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My other car: a Mini Cooper S R53

rabbitstew said:
Counter Of Beans said:
Yeah, the plan would be to fit 16" wheels with new coilovers at the same time, and hope that Mrs COB doesn't notice.
I don't want to lower the car, because we are cursed with a plague of speed bumps around here.
Now, do the AP coilovers lower the ride height, Brer Rabbit? And are they nice and compliant?

The AP coil overs can be as high or low as you want. My daily commute is very bumpy B-Roads and when I get to work theres lots of speed ramps, so whilst mine is lowered a bit, ive kept it looking sensible & practical. I did remove the very lower lip off the front bumper which you dont notice, but that did give me a bit more clearance.

Im pretty pleased with the ride. I was expect it to be a bone shaker as the AP`s are a bit sportier than stock & I polybushed the whole front end. Im also running solid top mounts up front. But, the ride is actually pretty good.

TBH I only went for the coil overs as they were cheaper (at the time) than going for stock shocks and they gave me just a bit more adjust ability if required. You could probably go for some uprated struts instead if you see any at a decent price.

APs and a lipectomy. A classic combination for an R53. I gather that APs have gone up in price, so I'd be looking at the base STs (which are also made by KW). Sold by an outfit called Orranje, who are very good for decent MINI stuff.
Noted, cheers MaxA. :thumb:
Now that spring is coming, I've been doing a little maintenance work on the car: a complete clean out of the interior including leather cleaning (they came up well, and the car smells a lot better!), some touching up of the many many stone chips (impossible to avoid around here, and some chips have chips in them), an engine bay clean, and topping up of the power steering fluid and engine oil.

There's some oil seeping out from what looks like the valve cover area which is irritataing as I had all the seals replaced about 36000km ago... but it explains the oil consumption as this engine has not been a consumer.

Earlier, I replaced the rear discs with drilled Brembos and fitted new Carbotech AX6 pads. I still have matched XP8s to go into the fronts. And we fitted a new Gates belt - although now the guys tell me that a Contitech stretches less. It certainly pulls harder with a fresh belt, and it easily overboosted (>17psi of boost) when we went for a 'test drive'...

I've got the summers back on but the tyres have only got 1.7mm of tread, so it's time to get the Federal 595-RSRs fitted. They'll do double duty as track day wets - plenty of grooves to move water.

I should also renew the fuel filter, as it's been a good while since that was done, but it's a messy smelly job, and you need to time it right as from memory you need to keep about quarter of a tank of fuel to prevent issues.

There are two bigger jobs: the now infamous supercharger service (which entails removal of the front end, crash bar, radiator, intercooler, charger etc.) to check the condition and renew the oil, and at the same time, I'll swap out the water pump, do a coolant flush, change the spark plugs and clean out the intercooler with acetone (it sorts of acts as an oil 'catch can').

And the final job is to replace the rear trailing arms with the lighter alloy jobs from the GP1/R56 to take some weight out of the rear suspension. That's just a lot of wrangling but the small geometry changes apparently help with the set up. :grin:

So, now just hoping to get some driving done. :bye:
Some random pictures (and if you haven't left a track on a flatbed, you haven't tried hard enough!).


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Great thread, enjoyed reading it. looks like a proper weapon!!
RXP. said:
Great thread, enjoyed reading it. looks like a proper weapon!!

Thanks, this is a little ball of fire, and it's always an issue of self restraint to drive this thing around. :dont know:

I'm delighted that some of the tracks are now opening for business, so we will be heading up to Alastaro (which has a huge COVID-compliant apron) on Sunday 7th June. We're gathering the night before at my place for a little bit of spannering - one of the chaps wants to fit his long awaited rear anti roll bar - a sauna, swim, BBQ and only a couple of drinks (as it's an early start in the morning).

The nice thing about this event is that it's for both modified BMW & MINI, so it never gets boring chasing down the bigger cars. :bye:
We had a good session at Alastaro once I had sorted the tyre pressures; the track is so much better with the fresh layout and new tarmac, even if the final corner is pretty slow (2nd in the R53. 1st in the 997).

