Project Drunken Master

58898 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

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Summer 2015

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

Summer 2022

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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.
You're getting good at this. 😄

The wheels are ET45 and I'm a big fan of the current ET34 fitment, so I'll need to get some 11mm spacers for them. I'll do a test fit with those 205/45 Dunlops once I get the spacers to see how it stands. That should help me decide whether I should get the PS4's in 215/45 or 205/45.
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I'd be fitting 215 regardless and deciding whether to use spacers or not etc
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You're getting good at this. 😄

The wheels are ET45 and I'm a big fan of the current ET34 fitment, so I'll need to get some 11mm spacers for them. I'll do a test fit with those 205/45 Dunlops once I get the spacers to see how it stands. That should help me decide whether I should get the PS4's in 215/45 or 205/45.
Yes, he is, that was a bargain!
JKo, did you see the skinny 205/45-17 Continentals on the 17x7 OZs yesterday? They look significantly narrower than the 205/50-16 Federals on the 16x7 OZs.
I'd get the 215s if only for the looks.
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Definitely 215/45! When I got the 205/45 on the ultras I was mad for not getting the wider tyres… If you even slightly like chunkier tyres, 215 is the way forward :cool:
Opinions on the tyre size seem pretty unanimous 😁

When I was searching for 215/45-17 PS4 prices I saw that Tire Rack also lists PS4S in that size:

I wonder if that's a mistake, as I can't seem to find it anywhere else... I would rather get those than the "regular" PS4 if possible.
If I remember correctly, they’re available in 18” and bigger. At least it was like that when I was looking for tyres.
listing error imo
PS4 are very good especially in the wet 👍🏻
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^ from left to right: tcbw (supervisor), JKo (bearded wonder), Micke (researcher)
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^ from left to right: tcbw (supervisor), JKo (bearded wonder), Micke (researcher)
More like bearded wonderer 😁

I had forgotten about these pics already. Next club track day is right around the corner, hopefully we don't get new repair shots.

PS4 are very good especially in the wet 👍🏻
They really are! Yesterday I got to do some roundabouts in the rain, and finding the limit would've needed speeds way out of my comfort zone for a public road. They're a bit noisier than PS3, but a lot quieter than AD08R. Ride quality is not as good as with PS3, but these are lower profile (215/45-17 vs. 205/50-16), so that was expected.

Lighting was a bit lacking after washing the car (and immediately getting a shower of rain), but here's the new setup, TD 1.2 7x17" ET45 with 215/45 PS4. Definitely needs spacers.

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It's been a bit quiet here... we did the Mini Club Flying Finns track day in September, and I put the fuckin' mini in to winter hibernation pretty soon after that. Noticed a leaking manifold donut gasket just as I drove it in to the shed. One more thing on the to-do list.

The above pic reminded me of an update I did months ago: new license plates! Nothing special, just got rid of the ones with EU badges on them. Fitting for a car made in the land of brexit? Also got a tidier plate holder for the rear. And a black boot handle to replace the tatty old chrome one. There was some prominent surface rust action going on in the boot handle bolt holes, so the handle replacement operation took a bit longer than expeted. Luckily none of the re-painting is visible, so I was quite comfortable in doing it myself...

(oh and I need to re-do the belt line de-chrome)
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Few pics from the Mini Club Flying Finns' 2021 track day gallery. (ie. not my pics). Featuring my stone chipped bonnet and DTR's and Micke's cars, plus a random GP3...

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As the red alcohol problem was now parked in the shed, my trusty old big block Xsara wagon (a.k.a. Exclusive WRC) needed some work to survive the winter and pass katsastus (our MOT)... discs and pads all around, one lower balljoint, valve cover gasket, headlight housings, oil change, windshield wipers, engine block heater and fuel filter. Must have been almost 300€ all together. And of course the white Sparco winter rally wheels went on too.

Then it was time to start figuring out where to start with the Mini... to-do list looks a bit like this:

  • thermostat
  • BPV
  • manifold donut gasket
  • short shifter
  • figure out why there are now two small puddles of oil under the fuckin' Mini, although it was not leaking before...
  • ebay aero grills (perhaps with aero bumber, finally)
  • fix broken clips on the side skirts (and test fit the GRP aero skirt copies that I got for a reasonable price of 0€)
  • swap the JCW Sparco seats left <-> right to keep the side bolster from wearing out too much on the driver's side (seems impossible to find matching fabric)
  • replace door windows' bottom inside seals
  • add sound deadening inside the doors
  • redo some audio / center console / gauge pod wiring
  • joey mod front and rear & some other minor cosmetic stuff
  • rust repair around the taillights...

I'll be happy if I get half of these done before next track season. :rolleyes:
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That's a good list, and I'd forgotten you were rocking white TDs.
It's not an impossible list either considering there's more than four months before I need board the ferry to Germany (unless it's 2020 all over again). But I work slowly and take a lot of pictures. :LOL:

On to some pictures then. We did an MTGF group buy of these "supercharged" side scuttles back in 2020, but I made the mistake of getting them with red text before realising that it's the wrong red. In real life they looked almost pink, and it annoyed me to no end. I also wasn't happy with the metallic gloss black finish of the scuttles, but that's the way they came.

A couple of months ago I found a pair of beautiful A-panels from the wreckers for next to no money, thinking they'd be great for some future project, and maybe I could use the scuttles too... I didn't really expect that the scuttles would clean up too well, they seemed pretty far gone. But I thought it might be good practice if I'm going to revive my arches at some point. So I gave them a good wash and whipped out the heat gun.

The bottom one here is after just washing it with some strong car shampoo that I use for removing sticky road grime and before waxing the car. Most of that greyness must've been soap or wax residue from automatic car washes. The top one has already received a bit of heat gun action, getting it's original colour back. Word of warning here; those mesh parts melt easily... I then applied a bit of Autoglym Bumper Care, which made them almost shiny, but that'll tone down after the first wash. Then I just needed to drill some holes and swap over the "supercharged" emblems. But there was still the matter of the pink text. Realising that getting the colour to match chili red with my set of tools and skills would be next to impossible (the letters are outlined with chrome, which sits sligtly higher than the letters), I took a lesson of uncanny valley concept and made them stand out even more.

With the addition of smoked side repeater lenses they don't look half bad. I won't be putting them on the car before everything else is done, too afraid to mess them up while working on the car...

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I agree with you on the pink Supercharged text, and I might well copy your technique if I understood it correctly. We need a 2022 Season Planning Session by the way Jussi?
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