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2005 R52 Cooper S Convertible
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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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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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for the oil leak, check the lower starter bolt and block right below it, if wet there it'll likely be the main seal, also wet by the 'c' access plate, brake cleaner it off there when cold and it can usually be seen to return pretty quickly, the main seal leak usually gets picked up at the bottom of the seal and flung upward collected around the starter before it collects elsewhere or gets to leak out the tell tale hole, and emerges under the starter, often mis diagnosed as only a sump gasket, when it can be just the seal or commonly both....
 
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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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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
So did a mpg calcu;ation today when filling up. Brim to brim - 46.94 litres for 408.5 miles which gives 39.6mpg. That's pretty impressive considering the Oliver Reed nature of this engine and as the speedo is spot on, I'd say pretty accurate too. Most of that is 57mph on the motorway for an hour followed by 50mph long A road for an hour, and back again.

One thing though- I've never known a car to get so much crap thrown up all over the back end. Slightest rain and the rear window is useless. Throw salt in and it's just black and gross.
 

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2005 R53, 2005 R53 lightweight, 2008 R55S, 2012 R58FJCW, 2014 R60SD All4, 1996 Mini Cooper 35SE.
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as soon as I read the first line I thought that must be some pretty boring driving....:unsure:

....confirmed in the second line :ROFLMAO:
 
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
The joys of a 200 mile commute 2/3 times a week and 2 or more fill ups a week with fuel costs of today.... I can only eek 35mpg out of my supercharged jag on the same trip! ;)

Just think it's amazing what these little things are capable of with careful boring driving considering how much they drink normally :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
So a couple of weeks ago the exhaust started blowing and within a couple of days it had snapped completely around the bottom weld of the Pre-cat - as per normal...

Faced with the options of standard used manifold and wait for it to happen again as it's a common problem, or aftermarket manifold. After much, much deliberation and many Youtube vids, I decided on the Malian manifold (Janspeed 'tribute') and 'soft tone' exhaust, which has a resonator and proper rear cans. I would then get the exhaust shop (who fitted a Toyosports system to my TT with great sucess) to cut off my old cat and weld the flanges on to make it fit where the Decat pipe would be. Finally picked it up today. Costs were £150 for the manifold £240 for the cat back exhaust and £240 for the fitting etc. Turns out I was right in my suspicion on a rear hanger on the car being knurdled so they made a new up and also found after fitting the manifold that some of the holes didn't line up, so had to remove it and re drill etc. Not an easy job getting it in and out. All in, I thought it pretty reasonable.

Fired it up and nice noise but not loud at all. Perfect for me. Then drove it and it definitely gets a lot louder over 2k.... On the motorway to work it was loud and a bit drony about 70mph but a lot better on the way home at 62. To be honest, it's the perfect sound and volume for me- just the right kind of sound that I wanted so couldn't be happier! Tailpipe fit is perfect too. And fuel economy and response is much improved. Definitely feels more lively!

Next job is to compress the front left spring and grease up the rubber cups as they're creaking like octagenarion porn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
So I've been happily driving the Mini Money Pit for less than a week, enjoying the new exhaust for about 5-600 miles, before the Mini Gods decided that I'd had enough fun for now and so decided to press the grenade button again. Today's fun filled character building exercise occurred on the A4 into Bristol, taking the GF in for a job interview. Pulling away out of a junction, the EML and a couple of other orange lights of doom came on and power reduction. Pulled over and turned off and on. Always worth a go... but no, EML remained on. Drove a few hundred meters and stopped at a light. Hmm, something smells hot and is that smoke we can see from under the bonnet, yet again..? Screaming at the world's longest red light for what seemed an eternity and then ther's a layby. Perfect. Pop bonnet, more smoke- but this time it's not burning electrical smell and it's coming frmo around the pulley area. Engine off and can see ally swarf dust everywhere as if Gary has sneezed in there. This is now officially Not Good. No more smoke though, so that makes a change. Can't see anything obvious so it's time to call the very nice man in the yellow van again. This time it was only 1hr15mins instead of the 6+ hours of the last time. He diagnosed a wobbly crank pulley. Quick google revealed it is yet another of those exciting common faults of the Mini. Wahey! Lucky me to experience all this character from such a little bundle of fun. The gift that keeps on taking... Had a great time being towed on a solid tow bar all the way back home. Not much fun being at Audi distance behind a van on the motorway at 50mph with feck all brakes. So now having aged 10 years, I have left the car at the same Pools garage near me just outside The 'Port and await further news. If it is just a wobbly delaminiated rubber crank pulley, then it's a cheapish easy job to swap for a nice new Febi one. I'l get them to put a new pulley on the tensioner while there as they always go in my experience. Might get the crank seal done too, not sure.

Of course, hindsight says this could have been wobbling for a while. The slight vibes at idle could have been this and it could be what caused the exhaust to snap as the engine mounts seem fine. I'm tempted to get the supercharger pulley swapped for a -15% while somebody is in that area with a spanner, but as I've not serviced the supercharger yet, at 105k that'd be like sneaking up to the Mini Gods and poking them in the eye before running off quick. Probably best to wait and then get the pulley done during a service. 1320 offer a good price to do this imho and can get a dyno done at the time. Hmm...🤔
 
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