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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 15-04-2018, 08:40 PM   #71
James_G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshquattro1 View Post
I'm loving all the mini threads lately especially yours and jbenekeorr. I enjoyed reading them so much I went out and bought a R56 cooper with JCW bodykit. Would have gone for the cooper s but the wife will also using it.lol Keep up with the good work and posts
Glad to hear that you are enjoying the threads and great news about getting an R56!

I have an update for the thread too but there's an issue with the photo hosting. After the nonsense with Photobucket I moved to using the PostImg but they seem to have changed something so all the links are broken. Frustrating.
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Old 25-05-2018, 09:31 AM   #72
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Some more progress on the Mini to report.

Last time I'd done everything on the suspension refresh except the rear drop links, as they were on back order. Eventually these arrived (direct from ZF) and I'd also bought some new wheel centres which while not legit BMW ones are a very close match.



So one afternoon I got on with the job of swapping them over. It's not a hard job by any means and only requires basic tools.



Here's the old vs new shot, the old ones being the original ones. They seemed OK as it goes, certainly not split like those on other cars I've changed.



While I rate the Lemforder stuff it's a bit annoying that on one end the drop link they have this very thin flat section which a normal spanner is too thick for. Not problem I thought, I'll just hold it with a hex bit but no, they haven't put one of those in either. Oddly the other end does have one - go figure.





Still, solved with a little ingenuity and all done.



While that was going on I was also working on the alloy wheels, with a view to tidying them up and fitting the new wheel centres because of this:



Despite having done it previously there was lots of contaminants on the front



And even more on the back:



Once that was rinsed off it was time to get the tar remover out. I remain confident that these wheels have never seen a refurb as there's no overspray and multiple tyre changes' worth of wheel weight residue, but I don't think I'll ever get them truly clean without going that route.



And all back together having made the effort to line up the badge with the valve. Note also that I've replaced the locking wheel nut with a regular one, albeit not quite matching. More on that later.



And a quick picture of how it looks while parked on the road.

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Old 25-05-2018, 10:09 AM   #73
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One of the things I was most disappointed with on the Mini when it arrived was the gearbox, which felt heavy and seemed very reluctant to engage unless you got it just right. So, having done a bit of research which suggested an oil change might help, I picked up some Red Line MTL from Opie Oils and ordered a cheap hand pump from a marine parts supplier and set aside one evening to swap out the oil.





No mention of Minis....

Again, not a challenging job and once up on stands it was all done in under an hour. Having already loosened the fill plug, I got the drain plug out with no issues.



I managed to not spill any oil on the garage floor too, which was nice.



Here's the old oil, which I assume is the original stuff. A few articles I had read had said it would smell bad but honestly it just smelt like everyday gearbox oil to me.



And here's the new stuff going in, which you can just see is a pale translucent red colour. The hand pump worked really well and I'd recommend it if any of you are trying this on your cars. From memory it was just under £10.



Despite it being close to midnight once I'd got it off the stands and everything tidied away I took it for a quick run round the block and things have definitely improved. The gearbox still isn't a peach by any means, but now it feels nicely mechanical rather than obstructive as before.

Meanwhile I'd noticed that occasionally I'd get a rattle on startup, which would go away after a few seconds. With so many Minis out there this has come up with other owners and the culprit is usually the timing chain tensioner, so I got on and ordered one of those.



In theory this is just a case of removing a 19mm bolt, extracting the old one and putting the new one in. You can see the bolt in the middle of this shot below:



Unfortunately the heat exchanger is in the way. Apparently you can access it from the top but since I now believe the exchanger is also the source of my oil leak, I have put the job on hold until I have the time to do both at the same time.

To get to this stage however, I had already removed the inner wheel arch cover to give me a bit more access.



So I thought I'd carry on and tidy up a little bit under there, including investigating some miss alignment on my front bumper including this:



And I also dealt with this:



To give this. Clearly it's had some work in this area previously because there are a few missing trim screws in this area too:



I also did a little bit of tar removing on the inner wheel arch cover....



And tidied everything else up underneath using APC:



Finally I cleaned up the front alloys and fitted the remaining wheel badges as I had done to the rears.



Next up, a track day!
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Old 25-05-2018, 04:47 PM   #74
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Nice work.....some fallout remover would work wonders on your alloys, as there appears to be yellowing in the corners etc, which a decent fallout remover, such as Valet Pro Dragons Breath, will remove.
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Old 25-05-2018, 10:30 PM   #75
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Nice work and detail on the updates James
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Old 26-05-2018, 03:37 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by MadOnVaux! View Post
Nice work.....some fallout remover would work wonders on your alloys, as there appears to be yellowing in the corners etc, which a decent fallout remover, such as Valet Pro Dragons Breath, will remove.
Thanks. I did about three applications of Iron X on each wheel and they are still not perfect for sure. The yellowing is partly where I let it dry (I was busy doing the other work), but I ran out of time to clean it off.
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Old 26-05-2018, 04:10 PM   #77
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I had always intended to take the Mini on the track and am planning three outings this summer. Since I haven't been to Bedford for years and there was an evening event coming up I thought it would be the perfect shake down session.

Sadly my 3 hour estimate to get there on a Friday afternoon via the M25 (70 miles) was wrong meaning I was late. That meant that I rushed to put on my track wheels, resulting in the tread pattern being the wrong way, as shown in this shot:



I didn't notice at the time, but no harm done and I'm pleased to say that there were no dramas and I had a lot of fun. Keen readers will notice that these are the same track wheels that I had on my former MG ZR160, and they are an exact fit. Presumably this is because the early development of the Mini was done when it was still an MG Rover project. In fact there is a lot of commonality between the MG and the Mini, something I suspect Mini owners don't like to acknowledge but when you've had both it's easy to spot.

