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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi pickles, I joined up at the other forum but it seems a bit quiet and very badly organised. How difficult is it to include separate areas based on generations of Mini? Ah, and then I find here. So here I am. I'll copy my first posts over there and continue here as tbh I think I'd fit in better here. Time will tell....


Car Land vehicle Vehicle Wheel Tire


Original reg was D13NUT if anyone knows it...?

Hi guys, finally bit the bullet and scratched the Mini itch.I'm a serial car buyer so it was inevitable eventually. My last Mini was an original type that we cut the roof off, the door section out and welded it back together so that you sat on the back seat to drive. I Mini shorty I believe they're called nowadays. Anyway, that was over 25yrs ago...

So, got a 2005 Cooper S Convertible in black with 92k in pretty good nick. Drives nice and lovely. Apart from those daft 18" rims ( Possibly newer JCW?? I can't ID them) and 205/40s which are not good for the 'roads' in South Wales so might have to look into 16/17s instead. The engine is my biggest issue. It goes lovely. Coming from my Audi TT Mk1 225 it is definitely slower but much better lower down. But a much nicer driving position and comfort- I'm 6'2" and all in the legs. More headroom for my son in the back but as the seat base is longer (and needs a booster which doesn't go well with the scooped out seat base- the rear of a TT is registered as a legal child seat and has a short seat base so their legs go down vertically to the floor whereas on the Mini they are more stretched out thus needing the front seat further forward) but less boot space. Win some lose some. But I've got plenty of other cars for 'other' roles including an X350 Super V8 Jag XJ.

Anyway, back to the engine. The MOT history shows an oil leak mentioned as advisory for the last few years and the previous owners where too lazy/stingy to get it cleaned and fix it. Reg is LV05LXW, feel free to look it up on MOT history. Not sure where its coming from so I will clean it all up after I've changed the driveshafts next week as they've both split the boots and flung their guts everywhere, which doesn't help... Looks like rocker gasket for definite, and I'll try and do the oil cooler as well.

So, the problem is this. Starts fine, drives lovely and smooth. No prob. After a half hour run or so just after I bought it, not ragging it just doing 2krpm or so cruising about, the oil light cam on orange when I stopped at lights. Go up 100rpm or so and it went out. Next lights it was red and I'm panicking now, but engine stil idling and running smooth with no noises. Coincidently, this was at that 'orrible roundabout in Cowley just outside the Mini plant- I think it was homesick... Next lights and it was still red but now the idle was faltering and trying to stall, I gave it a bit of revs and it was still fine and smooth and drove carefully into work nearby. Once it had sat a while I checked the oil but wasn't sure as oil was so clean and dipstick not the easiset to read. Added 500ml of 5/40 fully synth and left it. 3hrs later when I finished work it rattled for a split second on startup. But was fine after. Drove it 45mins to gf parent's house and was fine all the way. After an hour we drove back along the M4 home to Newport doing 70 al the way on cruise. All was well. Next morning, starts and runs fine. Finished work at 6 and slight rattle on start again. Apart from that it was fine. Checking oil and still at top of wider orange bit of dipstick I think. No excess leaking of oil that I can tell. Doesn't drip anywhere. Coolant fine too. No smell of petrol in the oil either. GF said she could see black/grey smoke coming out the exhaust on the way home, but she's not mechanically minded so wasn't able to say if it was constant or under welly. Constant ish she thinks, but I couldn't see anything in the headlights behind. Tail pipes quite sooty though and a ridge of black carbon on the bottom edge of the tips. Drove to work in Oxford again the next day and all was good. Friday was local and all good. Maybe a good run had cleared it? Anyway, drove a sedate ish run across tiny country lanes to Cwmbran (half an hour) and the oil light comes on red again as soon as we come to a stop in Cwmbran and the engine idle falters and wants to die but after 3s or so it levels out OK but still red light. Checked car and everything seems OK under the bonnet. Half an hour in Halfords later and the car starts and runs fine and hasn't done it again.

