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2005 R53
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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
Snetterton again - only an hour away so easy to fit in without having added logistics issues! Next year hopefully I'll be able to go to one or two more.

I'm not sure if I'll make any more this year. MOT is up soon and at a minimum I need to fix properly the ABS sensor issue and replace the near side handbrake cable, and as tax is up then as well I was considering SORNing and getting on with the other tasks (engine and subframe out, bushes, clutch/flywheel, mounts, driveshafts, etc.). On the other hand I may just do those MOT bits and try and get to another one this year before doing that work over the winter! Not fully decided yet :unsure:
 

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Snetterton again - only an hour away so easy to fit in without having added logistics issues! Next year hopefully I'll be able to go to one or two more.

I'm not sure if I'll make any more this year. MOT is up soon and at a minimum I need to fix properly the ABS sensor issue and replace the near side handbrake cable, and as tax is up then as well I was considering SORNing and getting on with the other tasks (engine and subframe out, bushes, clutch/flywheel, mounts, driveshafts, etc.). On the other hand I may just do those MOT bits and try and get to another one this year before doing that work over the winter! Not fully decided yet :unsure:
When are you next there?
 

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Nice, usually a more palatable price at Snetterton too! My closest is Brands which is a hideous cost in comparison to others, particularly during the summer!

Going there on the 16th Sept, then have my first time at Snetterton on the 12th October (although MOT expires two days before hand haha).

Handbrake cable will be a fun one, trying to save that for once I've got all the bits to refresh the rear towards the end of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #126 ·
Such a good day today, lots of track time, around 20C and dry! The balance of the car was much better than last time, I think the rear ride height adjustment helped a lot. It was much more controllable on the limit in corners, small corrections rather than snapping oversteer.

The car was faultless, no issues at all. It's made me wonder if I really need to take it off road over the winter, so I'll mull that one over. I've not seen any rear main leak at all since doing the oil cooler, so maybe now the oil isn't getting so hot (and thin) it's less of an issue? No coolant leaks now either! Even smells better after a long run, which was presumably the oil getting too hot.

Depending on on/off road decision I may get to some more track days over autumn/winter. I can't make the 12th Oct as it's a close family birthday, otherwise I'd book that! Maybe late Oct/November.
 

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Sounds like the perfect day! Good job on rectifying the balance of the car that must have made it so much more enjoyable not having to deal with so much oversteer.

great news on the fault free day too 👍🏽

Shame about the 12th Oct, will keep an eye out if you book anything for November, depending how Brands and MOT shortly after goes I may try to jump on too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
I'm considering Snetterton on Monday 15th Nov at the moment but not booked anything yet.

I've looked over my logs from the day and my IATs are still very high (to be expected with my still stock intercooler), that'll be a priority to sort before next spring/summer comes around. I was changing gear at quite low RPM as I could feel it wasn't faster to rev any higher (6200 ish). Hopefully I might be able to find a way of getting better performance but I won't go too far with it, as an FMIC is the likely end game. (ambient on the day was 20C)

104692


MOT first though so need to get a few bits done for that!
  • ABS sensor
  • front brake wear sensor
  • Handbrake cable
I think all's well other than that though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
Have booked 15th November at Snetterton, I'd love to have gone for one in October as well but with 2 lots of insurance due in the next month, as well as car tax and MOT on the mini, I don't want to leave myself too short in case I need to fix some bits in the meantime!

I've got a new handbrake cable and ABS sensor on order, so hopefully early next week the car will be MOTable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Slight change of plan...



I tried getting the ABS sensor to budge, but after several attempts at soaking it and carefully shuffling/prying at it, it broke in the hole.

So, as I was having to do a bit more than just pull it out, I decided to change the driveshafts, gearbox mount and the sensor at the same time. The aim now is to lower the car with the new shafts to where I wanted it before but couldn't due to the vibrations with the old shafts - hopefully 20-30mm or so.

I also need to drill out the bolt of the old hydraulic front engine mount as the head on that is totally stripped off, then all the mounts should be good :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
2 weeks until track day! o_O and still MOTless for now.

Handbrake is all done - what a faff! Ended up having to cut the bracket the cable runs through around the rear control arms because there was no way that bolt was coming undone without removing the exhaust and drilling it out. Nice to have a properly working cable now though! While I was under there I saw that the heatshield around the battery box was loose - so I've put on a giant aluminium washer over the old mount and effectively put a self tapping nut over the stud to pin it all in place.

The ABS sensor was something else though. I had to remove the hub carrier and a combination of chisel, screwdrivers, hammer and drilling got the old one out, and the new one in. While I was there replaced the outer ball joint and the hub bearing, and the driveshaft. The outer ball joint needed a chisel and lots of levering to break the taper too. I'll be doing the passenger side this week, hopefully with fewer issues!

I took off the rear suspension (again!) and made 100% sure the top nut was tight as well as resetting the spring preload - I'll see if that eliminates any knocking but I'm not that hopeful tbh.

I've also put in a poly gearbox mount insert and thoroughly cleaned out the exterior of the intercooler, including straightening as many fins as I could stand to do.

I started looking at a way of putting a plate/cover under the intercooler to help the airflow under it, but I don't think I'll get that finished before the track day and I'm not entirely sure it'll help - it depends if lowering the turbulence of the flow under the intercooler vs. having less cross-sectional area to get the air out would have more of an effect. I may see how much higher I can make the intercooler without causing issues with the boots or the bonnet, as that should help at least a bit with no downsides. There's such little room there, I'm sure it's causing a pressure increase that'll lower the flow of cool air through the intercooler, and more flow would reduce the gradient of the temperature increase at WOT, maybe keeping it under the 55C point for longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
MOT time!

