Big Jim’s modded chilli red R53 (225bhp)

43764 Views 434 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Maccmike
As you may know I’ve decided to sell up the R50 convertible and blue 03 cooper S to fund a newer 06 plate cooper S supplied by carsorbikes

the blue car was starting to become a money pit and I’ll be honest I didn’t really want to sell the convertible but I needed to find the new car, the convertible has (or will be soon be) going to a forum member as a summer car

as for the my new one, it’s an 06 facelift R53 with factory fit LSD, Sean has taken a few bits off the blue car and refitted the to the new one for me, i went over and ‘helped’ last Sunday with things like the exhaust, I’m sure I was a helpful 2nd set of hands!


so off came the bilstein coilovers, miltek exhaust, janspeed manifold and wheels, all of which Sean refitted in the day, it then went back later in the week for the airtek intercooler, MSD coil pack, magnecor leads and catcam to be swapped as well as having a vibratechnics engine mount and my powerflex mounts fitted




This was it at the weekend before I returned it to Sean while I was experimenting with dechroming it, used the black door handle covers off the blue car and a piece of belt line tape I had left over, you can see it covering the door chrome, also put black scuttle vents on too, I like the look of it so have ordered a new roll from kill all chrome to do the job properly when I pick the car up

cosmetically I’ve got the carbon G-wing to go on, got to remove the cooper spoiler though, the atomspeed scoop needs to be fitted too but I may get that professionally painted red to match the car before I refit it (or run it black for a bit), just going to put 2 black LED spotlights on this one as opposed to 4 on the old car I recon, keep this car a bit stealthy!

Internally it will be just the headunit swap for now, putting the double din front/single din rear pioneer unit in it so I don’t need to start cutting the centre console up like I did for the Sony in the blue car, I’ll also upgrade the speakers and fit an so and sub box, again going to see about going stealthy in the front and using the original grilles, mount the speakers behind the door card

performance wise as well as the stuff already swapped over I picked up a pipercross panel filter new off eBay for £13 and last night grabbed me a new 15% Kavs pulley and belt this evening for £70 plus postage, that can be fitted by carsorbikes when I get it back to him in the new year for a supercharger service

Not going to add the superchip bluefin to this one but put the money toward a proper dyno tune/map at 1320 as well as getting them to fit the 550 injectors I had in stock for the blue car

the other major thing I need is the decat removing and a tomcat putting in its place as it’s a bit to noisy for my liking at the minute

so there we have it, just need to pay for it fully on payday and it’s mine, hopefully this thread won’t be like the blue one where I describe how it’s broken again or somethings snapped or gone pop on me in every other post!

And there we have it, new car, new thread, when I collect it, watch this space
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Sean set it to middle setting for me, will see how I get on with it once I get it back
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Picked it up today, nice drive back, certainly less spongy at the back now with the new bar but also the rebound stiffened up on the coilovers

the car isn’t as noisy as I thought it would be with the sport cat so I’m most likely going to leave it as it is rather than having the tomcat made up, well at least until the janspeed cat implodes on itself!

my Amazon warehouse bargain alpine head unit arrived on Friday, not a scratch on it, just needed a microphone for the hands free, that’s the next job, fit that and the button panel with the ASC button
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It really does look the bollocks, so glad I didn’t sell it last year!

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Nice afternoon so gave it a run through the car wash and fitted the alpine stereo once I got home

The stereo was an Amazon special, full price was £170 but it was in the warehouse for £80 saying ‘cosmetic scratches to the front, sides and top’ so I took a chance on it, when it arrived it looked to have never been fitted and there wasn’t a scratch on it, just had to buy a new handsfree mic for it

cracking unit, USB and aux inputs, Bluetooth and DAB, luckily I’d left the DAB Ariel in and still had the wiring loom, BMW to FM Ariel adapter and steering wheel control unit after I removed the Sony h/u so it was just plug and play

Hands free mic

I’ve also connected the remote amp wire and plugged the subwoofer RCAs in, again i’d left them in, so if I decide to get a sub fitted again it’s just a case of wiring it in the boot to the existing quick release connector

while it was out I also fitted the correct switch unit with the ASC button
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Mot on the skoda today, feared the worst but it only failed on a tyre and the airbag light being on

the light came on when I took the stereo out and unplugged the facia which had the passenger airbag status light on, hoping it will clear when It’s plugged into a diagnostic machine

decided to take the bass box and amp out of the skoda and put it back in the mini as the sound is a bit lost in the big estate, 5 minute job and it was back in and running thanks to the quick release connections I’d left in!

Still need to de-trebus the rest of the car though!
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remember all the hoo haa i had with Adrien flux back in October with my wife's no claims not being mirrored well today I'm absolutely fuming again, i checked my documents to see about maybe putting the mazda as a temporary vehicle on one of my policies only to discover that i wasn't named as a driver on the Mini policy at all, my wife's name was showing as main driver and named driver.

the skoda policy had her as main driver and me as named driver so basically I've been driving the mini since October with no insurance while my wife has inadvertently been using the 16 years no claims they said she didn't have on the skoda while driving round in the mazda on a separate non flux policy also accruing a no claims on that

when i called them they said, despite it being an error on their part that the only way to remedy it would be to cancel the policy and start a new one, i did originally think i wasn't insured on both vehicles so they did me another multicar quote for both coming out at £650+ which i of course said I wasn't interested in, the cock up has been at their end, as far as im concerned they need to sort it out without me having any outlay, ive already spent this morning on the phone to them when I've got other stuff to do, it is looking like the only way out of it is to cancel the old policy down and start a new one as they recon they can't just change the main drivers name but that then means I've got to give them my money for another 12 months, also the mini policy is all paid for upfront, id rather cut my losses of the 6 months no claims im going to lose between october and no and look elsewhere

as I say the most worrying thing is the fact I've been driving round for 6 months with no insurance, the lesson ive learned, always check and double check your documents!!