AFAIK the car is standard in the engine apart from a RAMAIR cone filter (ugh..) and heatshield around it. I use OBD Fusion app ( does more than my Torque Pro) and the intake temps do rise from 27c normal to about 57c in traffic when stop start or idling at lights. I'm not sure what oil is in there but it does look clean. I'll be changing that out today. I also put some fuel injector cleaner in yesterday and have a better injector cleaner coming to go in the next but one tank. I'm going to examine the plugs today as well. The oil pressure sensor looks very clean, possibly new, but I have a new one as that was my first thought- dirty connection or knurdled sensor, but the faltering idle and new look of the sensor steers to something more sinister. And add in the black smoke.


Any thoughts? Oil pump? Pressure relief valve in oil filter housing? PLugs? INjectors? O2 sensor? I love this car already so need to sort it asap.


If the injectors are shafted can I fit 380cc ones without a map and it'd run well ? Can I fit 550cc and get it mapped to suit a standard tune for it to run well asap? I plan to do the pulley, intercooler and cat back exhaust later on as I just can't help myself...).






So an update. Digging about online suggests the oil light at idle only is most likely a fault in the oil filter housing- either wrong or badly fitted filter or the pressure relief valve broken. Changed the filter last night and filled up with 5/40 along with a new oil pressure switch. Nothing wrong in the oil filter area, and no change. Took plugs out and they're a twin electrode Bosch R6 BFR7LDC+ RUSSIA stamped on it. Number 1 has a few white flaked looking deposits and they all have soot on the ring but the rest is clean. Have ordered standard spec NGK 3199 BKR6EQUP Platinum Spark Plugs just to rule them out. I've ran a tank worth of Wynns IIRC injector cleaner through on E5 petrol, but no difference. BG 44k PLATINUM injector cleaner will go in next tank as just filled up from empty to flush through first. My garage suggests doing a flush with Forte's stuff as could be gunk on the pickup/pump. I'll ask about taking the sump off and having a look as unlikely to be the pump I'd have thought. I've also got a chain tensioner on the way.

Aircon was regassed but still not amazing tbh compared to my Volvo C70 and Xtrail. Both driveshafts replaced so can now go ahead and degrease off the engine etc next week sometime as tripping in to London to get a 140 year old Victorian dress restored and Hyper Japan has become this weekend's priority I'm reliably informed.. :rolleyes::unsure:



Not 100% convinced about this Ramair filter and shield malarky. Surely that is going to drag in hot air in traffic whcih is when my problems start? Is the standard airbox. maybe with foam flat filter, all that bad? It doesn't even make much noise tbh... neither does the exhaust...






So another update...

Changed the plugs to the NGK 3199 BKR6EQUP and they cured the red oil light. I noticed that the light comes on when the revs are dropping at idle. New plugs and no idle drop, so No oil light. Was simply low pressure due to low idle. It stioll tries to die at adle every now and then but it cures itself within a few seconds. This appears to be normal and linked to the carbon canister in the tank breather emmitting fuel vapour into the manifold during idle, made worse by trying to fill the tank too high and hot weather. So I'm living with that. Garage levelled the oil when he changed the driveshafts and oil pressure switch. Just got a new bottle of Shell Helix HX8 ECT in 5/40 so that'll go in soon, along with the chain tensioner. So far so good! Only trouble I've had is that a couple of times the roof hasn't moved when trying to lower or raise. It does after a few secs so I'm watching it for patterns in what I do when it doesn't cooperate. Need to replace the gear knob though and first car I need to get a windblocker because it's so windy it doesn't keep the heat in when the heater is on. A cushion between the seats (above the handbrake) makes a great arm rest and partial windblocker for now. But I'll make something like the Mk1 SLK where the mesh goes on the roll hoops for when littlun is in the back. He's autistic and doesn't like wind in his face. He's fine in the front though. Also I've ordered a new standard airbox and filter as I don't like the heatsoak in the Ramair filter nor the throttle lag due to not being in a box.


And over the last few days, the roof is playing up slightly. Every now and then, the cycle will pause before dropping or raising the roof. The sunroof bit works perfect, but then the next stage can sometimes have a 5 second delay and the same can happen when I'm trying to raise it from fully dropped.


