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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 05-10-2018, 08:32 PM   #411
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great read and good work mate!!
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:57 PM   #412
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The Bongo thread is done. Took most of the afternoon and evening!

Enjoy it!

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=408978
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:45 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by jbenekeorr View Post
The Bongo thread is done. Took most of the afternoon and evening!

Enjoy it!

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=408978
Brilliant. I'll grab a coffee and have a read !!!

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Old 07-10-2018, 06:01 PM   #414
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Originally Posted by lincolndanny View Post
I do love your updates and writing style.

Thank you for taking the time to update us all.
I second that, your writing style is great, the updates well written, are interesting and easy reading with the right amount of text and pictures.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:10 PM   #415
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Stunning transformation and brilliant write up, many thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:12 PM   #416
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Great build thread, just read start to finish over the last 4 days, looking forward to future progress and just about to read your bongo thread. Subscribed ����
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:18 PM   #417
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Multiple MINIs

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Great build thread, just read start to finish over the last 4 days, looking forward to future progress and just about to read your bongo thread. Subscribed ����
Thanks! It must be quite a marathon to read the whole thing now!


I've recently picked up another MINI to fix - project thread below in case you or any other readers are interested!

Another Broken MINI Cooper S PROJECT!



Don't worry - the JCW isn't going anywhere!
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:20 AM   #418
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Thanks! It must be quite a marathon to read the whole thing now!


I've recently picked up another MINI to fix - project thread below in case you or any other readers are interested!

Another Broken MINI Cooper S PROJECT!



Don't worry - the JCW isn't going anywhere!

A marathon that’s worth the time of course!

Already read that one, it’s the link at the start of that thread that lead me here looking forward to updates on that one too now which I’m sure are probably more imminent hopefully!
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:23 PM   #419
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Hi all,

Decent update for you here - some of it dates back to last October up to the present day




______



Having polished the camper with some newly bought AutoFinesse Tripple - I gave it a whirl on the MINI. I applied it by DA in a shady spot on a hot Summer's day. It really does give some lovely results. The repainted area on the passenger side rear quarter was looking a little bit dull - particularly an area below the fuel cap where the water drains.





Swirls





I experimented with a bit of wet sanding after taking some frankly hilarious paint depth readings!!!







After wet sanding, I brought the gloss back with a combination of compounds, followed by Tripple.







I then went over the car with Autobrite Project 64.


















______



I stupidly didn't photograph this job but the front bumper cover was missing several of its front fixings when I originally reassembled the car - it was fine, but the bottom lip was being allowed to sit too low - so it has been bashed into half of the speed bumps in Leicestershire which in turn had pulled out most of the rest of the fixings to the point where it was only really held on by two bolts at the top - so the bottom was just flapping around! It was also beginning to affect the bonnet closing on one side. I sourced some suitable screws, nuts and bolts from my tub of various fittings left over from car jobs over the years (oops) and a couple of my old mates - scrivets! I then had a fully attached bumper cover


______



I had another falling out with a kerb. I don't know why I'm so bad with this car - I never used to bash into kerbs. I do wonder if it's years of driving the Discovery which you can just smash into a kerb and it'll go up.
Anyway, I was pulling up outside my Dad's house which has those really old fashion kerb stones which are vicious - I didn't take a sharp enough turn onto the kerb and just smashed the alloy into it - he came to the front door saying he'd heard me arrive it took a chunk out of the tyre sidewall as well as the alloy. Just another battle scar for the tyres - they had a couple of similar bits of damage from incidents before I owned it.





______



The boot mounted MINI badge has seen better days - that's on the list of jobs to do. I had a quick search on eBay but got a bit mind boggled about which ones were contoured correctly and had the right mounting pins, so I'll get round to that.


______



I had bought a new rocker gasket and spark plug tube seals from BMW last year which I hadn't got round to fitting. They were changed when I first got the car, but I don't believe they were of good enough quality and had started to leak - meaning some oil was getting into the spark plug wells and also leaking down the back of the engine onto the hot exhaust - giving off a nasty smell when the engine was warm and you came to a stop. I finally got round to it over the Christmas period. I also had a set of stainless steel rocker cover and coil pack bolts ready to go on - to replace the rusty and partially rounded originals.


