Project Drunken Master

58896 Views 415 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  tcbw
This is my slowly evolving 2006 R53 JCW, a.k.a the alcohol problem, running on E85... ethanol, one of the oldest recreational drugs known to man, now at your local gas station (y)

I bought the car from Germany in December 2012 and had already bought the first mod (cabrio braces) before the car actually arrived in Finland. This was my short shopping list for the Mini:

# R53
# JCW kit (with the JCW brakes)
# facelift (LSD & shorter gearing)
# no sunroof
# automatic A/C
# full leather seats

I would've preferred Recaros, but finding a JCW with Recaros but without a sunroof seemed impossible. Later on it became obvious that the leather seats were not the best choice for track driving, but they did smell nice...

The car was pretty well equipped on top of the forementioned mandatory bits:

# satnav
# automatic headlights
# heated seats
# heated windshield
# tinted rear windows
# center armrest
# carbon JCW wing
# shitloads of chrome inside and outside

Harman/Kardon was one of the few options that was missing, but I was going to upgrade the audio anyway. In retrospect I should've added Aero kit on my list of must-haves.

Current Mods:

# KAVS -17% s/c pulley
# PRW FluidGel dampened crank pulley (previously KAVS +2% with -15% s/c)
# OBX manifold /w tomcat
# Catcams '469'
# 960cc injectors
# Bytetronik FA53
# tuned for E85 by me
# colder plugs; BKR8EIX
# de-flapped JCW airbox
# KAVS +5% lightweight alternator pulley
# Aluminium coolant tank /w proper pressure cap
# Mishimoto radiator
# Orranje teflon intake manifold gasket

# Quaife LSD
# cabrio braces
# HEL brake lines
# Nitrac DCT front rotors
# Carbotech XP8 pads
# Hobo brake ducts
# Bilstein B14 coilovers
# SPC camber plates
# Hardrace rear control arms
# M7 front strut brace
# Powerflex lower engine mount insert
# Powerflex gearbox mount insert
# Vibratechnics upper engine mount
# Powerflex front lower arm rear bushes
# OMP lower brace
# R56 rear trailing arms
# Whiteline adjustable rear ARB
# Greene Performance short shifter

# M7 ram scoop
# rear wiper delete
# JCW wing delete
# Aero spoiler
# 16x8" ET34 Rota Slipstream for track (205/50 Yoko AD08R)
# 17x7" ET45 (+ 11mm spacers) TD Pro Race 1.2 for street (215/45 PS4)
# Stud conversion kit
# Beltline de-chrome
# De-badge & de-stripe
# Clear third brake light
# 2" stubby aerial
# Rear calipers painted red to match the front JCW's
# R50 side scuttles with 'Supercharged' badges
# Classic Mini style [MINI 1600] boot badge in place of the winged MINI emblem
# Nürburging sticker...
# non-EU license plates
# black boot handle (instead of the chromed one)
# ebay aero grills
.. waiting in the parts pile: front aero bumper

# JCW Sparco seats
# JCW carbon/leather gear knob
# JCW carbon/leather handbrake grip
# Sticker bombed dash
# Innovate MTX-L AFR gauge
# OEM center console gauge pod with
  • Innovate MTX-D oil temp & pressure dual gauge
  • Innovate MTX-D water temp & voltage dual gauge
# Center armrest delete
# Rear seat delete & clubsport net thing
# All sorts of sound deadening, especially at the back

As it was when purchased in December 2012, stripes galore and JCW wing

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Summer 2013, de-striped, de-winged and wheel gap issue sorted

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Winter look, January 2015

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Summer 2015

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Summer 2022

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I assume one side runs hotter and the heat cycles have different effects on the additives resulting in the smell.
Got the fucking mini through katsastus (our MOT) today! Only two months since it was put on jack stands. I've gone through some of the things here already, but in short this is what was done:

  • wheel well noise insulation
  • raised the Bilstein B14's a few mm to be able to reduce rear camber
  • R56 trailing arms
  • Hardrace lower RCA's
  • Whiteline rARB (finally, been on the to-do list for about 8 years)
  • Whiteline adjustable rear drop links
  • rear brake pads (EBC Redstuff)
  • intake manifold and intake ducts cleaned of casting blobs etc.
  • intake ports cleaned of oily gunk
  • Rooster BPV
  • S/C oil change + RVS treatment stuff
  • S/C pulley swap from -17% to -15%
  • PTFE intake manifold gasket (from Orranje)
  • BMW throttle body (6mm bigger) & S/C intake pipe flange ported to match
  • CPS (to fix the warm start issue)
  • heat exchanger as a precaution
  • gear shifter sliding piece cube thing to cure a wobbly knob
  • front wheel bearings & stud conversion re-install
  • brake fluids (Motul RBF600)
  • PS reservoir cap gasket and new fluids
  • JCW air filter box rear foam gasket (hobo diy from Hardrace packaging material)
  • ITG air filter wash & oil
  • radiator fan slow speed resistor (changed the actual thing)
  • Mishimoto radiator + radiator hoses
  • random collection of hoses, o-rings and clamps
  • all sorts of cleaning up, many moments thinking what's the fucking point, and quite a lot of coffee
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There will certainly be a few of those during the weekend.

I have booked alignment for tomorrow. Thinking of -1.5 front / -1.0 rear for road, then opening up the strut tops to get a bit extra for track days.
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I went stock toe, with -1.7 rear and -2.2 front which was all I could get without getting the holesaw on the strut towers
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Yeah, maybe I'll go for -2.0 front / -1.5 rear to start with. If the front will go that far without power tools.
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@JKo you have seen my masterpiece when it comes to ruining the struts. I reckon on a 2nd attempt I could do a better job, should I find a slot in my calendar? :LOL:
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Strut top openings can be massaged, I did mine at DoublePs and they don't look like complete shit.

OK, maybe they do.
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Yours do look decent. When doing mine I had the butcher mode on
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I did just butcher my new lower front lip to reduce scrapage for the driving test (at least that bit mght have helped).
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Butchery seems to be the theme of 2021 for MTGF 😂
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I've never been a fan of opening up the strut tops as they are weak enough already. Longer studs on the top mounts is a batter choice imo (so you can drop them down enough to adjust)

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Dropping the struts would of course work... but I might actually get away with replacing the allen bolts with regular hex bolts on the SPC camber plates, and then tighten them with an angled tool of some sort.

(pic from the net)

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The SPC allen bolts are 16mm long M8. Need to go buy some of those in hex. As seen in the pic above, the SPC plates have no markings on them to help adjustment, so I have now made a couple of my own... one at "standard" -0.6° and one at JCW spec max -1.0° where it stands now (the shop would not adjust them outside the specs, not going there again...). Without any modification about -1.5° is as far as they will go. SPC says the plates allow up to -2.0°, and seeing where the slots end at, that should still leave the hex bolts accessible.
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Have a look at ARP bolts as they come with smaller 12 point heads

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I've never been a fan of opening up the strut tops as they are weak enough already. Longer studs on the top mounts is a batter choice imo (so you can drop them down enough to adjust)
I thought about it for a while but I decided that the strut tops would manage just fine with a beefier top mount underneath and an M7 plate on top.
The hex bolt mod... the car certainly turns in a lot better.

Also lowered the rear end a bit with a little help from an appropriately sized tool.
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I had planned on getting Michelin Pilot Sport 4's for next summer, but found out that they're no longer available in suitable sizes for 16" wheels...

Luckily Micke spotted an ad for a set of 17" Team Dynamics from about an hour's drive from my place, so I jumped in my good old daily driver wagon and picked them up. Real bargain too.

No signs of curbing or pot holes, only some slight scratches on the spokes. Probably from being stored for the last 10 years or so. The Dunlops that are on them are from 2008...
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After the clean they look much better than in the ad. Good buy that, 2 set of wheels that the wheel pimp found 😁
Put up some pics when you get them on the Mini.
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