So to keep an eye on things- using OBD Fusion and a VeePeak but as I stream onto the stereo and use maps, it's not ideal.


Update, so I fitted a flat panel K&N filter and original airbox lid. The Ramair filter kept coming loose from the original intake pipe so that wasn't ideal and I don't like the lag you get without an airbox, nor the intake temps in slow traffic. So It had to go. At first it felt really sluggish, but on the way back from dodging all the street pissheads in Cardiff, it felt far perkier. Got home and took for a rag to the local shop through all the new 20mph MAIN roads (thanks, Welsh 'Government') and sounds and feels good. However... have noticed that there is coolant under the engine and the expansion tank was almost empty. Shite.... Rad looks clean and dry and so I'm guessing it's soemthign to do with the water pump. I'd topped up the coolant before going to Cardiff and still seems fine but I'll keep a very close eye on it.


Anyone know a good Mini specialist near Newport that can do supercharger service, pulley, belts, tensioner, waterpump etc all in one hit?
 

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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Just been out for a rag and checked the oil at the shops (can't do it at home as everything is about as level as a pisshead's walk) and feck me, but does it like a drop of oil!! I reckon it's used about a litre in 1k miles! I'll check it properly tomorrow and monitor it.
 

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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That’s a lot of oil, sure there’s no big leak somewhere,
Black sooty exhaust and The Burd said it had black smoke out back when I first got it..? Rocker cover weeps but nowt serious IMHO. I've got to get the block cleaned off and see further, but there's no Land Rover style drips.
 

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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I need to get underneath properly and have a damned good look but as the CVs were split, there's shite everywhere so needs a good clean off first. I would have thought that if it was leaking that badly though then it would be dripping but it's not really.

I agree on black smoke and soot being rich. Odd as it had a Ramair cone thing, which kept coming undone...
 

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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sooo... replaced the rear brake discs and pads as sensor was triggered. In the process I forgot to 'mount' the pads on the pistons using the springs on the back of the pads (EBC Redstuff).

Is it essential?? All works fine so far...
 

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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So, the DVD satnav always said it needs a disc and nothing ejected. So bought a supposed genuine 2019 HIGH disc and it does indead appear very genuine, but once inserted the computer still says 'insert disc blah blah blah' even after waiting 1 minute.

So... is anyone local to Newport Wales or Oxford or along the M4 that has a working nav so that I can either check my disc in their drive, or their disc in my drive and so on. I know I don't really use it but I kind of want it working for minimal cost just because it messes with my head otherwise. :sneaky:
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ok, thanks...


Anyway, so I did the rocker cover gasket and that isn't leaking any more. Got my garage to do the oil filter and cooler gaskets so that's not leaking any more. Got it all cleaned up and had a look a few days later. The water pipes are weeping where they clamp onto the oil cooler so I'll reseal them properly so that's easy. However, there's oil everywhere again. This time I noticed it was green and stinks and on the rear of the right side. Hmm... The power steering pipes were oily so cleaned them off and came back a couple of days later to find them oily again and so is the bottom of the resevoir. I've ordered a new resevoir as it's piss cheap and will cut and seal the pipes. If that doesn't fix it, I'll change the pipes. I'm hoping it's just that dripping onto the driveshaft and spitting everywhere, otherwise it's the gearbox leaking form the driveshaft seal I reckon, although they are 'new'. I presume the gearbox oil is greenish and equally smelly as they ususally are?