A rare spot in the garage!






What we're working with






It was the first opportunity I had to have a go with this (you may have seen on the other MINI thread). It is a cordless 3/8" ratchet. Takes the wrist work out of undoing lots of bolts - it'll undo anything moderately tight, but you may need to 'crack' very tight bolts loose manually (it's not designed for that).






I've had the rocker cover off these cars so many times now - it's second nature. Intercooler and brackets off, spark plug leads off, then undo the bolts and the cover comes off - remove the old gasket, clean up the area and fit the new one. This genuine replacement was WAY easier to fit than the previous aftermarket one. Then I fitted the new stainless bolts and tightened them all gradually. I changed the coil pack bolts just for looks really.


Old loose spark plug tube seals (they should be in the valve cover!)





Manky old rocker bolts








New gasket fitted - don't worry about the horrible brown sealant stuff - that's the same on every MINI valve cover!





Only pictures of the new stainless bolts I got








All back together and looking nice



Some blurry new coil pack bolts





First start up ... uh oh!




You may remember I had this misfire problem when I last messed round with the plug leads. I pulled them off, found some burnt on oily residue on the ends of the plugs where the plug lead connects (where it had leaked down with the old seals) cleaned them thoroughly and refitted. Then all was well and has been fine since.


______



Having had one too many people get into the car, sit there for a moment and then look at the brushed aluminium effect dash trim and go "Oh, has someone scratched this or is it meant to be like that?". The vast majority of Cooper S' had this trim. I didn't find it particularly offensive but fancied a change. My car being a facelift model has what's known as the 3 piece dash - the airbag is mounted on the dash top - rather than coming directly out of the dash trim. Those cars have a 5 piece setup. Being that these cars were so eminently customisable - there are a few choices. There was an optional JCW carbon fibre trim set which is rare and very expensive, even a walnut set which are rare but a bit more of an acquired taste (I quite like it, in the right spec of car). However I had my sights set on the Hyper Blue trim which is a little more readily available. It's the very same colour as the exterior of my car.

This is the original trim for reference





I found a set available in excellent condition which I bought from the seller for around £35 I think. They arrived and were just as nice as they looked in the pictures.






Changing the trim is relatively easy - it just requires a bit of care to remove the old bits. They are held in with metal push fit clips - I used some plastic trim removal tools so not to damage anything. The piece that sits in front of the driver requires the cluster to be unbolted to get good access - that is just held on with a couple of torx bolts. One thing I had forgotten about was the no longer functioning TrafficMaster sat nav system which had a button mounted to dash trim near the steering wheel. I decided to just cut the wires and tape them up - as there was no point having the button. Annoyingly it makes my old trim pieces less saleable as they have a button mounted in them!!













I love how the blue ones look, really brightens the interior up. I would normally want sombre colours - but these cars don't take themselves seriously and I think they should be flamboyant and a bit silly - so blue is fine with me. Being a factory painted part - the quality of the finish is excellent and really glossy. I've even polished them!


















______



One modification I'd had my eye on was the Aero front grills. These came as part of the Aero bodykit (commonly mistaken for being a JCW item) which was available as an option on all models and trim levels and comprised of deeper front and rear bumper lips and side skirts. The front grills are black honeycomb, as opposed to the chrome/bodycolour slatted items found on cars without the Aero kit. They are able to be fitted to non-Aero cars with a little modification.

I don't have the full Aero kit on my wishlist, as whilst I like the front bumper and side skirts - I'm not keen on the rear bumper. Plus they are quite expensive to get hold of even in poor condition.

Buying the grills new was around £140-£160 posted from abroad. However I was able to find a pre-owned upper grill for £40 which had handily had slots for the front spot lamps already made, and a new middle grill from ebay for around £35. A decent saving.


