Jump to content

R53 Mini Cooper S cheap old shed project


Recommended Posts

sold these little cars for a few years, seriously under rated pocket rockets. looks like your example is going to be awesome when finished!!

 

Health to drive!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 92
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I managed to get some time on the mini over the weekend. I fitted the new clutch slave cylinder, literally a 5 minute job to remove from the front of the gear box and swap for the new one. But then yo

This weekend I managed to get a spare couple of hours in the garage. I had seen these vented A panels online and thought they looked pretty good.... but the £375 + £75 surcharge price tag didn't look

Well the scorching weather this weekend lent itself perfectly for a bit of painting. So firstly I got some new tyres fitted, ditching the horrible dunlop runflats for some new Michlean PS4`s...  

Posted Images

I've had a bit of a result (hopefully) with the exhaust manifold. A replacement janspeed manifold was coming in at £620 new. However I've managed to pick up a 2nd hand original Mini manifold off ebay for just £36, apparently in good condition with no leaks. So hopefully that will fix the blowing flexi pipe. I am not looking forward to changing them over as exhaust nuts/bolts tend to be a nightmare to undo, but we shall see! At least hopefully this will help keep within budget!

 

I've also picked up a new short shifter kit for £25. You have to drop the exhaust to fit it, so may as well fit one whilst the exhaust is in bits. Hopefully that will sort out the sloppy gear change and kill 2 birds with one stone. Certainly at just £25 its worth a punt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So the plan this weekend was to fit this lot to the MINI in an effort to sort its dodgy handling out..

 

mini1.jpg.087d270300a7f84feebb6d14256f571a.jpgmini7.jpg.ca65dfb103a7ad767666def8e25b8862.jpg

 

What we have here is a set of AP coil overs, an uprated adjustable rear ARB, adjustable rear control arms, powerflex bushes all round and a set of adjustable camber front top mounts (not pictured).

 

I also have new front lower control arms and ball joints as they were cheap from ECP. I soon whipped the drivers side front strut off and tried to remove the lower control arm. My god, the inner ball joint was not having any of it. Heat, ball joint separator, crow bar, sledge hammer... nothing would work. What a PITA. I must have wasted an hour on it. I was hoping to be able to just drop it down but no. Looks like I will have to drop the entire front subframe and do it off the car. If I do that then it makes sense to do the clutch at the same time - so looks like the car will be off the road for a while and it will be a bigger job than I planned.

 

Still, I swapped the front shock over...

 

mini3.jpg.349b3d69a583c22bbdbd87563f7b9323.jpg

 

And moved onto the back of the car instead...

 

mini5.jpg.051b8776e875bf2abd51fa8e31cfed24.jpg

 

The old ARB is handily mounted above the rear chassis, so you have to drop the whole rear chassis in order to get it out. Thank goodness for my impact wrench as the bolts are torqued up to 75ft/lb. 

 

New ARB all fitted, and chassis torqued back up..

 

mini6.jpg.02f044262ee44c386f62c3f4949cdfd8.jpg

 

At least that went on okay.

 

I have poly bushes for the rear trailing arms, and so wasted a good half an hour trying to workout how to get them out. Looks like I may have to take the whole trailing arm/hub off the car and do it that way, but I cant get to the mounting bolts for it due to the ramp being in the way. Another PITA. I also looked at trying to get the rear control arms off - the outer bolts are easy, but the inner ones are not - the fuel tank is in the way of getting a socket & ratchet on the bolt. Argh! Whose idea was it to get a project Mini?

 

So the weekend wasn't as productive as I wanted - only had a couple of hours on it. Still, the new shocks should perform miles better the old rusty ones - see comparison picture below...

 

mini2.jpg.25c50e198377829e28dba5e3410fb6e9.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

WHY???

 

Springs to mind (VERY APT).

 

Seems a big spend on a little car for not a lot of gain apart from brownie points on the Forum.

 

This thread is becoming boring fast IMHO. Its not cheap at all.

Edited by StormWhite
  • Confused 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks LR4N (Don't look so confused) I was originally looking for a car like this  but this thread has proved its not a cheap car even with 100k mileage IMHO.

Edited by StormWhite
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, StormWhite said:

WHY???

 

Springs to mind (VERY APT).

 

Seems a big spend on a little car for not a lot of gain apart from brownie points on the Forum.

 

This thread is becoming boring fast IMHO. Its not cheap at all.

 

Why? Because the car has an issue with its handling, something isn't right somewhere with it, its pretty scary atm! The original shocks have done 100,000 miles and look very rough. I could take them somewhere and have them tested to see if they are faulty, but the company who makes them only give them a 100,000 life expectancy anyway. If you price up cheap standard shocks & springs at ECP they come to £540. Or you can get some cheap new struts & springs off ebay for £300. They look expensive, but these coil overs were only £450, so to have the adjust-ability of a set of coil-overs for about the same price as stock made sense.