I decided the flat panel filter in the standard airbox was sluggish so bought the correct fitting Ramair filter, unlike the Previous Owner, and it felt far better so have stuck with that. Also discovered during the rocker gasket drama that the intake pipe was split. Badly... Temp fixed with superglue until I got a silicone one on there and now all good. Helped the running a lot , but still does that engine faltering at idle thing occasionally. Took plugs out (new recently) and noticed number 1 was quite badly deposited on- black and white bits. Not good. Rest were normal. Cleaned up all and works good again. Did cold compression test and all at 70-75psi. Will test warm when I get the chance. At least they're even as I've been suspecting shagged rings due to the plug and the oil burning. 1000 miles before I'd put a botle of Liquid Moly Engine Restorer in to soften up the valve guide oil seals and help the oil filter housing leaks until I could get it done and blow me but it worked! Not sure if the valve seals are totally sorted but I'll pull the plugs again in a 1000 miles or so, but the oil use has definitely markedly reduced. At some point I'll Seafoam the rings and intake (got the 2 bottle soak the rings and add to oil and intake spray kit. Neighbours will love it...

Tyres getting low now so I've got to take the plunge and get the Team Dynamics Mini Pro wheels in 16" Gold with some decent All season tyres (it's a year round daily and I NEED to get to work in the snow). Going to be about £800 but I should recoup some on the sale of the 18s that are on there. Think they're R56 JCW wheels....????

Also managed during the summer to pick up an as new windblocker. This is the first of many, many convertibles I've had that really needs one and what a difference it makes! Fitted a replacement gearknob was mine was flaking too.
 

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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
So today got very interesting very quickly... Drove to work after the school run, which was a nice 1hr drive in the rain. Got here, parked, turned off and was sorting my phone when the smoke started pouring out from the wheel arch. Shit. Shouted for an extinguisher and opened bonnet to the smell of an electrical fire and lights flashing and wipers going despite key out. Shouted for a 10mm spanner or pliers while searching for my own and managed to disconnect the battery with some pincers which stopped the smoke becoming a fire... The smoke was coming from the area of the steering pump so research suggests it's either overheated and caught fire due to fan failure or oil got in the wire connectors and shorted out. Either way, I'll be checking it out properly and probably replacing the wiring, pump, fan, pipes and reservoir. And getting a battery quick disconnect and a fire extinguisher. This was too close for comfort.... The fan was on a lot and very noisy for a while but not noticeable recently so maybe it died. Lots of oil been in the area and degreaser so could be lots of things. Could have been a lot worse and there's lots of stories of this happening causing car fires. Look it up and check yours...
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
And it took the AA 6hrs to actually get a proper AA wagon to turn up to get me and it home. No local garage that subs to them wanted to know and each time they said someone was coming out, they didn't. FFs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Got the car up on stilts and crawled underneath to survey the damage. I'm pretty sure the oil everywhere is power steering fluid that has leaked down from the resevoir, got on the driveshafts and splattered everywhere. I shall get back under during the week and throughly clean up down there. Anyway, the plugs on the steering pump were a tight fit. The big 100A positive wire is a bit odd. It's almost like it's got a cut in it or it might have worn through and shorted out on the driveshaft, but it's very hard to tell as not burned, just possibly rubbed through. Could have split under heat and movement so not 100% certain. But the plastic between the connector plugs is defintely burned so I'm guessing internal burning from carbon dust clogging up and heat maybe? The fan seems fine but I will check with direct 12v to test it before the refit, or get another. I've removed the big fat 100A wires and will replace them as well as the hoses and resevoir and get a recon pump too. Easy enough job just a PITA working on stands. Would be a lot easier on a lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
What a bastard of a job. 2Hrs my arse... maybe with a lift and a nice warm dry light garage but not on jacks on a driveway in the rain in winter.

Technically, and in theory, it's not that hard. But it turns out the new hydraulic hoses don't fit quite right so you can't get the big 22mm bolt in straight until you bend the pipe just right, which isn't easy under the car more or less in situ, otherwise the bolt is VERY easy to thread it's way in. Also the wiring harness for the pump supply is 100A and EVERY one on ebay had worn through the positive wire in the same spot. This is a serious design flaw as it obviously rubs somewhere. My theory is the driveshaft or nearby. I insulated mine on the worn spot, then put 42mm heat shrink over the whole wires, as per original, and then put braid over the whole lot. I used bits of the old hydraulic hose to make a shroud where it ran past sharp bits and cable tied it tightish in places wherever there is risk of wobbling about and rubbing. Hopefully, I got it... Was lashing down with rain al weekend but managed a few trips under the car so the pump is fitted and wired and plumbed in, with new hydraulic hoses, resevoir and new re-enforced wiring harness. Sometime in the next few days when I get time I have to refit the airbox type stuff and the ECU etc, then fill and bleed. Finger's crossed everything is done up tight enough so no more leaks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Job done and all running good with no leaks so far! So now back to the original problems where I'll be keeping an eye on the oil level as I suspect it's being burned in cylinder 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Quick question if anyone has a definitive answer or experience-