There were also some other nice cars there too including a number of M135i and M235i models. I'm always surprised that people are happy to take on track what I assume must be their daily because while crashes are rare I have seen them happen.



Despite the success of the track day the Mini has suffered in other ways a bit recently. After a brief supermarket trip I came back to find this on the driver's door:



And then a few days later, having parked up to take my children to the park I came back to this:



In fact I was impressed that the person had even left a note but I wish I had taken a picture of where I'd parked so you could see how much space he/she would have had to park without coming anywhere near me. It felt a bit like when you park in the corner of a supermarket car park to avoid everybody only to find somebody next to you when you return.

Anyway the car was dirty post track day so I couldn't see any damage but once cleaned I did spot a little bit here:



However the rear bumper has many more marks on it that are worse than this so I didn't follow up and pursue it. Good karma and all that.

Since the car was clean I thought it was a good chance to give one of my new purchases a quick try out, which is this, a toffee wheel for the removal of the lower door graphics:





Family demands meant I didn't have much time but it works well and will make light work of the job when I do it all. For now, I've done just this section.



One criticism that is often made of the 1st Gen Cooper S is that the brakes aren't up to much sharing, as they do, the same set up as a Mini One despite having nearly twice the power. To be fair they are fine on the road but on track I did come away wishing for more. One option is to find the JCW brakes as fitted to JCW cars and the GP Works, which are bigger at 294mm. They are rare though and expensive when they turn up. The alternative is to get the brakes from a 2nd Gen Cooper S, also 294mm, so the other week I found myself here, which is Minitopia near Southampton:



To pick up these, a set of R56 Cooper S brakes.



They don't look amazing I'll grant you but I wanted to buy them in person rather than via eBay, and they were cheaper than any current options at £120. However, given I am time poor I am now regretting not stumping up another £80 or so to get brand new ones that I could just bolt straight on, but there you go. I refurbished the calipers on my Alpina B3 previously and these are a very similar design so hopefully it will be plain sailing.

The car they came off was interesting though, because having done 116k miles it had dropped a valve or something and was bought by Minitopia as a potential fix up and sell on project. It also had a fantastic interior:





It turned out to have a few too many issues though including rust along the lower doors so they decided to break it for parts.

Anyway, I also picked up another four wheelnuts, this time ones that match all the others and they were "free" so all good there:



As well as the calipers I took advantage of the many ECP sales and picked up a set of 294mm Brembo discs for the princely sum of £60.99



So I just need some new hoses and pads and once the refurb is done I'll get them fitted. Next track day is toward the end of June so should be no issues getting them done by then. I've split them already and it's all surface rust (he says, hopefully)



Thanks for reading.
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Old 27-05-2018, 10:32 AM   #78
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Great read, I am doing this exact job tomorrow, howcome you didn’t go for the TRW versions?

Don’t forget you will need the Gen 2 hoses as they went from Banjo on the Gen 1 to screw on the Gen2.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of this, I also picked up the exact same brake discs at the same price from ECP, what a bargain!
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Old 27-05-2018, 12:28 PM   #79
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Yes, those disks are a bargain aren't they and they look very nicely finished.

The next decision is what to do re pads. I am tempted to get some Brembo HP2000 at £87 from ECP and easily available. But I had good results with Black Diamond on the MG and they are cheaper at £45 but they are never in stock and places like Demon Tweeks charge a fortune for delivery.

I didn't go for new TRW items because when doing my research I came across a thread with part numbers and prices, showing this:

R56 Cooper S prices, from factors on-line – with the TRW part numbers:
Caliper N/S/F TRW BHW907 £67.46
Caliper O/S/F TRW BHW908 £67.46
Carrier N/S/F TRW BDA947 £44.96
Carrier O/S/F TRW BDA946 £41.36
Hoses (braided by HEL or Goodridge) £40 a pair.
Total: £261.24

As you can see, at those prices I could save £100 by going 2nd hand but like I said, I regret that now, especially as they can be had for less via eBay. But hopefully when I'm done they'll look fab.
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Old 27-05-2018, 10:29 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by James_G View Post
Yes, those disks are a bargain aren't they and they look very nicely finished.

The next decision is what to do re pads. I am tempted to get some Brembo HP2000 at £87 from ECP and easily available. But I had good results with Black Diamond on the MG and they are cheaper at £45 but they are never in stock and places like Demon Tweeks charge a fortune for delivery.

I didn't go for new TRW items because when doing my research I came across a thread with part numbers and prices, showing this:

R56 Cooper S prices, from factors on-line – with the TRW part numbers:
Caliper N/S/F TRW BHW907 £67.46
Caliper O/S/F TRW BHW908 £67.46
Carrier N/S/F TRW BDA947 £44.96
Carrier O/S/F TRW BDA946 £41.36
Hoses (braided by HEL or Goodridge) £40 a pair.
Total: £261.24

As you can see, at those prices I could save £100 by going 2nd hand but like I said, I regret that now, especially as they can be had for less via eBay. But hopefully when I'm done they'll look fab.
Yes, I can see why you did it, I did shop around and got them slightly cheaper but one of the carriers is like rocking horse s**t. The way you have done it is a bargain! If it helps, I have gone for Mintex fast road pads, always had them and rate them highly but a touch pricey.

Looking forward to seeing more bud
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