 

Also, if you look at the back of this car, the passenger rear has negative camber (which is what you would expect) and the drivers side has pretty much zero camber. The ideal setting is round -2 up front and -1.5 at the back. The adjustable camber arms will let me correct that. Okay, so i didn't really need the up-rated anti-roll bar, but again, that was only £160, so not expensive and apparently is one of the best suspension improvements you can make on these little cars. It made sense whilst I had all the suspension off to fit one.

 

I've just done a quick rough price up of the costs so far and for everything except the suspension has cost me £750. So it stands me at £1750 at the moment for a car with all new brakes, a full 100,000 mile service, sports exhaust, modified K&N air box and the increase in boost via the 15% pulley, not to mention all the other new bits I've also fitted within that price such as radiator, water-pump, coolant, brake fluid change, brake lines, braided hoses, bypass valve etc.. To me that seems cheap and should easily last another 100,000 miles now. If the car handled like it should, I wouldn't have bothered with the suspension. In fact I'm a bit annoyed as its money I could have used in other areas.

 

Remember I set a total (incl. car purchase price) budget of £3000 in order to cover a few mods to improve the car so that's what I've got to work with. It certainly isn't a "money no object" project. Everything I buy, I read up on all the various options, shop around for the cheapest prices and do my research. Such as the exhaust manifold... £620 for a new one or £36 for a 2nd hand one from a scap-yard... 

 

A car of this age & mileage is always going to have a few unexpected issues crop up, so whether or not I can keep it to budget we shall see. I've no plans to do any further major "mods" to it, so any additional costs will be replacing worn out bits.

 

If you find this thread boring, then just don't read it!

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I envy guys who are so handy with a spanner.

The only things I've done on cars in the past was oil and filter changes.

Even that was pretty satisfying doing myself.

You must be well proud of exploits so far :thumbs:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say its really well done to budget and at less than the cost of a good quality bushing replacement  plus labour on a zed.

 

Thoroughly enjoying the read and didn't realise a mini could be so interesting.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely loved reading this and tempted to get one going myself if space and time permits. Had a mini R56 1.6 petrol before i had the zed, it was a fun car to drive.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, HEADPHONES said:

I envy guys who are so handy with a spanner.

The only things I've done on cars in the past was oil and filter changes.

Even that was pretty satisfying doing myself.

You must be well proud of exploits so far :thumbs:

 

tbh its easier than ever now to learn how to work on cars. I started when I was 19 and had a 1971 850cc Mini which I was trying to run through university. The car cost me £20 at the time and I just couldn't afford to pay a mechanic to do anything. So the good old haynes manual was all I had to follow. Luckily my dad had all the tools and so I taught myself on my parents drive. Now adays, im just using google & youtube to find out how to do all the bits and as long as you follow things carefully and keep track of where the bits you have taken of come from its pretty easy. Also I take a lot of photos, so if in any doubt I can refer back to see how things were originally.

 

Obviously when you first start off, you have to invest money in some decent tools, and over the years I've pretty much got every tool for every job. But its things like this Mini where you save so much on labour costs that the tools soon pay for themselves!

 

It is very satisfying when something goes smoothly. Fortunately most of what I've done so far has gone smoothly. The brake carrier bolts were a worry when they wouldn't come off, but a bit of patience and they did. The fuel filter seal is annoying as I still need to redo that. The next big, and quite scary job will be the clutch as you have to drop the front subframe, remove tons of bits in order to drop the gearbox to then get to the clutch. I've only ever done one clutch before and that was the old Mini I mentioned earlier. That was easy, but I'm a bit nervous about this one. I do have some re-assurance as a guy on one of the mini forums just did his clutch with the car on axle stands on a gravel driveway outside with basic tools. So I figure if he managed it, there's no reason why I cant.

 

Managed to get 30 mins in the garage last night, so fitted the rear shocks to the car. I have had a change of plan with poly bushing the rear trailing arms. People have had issues where the back is just too stiff and that puts stress on the bolt which attaches the arm to the chassis causing it to sheer off. Quite pleased really as its one less thing to do! Just need to fit the rear adjustable control arms and that will be the back end finished.

 

mini8.jpg.c696ce4bdc18ce9bc25a035b90a1b5a0.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

IMHO its the only thread thats currently active on the Forum. Is that good or bad?

 

If I am honest love the breakfast meets but Forum somewhat boring.

 

Flame away.

Edited by StormWhite
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, StormWhite said:

IMHO its the only thread thats currently active on the Forum. Is that good or bad?