The middle grill is a faff to make fit - it was never designed to mount to the standard bumper, so the fixing tabs do not line up. I looked at a couple of guides online and then set about it. First removing the existing trim pieces...






Then spraying the area black - so it doesn't show through from behind the grill.






After this, I marked the positions of the tabs on the Aero grill and drilled slots in the correct places, repeatedly test fitting it as I went.






Then I applied some epoxy to the outer tabs and left them firmly pressed in place by pushing the car forwards with a block of wood pressing against the car and a garage shelving unit. And yes - my masking had left a little to be desired.






Lower grill fitted - "Look ma, no face!"






The upper grill can be fitted without modification - this arrived with a set of black spot lamps which weren't in top condition, plus I prefer the chrome items I already have. So I opted to swap those.


I hadn't banked on the spot lamp brackets being riveted to the bonnet of the car THROUGH the original grill so I drilled out the rivets with a step drill attachment (love it), unbolted the spot lamps from the brackets, cut the wires (can't be unplugged) then set about removing the existing grill. It is held on to the car by 8 or 10 10mm nuts ... however they are plastic! You have to pry from behind with a flat bladed screwdriver to even get them to bite. They are rubbish! However, I was able to remove all but one without a fight - the last one broke off with its threaded stud and fell down the back of the engine ... oh well!


I then cleaned up the area and fitted the new grill along with the spot lamp brackets and spot lamps - cautiously tightening the plastic nuts up on the grill. I have a hand riveter - so I riveted the bottom two fittings on each spot lamp bracket - but couldn't get the top ones to work - so substituted with a small nut and bolt. I routed the wiring nicely and re-soldered the wires for the spot lamps - then pulled the car up in front of the garage door and aimed the spot lamps in roughly the right direction.


Step drill bit for drilling out the rivets - very handy











This was the result. I'm super happy with how it looks now - a little bit more aggressive.












______



You may recall that I did a lot of work on getting the wheels to look decent - which involved removing the diamond cut surface and polishing up the bare metal on the rim of the wheels. It had stood up to the elements pretty well, however the surface was beginning to deteriorate where road salt had been sat on the wheels over the winter.












So to bring it back - I used some 2000 grit wet & dry paper to cut through the corrosion on the surface and a lower grit on the area where I'd kerbed the wheel to flatten the surface out - then picked up a couple of drill polishing wheels from Halfords and polished the surface back up with to a shine using Autosol.

Sitting at eye level with the wheels reminded me how much sidewall damage was on the tyres - so for reasons detailed below - I didn't bother masking or making any real effort not to get polish on the tyres.






Muddy and polish-stained tyres!







______



The car came with a set of Fulda Carat Exelero tyres on it when I initially rescued it. Certainly not the type of tyre I would choose - but hey, they were free! So they have been on the car ever since. The tyres had become noticeably rubbish during the colder weather - the main problem being getting traction when accelerating. I'm not talking about getting the perfect launch away from the lights - more an issue of not being able to nip out of a junction or roundabout quickly without completely lighting up one of the tyres and making a spectacle of myself. They were also quite 'understeery' - but I'm happy to take that as a reminder not to drive like a numpty in the cold.


Anyway, after reminding myself of all the sidewall damage - I decided to measure the tread (assuming they must be about at the end of their life, given that they came with the car and I usually drive the car relatively hard). However they actually had between 4mm and 5mm tread all round - they seemed to refuse to wear. My theory being that they'd gone hard over the years (2014 dated I believe) plus over 12 months stood still can't have helped their cause. This also reminds me of a very brown-pants moment in the summer on a section of motorway you may or may not be familiar with - where the M69 southbound exits at junction 2 to join the M6 westbound - following other traffic at a fair speed. It's a long, fast 180 degree turn which nearly became a 360 degree turn - not good!






