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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've accidently bought a 2005 Cooper S, while "browsing" fleabay. Oops. Now to tell the Mrs.

I've never owned a mini before, but over new year decided i'd like to do a handful of track days. Cost of hiring cars seemed pricey so I did a little research on reasonably priced trackday cars for complete novices. Here we are one week later, and I've accidently bought a 2006 Cooper S for £2K. That submit button on ebay is just too tempting.

It's the Chilli Pack with the LSD. Had the clutch replaced last year. It has done 126,000, but seems to have been looked after more than some of the lower mileage ones that were listed for more, I had seen one with 83,000 miles but it was £2200 and needed a new cltutch (so £2800 all in), so I've plumped for higher mileage but new clutch.

I've previously had a BMW 435d which I loved, but it had to move on due to the arrival of a new baby, and the need for something "sensible" that fits the dog and the baby. My commute involves a walk through a park, so this will see the occasional B road session, along with the occasional track day.

Picking it up at the weekend hopefully, and got my eye on the Novice day at Blyton Park on 9th March. My plans for the car are divided into two pathways.....



Plan A
Panic, apologise to the Mrs and immediately relist the car on ebay in the hope of recouping the most of the spend

Plan B
Drive it pretty much stock on 9th March then upgrade items one by one before before each track day to see the improvement. I'm very much a safety and sensible upgrades before power, as I want to improve my track day skills before worrying about power. With that in mind its likely to be stopping power and track safety before engine tweeks.
Upgrades in mind.
1. Engine service, filter,
2. Suspension bushes, engine and gearbox mount bushes (?PSB)
3. R56 brake upgrade
4. Corbeau Pro series seats (Im 5'8 and 70kg, and the Pole Positions everyone loves seem to more for the taller gentleman)
5. white line rear anti roll bar
6. Engine mount (vibra-technics)
7. Coilovers
8. Tyres (michellin Pilot Sport?)

9...... no idea.

Car Wheel Vehicle Tire Land vehicle
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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a cheap car really, realistically not that much above spares or repairs money (whether people want to accept that or not doesn't matter), I'd say a serious consideration especially with mileage as it is, might be that before driving it so much harder than it could have been up to this point, is going through it in some way with a view to preserving it?

there's going to be some tired stuff I suspect, it might not want to take part in track use for long before showing you....
 
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Looks nice and clean! Give the car and engine a good service if it hasn't already.

As said above, check (and probably replace) suspension bushes, engine and gearbox mount bushes (or install a vibra-technics engine mount plus the other bushes), decent coilovers... it's a slippery slope before even touching engine performance.

Oh, and disregard Plan A!
 

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I’m sorry but you’ve purchased a copper s because it’s more practical than a 435d? Don’t people usually go the other way?. R53s are about as practical and reliable as the British weather


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
a cheap car really, realistically not that much above spares or repairs money (whether people want to accept that or not doesn't matter), I'd say a serious consideration especially with mileage as it is, might be that before driving it so much harder than it could have been up to this point, is going through it in some way with a view to preserving it?

there's going to be some tired stuff I suspect, it might not want to take part in track use for long before showing you....
That's a great idea, thanks. It was very much an impulse purchase, so here we are. Got a couple of months so this sounds like a great idea. Will start with some of the other points mentioned above. Last year it had the following fitted:

A new clutch fitted
New coil pack
New leads
New intake pipe
New diverter valve
Front shocks
And some other bits as well it comes with a folder full of receipts of bits that has been done to it.

so it does sound like the current owners have been looking after it....or that it's already falling apart...

I’m sorry but you’ve purchased a copper s because it’s more practical than a 435d? Don’t people usually go the other way?. R53s are about as practical and reliable as the British weather


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Sorry this bit wasn't clear. The 435d was swapped for a mitsubishi outlander PHEV. Which is practical put less fun to drive than a Tesco trolley with a wobbly wheel. So this is a second car just for fun.
 

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2006 cooper S 221bhp
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We’ve all done it. I bought some side skirts for the convertible from someone on eBay and when I went to collect them I ended up coming home with an extra Cooper S!
 

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Plan B it is then.

So glad to know that as a bloke you wear the trousers in your house, I will of course be careful to not tell your missus this.
 

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Looks a tidy buy and good to keep.
Just tell the good lady that it’s an investment and will recoup £’s in years to come…
 
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