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

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

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Winter look, January 2015

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Summer 2015

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Summer 2022

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I basically just heavy handedly smudged the text with a yellow paint marker pen, then dipped a rag in to rubbing alcohol (IPA) and lightly swiped over the text with it a couple of times. That pretty much cleaned the chrome parts and left most of the yellow on the letters. It took a couple of tries, but worked out quite nicely in the end. Easy to start over if it gets messed up. Then I gave them a couple of layers of rattle can lacquer before attaching them to the scuttles.
Oh and we definitely need a planning session. Got a fresh slab of lonkero waiting...

I came upon a need to remove the taillights (R53 owners may relate) so I thought I'd do some chrome removal while I was there. Special thanks to @tweedbean for making a video about the procedure on his Youtube channel.

@Micke warned me about the smell of burned plastic, but it wasn't that bad in a moderately ventilated big shed. I've done some PC case mods in the past, so maybe I've grown to ignore the odour...

I highly recommend using IPA (not the beer) in removing the chrome. Acetone works too, but also melts the plastic underneath...

I had some backlight spray paint left over from another project, so I attacked the turn signal lenses with it. It took quite a lot of persuasion to get the masking tape make a tight circle, but I got there in the end.

I put the lenses back on with UV resistant silicone (in two stages as suggested by Tweedbean) and did a test fitting. Looks so much better now. And will look even better once the car is put back together (and with the belt line de-chromed (again)). 😁

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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...

where did you get the supercharged badges from jko, they look great
where did you get the supercharged badges from jko, they look great
@DTR arranged the group buy from some facebook seller / mini group. They were almost sold out at the time I think.

The text part is pretty much a scaled down VW G60 Supercharged badge, with long narrow plastic nuts attached on the back for bolting on to the R50 scuttles.
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I dismantled a spare rear light (like us blokes do - it had a large crack half way across the clear glass) and effortlessly wiped the chrome off with a normal household wet wipe. I guess they may contain a little IPA to help them clean. I couldn't believe how easy it was to do. I haven't done the good set of lights as I am keeping the chrome on the car.


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Looks good. Interesting that the wet wipes managed to get the chrome off. Better be careful with them around painted parts :D
Some updates as the summer is approaching... tie rod end needed to be replaced on the left side as it was stuck and prevented toe adjustment. Swapped the front rotors at the same time, as the Nitracs had reached their minimum thickness. I usually stay away from drilled discs, but these oem JCW ones were so cheap that scrapping them as soon as cracks start appearing won't hurt too much.

Finally took off the bubbly paint below the tail light. It's always a bit of an iceberg situation with these...

Mate of a mate does crash repairs and agreed to replace some metal at a rather reasonable cost, and at location.

And my mate then did the fillling and sanding and a quick paint job. There's also a small patch on the right side. Still needs wet sanding and what not to make it look bearable once the paint is fully cured. Full re-spray is in the plans, but for now the hobo way will have to do.

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Finally an update. The paintjob looks good in the pics, id it one of those 10ft jobs? 😁
Looks like after all it will be ready for a small roadtrip to Estonia 😎
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The paintjob looks good in the pics, id it one of those 10ft jobs? 😁
Definitely one of those, especially in it's current state. Probably won't have time to buff it before Estonia. Luckily it only needs one drive on the gravel road leading to our shed for the whole rear end to be covered in dust... 😁
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Not much. After losing 1/4 of the working cylinders last September it's been mostly sitting in the shed. I had just spent some moneys on a BBK and was just about to pull the trigger on a new set of coilovers, and putting all those plans on hold kinda killed all motivation to work on the fuckin' mini during the winter. The Big Plan now is to lift the engine during the summer, have the BVH serviced and take the block to a shop to have it bored. It'll go back together some time during the next winter with new forged and balanced internals.

..but it did look somewhat decent during the last season with the TD's and tail light chrome delete.

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makin' me want another red one :LOL:
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Go on, you know you want to.

It's much more interesting than the dark silver that everyone ordered as part of the chili pack.
Everyone knows it's the fastest colour...

I would like to change the roof to black on mine.
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I'd like to change the colour of mine, to BRG, as God intended. It may not be the fastest, but it's the coolest. And I can keep my black roof. Although I'd get rid of the panoramic roof too.
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