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.
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!