and 'use' (as well as some recent work) has caused a litany of issues, which contributed to my belt failures.
The eventual diagnosis was (deep breath):
  • Cracked alternator casing
  • Charger pulley slightly out of alignment (probably non-critical)
  • Recent replacement crank pulley either not fitted correctly or out of spec
  • Idler pulley loose and out of alignment
  • Slightly overlong belt fitted as a result of incorrectly diagnosing the above

Yeah, that's properly f*cked.
104791


I left it with Steve with the brief of "Take a good look over the car. If it's not 100%, just fix it and send me photos of the broken parts so my mates can have a laugh at my expense.". As a result, the following few bits were rectified:
  • New header tank cap, after the Combe histrionics
  • New lower balljoint
  • Studs refitted with Loctite
  • Replacement timing chain tensioner
  • Brake pad sensors shorted (after one got melted)

Hopefully all of that means I'll have a fairly easy time of it on the NC500 (less than 4wks away!), and that the car will pay back the amount I'm spending on it in fun times. Steve has done 20-something "hard" miles in it (at my request), and reports that it's now running faultlessly.
The only thing left to do is have someone with more enthusiasm than my local Albanians give it a proper wash, and wet-vac the seats/carpets etc. to make it a bit more habitable.

Everything crossed for Scotland!
 

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Hopefully that puts an end to the issues you have been happening and you can have a fantastic time doing the NC500.
 

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So, I'm back from a short break in sunnier climes, and the final reckoning is in.

It appears that age and 'use' (as well as some recent work) has caused a litany of issues, which contributed to my belt failures.
The eventual diagnosis was (deep breath):
  • Cracked alternator casing
  • Charger pulley slightly out of alignment (probably non-critical)
  • Recent replacement crank pulley either not fitted correctly or out of spec
  • Idler pulley loose and out of alignment
  • Slightly overlong belt fitted as a result of incorrectly diagnosing the above
Yeah, that's properly f*cked.

Oh shit thats not good. The cracked alternator can happen on any car but wrongly fitted parts is a bad one. Fingers crossed its back up and running soon and the bill isnt too big (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 · (Edited)
Oh shit thats not good. The cracked alternator can happen on any car but wrongly fitted parts is a bad one. Fingers crossed its back up and running soon and the bill isnt too big (y)
It's annoying, but life's too short to be annoyed about things like that for too long. I just want a working car that I can rely on.

On the bill, I've resigned myself to one big bill a year for extensive checkups like this - it's preventative maintenance which should maximise the time I spend using the car. Hopefully as time goes on, those bills will become smaller. For what it's worth, Steve is very good value for the experience and expertise he brings.
 
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