MiniTorque.com banner

121 - 140 of 164 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #121
So, the steering wheel is in. The material quality for a relatively low price is VERY good.

Fitting the thing was an utter pain in the hoop, when I'd expected it to be a 30min job. That fiddly catch release thing to remove the existing airbag is unbelievably frustrating - I felt like a teenager trying to undo a bra all over again.

I could get the right side to release without looking, but the left side literally took me 30min alone to replicate. The horn connections that came with the hub required a bit of love to make a connection that I felt comfortable with too, but they are in now.

I trimmed down the indicator cancellation nub using a Dremel, leaving somewhere between 5-10mm. Seems to be working ok. The resistors (I put one in each plug) were a bit bigger than I might have liked (I bought fused ones, to be on the safe side), so everything under the horn push is a bit of a bird's nest right now. No airbag light at least.

I think it looks pretty sharp (quick photo with tools strewn all over the car), and feels nice and tactile. 350mm also feels like a good diameter. Slightly smaller/thicker than the stock wheel, and only just obscuring the very top of the rev counter.
98559
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #123
First impressions of the new wheel after a long drive with it today.
  • Feels lovely to hold and use.
  • Rubbing noise against the plastic cowling is hateful, and I need to solve.
  • I hadn't anticipated the extra distance to the indicator stalk (duh!), so need to relearn that.
  • Indicators only self-cancel on right-hand corners, which is what it is.
  • Has had the desired effect on my seating position - being a few inches further back means that my legs are straighter and more relaxed, and that heel/toe is easier. Downside is that gearknob is in a less comfortable/intuitive location. Such is life.
Overall, that's a net positive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #125
If self-cancelling is an issue to you it can be solved by re-centralizing the hub correctly.
Presumably that would need the slip ring to be at 12 o'clock when the hub goes on? Because that's what I did... Hmm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #126 (Edited)
In other news, yesterday brought a fresh MOT with no advisories. Always pleasing.

5k miles covered in the past year, which is more than I expected. Although the Nurburgring and Wales trips probably accounted for almost 1,600 of those.

Planning a trip to the northern reaches of Scotland in May with a group of 7 friends (including the guys from the Ring trip). Aiming to try and cover some of the NC500 bits that we missed on our last run up there.

Launching a new business at the moment, so free time is going to be at a premium for the coming months. Hopefully I can squeeze in a visit to CarsOrBikes (who I owe a message) in before the trip for a few bits.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,641 Posts
make sure the slip ring is an equal number of turns from centre or the tape can snap once the wheel is on and you confidently go to lock on the short side

MOT pass is always good

a few of us might ride round the 500, keeps getting mentioned

other stuff mate whenever you're ready....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #128
make sure the slip ring is an equal number of turns from centre or the tape can snap once the wheel is on and you confidently go to lock on the short side
So the wheel came off fully centred and wheels dead ahead, and the new one went on without changing the position of the slipring. That should have done it, right?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,641 Posts
yes ;O)
 
  • Like
Reactions: DRP

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #130
So, I'm using my convalescence productively, and I'm part way through fitting the passenger seat (that I bought in January).

Having an angle grinder and the requisite longer bolts should make this a lot easier than last time. Famous last words.

Having said all of that, I'm getting itchy feet. The Mini was bought as a stopgap, purely so I had something to take on the Wales and Ring trips last year. And it served its purpose very well.

I dallied with the idea of keeping it for a bit longer, which culminated in a huge bill for 'preventative' maintenance and modification with the ever-excellent CarsOrBikes. But the truth is that it doesn't excite me in the way that some of my previous cars have.

It was incredibly good fun on the Ring, and took the narrow roads of rural Wales comfortably in its stride. Perhaps it's too competent and refined?

So much so that I now find myself looking at selling it in favour of something older, rwd, Japanese and turbocharged. I suppose I could potentially pour money into the Mini, but I don't think it would excite me in the way that the alternatives do.

Maybe this will pass. Maybe it's just lockdown cabin fever. I'm not so sure though.

As for valuing the Mini, I wouldn't have the faintest idea, particularly in the current climate.

Am I making a grave error?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #131
Does anyone have any idea what I should pitch this car at in the current climate?