Can you actually fit the 380cc injectors on a standard tune R53 (only have a Ramair foam cone filter with heat shield) and standard map without a remap? I know it's a learning ECU but not sure if it's capable of that much and opinions vary. Most people who say they don't remap already have tuned pulleys, exhaust, intake etc.

I wish to change my injectors to rule them out. I intend on fitting a 15% pulley at a later date but the injectors will be done first if it's possible and can't see the point of fitting standard if I'll upgrade later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
After the first 60 mile trip, the horrible smell of burning oil went. It was definitely a transmission/steering oil smell not engine oil, and the oil leak residue was greenish. All dry under there now, but....... I went out this morning for the school run to find a totally flat battery. Quick jump and off I went, but could hear the PS fan running after ignition off, and also the power steering was still on. Tracked it down to a 1 in a million chance of a faulty part in the circuitry in the new remanufactured pump that switches it on and off. Spoke to the supplier and they have immediately sent out a replacement which is awesome. Certainly can't fault their customer service. Immediate and comprehensive comms and always sorts the problems. Fully recommend them! I'm not getting under there again anytime this side of winter so farmed out the job to my local Mini and BMW specialist Forze GB in Caldicot on the 25th, so we'll see how they operate. I'll get them to replace the two rubber water pipes that connect to the water/oil cooler as they weep slightly after the oil seals were done there.

For now, I'm removing the bolt on the power feed to the engine bay fuse box which cuts power to the pump so OK for now, no worse than having a rabid dog and wiping it's jaws for walkies, and tomorrow I've got a couple of 100A battery isolator switches coming and the best design will go on the PS 100A feed wire. That way if it ever catches fire again I only have to twist a switch and power will be cut. Also beats undoing that bolt every time and also maintains power to the rest of the car...




That was a couple of weeks ago and have now finally had it swapped with pump number 2. Haven't got around to fitting the cutoff switch but will report back once done. Now it seems ok and is running well apart from a sound like a heavy fan roaring until the car has been running for a while. It can't be heard as badly outside the cabin so my thought is that it is something causing the vibration to be felt through the floorplan/chassis that goes once warm. Odd... Bit worrying though. No more steering fluid leaks so that's good. Did have a look underneath and the oil leak on the sump is pretty bad. But we couldn't tell if it was weeping along the sump gasket at the back and running down to the clutch housing drain hole, or vice versa out from the main seal. The trouble is, being able to clean it and get under and see within a few miles or so to be able to tell the difference. Bloody cars...
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Couple of updates... First I used Pool's Garage near Magor, near Newport for the power steering pump and they were great so can recommend them. The strange vibe/fan noise went but occasionally I get a loud fan roar when the aircon is on but all seems fine so can wait til it warms and drys up out there.

Second, I stopped my severe oil leak! Found a new oil filter in the van so popped that on and found the old big filter oil seal ring had a chunk missing.... new one is in and all cleaned up and appears good! As I park with the drivers side on a curb, it would explain the oil flow along the sump gasket and why there was more oil in the filter side. Fingers crossed...

Fitted some 16" Blaster wheels which were really good nick for £80, then put Vredestein Quatrac 6 all season tyres on in 205/55/16 as much much cheaper than the 50s. Speedo cock on and only rubbed slightly on a corner of the rear bumper which I couldn't adjust so trimmed it off. Really good in the snowy icy -9c roads around here. Obviously you can't chuck it around like a summer tyre in summer, but much much comfier, less crashy and less worried about potholes. So probably faster in the real world...
 
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