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Discussion Starter #1
So here is my R53, as it was when I collected it over last weekend :w00t:










So far it's been well behaved over the 300 miles I've driven it. One of the Xenon's was quite dim but it turned out that the round plastic holder had come loose in the light itself, which was an easy fix! Also replaced the o-ring on the oil filler cap which wasn't great.

My initial plans for the car are:
• Daily it for a few months, check it’s reliable and get any initial things done to make the car run as it should.
• Go on a couple of track days and see how things go! Snetterton’s my local track.
• Potentially turn it into a track-only car (front brakes, suspension, strip interior, manifold and de-cat, cam/injectors, etc.).

So… it came with a bunch of paperwork, which I’ve gone through more than the previous owners did I think! It’s recently had the aux pulley and tensioner replaced, but the wrong belt put on, twice it seems. I think the previous owners missed the kavs pulley invoice and put on standard length belts - I can’t see a hint of a hole at the top of the tensioner, so first task this weekend will be that! Until then I'll be taking it easy :eek:hmy:

Another minor mystery is the state of the spark plugs, which are currently the NGK LPG ones from eurocarparts. I know that ‘colder’ plugs are advisable for a reduced pulley (15%) but I can’t find anything on the forums about using LPG plugs being a good idea. So for that, and also because I can only find a receipt for 3 plugs(! – guessing they had a spare already but who knows), I’ve ordered some NGK 7EIX’s which I think should be fine.

There's a couple of points of bodywork to sort out too but first it needs a decent clean and to see how the above changes affect things :mellow:
 

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Welcome! Car looks tidy. Well, apart from the mismatched front grill and the wheel gap. ;)

I'm sure you already know this, but make sure you have fresh brake fluid before going out on the track. Road tyres and brake pads usually fade out gradually, brake fluid not so much. And keep checking the oil level, these can lose oil at an alarming rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!

I'll be wrapping the chrome on the grill at least in the short term.

Am keeping a sharp eye on my oil, added about 300ml to get it to close to full and all ok so far. I'm considering a Dorman metal dipstick, about £30 to make sure I don't end up with a broken one down the tube.

I'll definitely be doing some more general service bits soon, including brake fluid. Last time there was evidence of a change it was 2015/20k ago. Coolant too, and probably gearbox oil and cabin filters. I'm sure there'll be more :laugh:
 

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2006 R53
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I dunno why, but I can't see your pics when I try to view them in Internet Explorer (browser at work) :confused1:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The images are links from dropbox, so I'd expect them to be ok :confused1: there was an issue with IE where you needed to set the settings to use software rendering for jpegs, might be that?

Managed to change spark plugs last night. Small steps! Definitely need to do brakes sooner rather than later, even if it's just checking for air as the pedal is pretty soft.

Hoping my new shorter belt and tool arrive today so I can tick that one off over the weekend!
 

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yes but I've seen worse, make sure you get a good full hole maybe plus a mm or two as it'll settle pretty quickly, one I have here now just took a belt 15mm shorter,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll make sure, thanks :) Ordered a 1360 belt, worst-case I have to order another one if it's too loose :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another unforeseen purchase coming up - air intake hose from TB is split (a good 50% of the circumference) - taped up for now. Also there's a bit of damage to the intake duct (the solid plastic bit with the big blunt spike pointing down) so I may need to replace that too. Not entirely sure why it's that shape?!
 

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I just use a stock part with the original clamps and the proper tool. The intake pipe shape is for a water trap/drain I believe
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bit of an update – the induction hose arrived yesterday and fitted it this lunchtime. Initially it seems to have helped quite a bit! Seems noticeably smoother below 3k rpm now. I just need to wait for the trip home to see how it is above 30mph ? though regardless it’s reassuring to know bits of crap can no longer bypass my air filter!





I got the belt changed over the weekend, hardest part was getting the front wheel off! Inside of the wheel had corroded into the brake disc, seems to be a common issue anyway so plenty of advice around to solve it. Ended up driving back and forth with the wheel nuts slightly loose until it released itself. Now I've got the first hole fully visible so much better than before.

Also picked up an OBD2 dongle and Android app for looking at general health of the engine – just getting used to that at the moment.