I'm not one of those deluded types who thinks their car is worth what they paid, plus what they've spent, plus some profit.

But it's one of the last R53s, with the right options, some decent modifications, lowish miles, and almost everything that's a common fault checked out or fixed in the past year.

I've seen some jokers asking ~£5k for deeply unspectacular cars of late, which is considerably above what I think this is worth to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #132
Well, I think I've settled on a replacement (or at least two options) pending insurance quotes, so this is probably going to be up for sale in the next few weeks.

Last calls for any suggestions on price. I'm thinking in the £2.5-3k region based on what I've seen things going for of late, but always up for a reality check.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,641 Posts
I think you should easily get that, personally I think you should keep it and make it quicker but also understand the temptation to just buy something quicker, the thing there is many come back to Mini then do what they did to the last one (or more) all over again haha. It'd be quite easy to get that car to 245hp or more, 270 is there for the taking if you have the budget for a cylinder head change/work, or to improve its handling.

what the next car options?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #134
Hey dude. Sorry to be doing you out of more business by working on the car. In truth, this indecision is probably why I hadn't sent it back to you for the work we talked about. If it's any consolation, I'll continue to sing your praises if anyone asks! :D

I've been all over the place on replacements, but I think I fundamentally want something that feels a bit more special than the Mini. Not that it doesn't feel special - it's fabulous fun - but it's just not doing it for me right now. I may regret it, but I'll never know unless I try.

I had a few Nissan 200sx models a few years back, and had thought I would get back into one. ~250bhp/tonne, RWD/LSD, no traction control. Lots to like. However, time hasn't been kind to them, and it's getting harder to find good examples than haven't been abused or rusted.

I'm currently tossing up between an E46 M3 coupe, a Z4M Convertible, or a 370Z coupe. Naturally-aspirated, RWD, big sixes, that handle well out of the box and can be fun on track with a few tweaks. Not the last word in pace on track, but fun nevertheless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #138
So, I think I may have had a change of heart.

I fired the old girl up after 9 weeks of slumber, and took her for a little run to blow out the cobwebs. All over again, I remembered why she was so much fun. To that end, I've decided to keep her and plough on. CarsOrBikes is hopefully coming back to me with a quote to fit some coilovers (BC Racing the current fave), a Coolerworx shifter, and a few other little bits (including a supercharger service). I'm sure he's going to try and persuade me to fit a cam!

Making the Mini more fun makes much more sense than going through the aggro of selling, buying and modifying something else. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself...

I'm booked at Bedford (GT layout) with Javelin on the 15th June before all that, and very excited to finally get the Mini out on a familiar track to see what it's made of!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #140
So, this got completely out of hand.

Monday was a brilliant day out at Bedford for my first trackday of 2020.
I was one of three R53s (including my friend's white car), and mercifully the only one that lapped all day without issue, barring a tiny weep from the brake reservoir cap (replacement on its way). Not sure if the guys sharing the black car are on here?
100243


The "coilovers or GTFO" crowd might be surprised to hear that Supersport+ and LSD options make for quite a fun drive on track. The PS4s were pretty grippy too, and didn't seem to go off no matter how hard I pushed (including having both fronts spinning out of the hairpins) or how hot they got.

It helped cement the view that as I'm keeping it I want to make it more focused and reliable. As a result, I'm making the 4.5hr journey up to @CarsOrBikes this weekend, to drop it off for the following:
  • BC Racing RM (inverted fronts) coilovers, and more aggressive alignment
  • Coolerworx shifter, and gearbox oil change
  • 6pt driver and 3pt passenger harnesses
  • Poly front wishbone bushes
  • Carbotech XP8 front pads
  • Rear strut brace (for a luggage net)
  • Dropping this gauge into the passenger centre vent
  • Full supercharger service and new water pump
  • Oil service and fuel filter
  • Stud conversion
In addition, I'm adding the following:
  • Set of MG straights for the PS4s, which will become the road/wet set
  • Set of ultra-lightweight 15s (that just clear the brakes) and R888Rs as a dry set
  • Ultragauge for IATs, boost and water temps
It looks like I'm going to be heading back to the Ring in late July or August, with the same crowd as last time. Really keen to see how this lot of work changes the experience. Exciting times!
 
121 - 140 of 164 Posts
Top