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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new member here. I've recently purchased an R53 'JCW'. My plans are to refresh all of the brakes and suspension and make some modifications along the way for fast road and occasional track day use. I've always been intrigued by the R53 and its been on my 'list' for a while, won't be long before prices start to creep up so thought I'd get one now. Its quite a nice antidote to the past few years heavy depreciation on new or nearly new cars. Its already fun to drive but I really miss spannering and have a few things I'd like to try I've never dared on other cars.

Current spec:
  • 2003 Mini Cooper S in Jet Black II
  • 96k Miles
  • JCW Exhaust
  • JCW 11% Pulley
  • JCW/GP Oil Temp & Voltmeter OEM Gauges
  • Polybushed Front ARB & Wishbone Rear Bushes (Powerflex Purple)
  • Ultragauge with Rev Counter Mount
The stickered ECU and cylinder head appear to be missing from the JCW conversion, I think its had a new engine at some point. It certainly goes well enough as is, my Ultragauge shows it producing 13 PSI of boost at WOT in 3rd, peaking at ~14 PSI.

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7NxhT47nt7eliwhYVOzZETHqZvkAHFf1m5cia2eD


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Its a very tidy example, clearly been looked after by previous owners despite only the past ~8 years history with the car.

Current plans:

  • R56 Cooper S front brake conversion (bought)
    • EBC Yellowstuff pads
    • HEL braided lines
  • R56 Cooper S rear trailing arm conversion (partially bought)
  • Whiteline 20mm 3-way adjustable rear anti-roll bar (bought)
  • Adjustable rear control arms
  • New suspension mounts, bushes and bearings
    • Engine mounts
    • Drop links
    • Inner & out front ball joints
    • Rear trailing arm bushes
    • Rear wheel bearings
  • Engine servicing
    • Timing chain tensioner
    • Full service
    • Drive belt tensioner & pulley
    • Idler pulley
  • Suspension - undecided as of yet, possibly coilovers with independent height and damping adjustment, and new built in camber top mounts for the front
  • Performance - do all of the above first, then decide.
  • Wheels - TBC, possible OZ Leggenda's depending how my wallet is feeling and where I end up work wise in a few months
  • Tyres - TBC, more than likely Michelin PS4's but a section wider (215/45/17 rather than current 205/45/17)
  • Seats - TBC
  • Steering wheel - TBC
I am doing all of the work myself, apart from the alignment once the suspension has been fitted. I have spent the past few days clearing and painting my garage as its the only car I've ever had that will fit and I can work on it in there
:)
this is a first for me, it will be nice to be able to come back to a job without a car on axle stands on the drive in the rain!

Should be fun, I don't plan on changing the looks of the cars beyond wheels and closing the arch gap, no silly chassis rail scraping lowering or big gay wings for me. I like the black on black 'pure' look of the car as it is.

Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've got a nice stockpile of bits that have mostly arrived now:

HEL Braided Front & Rear Lines
New R56 Calipers and Carriers
Yellow Stuff Front & Rear Pads
Pagid Drilled & Grooved Front Discs
Pagid Rear Discs
Ultragauge & MiniModz Mount
Whiteline BMR72Z Rear ARB
Front & Rear Wipers
Powerflex Lower Engine Mount Small Bush
Powerflex Lower Engine Mount Large Bush
Caliper Paint
Full Service Parts
Lemforder Rear Drop Links
Lemforder Front Inner Ball Joints
Lemforder Front Outer Ball Joints
Febi Timing Chain Tensioner

I've also took the plunge and ordered a QuickJack as my garage space is quite tight so anything that makes life easier is welcome!

Just put the last coat of floor paint on the working area in the garage. 2-3 weeks ago this was full of crap, it needs 7 days to cure so needed to get it down before the QuickJack arrives. This is the last time its likely to be this empty ever again so thought I'd make the most of it, I'm going to be a saddo and fit some skirting too to finish it off nicely.

102499
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its the closest thing to a proper lift you can get at home for a reasonable price:


102500
 

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Its the closest thing to a proper lift you can get at home for a reasonable price:


View attachment 102500
Good for a mini. Can’t use it for the bmw tho :(


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They do 3 different sizes, this is the smallest one. Most BMWs will fit on the 5000 model I'd imagine.
 