I’ve identified my knocking issue on lock from the front-right – the spring isn’t seated properly so it’s rotating and grinding during corners sometimes. As my nearside suspension mount has seen better days, I’ve got some camber-adjustable ones on order which I’ll put in and sort the spring issue at the same time.
A couple more things are showing up now too - there's a slight knock from I think the DMF, though a bit intermittent, and it’s pretty oily underneath too so likely main seal needs doing at some point. Not noticed excessive oil use yet :unsure:

One bonus was doing a VIN lookup and finding it's got the chilli pack which I had no idea about when I was buying the car! Confirmed the LSD code is in the list too so that’ll be a handy addition when I do end up taking it on a trackday.

Oh, it got a clean too!

 

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Check carefully for oil leaks. Make sure the rocker cover gasket is good. They can leak a lot and the oil always runs down the engine and looks like a sump gasket or either of the crank seals. Also check your crank position sender seal on the front of the block is good as well.

The Tritec carries on from the A Series when it comes to upholding the ability of Minis to leave black smudges on owners driveways.
 

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Did you get one of these?

I'm looking for a replacement dipstick but it doesn't specify the 917-315 as being for the S and I'm unsure if it's a different length for the R50 vs R53 :(
R50 has a shorter dipstick than the R53 does (due to positioning of supercharger). I found some for sale on eBay from Hong Kong. Waiting for it to arrive before passing verdict. £80 for a Cravenspeed dipper takes the mickey.
 

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R50 has a shorter dipstick than the R53 does (due to positioning of supercharger). I found some for sale on eBay from Hong Kong. Waiting for it to arrive before passing verdict. £80 for a Cravenspeed dipper takes the mickey.
Thanks! I did suspect they were different.

Yes! and I've seen they don't quite read right..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well a longer wait than I’d hoped! Covid’s meant lots of evenings working to make up for having to cover a lack of childcare, so the car’s had to sit – but now fingers crossed I can spend more time enjoying it. I've been enjoying other's project threads though, really helpful for ideas!

Yesterday I managed to go to my first track evening and it was freakin’ amazing! It was perfect for checking how the car would cope and what to focus my attention on upgrading, assuming the car would survive…
Almost immediately I realised quite how bad my brakes are, fading really badly even after a couple of laps. Not the best experience going into a hairpin and not really expecting it to be quite that bad, I did make the corner but there was a lot of drift/say goodbye to the apex about it. Useful that lift-off oversteer is a thing though!
Managed a few runs of 3-4 laps but just not pushing the brakes at all, though at least I could practice the in-slow, out-fast stuff.
Engine-wise I was happy the car seemed fine, started off changing at around 5k but was closer to 6k by the end. No odd noises and the drive home afterwards was fine so happy with that J
The only issue I had turned out to be loosening wheel studs on both fronts, particularly the front-left. I’ll make sure to check those after every run or two next time!


Work-wise, before Christmas I managed to get my new Silver project top mounts on which solved most of my front end steering noises (the power steering pump is still pretty noisy but doesn’t sound horrible). The top nut has very little clearance so I had to use a box spanner in the end as the only other option I could think of was to grind down a socket. It’s a tight gap!


Any other work over the last 6 months has been fixing issues – MAP sensor (that one caused some super overheating issues and eventually could barely start the car), and the fuel regulator reference pipe having popped off at the manifold end. Fixing that one made the car a hell of a lot better to drive, getting rid of a lot of hesitation/sluggishness. Oh, and rocker cover gasket which solved my main oil leaking issue.

My immediate plans now are to solve my brake issues. The pads and discs were new on when I bought the car (previous owner put them on to get through MOT I think) but I don’t think I could go on another track day with it as it is. I’m hoping to go on a full track day in late August/early September.
My current though is going the R56 JCW route with the Budweg parts, but I need to check the differences between rotor and pad prices between them as I may be better off the R56S route with better pads and discs for the same money.

Other than that I’ll see if I can hobo some brake cooling, either using the fogs or something through the bumper, and I need to change my front droplinks as the passenger side is worn.
I’ve also got a side-project of some sensors I want to add to the car so I know what’s going on a little better (fuel pressure, brake temps, etc.) which’ll keep me busy!
 
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