Yesterday was working all day to get the front suspension rebuilt (I had to cut chunks out of the outer ball joint on the hub in order to get a lever in to get it out). New driveshaft in, then put all back together as well as the intake, etc. finished around 9pm.

Then realised I'd not had the battery disconnected and the OBD2 dongle had drained the battery again so had it on charge overnight. Come the morning, battery still totally flat - quick trip to get new battery and hope all is OK (not started the car for 2 months). Thankfully, it was! ABS light reset fine and wear sensor not showing an issue either, so no warning lights.

After all that, it failed on...... handbrake of all things (despite last year's MOT passing with it only working on one wheel and having twice the travel - at the same garage with the same tester).

Retest tomorrow so should still be fine for next week's track day - after all it's only going to be the adjustment nut and maybe some brake cleaner at the discs.

The main thing is the ABS sensor is now OK to be honest; I didn't want it to turn out to be a wiring issue! Also emissions fine with 550's, different CAM and the remap, which was also a relief.
 

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perhaps check the park mech returns to the pin on the calipers, and that the slide tubes aren't being pinched by corrosion in the caliper bores, a tell tale can be rubber build up on the pins, pinching prevents auto adjustment sometimes, as does corrosion in the cable at the metal tube by the caliper perhaps holding the linkage, the adjuster nut rarely ever needs touching on these ime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
I'll give them a look, thanks - I'm pretty sure it's only because I backed off the adjuster when I put in the new cable. I wanted to make sure it didn't rub and I knew from the last MOT that they didn't care about the travel of the lever (how wrong I was!). It's gripping fine if you pull the lever up enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
All sorted, passed fine today so Monday's track day is still on! Tightening the adjuster under the handbrake was enough, now pulls on nice and early.

So far new driveshafts seem OK. For reference, the passenger side original one weighed 5.3Kg and the new one was 5.9Kg (I didn't measure the drivers side). I'll referb the old ones so I've got a spare set.

Re-checked all the suspension is still tight (one driveshaft nut needed re-tightening, those indented bits are there for a reason!) and other than that all good. Now starting to make a small plate to go in front of the intercooler, so the leading under-surface of the scoop is sealed and can only go through the intercooler.

I'll be driving every evening this week just to make sure everything stays tight and track-worthy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Trackday again was great fun :D tempted to try and gatecrash Fro at Brands Hatch in December now... it'd be good to get to a different circuit for a change!

I had some more flickering of my oil pressure light again so I'm doing a permanent fix for that - basically replacing it with a pressure/temperature sensor into my own ECU which will set the pressure warning lamp at whatever level I decide (higher than the current value anyway!). I don't think the oil light is used by the car's ECU in any way for anything else?

I also had the ABS lamp on again for 1-2 runs which was odd - unfortunately I didn't have the ABS values working on the dash or I'd have known what corner they were complaining about. It went away again before the trip home and I've not seen it since, but something else to keep an eye on.

I'm replacing my rear drop links now with adjustable ones as I still have a rattle on the road (never noticed on the track), and I'm running different ride height anyway so can keep the AR bar neutral with adjusting those. Went with SuperPro in the end.

I'm also getting the rear LCA's and engine mount fitted locally. It'll be good to be able to finally adjust the rear camber as it's still too negative at the moment.

While I'm doing the oil pressure/temperature I'll see if I can get a TMAP sensor into the fuel vacuum line as well (with suitable clips to ensure none come off), as knowing the IAT and pressure is something I've wanted for ages.
 

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Glad the track day went well and no issues to stop play!

More the merrier! Should be a few other minis there from R53OC. Two of them running TVS900’s.
Hoping the weather will play nice otherwise paddock hill bend will be even more interesting than it already is haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
Cool, I've booked Brands for the 17th Dec, just need to book a hotel now!

I've got my final bits through to fit before then (along with the LCAs I had before), so I'll be getting on with those. Also, picked up a tool chest which I've been after for ages, which hopefully will stop me spreading tools all over the garage and then spending time trying to find the socket I need...




The next stage of the dash project is coming along too. I've got some processing hardware ready and I've worked out what will be wired where, now just waiting on what sensors I may have access to before buying the rest and starting to attach things. With any luck I'll get the sensors at the point I'd need to write the software drivers to interpret them as there's plenty to do before then! If nothing else I'm aiming to have replaced the oil pressure switch with my own calculated switch level by the track day.
 

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Excellent, will see you there! I'll be arriving around 10am as dropping daughter to nursery for 9ish.

One of the guys (John) has a garage, very friendly and always happy for people to drop their stuff there.

Some nice bits to get fitted ahead of then 👌 I'm hoping to get some alignment tweaks done before then as I haven't even checked it (other than with phone) since the suspension went on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
Good to know, thanks! I did book a garage as well, hopefully they'll allocate them close together.

One thing that I didn't manage to do on my last track day was record any IATs or boost pressures. TorquePro managed to reset itself so it didn't log any additional PIDs :eek: and I didn't know until I uploaded them to my PC the day after. I need to do some runs locally to see if the delta to ambient is any better now I've replaced the boots,raised the intercooler slightly and added some extra sealing around the front surface.

One good thing was top speed seemed to be better - got to 121mph at the end of the back straight, so IATs were probably a little better! Pushing 5th rather than using 6th definitely better as well.
 
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