@[email protected] FLUX
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I then got put through to the new policy department to see if they could do it cheaper, they started to ask me my wife’s details to which I said they already have them as she has a policy with them already but they couldn’t find any record of her at all so I suggested that maybe I should stop paying the premium on the skoda as she didn’t exist, no doubt they would soon be in touch if I did that!

To top it off in the previous call to add a vehicle to the existing policy they said she is showing as the registered keeper on both the skoda and mini, she is in fact neither, never has been or never will be so where they have that info from i don’t know, no doubt if I needed to claim they’d be quick to say the policy was invalid!
quoting myself here, a post i did at the end of January id forgotten about, i seem to remember they mentioned she was showing as the registered keeper which i think they changed but didn't say anything about her being the main driver, i'll have to mention it to them when they call me back incase she's still showing as the keeper too
this is getting from bad to worse now, they say they will cancel the policy and give me a refund of the remaining premium which will go toward a new policy so ive got to pay an additional £150 for the remainder of the premium which money wise is fair enough as its near as dammit the same price as i paid in october but it still means ive got to find £150 today just like that and be stuck with the absolute shower of ........ for another 12 months

then to top it off as sarah is the policy holder the 16yr no claims is showing in her name, despite them saying in january she didnt have any when she bought the CX7 so had to start as new policy elsewhere with zero no claims, thing is as ive unwittingly been a named driver on both policies it looks like ill now lose my 20+ years no claims, they said they cant/wont send me any documentation to show i have no claims should i go elsewere, even asked me if i had any proof myself despite sending them proof 4-5 years back when i insured the blue 53 with them, the current policy is merely a continuation of that one

they sent me a cheaper quote for the skoda this morning after i spoke to them when i spotted the original issue and they requoted me that they said they would honour as its in writing but now they are refusing as it was an "admin error" despite her saying on a recorded line they would honour it
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Sorry to say, I learnt this lesson a lot of years ago.

Bought 3.0 24v Senator & phoned Direct Line, who I also had my house ins with.

They gave me a competitive quote for the change, so I went to them, and paid over the phone.

As was usual for me, I made a note of the date/time/name for the call.

My constraints were Standard alarm/20k miles per year.

Policy arrived 2 days later saying aftermarket Thatcham 1 immobiliser/alarm 6k miles per year.

Phoned them, gave them the date time etc & told them to check the recording & ring back.

They confirmed they were wrong and that they wouldn't honour their own quote, so I got them to cancel the car & house insurance there & then & will never darken their door in my lifetime ever again.

Ever since I always check everything & insist on paper copies.
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I’ve insured it through A-plan now, pretty much the same price as Flux, im going to get them to quote the skoda tomorrow too

Spoke to Flux to try and cancel down the policy but I’m not doing it until I get written confirmation that I personally have 16 yrs no claims bonus, they are ringing me back in the morning to confirm and I want it in writing too, the last guy I spoke to said the mystery 16yr are showing as mine, let’s hope the manager agrees tomorrow and I can finally close the policy

I’ve just found the statements of facts from the renewal letter back in October , all correspondence in my name and it says in the statement the registered keeper and main driver is the policyholder/proposer
Sorry to hear Jim, insurance is such a minefield (and really shouldnt be).

I had bad experiences myself when trying to insure the convertible when I bought it off you....Adrian Flux wanted about the value of the car a year and Greenlight wouldnt even quote. Never tried either of them since.
Had to use the car today for work, my wife has taken the skoda to the caravan, I don’t like her Mazda CX7 and I didn’t fancy using the MX5!

When I got to the yard there was a new JCW cooper s hire car there, amazing how much bigger it is than mine!

I’m going to have to get it back in for the tracking/wheel alignment again, it’s still pulling to one side, I only had the fronts aligned last time but I’m going to get 4 wheel alignment done next time, Sean suggested slightly dropping front strut before I take it to loosen the 2 Allen bolts on the project silver top mounts that are obscured by the strut top, that way the garage can simply loosen the 2 ‘reachable’ bolts and adjust the camber, then once the tracking is done drop the strut again to retighten the 2 inaccessible bolts, it’s all very complicated!
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Car booked in for 4 wheel alignment a week on Friday at ABP in crewe, I’ll have to see how I’m doing for time to get the struts dropped to loosen the bolts but they said they can do it anyway (obviously for a bit more labour)

Took the skoda for tracking today at a different garage as it’s had wheel wobble at 65-70mph since it’s had new tyres, still happened after swapping wheels front to back so I suspected it wasn’t tyres causing the problem, the front and rear needs adjusting as it was about 3-4mm out, he then checked the balancing on the front tyres and one was 75g out, didn’t have any weights on it at all with no evidence that they had maybe come off, the other wheel was 30g out and only had a single 10g weight on it that he said had been on for a while, rebalanced them both and it’s spot on now, no wheel wobble at all
Have used ABP, pretty decent really, owners a cock though.
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