MiniTorque.com banner
1 - 20 of 137 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi

In October 18 I bought myself a Mini R53 as a budget busting wheeler dealers style project second car, to keep the miles and worst of winter off my other car, a pristine Focus ST225 running 320BHP. Of course, despite my intention not to, I have spent some time, money and twice as much effort smartening up my Mini and it is turning into a Mini (ahem) project of it's own.

Done prior to this post on 25/04/19:
  • Good clean up inside and outside
  • Binned ghastly chequered mirror covers
  • Polished headlights - Now swapped for facelift lights
  • Silver repeater bulbs
  • Removed window tints
  • DAB mech-less stereo and new speakers
  • Lubricated gear linkage
  • Facelift steering wheel
  • Painted interior door handles
  • Replaced broken passenger door lock mechanism
  • Valeo rear wiper upgrade kit
  • Front bushes fitted by local garage
  • Four tyres all of the same, non budget, make
  • Tidied up scuffs on wheels
  • Recovered roof liner myself
Done since this post:
  • Modify air box to fit cone filter inside - DONE 26/04/19
  • Rear lights with clear indicators and diadem (blue effect) indicator bulbs - DONE 13/05/19
  • Install sub woofer - DONE 15/05/19
  • Face lift projector headlamps - DONE 02/06/19 (wasn't even on the to list!)
  • Silicone induction hose - DONE 22/06/19
  • 17% pulley & remap & cooler plugs - DONE 22/06/19
  • New coolant expansion tank - DONE 22/06/19
  • New radiator and condenser - DONE 22/06/19
  • Supercharger oil service - DONE 22/06/19
  • Cam chain tensioner - DONE 22/06/19
  • Drivers door check strap - DONE 26/06/19 - DONE AGAIN (NEW PARTS THIS TIME) 08/08/19
  • New air con pipes and re-gas - DONE 07/08/19
  • New headlight levelling sensor - DONE 05/10/19
  • Get body shop to fix rust below rear light - DONE 11/01/20
  • Rocker cover gasket - DONE 06/03/20 - DONE AGAIN (PROPERLY) 20/06/20
  • Remove chequer decals from roof - DONE 31/03/20
  • Finish preparing and fit aero side skirts - DONE 10/04/20
  • R56 front brakes and new rears - DONE 07/05/20
  • New wheels - DONE 07/05/20
  • LED strips inside boot - DONE 16/05/20
  • Passengers door check strap - DONE 29/08/20
  • LED number plate lights - DONE 11/10/20
  • New belt tensioner and idle pulley - DONE 04/11/20
  • Clear third brake light - DONE 06/11/20
  • New external o/s a pillar trim - DONE 01/12/20
  • Alternator replaced - DONE 24/04/21
  • Seals and o rings replaced on oil filter housing and cooler by local garage - DONE 30/04/21
  • Removed, cleaned and refitted door rubbers to cure small leak - DONE 03/05/21
  • New cooling fan (resistor and wires rusted away on old fan) - DONE 20/08/21
  • Valeo SMF and clutch kit - DONE 20/08/21
  • BKL Gearbox and rear crank seal - DONE 20/08/21
  • New PAS pump (pins in connector rusted away) - DONE 20/08/21
  • Replaced coolant expansion tank - DONE 17/09/21
  • New exhaust - DONE 12/11/21
  • OBD2 port fixed (broken wire in k bus line) - DONE 28/12/21
  • Fitted Ultragauge - DONE 23/01/22
  • Newman PH2 cam and re-map - DONE 11/05/22
  • Replaced broken driver door lock mechanism - DONE 30/06/22
To do/fit:
  • Paint centre of all brake discs and rear callipers (if I can be arsed)
I'm sure there will be more to do.

Over time I will update and add to the list.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Mini Motor vehicle
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mini
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mini
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Steering wheel Steering part
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mini
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Airbox done. Cone fitted and happy with results. Only difference outside are four black bolt (button) heads. Didn't touch the bottom half or attempt to add a feed to the back of the lid.

Only took one hour, start to finish. Simple job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
As you asked nicely, I will oblige!

Only one picture of the finished article. All you can see are four bolt heads (hence using black button headed bolts).

The cone is mounted into the lid. I did not touch the bottom half or add a rear feed to the lid.

Going to finish it off with a new silicone induction hose.

Vehicle Auto part Car Engine Automotive tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Having driven the Mini a few times since the air box mod, I can only say 10 out of 10!