So even though they had decent tread on them, I decided to bin them off and look into getting a new set. After doing a bit of reading - I found that many people move to a 215/45 tyre over the standard 205/45 - they are often a little cheaper, give slightly more contact with the road and are a tiny bit more forgiving in terms of comfort (all things are relative in a MINI!!) I had always intended to go to Uniroyal Rainsport 3's for their balance of 'quality' and price. They come widely recommended in the MINI community - I've had them on several cars before and they're just a great all-rounder. They were coming in at around £87 per corner, however I then spotted that there was a discount code on the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 which brought the price down to £86.74 per corner. Hell yes!






I placed the order through Tyres On The Drive for a full set of them. I had used TOTD for a set of tyres on my camper van last year and had been very impressed. Fitting day came around - matey boy arrived in a ratty horrible van with an even more ratty horrible attitude. Incredibly rude and was actually shouting at me on my drive! Long story short - a massive complaint went in, investigation with the regional manager, a sizeable refund, hugely apologetic response - and I then realised the wheels were bloody out of balance! Another email sent and a next day appointment, a MUCH nicer man with a non-smashed up van came and found all 4 wheels were out of balance. All rectified and faith in the company restored by their excellent customer service!

The car drives way better with the Goodyears fitted. I haven't really taken any pictures of them because, well, they're tyres! But it is better in every respect. This was before my new centre caps arrived - the old ones had broken clips.







______



The project S you may well have seen featured on the forum has taken a lot of time that would have otherwise been spent on my own car. So in a effort to repay that - it has donated its jack and factory jack bag with wheel chock. That now sits in my boot which is entirely full of MINI badges and has no room at all for anything else the jack is sort of redundant - as the Cooper S is not fitted with a spare wheel - so if it gets a flat tyre - you're sticking a can of goop into the tyre and pumping it up!





______



Being that i'm not elegible for the mortgage needed to fit a correct 1st Gen JCW badge to the car - I have had to settle with the £8 2nd Gen badge.

The 1st Gen badge is (I believe) discontinued and presumably made from Unobtainium they are available for £135 new (seen here https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINI-NEW-...bxgY:rk:2:pf:0) or for example there is a used, damaged one for £50 plus delivery (seen here https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/JCW-BOOT-...cw0-:rk:9:pf:0)


The original badge from the back of my car now resides on a garage shelving unit





The £8 badge fitted a bit over a year ago had succumbed to the winter road salt (Not helped by my rather lax winter washing routine) which had eaten away at the chromed metal finish. I tried a bit of Autosol on it which seemingly made it worse, so I opted to just replace it.

I stuck down some tape to show the correct position of the badge, then removed the old badge with the aid of the heat gun to warm the glue - followed by some ValetPro Citrus Tar & Glue remover to clean up the surface - what I didn't count on was it removing the adhesive from the tape used to mark the badge position!! After this, I cleaned up the area ready for the new badge with some IPA. The old badge was at a slight angle - so I made sure to correct that when fitting the new one.



















Much better...


______



I recently fitted a set of LED reg plate bulbs - I realised at this point that both of the lenses were on their last legs. One actually wouldn't clip back in - so I had to hold it in with some tape until I could get some new ones. I found some new genuine items for about £12 on eBay.














______


My centre caps had broken tabs and as a result - I had glued them on in the past. The tyre fitter had to remove them for balancing the wheels - so I told him to go ahead and I'd just order a new set.






New ones





______



A friend on the R53 Facebook group had recommended using the end of a toilet brush in a drill to help with polishing the inside of exhaust tips with Autosol. A slightly unorthadox method I must admit - but I popped to Wilko's and got one of their finest 50p bog brushes, chopped the handle off and stuck it in my drill. It did quite a decent job! I also went round the outside of the exhaust using the more conventional method of a cloth! I subsequently tried the bog brush on the inside of the Project S' Milltek, went too deep and snapped the head off ... oops.











______


I must have done something to upset a bird which was (judging by the size of its droppings) presumably bigger than the car itself!




This brought on a little cleaning session in the nice weather we had a couple of weeks ago. Here are some shots of the car as it now stands.











______


Thanks for reading
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:35 PM   #420
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