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

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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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And on with the spotlights, just need to wire them up next, I originally fitted them with self tappers but the screw heads were showing through the grille so I drilled out the hole slightly and fitted some nuts and bolts




looking good


wire them in tomorrow hopefully and maybe get the amp up and running too
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And on with the spotlights, just need to wire them up next, I originally fitted them with self tappers but the screw heads were showing through the grille so I drilled out the hole slightly and fitted some nuts and bolts
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looking good
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wire them in tomorrow hopefully and maybe get the amp up and running too
Looking good Jimbo!👍
Dammt, wish I’d fit them now! :LOL:
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Nice to see another chilli red project

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Looks good Jim, I’m also a fan of the spots on these 😎
bought myself a pair of front seats last night, sparco R100 in faux black leather from the demon tweeks sale, 10% off when you bought two, plus £18 odd cashback via topcashback website, got subframes off ebay for them that use original runners and pre tensioner brackets

hopefully ill be able to fit in them, they dont appear to be much narrower than the standard seats and having sat and just about fitted in carsandbikes narrower non reclining bucket seat i should be ok, if not its a good incentive to lose some weight!

i was going to wire the spotlights today but its snowing now, also need to get the doorcard off to sort the central locking pin
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Mounting plates for the seats have arrived, just waiting on some fused 3.9 ohm resistors for the airbag then weather permitting I may have a look at the passenger seat on Saturday (if it takes too long or I have issues I will still be able to use the car if I do the passenger seat first!), I’ll need to get the standard seat out and strip the runners off it to start with before securing the runners to the mounting plate then the new seat to the runners

Bought myself an angle grinder too with my work Christmas bonus high street vouchers as I will need to remove the seatbelt pretensioner bracket from the seat which is riveted on, that looks to be the most complex part of the job (hopefully)

While I’ve got the seats out I’m hoping to maybe get the rear speakers in and the wires (RCA cable and amp remote) from the dash to the back of the car and try and time permitting refit the door card on the driver side to get the central locking pin to move better

Of course all of the above depends on the weather

The only other little job I have is swapping the silver cooper S writing on the boot for a set of black lettered writing
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I’ve just bought myself a set of 1/2 leather seats off a 2002 car off eBay for £50 the lot to use the runners and sliders to save me cannibalising the very good condition seats that are in the car now, not getting them until saturday evening so the seat install will most likely be delayed for a week now, saying that I can do all the work away from the car after work then merely do the swap once the new seats and sliders are bolted to the plates

move also bought a Matt black jcw/aero grille for it

I was looking at the brackets I’ve got for the sparco seats which are these.....


I was thinking maybe once fitted I could have a look at clearance between the plate and floor to see if I could cut a hole in the centre of the plate and fit a BMW under seat subwoofer under each seat
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I wish I could show some pics of various bits of progress with the car but I’ve not had a chance to do a thing

I have however got it in today for 4 wheel laser tracking at ABP in crewe as I’d not had it done bearing in mind Sean fitted coilovers before I collected the car 6 weeks ago

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They did tracking on a Type R I had years ago (y)
They did the blue car the middle of last year, these are the same coilovers as were in that, be interesting to compare results
Turns out the front was way out (as I suspected), I know very little mechanically but it certainly didn’t feel right before today, lots of pulling to the right under acceleration, not done many miles in it since getting it though as I’ve had lots of hire cars so hopefully the tyres won’t have had a hard 6 weeks!


I think they said something about the front toeing out whereas it should have been in (or vice versa) anyway you can see the difference above
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front toe wasn't out quite as much as they're suggesting really, it had my custom settings applied just days before you first drove it ;O)

I'd reduce that front toe in, and I'd reduce that rear camber quite a bit, why didn't they touch it? I'd also reduce the rear toe again too but this is just me.
Don’t know why they didn’t touch the rear camber, it does feel better now though
Done a few bits today, first up I made a JCW style airbox top with a 59p drainpipe adapter from Wickes


58mm hole in the back of the box in line with the centre vain on the moulding



nicely lines up with the inner moulding lines, then it was in with the drainpipe adapter and gorilla epoxy’d into place, held in place with a clamp while it cured


then an 89mm hole in the bulkhead

and on with the top, finished


more to follow when I get back from shopping!
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Have you fitted a cone filter?
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No, it’s a pipercross panel, and as soon as I read your question I can see my mistake!

the car isn’t being used this week at all so I’ll get myself a cone to go in it, in the meantime I’ll cover up the end!
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Anyway, away from that, oiled up the drivers lock and refitted the door card, the lock works much better now but still doesn’t lock off the button as I think the actuator has gone

next up I swapped the grille for an aftermarket aero type grille

put some vinyl wrap

I then had to cut a small piece of the vein out for the spotlight brackets

and the finished product


really pleased with it, I may takethe bottom grille off and black out the red body colour though

if the weather is with me tomorrow I’ll make a start on the seats, I can do it all indoors (apart from the angle grinding) then just transfer to the car
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