I am however in need of fresh front brakes, the discs are worn and the pedal has gone a bit long (even if we bled it twice). Unfortunately new floating discs are only made to order and are quite expensive at £350 or so. I have to bite the bullet, but at least it's teaching me how to carry speed when I can no longer lose enough of it before the corners.
It turns out on an inspection and disassembly of my front brakes, and to my great surprise, that the inner pads in the big K Sport six piston calipers were stuck to the sliders, so I only had any braking from the outer pad...

It looks like the EBC Bluestuff backing pads are slightly oversized, and all the heat, accumulated dust and road muck was enough for them to stick fast. It took a hammer to get them out. The inner pistons were still pushing on the pad though, so it has three vertical cracks and it has gone concave (from wear in the middle). The rear faces of the discs are rusty and perished, and anyway they're too far worn to be worth skimming.

So I've ordered some replacement floating 304x28mm discs from Reyland Motorsport at £275 (a fair bit cheaper than APs £359), with some fresh bolts for £36 (24x ½ inch required to secure the rotors to the bells), and I'll be cleaning it all and putting it all back together with new Carbotech XP8 carbon-ceramic pads (as I already have AX6 in the rear).

On semi-slicks this thing should now stop hard enough to break my nose on the steering wheel.

I cannot wait. :grin:
Ah, it seems that I need new sliders for the calipers, assuming that I can get the old ones out, so the car is off the road, on jack stands. I suppose that I should also pull the front end off, and do the infamous supercharger oil service, and replace all sorts of things once I'm in there (plugs, water pump, a few gaskets probably, coolant). Given what seems to be happening with the weather, I may need to get the wheels back on and the car moved into the warm garage first. The 997 can sit in the carport instead.
I'm stuck on the stuck pad sliders... need some help to get them out, probably more tools, and some new hardware as and when I can remove the old sliders and 12.9 strength bolts. It's a bit annoying as I have fresh pads, two piece discs and fluid all waiting to be installed.

In the meantime, however, I installed a new battery (the original from April 2006 isn't quite dead yet but it probably won't hold a charge over the winter), and we changed the valve cover gasket (there was some oil leaking past the old one...), added some fresh colder range NGK BRX8EIX Iridium spark plugs, and changed the oil (with 4.7l of Castrol Edge 0w30 and a new & improved larger 19mm sump plug); I also removed the big aluminium skid plate to clean it up and straighten it up), and it seems I also need a new front lip to re-mount the skid plate properly. The old one is basically mangled.

And of ccurse there's another oil leak from the crank position sensor o-ring to be sorted along with the charger, when we take the front end off. Right now it's inaccessible. As ever these things are better when driven regularly. Those two years in storage haven't helped.

And as I can't stop fiddling, I added new black side indicators (instead of chrome), with a smoked lens cover, fresh bulbs, and have a red "supercharged" wording in place of the old red 'S'. Just a little detail which you'd only spot if you know.
Well, I finally seem to have a full set of new hardware (sliders, bolts, retaining clips, rubber valve covers etc.) on order from Orranje/K Sport so hopefully I can put all this together once the parts arrive. Extracting the old hardware might be a challenge.
Found this thread really interesting.

Would 17" wheels work well on a fast road setup car, as there seems to be a lot more tyre choice than for the 16"?

I was thinking 205/45/17 Michelin PS4 with OZ Ultraleggera 17/7 and a 37 offset.
Anyone own one a JCW's with the auto box? Was maybe looking to order a new one but unsure how good the box is or whether to order with manual like the last one we had?

Any feed back would be helpful.

Poker2009 said:
Found this thread really interesting.

Would 17" wheels work well on a fast road setup car, as there seems to be a lot more tyre choice than for the 16"?

I was thinking 205/45/17 Michelin PS4 with OZ Ultraleggera 17/7 and a 37 offset.

That's a great set up.

I also run 17x7s with 215/45s at the track for the extra grip. But 205/45 is the factory size for those with the optional 17s.
Ken White said:
Anyone own one a JCW's with the auto box? Was maybe looking to order a new one but unsure how good the box is or whether to order with manual like the last one we had?

Any feed back would be helpful.


I've driven the latest F56 JCW with the 2.0T engine and the automatic gearbox on a test day at the track, and it's actually a great drive, with a very responsive shift. The only thing I'd want is a bit wider rubber, as the car felt a bit undertyred when pushed hard. I was supposed to be testing the GP3 (the one with 300+bhp) this summer, but it didn't happen.

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