Much better mid range pull, slight increase in charger whine and a nicer exhaust note. All for £55, £43 of which as the air filter! Only took me one hour from start to finish (including getting tools out and putting them away).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Blessed car chucked a wobbler today by spitting the spark plug out of number 2 cylinder. Thread stripped. Looks like its Time Sert time!

Hopefully it won't be a head off job.

The other three plugs are fine, but then it only takes one!

BAD MINI! BAD, BAD MINI!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I was about to say that's an ST with a RS spoiler!

320BHP is a good number for that car. Plenty of power without major engine changes (i.e. turbo) and other parts that need to follow on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Update:

A gentlemen came today (real old school engineering type, complete with dirty boiler suit and scruffy beard) and sorted my stripped spark plug hole and all is well. He told me the plugs hadn't been tightened properly. None of the crush washers had been properly flattened. He said this is quite common as people are wary of over tightening and then get fooled by the crush washer and the plugs are too loose and work themselves out and take the threads with them. Common problem on gen 1 Minis.

He also told me his main business was dealing with the same issue with glow plugs on Mercs!

I had to take off the intercooler for easier access to the plug holes, so I took the opportunity to check the condition of the cooler and the boots and to see if it all was clean inside and it is well and good.


I have also picked up a set of the rear lights with clear indicators from ebay for a good price with the Osram diadem blue bulbs. Looking good against the electric blue paintwork. The subwoofer is in and running well. Nice richer sound but no number plate flap a la Vauxhall Corsa crew! Easy to wire up as the battery is close to hand in the boot, but getting the RCA cable front to back is fiddly and removing trim is quite involved and not much room (compared to my Focus) to do it.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Mini Motor vehicle
Land vehicle Vehicle Car City car Mini
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mini
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Mini Motor vehicle
Audio equipment Technology Electronic device Electronic instrument Loudspeaker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
New facelift headlights fitted. Very happy with the look, freshens the car up lots!

They take about an hour to fit (including removing the old lights).

There is a very good guide to removing headlights on YouTube (note how the light unit has to be moved in a particular fashion to fit out of the hole in the bonnet):

Few other tips (beyond the video):

Taking out -

  • Lay a blanket over the engine and under the headlight. If you drop something it won't be lost in the engine bay.
  • The nuts are fiddly and easy to drop (and loose). It's better to use a 8mm six sided socket than a spanner.
  • The wiring cable is also clipped to the light unit.

Fitting back -

  • The washer pump inlet pipes can be rotated (mine had been in transit).
  • The washer pumps take several cycles to fully prime and spray.
  • You can hear the levelling motors.
  • Check alignment and auto levelling in the dusk/dark.
The washers are quite delicate and will break easily (when removing the covers) so you are better off to buy a set with them included. Same goes for bulbs and ballasts as these are not cheap!
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Mini Motor vehicle
Headlamp Automotive lighting Light Auto part Automotive fog light
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mini
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Mini Motor vehicle
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Mini Motor vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited)
No pressure in air con system. New condenser has been bought and whilst I've got in front end service mode for the 'charger service and pulley fit, a new radiator, as it seems silly to fit the old one back.

The garage is getting full again...


...garage empty again. See where the parts have gone, below!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Good long day on the spanners on Saturday (21/06/19) with KeithyCoop (thanks for your help bruv) on my Mini. Took six and a half hours (including tea breaks) to get the following done:

  • Stripped into front end service mode
  • New radiator
  • New air con condenser
  • New coolant expansion tank
  • New silicone induction hose
  • New cam chain tensioner
  • Removed supercharger
  • Serviced supercharger and replaced it's oil
  • Put 17% KAVS pulley on supercharger
  • Refitted supercharger
  • Replaced water pump and crank sensor seals
  • New short ancillary belt
  • Cooler spark plugs
  • New coolant
  • Put the thing all back together again
  • Test drive
Saved a few bob. Got hands dirty. Did some brotherly bonding. Made car quicker. More charger whine. What more could I ask for!

Pictures attached!
Vehicle Car Scrap Auto part Engine
Bumper Vehicle Automotive exterior Auto part Car
Auto part
Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Vehicle Toolroom
Land vehicle Car Vehicle Mini Mini cooper
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Hopefully getting the air con working tomorrow. Finally found a hole in a pipe. Fingers crossed.

Spent more time recently on the Focus, fitting the air box from a mk2 Focus RS.
 
1 - 20 of 137 Posts
Top