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Projects and Restorations Building a car from scratch, restoring your pride and joy, building a track car, or starting a long term project? This is your place to document it.

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Old 16-02-2018, 09:29 PM   #1
James_G
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Mini Cooper S Checkmate (2006)

After selling my last project car back in September (http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=385408) I planned to give myself the winter off and get back in to something new toward the end of March, to coincide with the clocks changing.

However a series of events meant that I brought that forward a bit and ended up buying this 2006 Mini Copper S Checkmate on Wednesday, which by lucky coincidence was also my birthday.



It was relatively close to home and unlike my previous project car I actually test drove this one before committing. In the end the very pleasant lady seller accepted my offer of £2,000 and we did all the paperwork there and then. I'm the 7th owner and it's done 85k miles with full history, including the often missed brake fluid and coolant changes.

I've always liked the Checkmate models and once I discovered that they came fitted as standard with an LSD it became the only model that I searched for. As with the previous car, I'm planning to take this on the track where I think the LSD will offer some genuine benefit. On the road, perhaps not so much.

The Mini is in addition to my daily, which is still my 2011 Mercedes C350 CDi and continues to deliver worthy service, albeit in a very dull diesel kind of way. More to follow later.

Last edited by James_G; 28-07-2018 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 16-02-2018, 10:19 PM   #2
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Look forward to this one. Very nice find that at what seems a very reasonable price although I am not exactly in the know with Mini's these days!
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Old 16-02-2018, 11:25 PM   #3
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Looks good James

Interested to see how things progress with this, looking forward to more pics.

We had a R56 Cooper for 2.5 years and it was great.
No trouble, had to keep your eye on the oil though.
Didnt use loads, but I'd put a bit in every month, it's just how they are unfortunately.

Yours looks a bargain !
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Old 17-02-2018, 12:41 AM   #4
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So today I had the chance to take a good look at the car and get a few jobs sorted. In terms of overall condition, there are no major dramas and it just needs a really thorough clean. There's a few rust spots on the rear hatch, but not unexpected really, especially having seen a few other Mini threads on here where there have been similar issues. So, pictures:

General Overview











Regarding options, the Checkmate seems to combine most of the Chilli Pack that would have come on a normal Cooper S (Sports Suspension Plus, Xenons, OBC etc) with an LSD, these alloy wheels and the particular colour scheme. As far as I can tell, the only option my car has is the Chrome Line interior meaning that the dials, the cupholders and the gearstick surround are chrome rather than a satinised silver look. So no cruise, no multi function wheel, no sat nav or anything else. If it were a daily this might be an issue, but as it's the hobby car, I quite like the simplicity.

Anyway, a couple of things to highlight:

It's got three matching Pirelli P-Zeros



And one Gowind Super Sport Chaser (!), which I am planning to swap out ASAP



Still showing a tax disc:



Rust on the hatch:





Exhaust needs a good polish:



Scratches on the rear bumper:



Nasty sticker on the glass:



Dirt in the recesses:



And general grubbiness around the badges:



Talking of badges, at some point in its life somebody has added some additional badges and graphics which, while in keeping with the overall theme, aren't really for me. So, we have this bonnet stripe which is standard and listed against the VIN number:



Whereas this appears to be a later addition:



As are these Union Jack emblems doors just ahead of the mirrors:





Raising the bonnet shows a dusty but otherwise as expected engine bay:



The only issue being a very slight leak from the power steering reservoir. I had this very same issue on an Alpina B3 and it's a simple o-ring replacement



Definitely not a John Cooper Works model as this area would say something completely different. Shame.



Decent wipers have been fitted in the past but they are squeaking terribly now.



Also the screen isn't the original, but may not be long for this world given this:



So, other than a bit of rust on the tailgate, nothing that can't be easily sorted. Interior next.

Last edited by James_G; 22-04-2018 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 17-02-2018, 12:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-ST View Post
Look forward to this one. Very nice find that at what seems a very reasonable price although I am not exactly in the know with Mini's these days!
Quote:
Originally Posted by James_R View Post
Looks good James

Interested to see how things progress with this, looking forward to more pics.

We had a R56 Cooper for 2.5 years and it was great.
No trouble, had to keep your eye on the oil though.
Didnt use loads, but I'd put a bit in every month, it's just how they are unfortunately.

Yours looks a bargain !
It was up for £2,350 which was the cheapest at the time and I was trying to find the low point to negotiate up from when I offered £2,000. The fact that it was accepted straight away was a total surprise and caught me off my guard but I wasn't going to argue! So far, so good anyway.
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Old 17-02-2018, 06:28 AM   #6
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In fairness I would be amazed if a near on 12 year old Mini had NOT had it's windscreen replaced yet. The angle of the windscreen is a lot steeper than most other cards and as a result they are very prone to chips etc.

I always thought the headlights stay in place when you lift the bonnet? They certainly do on the BMW built Mini's from 2007 and onwards
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Old 17-02-2018, 09:03 AM   #7
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Looks like you got a decent car there, especially for the money, looking forward to seeing the progress

Looks a very nice colour as well, which should pop and gleam nicely
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Old 17-02-2018, 09:22 AM   #8
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Cheap as chips that, but 7 owners in just 11 years seems rather high
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Old 17-02-2018, 10:02 AM   #9
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Subscribed in an instant!! Canít wait for more updates.

Looks like you got a good buy at that price for a late and tidy example with sensible mileage. Itíll clean up well I reckon

Eagerly awaiting the interior pictures! Iíve always been a fan of the Checkmate spec, both inside and out.


That boot lid rust looks familiar itís probably more ugly underneath the boot release trim. If your boot release still works - it would be worth getting the trim off and trying to make sure the components arenít getting wet/mucky. If/when the release fails, the emergency release cable is under the rear seat squab

Also, worth mentioning in case youíre not aware - a quick check of the low speed radiator fan for functionality and a keen eye on the coolant level would be beneficial for your head gasket as there looks to be a few coolant marks on your expansion tank and exhaust heat shield - tanks can split and caps lose their ability to hold pressure. All relatively cheap preventative maintenance!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-ST View Post
In fairness I would be amazed if a near on 12 year old Mini had NOT had it's windscreen replaced yet. The angle of the windscreen is a lot steeper than most other cards and as a result they are very prone to chips etc.
Agreed, they catch every stone.

My 144,000 mile Mini is on its original screen (I believe) and on a sunny morning itís like looking through a colander
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Old 17-02-2018, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyHill View Post
Cheap as chips that, but 7 owners in just 11 years seems rather high
The lady I bought it from had owned it since Jan 2014 so it had 5 owners in the first 8 years which is probably worse. I suspect itís because itís quite small and quite thirsty so people move them on. Still itís not as bad as my MG, where I was the 11th owner in 13 years!
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