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I've got a nice stockpile of bits that have mostly arrived now:

Yellow Stuff Front & Rear Pads
Pagid Drilled & Grooved Front Discs
Just my 2p if you are going to take the car on track at any point.

Yellowstuff are sh!t on track, they don't work that well & will literally crumble apart & wear ridiculously quickly in a relatively short space of time, as in a full set of pads within 1 day if you do more than 3/4 lap sessions. On the road they are fine.

Also if going on track, if the discs are fully drilled (rather than "dimpled") they will very likely crack between the holes.

Just passing on my first hand experiences. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks @E-R53 you are about the 4th or 5th person to say that now so I've just sent off a return request before its too late.

Any suggestions for pads that will hold up better on track but still be ok on the road? It'll spend more time on the road than track. I'll just get plain discs.
 

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I've got a nice stockpile of bits that have mostly arrived now:

HEL Braided Front & Rear Lines
New R56 Calipers and Carriers
Yellow Stuff Front & Rear Pads
Pagid Drilled & Grooved Front Discs
Pagid Rear Discs
Ultragauge & MiniModz Mount
Whiteline BMR72Z Rear ARB
Front & Rear Wipers
Powerflex Lower Engine Mount Small Bush
Powerflex Lower Engine Mount Large Bush
Caliper Paint
Full Service Parts
Lemforder Rear Drop Links
Lemforder Front Inner Ball Joints
Lemforder Front Outer Ball Joints
Febi Timing Chain Tensioner

I've also took the plunge and ordered a QuickJack as my garage space is quite tight so anything that makes life easier is welcome!

Just put the last coat of floor paint on the working area in the garage. 2-3 weeks ago this was full of crap, it needs 7 days to cure so needed to get it down before the QuickJack arrives. This is the last time its likely to be this empty ever again so thought I'd make the most of it, I'm going to be a saddo and fit some skirting too to finish it off nicely.

View attachment 102499
Nice garage size that, mines just a narrow one, could probably get the mini in but no space to work around it unless it was a classic.

Quick Jacks look like a nice bit of kit, looking forward to seeing the progress 👍🏽.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's an odd size and shape garage, quite shallow at 5m deep but opens out to over 4m wide by the end. I've had the mini in there already and there's just enough room to work on it, was also part of the appeal of an R53!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sent the EBC Yellowstuff and drilled/grooved discs back in favour of some plain discs and Mintex M1144 pads all round. I am a bit unsure when my first track day will be and I'll certainly be using the car where possible on the road in the mean time, will invest in a set of Carbotech or PBS pads for track once I know
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Had KwikFit out yesterday to fit 4x Michelin PS4's, and they managed to cross thread a wheel bolt when refitting one of the wheels!

102642


Luckily a brand new bolt with plenty of grease went in and is holding the wheel tight. This is absolutely a temporary fix, I have a *** rear wheel bearing unit on the way ready for when I do the brakes and lines.


102643


Yes my wheels are being refurbed in the new few weeks, having them powder coated in anthracite. They look good from 10ft away :D

Started painting my front calipers too, a rather theraputic job!

102644


Noticed during the wheel debacle that the nearside rear caliper doesn't seem to be doing a lot compared to the offside so I've just got a new Mintex caliper for £35 on eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Any joy with comp from Kwik Fit, what a muppet!
I phoned and they require evidence to their customer services email and they need to be allowed time to fix it before I attempt to. If I left it how it was, I wouldn't be able to drive the car... cannot be bothered going down the rabbit hole with them, life is too short, will never use them again though!
 

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surely the evidence will come from their fitter when he reports that he messed something up? What would they have done had the bolt not gone back in etc, left your car in bits until they had evidence the guy doesn't know how to fit a wheel bolt?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got the QuickJack setup yesterday, so much quicker and easier than a jack and stands! I can add extra blocks for another 2" of lift, will try that next time.

Was itching to do something so fitted one of the engine mount poly bushes, has made a nice difference to gear change and the lurch when letting off the gas but still not eliminated it completely so other mounts may need attention.

102754


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102759
 

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Liked the idea of a quick jack, then I looked up the price, not sure I can save enough using it for jobs myself to justify it..
 
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