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don't know where the three's or the four's went 馃槀
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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503 Posts
As well as the 3rd brake light, definitely consider changing out the boot handle gasket as well. Both these are common failure points which lead to water ingress into the tailgate, or worst case the boot itself.

The gasket isn't difficult to do, just a bit fiddly as the original will be a bit of a sod to remove but is well worth doing for piece of mind. These leaking also tend to be the initial cause of rust around the tailgate handle as water is allowed to get by and sit between the gasket and metal.

Also if you find at any point your rear screen chrome belt line (running along the bottom of the glass) isn't sitting that flush in places could mean broken clips which are also a leak point. In this instance water tends to get into the bottom part of the tailgate and try to leave via the drain holes at the bottom where it then ends up sitting in the boot seal itself.

One thing the 1st gen Mini fails on quite a bit is daft design/engineering decisions, some certainly not engineered for longevity...hard to know who to point the blame at Rover or BMW :ROFLMAO:
 

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It looks like a nice example there mate. Im not a fan of silver cars per se, Ive just had too many of them (6 on the trot at one point..could get away from them), but the Mini looks okay because it has lots of details that break the colour up.
Silver is great at hiding dirt,, but is difficult to get a really pleasing shine with because it scatters reflections, and its also a bastard to repaint...
I washed and clayed mine when i bought it a few weeks ago...It killed an entire clay bar. The horizontal surfaces were appalling.
Then I hit it with Megs 105/205 (ive tried loads of other stuff but always come back to this combo, although 105 gets very powedery). Finished with a 3M jewellers polish and Soft 99. The plastics i did with Car Pro Perl which im a bit 'meh' about.
The interior i always hit with various dilutions of Meg APC and for the degrease stuff I use their degreaser or Gunk..but Gunk is pretty crap.
I also removed, sanded and relacquered the Xenons and repainted the rings in body colour (and promptly scratched them during refit).
I also repainted all of the interior plastics and cleaned the engine bay.
TBH, if you want to do the wheels properly they need to be removed and then you can hit the arches...also the engine, mine looks from from the top but underneat is it filthy from the oil leaks.
I got the car back from the body shop the other week and true to form, its come back scratched and covered in swirls..So pissed off. There's also a light dusting over oversprayed top coat here and there and some deeper scratches and various chips...Not happy.
So, it looks like I'll setting another weeked aside to do it all again before I tuck the car away from winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
As well as the 3rd brake light, definitely consider changing out the boot handle gasket as well. Both these are common failure points which lead to water ingress into the tailgate, or worst case the boot itself.

The gasket isn't difficult to do, just a bit fiddly as the original will be a bit of a sod to remove but is well worth doing for piece of mind. These leaking also tend to be the initial cause of rust around the tailgate handle as water is allowed to get by and sit between the gasket and metal.

Also if you find at any point your rear screen chrome belt line (running along the bottom of the glass) isn't sitting that flush in places could mean broken clips which are also a leak point. In this instance water tends to get into the bottom part of the tailgate and try to leave via the drain holes at the bottom where it then ends up sitting in the boot seal itself.

One thing the 1st gen Mini fails on quite a bit is daft design/engineering decisions, some certainly not engineered for longevity...hard to know who to point the blame at Rover or BMW :ROFLMAO:
Thanks again for all the useful info!
It may be too late for my tailgate already as there is a patch of bubbling paint just above the handle. I will be attempting a repair sometime but if it doesn鈥檛 look right at least I can get another tailgate from a breaker.
I did take the handle off briefly to take a look but will get a new gasket to prevent any more water damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
It looks like a nice example there mate. Im not a fan of silver cars per se, Ive just had too many of them (6 on the trot at one point..could get away from them), but the Mini looks okay because it has lots of details that break the colour up.
Silver is great at hiding dirt,, but is difficult to get a really pleasing shine with because it scatters reflections, and its also a bastard to repaint...
I washed and clayed mine when i bought it a few weeks ago...It killed an entire clay bar. The horizontal surfaces were appalling.
Then I hit it with Megs 105/205 (ive tried loads of other stuff but always come back to this combo, although 105 gets very powedery). Finished with a 3M jewellers polish and Soft 99. The plastics i did with Car Pro Perl which im a bit 'meh' about.
The interior i always hit with various dilutions of Meg APC and for the degrease stuff I use their degreaser or Gunk..but Gunk is pretty crap.
I also removed, sanded and relacquered the Xenons and repainted the rings in body colour (and promptly scratched them during refit).
I also repainted all of the interior plastics and cleaned the engine bay.
TBH, if you want to do the wheels properly they need to be removed and then you can hit the arches...also the engine, mine looks from from the top but underneat is it filthy from the oil leaks.
I got the car back from the body shop the other week and true to form, its come back scratched and covered in swirls..So pissed off. There's also a light dusting over oversprayed top coat here and there and some deeper scratches and various chips...Not happy.
So, it looks like I'll setting another weeked aside to do it all again before I tuck the car away from winter.
Ouch, sounds like you鈥檝e been on quite the journey with yours already!
I would definitely recommend Koch Chemie Plast Star over PERL for faded plastics. I have PERL too and it鈥檚 great for keeping restored plastics looking good but not so great with neglected trim.

I had a hard time picking which colour Mini I wanted, I settled on silver as it鈥檚 the least 鈥渇eminine鈥 colour (no offence intended!) and suits the shape nicely, although as you say I do keep looking at it, and even though it鈥檚 been polished and has a ceramic coating, the paint still looks 鈥渄ull鈥.
My other car is a Mazda in the beautiful Soul Red which really makes this silver look boring!
 