 

If I am honest love the breakfast meets but Forum somewhat boring.

 

Flame away.

If you click on the top right of your screen there is an "unread content" button,

 

unread.JPG.80ccaea1ce44039ff0302bed23afac0b.JPG

 

 

this shows you all the threads which have been active since you last looked. I have been on here a few times this morning, but even so, if I click on that link its still showing 14 active threads I haven't read yet which have been active over the last 12 hours. So plenty going on, including discussions about zeds, projects, parts and people arranging meets etc. So id hardly say this Mini thread is the only active one!

 

You can checkout if theres any breakfast meets in your area and if not, maybe start  new thread to see if anyone is interested in meeting up. Loads of people on here enjoy them. :thumbs:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, rabbitstew said:

If you click on the top right of your screen there is an "unread content" button,

 

unread.JPG.80ccaea1ce44039ff0302bed23afac0b.JPG

 

 

this shows you all the threads which have been active since you last looked. I have been on here a few times this morning, but even so, if I click on that link its still showing 14 active threads I haven't read yet which have been active over the last 12 hours. So plenty going on, including discussions about zeds, projects, parts and people arranging meets etc. So id hardly say this Mini thread is the only active one!

 

You can checkout if theres any breakfast meets in your area and if not, maybe start  new thread to see if anyone is interested in meeting up. Loads of people on here enjoy them. :thumbs:

 

 

 

4 minutes ago, LRF4N said:

That reply was far more diplomatic than I was expecting :lol:

Not diplomatic at all this Forum is lacking despite reading the unread IMHO. Logout and goodnight.

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, StormWhite said:

 

Not diplomatic at all this Forum is lacking despite reading the unread IMHO. Logout and goodnight.

Thank god you’re here to tell us how boring this place is. Image how dead it would be if you had just left without the tantrum!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome thread :)

 

I quite fancy one of these for a bit of fun, id probably end up spending too much money on it though for people to find it interesting :rolleyes:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ian said:

Awesome thread :)

 

I quite fancy one of these for a bit of fun, id probably end up spending too much money on it though for people to find it interesting :rolleyes:

:lol: theres a place near me which converts these from supercharger to turbo, a bloke on one of the mini forums is having his done atm. Price is about £12,000 for the conversion. Good job im not doing that eh else someone would have a stroke!

 

Not much to report this week, except the 2nd hand £30 exhaust manifold has arrived and looks okay. Wont know until its fitted, and the new clutch has arrived ready to fit. Hopefully can make a start on these over the weekend..

 

mini1.jpg.3919c06bd732752a0e6d967e52d004b5.jpg

 

mini2.jpg.67e31b3b99421f7fba4cec0b6e267889.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't post here must these days, but enjoying this thread. Makes me want to get a project to tinker with since the Z has been replaced by a German barge, but I lack space, funds and knowledge :lol:

Maybe in a few years that will change but for now I'll just keep reading :) 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm finding this thread really interesting, loving all the work you're doing to the car straight away. 

 

It is making me want a mini to scratch that supercharger itch though, I'd love to supercharge the Zed but something tells me that'd be considerably more expensive :lol:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Jack94 said:

I'm finding this thread really interesting, loving all the work you're doing to the car straight away. 

 

It is making me want a mini to scratch that supercharger itch though, I'd love to supercharge the Zed but something tells me that'd be considerably more expensive :lol:

Only slightly..

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Jack94 said:

I'm finding this thread really interesting, loving all the work you're doing to the car straight away. 

 

It is making me want a mini to scratch that supercharger itch though, I'd love to supercharge the Zed but something tells me that'd be considerably more expensive :lol:

 

One big problem with buying a car like this though which needs a lot of work doing to it straight away is that you don't actually know if the cars any good or not as you haven't been driving it around for weeks. And that's a bit of a risk as you may end up finding that the gearbox is knackered or something expensive after you have spent all the time/money servicing & fixing the bits you know need replacing. Fortunately (or not) the only bits which came to light after I started driving it were the exhaust manifold blowing & the slipping clutch. My only other concern is will the car still handle badly after I set the new suspension up. If it does, then that may mean the accident it had at some point in its life may have bent the shell - but I cant see that being the case as it looks straight enough to me. I may get the tape measure out at the weekend and do some checking. Hopefully I wont find one side of the car is 2 foot shorter than the other! :lol:

 

The zed would be loads more expensive. That's the beauty of these early Mini`s, bits are so cheap. For example, the new clutch kit was £75! There is also pretty much zero depreciation on them now, and I actually think they will start to go up in value over the next few years. :thumbs:

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23/05/2019 at 10:22, mattross1313 said:

but I lack space, funds and knowledge

Yer but apart from that what's stopping you??? :lol:

 

 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...