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I had a silver M3 and I worked the paint and it looked great under trees when you get loads of reflections, but when it was just parked you couldn't see how ridiculously shiney it actually was.
Silver on the Mini looks great because of all the body details and I know what you mean about the colours that were available...At least the S tended to be in some more macho colours.
Thinking about your tailgate, if it's bad why not just buy a new tailgate? You may have to colour match the roof, but I bet a decent second hand complete panel is cheaper than a rust repair and respray, plus you may be able to travel to the breakers and get a colour match. A lot of the breakers have loads to choose from.
 

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One thing the 1st gen Mini fails on quite a bit is daft design/engineering decisions, some certainly not engineered for longevity...hard to know who to point the blame at Rover or BMW :ROFLMAO:

This should be a sticky.
100% agree..I know every car ever designed have their foibles, but the R53 has some stupid engineering 'solutions'. The BMW influence means that simple things are over engineering (poorly over engineered as per BMW), and things that should be well engineered are cheap.
The Mini (R53) is beautiful look car..a great mix of masculine and feminine, with a great balance from any angle..The interior styling too is cool...a bit girly but looks great..but the quality of the interior is absolute crap. The cheapest plastics imagineable, shitty door cards and hollow plastic handles, crap centre console made from the nastiest, flimsiest plastic, cheap upper dashboard made from scratchy plastic, cheap seats, cheap switchgear..the terrible headling the can be pushed and flexed... However the shell is solid.
That said, I love the fact that BMW were quite daring with the design...the clam shell bonnet for instance and the retro nods back to REAL Mini. To me, the R53 is the nicest of the lot and the design has never dated.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Fixed a minor issue last night...
Since I bought the car I've thought the ride quality was atrocious! I know that mine has the sports suspension plus, but it was like riding round in a 911 GT2 with horrific fidgeting over poor road surfaces.
I checked the tyre pressures last night for the first time...all four tyres were at 42psi! :LOL:

Lowered them all to 31psi and this morning's commute was like being a RR Phantom by comparison :rolleyes:
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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If you're on Run Flats that arguably doesn't help much either particularly with sports suspension plus (typically fitted to Chilli Pack cars).

I still run them on mine as I like the mobility benefits (the S doesn't have any provision for a spare and most tyre sealants are next to useless), also modern RFTs are better than they used to be but the cars definitely do drive better without them.

Well known but the Mini wasn't developed with RFTs in mind, at a very late stage BMW insisted that they were used which I gather Rover were not happy about, but had to concede.

If you have run flats, particularly if they are old or very very cheap you might want to consider swapping them out for some newer, branded ones or dropping them completely in favour of a regular tyre. Another good mod is to go 215 section, the OEM wheels are typically the correct width to support it so long as they are 16 inch and above and does also help with general grip and handling. If I eventually ditch RFTs, which I am still sort of in two minds of doing I'll be doing this 馃憤
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Just before I bought the car it had four new Riken Road Performances fitted (no idea if these are any good or not, I tend to stick to brands I know when buying tyres). I'll stick with these for a bit, probably until I find some new wheels.
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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Just before I bought the car it had four new Riken Road Performances fitted (no idea if these are any good or not, I tend to stick to brands I know when buying tyres). I'll stick with these for a bit, probably until I find some new wheels.
They are a budget tyre but a subsidiary of Michelin by all accounts so can't be terrible 馃憤
 

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Hard to beat a good Cooper imo (I've had mine for 17 years) Its been through a lot, it was Cooper S swapped for a few years but its back as a Cooper now.
 
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Discussion Starter #34
Hard to beat a good Cooper imo (I've had mine for 17 years) Its been through a lot, it was Cooper S swapped for a few years but its back as a Cooper now.
Must be the only Cooper that went to Cooper S and back again! 17 years must mean it's doing something right (y)
 

Bugger
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Must be the only Cooper that went to Cooper S and back again! 17 years must mean it's doing something right (y)
Costs vs usage as such. When it was stripped to be a Cooper S I'd imagined tracking it & sprinting / hillclimmbing in it. Plans and life changed as such. It needed to be fun, useable and easy, insurance was becoming a PITA as they wouldn't add my wife to it. As a Cooper with a few modifications (catback, Janspeed manifold, coilovers, R56 brakes) and its been extensively lightened once its back on the road it should be a riot again.

This time last year I took it off the road to rebuild it as an S and added up all the parts needed to get it to my liking and was left thinking I enjoyed it as a Cooper without all this extra cost / faff.

I've not seen any need to replace it, nothing newer does much for me if anything modern cars are just a bit too polished and refined.
 

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Discussion Starter #36



...whoops. I was driving along a country lane after dark and attempted to swing into a driveway to allow an oncoming car through. Unfortunately I misjudged the wall first time I鈥檝e ever damaged one of my cars! I鈥檓 hoping that the bumper will clip back on temporarily.
 

Bugger
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They do come up, not as often as they did sadly. I got mine when the dealers were still fitting aero kits to R53s... They had take off parts galore and were giving them away (i think I paid 拢20 per bumper).
 
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Discussion Starter #40
They do come up, not as often as they did sadly. I got mine when the dealers were still fitting aero kits to R53s... They had take off parts galore and were giving them away (i think I paid 拢20 per bumper).
That sounds handy! So far, eBay can only offer scratched and scuffed bumpers for upwards of 拢120...no thanks.
 
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